New Mutants #74 (1989, April)
Sam’s flying with Skids and Rusty, as they note how few people were injured during Inferno, and how people already seem to be forgetting it. They get dive-bombed by a garbage can, so we can see that there’s still a little residual demon energy. Meanwhile, at the church, some of the other Mutants and X-Terminators are stuck dealing with a baker’s dozen babies.
And Boom-Boom just casually insulting Taki. Come on, Boom-Boom, show a little more tact. Also, Rictor does the impossible and stops Boom-Boom before she blows something up. Specifically, a demonic boombox. I find that hilarious. No one ever manages to stop Boom-Boom from blowing anything up. Even when she announces her intention to do it. “Imma blow up the thing.” “Don’t blow up the thing.” *blows up the thing* “If only we could have stopped you from blowing up the thing.” But when it’s a boombox? Rictor turns into the goddamn Flash to stop her. He shakes the demonism out of it, so they can have music.
Everyone else gets back, with Dani feeling really poorly. You know, she should probably get checked out for a possible concussion. Boom-Boom turns the boombox to a radio station, which is obviously talking about Inferno, but then also brings up Lila Cheney, which makes Sam sad. Poor Sam. Don’t worry, Sam, she’s OK, she just ghosted you for some reason. I’m still annoyed we never learned why she did that. Rahne even points out that Lila can only teleport places she’s been, so either she’s been to that sun, or she took them somewhere else. Which might be the result of Simonson being reminded that that’s how her power works. Anyway, Gosamyr is scared of turning out like her parents, and wonders if she really can become something she’s not. It’s actually kinda sad.
Over at the Hellfire Club, Shaw and Magneto are shirtless in the bathroom. Why not, I suppose. They argue with each other. Shaw thinks Magneto’s an idiot for wanting to control the world through physical force, Magneto thinks Shaw’s a douche for being so worried about economics. Magneto also says that he sees big changes coming that will put mutants’ freedom at risk. Apparently, this was setting up something called the Mutant Wars, a big storyline that never ended up happening.
Meanwhile, Rictor calls Ship to send a plane to pick them all up. Ship says it can only allow mutants to enter. It finds something weird about Illyana, but lets her in, though she’s not happy about the scans it does.
Next up is Warlock. Ship is pretty much ready to kill him, but Warlock says she doesn’t share his race’s desire for power. Which he proves by turning into Roger Rabbit. And Ship knows exactly how to deal with Roger Rabbit.
That just leaves Gosamyr. That one goes, uh, less well. Ship immediately puts her in a jar and says she needs to be destroyed. So the Mutants and X-Terminators have to defend her from Ship while trying to explain that she’s fine. Also, Bobby is ready to deck Rictor for looking at her, which Gosamyr says is proof of her own danger. Ship explains that something about the females of her race that makes people crazy. Then, at some point, she’ll change into a monster that can destroy a solar system.
Dani rather rudely interrupts all this to collapse while screaming about death.
Gosamyr is convinced she’s the cause of Dani’s death visions, and decides to leave, alone. Ship says she has records of a planet of mystics that might be able to help her, if they’re still around.
That is a pretty great moment. The other 3 guys are all trying to find justifications to go with her, while Bobby doesn’t even bother. “It’s my responsibility to stay with Gosamyr, even if it means the two of us being alone together in cramped spaces, which is a sacrifice I’m willing-” “I wanna have sex with her.” There is something to be said for honesty. Ship gives Gosamyr a ship so she can leave before the guys fight even more. She kisses Bobbi and Sam goodbye, while Boom-Boom tells Rusty and Rictor they hardly even know her so don’t get kisses. This is fair, I think.
At the Hellfire Club, Magneto and Emma talk about the future of the Club, until Selene tells them something’s happened at the school. Back on Ship, the Mutants debate about going back to the school, and to Magneto, with Dani saying they at least owe him an explanation, so they head back, and also learn something’s happened to the school.
This is a bit of an odd issue. It has a bit of a filler feel to it. It’s not really a downtime issue, but it is definitely the book catching its breath and relaxing for an issue. Which makes sense, and it was necessary after Inferno, but it still ends up feeling really odd at times, even for that. This is more-or-less where Boom-Boom, Rictor, Rusty and Skids join the book, with Boom-Boom and Rictor even being in the corner box. The teams don’t officially join here, but there’s definitely a friendship, and there’s consideration of it. What I like, though, is that they do still come across as separate groups. They’re clearly more comfortable with their own groups, than with each other. Which is how it should be. So I like that.
Probably the most important part of the issue, though, was also the most awkward: Gosamyr’s departure. From the time they all arrive on Ship, there’s an awkward swiftness to the script. There’s a certain “and then this happens, and then this happens,” quality to it. It reaches its peak with Gosamyr, which is just too fast-paced a scene to be really effective on an emotional level. Of course, it doesn’t help that Gosamyr wasn’t a great character in the first place. So her departure, rather than being sad, is just a relief. I do think it’s a shame she was never seen or even referenced again. I think it would have been worth following up on, at some point, years later. There’s still time. Ewing loves his obscure continuity, and he’s got a couple New Mutants over in USAvengers, so he could always toss in a Gosamyr reference. I doubt he will, but if anyone would do it, it’s definitely Ewing.
Blevins’ art is still the kind of thing that will be divisive, but which I enjoy. I like the cartoonishness of it. It gives the book a unique, and fun, vibe to it. Wright’s colours are good. He was no Oliver, but so few were, and it’s probably not fair to judge him by that standard. He sill did great work. The colours pop as much as the printing technology of the time allowed. He actually might fit Blevins’ lines better than Oliver, truthfully.
So while this issue is a bit of a let-down after Inferno, it’s still pretty good.
As an aside, I briefly mentioned Mutant Wars earlier. There’s a whole big write-up of it over at Secrets of the X-Men. There’s going to be lots of vague references to it over the next couple years of X-Men comics, until Claremont and Simonson’s departure from the franchise. I probably won’t comment on most of these references, but it’s really interesting stuff, so you should read the write-up.