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New Mutants #11 (1984, January)

August 1, 2014

I didn’t win any books today. Which is a little disappointing, simply because going three in a row would’ve been funny. Anyway, today’s story, by Claremont and Buscema, is “Magma.”

Magma

Man, she looks hot. Yeah, I know it’s a lame joke, but it was mandatory.

Amara, having been tossed into the magma, has become joined with the Earth, and now she’s attacking Selene. Selene holds her own, blocking a magma-blast and creating golems out of the rock around them. They attack her, and take her down. But then Dani notices Selene’s aged a lot. She fixes that by killing a bunch of her own followers, which replenishes her power. She also lets Dani feel the power, and Dani seems to like it a lot. From the text and the look on her face, it’s almost a sexual thrill. Selene owns her now, and plans to do the same to the rest of the New Mutants. But Dani still defies her, and refuses to be a slave. Then the lava pool starts exploding. Amara’s back! And she starts filling the whole cave with lava. Dani tries to climb away, but gets burned and falls. She lands right in front of Amara, and accidentally draws out a fear-image of Amara killing Dani. Amara figures she should die, and Selene attacks from behind and drains her energy.

Topside, the remaining New Mutants are watching Aquilla’s guards being led off by Gallio’s troops. Aquilla declares Gallio a traitor, and one of the soldiers smacks him to shut him up. Bobby sees a red-headed woman among the prisoners, and sneaks off to see if it’s his mother. He knocks out a Legionnaire and steals his uniform in order to get into the prison. He finds Castro talking to his mother. Castro’s going to kill her. Bobby stops him, then frees her. They talk about the political situation, and Bobby tells her to get the Amazons so they can help put Gallio down.

Elsewhere, Sam is disgusted at the treatment of Aquilla, and Rahne thinks he’s mad at her. Gallio orders his men to poison Sam and drug Rahne, but before they can drink, Amara busts in, asking for help. Gallios tells his men to kill her, but Bobby shows up in the nick of time. Then Nina brings in the Amazons and Aquilla’s guards. Free-for-all! And again Rahne gets smacked in the head. Did Claremont just have some sort of grudge against Rahne? Did he just find it funny to have her keep getting smacked in the head? Because seriously, I’m starting to think I should run a “Rahne Gets Hit In the Head” counter. Aquilla and Gallio engage in a personal duel. Aquilla wins.

Amara’s asked what happens. She’d had her life drained, but the earth gave it back to her. The Mutants follow the tunnel Amara blazed into the palace. They get grabbed by stone, but break free. They find Selene, and more fight time! Selene’s holding them off, but she gets distracted enough for Dani to conjure a spirit-form of Selene’s death. Again, she’s distracted, which lets Bobby stab his sword into her heart. It, uh, doesn’t really do much. But Sam creates a hole in the mountain to let in some sunlight, and Bobby breaks free of Selene’s grasp. Amara burns a fissure into the earth, and Bobby throws her into the lava, then seals it behind her. He’s pretty sure she’s not dead, but he hopes they’ll have time to figure out a way to stop her when she comes back.

And then, for Assistant Editor’s Month, Elliot Brown announces a giveaway of his slipper-socks. Meh.

This is a really, really good issue. It’s a great climax to this whole arc. Amara’s a powerhouse. Bobby shows some cunning, and a bit of ruthlessness that’s kinda cool. The action is exciting. Buscema draws it all very well. I do still kinda wish that something more could’ve been done with Magma’s look. It’s a cool look, but held back a bit by the limits of the medium. It’s hard to show something flowing in a comic, especially back in the ’80s. Oh well. Selene’s a great villain. She has become, of course, one of the classic X-villains; the New Mutants didn’t have much to do with her after this, which is a bit of a shame. But she’s too powerful for them, so it’s reasonable that they wouldn’t be fighting her.

Song of the day: Host by Alex Winston.

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