New Mutants #74
Issue(s): New Mutants #74
But we start in the aftermath of Inferno, where there's still a stray wastebasket or two with lingering demonic possession
Note that the characters here are saying that not too many people were injured and that most people seem to be forgetting what really happened. On the question of injury, none of these characters were in Power Pack #44 where we saw doctors having to make makeshift hospitals in the street, but it still seems like a discrepancy.
As for the idea that people are already forgetting about it, we'll hear on the radio that Inferno is officially being called "Goblin Night". Which is weird. We've already seen a few characters actually refer to the event as "Inferno" with no instigation, so you'd think Marvel would want to use that name just to have an in-story explanation for when characters call it that. And regardless of what it's called, the fact that the radio is reporting on it means that some people remember and you'd think that would prevent other people from forgetting. Anyway, "magic".
Another group of characters - more X-Terminators than New Mutants - are with the Inferno babies.
Note that they say they've got all 13 babies with them. I assume Nathan Summers isn't here, and the count seems to contradict the idea that some of the babies were taken away by N'astirh for the second ritual at the Empire State Building, unless X-Factor gave them back to the X-teens afterwards. It is a good thing i don't run a nursery school; i am having trouble keeping track of all these babies!
Eventually all of the X-teens meet up, with Mirage (who is suffering from a mysterious headache), Sunspot, Gosamyr, and Warlock returning from their Power Pack and Cloak and Dagger appearances. Gosamyr's return immediately starts having an effect on the boys.
But we'll resolve that soon. Our first "fix" regards Lila Cheney's death from New Mutants #70. When she sees Cannonball upset when Lila is mentioned, Wolfsbane suddenly remembers that the way Lila's power works, she's only supposed to be able to teleport to places that she's already been to. So most likely she didn't teleport into the sun with Gosamyr's parents, or if she did, he had an escape plan already set up.
The backstory explanation for all of this is lost on most of the guys, especially Rusty, who just stares with intent concentration at Gosaymr's boobs.
The X-Terminators then invite the New Mutants to come check out their cool Ship hangout. And, since Ship will only allow mutants on board, this allows for an official source to give us some rulings on some characters. First, the Inferno babies are all cool, so they are definitely mutants. Next is baby Illyana, about whom Ship says there is something "strange" about, but she's allowed to pass.
Next is Warlock. Ship is initially alarmed to see a "Magus", but ultimately confirms that Warlock is a "mutant of [his] kind", and is allowed to pass.
So i guess that settles it. By Ship's - and presumably therefore Apocalypse's - definition, Warlock is a mutant. Or maybe the Celestials that actually designed this ship had a broader restriction in place and for Apocalypse it meant for all practical purposes just mutants. I'm fighting this because i never liked the idea that Warlock is a mutant in the same way that we mean it when talking about the X-Men.
Anyway, the final subject is Gosamyr, who makes Warlock look like a piker in terms of alarming Ship.
The boys of course fight against Ship to save Gosamyr. And there's Rusty intently staring again, this time at her butt.
But the action of the boys actually confirms to Gosamyr that she's a problem, and she agrees to leave Earth in a spaceship designed for one by Ship after all the boys heroically agree to go with her. Ship tells her about a planet of mystics that have helped people of her race in the past not become monsters, and that they may still exist and if they exist may accept her.
The departure of Gosamyr is kind of weird and i think probably reflects the response to her. Her story was over with issue #70 and there was no reason for her to come back to Earth with the New Mutants after that. But she winds up hanging around through Inferno, doing nothing of significance (her most significant contribution is probably helping to make Power Pack's parents believe that their kids didn't have powers, and the story could have worked just as well if it was only Mirage doing that), and then leaving in the first issue after Inferno.
Anyway, the New Mutants decline an invitation to stay with the X-Terminators and decide they need to go back to Xavier's school to face Magneto.
Note that at least for now they think that Magneto must have been trying to be good, "for a little while". And also the idea that they are going to try acting like adults, something that i've already said is overdue for these characters.
While all of this is going on, Magneto and Sebastian Shaw have been arguing about... well, i don't know what the hell they're arguing about.
I guess Shaw is mad at Magneto because of all the property damage that Magneto's student Illyana caused due to Inferno, and Magneto calls him a profiteer and then Shaw calls him a hypocrite because, um, Magneto doesn't care about the city, only mutants, unlike Shaw who... also only cares about mutants, i guess, but thinks that the way to help them is through financial power, not brute force. Maybe? This spills over and becomes the focus of next issue.
Statement of Ownership Total Paid Circulation: Average of Past 12 months = 235,180. Single issue closest to filing date = 213,000.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Issue #74 ends with the New Mutants being shocked by what they find at Xavier's, and we're told to see Uncanny X-Men #243 and X-Factor #39 and Excalibur #9 before next issue, so we'll know what happened to the school.
This definitely takes place after Uncanny X-Men #243 when the school is destroyed and after X-Factor #39 since the X-Factor characters are no longer around (one does wonder why the X-teens didn't bump into Jean Grey's parents on Ship).
