New Mutants #69 (1988, November)
The ship the Mutants are on is about to be destroyed for attempted bribery. Gosamyr blames Dani for screwing up, but Dani points out she never knows what her power will generate. On the planet, Spyder tells the general to let them land. Meanwhile, Lila’s still in chains, forced to follow behind him, and Spyder tells her the Mutants are already his, he’s just waiting for them to deliver themselves to him. He says Gosamyr is disruptive, which is why Spyder banned women. Gosamyr and Lila are merchandise.
The ship lands, and Dani rushes off to clear her head, since being on the ship with Gosamyr was giving her a headache. Presumably, this would have something to do with Dani being psi-sensitive. I would assume so, anyway, but who knows. Maybe it’s a stress headache from her controlling side being enhanced. Regardless, she gets into trouble. Meanwhile, on the ship, Gosamyr is still stirring shit.
Warlock tries to tell them they’re acting weird, but they won’t listen. He talks to Illyana, but she’s wallowing in misery and self-pity and saying she has to stay away from everyone. Back to Dani, who escapes the first trouble, only to end up in more danger. Illyana sees Rahne feeling sad, and feels bad for her, and decides to help. Awwww, Illyana cares about Rahne.
I really do love this moment. Rahne has spent so much time lately being a good friend to Illyana, trying to help her feel better, so it’s really nice to see Illyana try to return the favour. It shows just how much Rahne’s friendship means to her, that she puts aside her own sadness to try to help Rahne. Anyway, Rahne’s shift to wolf-form lets her learn about Dani’s predicament, so the Mutants rush to help her.
Back on Earth, Magneto finds all the Mutants gone, and is annoyed. Emma calls to let him know about an alien invasion at Lila’s concert, and that her students think the Mutants got involved. She also says there’s something going on in New York. And we also get this:
Poor Magneto. He tried. But now, this panel sets him back on the villain side. More or less. but, back to the fight! Illyana uses her Soulsword to cut a robot dude in half. Which is, you know, not how it’s supposed to work. And now, the robot dude is demonic. That’s probably another bad sign. The thugs run off, with one of them grabbing Gosamyr, but Sam and Roberto rescue her. And get in the fight. And Gosamyr says something very interesting.
OK. So. I’m guessing Simonson’s message, with Gosamyr, was about the wrongness of women competing against each other rather than supporting each other? That women are taught to equate the attention of men with their own value. This certainly matches the popular perception of high school, where the woman dating the quarterback is queen of the school. Even outside of high school, that sort of thing happens, though luckily, we are moving away from it. But there is still a tendency to pit women against each other for the attention of men. And plenty of stories that feature women fighting over guys. So, OK, I think I get what Simonson was going for, and it’s worth exploring. Also, it’s always fun seeing the classic Archie dynamic reversed, with two guys fighting over a woman.
Anyway! Warlock tells Illyana he’s heard of creatures like her, and Illyana gets pissed off and slices her. It’s not pretty.
Illyana wants to keep attacking her, but Rahne convinces her to calm down and to dismiss the Darkchilde armour. But Illyana can’t do it. Sam and Dani both still view Gosamyr as dangerous, which confuses Gosamyr, since she thought it was how everyone behaves. Warlock says it is common among her kind, which is part of why they’re dangerous, and advises leaving her behind. Bobby sticks up for her, saying she can’t help who she is. Aw, Bobby. You’re a lovesick fool, but you’re also a good guy.
They fly to Spyder’s lair, and track Lila, and get ambushed and captured in a cage.
This is a decent issue. We learn why Gosamyr behaves the way she does, and we can guess what Simonson was trying to say with her. But the highlight of the issue is definitely Illyana. The moment where she tries to comfort Illyana was so sweet. And later, her outrage at Gosamyr manipulating her friends. And all through, her terror at the growing evil in Limbo – she says near the end that if they go to Limbo again, she doesn’t think it’ll let them go. So Illyana is definitely the best part of the issue, though Bobby sticking up for Gosamyr after seeing the monster inside her is also great. Everyone else has turned against her, but he refuses to be turned away. It’s nice. Other than that, though, there’s not really a whole lot going on in this issue.
The art’s great, and suits the story really well. Blevins draws aliens well, with his cartoonish style being really effective for it. It’s also great for body language and facial expressions, to convey how characters feel, which works especially well here, with their feelings being exaggerated in-story, as well. As I say every time, I know his style’s not for everyone, but I really enjoy it, and I think it’s a fantastic match for this story. Williamson and Oliver do great work, as well. I mean, “Oliver does great work” should be taken for granted. She was one of the best colour artists in comics.
On the whole, this issue’s not great, but it’s OK.