Monday, March 30, 2009

Marvel Unbound – The New Mutants Classic, Volume 1 and Volume 2

With the fourth volume of the New Mutants Classic trade paperback series coming out in April, and the recent news out of the New York Comic-Con that the New Mutants title is being restarted in May, I decided to head back to the bookshelf and read some classic Chris Claremont. I read New Mutants Classic, Volumes 1 and 2 and had a blast with them.

Volume 1 kicks off with the original graphic novel written by Claremont and penciled by Bob McLeod before heading into the New Mutants ongoing series. The first three issues of the ongoing series are penciled by McLeod, then after a Claremont-written and Paul Smith-penciled interlude from issue #167 of Uncanny X-Men, Sal Buscema takes over penciling duties from issue #4 on.

I crushed hard on Dani Moonstar back in the day, and rereading these stories now reminded me why: Buscema. His work here is simply gorgeous. Love how he draws her in this series and across these two volumes. On top of that, his Kitty Pryde is really great, and he knows how to draw a restrained Emma Frost.

Claremont did a great job integrating the New Mutants into the Marvel Universe almost immediately and then across that first year and a half of the ongoing series. In Volume 1, alo
ng with the Uncanny X-Men issue, you get a nice dose of Team America and Professor Xavier. Volume 2 crosses over with the 1983 Marvel Team-Up Annual and the Magik four-issue limited series. It includes appearances by Cloak and Dagger, the aforementioned Kitty Pryde and Emma Frost, and even an Assistant Editors’ Month offering.

I couldn’t help digging out those crossover titles out of the Original Collection to read alongside the trade paperbacks! I also grabbed the first couple issues of Marvel’s new Astonishing Tales anthology relaunch, which features a Bobby and Sam story. Jonathan Hickman’s art on the first four pages are really cool and stylized, but his story fell quickly and unfortunately off the rails and wasn’t helped by Nick Pitarra’s art once the story setting shifts to Mojoworld. But I have hope for the new ongoing series a couple of months from now and in the meantime I have my New Mutants Classic, Volume 3 waiting for me to pull it down off the shelf and Volume 4 on the horizon.

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