It has been said that if you want to keep up with the goings-on of the mutant status quo in Marvel's popular series of X-Men comics, you should really have a scorecard. If that is the case, then consider this article your scorecard for the newest characters to land in Marvel's mutant flagship title, Uncanny X-Men. Currently on issue no. 17, this is actually the third volume of Uncanny X-Men that Marvel has published. The first volume ran from 1963 to 2011, and the second volume ran from 2011 to 2012.
This latest volume has focused on the mutant rights activist team led by Cyclops, he of the optic beams and stoic temperament. Along with the help of Magneto, Magik, the White Queen, and the Stepford Cuckoos, Cyclops has spent a portion of this volume of Uncanny X-Men recruiting young mutants and helping them learn how to use their mutant powers. They have also ended up recruiting the young time-displaced X-Men from the All-New X-Men title. Sometimes these new mutants take to their abilities like the proverbial ducks to water, but sometimes, well, you'll see, after we take a closer look at each new character. Let's start with...
Hijack, whose real name is David Bond, is a mutant with the ability to control vehicles with his mind. He is capable of basically telling cars what to do, and they listen to him like domesticated animals. Bond was rescued by Cyclops' team after he was in the process of being confronted by police who thought David was stealing cars (he was really just showing off for his girlfriend).
As a part of the X-Men, Bond has really expanded the scope of his power of vehicular mind control, first by controlling a miniature version of the X-Men's Blackbird jet, and later by controlling the entire S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier as a means to avoid capture. Since his first appearance less than a year ago in Uncanny X-Men issue no. 6, Hijack has shown he has a knack for combat situations and protecting his teammates.
Healing Powers for Everyone
Christopher Muse was wanted for questioning by the Ann Arbor police in Uncanny X-Men issue no. 1, his first appearance. He wasn't being sought for suspicion of involvement with a violent crime, however; Muse was sought in connection with mysteriously healing one of his friends from a near-death accident. Talk about a mismanagement of police priorities. But before Muse could be put in jail, he was rescued by Cyclops and the X-Men, and taken to their secret base in the former Weapon X compound in Canada.
There, Muse took on the codename Triage, and he continues to assist his teammates in battle by basically serving as a white wizard, healing those around him as needed.
People Like Him
First appearing in Uncanny X-Men issue no. 3, Benjamin Deeds was a student at the University of Texas at Austin when his mutant powers manifested themselves for the first time. At a picketed protest against mutants, Deeds found himself mysteriously mimicking the appearance and voice of those around him, a manifestation of his mutant power to transmorph into close duplicates of those around him. Not surprisingly in a world of anti-mutant hysteria, Deeds was expelled from school.
Luckily, a new school took him in, this one being the New Charles Xavier School for Mutants, which is what Cyclops calls this particular squad of new X-Men. As a member of the X-Men, Deeds, as the mutant Morph, can not only transmorph, but he is also able to influence others with transformative psychochemicals, which cause chemical changes in the brains of those around him to make them more trusting, relaxed, and happy.
Fabio Medina is the alter ego of Goldballs, a mutant with the ability to create gold balls. Also, the balls can bounce. We are not making this up. Brian Michael Bendis, the writer of Uncanny X-Men, is making this up. Since his first appearance in Uncanny X-Men issue no. 1, Goldballs has been hesitant to join up as a member of the X-Men, but circumstances involving the police, S.H.I.E.L.D., and mutant-hunting Sentinels have all seemed to conspire to make Medina's life a hectic one where he is safer as part of the mutant team.
Take Your Time, Do It Right
Tempus is the true breakout star of the entire pack of new mutants to join Cyclops' X-Men team. This young Australian mutant, whose real name is Eva Bell, first appeared in issue no. 1 of All-New X-Men, and not an issue of Uncanny X-Men as all of her teammates did. In that issue, Bell inadvertently showed the first manifestation of her mutant power by freezing time locally within a time sphere that she created. This drew the attention both of Cyclops' X-Men, as well as the Australian Task Force, but luckily it was the X-Men who saved Bell and returned with her to their secret Weapon X facility/base.
Since then, Tempus has developed her mutant power quite a bit, discovering that not only is she able to stop time locally, she is also able to displace it, slow it down, and otherwise affect it to whatever degree she chooses. At one point, during a training exercise, Tempus temporally disappared, only to return with mysteriously lengthened hair and a slightly-aged appearance.
Read Uncanny X-Men
And Check Out These New Mutants' Adventures
Thanks to the witty dialogue of writer Brian Michael Bendis, the rapport between these new mutants in the pages of Uncanny X-Men always seems natural and never stilted. The book is also helped tremendously by the idiosyncratic artwork of Chris Bachalo, who both pencils and colors most issues of the book. Overall, this is a great title for long-time fans (even those who have been collecting comics since the Bronze Age) of Marvel's X-Men series of comic books, and the addition of newer mutants and characters means that even new readers can get in on the ground floor of this team's adventures. Check out all the back issues of this volume of Uncanny X-Men that are available, and if one of these new X-Men is a fast favorite of yours, leave a comment below!