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New Mutants #26 (1985, April)

January 22, 2015

Oh hey, it’s another big arc from New Mutants. By Claremont and Sienkewicz, “Legion.”


Sienkewicz nails the cover.

On Muir Isle, Tom and Sharon – the cop and nurse from the Demon Bear Saga – are in the gym. Tom is lifting weights, and lifts a thousand pounds. He says that the two of them have been improved to the best a human can be, but Sharon isn’t really pleased, since she’d rather be back to normal. An astral projection shows up of a young Arab man. The kid screams, then vanishes. The alarms for David’s room go off. He’s in the middle of a telekinetic fit. Then his hands light on fire, and he starts laughing in a girl’s voice. And then the wall explodes.

The next morning, the Blackbird lands on Muir Isle. Xavier and Banshee get off, accompanied by Rahne, Dani, Warlock and Doug. Moira and Sean reunite, and Rahne feels jealous and left out, until Moira comes to greet her, calling Rahne her daughter. Meanwhile, Warlock’s acting weird. Xavier and Moira start psi-speaking about why she called him, and Dani realizes Warlock’s trying to talk to the Blackbird. When Dani tells Doug, he thinks it’s great, and is loving the adventures he’s been getting to go on. Inside, Moira gives more explanation. Tom and Sharon are physically fine, but catatonic. Xavier asks the cause, and Gabrielle Haller says she is. She and Moira tell him and about Gaby’s son, David, and the fact he’s autistic. Xavier asks why she never called him, and she said she had personal reasons.

Back in the US, in Massachusetts, Empath is sent in to see Emma Frost. She’s pissed at him for manipulating Firestar, a story that’s about to be told in UXM #193, and possibly undoing the years of work Emma’s put into her (to be told in the also-upcoming Firestar mini, though that’s not for another year, sadly). He says he was only trying to help, but she says he was playing games, as he’s always done, and she’s had enough. He turns his power on her, forcing her to love him. It seems to work, until she pulls him in close and grabs him by the throat. She played along to test him, and has found him wanting. She puts psychic inhibitors in place to stop him using his power.

Back in Scotland, the Mutants are wandering by some docks, and Warlock “eats” a seagull. Dani grabs his hand to stop him, then freaks at the thought of her getting infected by the virus. Then Warlock starts to freak at her freaking, until Doug calms them both down. Dani tells Warlock not to transmute meals without checking with her, Sam or Xavier. Then Reverend Craig shows up, demanding why Rahne has come back.

Meanwhile, Xavier’s exploring David’s mind. He comes across a psi-wall. The Arabic boy’s face forms in the wall, trying to communicate. Xavier winds up ejected from David’s mind. Then he, Moira and Gaby are telekinetically thrown out of the room. Xavier’s heart is pounding, and he reminds himself that Callisto warned him not to exert himself.

In the Bermuda Triangle, Lee wakes up to Magneto screaming. He’s having a nightmare, and his power’s making his room go nuts. His bed starts to go out the window, and she jumps on in an attempt to wake him up. The bed falls, but Magneto protects them both. He thanks her, and then they start making out.

Back on Muir, Gaby comes to talk to Xavier. He feels bad about the relationship they had. She was his patient, and he feels he took advantage of her. Gaby says they both found comfort they needed, and she has no regrets. Xavier talks about how easy it is for a telepath to play god. She talks about how terrified she was when she first learned what he could do, but that she doesn’t care any more, because she’s fighting for her son.

As that’s going on, Rahne is sneaking out of bed, and over to Moira’s lab. She suddenly feels a bit embarrassed, but Moira tells her to come close, and says once again that Rahne’s her daughter. Rahne even finally calls her mummy. The Arabic kid shows up again, saying he’s bringing a warning, but since he’s speaking in Arabic, they don’t understand. Then the lab explodes.

The Legion Saga! This is a big story. A very big one. Legion, of course, is going to show up plenty over the years. So his formal introduction is a big deal. But more important, this is just a really, really good arc, and it’s off to a great start. There’s tons of great character moments for everyone. There’s some nice bits of humour, and some nice mysteries. We get some exploration of Xavier’s doubts regarding his own powers, we get more of Rahne’s self-doubt and some sweet stuff between her and Moira. There’s also her meeting again with Reverend Craig. Warlock trying to talk to the Blackbird was funny. Doug doesn’t do much here, but whatever. It was also nice seeing Tom and Sharon again. There’s even scenes for Lee and Magneto, and for Emma and Empath. That’s a lot of stuff packed into this issue. Though I didn’t much care for the Lee/Magneto scene.

Sienkewicz’s art continues to be stellar. This issue is actually arguably more conventional than most, but it’s still very much his style, and it’s still awesome. It works equally well for the more comedic scenes and the more dramatic. It’s going to be even better in the rest of the arc, in David’s mind. Again, the one scene where his art fell flat was the Lee/Magneto scene. Those few pages were easily the weakest in the entire issue. Especially considering how little it ultimately amounts to. Still, that bit aside, this is another fantastic issue in a fantastic run.

Song of the day: Miracle Mile by Cold War Kids.

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