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New Mutants #27 (1985, May)

February 3, 2015

New episode of Agent Carter tonight. But first, by Claremont and Sienkewicz, “Into the Abyss.”

Into the Abyss

Warlock looks awesome there.

Moira and Rahne are both unconscious in the wreckage of Moira’s lab. Neither of them have any minds left to speak of – they’re blank slates, same as Tom and Sharon. Someone’s stolen their minds. Xavier suspects David. Dani notes that since Rahne’s body is still in its wolfen state, her mind should be, too, so Dani should be able to reach her through their rapport. Xavier says it’s too dangerous, but Dani says she’d have him to back her up. Xavier once again demands Gabrielle tell him everything there is to know about David, and once again, she lies and says she already has. Dani mentions that she thinks Xavier and David look a lot alike, but Xavier doesn’t see it.

Xavier and Dani move into the astral plane, and Dani thinks they both look pretty hot. They’re attacked by Rahne’s full-worf form, and then catch fire. In the real world, their bodies are also burning, and then Doug and Gaby are also caught. Then all four collapse to the floor, no harm done to their bodies. In the astral plane, they’re all being surrounded by a wall that’s closing in. Xavier fights against it, and manages to destroy it, revealing a cite way down below. David’s face forms, and he starts begging for mercy, then calls Xavier “father.” That causes him to lose his concentration for just a moment, which bursts the protective bubble he’d put around the others. He catches Dani, but Doug and Gaby are whipped away. Dani tries to figure out what he should do, and more faces appear. One declares them to be Legion, based on the Bible story. David’s still asking for help, and Xavier decides to let himself be carried deeper in.

He’s in the city he saw. It’s a mix of Paris and Beirut, larger than life, torn by war. There’s a huge black dome in the middle. He mind-scans for the others. Dani, Doug and Gaby are doing OK, and Rahne and Moira are on the run. He can’t find Tom or Sharon, and he’s not sure who to help: His students, Tom and Sharon, or David. Dani tells him to look for Tom and Sharon while her group finds Rahne and Moira, then they can all meet back up. Xavier reluctantly agrees, then sees the Arab boy. A helicopter attack Xavier from behind, hitting his shoulder, though nothing’s broken. A wall starts to collapse on him, but he’s saved by Jack Wayne, an affable, adventurous type with telekinesis. He says the Arab is responsible for the state of David’s mind, keeping David prisoner in the dome and using weapons to keep the other psi-selves away. Jack wants to help David, even though it’ll mean his own dissolution.

Elsewhere, Dani’s group is on the run, and Doug’s terrified. He complains about his power being useless. Then the Arab boy calls out to them, and Doug says the boy comes in peace. So much for useless. Gaby freaks right the hell out into a murderous rage. She says the boy was a terrorist who killed David’s godfather, and almost killed David. Then Rahne and Moira meet up with Cyndi, a young punkish girl who doesn’t like adults and doesn’t seem eager to help fix David. She’s also pyrokinetic. Dani’s group is trapped in the Eiffel Tower, until Cyndi blows up the guys attacking them. So the two groups are reunited. The way Sienkewicz draws Dani and Rahne hugging, it almost looks like they’re kissing. I guess Sienkewicz had picked up on all Claremont’s oh-so-subtle subtext between them, and played along with it.

Gaby goes into more explanation about David. He was the only survivor of a terrorist ambush. She thinks he used his powers to kill his attackers, who were led by the boy they keep seeing. Moira says it’s reasonable to believe he could’ve absorbed the psyche of the boy, at which point the Arab must have absorbed the telepathy. Cyndi asks Moira if it’s true the splinter personalities will die if David’s helped, and Moira says she doesn’t know, and the splinters may have become too strongly entrenched.

Jack and Xavier are resting up, and Jack says they need to kill the Arab. Xavier refuses, but Jack says there’s no choice. He points out that Xavier deals with a lot of grey morality, but this is different. David – Xavier’s son – is a prisoner of his own mind. Xavier takes the knife Jack offers.

An awesome issue. It actually does throw some ambiguity into the whole situation. It’s tough to believe the Arab is actually an enemy, since he kept trying to warn others, but the whole thing is just weird enough to make a reader think it may be the case. Jack and Cyndi are pretty neat. They’re fun. Jack comes across as almost the ultimate Hollywood hero. Cyndi’s also a bit of an archetype, a bad girl with a good heart. But mostly, she’s just fun. She calls David “Daveydomeboy.” She calls Moira “Ladydoc.” She’s got a fun attitude. It’s a shame that she was never brought back in any of the stories where David had a bunch more personalities. Oh well.

Sienkewicz gets to shine in a story like this, where everything is supposed to be strange and exaggerated. His style never emphasized realism in the first place, and in a story that takes place in a messed-up mind, it becomes even less realistic, and more fantastical. Sienkewicz kills it here.

It’s actually pretty amazing just how great Claremont and Sienkewicz were together. Their collaboration started strong, and stayed just as strong. New Mutants was one of the best books Marvel was putting out at this point.

Song of the day: Bad Buzz by Mint Chicks.

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One Comment
  1. I love New Mutants during that time. I wish Claremont had done a bit more with Legion’s supposed autism, but I think at the time, it was more of a buzzword to just draw people in. Still, Legion’s encounter with the NM is one of my favorite classic NM stories.

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