Thursday, 8 November 2012

New Mutants #18-#20: The Very Long Night of Danielle Moonstar

New Mutants #18 introduces Rachel [Summers] into the 616. She pops up with an explanation in Westchester, walks up to the door of the mansion, During this sequence she has thought bubbles, and flashbacks. She's quite confused by Illyana answering the door: she's far too old! Which is true, but how does she know she's simply not arrived at the time of the attack on the mansion? She then runs off, to next appear in Uncanny X-Men #184. I don't know why this bit is even in New Mutants, rather than Uncanny, and it certain puts another nail in the idea-coffin that continuity is harder to follow these days. Another demonstration of this is the random Starjammers appearance in #183, which sets up something or other.

So, that done, we can go to our actual New Mutants content. Dani is having nightmares about the bear that killed her parents, decides she has to deal with this on her own, uses the Danger Room to train to fight bears, gets mauled by a bear and sent to hospital with bear wounds. While she's in hospital, The New Mutants first stop the bear from attacking her again, and then are transferred to the bear's realm (it's a demon bear, did I mention that?), defeat the bear, and return home.

Well, their home plane, anyway. This is all well and good, except for the small detail that the cop Tom Corsi and the nurse Sharon Friedlander have changed races. In better news, Dani's parents are alive again! For once, Claremont removes someone from the orphan list. For a Dani-centric story, it's mostly about her absence. I know this is all about friendship being magic and suchforth, but she could have had an actual role in the last couple of issues.

Bill Sienkiewicz took over the art (bar colouring) from this issue. He's far more fluid and expressionistic than the previous, rather literalist artists on the series. In particular, his painted covers are great. I wasn't expecting to see anything quite like them as early as 1984.

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