New Mutants #93-94
Issue(s): New Mutants #93, New Mutants #94
That requires the New Mutants to be in Madripoor, but we waste no goddamn time with set-up.
Cable and Sunfire already know each other, of course.
Sunfire mentions Cable's son, and a new drug called Sleet.
Sleet is so potent that it kills people, and the Japanese government is trying to stop it from being used in chemical warefare.
The soldiers that the New Mutants were fighting belong to General Coy (aka Karma's uncle), who is already an ally of Stryfe's.
To help out, Stryfe sends in some MLF mutants that i think Rob Liefeld came up with by picking the first three things he thought of when he thought about Japan. "Uh, sumo wrestlers, kamikazes, and... i dunno, dragons!" (We're in Madripoor, not Japan, but if Sunfire can be here, so can they.)
Louise Simonson makes a vain attempt at some character development for Wolfsbane...
...and then we're on to our search for the sleet, which turns into more fights.
Stryfe shows up and captures half of the New Mutants and Sunfire.
The teams are split up, so only Sunspot, Wolfsbane, and Rictor are with Cable for the Misunderstanding Fight with Wolverine.
I do like the line about Cable having faith in the New Mutants' abilities. I think it's odd that Rictor hasn't yet told his teammates exactly what his problem with Cable is, and of course it's weird that X-Factor has just sort of handed the New Mutants off to Cable. This is all really just due to bad writing (not necessarily blaming Simonson) but i like a reading of it being neglect on X-Factor's part while the kids have developed a kind of Stockholm situation where he puts the kids in danger and they thank him for the opportunity. On the other hand, i also like a "straight" reading of the situation, where the New Mutants are now old and experienced enough that they should be involved in this kind of fighting, and it took Cable to convince everyone of that.
My trade paperback has a page of story not included in the original. It seems it's not drawn by Liefeld (see Comments below). In any event, i wouldn't want to deprive you of this awesome fight, so here you go.
It turns out that Cable and Wolverine know each other.
But they keep fighting.
And fighting and fighting and fighting. I am sparing you some two page splash pages that are just too unwieldy to put on a website, and several more splash panels. But i do want to mention that after describing Wolverine's abilities on that opening splash page above, Louise Simonson is reduced to writing "Cable's gifts are less specific, but no less impressive" (and then going on to describe his speed, endurance, and strength). Look, we don't really know what this guy can do yet, but we know that he's awesome, and that an awesome fight with Wolverine can only be awesomer.
Meanwhile, we cut away to the captured Mutants, and the most hilarious escape sequence ever.
Here is Cannonball in chains. Note that both hands are hanging from the ceiling and bound.
Two pages later (skipping over a page of Boom Boom being jealous about that kiss), Cannonball reveals that he managed to steal a key from Dragoness.
Now.. with what body part did Cannonball manage to lift that key out of her pocket!? And how did he then get it to his hand, which is hanging over his head? I think all the lines that Rob Liefeld draws pointing to Cannonball's crotch are a hint.
Now back to... OMG, is this fight still going on?
The narration describes the fight as "a clash of titans, the battle the New Mutants would have given their eyeteeth to witness" if not for the pressing sleet problem. So they eventually dump some water on the two fighters' heads. And then it's revealed that they weren't even fighting for real, exactly.
They've been fighting "off an' on fer years". We'll eventually learn, in the Guts and Glory continuity insert, that they're not really fighting about anything important.
Anyway, with that "settled" they go off and join the other New Mutants at the warehouse where the sleet is being stored.
Sunfire and Dragoness cause a fire during the battle, which gets out of control and destroys all the sleet. It's also thought that Stryfe died in the fire. The New Mutants wonder about what that means for Rusty and Skids. Cable promises to find them, but the narration box immediately contradicts him, saying that the New Mutants will be dealing with X-Tinction Agenda instead.
