New Mutants #38
Issue(s): New Mutants #38
I love how important it is to Magneto that the kids learn to dance. I demand to see an Untold Tales of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants featuring Mastermind and the Toad learning to do the Mashed Potato.
Magneto himself isn't feeling so good either. He's been having weird dreams about his students dying...
...and he's unable to get the kids out of their funk. He's also fending off the White Queen, who repeatedly offers to take the kids off his hands and make them Hellions.
Warlock is the only New Mutant that is unaffected.
Dani Moonstar manages to break out of her depressed state, thanks to a visit from Thor, frog of thunder.
We learn in this story that Magneto is passing himself off as Michael Xavier, Charles' older cousin, and that Doug Ramsey's father Phillip is the school's lawyer.
We learn at the end of this issue that the Hellion Empath has actually been manipulating Magneto's emotions at the "bidding" of the White Queen, and at the end of the issue Magneto succumbs and sends the New Mutants (sans Dani, who is outraged by the decision) to her school.
It's not 100% clear from this issue if Empath is also exacerbating the feelings of the New Mutants themselves, or if their state is purely due to the after-effects of having died and come back. We'll see next issue that both the White Queen and Empath are surprised by their emotionless states, so most likely Magneto was Empath's only target.
Emapth is discovered on the Xavier grounds by Tom Coris and Sharon Friedlander, but he takes care of them by manipulating their emotions, causing them to lust for each other uncontrollably.
As i've said before, i appreciate that Claremont really goes all in with examining the consequences of his characters' participation in Secret Wars II, and this is an interesting and atypical "downtime" issue.
Quality Rating: B+
Chronological Placement Considerations: Regarding Thor's appearance, you could just argue it's a vision that Dani is having. But if you want it to really be Thor, you have to account for the fact that Thor appears in Secret Wars II #9 with a beard, which he grows after his de-frogging. And Secret Wars II #9 obviously occurs before this story. As i speculated on the Secret Wars entry, i'm using the idea that Rachel Summers used the Beyonder's power to summon and then send home a number of heroes to help fight the Beyonder, and that there was a mix-up in the process wherein she temporarily restored him to Thor status. I'm assuming he gets zapped back to Asgard in human form after he hops out of Brightwing's stable here.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showBrightwind, Cannonball, Cypher, Empath, Karma, Magik, Magma, Magneto, Mirage (Dani Moonstar), Roulette, Sharon Friedlander, Stevie Hunter, Thor, Tom Corsi, Warlock, White Queen (Emma Frost), Wolfsbane
I think that we're supposed to assume that the Molecule Man restored the evidence that the New Mutants exist and the memories of the people that knew them, since in later issues it's clear that physical evidence (e.g. photos) of the New Mutants exist from before the Beyonder killed them and people that Rachel had no contact with remember incidents involving the New Mutants from before the Beyonder killed them. Probably, Stern assumed Claremont would state this explicitly in New Mutants 38 and Claremont assumed Stern would state this explicitly in Avengers 266, another example of how Marvel's early crossovers were not well coordinated.
Posted by: Michael | November 17, 2013 4:12 PM
I'm not sure why Brightwind would bow to Thor. He's a Valkyrie horse, and would the Valkyries bow to Thor? You don't see too many Asgardians doing so.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | November 17, 2013 5:00 PM
I've always rather liked this issue, especially for the scene with Dani.
In one of the few serious examinations of the problems of overcoming death in comic books (certainly the only one in Claremont's X-titles) the New Mutants were seriously traumatized by being killed and resurrected by the Beyonder. Dani was out in the shed sobbing when the Frog of Thunder showed up to impart some words of wisdom.
Dani realizes that Thor has been turned into a frog, and as he hops away, she thinks maybe she can help him. But Brightwind gets in her way, and it's a very good expression of the power of religion (any religion) especially in terms of comic-book continuity. The Gotta Thunda is having his own problems at the moment which Dani can do nothing about. He's there because she's the one who needs help. Doesn't solve her problems, she's still crying at the end of the scene and knows she has to solve her own problems, but it's an example of the beacon of light that faith provides in the darkest moments.
Brightwind isn't bowing to Thor. But he is of Asgard, and he is helping his mistress according to Asgardian protocol.
