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The New Mutants is the first major spin-off of the popular X-Men franchise published by Marvel Comics. As of January 2023 there have been four series simply titled New Mutants, three of which have featured much the same team as main characters. There have also been a number of other New Mutants series with slightly different names, mostly focused on the same cast.

The team was initially conceived as a new generation of teenage mutants at the Xavier School being taught by Professor X to control and develop their superpowers. They took inspiration from the original five X-Men as a team of five teenagers with matching uniforms, but now multiethnic and international. The "original" New Mutants members are:

  • Karma (Xuân Cao Mạnhnote ) – She possesses people. Refugee from Vietnam. Originated in an earlier story from Marvel Team-Up by Frank Miller and New Mutants co-creator Chris 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.

Later additions include:

  • Magma (Amara Aquilla) – Controls lava. From Nova Roma, ostensibly 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • X-Man (Nate Grey) - formerly godlike psychic and Reality Warper, rescued by the New Mutants during the 2009 series and reduced to 'spoon-bending'.

The original comic, created by Chris Claremont and artist Bob McLeod, ran for 100 issues, from 1983 until 1991. Claremont wrote just over half the run, leaving after #54, at which point Louise Simonson replaced him.

The team's adventures features a mix of interpersonal drama and high-stakes adventure, with both Professor X and Magneto serving as mentors for the team at different points in time. The Demon Bear Saga, where the team confronts Dani's fearsome foe the demon bear, has its own page.

Rob Liefeld joined as artist with #86, with the next issue introducing the team's new mentor Cable and taking the series in a Darker and Edgier direction. Simonson left after #97, the end of the X-Tinction Agenda, at which point Liefeld took over plotting too, with Fabian Nicieza scripting dialogue. After issue #100 the series was relaunched as X-Force, with Liefeld and Nicieza moving across to the new title.

The second New Mutants series, launched in 2003 and written by Nunzio DeFilippis and Christina Weir, features another group of teenaged mutants - air-controlling Wind Dancer, skill-copying Prodigy, super-fast energetic Surge, healer Elixir, emotion-controlling Wallflower, and the telekinetic Hellion - but unlike the original New Mutants, they are 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 Karma of the original New Mutants had since 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.

The third New Mutants series written by Zeb Wells, was launched in May of 2009. It reunites most of the original team. This series incorporates 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 the mutant community. It also has 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 that, it was taken over by Dan Abnett. 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.

The fourth New Mutants series, written by Jonathan Hickman and Ed Brisson, began in 2019 as part of the Dawn of X relaunch. For more on this series, see New Mutants (2019).

A film adaptation focusing on the original team was released in 2019. For that page, see here.

Arcs and events with their own pages


The series contains examples of:

