Three guys talking about comic books, sports, movies, TV shows and the numerous other pastimes that make us Gentlemen of Leisure.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

X-amining New Mutants #21

"Slumber Party!"
November 1984

In a Nutshell
Warlock and Doug Ramsey join the team. 

Writer: Chris Claremont
Artist: Bill Seinkiewicz
Letterers: Tom Orzechowski & L. Lois Buhalis
Colorist: Glynis Wein
Editor: Ann Nocenti
Editor-in-Chief: Jim Shooter

Plot
At Xavier's mansion, a group of local girls arrive to have a slumber party in celebration of Dani's release from the hospital. Meanwhile, in outer space, Magneto detects the approach of Warlock, who smashes into Asteroid M, destroying it, en route to Earth. Back at the party, the girls rush Rahne and give her a makeover, while Sam and Bobby return from a baseball game. They're shooed out of the house by the girls, and are swimming when Warlock crashes into the lake. Believing his inert form to be a meteorite, Sam fishes him out and takes him back to the school for Professor X to study. Inside, Warlock awakens, and seeks out power to rejuvenate himself. Plugging into an outlet, he shuts down the power to he school. Moving through the house seeking further sustenance, Warlock is attacked by Lockheed and Illyana before the rest of the team intervenes.


Sam blasts Warlock through the wall and onto the grounds, where Roberto manages to injure him. Warlock flees back into the mansion, where Dani chases him off with an image of his greatest fear, his father. Realizing that Warlock is both intelligent and hungry, and possibly misunderstood, Sam blasts off to fetch Doug Ramsey in the hope that he can communicate with the alien. Warlock finds himself in the Danger Room, where he tries to initiate conversation as well. Sam returns with Doug, and Doug is able to establish a dialogue with Warlock, learning that he is on the run from his evil father and near death due to a lack of energy. Though Roberto is still suspicious, Rahne reaches out a hand in friendship, risking being transformed into a techno-organic being by Warlock. However, he spares her, and Rahne guides him to another electric outlet, where he's able to absorb enough energy to revive himself and thank his new found friend. Later that evening, Professor X returns home and is introduced to Warlock and, trusting in the New Mutants judgement, welcomes him to the school.  

Firsts and Other Notables
After making cameo appearances in previous issues, Warlock makes his first full appearance, and joins the New Mutants by the end of the issue.


We also essentially learn his origin: on Warlock's planet, children are incubated in creches, and when they're born, they are expected to battle their father for the right to live. Warlock, refusing to do so, fled from his father and planet, seeking refuge and/or allies.


Also, Doug Ramsey learns, off panel, that he is a mutant, as are all the students at Xavier's School. He is considered to join the team with this issue as well. Thanks to his mutant power to understand languages, he is able to initiate contact with Warlock, marking the beginning of a prolonged friendship/partnership between the two. 


Via an image conjured by Dani of his greatest fear, Warlock's villainous father Magus is seen for the first time.


Magneto makes his first chronological appearance following Secret Wars (though technically he's still appearing in that series alongside this issue). His fate following his encounter with Warlock in this issue will be revealed in a future issue of X-Men. Asteroid M is also destroyed as a result of its contact with Warlock.



Warlock is said to be a techno-organic being, and the process in which such beings absorb energy, transforming organic matter into techno-organic matter like themselves in the process, is described for the first time. This concept, and techno-organic beings in general, will have a significant impact first on New Mutants, and then on the X-books in general even to this day, arguably peaking when it leads to a group of villains who form the basis for one of the yearly line-wide crossovers in the 90s. 


At one point in the story, Illyana and Lockheed teleport into Limbo to escape Warlock. She is next seen teleporting back to the mansion when Professor X returns home, wearing a space suit and carrying a gun. The story of what happened to Illyana in this issue, and why she's dressed that way, will eventually be told, in a manner, in issue #63.


Claremont selected this issue for inclusion in his Marvel Visionaries volume.

Like Uncanny X-Men #186, this is a double-sized issue that originally cost $1.00.

A Work in Progress
Dani is said to have been released from the hospital as of this issue, though last issue suggested she was healed by the Morlock Healer at the mansion.

