Characters Appearing: Aero, Ben Locklin, Cannonball, Conal Duran, Dazzler, Elisabeth Guthrie, Husk, Icarus, Jebediah Guthrie, Joelle Guthrie, Lewis Guthrie, Lila Cheney, Lucinda Guthrie
New Mutants #42
Issue(s): New Mutants #42
I feel like every time Cannonball visits his family we meet more siblings.
Most are not named, but according to the MCP this is the first appearance of Paige (later Husk), Melody (later Aero), and Elisabeth. The focus is really on Sam's brother Josh, who has a chip on his shoulder over Sam leaving the family to go to Xavier's school, and continued fears that he might be a mutant (and he will be: Icarus).
Before Lila comes to the house, Sam visits her after a show. He learns that Dazzler has joined Lila's entourage, and has been handling her light show.
Sam's uncomfortableness around the differences between Lila and his family lead him to accuse Lila of stealing a statue (she actually hand-crafted it) that she intended to give Sam's mom as a gift.
His outburst leads her to break up with him. But later, Lila and Dazzler get into a plane crash, and Cannonball heads to the crash site with Josh to rescue them.
Josh, who was shown to be a good singer and guitar player earlier in the book, sings so that Dazzler can absorb the sound and free herself and Lila from the crash.
Right after that, there's an avalanche and Cannonball has to use his powers to save everyone. He notices that his powers nearly falter on him, and he's not sure why.
Lila and Sam reconcile. She later shows up at the Guthrie house decked out as New Wave as possible, and that turns out to be a test, that Sam was willing to introduce her to his mom as she really is. And when he shows that he's willing to do it, she teleports away and comes back in something more formal.
Like last issue, it's a nice character study. Guice has only been doing breakdowns on these New Mutants issues, unlike his full pencils on X-Factor, and there's a world of difference. The story is much less dense and more static, and there's no sense of dynamicism in the action scenes. The scene with Josh and Dazzler is particularly vague. The fact that Kyle Baker is doing the finishes probably exacerbates it. But since the issue is mostly downtime, it works well enough for the most part.
One other random observation. I love how Cannonball (talking to his dead father here), refers to Magneto as a "fella" that "used to be a criminal" like he did 5-10 for armed robbery a few years back, not that he was a super-terrorist arch-villain.
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
"Killishandra" is a reference to Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders stories.
Lila has no business being pissed off at Sam; she's the one who isn't using her brain here. She DOES have a long-standing history as a thief. Is Sam really supposed to believe that she bought or just plain found an item "so rare it's literally beyond price"? The fact that she doesn't deny stealing it(and in one panel seems to imply that she did actually do that) doesn't help her.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | December 25, 2013 2:38 AM
How did Lila change her clothes and hair so quickly? She's a teleporter, not a time traveler.
Posted by: Michael | December 25, 2013 9:25 AM
She probably teleported to a dimension where times moves slower, then changed.
Posted by: CLYDE | December 25, 2013 10:16 AM
Actually Mark, "Killashandra" was the name of the main character of Anne McCaffrey's "Crystal Singer" novel published in 1982 and it's sequel "Killashandra" published in 1986, (which are not part of her Dragonriders of Pern series).
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | December 30, 2013 4:11 AM
Oops! Mentally mashed up both series together(though I'm pretty sure the Crystal Singer stories are older than that; I did see a comic adaptation in 1976).
Posted by: Mark Drummond | December 31, 2013 4:53 PM
I know Anne McCaffrey (and other SF authors of her generation) would often write short stories that they would later expand into a novel. The comic adaptation may have been of the original short stories that came out in 1974?
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | January 1, 2014 5:14 AM
Out of boredom, I started thinking of Lila Cheney, sometime girlfriend of Cannonball, and of all the facts revealed about her. She was revealed to have been sold into slavery (from earth to someone in space), escaped and developed into a universe-wide rock and roll star! Yet, she looked to be somewhere between her late teens and early twenties. How could this be? She must have been much older than she seemed to have mastered her powers, learned to play a guitar & sing and develop such a wide following across the galaxy. The only way that could occur is if she didn't age as quickly as normal humans or mutants.
