This week’s Marvel Rundown checks in on the younger citizens of Krakoa. Vita Ayala and Rod Reis have in a short time redefined the New Mutants series with an expanded cast of young mutants taking on a classic X-Men foe in The Shadow King. How does the latest issue of the streak compare to previous installments?
We’ve got a review of New Mutants # 16, together with a Rapid Rundown of other brand-new Marvel entitles for the week, all ahead in the latest installment of The Marvel Rundown!
Writer: Vita Ayala Artist: Rod Reis Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham Designer: Tom Muller Cover Artist: Christian Ward Reviewed by Zoe Tunnell
The first two issues of Vita Ayala and Rod Reis’ New Mutants were a revelation. Dense, reinforcing and absolutely gorgeous. The only real question I had after finishing them was whether it was just a fluke or if it was the start of a potential classic. Thankfully, New Mutants # 16 refutes that question with a reverberate poll of trust and delivers an absolutely fantastic follow-up to the stellar debut issues.
Rather than directly pick-up on the Shadow King threads that drove last-place concern, New Mutants # 16 proves Ayala is more than up to the task of juggling Claremont-ian levels of subplots and opens with an foreword of Otherworld plot outstrips from Excalibur and X of Swords, to great success. Reis, who continues to solidify himself as one of “the worlds largest” resourceful, exciting flairs in the industry, fees mad with the altering, chaotic realm of Otherworld. In particular, his rendition of Jamie Braddock is an immediate iconic take on the character.
When the issue does return to some of the legend threads left off from the last two issues, it further fertilizes both the narrative and references while exploring parts of the new Krakoan society that few other journals have touched. The collecting of young X-Kids, including Cosmar, Scout, Anole, and others, who are hanging out with Shadow King on the sly, once again dive into the messy questions of resurrection, the meaning of death in a world where mutants can’t die, and the nature of body self-image and mutant influences that don’t feel right. It is maybe the most poignant use of the mutant metaphor in years, resembling everything from person dysmorphia in teens to dysphoria in trans and non-binary kinfolks. Throw in Gabby’s concerns over her fate after fatality, as a clone, and you have a shockingly effective collection of person work in time a handful of pages.
The other stories on display focus on the older mentors of the book, with Ilyana coming a stunning and hilarious strife with a bunch of surly teenagers, Rahne continuing her search into her dead lad, and the duo of Mirage and Karma traveling into Otherworld to track down a unruly Krakoan teen. All three supplanted, but Dani and Xi’an steal the depict. Karma getting a rare risk in the spotlight, and expend it stretching closer( and…potentially dreamy ?????) with her old friend is delectable and a great use of an underserved member of New Mutants history. Reis once again flexes on just about every master in the business with their Otherworld journey, messing with the idea of what a Marvel Superhero Comic can get away with in 2021.
Really, even after simply two issues it is hard to think that New Mutants is anything but one of the best volumes in the, primarily superb, X-Line of deeds. Ayala is thriving, delivering pitch-perfect character work and rewardingly intricate plans, while Reis is bringing down the house and cementing himself as the heir to Bill Sienkiewicz’s legendary career. Every issue feels like a feast, one that takes time to down and is a satisfying experience formerly you’re done. It’s hard to come more bang for your 4 dollars in superhero bibles, and hopefully that doesn’t reform anytime soon.
Final Verdict: Buy.
Amazing Spider-Man #60
Weeks later, Spider-Man is still dealing with the fallout from the whole Kindred thing. If this issue had come out right after the “Last Remains” arc ended, I’d probably enjoy it a bit more. Having said that, we’re still retreading the same ground here with apparently no depart from this hellish continuum we’ve received ourselves in. Mary Jane decides to do things her mode, and utters Peter a chance to let out some of his agitates with an acting practice that she herself implements. It’s not a bad pride, and does lead to some interesting minutes with an psychological core, but Mark Bagley’s work is uninspired and frankly reasonably dull. I suspect Ryan Ottley’s exit truly hurled a strain in the imaginative squad that editorial had access to. — HW
Marvels Snapshots: Captain Marvel# 1
The imaginative crew of Mark Waid, Claire Roe, and Mike Spicer team for a one-shot that’s as much about Ms. Marvel Kamala Khan as it is about Carol Danvers’s Captain Marvel. This issue feels like a natural continuation of the issues that Waid was exploring during his run on Champions, with a young supporter trying to make a difference in the world and facing foe from the older generation. It’s somewhat predictable, but no less entertaining, and an effective intro to both Carol and Kamala for brand-new readers. — JG
At first glance, you would think this is just another ancillary narration on a possible threat to the young Krakoan Nation, but Jonathan Hickman as the Master X-architect that he is finds a behavior to refer references Wolverine, Synch, and Darwin on a classified reconnaissance mission to gather intelligence on the Vault and its children and make it another piece to the greater Krakoan mosaic. Told mainly through the articulate of Synch this issue is a fast-moving action piece as the team travels from recon mission to full-on slugfest. And this is something that I dislike/ love the most about the X-Books, you could probably skip this issue, but in the end, you’d deprive yourself of the whole picture. — GC
Next week, America Chavez returns in an all-new solo miniseries, and the King in Black event hastens towards the successful conclusion!
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