Sunday, 20 January 2013

New Mutants #55: A Very Special Issue

New Mutants #55 is written by Louise Simonson. Yes, we reached Peak Claremont. Well, the first stage of Peak Claremont. Subsequent supplies of Albertan Claremont stories are being developed and are expected to come on stream in 1988, which will lead to another Peak Claremont period around 1990.

Er, what was I going on about?

Ah, yes, New Mutants #55. First up, the dialogue style is immediately different. Simonson has the characters much closer to saying actual things that people might say, and her New Mutants use language to manipulate, to cajole, to deceive and to flatter; rather than just provide a running commentary on their internal state. So that's good.

Sam and the New Mutants are going to a party hosted by Sam's space thief rock star girlfriend, Lila Cheney. After a suitably lengthy sequence of "oh noes what are we going to wear" (and having been sternly informed by Magneto that they must be back home by one), they end up there. Our Plot comes in the form of some aliens who want to get Cannonball out of the way so they can do an evil scheme the precise details of which I have forgotten already, but probably involve Lila and some thievery.

To do this they give Sam some pills and tell him to take them as they will make him cool. Yes, it's that subtle.

There's a little wrinkle in the denouement, though, as he gets away with pretending to have been drugged, rather than having succumbed to the "drugs will make you interesting" message. That's a bit off-code, surely.

So, in conclusion, not a terrible auspicious first issue, but certainly shows signs of doing things that Claremont wouldn't, in ways he wouldn't, which is certainly what this title needs.

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