In which everything is worse with Nazis; Excalibur gets its groove back; Meggan has an identity crisis; Kitty gets a crush; a dragon gets interdimensional sanctuary; and the Cross-Time Caper starts not with a bang, but a foomp.
The death of Lilandra Neramani
The best name in Hollywood
Still more of Inferno’s aftermath
A basketball game
Several long-delayed reunions and one subsequent resolution
Alastaire Stuart (and his banana)
Tourists who are also lizards
A number of unfortunate encounters
The difference between Errol Flynn characters and Errol Flynn
The fall of Nigel Frobisher
The switch that turns the engine invisible
What may be the world’s least subtle euphemistic use of the term “roommate”
How the discourse around comics has changed since the ’80s
Jubilee vs. power creep
NEXT EPISODE: Deadpool v Gambit, with Ben Acker!
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.