New Mutants #67-70
Issue(s): New Mutants #67, New Mutants #68, New Mutants #69, New Mutants #70
These are the main Gosamyr issues, although she'll remain with the team through issue #74. Gosamyr is an alien whose innate nature causes men to get horny and everyone to get jealous and fight amongst themselves. So i suppose she's a metaphor for teenage hormones.
The New Mutants' hormones didn't need any help, especially since Louise Simonson and Bret Blevins came on board, so these issues amplify the annoying aspects of the New Mutant's seeming regression from maturing young adults to wild bubble-gum popping teens that came with the creative team change. And this arc being four issues makes it a bit difficult to bear.
The arc starts off with Cannonball pleading to Magneto, promising that he won't use his powers if he's allowed to go to the Lila Cheney concert.
It's hard to believe that Sam is sincere since, as this story points out, he recently snuck out while grounded to go to a different Lila concert in the Spellbound miniseries, but we'll see that he actually does honor his promise (at first) even despite all common sense given the circumstances.
It's also worth observing how much of a role reversal this is for Magneto. Magneto's concern is that this is a dangerous time for mutants, especially with the deadline for the Mutant Registration Act looming. What a meek position for the former leader of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Even Professor Xavier was less of an accomodist and would at least be out doing lectures and talk show appearances trying to turn around public opinion. I guess that's part of the problem, though. Magneto doesn't have Xavier's cred in that respect, so unless he's going to organize the New Mutants to attack the Capitol Building and demand that the law be repealed, he doesn't really have any options. Yes, he's working with the Hellfire Club, but Sebastian Shaw actually stands to profit from the MRA via his Sentinels, so he really shouldn't be counted on as an ally.
I'd still like to see a character that, in contrast to Xavier, says to Cannonball, "You go ahead and use your powers if you need to, and be proud of who you are. And if the humans come after you, I will stand by your side.". But that's not the Magneto we're getting with this series. Which is really a shame. The Magneto-as-good-guy period has really just been wasted.
Anyway, the story here is that Gosamyr and her family are slaves to an intergalactic criminal called Spyder. And Spyder has a claim on Lila Cheney. Actually, that requires a little more explanation: in Lila's first appearance, the main point of the story was that Lila had sold the Earth to some aliens. But at the end, she makes a quick and cryptic statement that it was only fair, since "Earth sold me". That was never explained, and it's not explained here either, but we learn here that whoever bought Lila took out a loan from Spyder, and Spyder arranged it so that they would default and he now owns Lila.
Spyder himself is immune to Gosamyr's passion enhancing attribute since he himself only has the emotion of greed. The conceit is that he sniffs the passions of others from distillations.
So Spyder has his goons attack Lila at her concert, with Sam forced to help out as best he can without his powers.
The rest of the New Mutants hear about the attack on the radio (it's reported as special effects, but the New Mutants know that the odds are if something weird is going on at one of Lila's concert, it's because of an alien attack, because that's what happens every time). And of course they rule out going to Magneto (who, granted, is on the phone with the Hellfire Club talking about Power Neutralizers).
They just have Magik teleport them to the concert so they can help out.
Throughout this arc we see Magik reacting to the prophesy given to her by Destiny last issue (another problem no one discusses with their teacher), and on their way to the concert we see the continued deterioration of Limbo.
When the New Mutants finally arrive at the concert, they make the argument to Sam that since the concert is over, he can use his powers now. And he buys it.
And when Lila is kidnapped despite their efforts...
...he's fine with going into space to rescue her. So he may have been honoring the letter of his promise to Magneto, but certainly not the spirit. Contrariwise, he feels like if he had broken the promise, he would have been able to prevent Lila from getting captured.
The New Mutants get into space thanks to Gosamyr. Gosamyr has escaped from Spyder. He's actually aware that she's left, but correctly thinks her passion increasing power will be a benefit to him. In return for helping, Gosamyr wants the New Mutants to rescue her family. Sunspot gloms on to her immediately, and Bret Blevins does well depicting the lady mutants' reaction to her.
