New Mutants #43
Issue(s): New Mutants #43
Actually, it's still not the full group; Wolfsbane is on Muir Island, as we'll see next issue.
Sunspot learns what happened to Tom Corsi and Sharon Friedlander...
...and convinces the other New Mutants that they need to extract vengeance on Empath for what he did to them. And it's definitely vengeance, and not justice, that he's looking for. The others go along only reluctantly, except Magik, who is totally on board.
And that's kind of ironic because as we'll see next issue, Roberto is both afraid of Illyana and thinks that she's evil.
Before getting into the revenge scheme, let me just say that Corsi and Friedlander are such strange characters. They are total footnotes that rarely appear or speak or contribute to the plots. But they've had to deal with some really weird stuff, like having their ethnicities changed on them and then being forced into a nihilistic sex spiral. We did see Friedlander trying to act as a school nurse a few issues back while the New Mutants were depressed after having been killed and resurrected by the Beyonder. But really, "turned into native Americans" and "nihilistic sex spiral" are the defining events in their lives, at least as far as we've seen. And that's on top of all the "normal" madness that must go on at the school (like seeing the students killed and resurrected by the Beyonder). And yet aside from those two panels above of them looking sad, we really don't get to see anything from their point of view. They would be good fodder for a Marvels style book that looked at 80s era X-Events from a normal human perspective.
Back to the Mutant's revenge scheme against Empath. To reinforce the decision that Empath needs some serious punishment, they observe him as he's manipulating the emotions of a couple of normal human students at Massachusetts Academy for playing X-Factor.
Then the revenge begins, and hinges largely on the fact that Magik is a terrifying demon queen.
The other New Mutants get a turn to mess with him too.
It's Doug Ramsey who eventually realizes that they have crossed a line. But Roberto isn't convinced.
However, the event comes to an end when the other members of Empath's Hellions arrive at the abandoned house in Vermont that the New Mutants have been using.
The headstrong Sunspot is ready to fight everybody, but the other New Mutants prevent a battle between the groups. When they leave, Empath appears unrepentant, but Thunderbird gives him a pow to the jaw and tells him that the rest of the group will be watching him.
Empath is a serious dilemma. He is shown to be truly evil, even moreso than the White Queen, and his powers are so subtly dangerous that it's only thanks to the White Queen's supervision that Empath doesn't just take control of the other Hellions, making Thunderbird's threat somewhat empty. But short of killing him or banishing him forever to Illyana's Limbo, there isn't much else the New Mutants can do about him.
The seriousness of Empath and what he did to Tom and Sharon aside, i like that this issue's plot feels like a typical high school drama, a "the rival school graffitied our walls so we're gonna steal their mascot pig" type of thing. The stakes are much higher, but they are still acting like kids, and that's something that sometimes gets lost with books about teens.
Fill in art by this issue by Steve Purcell, later of Sam & Max fame, has a kind of underdeveloped look to it at times (i also don't see inker Whilce Portacio coming through much), but after a lot of experimentation on this series it's nice to see something a little cleaner.
Statement of Ownership Total Paid Circulation: Average of Past 12 months = 285,731. Single issue closest to filing date = 223,081.
Quality Rating: B+
Chronological Placement Considerations: N/A
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (1): showBrightwind, Cannonball, Catseye, Cypher, Empath, Jetstream, Karma, Magik, Magma, Mirage (Dani Moonstar), Nina da Costa, Roulette, S'ym, Sharon Friedlander, Stevie Hunter, Sunspot, Tarot, Tom Corsi, Warlock, Warpath
I could never get into New Mutants. Despite some nice ideas, there are too many strange elements that undermined the whole concept for me. Neither Magik nor Warlock belong in this book. I like Magma, but the entire hidden city of Nova Roma just doesn't work for me.
Posted by: Chris | December 26, 2013 8:38 PM
Once Cable took over and they became X-Force, they really came into their own.
Posted by: clyde | December 26, 2013 9:51 PM
I often found Claremont's run on New Mutants to be his strongest work in comics.
I realize it didn't reoccur every issue, but Claremont often put elements in his X-books that didn't belong.
Posted by: ChrisKafka | December 26, 2013 11:12 PM
I think it strengthens the shared universe of Marvel that there are elements in the X-books that aren't mutants or mutant-centric.
Posted by: Erik Robbins | December 27, 2013 12:36 PM
I find it fascinating that Illyana is a mutant but its not always apparant, even her original mutant born powers aren't obvious to those who don't know her history. It would make a good point for those who say that being a mutant need not define oneself if it wasn't a really traumatic subject matter.
As for exteresstrials, vampires and such, wherever they be mutant or not... At the very least it goes along with their mission statement of accepting and protecting those who are different. Many of the non-human, non-mutants who have joined the X-Men didn't exactly fit in normal society either. If the Avengers are earth's mightiest heroes and the Defenders are loners united, then the X-Men are a place to belong.
Posted by: Max_Spider | December 27, 2013 3:05 PM
Come to think of it, that is what drove me away from New Mutants specifically (as opposed to mutant books in general): beginning with the Sienkwickz issues and aggravating with the focus on Illyanna's increasing corruption, the book became just too pseudo-mystical, too dark, too nihilistic for me to enjoy.
And the art, as well shown by #43, was often weak as well.
Looking back, one wonders if Claremont even knew where he wanted to go with Illyanna. Lots of unexplained and unpromissing plot points revolve around her, such as the weird psi-sword that she yields and that somehow turned up with Kitty Pryde back when the Beyonder attempted to cleanse her. Now that was a senseless plot.
Posted by: Luis Dantas | December 27, 2013 11:58 PM
Though I can see why many people find this series to be Claremont's best, it has some flaws. The cast is too large, for one thing: Doug, Karma, and Magma disappear into the background for stretches at a time, which would be fine if they were supporting characters like Tom and Sharon, but if they're going to be on the team, they need more consistent spotlighting. We've also reached a point where Sam and especially Rahne don't seem to be developing much beyond who they were when the series started. And as far as the genre stuff goes, a little is good, but Claremont has given us Limbo, Nova Roma, the Technarchy, and Lila Cheney, plus Danielle's Valkyrie status. Much like the cast itself, these concepts aren't consistently developed, let alone tied in with the X-line's overall themes. The series would have benefitted from more focus on Claremont's part. X-Men is sprawling as well, but look at how Claremont develops that team vs. this one.
Posted by: Walter Lawson | December 28, 2013 1:03 PM
I always had a theory that Empath was trying to please Emma Frost by being as badass as he could. He probably developed an inferiority complex comparing his empathic manipulation to her telepathy which caused a lot of his aggression and nastiness.
Posted by: Jay Demetrick | December 30, 2013 3:41 AM
Interesting that in your review of #15-17 you pegged Warpath as an opposite number of Sunspot, when they have the opposite roles in this issue: Sunspot instigating a revenge plot, Warpath preventing another from happening.
Posted by: Berend | March 12, 2014 10:54 AM
That shows his growth as a character, I guess. In UXM #193, Warpath was obsessed with revenge. After being calmed down by the X-Men and spending some time in a team, he eventually becomes less of a hothead and more of a leader figure.
Posted by: Nate Wolf | November 18, 2016 2:40 PM
Comments are now closed.
|SuperMegaMonkey home | Comics Chronology home|