Everything about this is terrible and yet i can't help getting swept up in the hyper-awesomeness of it all. Someone get me a Mountain Dew.
Quality Rating: D+
Chronological Placement Considerations: The New Mutants appear in Uncanny X-Men #270 next.
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: Cable and the New Mutants TPB
Inbound References (3): showBoom Boom, Cable (Adult), Cannonball, Dragoness, General Nguyen Coy, Kamikaze, Rictor, Stryfe, Sumo, Sunfire, Sunspot, Warlock, Wolfsbane, Wolverine, Zero
Totally radical dude!
Posted by: Berend | May 21, 2015 3:58 PM
Just get a Surge; its more 90s.
Seriously, is Liefeld doing the same "let's obscure his face in black to make them all the more mysterious" he did in the Wild Child story? Doesn't he realize how ridiculous it is...oh yeah, Rob Liefeld.
Posted by: Ataru320 | May 21, 2015 4:11 PM
Those fight pages you omitted are truly some of the worst-choreographed comic book battle scenes I've ever witnessed. It's impossible to tell how the movement works, or how the scene in one panel leads into the next.
Liefeld is just the worst. I actually really liked his first issue as regular penciler, the Acts of Vengeance tie-in with the Rusty & Vulture cover homage to Spider-Man. But there were flaws even there, and instead of getting any better, things just got worse and worse. By this point, even naive sixteen-year-old me was totally tired of him.
Given that X-Men and X-Factor just seemed utterly adrift at this time -- the X-books were my true comic love through the 80's, and all I was collecting regularly at the end -- I simply gave up collecting comics at the time, only recently to get back into things. Missed the X-Tinction Agenda entirely, and everything afterward for years.
Man, what happened to these books?!?
Posted by: Matt | May 21, 2015 4:15 PM
Ugh...these issues are even worse than I remember. And I didn't even like them when I was 13.
Posted by: Bill A. | May 21, 2015 4:17 PM
I should add that I can look back on it all and laugh now. Still -- what the hell?!? Post-Inferno, the X-franchise just fell apart.
And Liefeld -- ohmygod, Liefeld....
Posted by: Matt | May 21, 2015 4:19 PM
Well, obviously if you obscure Wolverine's face in black, how could the rest of the costume or the cover reveal that it was indeed Wolvie?...
Posted by: Matt | May 21, 2015 4:24 PM
I guess Liefeld has lots of fun drawing big fat bad guys so he introduced the sumo guy with Blob out? I mean yeah a big round giant sticks out in a group of people but still so soon?
Posted by: david banes | May 21, 2015 4:44 PM
"The soldiers that the New Mutants were fighting belong to General Coy (aka Karma's uncle), who is already an ally of Stryfe's." After that is some broken code that I guess is supposed to be an image.
Posted by: Morgan Wick | May 21, 2015 5:42 PM
Posted by: fnord12 | May 21, 2015 5:45 PM
Note that the MLF's plan in issue 87-89 involved a nuclear bomb. In this story it involves chemical weapons.
Posted by: Michael | May 21, 2015 8:35 PM
I guess so! Thanks.
Posted by: fnord12 | May 21, 2015 9:19 PM
Say what you will about Liefeld, but Wolverine's butt has never looked more supple and inviting than in that panel where Cable punches him.
Posted by: Andrew F | May 21, 2015 10:30 PM
The fight choreography is terrible. The general storytelling is horrendous. There's so many anatomical mistakes, I won't even begin to list them. Wolverine's claws are much too long (they would never fit into his forearms, as they are drawn). I'll never understand how THIS artwork got Rob Liefeld a job in the comic book industry as a professional...much less make him rich in the process.
Posted by: Bill | May 21, 2015 11:16 PM
You didn't include the panel of Wolverine or Cable dying. The narration on the splash page of #94 specifically promised that only the death of one or the other could result from this fight.
