|New Mutants Special Edition # 1|| || |
Issue Date: 1985
Story Title: Home is where the Heart is
Staff: Chris Claremont (writer), Arthur Adams (Penciller ), Terry Austin (inker), Buhalis & Orzechowski (Letterers), Christie Scheele (colorist), Ann Nocenti (editor), Jim Shooter (editor-in chief)
After his humiliation at the X-Men’s hands, the Norse God Loki plans revenge on them, as well as using their team mate, Storm, to replace the thunder god, Thor, and thus help secure Loki’s bid for the throne of Asgard. He orders the Enchantress to abduct Storm and her companions, unaware that those happen to be the New Mutants at the moment. Magik tries to teleport herself and her friends out of the Enchantress’ prison but, thanks to the magical wards in the place, Illyana stays behind and the others get scattered through time and space. The enchantress brings forth Magik’s dark half, gives it independent being and has it chase down the other New Mutants. Karma finds herself in a desert and intends to die, when she finds herself cast in the role of reluctant protector to a little girl. Cypher becomes a slave in a Viking meadhall. Wolfsbane meets and falls for an intelligent wolf prince but is quickly captured by the Darkchilde. Sunspot finds himself in an Asgardian tavern and befriends the Warriors Three but he, too, is eventually captured by Magik. Mirage saves a flying horse from a trap and forms a bond with the animal. She is invited by a woman named Mist to join her and her sister, who are all caretakers of those horses. After some time, Dani learns that something is odd about these women and that they want her to take part in some ceremony and flees with the horse, Brightwind. Cannonball becomes lost in the dwarf realm and befriends their king after saving the queen’s life. They are soon attacked by Dark Elves, among them Magma, whom they have brainwashed and turned into one of their own. The dwarves manage to restore Magma’s mind, though not her body, and, together with Sam, she learns that Loki is the one who has captured Storm. Warlock has an encounter with Hela, goddess of death, and goes in search of the others, just in time to save Cypher from Darkchilde’s attack. Together, they find Karma at the edge of the desert, months after she first ended up there, the strenuous trek having turned out to be the diet from hell. Joined by the other New Mutants, they face Darkchilde and her prisoners, eventually overcoming her as Karma possesses her. They attack the Enchantress next and, after the Darkchilde essence is rejoined with the imprisoned Illyana, they defeat the enchantress, imprisoning her in Limbo. The New Mutants find that several of them have unfinished business in Asgard and that they still have to fight Loki for Storm, so they decide to go back.
Asgard: Hlidskjalf, the high seat atop a cliff. From there, Loki, Asgardian god of mischief and evil, gazes through the crystal of vision to behold a replay of the recent battle in New York between the Asgardian host, the heroes of Earth and the demon hordes of Surtur. Loki is fascinated with one warrior in particular: the X-Man, Storm, who, despite the loss of her powers, bravely holds her own against the hordes of Surtur. Loki admires both her beauty and her courage, sensing within her a passion too long denied after the loss of her weather powers so similar to those wielded by his “doltish half-brother,” Thor. What price, he wonders, would Ororo pay to get them back, to become a goddess in fact, as well as in name?
He calls Amora, the Enchantress, to his side, telling her he has a task for her. Amora is displeased and protests that she is no lackey. With a grin, Loki tells her that he as generous a friend as he can be implacable a foe. Which would she prefer him to be? A friend, Amora gives in. Loki orders her to journey to Midgard and bring him the woman shown in this orb. He adds that Ororo’s companions have done him grievous hurt, but he has sworn to leave them in peace. Amora has sworn no such oath, though… So he asks her to capture them and be inspired in her choice of torture, before disposing of them… Amora leaves and Loki gloats: revenge on his enemies and the throne of Asgard will both soon be in his grasp…
Kirinos, a lovely Greek island paradise, where Storm has taken the New Mutants for a vacation after their last gruelling adventure. Carrying a breakfast tray trough the streets, Ororo is greeted by a vacationing couple – Remington Steele and Laura Holt – and they exchange some pleasantries. Steele inquires after Miss Manh and Ororo tells them she is as well as can be expected.
