New Mutants Vol. 3 serves as the harbinger of new beginnings and endings. For instance, Vita Ayala’s run nears its end on the series, while Madelyne Pryor nears her new role as the queen of Limbo. Much more importantly, the new collection out this week in comic shops develops Magik as a person backward, forward, and in between.
It’s impressive what Ayala does with Magik in this collection. The character work is nuanced while also leaning into fantasy tropes to explore the character in a variety of ways. We not only get to follow Magik on her quest to relinquish her role as ruler of Limbo, but we also see Magik as a child, an older heroic woman, and a version of herself that turns evil. With all of these versions combined, we get to see what could have been and ultimately, what we’re left with as Magik changes for the better by the end of this story.
New Mutants Vol. 3 collects New Mutants #25-28, which focuses on Magik’s desire to make Madelyne the new ruler of Limbo. Magik no longer wants the role and has deemed Madelyne the rightful successor, having gained a new lease on life after being resurrected in Krakoa. No longer with a home and certainly not belonging in Krakoa, it’s a logical solution. Then again, Magik’s teammates think it’s rash and could bring Hell to Earth once again, as Madelyne attempted to do in the 1989 story arc Inferno.
Comic story arcs like this one remind us the X-Men characters have quite an eclectic storied history. This story arc ties into a few or calls back to a few. Getting to see a few of the New Mutants travel to Limbo and fight for their lives, while at some time in Marauders, the mutants are fighting for their lives in space, is a nice reminder this line of comics can do anything.
That goes double for this stories plotting and clever ideas. Utilizing a fairy tale book concept, we see young Magik reading a classic fairy tale never before seen. It’s beautifully illustrated by artist Rod Reis, who is joined by Jan Duursema for the young Magik scenes. These fairytale pages add additional nuance to Magik’s situation while visually supplying a fun fantasy trope throughout the collection.
Art by Reis is stellar, with his painterly style working well in the snowy scenes, the demon war scenes, and everything in between. There’s a great scene with Magik and Colossus riding up on a king who has captured Magik’s friends that feels like it’s straight out of Alice in Wonderland. Reis’ style suits the fantasy locations looking fantastical and storybook simultaneously.
When you finish reading New Mutants By Vita Ayala Vol. 3, it’s apparent Ayala truly loves Magik and X-Men history. This book reads like a love letter to both, and readers are better off for it thanks to its richly written characters and an adventure that genuinely changes Magik forever.
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