Who Are the New Mutants? A Handy Guide
We’ve got a cast, the production is greenlit…the official New Mutants movie is under way and the cinematic ‘X-Men’ universe is about to get bigger. But who are they? The New Mutants, whilst popular among comic readers, have never had the public presence of the original gang of mutants. If you want the skinny on these new characters we’ve got you covered…
NB: We’re not including the film’s villain, The Demon Bear, because explaining who that is takes us right into spoiler territory.
THE NEW TEAM
Professor Xavier has a weird habit of recruiting children in his fight against the world. If, for some reason, this doesn’t work out and they all get murdered he grieves for a reasonable about of time (12 minutes) and rounds up a new batch of suckers…I mean heroes. The New Mutants actually represent the THIRD time he has pulled this trick, with the regular X-Men team being lost in space and dealing with the Brood at the time. The New Mutants were a group of one teens who were rounded up by Xavier and Dr. Moria MacTaggert as a next generation of X-Men. Eventually Xavier decided to go into space with his girlfriend and leave the kids in the care of Magneto.
Goddamn it, Xavier.
Anyway, who are the New Mutants?
SAM GUTHRIE – ‘CANNONBALL’
Played by Charlie Heaton
Hailing from Kentucky, Sam Guthrie grew up amid his many siblings (the exact number is interchangeable) and parents on the family farm. His father worked in a coal mine and died in an accident. Being the eldest child Sam took upon himself the responsibility to take a job in the same mine to support his family. Tragedy strikes again when the mine collapses, but his mutant powers activated and allowed him to save a co-worker. Sam is able to propel himself through the air like, as his codename suggests, as cannonball. When flying he generates a forcefield to protect him and anyone he’s carrying from harm. This proves handy as it takes him a while to get the hang of turning.
Initially Sam is recruited into the Hellfire Club by Donald Pierce. When he’s commanded to fight and kill the freshly formed New Mutants Cannonball rebels against Pierce and switches sides. Sam is a boy of high morals and always cares for his family and friends. He became a co-leader of the team after the death of team-mate Karma and eventually fulfilled his goal of graduating up to the X-Men. Regardless of his team affiliations Sam remains close and loyal to all his friends in New Mutants and X-Force.
DANI MOONSTAR – ‘MIRAGE’
Played by Blu Hunt
Danielle Moonstar was raised in Colorado and is of Cheyenne heritage, a detail that will play an important role in the film. When her psionic powers first manifested they conjured an alarming vision of a demonic bear killing her parents. Shortly after this vision Dani’s parents vanished and she was taken in by her grandfather. He is also killed, this time by the Hellfire Club who have detected Dani’s powers. Fortunately her grandfather had already contacted Xavier and Dani is recruited into the New Mutants where she became co-leader along with Cannonball.
Dani originally takes the codename ‘Psyche’, but later adopts the more suitable name ‘Mirage’. This reflects Dani’s ability to reach into a person’s mind and create a vision of their greatest fear or desire. Eventually her powers develop further, allowing her to summon a physical manifestation of a vision that will exist until another is summoned. Her powers do develop further in the future, but only after her time with the New Mutants. During her early time with the New Mutants Dani is plagued by dreams of the Demon Bear – a plot element we can expect to see in the film. Following New Mutants Dani surprisingly joins terrorist group The Mutant Liberation Front, although she is later revealed to be a sleeper agent for SHIELD. Oh, and she became a Valkyrie.
RAHNE SINCLAIR – ‘WOLFSBANE’
Played by Maisie Williams
Rahne Sinclair did not have a good upbringing. She was raised in Scotland as an orphan under the watchful eyes of Reverend Craig. She spent her childhood having extreme religious dogma impressed upon her, making her a meek and fearful teenager. Rev. Craig’s emotional abuse and manipulation was such that when Rahne’s mutant power manifested she felt that she had sinned in some way and God was punishing her, a belief that was not improved by her mutant power essentially turning her into a werewolf. When this was discovered by Rev. Craig he led a full blown pitchforks and flaming torches to burn her at the stake. At this point she was rescued and adopted by Dr. Moria MacTaggert, long time associate of Xavier.