It's established that this is the first time any kids from Salem Center have been allowed into Xavier's school, with at least one of those girl's unnerved by that fact.


The local girls continue to think "Amy" is from Rome, New York, marveling at how backwater upstate New York must be if Amara doesn't know about Michael Jackson.


Throughout the general merriment, gossip and lusting after boys that comprises the slumber party, Rahne worries that such thoughts and activities are wrong, even though she knows in her heart they're not.


This culminates in the girls forcing a makeover on Rahne.

Sam uses his power underwater for the first time. I'm also pretty sure he's doing that naked after having gone skinny dipping.


It's also revealed that he's a science fiction fan.


When attacked by Warlock, Illyana's entire nightgown transforms into armor.


Later, when thinking about Kitty, Illyana refers to her as her best friend, and wonders if she is Kitty's, which is an odd moment of doubt in a friendship that has always been depicted as being two-way.

Upon learning that Warlock is loose in the mansion, Sam beats himself up for bringing the inert alien inside, railing again about being a failure.


It's established that upon his arrival on Earth, because he comes from a planet dominated by techno-organic machines, Warlock views the machines he finds to be the dominant species, and consider the New Mutants to be something akin to the machines' guard dogs.


When some of the local girls see Dani interacting with Rahne while Rahne is in her wolf form, they assume she's Dani's dog, but Dani tells them she is her highly trained wolf.


The issue ends with three excerpts from Professor Xavier's files on the New Mutants (essentially pin-ups drawn by Sienkiewicz with text meant to represent Xavier's notes impressions/impressions). Sam, Illyana and Roberto are featured, with Xavier musing that perhaps Sam isn't getting any better with his because he's developed his power as far as it will go, expressing his concern over how to train Illyana in the use of her teleportation power when it's unpredictable, and worrying that Roberto's arrogance may lead him down a path similar to his father.


I Love the 80s
One of the girls at the slumber party, Weezie, is assumedly modeled after former editor Louise Simonson.


The hunky guys the slumber party girls moon over are Tom Selleck (of course), John Travolta, Sting, and Michael Jackson.


Local girl Manoli shows off her Michael Jackson dance moves (and surprisingly immodest pajamas).


Sam is revealed to be a New York Yankees fan, like his father and his father before him, though he bemoans that tradition as this issue was published during one of the rare decades when the Yankees weren't perennial contenders and the rival New York Mets were instead ascendant.


Claremontisms
Claremont tries out a new oath for Illyana: by the abyss. And, of course, she uses her Soulsword, so we're reminded that it's the "ultimate expression" of her magical powers.

Several times Warlock refers to "the Maker" the same way humans might say "thank God", and while that is a pretty standard term in fiction involving robots (C-3PO makes similar exclamations throughout the various Star Wars films), it's unclear if at this time Claremont meant to imply a connection between Warlock and Forge, a character Claremont referred to as "the Maker" in the issue of Uncanny X-Men published this same month. Most likely, it is simply a coincidence.

Artistic Achievements
Sienkiewicz draws one of the girls holding a stuffed Felix the Cat; I know that Todd McFarlane would later work Felix into a lot of his Spider-Man issues, but I'm not sure what Sienkiewicz's motivation here is.

Young Love
Rahne angrily gut punches Sam when he fails to recognize her following her makeover.


For Sale
Oddly enough, there's an add for a Super Mario Atari game in this issue.


It's in the Mail
The letter column officially changes its name to "Report Card" in this issue, and celebrates with two pages of letters, covering events up through issue #12, including clarification that "Rahne" is pronounced like "rain" and that Roberto's power protects his hands and feet when punching/kicking things with his super strength, even though the rest of him is still vulnerable. Which feels like something of a copout, albeit likely a necessary one.

There's also a letter from T.M. Maple, a well known letter hack from this time who wrote over 3,000 letters to various comic books from the late 70s into the early 90s. A pseudonym of Canadian Jim Burke, "T.M. Maple" was originally "The Mad Maple", but was abbreviated by editor Tom DeFalco to circumvent an edict by Jim Shooter that Marvel wouldn't publish letters signed with pseudonyms (DeFalco believed "T.M. Maple" looked more like a real name). Burke liked the abbreviation and continued to use it himself.

