Review: ‘New Mutants’ #20 Reveals More Of The Shadow King’s Evil

by Tony Thornley

The Shadow King has been twisting the minds of Krakoa’s youth. We don’t know why or for how long, but in New Mutants #20, we start to see how that evil influence is endangering all of Krakoa.

Cover by Martin Simmonds

The next chapter of the New Mutants story begins in this issue. After months of watching the Shadow King’s evil influence, the kids are in over their heads. It comes from Vita Ayala, Alex Lins, Matt Milla, and Travis Lanham.

Gabby Kinney is dead, and her friends are terrified about what that means. After all, the laws about clones’ resurrections have been in question since Madelyne Pryor’s return. Nevertheless, the quartet hatch a desperate plan to bring her back. Meanwhile, something is wrong with Rahne…

Ayala weaves two stories here, and they’re not so much an a-plot and b-plot as just two parts of a larger whole. Despite Amahl Farouk’s minimal appearance in this issue, his plans are starting to come together and it’s causing questions to pop up about Krakoa — both on the meta level and within the fiction itself. Ayala seems to be the only one asking these questions right now and because of that, they’re writing the story that seems to be working best right now within the X-line.

Lins puts in a good showing here. It’s not quite as strong as last issue’s Hellfire Gala, and some of his unique style from that story is sanded down here, leaving a book that leans far more into Marvel’s house style. There are also few backgrounds in panels, which always results in the art feeling incomplete. It’s a competent issue from a line art perspective, but it has a ways to go, especially when stacked up next to the series’ regular artist.

Milla’s color art is really solid throughout, though. He uses the warmth and coolness of colors to set moods alongside the scenes, then uses bright flashes of color to emphasize emotions. It’s very good work from one of the industry’s better color artists.

This series still has a lot to like, and definitely continues to have one of the strongest stories in the line.

New Mutants #20 is available now from Marvel Comics.


A strong story is overshadowed by some loose and rushed art. The story is asking all the right questions, but needs art to match.

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