Meet the New Mutants
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The trailer has dropped, and the hype is very, very real. The New Mutants arrives in theaters on April 3, 2020, and it’s looking very much like a teen horror flick without any of its regular tropes and trappings. After all, we’re telling a mutant story here.
Curious about the comic history of Professor Xavier’s first class of teen X-Men trainees? We’ve got you covered with a breakdown of the original team’s roster, parsed out by their origins and pivotal storylines. You can also try our intro New Mutants Reading List, here.
Looking to read the entire first volume of ‘New Mutants’? Try NEW MUTANTS (1983) in Marvel Unlimited. Applauded by critics and adored by fans, you’ll see why this character-driven run is revolutionary and deft in its storytelling. And when artist Bill Sienkiewicz steps on for issues #18-31? That’s when things get downright experimental. Also noteworthy? This was the series that gave us Cable, (#87) and Deadpool (#98)!
But enough talk of grownups. Let’s meet these strange and remarkable kids.
One of the New Mutants founding members, Rahne Sinclair alternates between a religious Scottish teen and a nightmarish werewolf. Needless to say this dichotomy presents a ton of Catholic Guilt. Emotionally complex, tortured and sometimes withdrawn, Rahne found her footing and family while at the Xavier Institute. She’s since graduated and proven herself a hero many times over as a member of X-Factor, X-Force and even Excalibur.
The oldest son of a Kentucky coal mining family, Sam Guthrie discovered he was a mutant with the ability to fly as fast as a jet while projecting a force field that, in his own words, makes him “nigh invulnerable when Ah’m blastin’!” As Cannonball, Sam went on to become a model X-Men student and even went on to lead incarnations of the New Mutants and X-Force as well as a member of the Avengers. His massive family includes mutants Husk and Icarus, (now deceased).
A young man from a wealthy Brazilian family, Roberto da Costa is a teen quick to anger who can channel solar energy into becoming a powerhouse of unbelievable strength. As Sunspot, he’s often the pillar of resolve for the New Mutants. While privileged and brash, Da Costa has matured over the years to become a leader and business magnate, much like his father. In this issue, he encountered Emma Frost and her rival squad of amoral teen mutants, the Hellions.
Dani Moonstar is Native American, a member of the Cheyenne people. She is gifted with psychic powers, including the ability to cast illusions or project people’s nightmares. She can even create and wield weapons from her own mind! A young woman of strong convictions, Xavier made her co-leader of the first New Mutants team along with Cannonball. In later years, she would rise as a senior teacher at the Institute, even becoming a Valkyrie (New Mutants Special Edition #1). Noble and full of soul, Dani represents triumph born of tragedy.
Read issues #18-20 for Dani’s ‘Demon Bear’ arc. It’s her defining storyline, and it covers her painful past and shows off the full range of her at-times horrific powers…
The younger sister of the X-Man Colossus, Illyana Rasputin is a young mutant with the power to teleport. But she’s also gone on to become a sorceress of great repute, even studying under the Sorcerer Supreme Doctor Strange himself! As Magik, Illyana has had some complicated teen years that range from a pivotal member of the New Mutants to the leader of the demon-infested realm known as Limbo. Sure, the backstory may seem convoluted, but all you need know is that she’s powerful, insanely so. Her relic is the Soulsword, forged from shards of her own life-force.
Try her origin series here, then continue with NEW MUTANTS (1983) #13.
While we don’t see her in the trailer, we do need to mention this original member!
The niece of a Madripoorian crime lord, Vietnamese-born Xi'an "Shan" Coy Manh overcame her legacy of violence to become a dedicated New Mutant and senior faculty member. A young person with a great deal of responsibility, Shan’s chief concern has been raising her two younger siblings Leon and Nga.
Her powers are psychic in nature—Karma can seize control of another’s mind, or plant herself into their consciousness or body. She is multilingual, speaking French, English and Vietnamese.
In one of her more traumatizing life chapters, Shan was possessed by psychic terror the Shadow King, and her form was exploited at his hands. Read that pivotal possession here, and continue through #31.
The multilingual Magma was raised in the secluded jungles of South America in a colony that modeled itself after the Roman Republic. When her mutant powers first erupted, she discovered her control over geothermal activities, including tectonic plates and even lava. In her Magma form, she is a mutant volcano, capable of projecting orbs of fire.
She would even have a brief stint as one of Emma Frost’s Hellions, before finding firmer ground with Professor X’s crew.
Before realizing he was a mutant, Doug Ramsey was a kid who befriended Kitty Pryde over a shared interest in tech and video games. Later, his ability to decipher any language, spoken, written, or binary, became clear to Professor X. Doug joined the New Mutants’ ranks, gaining the moniker “Cypher”, as a testament to his linguistic prowess.
He also has a closely linked history to techno-organic alien lifeform “Warlock”. When Warlock went on the lam from his Technarch “dad”, they crash-landed on Earth in the middle of a New Mutants’ slumber party, terrifying everyone in turn. Turns out though, Warlock was as much a “teenager” as the rest of the team, similarly outcast from their society. And at first, only Doug could understand him. The two became “self-friends”, and at one point merged into an organic/artificial entity called “Douglock”.
Check out Doug’s first encounter with best friend Warlock in issue #21, and see him flex his mutant translation skills for the first time.
Now, Doug is the creator and keeper of Krakoan, mutantkind's very own language that is spoken throughout their island nation, Krakoa.
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