Next up chronologically in my X-Men reading project is Cable and the New Mutants. I grabbed the collection pictured above (ISBN 0-97135-937-5). It’s 276 full-color pages and collects New Mutants #87-91, 93 & 94.
There is a lot to make note of in this particular printing. The book itself is beautifully bound, with a high quality cover and foil printing (the lettering and purple behind Cable both being reflective), and the pages are nice and thick. Interestingly, for the cover of each issue, the publisher decided to go with a matching color scheme (pictured below).While I appreciated the cool theme they had going on, the sort of negative black and white of the cover art made the covers a bit hard to see. This would have been remedied by including a full-color cover gallery at the back of the book, but sadly, this wasn’t included.
The next point, and the biggest issue I had with this printing, was the lettering. While I’m sure everything was well printed originally, in this collection there are multiple times when you’ll find words missing, replaced by blank spaces. Also there were several places where an asterisk would denote a footnote, only to have the comment or reference missing entirely. It’s a shame – despite the nice physical printing, something seems to have gone awry with parts of the text. It’s not enough to spoil the story, but surprising coming from a big company like Marvel, even in 1992. (This same problem is also an issue with the X-tinction Agenda collection I read and will be reviewing soon.)
As for the story, this takes place between the big storylines Inferno and X-tinction Agenda. I had originally skipped over these stories, but found that there had been some big changes with the New Mutants between those stories – namely that Magneto had stopped leading the New Mutants, having been replaced by Cable. So, I was hoping to gain some insight into all of that. I was a little disappointed to find that this collection doesn’t include Magneto’s departure. It does have the early adventures of the group that would eventually go on to become X-Force, however.
If you’re a big X-Force and/or Cable fan and haven’t read these stories, you’ll enjoy catching up, but over all I wouldn’t say that they contain anything major or essential if you’re just reading the major storylines like I am.
This is a point in the stories where, for me personally, they don’t quite live up to the legendary tales of those before. They do lead up to some major storylines, however, including X-tinction Agenda, Endgame, and The Muir Island Saga. Again, not neccessary reading unless you’re a big fan of the New Mutants and Cable.