Writer: Ed Brisson
Color Artist: Carlos Lopez
Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham
Covers: Rod Reis; Marcos Martin
Release Date: March 11th, 2020
Just as the New Mutants team from space rejoin their teammates on Krakoa, a new emergency erupts. Will our plucky young heroes have what it takes to save a young girl who just discovered her powers deep in the heart of an anti-mutant nation? Let’s find out in Ed Brisson’s NEW MUTANTS #9!
The book opens with a beautiful page, showing the wintry, made-up place of Pershyy Misto, Carnelia. We can see that someone or something has torn through a metal fence, and then get some translated from Russian dialogue of a drainpipe saying it’s sorry. Oh wait, there’s a mutant in there, and they again apologize and say they “didn’t mean to.” It’s a mysterious setup by Ed Brisson and is gorgeously rendered by the art team, which makes what follows all the more disappointing.
Next we get the first of two obligatory and extremely unnecessary Hickman X-Position pages. Do you know Carnelia’s government is a parliamentary democracy and their major resources include copper, gold, and silver? Do you give a damn? The only pertinent bit of info is that Carnelia doesn’t recognize Krakoa’s sovereignty, which is made abundantly clear in the actual progression of the story. It’s a waste of a page, pure and simple. Brisson’s own adequate context makes the pertinent information here, and in the “missing” poster later, redundant.
Back on Krakoa the whole team is reunited, and we get a big shift in the art style of the book. The almost photorealism of the first couple pages is gone, and it’s traditional Marvel style again— kind of cartoony characters and bright but not hugely blended colors. The two styles shift back and forth throughout the book, mainly keeping with the traditional look, especially when dealing exclusively on Krakoa and with the New Mutants. Honestly it is a bit jarring at times, and bizarre seeing as how it’s one art team throughout. The character work overall is pretty good, although Flaviano’s poses don’t always look too natural.
Anyway, Magma recruits Mirage, Karma, Chamber (who looks to have a crush on her), and Boom-Boom to go on a mission to save a young girl in Carnelia whose mutant powers just activated. They take Old Cable’s jet (he won’t be missing it), and it seems Boom-Boom is in charge all of the sudden. She does prove useful when confronting the guards surrounding the mutant girl because she speaks some broken Russian, which she picked up from a fence of hers, er, friend of hers, as explained in one of the book’s few “humorous” moments.
The team gain access to the girl, who is creating some sort of warped reality around her, and all attempts to stop and/or save her go horribly wrong. Including art and progression-wise (other than a fantastic full-page spread of Karma being attacked). Mirage contacts Cypher back on Krakoa to send backup, and we get a decent reveal of who will be coming to help. Oh, there was also a meeting between Magik and Cyclops, and Cypher using Mondo to talk to Krakoa so they could determine what mutants were on the island vs still out in the world. The latter was interesting but felt out of place in the current story; the former seemed totally unnecessary unless Brisson is building towards a rift between the New Mutants and X-Men, which seems highly unlikely.
NEW MUTANTS #9 gets the band back together, albeit briefly, and sets up the next arc, the cliched “saving a kid who just got their powers.” Ed Brisson also weaves in some side stories, but they are too vague and out of place to feel like much more than just filler. The art flip-flops from realistic to traditional, strange considering it’s just one team, and although both styles look fine, the result is at times jarring. Overall NEW MUTANTS #9 is a step backwards in what has been a fun little run as of late.