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Review: New Mutants #9

New Mutants #9

With all the space stuff going on over in X-Men #8, Ed Brisson, Flaviano, and Carlos Lopez reunite the team in New Mutants #9 and send them on a more traditional mission that ends up evoking Bill Sienkiewicz’s work on the title back in the 1980s. Even with a larger cast of characters, Brisson and Flaviano handle the team nicely and give each of the New Mutants’ team members at least a couple of spotlight panels from Magik defending the team’s actions in Nebraska to basically her boss Cyclops to Mondo using his “unusual” powers to help Cypher interface with Krakoa and track a mutant named Tashi, who has some kind of reality warping/alternate universe creating abilities.

New Mutants #9 definitely seems to be an intriguing marriage of two key New Mutants storylines by Chris Claremont and Bill Sienkiewicz, namely, the “Demon Bear Saga” and “Legion”, which form the basis for the upcoming New Mutants film and the now-concluded Legion television show. Basically, Brisson and Flaviano combine the horror elements of the former with the reality warping of the latter for an interesting antagonist that happens to be a teenage girl that lives in the fictional country of Carnelia where mutants are despised and diplomatic relations with Krakoa aren’t a thing. Think Chechnya and LGBTQ rights although Brisson doesn’t delve into the politics beyond the Carnelians not caring if the New Mutants walk into a literal nightmare and giving them no backup or support.

Speaking of Carnelia, the tense interactions between the Carnelian military and the New Mutants is spiced up by Boom Boom knowing broken record thanks to her days as a thief. Coming off the Nebraska arc, Brisson seems to still be enjoying writing Boom Boom and her impetuous attitude as she drags the space-lagged New Mutants into yet another mission. The all action, sometimes drinking definitely betrays a void inside that hopefully he and Flaviano will explore in the future.

Flaviano jumping back on New Mutants gives the comic a real visual pizzazz, especially any time Tashi shows up. The first three pages are quite chilling with minimal dialogue/captions from Brisson and full page splash of how she has changed the landscape with an otherworldly palette from Carlos Lopez. Then, there’s a data and title page, and we’re back to Krakoa with a sunny color palette and more open compositions.

However, Flaviano doesn’t skimp on these important connective scenes choosing poses and facial expressions that are unique the characters like Boom Boom standing with her arms crossed away from the rest of the team to show her independence, and Chamber being frozen and unable to talk to his crush. Also, the aforementioned conversation between Cyclops and Magik is a study in power poses with some interesting backgrounds too that let the theme of precarious utopias and moral ambiguity sink without exposition-heavy dialogue. Cyclops is a supervisor talking to an unruly, yet talented employee; he shouldn’t have to explain everything to the readers.

As well as the tension within the team and the whole potentially causing yet another diplomatic incident after Nebraska, New Mutants #9 has cool and tense action scenes that make creative use of its characters’ powers. Karma and her mental possession abilities were created for sequences like these, and Flaviano and Carlos Lopez go full gonzo when she basically mind-melds with Tashi and is sucked into an alternative universe. And, of course, the sheer firepower of Magma and Chamber don’t work on a mutant with such complex abilities.

Brisson and Flaviano wrap up the story with some special guest stars, and I’m excited to see what these characters from later New Mutants era add to the storyline, especially they’re very much not in the hero camp. Their appearance (And check-in’s with members of Morlocks in Marauders and Cable) shows that Dawn of X is settling in comfortably and starting to show what other groups of mutants think about Krakoa and the roles they play in the new society.

Ed Brisson, Flaviano, and Carlos Lopez spin a typical team rescues a mutant whose powers are out of control from a society that hate and fears her story in New Mutants #9. But Flaviano and Lopez’s art is so breathtaking, and Brisson creates almost effortless chemistry/dysfunction between his large ensemble cast that I didn’t even notice that this is an X-story that has been told dozens of times before. Also, the ending creates even more opportunities for moral complexity and conflict between different mutant factions even though Krakoa is a “paradise”.

Story: Ed Brisson Art: Flaviano
Colors: Carlos Lopez Letters: Travis Lanham
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.7 Overall: 8.4 Recommendation: Buy

Marvel Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Marvel Future Fight Gets a New X-Men Update

Netmarble Corp. has released an update to their popular Super Hero mobile game MARVEL Future Fight that unlocks the ‘Realize Potential’ functionality for Magik, adding all new X-Men Phoenix Five Uniforms for both Magik and Namor.

Together with the new additions, Netmarble also revealed more information on their new in-game content ‘Danger Room’ that was released in September. The Danger Room is a brand-new real-time player versus environment (PvE) dungeon where players enjoy 3 vs 3 battles by fighting in teams of pre-selected weekly Super Heroes to defeat the designated boss first. After clearing Chapter 3-5 [Dark Distance] in Story Mode, new Agents may enter The Danger Room to experience new real-time battles, a diversified reward system, and the opportunity to earn X-Genes easily and engage with Tier-3 characters on a weekly basis.

