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New Mutants #31 (1985, September)

March 10, 2015

I took a shift at 5:30 tomorrow, so I may not get reviews up, but I’ll post my pull list. For today, by Claremont and Sienkewicz, “Saturday Night Fight.”

Saturday Night Fight

Big may be beautiful, but there are limits to that.

Roberto and Amara fight a big monster while Alison sings. The captions note that the light show she’s creating is going to ruin light and colour for the audience for the rest of their lives. The Master of the Games is enjoying the show, and muses again about the monster being a robot with Kitty trapped inside it. She also notes that each member of the audience was photographed on the way in, making for some great blackmail material.

Roberto tries to punch the monster, but his fist goes through it, and it bats him away. Amara opens a pit below it, but it stands on the air. Roberto realizes they’re fighting Kitty, and the Master complains that Kitty is still resisting. The monster grabs Roberto, and prepares to kill him, but hesitates. Kitty manages to phase out of the robot. The crowd is angry, yelling for blood, which annoys Amara. The crowds in the the arena at Nova Roma weren’t so bloodthirsty, and she figures if they want blood, it can be their own.

Alison attacks Amara, but her speech bubbles make it clear it’s not her speaking. She uses her lights to hypnotize Bobby and Amara, but Kitty doesn’t look. Instead, she snaps a spike off the robot, and throws it at the Master. Cannonball, Rachel and Illyana burst in to help, too. Alison blasts Kitty from behind, so Illyana summons a demon to take Alison to Limbo. The Gladiators think Alison’s dead, and attack the New Mutants. Kitty has Illyana bring Alison back, hoping the Master’s hold on her has been broken.

Then police sirens are heard outside, and all the rich people start panicking and running for the exits. Alison decides to let Ivich leave, too. That leaves the Mutants to take down the leader of the group. Not Flynn – he was just a hologram. They go into a hidden tunnel to look for the Master. Roberto’s seized, and attacks Sam. Rachel tries to stop him, but it just leaves her open to being possessed. Kitty decks Rachel and has Alison create a bright light, then Sam tackles the Master. The Master is Karma, somehow still alive. She threatens to have her slaves kill themselves if the Mutants don’t let her go.

Amra burns a tunnel back to the car. They see General Nguyen Ngoc Coy, Karma’s uncle, being led out by the police. Roberto’s angry that Xavier lied about Karma’s death, but Kitty says he was just trying to protect them. Amara says that since Karma was a New Mutant, it falls on the New Mutants to deal with her. Alison feels bad about what she did in the Arena, but Kitty says it was Karma, and not to feel bad. Rachel says the X-Men are back, and Kitty agrees not to tell the X-Men where the Mutants are going.

Then we get some notes about the Hellions. Xavier’s journal talks about Empath being a dick. Emma’s journal talks about Catseye being very intelligent, very fierce, very loyal, but hates lies and doesn’t really get why the New Mutants have to be her enemies. You know, I’d love it if Catseye was brought back from the dead. She was a really cool, interesting character.

This is a really good issue. The Karma reveal is a great twist. It’s foreshadowed well, but still comes as a bit of a surprise. It had been long enough since she seemingly died that most would’ve forgotten about her. And she always seemed like a good, heroic person, so no one would expect her to be so evil and sadistic. This issue is also improved by focusing a lot more on the New Mutants. Kitty and Alison are still there. Kitty still gets a fairly substantive role, and continues to show both her determination and her leadership. But she doesn’t dominate this issue the way she did the previous one. Alison also has a significantly smaller role, and there’s no Secret Wars tie-in, so Rachel barely does anything. Instead, the New Mutants actually get to be the main characters again. Since it’s their book, that’s definitely a good thing.

Sienkewicz’s art remains strong. He does exciting action, and he really gets across the right mood and tone. That’s really where Sienkewicz excelled, was mood. He gives the story the right darkness.

Song of the day: Riding My Bicycle by Team Me.

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