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New Mutants #17 (1984, July)

September 15, 2014

It’s my weekend. I have today and tomorrow off. So I’ll probably do another review post tomorrow, and post my pull list on Wednesday. But for today, by Claremont an Sal Buscema, “Getaway.”

Getaway

I guess June Brigman and Bill Sienkewicz were too lazy to add a background.

Jetstream is telling off Empath for almost getting him killed in the fight against the New Mutants. Empath says it wouldn’t been no great loss if he’d died, calling him “Arab.” So not only is Empath arrogant with rapey powers, he’s also racist. Yep, a real charmer, this fella. Jetstream starts to beat him up, but Empath takes control of his emotions. Emma breaks up the fight. Empath resents her giving him orders, and Emma thinks he’s both an asset and a danger, and either he’ll be a good candidate for the Hellfire Club, or she’s going to kill him. Anyway, she starts a class to review the performance of the Hellions in their fight. Empath admits he was wrong for endangering Jetstream’s life. Tarot accidentally draws a Lovers card from her deck.

Elsewhere, the New Mutants (and Kitty) are in a nice room, with the door locked. ‘Berto’s back is still hurting from what Roulette did, so Kitty massages it. They talk about the White Queen wanting to control them, and Sam mentions the X-Men, along with a lot of other heroes, having gone missing.

In Limbo, Dani and Illyana are passed out, and some demons are moving in. Dani bashes them away with a stick, then uses her fear power. She conjures an image of S’ym, and the demons run. Then the real article shows up. Illyana wakes up in bed a little later, and says S’ym serves her now. Both girls are in new clothes – Illyana a dress, Dani in skins. Illyana gets rid of S’ym, then magically heals herself. They teleport back to the Academy, but it’s a year later, and the New Mutants have become Hellions. They wonder if they can go back to prevent it, and when Emma shows up, they disappear. They reappear a week after they’d initially left. It’ll have to do.

They sneak down to where the Mutants are being held, and wake them up, but they’re caught by the Hellions. Jetstream says they’re not happy about the Mutants being forced to join up, and proposes a challenge – a one-on-one duel. Dani accepts. They all head to the combat room, where Jetstream and Cannonball square off. Jetstream initially controls the fight, but Cannonball winds up with the win.

Which is when Emma and Shaw enter. Emma says she never agreed to the deal the teams made, and tells them all to go back to their rooms. Obviously, the Mutants refuse. Cannonball launches at Shaw, which is a terrible idea. Sunspot tries his luck next, with the same results. Dani tries to hit him with her fear, but Emma reverses it so she sees the Spirit Bear. Meanwhile, in all the confusion, Kitty sneaks away into the Combat Room’s control room, and starts messing stuff up. Catseye helps Wolfsbane drag the unconscious Sunspot over to the other New Mutants. Catseye asks Wolfsbane to stay, and Wolfsbane asks Catseye to leave. Neither agrees. I really, really like Casteye.

Illyana teleports the Mutants back to Xavier’s. And Dani sees an image of the Spirit Bear in the clouds, telling her it’s coming for her.

A solid issue. We get some nice characterization from some of the Hellions, though a few get barely anything. Roulette may as well not be there, and Tarot’s only characterization is that she trusts her cards a lot. Thunderbird says he blames the X-Men for his brother’s death – that’s going to come back in a big way in a little while. So will Tarot’s mention of the Lovers card, actually. Cannonball and Sunspot remain reckless, and Dani is growing into more of a leader. Interestingly, the Mutants leave without Doug Ramsey, and the fact that he was at the Academy seems to be forgotten after this, as we never see Emma release him.

This is Sal Buscema’s last issue as artist. It’s another strong issue. I’m not keen on Limbo – it still seems a bit too bright to me. But it’s a minor gripe. Expressions are handled well, and the fight between Cannonball and Jetstream is done really well. It’s a great scene, as the two fly around, smashing the room. Still, while the art was fine, I’m glad to see him go. Because the new artist is Bill Sienkewicz, and he does an amazing job. Sienkewicz’s presence elevates the book a lot, taking it from “pretty good” to “must-read.”

Song of the day: Any Moment Now by Koufax.

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