The New Mutants 37 (March 1986)

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While I’m loathe to say anything nice about Chris Claremont, especially in an issue where he apes dialogue from Little Big Man to show how conscious he is to the plight of Native Americans regarding the John Wayne cavalry movies, he almost does a good issue here.

Well, maybe not. I mean, the Beyonder’s still idiotic, but he’s torturing the superheroes here and, while Claremont’s got some lame characterizations for them, the Beyonder’s really freaking evil. It makes no sense in context of the initial Secret Wars II stuff, but whatever. It’s nice to read this book and not be dreading every moment, especially given Sienkiewicz’s far more traditional artwork this time.

I don’t know what else to say about the comic. Usually, I can just rip on it, but this issue–oh, the She-Hulk cameo was dumb. So was the cop not knowing what the Avengers were called.

CREDITS

If I Should Die; writer, Chris Claremont; penciller, Mary Wilshire; inker, Bill Sienkiewicz; colorist, Glynis Oliver; letterers, Tom Orzechowski and L. Lois Buhalis; editor, Ann Nocenti; publisher, Marvel Comics.

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The New Mutants 36 (February 1986)

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I mustn’t have ever picked up a New Mutants comic as a kid when I was getting Secret Wars II crossovers. I think I’d remember being this totally perplexed. Claremont’s approach to this title is apparently to throw everything he can think of into the issue, up to and including a floating subway car (and a Ghostbusters reference).

There are demons, there are religious things, mutant things, dating things, it’s just way too much. It’s like instead of creating characters, Claremont wants to discuss “issues” just really, really immaturely. It’s kind of like social commentary with stick figures.

The Secret Wars II crossover is actually all right (it’s far better than demons), just because it deals with the fallout of someone encountering someone as powerful as the Beyonder. What’s incredible is apparently no one realized the Beyonder’s a perfect stand-in for the comic book writer, metaphorically.

Big surprise there.

CREDITS

Subway to Salvation!; writer, Chris Claremont; penciller, Mary Wilshire; inker, Bill Sienkiewicz; colorist, Michael Higgins; letterer, Tom Orzechowski; editor, Ann Nocenti; publisher, Marvel Comics.

The New Mutants 30 (August 1985)

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I don’t think I’ve ever read a Sienkiewicz comic before. I know, I know. I was a DC guy in the eighties for the most part and, even if I did, I was a kid and probably wouldn’t have appreciated it. Sienkiewicz did mainstream books? It’s incredible to think about it–his work’s design oriented but also has a narrative flow. It’s absolutely great.

The comic itself, a Secret Wars II crossover, is all right if unspectacular. Even though I’m completely unfamiliar with the title, I could figure some things out (though not all the character names, besides Dazzler and Kitty Pryde), maybe because Claremont is the wordiest comic book writer I think I’ve ever seen.

I wonder if the title was produced “Marvel style” (Sienkiewicz illustrating off a plot, then Claremont filling in text)–there’s a lot of art covered up here with exposition.

It’s a decent enough comic.

CREDITS

The Singer & Her Song; writer, Chris Claremont; artist, Bill Sienkiewicz; colorist, Glynis Oliver; letterer, Joe Rosen; editors, Peter Sanderson and Ann Nocenti; publisher, Marvel Comics.

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