Whilst a member of the New Mutants Rahne not only moved to the United States but co-habited with youths her own age for the first time. Already intimidated due to being the youngest member of the group, she also found their attitudes and behaviour clashed with her heavily ingrained beliefs. She did eventually grow close to Dani, whose powers allowed her to mentally link with Rahne while she’s in her wolf form, and Sam, for whom she nursed an unrequited crush. In addition to her human and wolf form Rahne can shift into an ‘in-between’ form that features traits of both animals. As a result of genetic meddling and manipulation Rahne eventually left the New Mutants to join the government controlled X-Factor.
ROBERTO DA COSTA – ‘SUNSPOT’
Played by Henry Zaga
Roberto lived a comfortable life until the emergence of his mutant powers. He was born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, the child of a wealthy businessman and an archeologist. He was doted upon by his father and lived in luxury, although his parents pushed him to reach his physical and intellectual limits. As a result Roberto was a star at both school and on the soccer pitch. It was here that his powers emerged, turning his skin pitch black and granting him immense strength. Sunspot’s powers are generated by absorbing solar radiation, meaning that his powers can be entirely depleted if he doesn’t stay in the sun. As he grows up and refines his abilities Sunspot becomes capable of blasting solar energy from his hands and flying, but during New Mutants it’s mostly just strength.
When the Hellfire Club attempted to kidnap Roberto his girlfriend Juliana gets killed in the altercation. He’s rescued by Psyche (Mirage) and Karma and brought into the New Mutants. Roberto would often clash with his teammates due to his arrogant attitude. He often questions decisions made by the team leaders and would rush into combat unprepared. This behaviour came from a positive place, however, as he was driven to become a great hero like his idol Magnum P.I. At the end of the day Roberto becomes close to his teammates and would never lead them to harm.
ILLYANA RASPUTIN – ‘MAGIK’
Played by Anya Taylor-Joy
Ok…strap yourself in. Illyana is the younger sister of Piotr Rasputin, better known as Colossus. Whilst staying with Piotr she was pulled into the alternate demon dimension known as Limbo. During her time there the 6 year old Illyana was trained as a sorceress by the realm’s ruler Belasco, who is using her as part of a plan to summon Elder Gods by corrupting her soul. Whilst in Limbo Illyana also trains in hand to hand combat and white magic by that dimension’s versions of Shadowcat and Storm respectively. While developing her black magic powers Illyana creates a ‘soulsword’, a manifestation of her life force and Eldritch Power. This weapon has no effect on the physical but harms people on a mental level, and whilst wielding it Illyana develops armour and often grows horns, cloven hooves and a forked tail. This would become known as her Darkchilde persona.
Eventually Illyana’s mutant powers manifested, the ability to create portals between her home dimension and Limbo. After conquering Limbo she returns home after seven years in a hell dimension and finds that almost no time has passed in her absence. Illyana joins the already established New Mutants team using the codename ‘Magik’. Her ability to shift into Limbo and her control of magic scares her team-mates, especially Wolfsbane. Over time they come to trust her but note that the corruption started by Belasco continues. Magik battles this slow fall into darkness until, during the ‘Inferno’ event, she is entirely overcome by the Darkchilde and reverts into a demon form. To end the demon invasion of New York Illyana opens a portal large enough to absorb all the creatures and uses the soulsword to seal Limbo shut. This involves Illyana giving up her magical powers and she reverts back to being a seven year old.
That resolves Magik’s story during the New Mutants…and it gets more complex from then on.
Whilst confirmed for the film there’s been no information on his role, integration into the story or voice actor. Warlock is an alien who arrived on Earth and found himself in the Xavier Mansion, where the New Mutants discovered him. A member of the Technarchy race, Warlock is an ever-shifting mass of living circuitry. He can change his shape and size with almost no limitation, and can even replicate machinery. In order to restore his energy Warlock needs to infect organic matter with the ‘techno-organic transmode virus’ and absorb their life force.