As for Excalibur, the reference to issue #9 is surely a mistake. It's possible that the blurb was meant to refer to issue #7, which is the final Inferno issue of Excalibur. But they may have meant issue #8, which has Kitty Pryde meeting the New Mutants in the ruins of Xavier's school. The meeting with Kitty takes place either between New Mutants #74-75 or after #75. Neither option is great. Issue #75 opens with the New Mutants seemingly seeing the wreckage of the X-mansion for the first time. And the end of that issue has them flying away while leaving Magneto and the Hellfire Queens behind in the wreckage. Given those choices, i'd rather have the Kitty meeting take place between #74-75 and write off their shock at the beginning of issue #75 as just a renewal of their emotions (and exposition) instead of inventing a reason for them to circle back after Magneto and company leave. That said, either option could work, and the MCP actually do it the other way, placing Excalibur #8 after New Mutants #75.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showAlex (Inferno Baby), Artie Maddicks, Black King (Sebastian Shaw), Black Queen (Selene), Bob (Inferno Baby), Boom Boom, Cannonball, Face, Gosamyr, Illyana Rasputin (Alt-Limbo version), Leech, Loca (Inferno Baby), Magneto, Maw, Mirage (Dani Moonstar), Rictor, Russell (Inferno Baby), Rusty Collins, Scab, Shauna (Inferno Baby), Ship (Prosh), Skids, Sunspot, Timothy (Inferno Baby), Toko, Trista (Inferno Baby), Warlock, White Queen (Emma Frost), Wiz Kid, Wolfsbane
I think the idea is that Shaw considers Magneto a hypocrite because at least Shaw knows that he's a bastard but Magneto imagines he's a hero.
Posted by: Michael | September 9, 2014 7:43 PM
What's more, I think Harras is trying to differentiate mutant factions and missions now that Inferno has cleared the decks. We'll see the concept of Magneto as mutant messiah throughout Harras's editorial tenure, and the idea that Shaw is only interested in survival and power (through manipulation) is being restated. He thinks Magneto's mutant-rights overreach will jeopardize the Club's survival.
I believe Harras, about the time he became editor, referred to the Hellfire Club as the most evil organization in the world that never does anything. It's certainly apt.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | September 9, 2014 10:53 PM
There's a weird continuity error here, by the way. Boom-Boom is shown taking care of the Inferno babies in this issue. But she was with Dani's team during Cloak & Dagger 4! They were in outer space at the end of that issue, so I doubt if Tabitha just hitchhiked back.
Also has anyone else noticed how Gosamyr kinda resembles DC's Starfire in both looks and backstory?
Posted by: Jon Dubya | September 23, 2014 3:50 PM
Jon, I always thought that Gosamyr was supposed to be a gentle soul. Starfire was a trained warrior. I didn't see the similarity.
Posted by: clyde | September 23, 2014 3:56 PM
Poochie, I mean Gosamyr dies on the way to her home planet, I mean planet of mystics.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | October 29, 2015 10:47 PM
Shaw has to run things, produce things, employ people, set out long-term goals. Magneto, to put it mildly, has never had to do that. Why should he? He (or his henchmen) can create anything they need on the spot to advance their goal of world conquest. Shaw has to work with budgets and taxes. He has to woo NYC bureaucrats and DOD agents to go along with him. He can't just tell Emma to brainwash them, that would give her all the power on the Inner Circle.
Electricity usage, union laws, zoning laws, liquor laws, gun laws, Shaw has to keep a lot of things in mind just to keep that clubhouse running. Never mind covering up scandals, like when a sewage-covered clawed beast is roaming through the ballrooms in full view of all your elite guests, and that's before the big fight starts and the cameras start rolling.
With the sole exception of running Xavier's School - and I understand he was briefly the ruler of Genosha later on - Magneto has never had to do that.
Posted by: ChrisW | March 4, 2017 12:21 AM
I think it has to do with a philosophical difference between the two mutant villains. Magneto, at least before Claremont, was like a mutant Adolf Hitler - someone who wanted to conquer the world for his master race. Shaw, though, simply wants to rule the world behind the scenes. He keeps his mutant identity a secret, and while he obviously is grasping for power, it is more of a generic kind as opposed to enslaving humanity under homo superior. He seems fine with humans - in one of the old back ups of Classic X-Men he was friends with the ordinary human Edward Buckman who was the White King (and presumably the cyborg Donald Pierce - both would end up hating mutants and trying to kill Shaw, but at least at some point they were allies). Shaw does not seem to harbor feelings of obvious superiority over humans because of his mutant status (perhaps because his own mutant power is not exceptionally powerful, and his mutant allies often have "better" powers).
