New Mutants #20
The “Rise of the New Mutants” arc kicks off here, but don’t be fooled, since it’s really a continuation of the “Fall of the New Mutants” arc preceding it. A bit of the plot is given away with that “Rise of the New Mutants” tag on the cover – though most readers ought not be so surprised that there would be a turning point of some sort. The New Mutants, having traveled to Limbo in the infamous issue #17 (doling out some foul language in demonspeak along the way) have been captured by Project Purgatory and a new group of mutant super soldiers who easily take them out. Northstar appears in a quick cameo as a regular member of the X-Men, having joined up in Uncanny X-Men #508.
New Mutants Magik and Karma return with X-Man Pixie to Utopia to enlist the aid of the X-Men in an apparent rescue mission. Cyclops gathers up some heavy hitters as an assault squad, and a team of X-Men is shown in a large panel, including Northstar, who can be seen behind Namor. Northstar’s hair is swept straight up, indicating that either he’s landing from flight in a rapid downward approach or he’s caught in a powerful gust of blustery leadership from Cyclops’ gaping maw. Either way, it’s just this little cameo. Later, when the assault team is shown in a few other panels, Northstar isn’t seen, as most of the characters are near the page margins.
Though Mister Jeffries, a member of the X-Men, does not appear in this book, two of his more preposterous creations do: one being Karma’s ridiculous prosthetic leg, and the other being David Haller’s brainwave/hair dampening helmet, not seen since Jeffries’ quick cameo in New Mutants #4. It’s a nice touch from writer Zeb Wells to have re-used that little piece of tech from so long back in the series.
Since many readers were first introduced to this blog from a previous post where demonic script translations turned out to be an Easter Egg of foul language, I took the time to translate the extensive remarks made by several Limbo denizens. For your reference:
Page 4 panel 2: (demon with axes) The humans bring a curse to our lands! they seek to wipe us out!
Page 4 panel 3: (demon in green hooded robe with yellow trim) There is no defense against this weapon!
Page 4 panel 3: (raven haired demonness with two earrings) Cowardly males! We fight or die!
Page 4 panel 4: (bow-wielding swashbuckler demon) Do you see now why we have slaughtered all humans on sight for these long centuries?
Page 4 panel 4: (sword-wielding demon with do-rag) Aye.
Page 10 panel 3: (severed head) Pink tongues reject our terms.
–note: this is the first appearance of the J glyph
Page 10 panel 4: (raven haired demonness with two earrings) Kill the humans!
Page 11 panel 2: (bow-wielding swashbuckler demon) Kill them all!
Page 11 panel 3: (ponytail and pointy ears) Die!
Page 15 panel 1: (reattached head) No!
Page 15 panel 1: (red demon with no neck) Stop here!
–which I believe is a typographical error and should be Stop her!
Page 15 panel 2: (noseless demon) This is our end.
It’s quite a bit of demonic script in this issue, and all of it’s straight up. Sorry to disappoint the ninety-nine percent of you who came to this page looking for more cursing. Hopefully the one percent of you looking for Alpha Flight information were more satisfied.
–I’ll also mention that this demonic script appeared recently in Namor: The First Mutant #4 as the language of the ancient Atlantean vampires but, unlike this issue, was fairly humorous in its content. That issue had no Alpha Flight members, so the translation is up to whoever maintains a Namor Collector blog instead.