For a time, the room in which panels were held at Fallcon, my local two day comic convention, was referred to as the "T.M. Maple Edutorium".  

Teebore's Take
Though hinted at during the "Demon Bear" saga, this is issue serves as the formal introduction to the series of Warlock. Warlock is...not a terribly well regarded addition to the X-Men mythos. Reportedly conceived of by some combination of Claremont and Sienkiewicz to take advantage of Sienkiewicz's ability to draw crazy ass stuff (that's a technical term), Warlock loses a lot of his visual appeal whenever he's not drawn by Sienkiewicz. Furthermore, Claremont will shortly develop (hinted at here) a dialogue style for Warlock that will lead to an annoying-for-many tendency to stick "self" in front of his words. Personally, I'm fairly neutral on Warlock; I agree that the character can be an annoyance, especially when handled by creators other than Claremont and Sienkiewicz, but as with many of Claremont's narrative tics which send so many on the internet into a frothing rage, I tend to just subconsciously skip over the repeated "selfs" when reading his dialogue. And while I'd never put Warlock on a list of favorite characters (or even favorite New Mutants),  to me the New Mutants don't quite feel like the New Mutants without Warlock hanging around.

Which is one of the things I love about this issue. It's a patented Claremont "quiet" issue, a done-in-one that uses as a backdrop for Warlock's arrival a slumber party, and while the pop culture references are unavoidably dated, it's a great example of Claremont's ability to write the characters behaving like teenagers. It's also an opportunity to show that Sienkiewicz can be just as dazzling and inventive in more character-driven scenes. But most importantly, it's the issue that assembles the classic New Mutants cast. After writing out Karma, introducing Magma and integrating Illyana, Claremont now brings Warlock and Doug Ramsey onto the team, and in doing so, completes the lineup that I think of when I think "New Mutants". Claremont and Sienkiewicz still have some great work ahead of them on this title, but this issue, featuring for the first time the classic line-up, a focus on the kids being kids, some fantastic character moments and dazzling Sienkiewicz artwork, is the quintessential New Mutants issue.     

Next Issue
Next week we catch up with Wolverine and Kitty in Kitty Pryde and Wolverine #1-6, followed by the first New Mutants annual and the debut of Lila Cheney. 

11 comments:

  1. Okay, now that she's finally arrived, I have to ask a question for anyone who might know (Blam): Who is L. Lois Buhalis? Was she Tom Orzechowski's apprentice or something? Because she pops up a lot around this time, mainly lettering the X-titles, sometimes solo but often credited with Orzechowski, and her letters look pretty much exactly like his!

    NOTE: I wrote the following paragraph before I read your comment about Warlock sending the internet into a "frothing rage". I think my words are even funnier in light of that..."

    Moving on... Warlock. I know there are those who feel only Seinkiewicz's art could do him justice, but I disagree. I think some other artists, such as Art Adams, have handled him as well. My problem with Warlock is that he's a dumb, stupid character who is totally out of place in this series and makes the whole thing far less enjoyable to read. It amazes me to no end that he stuck around past Claremont's run on the title. I don't know who's idea it was to finally kill him off, but if it was Rob Liefled, then I forgive him for everything else he ever did in his career.

    (That said, I actually kind of liked Douglock from Excalibur in the mid- to late-90's.)

    "Also, Doug Ramsey learns, off panel, that he is a mutant, as are all the students at Xavier's School."

    Wow. If that's not the very definition of poor writing/storytelling, it's pretty darn close. Louise Simonson would not have allowed something like this to slip by.

    "Asteroid M is also destroyed as a result of its contact with Warlock."

    Talk about an unceremonious end. Not that the place had played much of a role in the comics for a very long time, but it sure went out like a chump. I'm glad Claremont brings it back for X-Men #1-3 to give it a proper send-off.

    "This concept, and techno-organic beings in general, will have a significant impact first on New Mutants, and then on the X-books in general even to this day, arguably peaking when it leads to a group of villains who form the basis for one of the yearly line-wide crossovers in the 90s."

    I love the "Phalanx Covanent". I don't know why, but of all the 90's crossovers, it holds a very special place in my heart. Probably because Banshee (in his classic costume, no less) was the main character in the first portion!!

