New Mutants #63 (1988, May)
Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). Today, another filler issue of New Mutants. By Simonson, Claremont, Hampton, Rubinstein, Yomtov and Orzechowski, “Redemption.”
This issue’s a weird one. Illyana’s in her room, doing homework, and Kitty finds a spacesuit and gun in her closet. Illyana doesn’t feel like telling the story, so Kitty starts tickling her, and accidentally phases them through the bed and floor. Fun note: In Whedon’s Astonishing run, when Kitty and Colossus have sex, she accidentally phases through the floor. Ahem, ahem.
Anyway, after embarrassing a naked Colossus, they had back up to Illyana’s room, and Illyana agrees to tell the story. It happened waaaaaay back in New Mutants #21, the classic “Slumber Party!” issue that introduced Warlock. Back in that issue, Illyana and Lockheed stumbled across the then-unknown Warlock, and got infected with the transmode virus, and teleported to Limbo to heal herself.
And that gets us into the story proper. A demon confronts her, saying she doesn’t belong there, and he reaches out for her. She bashes his hand away, and infects him with the transmode virus. She’s scared for herself, and uses her Soulsword to try to cut off her own infected arm.
She passes out as she tries to teleport back to Earth, then wakes up in bed. And here’s where things get even weirder, in the sense of bad writing from Simonson. So, OK, this issue is a dream Illyana has where she’s telling Kitty about an adventure she had between panels in New Mutants #21. The Illyana having the dream believes the X-Men are dead, that Doug is dead, and that Kitty’s in Scotland. But the Illyana who’s supposed to be from New Mutants #21 starts talking as though she’s the Illyana who believes that stuff. Simonson just screws up here. There’s no way around it – she screwed up, and forgot what the hell she was writing.
Anyway, Kitty comes in, demanding to know who she is, and the rest of the X-Men come running. These are the Brood Saga-era X-Men (though Kitty’s costume is wrong for that era, but whatever). So, Cyclops, Storm, Wolverine, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Kitty. None of them recognize her, and when she asks about Lockheed, they assume she means the plane. She asks about Xavier, but he’s out. They lock her in a bedroom, and she attempts a spell, but she’s too weak to concentrate enough for anything. Also, her right arm, the one she tried to cut off, is still numb. Lockheed gets her and has her run from the X-Men, who are totally incompetent. Wolverine goes after her with a knife, and misses, and gets knocked out when she bashes him with a branch.
Illyana and Lockheed come across a wall, and go through a hole Lockheed blasts in it, and finds signs in an alien language. Eventually, she learns she’s on a spaceship. Then she’s attacked by a Brood. She teleports to Limbo and heals herself, then teleports back to the ship, but Lockheed and the Brood are gone. But there was a spacesuit for her to wear. Armoured stuff. What gets me is the little bits of gold o the boobs and crotch. Why? Why are those there? It’s silly, and it’s like that on any female armour you see in fiction. It serves no purpose, other than highlighting, “Hey! This woman has boobs!” Anyway, Illyana goes through the ship and finds the Brood about to implant an embryo in Lockheed. Turns out it had escaped the destruction of the Brood planet with a clutch of eggs. Then it made adult clones of the X-Men with altered memories, and injected them with eggs.
The X-Men show up, having heard what the Brood said, and attack it. After it’s dead, Illyana takes them to Limbo to kill the Brood embryos inside them. Then she sent them back to the ship so they could be galactic guardians. Which means, right now, there are a group of ’80s X-Men running around in space. Illyana does mention that her spell will make them grow into different people, but they’re still the ’80s X-Men. Except that the book ends by saying it was a dream. Which is weird. Because the spacesuit came from New Mutants #21. So she had an adventures there that led to her putting on a spacesuit. So why imply that this story – the one that explains the spacesuit – is a dream? It’s a weird choice that makes no sense, and it’s one of many in this issue.
Setting aside Simonson’s weird writing decisions, it’s a pretty good story. It does feel like an inventory story, though I don’t think it is. It’s definitely filler. But for what it is, it’s really fun. Illyana ending up on a spaceship with duplicates of the X-Men and having to fight a Brood? That’s fun stuff. And it ends with duplicates of the X-Men running around in a spaceship. That’s just great. That’s something that needs to be followed up on. We need a story where someone comes across those X-Men. Maybe in GotG. Someone remind Bendis of this story and get him to do a story where the GotG come across this group. It would be amazing.
The art’s OK. Not a great style. Faces get a little weird at times. But there’s some nice details on backgrounds.
Overall, it’s a good story hampered by bad writing decisions.