One of the greatest things about comic books is that they can (and often do) tell stories about updated versions of classic teams we’re all familiar with, and at a much more rapid pace than you’d see in television or movies. As a result, comic teams change rosters almost as quickly as individual team members change costumes, something this week’s very best new comics understand and take advantage of in the very best ways.
The New Mutants: Dead Souls
In the time since the New Mutants first made their debut as a team 35 years ago, its members have gone their separate ways, becoming so much more than just Xavier’s spandex-clad students. Though The New Mutants: Dead Souls doesn’t bring back all of the original members as regulars, the title picks up with Magik and Wolfsbane bartering with Rictor, Boom-Boom, and Strong Guy to work for Karma as a team of mutant paranormal investigators.
Each of the faces on the team is familiar, but Dead Souls brings them all together under the New Mutants banner to showcase just how much they’ve all grown since they were first introduced, while also tapping into that same energy that made the original New Mutants series so invigorating. (Matthew Rosenberg, Adam Gotham, Michael Garland, Marvel)
The near-endless cycle of deaths, resurrections, cancellations, and reboots in comics is what makes it possible for our favorite comic book characters to keep coming back better, newer, and yet still familiar to us.
Eternity Girl is a metafictional reboot of sorts that draws inspiration for its titular character from other characters under the larger umbrella of DC’s pantheon of heroes, like Endless Girl and Doctor Manhattan. When we meet Caroline Sharp, she’s both literally and metaphorically pulling herself back together after realizing during the DC and Young Animal’s Milk Wars event that her entire fictional history detailed in comics is just that—made-up stories about a person who doesn’t really exist.
But for Caroline, or Chrysalis as she was known during her years as a superhero, Eternity Girl takes place in a very real moment of her life when she’s trying to adjust to no longer being a vigilante and not knowing what the future holds in store for her book’s larger narrative. Though she has the power to reshape her physical form into any shape or substance down to her molecular structure, Caroline struggles to maintain a semblance of the regular human body she once felt so comfortable in. It creates a powerful disconnect between her and the world around her and drives Caroline to attempt suicide over and over again, but to no avail. Eternity Girl doesn’t know how to live and her inability to die drives her into a deep, existential depression that’s infinitely more terrifying—and compelling—than any world-ending supervillain threat. (Magdalene Visaggio, Sonny Liew, Chris Chuckry, DC Comics)
Ghostbusters: Crossing Over
Despite what some angry fanboys might tell you, the Ghostbusters franchise is larger than the cast members of the original movie. Ghostbusting is a way of life embraced by a broad range of brilliant kooks and paranormal investigators spread across a multimedia universe, and a handful of them all come together in IDW’s Ghostbusters: Crossing Over.
Thanks to the use of a newly-developed inter-dimensional gateway technology that would make Rick Sanchez proud, Jillian Holtzmann’s gotten into the habit of hanging out with the Prime Ghostbusters and the Ghost Smashers, a rival team of investigators who have specialized specifically in the destruction of ghosts. With all of the Ghost-enthusiasts researching new and dangerous ways to harness psychokinetic energy through different applications, their experiments unsurprisingly draw the attention of both the dead and the living who fear what new horrors they might accidentally unleash upon the world.
It’s fun to see multiple generations of Ghostbusters teaming up and getting their wires crossed with one another as they imperil and save the world yet again, because it really hammers home the idea that this franchise has lasting potential that isn’t bound to any one particular story or group of actors. (Erik Burnham, Dan Schoening, Luis Antonio Delgado, IDW)