Posted by: Chris | March 5, 2017 9:49 PM
Put another way, Magneto is a militant mutant nationalist. Shaw is a well-connected mutant who wants to "pass" for his own benefit, even if it means hurting other mutants by working with people like Donald Pierce or building Sentinels for the government.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | March 6, 2017 7:20 AM
Donald Pierce, I don't know how to explain. Did he become a cyborg because he hated mutants? Did he join the Hellfire Club and then start hating mutants?
But the philosophical difference Chris mentions is what ultimately leads to wars, which Claremont had been trying to make happen for years. I don't think Shaw is trying to "pass" as human, he's basically taking on a secret identity, which is not unheard of in the superhero genre. His goal [I think, was it ever totally established?] is to rule the world, but in the meantime, he will accumulate wealth, power and influence towards that end, and for his own enjoyment.
Shaw is more of the "alpha male," born with exceptional traits and making the most of them. Magneto has to be treated as somewhat crazy regardless of your opinion, just because of the difference in his characterization pre-Claremont. Somewhere on the internet, there's a list of rules for an Evil Overlord, one of which is 'if my advisors ask why I am risking everything on this mad scheme, I will not proceed until I have an answer that satisfies them.' Magneto could have used that, Shaw would already have it.
Posted by: ChrisW | March 6, 2017 9:40 PM
Taking on a secret identity as a normal, even anti-mutant human *is* passing if the whole "mutants are minorities" metaphor has any traction at all. This being a comic book, Shaw, Frost, and the rest are played as conquerors, but this is the same comic book where racial hatred results in building giant purple robots that embody unthinking prejudice, where "being a minority" can mean "looking like a blue demon," and "being a homeless outcast" means having a name like "Caliban."
When it comes to the Hellfire Club, Claremont's not even subtle about this; in the very first Hellfire Club story, Shaw indicates that he wants to dissect the X-Men and use their genetic secrets for his own benefits, goes along with a plan to brainwash Phoenix into becoming their weapon, then tries to sell Sentinels to Senator Kelly. He's a mutant who lets the upper crust of human society think he's just another upper-crust human, sees mutants on the margins of society as tools he can use and dispose of, and literally plans to profit off of other mutants' destruction in order to cement his ties to the increasingly anti-mutant majority's elites. Literally everything he and the Club do in that first story revolves specifically around *exploiting less assimilated/"non-passing" mutants*.
Posted by: Omar Karindu | March 7, 2017 6:29 AM
The something "strange" Ship notices about Illyana may be related to the Stryker Institute's readings indicating that she's "neither precisely human or mutant" in God Loves, Man Kills.
Posted by: Stevie G | March 7, 2017 6:23 PM
Omar, but such exploitation would be perfectly keeping in line with the point of such an exclusive club of degenerate industrialists, debutantes and others of the elite, whether or not mutants or superpowers exist. The X-Men's names are on the cover, so of course they're the ones being targeted. Sure, Shaw sees "dissecting" mutants as a way to increase profit, power and pleasure, but he's also pragmatic about it.
I think this is just a difference of opinion, because you don't seem to have a much higher opinion of the 'mutants as racism' metaphor than I do, and my opinion of the metaphor is pretty low at this point.
As for the 'build giant robots' solution, it's been done before, it will be done again, Shaw might as well be on the ground floor where he can influence the project, 100% certain that there's no way the giant robots could ever escape his control.
Posted by: ChrisW | March 7, 2017 8:19 PM
Oh, and just to add, Shaw has no problem exploiting non-mutants. You think Senator Kelly just ran into Sharon one day, fell in love and got married? I doubt Emma needed to be called in, just someone with a talent for manipulation, i.e. Shaw (and no doubt Sharon as well.)
Posted by: ChrisW | March 7, 2017 8:22 PM
Re: Pierce's origin- James Robinson retconned that Pierce became a cyborg after being injured by Cable and Iron Man during an attempt to take over Albania, with the implication that was the incident that caused Pierce's hatred of mutants. Everybody not named Robinsion has tried to forget that retcon since.
Posted by: Michael | March 22, 2017 10:08 PM
Albania, of course! How could we forget that nation's importance??? Cable and Iron Man would surely have been paying close attention, and... who are we kidding here?
Dear Marvel Comics [And DC too]
Enough with the f*cking retcons! Create a new universe when you need to address generational differences [Vertigo, Ultimates, non-Code Approved titles] Accept your mistakes and move on.
Posted by: ChrisW | March 23, 2017 10:59 PM
Personally, I'm a fan of what I call the "fixed timeline", the reverse of the sliding timescale, where the Fantastic Four still went on their trip in 1961 but it's only the 80s or so and the Cold War is already over because of the presence of superhumans, and we have tech like smartphones because of super-geniuses like Reed Richards and Tony Stark. I agree that Marvel and DC should create "new universes" to "address generational differences", but in my case I'd use that to tell stories about Peter Parker, Bruce Banner, and the other classic heroes while allowing them to pass the torch in the main universe (but of course Marvel did just the opposite, killing off the Ultimate Peter Parker while regressing the 616 version so he never got married).
Posted by: Morgan Wick | March 23, 2017 11:54 PM
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