The New Mutants: Dead Souls #1 Review

by Harlan Ivester on March 14, 2018

Writer: Matthew Rosenberg
Artist: Adam Gorham
Colorist: Michael Garland
Publisher: Marvel Comics
            With a New Mutants movie on the horizon, a comic to match was inevitable, right? Even if it’s a mini-series and is missing the movie’s release by almost a year? At any rate, as someone pretty unfamiliar with the group, I tried to commit to my reading perspective as an outsider by doing zero research on them or what this book would be about. I’m delighted to find something with a nice genre spin on it to set it apart from the other books I’m subscribed to, and I think that it’s differences are its strengths when it comes to winning us over. No spoilers.
            We find our crew investigating what seems to be a ghost town, with the whys and hows of the situation sliding in later. It’s a pretty simple narrative decision, but I think that it did help to keep me wanting to turn the page. A mutant series with light horror elements isn’t something I’m used to reading, so if you’re like me, I think it’s hard not to be interested by the mysteries that this issue provides. It’s a lot like a mash up between X-Men (duh), Scooby-Doo, and… the Goonies. I will say that I think the characters of the team seem to fit some teenage group role clichés a little too well, but that’s not something I can knock writer Matthew Rosenberg for, as far as I can tell. To my untrained eyes, everyone is written well, with unique voices that fit their personality, and each member gets a moment to shine. I’m just glad Rosenberg isn’t getting all, “how do you do, fellow kids?” on us. The stars are written like actual people their age, without shoehorned slang. This is dialogue that feels genuine. Although I must admit, I was hoping for, “What are we? Some kinda the New Mutants: Dead Souls?”
            Whoever’s idea it was to make Adam Gorham the artist deserves a raise. His style isn’t too out there, yet he fits the misfit/outcast nature of the cast exceptionally. The same goes for colorist Michael Garland, who makes even the slowest, most relaxed moments feel naturally tense. The shading he puts on the night sky in any given panel is like the synth-heavy score – the icing on this cake. Also notable is the contrast between the gang hanging out in a normal setting where you’d think they might be “normal” people and them fighting hordes of the undead. This art team is clearly varied in ability and a match perfect for this book.
            Like I said, my knowledge when it comes to the New Mutants is just about nonexistent, so maybe I’m putting my foot in my mouth here, but I think newcomers and fans alike will have a good time jumping into Dead Souls. All around, the art lends itself really well to a solid script that makes for a good pace and threads that you want to follow, while also giving newcomers like myself a good idea of what this team is like. So veteran or not, I’ll say that this is worth checking out, especially for the sliver of diversity that it adds to the list of genres in your Marvel pull.

Our Score:


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