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Bill Sienkiewicz 1984: The New Mutants #18
Glynis Wein: Color

From the very first page of New Mutants #18, with the bedspread blended into the Demon Bear, you know that this is going to be something special. And not only did Sienkiewicz give us a Demon Bear that was truly terrifying, but this is also the issue we are introduced to Warlock via an interlude. What a tour-de-force!

Bill recounts his start on the title in an interview with Comic Book Resources:

I think I started to feel more in touch with the parts of the bear. I never felt I could have done a real bear. It was something that felt bigger than life. It was not bound by the conventions of light or shadow… or physics. It was an emotional element. I think that it was really liberating.

Chris Claremont came to me. He asked me if I wanted to do the Demon Bear story. He said he thought I’d be great for that. I was offered the X-Men after I left Moon Knight. I turned it down because I felt like it was too high profile of a book. Today people kill to be able to do that book. But I felt that I didn’t want to do another group. Moon Knight to me — even though it was one character — was a group, dealing with all of his multiple personalities.

When Chris gave me the plot outline I felt like I was going to play with it. Somewhere along the line, he asked if I’d like to do this on a little more regular basis. I said, “Yeah, I’m having fun.” So I felt like while I was deciding what I was going to do next, I would do the New Mutants. The main thing is, I felt I could play around a lot.

And that was a plus. We got letters. We probably lost as many people as we gained. We had some people writing in saying, “This is amazing, this wonderful, it’s really changed” to “Stop him, Jim, before he kills again.” Flip the coin and you’d get as many responses [for as against]. [T]he thing I liked about it, it wasn’t apathetic. It was polarizing. I tended to appreciate that.

Man when I was a kid, this blew my mind- Probably why mainstream superhero art rarely appealed to me, Bill kind of fucked my brain:)

Read these as a kid & fell in love with Sienkiewicz’s art & the new mutants. Met him a few years ago at C2E2 & had him sign a couple of those New Mutant issues. He was crazy nice, & super patient while I gushed.

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