New Mutants: Who are the Delayed Defenders?

Generation X

Dr. Reyes: “Did you know that baby rattlesnakes are more dangerous than adult ones? They haven’t learned to control how much venom is secreted. All of you are dangerous. That’s why you’re here.”

New Mutants (2020)

A terrorist squad approaches a school for mutants. The X-Men are busy on the other side of the country, so now is the perfect time to kill their students and end the mutant threat. One terrorist aims his gun at a young Native American girl. He is about to pull the trigger when she makes eye contact.

Out of nowhere, a horde of insects swarms the gunman. His screams and panicked gunfire raise the alarm. A young man bursts into flames and charges towards the battle while his friend flies into a terrorist with the force of a cannonball. A wolf pounces on the leader, its fangs clamping down on his throat. As the surviving terrorists flee, a blonde girl opens a portal in front of them. It dumps them into a burning wasteland as cackling demons descend upon them. The New Mutants look on with horror at their teammate’s brutality.

The New Mutants was one of the first X-Men spinoffs. While never as popular as the main book, it has a devoted fan following. Many of the characters have joined other teams like The Avengers and Excalibur. So who are the New Mutants? Can any of the members compare to the X-Men? Why is their film a horror movie? Let’s find out.

The Team

Mirage: Harbinger of Doom

Played by Blu Hunt and Tabitha St. Germain

Mirage: [blocking Death’s path] “Stay back! You won’t get past me without a fight. I mean it!

New Mutants #41

Dani Moonstar is a mutant from the Cheyenne Nation with empathy and illusion powers that first activated when she had a vision of her parents’ spirit animals being killed by a demonic bear. Dani’s grandfather sent her to his friend Professor Xavier so he could teach her to control her powers and cope with the trauma.

Dani joined the New Mutants and swiftly became one of the team’s leaders, taking the name Mirage. She studied several forms of martial arts to complement her training with a bow and arrow. During a mission to Asgard, she gained another powerup by rescuing a Pegasus and accidentally became a Valkyrie. This gave her super strength, speed, durability and the power to perceive and stop Death.

With all her new powers and skills, Mirage decided that it was time to confront her parents’ killer. She hunted the Demon Bear and cornered it with help from her team. Mirage slew the Demon Bear, which somehow resurrected her parents.

Another Life’s Blu Hunt is set to play Mirage in New Mutants. The Demon Bear will also appear as one of the main antagonists. If you want more intel on Mirage, check out our list of the top five Native American superheroes.

Cannonball: Blast Zone

Played by Charlie Heaton and Bill Switzer

Cannonball: “Nice try, but Ah’m pretty much invulnerable when Ah’m blastin’. You fellas wouldn’t happen ta be invulnerable, too, would’ja? Say if I dropped you from five thousand feet?”

Young X-Men #5

Sam Guthrie was the son of a coal mining family. He was trapped in a cave-in while working in the mines. Sam’s mutant ability activated and formed an indestructible force field that propelled him through the collapsed rocks.

Sam was quickly hired by corrupt businessman Donald Pierce to attack the New Mutants. He rebelled when he realized that Pierce wanted the New Mutants killed. Professor Xavier was impressed by his change of heart and offered Sam a place on the team.

Sam took the name Cannonball and earned his former enemies’ trust, even becoming co-leader of the New Mutants. He has served on several incarnations of the team, sometimes with his eleven mutant siblings.

Cannonball is deceptive. While he can be naive and acts dumb, he is actually a genius. His forcefield is one of the strongest in the Marvel Universe, and can take blows from Gladiator, Marvel’s premier Superman knockoff.

Sunspot: A.I.M. of Hellfire

Played by Henry Zaga and Adan Canto

Da Costa:It’s not how many plans, schemes, and fake-outs you have, Maker, it’s how good you are at it. Turns out… I’m the best. For example, everyone thought I didn’t have my powers anymore, including you. Guess what? [transforms] It’s kind of the opposite.

New Avengers #17 

Roberto de Costa was the son of a wealthy Brazilian businessman. During a soccer match, racist members of the other team attacked him. His mutation activated during the fight, giving him super strength, durability, and a fiery aura powered by stored sunlight.

De Costa joined the New Mutants when they saved him from an organization called The Hellfire Club. He also learned that his father was one of the Hellfire Club’s leading members. De Costa began calling himself Sunspot and had a long superhero career, even joining The Avengers alongside his best friend, Cannonball.

Sunspot’s time as a hero ended when he was exposed to The Inhuman’s Terrigen Mist, which damaged his powers. He can no longer use them without shortening his life. Sunspot has since taken his deceased father’s spot in the Hellfire Club and used their influence to purchase the terrorist organization A.I.M., which he plans to turn into a peacekeeping force.

Wolfsbane: Beauty and Beast

Played by Maisie Williams and Chantal Strand

[a werewolf approaches X-Factor, then pauses]
Tier:Wait… it… are you?
Wolfsbane: That’s right, muh sweet boy. It’s yuir… yuir ma. Ah’m so sorry. Ah’m so… There’s no excuse for what I did. None. But Ah swear, Ah’ll never leave ye again.

X-Factor #242

Rahne Sinclair was the daughter of an abusive Presbyterian priest. She was frequently beaten and told she would go to Hell for being disobedient, causing Rahne to develop severe self-loathing issues. The stress eventually activated her mutation and transformed Rahne into a werewolf.

Rahne’s father led an angry mob in an effort to burn her at the stake. She escaped and was found by X-Men ally Moira MacTaggart, who sent her to the X-Men for protection. Now calling herself Wolfsbane, she became one of the New Mutants and slowly overcame her self-loathing.

During a mission to Asgard, Wolfsbane fell in love with the Wolf Prince, Hrimhari, and had a son named Tier by him. Hrimhari was killed defending Rahne and Tier from a demon and warned them with his last breath that Tier was being hunted by the rulers of Hell. Wolfsbane went into hiding to protect her son.

Magik: The Darkchilde

Played by Anya Taylor-Joy

Magik: My soul was torn from me to purchase your freedom. I have prevented your release many times…but banishment will no longer sate me. You hunger for human fear…human suffering. Today you understand that we are not human. We are superior. Today you cease to be.”

New Mutants #24

The final member of The New Mutants is Illyana Rasputin, sister of the X-Man Colossus and a superhero called Magik. Yes, with a K, because poor literacy is trademarkable.

Illyana was a minor character who was part of Colossus’ backstory. She visited the X-Men on occasion before becoming a permanent fixture when she began studying at their school. She was eventually kidnapped by a demon named Belasco and forced to spend seven years as his apprentice in Limbo before she was rescued.

Illyana took the name Magik and joined the New Mutants, determined to put her new powers to good use. Despite good intentions, she had a tendency to fight brutally, perform cruel acts, and was frequently possessed. The X-Men eventually realized that her time in Limbo had driven Illyana insane and caused her to develop an evil personality called The Darkchilde. Magik tries to be a hero, but the Darkchilde is always there, waiting for her next slip.

Magik is the most powerful member of the New Mutants. She has the power to teleport through time and space, is a dark magic practitioner, and can summon eldritch armor. Magik’s killer app is the Soulsword, a blade forged from her own soul that can channel magic and cut through ethereal enemies.

Didya Get All That?

The next generation of heroes

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