Posted by: ChrisW | May 22, 2015 5:11 AM
If you want more to complain about (whether or not its more Simonson's fault or Liefeld), its just the supremely massive rate all these characters are just introduced out of nowhere from the moment we start this whole arc with Cable and the MLF. From the first issue we have to keep a scorecard of Stryfe and his minions, then we get more minions here, then after X-Tinction Agenda we get even more characters from the new members specifically for X-Force (Shatterstar, Feral, Warpath, "Domino"), yet more villains (Gideon, that Deadpool guy), and who knows, probably still more of Stryfe's goons. I've heard of introducing characters but its just like they want to create a completely new world without even developing the world they have, all for the sake of "coolness". Was there any real master plan in all of this?
Posted by: Ataru320 | May 22, 2015 8:48 AM
Regarding Cannonball's sleight of hand, read the dialogue. He and Boom-Boom are said to be trapped in a stasis beam, yet Liefeld chose to depict them hanging from chains.
Posted by: Harry | May 22, 2015 11:26 AM
There was no master plan. As I believe Simonson herself described the situation, Liefeld had a zillion ideas and no filter. And unfortunately the editors didn't do any filtering, either. They were cowed by the popularity of the "artist."
Part of what bugs me about it, from a continuity perspective, is they way all these new characters show up, and established characters already know who they are. Cable is a perfect case in point. Already known to Sunfire and Wolverine. It's just goofy: where's he been all this time? Or, if Gideon and the X-Ternals (ugh...) have been around forever, why haven't we seen them for the last thirty years of stories?
In principle I have no problem with introducing lots of new characters in a short amount of time. Heck, Giant Size X-Men did that! It's the introduce-them-as-if-they-were-already-long-established-by-making-sure-that-multiple-long-established-characters-are-already-familiar-with-them bit that I found annoying. It's like retconning the universe.
Posted by: Matt | May 22, 2015 11:39 AM
I agree that you can introduce characters multiple at a time, but generally you need to know what you're doing. Liefeld isn't and is just throwing out anything and everything and seeing if it sticks. Cable is probably the only one so far of all these that really has a lasting impact and he was of course set up to be the star of the new New Mutants/X-Force set-up.
Posted by: Ataru320 | May 22, 2015 12:23 PM
Wouldn't surprise me if Liefeld was also going for the royalty bonuses given to creators of characters. It was right up his skill set, if you really want to consider those things 'characters.' You have no idea how irritating I find it that people actually know who Deadpool is. It's almost as bad as *me* knowing who Deadpool is.
I definitely agree with Matt that introducing these characters like they're long-established was a huge problem. Used sparingly and with restraint, it could work. Hell, it might have even worked if it was completely restricted to Cable.
A mysterious origin only works if you don't clutter it up with nonsense. At this point we know that Cable's tracking the MLF [fine, he's a soldier-type and these are the villains he's currently chasing] he knows Stryfe, the MLF and their targets Rusty and Skids [ok, we'll go with that] he has a government dossier a mile long [well, those secret types all know each other] he created his own cybernetics [ok] he was a secret operative who went rogue a long time ago [in case we didn't get the idea yet] he fought with "certain elements of our government" who would be willing to torture him [unless the Blob was just making threats, entirely possible] he's a legend among the soldiers guarding [so he's probably not that secret; do you think the Blob has memorized all the government's secret agents?] he only knows the New Mutants from television [have they ever been recognizably on tv?] he knows Moira MacTaggart from the old days [when she wouldn't hesitate to fling herself into danger if she saw a wrong that needed righting] and she trusts him enough to hand over her ward and a bunch of other kids [damn you, Farouk!] he has a history with Rictor as well [got his father killed] he lost his own son [did this ever get explained?] he knows about the The Case of the Corrupted Carnival [because he knows everything he needs to know about people he works with, but he doesn't know what's wrong with Rictor] he might be Ahab from the alternate future world, he always fights with Wolverine and he knows Sunfire well, Sunfire's father knew him well and Sunfire knows what happened to Cable's son
Posted by: ChrisW | May 22, 2015 1:03 PM
You know, I keep looking at these images and can't help wondering:
Why the heck is Cable wearing pillows over his shoulders???
