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New Mutants #33 (1985, November)

March 30, 2015

I was late for work today. The first time I’ve been late since I started at Wal-Mart. But now, by Claremont and Leialoha, “Against All Odds.”

Against All Odds

Warlock’s kicking ass.

Karma is in her Cairo nightclub, Pharaoh, with the New Mutants sitting around her. She sees a happy couple dancing, looking like they’re in love. She has Sam walk over and grab the woman and start dancing with her, and Karma also possesses the woman, to have her tell her husband off. The guy gets angry, but Sam scares him off. Then Karma releases her hold on the woman, and has Sam reject her. Karma senses someone else’s thoughts, and Storm approaches. Storm plans to end Karma. Karma has the Mutants attack.

Sam blasts at Storm, but gets cut by Illyana’s Soulsword, which makes Karma scream, since she expects to have felt pain. Wolfsbane chases Illyana into the crowd, where Dani’s been hiding. She tries using her psychic rapport with Wolfsbane to break Karma’s hold, but Karma uses it to strike back at her. Luckily, seeing Dani in trouble gives Rahne the strength to break free. Dani creates an illusion of Karma’s greatest fear, which turns out to be Xavier. Karma sends the crowd after Dani and Rahne, but Warlock flies them away.

They fly to where Storm’s staying, in a run-down neighbourhood. Rahne starts to break down over what happened, so Warlock takes the form of a big bunny to cheer her up, then the form of a dog. It works to cheer her up. A little later, after Rahne’s washed herself, Storm talks about growing up a thief. Dani holds up the dress Rahne was wearing, then gets embarrassed. Storm follows her outside, and Dani says she’s never been bothered by not having a chance to look pretty, and wonders if her concern over it is a residue of Karma’s influence. Storm assures her her feelings are normal, and also says the New Mutants were beaten by forces beyond their knowledge.

Attack! Amara brings the house down, and Sam tries to slam Illyana into a wall. Warlock saves her and throws Sam way into the air. He’s not blasting, so Storm tells Warlock to give chase and save him. Dani’s helping Illyana, and Bobby attacks from behind. Dani moves out of the way and trips him so he falls. Illyana comes up with a plan. She brings Dani to Karma, and leaves her. This also allows Karma to take control of Rahne again. It’s Warlock against the possessed Mutants, when Illyana and S’ym grab him and take him to Limbo. She leaves to get Storm, so S’ym gives Warlock a tour. He figures Illyana’s betrayed her friends to side with Karma, and to prove that Illyana would do it, he shows off Colossus’ corpse, and says all the X-Men were killed by either Bleasco or Illyana.

In Cairo, Illyana is found by Dani and Rahne, and through Dani, Karma says she hopes they’ll have a nice partnership. Storm’s found by the Mutants, and she shows how important training and experience are. Illyana finds and takes Storm. And brings her to Karma. Illyana is watching in a scrying pool, saying what a huge risk she’s taking, when Warlock finds her and gets ready to attack her.

A good issue. There’s some great fighting. Storm taking on the Mutants was especially cool – she shows just what a badass she is. She also gets some nice character moments, as do Dani, Illyana, Warlock and Rahne. Illyana “betraying” Dani and Storm was an interesting development. It’s clear that she’s got some sort of plan, but it’s definitely a cool twist, and it leaves you wondering exactly what her plan is. It is surprising how long it takes the story to get to the real reveal of Karma’s behaviour. We find out in the next issue, though obviously, it’s not going to be a surprise to modern readers. It probably would’ve made a fantastic mystery back then, though.

I’m not a fan of Leialoha’s art. I find it a bit too cartoony for this particular story. It doesn’t set the right mood. It’s a shame Sienkewicz had other projects that kept him from doing this arc, because it would’ve been pretty much perfect for him. And Leialoha’s art just doesn’t do much for me in general, really. It’s not a strong style.

Song of the day: Moon Dune by Hannah & the Heartbreak.

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