Thursday, 14 February 2013

New Mutants Annual #4: The Evolutionary War

The Evolutionary War was a 1988 crossover that ran over eleven annuals. The name refers to the High Evolutionary, who despite the name had little to do with the X-Men: he was originally a Thor villain. His backstory would eventually become a little more sinister, but in 1988 he has little other than a thematic link with the mutants, never even appearing as a villain to them. So, it's about time.

Our entry in to this from New Mutants is Magma, who has been captured by the High Evolutionary's Purifiers (not to be confused with Stryker's Purifiers, obv). They want to stop her being a mutant, on grounds of public safety, and frankly they have a point, as it turns out she had gone spare after the events of New Mutants #64, having had a severe case of reverse culture shock.

Amara's dad complains to Emma Frost; who then summons the Inner Circle of the Hellfire Club. Including Magneto, who specifically forbids the kids to leave the mansion while he's gone. They arrive at Wyoming before he does. They've got Bulk and Glowworm, too, which indicates that they really are targetting particularly dangerous mutants. The rescue mostly works, but Dani gets caught in the power-removing machine, leading them to think she's lost her powers (like they'd do that!) But that's not what happened: it's triggered what Grant Morrison will later call her secondary mutation (the third to be artificially triggered in an X-man, I think, after Lorna's magnetic powers in X-Men #50 and Hank's change of appearance in Amazing Adventures #11). Her mirages are now "real", and start eating everyone. Fortunately, she can only have one outstanding mirage at a time, so is able to cancel the angry multi-toothed red monsters by calling up a spear instead.

At which point the Hellfire Club turn up. The Mutants put the goons into Limbo, and sneak back to Westchester, leaving Amara back in Nova Roma. Magneto arrives there eventually, explains what happened (yeah, had to save Amara, she just got teleported away mysteriously to Nova Roma when we were about to reach her, how weird), and presumably Illyana looks guilty as hell. But he says no more? He knows he has nothing to teach them, and can't control them... What is the point.


  1. I've always thought this latest iteration of Dani's power goes a little too far, and while Weezie wisely sets up a limitation (one mirage at a time), there's a larger question as to the extent of what she can summon - could she manifest a machine that would allow her to create more than one mirage? How about a machine that creates world peace?

    It gets the mind spinning, and starts straining the suspension of disbelief, and you wonder if it was really worth it. I do like the way you draw a line from this to Morrison's secondary mutations, however (though I'm pretty this aspect of her power gets largely brushed aside without explanation when she pops up in the post-Liefeld X-Force).

    1. I suppose the difficulty with nerfing it is that right from the start it's overpowered: it can make monsters who want to eat them. If it weren't for the limit, she'd be at almost Phoenix levels.