  • '80s Hair: Lila Cheney and Gosamyr...dear God, Gosamyr...
  • 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.
  • Abusive Parents:
    • Rahne's childhood (if it can even be called that) under the roof of Reverend Craig has shaped a lot of her mindset, including the unshakable belief she's already doomed to Hell.
    • Issue #3 has Stevie and the team deal with a stalker who turns out to have been repeatedly abused by his parents, so much so his back is covered in scars, some going back years, and this has left the kid so profoundly screwed up he's come to equate love with pain.
  • 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.
  • Actually a Doombot: Alex Flynn, the head of the Gladiators, turns out to be a projection made by a Shadow King-possessed Karma.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: Early on in the original run there was some drama derived from Rahne being attracted to Sam (who treated her more like one of his younger sisters) and Sam being attracted to Amara (who did not seem to reciprocate his feelings), but these feelings were eventually forgotten as the book added more characters and created more plots and sub-plots (as well as Rahne and Dani getting a thing).
  • Always a Bigger Fish: Faced with Legion with Jack in the driver's seat, the New Mutants aren't sure how to get him out and David back in, until they realize an important fact: Jack's a total coward. They have Illyana teleport him to Limbo and scare the crap out of him.
  • Animal-Themed Superbeing: Wolfsbane and Catseye.
  • Apocalypse Maiden: Magik. Belasco planned to use 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: Illyana 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.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind:
    • Karma versus the Shadow King. Xuan wins, and boots him out of her.
    • Annual #2 has Doug and Warlock facing off against Spiral inside a brainwashed Betsy Braddock's head. Spiral threatens to annihilate every bit of Betsy solely as a "screw you" to Mojo, forcing Warlock to spread himself extremely thin to stop her.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Starting from issue #2, it's established Dani is haunted by nightmares of a Demon Bear. Come the mid-teens, that bear becomes a serious problem.
  • 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.
  • Boring, but Practical: Faced with the prospect of Magneto coming to the Massachusetts Academy to recover the New Mutants, rather than risk a fight Emma Frost... calls the police, who in turn call the Avengers.
  • 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.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Chris Claremont at the helm? It's going to happen.
  • 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.
  • C-List Fodder: The team and their co-stars were often victims of this, pre-dating the Teen Titans' over-use of the trope. To wit:
    • Doug "Cypher" Ramsey and Warlock didn't survive the 100-issue run of the original series.
    • Illyana/Magik was de-aged and then killed later in the same run.
    • Nearly the entire team of Hellions (a few had quit since then, and Roulette and Empath both escaped) were horribly killed by Trevor Fitzroy's Sentinels in one fell swoop, wiping away several beloved (but little-known or referenced) characters. [[note]] The New Mutants later returned, but the Hellions didn't.]]
      • They were killed as part of a wider storyline featuring the Upstarts wiping out the old Hellfire Club members in order to replace them. The story had Sebastian Shaw killed, Emma Frost comatose and Selene captive. All to prove the Upstarts were badasses. Guess which three Hellfire Club members returned and guess how poorly remembered the Upstarts themselves are two decades later. And as if to give Fitzroy the middle finger, some of the Hellions have been ressurected by Krakoa.
  • 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; Xuân 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. Xuân'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.
  • The Corruption: Illyana joins the team already pre-corrupted by years in Limbo, and every time she goes there she gets a little bit worse.
  • 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.
  • *Crack!* "Oh, My Back!": Sunspot once threw his back out while trying to lift Volstagg the Voluminous off the floor. His Super-Strength may have been enhanced at the time by Asgard's stronger sunlight, but Volstagg is just that heavy. Volstagg picking him up and pulling him into a bearhug to congratulate him on his success did not help matters.
  • Creepy Twins: Xuan's siblings are not normally this, but when Mojo temporarily ages them up to young adulthood, they fall right into the trope.
  • 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.
    • The New Mutants Special then proceeds into the following X-Men annual.
  • 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.
  • Deadpan Snarker: How Nate copes with his Depower, which he's not especially happy about.
