New Mutants #8 Review: Universal Language

Hey, everyone, jrpbsp here… My final make up review is for ‘New Mutants.’ Hope you enjoy it.

New Mutants #8 (preview)
Writer: Zeb Wells
Art: Diogenes Neves

NOTE: Wolverine does NOT appear in this issue.

SPOILERS BELOW…

RECAP: The issue opens with crabs crawling up a beach. They are set upon and absorbed by a Warlock crab. We then join Roberto, carrying Amara, with Dani on his heels. They are being tracked by Feral.

Doug is with the Hellions and they are attempting to wipe his programming with a reboot. The New Mutants arrive and Shan mentally takes control of Roulette but can not control her for long. The friends demand Doug Ramsey but are told to come and take him.

Feral has nearly caught the med-bay trio and Dani offers to stay behind to face her. She plans to close the door on Feral as she did on Jetstream but she hits the wrong switch and is soon fighting the cat-like mutant hand to hand. Dani does not hold her for long and Feral quickly attacks Sunspot who tears off one of her arms. She tackles him but Dani throws the severed arm out the window and Feral jumps after it.

Sam hits Jetstream and pulls him out of the fight while Magik faces off against Tarot and banishes her card monsters. Sam slams Jetstream into the ground hard and gets attacked by Catseye. Karma tries to control Beef and Bevatron but can not distract them for long. Magik takes Tarot down and kicks her into a portal but one of Roulette’s bad luck disks causes the portal to open above Illyana taking her down.The girls then kick Illyana off the building.

Sam slams into Karma’s attackers and carts them off with Catseye in close pursuit. On the ground, Illyana runs into a still corrupted Warlock and uses her Soulsword on him. It removes the magical effects and allows him to regain his personality and control.

Roberto and the girls arrive in the infirmary to find only Nemesis there. Although he can not heal her, the doctor gives Magma a serum to jump start her powers and force the change into lava form. She wakes up just in time to hear Roberto call her ‘baby’.

Bevatron manages to take Sam down for a moment and the Hellions regroup to destroy Ramsey before he can be converted. They are interrupted by the arrival of a mostly reconstituted Warlock. As they move to face the new threat, we see that Warlock has called the converted missiles from his initial arrival to his aid. He tells them to detonate on the Hellions as Illyana teleports him and Ramsey to safety.

Warlock asks for Illyana’s sword and she hands it over. Warlock stabs Doug and forces the malicious code from his body. Warlock asks what language Ramsey is just as Dani and Roberto make their appearance. Doug responds that the New Mutants are his language.

MY TAKE: This is another good issue with a strong plot and some very nice interactions. It did feel a bit rushed, however, so there was not as much characterization as there usually is. Still what is there is strong and I am glad there is a bit more focus on the Hellions. While none of them was truly able to shine, they at least showed flickers of their former selves. I just hope they stick around long enough to get some more development.

Much of the issue focused on combat, which seems to be pretty standard for these types of stories. The fight scenes are done well and they are interlaced with some fun and entertaining moments. It does rend the plot pretty thin though. Basically the entire issue is either getting Amara to the infirmary or getting Doug from the Hellions. While that is not exactly a problem, it does give the story less of a narrative punch.

I was strongly impressed with Warlock’s subplot that continued from the first issue of the story arc. I had pretty much forgotten all about the missiles before they were brought back into focus. It really felt like a throw-away plot point but I am glad it had a purpose and was useful. I like when a writer makes an effort to tie different issues of a story like this together. Having Illyana’s sword be the key to freeing him was another nice touch.

In the end, this was a great issue but a bit lacking in the overall plot. I do enjoy fight scenes, but when the story and characterizations are normally so strong, they can feel a trifle flat. Still I liked how everything was brought together and the conclusion worked on several levels. I hope the fact that Illyana’s Soulsword can break the mutants free of Selene is touched on in the larger story. This is still my favorite  current series and I am really looking forward to the next issue when we finally get a strong focus on Illyana.

Thanks for reading my review for Wolverine Files. I will be keeping to this format for the most part but please keep the comments coming and I will see everyone again next time.

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