Posted by: ChrisW | July 20, 2014 8:16 PM
I know it looks to Dani like he's bowing, and he is certainly paying tribute to the son of Odin. Maybe Valkyrie horses do bow, because that's how they roll. Jus' sayin...
Posted by: ChrisW | July 20, 2014 8:21 PM
Ah, fnord, this is where you site actually is a downside to a cool moment. I wasn't reading Thor at the time, but I knew he had been turned into a frog. I was reading NM, and this was a kick-ass crossover moment - really cool and helpful to Dani. But, aside from the SW II problem, there's also the question - did Thor really just hop all the way to Westchester? And when, in his book, would he have had time to do that? So maybe it is just a vision.
Anyway, it's a kick-ass moment as long as you don't think too hard about it.
The bit where Magneto interrupts the dance-class is a good Claremont character moment showing the trouble Magneto has with the students - it's hard to have been a Bobby Knight style coach all your career then work with the type of players that can't function in that system. As the man in charge of the Brotherhood, Magneto could always bully his way - here he has to try and actually lead.
Posted by: Erik Beck | June 11, 2015 3:09 PM
This period of New Mutants, after Magneto has replaced Charles Xavier as the New Mutants' teacher, but while Claremont is still writing the title, was very interesting. Given that Magneto barely appears in Uncanny X-Men even during his attempted reformation (basically, there's UXM #200, then he's involved in that Sentinel fight the Beyonder sets up to test Rachel, he's sort of there briefly in some issues, has a role in the Mutant Massacre (but, again, more so in New Mutants) and does he even interact with the X-Men much again after Havok rejoins the team in UXM #219?), his struggles to follow a more noble path are mostly depicted in New Mutants. While I don't even mind the character being reverted to villainy later on, in principle, the manner in which it was done sort of p*sses all over Claremont's intent, contradicting thought bubbles to show that the whole thing was a ruse to see if the X-Men could function as the first line and that Magneto always intended to sway the students to his cause. It could have easily been written to show that the increasingly bleak world situation for mutants and the death of Doug Ramsey, to name but two traumatic events, could have affected Magneto and made him realise, sadly, that mutantkind needed a more direct 'champion' (as he'd see it), and that Xavier's path was doomed to failure. That way, he could have become a villain again while not having had his attempted reformation become false (though Claremont salvaged this somewhat in UXM later on).
Posted by: Harry | June 11, 2015 4:54 PM
What is wrong with Doug's parents? First they accept that he comes home early one morning and tells them that he's now attending Xavier's. Isn't he already in the Massachusetts Academy? In this issue, they're clearly worried about their son, and Magneto, with no word from his parents, unilaterally sends him back to the Academy.
For that matter, that applies to some of the others. It's my understanding that Xavier's was basically *paying* Sam to attend so that his family could get by without him. Where are Leon and Nga? Were Dani's parents informed? It's believable that the psychic shock they were in would have led Amara and Illyana to forget to notify their respective loved ones, but (I think the X-Men were still in San Francisco at this point) wouldn't Peter or Kitty call? Especially Kitty, who was the only one to remember that the New Mutants were dead in the first place, and she was there when the Beyonder brought them back. As were Storm and Wolverine, who might be a slight bit curious about how the kids are doing, particularly after such a traumatic event, particularly when the only person watching over them is a very very recently reformed villain who doesn't have a lot of experience as a teacher.
I have absolutely no proof whatsoever, but perhaps Rachel's increasing instability - which started at the time Jean came back - was intended to lead her towards another "Dark Phoenix" story as Claremont initially tried to figure out how to deal with Jean's return, and she was subconsciously tampering with her teammates' minds as a natural reaction against the 'coming back from the dead' concept. Not saying this happened, but it might have been a brief idea for Claremont, and it would make an in-story explanation for why the X-Men were so disconnected. What happened after Jean came back? Rachel became Phoenix, tried to end the universe to destroy the Beyonder, tried to take her frustrations out on Selene and got seduced by Mojo's minion, and then vanished for a while.
But the New Mutants had parents and families. And Doug's lived right there in town. Who knows, he may even have had friends before he met Kitty.
Posted by: ChrisW | December 9, 2015 7:43 PM
I have to wonder if Claremont intended this to take place while Wolverine was convalescing after Deathstrike's attack. It's possible that they were more focused on Wolverine, who was obviously sick, and not on the New Mutants, who seemed to have reocvered.
