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Why Does Marvel Keep Killing Resurrected New Mutants?

WARNING: the following article contains major spoilers for Hunt for Wolverine: Weapon Lost #2 and The New Mutants: Dead Souls #4, both on sale now

While Chris Claremont’s iconic run on Uncanny X-Men was heavily steeped in political allegory, science fiction, romance and sweeping Shakespearean tragedies, the spin-off series launched by him and artist Bob McLeod, The New Mutants, switched gears into the realm of teen angst, tragic family upbringing, horror and mysticism... at least, at first.

Eventually The New Mutants would rely heavily on the same themes that were going on in the other X-books during its publication. But the early stories (especially the Marvel Graphic Novel that launched the title) were unlike anything being publishing in superhero comics at the time.

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The members of the team were all complex in their family backgrounds, levels of emotional stability, and perceived use during a mission. Characters like Cannonball and Magik were heavy-hitters pretty early on, but other teammates were not as fascinating in action when rendered on the page.

The character of Douglas Ramsey, better known as the omni-linguist Cypher, was one of these oft maligned members of this young mutant squad. Cypher’s ability to translate any language was something even creators at Marvel were none too happy with when it came to displaying his power on the page. After all, watching a guy act as a human Rosetta Stone doesn’t exactly make for a compelling panel layout.

This static presentation actually lead to Marvel killing off Cypher in The New Mutants #60. And while his death was a huge emotional blow to his fellow teammates, the rest of the world felt a little more ambivalent about pining over the whole ordeal. Doug Ramsey, while a fascinating character in his own right, never reached the level of cool that other members of The New Mutants earned.

Claws to the Neck Translate to "Probably Dead..."

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Marvel has resurrected Doug a few times since his original death, and up until Hunt for Wolverine: Weapon Lost #2 Cypher has managed to stay alive. But a swipe across the throat from a clawed assailant just put an end to Doug’s life once again... at least, that's what it looks like.

Now, Doug Ramsey winding up pushing daisies is nothing out of the ordinary for longtime X-book readers. This guy has been sent to the grave almost as much as Jean Grey. But what seems out of place, is that another New Mutant, one who has died and returned as well, might have just met a similar fate in the most recent issue of The New Mutants: Dead Souls (that's #4 for those keeping count). That would make for two resurrected characters from this team getting the ax within two weeks.

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