Wednesday, 4 September 2013

NMU #23: "Shadowman"

("Nothing important happened today.")


It's Claremont time again around here, and we all know what that means: subplots!  We have two this issue, but let's put them aside for a little while so we can focus on what's happening with Sunspot and Wolfsbane.

When last we saw Roberto DaCosta, the young man flipped out during a training session and developed inexplicable new powers, which he used to beat Colossus.  In this issue, he develops inexplicable new powers, which he uses to beat Colossus.  Naturally, this does nothing to contradict my earlier argument that NMU #22 was entirely marking time - a pointless fairy story and a brawl repeated here anyway.  At least this time the throw-down happens at Harry's Hideaway, and we get our first glimpse of Harry Morrel himself. The man Wolverine trusts to provide him with booze. That's a dude to respect.

Xavier obviously thinks so, given his promise to repay Harry for the damage incurred when Sunspot breaks loose.  There's more than just broken bar-stools to contend with, though; whatever has affected Roberto has left both him and a thoroughly pummelled Colossus in comas.

Whilst Charles and Moira try to figure out what's happened, Sam and Dani have their own problems.: Rahne has disappeared. Using the mind-link Psyche and Wolfsbane share, the duo track their friend to a swanky hotel. This worries Dani, who dreamed of checking into the very same place last night, only in the dream she was a glamorous redhead with flowing locks.  Now it appears that the dream was a subconscious jack into Rahne's activities, which means their little Scots flower has been sneaking around the night in someone else's body. 

Rescuing a distraught Rahne from her suite and returning her home, the pair find a mysterious necklace in their friend's room; one more piece of a puzzle showing no sign of resolving or even swimming into focus. Luckily, Sam finds another clue just moments after; a police report about two people attacked a few nights earlier, torn to pieces by a wolf only to be completely healed by the time the paramedics arrived.  If that wasn't a big enough link to carrot-top, the paper is kind enough to give them a photo. 

The two people attacked are Smoke and Dagger.

For those who don't recognise the names, these two are teenage runaways and (generally) street-level heroes with a focus on smashing up the drugs trade, having been kidnapped and forcibly injected by an insane criminal chemist with concoction that made them super-powered.

In general, I come down on the side of characters from the wider Marvel universe making cameos in the X-books.  It's a nice reminded that there's a wider world outside the mutant issue, and that not everyone in that world are mutant-loathing dicktrains.  Cloak and Dagger wouldn't necessarily be my first choice, though.  They're not advancing the metaphor here, they're just two other super-powered beings who happen to live in the same city. Yes, this is a sequel to an earlier story, but that wasn't in any of the X-books, so re-heating it seems like an exercise in MU networking rather than a valid story angle.  It won't be for years yet that the pair are retconned into being mutants - and frankly they still don't do anything interesting on that score; they even join the X-Men in the 21st Century and then disappear entirely - but again, that's not necessarily bad.

The real problem here is just how slowly everything is progressing. Two issues into this storyline and it isn't until the final pages here that Cloak and Dagger appear, and once they do it's only to tell Dani they don't intend to help her friends. The issue ups the ante in its final page as whatever Sunspot has become consumes Colossus and apparently kills Xavier, but there's nothing here to justify this snail's pace.  The total absence of Doug, Warlock and (one panel aside) Amara doesn't help either; we're stuck with half the cast crawling through a sedate and uninspired story.

Can we get this over, please?

Meanwhile, in subplot corner: Selene and Roberto's father Emmanuel are officially inducted into the Hellfire Club, with Sebastian Shaw convinced the former will kill him the instant he makes the slightest mistake, and Lee Forrester returns Magneto to his home on Similar-To-But-Legally-Distinct-From-Cthulhu's-Island-Island [1].  Poor old Mags is pretty knackered after falling to Earth and dodging sharks, but there's not a level of exhaustion invented which can stop him being a cocktrumpet to the human who rescued him.  Naturally Lee - last seen dating the emotionally stunted raging paranoiac Cyclops - finds something appealing in this. Holy Jeebus, lady, other species are available.  Or, you know, nice mutants.  Plenty of fish in the sea; you don't need to focus on the crazy mutant ones.

[1] Yes, I know it's Ry'leh. Don't write in.


This story takes place over a single night and creeps into early morning. Colossus mentions his previous altercation with Sunspot took place "the other day", so we'll place this two days after that.


Friday 10th to Saturday 11th May, 1984.

X Date

X+6Y+71 to X+6Y+72.

Contemporary Events

Ezra Klein is born, a name that will be most familiar to US political junkies. Klein will forever be my hero for writing a piece in which he called out then-Senator Joe Lieberman for risking the lives of tens of thousands of American citizens a year simply so he could be a shit to his former party.  Alas, Klein was later forced to ameliorate his stance. He shouldn't have. Joe Lieberman is one of the worst people alive in America today.  Fuck Joe Lieberman.

Standout Line

"I never imagined the master of magnetism, one of the foremost mutants on this planet, getting seasick."

No comments:

Post a Comment