New Mutants #23-25
Issue(s): New Mutants #23, New Mutants #24, New Mutants #25
Meanwhile, while Rhane Sinclair has always been able to turn into a werewolf, she's now seemingly able to change her human shape as well, becoming an idealized version of herself.
While Xavier and Moira MacTaggert medically examine Sunspot, Cannonball and Dani Moonstar do the detective work that traces Sunspot and Wolfsbane's behavior back to Cloak & Dagger, whose powers have left them and gone to the New Mutants instead.
While this is an interesting arc, it may be about an issue too long. Much of #24 and #25 is spent with everyone standing around talking about the problem, except for a failed attempt by Magik to fix things in Limbo, which results in a further armor-ing of her body and a headsmack from Xavier.
Things are eventually resolved when Cloak & Dagger are convinced to take their powers back, which is achieved through a combination of Magik's sorcery and Rogue's powers.
In the "It's a small world" category, it turns out that the priest that's been taking care of Karma's younger siblings, Father Michel Bowen, is Dagger's uncle. He's not to be confused with Father Delgado, the priest that gives Cloak & Dagger sanctuary.
While trying to convince Tyrone to not be afraid of his powers as Cloak, Xavier reveals the circumstances of when his own powers first manifested. It involved him inadvertently invading Cain Marko (aka the Juggernaut)'s mind, cementing the hatred that Cain has for his step-brother.
In subplots, we have the induction of Selene and Sunspot's father, Emmanuel Da Costa, into the Inner Circle of the Hellfire Club.
Since the Inner Circle so far has only recruited super-powered folk, it's pretty clear that Da Costa has only been recruited as a way to get to his son. Sebastian Shaw barely waits for the ceremony to end before talking to Da Costa about it, but Da Costa is quick to agree that he'd like to recruit him as well.
Meanwhile, Lee Forrester brings Magneto back to his Cthulhu Island in the Bermuda Triangle (note the very obvious tribute to Dave Cockrum)...
...where Magneto's reform continues as he exhibits and acknowledges his human side while Lee takes care of him.
There's also hints about the island's original inhabitants (a comment that they might not have been human) but nothing definitive.
Issue #23 was my first issue of the New Mutants, and this scene of Sam walking in on Dani while she was changing...
...and the generally strange, dark nature of the artwork, made me think that maybe this book was a little too "adult" for (9 year old) me. It didn't even sink in that Cloak & Dagger, also appearing in Power Pack the same month, were in this book, until years later. I think my next issue of New Mutants was during the Louise Simonson/Bret Blevins era, which had a decidedly different tone.
Despite the craziness, Sienkiewicz's art can be incredibly human when appropriate.
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: In Uncanny X-Men #189, Selene is presented to Sebastian Shaw as a candidate for the Inner Circle. At the beginning of New Mutants #23, she's inducted into the Inner Circle. It seems pretty clear to me, then, that this arc must take place after Uncanny X-Men #189. I'll also note that in Uncanny #190, when Spidey is fighting the New Mutants, he has a thought about feeling his strength draining away while he's being held by Sunspot, which is consistent with the Cloak-like powers that Sunspot's been exhibiting since New Mutants #22 but not after #25. But the MCP places the X-Men and New Mutants arcs in the opposite order, so i may be missing something.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (8): show
This issue makes me wonder how early Claremont had it planned for Magneto to take over the school. Otherwise, why have the Magneto subplot going on in NM? I mean, yes, the asteroid had been destroyed in NM by the arrival of Warlock, but still, this could have been going on in X-Men.
Posted by: Erik Beck | May 23, 2015 8:13 AM
Dean Haspiel said in Comics Journal #197 that he began doing backgrounds for Sienkiewicz on this title around this time, but he didn't specify any issues.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | March 6, 2016 12:05 PM
Note that this is the first appearance of Harry's Hideaway.
Posted by: Michael | June 4, 2016 6:40 PM
It took this long for any Xaviers' student to find a decent hangout closer than Manhattan? MapQuest says that's over an hour away. It makes sense if they're going out to party for the weekend, but...
In "X-Men," just a few issues earlier, Wolverine had grabbed Colossus and said "You're comin' with me, into town, for a little - long overdue - talk." By all rights, they should have wound up at Harry's, which is *IN TOWN* (New Salem) close to where they live. Instead they drive all the way to the West Village in Lower Manhattan? And they don't have any "talk" on the way there?
I quit. These kids are up to no good. Stick a fork in them, they're done. And get off of my lawn.
Posted by: ChrisW | June 4, 2016 7:34 PM
I may be mistaken, but I think that the ability to change into a variant human form that Rhane shows here was never seen or mentioned again. Probably because it would change the character concept too much; she would essentially have Mystique's power in addition to her original one.
Posted by: Luis Dantas | April 2, 2017 10:41 PM
I think Rahne's ability to transform into an idealized version of herself is a result of having absorbed Dagger's power (parallel to Roberto's problem having absorbed Cloak's). Once they are cured and C&D's powers restored, there goes Rahne's and Roberto's new abilities. Or that's how I interpreted the story when I first read it. Note that Rahne's idealized self looks like Dagger (with red hair instead).
Posted by: James | April 3, 2017 2:20 PM
OMG, the amount of superfluous Claremontian exposition in those first few panels alone...
Posted by: Oliver_C | April 4, 2017 7:46 AM
I think having Magneto take over the school was long in the works. John Byrne says [and I have no reason to disbelieve him] he read an interview with Claremont and Weezie in "The Comics Journal" to promote "New Mutants" before the first issue was released, and asked about Magneto, said that they were thinking of making him a teacher.
I'd say the Redemption of Magneto from "X-Men" #150-200 (or #142, if you prefer) is one of Claremont's most successful long-running storylines. It only took four years and two months to happen, and lasted less than four years [ending at #253, by my dating] and 27 years after that, we're still discussing the merits or demerits.
Posted by: ChrisW | April 4, 2017 8:51 PM
Huh. Legion is name-dropped in the ending notes in the end of the book. I think this is the first instance we see him. His existence was mentioned but the plot was not followed yet. It seems to me like a weird place to introduce him.
Posted by: Karel | November 26, 2017 10:21 AM
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