While it can be lots of fun to mix and match various members of the X-Men’s extended cast, there are some established groupings that are always great together. One, naturally, is the X-Men’s original spinoff team, the New Mutants. The ‘80s lineup made a comeback in the last decade, and the cast chemistry remained intact.
Of course, they’re not kids anymore, nor are they Xavier’s students. When Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning took over the writing, they laid out a new mission statement for the team: Cyclops has tasked the New Mutants with taking care of the X-Men’s numerous loose ends (Cyclops was basically the X-Men’s general in this era).
Their first order of business is to find X-Man, an alternate-reality version of Cable from the “Age of Apocalypse” timeline who migrated to the main Marvel timeline (you can see why the X-Men might have a few loose ends here and there). To prevent things from being too easy, X-Man is a captive of the amoral Sugar Man, another “Age of Apocalypse” émigré, but one who just wants to find his way back.
In #27, we get to see the grown-up classic team in action, but one founding member in particular gets to shine. Dani Moonstar, depowered mutant and current team leader, has a lengthy one-on-one (and interdimensional) battle with the vicious Sugar Man, proving she’s a formidable fighter even without the aid of super-powers.
Much of the issue’s appeal boils down to “likeable character being awesome.” It’s not deep, but it absolutely works.
Writers: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Artist: Leandro Fernandez
Publisher: Marvel Comics
Cover: Marko Djurdjevic
How to Read It: back issues; Marvel Unlimited; Comixology; included in New Mutants vol. 4: Unfinished Business (TPB)
Appropriate For: ages 12 and up