Posted by: Michael | December 9, 2015 8:22 PM
Plausible, but it just demonstrates how really really bad the X-Men (and New Mutants) were at sharing any information about anything. Between Storm, Cyclops and Dani, aren't they supposed to be master tacticians and strategists? One of the most obvious things to do would be to share as much information as possible, so nobody is caught unawares in case something goes wrong. Everyone except Scott cared enough to call the mansion to check on Maddie's pregnancy, and it was clear that Scott had a problem.
Less important than Wolverine's health, possibly, but if Kitty's got time to go on a date with David Ishima and Peter has time to inquire about a postcard from Scott and Maddie, then I would think they both have time to check on Illyana. Kitty was so upset about being the only one to know the New Mutants were dead, and she'd been given the Soulsword. In twenty issues, Peter would be calling Illyana just to say hi, let her know that he was (somewhat) healed after his traumatic injuries, and listen to her babble like a teenage girl before asking for a lift. Their first appearance had him jumping in front of a tractor to save her life, doesn't that suggest he might, you know, give her the slightest thought after she dies and comes back? Maybe it's because of something that happened to her in Limbo.
It will never happen, but I'd like to write a really long essay cataloguing Claremont's run, on exactly how the X-Men, New Mutants, Excalibur, etc. made things worse by not sharing information, despite being trained as warriors and (as they say) the best they are at what they do. They really aren't, and whether it's the needs of the genre, the needs of the editors, the Comics Code, Jim Shooter or the limitations of mainstream comics in the 80s, I'd really enjoy pointing out how bad they are at what they do.
[Captain America should have suggested an "officer corps" long before the Illuminati ever got together, for instance. You can have melodrama and conflict when Tony Stark decides to work with other people, but Cap should have been the first person to suggest pooling information. Or Reed, who was a Major and therefore outranked Cap.]
As an in-story resolution, I'm going to go with 'Rachel was messing with everyone's minds.' No evidence for it, I'm sure it's contradicted post-Claremont, but it explains why things are going wrong to my satisfaction.
Posted by: ChrisW | December 9, 2015 8:53 PM
On a different subject, wasn't Xavier having financial difficulties shortly after the Phoenix Saga, to the point where Warren offered him help? I have not found the reference yet, but while the team was dispersed, Scott was running the mansion based on his savings [what savings? He's never held a job in his life!] and Charlie was having similar problems a while later. And this was before they added the New Mutants, a bunch of students who had no way of paying tuition, Tom and Sharon, paid employees who knew what benefits they should get, paying Sam so that his family wouldn't suffer for his absence, paying Shan to play secretary (did she ever actually do that outside of "New Mutants" #52?) and look over Leon and Nga. What are Peter and Illyana's parents doing with all three children gone?
Maybe someone should stop me from thinking about how superheroes would work in the real world. That way lies Garth Ennis comics, and I loves me some Garth Ennis comics.
Posted by: ChrisW | December 9, 2015 9:16 PM
The reference was in X-Men 144- it was that the amount of damage caused when Kitty fought the N'Gari was considerable.
Posted by: Michael | December 9, 2015 9:23 PM
Xavier's financial difficulties are just another dropped plot. I wouldn't think too hard on it.
When it comes to the X-men I've always just assumed their funding mainly comes from Angel like the Avengers are mainly funded by Iron Man.
Posted by: Red Comet | December 9, 2015 10:01 PM
@ChrisW: Totally agree about the Illuminati. Who do you propose as members of your proposed Cap's "officer corps"?
Posted by: Nathan Adler | December 10, 2015 4:07 AM
I think, going into no-prize territory here, that since the Danger Room ended up being fitted up with Sh'iar technology, that they made use of Lilandra and alien tech and that greatly reduced the cost of fixing the mansion since she clearly wasn't going to be billing her consort.
Posted by: Erik Beck | December 10, 2015 6:59 AM
That's the closest we'll ever get to a sound explanation, but it doesn't explain how they pay for the food, electricity, the swimming pool, insurance, benefits for Tom and Sharon, not to mention all the laws and regulations New York State would have.
