New Mutants Just Did Something Great
Last week’s issue of New Mutants did something truly spectacular, something long overdue and something even the characters recognized as necessary. They gave No-Girl her body back.
This is a really awesome development and is exactly the sort of change I want to see being made in the Krakoa Era. X-Men comics cannot be business as usual anymore. A lot of them still are, but I am so glad Marvel and the creative team behind New Mutants have actually fixed some fixable problems. I haven’t been reading this comic as much as I used to, mostly just following it’s developments from a distance. And this is one I want to celebrate as being the right thing to do.
Join me after the jump for a full breakdown of what has happened and why it’s awesome.
So basically, Martha Johansson is a mutant telepath who was kidnapped by some evil human bad guys, who then pulled her brain out of her body and turned her into a living brain weapon. The X-Men saved Martha and she joined the school. This all happened under the pen of Grant Morrison when they were writing the X-Men, and No-Girl easily fit into their weird ideas.
No-Girl has been part of the greater X-Men family for about two decades now. But here’s the thing: why has she been stuck as a floating brain in a jar?
Obviously, there is an argument to be made that mutants should embrace their mutations, even if they don’t look like “normal” people anymore. But being just a brain is not Martha’s mutation. This is not her power. The bad guys took her body and pulled the brain out of her head to turn her into a weapon. She was violated in a grotesquely inhumane way. And the X-Men kept her like that for years.
To make matters worse, her mutant codename was “No-Girl”. Her codename is literally mocking her trauma.
This is the Marvel Universe. This is the X-Men. It should be well within the power of a dozen different beings or inventors to figure out a way to undo the brutality visited upon her by the bad guys. Especially now that everybody’s living on Krakoa, where mutant resurrection is a major story element. Surely if mutants can be killed and then simply reborn in new bodies, something could be done for Martha?
And this past week, something was! The creative team behind New Mutants has been exploring a lot of these concepts in depths for months now. And on the verge of some moving and shaking in the X-Men comics, they have actually gone through with a major character development. There was no reason to keep Martha as a brain. It was a neat look and definitely fit in with comic book weirdness, but it made no humane sense.
So why is this cool? Because these are the sorts of big character moves that Marvel should be making in the Krakoa Era of the X-Men. This era is supposed to be big and new and cool, full of crazy and awesome ideas. Mutant resurrection? It’s insanely cool…but it’s also been weirdly stifled, in my opinion. The main X-Men comics haven’t really explored some of the more finer details about this topic, but there are some major character points that need to be made.
Like…does Wolverine really get a new Adamantium skeleton every time he’s resurrected? That appears to be the case, as we’ve seen some bad guys collecting these leftover skeletons after he dies. Have any stories explored whether or not Wolverine actually wants the Adamantium skeleton?
What about Cyclops? He famously cannot control his optic blasts, but that is because of some head trauma he suffered as a child. Technically speaking, he should be able to control his optic blasts. So why is that head trauma not fixed every time he is resurrected into a new body?
These questions have not been addressed, but I think they should. Krakoa should involve big character changes and forward growth. I realize comic books want to always maintain the status quo, but something as big as Krakoa should have big change.
Thankfully, we can get that sort of change with Martha Johansson. Long live Cerebella!