New Mutants

Unearthed: The New Mutants Graphic Novel, Part Four

We end the New Mutants origin here!

Yet another scene that would’ve been great in the New Mutants movie, but OH WELL

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.

Then seconds later she’s tearing into Pierce’s goons!

Roberto hit something that explodes. Dani reinforces her desire for vengeance.

Roberto neatly sidesteps Sam’s charge, which befits his futbol skill.

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.

Put simply, X’ian is a badass.

And man, those flunkie faces creep me out.

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.

Next, Roberto smashes his way in. Is he stronger than Pierce? We may never find out, because…

Sam Guthrie has an official codename now.

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.

Sam finally sees who he’s been working for.

And it seems his power has finally reached its limit.

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?

The wrap-up.

Well gosh, I guess this is the last we’ll see of HIM.

Poor Sam. When you’re on the losing side…

Side note: that looks like they’re in an elevator… but they’re already on the ground floor.

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?

Haha! Sam’s there at Xavier’s behest, dressed like he’s going to an interview… as maybe he is.

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!