While working on multiple X-Men comics, launched by his successful Powers and House of X runs; Hickman has struggled for consistently solid series in the new marvel line-up with his X-Men series outclassing his New Mutants run.
Whereas we have Krakoa and the events in X-Men, Marauders, and X-Force impacting each other and crossing over, New Mutants fails to be as well written as series like Fallen Angels and Excalibur that are consistently stronger. Hill and Howard both have done better jobs at using their team compositions to their strengths, whereas Hickman appears to struggle in making the New Mutants likeable and feel less taxing with the larger amounts of dialogue he puts into New Mutants compared to his current X-Men run.
In New Mutants issue 2, Hickman spends most of the issue through the viewpoint of Sunspot and fails to get the point across without including paragraphs of text in multiple panels. While you can have larger blocks at times, this issue is riddled with many pages of excess dialogue meant to drive home further Sunspots ego and personality, only to set-up what the Mutants arc will focus on compared to their previous issue.
Focusing around one character and giving excessive details and narcissistic dialogue for the sake of comedy and to drive a point home gets taxing. Sunspot isn’t entirely funny, though I understand his personality through the writing, but we got overloaded with wasted dialogue that didn’t move the plot forward at all and only served for humour or backstory on a character that added nothing to the present except; I’m Sunspot and I am very wealthy with many lawyers and houses and i’m beautiful.
As an X-Men series, I don’t care about that aspect of Sunspot, I’d care more if the series delved deeper into how they got out of the mess, their connection to Cannonball and Smasher as they’re rescued. We also spend little time in the place the were stealing from originally when they were with the Starjammers, so it doesn’t make you care as much about what’s going on, knowing that they’ll escape regardless.
Whereas Hickman takes it a few at a time in his X-Men run without trying to balance every character he includes, New Mutants appears to solely focus on Bobby (Sunspot) in large and everyone else exists on the team but gets little to no development. We’re also given large portions of text from Bobby that talks about how great he is or rich or beautiful and little else at times. This lack of anything redeeming and a lack of leadership for the team makes it hard for me to like anyone involved.
Hickman doesn’t give the audience enough time to feel any connection to the characters yet, nor time to focus on other members of the team and it shows in the poor writing he has in New Mutants compared to X-Men.
While the series is overall hard to read, I’ll continue it for 1 more issue in the hopes that Hickman improves upon this series and it isn’t treated as a “series that was required by Marvel, but has less heart than the rest.”