Friday, May 3, 2013

NEW MUTANTS #97 - January 1991

Credits:  Louise Simonson (writer), Guang Yap (penciler), Joe Rubinstein (inker), Steve Buccellato (colors), Joe Rosen (letters)

Summary:  Storm repowers the captured mutants, as a bomb planted by Forge forces Cameron Hodge to retreat.  Elsewhere, Rictor, Boom-Boom, and Jubilee encounter Dr. Moreau.  He takes them to his lab, where they meet Wolfsbane in her Mutate form for the first time.  Moreau reveals that Wipeout is dead, but their powers are soon restored by Storm, who arrives with Cable, Sunspot, and Cannonball.  They damage Hodge’s power source, drawing his attention.  The ensuing battle kills Moreau and injures many of the New Mutants.  Wolfsbane gives Boom-Boom an urn with Warlock’s ashes, then leaves with Cable to finish the fight.

Continuity Notes:  
  • Dr. Moreau turned against Cameron Hodge in the previous chapters of “X-Tinction Agenda.”  He genetically engineered Storm to return to her true age, and gave her the ability to restore powers erased by Wipeout.
  • Cable asks Forge to help him repair his metal arm following their first battle with Hodge.  Another clue (or "glaringly obvious sign" to be more precise) that no one had the techno-organic virus in mind when writing Cable’s early appearances.
  • Wolfsbane appears in her half-human/half-wolf form for the first time.  According to Dr. Moreau, if she reverts to her human form, she’ll become a Mutate again.  She only has freewill in her wolf or half-wolf forms, a status quo that isn’t changed for three years.
  • Wolfsbane is referred to as “Wolfgirl” twice in the issue.  Once by Cameron Hodge, and once by Wolfsbane herself.  If this was an attempt to change her codename, it didn’t stick.

Review:  “X-Tinction Agenda” is only one chapter away from its conclusion, so more of the X-Men and X-Factor characters are beginning to spill over into this book as everyone gets into place for the big climax.  This isn’t very satisfying as an issue; Simonson has to resort to an excessive amount of expository dialogue in order to explain what exactly has been happening in the other chapters, too many characters are clogging up the plot, and Guang Yap’s art is too subdued to make the dramatic events seem very dramatic.  (Although, in fairness, Yap is asked to cram a lot of plot into most of these pages.)  The storyline is still structured so that a New Mutants chapter has relevance for the team, as the cast meets the new Mutate-Wolfsbane for the first time, but it doesn’t feel as if there’s enough space for Simonson to do anything with the characters.


Mela said...

People bag on Liefeld, but that panel where Rahne says goodbye while in her half-wolf form is the exact same face that my dog makes when he wants a piece of my lunch, and that makes the scene incredibly hilarious.

Also, if they were serious about changing her code name, wouldn't they want to use something less generic than "Wolfgirl"?

Anonymous said...

I know it's sorta become SOP to hate on Liefeld as an internet commentator, but honestly? I hated Yap's pencils for this issue, I wanted Liefeld to finish the crossover. Admittedly, I'v always liked Liefeld, but yiu have a point - Yap's pencils are incredibly bland, they don't sell the drama in the writing. Whenever I reread this crossover, this issue is the hardest to get through because the pencils are so bland.

Teebore said...

Does anyone know if Liefeld was genuinely just behind at this point (hence the fill-in artist) or was this a planned break to allow him to get to work on X-Force? I know he comes back for the last three issues of the series, but if it's the later, it seems odd that Marvel would willing use a fill-in for the penultimate issue of the crossover.

G. Kendall said...

I don't think Marvel had much of a choice in those days. It's my understanding that shipping late just wasn't an option back then. The first late Marvel comic I can remember was in late 1992, when the second issue of the initial CABLE mini was late, and that was treated as a freak occurrence.

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