Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Writer: Chris Claremont
Artist: Bill Sienkiewicz

I found this one a tough read.

Partly it's because of the script's verbosity. The high word-count isn't a bad thing in itself, but when married to such stylised artwork, I found I was often confused as to what was going on, or even who was speaking. Don't get me wrong – I like the artwork, particularly its depiction of Darkchilde's manipulation of Limbo early on, but I did also find it confusing.

I like the way that Marvel Comics have over-arcing storylines that require a little commitment from the reader, but I haven't generally found that to be at the expense of newcomers. I'm not particularly familiar with the New Mutants, and by the end of this instalment, I'd made some headway, but not really enough.

I bought this issue because it was advertised as continuing the Secret Wars II storyline. On page seven the Beyonder wordlessly shows up, silently observes events, and departs again on page 18. He does get a little interaction, and foreshadows his later crush on Dazzler, but on the whole this issue is more a continuation of New Mutants #29. No wonder Marvel UK's Secret Wars II reprint series skipped this one.

As such, Dazzler's battle with her drug / fame addiction hooked me in (no pun intended), but also had me mixed-up as to which way she was going.

And hey – it has the word 'New' in the title. Never a wise move for a mag from 1985, or indeed any other year. Has anything with the word 'New' in its title ever lasted? Oh, right, this series lasted for eight years. Since its cancellation there have been two further groups also called The New Mutants. Maybe they were each intended to be ephemeral? Or maybe that proves that the name has indeed lasted.

After all, I guess that, by definition, all mutants are new.


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