The New Mutants

Marvel has become renowned for its colourful films, hilarious banter, and muscular men in small buggies. And although we’ve traded buggies for taxis in Deadpool, it was Logan from 20th Century Fox that allowed heroes to take new a direction with more cinematic maturity.

Now, 20th Century Fox is at it again and it’s changing up the superhero genre with its 2018 film X-men: The New Mutants.

The trailer is brilliantly chilling and holds a strong cast from Netflix original shows and big budget films. And while looking at the list of characters yet to be released, I can’t help but feel a surge of joy.

So, let’s start with the comic book history of the scientist.

Alice Braga who play Frey in Elysium will be portraying Dr Cecilia Reyes. From the comics, Reyes is a trauma surgery specialist, and a mutant that can project a force field around herself and others. But if you wanted to get technical, the character describes it as a ‘psioplasmic bio-field’. However by the looks of the claw marks on her face part way through the trailer, she’s either too slow to react to her attacker (quite possibly Wolfsbane) or not a mutant in this film. In the comics, Reyes also has no interest in being a hero and just wants to live a normal life.

Although her history shows she has been a great help to mutants, I can’t help but get a similar vibe from her as I did from Dr Kavita Rao in X-men: The Last Stand. Maybe it’s the white coat, maybe it’s the awesome accent. Either way, I loved her association between young mutants and baby rattlesnakes.

Blue Hunt, having been a part of The Originals cast, plays Danielle Moonstar (aka Mirage) and is the first mutant we see in this trailer. Mirage is a Native American mutant who has a short role in the animated series X-men: Evolution. In the episode Ghost of a Chance from season 4, she creates a telepathic connection with Kitty Pryde in search of rescue.

Originally, Moonstar had the name Psyche, a name that closely related to her abilities. Her mutation allowed her to telepathically create illusions of her opponents fears or wishes. The hospital-like-institute we find the team in for this trailer is crawling with so many terrifying images that I can’t help but wonder if it’s really haunted, or if her powers are unwittingly creating these nightmares.

Sunspot, played by Henry Zaga from 13 Reasons Why, had the greatest show of power in this trailer. Remember the explosion of fire from the dryer? No, not the one I made last week. If that explosion wasn’t Sunspot, aka Roberto de Costa, I’ll eat my hat.

Sunspot is another mutant you can find on the X-men: Evolution television series. His mutations allow him to absorb and channel solar power for super strength and durability. Beyond this, his comic book persona has grown to have the ability to release concussive blasts of solar energy. But it’s the physical representation of his mutation that will be the most intriguing within this film. Sunspot can, at will, change his appearance to a nonreflective black with only his eyes being solid white. This appearance will certainly terrify his teammates in the seemingly haunted institute.

Charlie Heaton, a familiar face from the Netflix hit show Stranger Things, will be playing Sam Guthrie, aka Cannonball. This mutation allows Guthrie to fly at jet speeds while encased in an impenetrable force field. But by the looks of the sling he has in the trailer, he’s yet to perfect his landings.

He can also be found in the later seasons of X-men Evolution, and in the comics he serves as an X-Force field leader and second in command.

It’s Maisie Williams’ character that intrigues me the most. Her character is Rahne Sinclair, a young mutant from Scotland who finds she can turn into a wolf. From this, she takes on the title Wolfsbane.

The most interesting aspect of her character are her religious beliefs and how she’s trying to hold onto faith while also being a part of the next step of evolution. Her religious upbringing, which had been abusive, and faith often made her uncomfortable while dealing with her sorceress teammate Magik. No doubt this religious belief will cause a deeper set fear for what she faces in The New Mutants.

Possibly bringing that unease from the comics to the big screen is Magik herself. Portrayed by Anya Taylor-Joy from Split, Magik has power beyond her mutation. Born Illyana Nikolievna Rasputina and the younger sister of the hulking X-Man Colossus, Magik has the ability to teleport through time and space. In the comic book New Mutants: Truth or Death, which is one of my favourite runs, she teleports the whole new mutant team, including Cannonball, Wolfsbane, Mirage, and Sunspot, to the future.

Beyond teleportation, in the comics Magik has the power of sorcery. There are location limitations to this ability that overlap with her teleportation, which would be quite a lengthy discussion here. However, when simplified, Magik has the power of astral projection, sensing mystical presences, scrying (a type of clairvoyance), and simple spells while she is on Earth. She even went under Dr Strange’s tutorage to create stronger magic.

The stakes are high, and these young mutants’ powers are going to be out of control. The combination of all these abilities are certainly going to create a terrifying environment. To the untrained eye, these kids are going to look like two witches, a werewolf, a demon, and a just plain destructive force. And I believe, at first, that’s how these kids are going to see each other.

X-men: The New Mutants is set to be released in the United States on April 13th, 2018. It looks to go beyond anything I’ve seen from the superhero genre, and it might actually get me into the cinemas to watch a horror.

Otherwise, I’ll be buying this on DVD to watch at home on a sunny day.

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