New Mutants #97
Issue(s): New Mutants #97
We are at the penultimate chapter of X-Tinction Agenda. Storm has somehow (we'll learn in a bit) restored Cyclops' powers, and he is holding off Cameron Hodge. The rest of the X-characters are still powerless, but Cyclops tells Storm to restore Jean Grey next. She's supposed to move on from Jean to the rest of the mutants, but Hodge is too strong and Storm feels she has to help fight him instead.
Hodge's robot body has looked something like Mojo's chair throughout this crossover, but it's varied a lot depending on the style of the artist. It looks a lot like Mojo's chair here, and i feel that's a good indication of what it's really supposed to look like, since Yap is a fill in artist, doing what passes for Marvel's house style at this point. If Hodge did get technology from Mojo, it's interesting to see the way his technology is getting around (e.g. Lady Deathstrike and the Reavers, perhaps Psylocke via the Hand). I'm not a big Mojo fan, so if this was leading to some big plot involving him by Claremont, i can't say i am disappointed that we missed it.
The fight ends when an explosion goes off. Prior to getting captured, the X-Men released a robot auto-bomb, and it has just gone off in Hodge's lab. It was designed by Forge, and that's why he's remained "voluntarily unconscious", so that the Genoshans wouldn't learn about it during their mind probes. Hodge leaves, worried about his computer files.
Jubilee, Rictor, and Boom Boom have been following David Moreau, the Genoshan Genegineer, and it turns out that he was on his way to Hodge's lab. He's caught in the explosion and knocked out. The mutants hide Moreau when Hodge shows up. Hodge leaves when he confirms that his computer is ok, dropping the remnants of Warlock on the way out.
Jubilee's group start interrogating Moreau. And back with the main group, Forge is revived and Storm starts restoring everyone's powers. This is Gambit's first time seeing adult storm, and "despite obvious advantages", he's not sure if he likes the change.
Chief Magistrate Anderson reveals that Storm is able to restore powers thanks to Moreau, who is resisting Hodge. Not because he's had a change of heart regarding mutant slavery, though. Just because he doesn't like Hodge taking over the country (and as we saw previously, the fear of retaliation from mutants for Hodge's overt acts).
The X-Men and company make their way to Jubilee's group. Storm restores their powers as well. This includes Wolfsbane, who had been turned into a mutate and has been accompanying Moreau. With her powers restored, Wolfsbane is more ferocious and larger than she was before. But while in mutate form she will be docile like other mutates.
Louise Simonson had been making some halting efforts towards character development for Rahne, mostly around her interest in Rictor, and showing her maybe growing up a bit after Doug's death. This change in Rahne may have been intended as a culmination of that, with the idea maybe having gotten warped along the way. Or it may be that Liefeld wanted to be able to draw a more vicious werewolf. He'd already been drawing her acting much more violently than one would expect of Rahne; this may have been a way to justify that going forward. Rahne will instead be written out of the series at the end of this crossover, and Liefeld will introduce Feral instead, and Peter David will eventually start working with Rahne in the revamped version of X-Factor, toning down the changes that are made here.
The teams then split up to search for Hodge, who, with his phasing ability, can launch sneak attacks on one group and then the next.
Nice to see Iceman getting some props.
It's actually Moreau who does the most damage.
Hodge is forced to retreat to heal after Moreau's attack, and the mutants again comment on how odd it is for an "honorable" man like Moreau to be working for the Genoshans. Shades of discussion of the Confederacy, but it's not an idea that's developed; you can see Storm immediately shifting the conversation to more practical concerns.
The issue ends with the X-characters renewing their search for Hodge.
Quality Rating: C
Chronological Placement Considerations: This is part eight of the X-Tinction Agenda. X-Factor #62 is next.
Crossover: X-Tinction Agenda
Continuity Insert? N
My Reprint: N/A
Inbound References (3): showAngel, Banshee, Beast, Boom Boom, Cable (Adult), Cameron Hodge, Cannonball, Cyclops, Forge, Gambit, Genegineer (David Moreau), Havok, Iceman, Jean Grey, Jubilee, Psylocke, Rictor, Storm, Sunspot, Warlock, Wipeout, Wolfsbane, Wolverine
While I feel that perhaps Rahne shouldn't have remained the sweet little innocent, maybe slightly repressed, forever, I feel that a permanent change to a more ferocious character, if that was Liefeld's intent, would not have suited her development. Peter David probably developed her better than she would have been had she remained in this title's cast.
Posted by: Harry | July 6, 2015 2:08 PM
Alright, only four months to X-Force. Now that was a kick-a@@ series. IMO, Cable was exactly what the New Mutants needed. They hardly had any teaching from Prof. X and they learned nothing from Magneto.
Posted by: clyde | July 6, 2015 6:51 PM
The interesting news is that Liefeld doesn't even make it to the end of the crossover with this (outside the almost infamous cover to this issue with supremely huge Cable and Wolverine screaming), yet the writing is still on the wall: Simonson's out and he's in full control of New Mutants from next issue. Its sad that in some ways there is a bit of a deck clearing going on to accommodate what he ends up wanting to do (and for one thing, I remember reading somewhere that Liefeld actually still wanted Wolfsbane for his team and ended up creating a similar character for X-Force, but we'll get there) but unfortunately its still being done with Simonson forced out regardless.
Next time: we have three more issues to X-Force and Rob's in the driver's seat. Let's hope something...anything he comes up with from here on sticks. (but then again it probably doesn't cause...well, Cable)
Posted by: Ataru320 | July 6, 2015 7:39 PM
I remember in an issue of Grant Morrison's JLA, Batman explains that absolute zero temperatures cause most metals to lose their electrical resistance (man, didn't expect to mention DC stuff here today). I'm no expert, but that sounds like an added reason for Hodge to fear Iceman (not that I'm sure how Hodge's current body works right now, doesn't he join the Phalanx later?)
Mind you, there's not many people who would fare much better in absolute zero.
Posted by: Max_Spider | July 6, 2015 8:01 PM
That they strung out Hodge to be a prominent enough foe to last all three teams through this whole crossover just got really old really quick.
And without Liefeld there is still the odd coloring. Not that he was the colorist, but still.
Posted by: Erik Beck | November 12, 2015 5:29 PM
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