Psycho Loves Jerkass: Laura and Julian (Part IV): Interruptus
Our look at the complicated relationship between X-23 and Hellion in Craig Kyle and Chris Yost's New X-Men concludes: everybody goes to Hell, another couple's drama viciously intersects with theirs, poor Julian gets traumatized some more, and then everything ends unresolved.
We left off with Laura and Julian teaming up to save Mercury from the Facility. On a quiet night afterwards, various idle conversations are happening around the Mansion. Surge talks with Hellion about that escapade.
Also, Paco Medina, the artist for the majority of the preceding posts, departed to work on New Warriors (featuring, incidentally, Julian's ex Sofia, albeit in a massively revised form; long_silence insists she was a Space Phantom), and art for the next two arcs was taken over by Skottie Young, whose style is, er, very different.
So he still doesn't know what to make of her.
Then the Mansion blows up and gets sucked into Limbo, the hell dimension that Magik is from. Belasco, the now-returned demon lord, wants Magik, and since the New X-Men were the last people to encounter her (back in a House of M story pre-Kyle & Yost (they know their continuity), he drags them there to ask them (of course, they don't remember anything about the House of M). Belasco kills Surge's boyfriend David as incentive; Elixir revives him, but he doesn't do this before Trance, one of the other students, manages to send a message to the surface.
Hellion and Surge go about looking for a way into Hell; meanwhile, Laura dies.
And comes back...
...and dies some more. Elixir revives her himself after that one.
You would expect this to be a source of spiritual angst in most characters, but Laura takes it in stride. I guess she's just not philosophical enough to worry about those sorts of things (Dust's best efforts to bring her over to Allah notwithstanding).
As for the rest of this arc, they defeat Belasco, and Surge is confused to find David still alive upon arriving in Limbo. He declines to talk about being dead, and the rest of the students clam up. Well, mostly...
Can I just say I love Mercury's random red ballcap here?
Surge isn't happy with this, though Laura soon finds her kindness in graphically describing David's murder gets an ill return (oh, and since it comes up in these next scans, the kids are also trying to determine who the youngest mutant at the school ("on the planet", as they put it) is, on the theory that that person is going to die next; no it doesn't make sense, but Emma ascribes it to their belief that they're all going to die soon).
Is Laura going to slice a bitch? Find out next issue.
As an aside, the justification for why Surge is acting like this:
She's trying to push him away; this succeeds, as David breaks up with her and uses the Stepford Cuckoos to meddle with his mind and become a badass. Then he beats up Julian, who is really having a run of bad luck.
Before that, Mercury heads after Laura, and Dust goes after Julian.
At the end of the issue, Laura is seen hanging out with Dust and Mercury.
Then we head into the Messiah Complex crossover, where Julian must suffer some more. The New X-Men go after the Purifiers, the guys who murdered so many of their friends, only to run into some unexpected trouble.
Oh, and we have another drastic art change, this time to Humberto Ramos; the best that can be said for his contributions here is that it's better than some of the stuff he was doing on Carey's X-Men shortly before.
Next issue in the crossover, by Mike Carey and Chris Bachalo:
Random lettering error aside, nice moment; the kids escape using Pixie's magic. Julian ends up in the hospital (Elixir's out of action at the moment thanks to a falling wall). Later, when Laura joins up with Wolverine's new X-Force to find Cable, they run across Lady Deathstrike again.
Oh, and Ramos is back.
Deathstrike stays absent for about a year, publishing time, before getting rebuilt by Spiral.
And that's, more or less, where the story ends. New X-Men got rebooted at the end of this crossover with a different creative team and mostly different characters, an exercise that was, in retrospect, the biggest waste of the line reboot. Kyle & Yost headed off to X-Force, taking X-23 with them (as well as, eventually, Elixir); Hellion spent a while in the background, and has recently shown up in both X-Force (which teased his being killed to piss off X-23 again, though he seems to have avoided that; verdict's still out on Surge) and the "Utopia" crossover between Uncanny X-Men and the Dark Avengers.
Kyle and Yost rarely drop anything, though (particularly when it involves Laura, their creation), so I expect they'll revisit this topic at some point.