New Mutants #49: Ashes of the Soul and X-Force Annual #1: The Mirror Liars

You can listen to the episode by clicking: Episode 86

Beer and Comics

I know this is a little unusual, but it is going to really get weird soon. We are past the border and heading into the wild west, but first we have to go back and forth in time to cover some stories with a touch of the pack in them.

Grandma Katie

So we have an older Katie sporting all of the Power powers in a New Mutants issue that takes place in the future.

Kid Power

And we have a young lady who is a descendant of some member of the team also sporting all the powers and also in the future. It feels like some wires are crossed here.


So what should we talk about first. Well, we should talk about the definite change in storytelling. I mean, really, this is technically the same book/team. New Mutants became X-Force…so this should be a straight comparison, right?

Read da Book, Kid

Not really. We have moved from the 80’s to the hard 90’s. We have moved from matching costumes to belts and pouches. How many pouches? All of the pouches. All of the time…and guns. Do not forget the guns.

We Come in Peace

New writers, new characters, new art. Also, a new future. I mean, DaCosta is the bad guy in one and just a team member in another. These are the choices made and the dimensions we explore.

Gnarly, Dude

As you can tell, I am really skating around, looking for an interesting topic to fill this space with. We promise our listeners a chance to see the images we are talking about, so we should show them. I sometimes just struggle to keep a narrative going.


I need an idea to come in like a cannonball. Really surprise me or inspire me. I know you all count on me to be funny and stuff….but the future can get depressing. Especially when we are talking authoritarian rule. We need something wacky or silly to make us happy.

Duck Raspberry

Yeah….a duck skateboard raspberry should just about do the trick. I think that is a good place to wrap this up. Hopefully you all will enjoy the trip to the future. Remember, all experiences are personal and may have nothing to do with the real world when you return.


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Eighties Action by Kevin MacLeod

Le Grand Chase by Kevin MacLeod


6 thoughts on “New Mutants #49: Ashes of the Soul and X-Force Annual #1: The Mirror Liars

  1. Hey there friends!

    I enjoyed this latest episode, as you start delving into parts of the Marvel Universe that have some very interesting aspects to them. I like your approach to these books, as you tweak and recalibrate the show format, achieving a good balance.

    My heart goes out to Jeff, as it seems like every physical mishap seems to happen between episodes causing pain and discomfort to some degree. Your bit about calming down your daughter while you were in pain spoke to me . In working with young students, pain to some can be funny for a moment until it’s not and their empathy for you causes tears. Maybe I have worked with some sympathetic criers but I digress. It wouldn’t surprise me if a listener doesn’t compose a “Jeff hurt bingo card” and shows it on Twitter.

    I have to admit that I need to get into the New Mutants run more during the Claremont era. This issue highlighted to me how clever Claremont could be by doing the inverse of the near future dystopia bad for mutant kind. In spite of the florid verbosity which is his calling card, this story had me thinking how follow up issues could be done. By just cracking the door open on a possible future, I was genuinely intrigued by the development of things. Bret Blevins work really felt more in homage to Art Adams in spots. That’s not a bad thing at all. I know that when he comes on full time during Simonson’s run, Blevins work is more miss than hit for me.

    Like Rick, I had that X-Force annual and can’t tell you the first thing about it in summary lol. X-Force doesn’t seem to earn much love from fandom, but I think the first couple years of the book was a rollicking thrill ride! I credit Fabian Nicieza for making this concept go further than I think Mr. Liefeld would have taken it. As I try and appropriate another blogger’s take, Liefeld is all about the big action beats and poses. Nothing else. Story and plot completely disinterest him. He only likes the beginning of things. I have to say the focus on Shatterstar in this time frame was similar to “fetch” in the movie Mean Girls. Marvel had hit characters with Cable and Deadpool to a lesser extent so going all in on Shatterstar as the next big character seems like a logical step given the fairy dust Liefeld gave to his books at the time. In this instance “fetch” didn’t happen.