But guess what, there's a very good reason for Lila Cheney apparently being ageless! Back around New Mutants #42 (when Sam goes home alone) Lila mentions she's been crystal-sculpting on Ballybran. Now, any Anne McCaffrey fans here will recall that the planet Ballybran has among its native flora (or perhaps fauna) a nifty little spore that gives Type VII bipedal humanoids (e.g. homo sapiens) a vastly extended lifespan. You'll note that Lila hasn't mentioned the first time she went to Ballybran. Assuming it's the same Ballybran, of course;)
So anyway back to her beginnings, whoever it was on Earth that sold her into intergalactic slavery would seem to have been intended as a powerful person who also had a method of determining whether someone is a mutant and what their powers would be. This person perhaps determined that Lila was going to be a galaxy class teleporter but didn't need that to further their goals. What they needed was alien technology to build their power base. Whoever might have made a deal to trade Lila with an extraterrestrial for the ET to train to transport from one part of the galaxy to another. This would account for her training...
But during that training, she teleports to the planet Ballybran and outlives them.
This though leaves the question of how long ago she was sold into slavery, and was it much further back than what we previously thought!?
Posted by: Nathan Adler | April 27, 2015 9:51 AM
As for why Lila was sold in the first place, fans have previously suggested it could be due to her galaxy-spanning teleportation powers. However, in the above annual her “payback” to Earth seemed naïve as all of the planet’s inhabitants weren’t responsible for her being sold. However, her attitude makes sense if she was a child when sold. This would suggest she was sold before her mutant powers manifested, or she would just have escaped immediately. I’d suggest she manifested her long-ranging teleportation powers as an innate response to return to Earth. So she was likely pre-pubescent when she was sold. When she hit puberty, her powers manifested and she easily escaped her captors.
Lila's returning to Earth to sell it in revenge for an earthling selling her therefore makes sense if she was sold when she was a child. So it would seem no mutant powers when first sold. So what was her value if not powered? Her potential? How?
Claremont provided some clues.
Given Claremont name-drops Ballybran (which we know he wouldn’t have done without intention), this leads to a further implication, considering the whole "Crystal Singers" thing. If true, she's lucky she didn't get any of the bad side effects from the spore on that planet, as there was a chance a person could lose the ability of certain senses or speech. But also a chance of enhanced abilities so I’d propose her vocal talent is such an enhanced ability, and wouldn't doubt Claremont intended Lila to be a Crystal Singer. If she were sculpting, she'd have to be, I think (I mean, the Crystal Singer guild controlled that, right?). Could even be how she started in music.
So if she was sold by someone on Earth, it is likely that they recognised her as a potential "Crystal Singer", but this still leaves the question of what the slavers they sold her to offered this earthling in return?
And what were her slave duties? Providing musical entertainment? So the "slave" and "rock star" periods may overlap!?
Given the recent revelation in Claremont's Nightcrawler series that he was amassing a stockpile of mutant children, perhaps she was sold to Tullamore Voge!? Or if Lila is a "Crystal Singer" the slaver, Mojo, would surely be able to make significant profit from her, broadcasting her performances across the galaxies!?
Posted by: Nathan Adler | April 28, 2015 6:41 PM
If Lila is truly long-lived, that makes her a perfect girlfriend for an External. :D
Posted by: ChrisW | April 30, 2015 7:29 AM
@ChrisW: But there can only be one;)
Posted by: Nathan Adler | April 30, 2015 8:51 AM
HEEEEEEERE WE ARE! Born to be kings, we're the Princes of the Universe!!!
*never liked the movie, but Queen is my favorite band.*
Posted by: ChrisW | April 30, 2015 9:37 AM
@ChrisW: Out of all the 1980s pop culture references Claremont inserted into the X-titles, that's one I'm glad he never used;)
And yep, Queen were awesome, but films they provided soundtracks for seriously sucked (can you say Flash;).
Posted by: Nathan Adler | April 30, 2015 4:21 PM
Flash may not have been a "good" film, but it was certainly a fun one.
Posted by: Stephen | April 30, 2015 4:39 PM
Love both Highlander and Flash Gordon!
Posted by: Vin the Comics Guy | June 13, 2017 12:55 AM
I can never finish reading any Nathan Adler theory :(
Posted by: Karel | May 12, 2018 10:50 AM
Comments are now closed.
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