The new mutants proved to be the least successful film from the Fox X-Men franchise both commercially and critically. But the original Marvel Comic that inspired the movie is a great addition to the wider world of mutants in the Marvel universe. Some of the best individual editions of the series include landmark moments in X-Men lore as well as key moments for key characters.
The New Mutants started as the junior X-Men team, really exploring the school aspect of Xavier’s School For Gifted Youngsters. Since its debut in the 1980s, the concept has evolved significantly under some of the best writers and artists in Marvel Comics history, and its best editions have brought the team together, broken it up, and repaired it in new and exciting ways.
10 New mutants # 35
Magneto has been a big supervillain for most of his history in Marvel Comics, but in the mid ’80s he had a big heart change. He took over the school for Professor X and entered The new mutants # 35, became the leader of the young team at a crucial moment in mutant history.
Magneto shocks the students by revealing that Professor X did not return and that he did not take over, leading to some disagreements and opposition. But this question would begin a long journey down another path for Magneto and would lead to some of Magneto’s healthiest moments.
9 New mutants # 98
New mutants # 98 is one of the best editions of the race and a key issue in Marvel Comics history as it features the Deadpool debut. Deadpool has become one of the most iconic characters in the Marvel universe, and the mercenary’s debut was where it all started.
Although Deadpool would take a few years to develop into the meta and comic character he would become in later comics and movies, most of the elements are here, including his costume and deadly abilities as a highly trained mercenary.
8 New mutants # 73
The new mutants # 73 is a monumental issue in the team’s history, as well as Magik’s character. Magik is one of the most powerful magicians in the Marvel universe, and this number pays for her long and strange journey in a gripping way.
Written by Louise Simonson and drawn by Brett Blevins, Magik sees fighting against his fate as the dark child. She eventually overcomes the darkness inside and inflicts her from her time stranded in Limbo. The problem ends with Illyana returning to the young girl she was when she was trapped in the magical dimension.
7 New Mutants (Volume 4) # 15
The New Mutants have been a big part of the cartoon’s Krakoan era for the past two years, and number 15 is perhaps the best of the series’ fourth volume. The Shadow King returns, and much of the utopian ideal of Krakoa begins to be questioned.
The New Mutants discover that their longtime enemy interacts with and influences mutant children on the living island, and this issue, written by Vita Ayala and drawn by Rod Reis, begins a complex and unique journey into the team’s minds and hearts.
6 New mutants # 64
New mutants # 64 is one of the best and perhaps most disturbing in the series’ first volume. A sad and touching story written by Louise Simonson, the edition deals with the team’s grief over their fallen friend Doug Ramsey. Things take a surreal and unsettling turn as Warlock takes Doug’s body from the funeral home.
Warlock does not understand human grief or death for that matter, so his resuscitation of Doug’s body appears cold and cruel. But the story is a strange and heartbreaking study of grief and trauma that was very unusual in comics in the 80s and even today.
5 New mutants annually # 2
New mutants Annual # 2 puts the team in conflict with one of their most infamous enemies, Mojo from Mojoworld. This problem is the key for many reasons, but in the X-Men doctrine, this is where Betsy Braddock first gets the code name Psylocke.
Written by Chris Claremont, arguably the best X-Men writer ever, and drawn by Alan Davis, one of the best artists to ever work on the mutants, it’s an amazing and wild journey into Mojoverse’s strangeness with great consequences for the X. -world in general.
4 New mutants # 1 (volume 3)
The New Mutants reformed in 2009 in the central first issue of the third volume of the series. After just over ten years, Cannonball brings together the group’s original core team along with some new recruits, including the former villain Legion.
This problem would begin the modern understanding of the team as its own entity, not junior or secondary to the X-Men and not a ‘teenage team’. This is a group of powerful adults who have found purpose and meaning together. They have been together more or less ever since.
3 Uncanny X-Men Annual # 9
The New Mutants and Uncanny X-Men have been closely linked from the beginning, so it’s no surprise that Creepy X-Men Annual # 9 is one of the best issues with the former team. In this issue, founder Dani Moonstar discovers that she is a Valkyrie.
The team was captured in Asgard by Loki, and the X-Men have to save them, but the new mutants really come into their own here. It’s again a great story by Claremont with great art by Art Adams. It also includes Rachel Summers first use of Phoenix code name and costume.
2 New mutants # 25
New mutants # 25 is a key issue as it is the first cameo appearance by David Haller, better known as the Legion. Legion is one of the most powerful and consequential mutants in Marvel Comics. Legion created Age of Apocalypse, one of the darkest future Marvel timelines, by killing his father, Professor X, in the past.
This issue introduces him at the very end with a cryptic teasing in the form of a dossier written by Moira MacTaggert. Legions’ chaotic personality is also telegraphed across the page scattered by Bill Sienkiewicz’s idiosyncratic art, which presents a scattered and messy image that readers can consider until the Legion’s first full appearance in the next issue.
1 New mutants # 18
The new mutants # 18 is without a doubt the most important topic in the team’s history. This story not only introduces the psychic threat from the Demon Bear, but also brings Bill Sienkiewicz on board as the artist for the first time. His unique style, so different from the regular Marvel Comics house style, brought a new and unique energy to the book.
The conflict between Dani Moonstar and the Demon Bear would inspire to the final New mutants film, but most importantly, this problem would give the team what it had been missing at this point: its own particular identity as opposed to the X-Men.
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