icon_uk: (Doug)
icon_uk ([personal profile] icon_uk) wrote in [community profile] scans_daily2010-06-08 11:24 pm

Death Week - The Death of Cypher

I'm indebted to [personal profile] proteus_lives whose scans of these from a posting way back were easier to find on my hard disc and edit than digging out my copy of New Mutants #60. There are just over 5 pages from a 40 page issue here.

Summation of events to date... Sunspot and Warlock had left the team after Bobby had run away from school after accidentally nearly crippling Sam, and Warlock had left with him to make sure he was okay (Why Warlock would leave Doug and co like that is never adequately explained, I've said it before and I'll say it again, I LIKE Louise Simonson's writing on other titles, her Power Pack was awesome, but her New Mutants issues just plain never worked for me). They end up joining the Fallen Angels gang for a while, but eventually leave to come back home.

Meanwhile, bereft of his selfsoulfriend (and also his protection in battle situations), Doug is on something of a downer, his inferiority complex kicks into high gear, and even his somewhat unexpected relationship with Rahne is suffering because she is spending all her time fussing around a new friend "Birdbrain", humanoid bird creature who they helped release from captivity. He's basically having a REALLY shitty few months..


The team end up visiting the island in the North Atlantic where Birdbrain hails from. There they find a cut price Dr Moreau/insane genetic engineer, known as the Ani-Mator (Don't know why there's a hyphen in there) who has been creating human/animal hybrids called Ani-Mates because... well, because he's an insane genetic engineer.

In their efforts to free the Ani-Mates from their insane ruler, the team find themselves also under attack by the Smile-Faces, the shock troops of Cameron Hodge's anti-mutant group "The Right" who had just been revealed as the main villains of the "Fall of the Mutants" arc. Turns out they had been financing the Ani-Mator to try and find a genetic "cure" for mutant births and are disturbed by his freakish experiments, which they decide to wipe out.

The New Mutants help Birdbrain rally the Ani-Mates to free themselves from both Ani-mator and the Right. Doug has been ordered to stay out of sight amongst some rocks as there are a lot of machinegun bullets flying around and he has no protection. (Technically neither has Mirage, but her powers are at least some sort of protection)

Then the cavalry arrives unexpectly....




Simonson never quite got the hand of Warlock-speak IMHO. His friends were selfriends, Doug alone was given the title selfsoulfriend after he used his own lifeglow to kickstart a dying Warlock in Asgard. He was usually consistent about it.

This unfortunate fellow is the Ani-Mator



And the saddest part is yet to come...



After all that he had seen and done, all the lives he'd saved, Doug lies dying alone and unnoticed in the melee... surely it can't end like this?

A couple of pages later, the fight is over and the team gathers to celebrate beating the Right and freeing the hybrids.



Tragically it IS too late, and after facing off against Magus, Spiral, Legion and alien space pirates, Doug Ramsey is killed by a deranged human with a handgun.

And by the time they find him, it IS too late and he IS dead. The team are heartbroken, well, apart from Magik, who is BEYOND pissed off, and instantly teleports the Ani-Mator and ALL the remaining Smile-faces to Limbo where they will either be torn apart by the technorganic demons there, or converted and turned into monsters themselves.

The Ani-Mates are coming to terms with their freedom, and based on Ani-Mators deranged notions believe that wearing clothes are what makes you human. Sam disagrees with this, and offers an alternative theory;



I can't quite express how depressed this issue made me. I'd been baffled by Cypher when I first read him being on the team, "What an absurd power" I thought, but the character almost instantly won me over by being everything I wanted from a hero, and being a delightfully normal guy other than his facility with languages.

He was the most vulnerable of the New Mutants (Well, Mirage, Wolfsbane and Sunspot are just as bullet-unproof as Cypher was) and so killing him didn't actually prove anything other than "People are vulnerable to bullets", which most of us had already worked out.

And thus began 24 years of consistent deadness, only recently reversed.

char: cypher.doug ramsey, char: warlock, char; cannonball/sam guthrie, char: sunspot/roberto dacosta, char: wolfsbane/rahne sinclair, char: mirage/dani moonstar, title: new mutants, creator: louise simonson, creator: brett blevins, event: death week




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