Jonathan Hickman’s reboot of the X-Men has certainly broken new ground with its bold new direction, but new sales data reveals another unexpected development: the recently relaunched New Mutants, also written by Hickman, is the top-selling book of November.
The New Mutants first debuted in their eponymous series in 1982, created by Chris Claremont and Bob McLeod. The team consisted of teenaged mutants studying at Professor Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters and included the likes of Cannonball, Karma, Mirage, Sunspot, and Wolfsbane. The team has since gone through multiple iterations, with characters such as Cable and Domino joining the ranks, amongst many others. Deadpool made his first appearance in The New Mutants #98. The team is also set to be the focus of an upcoming feature film, currently set for April 3rd, 2020 release. But in the comics, they’re off to an unqualified success.
According to Diamond Comic Distributors (via CBR), the relaunch of The New Mutants even outsold Hickman’s main X-Men #2 book, which took the number two spot on the list. Absolute Carnage ranked third, while two other X-Titles — X-Force and Fallen Angels — ranked fourth and fifth respectively. A persistent fan-favorite, The New Mutants have enjoyed strong sales in the past, particularly during Rob Liefeld’s tenure on the title, but it is surprising to see the book surpass even the main X-Men title amid Hickman’s own momentous reboot.
The New Mutants sees the return of the original line-up as the team travels to deep space for a mission. Abandoned by their allies the Starjammers, the New Mutants wind up soon find themselves in over their head lightyears away from home. Now the team has to contend with the alien authorities the Shi’ar, and consequences of a mission gone off the rails.
The book has been praised for its lighter tone in comparison to the rest of the X-Titles, which might have contributed to sales boost. Unlike X-Men, X-Force and Fallen Angels, The New Mutants moves the action away from Krakoa, the mutant’s current utopia, and instead focuses on swashbuckling adventures amid a team of literal space pirates – at least until said pirates sell them out. The book also finds fun quirks within its own cast, most notably with Magik’s newfound love of all things involving coffee.
All of these factors paint a picture of a sense of fun and adventure many fans have been longing for in the X-Men books – and comics in general – for years. If The New Mutants can deliver on these goods alone, it could be a juggernaut in the sales for months to come.
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