Ororo enters a darkened bungalow and tells Shan that he has brought her breakfast. The other woman slaps the tray aside and shouts for Ororo to take it away. She switches on the light and tells Ororo she’d rather starve than to endure the rest of her life looking like this. In the months that she’d been possessed by Amahl Farouk, the perverted telepath indulged all excesses in her body, turning it scarily obese. She’s a freak, Shan complains, how can she ever face her siblings like that? She’d disgust them! She disgusts herself. She’d rather die. Ororo angrily shouts, “no,” urging the younger woman to fight. To give in would mean giving Farouk his ultimate victory. It’s so hard, Shan sobs and Ororo comforts her, telling her she knows.
Across the island, the other New Mutants are enjoying themselves at the beach. Sam and Amara are taking a swim, Dani takes Rahne conspiratorially aside and Warlock, disguised in the form of a young man and dressed in a female swimming suit, marvels at the sight of the ocean, asking Illyana for an explanation. Illyana diplomatically points out that the swimsuits Amara and Dani are wearing are really not his style. What he wears should conform to human society as well. Warlock thanks her and, as she turns around, Warlock now wears a copy of Illyana’s micro bikini.
Illyana joins Doug lying at the beach, telling him she’s almost afraid to look at Warlock. It’s pretty funny he agrees, but he doesn’t want to laugh at Warlock, he’s had that done to himself too often. He marvels at the strangeness of being a New Mutant, part of this life is a dream and others a nightmare. Considering the way others talk about mutants, he feels he is being made to seem evil. Illyana agrees, it’s a rotten situation but they are stuck with it. They can’t give up their powers or change the world. Too bad they can’t find themselves another world, Doug sighs, while Roberto shows off with a perfect dive.
Dani and Rahne have, in the meantime, scaled the cliffs and are watching the others from above. Rahne tells Dani that they are alone and Dani sets her plan into motion. Suddenly, Amara finds herself attacked by a huge sea serpent, while an avalanche falls towards the others on the beach. Amara shifts to her lava form attacking the serpent, while Sunspot tries to pulverize the rocks, touching nothing, and Cannonball makes the same experience (Almost crashing into the cliff as a result). Illyana orders Warlock to protect Doug while she summons her Soulsword. Suddenly, they hear laughter as the avalanche and the monster disappear and Dani and Rahne join them. It was all an illusion.
Dani explains that they are a long way from the Danger Room and they have to maintain their combat edge. Roberto angrily protests: they aren’t the X-Men: They’re not meant to look for trouble. But what if trouble finds them, Dan retorts. They have to be able to defend themselves. Their lives aren’t normal, she concludes, and, as long as she is team leader, she’ll do her best to make sure they’ll all come through okay. Doug interrupts their argument pointing to the sky. A storm is appearing out of nowhere. The mutants run to their bungalows within the village, joining Storm and changing into their uniforms. Warlock tries to take a closer look at the storm, but is hit by lightning, which scrambles all his circuits. Cannonball flies up to catch him and he notes with worry that Warlock is hardly glowing anymore, indicating that he’s in a pretty bad way. Illyana announces that her Soulsword is glowing and it only responds like this in the presence of sorcery – or demons.
As if on cue, demon riders appear from the heart of the storm, attacking the mutants. The mutants’ powers do them no good, as one by one they are struck down and carried away, save for Storm, who is teleported away to appear before Loki. She has not even time to wonder what happened before Loki encases both her body and mind in a chrysalis spell. Caught in the crystal, Ororo’s clothes change to Asgardian armor. Her fate will be made plain to her, Loki announces slyly, once his magics have ensures that she will embrace it joyfully.
Elsewhere in a dungeon, the Enchantress, surrounded by her monstrous servants, looks at her prisoners. Merely children, she realizes and not at all the X-Men she remembers. But only a fool would question the will of one who may yet sit on Odin’s throne. Loki wants them dead, so they will die. Holding onto her Soulsword, Illyana threatens that she will regret kidnapping them. Amora scoffs at the girl’s arrogance; she’d dare pit herself against the Enchantress?
