'New Mutants': Everything to Know About the 'X-Men' Spinoff Team

Meet Danielle Moonstar, Cannonball and the rest of the team.
Alex Ross/Marvel Entertainment

Fox's New Mutants movie has a new writing team, which might mean that it's time to start wondering just which members of the superhero team — which debuted in a 1982 graphic novel, followed by a monthly New Mutants comic book series  — will make it to the big screen.

Unlike most superhero teams, membership in the New Mutants has been fairly consistent throughout the concept's 30-plus year history; even a reboot in the early 2000s included the core cast in supporting roles. So, who are Marvel's undergrad X-Men? Here are the basics of the team as existed for their original, core, comic book run.

Danielle Moonstar
A.K.A. Psyche, Mirage, Spellbinder, Dark Rider

First Appearance: Marvel Graphic Novel No. 4 (1982)

One of the two co-leaders of the team, Danielle is a headstrong Native American with the ability to project images of the greatest fears or greatest desires of any chosen subject. As the result of an adventure early in her career, Moonstar was inducted into the Asgardian Valkyries, and gifted with both a flying horse and the "gift" of predicting future deaths of those around her. In the various downtimes for the team, she has worked with the X-Men and the Defenders.

Sam Guthrie

A.K.A. Cannonball

First Appearance: Marvel Graphic Novel No. 4 (1982)

The other of the team's co-leaders, Sam is the oldest child of the surprisingly large Guthrie clan, and one of a number of mutants inside that family. He's a level-headed, down-to-earth character — which is ironic considering his mutant ability allows him to fly at great speeds while protected by an energy shield, making him into the ideal human battering ram. More recently, he's been seen as part of the Avengers alongside his best friend, Roberto da Costa.

Roberto da Costa

A.K.A. Sunspot

First Appearance: Marvel Graphic Novel No. 4 (1982)

There are three things everyone should know about Roberto da Costa. Firstly, his ego is perhaps his true superpower, more than his ability to absorb sunlight and become super strong and seemingly invulnerable as a result. Secondly, he is astonishingly rich, having inherited a fortune from his businessman father. And thirdly, his hero is Tom Selleck's Magnum, P.I. character. Truly, da Costa — currently the owner of Advanced Idea Mechanics and leader of Marvel's New Avengers — is the hero we deserve.

Rahne Sinclair

A.K.A. Wolfsbane

First Appearance: Marvel Graphic Novel No. 4 (1982)

Coming from a restrictive upbringing, Sinclair initially believed her ability to transform into a wolf — as well as an intermediate, half-wolf, half-human form — was some kind of demonic curse. It took years of working alongside her fellow mutants to shake that misgiving, but she managed despite at one point being kidnapped and brainwashed by an island of anti-mutant racists. Outside of her time with the New Mutants, Rahne has also served with the government-sponsored X-Factor team.

X'ian Coy Manh

A.K.A. Karma

First Appearance: Marvel Team-Up No. 100 (1980)

Originally introduced as an anti-hero who went up against Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four, X'ian is perhaps the most inconsistent of the New Mutants; responsible for two younger siblings, she left the team at an early stage when they went missing, only to show up years later as the mind-controlled puppet of a villain called the Shadow King — a somewhat ironic situation, given that her own superpower is to control others' minds. Although she subsequently rejoined the team, she left once again to try and find her siblings, setting in motion her most recurring trait: leaving and rejoining her friends on an irregular basis when creators decide that they want to use the character.

Amara Aquilla

A.K.A. Magma

First Appearance: New Mutants No. 3 (1983)

If X'ian is the most inconsistent of the New Mutants, Amara may be the dullest, despite a spectacular backstory that sees her being raised in a modern-day recreation of ancient Rome by a society that has hidden itself away from civilization for decades. As her name suggests, she has the ability to superheat herself so that she becomes living magma, but sadly not the ability to have an interesting personality. Written out of the original series around its midway point, she has returned since then to remain in the background on a fairly consistent basis.

