The New Mutants is the first major spin-off of the popular X-Men franchise published by Marvel Comics. To date there have been four ongoing series, three of which have featured the same team as main characters.
For the movie of the same name based on the team, see here.
The first team of "New Mutants" was created by Chris Claremont, the long-time writer of Uncanny X-Men, and artist Bob McLeod. They first appeared in 1982's Marvel Graphic Novel #4 and subsequently featuring in their own ongoing series from 1983 until 1991.
As their name suggested, they were a new generation of teenage mutants at the Xavier School being taught by Professor X to control and develop their superpowers. They originally took inspiration from the original five X-Men as a team of five teenagers with matching uniforms, but were also multi-ethnic and international as the modern X-Men had been since 1975. They consisted of:
- Karma (Xi'an Coy Manh) She possesses people. Refugee from Vietnam. Originated in an earlier story from "Marvel Team-Up" written by Claremont.
- Mirage (Danielle Moonstar) Originally called Psyche, she can create projections of a person's greatest fear or greatest desire. Cheyenne, from Colorado.
- Cannonball (Sam Guthrie) Can blast off and fly like a rocket, and (as he frequently says) is nigh-invulnerable when blasting. White American, hailing from a poor coal-mining town in rural Kentucky.
- Sunspot (Roberto da Costa) Super-strong but not invulnerable, powered by sunlight. From a very wealthy Brazilian family, with a black father and white mother.
- Wolfsbane (Rahne Sinclair) Can turn into a wolf, as well as into a transitional form halfway between wolf and human. Raised in a very strictly religious upbringing in Scotland.
Although Professor X doesn't intend the New Mutants to be a team of superheroes at all, but instead a training team only, the main characters ended up getting caught up in dangerous adventures regardless. The book highlighted interpersonal drama as well as action and adventure, and soon expanded into a large ensemble cast. Karma was soon written out of the series and several new main characters were introduced:
- Magma (Amara Aquilla) Controls lava. From Nova Roma, a Lost Colony of the Roman Republic in the heart of the Amazon rainforest.
- Magik (Illyana Rasputin) Originally introduced in Uncanny X-Men as Colossus's little sister, was lost in the hell dimension of Limbo for six years in a case of Year Inside, Hour Outside and emerged as a teenage demon sorceress. Can create teleportation portals through space and time, travelling via Limbo, and also has a magic "Soulsword" that can cuts through magical influences and creatures. Became the series' Ensemble Dark Horse.
- Cypher (Doug Ramsey) Able to speak and understand any language. Introduced as a local boy who was friends with Kitty Pryde from the X-Men.
- Warlock A shape-shifting techno-organic alien. He actually is a mutant as well: coming from a species of remorseless killers, his mutation is that he has a sense of empathy and just wants to make friends.
Various stories include the team confronting Dani's fearsome foe the Demon Bear, a confrontation in Nova Roma with the ancient sorceress Selene, a rivalry with the Hellions (a Rival School formed by X-adversary Emma Frost), Karma's reappearance under the possession of the Shadow King, the team's death and resurrection at the hands of the godlike being the Beyonder, and a confrontation with Warlock's evil father the Magus. Professor X left the school due to events in Uncanny X-Men and was replaced as Headmaster by former nemesis turned ally Magneto. Chris Claremont left the series with issue #54, at which time Karma also left the team again.
Louise Simonson took over as the new writer with issue #55, with her run seeing the characters initially seem to regress in age and maturity; however, her run soon took a dark turn with the death of Cypher. Magma left the team around this time as well. Gosamyr, an alien Charm Person, was added to the team shortly afterwards but written out just as quickly. Four new team members were added in the Inferno crossover, all of whom had been recurring characters in X-Factor and had starred in the miniseries X-Terminators (both also written by Simonson):
- Rictor (Julio Esteban Richter) Generates earthquakes and other seismic waves.
- Boom-Boom (Tabitha Smith) Creates exploding balls of energy which she calls "time-bombs".
- Rusty Collins Pyrokinetic. Technically has the codename Firefist but almost never uses it.
- Skids (Sally Blevins) Generates forcefields.
Around the same time, the team broke from Magneto after he made a FaceHeel Turn. Most of the team subsequently became caught up in a long adventure in Asgard, although Rusty and Skids remained on Earth.