    "...Warlock views the machines he finds to be the dominant species..."

    that same bit -- not that it's particularly original -- was used by Bill Mantlo and Ralph Macchio in Marvel's Transformers #1, cover-dated about two months before this issue.

    "Local girl Manoli..."

    This is just going to sound like unfair nit-picking, but it bugs me that Claremont uses the names of his friends multiple times on occasion. He knew a woman named Manoli, and used the name as well as for a reported during "Fall of the Mutants" and some subsequent stories. He knew or was a fan of a singer named Madelyne Pryor, so he used the name for a little girl in Avengers Annul #10 and for Cyclops's wife. I think once is enough.

    "But most importantly, it's the issue that assembles the classic New Mutants cast."

    The weird thing is, for me this isn't the classic New Mutants cast. I know this was the cast for far longer than any other iteration, but in my mind, the New Mutants are Cannonball, Mirage, Sunspot, Wolfsbane, and Karma. Even though Karma is written out pretty quickly and I like Magma more anyway.

    ReplyDelete
  2. @Matt: Who is L. Lois Buhalis?

    I have no clue, but I hope someone does.

    I think some other artists, such as Art Adams, have handled him as well.

    Yeah, Adams is the first person who comes to mind when I think of non-Siekiewicz artists who did him well.

    It amazes me to no end that he stuck around past Claremont's run on the title.

    While I'm pretty "meh" when it comes to Warlock, I am also surprised by this. I'd say it could be a case of Weezie not wanting to stray too far from Claremont's vision of the title, but, well, she strays pretty far from it long before Warlock is killed off.

    Louise Simonson would not have allowed something like this to slip by.

    I'm not sure it's exactly of case of letting something slip by - the point at which he learns this info is acknowledged within the story, we just don't actually see Sam showing up and breaking the news to him.

    Unless you just mean it in terms of "something like Doug learning he's a mutant shouldn't NOT be shown to the readers, so Claremont needed to write that scene either here or somewhere else beforehand", in which case, yeah, probably.

    Not that the place had played much of a role in the comics for a very long time, but it sure went out like a chump.

    Considering what a seemingly significant element of Magneto's schtick it seems to be, I'm constantly amazed at how little it actually features into the comics. After it's first appearance (and destruction) in issue #5 we don't see it again until the Claremont/Byrne run, and then only briefly. Then again here, again briefly, and again its destroyed. Then it's just X-Men (vol.2) #1-3, when it's, again, destroyed.

    And that's it, as far as I can remember (at least technically, since it goes on to become part of Avalon and then Utopia). Four appearances, only two of which are significant, in nearly thirty years, yet in my mind I still think of it being a big deal.

    I blame "Pryde of the X-Men", my first encounter with it (and the X-Men, for the most part). I think from that I just assumed it was often used as the bad guys' base of operations.

    I love the "Phalanx Covanent".

    I much prefer "X-Cutioners Song" or even "Fatal Attractions", the former because it was my first (and I'm a sucker for Cable), the latter because it felt like a big deal at the time, and I still remember fondly that feeling (unless we're including "Age of Apocalypse" as a 90s crossover, which it sort of is and isn't, in which case, that takes the cake).

    He knew a woman named Manoli, and used the name as well as for a reported during "Fall of the Mutants" and some subsequent stories.

    I'm just bothered by the fact that I've never, ever heard the name "Manoli" outside of this context, which makes it stick out more to me than its repetition.

    ...in my mind, the New Mutants are Cannonball, Mirage, Sunspot, Wolfsbane, and Karma.

    Yeah, the "classic" lineup of any team is obviously open to wild interpretation, personal taste and experience. One could even make a pretty strong case that the "classic lineup" is actually the one from right after the first Asgardian story, with Karma re-intergrated into the cast, but Karma has never done much for me so I prefer the Karma-less iteration.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Teebore, you made an error about Rahne not thinking it wrong about the slumber party topic. If you read the panel you posted carefully, she says that while her heard says it's OK, her heart says it wrong.

    Warlock - very iconic for the New Mutants, and utterly inappropriate for the book. This is a Fantastic Four concept, not a mutant team book. An alien robot and demon sorcereress don't belong here. What's next, an Asgardian valkyrie?