Illyana Rasputina

A.K.A. Magik, the Darkchilde

First Appearance: Giant-Size X-Men No. 1 (1975); as Magik, New Mutants No. 14 (1984)

The little sister of the X-Men's Colossus, Illyana has a truly tragic history: Kidnapped by demons as a child, she was raised in an alternate dimension to become a sorceress whose every move turned her ever-more demonic. Eventually, she became a full demon and tried to turn Earth into a hell of its own, only to end up reborn as the child she was pre-kidnapping. The Magik in current comics continuity comes from an alternate dimension where she never went through that final metamorphosis. Following her time with the New Mutants, this second Illyana went on to join the X-Men.

Doug Ramsay

A.K.A. Cypher

First Appearance: New Mutants No. 13 (1984)

Poor Douglas. He was not granted a superpower that helped him in fist fights or standing up to the might of the Juggernaut. Instead, he has the ability to translate and understand any language. It's a power that would help a lot in the real world, but not so much in comics, where he ended up murdered during a massive fight scene just four years after his introduction. He was subsequently resurrected and given a power boost so that he can now understand anything, because he views everything as a form of language. Since returning from the dead, he's spent time with the X-Factor team.

Warlock

A.K.A. N/A

First Appearance: New Mutants No. 18 (1984)

A "techno-organic" alien whose gains energy by stealing it from other living beings, Warlock's mutation is an emotional one — whereas the rest of his race gleefully kills and embraces conflict, Warlock is a pacifist who would rather everyone just get along. He arrived on Earth fleeing his father, who was trying to kill him, and found a new home with the New Mutants, and especially with Doug; the two formed a team-within-the-team, quickly becoming best friends. Like Doug, he's also worked with X-Factor.

Bird Brain

A.K.A. Bird Boy

First Appearance: New Mutants No. 56 (1987)

A short-lived member of the team, Bird Brain was a hybrid creature created by a mad scientist looking to merge human and animal DNA. In the brief period between escaping his creator and going back to confront him, he served with the New Mutants, although he could hardly be credited with adding much to their overall dynamic.

Rusty Collins

A.K.A. Firefist

First Appearance: X-Factor No. 1 (1986)

A navy cadet whose mutant abilities give him the ability to control fire, Rusty spent a great deal of time being trained by X-Factor to control his powers before joining the New Mutants — something that happened more or less by accident when he happened to be dealing with the same threat as the team toward the end of their original series. A sad fate awaited him, unfortunately: After being brainwashed by mutant terrorists, he would be killed by another mutant villain.

Sally Blevins

A.K.A. Skids

First Appearance: X-Factor No. 7 (1986)

Rusty's girlfriend was a runaway raised in an underground society based in the sewers of New York City, who was surrounded by a force field she could barely control — something that made her good in a fight, but was troublesome in almost every other respect. Eventually, she would go from the care of X-Factor and the New Mutants to finding herself working for SHIELD.

Tabitha Smith

A.K.A. Boom-Boom, Timebomb, Meltdown

First Appearance: Secret Wars II No. 5 (1985)

Another runaway that would, eventually, find herself housed by X-Factor and later the New Mutants, Boom-Boom is all bravado, attitude and the ability to generate small explosions on a timed basis (hence the code name "Timebomb"). In addition to the New Mutants, she has spent time with X-Force and the reality-bending anti-superhero team Nextwave.

Julio Richter

A.K.A. Rictor

First Appearance: X-Factor No. 17 (1987)

Either coincidence or lazy writing meant that a man with the last name "Richter" has earthquake powers, but they served him well not only with the New Mutants, but also with X-Force and X-Factor. After much fan speculation in the 1990s, Richter was brought out of the closet in 2009, and is one of Marvel's few openly gay male heroes.

Nathan Christopher Summers

A.K.A. Cable

First Appearance: Uncanny X-Men No. 201 (1986); as Cable, New Mutants No. 86 (1990)

A time traveler who transformed the New Mutants into a para-military organization known as X-Force, Cable is a telekinetic whose visual and fighting styles are augmented by the fact that he's also a cyborg with a particular fondness for grimacing. In addition to spending time with the New Mutants, he's also been a member of the X-Men and has fought alongside the Avengers.

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