    Looking forward to the next episode guys. Thank you for the content! Your show is a comfort in these troubling times for me. Between the random banter, the songs, the great ads you make up from the books, kids perspective, the beers, it’s just nice to duck out of the world and its awfulness for an hour or so to listen and reminisce about a comics title over 30 years old with a couple of guys who have always struck me as genuine good hearted people that our hobby needs more of in the slash and burn environment that is social media discourse. You guys are pretty great!


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey hey hey, Jeremy came out to play! (I felt like rhyming)

      We are now in really unfamiliar waters with the stuff we are covering and the format is going to get pretty wild (in the mildest of ways) here pretty soon. Then it will go back to the original way we did things… more or less.

      I think most people hurt themselves all the time, I just get to have a platform to talk about it in a funny way. Luckily, most of the hurts I get are pretty benign and come with being a partially active individual. I do kind of want an “I hurt myself today” bingo card made up, because that is silly enough to make me laugh.

      Fetch, ha! Mean Girls is such a good movie, and I literally tie “Stop trying to make ____ happen” all the time. But, yeah, X Force never really hit. I know that it didn’t for me.

      I am glad that we can provide some comfort and good vibes for you. The honest truth is that the way we act on the show is more or less the way that we act in real life. The show is just a means so that we can hang out and make each other laugh while being in a semi public forum where we can have people join in with us. Thank you for the praise though, it means a lot and is truly humbling.

      Till next time,



  2. I owned both of these issues back in the day, and definitely read them. Yep.

    It’s funny that the New Mutants cover has mysterious silhouette figure of “who’s their leader”, but that’s exactly what powered up Sunspot looks like, soooo not really a surprise is it.

    Sunspot and Magma are both slightly older that Katie, and yet they look tons younger than her in the future. Oh right, they’re rich. All the mutant botox they can buy.

    Frankie Power. Yes, love her! As for her background, my thoughts include:
    * A cousin of the Power kids.
    * Child of one of the kids from even further in the future, and has come back in time to this point, which is something Franklin has been involved in before. (Ref: Rachel Summers)
    * The creators can’t math.
    * My favorite, and I believe this was my theory when I first read it. She’s an as yet unborn fifth Power sibling! Origin: the Pack transfer their powers to save her life, either losing them completely OR only partially, so Power Pack could still be kicking, but Powerpax is doing her own thing. She’s like Andy Gibb separate from the BeeGees.
    (Look, my wife’s a huge BeeGees fan. This analogy was just gonna happen.)

    Keep on Powering thru, my Pack-Men!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tim!!! Welcome back to the Power House my friend!! (Ignore that. Tried something new, don’t like it.)

      I may or may not own these. I acknowledge that they exist but otherwise they are blanks to me.

      But (Sunspot) who (Sunspot) is (Sunspot) their (Sunspot) mysterious (Sunspot) leader!?!? We had to read it to find out!

      Sunspot and Magma are both either ten years older than Katie or forty years younger than her…There are too many (Sunspot) mysteries to solve!!

      Wait, are you saying that this might be a cousin Oliver situation? “We aged the Power kids up to much and now they are not adorable. Send in a new kid!”

      Hmmm, I never thought about a fifth child before…clever idea. I don’t like it, but it is still clever. Man, my Power Pack preconceived biases are showing up aren’t they?

      I think that the main thing is that the writers can’t math. No, they can’t math well at all. X Force is ten years in the future and Cannonball has lots of grey in his hair. Now this is possible, but Sam would be like 26 now. Sure, there are some rough looking 26 year olds, but the aging inconcenientcies are holding a parade in these books.

      Until next time, Tim, power forth! (No, don’t like that either.)


      Liked by 1 person

    1. That is very cool! I find that looking at other people’s work and gaining inspiration from it is a great idea. I do it myself all the time. See a thing, use it as a starting point and see where it takes you in an entirely new way.

      Liked by 1 person

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