The New Mutants are one step closer to finding Nate Grey; with the Sugar Man's mutates in their way and Cannonball out of commission, are they in over their heads?
Having the New Mutants run into Steve Rogers while exploring a HAMMER base made me smile. Now that the mutants and the government aren't on such good terms (well, when were they ever?) it's nice to see a bit of hostility. As usual, Victoria Hand can't keep her mouth shut, and people have to deal with bureaucracy - it's just like real life!
The section with Douglas Ramsey explaining the hobo code was actually pretty awesome; I wouldn't picture his powers working with art and graffiti, so it was a welcome change and creative use of his abilities. However, there just didn't seem to be enough New Mutants in this book, though the parts with them were really well-done.
I've never been a fan of Age of Apocalypse, and I really don't appreciate Sugar Man's involvement as the villain. I know he has a past tied to X-Man, but his design just really clashes with the rest of the book. I'm also not really a fan of a writer introducing a character only to use him as metaphorical cannon fodder; yes, I know you needed someone to die in order to show the consequences of the Sugar Man's actions, but do you really need to attempt to have the reader feel for him, first?
It ends up just feeling a bit cheap when he's killed off so suddenly and violently. It makes me feel like investing in characters emotionally is a waste.
The end of the issue really lacks the "oomph" that it needed: having Sugar Man basically say "Well, those heroes are here! Better kick their butts!" just lacked... impact.
Having Cannonball out of commission here really shows. The team almost seems a bit off without a heavy hitter.
I'm kind of disappointed with this issue, as the volume as a whole has been really well done. Hopefully this arc won't last longer than it needs to, and we can get back to the inter-personal drama that's made this series a winner. I want to see more of the characters that the book is supposed to be about, not a long introduction to a villain when a short one will do.