The home video release of The New Mutants fixes a credits mistake that misspelled the name of the one of the superhero team’s creators, Bob McLeod. Directed by Josh Boone, The New Mutants follows a group of teenage mutants whose burgeoning powers are more of a curse than a blessing – and the movie itself seemed to be cursed as well. Originally planned for an April 2018 release, The New Mutants suffered more than two years of delays, before finally arriving in theaters amid a global pandemic in August 2020.
The New Mutants was a box office flop with a worldwide gross of just $45.8 million, though that’s hardly surprising given the circumstances under which it was released. Now, thanks to the home video release, those who were unable to see The New Mutants in theaters (or unwilling to take the risk) can see what turned out to be the very last movie of the 20th Century Fox X-Men era.
One person who was less than impressed by The New Mutants was comic book artist Bob McLeod, who co-created the superhero team along with writer Chris Claremont in 1982. When The New Mutants released in theaters, McLeod criticized a number of changes made to the characters, including the controversial whitewashing of Afro-Brazilian superhero Sunspot (who is dark-skinned in the comics, but was played by light-skinned Brazilian actor Henry Zaga in the movie). Among McLeod’s grievances was The New Mutants‘ end credits misspelling his name as “Bob Macleod.” Responding to the movie on social media, McLeod said, “They couldn’t even be bothered to check the spelling of my name sometime in the last three years. And that can’t be fixed. That will be on the movie forever.”
While it’s too late to change The New Mutants‘ casting or character designs, McLeod’s disappointment about the credits misspelling his name was inexpensive enough that Disney was able to address it ahead of the movie’s home video release. As noted by Bleeding Cool, McLeod’s name is now properly spelled in the credits, where he’s thanked alongside Claremont and The New Mutants artist Bill Sienkiewicz.
Though he wasn’t one of the original creators of the New Mutants as a team (he did co-create the character of Illyana Rasputin a.k.a. Magik), Sienkiewicz’s art had the greatest influence upon the film. Sienkiewicz is notable as the artist behind the Demon Bear arc that The New Mutants adapts, and also created a poster for the movie. Speaking to Screen Rant, Boone said:
“I just knew that Bill Sienkiewicz’s art was incredible. It looked different than anything I’d ever seen in a comic book before when I was a kid in the 1980s. So much closer to Vertigo art, or the really dark DC art that was coming out at the time. We just wanted to bring his artwork to life, that’s sort of what the idea started with.”
Boone’s love of Sienkiewicz’s art would certainly explain why his name was spelled correctly in the original credits (despite being much trickier than “McLeod”). Still, this isn’t the first time that a comic book artist hasn’t been properly credited. For many years, Batman co-creator Bill Finger was forgotten in favor of artist Bob Kane, who was credited as the sole creator. It wasn’t until 2015 that DC Entertainment began to recognize Finger as the Dark Knight’s co-creator in TV, movie and comics credits. Fortunately, they spelled his name right.