Nathan, I actually kind of like the membership of the "Illuminati" (I've only read the "Secret Wars II" issue, so that's the limit of my knowledge) but I'd think it would be larger. I don't know the actual ratio of officer-to-enlisted in the military, but it wouldn't be limited to five or six people. Xavier's school alone would have Chuck, Scott, Ororo, Kitty, Dani and, if they ever learn anything about him, Wolverine.
Basically the leader of every team and a few others as juniors. Cap, Tony Stark, Thor from the Avengers. Jan and the Vision almost certainly. Hank was one of the 'corps' but 'lost his commission' after all those 'incidents.' They would take Alex Powers' age into consideration, but at the very least they'd need to keep him informed of what's going on in the world. Spider-Man would be useful for keeping track of all those heroes who don't belong to teams (Daredevil, Punisher, Cloak and Dagger.) Silver Surfer. Guardian.
Obviously it wouldn't work the way the actual military does, but Captain America of all people would have put serious time and effort into something like this.
Posted by: ChrisW | December 10, 2015 9:01 AM
Michael, but without a sudden infusion of money, doesn't that mean a financially-strapped Xavier decided to just give a salary and benefits that are "more than adequate" to a sexy Asian girl?
Once again for the hard of hearing, if Claremont's subtext isn't disgusting you on a fundamental level, he's not doing his job. You can almost understand why former spy and model Betsy just started brainwashing anybody who got in her way. At least that makes sense.
Posted by: ChrisW | December 11, 2015 1:20 AM
Didn't a letters page state that Xavier's money was inherited? I think it was a mistake for Claremont to have established that Charley could ever have money problems. It's like Bruce Wayne funding Batman, the school should be self supporting. Just don't go there. No doubt some writer will if they haven't already, though.
Posted by: Brian C. Saunders | March 14, 2016 5:44 AM
Well, that's part of the weakness of superhero identities. Didn't Ra's al Guhl figure out who Batman was just by looking at how much money Batman was spending on all his gadgets and extrapolating from there? "The Dark Knight" movie made a good point about that.
Batman and Iron Man make no sense unless they're using basically all of their money to fund their respective crime-fighting abilities. And Tony Stark is funding the Avengers and other stuff too? It would be one thing if they were mass-marketing their inventions/patents to bring in money - image inducers would be very useful to a lot of people, even before they go on sale in a store near you - but they don't. Like the Fantastic Four told Spider-Man at their first meeting, all their profits are invested in scientific research. Who exactly needs a portal to the Negative Zone?
And the government is funding Forge, but not having him invent things that are useful. And they're funding Project Wideawake, which isn't really useful either. The Angel isn't producing anything that anybody would want to invest in, he's just assuming that his family fortune will continue to exist no matter what. And Charlie has to run a huge mansion estate/private school. That's going to eat up a ton of money no matter what, and then the X-Men keep having their airplanes destroyed to the point where it becomes a running joke. Those things are not cheap to buy, to store, to fuel, to maintain or to replace.
"Don't go there" makes perfect sense, because the whole concept falls apart once you start thinking about who's paying for all this stuff, and even the ultra-rich people can only get so far. Again, "Dark Knight" made this point perfectly, but seriously, let's say Donald Trump is Batman. If that was the case, there would be thousands of people who know his secret and any one of them could betray him, release information to the media, sneak information to his enemies, set him up for a trap to be either killed or exposed... Even the obvious response, "Batman wouldn't run for President" at least provides a cover for his secret identity. Trump cannot be Batman because Batman wouldn't run for President!!!
[I am saying nothing about Trump himself, merely commenting on the unrealistic nature of superheroes, and letting you fill in your own punchlines.]
[[I actually did a graphic novel which included a Batman rip-off as a major character, and his secret identity is Howard Hughes. You think he's watching movies and collecting urine samples? No, he's putting on tights and patrolling the city!]]
Posted by: ChrisW | March 15, 2016 3:29 AM
The question of where the X-Men get the money for their activities has long bugged me too. Besides all their expensive technology, and the fact that the Xavier Mansion keeps getting destroyed and rebuilt, they also run a school which at points is shown to have tens if not hundreds of students. It's not likely that a secret mutant school would be subsidized by the goverment, and since most of the mutants are outcasts, poor, and/or abandoned by their parents, it probably doesn't run on tuition fees either. All these student plus the X-Men themselves need food, clothing, and other daily necessities, as well as all the special equipment needed for learning to use their mutant powers, etc. Yet the X-Men are never shown doing any work, except as teachers in the school.
