44: NM 47 - 51 (Magus)

What’s Covered?

New Mutants Vol 1 # 47 - 51 (Sep '86 - Jan. 87)


  • While running from Warlock's father, the Magus...The team travels to ancient Scotland in NM # 47, the Days of Future Past timeline in # 48, and a new far future with mutants in control in NM # 49.

  • The Final battle with the Magus takes place in # 50.

  • #51 gives us a quick check in with Xavier in space.


Roster Watch

Synopsis


NM47: Running from Magus

Writer - Chris Claremont

Pencils - Jackson Guice

As a quick reminder, the New Mutants had run into Warlocks father, Magus, in the Morlock tunnels and Magik had quickly teleported them all to Limbo. When they arrived, everyone is unconscious except for Bobby, who ironically was the one most terrified of Limbo. He notices that Illyana is missing.

Bobby found her strapped down by some demons and thought she was in trouble, but it turned out that they were just restoring her. Her Illyana is sporting a new look, which is like part super-hero, part demon sorceress. Bobby notices that she's beautiful and terrifying, will this lead anywhere? I don't think either of them are linked to anyone else romantically at the moment. We'll need to see if this goes anywhere.

Oh no! It turns out that Magus followed them into Limbo! This pushes Magik to quickly teleport them out again, fracturing the team across time and space and setting up the next 4 issues.

At first they are all brought to Ancient Scotland where they meet Robert the Bruce. I'm really not sure what the point of this was other than to show that Chris Claremont knows a lot about history. As a former history teacher myself, I understand the importance of him, however I doubt the general public would recognize him if not for Braveheart. However, Braveheart came out years after this comic was published so it's likely most readers didn't know or care. Oh well, Claremont.

Warlock decides to suck it up and go into Limbo first to either clear a path for the rest or to take on his father.


NM48: Days of Future Past?

Writer - Chris Claremont

Pencils - Jackson Guice

Alright, there is a lot that is confusing here. So most of the team gets sent into the future. This image and other scenery certainly makes it look as if this is the same future as Days of Future Past. That's not specifically called out and I thought we were led to believe that Rachel and Kitty eradicated this future. Perhaps they changed that future, but something like that still happens? It's also ironic that everyone but Sam and Dani got sent to this timeline when it just so happens that those were the only two alive in this future. Alright, let's get into it.

Of course there are sentinels.

This is future Cannonball, one of the last surviving heroes.

This is future Mirage, another one of the last remaining heroes.

We learn a little bit about this history. The Sentinels were put in place to eliminate mutants, but eventually they decided to target all super beings. After that was done, they started targeting humans as well.

We learn that Lila was the most important mutant alive because she had taken those survivors and teleported them to her Dyson Sphere to be safe off earth. I love how this future just happens to revolve around New Mutant characters. The younger New Mutants help older Sam and Dani to save Lila and save the day.


NM49: A Truly Unique Future

Writer - Chris Claremont

Pencils - Bret Blevins


Alright! I left last issue feeling like it was kind of stale and uninspired. Another re-tread of Days of Future Past. Now this issue is luckily very different. The rest of the team gets sent into the far-future with a very different spin. This is a world where Mutants are in charge.

We meet up with Doug riding Warlock as a makeshift hoverboard on the stereotypical futuristic flying cars superhighway.

The cops are chasing Doug and look, they are dressed like X-Men! This leads us to believe that all of society is being influenced by the X-Men.

We see some graffiti spray painted on a building that "Humans are people too." This is the first indication we get that the dynamic might have flipped with humans now being the oppressed.

We see that the Xavier Mansion is the center of society with the original X-Men each having been memorialized.

Eventually we start to see what is happening in the lower tiers of society. Here we see two kids being ripped out of their parents arms as they are suspected of being mutants.

It turns out that the defender of the common folk is none other than Katie Power, now an old lady. Sam, Dani, Doug, and Warlock team with Katie to help protect the humans from the elite mutant ruling class. This is a unique spin as we see that mutants went from the edge of extinction to taking over society and serving as the oppressors. Certainly interesting.

So it turns out that Roberto and Amara are the architects of today's society. There is a lot to dig into here with this.


First, I'm confused how Katie Power (who is 5 in the current timeline) is an old lady (in her 70's or 80's) when Robert and Amara (are in their teens in the current timeline) look as if they are somewhere between 40's to 60's. Are we supposed to believe that they found a way to slow the aging process or are we just supposed to forget this altogether? Probably the latter.


Second, let's talk about Amara. I have been conjecturing in recent blogs about how harsh she can be. She has always been a bit cold (not a pun) and ok with killing villains and taking the more direct, harsh route. I had been wondering if they were setting her up to become a villain one day. I really paid attention to this because this is the first explicit mention of her acting "evil." I had never heard of Amara before I started my comics journey and I'm fairly certain she doesn't join the iterations of X-Factor, X-Force, Excalibur, or the X-Men that I know. I legitimately don't know what will come of her. Will she die, fade into obscurity, or will she become a villain!? Very interested to see what happens. Also worth noting that her characterization is quite weak. She doesn't seem to have built any strong relationships (romantic or plataonic) with any other team members and I haven't really seen any growth out of her. Perhaps they just write her off.


Third, let's talk about Roberto. He's always been a jerk and a bit arrogant. That doesn't necessarily mean he'll become evil. There are plenty of arrogant heroes like Namor, Quicksilver, Iron Man, and Northstar. The upcoming Fallen Angel's miniseries explores Roberto trying out going solo and being more of a bad guy. I know that Roberto eventually joins X-Force so I get to cheat knowing that he stays a good guy. Still interesting to watch as I would put money down that Claremont was considering this too.


