The new era of the New Mutants is only two issues in, but its already created a whole host of new problems for the book’s young heroes.
The Shadow King is definitely among the X-Men’s greatest foes, and is perhaps one of the only mutants that definitely isn’t welcome on Krakoa. Tormenting the New Mutants is right up his alley, and it’s hauntingly depicted by Vita Ayala, Rod Reis, and Travis Lanham.
Something is causing unrest in Krakoa. Is it entirely the fault of the Shadow King or is the stress of the new community getting to mutantkind? I mean, it’s obviously the Shadow King… but can Moonstar and her team stop him before he pushes too far?
Though the plot itself is simple, Ayala uses it to be able to cover a lot of ground for the characters. In 20ish pages, they give us emotional stakes of continuity, several new non-binary mutants, Gabby Kinney trying to fit in, a wedding reception, and a metaphor for body dysmorphia. This is all while Amahl Farouk slinks around in the shadows, manipulating everything. It might seem like a lot but they balance it just right, giving readers an issue full of plot and character development in the vein of classic X-Men.
Reis continues his great work in this issue. He’s able to create pages and panels full of human emotion, heightening what Ayala is putting in the script. His Shadow King is a creeping malevolent presence, and he uses little tricks to draw the eye to him, like coloring him in flats and placing him in backgrounds, always slightly off focus. There are some points where he skimps on the detail- with some panels failing to even depict faces.
The team is going to go through Hell and back, and the Shadow King is going to enjoy every moment of it. However, Ayala and Reis are clearly crafting a run that will stand out not only in this exciting era of X-Men but also in the history of Marvel’s merry mutants.
New Mutants #15 is available now from Marvel Comics.
A stellar story and strong art tell the tale of unrest within Krakoa!