Written by: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Art by: Leandro Fernandez
I have a scattered relationship with Marvel's Merry Mutants. For one, I never really read X-books consistently growing up, I would be able to pick up a random issue of Uncanny here, Wolverine there, but never on a regular basis until about 5 or 6 years ago when I started reading Mike Carey's X-Men and Ed Brubaker's Uncanny (for those who remember, those were the new creative teams at issues #188 of X-Men and #475 of Uncanny). These two books provided nice gateways into the world of the X-Men on a monthly basis, and I read each title for several years afterwards.
I must admit, I really have no history with most of the roster of the New Mutants, they were always just the second string "young team" to me (although for some reason Sam Guthrie is one of my favorite X-Men, love that character, maybe its his southernness…). However, when I heard one of my favorite writing teams was taking over the book, I figured if there was ever a time to try the book, this was it.
Issue #25 marks the debut issue for the team, with the capable Leandro Fernandez on art (his Punisher Max stuff with Garth Ennis was great), and we get the train rolling. In the issue the team is coming off a world ending-level event that I won't spoil, and DnA are left to deal with the fallout from this and how it affects the team.
If you thought this means "standing around moping about what happened" you'd be wrong, as we are thrust right into action from the opening salvo as Wolverine leads a remnant of the team against an army of Nimrod tech that has taken over an auto plant. In this scene we see what a capable leader Dani Moonstone is, and later this transitions to Cyclops basically giving her leadership of the team to undertake a unique set of missions. These "unique missions" are interesting in a way that could make a non X-junkie's head explode, because the missions involve taking care of the X-Men's "unfinished business." With this mandate, this could be a literal never-ending series of missions, considering the years and thousands of X-Men stories they could draw from.
Knowing its Abnett and Lanning, I know whatever directions they take it will be entertaining, they do such a great job of balancing action with humor, and emotion with a lightness that just makes their stuff a joy to read. I won't spoil what the first mission the team is sent on, but it involves X-Man (aka Nate Grey), a character I hardly know anything about, so it will be nice to see what they do with him in the context of this team.
Also, for those of you who are reading the book are probably shaking your fist at me, because although its issue 25 I'm discussing, the book has reached its 29th issue I believe. Sorry, I'm just that behind. But, for those who may want to try it out and live in the LA area, check Meltdown Comics, they had a fair sized stack of issue 25 when I was there last.