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Those Old New Mutants

Chris Claremont returns to his original team of next generation mutants for the five-issue limited series NEW MUTANTS FOREVER

By Kevin Mahadeo

Writer Chris Claremont gets to finish what he started years ago when he launches the new five-issue limited series NEW MUTANTS FOREVER this August with artist Al Rio.

Similar in premise to the ongoing X-MEN FOREVER title, NEW MUTANTS FOREVER picks up directly after the last issue of Claremont's original run on NEW MUTANTS, 1987's issue #54. At that point in the series, then-team mentor Magneto took up an invitation to join the Hellfire Club after discussing the proposal with Storm. New to the side of angels, Magneto proved originally reluctant to join the shadowy Club; however, Storm saw the offer as an opportunity to figuratively make love not war.

"This was a chance to build a [bridge] and take one set of old enemies off the table," explains Claremont. "Rather than punch them out, they could make friends. If it works for the U.S., Russia and China, why not for the Hellfire Club? When I finished my original run on NEW MUTANTS, it was the night of [Magneto's] investment into the Inner Circle. This [limited series] picks up literally 20 minutes later."

Team members present when the limited series begins include Sam "Cannonball" Guthrie, Doug "Cypher" Ramsey, Danielle Moonstar, Rahne "Wolfsbane" Sinclair, Illyana "Magik" Rasputin and Amara "Magma" Aquila. Roberto de Costa and Warlock will both be off on their own at first due to the events of the FALLEN ANGELS limited series. However, Claremont confirms the two return to the mix in the second issue. The writer also confirms one of the villains of the limited series: The Red Skull.

"[Because] why not?" he muses. "But there is someone else. Some rather startling and tragic elements will happen to characters you least expect them to happen to."

Claremont admits that going back to the characters and storyline he last wrote over two decades ago called for some slight adjustments in his original plan, as ideas that seemed viable in the past no longer remain as effective in the present. However, the writer also notes that returning today allows him to draw from real life inspirations that he didn't previously have.

"The difference in one sense is that when I was writing back in the day, I was writing totally from my imagination," he recalls. "Today I'm dealing with my own kids and their friends who are the exact age I need to deal with. Much like when Louise Simonson and I were evolving the character of Kitty [Pryde originally], it was a great advantage that her own daughter and her friends were exactly the right age. I ended up stealing as much as I could from life to make the presentation of the character work. The advantage in terms of writing the New Mutants again is exactly the same. I watch how my own kids relate to the world, how their friends relate to the world, how they relate to each other and hopefully, like any good writer, pluck the critically useful aspects and sprinkle them through the story so the characters themselves come across as more real, more relevant, more interesting and therefore, more accessible to the readers.

"This isn't just the adventures of icons in tights punching and hitting. How the kids react to what's happening to them and how they relate to each other will, if possible, have a grain or more of truth. That will make the story that much more impactful and memorable. That's the ambition with my stuff with anything from the very beginning."

Although the original NEW MUTANTS title often tied in heavily with the events of UNCANNY X-MEN, Claremont says that the limited series does not feature the X-Men of times past. Although there will be references to the team, the writer explains that including many guest stars in the book would take away from the core team. With a limited series like NEW MUTANTS FOREVER, Claremont feels a writer needs to "in the classic sense, get on, hit your mark, and get off [the stage]." Claremont does, however, tease a globally spanning adventure that takes the young mutants all across the planet:

"The first issue takes place in Manhattan. The second issue takes place in Rio de Janeiro. The third issue takes place in Nova Roma. We get around. We've got a character [that] has stepping discs for crying out loud. Considering what Illyana brings to the table, why not use her."


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[color=seagreen] Yeah! I will have to buy this![/color]


Yes, why is Magma flying? :emma: Artists' mistake?


Why is Magma Flying on the cover? And when did these mutants become so unhappy? Does Wolfesbane ever turn into her 4 legged wolf-form any more?