By Andy Frisk
June 26, 2011 - 19:06
After recovering from the events of Illyana and the team’s recent adventures, Wolverine leads a team of X-Men comprised of everyone who “has a particular emotional tie to Illyana” on a mission to battle some Nimrod tech that is overrunning an automotive assembly plant. Turns out Cyclops/Scott Summers had a reason for sending all of Illyana’s emotionally attached friends out. While the team battles away, he and Illyana have a pretty serious discussion about her recent actions, which nearly destroyed all of reality. Dani Moonstar, current de facto team leader of the X-Men team comprised of veteran New Mutants, upon returning with her team from their Nimrod wrecking mission (whom Wolverine was supposed to be in command of, but whom got slightly overridden by Dani), fully expects her team to be disbanded after recent events. To her surprise, Scott has other plans. Dani is to keep her team together, and is placed in charge of “clearing up all of the X-Men’s unfinished business.” Their first mission: find and bring X-Man/Nate Grey “home.”
So begins the “New Direction!” for New Mutants, with “Unfinished Business” Part One, and while this “New Direction” seems at first to be a bit of a cop out storytelling wise, it actually might just prove to be just what New Mutant readers, old and new, need. Without destroying the X-Men’s multiple series’ status quos (like DC Comics is attempting to do shortly with many of their books), New Mutants #25 provides readers with an excellent jumping on point while giving long term X-readers some potential new depth and closure to some of the dangling plot lines that the unwieldy and sprawling X-franchise is prone to. As a wayward X-fan and X-reader, I personally welcome this new direction. Maybe it’ll help fill me in on what I’ve been missing since I quit seriously reading the X-Men franchise’s books back in the mid 1990s. As many of my readers will note, now that the pretty poor looking DCU reboot and damage to my favorite superhero of all time appears immanent, I’m probably abandoning most of my DC Comics titles shortly. So a return to my second favorite heroes of all time seems to be in order, especially after the brilliant X-Men: First Class reawakened my interest in all things X-Men. As a long time fan and reader of the Classic New Mutants series from the 1980s, I thought that a serious return to reading X-books should start by checking out the current New Mutants series. I’m happy to say that, while I’m not particularly blown away by what I read in issue 25, I’m pretty impressed with the current state of some of my favorite old characters.
I’m also, as always, impressed with Leandro Fernandez’s artwork. His lines are just about always crisp and clear, and his attention to detail, particularly costume detail, is impeccable. He handles a wide variety of unique looking characters well, and he has a great handle on what it takes artistically to bring to life some very kinetic team battles. You have to be able to effectively draw a team in action to pencil an X-book. His use of depth mixed with excellent fight choreography and body language really makes these X-Men and their battles truly a feast for the eyes.
Overall, this incarnation of one of my favorite monthly series of all time looks to be one worth keeping up with. Not only are nearly all of the great characters from the Classic New Mutants here, there’s plenty of that old team dynamic and energy that only this younger 3rd generation of X-Men can bring to the table. Hopefully, Abnett, Landing, Fernandez, and company will keep my interest for the long haul. Claremont, McLeod, Smith, Buscema, and Sienkiewicz once did, and by the looks of New Mutants, this incarnation of new mutants is in good hands as well.
Rating: 8 /10