Saturday, January 30, 2010

Firestar vs. Mystique!

So it's been a couple of days since I should have finished up the last story in the Marvel Comics Presents #84 comic that we started reviewing last week.

It's only a Firestar eight-pager, so I probably could've skipped it without too much fuss. But every character is somebody's favorite, and I'd hate to disappoint all of my Firestar fans out there. Besides, it features the Blob and Mystique, and who can say no to some classic X-Villains?

At the time I bought this, I was only picking it up for the BWS Weapon X storyline, so I'm sure I never bothered with this Firestar story originally. I could be mistaken, but then I don't remember a darn thing if I did. With that said, let's just get reading...

Life During Wartime Chapter Three Triangle
  • Writers: Marcus McLaurin & Marie Javins
  • Penciller: Dwayne Turner
  • Inker: Jose Marzan
  • Letterer: Rick Parker
  • Colorist: Marcus McLaurin
  • Assistant Editor: Mark Powers
  • Editor: Terry Kavanagh
  • Editor-in-Chief: Tom DeFalco
This issue is chapter three of a larger storyline, but McLaurin and Javins give us a nice recap to bring us to speed. Angelica Jones (a.k.a. Firestar) is involved with a mysterious group called the Arms of Salvation. While her father lies in intensive care after being injured by Freedom Force, they are offering a donor lung for him as long as Firestar does something for them...capturing Mystique, the leader of Freedom Force!

To test her willingness to help them, they have prepared a simulation with soldiers who mimic the powers of the various members of Freedom Force. As she uses her powers to take down the armored members of the Arms of Salvation, the two masterminds behind the operation talk as the melee rages on. Through their conversation, we see that they are just using Firestar and her naivete for their own nefarious purposes.

Emerging victorious, but conflicted, Firestar agrees to track down Mystique if they help her save her father.

Back at the hospital where Angelica's father lies injured, Mystique and Freedom Force have arrived to stake the place out and await Firestar's eventual return. While Freedom Force gets set for an ambush, Mystique shape changes into the form of Angelica and enters her fathers hospital room.

She's not there long, however, when the real Firestar shows up. Still unsure about working with these mercenaries, she decides to spend some time with her father. What she finds is the image of herself already there!

Knowing it can only be Mystique, she bursts through the hospital window and throws Mystique to the ground outside.

Little does Firestar realize that she has walked right into a trap, for waiting for her to show up are the Blob and Pyro. Together with Mystique, that have Firestar right where they want her.


Honestly, there's not enough here to really learn much of anything. Firestar has always seemed to be the innocent mutant caught up in events and situations out of her control and that she is unprepared for. This story is really no different. Substitute the Arms of Salvation for the White Queen, and you're good to go.

She's also always had a very close tie to her family, and with her father the focal point of this story, that much is still true.

One thing I did like about this story was Mystique. I always thought she was at her best working for the government with Freedom Force. It was kinda like Marvel's version of The Suicide Squad, and I thought she was the perfect leader. She would later move over to X-Factor and do a similar thing, but having her work for the government allowed her to be played more cynically and ruthless than as an aspiring "hero".

Still, it's not a horrible little eight-pager. It's competently written, and reasonably drawn. I never got bored over the course of this chapter, and that's actually quite a compliment when dealing with anthology titles like this one.

All characters and artwork reproduced are (c) Marvel Comics

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