Charles Xavier might've inherited a fortune, but running the school and the X-Men, as outlined above, must cost millions of dollars yearly, and he isn't getting any new money from anywhere. Plus obviously there have been long stretches when Xavier has been dead, or in space. Maybe he set up some fund for the school, but even that should've eventually ran out of money. And I don't think the idea that Warren is funding the school has been introduced until the 2010s, so presumably he wasn't doing so before, or at least it's never mentioned.
If these stories were set in a less realistic universe, it's be easy to just say "don't go there". But the X-Men's situation is in sharp contrast with other Marvel superheroes, whose finances are usually explained. The Avengers were funded by US the government, and the leverage the government had over them was an element in many Avengers stories. (Later on their funding comes from a foundation set up Tony Stark, I think?) The Fantastic Four seem to get money from Reed's patent and inventions, and them running into financial problems was a plot point from early on. Similarly, most solo heroes like Spider-Man or Daredevil have a day job besides superheroing, and when they lose that job or it isn't paying enough, that becomes an issue. So "where does he get the money for living?" is a thing that's normally addressed in Marvel comics, which is why the fact that isn't so with the X-Men becomes noticable.
Posted by: Tuomas | March 15, 2016 5:26 AM
"And I don't think the idea that Warren is funding the school has been introduced until the 2010s, so presumably he wasn't doing so before, or at least it's never mentioned."
There's a quick scene circa X-Men 140 wherein the professor accepts an offer of money to pay the bills from Angel, phrased as if it's not the first time...
Posted by: BU | March 15, 2016 11:12 AM
At least having hundreds of students would imply a structure that requires parents (or whoever) to pay the bills. If you look at Claremont's run, Kitty is almost literally the only student who has someone is paying her tuition. None of the X-Men remotely did anything to suggest they were paying their own way. And Kitty eventually ran off to England without any excuse.
Doug Ramsey was attending the Massachusetts Academy until he was woken up one night to help the team deal with Warlock. I'd swear Dani's uncle said something about making a deal with Xavier, but I don't remember any details. And those two are as good as the junior team gets.
Xavier is paying for Sam to attend so he doesn't have to struggle for his family. He's paying Shan so she can provide for Leong and Nga. Emmanuel DaCosta certainly is not paying for Bobby to attend, and if Moira is paying for Rhane, it's probably more of tax-dodge than actual tuition fees.
Warlock and Amara? Don't make me laugh. One could actually get a lot of mileage out of the resources they are bringing to Xaviers', but not if Xaviers' School is an accredited private school in New York State. At least Tony Stark and Reed Richard are (theoretically) patenting their inventions and bringing them closer to the masses. Might even help with downloading porn, but I still can't buy an image inducer.
Posted by: ChrisW | March 16, 2016 3:04 AM
Dani's grandfather, not uncle. Look, you know what I mean. Don't judge me. :(
Posted by: ChrisW | March 16, 2016 1:43 PM
I'd actually take issue with some of those points. Kitty quit the school for health reasons. Heck, since no one could tell her folks, they were sending Magneto checks while their daughter was trapped in a glass tube, about to die. That's messed up.
And before Bobby became estranged from his dad, they were close and he almost certainly set up arrangements for Bobby's tuition. Now after issue 12, the question is was Emmanuel so angry that he cut Bobby off? Not so much. Roberto has his own limo and personal driver in New Mutants #37, and heads off to the airport to go home without so much as a phone call to ask for money. I'm pretty sure Xavier was getting some scratch from the DaCostas. Emmanuel didn't care where his son went to school, apparently, as long as Bobby wasn't around to mouth off, or lose control and kill him.
As for Doug Ramsey, his dad, Philip, was the lawyer for Xavier's school. In New Mutants #38, he and his wife show up to establish that they knew and trusted Charles, but "Michael Xavier" seems to have broken their recently dead son. So, despite the shenanigans with the White Queen, I'd assume Phil is making out the checks to the school until Doug's death.
Amara comes from a hidden civilization that seems to have some sort of wealth since the Hellfire Club wants it so bad. She was probably sent to Charley with enough gold to pay her way.
But the rest of the kids you are right about. They're paupers, aside from Rahne.
Posted by: Brian C. Saunders | March 16, 2016 7:30 PM
Actually, I take that back. Dani's not a pauper after the Demon Bear was defeated. She has parents who own farm land and have a legitimate business. I don't see why they would continue to presume on Black Eagle's friendship with Charles and not pay Dani's way. So the paupers are Sam, Shan, Illyana and Warlock.
Posted by: Brian C. Saunders | March 16, 2016 7:40 PM
I don't really have anything of value to add, but I want to say that I love this conversation and I love Brian's use of the word scratch. Pretty great.
I wonder if Xavier ever thought about hitting Scott up for Rachel's tuition.
Posted by: Mark Black | March 16, 2016 8:27 PM
Presumably there is some kind of trust or foundation that funds the school, and it is not out of Xavier's personal resources. Of course, we must ask ourselves who funded the trust? Xavier obviously did at first, but there could very well be other contributors/benefactors (who pays for all of Moira's MacTaggert's expenses?), plus the (modest) contributions the students' parents spend. We are also consistently told that Xavier is a world renowned expert on genetic mutations. We don't actually see him do any academic research, but he presumably does this behind the scenes. It is possible in addition to his normal funds, he receives various genius grants to conduct his research - perhaps even paid fees by universities, research centers, and corporations. None of this has ever been established, but we can fill in the blanks if we want to. All of that money could stay in Xavier's personal finances, or go into the school's trust.
We have to assume that the trust is large enough that normal maintenance of the school is taken care of for normal expenses.
Any "money troubles" might have to do with the complexities of administering a trust. If Xavier is gone, and Scott doesn't legally have access to spend the money from the trust, then he would do it from his own "savings".
As for the superhero expenses such as fuel for the Blackbird? Well, while there may be private accounts that accounts for some of it, we can assume for most of Claremont's run that all of this is possible because of Shi'Ar technology gifted to him by Lilandra.
Of course, we are not actually expected to think of all of this. Much like how if you are smart in the Marvel Universe, you are smart across all disciplines, if you are rich, you are massively rich. But if we want to create trouble for ourselves over these expenses, it's not that hard to come up with No-Prize solutions.
Posted by: Chris | March 16, 2016 10:05 PM
Brian, good points, both about Bobby obviously having access to jets and cars, as well as Kitty getting sick and her headmaster won't even send a note to her parents. This school is messed up in more ways than a mortal can count.
How so? Well, Doug's parents weren't handling Xavier's legal problems until he became a student. They might have been useful when testifying before Congress. And Doug was still enrolled in the Massachusetts Academy when he joined the New Mutants. Did Rachel fix this when she brought the X-Babies back from the dead?
Your point about Dani's parents is also well-taken. Ok, people who have been dead for years have suddenly returned and now own a profitable business which lets them pay for their daughter's tuition in a private school in upstate New York. I can totally believe that.
Um, well, maybe not. I agree with you about the Moonstars keeping Dani in school, just not with how they get there. And I don't even think Claremont can be blamed, because he'd probably have been happy to let one of the teams find a magic bag of gold and pay for everything with that.
Chris, you run into the same problem. Who set up the trust? Where does the money come from? If image inducers and Shi'ar technology were suddenly commonplace on Earth, we could see where the money was coming from. If Xavier spent all his time writing papers on genetic mutation instead of leading a superhero team, running a school, pretending to be dead or leaving the planet to be with his alien girlfriend, that would be something. Not entirely believable, but worth a bit of grant money, at least enough to keep operating Brightwind's stable. Hay and oats ain't free!
None of this stuff works if you think about it seriously, but it's so much fun to think about it seriously. Magneto could collect all the buried gold on earth that isn't already in a mineshaft (or under Namor's control.) Storm could help a lot of farmers. Cypher would make a ton of money as a diplomat. Lila Cheney could revolutionize astronomy and taxi cabs. There are so many ways they could be bringing in money, much as Peter Parker sought out the wrestling match, or Alison Blaire sought out the stage.
Great, now I'm going to spend the rest of the night plotting an "X-Men" story where they make money for the school and not be superheroes.
Posted by: ChrisW | March 17, 2016 4:56 AM
As near as i can tell, Doug never attended the Massachusetts Academy until he went with the rest of the team in this issue. He invited Kitty as his "plus one" for the trip to his final interview. It's pretty clear Frost didn't want him, she wanted Kitty at her school.
As for the Lonestar's business, well, it's a ranch. Claremont probably assumed it could be restored to profitability quickly. Since in New Mutants #41, it's shown that the ranch is a going concern that Pat Roberts' family was looking to buy up before Dani's parents return squashed those plans, I'm good with going it's likely for them to fork over the tuition to the school that saved them from enslavement and is teaching the daughter they paralyzed to live in society after fixing her legs. Dani's dad and Charley are blood brothers, so the Lonestars probably get special rates or extended billing.
Good luck with the "Cash for Xavier's" story. With the Marvel sliding timeline, Xavier could probably accept PayPal. :-)
Posted by: Brian C. Saunders | March 17, 2016 3:23 PM
Doug dreamed he was kissing Kitty at the Academy, and he was called out of his dorm room in pajamas to see Sam, just before Empath struck. That's a long way to go for someone who's not actually attending the school [and the Hellfire Club could obviously use someone with his power anyway.] I think it's clear that the Hellfire Club wanted Doug in one capacity or another. How could they guarantee he'd bring Kitty along?
The Moonstars' ranch, there's several ways to explain that. None of them make a whole lot of sense, but we are talking about superhero comics. I agree that Dani is one of the few Xavier students who might actually have her tuition paid, at least after her parents come back from the dead.
Posted by: ChrisW | March 22, 2016 2:27 AM
I agree with ChrisW that going after Doug wasn't about trying to get Kitty. I tend to think that Emma was happy recruiting whatever mutants she could get her hands on in those days -- not every student was destined to be a Hellion, maybe, but she always took her role of teacher and protector seriously, and this was one she could steal right from under Xavier's grasp.
And, in a different universe, you could see Doug becoming Emma's personal assistant, ala Tessa to Sebastian (prior to her being revealed as a spy).
Posted by: FF3 | March 22, 2016 9:39 AM
Half the fun of thinking about these characters is thinking about what they could be doing if they didn't put on tights and fight bad guys. Obviously in a world where Doctor Doom and Galactus are recurring threats, there's a need for superheroes, but yeah, Doug Ramsey is about as guaranteed to be successful in life as it is possible to be. Other than the chance to complain about always being the weak link (and, admittedly, save the world a few times) Xaviers' School did nothing for Doug that he wouldn't have gotten anywhere else. How, exactly, do you train someone who's already a perfect translator? Teach him spy skills, send him to law school, put him in touch with Silicon Valley, ok, but the Massachusetts Academy is going to have every possible advantage over Xaviers' in those areas.
Hell, if he has no higher goal in his lie than to translate body language and getting laid, there's a lot more girls attending the Academy than Xaviers'. One can easily imagine the White Queen looking at Doug (or Empath, or that matter) with wistful regret. "I had such high hopes for you, and you couldn't do any better."
I love superheroes, but even more than that, I love the idea of a cohesive fictional universe where people have superpowers and do believable things with those powers. This is what made Marvel work. What's the first thing Peter Parker did after getting bit by a spider? He became a wrestler and television entertainer. Superhero was not one of his life goals.
Posted by: ChrisW | March 24, 2016 2:31 AM
Well Firestar is an example of what happens to a White Queen recruit who doesn't work out. Is Doug the kind of guy who'd go along with the Hellfire program? Clearly, there's only so much mucking with her students brains she can do to get tehm onboard. Doug's a nice guy and with his power, he'd be a poor asset if his perceptions were altered to make him "tractable," that'd hobble his power at the very least.
Posted by: Brian C. Saunders | March 24, 2016 12:44 PM
I have never understood why so many people over the years have said that Doug Ramsey's powers were useless. Okay, they are probably of little use for a superhero who is going up against Doctor Doom or an army of Sentinels. But, as a few others have commented, there is more to life than super-heroes. With his powers, Doug could easily have gotten a job with the federal government. The Department of Defense, the State Department, and the Department of Homeland Security would be tripping over each other to recruit someone who possessed the ability to understand every language in the world. And if Doug did not want to work for the feds, well, there would be plenty of corporations where he'd be an asset. With some training, could be really well-suited to the world of international finance.