Illyana smirks: another time maybe, she replies and summons a stepping disk to teleport herself and her friends way. Unfortunately, things don’t quite work out as Illyana finds that she has hit some barriers - she had to remain behind and her friends are scattered through space and time. The Enchantress grabs her by the throat and smashes her against the wall. On cue, dozens of arms appear from the wall, holding Illyana in place, as well as leeching her magical powers from her. Haughtily, Amora orders her servants to find the other mutants.
Elsewhere, Karma finds herself in the middle of a desert. No shade or water anywhere. She realizes she’s lost and decides to just lie down and wait for death.
Elsewhere again, Cypher materializes in some kind of busy mead hall. While he wonders what went wrong, a strong man grabs and slaps him. The lord of the hall tells him that he is Harald Einarson and asks him who he is. The serving wench at Harald’s side suggest that Doug may be a paladin of Asgard. They are known to materialize out of thin air and the boy’s golden hair and blue eyes mark him as Vanir blood. Thin blood, the strong man, Thigvald, jokes, pushing Doug. No son of Asgard or Vanaheim was ever that puny. Angrily, Doug shoves him back and Thigvald, considering this a challenge, draws his dagger. Harald decides Doug should prove his mettle against someone more of his size. And so, Doug finds himself facing the serving wench. Somebody hands him a sword but, while Doug still struggles with the weapon’s weight, the disappointed girl easily slaps him, announcing that he is neither god nor hero, he is less than nothing. Doug’s fate is decided. Given the collar of a thrall, he is from now on considered a slave – less than nothing.
Wolfsbane finds herself in a forest, a forest that is being searched by a group of less than bright giants. Rahne changes to her transitional form, calling for Dani via their mindlink. But she hears nothing. Suddenly, one of the giants’ hammers almost hits her and the giants start chasing her. However, they find themselves attacked by another wolf, which manages to make one of the giants stumble and bits another one in the foot, until they all fall. Rahne can’t help but laugh at their predicament and is astonished when the other wolf addresses her, telling her that he had to save her, as he was their true quarry. Rahne thanks him and he tells her she should leave, they’ll be up soon. Rahne asks where she should go and he offers her to accompany him. She hesitates but, feeling herself powerfully attracted to him, she runs after him.
Warlock appears in a dark cavern. Realizing that his “lifeglow” is ebbing, he is looking for some kind of sustenance. Suddenly, he finds himself attacked by a dragon-like creature. He agonizes over whether to absorb its life-glow (hoping it isn’t sentient), but the entity’s hostility decides matters for him him. He transmutes the monster and absorbs its life energy.
Happy and fully restored, Warlock intends to start the search for his friends, realizing that locating them will be a real longshot. In which case, he should look the part, he thinks and turns into Longshot, dressed in a New Mutants uniform. He is unaware of the masked, regal woman coming up behind him until she addresses him, asking who he is and why he is trespassing in the domain of Hela. He hesitatingly introduces himself as Warlock and asks where he is. Hel, the goddess explains, the dwelling place of those who die a dishonorable or cowardly death, who did not win a place for themselves in Valhalla. What is he then? A coward, Warlock admits, and how could he better prove this than by fleeing to seek his friends? With those words, he transforms and flies away, leaving Hela with a half smile as she marvels at Warlock’s abilities and his ignorance of his true nature. Perhaps when next they meet, the goddess of death will show him, before claiming him for her own, she muses.
Elsewhere, in a tavern, Sunspot is engaged in a game of arm-wrestling with a middle-aged warrior named Vigdal. Roberto struggles, as Asgardians are much stronger than humans, but finally turns to his Sunspot form and wins. He was cheating by using magics, Vigdal protests. Maybe he is a demon. Sunspot wonders if he is in trouble. Vigdal, in the meantime, takes his frustration out on one of the on-looking girls, drawing her to him in spite of her protests. Sunspot intervenes, telling him the lady isn’t interested. Vigdal challenges him with a self-assured grin. A moment later, Sunspot hits him straight out of the building. Battle ensues as several other men throw themselves at Sunspot. However, when the dust settles, to everyone’s surprise, Roberto is the only one still standing. Even ordinary Asgardians are supposed to be stronger that Earth-folk, Roberto muses, could it be that Asgard’s sun is somehow more powerful than Earth’s, giving him more strength as a consequence? The tavern’s owner offers him a job to keep order in his establishment and, as several beautiful ladies throw themselves at Roberto, he isn’t about to argue with the results.
Magma finds herself in a forest, surrounded by several cute-looking, fairy creatures, who offer her food and drink. Amara is touched by their kindness, but she really should go looking for her friends now, she tells them. The fairies promise they will help, but first they’ll hold a big party. Tempted by the delicious smells, Amara gives in. The food is so tasty, she gorges herself, only dimly aware that the faerie now show their true forms – as Dark Elves – and tell her that now her humanity will die.
Cannonball finds himself lost in a maze of dark subterranean tunnels. Hungry and dehydrated, he has no idea how long he has been wandering around. Suddenly, there’s light and he is discovered by a group of dwarves, who ask him what he is doing in Nidavellir, their realm. Sam politely introduces himself and tells them he’d gladly leave if somebody would kindly show him the way. Plus, he’d b obliged if they could spare some water and food. The dwarf leader asks if he can pay and decides service will do when Sam says he has no money. Suddenly, a woman’s voice calls out his name, “Eitri,” in horror, the voice of his wife, Egvanda, the dwarf realizes.
While Sam isn’t too happy about the treatment the dwarves were going to give him, he realizes that the woman screamed in pure terror. He flies into the direction it came from and fells the creatures attacking her. Horrified, he sees blood and corpses all around, even dead children. He tries to grab a weapon, but finds it’s too heavy. An enormously ugly creature called Throff the Terrible knocks him aside. Sam retaliates by cannonballing into him. He then runs toward Egvanda, crouching in a corner with a baby, unaware of the warrior with a spear begin him. He flies towards Eitri, carrying the woman and the child. The spear already in his back, he sinks down before the dwarf king.
Mirage finds herself on a seemingly endless grass plain. Suddenly, she hears a horse’s whiney. She runs towards the noise and finds a winged, white horse caught in a bog and trapped with barbed wire. Horrified at the sight, Dani carefully starts to disentangle the scared animal. She marvels at the animal’s beauty and wonders who could have done something so cruel. The more she is with him, the more she seems to feel his pain, kind of like the link she shares with Rahne.
Exhausted, she manages to drag the freed horse out of the bog, only to find herself faced with a group o riders, who demand she hand over the horse. Over her dead body, Mirage replies grimly. Armed with a lance one of the men rides towards her. Instead of dodging the lance, Dani grabs it and pulls the surprised rider out of his saddle, a little trick she learned from her grandfather. Then she knocks the fallen rider on the head with the lance. She tries to scare the others off with an image of their fear: a larger than life image of Hela, goddess of death. The men are afraid but one of them keeps his wits and points out correctly that they are Hela’s servitors. They are doing her bidding, so why should she threaten them? The girl is doing this.
He tosses an axe at Dani but, surprisingly, it is caught by a young woman on another flying horse. She contemptuously tosses the axe back at them and tells them they’d better depart while they are still able. Frightened, the men obey. Dani thanks the woman and introduces herself. The other woman realizes that Dani is mortal and advises her to step away from the horse, it might be dangerous. Not to her, Dani states. She feels they’ve known each other all their lives. The other woman introduces herself as Mist and tells Dani that her sisters and their herd live nearby. She invites Dani to join them.
Back in the Enchantress’ dungeon, Amora turns her attention back to her prisoner. She wants to learn more abut Magik’s abilities. With a gesture, she turns Illyana into an infant. With another she intends to turn her into a crone, but finds it doesn’t work, Illyana remains a teenager. Amora is intrigued: sensing Illyana’s power and capacity for evil, she asks why she doesn’t give in to it, while running two of her sharpened fingernails down Illyana’s cheek. Illyana refuses. Nevertheless, she will serve her, Amora assures her. Holding onto Illyana’s forehead, Amora pulls free Illyana’s dark half and gives the Darkchilde a physical form. With another spell, she clads her in Asgardian armor and states that she will lead her nightgaunts in pursuit of Illyana’s fellows. Best of all, she continues, the avatar not only possesses Illyana’s magical might, but whatever wounds are dealt to the Darkchilde will instead be reflected on Illyana. To demonstrate her point, she runs her nails down Darkchilde’s eye and cheek, but the injury appears on Illyana’s face instead.
In the desert, a dejected Karma finds she still isn’t dead. Instead, she is waked by noise. Before her, she sees a little girl running for her life, chased by a giant sand demon. Gambling that the creature has a large enough brain, Karma possesses it. The creature resists, but Karma doesn’t give up, finally driving the monster away. The little girl runs to her for comfort and asks her to protect her and bring her home. Shan finds that the child reminds her of her younger siblings. She cannot abandon an innocent, despite her certainty that they are both doomed and vows to try.
Harald’s hall: covered with grime and dirt, Doug is doing scullery service and hates every moment of it. To impress a skinny, plain-looking woman Thigvald trips him. Doug falls and the entire slop he was carrying lands in Harald’s face. Angrily, the lord reaches for a whip, eager to teach the boy a lesson. Suddenly, Darkchilde, ahead of a group of demonriders, rides into the hall. She orders the others to slay any who keep them from the boy and starts killing herself. Doug recognizes her as Illyana and can’t believe that this happening. He crawls under the table and sees Harald dealt a mortal wound before his eyes.
Dougs jumps out the window, terrified. He realizes now this isn’t a game, this is real and people are dying. Wondering to where he should turn to, somebody taps his shoulder. It’s Warlock, who has finally found him. Doug hugs the alien in relief and Warlocks states that his scanners also indicate the presence of Illyana. She’s changed, Doug warns him. Darkchilde catches up with them. Warlock instinctively hits her, as suddenly she reminds him of his evil father, Magus. He grabs Doug and flies away. Doug reasons that the Enchantress has sent the demons after them and that they have to find the others first, before the demons do.
Elsewhere, the talking wolf shows Wolfsbane his home, a lovely wood. Rahne compliments him and the Wolf changes to a half-human half-wolf form, as does Rahne. Can he become human, she asks? He’s a prince of the wolves, he explains, no more. A prince? Rahne is awed. She’s just a girl. The loveliest he has ever beheld, the prince replies as they move closer to each other. She doesn’t quite believe him, until he starts caressing her. With a start, she remembers her friends and runs away in fear, even though she wants to stay.
Elsewhere, the Warriors Three – Dashing Fandrall, Grim Hogun and Volstagg the Voluminous – renowned Asgardian warriors and good friends of Thor, enter the tavern where Sunspot works. Volstagg demands food and drink and he wants to see the gnat who is said to have strength to rival Thor’s. Said “gnat” leans behind a table with a lovely lady in each arm, mocking Volstagg’s girth with the words, “now this is what I call fat!” Seeing Sunspot, Volstagg smiles indulgently, considering him just a child. Angry, Sunspot challenges him. Volstagg suggests a simple challenge. He sits down on a chair and tells Roberto to lift him up. No problem, the boy replies changing to his Sunspot form.
He tries and tries and tries; finally, with his last amount of strength, he lifts the self-styled Lion of Asgard up, greeted by much cheering from both the crowd and Volstagg himself. Sunspot himself can’t believe he did that and wonders how badly he just hurt himself. Volstagg doesn’t help with his enthusiastic bear hug and the suggestion that they celebrate this enormous feat. His two friends are curious, though. They’ve noticed Sunspot’s skin-color, which doesn’t exist in Asgard, but is common enough on Midgard. They suspect he is mortal and wonder how he came here. Volstagg, in the meantime, raves about the marvels he will show the boy and Sunspot suffers silently.
In Nidavellir, Cannonball is recovering from the spear wound and is now an honored guest of Eitri and his family. He’s impatient, though, and has had enough of lying on his back. Eitri’s pretty daughter, Kindra, who has taken a shine to Sam, urges him to be patient and, soon enough, Sam is recovered enough to sit up. He tells Eitri what happened to him and his friends and the dwarf asks him about his intentions. He’ll go after his friends, once he’s fit enough, Sam replies. He could stay with them, Kindra suggests and find a home here… Sam blushes. Eitri explains that, in happier times, an appeal to Lord Odin would have settled the matter, but with his disappearance after the Surt war, the very fabric of the realm has begun unravelling. His people, the dwarves, are beset by Dark Elves, followers of Malekith, who intend to conquer them, so that the dwarves will forge weapons for them to overthrow the gods. Eitri has little love for Asgard, but he will not see his people enslaved.
Suddenly, the cavern wall melts and in steps Magma, attacking; a Magma who has been turned into an elf. Sam flies towards her, deflecting her lava bolt. Other elf warriors follow Amara. Eitri grabs a fire extinguisher and uses it on Magma, dousing her flames. Sam, in the meantime, grabs a table and uses it as a shield, driving the other elves back trough the hole in the wall and then collapsing it. Eitri thanks him and gives orders to bind the fire elf in cold iron. Sam asks him not to hurt her, she’s his teammate. Amara denies this, uttering wild threats. Eitri tells Sam that the dwarves know spells as well. They may not be able to restore his friend’s body, but at least her personality. He gives Sam a hearty slap on the back (unfortunately, straight onto the wound). Sam’s less optimistic. He doesn’t know what happened to the others and how to help Amara or Ororo. He just wishes some grown-up were around to take the load from his shoulders.
Mirage, in the meantime, has been taken in by Mist and her sisters. She happily flies on her horse, which she has named Brightwind. Noticing some riders on the ground, she swoops down, intending to ask if they have seen her friends. The riders flee in panic and Mist intercepts her, telling her those people can’t help. However, she doesn’t answer when Dani asks why those men fled. They return to the stronghold and Dani wonders why, suddenly, those women are keeping things from her. Entering the fortress, she notices they are discussing her inside a room and eavesdrops. One of the women, Axe, angrily exclaims that Dani shouldn’t be in their keep, much less ride one of the sacred horses. Mist replies that the horses choose their riders. It doesn’t matter where Dani came from, she is truly chosen. Another one decides that the Norns have entwined Danielle’s fate with theirs, the bond must be sealed in blood. Dani doesn’t know what they have in mind for her, but doesn’t want to stick around to find out. She gets Brightwind and flies way.
In the desert, Karma, still fat but no longer that obese and with longer hair, sits vigil, wondering not only where but also when she is. Has Illyana perhaps transported her to the ancient past or the far future? She notices movement caused by a small reptile. She possesses and kills it, taking it with her to the makeshift tent, scavenged from some dead, same as her sword where the girl is asleep.
Sunspot is still in the tavern, enjoying himself. This is the life, he thinks, no worrying about school, about his father joining the Hellfire Club or his mother never being around or his power hurting anyone. Asgard is his fondest dream come true. If only his friends were by his side. He should be searching for them, but doesn’t even know where to start. He’s told the Warriors Three, at least, hoping they can help. His train of thought is interrupted, as the Darkchilde enters the tavern. Roberto gets up, alarmed. What’s wrong with her? What does she want? Him, she replies. With a spell, she encases him in a suit of eldritch armor, turning him into the Enchantress’ slave.
Loki has taken the still-hypnotizised Ororo outside Nivaldehir. He has no wish for others to see her already. So, using Freya’s enchanted cloak, he changes her into a falcon, which he carries with him. He instructs her to watch and learn, to love this realm the better to help him rule it.
