Your Home for Toy News and Action Figure Discussion!

Legendary Focus: New Mutants

Hey kids, do you like Mutants? More specifically, do you like New Mutants? Well, buckle in, because today’s All-Star Guest Contributor and Faithful Fwoosh Fanatic H-bird is going to tell you and the folks at Hasbro exactly why the rest of the New Mutants need to be immortalized in plastic. Take it away, H-bird!


The latest Marvel Legends X-Men wave is so full of goodness I can barely wrap my head around it — and the collective hundreds of pages of discussion surrounding all things X-related in the forum tells me I’m not the only collector who feels that way. Though I’ve yet to actually get my hands on the figures (only been spotted at Target so far, banned for life — not important now) I’ve gawked at enough pictures to know that the magic is real. After years of waiting, Shatterstar! Polaris! Sunfire! Dazzler, and she’s disco-style?! I’ve been pulling for these characters to get made since I started collecting in the pre-Hasbro days and I’m thrilled at how they’ve turned out. But oh-so-typical of the way Hasbro has been killing it of late, nestled among all these figures I’ve wanted for so long is a surprise gem that has really piqued my interest. A character I never once put on a wish list — not because I didn’t want him, but because I figured the likelihood of seeing him made was close to nil, and his teammates were right there with him in obscurityland. Well apparently I was wrong, and the Warlock BAF is a dream of a figure! Warlock’s amazing representation in plastic combined with the news of a New Mutants movie next year has rekindled my desire for the original generation of young mutants that helped define an era of the X-Men and would eventually grow to occupy critical parts of the Marvel U. So let’s talk about the team that was the first to call themselves the “New Mutants”!The first iteration of the New Mutants is a vital part of the X-Men canon that ran from 1983 until 1991 when it was relaunched and rebranded as “X-Force.” First brought together by Professor Xavier when he believed the X-Men killed after being abducted by the Brood, the New Mutants would be active during the return of the X-Men, the defection of Rogue from the Brotherhood, the Mutant Massacre, Magneto’s reformation and leadership of the school, the formation of X-Factor and Excalibur, and the Outback Era, lasting aaaaall the way until the relaunch and expansion of the X-Universe heralded by X-Men #1. The OG New Mutants are the real second class of actual students at Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters (honestly, when did you ever see Wolverine and Sunfire attending classes?) and deserve to be represented in plastic.Like the very first class of recruits at Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, the original New Mutants were a class of five. The composition of this team, however, followed the precedent established in Giant-Size X-Men #1 — and all the better for it. Mutants are a worldwide phenomenon, after all, and the new class of students came from all over the globe. Karma, Wolfsbane, Cannonball, Moonstar (or Psyche or Mirage, if you like) and Sunspot comprised the original class — an atypical superhero team mix of three gals and two guys hailing from Vietnam, Scotland, Kentucky, the Cheyenne nation by way of Colorado, and Brazil. The new class once again broadened the scope of the mutant issue in the comics by bringing in characters from a diversity of backgrounds that would provide fertile ground to explore the themes of prejudice, society and group identity that have always been at the heart of the X-Universe.

As the title developed, the original five would quickly be joined by Magik, Cypher, Magma, and Warlock — a Russian, an American, a Roman by way of a hidden colony in the Amazon rainforest dating back to the Roman Empire (yep!), and a member of the alien Technarchy. How’s THAT for diversity?The beauty of the team is that while they all wear the classic Xavier school uniform (except Warlock, cause robots don’t need pants), every character has a unique spin on the costume or a power set that distinguishes them from their classmates. The result is a loosely uniformed team look that I’ve always found quite appealing and distinct from most superhero teams. With the glut of really sharp looking base bodies that have come out in the last few years, almost every character could mostly be accomplished with existing tools and clever reuse. A few years ago this would have been tough, but the advent of the male and female teen bodies, as well as a few other helpful bucks, means that most of the right pieces are already there.

