New Mutants #1-3
Issue(s): New Mutants #1, New Mutants #2, New Mutants #3
Xavier makes it very clear that the New Mutants are not to be the new X-Men. He's training them just so that they learn to control their powers, at which point they can be integrated back into society. It's a bit contradictory for them to be wearing the original X-Men's uniforms (and given code-names, which we learn in issue #1)...
...and to engage in danger room sessions...
...but i guess that's all that Professor x really knows.
There's an undercurrent of danger, though, because Xavier has a Brood Queen egg in his belly (foreshadowed here in a Danger Room sequence)...
...and it begins to manifest itself, horror movie style, to the children.
The Brood plotline won't be resolved until the X-Men return home from space.
Meanwhile, Henry Gyrich has been working with Sebastian Shaw to establish Project Wideawake: a new sentinel program.
Gyrich intends for it to be used against super-powered villains, by Shaw wants to make the new mutants paranoid so they'll eventually be susceptible to the Hellfire Club's manipulations, so he activates the robots. With the help of Carol Danver's old boyfriend Michael Rossi, who was assumed dead until now...
...the New Mutants fight off the Sentinels (which doesn't say much for their efficiency - a few untrained mutant teenagers and a single soldier defeating sentinels?).
The Sentinel fight takes place at a mall, where the new mutants meet some of the local kids.
In a subplot, we meet Gabrielle Haller, who reveals to Moira and Illyana that she has fathered the son of Charles Xavier.
Bob McLeod's art seems better on these issues than the Graphic Novel. Not sure if it's due to the different levels of production quality, or something else.
Michael Rossi's appearance is unexplained and unresolved (he shows up in issue #2 and doesn't even appear in #3). For a character that has only existed as a supposedly dead background character from Ms. Marvel's past (and even that felt a little like an awkward and late addition), it's very unsatisfying for him to appear here in such an incidental way. But we'll give Claremont the benefit of the doubt on that for now.
Issue #3 is where we get into the Brood horror story for real...
...but while they fight the creature off, they don't defeat it.
During that issue, Dani also has a dream about the bear that killed her parents.
Quality Rating: A-
Chronological Placement Considerations: Takes place before Uncanny X-Men #167, which is when the X-Men return home and meet the New Mutants for the first time. Professor Xavier's Brood egg problem is resolved in that issue.
Continuity Implant? N
Reprinted In: N/A
Inbound References (4): show
Banshee, Black King, Cannonball, Captain Delany, Colonel Michael Rossi, Dani Moonstar, Gabrielle Haller, Henry Peter Gyrich, Karma, Magik, Moira MacTaggert, Professor X, Stevie Hunter, Sunspot, Wolfsbane
The Xavier's son plot takes exactly 2 years to be picked up again.
Mike Gustovich kept showing up on Roy Thomas projects during the 1980s. He could ink OK, but the man couldn't pencil to save his life, especially women's faces. And yet Roy kept thrusting his art on us OVER and OVER again despite repeated complaints in multiple letter columns...
In an interview with Claremont & Louise Jones in late 1981, Karma was stated as being the team leader and taking Moira's place at the X-Mansion with regards to running the place, paying bills, etc. Danielle Moonstar was supposed to be outright telepathic, would "project dreams", and have better rapports with animals than people. Later students were intended to flunk out, get de-powered, and even turn evil. Claremont was also tossing around the term "X-Babies" before the graphic novel came out.
In late 1982, between the Graphic Novel and #1, Claremont gave an interview stating that we'd see a flashback story of Danielle Moonstar accidentally using her power on a teacher she liked, revealing him to be a local axe murderer(the vision would show him chopping her up) and causing him to get caught coming after her later. He also named as possible future New Mutants Jean Grey's nephew & niece, Willie Evans Jr. from Fantastic Four, Siryn, and--surprisingly--Firestar. That was probably the first public mention of bringing Firestar into the Marvel Universe. Legion was also supposed to be seen in #1, and he was supposed to be used to bring back Amahl Farouk.
@Mark: What was the interview in late 1982? Which magazine?
That axe murderer thing would have been really cool.
I'm one of those for whom the X-universe, at least, ends with X-Men (v2) #3 - ie, when Claremont is officially out. And even much of the stuff before then (pretty much X-Factor and X-Force as a whole, Fallen Angels, and Simonson's run on New Mutants) doesn't seem quite canon to me (or anyway not worth reading). Claremont's alternative ideas and interpretations, when not precluded by something someone else wrote in one of those other books during his run that he later had to acknowledge, always seems canon to me. By that I mean, Claremont would have to acknowledge that Jean Grey came back and all the Phoenix/Jean Grey nonsense. So that to me is canon because he had to acknowledge it in various books. And he acknowledged things such as Cypher's death. But there's some other stuff where I'm not sure his initial plans ever got tinkered with while he was on the books - Mr Sinister, for instance. He originally had Sinister as something completely different. I'd have to re-read the end of Claremont's X-run to see if he himself ever contradicted his stated origin for the character.
But anyway the Moonstar thing is great, so I'm choosing to believe it 'happened'.
This story is notable in that it is the first time we've seen Mike Rossi since his supposed death when investigating Steven Lang. He is next seen in Uncanny X-Men #182 infiltrating a SHIELD Helicarrier to uncover information on the Hellfire Club and Sebastian Shaw. Given Shaw is revealed to be funding Project: Wideawake, does this perhaps explain Mystique's earlier mission for the Hellfire Club on the SHIELD Helicarrier in Ms. Marvel #17? When you consider Claremont's later revelation that SHIELD had been infiltrated by the Consortium who are revealed to have been the ones behind the Sentinels throughout Marvel's history is this what Xavier had Mike infiltrating the SHIELD Helicarrier in Uncanny X-Men #182 to find out?
@Paul: Claremont never contradicted his planned origin for Nate/Lefty/Sinister in his original run. He never got an opportunity to take the character where he planned before getting forced off the X-titles, though.
When he came back to the X-titles and wrote X-Men: The End he at least gave later writers the courtesy they never gave him by respecting their alternative reveal that he was a Victorian geneticist, despite the fact he could've undone it and gone back to his original plan.
However, it has been contended that he did contradict quite a bit of his work, the biggest one being during X-Treme X-Men where he revealed Xavier had recruited Tessa to be his spy long before the Dark Phoenix Saga, going so far as to say she was his "First X-Man" but he held back from making her a public team member since he wanted their connection to remain "silent" so he could have her act within the Club as a 'sleeper'. However, Uncanny X-Men #208 has that interesting little scene at the Hellfire Club when Selene calls that meeting with the Inner Circle to inform them of Rachel's attack, and Tessa responds to Selene's warning to Shaw that "I merely observe, my lady, and relate what I have seen." It seems odd that she would attempt to defend herself against a complement by Selene, unless she was trying to be overly modest and subservient to Shaw. Either way it could also be seen as an attempt to alleviate any potential suspicion against her. This scene also has Selene warning Shaw to heed Tessa's wisdom/sage advice which is a nice little allusion to her adopted codename later on (and fnord a noteworthy scene worth highlighting when you come to issue #208).
But Nathan, in X-Men 189, Tessa thinks to herself that Shaw should force Magma and Rachel to murder Selene. It's weird that she would think that if she were a hero.
@ Michael: It would be interesting to check these slips Tess makes to see if Emma Frost is around each time she makes them. That is, perhaps she's putting the thought out there to prevent another telepath being suspicious!?
Nathan: Amazing Heroes #16, 10/82.
@ Mark: Thanks very much:)
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