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New Mutants #34 (1985, December)

April 14, 2015

There’s a fly in my room. It’s annoying. You know what’s not annoying? Today’s story, by Claremont and Leialoha, “With A Little Bit of Luck!”

With A Little Bit of Luck!

I do like how Storm looks here. She looks badass with her hair like that.

Warlock is attacking Illyana, since he thinks she betrayed the team. A couple demon critters jump to her defence, and Warlock drains them. Illyana summons her Soulsword, saying that in Limbo, her will is supreme, but then she wills the sword away, and changes her clothing to a cute dress, and says she won’t fight Warlock, and if he wants to kill her, to do it. Warlock can’t do it, and turns into a puddle of self-loathing. Warlock agrees to help her with her plan. First is to spy on Karma.

Karma wants to humiliate someone else, using Storm, but Storm resists. Karma seizes control again, and forces Storm to kiss her feet. She starts boasting about how she corrupts the souls of the people who come to her club. She also guesses that Storm knows the truth, that she’s not Karma, but Xavier’s oldest foe. She’s going to make Xavier suffer. Part of that involves permanently altering the mind of Storm and the New Mutants, to ensure they follow her without her needing to possess them.

20 years ago, Storm is running through the streets of Cairo, but a psychic bolt stops her in her tracks, and Xavier takes back his wallet. Illyana and Warlock are watching, and they also watch Xavier’s psychic duel with Amahl Farouk. Illyana theorizes that while Farouk’s body died, his mind may have survived, and that he’s taken over Karma.

Back in the present, Karma is almost ready to remold Storm’s mind, and releases her one last time. We get confirmation that Karma is, indeed, possessed by Farouk. He says that once Xavier’s dead, no one will be able to stop him. Perfect time for Illyana to walk in. She accepts Karma’s offer to join up. Farouk takes Illyana’s hands, and starts crushing them, trying to get Illyana to submit to him. While he’s busy with Illyana, the sleeping New Mutants begin to disappear behind him. Finally, Illyana is defeated, sorta – but it’s actually Warlock.

Molten lava bursts out of the ground, as the New Mutants return, freed from his control. They attack him, and during the fight, Dani uses her illusions. But instead of Xavier, the illusion is of the Vietnam War. Karma screams in confusion at what’s happened to her. Sam guesses that Farouk has jumped into another mind, and Illyana guesses it’s Storm. She summons her Soulsword, saying if she has to, she can use it to kill. Then she stabs Doug. Farouk is there, and he’s not leaving. Storm attacks, planning to kill Doug to kill Farouk. But Shan refuses to let that happen, and challenges Farouk to face her. He tells her she can’t fight him, and to just surrender and live a fantasy in her own mind. But she resists, she fights back, and she grabs hold of him and plans to hold him until Xavier can deal with him. But he escapes. Shan tells the others to leave her, but they refuse, and get her to leave with them.

Awesome issue. An awesome climax to the arc. Illyana’s plan is very clever. She’s a smart girl, and a good strategist. It’s always interesting seeing that side of her. Her confrontation with Warlock is also done well. Farouk is delightfully evil. But the best part of the issue – Shan’s back! Yay Shan! The astral battle between Shan and Farouk is great, especially when her skinny self bursts out of her fat self. It’s a good moment of her declaring that she’s stronger than he is. She sticks around a little longer this time than she did the first time around, almost two years. But she never really gets as much focus as I would’ve liked. Ah, well.

Leialoha’s art is something that’s very much a matter of taste. It’s very cartoonish. I will say that Glynis Oliver did a great job with the colours – she does a great job setting mood throughout the issue, and it helps Leialoha’s art a lot. His style works better for fun stories than for dark ones like this, so the colours help to make it fit better. Just the same, I don’t think he was the right choice for artist on this arc. And, even beyond that, I can definitely see a lot of people just not liking his style.

Song of the day: Philomena by the Decemberists.

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