NM # 77 - 80, 81 - 86
Dani has been having headaches for quite some time as setup for this incredibly long story. It turns out that all of the Valkyries have been taken over by Hela and the same is starting to happen to Dani. The team goes to Dr. Strange for help and while they don't realize he's helping them (I guess the world thinks he's dead or something), he sends them to Asgard to chase after Dani (who was kidnapped by Hela). Rusty and Skids do not travel with to Asgard and thus begins the process of them being written out.
The reactions to being in Asgard are mixed. Roberto is thrilled to be back because he gets stronger and remembers all the good drinking stories from the last time he was there. Rahne isn't too sad either as it won't be long before she finds her Wolf Prince love. Sam and Rictor are basically neutral, but Tabitha (Boom-Boom) spends most of the series complaining about much she doesn't want to be there.
The major story revolves around Odin being in an "Odin Sleep," (he goes into a coma to restore his energy) and Hela subverts the Valkyries, including Dani (who spends most of this arc evil) to help her take over Asgard. The team runs from one mcguffin to another looking for allies such as Eitri the dwarf Sam stayed with the last time they were in Asgard, Rahne's wolf prince, children of the warrior's three, and others.
Eventually they are able to defeat Hela, wake Odin, restore Dani, and return to Earth. Unfortunately, Dani decides that she needs to stay in Asgard with the Valkyries. This is really disappointing and shocking to me, but my excitement for X-Force being on the horizon is overshadowing that concern.
My Connections and Creators
Alright, so now it's time for the New Mutants to spend all of 1989 on a single storyline. This brings them back to Asgard. If this story would have taken place over 3 issues, I think it could have been great. Unfortunately, it unwrapped over 9! Like The Cross Time Caper and X-Factor in space, this just dragged on way too long.
Since the story dragged and there wasn't a whole lot of gigantic character development, I'm not going to spend the time doing a detailed walkthrough. This does serve as the swan song for Dani and I have to say that I'm really sad to see her go. Another strong female character who I've grown attached to. I honestly don't understand why she was written out, but I assume it had something to do with Rob Leifeld having a specific vision for the series. Speaking of which, this is essentially the end of the New Mutants as we have known them for so long with Cable soon showing up and Leifeld taking over and ending the series by transforming it into X-Force. As you've heard me say before, X-Force was one of, if not my favorite, comic growing up so that is exciting...But we're not there yet so I'll save my comments for the next one.
Rusty and Skids
Rusty and Skids have a sub plot of their own while the rest of the gang is in Asgard having fun. The duo discovers that Freedom Force never returned the mutant babies from Inferno (likely with plans to raise them as mutant fighters or something) and FF puts them in jail to shut them up. While in jail, Rusty spends time with Spider-Man villain "The Vulture," eventually breaking out of jail with him in an effort to stop his evil plan (which isn't even worth me going into).
Baby Illyana is returned home to Russia and will no longer be a part of the book.
With Dani corrupted, Sam spends this entire arc as team leader and he does pretty well. It will be short-lived as Cable will soon come into the fold.
It comes out that Rictor cares deeply for Boom-Boom, but I don't think that goes anywhere because soon him and Rahne seem to care about each other.
At the end of #86, Rusty and Skids are broken out of jail by the Mutant Liberation Front. I can't even begin to tell you the emotions this brought up in me as the MLF, led by Styfe (who is teased), are the primary antagonists throughout X-Force. I've really enjoyed all of this reading, but it is sooo exciting for it to finally be connecting with the comics I read as a kid!
My Rating - 2/10
Next up we'll check back in with the X-Men as the team is officially disbanded and the secondary characters are moved front and center.
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