Rob Liefeld came aboard as the series' new artist with issue #86 and shot some new energy into the book, as his creative energies would quickly overwhelm the pages there was nothing else like him at the time, and his extreme linework, flashy cyborgs and armoured characters were very unique in the era before the Iron Age Of Comics. The cyborg character named Cable was soon introduced as a new mentor figure for the team, preaching a more militaristic and extreme approach to heroics; Mirage remained behind in Asgard, while Rusty and Skids were brainwashed by the new villain team known as the Mutant Liberation Front.
Louise Simonson's run as writer ended with the crossover X-Tinction Agenda, which saw the death of Warlock and the departure of Wolfsbane to join X-Factor. Rob Liefeld took over plotting duties for the book as of issue #98, with Fabian Nicieza scripting the dialogue. Over the course of those final three issues, Liefeld set about transforming the book into the much more edgy and gritty X-Force, dropping Sunspot and Rictor from the team while adding ex-Hellion member Warpath as well as his original creations of Domino, Shatterstar and Feral. New Mutants ended with issue #100, and X-Force began with issue #1 four months later. For more on that series, see its own page.
New Mutants Vol. 2
The second New Mutants series, launched in 2003 and written by Nunzio DeFilippis and Christina Weir, featured another group of teenaged mutants - air-controlling Wind Dancer, skill-copying Prodigy, super-fast energetic Surge, healer Elixir, emotion-controlling Wallflower, and flying Icarus - but unlike the original New Mutants, they were only part of a huge cast of students at the Xavier Institute. At first they were notable for their drive to become superheroes, but soon rival groups played a large role in the series. Mirage and Wolfsbane of the original New Mutants had become teachers at Xavier's Institute and had problems coming to terms with the fact they were now the "old guard in the eyes of the new generation. In 2004 the comic was relaunched as New X-Men: Academy X for all tropes relating to this incarnation of the team, see that page.
New Mutants Vol. 3
The third New Mutants series written by Zeb Wells, reuniting most of the original team, launched in May of 2009. This new series incorporated a few elements from both New X-Men and the limited series X-Infernus, beginning with the return of Magik and the New Mutants being reassigned to help her blend back into mutant community. This was problematic, considering that, after their last two encounters, the youngest generation of X-Men hated her guts. The team roster quickly expanded with addition of Warlock and return of Cypher. After his defeat at their hand, Legion became their supporting character and unofficial member of the team. The series has been focusing on a larger Myth Arc about upcoming threat from Limbo, with occasional tie-ins to various X-overs and one guest-written tie in to Siege.
After Wells' departure, this series was taken first by Mike Carey, as a part of his Age Of X storyline, during which he introduced an alternate reality with a much darker history which was later revealed to be a Lotus-Eater Machine all present had been dragged into by one of Legion's personalities, and later by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning. In face of all their accomplishments Cyclops decided to not disband the team (despite three members leaving as Karma lost a leg, Cannonball was traumatized by events from Wells and Carey's runs and Magik had to be restrained after she manipulated her friends and almost got them killed for personal vendetta) and to make their new mission taking care of all the loose ends that remained unresolved after the threats the X-Men faced and making sure they won't come to haunt them again (in other words, he made them a less lethal and more moral version of the third X-Force). This started with the retrieval of Nate Grey, who'd been trapped in the Omega Machine since his encounter with Norman Osborn and was being tortured/used to open portals by Sugar Man. He was rescued, but underwent a significant De-Power that chopped his formerly near cosmic levels of power back to 'residual telekinesis'. Lacking other options, he joined the team. This volume lasted until issue 50 where it was cancelled. Much of the team subsequently became cast members in other series as of the "Marvel NOW!" relaunch.
New Mutants Vol. 4
For more on this series, see New Mutants (2019)
The series contains examples of:
- '80s Hair: Lila Cheney and Gosamyr...dear God, Gosamyr...
- '90s Anti-Hero: X-Force was the signature team for this before Youngblood. Somehow, X-Force actually managed to survive.
- Aborted Arc:
- Towards the end of the 1980s, Louise Simonson was building up a plotline involving Selene and the Hellfire Club having dark plans for Magma, plans that ultimately got dropped after the "Inferno" arc.
