A few months ago, “New Mutants” had the team try to go to (Asgardian) Hel, only to accidentally end up in (the more traditional) Hell, with escape occurring only when Magma agreed to go on a date with Mephisto. Well, wait no longer, true believers, because tonight is date night.
There’s something ridiculous about the premise of this issue, and Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning clearly recognize that and treat it appropriately. The plot itself is rather predictable; as the New Mutants worry about Amara, she goes on her date that shifts from disastrous to “let’s learn how to do it right.” Strictly from a plotting perspective, there’s not much here.
Abnett and Lanning do a good job, though, of keeping it fun. From comments about the car and the house band, to Mephisto offering to boil the restaurant staff in oil, it’s that sense of humor that make this issue worth reading. It regularly zips into the realm of silly, and Abnett and Lanning wisely steer clear of any sort of doom and gloom. After being ignored for almost this entire “New Mutants” series, it’s nice to see someone do something with Magma for a change, even if it is rooted in cliche, so humor is as good a path as any.
I’m also enjoying David Lopez and Alvaro Lopez’s art, which continues to be strong. Their depiction of Mephisto is simultaneously geeky, strange, and evil; that’s not an easy combination to bring across when you think about it. Magma looks good too, and when she gets teary-eyed and prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice, she looks like she’s gone through the mental and emotional wringer.
“Date Night” in “New Mutants” is a slightly goofy story, and it’s that tone that ends up being its strength. Hopefully this is signaling the end of ignoring Magma, too. As a done-in-one story, this works just fine.