Review: New Mutants #10

New Mutants occupies a special place in the modern X-Universe. It’s the ‘Special Missions’ book where mutants travel the world in a much more traditional way, dealing with a world that hates and fears them both in spite of and because of Krakoa. This road trip tone allows the book to operate in a more self-contained way and tell stories that spotlight different characters along the way. The book deals with heavy social and political issues, but keeps all of it very personal and character driven. It also isn’t afraid to create permanent changes in the lives of its cast, which gives every issue real stakes.

This issue takes the action to a fictional Russian speaking land of Carnelia with a mutant who’s power is engulfing those around her in their own nightmares. Writer Ed Brisson brings in a great mix of classic characters lead by Mirage, Boom-Boom, Karma and Armor. Cypher, Wolfsbane, Mondo and, surprisingly Wildside from the former Mutant Liberation front, round out the team. While the mutants discuss how best to infiltrate the nightmare sphere created by the Carnelian mutant, the prime minister of Carnelia is using the media to frame the mutants for creating the problem and orders their arrest. Cypher, Armor, Mondo and Wildside infiltrate the nightmare sphere before eventually becoming trapped within it. There is also a welcome interlude with Glob showing Magik how to make vegetarian laksa while discussing a website that’s publicizing the locations of mutants.

The art throughout the issue is amazing with the greatest work within the nightmare sphere itself. Flaviano does amazing work with facial expressions, and keeping every panel interesting and active. Flaviano never settles on just one angle, instead shifting the perspective from one panel to the next. The nightmare world itself is incredibly rendered. Carlos Lopez’s colors are a huge part of this as he contrasts bright colors within the dark nightmare realm. One wishes we could spend more of the issue within this mind-trip. Hopefully we will get more of this with the next issue as our heroes remain in peril.

Every issue of this book gives characters we love more depth and interaction. Team books work best when they balance seeing characters we love interact, argue and bond with interesting twists and conflicts. While the large cast gives short shrift to certain characters, Wolfsbane and Mondo certainly didn’t get enough focus here, it’s enormously fun seeing these characters bounce ideas and insults off each other. In many was Brisson’s writing on New Mutants is the closest we have had in decades to the writing in Chris Claremont’s classic X-Men run. Hopefully the book is given a long enough run to see these characters and conflicts continue to deepen.

Writing: 4.5 of 5 stars
Art: 4.6 of 5 stars
Colors: 4.4 of 5 stars

Overall: 4.5 of 5 stars

Writer: Ed Brisson
Artist: Flaviano
Color Artist: Carlos Lopez
Letters: Travis Lanham
Cover: Rod Reis
Publisher: Marvel Comics