- The Externals was another famous aborted arc that got shut down once the thread ran too long and the writers wanted to go in a different direction (this was done so quickly and clumsily that many to this day believe it was due to a threat of lawsuits from the Highlander people for ripping them off) — most Externals were quickly killed off, and Cannonball was Retconned into not being onenote .
- Aborted Declaration of Love: In the original series, Dani 'Mirage' Moonstar is comforting gal-pal Rahne 'Wolfsbane' Sinclair on a clifftop in Scotland; 'he's an old man, filled up with hate; without you those people would be dead. You're not alone. Moira loves you; and I' 'I know' says Rahne. 'but that doesn't make me ache any the less.' A follow-up 20 years later is also aborted by a simple interruption.
- Academy of Evil: The Massachusetts Academy a front for the Hellfire Club that produced the Hellions, rivals to the New Mutants, taught by Emma Frost.
- Animal-Themed Superbeing: Wolfsbane and Catseye.
- Apocalypse Maiden: Magik. Belasco planned to user her as the portal to let his masters, the Elder Gods, into Earth, whereupon fun will most definitely not ensue.
- Arc Words: The "Highlord Ascension" got tossed around a lot in the early years of X-Force.
- Artifact Title: Though later incarnations establish that the group is officially an X-Men team, the book is still called "New Mutants" decades after the team was first introduced.
- Bad Future: Illyanna could teleport in time as well in space. When she botched it, she often visited one of these by accident. The third series even begins by her coming to save Dani and Shan from a Bad Future we never see.
- Beauty Equals Goodness: In issue number 47 (entitled "My Heart for the Highlands"), several of the team find themselves in 14th century Scotland and fight on behalf of Robert the Bruce. Afterward, Doug Ramsey has a question, and the answer implies this trope:Doug: Pardon my asking sir, but—Aren't you afraid of us? We pop up out of nowhere, wielding fantastic powers. You've only our word that we're not demons or worse.Robert the Bruce: True Douglas—But any hadesspawn able to assume so young an innocent, an' noble a seeming deserves our respect rather than our fear—for that demon has become more human than most men.
- Becoming the Mask: Copycat was sent into the team while impersonating Domino so that she could help Deadpool and Toliver kill the team. But they didn't count on Copycat losing herself in the "role" she was playing, leading to her turning against Deadpool and Toliver and rescuing the real Domino.
- Big Bad: Selene and Emma Frost.
- Black Magician Girl: Magik.
- The Blank: Zero.
- Braids, Beads and Buckskins: Dani and Warpath are this in spades, though it does get toned down to less offensive levels over time and in Dani's case is somewhat justified, as the Cheyenne tribe did wear this style. Much less excusable are Tom Corsi and Sharon Friedlander, two white people who are permanently transformed into Native Americans by the spell of a Demon Bear. They had no say in this, but it is quite uncomfortable when they choose to start wearing headbands and fringed boots after they change.
- Break the Cutie: Illyana, with all Belasco did to her in Limbo, followed up by the events of Inferno and then contracting the Legacy Virus.
- Burn the Witch!: We're introduced to poor Rahne running from an angry mob who believe she's been possessed by the Devil and want to burn him out of her. And yes, they have both torches and pitchforks. Moira tells them they're being daft.
- Butt-Monkey: Nate, initially, in Volume 3 - he joins the team after suffering a spectacular De-Power from 'Reality Warper powerful enough to flatten entire teams of X-Men' to 'spoon bender', is the odd one out amongst a team who've all known each other since they were kids, and has a hard time finding a role and actually making himself useful. A little pep-talk from Roberto, of all people, and some training in how to fight like a normal from Hope Summers helped him with that, and he became the team's expert on time travel, reality warping, and alternate realities.
- Came Back Strong: Amara's powers as Magma don't manifest until Selene throws her into lava as a sacrifice.
- Chekhov's Gun: The last panel of the original Marvel Graphic Novel has an oddity in it; Professor Xavier is looking on as the New Mutants team is assembled for the first time. The narration boxes say how proud he is, but Chuck has got an awful evil grin on his face. We find out why a few issues later, when it's revealed that the Brood that was living inside/controlling Professor Xavier at the time had assembled the New Mutants to provide her (it was a queen, after all) with a new set of host bodies.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Gabrielle Haller, introduced very early on in the series, and her son, who becomes much more important some ways down the line.
