Leonard Kirk Joins the New Mutants

The artist teams with Zeb Wells to usher NEW MUTANTS into a fresh era



NEW MUTANTS art by Leonard Kirk
By Jim Beard

After the cataclysmic events of Second Coming, the New Mutants deserve a special treat. How about accomplished artist Leonard Kirk of DARK X-MEN and CAPTAIN BRITAIN & MI 13 fame to take Cannonball and friends into a bold and visually stunning new era?

Consider it done! And consider Kirk a NEW MUTANTS fan from way back.

"I followed the series for a couple of years through [artist] Bill Sienkiewicz' run on the book," he says. "That's probably one of my fondest memories right there. Seeing Sienkiewicz' artwork in the 1980's was a bit jarring but it was such a wonderful blend of realism and surrealism that I just fell in love.

"Which brings me right up to the introduction of my favorite character, Warlock. I like him as an outsider. I also like him because he's, potentially, the most powerful member of the team but is so innocent and humble that you just can't help but root for the guy. And, of course, he's fun to draw-time consuming but fun!"

Working with NEW MUTANTS writer Zeb Well and setting the tone for the book also qualify as fun for the artist.

The New Mutants by Bill Sienkiewicz
"Working with Zeb has been great," claims Kirk. "He's professional, talented and very trusting of my artistic abilities. As for the tone of the book, I know Zeb has a lot of stuff plotted out but I'm just getting started on my end. So far, I think we can say that there will be oodles of darkness, angst and excitement. Oh, and mutants. Lots of mutants. Can't seem to get away from them in this series."

All your favorite team members will be present, but what might the acclimated eye of illustrator Kirk see in them for possible visual tweaks and updates?

"I didn't really want to change too much when I got the title," he notes. "However, I did feel the need to bring back a bit of a classic look to Sam, [aka] Cannonball, by trimming down both his muscles and his hair. Also, I'm playing a bit with Magma's look in the inks, trying to make her look a little more 'magma-ish.' Oh, and there will be one rather noticeable alteration with Karma, but I don't think I'm allowed to mention that just yet. Let's just say that the change begins in the issues preceding my debut with NEW MUTANTS #15 and then I finalize it."

Also seeking to finalize our intrepid New Mutants will be their many foes, some of them itching to make their debut and show off their fetching Leonard Kirk looks.

CAPTAIN BRITAIN & MI 13 by Leonard Kirk
"Some of [the new villains] have already appeared in a previous issue and will look pretty much the same: very dark, very spooky, very odd," he promises. "But then, that's what you get after spending a couple of decades in Limbo. Some of the other characters, who won't appear until after issue #15, are still being designed so I can't really say what they will look like. However, as far as one of them is concerned, think of a giant hunk of walking Jell-O."


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I've finished reading the first issue with Leonard Kirk on board and absolutely loved it. The art was incredible and it really feels reminiscent of the old run - Leonard really captures the look of the new mutants as I remember them from the original series. I also have to compliment Mr Wells on an excellent issue. Mr Wells work is growing on me more and more, and although I started the series with some hesitation, this series just keeps getting better. Now with Mr Kirk on art chores (hopefully for a very long time) New Mutants is definitely rising to the top of my pull list.


I loved the New Mutants during Bill Sienkiewicz run in the 80's. I haven't read any issues of the current series, can any of the current readers comment on or compare the two series? Back when I read the original series I was about the same age as Cannonball and the rest of the team so this may explain why I enjoyed the series so much.www.comicsninja.com