  • Deal with the Devil: In order to get help from her uncle to find a kidnapped Dani, Xuân agrees to work for him for a year.
  • Delusions of Doghood: Catseye of the Hellions; thought she was an actual cat.
  • 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.
  • Distracted by My Own Sexy: On a visit to a mall, Dani decides to do some clothes shopping and takes the time to examine herself in the mirror. She thinks of all the people who'd be impressed by it, and includes herself in that list.
  • Divine Race Lift: Dani Moonstar, a Native American, becomes a Valkyrie.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything? : Doug and Warlock's fusions are... intimate.
  • Don't Fear the Reaper: Dani tries warding Death off from an (Too Dumb to Live) friend of hers who was in a car-crash (which was his own damn fault anyway). While he's in hospital, Death reappears to tell gently but firmly Dani that the injuries the guy's received means he'll never wake up, and Death is just there to relieve his suffering. The issue ends with Dani letting him go, and the guy flatlining.
  • 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.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: After his failure to help the kids, Magneto sits around in his office downing drinks.
  • Dysfunction Junction: The team's got some messed up kids in it.
    • There's Rahne, who was raised by a psychotic fundamentalist, and is therefore intractably convinced she's going to Hell, not to mention so sheltered she's not even used to most things the average American teen of the 80s would consider normal.
    • Dani, who spent most of her life alone because her parents went missing and her grandfather was murdered, and is consequently rough-around-the-edges to everyone (except Rahne).
    • Karma, who had to flee the Vietnam War, whose uncle is a crime lord and who had to kill her own brother to stop him killing Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four.
    • Magma, who grew up in a hidden Roman village in Brazil and has some difficulties adjusting to the outside world, sometimes lashing out at anyone who tries offering her sympathy.
    • Magik, who grew up in a nigh-literal Hell, seeing warped versions of her family and friends die, and which has left her corrupted.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Annual #2 has the first time Betsy and the word "Psylocke" run into one another, but here she's consistently addressed as "The Psylocke".
  • Empty Shell:
    • Legion starts off as this, attributed to a mix of Autism (of the Hollywood variety), Schizophrenia, and being caught in a terrorist attack as a child.
    • 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).
  • Even Evil Has Standards: Henry Gyrich decides sending Sentinels after a bunch of teenagers might be overkill, and that in this case merely sending goons in to arrest them is a better idea. He steps up to Sentinels when that falls through.
  • 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.
  • Face Framed in Shadow: The Beyonder, in the issue he kills the entire team. His face is entirely covered in darkness, except his eyes.
  • Face–Heel 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.
  • Fantastic Racism: Rahne's opinion of Illyana takes a nosedive when she learns her teammate can also perform magic.
  • Fisher Kingdom: A problem for Illyana when the team stays in Asgard and she takes over Enchantress's study. As things go on, she starts becoming more and more like Amora.
  • Five-Token Band: With Dani Moonstar the Native American, Rahne Sinclair the Scot, Sam Guthrie the Southern coal-miner's boy, Xuân 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.
  • Fountain of Youth: Inflicted on Captain Britain and Magma in Annual #2. Backfires with Brian, since his powers were given to him by magic, so he gets to keep them. Magma manages to temporarily shake it off by sheer rage, but she's zapped again.
  • Freakiness Shame: In addition to Wolfsbane's several other problems, she feels shame and horror about being a Mutant.
  • Freak Out:
    • Warlock's reaction to seeing Dani when she (unwittingly) becomes a Valkyrie, realizing she's become a servant of the goddess of death first.
    • When Xuan's siblings, brainwashed by Mojo and aged into adults, tell the New Mutants to do as their parents say, Warlock panics and runs, since Technarx parents prefer to kill their kids.
  • Fusion Dance: In order to fight Spiral, Doug and Warlock perform one, though Warlock warns Doug going in the longer they stay merged the higher chance he'll contract the Transmode Virus. They also discover that they start taking on the other's personality and like it.
  • 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.
  • Go-Go Enslavement: Early on, Dani gets abducted by Viper. When she wakes up, she's in a different set of clothing than she had when she was knocked out. A nigh-on copy of Viper's usual outfit, in fact.
  • Graceful Loser: When her attempt to turn the New Mutants into Hellions is rumbled, Emma lets them go back to the Xavier Institute, no fuss no muss. It's not for beneficent reasons; she figures by acting more reasonable, she'll present a better alternative to Magneto, driving a wedge between them.
  • Hate Plague: The team falls victim to one in Annual #2, distracting them until Karma's siblings, aged to creepy adult-hood by Mojo, come along.
  • Hate Sink: Most of the Hellions have some sort of redeeming feature, and the New Warriors get on well enough with them. Not so with Empath, a sleezy, creepy, racist, sexist weasel who enjoys using his powers on anyone and everyone, and eagerly dreams of inflicting pain and misery on the entire world.
  • Head Pet: During a slumber party in one issue, Lockheed (Kitty's sort-of pet dragon alien) joins the party and parks himself on Illyana's head. The girls at the party, none of whom know the Institute kids are Mutants / superheroes, just think he's an odd looking pet of some kind.
  • Heart Is an Awesome Power: For all Doug initially bemoans how his power isn't terribly flashy, the ability to understand any language comes in very useful many times.
  • Height Angst: Sunspot is sensitive about his height, not helped by the fact the only other guy on the team at first is the considerably tall Cannonball, as well as Dani and Illyana being quite tall themselves.
  • 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.
  • Human Sacrifice: Selene's introductory arc has her snacking on people. She prefers teenage girls, and Dani and Amara get lined up for the chopping board.
  • Hypocrite: Good old Charles Xavier. On Magma's arrival at the mansion, he tells her he'd never read her mind without her permission... a few seconds later he notes to himself he should keep a mental link with Amara, "just in case". When she finds out a short time later, she's pissed and calls him out on it.
  • Inconvenient Summons: After a lot of build-up in both this title and Uncanny X-Men, Doug Ramsey finally finds out he's a Mutant for good when Sunspot wakes him up in the middle of the night and drags him out to help deal with a funky alien robot who's shown up.
  • If I Wanted You Dead...: Emma Frost says as much when she breaks into the school to talk to Magneto.
  • 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.
  • I Have You Now, My Pretty:
    • As always, the Shadow King toward Storm.
    • Enchantress when she has Magik captive.
  • I Lied: Shadow King tells Magik that We Can Rule Together, and Illyana apparently considers the option, showing up to accept. Turns out Shadow King had no intention of keeping his word. But then, Yana wasn't stupid enough to believe that either - she just needed him distracted while she used her powers to teleport everyone away from him.
  • Imposter Forgot One Detail: Mojo replaces Sunspot with a near-perfect physical replica, and given Roberto's frequent complaining about sticking around the Institute, no-one would have been too surprised if he suddenly left. What he forgot was to replicate Roberto's powers, and the replicant is killed trying to pick up a tree.
  • Innocently Insensitive: At one point the team watch a Wild West movie, but Rahne's the only one to object, pointing out how horrifically insensitive its portrayal of Native Americans would be to Dani.
  • Internalized Categorism: In Marvel Universe, it is a social stigma to be a mutant. That is, to have superpowers. One issue has 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.
    • Wolfsbane and Dazzler also express a bit of it at separate points as well.
  • Jerkass Ball: Over in Uncanny X-Men, Kitty had derogatorily called the team "X-Babies". In issue #13, they're still smarting about this, and when Kitty tries reaching out to a disconsolate Amara, Roberto and Dani are openly hostile to her.
  • 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?"
  • Laser-Guided Amnesia: Doug Ramsey finds out he's a Mutant and the odd kids from Kitty's school are also Mutants thanks to a fight between the New Mutants and the Hellions. Then Emma Frost wipes his memory. And then a few weeks later he rediscovers it anyway.
  • The Leader: Starting off, it's Karma who's the leader, by dint of being the oldest. Problems ensue when she goes missing early on, and after that leadership tends to pass between whoever's got the idea.
  • 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.
  • Loophole Abuse: After his last run in with the X-Men, back in X-Men/Alpha Flight, Loki swore to never interfere with the X-Men ever again. But since the New Mutants technically aren't the X-Men, they're obviously fair game.
  • Lured into a Trap: After Kitty is forced to go to the Massachusetts Academy, where the evil Emma Frost runs things, Magik tries getting the others to go rescue her. On arrival, it turns out this was actually Frost's plan, to capture and indoctrinate them.
  • Made a Slave:
    • Cannonball and Sunspot, on the team's visit to Nova Roma. Would also have happened to Rahne and Dani as well, but complications ensue quickly.