- Chick Magnet: Doug Ramsey, who has had a grand total of five love interests even though he was only around for about 50 issues in the original run.
- Christianity Is Catholic: Averted; Xi'an and Roberto are Catholic, but Rahne and Sam are Presbyterian and Baptist respectively.
- Cliffhanger Copout: One early issue ends with the kids supposedly being caught in an exploding supervillain lair. The next issue shows they're fine. Well, almost all of them. Xi'an's gone missing.
- Cosmetic Catastrophe: Employed in the 1990 New Mutants Summer Special where Rahne is given a makeover by one of the residents of Megalopolis to seduce her over to Consumerism. The "mirror" shown to her is a glamor shot. Her actual makeup consists of childish scrawling and a badly fitted wig.
- Country Mouse: Sam Guthrie a.k.a Cannonball. Rahne as well, having been raised by an utterly insane Sinister Minister. At the beginning, she's not even used to films.
- Cross Through: The end of issue #3 ties in to Uncanny X-Men issue #167, when the X-Men return from space to deal with the Brood Queen that's in the Professor.
- Custom Uniform: All the team initially wear the same gold and black outfit, except for Dani, who modifies hers to include a few Native America elements. The Professor muses how he'd once have made a big deal about this, but lets it slide.
- Darker and Edgier: The entire transformation into X-Force.
- Dating Catwoman: Pretty much all the female Hellions wanted Doug.
- Defeat by Modesty: Back when Genosha was a country where mutants were enslaved, the New Mutants were teleported there by a character whose powers didn't affect clothing, then had their powers neutralized. Most of them were a little embarrassed, but Wolfsbane, (a devout Presbyterian) was paralyzed with shame.
- Deal with the Devil: In order to get help from her uncle to find a kidnapped Dani, Xi'an agrees to work for him for a year.
- Delusions of Doghood: Catseye of the Hellions; thought she was an actual cat.
- Demoted to Extra: The ultimate fate of anyone who's ever been in any of the various incarnations of the New Mutants; even Cannonball, who seemed to have escaped it by joining the X-Men, ended up being cast off into limbo.
- De-Power: Nate undergoes this during his rescue in Unfinished Business. One moment he's a Reality Warper and nigh cosmic level psychic, the next, he's barely bending spoons with his 'residual telekinesis'. Needless to say, he does not adjust well - though eventually comes to terms with it, managing to develop it into something approximately useful (he can lift himself or someone else, fire off energy blasts, and move things), resurrecting the sarcastic tendencies he had before he became a somewhat strange cosmic All-Loving Hero in the process.
- Divine Race Lift: Dani Moonstar, a Native American, becomes a Valkyrie.
- Does This Remind You of Anything? : Doug and Warlock's fusions are... intimate.
- Dramatic Irony:
- In issue 2, we see Henry Gyrich and Sebastian Shaw discussing Project: Wideawake, the US government's plan to deal with Mutants, Gyrich doesn't know Shaw is in fact a Mutant.
- During the first visit to Nova Roma, Sunspot thinks about his good relationship with his father. What he doesn't know is that his father is part of the reason the kids have wound up in the mess they're in to begin with, thanks to his attempt to join the Hellfire Club.
- Empty Shell: The New Mutants become this at one point during Claremont's run. The Beyonder murders every single member of the team (for once, not hyperbole, the members are each killed as they are trying to escape). He then brings them back to life, complete with memories of their death. The resulting characters are incapable of feeling and only barely interact with the world. The storyline makes the sixth season of Buffy look like Sesame Street, and is considered by many to be the most evil thing Claremont ever did to his characters (which is saying something, considering the Mutant Massacre).
- Evil Counterpart: The Hellions to the original New Mutants had this going on, though some were more clear than others: Jetstream=Cannonball, Catseye=Wolfsbane, Tarot=Moonstar (illusion-casting), Empath=Karma (mind control), Roulette=Magik (kinda), Thunderbird=Sunspot (super-strength). The trend wasn't continued with the New Mutants' later members, however.
- Evil Mentor: Cable started out this way, but he gets better with character development.
- Exposition of Immortality: Our first introduction to Selene is that she's your garden-variety evil witch in a hidden Roman city. Then, after she's sacrificed a few young maidens, she monologues about how she's lived for thousands of years.
