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Mar 12

New Mutants #9 annotations

Posted on Thursday, March 12, 2020 by Paul in Annotations

As always, this post contains spoilers, and page numbers go by the digital edition.

COVER / PAGE 1. A fever-dream version of the New Mutants.

PAGES 2-3. A mutant cowers in a tunnel in a facility in Carnelia.

The mutant is named later in the issue as Tashi Repina, and she’s 13. She seems to have made a hole in the fence somehow, and taken refuge in… some sort of outflow pipe? She’s leaving a trail of something behind her, but it’s hard to tell what it’s meant to be – some sort of goop caused by her transformation of the world around her, I suppose.

Carnelia. Another of Marvel’s many, many fictional microstates from the back catalogue. This one comes from Iron Man stories in the late 1970s, when it was a generic Russian satellite state. It’s popped up a few times since then.

Pershyy Misto is its established capital city – though this doesn’t really look like it’s in the city.

The Russian text reads “Do Not Enter”. Why the Carnelians speak Russian when the map two pages later places them on the border between Hungary and Ukraine is anyone’s guess.

PAGE 4. Data page on Carnelia. The text is a bit garbled, claiming both that Carnelia was a USSR satellite state, and that it became independent with the break-up of the USSR. It can’t be both. Carnelia was already an independent state in stories published during the Cold War, so it’s probably meant to be the former.

“A recent attack on their parliament, which left 129 representatives and aides dead…” This was shown as part of a montage of the activities of a Hydra killer, in Daughters of the Dragon – Marvel Digital Original #2. The implication is that anti-mutant (and more generally unpleasant) forces have seized power subsequently.

PAGES 5-6. Recap and credits. The story is “Something Rotten In….” by Ed Brisson, Flaviano, and Carlos Lopez. Obviously, that’s a Hamlet reference.

The small print has now changed to “Nova Roma”, “Nightmare” and “Forgiveness.” Nova Roma plays no obvious part in this issue, but did feature last time.

PAGES 7-8. The New Mutants catch up with Boom-Boom and Magma.

They’re just back from outer space, so evidently this takes place before this week’s X-Men – in fact, presumably before X-Force #4, where Cypher was in the background.

PAGES 9-10. Cyclops and Magik discuss the Nebraska incident.

“Those humans that did die died at the hands of another human, who then took his own life.” That’s not exactly what happened. In issue #4, Maxime and Manon made two of the gunmen kill each other. In issue #6, they got another of the gunmen to fire on his colleagues. You can make a case that they were acting reasonably in self-defence – being kids who were too inexperienced to come up with a subtler plan – but they did have a hand in the body count, contrary to what Magik says here. That said, there’s no reason why Magik should know any of that, so presumably this is the version of events she was given.

It’s not clear how much the Council (and Cyclops) know about the incident. If Cyclops’ understanding of the incident is the same as Magik, what’s troubling him about the behaviour of Armor’s group?

PAGE 11. Two guards find Tashi, now a hallucinatory creature.

PAGES 12-13. Magma, Mirage, Boom-Boom, Chamber and Karma go to Carnelia to help the new mutant.

“We sort of liberated it [the Pac-Rat II] from Old Man Cable’s collection after he… Well… you know…” Presumably after he was killed by the younger Cable in Extermination #1. This is the vehicle Boom-Boom used to get to Nova Roma last issue.

Boom-Boom is taking the team on this mission without getting permission from the Quiet Council. Given their concerns about the Nebraska incident, they’re not going to be happy about that.

PAGES 14-15. Mondo helps Cypher to interact with Krakoa.

Mondo previously used his powers to let Krakoa speak through him in issue #1. As Krakoa says here, it strongly objected. It doesn’t seem to be much fun for Mondo either. And despite Cypher’s insistence that he won’t make a habit of it, he ultimately says that “this seemed the most direct route”.

Cypher is trying to cross-reference Krakoa’s records of transit through the gates against Cerebro’s records of all Earth’s mutants, so as to create a complete record of who is on Krakoa. This… doesn’t really make sense. Doesn’t Cerebro already know where the mutants are? Wasn’t that traditionally its main use?

PAGE 16. Data page – a missing child poster for Tashi Repina. Her parents have been found dead, which is presumably what she was apologising for in the opening scene. “Sadovaya Street” is presumably named after the street in St Petersburg of the same name.

PAGES 17-23. The New Mutants encounter Tashi.

“Fence I used to use out of Brighton Beach…” Presumably during Boom-Boom’s time in the Fallen Angels, when she worked for Vanisher as a thief. Again, we’re reminded that despite her instability, Boom-Boom actually has a surprisingly wide range of useful skills when she keeps her focus long enough to use them.

Tashi is now rewriting the world in general, which has distinct Proteus / Omega mutant vibes.

PAGES 24-25. Cypher enlists Wildside to help.

The MLF. These characters are members of the Mutant Liberation Front, Stryfe’s henchmen from early issues of X-Force. Broadly speaking, the MLF was a vehicle for Stryfe’s personal agenda, posing as a pro-mutant terrorist organisation; these guys were all broadly stooges. Most of them have had little in the way of character development, but they’ve been around for nearly 30 years, and they’re quite recognisable.

They’re presented here as trailer park characters, complete with a rusty pick-up truck that they’ve somehow brought on to Krakoa. Unlike most characters on Krakoa, they’re wearing civilian clothes rather than one of their previous costumes – which seems odd given their background as mutant radicals. They don’t exactly seem on board with the Krakoan peace and love agenda.

The MLF members that Cypher walks past are Forearm (with the four arms), Dragoness (with the wings), Strobe (the redhead without the wings) and Samurai (at the weights).

