Josh Boone’s New Mutants is putting a funny twist on the X-Men’s pet dragon Lockheed. It promises to continue Fox’s recent winning streak with the X-Men movie franchise, adding more than a dash of horror to the franchise. But thankfully, if Boone’s latest social media post is anything to go by, the film will apply a lighter touch to certain elements of its source material.
The latest New Mutants photo pays homage to AC/DC’s famous cover for Highway to Hell. Appropriately enough, center-stage is Anya Taylor-Joy’s Magik. In the comics, Magik’s spirit is bound to one of Marvel’s Hell dimensions. She actually wound up Queen of the Hell dimension known as Limbo at one point. So, given the nature of this homage, it’s fitting that Magik should take the lead. The mystical mutant’s look is very much comic-book-accurate. The black leathers are visually reminiscent of the costumes Magik’s worn for the last decade or so.
Look closely at the image below (posted to Boone’s Instagram account) and you will spot another X-Men comics Easter Egg. Magik’s wearing a hand-puppet that’s styled after the X-Men’s pet dragon, Lockheed. Again, to refer to the comics, Lockheed is a small alien creature typically allied with Kitty Pryde. He’s always bonded with Magik too, so it’s nice to see a nod to the fan-favorite dragon here.
But why is Lockheed a hand-puppet? It may be an amusing nod to another aspect of Magik’s character in the comics. We were first introduced to Magik as Colossus’s little sister, Illyana. As a child, she was famously associated with a “Bamf” doll modeled after Nightcrawler. The doll proved so popular that the Bamfs eventually became an entire race of beings in the X-Men universe. Boone may not be using Lockheed as a character, but he’s ensured New Mutants gives a nod to him all the same. This is actually our second glimpse of Lockheed, as he also appeared briefly in the New Mutants teaser trailer. One shot showed Illyana holding him to her chest for comfort, again a reminder of the Bamf stuffed toy.
Will Lockheed remain an inanimate object? Or will he, like the Bamfs, ultimately become a force to be reckoned with? In the comics, Lockheed has saved the day many times. 2015’s Secret Wars event even saw an adult, fully-grown Lockheed take on an army of Sentinels. Boone’s clearly a real fan of the X-Men comics, and he could easily be setting up a curveball.
One thing’s for certain: Fox’s recent X-Men movies have been marketed so very effectively. Take Deadpool, for example, which featured the kind of wacky approach that’s perfect for the raunchy comedy. With the release of this Highway to Hell homage, Boone appears to be suggesting that we will see something similar happen with New Mutants. It may be a horror film, but that doesn’t mean the movie can’t have some fun along the way.
KEY RELEASE DATES
New Mutants release date: Apr 13, 2018
Untitled Deadpool Sequel/Deadpool 2 release date: Jun 1, 2018
X-Men: Dark Phoenix release date: Nov 2, 2018
Gambit release date: Feb 14, 2019