New Mutants #15, as the youth of mutantdom, runs rampant over Krakoa, only one group has the ability to turn them around, but sinister, shadowy forces have other plans. New Mutants is published by Marvel Comics, written by Vita Ayala, art by Rod Reis, and letters by VC’s Travis Lanham, and design by Tom Muller.
Previously, the young mutants of Krakoa began their training with the New Mutants team, which consists of Magik, Dani Moonstar, Karma, Warlock, Wolfsbane, and Warpath. The instructional team split into two teams, going head to head, as they showed the youngsters what true synergy looked like while in battle, with the older mutants combining their powers to deliver maximum damage. However, after training, some of the group slunk off to a remote part of the island where the Shadow King waited to mold the minds of the future.
While in issue #15 the duality of the issue continues under the stewardship of Ayala. The majority of the team continues to develop their own powers and combine with their teammates to create synergy and power stacking under the New Mutants’ direction. At the same time, a few select members of the group continue their extracurricular activities with Amahl Farouk. The task is shaping up to be much bigger than anticipated, and with powerful young mutants under their watch, tempers are flaring.
Ayala, currently into their second issue of New Mutants, has absolutely packed the current story with multiple levels of plot. Whether it’s the group being shepherded by the Shadow King under false pretenses, or the yearning of Scout to belong or connect with anyone, and Wolfsbane trying to grapple with her emotions to being rejected at having her son resurrected for lack of proof of death. All of this, while dealing with a training montage and a wedding scene to conclude the issue.
The tension amongst the younger group is palpable, as issue #14 into New Mutants #15 as the kids try to find their place on the island. Ayala captures that most notably within the characters of Cosmar, and Scout who want desperately to belong, relatable feelings to many growing up at some point.
Ayala is very clearly layering this story with multiple plot points as they look to build this series into the future with a depth of direction.
Reis’ artwork is so unique to anything going on in comics right now. His style actively changing to suit the style of the story, all while fluidly transitioning from sequence to sequence. The visualization of the Shadow King, in particular, is utterly brilliant work. During the montage fight scenes, the shadowy villain can be seen lurking in the background, watching over his students, but when he’s brought fully into focus is when his conniving facial features are the most frightening.
While lacking definition at times, the drawing style stands out for the pencil work within close-ups of the facial features, but where it really pops is the use of the water coloring. The liquid nature of the color gives the feeling of something very organic while allowing the illustrations to pop. Each sequence captures a tone of color that reinforces the plot’s theme, as seen with Wolfsbane and Moonstar as the palette reflects a somber pale green and blue.
Lanham’s lettering is well done, there’s a sizable amount of dialogue, and they balance it well to allow the story to flow and not detract from the imagery.
Muller’s contribution is a unique one, given he’s responsible for the overall design of the X-Men’s presentation and the format of the layout. The consistency is thorough as with other X-Men properties and can be seen in the communication to Rahne from the Quiet council and later on in the ‘Journals of Amahl Farouk.’
Overall, this heavily packed issue sets up multiple plot points that could easily take this story in varying directions. Ayala clearly has a plan for this group of gifted youngsters, and the use of the Shadow King as a villain is a top selection. This team of creatives has combined to produce an enticing issue layered with opportunity.
New Mutants #15 is available now wherever comics are sold.
New Mutants Issue #15
Overall, this heavily packed issue is setting up multiple plot points that could easily take this story in varying directions. Ayala clearly has a plan for this group of gifted youngsters, and the use of the Shadow King as a villain is a top selection! This team of creatives has combined to produce an enticing issue, layered with opportunity.
Aaron is a contributing writer at But Why Tho, serving as a reviewer for TV and Film. He is also the co-host and social media manager of the Nerds Social Club podcast.
Hailing originally from England, and after some lengthy questing, he’s currently set up shop in Pennsylvania. He spends his days reading comics, podcasting, and being attacked by his small offspring.