You guys gotta admit, this has been fun. As much fun as growing up, entering into adulthood in a world that fears and hates you can be. But, you guys did it; most of you didn’t even die. Long before there were schools for future mages or those who don metal suits. With only one major criteria for entry – oh and Xavier choosing to extend an offer – this school easily had both Bayside and Beverly Hills High beat as the coolest high schools . Now, Marvel Comics and a team of creators come together to give you the celebration you’ve earned. To paraphrase a former instructor, “It’s Time for the New Mutants.”
New Mutants # 30
“Forty Years Young”
Writer(s): Vita Ayala (Story); Alyssa Wong (Deadpool);
Pencils: Emma Kubert (Wolsbane)
Inks: Roerto Poggi (Wolsbane)
Colors: Antionio Fabela (Wolsbane); Bryan Valenza (frame story & Danie Moonstar); Nolan Woodard (Deadpool)
Pencils & Inks: Alex Lins (frame story); Justin Mason (Dani Moonstar); Geoff Shaw (Deadpool)
Pencils, Inks & Colors: Jason Loo (Karma)
Letterer & Production: VC’s Travis Lanham
New Mutants #30 celebrates the 40 year anniversary of the New Mutants comic book. And Roberto has a party planned to rival Emma’s little gala. Unfortunately, the guest list is New Mutants only so sorry Jimmy, you were only there for one full issue anyway. Sadly, Skids and Rusty didn’t seem to show up – neither does Tabitha but she is off borrowing another team’s name, and some cam performer’s outfit.
Vita Ayala along with several writers create frame and embedded stories that allows the younger children of the atom, and readers, to realize what this group has meant to comics – and one another. Maybe it’s the jovial nature of the situation but Bobby is acting much more relaxed than he did just last week. Acting as host, Roberto starts the stories by relating an early encounter with Dani. This sets the tone for what readers can expect throughout the issue. These aren’t pure action adventures but for any longtime reader they will feel like they are part of those earlier comics they connect to. Almost like going to the mansions attic, opening that trunk and pulling out those costumes from X-Men Annual # 10.
Though there is an effort to include the “other” new mutants in the frame story, it was good to see the writers didn’t force them into the embedded tales. This actually helps the issue honor the original 5 New Mutants, though Sam doesn’t get many scenes, while also giving Doug, Lock and Magik a nod of respect for being there in the beginnings. Along with the frame, there are four other stories dealing with the New Mutants. Three of them are memories and the fourth is just a major headache that tends to cause head trauma.
The collaboration of artists does a great job capturing the essence of the stories though in one instance the style doesn’t match the era. The Dani story really feels like it’s in those early days – Kitty and Stevie Hunter being included helps – while Xi’an’s just screams out Utopia. The Wolfsbane and Warlock art feels off for the period it references to but it works for many reasons. Perhaps it’s because despite having such rough paternal participation, these two were the happiest kids. Also, since Doug is a major character in this particular story, maybe it’s best to look back at this moment in a brighter light. These “kids” have been through a lot.
The headache mentioned earlier isn’t as much an embedded story as it is an auxiliary one While the older New Mutants were away the new New Mutants needed a sitter. And wouldn’t ya know it, Wade volunteered, or was asked or just showed up like he always does, ya can never tell with him. From the future and didn’t see this coming, really Nathan? The Wade story does give Magik a moment to show off her status as a Captain of Krakoa. Also can it finally be stated that Illyana has reached Logan status – too big to be considered just an X-Man. Which is a testament to how far a graduate of Xavier’s can go.
New Mutants #30 is a testimony to timeless friendship in spite of trials. From their awkward and uncomfortable beginnings this group has accomplished what few teams have. Willing to step up and take the reins yet still respect their elders. Powers that could place them on any other team but choosing to remain at home and humble. Okay with a party where no one, except Bobby, reads the dress code.
The New Mutants may not be the First Class
But you can’t say they aren’t the Head of the Class.
Sorry Ms. Frost but the New Mutants have you beat again.
See you guys at our 80th.