Remember being fourteen? (And also a mutant superhero?) (New Mutants #36)
Damnit, Beyonder. (New Mutants #36)
Hey, look! It’s a literal derailment in the middle of a metaphorical derailment! (New Mutants #36)
Don’t you hate it when your best friend’s soul gets split by a cosmic force and suddenly you’re stuck with her eldritch armor, weapon, and amulet, when all you really wanted was a library book? Yeah, us, too. (New Mutants #36)
Not even being brainwashed and absorbed into a cosmic hive-mind can come between Cannonball and his classic science fiction allusions. (New Mutants #36)
Aw, Illyana. (New Mutants #36)
This cover = Rachel’s definitive Beyonder. (New Mutants #37)
The New Mutants have the best incidental moments by a wide margin. (New Mutants #37)
Seriously: WHO THE HELL IS THAT ABOVE RAHNE? (New Mutants #37)
Relevant metaphor is relevant. (New Mutants #37)
THE BEYONDER IS A DICK. (New Mutants #37)
THAT IS NO EXCUSE. (New Mutants #37)
The Beyonder comes off as a petulant child in a lot of Secret Wars, but in New Mutants, he’s legitimately terrifying. (New Mutants #37)
Headcanon: In Marvel Asgard, there is at least one legit full-length saga about this storyline, focused on Dani. (New Mutants #37)
This cover. This scene. This series. (New Mutants #38)
Of all the scenes in all the issues of New Mutants, NONE has ever stuck with Rachel as hard as this one. (New Mutants #38)
Aw, kids. (New Mutants #38)
YES (New Mutants #38)
Is there a better pep talk than a pep talk from FROG THOR? We think not. (New Mutants #38)
Warlock, you delightful scamp! (New Mutants #38)
Empath is the worst ever forever. (New Mutants #38)
That “Next Issue” blurb, tho. (New Mutants #38)
Another memorable cover. (New Mutants #39)
Aw, man. (New Mutants #39)
Sadneto. (New Mutants #39)
Keith Pollard’s Emma is so good. (New Mutants #39)
It just DOES NOT STOP SUCKING to be Tom and Sharon. (New Mutants #39)
Madneto! (New Mutants #39)
Emma Frost, you sneaky person! (New Mutants #39)
WARLOCK IS THE BLACKBIRD. YOUR ARGUMENT IS INVALID. (New Mutants #40)
Magneto is trying so hard to be the man he promised Xavier he’d be. Poor guy. (New Mutants #40)
Really, Cap? Really? You gonna go there? (New Mutants #40)
Teacher Magneto might be the best Magneto. Definitely one of the most critically unremembered and underused. (New Mutants #40)
Aw, New Mutants. (New Mutants #40)
The perfect Emma Frost moment. (New Mutants #40)
Next Week: Angel in tiny briefs (more) (again), too much Tower, and the dubious debut of Apocalypse!
LINKS AND FURTHER READING:
Yaybo! Marvel Unlimited added New Mutants #36-40 just in time for this episode (starting here)!
In terms of formative influence, Kyle Baker’s Why I Hate Saturn was basically Rachel’s third parent.
In which nothing comes between Sam Guthrie and his classic sci-fi allusions; Sunspot tries; the Beyonder is really scary; you can have Danielle Moonstar’s agency when you pry it from her cold, dead hands; Empath remains the worst kid; Tom Corsi and Sharon Friedlander just cannot catch a break; Emma Frost gets nuanced; Magneto does the wrong things for the right reasons; Rachel and Miles like liking things; and we finally wrap up Secret Wars II.
New Mutants #36-40
The best Secret Wars II tie-in
Several Beyonder-triggered crises of confidence
A literal derailment in the midst of a metaphorical derailment
The Greek tragedy of Illyana Rasputin
Personal personifications of death
The death of the New Mutants
A pep talk from a frog
Art style as a component of narrative
The Hellions (again)
A completely avoidable fight
Rachel’s definitive Emma Frost moment
Emma Frost, Charles Xavier, and moral culpability
NEXT WEEK: The dubious debut of Apocalypse!
You can find a visual companion to this episode on our blog!
