Sunday, January 11, 2015

Epic Beards of Review: The New Mutants Special Edition #1 (Comic-a-Day #11)

The New Mutants Special Edition #1, 85. (w) Chris Claremont (a) Arthur Adams, Terry Austin

Boy-howdy, think I'm going to have to reconfigure my days if I keep getting such monstrous issues like the last few. Forty-eight pages I could handle, even back-to-back, but sixty-four pages walloped me good tonight. Looks like I'm in for a treat again tomorrow.

That being said, Claremont took it easy on me. No major teams mash-ups (quite the opposite) and Adams' art was so spectacular, I could probably read this again. No joking.

Speaking of jokes, the ol' trickster himself is back in this issue. Loki seems to be calling the shots, and I've now figured out why it is that Ann Nocenti has us reading things in order. I'll tell you, I'm so very impressed with this issue that I won't mind reading another annual.

Being the snarky guy that Loki seems to be, he's still a bit riled up with the X-Men after the events of the team-up with Alpha Flight. Not sure how he's honed in on Ororo, she with absent powers, but he wants to move in on that. He figures he can get her to come to him by offering her powers back. As an aside, I'm digging the use of the term "dusky color" for those mutants who aren't Caucasian. Really fills out the believability of the gods.

Anyhow, Loki has Enchantress do his bidding by bringing Ororo to his side, but as she's busy helping train The New Mutants, seems as if the kids are along for the ride as well. As they're confronted, Magik teleports them from Asgard...only to mess things up, again. Turns out her powers aren't given their full abilities in the Enchantress's castle and the rest of her teammates are scattered to the wind. Seems not necessarily time and space as they're wont to do, but all about Asgard and the surrounding provinces.

This is where things get good. There aren't any conflicting thought bubbles or unnecessary talking going on, but just kids scared away from their homes and friends. It's refreshing to see them doing things themselves. We (me, jumping in mid-run) really learn about these characters, powers, etc. Makes for such good storytelling. It was easy to focus on individual concerns once they were let to explore

Enchantress still has her hooks in Magik and she somehow takes Magik's dark side from her and sends her on an errand to collect the rest of her friends. Each of the kids are off on their own, fighting their way out of these worlds with surprising deftness and solid results.

I was still a bit hesitant on the actual cross-over event between these titles, but things wrapped up without Ororo being rescued and the mutants in turmoil over their new lives in Asgard. Some really good stuff going on here.

Adams' art is superb. Not one panel had anything that wasn't necessary and panels burst with life and vibrancy. It could very well have been the feel of Asgard's realms, but I got a feel Adams was destined for some sword and sorcery work. Very much appreciated. Panels were varied throughout (and breaking bounds of lines) that made for a fascinating read.

Best of the bunch so far, our of eleven days.

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