New Mutants – help is hard

New Mutants is quickly becoming my second favorite X-title, right behind X-Factor. It started a few issues back when Cyclops decided that the team should be used to tie up loose ends. Not only does this put the younger X team in a position for interesting stories that confront plot holes, but it also marked a stylistic shift toward more concise writing. You can’t have a book devoted to tightening things up that simultaneously makes such errors itself. I think the writing team knew that.

Issue 28 struck exactly the right chord with me. I’ve always wondered what a (somewhat) realistic therapist would make of characters in comics. In walks Gus Grim, a horribly named therapist described by Emma Frost as both a “cowboy and an Indian.” The narrative tone of the issue with definitely humorous, but that was stricken with some poignancy. Grim appears to use a variant form of Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy.I always thought the most concise summation of the practice was, “Get over yourself.” Grim would agree.

You don’t know how long I’ve been waiting for a character to come into the comic world and tell everyone how self-centered and stupid they’re being. Even Leonard Samson has been a complete failure as a therapist and model for therapists in comics. The only person we’re left with is Emma Frost, whose insecurities are so apparent that she wears striking outfits to distract everyone from them.

My only concern is that Grim won’t be coming back, at least not often enough. But this issue was great, as it got the ball rolling in regard to changes people will be making in upcoming issues – such as Cannonball regaining his confidence, Shan’s realizing that she is special even if she isn’t the only person who interfaces with Face (long story, but the panel above is from her situation), Hope bonding with X-Man, and X-Man learning to rely on more than his special abilities.

Unfortunately, next month is the requisite tie-in issue for Marvel’s big “Fear Itself” event that is boring through the comic stands. And by boring, I mean zzzzzz…. Sure, they took the heavy hitting characters and upped their powers with Asgardian magic. Sure, they killed Bucky with such speed that it’s hard to accept they’ll leave him dead for long. Sure, they even let Thor get the crap beaten out of him by his father. But the story is uninteresting so far, and I’m sure I’m not the only one tired of big events that (not unreasonably) seep into issues of regular titles. Is it too much to want to know what happens in the next proper installment of New Mutants?

Sometimes I think I should change my tags so instead of saying “Marvel” they say “Make mine Marvel”.

About Gospel X

Media commentator who tries not to waste time - and often fails

Posted on August 3, 2011, in comics, Marvel, New Mutants, science fiction, scifi, X-Men and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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