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New Mutants #14

Posted: Friday, June 25, 2010
By: Michael Deeley

Zeb Wells
Ibraim Roberson, Lan Medina, Nathan Fox
Marvel Comics
Growing numbers of Nimrod Sentinels continue swarming over the city. Every mutant on Utopia is fighting for their lives. Even Legion, Professor X’s mentally unstable son, is brought into the fight. Meanwhile, in the future, X-Force successfully infiltrates the Sentinel plant. And then they face a big honking robot.

After many issues of gloom, despair, and tragic deaths, “Second Coming” is literally racing towards its conclusion. We’re looking at an extended fight scene, classic good guys versus bad guys. After all this build-up, it’s refreshing to see some action. But like most action scenes, logic is often the first victim.

Take Legion for example. Legion suffers from multiple personality disorder. Hundreds of them. And every personality has its own mutant power. Legion himself has difficulty controlling so many different personas. So when he’s brought into the fight, how does he control them? A helmet that switches between them. I’m serious. Legion wears a helmet that releases them one at a time allowing him to use their powers. This raises some obvious questions. Firstly, the helmet itself is a stupid idea. It’s an easy fix for a complicated problem. It’s the kind of gimmick normally found with kid’s action figures. (“Schitzoid’s Mento-Cap can swap between powers and personalities! A new person with the click of a switch!”) Second, if they’ve had this helmet, why was Legion still a prisoner? Why not give him the helmet as soon as it was ready? It’ll probably malfunction or a rogue personality will destroy it and he’ll go back in his hole. This helmet is just an excuse to bring Legion into the fight.

On the other hand, he does become a pirate who vomits acid. That’s almost cool enough to forgive everything else.

In fact, this issue and the last have the feel of an action movie--stylized violence with witty one-liners. It creates a sense of fun that’s really inappropriate to the story. “Second Coming” began with the death of Nightcrawler. It was portrayed with all the dignity and sorrow it deserved. It cast doubt on Cyclops’ leadership and on Hope being a mutant savior. But all that’s been pushed aside in favor of the endless robot fights. I thought this was about the survival of the mutant race. This is an attempted holocaust. It’s not the time for jokes or wit.

Or am I taking this more seriously that the writers?



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