My reviewing pal, James Hunt, gave a go at laying his thoughts down on the first issue and I’ve gotta say, I agree with him 100%. This book impressed the heck out of me. Obviously, given the manifestation of Legion and the lack of description regarding his background, Wells presumes the reader has experience in this realm and with these characters. Making that leap, he is able to spring into the story and waste no time with precocious story set ups.
Even stepping into this adventure blindly, Wells gives you enough action and presumes a depth of logic in his readers to empower himself with moving the story forward rather than pandering over exposition in a decompressed manner. Those of you who aren’t stepping into this blindly will be pleasantly surprised. Not only does Wells capture and celebrate the spirit of the original New Mutants in their heyday, he adds depth to the understanding, collective experience, and trust these characters share.
Pressed into adventure by the appearance of Legion and the manifestation of Legion’s personae, the team lean upon one another for resolution and strength. Similarly, Wells leans upon Neves and company to press his words into active images. The characters on the page move with a humanity and a sense of purpose. From brick walls to Kirby crackle surrounding Bobby Da Costa’s Sunspot powers to wrinkled jeans to the brass bell over the door in the sheriff’s office, Neves renders it all with intensity and keen detail. His detail is made tangible through the colors of John Rauch, who puts leaves on the trees and strands in the characters’ hair. The art is truly a team effort all the way through. Amazingly, this is the second issue of the series, but the art sure feels more congealed than that.
Finally, in dealing with a fractured psyche like Legion’s the lettering is critical. Whether internal (within the brainscape of Legion’s world) or external in his struggles with the New Mutants, the lettering holds fast and true. Once the style appears within, it is no great stretch to recall which personality carried that pattern when we read it on the outside. Essentially, through strength at lettering, Legion’s personalities are given tenor and pitch.
After only two issues, “New Mutants” has won me over in a big way. I’m not certain this title has established enough for an ongoing, but based upon the samples Wells, Neves, and crew have provided to this point, I’m more than willing to find out. The adventures that occurred before aren’t critical to the enjoyment of this version, as the title is strong enough to stand on its own merit.