- FaceHeel Turn: Sunspot, Mirage (though neither stayed evil for long, and Dani's heel turn was retconned as her being undercover for S.H.I.E.L.D), Feral.
- Fanservice: The original book loved to show the team in their skivvies, particularly during Bret Blevins' run as artist; on top of that, he also seemed very fond of showing the effect of cold weather on girls wearing skintight suits, even when they were surrounded by lava.
- Five-Man Band:
- Original team (After the original five, it gets complicated.):
- Post Schism New Mutants:
- Five-Token Band: With Dani Moonstar the Native American, Rahne Sinclair the Scot, Sam Guthrie the Southern coal-miner's boy, Xi'an Coy Manh the Vietnamese immigrant raising her younger siblings, and Roberto da Costa the Brazilian rich boy, it's fairly diverse.
- The original Hellions also qualify: Thunderbird is Apache; Empath is a Spanish nobleman; Tarot is French; Jetstream is from Morocco; Roulette is American, and Catseye's precise origins are never specified.
- Future Me Scares Me: Cypher after discovering due to interfacing with a sentient alien computer he will eventually conquer the world and have everyone with techno organic armor that allows him to control them.
- Hide Your Lesbians: Happened in a big way when Chris Claremont left and Louise Simonson took over. All of the kids were turned boy/girl crazy along strictly heterosexual lines. The most obvious homosexual casualty was the very-nearly-explicit romance between Dani and Rahne, but the more ambiguous Ho Yay relationship developing between Warlock and Cypher was axed too. Likely part of wider Marvel policy at the time, as EIC Jim Shooter was steering creators away from homosexual characters in an unsuccessful bid to avoid controversy. This was later walked back, with Karma being explicitly lesbian, and the Ho Yay between Cypher and Warlock returning.
- Hidden Elf Village: Nova Roma, a Roman city that has been hidden away in the middle of Southern America for the last two thousand years.
- Hostile Terraforming: Fighting a losing battle against hordes of demons infected by the transmode virus, Illyana plunges her Soulsword into the earth of Limbo itself in desperation. She later discovers that the sword had turned Limbo into a green and pleasant place, theorizing that Belasco corrupted the dimension to make it more suitable to him.
- I Have No Son!: Goes both ways in issue #12 with both da Costas. Roberto's dad tells him he has no son, and Roberto shoots back that this means he's now half an orphan.
- Internalized Categorism: In Marvel Universe, it is a social stigma to be a mutant. That is, to have superpowers. One issue of New Mutants had a boy hanging himself in shame of being able to create beautiful sculptures of light.
- Well, those anonymous threats to sic mutant-hunters on him that some other kids kept sending his way as a prank — while blissfully unaware that he actually was a mutant themselves — might have had a little something to do with it, too.
- Journey to the Center of the Mind:
- Legion has the habit of absorbing people into his mindscape. Which is... crowded.
- Nate helps Doug with one of these.
- Lampshade Hanging: In the early days, the kids get knocked out a lot. After one such incident, Rahne wakes up muttering "why does this always happen to me?"
- Legacy Character: Right after Thunderbird died, the mantle was taken up by his brother Warpath. Since then, Warpath has grown from this trope into a character all his own.
- Likes Older Women:
- Cannonball towards Lila Cheney, and later to Rogue.
- Briefly, Cypher to Psylocke.
- Magic is Feminine: Illyana Rasputin and Dani Moonstar are the team's mystical members. Illyana acquired mystical knowledge thanks to her travels to different dimensions and Dani is a Valkyrie.
- Mechanical Abomination: Warlock's race, the Technarchs, is composed of giant amorphous shapeshifting machines any one of whom would destroy a planet with minimal effort. Warlock himself is a baby Technarch, not nearly as powerful as his monstrous progenitor the Magus. Even so, it's worth noting that (even if it was all in fun), he was able to fight the Impossible Man to a standstill, and silly as he is, Impy is danged near unstoppable when he wants to be.
- Messianic Archetype: Sam Guthrie a.k.a Cannonball was destined to lead the Mutant race by combining Magneto, Xavier and Cable's dreams into something better. It didn't take once the "External/High Lord" thing ran its course and got tired during a change in the creative team.
