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New Mutants #77 (1989, July)

June 6, 2017

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). I’m getting terrible about updating. Bleh. OK, so today, by Simonson, Rich Buckler, Roy Richardson, Oliver and Rosen, “Strange!”

Strange!

I’m sure there’s a cream for that.

The Mutants are bringing Illyana home, to her parents in Russia. Dani looks and feels awful, seeing visions of death coming for her, but decides not to spoil the mood by telling the others. Dani, no. That’s a terrible way of handling your health. But then she screams and passes out.

New Mutants #77

Pretty much what Twitter feels like, most days.

Brightwind passes out, too. So the Mutants take Dani and Brightwind and return to New York, while explaining to the new kids about Dani being a Valkyrie. Which is pretty crazy, when just laid out. “Oh, yeah, she saved a horse and became a mythological being.” Ship does a medical scan on Dani and determines her illness is mystical in nature, and recommends they contact Dr. Strange. This was during a time when Dr. Strange was pretending to be dead. Wong tells the Mutants he’s dead, and Boom-Boom doesn’t believe him, and she does exactly what you’d expect her to do.

New Mutants #77

The girl has the same answer for every problem.

The Mutants argue a bit among each other, as Strange watches from the shadows. Oh, also, he’s wearing an eye-patch in this period. Wait . . . Believed dead? Wears an eye-patch? Is . . . is Dr. Strange Wolverine? Guys, I think Strange might be Wolverine. Anyway, Dani wakes up screaming, and then lights on fire.

New Mutants #77

Women feel like this a lot, don’t they?

She starts trying to light everything on fire, and Strange uses magic to see who she is. He’s pretty startled by a human mutant of Native American ancestry becoming a Valkyrie, and honestly, I can’t b lame him. But in addition to that, there’s a new figure within her, a burning skeleton, trying to take control of her body and eliminate her human and Valkyrie identities. Strange removes her soul in the hope it’ll quiet her body, but nope, it just lets the evil spirit go wild. Sam grabs her off Brightwind, and the other Mutants try to wrangle Brightwind. Boom-Boom blows open a fire hydrant to try to put out the flames covering Dani, but nope, magic flame isn’t really bothered by water.

Above, Strange and Dani talk. She tries to kill him, but then they talk. He tries to talk her into returning to her body, but she says the pain is too much to endure. When she sees Rahne get hurt, it spurs her into action. Rahne is, after all, her soulmate. Dani actually says that. She calls Rahne her dearest friend, and her soulmate. Sometimes, it’s hard to tell how much subtext was intended, and how much is just the result of different times and different ideas. I assume Weezie didn’t mean “soulmate” in a romantic sense. But maybe? I don’t know. But she probably meant it as them being best friends. Regardless, seeing Rahne get hurt is enough to convince Dani to return to her body. She uses her power to create a machine that encases her in ice.

Strange uses a spell to fix all the damage and injury caused, then returns to his body, and uses a spell to disguise himself. Which annoys him. I find it funny that he complains about it while all this big stuff is going on. He’s so petty sometimes. He comes out and introduces himself as Dr. Sanders. Boom-Boom is sure it’s Dr. Strange. Boom-Boom might be impulsive, but she’s not stupid. Meanwhile, Hela watches, and plots.

This is a bit of an odd issue. There’s a little too much exposition, and not really much in the way of character development. Lots of action, but little of it feeling all that important. So even with all that’s going on, the issue feels a bit bland and empty. I don’t know, I might be too hard on it. But somehow, the issue didn’t quite work for me. Even the art felt odd to me, though that’s definitely the result of it being a shift from previous artists. Buckler was a very good artist, one of those classic types. He was a huge deal in the ’70s, in particular. Sadly, he died just a few weeks ago. But for this issue, his art’s good. It’s solid work. Absolutely no problem with it. But it’s a very normal style, in a book that’s had a lot of weird artists. So somehow, a good, normal, classic art style just feels wrong. And I can’t help but feel that a more experimental artist would have brought out something more in the script.

So, yeah, in the end, this issue, while not having anything specifically wrong with it, just feels vaguely dissatisfying.

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