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Comic Book / Muties

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"They're a curse. And someday, they'll get me killed. My parents knew that. That's why they made me leave. I'm tolerated now, out of fear and ignorance, but I'm not stupid. I know it won't last forever. It never does for my kind."

Muties was a 2002 comic-book miniseries from Marvel Comics. Written by Karl Bollers and drawn by a number of artists including Salgood Sam, Dean Haspiel, Trent Kanuiga, Patrick Spaziante, and Charlie Adlard, each issue told the story of a mutant from a different corner of the globe, often living in less-than-ideal situations.

This series provides examples of:

  • Ambiguous Ending: Ankhi's story ends with her detoxing in jail, then meeting with an unknown man who tells her that her powers are far greater than she realizes, while Nata's story ends with her being ganged up on, and it's unclear whether or not she survives.
  • Ambiguously Bi: It's strongly hinted, but never outright said, that Jisa has feelings for Nata. Jisa's only clear romantic relationship in the story is with a man.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Nata is all but stated to be a lesbian.
  • Animesque: The second issue story, Toy Soldiers, being set in Japan, is drawn in a manga-esque style.
  • Art Shift: "The Changeling" shifts back and forth between between different styles, representing Jared's fluctuating emotions as he transforms into a school shooter.
  • Axes at School: Jared brings a gun to school to kill Dunk.
  • Bittersweet Ending: "Toy Soldiers" ends with Seiji's abusive stepfather falling to his death, but crushing Seiji himself, leaving him paralyzed, possibly completely. On the other hand, his mother is safe, and it's implied that he can still live vicariously through his action figures.
  • Blessed with Suck: Liam is capable of creating explosions when under duress. Problem is, he lives in Northern Ireland. There's a lot of people who want to use him for their own ends.
  • Break the Cutie: Prior to meeting Nata, Jisa was kicked out of her home by her parents and then knocked up by her asshole boyfriend.
  • Childhood Friend Romance: In the first issue, Unlucky Jared has a huge crush on his best friend Kate.
  • Child Soldiers: Riek is kidnapped from his school and forced to fight in an Expy of the Lord's Resistance Army.
  • Creator Provincialism: This series was very deliberately set in places other than New York City.
  • Cursed with Awesome: Nearly all of the kids in this series have cool powers, but live in situations where having any powers at all will make their lives worse.
  • Deliberate Values Dissonance: The ending of "The Changeling" implies that Jared's going to jail, but only for the accidental death of Katie, whereas his premeditated murder of Dunk will be treated as "self-defense" because of Dunk being a mutant.
  • The Dog Bites Back: A frequent occurrence in this series. Most of the protagonists are kids in very unhappy situations. When they discover their powers, it usually occurs to them to use those powers for revenge.
  • Downer Ending: "Arrested Development" ends with Riek overexerting himself and suffering a heart attack, and "The Patriot Game" ends with Liam possibly getting euthanized, until he Miraculously shows up in X-Men: Legacy
  • Expy: The Reverend is an obvious Expy for Lord's Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony.
  • Fantastic Racism: This being a series tangentially related to X-Men, there is naturally prejudice towards mutants. In "Toy Soldiers" and "Third Eye Blind", there are references to government-sponsored efforts to control mutants, while in "Love, Jisa", Nata says she's only tolerated because people are afraid of her. In "Changeling", Jared becomes a local hero because his selfish rampage killed a mutant.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: Seiji only uses telekinetic powers on toys. But he has a whole army of toys.
  • Jerk Jock: Dunk from The Changeling is the classic school bully wearing a sports jacket who torments the mild mannered nerd Jared. Until Jared snaps.
  • Karma Houdini: The ending of "The Changeling" implies that, despite murdering several people in cold blood, Jared's only going to be charged with manslaughter, because the only kid he intentionally shot was a mutant.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Jared attempts this in "The Changeling". It backfires terribly.
  • Power Incontinence: Liam has very little control over his powers, which enable him to create explosions.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: A frequent occurrence with this series:
    • In "Changeling", Jared shoots up his school.
    • In "Toy Soldiers", Seiji unleashes his toys at his stepfather.
    • In "Arrested Development", Riek slows down time to kill the Reverend and his men.
  • Start of Darkness: In the first issue, Jared kills his nemesis and his childhood best friend, but everyone sees him as a hero because his nemesis turned out to be a mutant...
  • Super-Toughness: Nata powers.
  • Third Eye: Ankhi has one, and it is pretty dangerous.
  • Time Stands Still: Riek's powers allow him to slow down time. At the end of his story, he manages to stop time completely, but this also ends up killing him.
  • Tranquil Fury: Riek is very calm as he carries out his revenge against the Reverend. And sweet merciful Jesus, is it frightening.
  • Tyke Bomb: Riek in the fourth issue, and Liam (quite literally) in the last issue.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Jared's narration makes it sound like he's a mutant. He's actually an anti-mutant bigot. And a school shooter.
  • Very Special Episode: Some might call the entire series a very special episode. For an added bonus, some of the issues had installments of the Spider-Man and Jay Leno anti-drug miniseries included in them.
  • Villain Protagonist: Jared turns out to be the villain of "Changeling".