NM50: The Magus Showdown

Writer - Chris Claremont

Pencils - Jackson Guice

We hadn't seen Magik in either of the two future timelines and that's because she's been stuck in Limbo fighting off a revolution. It appears that Magus has infected Sym and the other demons with the transmode virus and Sym is leading a rebellion against Magik.

We check back in with Charles and Lilandra as they are at a local establishment as part of the Starjamers. Charles is worrying about the New Mutants (probably only because this is a new mutants book) and Lilandra is still a rebel to the Shi'ar as her sister, Deathbird, is the leader of the Shi'ar Empire.

We see that somehow, Illyana had teleported herself to Charles. She is beaten down and about to be sold into slavery before Charles steps in to claim her, thus kicking off a bar fight and ending the Starjammers mission of keeping a low profile.

I am keeping these 3 panels together because there is a lot to dig into here.


First, look at Charles! He's sitting next to Illyana's bed. He has his arm around her. They are hugging and he is saying re-assuring things. Why does this matter!? It harkens back to my first ever blog where I brought up that Charles is a dick. He hasn't ever come across in a caring, nurturing mentor like I considered him to be from the movies and 90's cartoon. Is this it!? Is this the start of him being compassionate!? Let's see.


Another point to track here is that Magik's psychic defenses are now down. This is because Illyana was finally able to shed her demonic persona in Limbo and now she is pure. It will be short lived, of course.


Also, Xavier pulls images of the Mutant Massacre from her mind and is disgusted by what he sees.

Xavier and Illyana go to the far future to pick up Dani, Doug, Warlock, and Sam. Xavier gives a mini speech to make Roberto feel guilty about what he's doing, but I'm actually surprised that Charles doesn't spend any more energy trying to convince him. He's kind of like "You can tell yourself whatever you want, but just know this isn't truly what I would sanction. Think on that while I peace out and fight a high tech alien in a magical dimension."

Next they go to the Days of Future Past timeline and pick up the rest of the crew. Look, Charles is hugging again.

They head to Limbo and Warlock is ready to fight!

After getting their ass kicked a bunch, Xavier details a plan that involves Karma possessing Magus while Doug and Warlock (Douglock) get in close.

Doug uses his ability to speak any language to have Warlock integrate him into Magus' system and re-wire him. They didn't kill him (saving him to be a villain in the future), but they re-programmed him to become a baby. This technically means Warlock is the adult of the two and one day he will come for him again, but Warlock will be older and more ready.


NM51: What does Xavier choose?

Writer - Chris Claremont

Pencils - Jackson Guice

While Chuck is hanging out with the New Mutants aboard the Starjammer, he learns about X-Factor and is deeply upset. He can't believe that the founding members of the X-Men are rounding up mutants. This is as much as we are going to get for a while of a member of the X-Men acknowledging the members of X-Factor and providing commentary.

Charles torments himself over the decision but ultimately decides to stay with the Starjammers. It doesn't matter what he's on screen explanation is, clearly Claremont just wants to write him out. The team runs better without a convoluted hierarchy.

Oh, here's the asshole. After giving Illyana all those hugs, now he forces Karma to possess her to force her to send them back to Limbo. She didn't want to go back because she was scared, so instead of treating her like a human he a friend of hers to force her hand (when clearly he could have done that himself.) There's the asshole we know and love.


My Connections

This 5 issue story arc sees a number of plot lines take large steps forward, and in some instances close altogether. The overarching villain of this arc is Warlock's father, Magus, who after 20 issues of lurking in the shadows finally shows up and forces a fight. Meanwhile, Illyana is facing off a serious rebellion on Limbo. We check in with Xavier, Magneto joins the Hellfire Club, Doug inches closer to becoming Douglock, and Roberto and Amara flirt with villainy.

Creators

Not much to say here. Claremont continues soldiering on and Jackson Guice holds down the fort with help from a fill-in by Bret Blevins.


Character Beats


This wasn't a major plot point, but Illyana makes note that her spells have all had a demonic twist lately. We'll see various examples of this for at least the next few issues.

This one is a big plot point. Magik was PISSED that Karma possessed her and forced her to bring them home. She is blaming the entire team for this and I can't say I blame her.

Prior to attacking Magus, Doug once again pushed Warlock to create Douglock. Doug seems way too overeager about doing this, almost as if he has a deathwish. I feel like we MUST be reaching a storyline soon where this catches up with him.

Again, not a big plot point but we see that future Sam can control how loud his jet powers can be.

A little example of Magma's power, justifying why I keep putting her in the Omega slot in my team roster. She will make one strong villain. Just saying!


Magneto

While we know the team fled through Limbo when being chased by Magus in the sewers, everyone else assumes they were killed by the Marauders. Everyone except for Magneto who holds faith that they are alive and will come back.

Magneto opens up to Stevie about how he has grown to truly care about the New Mutants.

For one of the first times in the X Universe, we get a little more backstory about Magneto's time in the concentration camps. Apparently he was believed to be killed, along with his family, but emerged from a burial ground with powers.

After several issues of debating the issue, Magneto eventually agrees to join the Hellfire Club. We get a lot of exposition from Storm convincing him to do it, which I think is cover for the readers to remain convinced that he is still a "good guy." If Storm thinks it's a good idea, then we should too.


Surprisingly, Storm is co-chair of the White King position. I'm not sure but I would be surprised if this is a plotline that dies here. I could be wrong, perhaps Storm's role with the Hellfire Club could be huge, but I would bet against it.


My Rating - 6/10


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