New Mutants #4 Review: A Real Head Job

Hey, everyone, jrpbsp here…Continuing from last week here is the second and final review, ‘New Mutants’.  Hope you enjoy it.

New Mutants #4 cover New Mutants #4 (preview)
Writer: Zeb Wells
Penciler: Diogenes Neves
Inker: Cam Smith, Ed Tadeo & Craig Yeung

NOTE: Wolverine does not appear in this issue.


RECAP: The issue opens with Sam sending Dani away in a car, much to her disgust and anger. But Sam will not be swayed, he is convinced it is the only way to save her.

Meanwhile Legion is gearing up for another assault.  Inside his head, Illyana takes down yet another aggressive personality, scaring the others into cooperation.

Legion sends in a speedster persona that knocks the team around and severely injured Sunspot with a piece of sharp metal. Amara steps up turning the ground to lava and attacks Legion directly.

Meanwhile, Magik has found the mental prison and frees Shan and Marci, the little girl from the first issue. The child points the way to the real David Haller.

Legion switches to an alien persona and drains all the heat and fire from Magma and knocks her through a wall. Sam intercedes and blasts into the multi-minded mutant.

Magik, Karma and Shan break into the prison Haller has created from himself. Marci is able to get him to pull himself together. Illyana finds out about the doll, ‘Moira’, that represents control of the body and demands it be handed over.

Legion changes to a power drainer and he and Sam crash into a car. He then switches to a wolf form to heal. The wolf is just about to bite Sam’s throat when Dani hits him with the car then plows them both into a wall.

Unfortunately, that does little to affect Legion’s new form and he tears off the car door to get to Dani. She stabs him through the arm but that only buys her a second. She is just about to he eaten when Illyana gains control of the body ending the fight.

Cyclops arrives a bit later and the injured are tended to. Emma uses her telepathy to convince the residents that they have been sick with the stomach flu for the past few days. The Science Team puts a helmet on Legion to control his brainwaves for the trip. Sam tries to talk to Dani afterward but she refuses to even acknowledge him.

He finds Scott to apologize for the mess but Cyclops is proud of the team. They took down an Omega level threat without preparation. Sam expresses doubt about his ability to lead the team but Scott has confidence in him.

MY TAKE: This was another great issue that manages to balance both action and character moments with ease. While the plot is pretty simple, it is told so well that it does not need to be complicated. This was a story that had to define the team and their roles while still telling a good tale and it was amazingly successful at that. The dynamics are now in place so all the future arcs will be able to build on that.

There are so many great moments in here that I could not possibly mention them all, but I want to talk about my favorite part. The conversation at the end between Sam and Scott was amazing. Sam has never been a sole leader before and it was nice to see him reacting to how things went. I am not much of a fan of Cyclops but in just a few panels I liked and respected him more then years of appearances in other titles.

I was also impressed by the darker and more realistic tone in the issue and the series in general. We see actual injuries that require medical treatment when people get knocked into cars or sliced by metal. What’s more,  the bad guys are actually evil. We have had mention of rape, mutilation, murder and even cannibalism. It is nice that the comic does not shy away from that and sugar coat everything.

It was also fitting that Illyana was the one that saves the day. She has always been the toughest and most bad ass member of the team and I am glad she is finally getting the recognition for it. I just hope they do not try to turn her into a Wolverine clone.

I only have a couple of complaints about the comic, mostly about the pacing. The issue feels a bit rushed especially with the scenes of Illyana in his head. I do not know if there would have been enough to make a fifth issue without making it drag but I did want to see more of her journey on page. I also found Sam to be a bit unlikeable at the beginning. While he does redeem himself nicely by the end, I never like having a comic start on a bad note.

In the end this was another great issue in the series. It did a spectacular job of setting up the team and the dynamics while delivering an entertaining story and incredible character moments. It is just too bad I have to wait to the end of the month to read the next issue.

Thanks for reading my review for Wolverine Files. I will be keeping to this format for the most part but please keep the comments coming and I will see everyone again next time.

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