Monday, 5 October 2009

Flip The Page Review: New Mutants #5

Nothing gold can stay. Did you know that? It's sod's law that anything brilliant will fall into shittyness before it's journey is through. This is the main constant of comics.

Seriously, whether it's a sudden slip in quality, a story becoming stale, too long, or just having the creative team change, somethign will inevitably ruin a comic for you... except for limited series, they get stuff outta the way and run before it can get bad SOMETIMES. But I digress, most things become awful eventually. So with New Mutants having a new artist for this issue, can it be time for the best X-comic to finally cave under the weight of a constant?

There's only one way to find out. We review the shit out of it.

I've reviewed New Mutants before with issue 3 so I won't relay the plot any more than really necessary, instead I'll just point out that the Legion shit got epic with issue 4 and that this has a significant time jump that whilst still focused on the main plot points also has to address things Matt Fraction threw into Utopia. Works okay but without it appearing in New Mutants it's pretty much saying "Hey wanna understand this? FUCK YOU BUY UTOPIA!". Still I'll forgive that and just let you all know that Dani Moonstar has powers again, albeit from some sort of weird deal with Hela (who I'm told is one of the many lord/lordesses of hell, alongside mephisto, dormammu, plokta and so on). Oh and in a completely unaddressed thing Sunspot was a rioter in San Fran. Shame that that one didn't come up, it'd be some nice ten- OH WAIT I'M SUPPOSED TO BE REVIEWING MOVING ON!

The writing is still Zeb Wells, so I'm not sure what I can say other than that he's an amazingly competent writer who's on the up and up. In fact I can see him taking New Mutants to great heights given enough sales. Which considering the SLOW decline the comics been on since issue 1 (which actually sold pretty well) might just keep the series going enough for a few years.

The... 'art'... is... questionable. Zachary Baldus is quite the polarising figure apparently, with some people giving his abstract traced/trace-looking work praise and others outright slamming it as fucking awful. Where do I stand? I kind of got used to it in the end, as one does with constant pain (or Larry Stromann), but no matter how much I tried to enjoy it I kept coming back to this image:
I don't even know why this terrifies me. It just does.

... Come to think of it that should be a moment. And the kickass cover. Oh well let's look at the others.

1. Warlock self is back!
It's hard to hate on Baldus when he draws Warlock exactly as he should be. I mean... Well done! Perhaps one of the greatest New Mutants, he kinda hasn't reappeared since Nova's Annihilation Conquest storyline, so for him to reappear in the pages of the best X-comic... It's just too god damn awesome.

2. My Little Pony OF DEATH
This... This fucking horse, with a greaser haircut like no other... TOOK DOWN. THE GOD. OF WAR! An adorable little horse! With wings admittedly but still just look at how non-menacing it is! THE WORLD MAKES NO SENSE!

3. Cyclops Is Still A Jerk
Is... Is Cyclops SMIRKING whilst telling Dani she's not on the New Mutants? Is he really that much of a cunt?

... Yes. Yes he is.

Outside of that I was going to attack the weird look of his ruby spectacles, but then it hit me; they should look like that. They're carved ruby for christ's sake, they're gonna look like that and be a block colour. In fact it's actually growing on me... NO! BAD MAX! HATE IT! STAND YOUR GROUND!

4. Legion: Being Healed One Mental Persona At A Time
Zeb Wells has succeeded in making me love David Haller, so him being fixed and having his personas catalogued and removed is exactly what I've been wanting since seeing how slightly tragic he is. Hopefully Marci (the little girl he's with) won't be removed but outside of that one fear this is actually a heart wrenchingly awesome moment, especially as David says "They're Really Doing It... They're Fixing Me." Seriously you'll see if you buy the comic. Oh and the art looks good here, with Legion being incredibly well suited to Baldus' exaggerated style... STOP PRAISING HIM STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT!

5. If I Had To Find A Page To Show Why I Like Zeb Wells' Writing...
It'd be this one. A brilliant sex joke and a good bit of emotion thrown in there too with Dani yelling out Sam's name. Emotion and jokes: the two qualities of Zeb writing. Wait can there be other things? Action?

6. Punch Out!
Sam Guthrie needs to get punched more in this comic. It's making me like Baldus' art more and- NO NO MORE PUNCHING I WANT TO HATE IT STOP IT! I mean it's an good layout as well with him going across the panels a bit from being hit and his face looks kinda funny and the hair moves right and NO NO NO NO NO DON'T PRAISE YOU TOOL! HATE IT! HATE THE WEIRD EXAGGERATED OVEREXPRESSIVE STYLE THAT LOOKS WEAK IN MOST PLACES BUT NOT HERE NO I MEAN AAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!

7. Layout Love
This layout is pretty awesome, breaking up what would otherwise be a very repetitive looking scene (that I'm sure I should add has some good expressions in it but I don't wish to overreact again). Um... Yeah.



I haven't thought much of anything of Karma so far, she's kinda been in the background due to the nature of the first arc (wherein she was stuck in the head of Legion for the duration). This, however, changed that completely. I mean... Wow, she knows how to take revenge. That's her using Magik's sword (which was badass in that arc anyway) and using it to kill the personality that took down that little girl Marci and got her stuck forever in Legion's mind. Karma, you have now shown me how to be awesome. If only Magma could do the same with all her nothing she's done so far.

10. Self Slash Friend?
Yeah, that's Warlock finally doing something this issue. After recovering a picture of the New Mutants from the ruins of Xavier's, he comes across the empty hole where Douglas Ramsey (whom most of you would know as useless dead translator mutant Cypher) should be. This is a pretty awesome lead-in to New Mutants' Necrosha arc, something I'm now actually looking forward to despite X-Force trying EVER SO HARD to make me hate the very concept of it. Hopefully Warlock'll become pretty central to the story from here on out.

And that's the issue.

In the end it seems that my hatred of the art can't hold water over how much I loved what good there was in it. Still for all that good there's no getting past the scenes with Karma being interviewed and... ugh:


Flippin' MUST BUY!

Next up: I don't know, I won't be updating again till friday probably.

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