Thursday, 15 November 2012

New Mutants #22/Uncanny X-Men #189: Young Females Desire Simply Revenge. Failing That, Amusement.

I remember reading Uncanny X-Men #189 before. It actually makes sense this time, particularly in the context of New Mutants #22. At this stage, the interlinkings between the two have become so close that reading just Uncanny makes no sense. In fairness, it does have captions to explain the characters it needs here, so one can get the sense of it, but it didn't have any emotional resonance for me the first time.

A team-up story with Amara and Rachel, and the X-Men only the background is a pretty radical thing to be trying at this stage. Claremont is nine years into his run, and he's still shaking things up. New Mutants has become the home of the more trad stuff, and meanwhile every issue of Uncanny since Scott left has been off-format in some respect.

At the mansion, everyone is quiet and training. Rahne is trapped in her perpetual self-loathing interspersed with moments of loathing other people. Nightcrawler is her target here, and he sadly doesn't try and talk to her in terms she might understand. Moira and the Professor, who might be able to help, are busy trying to figure out how Warlock works.

Cutting away, Selene arrives in New York city, and finds her local High Priest, Friedrich von Roehm (is she supposed to be an actual Olympian at this point or is there another Selene wandering around the Marvel universe?), who suggests she join the Hellfire Club's, and presents her as a candidate.

Going on to the issue of Uncanny, Rachel and Amara - two fish-out-of-water - have a date in New York City. Rachel is from the future, and recently in #188 found out that her mother is dead, which means she's not going to exist in this timeline. Amara is from some colony of the Roman Republic that was set up 2000 years ago, during Julius Caesar's time.

The issue contains large swathes of Rachel's future dystopia, and one can't help but shudder at the panel where she remembers seeing the Twin Towers fall. But more personally moving is her experiences as a hound, seeking mutants, and the tale of how the mansion fell (flashbacked from New Mutants #18). They watch in the distance the boat that Storm is about to leave for Africa on.

Rachel takes them to the MoMA where the architecture reminds Amara of home. As they bond, they detect Selene (who Rachel notes they both faced as an enemy. Amara reacts almost violently against this intrusion into her thoughts (something that she was also very firm on with Xavier), and Rachel apologises.

They agree to follow Selene and take revenge, and track her to the Hellfire Club, where (as shown in New Mutants recently), she's being put forward as the new Black Queen - or rather, more or less blackmailing them. Rachel and Amara infiltrate the place with fishnets and maid outfits, get captured, and have expository flashbacks.

Never fear, Nightcrawler is here to save the day, along with Colossus. Shaw suggests a truce - Rachel and Amara had started it, after all - and they accept. Rachel uses Phoenix's old trick of molecularly manipulating their clothes back into street clothes, and they're away. From Selene's point of view the events here appear to take place between New Mutants #22 and #23, but the ending doesn't quite match up. The internet would be very upset.

No comments:

Post a Comment