Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning may have taken over the current “New Mutants” series halfway through its run, but they’ve quickly made it their own as the title turned into a “tying up loose ends” vehicle for the mutant corner of the Marvel Universe. With “New Mutants” #50, Abnett and Lanning along with artists Felix Ruiz and Klebs shut down the series, but in a way that could have just as easily been confused for an anniversary issue than a finale.
Since this was a book about loose ends, Abnett and Lanning do their best to tie off their own storylines. As a result we get one final appearance by faces like Mephisto, the Disir, Mr. Grim, and even the landlord Mrs. Livitz. It’s a nice nod to everything that’s occurred in the past two years’ worth of issues. It’s a nice nod to the series’ self-proclaimed purpose.
Ironically, where “New Mutants” #50 feels a little flat is in Abnett and Lanning’s revival of one more loose end (another member of Warlock’s species named Tyro that is presumably from Warlock’s self-titled series years ago), which is used to help wrap up Cypher’s storyline about the future timeline where he took over the world. In concept it sounds like a good idea, but the reality is a story that feels a little rushed in execution. Add in that Tyro’s not a character that if brand-new is easy to instantly care about, and the end result feels underwhelming.
Felix Ruiz draws half of the issue, and his art continues its riff on Bill Sienkiewicz’s classic run on “New Mutants” from many years ago. For a story that involves the transmode virus as a major part of its conflict, he’s a great choice. Ruiz’s art with its angular, rough nature brings just the right amount of chaos into the page that it looks perfect, while still maintaining some order for everyone else. Klebs takes the middle portion of the book, and manages to maintain the same basic look as Ruiz’s while still having his own style; the lines are a little cleaner and smooth, even while the overall body structures remain the same. For a book with two different artists, this is a fairly good transition.
“New Mutants” #50 opens up with an old school usage of Magma’s powers (does anyone else remember when her ability was just to raise little volcanos?), and it’s a fun and slightly sweet way to kick off this final issue. It kept an eye on old continuity but wasn’t so wrapped up in it that it demanded an encyclopedic knowledge of those earlier stories. “New Mutants” was a pleasant book, and while this last issue lacked the punch of some earlier installments, it will still be missed.