Thursday, April 23, 2009

Re-reading Old Copies of The New Mutants

Digging through some longboxes I ran across the handful of issues in my collection of The New Mutants. I sold of the bulk of the series that I owned to a local comic shop back when the Liefeld issues were still considered blisteringly hot and bought a serious crapload of other books in their place. I've never regretted the decision since so many holes in other collections were plugged as a result, and a great number of new comics were discovered.

Actually, I take back that no regrets comment, because I do regret never quite finishing up my Epic Akira set when I had the chance and the trade credit to do so.

But I digress.

The issues I was looking at were the later ones, somewhere in the high 60s, written by Louise Simonson and the art would have been by Bret Blevins, a penciller I learned to appreciate much later in life. There was also an issue in there (#62, I believe) by the inimitable Jon J Muth. A book which I now treasure more than I did when I was younger and was not such a fan of his work.

Looking at them all again, it reminded me that, while I was often intrigued by the characters and the whole younger X-Men deal, I never really read the book regularly, and never really got to know the characters very well. I certainly was not there in the beginning. I only started paying any real attention to them when Sienkewicz came on as artist, and only collected them on a monthly basis while Guice was doing the art and inked by Kyle Baker. I wavered again for the next 3 or 4 years of the book and picked it up again with #86, which had Rusty on the cover being attacked by the vulture. The first Liefeld cover.

Since the first series only ran 100 issues, I figured it couldn't hurt to take a trip down memory lane and read them all over again, for the first time.

So far, it feels like Claremont is trying much too hard to be young and relevant, and out of the 4 issues and the graphic novel that I have read so far, he has managed three stories that reek of cliché; the origin story, the teen horror flick and a child abuse story. It's also taking some getting used to reading the Claremont style, with just about every panel describing the character, their powers and their motivations in captions, followed by action scenes which he also describes in word or thought balloons.

Bob McLeod's art is serviceable, but nothing spectacular. It's interesting to look back on, but when you consider the work being done 20 issues after these still hold up as striking and contemporary (from a strictly visual standpoint), I can't get too excited by Bob's work, here.

Anyway, I just thought I would post about it. I'll probably post again when I hit those Sienkewicz issues, or possibly even the Leialoha issues in the teens. We'll see.



No comments: