New Mutants #29
Issue(s): New Mutants #29
The trail leads Magik and Cannonball to LA, and Sam thinks to stop by his girlfriend Lila Cheney's house. They're first greeted by Lila's bodyguard.
There's really no indication that he's anything other than a typical non-super powered bouncer type, but "Guido" here will turn out to be a mutant and he'll take the deliberately silly code-name "Strong Guy".
Poor Allison Blaire is working as a session singer for Cheney, and she reveals her identity when she's accidentally teleported to Cheney's Dyson Sphere along with the New Mutants.
Lila has Guido pick her up tickets for the next Gladiators event so she can help with the rescue.
Sunspot and Magma are under the impression that if they don't cooperate with the Gladiators, some random children will be killed. There's absolutely no proof of that, and it'll turn out to not be true, but Sunspot lives by the code of Magnum PI, and therefore is forced to comply.
We get to see some of the Gladiators from the Beauty and Beast series, Sienkiewicz style (although Dazzler's friend Ivich is miscolored; she's supposed to be green).
Meanwhile, Magneto has received a telepathic call from Professor X, telling him to gather heroes -- "Avengers... Fantastic Four... all you can", and lead the X-Men to deal with the Beyonder. I think Magneto heard "lead the X-Men" and immediately forgot the rest of it because he never makes any attempt to contact any other heroes as far as i know.
He shows up at the Gladiator's arena and tries to recruit the New Mutants. "Forget this silly plotline", he seems to say. "We've got a crossover to deal with!". You'd think an arena full of mutants forced to fight each other for the amusement of humans would be of some interest to Magneto, but he doesn't comment on it at all. Sunspot and Magma, still convinced that babies will die if they leave the Gladiators, refuse to leave.
In my entry on last month's Uncanny X-Men #194, i wondered about the mention of the band called Nazgul. We learn here that it was a band that Lila Cheney used to open for.
The reference to "Hobbit" Hobbins gave me something to google, and i find that the band name is based on a novel called The Armageddon Rag by George R.R. Martin. New Mutants #42 has a letter from a Peter Faxon, who was a member of the band in Martin's book.
Alexander Flynn is still seemingly in charge of the Gladiators, although there's someone else watching things in the background.
This story has kind of a disjointed beginning, and it's also rudely interrupted by Secret Wars II. And Sienkiewicz's art is a little more difficult to digest when he's drawing regular stuff and not Demon Bears or surrealistic mental landscapes. But it's still a high quality issue.
Quality Rating: B
Chronological Placement Considerations: This issue takes place during the "better part of a fortnight" while Professor X is unconscious during issue #28, because this issue ends with Magneto showing up at the Gladiator's Arena, which is the same scene depicted in Secret Wars II #1. The characters appearing here appear next directly in SW II #1 and New Mutants #30 takes place directly after the events of that issue. See the Considerations and comments on Dazzler #38 regarding her appearance.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showAlexander Flynn, Axe, Cannonball, Dazzler, Ivich, Karma, Lee Forrester, Lila Cheney, Magik, Magma, Magneto, Max Rocker, Professor X, S'ym, Shadow King, Strong Guy, Sunspot
Peter David's current usage of Strong Guy in X-Factor makes me think that he hasn't given much thought about Guido's early appearances here--specifically as Lila Cheney's bodyguard/butler/whatever. Since we're told that Lila is a major rock star, at that time(the mid-1980s) that would have meant being around lots of illicit drug use, hedonistic partying, and groupies of all sorts offering all kinds of favors to get access to her or the band. As the main employee, Guido would have necessarily had to have drug remains flushed, puke mopped up, party damage taken care of, and logically would have been first in line to deal with obsessive groupies(to the point of being offered sexual and other favors to gain entrance). And yet, Peter David has him acting like some awkward fearful schoolboy around the "goddess" Monet. Uh Uh. Being Lila's bodyguard, he would have seen plenty of goddesses behaving in an extremely un-goddesslike manner--Monet shouldn't be inducing any "unworthiness' issues in him at all, having experienced all that with Lila.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | May 27, 2012 8:14 PM
Peter David's been ignoring early Strong Guy (and Multiple Man) characterization since his initial run on X-Factor. Really besides maybe Rahne in the initial run, I'm not sure he got a single character "right". He just seemed to take long-known characters and graft new personalities onto them.
Also, you mention in the next NM arc that the Sienkiewicz experiment was starting to wear on you, and I agree. This issue is the last one by him I really enjoyed.
Posted by: Paul | May 27, 2012 11:24 PM
To be fair, Strong Guy hardly had a personality before PAD got to him. What PAD ignored was his occupation as a rock star's bodyguard.
Posted by: Michael | May 27, 2012 11:33 PM
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