It's all actually a good start but unfortunately from there it goes into three issues of the New Mutants fighting space monsters...
...but mostly fighting among themselves.
Gosamyr is also an opportunity to get suggestive with the art. Beyond the grape-sucking, there's Dani shrinking a spear.
Warlock is the only one that notices what's going on, and he's actually aware of Gosamyr's species.
But he has a hard time convincing anyone else. Magik may have been the other character that isn't so susceptible, but she's wrapped up in her own misery thanks to the deterioration of Limbo and Destiny's prophesy.
One of the space aliens they fight is this weird yellow dude, who i think may be cool looking but we don't get a clear shot of him.
Magik's powers continue to get out of control in a build up for Inferno.
But Warlock eventually convinces Magik that Gosamyr is a problem...
...and she turns her sword on her, revealing her true form.
The New Mutants nonetheless continue to plow forward with her, since they have to rescue Lila.
Magik is now unable to change out of her Darkchylde form.
Spyder, meanwhile, is trying to rush Gosamyr's family into a later stage of their species' evolution, and he eventually succeeds.
The results are supposed to be disastrous for the universe, so Lila teleports them into the sun, seemingly dying in the process.
And the New Mutants aren't able to stick around to defeat Spyder, because Magik is feeling her ability to control her teleportation powers slip away. So they've run out of time, and have to go home. Except they wind up getting stuck in Limbo.
Back on Earth, Magneto gets attacked by a fire escape...
...on his way to a contentious Hellfire Club meeting. They're all aware at this point that Magneto's charges have run off again.
Like the Birdbrain saga, this story has a couple of good ideas, and fun if overly wild art from Blevins, mixed with some overly goofy concepts and extended for too long. But the worst thing is that the characters don't seem to have evolved or learned anything from the Birdbrain adventure and Doug's death. They're still sneaking off without Magneto, get in way over their heads, and fight amongst themselves the whole time. Magneto similarly has failed to do anything except ineffectually ground a team of rebellious kids that includes a demon teleporter.
Issue #70 has a little doodle up in the corner of page #18 (it's not just my copy). It's actually pretty normal for artists to draw things in the margins, but they normally get erased. It's nothing notable, just unusual to see.
Quality Rating: C
Historical Significance Rating: 2 - leads into Inferno with developments for Magik
Chronological Placement Considerations: This continues directly in New Mutants #71 with the characters having arrived in Limbo and facing S'ym, but that's an official part of the Inferno crossover so i'll pause here to let other books catch up.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showBen Locklin, Black King (Sebastian Shaw), Black Queen (Selene), Cannonball, Conal Duran, Gosamyr, Grey Havero, Lila Cheney, Magik, Magneto, Mirage (Dani Moonstar), S'ym, Spyder, Sunspot, Warlock, White Queen (Emma Frost), Wolfsbane
Sam really is an idiot in this issue- Magneto probably didn't mean "Don't use your powers even if you get in a fight with villains." The next time he has to choose between keeping a promise to a villain and protecting his friends in X-Force, he handles it much better.
Posted by: Michael | August 6, 2014 9:48 PM
It's with this story that I finally bailed on this title back then. Spyder was just plain goofy and annoying, all the characters seemed to have received a lobotomy, and the story was just dragging past the point that my patience would tolerate. I dumped all my other Marvel titles at the same time(though for slightly different reasons) except for Punisher books, and those I dumped due to severe buyer abuse a few years later. I really didn't get back into Marvel again until Quesada took over.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | August 9, 2014 3:27 PM
"One of the space aliens they fight is this weird yellow dude, who i think may be cool looking but we don't get a clear shot of him."
You should already be familiar with that character. He goes by the alias of "Humpty-Dumpty;)
Posted by: clyde | June 28, 2015 10:29 PM
To me the weird yellow dude looks like the monster from the classic Bigs Bunny short, "Hair-Raising Hare", who was, interestingly, later given the name "Gossamer."
Posted by: Andrew | July 3, 2017 5:30 PM
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