Saturday, 19 April 2014
NMU #31: "Saturday Night Fight"
(Whatever could have possessed her?)
Part three of this story, and it's time for the breathless action scenes and Big Reveal. Another short one, in other words, especially since two pages of the issue are given over to another in the irregular series of New Mutants character profiles.
Things have been going pretty well for Shadowy Blob #1 so far. His business model of playing everyone off against everyone else clearly has legs. He's been using a holographic projection of Flynn to make the Gladiators follow him, and he's brought in Karma's crime lord uncle to expand his empire. Right now he's got Sunspot and Magma fighting a giant robot secretly containing Shadowcat. Moreover, he's not only photographed every wealthy tosser who's arrived at the games so he can blackmail them later, but he's got Dazzler on the sands firing out a hypnotic light-show that will break every member of the audience when they realise they'll never get to see it again. The narration here suggests this is a punishment worse than prison, but I say we can't afford to take the chance. Lock the bastards up.
This being the issue where things need to start going wrong, of course, things start going wrong. Somehow Kitty manages to escape her conditioning at the same time as Rachel, Illyana and Sam arrive in their designated role as cavalry. When Dazzler joins in as well, there's simply too many minds set against SB#1 for him to use his new-fangled possession trick to keep himself out of harm's way.
(Which is actually kind of interesting, We know from later stories that the Shadow King - for it is he, not that he's mentioned by name here - can deal with many minds at once. But right now he seems far too keen on using his newly-borrowed bag of tricks, despite them clearly not being the best tools for the job. I guess he's just caught up in how new and fun they are. Like how when you unlock a crazy powerful new weapon in a game and you can't stop using it even though you've no idea how to make the most of it.)
This can only work for so long, of course, especially when the Gladiators are either defeated or persuaded to give up by Dazzler (this being the final stage of the Dazzler redemption story that has never made any sense in concept or offered any interest in execution, so at least that's gone), so eventually the Shadow King is forced to deploy his final weapon; revealing himself to be possessing the body of the original New Mutant, Karma, believed dead all these months by our teenage heroes, who are all too young and new to the superhero game to be aware of the "if you haven't seen a body..." rule.
The surprise generated by this revelation gives Shadow Karma the time s/he needs to escape, but now her former team-mates know she's alive, the hunt is on. For a few moments the idea of handing over the search to the senior team is mooted, but between Sunspot refusing to believe Xavier had been unable to sense Karma's thought patterns after her supposed death, and the general feeling that Magneto's new role at the mansion raises some problems (both of which are fairly good points, actually), they decide to have Kitty cover for them with the adults whilst they launch a rescue mission.
The hunt for Karma is on!
This story takes place in approximately real time.
Saturday 5th January, 1985.
The Japanese launch the Sakigake probe to Halley's Comet.
None of them, really.