    ReplyDelete
  4. I like Warlock. He can be annoying, but I usually find him relatively amusing. The whole "naive outsider" thing works for me.

    Anonymous is right, though, that he doesn't fit in with the rest of the X-Characters. His origins, personalty, dialogue, and appearance are at odds with those of his teammates, and he sticks out a little too much at times.

    Issue 21: Claremont & Sienkiewicz produced the best New Muatants comic here. The story elements came together nicely, most of the characters got a chance to shine, and the art was, of course, amazing. I love the ebb and flow of the slumber party, especially how the mutants struggled to keep the bizarre events of their lives secret. The way they built a connection with Warlock worked. Sienkiewicz drew the mundane scenes as expertly as the fantasy/ sci-fi sequences. His demons, aliens, and Lockheed were suitably creepy, while the teenagers looked believable. This issue is one of my favorite comics.

    - Mike Loughlin

    ReplyDelete

  5. I like that Sienkiewicz even lettered in the price on the cover of the newsstand version you show. My copy is a direct-sales edition and just has everything typeset as usual in the Marvel M.

    On the one hand, I'm sorry to (re)discover that this story has two huge weaknesses. The first is that we've never seen the Xavier's School kids interact with other area students to the extent that the size of the throng descending upon the mansion is believable, even given the varied dialogue balloons amongst said throng in the opening pages about how they've always found Xavier's to be mysterious and weird. (At least there appear to be fewer girls later on than the number suggested at first.) The second is that the pacing, which starts off quite strong in its deliberate disjointedness, goes completely haywire.

    On the other hand, I loved the whole idea of "Slumber Party" at the time and still do. To 13-year-old me in the summer of 1983 a Claremont/Sienkiewicz John Hughes superhero horror comic book was awesome. (John Hughes movies had barely begun to become a thing, but it's by way of description.) I may not even have noticed the problems I cite above and below as problems.

    Your synopsis actually does the narrative more favors than it deserves, Teebore, because most of your second paragraph covers stuff that's all bunched up, rushed, in the final quarter or so of the story.

    Warlock's explanation of life on his world gets insanely short shrift in an oversized issue. Of course, Doug is brought in off-panel and his explanation of life on Earth gets one panel.

    Depending on how charitable you're feeling, Warlock's origin comes down to "search for individuality/break from tradition" or "cowardice".

    While there's a vague sort-of group character for the visiting girls we don't get much of a sense of any of them individually nor an explanation of them just going to bed after the power outage and noise while their hosts are off in the Danger Room.

    I did love Xavier coming in confused and Illyana showing up again ready to fight after everything had gone down. I'm almost sorry, but not surprised, that the story of what she did in Limbo was ever told.

    Verdict: Ambitious, fun, moody stuff but whether Sienkiewicz or Claremont is most at fault it's pretty terribly paced.

    My take on Warlock as a character is that he's a little — okay, actually very — indulgent for both writer and artist but I mostly got a kick out of him. Claremont gets to do his "Self has found ownplace with friendbeings" talk and Sienkiewicz can draw this scratchy, exaggerated ink-man that doesn't even have to look consistent from panel to panel. He might've annoyed me more if I'd stuck around longer, but I dropped New Mutants as soon as Sienkiewicz left — even before I jumped off of X-Men; I didn't like the new status quo of Magneto as headmaster, Claremont himself just wasn't working for me anymore, and my limited funds were better spent exploring post-Crisis DC, as well as indie stuff, than Marvel.

    ReplyDelete

  6. Magneto detects the approach of Warlock, who smashes into Asteroid M, destroying it

    I was going to say that my suspension of disbelief doesn't work as well as it used to. Warlock crashes straight through Asteroid M and lands at Xavier's?

    Then I wondered if Magneto wasn't intentionally in geosynchronous orbit above the mansion — which still means that Warlock would have to coming in at just the right angle, but, hey, Fiction's Law of Coincidence. Please let me know if we knew that it was... I hadn't recalled at all that the HQ went all the way back to early Lee/Kirby X-Men until you mentioned it in your pseudo-eulogy.

    Via an image conjured by Dani of his greatest fear, Warlock's villainous father Magus is seen for the first time.

