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New Mutants #82 (1989, November)

November 26, 2017

Follow me on Twitter (@XMenXPert). Hey look, a post, I don’t do many of these any more. By Simonson, Blevins, Williamson, Oliver, and Rosen, “The Road To Hel. . . .”

The Road To Hel . . .

He appears for, like, 3 panels.

Warlock’s stuck in the middle of Hela’s barrier. On the outside, he’s holding Boom-Boom and Hrimhari. Luckily, Boom-Boom has a cunning plan. For once, it doesn’t involve bombs. Yet. First, she figures that if they brace against the field. It doesn’t work for her, but it works out great for the audience.

New Mutants #82

You know, Asgard gets occasional demon in- You know what? Never mind.

That is a pretty perfect panel. A frizzy-furred werewolf is quite a thing. And Boom-Boom with her hair sticking up, and her shoes smoking. All great. And Boom-Boom’s continuing hatred of Asgard is entertaining. Her next plan actually is a bomb, and I’m genuinely surprised that wasn’t her first plan. It’s her first solution for most problems. On the other side of the barrier, one of the Valkyries, Mist, is threatening the remaining New Mutants, but gets distracted by the large boom, which allows Sam to attack her. She tells him to let her capture them so she can maybe help them later. She’s still resisting, it seems. Good for her.

Boom-Boom’s bombs manage to get Warlock free, so the three of them can flee. The others are herded into Hela’s realm, past Garm, the giant Hel dog.

New Mutants #82

Hela big pupper.

Rahne’s not doing well, so Rictor offers her some comfort. He’s a good dude. He’s always offering comfort. Most to girls, admittedly. Still, I like that side of him. Also, Rahne shows that she doesn’t know Boom-Boom very well.

New Mutants #82

To be fair, Boom-Boom IS pretty great.

Rictor tells her it’s a mask she hides behind to keep people from getting close, and yeah, obviously. She’s clearly got some deep-seated insecurities. Her boasting is part of that, so people don’t realize how scared she is. Anyway, Warlock, Boom-Boom and Hrimhari find Odin, but he’s in the Odinsleep, so he’s no help. Lazy bastard. One of Odin’s guards decides to toss them in prison until Balder can return to deal with them.

Back on the road to Hel, the New Mutants are lagging behind, and Mist shoves them into a crevice to hide them. She explains she has fairy blood on her mother’s side, which gives her some resistance to Hela’s spell. Back in Asgard, some of Volstagg’s kids, led by his daughter, Hilde (who is awesome), slip out of their house to check out the “comet” they saw. Warlock, Boom-Boom and Hrimhari are thrown into a cell, and Boom-Boom asks Hrimhari about his reationship with Rahne, and he says that, much as they care for each other, they can’t be together. Which really is tragic. Though Boom-Boom’s still thinking about herself.

New Mutants #82

There are worse people to discuss relationships with.

The kids pay a visit, tell them the good adults are out of town for a while, but they know someone else who might help. The kids point them to Tiwaz, a sorcerer. The kids take their place in the cell, to show the adults how serious things are. They’re good kids. Even Boom-Boom is impressed. Oh hey, back to Earth. Rusty and Skids are still hiding inside the force field, but Skids passes out, and Rusty’s flames are ineffective with Pyro around, so that’s them fully in custody. And then back to Hel, where some dwarves are carrying a big vat of uru. She wants Eitri to forge her a sword. She threatens to hand his daughter to her minions to play with. Meanwhile, Warlock, Boom-Boom and Hrimhari get to the icy realms, but get snared in a net and crash. In Hel, the Mutants make a futile effort to rescue Eitri and his daughter, but fail. Eitri agrees to forge the sword, which Hela will give to Dani, so she can murder Odin in his sleep, so Hela can take his soul, and his power. It’s a clever plan.

Pretty good issue. Lots of good Boom-Boom. Always a plus. I am disappointed that, despite the cover, we didn’t get more Garm. Garm is pretty great. But he’s really just a cameo here. Mist is neat. I like Mist. The moment between Rahne and Rictor was nice. There’s a good moment near the end, after Sam rockets to try to save Eitri and Kindra and the Mutants get re-captured, with Roberto saying he’s supposed to be the team’s hot-head. I like that bit of gentle teasing between friends.

But the meat of the issue is Boom-Boom and Hrimhari. They get the bulk of the focus, and it works well. They play off each other well. Hrimhari so noble and serious, and Boom-Boom being herself. It’s good to watch as she slowly comes around  on Hrimhari, At the very least, she starts to resent him less. I like him plenty. He’s a good guy. Noble, polite, but willing to call Boom-Boom on her bullshit.

The art’s good. Blevins might draw my favourite Boom-Boom. The cartoonishness works so well with her. He’s still not as good a fit for this arc as he was for Inferno, but I do like him, and I like seeing his work. His Hela is pretty wicked. She looks awesome, as she should, because Hela is awesome.

This issue is dragged down a bit by being very much a middle chapter. Not much in terms of story advancement. It’s as much a way to get characters where they need to go as anything else. So that’s a bit of a shame. Still, it’s an enjoyable issue. I like it.

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