Writers: Ed Brisson / Artist: Rod Reis / Marvel Comics
New Mutants #13 is the kind comic that makes you go “SHEEEESH” when you turn the last page. While we’ve been seeing the likes of Wolverine and Storm, hardened individuals, relish in the opportunity to fight for the sake of their kind, this issue lays bare the other side of the tournament participant. The not so gung ho fighter who knows their entry into this sword fight will likely end in dismemberment…or worse.
“I’m gonna die”
Cypher’s opening words never rang so true as they do in this panel! Self deprecating BARZ! The most worrisome mutant in this contest to save Krakoa and the world is undoubtedly Douglas Aaron Ramsey and that’s what makes this X of Swords tie-in so dam compelling. Ed Brisson did not try to sugarcoat the anxiety that one would feel in this predicament. The internal battle you’d have with yourself questioning the intelligence, and at the of the day, insanity of this decision would be endless. I love that Doug was not afraid of asking himself the same question we all had after Saturnyne chose the champions of each side; HIM?! Why him?
The New Mutants possess some of my favorite current mutants, so I may be a little bias, but Magik steals the show for a number of pages. From her blatant disregard for harming the land of Krakoa to being the most brutal training partner east of the Atlantic, Magik is the dopest sensei out there. When she said “‘Not doing Bad’ is not nearly good enough” I nearly keeled over in realness pain.
“I want to go. To prove myself.”
I enjoyed the hidden angles of this issue just as much as the overt ones. Cypher have been frontin like the black and yellow techno sleeve he’s been rocking hasn’t been Warlock this whole time. Bast knows if Warlock will wind up being connected to the Phalanx that we all all know means reallllll bad for the X-Men many moons down the road, but he gives Doug the best shot at not dying in Otherworld. I really appreciated Krakoa finding it’s voice for the first time in so long. Doug catching the fade over there means Krakoa loses it’s voice and that could spell disaster for the mutants. But Krakoa’s concern created the perfect opportunity for Cypher too show a little strength and maturity.
Overt transgressions aside, Exodus gave Cypher the ill hint about using his power of language to help in a fight. It gave me so much optimism. Until Magik’s final words cut me deeper than Mariana’s trench.
While Marco Failla has been my favorite artist to draw some of these New Mutants books, Rod Reis does a great job on these pages as he prepares to take over full time duties. Ed Brisson has had a wonderful run so it’s tough to come to terms with this being his last issue, but hopefully Vita Ayala comes through to inject some black girl magic into the veins of the young heroes. New Mutants #13 aka the 7th X of Swords book does the ongoing series a favor instead of the frequent disservice that tie-ins often do to the comics they invade.
9 Sacrificial Lambs out of 10
Reading New Mutants? See some of our other reviews here.