    Didn't we see Magus fighting Warlock out in space in a previous issue?

    Warlock is said to be a techno-organic being, and the process in which such beings absorb energy, transforming organic matter into techno-organic matter like themselves in the process, is described for the first time.

    I was struck by the density of that caption you posted when reading. This is about when the meat of the story was obviously running out of room. We really could've done with a two-parter: "Slumber Party" in one issue, Warlock's main battle with and acceptance by the New Mutants in the next, maybe with some more action necessary in the first.

    Rahne worries that such thoughts and activities are wrong, even though she knows in her heart they're not.

    Per her thought balloon it's actually the other way around: "My head tells me this isn't wicked or sinful, but in my heart I still feel I'm doing wrong." (I see Anonymous has commented on this too.)

    ReplyDelete

  7. Sam uses his power underwater for the first time. I'm also pretty sure he's doing that naked after having gone skinny dipping.

    That is more than suggested, I believe. I'm glad that Sam finally bothered to put on some pants before going to get Doug, at least, but a shirt wouldn't have hurt.

    Warlock views the machines he finds to be the dominant species, and consider the New Mutants to be something akin to the machines' guard dogs.

    I really like that. And I thought the panel you posted of Warlock thinking the fridge is an efficient but uncommunicative "person" was hilarious.

    Sam is revealed to be a New York Yankees fan

    I hadn't remembered this at all. The Yankees played no game in the 1984 season on our Earth that lasted 27 innings, by the way; I did a quick check. I guess Claremont having Roberto mention that was just his part of his Everything Has To Be Remarkable tic.

    And, of course, she uses her Soulsword, so we're reminded that it's the "ultimate expression" of her magical powers

    Just once I'd love to have seen her get frustrated during an exam, suddenly have her hand armor up with a silver quill manifested inside, and realize, "This must be my mystical abilities' penultimate expression!"

    I don't remember Illyana getting so much armor so fast, incidentally. At this rate she'll be manifesting whole extra suits to decorate the mansion in a few months.

    Oddly enough, there's an add for a Super Mario Atari game in this issue.

    The Mario Bros. weren't actually Super yet. I remember playing the Mario Bros. stand-up arcade game and preferring it to Donkey Kong (regular and Jr.). Given that my interest in home videogame consoles somewhat inexplicably ended when my Atari VCS became outdated and my best friend got a ColecoVision, which was every so briefly the wave of the future, I've never actually played Super Mario Bros. or pretty much anything else on Nintendo, Sega, etc. except on extremely rare occasions at the urging of a kid in the family for, like, one game.

    I wasn't going to mention it, since you usually deal with ads in the X-Men writeups even though they appear in New Mutants first, but the inside back cover hawks TSR's Endless Quest books; they were a fun Dungeons & Dragons fantasy-oriented take on the Choose Your Own Adventure books that were popular at the time.

    ReplyDelete

  8. @Matt: Who is L. Lois Buhalis? Was she Tom Orzechowski's apprentice or something?

    They're husband and wife — well, in the order you asked, wife and husband. 8^)

    Male comic-book creators' spouses often used to assist their husbands, especially when they didn't work themselves. On stuff that Jack Kirby inked "himself" Roz learned to trace his pencils in ink and fill in blacks, for instance, after which Jack would go back and vary line widths, add texture, whatever. For a while in the '70s and '80s, many writers and editors had wives who learned how to do color guides — Glynis Wein being both an obvious and perhaps a singularly accomplished case in point. Although I've never heard it explicitly, I assume that Orzechowski trained Buhalis to assist him, accounting for why her style looks so much like his, and that she became accomplished enough to get her own assignments.

    @Matt: I don't know who's idea it was to finally kill him off, but if it was Rob Liefled, then I forgive him for everything else he ever did in his career.

    !!!

    @Matt: I know this was the cast for far longer than any other iteration, but in my mind, the New Mutants are Cannonball, Mirage, Sunspot, Wolfsbane, and Karma.

    I agree and I don't quite get it myself either because I definitely prefer this run. To me I guess the GN and the first few issues before McLeod leaves are the Golden Age of the series, more in terms of history than quality, and this is the Silver Age.

