New Mutants #70 (1988, December)
The Mutants are trapped in a cage with energy wires that bend before snapping back. Spyder mocks them and talks about distilling their emotions down to a drug he can snort. Do you think this was meant to be a metaphor for cocaine? Probably not. Anyway! He also tells Gosamyr that it’s too late for her parents. The Mutants each try their luck against the cage, and all fail, while Spyder talks about them.
Back on Earth, Magneto arrives in Manhattan. He gets attacked by a fire escape, and is as melodramatic in defeating it as you would expect.
Then he just casually walks away, while changing his costume to a nice white suit. It’s neat but also I’m not sure it makes sense. Inside the Hellfire Club, Shaw mocks him a bit for not being able to control his students, but Emma stands up for him, saying the kids are spirited and adventurous and love to test the rules. She’s definitely playing up to Magneto, which is kind of an interesting idea.
Back on Spyder’s World, Gosamyr tells the Mutants she might have a way to free them, using something called the Minor Death. I have no idea how it actually works.
She helps free the Mutants, and then Bobby finds her invisible form. He guesses she wrapped herself in her wings, and he frees her. Apparently, her species can wrap themselves in their wings to go invisible, but they can’t free themselves. Huh. Interesting. Anyway, the Mutants go chasing after Spyder and Lila. It turns out Spyder has forced Lila’s parents out of their larval state and into cocoons. The cocoons are made of special silk that’s worth a lot of money. Lila says she’s heard of Gosamyr’s race, and rumour is they can destroy worlds. But Spyder is confident his plans will succeed.
A fight breaks out as the cocoons start to open. Spyder declares the Mutants 63% more trouble than he’d estimated. I do like how precise he is. Gosamyr’s parents emerge from their cocoons, and they’re . . . kinda boring, actually. Spyder decides to abandon the planet, figuring the whole venture is an acceptable loss. As he tries to escape, Sam tackles him off his platform so Rahne can rescue Lila.
Gosamyr explains about her race. They start off childlike, but over thousands of years, they grow more mature, until they naturally form a cocoon, and when they emerge thousands of years after that, they’re gentle and wise. Because Spyder forced the change on them so early, they’re monsters. Lila decides there’s only one thing to do, and she teleports them to the heart of the planet’s sun. And then there’s a boom from the sun’s surface. Sam is upset about his girlfriend sacrificing herself. I’ll talk about that in a second. Spyder sends his guards after the Mutants, and Illyana teleports the Mutants to Limbo, where S’ym is waiting for them.
So, this issue is . . . OK? I guess? It’s not great. Nothing about it really stands out, even compared to the rest of the arc. Just a bit of a rush to the finish. This whole arc feels a little filler-y, honestly. Like Simonson just needed to kill a little time before Inferno, and tossed something out. It’s a weak arc, as a whole, and this finale does absolutely nothing to elevate it. The characters feel more exaggerated than usual.
This issue might have been a bit more enjoyable with Blevins still on art. Shoemaker’s a talented artist, but he’s a poor choice of fill-in for Blevins. Their styles are too different. Shoemaker’s a lot more conventional, a lot less cartoony. I do think Blevins’ cartoonishness would have worked better here. The cartoonish art worked well with the somewhat cartoonish writing Simonson brought. Shoemaker just didn’t really bring anything special to the issue.
There is one thing I want to comment on: Lila’s sacrifice. So, Lila’s power allows her to teleport anywhere she’s already been. It will be pointed out in another issue that it means Lila must have been to that sun before, and that she might still be alive. We find out later, of course, that she is still alive. (In fact, Claremont is the one who confirms she’s still alive, when she shows up in UXM in a couple years.) Which means that she intentionally chose not to return to Sam, her boyfriend. She ghosted him. For no good reason. It’s never actually explained why she didn’t contact him again. It’s just weird.
Anyway. Pretty meh issue. But at least we can look forward to Inferno next issue!