New Mutants, Volume 1 # 22 - 25, Marvel Team Up Annual # 6 (August '84 - November '84)
Woof. This is still pretty brutal. I think Claremont is so focused on trying to convey a different tone than X-Men that it's just throwing him off. These stories were a slog to get through.
Chris Claremont continues on as the series writer with Bill Sienkiewicz continuing on pencils. I had a lot to say about Bill in his premiere story arc with the Demon Bear, and I still feel about the same so I'll let you go back and see what I had to say originally if you would like to hear my commentary.
We'll begin with Marvel Team Up Annual # 6 which features our New Mutants, Spider-Man, and Cloak & Dagger.
Here we see Cloak and Dagger infiltrating a drug ring with Spider-Man stepping in to help.
I considered doing an entire post on Cloak and Dagger and decided against it. I had always been super interested in this dynamic duo so I personally enjoyed reading the first 4 issues where they appeared (as Guest Stars) and then their 4 issue miniseries. I was surprised that they never really had a long running series of their own.
To make a long story short, Tandy Bowen (Dagger) and Tyrone Johnson (Cloak) were two ordinary high schoolers until they were kidnapped and experimented on. The result was Tyrone becoming a character with a large Cloak that gives him the ability to float, teleport, and capture people in his Cloak, banishing them to a depressing dark dimension. Tandy is given light powers where she can make bright lights (similar to Dazzler) and throw light knives. The two of them feed off of each other and balance each other out.
Meanwhile, the New Mutants were at an arcade until a bunch of local gangbangers started causing some trouble with them. FYI, this annual took place months ago, immediately after Karma left the team so we only have 4 members (Sam, Dani, Roberto, Rahne).
Apparently there were a LOT of druggies looking to beat up this random group of kids. All these druggies causing simple crime, this is such an 80's comic!
Rahne and Roberto fall off the bridge and are kidnapped.
They are taken by the same criminals who experimented on Cloak and Dagger, eventually giving them the same drugs.
The two of them mutate into wild light and dark beasts until Cloak and Dagger show up.
Eventually Cloak envelopes both of them and Dagger fills the void with light. The issue ends with them believing this cured them, but nothing is ever as it seems.
This reminds me of when one friend invites some other friend who you purposely didn't invite to your party. Hey, your young, you have powers, want to be New Mutants!? They decline and clarify that they have unfinished business with the druggies of the city.
New Mutants # 22 - 25: Cloak and Dagger
Writer - Chris Claremont
Pencils - Bill Sienkiewicz
We begin with Colossus and Sunspot conditioning together until Roberto starts mutating a bit into his dark form and hurts him.
Now we start catching up with Selene. This right here is evidence that New Mutants is mandatory reading! Selene just popped up with the X-Men, attacking Rachel and now her story is continuing directly with New Mutants. It appears that there is some group of people who worship her as a God that she is activating.
Robert's father Emmanuel and Selene are being initiated into the Inner Circle of the Hellfire Club!
Speaking of the two comic lines being intertwined, here we see what happens after Lee Forrester saves Magneto. She brings him back to the creepy island the X-Men had been inhabiting for a while before Illyana was captured (#160).
Colossus finds Roberto at a bar trying to get beers underage. When he is confronted, Roberto comes out swinging. Clearly, he is starting to act out.
Dani and Sam find Rahne at a clothing store looking very different. Her "light" persona is starting to change many things about her.
We see that Tyron and Tandy have lost their Cloak and Dagger abilities.
Roberto turns completely into a dark creature and is attacking Moira and Charles until Rahne shows up and gives him the light that he seeks. Much like Cloak and Dagger, these two sustain each other.
After being attacked by Roberto, Colossus is daydreaming of both Kitty and Zsaje.
This was pretty interesting. So it turns out that Tyrone was a poor black kid with a stutter and Tandy was a rich white girl who had everything. While Tandy is happy to be free of her powers, Tyrone is angry because he thinks he will lose Tandy who he is clearly in love with.
I love this little slice of life scene. It's so cool to see the New Mutants hanging out with the X-Men.
They start trying anything to cure Roberto and Rahne. Illyana tries to use her Magic, which Rahne is NOT happy about.
It ends up backfiring and Illyana is hurt herself.
Tyrone has a lot of self doubt, but slowly starts coming around.
The Professor comes up with an idea to use Rogue to pass the powers from the New Mutants back to Cloak and Dagger.
It's successful! Rahne and Roberto are returned to normal at the expense of Cloak and Dagger being reborn!
Checking in with the Team
I thought this was pretty cool. Since Sam has trouble maneuvering in the air, he is training with Kurt to learn how to be nimble while in the air.
There are FOUR things worth mentioning about Dani. First, we see a wheelchair in the background, reminding us that she is still recovering from her Demon bear injuries. Speaking of the Demon Bear, the second noteworthy detail is that Dani is chumming it up with her parents, who are now very much alive! Third, this is a reminder that Dani and Rahne have a very close connection with Rahne choosing to go to her when she was struggling.
The fourth and final point is not shown in this panel, but Dani went through low key name change, going from Psyche to Mirage. I actually don't know if this was the first time that happened or not because Claremont did not make a big deal of it, the other characters just started calling her something else. I wonder if the name Psyche was too close to Cyclops nickname of "Cyke."
Two things here. First, by seeing Rahne cheer on Sam during his workout, we are reminded that Rahne still has a crush on him.
Second, Sam is working out with Nightcrawler and her religious tendencies push her to hate Nightcrawler since he looks like a devil. In my opinion, this trope is very annoying and I think things like this turn real faith into a caricature.
Just a reminder that Warlock can change his form into anything. Maybe this wasn't worth sharing, but I wanted to throw a bone to Warlock who at least makes an appearance in this arc, as opposed to Doug. Doug probably was in this arc, but we couldn't see him hiding behind trees or under a desk.
My Rating - 2/10
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