    @Teebore: Unless you just mean it in terms of "something like Doug learning he's a mutant shouldn't NOT be shown to the readers, so Claremont needed to write that scene either here or somewhere else beforehand", in which case, yeah, probably.

    I can't speak for Matt, although I took it that way, but regardless it's sure what I mean — yeah, definitely, that was a hell of a thing to happen behind the scenes in the span of a page.

    ReplyDelete

  9. I just confirmed via their Facebook status(es) that Orz and Lois Buhalis are still married. 8^) As you were...

    ReplyDelete
  10. @Anonymous: Teebore, you made an error about Rahne not thinking it wrong about the slumber party topic. If you read the panel you posted carefully, she says that while her heard says it's OK, her heart says it wrong.

    Yeah, I got that mixed up in my notes.

    An alien robot and demon sorcereress don't belong here. What's next, an Asgardian valkyrie?

    *rimshot* :)

    @Mike: I like Warlock. He can be annoying, but I usually find him relatively amusing. The whole "naive outsider" thing works for me.

    Yeah, he usually falls into the "relatively amusing" category for me.

    The way they built a connection with Warlock worked.

    I've always really liked that sequence. This is one of my favorites as well.

    @Blam: most of your second paragraph covers stuff that's all bunched up, rushed, in the final quarter or so of the story.

    This was definitely a tricky synopsis to write.

    Of course, Doug is brought in off-panel and his explanation of life on Earth gets one panel.

    Hey, we already know how life works here. ;)

    Warlock's origin comes down to "search for individuality/break from tradition" or "cowardice".

    Pretty much, yeah. Though I believe some later stories try to make it clear that it's really about Warlock not wanting to kill anyone/anything, even his own evil father, which isn't quite the same thing as cowardice.

    I'm almost sorry, but not surprised, that the story of what she did in Limbo was ever told.

    If they hadn't footnoted it, then I'd have preferred they left it untold. Since they did footnote, I'd have preferred the eventual story was better...

    Please let me know if we knew that it was

    I don't believe it was ever established that Asteroid M orbited above the mansion, but it's a pretty neat idea nonetheless.

    There's definitely a ton of coincidence at work in the story. Even beyond the Asteroid M bit (I mean, the space around the Earth isn't that big, right?), there's the fact that Warlock lands in Xavier's lake, near mutants who match his age in terms of temperament and experience and not in, I dunno, Chile.

    (I think a later story might suggest that Warlock steered himself towards the mansion because of the propensity of mutants there or something, but maybe that's just a fan rationalization I picked up somewhere).

    Didn't we see Magus fighting Warlock out in space in a previous issue?

    Yes, though I don't believe we ever saw Magus, at least not in detail (similar to how Warlock appeared but we didn't directly see him until this issue).

    We really could've done with a two-parter

    I remember thinking the same thing. There's a point in the story (I forget where exactly) where I thought, "this would make a good cliffhanger ending if this was two issues."

    I see Anonymous has commented on this too.

    Way to pile on, guys. :)

    And I thought the panel you posted of Warlock thinking the fridge is an efficient but uncommunicative "person" was hilarious.

    Me too. I went out of my way to work that panel in.

    I guess Claremont having Roberto mention that was just his part of his Everything Has To Be Remarkable tic.

    Ha! Too true. And I love that you checked.

    I don't remember Illyana getting so much armor so fast, incidentally.

    In this issue it seemed to coincide with what she was wearing (her nightgown turned into armor), but that doesn't really remain the case.

    The Mario Bros. weren't actually Super yet.

    Touche. A fair point.

    they were a fun Dungeons & Dragons fantasy-oriented take on the Choose Your Own Adventure books that were popular at the time.

    I'm glad you mentioned them. I wasn't familiar with them, so I probably never would have.

    I just confirmed via their Facebook status(es) that Orz and Lois Buhalis are still married.

    Aw. That's good to know. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Very, very late response... (Just found this site recently) But I'm surprised at some of the hate Warlock is getting. He's my favorite New Mutant and may just be my favorite X-Men related character period. I actually sought this issue out specifically because it was the issue he joined the team in. Glad they brought him back to the living.

    ReplyDelete

Comment. Please. Love it? Hate it? Am mildly indifferent to it? Let us know!