x35's The New Mutants #86 - Bang! You’re Dead! review

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Vengeance Coming

AF Reviews: Acts of Vengeance

Bang! You're Dead! by Louise Simonson and... Rob Liefeld... is the New Mutants entry into Marvel's Acts of Vengeance as the falsely imprisoned New Mutants members Rusty Collins and Skids battle against the Vulture and try and stop the Spider-Man villain from releasing Nitro from captivity.

Let me note that the previous two issues of New Mutants are listed as Acts of Vengeance tie-ins but other than two pages setting up this issue, there is no other relevance to the crossover. Those pages detail the Vulture's escape from prison and Rusty's failed attempt to stop him from getting away. This issue also marks the debut of Rob Liefeld as penciller for the book and the first appearance of Nathan Summers as Cable.

This is a really good issue even with the artwork by Liefeld. It's great seeing Rusty and Skids get the spotlight, even if only for an issue, and the two's battles with Nitro and Vulture are both pretty good. We also get a tragic ending with Freedom Force arresting the duo and falsely reporting that they were in cahoots with Nitro and Vulture to ensure they are not given a chance to tell the truth they discovered about the government and Freedom Force.

Yes, the writing is good and the story is great but...yes, Liefeld. I was willing to look the other way for the first few pages, ignore the dog's feet the Vulture consistently sports and the constant jaw-dropped look Skids carries on her face... because this is a really good story. Then we got to Nitro. Oh dear. Nitro for some puzzling reason is always screaming and has the most unusually fat face. Things only went downhill from there with a sequence of Rusty and Skids climbing ladders and climaxed with one of the worst Blobs I've ever seen drawn.

SO, yes, the art is poor as you'd expect from Mr. Liefeld, but if you can squint or ignore it for as long as possible, what you have here is a really good issue. This is just a great New Mutants story and the only thing holding it back is the god awful hack they allowed to take up pencilling the book with this issue. I would love to see this issue redrawn by anyone else.

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