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New Mutants

Unearthed: The New Mutants Graphic Novel, Part Two

We meet the final member of the team, and Dani is collected.

Here we see Xavier examining X’ian Coy Manh, a mutant from the pages of Marvel Team-up #100. Hers is the power to possess people. The caption refers to the deaths of the X-Men. This is a reference to Uncanny X-Men #161, in which they’re kidnapped by the aliens known as the Brood.

I’ve always liked the possession effect, graphics-wise. And when you see the double-thick word balloon line, you know X’ian is speaking through the possessed.

Here Rahne reacts to Moira’s possession. Rahne’s portrayed alternately as a timid Christian girl and as an instinctual canid, which seems to have been somewhat ignored in the years since Claremont has stopped writing her.

One of the hallmarks of Claremont’s writing — specifically around mutants — is his ethnic and cultural inclusion. I don’t know for sure, but I’d bet that if there were ANY Vietnamese characters in comics before this, they were villains.

Xavier and Moira are conferring telepathically. Xavier’s dream has always been co-existence with humanity, yet he’s seen so much strife over the years, it’s no wonder he’s tired.

To be clear, the X-Men aren’t actually dead, they’re just in space. But no one on Earth knows this.

I love that X’ian and Rahne are just kind of watching Moira and Charles clearly having a moment, but not speaking aloud.

This kind of moralizing is another important aspect of Claremont’s writing and one I miss a lot in today’s comics. It wouldn’t be inaccurate to say that a lot of my own morality can be tied to what comics taught me.

Not much more is explained of Xavier’s connection to Black Eagle, or his “blood brother”, who remains unnamed.

Suddenly, Dani’s power strikes! X’ian’s tormented by her memories of the Vietnam War, during which she suffered a lot of abuse.

This explosion isn’t Dani’s, however… Pierce’s flunkies have been waiting for Xavier to arrive. Honestly, it defies belief that all of them survive this.

NOOOOOO NOT RIDGE-RUNNER

Honestly, “Karma” is not a great codename. Not only does it not fit X’ian’s power, but it’s lazy. Trading in on a character’s ethnicity shouldn’t be the basis of a codename.

Clearly, X’ian has battle training. Something ELSE that Claremont kept in mind when writing characters: just because you have powers doesn’t mean you automatically know how to fight.

It’s never made clear why Xavier thinks he can train mutants to use their powers. We only ever see him yelling at them to do things better in the Danger Room. That’s not quite what a young mutant needs.

I love how defiant Dani is to Xavier. Honestly, not enough people tell him “no”.

Again, Bob McLeod has a lovely style that helps ground these stories.

What the hell is Charles wearing?

Dani Moonstar is a BADASS.

Later, the team is in Rio de Janiero, on the trail of Roberto.

Typical police brutality. We’re never far from it, even in the comics.

X’ian is such a cool character in these early issues.

Dude’s lucky X’ian didn’t just shoot him.

Two young mutants on their own in Rio? This needs to be its own series!

I don’t know why, but I like this crowd scene.

Join us on Monday for Part Three!

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