Writer: Ed Brisson
Artist: Marco Failla
Color Artist: Carlos Lopez
Letterer: VC’s Travis Lanham
Cover: Rod Reis
Release Date: February 26th, 2020
The NEW MUTANTS travel to Nova Roma to see what new threats are stopping mutants from entering new haven, Krakoa. In other news, Sebastian Shaw is up to new, er, no good. Ok, I’m done— let’s get to the book, Ed Brisson’s NEW MUTANTS #8!
The issue opens with Sebastian Shaw dressing down Maxime and Manon for the way they bungled the Nebraska affair, but also commending them for delivering information he deems “most useful.” It’s an interesting intro that ties in nicely with what we’ve got from Ed Brisson’s side of NEW MUTANTS, and the overall theme of the team needing a victory after the mess in Nebraska works as a bridge as well. Shaw pops up again towards the end of the book, and you can’t help but admire what a badass he is. One of the coolest things about the whole “Dawn of X” is that it feels ok to root for the “bad guys”— at least for now.
The bulk of the story involves a group of mutants in the Brazilian rain forest being hunted by creatures when they try to access a gate to Krakoa. It turns out to be near the “backward-ass” republic of Nova Roma (Boom-Boom’s words, not mine), home to Amara Aquilla, aka Magma. Amara’s dad runs the joint and asked for help because Nova Roma doesn’t like outsiders poking around their isolated home. Joining Magma on the mission are Armor and the increasingly annoying Boom-Boom. It may be Boom-Boom’s character trait to be a diva, it may be Ed Brisson’s attempt at comic relief, but either way it’s wearing thin. She does get some redemption in a sweet journal entry at the end of the book; one wishes we’d see a little more of her softer side in the field.
At any rate, the three heroes march into the forest, do some verbal fighting amongst themselves, and eventually some physical fighting against the creatures. It’s all pretty standard fare, not bad but not great either. Marco Failla’s art is solid throughout and gives off a Johnny Quest vibe at times. The coloring is bright but basic. All in all it’s a good issue that promises intrigue on the Sebastian Shaw front, but probably a generic storyline for the actual NEW MUTANTS.
NEW MUTANTS #8 is a step up for the Ed Brisson side of the story. We get some great Sebastian Shaw moments, mutants using their powers, and a far more interesting setting than Nebraska. It may not be amazing, but it is improving. The cliffhanger won’t wow you, but hopefully Brisson can take the momentum from this issue moving forward nonetheless.