Also, I love that moment when Cable notes that it's too dark to make out who's he fighting... while Liefeld makes no effort to show the scene as dark. Aside from putting Logan's face into half-shadow...
And yeah, that bit with everyone having some mysterious past with Cable is getting tiresome.
Posted by: Piotr W | May 22, 2015 1:08 PM
You do know that Sunspot's internal monologue, was basically just more Cable shilling right? Just in case we didn't get that Cable is teh awesomest the other 100 times it cane up.
More demonstration of Liefeld rip-offs:
Made even more apparent by the refusal to give any of them a personality to distinguish themselves. More importantly why are MORE MLF members being introduced when we barely had a chance to get to know the existing batch of mooks?
Bad storytelling aside, I DI like how the book is continuing it's development of Cannonball as a competent fighter and field leader. This is one of the few benefits of Dani leaving the book (See deite bring " co-leaders"
Posted by: Jon Dubya | May 22, 2015 2:23 PM
Oops I accidentally hit "post" before I could finish my thought. What I meant to say was that despite being co-leaders, Dani seemed to be the one carrying out most of the leadership responsibilities, with Sam kinda just standing there. At least now Sam can show his stuff (or at least he can even we get a more competent artist on board.)
Posted by: Jon Dubya | May 22, 2015 2:29 PM
I believe the extra page you added was done by Mark Pacella with Dan Panosian on inks.
It's great you were able to show that...never heard reference to such.
Posted by: Vin the Comics Guy | May 22, 2015 2:32 PM
Can you cite a source for those credits, Vin? I haven't been able to confirm that anywhere. Looking at it closely, it definitely could be someone doing a very good Rob Liefeld impersonation. And there's definitely more storytelling in that fight sequence than anywhere else. But it would be weird to add a page by a different artist (and uncredited) in a trade reprint.
Posted by: fnord12 | May 22, 2015 2:53 PM
Very thorough, ChrisW. Familiar to Wolverine, Sunfire, Moira, and Rictor, plus known to "the government" well enough that he's a legend to soldiers... yet never a mention. Well, okay, but most of that was never really followed up, so far as I know.
In fairness, I do remember hearing that the plan was always to have Cable be Nathan Summers. Whether that qualifies as a "master" plan, I don't know -- considering the laundry list ChrisW just ran through, I kinda doubt it. But there was at least a little bit of a plan.
Posted by: Matt | May 22, 2015 3:06 PM
The extra page is definitely NOT drawn by Liefeld. I'm not sure who drew it (Vin is probably correct), but it's not the man himself. My guess was it was drawn up at the last minute due to the page count needed for the trade.
Posted by: Bill | May 22, 2015 3:22 PM
By the way, does it bother anyone else that Cable only has three fingers on the first scan??
Posted by: Bill | May 22, 2015 3:23 PM
Never mind Cable's fingers, how many legs does Boom-Boom have in scan #4?
Posted by: Walter Lawson | May 22, 2015 5:51 PM
@Piotr: Welcome aboard:) Re: Cable noting that it's too dark to make out who's he fighting, this is odd since he revealed in previous issues that he had a bionic eye with infrared. So seeing in the dark would present no problem whatsoever, and he wouldn't even notice such a limitation. Bad dialoguing Louise. Shame on her!
@Matt: Cable was not originally intended as Nathan Summers, at least by his creator Liefeld. The idea came from Harras and Jim Lee which they dropped first hints of in X-Factor #65-68 over a year later.
Posted by: Nathan Adler | May 22, 2015 9:12 PM
He'd also been fighting a guy with claws that went "SNIKT" extending from his forearms and it wasn't until after Wolvie spoke that he said "Logan, it's you!"
