New Mutants: Hel’s Valkyrie (#11) – Zeb Wells

2 out of 5

Zeb Wells had managed to navigate crossover shenanigans pretty well with Necrosha, actually using the event to bring some characters back into the New Mutants fold, and drift some thematically sound fallout elements into his storylines. But two issues later, and Marvel is back at it again with Siege – something something Harry Osborn took over the world – and the title doesn’t fare so well this time, (probably) necessitating an average fill-in issue to align timelines preceding this, and then falling back on a pretty lame “I’ll be right back,” style setup so that Dani Moonstar can step away from her NM mates and do the totally-unrelated-to-this-book crossover dance. I’m being dismissive explaining Siege, of course, but I do feel that when you take over a book for your event, you shouldn’t have to have all of the context to be able to read along; Necrosha did that, Siege does not: if you’re not clued in ahead of time, you’ll understand what’s happening in this issue, but it’s hard to care about its impact, since it clearly doesn’t matter once it’s over.

Essentially: Hela and Moonstar had a scatch-my-back deal, and it’s now time for Moonstar to scratch back, becoming a valkyrie for Hela and rescuing some ghosts. That’s not not fun, but it would be more fun if it wasn’t pitched as “serious” because, y’know, crossover. And as alluded, the book has to jump through some lazy storytelling hoops to get there – some vacation time for the New Mutants in Vegas, and Dani letting the team know she’ll be with them in a moment… and then cue the side story. It even ends with Dani getting a radio message from Sam: “Where you been? We’re on the roulette, join us?” i.e. back to your regularly scheduled book.

Wells commits to the action well enough, and keeps Dani’s personality consistent with his book – that’s sort of his one throughline to his series. And they brought in a great artist for it – Niko Henrichon, whose loose, Daniel Warren Johnson-esque crunchiness brings swagger and style to the Hellish Asgardian mix.

But, yeah, this is pure crossover one-shot nonsense, interrupting storylines and not really mattering to the main event anyway. Thanks.