Collects New Mutants 25-28 (2011)
The New Murants have been through a lot, and their ranks are reduced because of it. Illyana (Magick) is voluntarily incarcerated because of the danger she poses with her link to Limbo. Cannonball decides to sit out a while to heal. And Karma decides she would rather play mother to a sensory-deprived mutant named Face. As has happened many times in the past, it looks like the team is poised for being disbanded.
Instead Cyclops gives the team under the leadership of Danni Moonstar orders to take care of the X-Men's "unfinished business." this business begins with returning to the scene of the dark x-men issues, the Osbourne/HAMMER compound to rescue Nate Grey (aka X-Man). The New Mutants deal with the apocalypse timeline straggler known as Sugar Man in a spectacular battle that really showed off Danni's capable fighting skills, and then return to Utopia to deal with the more personal side of being on an X team.
Pros & Cons:
I was particularly appreciative of the many connections to the new Mutants and x-Men's past in these issues. The strength in these pages is the character development. Relationships form in this graphic novel that will unfold as the New Mutants are poised to work closely with the unfolding x-Men titles to provide readers closure that is just sometimes skipped in the flagship titles.
I also liked the philosophy and perspective the writers are bringing to the series. Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning take over the New Mutants series in the issues collected here and provide some welcome glimpses into their directions for the series. An appendix article (after a very nice art gallery) titled "Altering the DNA" introduces readers to Abnett and Lanning's vision for the series. They state their fondness for the Clairemont original series and consider the characters "old friends." The kinship between the writers and their subject can be felt in these pages.
The most significant con here is that in dealing with "unfinished business", I'm afraid New Murants will be considered a "B" title. Moreover by linking the events in New Mutants to those in the X-Men series, some casual readers may find the history a bit cumbersome (personally I love it when I can the writers have also read back issues, but I know new readers may find this backstory daunting).
If you ever loved the original incarnation of the New Mutants, this might be a great place to return to the series. In this graphic novel I see the beginnings of a character-driven series well-grounded in the x-universe. Four stars for a promising series that will appeal to x-veterans like myself.