6: The New Mutant Women
Who Are They?
The New Mutants were the second generation of X-Men to be created, after Cyclops and Beast and all those people. The women, in particular, have been a part of X-Men history for a long time. The ones I’m focusing on here are:
- Wolfsbane - Rahne Sinclair, who is essentially a werewolf
- Mirage - Dani Moonstar, who used to have powers but has since lost them.
- Karma – Xi’an Coy Manh, who can possess other people.
- Magik – Illyana Rasputin, who was a mystic
- Magma – Amara Aquila, who controls, surprise, magma
These five women all joined, at one point or another, the ‘New Mutant’ group, and went off on adventures which only rarely intertwined with those of the X-Men. They all keep busy, with Wolfsbane, Dani, Karma and Magma all working as advisors and teachers for the new new new generation of mutants and Magik being… well dead, actually. But she came back recently. Rahne left the mansion after dating a student for a while, and since became a private detective and now works with a secret team of X-Men used for assassination missions. As a strongly religious woman, that sure does cause some problems. I won’t focus on anything specific here, but they’re a very diverse set of women (Karma is a Vietnamese lesbian, for example, while Illyana is the sister of Piotr Rasputin – Colossus, the guy who turns into metal – and travels into hell from time to time). Here they are:
You can see in the picture, going clockwise from top left: Illyana, Dani Moonstar, Karma, Magma, and Wolfsbane.
Why Are They Important?
They’re important because they are all strong women. The X-Men have never been short of strong female characters, but the New Mutants are different because their characters started out as teenagers and have over time reached their mid-twenties. They’ve been assigned many different things, but have always been defined by their strength and friendship with each other. It’s little things like seeing these character maintain their friendships that rewards fans of the X-Men, and keeps the whole series feeling, as far as possible, realistic. When Dani got a job working as an advisor for the new kids, she didn’t hesitate to invite Wolfsbane and Karma to help her with the job, and later she asked Magma to come along too. They’re all strictly B-List characters, but you’ll be hard-pushed to find any comics series which can give you such strongly-defined, humanised B-Listers.