Thursday, July 3, 2014
X-amining New Mutants #70
In a Nutshell
The New Mutants escape Spyder but at the cost of Lila.
Writer: Louise Simonson
Penciler: Terry Shoemaker
Inker: Al Milgrom
Letterer: Joe Rosen
Colorist: Glynis Oliver
Editor: Bob Harras
Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco
In Spyder's lair, the captured New Mutants attempt to escape their cage, but are unable to do so, and Illyana is reluctant to teleport to Limbo due to the state of things there. As Spyder gloats, he restrains Gosamyr, then leaves to witness the unveiling of her family. Meanwhile, back on Earth, Magneto arrives in Manhattan for a meeting of the Hellfire Club and is attacked by a possessed fire escape. Back on Spyder's planet, Gosamyr enters a metamorphic state called the minor death to escape her bonds and become invisible. Attacking Spyder's guards, she knocks one into the New Mutants' cage, its body draining enough energy from the cage that the New Mutants are able to escape. They race after Spyder and Lila, intending to rescue Lila and save Gosamyr's family. Just then, a group of massive cocoons begin to open, and monstrous beings, Gosamyr's family, emerge.
Spyder, only interested in the cocoons themselves, orders his guards to kill the creatures, but the guards, distracted by the New Mutants, are too late, as the creatures quickly grow too powerful. In the ensuing chaos, the New Mutants are able to free Lila. Gosamyr explains that under normal circumstances, her species gestates in their cocoons for millennia and emerge calm and peaceful, but Spyder forced her family to emerge early, and now they mean to destroy the entire planet. As the creatures come after the New Mutants, Lila says goodbye to Sam then teleports herself and the aliens into the nearby sun, destroying them and herself. As Spyder sends his forces after the New Mutants, left with no other choice now that Lila is gone, Illyana teleports everyone, including Gosamyr, to Limbo, where a waiting S'ym welcomes them to his realm.
Firsts and Other Notables
Lila Cheney seemingly sacrifices herself to save the New Mutants by teleporting Gosamyr's transformed family members into a nearby star (the limitations of her power forcing her to go along with whomever she's teleporting); she will next turn-up, alive and well and largely without explanation, in Uncanny X-Men #269, but this is her last appearance in New Mutants.
Though left alive following his defeat, this is thankfully the last we'll see of Spyder.
Gosamyr, however, remains with the team, and will do so throughout "Inferno" before leaving for good shortly thereafter.
Forced to enter Limbo in order to get home, the New Mutants are greeted by S'ym, who has taken full control of the realm in Illyana's absence, leading directly into New Mutants' portion of "Inferno".
We finally see Gosamyr's much-discussed family, as they are goaded into emerging from cocoons by Spyder and, as a result, are monstrous creatures capable of destroying planets.
Bret Blevins takes the issue off, and as irritating as it can be to have a fill-in artist on the final issue of a storyline, even more annoying is that the fill-in team is comprised of Terry Shoemaker (who filled in on some early X-Factor issues and seems to become Louise Simonson's go-to fill-in artist around this time, much to my continued disappointment) and Al Milgrom, who previously wedged tiny, cramped figures into panels in Secret Wars II and Kitty Pryde & Wolverine.
A Work in Progress
Gosamyr reveals that she's able to enter a transitional state by dying a "minor death".
Magneto arrives in New York and finds the early sparks of "Inferno" in motion (ie he's attacked by a fire escape).
At a meeting of the Inner Circle, Selene notes a potential White/Black split amongst the group.
Illyana notes that her Darkchylde form gives her super-strength, something that's never really been mentioned before.
Gosamyr notes that even the Brood fear her species for their destructive potential.
Rahne freaks out when Sam in injured trying to escape.
Later, as Lila prepares to sacrifice herself, she tells Rahne to take care of Sam, though it's unclear how Lila is aware of Rahne's feelings for him.
It's in the Mail
The letters page is all the way back on Bird-Brain and the beginning of "Fall of the Mutants"; the Simonson/Blevins creative team receives mixed reviews (to Simonson and/or Harras' credit, letters both pro and con are printed).
Oy, thanks goodness that storyline is over. It's already been well-established that this story as a whole is entirely too long (thanks in large part to the nothing-happens issue #68), but at this point, even Simonson (or her editor) seems to be growing tired: Spyder at one point delivers expository dialogue about three different characters in a row, and all three chunks of dialogue are structured exactly the same: "Ah, [character name][description of powers]". Later, Magneto uses the word "gall" twice within a span of as many word balloons, while Lila is suddenly aware of Rahne's crush on Sam despite never being in a position in this story to become privy to that information.
The art is equally tired and lethargic. Blevins can certainly be forgiven needing a break, especially on the brink of "Inferno" (which will include a double-sized issue), but I've never been a fan of Terry Shoemaker's ho-hum work, and bringing in Al "Secret Wars II" Milgrom to ink it makes Blevins usual enjoyable-but-problematic stuff look like Jack freakin' Kirby by comparison. All told, it's a pleasure to finally move past this story, and that it eventually ends is the best thing about it. The glory days of this title may be past us, but now, so too is its worst storyline.
Tomorrow, Cyclops searches for his son in X-Factor #35. Next week, the X-Factor kids get their own limited series with X-Terminators #1-4, followed by the return of the Marauders in Uncanny X-Men #240.