New Mutants Volume 1, # 13 - 17 (November '83 - March '84)
NM # 13 continues the introduction of Doug Ramsey and explores whether Kitty belongs with the team or not. NM # 14 shows us what happens with S'ym, the demon from Limbo, who comes to Earth looking for Illyana.
NM # 15 - 17 gives us our first introduction to the Hellions as the New Mutants face off against a rival teenage superhero group led by the White Queen, Emma Frost.
Illyana (Magik) officially joins the team here and I'm really starting to like her. The other characters can be a bit boring, or at least too straightforward, but her problems are on another level (or dimension).
The Hellions are a brand new concept to me, but I love it. I think the New Mutants have had a villains problem, so it makes sense to give them a rival that's more on their level. I know Claremont wanted these heroes to have less serious problems, so a rival house of mutants seems like a good way to accomplish that. Plus, James Proudstar is introduced who I know very well from my beloved X-Force reading days. It's pretty cool to see that eventually he will join with the New Mutants to form X-Force, but we're still a long ways off on that point.
Chris Claremont continues as writer with Sal Buscema on pencils. The writing is good, but it seems like CC is trying a bit too hard to change the tone and falling a bit short with some of the impact of his stories. Buscema's art is good for the times, but nothing I'm going crazy over.
Magik officially joins the team and her tragic past finally catches up to her, allowing her team-mates to start to understand just how much she has been through in her life.
The Hellions are introduced and I can tell they will be major players in this comic.
The theme continues where even though Kitty is not a member of the team, she is featured heavily. Here she is chastised for calling the New Mutants the X-Babies even though she's the same age as them.
Doug Ramsey is introduced here. For now he's just a friend of Kitty, but he will soon be revealed as a mutant and join the team.
My Rating and Review - 6/10.
I'm still waiting for a truly great New Mutants story.
NM 13 - 14: Magik Kingdom
Writer - Chris Claremont
Pencils - Sal Buscema
We start with a little info with the government and learn that Henry Gyrich, Sebastian Shaw, and Val Cooper are building Sentinels. In this panel, someone has remoted into the facility and taken over one of the machines, causing destruction.
This is one of the signs that New Mutants is truly mandatory reading for X-Men readers. In the last post I was talking about the introduction of Val Cooper and her concerns about protecting Americans. Here we see that they took things to the next step by building sentinels.
Guess who it was?! Kitty and Doug Ramsey (introduced in last blog) were the ones who cracked in and took over the Sentinel.
You know I love Kitty, so don't be surprised that I LOVE this. Kitty has been holding her own with the X-Men since she was 13 and now these New Mutants show up and she feels challenged by them. She feels as if she is a step ahead of them, even though two of them (Dani and Sam I think) are older than her. The New Mutants are picking up on her holding her nose in the air and give her plenty of sass back.
Here we see that Illyana feels alone. She needs to talk to someone, but Kitty is the only one she can trust. We also see that Xavier can't read her mind due to her magical training, however she has yet to open up to anyone about her time in Limbo or any of her powers (mutant or magical).
Speaking of Illyana's past, it shows up in this issue in form of the demon Sym coming to take her back to Limbo.
The rest of the New Mutants consider Illyana to be one of them so they fight Sym on her behalf.
Dani uses her powers to show Sym what he fears most, which happens to be Belasco.
Illyana passes out in the middle of the battle. There is a long scene where Stevie picks her up and runs away, bum knee and all.
At the last second, Magik wakes up and holds Sym off.
This ends with the news that Illyana scared Belasco out of Limbo and now she is technically the leader of Limbo. This means that from now on Sym and the other demons will report to her.
This issue ends with a warm scene where the New Mutants learn that Charles can walk and he asks Illyana for a dance at his birthday party.
