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New Blood for the New Mutants

Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning lead the next generation of mutant heroes down an exciting and uncharted path

By Jim Beard

The undisputed Marvel kings of cosmic, writers Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning hurl themselves into the unknown as they head off into the X-Men Universe and bring some “new” to the New Mutants. It all begins May 11 in NEW MUTANTS #25.

Abnett and Lanning—known as DnA—make it clear from the get-go that in their book, “wet behind the ears” no longer describes these hardened heroes.

New Mutants #25 preview art by Leandro Fernandez

“They’re the first graduates, the first full adult X-Men team to follow the original generation,” Lanning says. “They’re X-Men: The Next Generation. They’re not kids any more; they’re not new as in ‘rookie.’”

“They have a new remit, and a slightly altered line-up,” adds Abnett. “They’re [Cyclops’] troubleshooters, who take care of loose ends. The New Mutants have a great backstory of their own, with lots of interpersonal continuity to play with, but expect to see some new characters, new team members, and new threats turn up while we chart more familiar themes.”

As well as clear lines to the characters and their motivations, passions and tribulations, DnA’s first adventure for the team begins with a straightforward statement of both purpose and mission. And expect more than a few guest-stars dropping in along the way.

“It’s no secret the first story will be a search for X-Man [Nate Grey],” Abnett reports. “We’ve got some other old friends waiting in the wings. It would be awesome to take them into space, and connect up some of the creative dots, X-book wise, that we were playing with in War of Kings and Marvel’s cosmic books.”

“[The first arc], ‘Unfinished Business,’ starts them out with a new team line-up and a new purpose: tidy up loose ends, starting with X-Man,” chimes in Lanning. “It’s a tough job; in fact, it’s going to come as a shock as to how tough that is.”

Faithful followers of the New Mutants will surely be thrilled to see familiar faces among the new, and DnA have already discovered who among the former teenage titans stand out from the pack and present the greatest challenge to them as writers.

“Dani and Doug are two characters we’ve got particular hopes for; both very strong, both intriguing,” says Abnett. “Warlock is the hardest to write, just keeping the balance between making him credibly alien and not incredibly annoying. Also Bobby and Amara—actually, there isn’t a single character we don’t see as packed with outstanding potential.”

New Mutants #25 preview art by Leandro Fernandez

NEW MUTANTS #25 comes packed with potential, too, weighing in not only with the superstar writing team, but also with new artist Leandro Fernandez. The book represents DnA’s first foray into regular X-Men scripting, an opportunity that’s already proven to be a highlight of their careers.

“We’ve been X-fans since the early days, from the classic [Chris] Claremont/[John] Byrne run onwards,” Lanning notes. “It’s a huge treat to work on characters we’ve known for such along time. Until Nick Lowe asked us to come aboard, we hadn’t realized how much we wanted to do this. It was probably an ambition so great we’d refused to acknowledge it.

“Nick runs a very tight office, and the connective tissue between all the X-books is amazingly strong, so you’ll see all the stories and titles mapping into one another. The New Mutants aren’t ‘the new mutants.’ They’re one of the X-Men teams, so you’ll see any and all other X-men cropping up, and a proper reflection of all cross-book event continuity.”

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