The first full reveal of the Demon Bear. (New Mutants #18)
Gradually, across the Demon Bear Saga, the strangeness bleeds out from the panels and into the design elements. The corner square of New Mutants #18 was a Bob McLeod team portrait. This is the corner square from New Mutants #19.
The same thing is happening on the credits pages–in this case, the title, but just wait ’til you get to next issue… (New Mutants #19)
Tom Corsi and Sharon Friedlander are both charming and in serious trouble. (New Mutants #19)
Those sound effects. Those colors. That layout. (New Mutants #19)
The Demon Bear is less a creature than a space: looming, protean, with very little detail save for its eyes, teeth, and claws. (New Mutants #19)
Illyana’s soul armor makes its first appearance. (New Mutants #19)
And then that happened. (New Mutants #19)
The cover of New Mutants #20. We have no idea what’s going on in the corner square.
It’s worth remembering, as you flip through these, that you’re watching the definition and scope of superhero comics change and stretch. We are–literally and figuratively–off the map. (New Mutants #20)
Map detail. (New Mutants #20)
Later in the same issue. (New Mutants #20)
And finally. (New Mutants #20)
Sienkiewicz’s art gets a lot of attention, but Glynis Wein’s colors are absolutely critical to what the Demon Bear Saga accomplishes visually. (New Mutants #20)
Illyana’s soul armor spreads. (New Mutants #20)
Corsi and Friedlander, in their demon forms. (New Mutants #20)
The Demon Bear breaks down. (New Mutants #20)
Whoa. (New Mutants #20)
New Mutants: generally pretty okay with race and culture issues, but when it fails, it fails HARD. (New Mutants #20)
“Also, I recently leveled up and learned Cure Moderate Wounds.” (New Mutants #20)
One of the best covers of all time. (New Mutants #21)
Actually, let’s take a moment to look at that without the design elements, too, because it’s just that gorgeous. (New Mutants #21)
The “don’t let the normal kids see” joke kinda never gets old. (New Mutants #21)
Binary’s hair, tho. (New Mutants #19)
In case you were wondering, this is why Lee Forrester ends up finding Magneto in the middle of an ocean in Uncanny X-Men #187. (New Mutants #21)
TEENAGERS. (New Mutants #21)
Scariest makeover ever. (New Mutants #21)
YAY FOR ROCKY & BULLWINKLE REFERENCES! (New Mutants #21)
Warlock wakes up. (New Mutants #21)
It’s theoretically possible to imagine Warlock designed by an artist other than Bill Sienkiewicz, but why would you ever want to? (New Mutants #21)
Can we take a moment to acknowledge the self-restraint we are demonstrating by not just filling this entire gallery with pictures of Warlock? (New Mutants #21)
Warlock trying to make friends with inanimate objects is the gift that keeps on giving. (New Mutants #21)
Doug Ramsey X-plains proportionate response. (New Mutants #21)
“Can we keep him?” (New Mutants #21)
Next Week: Crossovers!
Special thanks to Andrew Vestal for help assembling the images for this post.
In which we hit the definitive arc of New Mutants; Bill Sienkiewicz blows our minds; Rachel gets choked up over a credits spread; Rahne gets a makeover; Doug Ramsey is justifiably flustered; and Warlock is a friend to household appliances.
NOTE: This episode includes a lot of art talk. While doing so is not strictly necessary to follow the discussion, we recommend listening with the visual companion open.
The transmode virus
New Mutants #18-21
The Demon Bear Saga
Task leaders vs. social leaders
Page layout as a storytelling tool
The Demon Bear and its shadow
One of the best covers of all time
The deeply problematic fate of Tom Corsi and Sharon Friedlander
What the New Mutants are up to these days
Next Week: Crossovers!
You can find a visual companion to the episode on our blog.
Last weekend, we were at new York Comic Con! And it was AWESOME! We’ll be posting stuff from there all week–including episode 27, some photos of very cool X-cosplay, and a special bonus mini-episode–but while we’re recombobulating post-travel, here’s what’s new in Rachel’s Cyclops Has a Good Day sketchbook!