New Mutants #44
Not a Mutant Massacre issue, but still pretty memorable. By Claremont and Guice, “Runaway!”
On Muir Isle, Moira’s in one of her labs when a huge chunk of machinery falls towards her. Rahne tries to save her, but doesn’t have enough time. Luckily, Legion telekinetically catches the machinery. IN order to do it, he had to let his Jack Wayne persona take over, and he blows the machine up with Moira and Rahne beneath it. Back at the school, wakes up screaming and slams her head into the wall. She feels Rahne’s pain, even across the ocean, and can’t reach anyone on Muir by phone. She stumbles over to Illyana’s room, and gets attacked by demons. In a panel that’s just . . . no. No, Guice. Why. That is not a woman being menaced by demons. That is a woman about to have sex.
This article actually says he recognized the swipe from an adult magazine (though he can’t remember which one).
Anyway, Dani wants Illyana to teleport her to Muir, to check on Rahne. The rest of the Mutants say they’re joining her. They all teleport out, and find the lab busted up. Rahne and Moira are alive. Warlock takes them to the coast. They try to follow Legion’s trail. Rahne is behaving oddly assertive, even aggressive. They find him in a bar. Dani sends Cannonball and Karma in. Karma’s job is to possess him, and if that fails, Cannonball will bring him outside.
Karma possesses him, but another woman who was talking to him slaps her, which breaks her hold long enough for Legion to attack her. Before he can hurt her, Sam smashes into him. The team gets distracted saving a couple cops from a burning car, and Legion telekinetically strikes them down.
They wake up to the dulcet rantings of Reverend Craig, Rahne’s old “caretaker.” He insults her and her mother, and calls her a demon when she takes werewolf form. When Cypher says that Legion’s at the town’s oil storage tanks, Rahne thinks maybe they should let him torch the town.
They go to confront him. Wayne says he doesn’t want to go back inside, he wants to live in reality. Sunspot grabs him, and then tells Illyana to bring them to Limbo. That does the trick.
Later on, they talk a bit about what happened. Dani talks to Rahne, and says not to care about what Reverend Craig said, and that Rahne’s loved. Rahne says it still hurts. Dani asks if Rahne was serious about death and destruction being what the town deserved, and we don’t get Rahne’s answer.
It’s a good issue. Some nice ensemble work. Dani and Rahne get a lot of focus, of course. But there’s also plenty of focus on Sunspot’s fear of Illyana and Limbo. He says early on that he’s not scared, even though it’s obvious he is. He says at the end that the reason Jack believed him when he talked about Illyana being evil is because he believed it himself.
The issue is not without weaknesses, though. There’s a fair number of scenes that feel a little like filler. Saving the cops, in particular, capped off with everyone seeming to forget about Legion in the meantime. Rahne and Warlock were the only ones needed to save the cops, and the others could have focused on Legion, but they just . . . don’t. They even start to talk to the cops. It’s a really weird, awkward scene.
As for the art . . . Guice is good. He’s a talented artist. There’s no questioning that. But that panel I posted? That is some serious bullshit. That took me out of the scene, because it is so blatantly swiped from porn. It’s totally inappropriate. It’s not the only panel where he swipes, but it is certainly the most blatant and distracting. He’d get even worse with time. Some of his work sexualized women to a deeply uncomfortable degree – his Nick Fury series comes to mind.
Overall, this was definitely a good issue. Though overshadowed, to an extent, by the next issue, which is one of the most famous New Mutants issues.