- Metamorphosis Monster: Gosamyr's race. At first, they're cute, delicate, winged creatures (although with the annoying ability to empathically — and involuntarily — cause conflicts among male humans), but then they enter the cocoon phase (which lasts centuries) which turns them into their adult form: gargantuan abominations.
- Mind Rape: Used by Empath on Magma and pretty much anyone who comes across him.
- The Mole: Copycat pretending to be Domino.
- Ms. Fanservice:
- Pretty much the whole purpose of the Gosamyr character, both in-universe and out.
- Sometimes Surge and X-23 would be this, depending on the artist.
- Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: Empath, in revenge against Emma Frost for binding his powers and knowing that she had plans to corrupt the New Mutants, spitefully arranged for Roberto and Amara to be kidnapped and inducted into the Gladiators, a deadly arena game run by a shadowy crime boss. Had he left well enough alone, the team would never have discovered that said boss was their old teammate Karma (possessed by the Shadow King) and rescued her, ultimately making the New Mutants even stronger and close-knit than ever and scuppering whatever scheme Emma had been cooking up.
- Once More, with Clarity!: Issue #6 of volume 1 ends with a cliffhanger when Viper detonates a bomb on a clifftop that sends the team hurtling toward the ocean, and the next issue cuts to the aftermath of that fall, with all the team having made it out in one piece except for Karma, who had disappeared and was presumed dead. It's not until issue #32 that we get to see what actually happened to the team during that fall and what became of Karma afterwards.
- Opposing Sports Team: The original Hellions came across as very much this trope — a bunch of prep school kids whose fights with the New Mutants were usually fueled by school rivalry more than anything else. In their first appearance, Sam even compares the New Mutants (and their opponents by extension) to "high school varsity".
- Our Werewolves Are Different: Rahne. She's a genetic mutant who can shapeshift from human to wolf. Eventually, she gained the ability to take on a variety of "transitional" half & half states, and during the 90s she spent some time unable to change fully back to humans. Eventually, after her pregnancy with Tier, she gained Nigh-Invulnerability and Super Strength.
- Poirot Speak: When Claremont's at the helm, some of them. Karma occasionally peppers her speech with French, and Sunspot with Portuguese.
- Power Incontinence: The whole point of the Institute is the kids learn how to control their powers. Not so much a problem for Rahne, who actually has an easy handle on her wolfiness, or for Cannonball, but for Dani, whose powers tend to go off at a moment's notice, or Magma, who nearly wipes Rio de Janerio off the map just by getting heatstroke, it is.
- Psycho Rangers: The Hellions.
- Proud Warrior Race Guy: Shatterstar from Mojoworld.
- Race Lift: In-universe; Tom Corsi and Sharon Friedlander, a cop and a nurse, were unlucky enough to be caught by the Demon Bear as it hunted Dani. Part of its magic transformed the two of them, both white, into Native Americans, and unlike the rest of the Bear's magic this is not undone when it is defeated. It takes quite some time for the two of them to come to terms with suddenly being entirely different people.
- Rape as Backstory: Xi'an and her mother were both raped while escaping from Vietnam. Claremont was careful to only make vague allusions to an "assault" for several years, as the established timeline would have made Xi'an 12 or 13 when it happened.
- Rescue Romance: Of a sort with Nate and Dani. She led the team that rescued him and beat up Sugar Man, who had imprisoned him. That said, the actual romance aspect didn't kick off for a while.
- Ret-Gone: In one storyline, the New Mutants were Ret Goned by the Beyonder. The only one to remember their existence was Kitty Pryde, who had a magical connection to Illyana that even the Beyonder's godlike powers couldn't erase.
- Sapient Ship: The shapeshifting Warlock often turned himself into a starship to transport the New Mutants around.
- Scary Black Man: Axe, a large, towering man hired by Emmanuel da Costa to abduct his ex-wife. He's also got super-strength, and as the name suggests, a big axe.
- Sci Fi LGBT
- The team are very fond of watching Magnum, P.I. on the television.
- An early issue has Stevie taking them to see E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.
- On one very memorable occasion, Warlock turned into the starship Enterprise.
- Mephisto is drawn suspiciously like David Tennant when he goes on a date with Magma, complete with the Tenth Doctor's outfit.
