As many already know, 20th Century Fox has announced that they are developing a New Mutants movie with Josh Boone (The Fault in Our Stars) set to direct. It’s obvious that Fox is clearly looking to expand its X-Men film universe with New Mutants, capitalizing on the critical and commercial success of X-Men: Days of Future’s Past, a film that played a huge role in reigniting interest in the waning franchise. With X-Men: Apocalypse and Deadpool releasing in 2016, and the third Wolverine film opening a year later, the studio wants it known that they can be a competitor with Marvel and its multi-layered cinematic universe.
Created by Chris Claremont (X-Men), The New Mutants follows a group of young teenage mutants under the tutelage of Professor Charles Xavier. While an obscure comic to the general public, it had a moderately positive reception among comic readers during the 1980s. Everything, including the characters, the unique settings and the appearance of a random rampaging demon bear probably had something to do with its early popularity. The comic is perhaps best known for its ethnically diverse cast and the introduction of Deadpool a decade later.
Although there have been multiple incarnations of the team, the original roster of characters included Karma, a Vietnamese teenager and powerful telepath with the ability to posses people’s bodies; Cannonball, a laid-back Kentuckian who could make himself invulnerable; Mirage/Psyche, a Cheyenne-mutant with the power to create illusions; Sunspot, a Brazilian that could harness the solar energy of the sun to give himself super-strength; and Wolfsbane, a Scottish-girl who could become a werewolf. Like many X-Men titles before it, The New Mutants initial line-up would change under new creators. Louise Simonson (Power Pack), the second writer on The New Mutants, made several additions to the team’s roster, introducing Illyana Rasputin, the sister of the X-Men’s Colossus, and Warlock, a member of a techno-organic race capable of transforming their bodies into any shape. Simonson even had the Master of Magnetism himself, Magneto, serve as the New Mutants’ leader when he was supposedly “reformed.”
While the X-Men were busy fighting supervillains and protecting all of mutant-kind, the New Mutants often dealt with more personal matters. Relationships, romances and trying to finish schoolwork were at the forefront of Claremont and Simonson’s stories. Though the mutant teens would often repel the occasional alien invasion and take a trip across the Rainbow Bridge of Asgard, they often dealt with the drama they encountered during their everyday lives.
Even though Claremont and Simonson’s runs on The New Mutants were generally well liked when they first premiered in the 80s, the comic eventually waned in popularity at the end of the decade. Sales for the book improved under the infamous tenure of Rob Liefeld in the 1990s, who took it upon himself to kill off many members of the team and introduce the world to Cable, quite possibly one of the most overrated characters in the history of comics. Under Liefled’s reign (in which there were many pouches and tiny feet), the book’s tone took on a noticeably harder edge, introducing many older characters, including the pale-skinned assassin, Domino, and the temperamental and violent savage, Feral. Though the book would be cancelled shortly after Liefeld took over writing duties, his incarnation of the New Mutants would quickly be carried over to the newly announced X-Force, a series that would embody the violent excess and gratuity of the comics industry throughout the 90s.
The New Mutants would eventually return under different creative teams during the 2000s, reuniting the original cast of characters and crossing over with various X-Men-centric titles. Those interested in reading The New Mutants would do well to ignore Leifeld’s work and instead seek out Claremont’s original stories. “Death Hunt,” perhaps the most well-known New Mutant story by Claremont, introduced the psychotic son of Professor Xavier, Legion, and featured the highly-lauded artwork of Bill Sienkiewicz (Daredevil).
Though it’s not yet known which era of The New Mutants Boone will be attempting to adapt, it’s reasonable to guess that the teen melodrama of the earlier issues of the series would interest the Fault in Our Stars director.
What about you reader? Do you want to see a New Mutants movie? Are you familiar with the original comic? Let us know in the comments below!
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