The New Mutants: 5 Ways The Comics' Characters Changed (& 5 They Stayed The Same) – Screen Rant

Unsurprisingly, The New Mutants changed quite a lot about its main characters but it also kept some things the same.
Any time comic book characters make their way to the big screen, it’s interesting to see how much of the comic book source material makes it with them. FOX’s (now Disney’s) The New Mutants spent more than three years in various stages of development and delays before it debuted, and during that time, there was a lot of speculation at just how much would remain the same.
Now that some audiences have been able to finally see it, we can see just how much of the characters remain the same and how much has been changed. It’s not just the lineup that is changed (in fact, Illyana wasn’t a member of the original team), but aspects of their origin stories and relationships as well. At the heart of The New Mutants, however, these five teenagers are very much the same characters that long-time Marvel fans know.
Warning: Spoilers for The New Mutants follow.
Sam Guthrie, also known as Cannonball in the comics, carries a lot of guilt in the movie. Due to him not yet having total control over his ability to “blast off,” he frequently causes larger blasts than he intends or runs into walls. That lack of control plays into his backstory as well.
In the movie, Sam “blasting off” while working in a coal mine meant that his father and several other miners are killed in a cave in. That’s very different from his comic book counterpart where Sam actually starts working in the mines after his father already died. When his powers manifest, it’s when he and a coworker are trapped in a cave-in. His ability actually saves them, allowing them to escape.
Just as in the comics, Rahne spends her young life raised by a member of her local church. Father Craig is very staunch in his beliefs and raises Rahne to have the same faith. That also means some of the tragedy and horror she endures also happens in the comics.
In the movie, the audience is given hints of what’s been done to her, like the “W” brand to indicate she’s thought of as a witch. She’s eventually saved from torture – and near death – by an old friend of Charles Xavier’s in the comics, which is what we’re lead to believe is happening through most of the movie as well.
One of the biggest changes made in the movie is Sunspot’s character. Roberto da Costa was originally an Afro-Brazilian teen who experiences racism when his powers activate. There’s not even a hint of that in the movie, as he’s instead depicted as a noticeably lighter skinned actor. This caused an uproar from fans and even the comics’ co-creator Bob McLeod.
Likewise, his powers are different. Though his body does turn black when he begins to draw power from the sun, Sunspot doesn’t actually burn people in the comics. Instead, his drawing power from the sun’s rays gives him super strength, and eventually, flight. His powers in the movie are closer to Magma’s, with the heat and flame being used as a weapon instead of an energy source.
Illyana might seem like the typical Queen Bee in the movie, but her rude attitude and tendency to push people away before becoming friends with them is very much out of her later comic book appearances.
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As a child in the comics, Illyana spends most of her time with her brother Colossus and her eventual best friend Kitty Pryde. Even with Kitty, she doesn’t pull any punches, lashing out at the other girl when things don’t go her way. As an adult, however, Illyana leads her own teams and struggles with the darker nature of her magical powers. At one  point, she even deceives her brother, who struggles under the control of the Cyttorak gem, not letting him know she can strip its control at any time. She wants him to understand what it’s like to have darkness inside himself.
Rahne and Dani form a quick friendship when they join the New Mutants. Part of that is a result of them being able to communicate telepathically when Rahne is in her wolf form. While audiences don’t see evidence of that specific connection in the movie, their relationship is explored, but in a different fashion.
Rahne has always dated her male teammates in the comics, and Dani isn’t someone who seems to pursue a lot of romance at all. In the movie, the two form a tentative relationship, making them the first lesbian couple in the main cast of a Marvel movie.
The movie is inspired by the New Mutants battling Demon Bear in the comics, though the stories do have slight differences. Part of the reason Magik (Illyana) takes on the Demon Bear herself is because Dani is injured and incapacitated in the comics.
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Illyana doesn’t hold back, despite her earlier fear in the movie of the projections created by Dani’s power. In the comics, Illyana is even responsible for cutting the Demon Bear in two, though that moment isn’t in the movie.
Cecelia Reyes is a surgeon who appears in a lot of X-Men related comic book titles. Her ability to create protective force fields is right out of the comics, but that’s about where her similarities to her comic book counterpart end.
Not only is the character Afro-Latino much like Sunspot, but she’s also a reluctant X-Men. She just wants to live a normal life as a doctor, but finds herself constantly pulled into superhero circumstances. At no point in the comics does she work for Nathaniel Essex (aka the villain Mister Sinister), who has been teased in both Logan and X-Men Apocalypse. Her role as a villain in The New Mutants is vastly different than her role in the comics.
Though the New Mutants’ line-up changes in the comics, the core five members — Karma, Mirage, Wolfsbane, Sunspot, and Cannonball — have long-lasting friendships that bring them back together over and over again. Cannonball and Sunspot in particular become the best of friends and frequently join the same teams.
It’s not clear how well the two of them know one another in the movie, but the early stages of their friendship are clearly there. Sam and Roberto hang out together without the other teens, supporting one another when Illyana tries to needle them. It’s also Sam who gets Roberto to finally join in the fight against the Demon Bear.
Much of Illyana’s story is changed for the movie or at the very least, her perception of events changed. If given the chance at a sequel, perhaps her backstory would be revealed to be closer to the comics.
Limbo is not another dimension full of sorcery that Illyana is abducted to at the age of seven. Instead, it’s her “happy place” that she escapes to whenever something traumatic happens. Likewise, Lockheed is a puppet that comes to life with her magical abilities. In the comics, Lockheed is an alien dragon that Kitty Pryde brings back to Earth.
For fans of the comics, it might seem like Dani’s powers are very different from the comics. In live action, they’re actually right in line with what she can do, but much later in life.
Originally in the comics, Dani’s ability to physically manifest fears and hopes instead of simply projecting visions of them is something she is able to do as she gets stronger as an adult. The movie, where she’s a teenager all through out, makes her a little more adept at using these powers early on in life.
NEXT: Hogwarts Houses Of New Mutants Characters
Amanda is a freelance writer in Florida. She holds a Psychology degree and loves superheroes and serial storytelling. Her favorite heroines include Black Widow, Blake Belladonna, and Sailor Jupiter.

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