- Magik's main henchdemon in Limbo is named S'ym, and shares many qualities with Dave Sim's Cerebus the Aardvark.
- Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Feral, replacing Wolfsbane (later, her older sister Thornn briefly served as this for her) and Douglock for Warlock and Cypher.
- Taking the Bullet:
- Roberto's girlfriend jumps in the way of a Hellfire goon shooting at him.
- Doug died doing this for Rahne (who didn't even realize what had happened until the fight was over).
- This Looks Like a Job for Aquaman:
- In the first annual, Cypher, whose superpower was the ability to learn languages really really fast, ends up saving the solar system because he's the only one who can read an alien instruction manual.
- With his recent resurrection, Cypher has turned this into Heart Is an Awesome Power, in addition to vindicating numerous fan theories about how his powers would work in the age of modern computers.
- To Hell and Back: Magik rules her own region of Hell called Limbo and all of her teleportation disks have to pass through Limbo in order to reach a different destination on Earth, meaning she and her teammates technically go to Hell and back at least once an issue.
- Token Religious Teammate:
- Wolfsbane. Cannonball and Karma are regularly shown talking about their faith as well, but it comes up much more often with Rahne due to how badly it conflicts with her identity as a mutant.
- In the second series, there is Dust, a devout Muslim who still observes niqab.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl:
- Boom Boom and Siryn. Rahne and Danielle Moonstar.
- Kitty Pryde and Magik were a subversion. Both were kick-butt girly girls.
- Superhero Team Uniform: They originally wore the old X-Men "school uniform".
- Touch of Death: Wither, whose power was decaying any living (or once-living) thing he came into contact with. He eventually left the institute and fell in love with Selene, who was immortal and couldn't be affected by his power.
- Tragic Dropout: In the original New Mutants Graphic Novel, Sam Guthrie was obliged to quit high school and give up his hopes for college to work in the local coal mine after his father died of black lung. His first day on the job is marked by being caught in a cave in, his powers kicking in, and the owner of the mines finding another use for him.
- Wham Line: An early issue has Moira Mactaggert meet with a woman named Gabrielle Haller, who has a son she wants Moira to meet. And the father is Charles Xavier.
- Wham Shot: The final page of the final issue of the first volume as mutant terrorist Stryfe removes his helmet...and is a dead ringer for Cable.
- What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway??:
- Poor Cypher had the mutant power to understand languages. This made him useless in battle, forcing Chris Claremont to have to come up with the plot point of Cypher being able to safely merge with Warlock to get him involved in fight scenes.
- Not so much now in the new run of New Mutants since he seems to have had a decent boost in the scope of his powers.
- Subverted with Domino. Originally a generic gun-carrying Action Girl, she had the uber-generic "luck" power that no one ever mentioned until 1996's Amalgam Universe comic X-Patrol, which used Domino's luck powers alongside Elasti-Girl and The Wasp to reinvent her as an uber-lucky super-heroine. Years passed again and it took Matt Fraction coming up with the idea of her being an UBER-lucky Action Girl, capable of always showing up by chance when evil is going down, let alone always able to make her shots no matter how hard they are, to make her powers useful.
- Actually, she was always implied to have it by her "ability to make things fall in her favor" (hence the name "Domino," get it?), Fraction just turned it up to "11."
- Shatterstar's energy blast power, used once and required so much power-up time he may as well have been a Super-Saiyan.
- Poor Cypher had the mutant power to understand languages. This made him useless in battle, forcing Chris Claremont to have to come up with the plot point of Cypher being able to safely merge with Warlock to get him involved in fight scenes.
- You Are Not Alone: Danielle Moonstar to Rahne Sinclair after a battle alongside her: "Without you those policemen would have died. You're not alone. Moira loves you, and I..."
- Your Heart's Desire: Rare heroic example: Danielle Moonstar, AKA Mirage, could create a mental illusion of your worst fear, or your heart's desire. She could choose which emotion to interface with, but her powers didn't extend to giving her a preview of what her target's fear or desire was, leading to several instances of her revealing things about people's deepest thoughts that should really have been left well enough alone.
- Your Mind Makes It Real: A problem with Dani's power. And even if it doesn't, being confronted with your absolute worst nightmares is often enough to scare people to death.