After the recent events of the latest X-Calamity, Cannonball (Sam Guthrie) takes his team on a vacation to, “talk about our feelings and stuff. While we drink beer.” From there, Zeb Wells gets to dive into the tickings of the New Mutants, with Leonard Kirk along for the ride.
“Quiet” team-building comics always seem to be a hit with nostalgic comic fans, and this issue has the makings of a memorable issue, from Warlock heaving to Dani Moonstar and Sam Guthrie playing tonsil hockey to Shan (Karma) showing off her new prosthetic leg. Slithering between the low-impact bonding, however, is a threat that seems poised to strike the X-Men fiercely. As defenses study the game tape of their opponents’ previous gridiron performances, this new foe seems to have the weak links on the X-Men identified and begins striking at the heart of this New Mutants team with this very issue.
Leonard Kirk gets to break in with his new team relatively easily, as the only New Mutant to appear in costume this issue is Cannonball, and that wraps up after two pages. Kirk has a nice handle on these characters already, which certainly bodes well for the visual future of this title. It’s nice to see Sunspot drawn differently than Cannonball or Cypher. Heck, Cannonball and Cypher are definitely distinct in Kirk’s drawings, as are Magma and Magik -- a feat not every artist who has worked with this team can claim.
The story does get a little murky when General Ulysses attacks. I’m certain this is intentional, as Wells clearly hopes to throw a curve our way, but the actual action of the scene is set somewhere that is without definition.
This isn’t a terrible book, but it also isn’t a blockbuster. It’s a pilot episode of a minor network show in the high season of big-screen blockbusters. There’s a good story starting up here, and Wells and Kirk are set to make it a better than good story, they just need to ratchet up the action soon. This new threat to the team seems like a fair match, and it will definitely be interesting to see their story unfold.