New Mutants #67 (1988, September)
Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). I’m really tired, and I worked today, but to hell with it, I want to do a review. So, by Simonson, Blevins, Oliver and Bruzenak, “Promise.”
We open on Sam promising not to use his powers at the Lila Cheney concert. Magneto gives him permission to go. In space, Spyder is ranting about owning Lila, and about owning Gosamyr. He refers to Lila and Gosamyr as “its,” rather than using female pronouns, to show what a jerk he is. He also takes a sniff of some gas containing the Essence of Determination. Sam and Lila chat backstage, with Lila making an offhand reference to Sam being a kid, which leaves him wondering how long she’ll be satisfied with just a kid. Aw, poor Sam.
Back at the school, the other Mutants have the radio set to Lila’s concert. I like the way Blevins shows them chilling.
Rahne is pretty clearly jealous of Lila, though not at all resentful, which is really nice. Dani’s practising materializing a spear, learning to control her new power, which came from the New Mutants Annual I’ll talk about Tuesday. Maybe I should have talked about that before I did this issue, but the Annuals are longer and I didn’t feel like doing a longer comic today, so I have no regrets about throwing off the order. Anyway, ‘Berto’s kinda misogynistic.
It feels really weird for him to say this. Early in the series, yeah, this was an attitude that made sense for him. But he really should be over it by now, and the fact that he apparently isn’t just rings hollow for me. He’s seen how capable women can be. I’m pretty sure he’s been rescued by women. So I can’t buy him saying something like this. Actually, I could see him saying it as a joke, but it’s clearly not a joke here. So, yeah, really bad moment.
In space, Spyder seems asleep, so Gosamyr slips off her leash and makes a run for it. Spyder was only faking, and plans to punish her, but he sniffs Tincture of Magnanimity, which makes him merciful. He lets Gosamyr go, and she sneaks on board a shuttle heading to Earth for Lila. Aliens attack Lila, who just completely rolls with it. That’s what makes Lila so awesome. Aliens attack her in the middle of a show, and she just automatically incorporates them into the set. Sam tries to help in the fight, but he’s limited without his powers.
At the school, ‘Berto’s pissed about Sam not being able to use his powers because of his promise, and he goes to give Magneto a piece of his mind, but the Mutants overhear him talking to Emma Frost. They hear him mention something about power neutralizers, and the Mutants are suspicious, and that makes them angry enough to leave to help Sam. They get there just in time to see Lila get nabbed. ‘Berto finds a loophole in Sam’s earlier promise that means he can use his powers now.
Spyder is intrigued by the Mutants, and wants to capture them, but needs a plan. Which is when Gosamyr enters the picture, asking the Mutants for help. Spyder has her family captive, and she wants their help freeing them, and in return, she’ll help them free Lila. The girls are suspicious of the convenient timing, but ‘Berto says it’s destiny.
This issue was OK, but nothing really special. It’s mostly just setting up this arc. As a result, there’s surprisingly few panels or moments worth highlighting. Which is a shame. There’s a few things going on in the issue, but not a lot that’s really worth commenting on, beyond the comments I’ve made throughout the post. Spyder is kinda weird and creepy, and kinda fun. Gosamyr is still pretty much an unknown here. We can’t yet judge what she’s like as a character. There are a couple hints from Spyder that there’s more to Gosamyr than we see, and that’ll be revealed over the next couple issues. But so far, she’s reasonably OK.
The art, as usual for Blevins, is an acquired taste. I like it, I can understand why some wouldn’t. But I think this story is actually a pretty good use of his talents. He gets to draw some weird stuff, and Lila is such an over-the-top character that the cartoony style suits her really well.
So overall, this issue is a reasonably entertaining set-up issue, for what will be a . . . less-than-iconic arc.