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.
Just in case you’ve forgotten, Team America is–inexplicably–still around. (New Mutants #8)
“Not only did I spill my soul to you thinking you didn’t speak English, but it turned out your outfit was also really fucking racist. THANKS, AMARA.” (New Mutants #8)
Well, then. (New Mutants #10)
You do you, Selene. (New Mutants #10)
Magma’s best superpower is her op-art form. (New Mutants #11)
Remember the time the New Mutants straight-up murdered someone? Because that happened. (New Mutants #11)
This better be a Magnum, P.I. reference. (New Mutants #12)
Meanwhile at Project Wideawake, things are not going quote as planned. (New Mutants #13)
Somewhere in the multiverse, there’s a universe that’s exactly like Earth 616 in every way except that Kitty and Doug’s code names are Acid Burn and Zero Cool. (New Mutants #13)
Return of Those Kids at the Mall. (New Mutants #14)
X-MEN! (New Mutants #14)
Have we mentioned that we love Emma Frost? We love Emma Frost. Also: Kitty’s got a new costume. Drink! (New Mutants #16)
“This is even more awkward than the time we walked in on Bobby telling a photo of Magnum, P.I. that he wished he was his real dad.” (New Mutants #16)
Sam Guthrie: Best Kid, or Best Kid? Best Kid. (New Mutants #16)
Amara Aquilla: Horta. (New Mutants #16)
Are the Hellions evil, or just kinda New-Wave? You be the judge! (New Mutants #17)
We cannot overemphasize the extent to which New Mutants is a school drama at this point. (New Mutants #17)
MAGNUM, P.I.! (New Mutants #17)
They may be evil, but they’re not wrong. (New Mutants #17)
We passed your stealth and plainclothes cosplay contest entries along to X-Pert Judge Kris Anka, and he sent us back two winners: Congratulaions to lilpeepeedanceofdoom as plainclothes Gold Balls (you can read more about his costume here), and Elle as stealth Excalibur-era Shadowcat! (We’ll be getting in touch with you shortly with prize details!) Thanks again to contest sponsor TV Store Online, and judge Kris Anka–and be sure to swing by the blog early next week to see a roundup of all the amazing finalists!
Next week: Chekhov’s Raygun, time travel, and tiny shorts!
In which the New Mutants are the Bobbsey Twins to the X-Men’s Sam Spade; Nina da Costa is Ms. Frizzle; New Mutants does a Rachel-and-Miles cold open; Selene is the Elizabeth Bathory of lava; Rahne likes Sam, Sam likes Amara, Dani likes Bobby, and Bobby likes everyone; Gil and Art are no Harvey and Janet; Miles has a Del Preston moment, Magma is a Horta; and if something super happens, you should tell a super adult.
New Mutants #7-17
The da Costa family
Some really dubious cosmetic choices
Amara Aquilla (Magma)
Op-art as a superpower
Doug Ramsey’s hair
The Massachusetts Academy
Not-Particularly-Secret Origins of the Hellfire Club
Next Week: Lifedeath, time travel, and Forge’s tiny shorts.
You can find a visual companion to the episode – as well as links to recommended reading and the winners of the stealth / plainclothes cosplay contest – on our blog.
In which Danielle Moonstar is the Wolverine of the New Mutants, Henry Peter Gyrich is the Walter Peck of the Marvel Universe, Michael Rossi is no Peter Corbeau, Xavier is a Brood Queen (who is a jerk), Bob McLeod draws really good teenagers, the New Mutants do an after-school special, Chris Sims drops in for some emergency X-Plaining, Elsie Carson is the Harvey and Janet of Hydra, and Team America is generally sort of baffling.
The original New Mutans (more) (again)
The New Mutants #1-6
Dani vs. the Danger Room
Henry Peter Gyrich
Sebastian Shaw (again)
Project Wideawake (sort of)
A poorly-timed crossover
A profoundly unethical relationship
A Very Special Episode
Team America (but not that one)
Elsie Carson, middle manager of Hydra
The Girl With the Silver Eyes
X-Men reading order
The visual companion for this episode will go up mid-week, due to New York Comic-Con generally kicking our asses (Among MANY other things, Rachel is tweeting–mostly cool X-cosplay pics–from the show floor, and Miles is working at the Dark Horse booth. Come say hi!). Meanwhile, for further supplemental material, we recommend reading Chris’s in-depth history of Team America: