New Mutants #34

Story by
Art by
David Lopez, Alvaro Lopez
Colors by
Val Staples
Letters by
Joe Caramagna
Cover by
Marvel Comics

Ah, Blink. Introduced in the lead-up to "Generation X" only to die within the prologue's pages, she got a role a year later in the "Age of Apocalypse" alternate timeline story, and from there that version of the character went to star in the dimension-hopping "Exiles" series.

It wasn't until the "Necrosha" event in "X-Force" and "New Mutants," though, that the main Marvel Universe's version of Blink came back to life. And since then, it's been clear that no one's had the slightest idea what to do with the character, which is probably why she's been running away whenever people come near her. In other words, she's the perfect plot point for "New Mutants" (with its new "we go after the dangling threads of the X-Men titles" remit) to tackle.

Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning spend about half of the issue focused on Blink, and this version of the character is enigmatic as ever; she's running around helping people like a superhero, and it feels like they're taking their cue from the "Exiles" version of the character, rather than the shy, inexperienced, and hesitant one that originally appeared and quickly died back in the '90s. Considering that the number of appearances of the "Exiles" version of Blink is so much greater than the one that came back to life recently, it makes sense for Abnett and Lanning to go with what's familiar to their readers, rather than follow a slightly obscure track.

It was the other half of the issue, with the New Mutants settling into their new home in San Francisco, that I enjoyed much more. Amara's job interview is entertaining, and Dani continues to prove herself as the natural leader of the team. The sparks between Dani and Nate seem a tiny bit forced, but it's new enough that I'm willing to sit back and see where things go. There's a lot of potential here, though, and it's nice to see that even amidst the various missions that the New Mutants are going to be sent on, Abnett and Lanning aren't losing sight of the characters trying to live in the real world.

It doesn't hurt matters that David Lopez and Alvaro Lopez are drawing the book; their art is always attractive and clean, a series of crisp lines that come together perfectly. Dani's goofy grin when talking to their new neighbor is a riot, and I appreciate that Lopez gives each location its own distinct look. Stroud and San Francisco couldn't look any more different here, something I appreciate. And as minor as it may be, the musical note panel borders at the concert that Blink is investigating are a great touch and help get the reader into the proper mindset.

Aside from a positively weak cliffhanger, it's a good first issue to the storyline, as well as a nice way for people who want to check out the "Regenesis" event books in the mutant world. And if Abnett and Lanning can figure out what the heck to do with the main Marvel Universe version of Blink? Well, all the more power to them.

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