VOICE OVER: Adrian Sousa
WRITTEN BY: Craig Butler
What better way to prepare yourself for the new movie than to immerse yourself in the history of the New Mutants! For this list we'll be looking at the history of the original Comic Book New Mutants.
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Comic Book Origins: New Mutants
By the 1980s, Charles Xavier needed some fresh blood to teach and hey, a mutant spin-off series might just sell… Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we will explore the comic book origin of the New Mutants.
As with most comic book characters, there are often re-imaginations and different versions to a character’s past. We have chosen primarily to follow the storyline which unfolded in 1982’s Marvel Graphic Novel #4: The New Mutants and which was expanded upon in both 2003’s and 2009’s New Mutants.
In the 1980s, the X-Men series had achieved truly phenomenal success, and a spin-off was inevitable. Since the current batch of X-Men were basically adults, the New Mutants were devised as a team which harked back to the X-Men’s early days. These were teen-aged mutants who had a lot to learn about how to use their powers, how to work as a team – and how to just live as a mutant in a human world.
They were launched in a 1982 graphic novel created by the man who had redefined the X-Men, Chris Claremont. As is the case with many team books, their origin tale devoted a lot of time to introducing each individual character and coming up with a reason to bring them together.
The story started in Scotland, as Moira MacTaggert helped save a young mutant name Rahne Sinclair from an angry mob. Rahne’s mutant ability enabled her to change into the form of a wolf, and the local townsfolk suspected her of witchcraft. Meanwhile, in Brazil, Roberto DaCosta’s ability to channel sunlight into immense power broke free when cheating soccer players attacked him. And in the coal mines of Kentucky, Sam Guthrie discovered he had the power of flight and near invulnerability during a mine collapse.
A native American girl, Danielle Moonstar, rebelled against her grandfather’s wishes that she travel to learn from a white man. But her grandfather knew Professor Xavier could help her control her powers, with which she created three-dimensional illusions. Unfortunately, her grandfather was soon killed – and Dani swore vengeance upon his killers.
And what of Professor Xavier? He was occupied with helping a new mutant, a young Vietnamese woman name Xi’an who’s ability allowed her to possess another person’s body and control it. Moira had also arrived with Rahne, but Xavier was reluctant to teach either of these young women. He believed – mistakenly, as it turned out – that the X-Men had all died and didn’t want to teach other students only to have them perish as well. Fortunately, Moira got him to change his mind, and they all left to find Dani Moonstar.
While all this was going on, Donald Pierce, who had a vendetta against mutants, was planning on destroying all of these newly found ones. His men had already killed Dani’s grandfather and were trying to do the same to her, but Xavier and company helped stop him. They then traveled to Brazil and were able to similarly rescue Roberto – though not before his girlfriend was slain.
While attempting to rescue Sam Guthrie in Kentucky, they found that he had actually been recruited by Pierce – although Sam was unaware of Pierce’s evil intentions. Pierce captured Xavier and was going to steal all of his vast load of knowledge. Fortunately, the new band of mutants stopped him – and Sam soon realized he had been duped.
Back at Xavier’s mansion, the team adopted new names. Dani became Psyche, Roberto was Sunspot, Xian took on Karma and Rahne was christened Wolfsbane. Sam showed up to join them – and was accepted with some hesitation, becoming known eventually as Cannonball. And thus the New Mutants were born.
As was to be expected, the roster of New Mutants changed down through the years. Psyche became Mirage, and new members included the Limbo-hopping Magik, the multilingual Cypher and lava-controlling Magma.
In 2003, Dani Moonstar became the teacher to a whole new group of new mutants. Its members included Elixir, who had healing powers; Prodigy who gained the skills of those near him; the electrically-charged Surge; the emotion-influencing Wallflower; and Wind Dancer, who manipulated the winds. And then 2009 brought back a crew from the original run – Karma, Cannonball, Sunspot, Magma, Dani and Magik – for a new series of adventures.
As might be expected, the New Mutants did turn up on one of the X-Men television series, namely “X-Men: Evolution.” And with their own feature film, they have taken their place in the X-Men cinematic universe, carving out a slightly creepier niche for themselves.