New Mutants #12 (1984, February)
I won another book from Goodreads: Aversion, by Eric Monsky. For today, though, from Claremont and Buscema, “Sunstroke.”
It starts with Emmanuel DaCosta, Sunspot’s dad, walking into his office and finding Bobby waiting for him. Bobby confronts him about the Hellfire Club assassin. He remembers his dad telling him as a kid that the whole city would be his. And now, Bobby no longer cares about anything his dad has to offer. The argument gets pretty intense. His father disowns him, and Bobby disowns him right back. Then his father calls Shaw to accept the invitation to join the Hellfire Club.
Then, to the beach! Dani and Amara are having a nice time. Except that Amara’s uncomfortable in the heat. We get a flashback to her dad sending her away with the New Mutants, in order to learn how to use her power. In the present, some guys hit on Amara, and one grabs her and kisses her. Not cool, dude. Not cool in the slightest. She gets pissed and makes a mini-volcano on the beach.
Meanwhile, Rahne’s slipped into a Catholic Church, musing that the Reverend Craig – her father – thought of Catholics as agents of the devil. (My mom’s Scottish, so yeah, that definitely ha some truth to it. She used to joke that she expected to burst into flame any time she went into a Catholic Church.) Rahne feels a need to pray. She’s worried she’s already damned to Hell, that she’s a bad person, that her friends really care about her, or only her Wolfsbane powers. Sam picks that moment to run in and tell her they need her Wolfsbane powers to find Amara.
Amara’s found herself lost in Rio, with cars honking at her and people yelling at her and the sun melting her brain. A traffic cop comes in to help her, but she doesn’t understand what he’s saying, sicne she doesn’t speak Portuguese. When he realizes she’s a foreigner, he thinks she’s probably on drugs. She asks him to let go, but he doesn’t, and she freaks out and makes another volcano. She wanders around in a daze. She starts hallucinating joining with the sun and becoming a god, and using her power to completely destroy Rio. Then she wonders if she’s any different from Selene, which helps her to regain some control as she rejects that idea. She passes out, and some people take her.
Rahne finds her scent where she was taken. Sam figures Rahne can keep tracking her, and pets her head, which really pisses Rahne off. And rightly so – it’s really rude and condescending. She yells that she’s not his pet, because that’s exactly how he treated her there. She also mentions an uncomfortable taste to the air, and Bobby and Dani wonder if Amara’s been building up to a major earthquake.
Amara’s in a slum, being cared for by a young woman who tells her son to call an ambulance. The Mutants find them. Amara’s burning up with fever. There’s no ice in the neighbourhood, since it’s such a poor part of town. Dani tries to use her power to draw out Amara’s fondest wish, but that turns out to be death. She sends Sam and Bobby to find ice. They find an ice truck, and Bobby grabs it while Sam keeps carrying him. It probably shouldn’t work, but it does.
Amara wakes up in a room that’s freezing. The Mutants assure her that the city’s fine, aside from some wrecked streets and a new island in the harbour. She realizes she really needs help with her power.
This is another good issue. The scene with Rahne in the church is really nice, as is her reaction to Sam patting her on the head. Her confidence issues are interesting to read. Bobby’s fight with his father is cool. And Amara’s case of sunstroke is done really well. There’s some definite tension. I also like the use of the slum. Rio De Janeiro has a major wealth gap, but most people really only want to focus on the more upscale, touristy parts of the city. So it was nice that Claremont and Buscema sent the characters into the slums.
Even so, I have to say, New Mutants was a bit of a mid-tier book, in terms of quality, at this point. It was a good book, certainly. But it still wasn’t as good as it should’ve been. It still felt a bit light, somehow. We’re still 6 months from where the book really caught fire.
Song of the day: I Wish My Daddy by Codeine Velvet Club. Codeine Velvet Club was a side project of Jon Fratelli, of the Fratellis. He and Lou Hickey got together, and put out a single amazing album. They’re both Scottish, for the record.