MARVEL Future Fight also introduces the following events, including:

  • To celebrate new Phoenix Five uniforms, you will see all uniforms 40% discount from October 1-7.
  • On October 1-9, Agents can participate in the X-Men vs. Inhumans Faction Battle, where the player’s actions on the field, collectively add to the points of their faction to determine if they win or lose. Rewards, including Colossus, will be sent based on ranking and participation in the event.

The game is currently available worldwide in the App Store and Google Play.

The New Mutants Get Their First Trailer

Directed by Josh Boone, The New Mutants is 20th Century Fox‘s latest entry into their world of the X-Men. Based on the classic comic series, the movie comes to theaters April 13, 2018.

While there’s been numerous iterations of the team this one features Maisie Williams as Rahne Sinclair/Wolfsbane, Anya Taylor-Joy as Illyana Rasputin/Magik, Charlie Heaton as Sam Guthrie/Cannonball, Henry Zaga as Sunspot/Roberto da Costa, and Blu Hunt as Danielle Moonstar/Mirage. The film also features some time X-Man Dr. Cecilia Reyes who is being played by Alice Braga.

Review: Inferno #3

inferno003Inferno was one of the first releases under the Secret Wars banner, and while it might have been overshadowed by some other titles by this point into what is becoming a pretty big crossover, it still has its fans.  The first issue was received pretty well, despite the fact that the readers didn’t exactly know what they were getting into with the series.  The series was inspired by the original crossover, and featured Colossus as he ventured into a demon infested New York City while he tries to rescue his sister, Magik, who was captured there by demons and who seemed happy enough to stay that way.  Occurring on the anniversary of her abduction, Colossus leads a strike team into the city to free her, but not yet having succeeded he launches one last mission despite the protests of Scott Summers.

If there are any armchair generals that have been following along with the plot, then they would know that letting your enemy know the general timing of an attack is a bad idea, and that is the case here.  After all it is easier to defend than attack, and Magik is more than aware of that as she has successfully manipulated the situation over the course of the first two issues.  At the end of the last issue she managed to both imprison and corrupt Nightcrawler, and he now becomes her teleporting demon-mount.  With no place that she can’t go, she is now under less restrictions and launches a full-on assault on the X-Men, hoping to defeat them once and for all.

The interesting part about this series is that there are a lot more question marks than usual for its resolution.  As has been shown elsewhere in the Marvel Universe, there are less restrictions across the board on wiping characters off the roster.  Numerous big names have already died in various tie-ins across the Secret crossover, though of course there are several versions of each character.  This adds to the tension here, as readers are used to the heroes usually winning, but that might not be the case here at all.  As it stands the odds are against the heroes, and it makes this easier to enjoy.  It continues its solid performance as a less noteworthy but equally good entry into the Secret Wars world.

Story: Dennis Hopeless  Art: Javier Garron 
Story: 8.5 Art: 8.5  Overall: 8.5  Recommendation: Buy

Review: Inferno #2

Inferno002Setting a comic inside a post-apocalyptic world run by demons inside another mini-dimension run by a powerful overlord might seem like one of the strangest concepts for a superhero book, but it is the basis for the Inferno series which is tying into Secret Wars.  The first issue was a solid introduction to this universe, where the X-Men patrol what is left of New York City against a demon horde, while the same horde led by Colossus’ sister does pretty much as they want inside their own domain.  Once per year Colossus leads a strike team to try to rescue his sister, and the first issue focused on the most recent attempt to do so.  Previous attempts resulted in tragedies of one kind or another, and this attempt seemed equally doomed from the onset.

It should be said that even for someone following along that this setting is pretty weird and confusing.  Domino and Colossus were separated and thrust into two different sub-plots involving the Goblin Queen, Madelyne Pryor.  As the characters try to regain a stronger foothold, the development of the story takes some strange twists as the strike team is fractured and then almost reunited.  Meanwhile Magik and Nightcrawler face off against each other, with Nightcrawler at a distinct disadvantage being her prisoner.

There is a general lack of description in this issue, as the reader is seemingly supposed to let go of trying to make sense of what is happening in the interest of allowing the demon world to exist.  While this is a bit of a letdown in terms of the pacing the issue is saved by the well written characters, as specifically the interaction between Colossus and Madelyne, and also between Domino and Madelyne’s son save this issue from going off the tracks.  Heading into the next issue it would seem as though there is a stronger direction for this series, and while the setting is bizarre, that the creative team is making it work.

Story: Dennis Hopeless  Art: Javier Garron 
Story: 8.3 Art: 8.3  Overall: 8.3  Recommendation: Read

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