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New Mutants #29 (1985, July)

February 22, 2015

Today, by Claremont and Sienkewicz, “Meanwhile, Back At the Mansion . . .”

Meanwhile, Back At the Mansion . . .

Oh, goody, a follow-up to a lame Dazzler story.

Sam and Illyana crash their way through Westchester’s airport, chasing after some guys who’ve captured Bobby and Amara. The guys take off in a plane, and Sam tries to catch them, but fails, and starts falling to his death. Illyana teleports him to Limbo, where she’s already got one of the bad guys. The guy refuses to talk, until S’ym comes over. Once they have the information, Sam and Illyana teleport to LA, but they arrive a week later.

They head over to Lila Cheney’s LA mansion, and meet Guido. It’s Guido, guys! His first appearance! Guido’s awesome, guys. Anyway, once Sam gives his name, they’re let in to see Lila. She teleports herself, Sam and Illyana to her Dyson Sphere, along with Dazzler. Sam gives the story on what happened – they were at a swim party at the local high school, but it was a set-up, and Bobby and Amara got grabbed. They’ve been taken by a group called the Gladiators. Lila knows nothing about them, but Dazzler, of course, does.

Bobby is shouting for Amara to be brought to him. Axe comes in and bashes him in the head. A hologram of Flynn welcomes Bobby to the Gladiators. Bobby refuses to fight, but Amara comes in and tells him some children have been taken captive. They have no choice but to fight. Back in the Dyson Sphere, Dazzler bitches a bit about how bad her life’s become since everyone learned she was a mutant. Lila tells Guido to get her tickets to the next gladiator show.

In the Bermuda Triangle, Magneto is trying to magnetically lift a heavy statue. He’s too weak to even be trying, but he forces himself to do it. He and Lee talk a bit, and each apologizes for how they’ve behaved towards the other. Then they kiss and make up, until Xavier telepathically interrupts to tell Magneto that the Beyonder is on Earth.

In LA, the group is driving through a rough neighbourhood, and Lila sees a Nazgul poster. She opened for them when she was starting out. This is the second time in recent months that Claremont’s referenced Nazgul. It’s actually a reference to a band from a George R.R. Martin novel (The Armageddon Rag). For those impatiently waiting for the next installment of the Song of Ice and Fire series, you could always try requesting The Armageddon Rag from your local library. Even if they don’t have it, they can request it from a library that does have it. Sorry, I slipped into library technician mode there.

Anyway, they go to the door, but are told they’re not on the list. Illyana gives the guy a look that creeps him out enough to let them by. The person running the arena is told Dazzler’s returned, and the person is pleased by the news. Dazzler’s edgy, and Lila says she’s like an ex-junkie with a bag of heroin.

The first match is Ivich vs. a shapeshifter. The shapeshifter, in the form of a giant snake, starts to crush Ivich, but Dazzler jumps in to save her. After that, the main event – Bobby and Amara come out and get attacked. Then Magneto rips the roof off, and tells the Mutants to leave with him. Bobby and Amara say they have to stay behind.

Not too bad an issue. But not a great one, either, truthfully. It might be the weakest issue of the Claremont/Sienkewicz run so far. It’s possible I’m biased by how bad the Beauty and the Beast mini was, so I go into this arc with a negative attitude already. But I think the bigger thing is that it all just feels oddly shallow. There’s a few different stories going on here, as usual, but none feel as deep as usual. There’s just something missing. The writing and the art are both still good, but they both lack a sense of greater meaning, I think.

On the plus side, Guido! There’s also the mysterious leader of the arena – the person is cloaked in shadows here, but the reveal will come soon enough, and it’s a huge one. There’s some very exciting stuff coming up, and even this arc ends up getting better after this issue. And again, it’s not like it’s a bad issue, just not as good as it should be.

Song of the day: Carousel Ride by Rubblebucket.

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