Early Cannonball had him flying straight into a great number of things because he couldn’t figure out how to steer himself. Claremont understood that part of the appeal of young mutants was watching them learn how to use their powers.
Sam is spooked by Dani’s power manifesting his fear and zooms away. I love Rahne’s reaction here, tail tucked between legs.
Another cool thing about Claremont’s writing is he always reinforces the mechanics of his characters’ powers so we’re aware of how they operate at all times.
Rahne gets the drop on Pierce but is surprised by his robotics.
Modern comics would do away with all this captioning, but I like the way the narrative puts you directly in with the action.
Dani’s turn… but she, too, fails. Claremont reinforces here that superheroing isn’t really a kid’s game, no matter how noble the intentions.
Poor Rahne’s all busted up but Xavier’s forcing her to go on. It’s pretty much the way he “trains” all his mutants.
Meanwhile, X’ian tries to possess Pierce but fails. One wonders what would have happened if they’d all attacked at once.
It bears mentioning that members of the Hellfire Club dress in Regency-style clothing; this isn’t just Pierce’s preferred mode of dress.
Here we see the value of narration. Without it, you’d just see two guys grimacing at each other. In fact, reading the text actually helps give the sense of the length of time this contest of wills takes up.
In the end, Xavier wins and his motley crew recovers. Just realized: was it necessary to put the Professor in those leg manacles?
On Xavier’s wall, the original five X-Men in their Neal Adams-era costumes, and below that, the modern X-Men, including a just-joined Kitty Pryde.
It’s not often you see the novice uniforms being put on. Aside from the prurient aspect of these panels, it’s interesting to see how the pieces are worn together.
Dani refuses to conform and that’s cool. Xavier recognizes that he’s changed too. I guess having all your former students die will do that, huh?
Roberto’s skeptical, but Sam, as has been stated previously, is a good kid. Thus begins a fast friendship that has lasted to today’s comics.
Notice how ill-fitting Sam’s pants are! I remember reading this graphic novel and being so excited at the promise of this brand-new team. Chris Claremont and Bob McLeod would go on to create 17 issues of the monthly comic, before McLeod left, to be replaced by Bill Sienkiewicz.
Join me Friday for issue #18, the start of the “Demon Bear Saga”, the presumed basis for the New Mutants movie, and see exactly why the movie fell so short!