Sworn to sell comics for Marvel executives who feared and hated the fact that Fox owned their movie rights, The Uncanny X-Men suffered great indignities, but with a corporate merger on the way, the X-Men can finally get back to doing what they do best: being objectively the best franchise in comics.
Each week, armed with the joy, heartbreak, and frustration of 30+ years of reading X-Men comics, we read every new X-book that comes out, recap the events, provide the historical context so you can read it on Marvel Unlimited, and wonder when Marvel will let Chris Claremont write something again.
It’s the way X-Men comics were meant to be read! It’s the column that can only be known as…
For more about the column, check out the reboot issue here.
NEW MUTANTS: DEAD SOULS #3 (of 6)
MATTHEW ROSENBERG (W) • ADAM GORHAM (A)
Cover by RYAN STEGMAN
DEAD SOULS Part 3
• Flying is the worst, but just imagine flying as a New Mutant!
• The team has five minutes to save a plane from crashing into a mountain…
• …and it certainly doesn’t help that all the passengers are trying to stop them, too!
32 PGS./Rated T+ …$3.99
New Mutants: Dead Souls is off to a great start before you even open the book because it has a great cover by Ryan Stegman and Michael Garland. Far too many comic book covers are just pin-ups of characters from the book (or in the case of a lot of theme-variants, characters from other books, which makes no sense at all).
On this cover, there’s a lot going on. It has a cool caption: “Fly the DEADLY skies!” There’s a struggle going on in the aisle with Strong Guy, Rictor, and blood-crazed passengers. There’s a creepy dude sneaking up behind an unaware Magik. It looks like the heroes are about to be defeated. How will they survive? You better read the comic to find out. Theoretically, a mythical “new comic reader” browsing through comics in their local comic shop might look at this cover and get an idea of what the story is like inside the book. It sounds so simple, but for whatever reason, it’s not really the standard practice anymore.
Anyway, this book has a great cover, and there’s a story inside as well. It opens up on a plane flying 37,000 feet above North Carolina, with Prodigy, a mutant from the 2003 New Mutants series. One of the interesting things about this roster is that it draws from the entire New Mutants history, not just the classic team. Anyway, Prodigy is squished in the middle seat of the center aisle, squished between two men on either side of him (Dan Jurgens wouldn’t stand for this). Prodigy suffers social anxiety as the Captain’s announcement calls him out as a famous superhero on the flight. The Captain also tells everyone on the plane that they’re about to die.
In the tunnels beneath New York City, Boom Boom, Wolfsbane, Strong Guy, Rictor, and Magick are battling The Mindless Ones when Boom Boom needs to take a phone call. It’s Prodigy, calling for help. On the next page, the plane is now diving toward the ground, 29,000 feet above West Virginia, and Magik teleports the New Mutants onto the wing. They hang on for dear life. Witty dialogue also serves as exposition. It’s not east for Magik’s teleportation powers to land on a speeding plane she’s never even seen before. Come to think of it, landing on the wing was a pretty impressive feat.
The New Mutants are attacked by murderous passengers. Wolfsbane points out that these are civilians under some kind of mind control, so the New Mutants should try not to hurt them. She also tells them not to use their powers after Rictor’s vibration powers threaten to shake the plane apart. Strong Guy and Wolfsbane get into an argument because Strong Guy murdered her family (see X-Factor [2005 series] #256). Wolfsbane is beginning to be mean to Magik too when the team locates Prodigy, who tells them they need to stop the captain.
Unfortunately, nobody is able to break into the cockpit, as the door is impenetrable both to Strong Guy’s strength and Boom Boom’s time bombs. The entire team is sniping at each other by this point. Magik notices Norse rune magic sealing the door. That’s probably what was making everyone fight as well. She tells the team she’s the only one who can get inside the cockpit, and she teleports the rest of them to safety on the ground. Rictor, however, jumps out of the way of her teleportation disc, to Magik’s dismay. She didn’t want him there to see what she has to do, which is to channel her Darkchilde persona:
Breaking into the cockpit, Magik finds the pilot and co-pilot in a zombified state, under the control of Tran Coy Manh, the twin brother of Karma, the boss of the current New Mutants team. Actually, we should say the dead twin brother, because Karma absorbed his consciousness ages ago. In any case, he has the same possession powers as Karma (in addition to whatever Norse magic he’s also wielding here).
Tran engages in some X-pository dialogue with Magik…
Tran says it’s Magik and her team who are the bad guys here. Magik stabs him with her soul sword, which destroys the spell possessing the captain, severing Tran’s link but also killing the captain. Tran says he’s got to go to New York City to get on with his evil plans. Outside, the plane crashes as the other New Mutants watch. Bummer.
Meanwhile, in Connecticut, where we learned last issue that classic New Mutants character Warlock was holed up in an old cabin, where he’s been discovered by a group of teenagers hazing one of their peers for supposedly being a mutant. They’re terrified of Warlock, even though he asks for help, and the issue ends with them beating the crap out of him. That’s not nice! Also, Warlock identifies the kid as a real mutant, not that this prevents him from participating in the beatdown. The issue ends here, with not one but two cliffhangers featuring heroes in peril!
There was some tough competition in new X-Comics this week (X-Men Blue, Domino, and Exiles spring to mind), but based on the strength of its continuity references, the presence of Warlock, the best New Mutant, and more than anything else because it has a great cover that promises us mutants in a hectic battle on an airplane and delivers exactly that and more, we here at X-ual Healing are awarding New Mutants: Dead Souls #3 the Wolverine’s Weiner X-Pick of the Week!!!
Congratulations to the creative team!
Want to know what Wolfsbane and Strong Guy were arguing about? That takes place in the 2006 X-Factor series, which is available in full on Marvel Unlimited. Around X-Factor #243 (it reverted to legacy numbering for a while) is where Guido, who had been killed and resurrected without a soul, starts to go evil. Things continue through the Hell on Earth War storyline.
The story of Tran is tied up in Karma’s origin, which you can read on Marvel Unlimited in Marvel Team-Up #100.
For more on the Darkchilde, you might want to read the Magik limited series from 1983 on Marvel Unlimited.
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