Wednesday, 24 October 2012

New Mutants #7: "Flying Down to Rio"

At the start of New Mutants #7, Xi'an is missing from the explosion still. The X-Men have spent several days searching for her, with no joy, and Xavier decides its time to pursue other avenues. He himself can sense Xi'an still, but doesn't tell them that. My guess at this stage is that her uncle has claimed her for that year's service she'd promised to him in #6. He sends the New Mutants to Rio, with Bobby's mother, who turns up here, knowing all about Bobby being a mutant and accepting him. Which makes Bobby mixed-race! One of the first mixed-race characters in comics?

But it's difficult to see how Bobby's parents' marriage works, not because of their different backgrounds but their attitudes. His mother, Nina, who we meet here for the first time, is a professional archaeologist and amateur environmentalist. His father, Emmanuel (also spelt Emmanual and Emanuel) is a self-made business tycoon who now lives in the mansion in Ipanema that his mother worked as a maid at. He's a member of the Hellfire Club (as established in #1), but not yet its Inner Circle). Nina is planning an expedition to the "Madería - the headwaters of the Amazon", which Emmanuel is very unimpressed by - although he wants to send geologists there. Perhaps we can interpret the verbal sparring over the dinner table as him desparately trying to stop her trip, and imagine their usual interaction is more comfortable. How did they even meet?

Emmanuel wants Nina to change her mind, so he doesn't have to pull the trigger on the "get the Hellfire Club to scare her off preferably without hurting her" plan. Which fails, thanks to the kids. The issue ends with them preparing to fly to Manaus, and Emmanuel and Shaw plotting their next move: make sure they never arrive at their final destination.

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