In the Technarchy culture all children must fight their father, or Magus, to the death. Unlike other Technarchs Warlock has a sense compassion and flees his home world, travelling to Earth. Because of this compassion Warlock is seen as being a ‘mutant in spirit’. Warlock’s friendly nature and shapeshifting powers made in an invaluable member of the team, often teaming up with Cypher to keep his weaker team mater safe from harm
DR. CECILIA REYES
Played by Alice Braga
This is an odd one because Dr. Reyes never appeared in the New Mutant comics…she only joined the X-Men about 10 years after the NM line ended. Reyes is a mutant who can generate energy forcefields around herself, but intended to keep this a secret. Instead she was focused on completing her residency and building a career as a surgeon in New York. During Operation: Zero Tolerance she was attacked at her hospital by Prime Sentinels and takes refuge with the X-Men. Even after being unofficially recruited by the team Reyes was determined to return to her old life and never took on a codename.
If we had to guess we’d say Reyes is taking the role occupied by Dr. Moria MacTaggert. In previous films MacTaggert was recast as a CIA agent rather than a Scottish geneticist. If this is the case her role will need to be lifted from supporting cast to full mentor, a role filled by Xavier, Magneto and Cable in the comics.
NEW MUTANTS WHO DIDN’T MAKE THE MOVIE
Right, let’s make these ones snappy. Consider it a bonus.
XI’AN COY MANH – ‘KARMA’
Karma is the only member of the original line-up to make the film. Her power allowed her to take full control of other people, an ability that her crime-connected uncle forced her to use to his benefit. She lost much of her family during the Vietnam War, and was killed on the New Mutant’s first mission. She was later found to be alive and possessed by the Shadow King. After being rescued Karma left the New Mutants again to find her missing siblings.
DOUG RAMSEY – ‘CYPHER’
Doug was a friend of Shadowcat long before he discovered his innate gift for languages was a mutant power. They bonded over computer programming, and was fully recruited into the Xavier School when his linguistic abilities helped them communicate with the newly arrived Warlock. Cypher assisted the New Mutant’s in many successful missions, but never felt on their level due to his passive powers and needing to rely on Warlock for protection. Tragically Doug is killed when shoot on a mission.
AMARA JULIANA OLIVIANS AQUILLA – ‘MAGMA’
The New Mutants stumble upon the settlement of Nova Roma in the Amazon rainforest, a colony founded after the death of Julius Caesar in 44BC. Hidden from the world Nova Roma has remained a time capsule of Ancient Roman society. While in Nova Roma the New Mutants meet Amara, a mutant with the ability to summon and control lava. She leaves with them but never feels at home in this new world. Eventually Amara left to join rival young mutant team The Hellions.
This odd creature was being exhibited as a ‘freak’ in New York before being rescued by the New Mutants, initially believing him to be a mutant. Rather than being a human who mutated into a bird creature he’s the result of an experiment by the Anti-Mater who was splicing animal and human DNA. The New Mutants helped Bird-Brain free the other Ani-Mates and they parted ways.
Whilst kicking around the universe with mutant rock star Lila Cheney the New Mutants encounter the alien Gossamyr. As with all female members of her race in their youth Gossamyr appears as an extremely beautiful humanoid girl (although later she would be cocooned for thousands of years and become a giant Lovecraftian horror). She has the ability to control people’s emotions and sets the New Mutants against each other until Magik uses her soulsword to break the spell. Gossamyr later helps the New Mutants during the demon invasion of New York and then leaves Earth, recognising that she’s a danger to her new friends.
In case you’re wondering we’ve omitted Boom Boom, Rusty, Skids, Shatterstar, Warpath, Feral and Domino as they were introduced for the transition in X-Force.
That’s it! Now to wait for the movie!