Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
New Mutants #23
Carey, Kurth, Martinez & Reber
New Mutants provides another excellent installment in the form of Chapter Four of the “Age of X” crossover. While this story has had the appearance of being an alternate world type story the clues are piling up as to how this story fits into the regular X-Men universe. Rogue (also known as Legacy or Reaper) is on the run, but she isn’t actually on her own as this issue reveals some plot twists (and you thought she was dead). Rogue uncovers another grizzly secret in Fortress X in this issue while Magneto meets an old friend (or foe depending on the time period). I am enjoying this arc and can’t wait to see how this turns out.
Magneto proves to be a tricky character even in this alternate reality story. The leader of the mutants appeared to have murdered Rogue and Gambit at the conclusion of the last issue, but that’s not so. Magneto actually buried the pair so that the others would assume they were dead. In actuality, he has a secret mission for the pair that also puts him in the “hunted” position once the others discover his ruse. This isn’t the only plot twist as it seems there is a lot more to the Katherine Pryde angle as this issue illustrates.
The issue stays focused on the core characters of Rogue, Magneto and Xavier and doesn’t really shift towards the New Mutant characters which you might expect in a crossover of this type. Generally I think this is a good thing for reading continuity. However, the issue doesn’t even devote one panel towards the cliffhanger from the previous issue that involved Wolverine and Cyclops. This was a misstep I felt. That cliffhanger just had too much power to be left totally ignored in this issue. I’m not sure I understand the rationale there.
Kurth writes a short letter in the back describing how he had a hand in creating these characters but was a little miffed because he feels Clay Mann draws them better over in X-Men Legacy. To an extent he’s correct, but that doesn’t mean his art in this issue isn’t good. He’s got good story flow and layouts and uses expressions well throughout the issue. The flip side is he seems to lose some command of positions and anatomy, such as the elevator shaft page. The issue is light on action but Kurth handles that well by still telling an interesting story. Overall, this is a good visual story.
Carey is proving out what he claimed from the beginning that his story would be more enjoyable as the story got deeper. Each issue manages to gain a little more of my interest than the previous one. I am sure Carey has a few more twists to this story, but even with what we have now I think the crossover has been worth the price of admission. I definitely recommend this comic book.
4.5 out of 5 Geek Goggles