    • Happens to the entire team, save Illyana and Warlock, courtesy of the Shadow King.
    • And to Rahne again during the team's stay in Asgard, thanks to Loki. It's scuppered thanks to Sam having a magic sword.
  • 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.
  • Meet the In-Laws: Cannonball, when he starts dating Lila Cheney, arranges a visit to meet his mom. Sam's pretty nervous given Lila is A: A punk musician, B: English (*gasp*), and C: Occasionally slightly criminal. As it turns out, Ma Guthries is far more chill about the whole thing than the tightly wound Sam.
  • 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. Or just happens to be nearby.
  • The Mole: Copycat pretending to be Domino.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Pretty much the whole purpose of the Gosamyr character, both in-universe and out.
  • Mugged for Disguise:
    • In issue #5, Team America break into an AIM base with Professor X's help, and knock out two goons. One of them notes that the one he's knocked out is actually a woman (AIM's bulky beekeeper outfits make hiding gender pretty easy).
    • Roberto does so while in Nova Roma. He finds out that, for once, one size does not fit all, and the uniform doesn't fit him.
  • Mundane Utility: Illyana tries getting her demon minions to do the dishes for her. She's put out when they return the table with the dishes replaced with more demonic looking things; skull cups, sacrificial knives and forks, plates with pentagrams on them, and dribbly candles out of a Hammer horror movie castle.
  • 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.
  • Non-Answer: On a visit to Ullapool, Rahne's hometown, Legion (with Jack in control) threatens to blow up the entire town. Rahne openly says she doesn't care, and in fact they'd deserve it. At the end of the issue, Dani asks her about this, and she says she was just angry. Dani then asks whether she still meant it. End of issue.
  • No Man Left Behind: Warpath leads the Hellions to recover Empath when the New Mutants abduct him, even though they all acknowledge he honestly doesn't deserve the effort, wouldn't do the same for them, and won't be grateful in the slightest (he isn't). It's the principle of the thing, damn it. And James does punch him in the face after doing so.
  • No-Sell: As part of a "break the ice" training exercise, Magneto orders Karma to use her powers on him. She tries, and he instantly deflects it. And no, that's not metaphorical. He literally deflects her psychic probe onto Sunspot. Somehow.
  • Not Evil, Just Misunderstood: A problem while the team are stuck inside Legion's mind; two of his alters are warring with the mind of the terrorist who got stuck in there when David's powers first activated. The team and Charles naturally side against him, but once Doug's powers help them overcome the language barrier he reveals he's been trying to heal David's shattered psyche as penance.
  • Not Himself: Cypher notices something's not right when, in annual #2, Roberto is suddenly chipper and agreeable. Turns out it's a replicant, and the real Roberto's been abducted by Mojo.
  • Once an Episode:
    • When Claremont's writing, expect at least one instance of either Sam or the narration saying he is "nigh-invulnerable when I'm / he's blasting" every issue.
    • Similarly, when Magik gets the Soulsword, it's usually described as being "the ultimate expression of her magickal power".
  • 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.
  • Papa Wolf: Thew New Mutants are dubious about Magneto being their teacher, until some fratbros try to rape Dani. Magneto goes after them and puts the fear of him into them.
  • Party Scattering: Trying to teleport out of Enchantress's tower goes poorly for Magik, scattering the others across the Nine Realms of Asgard, while leaving her stuck with a now very angry Amora.
  • Pet the Dog:
    • At the end of the team's stay in Asgard, Loki says as part of the condition for returning them home they have to give up any clothing or weapons they got while in the Nine Realms, but for Karma he lets her keep her weight loss, after months under Shadow King's possession left her morbidly obese.
    • While Emma Frost manipulates the situation to try and get the New Mutants to be her minions, she does legitimately do what she can to cure their trauma of being killed.
  • Playful Hacker: Issue #13 has the bigwigs of Project: Wideawake being surprised when one of their Sentinels goes on a rampage, forcing Gyrich to blow it up. The culprit? Doug and Kitty messing around on their computers. Doug doesn't even actually know what he's just hacked into.
  • 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: Xuân 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 Xuân 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.
  • Running Gag: in the original series, whenever sormeone takes a photo of the team, Sam's head will be at least partially out of shot.
    Sorry, Sam
  • Sapient Ship: The shapeshifting Warlock often turns 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.
