Thursday, January 7, 2010

New Mutants #9 Review

Writer: Zeb Wells
Artist: Paul Davidson
To begin, a new artist joins us this issue, Paul Davidson, who I find much better suited to the series' tone as opposed to Diogenes Neves. Davidson appears to be fairly new to comic book pencilling considering there's only two results for work he's done when I search him and that's a cover for Nova and I think he helped on the Utopia one-shot. Anyway, solid guy, I'm glad he's going to be back next issue.

The first four pages open with the new villain I assume, Crimson or something, who I've never heard of. Anyone wants to volunteer info, I'd welcome it. Then we continue to the science team analyzing Warlock and Cypher for lingering bad T/O virus things. Wells makes a pretty good funny moment here between Danger and Warlock. I never imagined Danger as the forward type or even just one who wants a companion, but then again she just had a marriage to Ultron in an alternate universe so she must be feeling some pressure to measure up.

Emma is also in the room during this checkup, challenging Cyclops on even allowing the New Mutants to reform. What the heck? Did the staff at CBR give her a call or something? I think it's funny that people are against the team considering Astonishing is one of the most unbalanced teams when it comes to powers while New Mutants actually has a good variety. Plus, Wells is reviving their staleness. Anyway, she continues on from there challenging Scott on accepting Cypher back in so quickly (found here). Why does Scott always feel the need to shut Emma up when she brings up a valid point? I swear, I should make a tag for that considering how often it appears even in just what I review here, imagine counting in all the other times I wasn't reviewing for. Seriously, letting an emotional manchild run the entire X-Men was a horrible idea especially when Emma's logical questions are constantly shot down.

He challenges Emma back with saying that they've had members attack other X-Men before and let them back in, but still, at least then they lived at the mansion, not trapped on an island. From there, Warlock reveals that Illyana isn't even truly Illyana, but "Illyana 2.0" which is an interesting development and good on Wells considering he's finally answering the question of Illyana. The scene ends with Emma looking to talk to Illyana about her 2.0ness.

In other parts of Dystopia, Amara is busy healing up in a vat of liquid hot magma (little Austin Powers for your pleasure) and Sam is visiting her. Doug ends up make an unwanted special guest appearance and it ends up with these amazing two panels (for the humor and for the art):

Also, at this point I have to mention Doug's 'language' shit. It seems Wells is trying to empower this formerly useless character by making Doug 'read' everything. Except sometimes it sounds it's going in the direction of what happened with Ink, making him a fix-it-all, or in this case, a know-it-all. I can only imagine that now he's going to be treated like the team telepath.

In terms of Emma and Illyana, they meet up and Emma starts the meeting with hitting the nail on the head with her logic hammer.

Apparently Illyana is not Illyana, but Darkchilde, the soulless version of her, that as I take it is only her in appearance. She has no memories of being Illyana, only Darkchilde during Inferno and the New X-Men and X-Infernus bit. Also, apparently not much of the personality. Darkchilde goes on to say she's darkness and pain and, y'know, her mom didn't let her go to that Taking Back Sunday concert and other terrible things. Emma pretty much looks at her unphased and says, Anole lost an arm and Pixie lost part of her soul when they were around you, you get no sympathy from me. Which is good on her considering how overly sympathetic most of the X-Men can be. Imagine Kitty dealing with this, minus their past best friend status and just making her one of the X-Men dealing with someone she knows vaguely, it'd be a nightmare to try to get to the real bottom of things with her.

Just a short aside, half the reason I love this issue and this team so much would have to be credited to the accuracy of Emma Frost's portrayal. Wells characterization of her is dead-on from the snark (above is her interrupting Illyana's angst story) to her skeptical leaning and of course, perceptiveness. He definitely writes the REAL Miss Frost. Honestly, if New Mutants fails, Wells should kick Fraction out of Uncanny and send him to write New X-Men Forever considering his obsession with referencing it all the time. Also, Davidson does well by Emma by making her face look exactly as it should: strong but beautiful. Admittedly this ends up as sub drag queen, but that's ok. Full-on tranny on the other hand is absolutely ridiculous, as can be seen with Cassaday and Bianchi.

Illyana goes over the future of things, in the image she showed Emma it turned out with Emma being the only remaining X-Man fighting Legion. Which pleases me greatly considering she keeps getting ignored in battles in the other books which seems to imply her as useless to anything but dialogue and X-politics. It also adds on another alternate universe with few survivors that has Emma as managing to survive or at least survive longer than most (Young X-Men End of Days and Old Man Logan).

The book ends with the discussion of Illyana saying that the X-Men's futures are doomed if she can't change things. Except I thought X-Factor was already laying claim to doomed X-future of the year. Suppose the Phoenix really will be needed soon what with all the multiple forms of death the X-Men need to get through for all these doomed future
s that apparently are meant to happen if no one changes things.

Oh and before I conclude, considering I skipped Cypher and Amara's reconciling since it was lame and included Doug's language crap again, can ANYONE tell me what Amara's personality is? I've basically got the idea for all the other members from reading this series and a couple issues of the old one, but concerning her I still have no idea what her personality is.

In the end, amazing issue, do go buy it. Even though I pretty much just rejected #8 last week, that's basically due to X-Necrosha being mediocre overall. This book is still good and buyable, and it's breathing new life to the New Mutants. Actually Rahne should come over for a drag of new life considering how suffocated she is in X-Force. Besides she needs to be present to make a big deal over the resurrection of Doug, just like last time and also she might actually be used if Wells has her.


X-23 said...

Amara made an impression of a REAL bitch in Young X-Men. Plus, somewhere in "X-Men: The 198" her boyfriend, some mutant with whom she flew over a volcano lost his powers just in that moment and was drown in lava in front of her, that made her lose her shit and burn cities around, then Empath mind-controlled her and took her back to the Xavier's. That's all I know. Plus, Empath also mind-controlled her in the past and made her love him. So there is potential.

Mr. Hellfire said...

Cripes, I never would have thought considering she seems to be the one who keeps becoming a damsel in the series. Which is funny considering how powerful she is next to the other girls.

I dunno, to me she just seems soft spoken and submissive-ish in this book, but hopefully her personality will be carved out better as time goes on.

FSaker said...

I'm not too familiar with Amara either, but from the few comic book issues I've read in which she appeared, she seems to be a little bit unstable. Usually she's relatively quiet and calm, but maybe due to all the mess she has experienced in her life (from becoming temporarily a pixie in Asgard to the discovery of her relation with Selene, to her boyfriend dying in front of her after House of M, to Elixir waking her up from her coma and she later asking him to dance at the X-students prom) she can sometimes become quite psycho. Not Magik-like psycho, but still quite dangerous, as shown in the New X-Men series (the Kyle & Yost one about the students, not the one written by Morrison with Fantomex and a brilliantly characterized Emma Frost) and in the 198 mini.

She's quite bland when she's not a psycho, though.