Sunday, January 4, 2015

Epic Beards of Review: The New Mutants #31 (Comic-a-Day #4)

The New Mutants #31, SEPT 85, (w) Chris Claremont (a) Bill Sienkiewicz

As per last evening's suggestions via Ann Nocenti's Bullpen Bulletin, I'm going to go ahead and read crossovers in order, but since the New Mutants installment doesn't begin until issue 34, I figured I'd go back and read what I've got to get me to that point. That being said, I'm saddened that I don't have more issues featuring the art of Sienkiewicz. This is his last issue (sure, I peeked, but even the covers are so startlingly different that I knew something had to be off) but maybe that one to excite me wasn't enough to miss it entirely.

Sienkiewicz--that's a hard one to type--is just phenomenal. I keep looking over at the cover and up above as I type these words and I can't help but get the chills. Characters whom I've never read and therefore no reason to be rooting for are being used as puppets. It's some creepy stuff.

Robert de Costa and Amara Aquilla are in some sort of coliseum fighting for their lives against a robot being controlled by an unwilling Kitty Pryde. In the background, Dazzler is performing for a bloodthirsty crowd, and they're lapping it up.

I've always gotten the X-Men and mutants, sure, but no one has ever made it work for me like Claremont. Making mutants fight each other to the death helps me understand homo sapiens' distaste for mutants and their ilk in a frightening way, sickening as to how someone would enjoy such spectacle. But the way he describes Dazzler's light show and the beauty of it, the deep-seated desire it wonder we humans would be jealous of such power.

Great paneling and artwork by Seinkiewicz: he shows beauty on par sunsets and sunrises, but the dark is ghastly, gritty stuff. Beautiful final image of the team and others whom we haven't seen yet, and a great send-off for Seinkiewicz. Needs to be seen to understand. Make mine Marvel?

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