I guess that's the disconnect between Marvel "reality" and real-world reality at work. As others have observed, despite the supposed mission of Xavier's School preparing mutants to be able to use their powers responsibly in the outside world, in practice they spent most of their time fighting super-villains and aliens and demons and giant killer robots. But under somewhat different circumstances, in a reality closer to out own, Doug's powers would be incredibly useful. Heck, I would love to have his powers. Just don't send me out to fight the Brood, or anything like that!
Posted by: Ben Herman | March 24, 2016 1:34 PM
> Just don't send me out to fight the Brood, or anything like that!
Or the Right, for that matter. ;) (For the record, though, Kitty does later save X-Men on a space adventure because she can read skrull, if I recall...)
And, hell, it depended upon the utterly coincidental occurrence of Warlock appearing, but Doug's power /was/ useful as a superhero. (In real life, an argument could be made that Warren's first form was more useless, but there were always hints, from way back in the first run of the book, that he had a great deal of untapped "mutant energy.")
Posted by: FF3 | March 24, 2016 2:42 PM
To have my say about the Doug situation: its a lot more natural if the concept of "mutancy" allows for literally anything and everything to be accepted as being a mutant, from a strange power to a deformity. In a more normal universe, mutant powers probably would come in any sort of measure and there would be some that would be way better for civilian life; which of course would probably make people scared but that's the whole point of "Mutant Rights vs. Registration" that the franchise tends to tackle. But of course with this a comic book, unfortunately that's what leads to most mutant powers being "combat oriented" and thus leads to so many to pass over those that aren't as just "worthless", which really is a shame.
By comparison, the manga "JoJo's Bizarre Adventure" has had situations with their "Stand" concept where a power isn't just used to fight and can be used for something else. In Pt. 4 (which is actually about to start an animated rendition), there is one character whose "power" is literally to comprehend a person's power and to use his cooking skills to make food that will remedy them; while there's another character who is a beautician that uses her power to remake people however that she wants to (or how they want it for a profit); let alone those that aren't really combat related that sort of get forced into it, like a character who has a tiny army that collect things for him and whose whole usage is merely "collection"; he ends up in a fight and gets killed rather easily at a certain point. In many ways, these concepts really show what could be done with "mutant powers" in a more real life scenario compared to a comic where most of the powers have to be used in an never-ending paramilitary war between sides.
Posted by: Ataru320 | March 25, 2016 8:18 AM
My Dad once told me about a science-fiction novel he had read about a world where everybody had superpowers, and one of the main characters' power was to project a blue dot on the wall. That makes perfect sense for a mutant power, and makes the idea of training mutants in their powers pointless. If Dad ever told me the name of the book, I don't remember it, but that power makes Cypher look like Cable in comparison.
Except for actual deformities (up to and including Nightcrawler and Rogue) and actual dangerous powers (Cyclops) there isn't any way to actually work with mutant powers. A super-cook, super-beautician, a singer who creates her own lightshow, a translator, these are mutant powers that one could not possibly prevent, and they would be useful.
Posted by: ChrisW | March 26, 2016 10:15 AM
Razorback's mutant power would prove pretty damn lucrative in the real world as well...
Posted by: Oliver_C | March 26, 2016 11:30 AM
If you could move the dot on the wall, it could be useful if you ever wanted to distract Catseye....
Posted by: Erik Robbins | March 26, 2016 1:14 PM
I have to disagree with Ataru about JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Stands in that manga are usually used for fighting. Tonio the cook is a subversion of what normally happens; almost every Stand user introduced up to that point had immediately used their power to try to kill the protagonists, so it's a surprise when this guy just wants to whip up a healthy meal. And the Harvest collection power was really strong in combat - Josuke said he doesn't know anybody who'd be able to defeat it - and the point of its user being killed so easily was to show just how much more badass the villain is.
I think the strength of JoJo's portrayal of superhuman powers is not in showing non-combat uses for them, but in showing creative and unconventional ways of using them in a fight.
Posted by: Mortificator | March 26, 2016 4:52 PM
Cypher would be easy to place as having a significant function in the MU. His powers could easily provide him a high place in an organisation like S.W.O.R.D.
Posted by: Nathan Adler | March 26, 2016 7:19 PM
Catseye doesn't get distracted! Focused like a microscope, she is!
Posted by: ChrisW | March 27, 2016 12:47 AM
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