"The Quest for Magik"
Writer: Chris Yost
Artist: Scottie Young
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Whether itís bringing back old but cool X-Men foes like Nimrod or re-creating classic X-Men covers like issue #26ís homage to Uncanny X-Menís unforgettable cover to issue #141, the ďDays of Future PastĒ storyline, New X-Men by Yost, Kyle and Young is the one X-title I look forward to reading every month.
Fans who didnít pick up the New X-Menís storyline in the ďHouse of MĒ reality may be left wondering why the demon lord Belasco targets the students of the Xavier institute in the first place, but itís made clear in this issue the reason is Illyana Rasputin, a.k.a. Magik. Belasco believes the students are cognizant of her whereabouts and pulls them into Limbo to extract the information from them. Naturally, they are unable to comply.
Though comics featuring bands of young teens or super-hero recruits in training are now commonplace (think Runaways or Avengers: The Initiative), not so long ago it wasnít such a trite idea, and the premise was well executed on a consistent basis in one of Marvelís best books a few decades ago: The New Mutants. This comic book has the same familiar feel to it, and it borrows from the X-Menís long and storied history to craft exciting and fresh new stories.
If one doesnít mind Youngís less realistic approach and cartoony feel to his artwork which is reminiscent of Humberto Ramosí style without being an exact carbon copy, the reader can expect dynamic action sequences and fantastic visuals well suited to the many monsters and creatures found regularly within the comicís pages.
Of course, Rasputin has a long history herself with ties to Marvelís Limbo dimension, but one doesnít have to be an X-Men historian to enjoy this plot line, which is another asset this comic has going for it: itís accessible to new readers as well as enjoyable to old time fans already familiar with these characters.
Yost and Kyle do a superb job of conveying the sense of dread and helplessness felt by the young mutants. This is uncharted territory, and itís especially troubling to a character like Sooraya whose religious beliefs influence her life to a greater degree than most.
Another reason to enjoy the book is the inclusion of X-23 to the team. She is a character with a short pedigree but with a lot of potential. Craig Kyle isnít afraid to damage his own creation for the good of the story and what happens to her this issue is truly unforeseen and a visual delight.
Great pacing, interesting characters, vivid colors courtesy of Jean-Francois Beaulieu, and some of the best cliffhangers in the industry guarantee that this comic is a great read every month. Itís amazing how good it can be without featuring prominent characters like Cyclops and Wolverine on a monthly basis. More people should be giving it a try.
What did you think of this book?
Have your say at the Line of Fire Forum!