  • Schmuck Bait: On their visit to Nova Roma, Rahne and Dani are served some wine. Amara tries to warn them that it's drugged, but the two decide to drink it anyway because, hey, what's the worst that could happen? They're then totally drugged out of their gourds.
  • Secret Test of Character: Lila shows up on the Guthrie doorstep dressed like she's going to one of her concerts. Sam, who is internally screaming his head off, fumblingly suggests they go inside, only for Lila to teleport away. She then reappears dressed more normally, telling Sam she was pulling one of these after an earlier argument.
  • Shoo the Dog: After Karma goes missing, Professor X tells the kids she's almost certainly totally dead and there's nothing more that can be done, so they'd best stop looking, even as the others want to keep looking. As he reveals to the X-Men, it's because he's pretty sure Karma is alive, but captive of the Shadow King, and he doesn't want them going anywhere near him.
  • Shout-Out:
    • 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.
    • While inside Legion's mind, Doug tries explaining the possibility of a Perception Filter by citing the example of the Star Trek pilot episode, "The Cage".
  • Sour Supporter: As the Claremont run goes on, Sunspot gets increasingly sour and crotchety about the whole "fight to protect a world that hates and fears them" thing, and seriously considers quitting several times.
  • Strong Family Resemblance: Dani quips that Legion looks a lot like Professor X (whether she's sassing him or not is unclear, but Chuck and David do share the same bushy eyebrows). A year or so later, she's proven right when Jack does a runner with David's body, and slicks Legion's normally gravity-defiant hairstyle down into a ponytail. Hair aside, he's a dead ringer for his father.
  • Superhero Team Uniform: They originally wore the old X-Men "school uniform".
  • Superman Stays Out of Gotham: Though the Professor told the kids that if danger strikes they're to call on the X-Men, or failing them the Fantastic Four or Avengers, one time when they try to do just that, all of them are unavailable (having been snatched up in the opening issue of Secret Wars).
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: After getting a cool flying horse, Dani learns there are drawbacks to flying around on one; magic horses are no protection against wind chill. A few hours on one, she's caught pneumonia from the cold.
  • 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 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 (the girly-girl) and Danielle Moonstar (tomboy).
  • Too Dumb to Live: An old friend of Dani's decides to get drunk and then try and drive home in a heavy snowstorm.
  • 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.
  • Two Lines, No Waiting: Between issues #20 and #31, the story occasionally goes to Magneto's musings on his Atlantic island base with Alyn Forrester.
  • Uncanny Family Resemblence: Due to an accident with her time travel, Magik runs into one of Storm's maternal ancestors during the time of the pharaohs. She looks exactly like Ororo.
  • 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:
    • In issues #30 and #31, an unseen someone is running the Gladiators and forcing Sunspot and Magma to fight. In issue #31, they catch up to this someone, and find it's Karma, who's been missing since issue #6. And she's morbidly overweight.
    • 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 after his resurrection, which gives him a decent boost in the scope of his powers.
    • Shatterstar's energy blast power, used once and required so much power-up time he may as well have been a Super-Saiyan.
  • Woken Up at an Ungodly Hour: When Warlock crashes into the X-Mansion, Sam has no way but fetching his friend Douglas Ramsay, because he was the only one able to communicate with an alien, thanks to his hability of learning languages. Doug reluctantly helps, but doesn't hide his discontent for having been woken up in the late of night:
    Doug: How would you feel if a supposed pal yanks you out of a sound sleep, informs you he's a mutant — and YOU'RE a mutant — and flies you to his place to establish a meaningful dialogue with a potentially hostile alien?! Sheesh!!
  • Woman Were-Woes: Wolfsbane's werewolf-like abilities are due to being a mutant rather than a supernatural gift/curse. As such, when a Norse wolf-god bred her the resulting pregnancy seriously endangered her until she got a power upgrade because she did not have the supernatural constitution to handle it. Plus, having been raised a strict Scots-Presbyterian, she would normally have been repulsed by a pagan deity, but her female wolf instincts kicked in.
  • 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, can 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.

Alternative Title(s): The New Mutants, New Mutants 1983, New Mutants 2009, New Mutants Dead Souls, New Mutants Truth Or Death, New Mutants Forever, New Mutants 2003

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