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New Mutants #5

Posted: Sunday, October 5, 2003
By: Jason Cornwell



Writers: Nunzio Defilippis and Christina Weir
Artists: Mark A. Robinson (p), Aaron Sowd, Wayne Faucher and Scott Elmer (i)

Publisher: Marvel Comics

Plot:
When a band of mutant haters target her father in a bid to lure her out of the safety of Xavier's school, we see Sofia reveals she has a rather dark side lurking under her cheery personality. We also see the new mutant that Dani has been sent to find is a member of this same band of mutant haters, though he's not aware of the fact he's a mutant until a moment during the battle.

Comments:
Five issues into this series and it would appear that we finally have the fully assembled group of young mutants that will presumably be the engine that drives this book. Now I can't say I've really formed an attachment with any of these five characters, but this is largely due to the simple fact that the character development has been somewhat limited, which looking back on the issues is somewhat of a surprise considering each member of the cast has essentially been given their own introductory issue. However, I do have a strong contender for my least favorite member, as I strongly dislike the idea of the group getting itself a character who is able to heal others simply by touching them. I've never liked the idea of a healer, as essentially they become a way for the writer to remove a character from the battle via a shocking injury, but one which is easily corrected in the aftermath by a visit from the team healer. Making this new member part of a mutant hating group before he makes the discovery that he's a mutant is an interesting twist, and I look forward to learning what drove him to join that group. This issue also gives us our first look at the team in action against this band of mutant haters, as we see the overly cheerful Sofia does have a darker side when she feels threatened, and we get a nice little moment where we see having a power dependent on one's emotional state does make it rather difficult for Laurie to contribute to the battle.

As for the art, it would appear that Keron Grant has been replaced by an artist who is equally dubious when it comes to the human form, and whose work lacks the sense of energy that Keron Grant's work conveyed. Now there are moments where I was somewhat impressed by the art, as the fight scene between Wolverine and David is nicely laid out, and the final page manages to convey its sense of danger quite nicely. However, there are far too many moments in this issue where I found my enjoyment was disrupted by a rather odd looking pose a character had been given, or the lack of emotion that is expressed on a character's face during a moment of emotional turmoil. I also have to ask what is the current trend with the giraffe necks on the female characters, as there are panels where some of these characters could give Reed Richards a run for his money. Another lovely cover by Joshua Middleton though, and if it arrives during a light shipping week, I may have to give the NYX series a shot, if only to see how well his interior art holds up.

Final Word:
It is good to see the team has finally come together, and we get our first look at the group in action as they run up against a band of mutant haters that are under the command of Donald Pierce, the cybernetically enhanced X-villain, who arrives on the final page to offer up a fairly exciting cliffhanger. This issue also introduces the last member of the team, who we discover is a member of this group of mutant haters, and in an odd little character moment, we see he's unaware of his own mutant status. However, I've never been overly fond of the healer character type, as having one on the team results in a quick and easy way for writers to deliver shocking moments that can be reversed by this character's power. I also have to wonder about the ability of this group to hold its own on the battle field, as only Sofia and Kevin have abilities that could be used to mount an attack, and the latter has to make physical contact with his victims for his power to be effective. Still it's a little early in the game to be all that concerned, and this issue does offer up a fairly exciting bit of action.



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