Cannonball:Figure-wise, Sam Guthrie is a breeze. Tall, lanky and about as stereotypical of an aw-shucks hillbilly as you could ask for, the Pizza Spidey buck would suit him just fine. The real beauty of the figure would be a base type accessory that would simulate his blasting power — a rocket blast with an exhaust trail attached to it which you could slip around his waist would just look so totally badass as a display piece, and have plenty of potential for reuse down the line

Moonstar & Magma: Dani Moonstar and Amara Aquilla would both be perfectly comfortable on the Phoenix or Silk bodies – taller than the younger girls on the team but still relatively slight of frame. Magma’s appeal as a figure is self-evident — a female Human Torch from a hidden Roman city in modern-day Brazil (again, yep), give her a sweet paint job and some flame accessories and you’ve got yourself a great figure. Moonstar’s appeal as a toy is less obvious, but she actually has my personal favorite costume of the bunch! The added flourishes to her uniform (that initially earned her a rebuke from the stodgy old Professor X) are an appeal to her Cheyenne heritage and really distinguish her as an individual that is part of a team. Throw in a bow and arrow and a quiver — signature weapons for Dani throughout her career — and you’d have one very cool-looking toy.

Karma & Magik:Xi’an and Illyana here could be accomplished as a single packed figure with a handful of swap parts — start with the Spider-Girl/teen girl buck, throw in separate heads for each of them, add a swap-out armored left arm (a la Nico) and the Soulsword for Magik to wield and voilà! For bonus points throw in a psychic halo effect that simulates Karma taking possession of someone’s mind. Simple, elegant, and dare I say brilliant? FYI, Hasbro, I am available for consultations on future Marvel Legends plan. Contact my people.

Sunspot & Cypher:

Sunspot has one of the best powered-up looks of any mutant in the X-Verse and that is exactly how his figure should come. I love the counterintuitiveness of it — he absorbs and manifests solar energy but rather than glow like the sun his body becomes pitch black and crackles with energy. Sunspot’s power in action looks like the physical embodiment of how your vision gets all spotty after staring at the sun for too long! The Ultimate Spider-Man body works perfectly for Roberto — no new parts needed besides an appropriate head sculpt. The effect might be difficult to translate to plastic, but detachable flame effects on the body (like the upcoming Human Torch looks to have) that fade from black to the yellow sunspotty effect on the ends would look really, really sharp. Doug Ramsey is also a super easy repaint — same teen buck with a new head, throw an overlay on there for the boots. And, hey, if they’re going to go to all that trouble, they might as well throw in a depowered Roberto Dacosta head while they’re at it! Two-for-one!


Ah, Rahne. Poor, sweet, innocent, oftentimes incredibly annoying Rahne. Ms. Sinclair has three looks that she wears regularly: typical Scots-next-door redhead, half-lupine/half-woman, and full-on wolf. Personally I think Wolfsbane is best depicted in that middle stage — still recognizably human but half-transformed into her bestial state, perfectly depicted in the Alex Ross painting at the top of the article. A normal Rahne head in the aforementioned Karma/Magik pack would be a great addition to get the normal uniformed look, but the full glory of Wolfsbane can likely only come with a new figure. Teen wolf her up and give us two heads — one full-on feral with hair that puts Wolverine to shame and the other resting, calm, and tortured with all that Catholic guilt.And that, in a nutshell, is how you do the New Mutants in Marvel Legends! That was so easy, I don’t know why Hasbro acts like its so hard. Listen, I know this particular corner of the Marvel U isn’t to everyone’s tastes, and that’s totally fine. Every single one of these characters would eventually go on to new teams and stories, through various iterations of the X-Force(s) and -Factor(s), to leading the hordes of the underworld, teaching even Newer Mutants, or fighting against the Phalanx alongside Nova and the Guardians of the Galaxy. Cannonball and Sunspot joined the Avengers, for chrissakes! Every character here has made a rich contribution to the Marvel Universe — and the New Mutants is where it all started. With a movie coming out next year and Legends going full-tilt with no signs of slowing down, there will never be a better opportunity to see the New Mutants immortalized with the Marvel Legends treatment!