Characters Appearing: Cannonball, Cypher, Impossible Man, Karma, Magik, Magma, Magneto, Mirage (Dani Moonstar), Sunspot, Warlock, Wolfsbane
New Mutants annual #3
Issue(s): New Mutants annual #3
...but i do like Alan Davis, so let's just sit back and enjoy the art. As a warm up act, the New Mutants vs. the (Danger Room generated) Teen Avengers.
I love the bald teenage Dr. Druid.
Now for the main event. The Impossible Man meets his match in Warlock.
There's a brief background cameo from characters called Gruenwald and Sanderson, who nitpick over the Hulk's color scheme. Nitpicky nerds.
The New Mutants follow along, trying to stop the two silly aliens, without much luck. They wear their graduation costumes. Good to see that Dani has added some pants.
They eventually realize how Warlock can beat Impossible Man: by showing that he can also change color.
Goofy fun. Actually, i have to admit i enjoyed this. Definitely my favorite Impossible Man appearance.
If you're looking for any kind of character development in this issue, it's that Doug feels abandoned when Warlock engages against Impossible Man without him.
Quality Rating: B+
Chronological Placement Considerations: This must take place after X-Men vs. the Avengers per the references below. Magma and Karma are said to be sick in this story and do not actually appear on panel but i've listed them as Characters Appearing. I'd prefer that this take place after Illyana has reconciled with the rest of the group in New Mutants #52, but that issue leads into the Fallen Angels mini that has Sunspot and Warlock leaving the team for a while, so i've placed this between issues #51-52.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Uh oh. Problems already. This has to go before Fallen Angels #1 because that's where Sunspot and Warlock leave the team. Fallen Angels #1-2 takes place between New Mutants #52 & 53 because Sunspot & Warlock are gone in New Mutants #53.
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | March 23, 2014 5:14 PM
The limits on Illyana's scrying pool are never clearly explained. Just from this issue, why can Illyana find Warlock and the Impossible Man but not Karma's siblings?
Posted by: Michael | March 23, 2014 5:38 PM
I suppose because we find out much later that they were kidnapped by Spiral and her magic blocked Magik's?
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | March 23, 2014 5:42 PM
But they WEREN'T kidnapped by Spiral- we saw Shinobi Shaw give them to Spiral.
Posted by: Michael | March 23, 2014 5:45 PM
Since Dr. Druid is shown as on the team, this would still need to go after Avengers #278 time-wise even if the reference to X-Men vs. Avengers #1-4 is ignored.
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | March 23, 2014 5:45 PM
Huh. Forgot about that part. Nevermind then. lol!
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | March 23, 2014 5:48 PM
Goofy fun, but I expect more out of an annual. This is at the level of a back up story in an Annual. It also demonstrates Warlock is not thematically appropriate for the New Mutants. All the stories best told with him are more for cosmic oriented titles like FF.
Posted by: Chris | March 23, 2014 6:19 PM
I'm too lazy to track it down, but I'm pretty sure Impy has, in fact, demonstrated the ability to change color in earlier appearances. A later one comes readily to mind, in fact, and it's even by Claremont: the Excalibur Acts of Vengeance crossover involves Impy impersonating an entire dystopian planet of many-colored super-creeps.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | March 23, 2014 10:04 PM
By the way, Fnord, I'm looking forward to your reviews of the two early '90s impossible Man Summer Specials.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | March 23, 2014 10:13 PM
Mark Drummond left a comment here saying that the Impossible Man did change colors in his first appearance. The site had some trouble today and Mark's comment got eaten, but i wanted to preserve the info.
Posted by: fnord12 | March 25, 2014 9:11 PM
Oh, I totally disagree with Chris. To me, goofy fun like this (and when Impy appeared in X-Men Annual #7) is exactly what the Annuals are for. I always enjoyed this, especially the ending.
I wish Alan Davis had stayed on NM. Like Blevens, he draws them like teenagers, but unlike Blevens, he doesn't draw them like they're all 11 and underfed.
But this was another Annual that drove me nuts on where to put it and I didn't even have to worry about other considerations outside the book - just the fact that it clearly shouldn't go where fnord has put it (because of Illyana feeling betrayed) and yet, because of the Massacre before it and because of #52 leading directly into Fallen Angels and Bobby and Warlock leaving the team (and arriving back just in time for Doug to die) it can't go after where fnord has put it. So, I think it just stays where it is and it feels awkward, but everything that wasn't a regular title (the Annuals, the two vs mini-series, Spider-Man vs Wolverine) all feel awkward.
Posted by: Erik Beck | July 16, 2015 6:51 PM
Alan Davis draws Art Adams' gradation costumes better than Adams does...
Posted by: BU | July 17, 2015 12:49 PM
I loved this "battle" between Warlock and The Impossible Man. Two goofy characters trying to outdo each other.
Posted by: clyde | December 2, 2015 12:44 PM
Other problems with chronological placement have to do with characterization. #52 starts off with Magneto sending the New Mutants up against the Marauders in the Danger Room, then yelling at them and grounding them. That's the sort of thing he would have done as soon as he discovered they were back at the mansion, to illustrate how dangerous things had become. You could argue that this annual served to illustrate that point, but it doesn't remotely work with the goofy fun of an Impossible Man story.
And then there's Illyana. In #52's Danger Room sequence, she's got a major attitude problem, not helped by the ending of #51 or what's going on in Limbo at the time. Yet this isn't remotely relevant here.
Posted by: ChrisW | April 28, 2016 7:08 PM
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