The Small Lebowski:
New Mutants annual #1
Issue(s): New Mutants annual #1
Sunspot uses his father's connections to get the New Mutants, Doug Ramsey and Warlock included, backstage passes to a concert by the popular rock singer, Lila Cheney.
Warlock has transformed himself to look completely human. It's the first time we've ever seen him do anything remotely like this and it's a little jarring.
The New Mutants help Cheney avoid a little sabotage during the soundcheck, and Cheney takes a liking to Cannonball. It turns out that Cheney is being stalked by an alien assassin.
During the concert's grand finale, Cheney teleports herself, her band, and Sam to a planet far away from Earth, protected in something called a Dyson Sphere. She dresses up Sam in what i guess might have been 1980s style rocker clothes.
Warlock has absorbed a lot of residual energy, and he's able to follow Cheney, taking the rest of the Mutants with him.
I'm especially annoyed by how little the arrival of Warlock seems to freak anyone out. In this issue he's completely mimicking a human being, and then teleporting to another galaxy. It seems insane that he's just sort of hanging out with the New Mutants and no one seems to think much of the fact that he's insanely powerful. Does anyone remember that his even more powerful father is on his tail?
It turns out that Lila intended to sell the Earth to aliens. One of her bandmates intended to betray her and take the cash for himself, but it doesn't work out for him. The New Mutants help Cheney fight off the aliens and force Cheney to promise not to sell the Earth. Despite the fact that she was willing to literally sell out the Earth, the New Mutants are surprisingly lenient, and her feeling for Sam seem legitimate.
During the battle with the aliens, Doug Ramsey has a very prescient thought: "I don't have any fancy powers, like the others -- I don't even know how to fight the way they do -- I could get killed!" Doug's language reading abilities were vital to stopping the alien attack this issue, however.
Bob McLeod's art is nice. The characters look like their classic selves but also have a more modern depth, which i guess is due to the inking combo of McLeod and the always awesome Tom Palmer.
McLeod even handles the very challenging Warlock well, keeping the Sienkiewicz style but also fitting him into his own style.
There are a few weird panels where an all-yellow ink is used to depict the teleportations. I don't know if the art has faded over time or if it always looked like this, but it feels like something is missing.
It's a weird issue, honestly.
Quality Rating: C+
Chronological Placement Considerations: For Professor Xavier, the MCP places this before Uncanny X-Men #185.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (3): showBen Locklin, Cannonball, Conal Duran, Cypher, Lila Cheney, Magik, Magma, Mirage (Dani Moonstar), Professor X, Stevie Hunter, Sunspot, Warlock, Wolfsbane
The teleportation-yellow effect was how it looked when it was published(some copies may have had color bleed-through from the other side of the page).
Posted by: Mark Drummond | October 9, 2011 1:57 PM
What is the deal with the Dyson Sphere? How
In addition, who was Lila's promoter and what was their connection with Emmanuele DaCosta? Were they connected with the Hellfire Club?
And who sold Lila to intergalactic slavers?
Twenty-eight years and we still know nothing of Lila's origins started here:(
Posted by: Nathan Adler | April 14, 2012 9:44 PM
Yea in the TPB collection, the yellow bits look pretty much like this, but a little cleaner. It's just a bad effect and you can't make out anything too well even in the crisp reprint.
As for Nathan's questions, sometimes a little mystery is a good thing.
I agree it's a bizarre issue, but it's got a cool cover and a cool plot, and Lila is cool. It's cool that she was going to sell the earth. It's cool she can teleport to a Dyson Sphere at the other end of the galaxy. There's a lot of cool going on here.
Posted by: Paul | May 12, 2012 10:53 PM
A dyson sphere is an artificial shell built so encapsulate a star. In some science fiction its uses to collect solar power, in others it's a way to create a habitat on the "inside" of the shell...as seen in that star trek: TNG where they find Scotty
Posted by: Russell White | September 16, 2013 6:20 PM
"She dresses up Sam in what i guess might have been 1980s style rocker clothes."
To be fair, that's pretty much how I remember Billy Idol always looking.
Posted by: Erik Beck | May 19, 2015 7:01 PM
The chronology placement for this annual is the exact same order that marvel chose. However I believe it should be moved back a few issues. Dani is not able to walk in issue 21. yet seems to do so with no problem in this annual. but then in issue 22 she is back in a wheelchair.
PS Thx for all your hard work.
Posted by: 4Dmike | January 13, 2017 6:43 AM
Thanks 4Dmike. I agree. Instead of pushing it back, i've just flipped the order with issue #22, since by issue #23 Dani is out of her wheelchair. I know that #23 continues the Cloak & Dagger story started in #22, but i already have space and other New Mutants appearances between #22 and #23, so this annual should be able to fit there as well.
Posted by: fnord12 | January 13, 2017 9:57 AM
This issue feels like missing pages now and then. Is Nina a human? Mutant? Shape-shifter? Why does Canonball like her exactly?
But yeah it still has Claremont goodness, I give it a pass
Posted by: Karel | November 11, 2017 12:51 PM
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