New Mutants

Unearthed: New Mutants #19

Part Two of the Demon Bear Saga!

The painted cover love continues! Note the upper-left corner, where normally we only get the heads of the protagonists. Trust Bill Sienkiewicz to customize even that.

The paramedics rush in; Dani’s still alive! Given the very distinct features on these guys, and the fact that Bill Sienkiewicz does work from photos, I’m guessing these are based on real people.

Dani’s in deep trouble. You rarely get this kind of ground-level injury in comics, but there should be more of it.

Amara here is the newest member of the team. She can change her body to molten lava, but her codename is Magma. SCIENCE FAIL

I really appreciate Claremont’s restating of the core themes in his comics. He understands that every issue could be someone’s first.

Sam showing his leadership skills. I love Sinkiewicz’s choices at all times. The below-shot isn’t necessary in a narrative sense, but it looks cool.

The writing makes it clear that this is a “new look” for Rahne, but I wonder if that was put in because Sienkiewicz’s version of Wolfsbane was just a bit more extreme than Marvel had anticipated?

Also, look how he’s able to sell the idea that there’s a strong light from beneath without too much heavy shadow.

Is it just me, or does Rahne look like she’s wearing lipstick here?

Rahne’s special telepathic rapport allows her to hear Dani’s thoughts, even under sedation.

I love the treatment of Illyana in a shadow that only hovers around her. And here we see the “So am I” line that got put into the movie, perhaps the only bit that I think worked really well.

Okay. Corsi flirts with Friedlander in the background, while Alfred Hitchcock appears in frame for some reason. I don’t recognize the other guy, but I’m sure he’s someone.

Bill Sienkiewicz is a MASTER of evoking mood! Notice throughout how his art frequently transcends the boundaries of the panels to evoke a sense of chaos.

Illyana casts magical wards to protect the operating room from the bear. These wards are tied to her life-force, so when they take a hit, she feels it.

Sienkiewicz knows how to use a vertical panel, y’all.

Try to ignore the fact that dialogue this wordy could not possibly be said within the time it takes the action to happen. It’s just great stuff.

Here’s the first instance of Illyana’s armor appearing. As I recall, Sienkiewicz would go on to draw the armor differently every time, which I really enjoyed.

Claremont also liked to have little bits between characters, small interpersonal elements that helped define their relationship to each other. You don’t get that so much anymore these days, in favor of quippiness.

You tell ‘er, Amara!

She’s fairly codified these days, but it was fun to discover Illyana’s character development back when Claremont was writing her exclusively.

Wooo! Watch out for demon bear crazy eyes!

Now, there’s an awful lot going on here, and you have to wonder exactly what’s going on in Claremont’s mind with this. It’s awfully convoluted, and it’s just going to get more so. I really like how you can see nighttime through the bear, though.

Please join me on Friday for New Mutants #20!