New Mutants is at an interesting point in the run, with the cast of characters each a part of their own big plot at the moment. Thanks to Trial of Magneto, Jimmy’s brother is now alive; thanks to Hellions, Madelyne Pryor and Illyana can finally cross paths again. And, within the pages of New Mutants itself, the rest of the cast’s own plots have been unweaving. New Mutants #24 might not be the most plot-heavy book, but it is one that feels like a warm hug — and the things it’s discussing are extremely important character beats. If you love issues that take a step back and really examine its characters for a moment, you will love New Mutants #24.
SPOILERS AHEAD for New Mutants #24!
Rictor and Magik spend their time in the Green Lagoon coming to terms with a lot of the things they’ve been through. It’s nice to see these two characters get a chance to be a little vulnerable and see how they want to move forward. There’s a lot of self-reflection in these scenes and it provides for some really good content.
Rahne Sinclair has been a tricky character over the years — runs like X-Factor and New X-Men Vol. 2 didn’t really do her any favors. But the way Vita Ayala writes her is really intriguing, giving Rahne the best content she’s probably had since the original New Mutants run. The way they write her interactions with Dani and her grief over her son is really touching content and it’s nice to see the bond between the original New Mutants be touched on like this.
Dani and Rahne have always had a unique bond, but the way Ayala expands on it is really great to see. Ayala understands Dani Moonstar is the heart and soul of the New Mutants, and one thing about their run that’s been a joy to read is how Dani interacts with her teammates, showing them love and being their strength to move forward. This run previously touched on the bond between Karma and Dani and now, Ayala is stressing how Dani is there for Rahne as well. Dani has always had a great heart, and Ayala seems to really understand this character.
The best part of this comic might just be the Proudstar brother reunion, though. Thunderbird died so soon after he was introduced, we really didn’t know a whole lot about his character. And Ayala gets the first crack at really reintroducing the world to John Proudstar in this issue. Jimmy finally reunites with his brother, giving his character some intensely important closure he’s needed for years. And the reunion between them showcases the love between these brothers and finally allows both of them to heal in a way. John seems more at peace than ever and Jimmy came to terms with the idea that he didn’t fail John, but he made him proud by doing the right thing and helping others for all those years. It’s an intensely touching scene that leaves me hungry to see more of these characters in the future.
Even No-Girl gets in on the issue’s theme of healing from trauma. No-Girl exists as a brain in a jar because of the U-Men torturing her like they did, and Krakoa gives her the chance to finally escape that fate. We get No-Girl in a new body and she even gets a new codename: Cerebella. This opens up a new exciting chapter for the character and it feels like the perfect opportunity for this to have happened. Ayala takes full advantage of all the toys in the sandbox they’ve been given in the Krakoa era and it’s so fun to see this story unfold under their pen.
Stylistically, Danilo Beyruth’s art might not be my favorite, but I have to appreciate the way he draws each of the characters so distinctly. There’s no same-face syndrome here and Dani Moonstar looks completely different than Rahne or Illyana for example (and Rahne and Illyana look distinct from each other as well). Part of the reason the emotional scenes hit just where they need to is that they’re drawn to convey the emotions needed.
New Mutants #24 is like eating a bowl of your favorite comfort food. Ayala takes a step back and really examines these characters, allowing them a moment to reflect and heal. It’s one of the best issues of this run so far, which has been been a solid comic to date overall.
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