Ride of the Ruthless
Credits: Dean Clarrain (script), Ken Mitchroney (pencils), Mike Kazaleh & Brian Thomas (inks), Gary Fields (letters), Barry Grossman (colors)
Finally, in the conclusion of Mighty Mutanimals, Maligna is dipping Raphael and Mondo Gecko in honey for the upcoming feast, while the mutants on Earth are fighting the Malignoids. Screwloose reveals to Man Ray that Maligna’s plan is to destroy all life on Earth, and it just so happens her method doubles as an environmental statement. I was shocked, too.
United, the Mutanimals (they’re never actually called that in the comic, by the way) are able to defeat the Malignoids, but it’s only a matter of time before Maligna arrives on Earth. Upset that her children have failed her, she sends ships across the planet to attack, while Scul and Bean target the Mutanimals. Wingnut and Screwloose do manage to deal with Bean’s “stink bombs” effectively…
…but Maligna’s ships are causing havoc across the globe. Meanwhile, inside her ship, The Kid frees Raphael and Mondo from their captors, revealing that he opposes the invasion. He shoots off one of Maligna’s antennae, which partially severs her connection to her children. Raphael threatens more bullet wounds if she doesn’t call off the invasion, which does the job. Maligna’s army retreats and flies into space. The Kid apologizes to Man Ray for killing Bubbla earlier, while Null sneaks off into the Amazon night. The Mutanimals enjoy a campfire, as we learn that the entire event has been broadcasted on Stump TV to great ratings. A happy ending for all.
Review in a Half-Shell: It works pretty well as an action–heavy climax, although it’s a little odd that none of the mutants actually save the day. In fact, given the anti-gun messages I recall the book regularly promoting, it’s amusing that the Earth is saved by a gun-wielding reformed villain. In retrospect, Null doesn't contribute much to the story, and how exactly he "sold" the Earth isn't exactly clear (unless the idea was that he was always scamming Maligna).
Absolutely Approved By The Comics Code Authority: None of the Malignoids are killed during the battle. Cudley takes the unconscious Malignoids off to “ a safe spot in Dimension X.”
Meanwhile in Riverdale… : I wish I had the spare $8.95 to order this as a kid…