I used to loooooovvve the original New Mutants series waaaaayyy back in the day (I’m old enough to have actually read the book as it came out).
I fondly remember issues featuring stuff like the Demon Bear, the Mr.T-esque villain Axe and even a guest appearance by Team America, among other cool items from the first series. Sure, it was a little cheesy (cheese, by the way, is tasty), but the stories were solid (this was Chris Claremont on his “A” game) and the art, by Bob McCleod, was tight.
That said, simple nostalgia over the old series would not get me to like New Mutants No. 1 if it sucked. Luckily, it doesn’t suck.
The first issue of the team’s newest incarnation is right on the money in terms of tone, direction and respect for current X-Men continuity. I especially love how well writer Zeb Wells handles the relationships between the team members; it’s obvious that they respect and actually like each other — which makes their re-teaming even more logical.
One other thing I dig about this comic is that it shows some of the more administrative aspects of being on a X-Men team. In one scene, Cannonball fills out a “roster request form.” And in another scene, we see Beast handling design and creation of the group’s uniforms. Maybe I’m the only one who gives a crap about Cyclops’ paperwork, but mundane stuff like that just makes the comic experience more “realistic” for me.
On the art-side of things, Diogenes Neves does an outstanding job of rendering great human figures, emotion-filled facial expressions and detailed backgrounds. I’ve never heard of this artist, but I’m impressed by the work here.
All in all, speaking as an old fan, I can honestly ay I’m excited about the promise and potential of this new series.
Oh, and Team America rocks!