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Ed Brisson takes the New Mutants into realities unknown
Between a semi-disastrous adventure in Shi'ar space with the Starjammers and dealing with Kraken drug cartels in Nebraska, the New Mutants could use a win. But, according to Marvel Comics writer Ed Brisson, fans shouldn't hold their breath. Brisson and writer Jonathan Hickman collaborated on New Mutants #1 when it launched late last year, but have since split duties penning the book, with each focusing on separate iterations of the team.
"Collaborating on the first issue was interesting," Brisson told SYFY WIRE this week. "Jonathan and I are very much different writers and so there was a lot of push and pull. I think this is a good thing and the book is definitely better for it."
Through seven issues, Hickman has explored the new normal as classic characters like Sunspot, Wolfsbane, Danielle Moonstar, Magik, and Chamber reconnected with Cannonball against the backdrop of a larger space drama. Meanwhile, Brisson has kept his focus closer to Krakoa, on characters like Sage, Boom-Boom, Armor, and Glob, and dealt with the fallout from the new nation's creation. According to Brisson, both stories were always meant to dovetail into one another.
Moving forward, Brisson told SYFY WIRE, New Mutants will focus on the repercussions for what's happened up until this point. This week, he spoke about teaming up with artist Flaviano for issues #8 and #9, what he loved about reading New Mutants growing up and what kind of reality-warping challenges are in store for the team.
Can you walk me through how you ended up on New Mutants in the first place? Did you pitch, were you picked, did you volunteer?
I wish there was a more exciting story behind it, but it was simply a case of Jonathan Hickman sending me a message, asking if I'd be interested in writing it. Of course, I jumped at the chance.
Can you talk about your research for this project? Did you revisit certain arcs, did you discover any stories you'd missed out on, etc.
I reread every New Mutants. Growing up, I was a huge New Mutants fan. I liked the idea of being on the ground floor of a new team and so just devoured their books. There is plenty that I'd forgotten and much that I'll be bringing into the series going forward, but to tell what would be spoiling.
Can you talk about working with Flaviano for these upcoming issues on New Mutants?
I wasn't familiar with Flaviano's work before he came on board for New Mutants #3, but have since come to love it. I hate comparing one artist to another, but to me, there's something about Flaviano's work that reminds me of Igor Kordey working at his peak. There's always something a little unnerving about his work and so I've been trying to lean into it as we progress through these stories that we're telling.
The New Mutants are no strangers to psychedelic horror and it seems like they may be headed for more. Could you tease a little bit of what's in store in Issues #10 and #11?
Starting in New Mutants #9, we're going to be introduced to a mutant who is rewriting the world around her with her nightmares. This is going to strike Dani particularly, due to her own experience with conjuring people's darkest fears.
We're really leaning into Flaviano's gift of creating nightmares on paper here. The way that he's designed this character and crafted her world is absolutely something to behold. They're some of the most beautiful, yet creepy, pages I've seen in a long time.
Anyhow, the New Mutants have to go to Carnelia, a country that doesn't recognize Krakoa as a sovereign nation, to deal with this potential threat and everything immediately and catastrophically goes wrong. This mutant is more dangerous than they may have considered and the country perceives the New Mutants as threats who've possibly staged this situation in order to force them to recognize Krakoa as a sovereign nation.
Which of the New Mutants are your favorites to write and why?
At present, I'm having a ton of fun writing Boom-Boom. I think she often has her own agenda and doesn't have as much patience as the rest of the team and so is harder to predict. She's an incredibly cathartic character to write, so I'll usually save her dialogue for when I'm feeling a little punchy and just go to town.
Where do you think the New Mutants fall in the Dawn of X? Of course, they're part of the larger Krakoan community but what's your take on their role in this new society?
I see them as not necessarily having a defined role, but instead trying to find out what their role is in this new society. Like any young person, you're still discovering who you are. Your friends are the most important people to you and you want to be with them and go on this journey together.
Also, they're young enough to remember what it was like to discover they were mutants, to feel alone, and they don't want anyone else to feel isolated like they did, so they're going to continue to act as a bit of a welcoming committee for new mutants in the world. We've seen it in the series already and will see it moving forward. But, you know what they say: No good deed goes unpunished, and a punishment is coming.