Wildside (Richard Gill) has been with the MLF since day one; he has no real back story to speak of. He lost his powers on M-Day but got them back during the “Mothervine” story in X-Men: Blue. Originally, he was basically a low level psychic who could create hallucinations and used his power as a distraction in combat. In X-Men: Blue, he had received a power-up that let him bring the hallucinations to life – which might explain why Cypher thinks he can help here.

PAGES 26-27. Trailers. The Krakoan reads NEXT: FEAR.

Bring on the comments

  1. Drew says:

    It’s a minor point (maybe), but I enjoyed the power struggle between Cyclops and Magik. He’s obviously used to being in charge of, well, all mutants, broadly, and he led Illyana directly during the Bendis years, right? So of course he emphasizes his title of “Captain Commander” (snicker) and wants to check in with “my captains.”

    Whereas Magik is obviously having none of that, assuring him “one captain to another” that there’s no problem. Between that and how quick she was to assume command during the space story, she’s really leaning in to her new role in a big way. That’s definitely going to pop up later.

    Whereas Dani seems to be going in the opposite direction, sounding really unsure during the encounter and taking direction from Doug of all people. (Which, as a big Doug fan, I’m loving seeing him step up and take command, along with his increased prominence.) I wonder if that’s a conscious choice, or just how Brisson sees Dani as a character?

  2. Michael says:

    As questionable as some of this entire status’ concepts are, I love that writers are bringing in such a wide variety of lesser-used and rarely-seen characters.

    I find it interesting that the MLF has its own biome, and is acting much like, as you noted, a trailer park community/gang, with their own insular sort of vibe. Even on Krakoa, we’re seeing serious cliques based off generations and teams and affiliations. For a group like the MLF, who were always presented as mutant supremacists/terrorists, what does it mean to have a set-up like Krakoa? Certainly, they seem somewhat disaffected and at loose ends–Wildside’s jab at Doug about the New Mutants’ luck at being alive is odd, given how many of that team -did- wind up dead. Or are they lucky because the Krakoan protocols clearly fast-tracked the dead New Mutants?

    (Side note: Any bets as to whether Stryfe will show up? I’m sure we’ll see him in some form in Cable at some point…)

    I also wonder if Wildside still has the bionic hands he got while working with the Weapon X program.

    Regardless, I’m glad we keep getting insights into how Krakoa works, even if it’s remarkably inconsistent. (How much real world food/drink do they have? Real world technology? What is Krakoan customs like? Why does Kitty need to smuggle stuff for Logan, when apparently anyone can just bring in a pool table, a truck, a boombox, and alcohol?)

    I’d wonder why the MLF is hanging out on Krakoa when they seem so grumpy, but they’re probably wanted by the authorities in multiple countries so it’s safe for them there.

  3. Cutie Pryde says:

    I thought this issue was the best Brisson one so far. They finally brought together the Hickman and the Brisson teams. They had a clear objective and he used everyone fairly effectively. They also referenced everything from the last 8 issues all at once.

  4. wwk5d says:

    “Why the Carnelians speak Russian when the map two pages later places them on the border between Hungary and Ukraine is anyone’s guess.”

    It could just be a version of Kaliningrad that became independent/was it’s own country to begin with? The text page does list 3 major languages (Russian, Ukranian, and English), so…who knows.

    I mean, in the Marvel world, Moldovia has replaced Moldova? 😉

  5. CJ says:

    The MLF part was my favorite thing about the issue. The little details about what it’s like to live in Krakoa are welcome. It’s especially good seeing people who aren’t totally kumbaya about the status quo.

  6. Joseph S. says:

    Magik and Cyclops relationship was also prominent in Koran Gillen’s run, his Extinction team, maybe even Fraction’s run when she was reintroduced. She was mostly portrayed as a good soldier working to earn a k trust after most of the characters were scared by her risky behavior (something with Legion and Old Gods and reality ending threat).

    The Mondo snake line is an Annihilation reference, right? Area X, HOX genes, the Shimmer, etc. it seems certain that Hickman is a fan of the books/film and at least dropping some references.

  7. Drew says:

    “She was mostly portrayed as a good soldier working to earn a k trust after most of the characters were scared by her risky behavior (something with Legion and Old Gods and reality ending threat).”

    Yeah, in the first issue of Zeb Wells’ (fantastic) New Mutants series, Legion unexpectedly reappeared after having been dead since AoA. In the final (Wells) issue, his true, core, Seinkiewicz-esque persona was freed and he erased the Elder Gods from existence, and it was revealed Illyana had engineered Legion’s return specifically so that would happen.

    Cyclops had a debrief/interrogation with her afterward where he asked if she realized she’d endangered all of reality by returning Legion and freeing his true power. Illyana gave a classic non-apology, basically saying she’s (kind of) sorry for endangering the entire universe, but she doesn’t regret what she did and would do it again, because the Elder Gods needed to die for what they did to her.

    Man, what a great book. I really need to read that run again, it was so good.

  8. Col_Fury says:

    Teenage me in the early ’90s pronounced MLF as “MILF.” Not “Emm Ell Eff.” Since then “MILF” has taken on a new meaning, which I find hilarious. Therefore, I still pronounce it as “MILF.”

    Also, good issue.

    Also also, I agree that Zeb Wells’ New Mutants was pretty darn great.

  9. Nate S. says:

    @Drew: And outside of that, she also orchestrated her brother turning into the Juggernaut for a time, so that he would understand the darkness she had in her. I think was the explanation.

    Point being she’s very to go along if she agrees, but has been known to have her own agenda that dramatically varies from that of the x-men.

    And Wells, New Mutants was crazy good.

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