Note that he knows Wolverine's name. How long did it take the X-Men to learn it?
Posted by: ChrisW | May 23, 2015 1:10 AM
Interesting, Nathan. I thought I remembered that Louise Simonson had always planned it that way. But maybe I'm misremembering.
Posted by: Matt | May 23, 2015 3:31 PM
@Matt: No Louise didn't have a plan for his identity. She was expecting Rob to take the lead on that since it was his character.
Posted by: Nathan Adler | May 23, 2015 8:17 PM
Don't forget that some of this artwork is swiped from other artists like John Bryne and Todd McFarlane. Peter David called him out on it in a "But I Digress" column.
Posted by: EHH | May 29, 2015 1:10 AM
These comics have a soft spot in my heart cause they are what I think the ideal comic is: sick action, explosive fights, cool characters, and cutting edge graphics. Yes, I mean it!!! I tried to carry over the same sense of edge of your seat excitement for my own line of comics and I never got on the hate Liefeld bandwagon. If the guy sucks so much then were people just mass hypnotized all the years they've been buying his stuff?
Posted by: Brimstone | December 30, 2015 10:09 AM
I wish the Liefeld fanboys *had* been hypnotised: then his success might at least be less exasperating.
Posted by: Oliver_C | December 30, 2015 4:56 PM
different stroke Oliver_C, that's all I can say dude. I've met Rob several times at events we were both guests at and he's a hell of a nice guy and just LOVES COMICS. and he loves the fans.. and the FANS are what it's ALL about. I personally think Liefeld has a lot of the dynamicism that Kirby had and Kirby didn't do perfect anatomy.. just food for thought! I love the guy's work.. and this 90s work retains a nice place of my heart!
Posted by: Brimstone | December 30, 2015 5:36 PM
To be accurate, Kirby did understand anatomy perfectly well; he used it as a starting point and would put on his distortions for dramatic effect. Liefeld never had any sense of good anatomy to begin with.
Posted by: Mark Drummond | December 31, 2015 9:40 PM
When Sunspot sees Wolverine, is this the first time that the New Mutants are confirming the X-Men are alive post-Fall of the Mutants? (I know they saw Colossus in Inferno but thought he was a Limbo demon or some such) Or did they find out from X-Factor at some point I missed.
Posted by: Jeff | February 28, 2016 11:39 AM
No, they met Storm in the Days of Futures Present crossover, which takes place before this since Boom Boom is wearing pants in this story and she wasn't in Days of Future Present.
Posted by: Michael | February 28, 2016 11:43 AM
How ridiculous is the Liefeld era if we have to track things by whether Tabitha is wearing pants?
Posted by: Erik Beck | February 28, 2016 12:23 PM
Incidentally, was it ever explained how Sunfire had already known about Cable and where they met before?
Posted by: Jon Dubya | May 13, 2016 7:32 PM
Or Cable's son? And please tell me Cable's baby mamma was blonde or brunette, please?
Posted by: ChrisW | May 15, 2016 2:28 PM
She was brunette.
Posted by: Michael | May 30, 2016 1:28 PM
I'll never understand how THIS artwork got Rob Liefeld a job in the comic book industry as a professional...much less make him rich in the process.
Well, what Liefeld had in common with Lee and McFarlane is that they all exuded a previously unseen level of machismo in their art, though the latter two had some actual competence Liefeld could never touch.
BTW, Liefeld's art in the "Hawk and Dove" mini is way more acceptable than anything he would put out since, though there's a question of how much help he got from Karl Kesel.
Posted by: iLegion | September 8, 2017 11:33 AM
Is liefeld still active nowadays? I'm curious to see If his work has evolved anything.
I recall reading some cable issues around the Apocalipse twelve saga, but dont remember If the Art was anything like this mess
Posted by: Bibs | December 31, 2017 9:57 AM
Comments are now closed.
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