Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Review- NEW MUTANTS CLASSIC VOL. 7

NEW MUTANTS CLASSIC VOL. 7 (Marvel, 2012; Softcover)
Collects New Mutants Nos. 48-54 and New Mutants Annual No. 3 (cover dates February- August, 1987)
Writer: Chris Claremont
Artists- Pencilers: Jackson Guice (48, 50), Brett Blevins (49), Kevin Nowlan (51), Rick Leonardi (52, 53), Sal Buscema (54), and Alan Davis (Annual 3); Inkers: P. Craig Russell (48), Val Mayerik (49), John Beatty (50), Kevin Nowlan (51), Dan Green (52), Terry Austin (53, 54), and Paul Neary (Annual 3).

Yet another brilliantly executed collection of stories by the definitive X-Men writer, Chris Claremont. This picks up where Volume 6 left off, with the team split up across the timestream due to Magik's teleportation disc going awry. They see two different futures: one where mutants have been nearly exterminated by the Sentinels, and the other where mutants have taken over the world, subjugating normal humans. In this future, we see an elderly Katie Power of Power Pack, who seems to have all four of her siblings' powers. I wonder if their powers reverted to her after they died, since Whitey split his powers amongst the four of them in the first place. 
All of the artwork in this book is great, with the exception of issue 51 by Kevin Nowlan. His artwork is a notch or two below the rest of the artists in this book. We get treated to yet another Annual with artwork by Alan Davis, this one starring the Impossible Man. We also get to see the climax of the Magus/ Warlock battle and a spirited contest between The New Mutants and their rivals over at the Massachusetts Academy, the Hellions. These stories are all so great. Some folks bag on Claremont's “over-writing”, to which I say fie! Claremont crams a modern trade paperback's worth of story into each issue.
The greatest thing about this title is that the Claremont has fully developed all of the characters. They just all happen to be mutants, who just happen to go on adventures and fight villains. They are teenagers finding their place in the world, with the mutant backdrop serving as an amped up metaphor for adolescence. 
The New Mutants' "graduation" outfits. Yikes. Cypher's has enough pouches on it that it would make Rob Liefeld proud.
 
This book marks the end of Chris Claremont's run on the title. I would love to see a Volume 8, as Louise Simonson takes over the writing and there is still plenty of great artwork ahead. The next batch of issues are collected in the X-Men: Fall of the Mutants OHC and new printing TPB, but there is more goodness after that.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 5 out of 5.

The OCD zone- This book smells nice.
Linework restoration rating: 4.25 out of 5. The restoration is solid throughout most of the book. There are a few rough spots here and there, but most folks won't notice them as they aren't too bad.
Color restoration rating: 5 out of 5. The original color palette is faithfully maintained.
Paper rating: 5 out of 5. I love this lightweight dull matte finish coated stock in softcovers. This is the same paper stock used in the softcover Masterworks.
Binding rating: 4 out of 5. Glued binding is par for the course in softcovers.
Cardstock cover coating rating: 5 out of 5. I love love love the thick waxlike coating that Marvel uses on their cardstock covers.

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