Well I finished reading the New Mutants last night for the first time. Or at least I finished the first volume, minus a couple annuals. And minus a summer special. It was a fun experience. Certainly an uneven experience. But that is to be expected over 100 issues plus off-shoots and annuals. The most important thing for this particular title wasn't so much good stories as endearing characters. And it had a handful for me. I think it also caters to my wanting to like more obscure characters. So I can name off favorites and people will just shrug their shoulders at me. Yep, I'm one of those folk... Or at least part of me is... Anyways, I can't use my blog to talk about myself can I? Yeah, that's what I am saying.

Starting out, the art for this book was just awkward and not at all fun. The one thing I valued from Bob McLeod's art is that he made the characters look unique. That is an undervalued trait in comic art, in my opinion. That is one of the reasons I enjoy what I have seen of Steve Ditko's work so much. However, it is thankfully that Bob McLeod wasn't on the book long.

Also to begin with, Sunspot was annoyingly arrogant, Psyche was Thunderbird all over again, Rahne was a little too meek, I can't say I got Karma, and Cannonball was apparently a bit gullible. Well Claremont turned a few of those around. Except Sunspot. He stayed annoyingly arrogant. Psyche developed into almost the main character of the series for a time. (the brain/will) Rahne stayed meek, but also impassioned. (the heart) Karma... got relatable enough then got "killed". Cannonball turned into the protector of the group. (the balance) All in all a merry band. Then Magma came along, and Claremont didn't bother to develop her... Magik transferred comic titles to wage her personal war against her self and her kingdom. Warlock came to earth in his quirky naivette. And Cypher was there to translate. Five of those characters I greatly enjoyed. One I didn't. One never did anything for me. Another wasn't there enough. And another was decent. Compared to most team books, that's a pretty good score for me.

Something like this is a journey of sorts. And usually it is the characters movements that get you to make your way through. It is telling how much you like a series when in the midst of a new status quo you look back on the former one(s) fondly. If you think back to the "good ol' days" it is a good sign that you are feeling emotive connections to the characters even if you never realized it. This happened to me a number of times during this title. It wasn't always a sign of how bad the present status quo was (sometimes it was). But just an acknowledgment of the path I was taking with the characters.

Another thing of note is my common preference for youth x-titles. Admittedly I only really have the experience of two titles, but it has been consistent. There are probably a number of reasons, but I believe one is, there are elements of the superhero genre that are ridiculous of course, however it is often more the case with someone who is legitimately occupied at being a superhero. In the case of the New Mutants and Generation X, the characters are students. They have powers sure, but their primary mission presently is to be a student. This is relatable and tangible. And it also forms a great reason behind there being a group. As opposed to say the Avengers. And of course with the mutant metaphor specifically, going through bigotry, hatred, etc., is part of growing up, but that's too easy and boring an answer.

There's more. I am not typing it. Just this:

Anyways, notable issues:
The Demon Bear Saga (#18-20)
The Slumber Party (#21) (yep)
The Asgardian Storyline (New Mutants Special #1 - Uncanny X-Men Annual #9)
We Were Only Foolin (New Mutants #45)
Instant Replay (New Mutants #64)
Inferno (New Mutants #71-73)
X-Tinction Agenda (#95-97 plus some other titles)
Bill Sienkiewicz art run (#18-31) (amazing stuff)
Some others I am not thinking of.

As for the upcoming renewal of the title... Some of the things I've heard from Zeb Wells, the writer, has me fearing the worst. Odds are against it being worthwhile anyways.

No comments: