Monday, April 29, 2013

NEW MUTANTS #95 - November 1990


Shell Game
Credits:  Louise Simonson (writer), Rob Liefeld and Co. (pencilers), Joe Rubinstein and Co. (inkers), Brad Vancata (colors), Joe Rosen (letters)

Summary:  Storm, Rictor, Boom-Boom, Wolfsbane, and Warlock are teleported to Genosha by Pipeline.  Warlock is severely weakened by the transport and near death.  Cameron Hodge has the mutants placed in power-dampening bodysuits and takes Warlock captive for experimentation.  Warlock sneaks away as Hodge argues with Dr. Moreau and frees his teammates.  They’re forced to leave him behind, but Wolfsbane soon returns to rescue Warlock, who's taken captive once more.  She witnesses Warlock turn into ashes as Hodge futilely tries to steal his powers.  Meanwhile, the remaining members of the X-Men and New Mutants contact X-Factor.

Continuity Notes:  
  • This story is continued from the first chapter of “X-Tinction Agenda,” Uncanny X-Men #270.
  • Storm at this point is an adolescent after being de-aged by Nanny.
  • Rictor and Wolfsbane share their first kiss, paying off the romantic subplot that’s been building for a few issues.

Creative Differences:  The united X-Factor, X-Men, and New Mutants team gets a call from Washington at the story’s end.  An altered word balloon establishes that the caller is Val Cooper, speaking on the President’s behalf, asking them to travel to Washington.

Approved By The Comics Code Authority:  Pipeline’s teleportation leaves the team naked, forcing the artists to cover them creatively for much of the issue.

“Huh?” Moment:  Wolfsbane suddenly disappears after Hodge invades the New Mutants’ cell and taunts them.  (Her disappearance is even confirmed by Boom-Boom’s dialogue.)  Five pages later, Wolfsbane is back in their cell, with no explanation.

Review:  Who doesn’t have nostalgic memories of “X-Tinction Agenda?”  Just look at those hand-lettered chapter numbers on the covers; they’re adorable.  Actually, even as a kid, my main interest in “X-Tinction Agenda” resided in the Claremont/Lee Uncanny X-Men issues.  I thought the art was too inconsistent in the X-Factor and New Mutants chapters and simply lost interest in the story after a certain point.  Nine issues seemed excessively long for a crossover back in those days.  

This was one of the earliest Rob Liefeld comics I purchased as a kid, and because I didn’t understand that this was a last-minute jam issue, I had no idea what to make of his art.  Some pages have an admirable amount of polish, others just look like a muddy collection of shadows.  You never know when a character will look recognizably human, or devolve into some kind of hunchbacked monster in-between panels (like Dr. Moreau, for example.)  The story isn’t served by the inconsistent art, but Louise Simonson is able to extract some humanity out of the events.  Warlock’s sacrifice for the team, and their willingness to do the same for him, is well played, and there’s certainly the sense that the stakes have been appreciably raised in this adventure.  Warlock’s actual death scene isn’t nearly as emotional as his other scenes in the issue, however, and it’s sad to see that this is an early case of an established character being killed off in order to sell the significance of a crossover.

8 comments:

wwk5d said...

"Cameron Hodge has the mutants placed in power-dampening bodysuits"

Not quite. The suits were part of the prep-work for them to be transformed into mutates. Wipeout turned of their powers using his own mutant power.

More "Creative Differences:" In the Uncanny issue, The New Mutants and X-men knew it was the Genoshans who kidnapped the kids (via Stevie Hunter). But in this issue, they are all clueless as don't know who did it until the newscast at the end, which, huh?

"Pipeline’s teleportation leaves the team naked, forcing the artists to cover them creatively for much of the issue."

"Pipeline’s teleportation leaves the team naked, forcing the artists to cover them creatively for much of the issue."

See, I think was the first time we saw this as an effect of Pipeline's teleportation, which could either be done on purpose as part of the story (as the characters mentioned it's a but humiliating) or because...Liefeld was just lazy and didn't feel like drawing all those costumes.



wwk5d said...

Damn, looking back, that's A LOT of typos...

Steven said...

Wouldn't it be more lazy to just draw the costumes than to come up with creative ways to hide the nudity?

wwk5d said...

Given the way Liefeld poses his characters, it wasn't all that creative looking...mostly lots of shading and dust clouds and world balloons. I mean, this isn't the last 5 minutes of Austin Powers creativity...

J said...

Hooray! Back to the Liefeld issues!

Mr. Kendall, would you ever consider going back and doing some Claremont issues? At least do X-Men 1-3. I understand why you didn't do them in the beginning but IMO they're critically important to setting up the 90s status quo.

Jason said...

"I think was the first time we saw this as an effect of Pipeline's teleportation, "

This issue? No it wasn't. It was an effect of the teleportation established in the first Genosha story, two years earlier. See: Wolverine and Rogue in Uncanny #236

Formiga At├┤mica (Cesar R. Pontual) said...

I would suggest begin cover Chris Claremont's issues way back with Uncanny X-men 256 - Acts of Vengeance. Cause we all know Psylocke changes is a '90's remarkeble, right?

Teebore said...

I do actually have fond memories of "X-Tinction Agenda". It was the most recent linewide crossover prior to when I started reading X-Men, and I remember, as I went back and acquired back issues, having a hard time finding the Uncanny and New Mutants issues at a reasonable price (X-Factor, on the other hand, I found easily, not surprisingly. And of course, I hated the art in those issues).

I finally got around to reading the whole story thanks to a trade paperback collection I got for my birthday or something, and the time it took for me to read it (and all the pieces I'd had to fit together from the missing issues) made it all feel like a much bigger deal than it probably was.

it’s sad to see that this is an early case of an established character being killed off in order to sell the significance of a crossover.

Agreed. That was all Liefeld's doing, wasn't it? In that, the goofy Warlock didn't really fit with the direction he wanted to take the series, and since he was the one selling books, he was allowed to kill off the character? Or did editorial want a big death for the crossover and he just took advantage of that to get rid of Warlock?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...