NM # 15 - 17: Welcome to Hell(ions)
Writer - Chris Claremont
Pencils - Sal Buscema
This story arc focuses primarily on the Hellions, which is a rival group of young mutants being trained (and corrupted) by Emma Frost at the Massachusetts Academy. I had been complaining that the New Mutants keep facing off against the X-Men's B Villains, so I'm glad that they get their own appropriate set of villains to face off against. Let's start by meeting them before getting into the story synopsis. (Full disclosure, I know very little about them so I'm using the Marvel Database to get their names and powers right).
Warpath (James Proudstar)
I might be a novice X-Men fan, but I know a future X-man when I see one! James actually goes by Thunderbird in these issues as tribute to his older brother, the deceased former X-Man. He's your typical strongman who is stronger, faster, and harder than the average human. Sorry for spoiling it, but I know he becomes a good guy eventually! In fact, one of my favorite X-Men podcasters (which I started getting into as I was doing this) considers him to be his favorite, so that naturally makes me excited to learn more about him.
Empath (Manuel de la Rocha)
I can already tell that Empath is a real asshole. He is able to sense, read, and manipulate the state of nearby beings, including their emotional state, intentions, and truthfulness.
Roulette (Jennifer Stavros)
Roulette can create discs of psionic energy which alter the probability field around the victim at whom she throws the disc.
Tarot (Marie-Ange Colbert)
Tarot can materialize and animate tangible images of the 2-D avatars/images on her tarot cards. Once materialized they are completely under her mental control and could do her bidding. The images are able to enter battle for her, protect her, or even aid her in flight.
Catseye (Sharon Smith)
Catseye has the ability to transform into a number of feline shapes, most often choosing that of a large, ferocious cat.
Jetstream (Haroun ibn Sallah al-Rashid)
He's cannonball-light. That's all.
Now onto the Synopsis
This story actually beings in Uncanny X-Men # 180 with Doug Ramsey telling Kitty that he got invited to the Massachusetts Academy.
On the way to the school, Kitty is intercepted by Emma Frost. Kitty had worked out a whole plan with the X-Men to keep her safe, but unfortunately the X-Men all disappeared from the earth as the begin The Secret Wars (story highlighted in next post).
Illyana sends her Astral projection to the Academy where she learns that Kitty has been captured.
Emma senses Illyana and attacks her, sending her into overdrive, releasing a bunch of demons into earth. Keep in mind that none of the New Mutants knew about her backstory, so this is pretty surprising to them.
Also, when Dani tries to show the demons what they fear, they see Illyana as the Darkchilde, so now everything is on the table.
After defeating the Limbo demons, the New Mutants sneak into the M.A. and get in a long fight with the Hellions.
Most of the New Mutants are captured so Illyana brings Dani with her into Limbo so they can escape.
While in Limbo, Dani see's all that Illyana is capable of, including this burning healing spell.
Illyana tries to take them back, but she has very loose control over her teleporting powers. The further she tries to take them geographically, the more likely she is to travel across time as well. Illyana and Dani go in the future and see a world where their team-mates (including Kitty) are fully brainwashed and join the Hellions.
Dani and Illyana return to normal time and the Hellions propose a 1 on 1 duel to determine the fate of the New Mutants. If their champion wins, the Hellions will help them leave.
It ends up being Cannonball vs. Jetstream and Sam wins.
After the duel, Sebastian Shaw and Emma Frost show up, but before they can stop the deal, Illyana brings them all to Limbo to escape.
As mentioned earlier, we see that Gyrich and Cooper are advancing their government plot to resist mutants.
Everybody gets their schtick. Sam is a redneck straight arrow. Rahne is a prudish religious zealot. Dani has a chip on her shoulder. Berto is a wild flirt. Illyana is weird and magical. Amara...is stuck up and a hothead.
Here we see Xavier trying to do something nice for her, but she freaks out on him for invading her thoughts (which I don't blame her for).
We also see her struggling to adjust to modern technology and way of life.
Sam clearly has a crush on her and in this scene accidentally spills drinks on her and she flips the fuck out, volcano's and all.
We already established that Sam likes Amara. Berto is flirting with her too, but he flirts with everyone. It looks as though Dani had a crush on Berto.
Rahne has a crush on Sam.
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