Inside Eitri’s hall, Amara has her personality back, if not her form. She is desperate. Bound body and soul to the faerie folk, a return to Earth would destroy her. Sam promises he’ll help, but Amara explains that she is beginning to forget her old life. How can she return to her old self, if she has forgotten it?
Loki enters the hall, greeting Eitri. The dwarf returns the greeting with a slight, calling Loki “second son of Odin.” Loki has a commission for the dwarves: a hammer, the equal of Mjolnir or Stormbreaker for Asgard’s new Thundergod. And what happened to the old one, Eitri asks sarcastically. Loki explains that the alien Beta Ray Bill has returned to his people and Thor’s heart belongs to Midgard, instead of the Golden Realm. Suddenly noticing Sam, he raises him into the air. A bit tall for a dwarf, he mocks. A spy? An idiot nephew, Eitri quickly explains, the product of a union between a dwarf and an Aesir, hence his height. Loki toys with the though of killing the boy, as he dislikes skulkers, but since Eitri’s daughter seems fond of the boy he’ll spare him. Now he has done Eitri a kindness. Will he return the favor? Having no choice, the dwarf king agrees and Loki teleports away content.
Kindra tells the others that Loki was carrying a magic falcon, but Freya’s cloak of transformation is golden, the bird should be as well. Black feathers, white crest, blue eyes… could the bird have been Ororo, Sam wonders. Is she Loki’s prisoner? Then he has indeed a task before him, Eitre warns him. Sam apologizes. If not for him, Loki would have had no leverage against the king. He would have gotten his ways somehow, Eitr replies. This time, though, it’ll cost him dear. Nobody threatens him and his people in his own hall. Whatever Sam needs in his enterprise, Eitri will provide it.
It is night in the forest and the wolf prince howls sadly. Rahne returns to him, curious. Why is he crying? Because he missed her, he replies. He asks her to come home and share his life. Turning to her human form, Rahne runs away, crying and confused. Just thinking of him makes her heart ache, but isn’t this wicked? Must she deny love? “Poor wee lass,” a mocking voice tells her: Darkchilde has caught up with her and imprisons her in a suit of armor, the same as Sunspot. The wolf prince watches in horror and anger.
The fringe of the desert: months must have passed, for Karma is now thin, sinewy and muscular (not to mention that she has much longer hair). She cannot believe her eyes as she finally sees a stream and green grass. They have made it. Suddenly, something flies by them and then lands in front of Karma. It’s Warlock and Doug. Shan enthusiastically greets them. Doug wonders about her changes: that must have taken months, but Warlock and him have been in Asgard for barely a week. Illyana must have scattered them through time, Shan agrees. She would have given up if it hadn’t been for her companion. Suddenly, the girl is gone, though, and, instead, a bit of white string is knotted around Shan’s finger.
Warlock alerts the others. Illyana is closing in and Roberto and Rahne are with her Shan asks for an explanation and Doug just tells her this is really bad. Depends one one’s point of view, the Darkchilde states and tells Shan that the string is the sign of the three Norns, Uld, Skurd and Verdandi; fate, being and necessity. Apparently, they took pity on Shan. She continues that she is to bring them to their mistress, the Enchantress.
Shan draws her sword and assumes a battle stance. She’s been a slave once, she states grimly. Never again. Darkchilde charges at them and Warlock surrounds Doug, like a battle armor, enabling them to fight together. The fray is joined by Cannonball and Magma, thanks to a dwarf soothsayer of Eitri’s, who guided them to their friends and they join the fight. As does Dani Moonstar. From above, she simply sees a demon attacking Shan and lets loose an arrow, recognizing too late that the demon is Illyana. However, no weapon exists which can do this form harm, Darkchilde states, and captures Amara and Sam in suits of armor. She is about to do the same to Karma, but Warlock smashes the armor first. Now it’s the four of them against an entire army. They have no chance, the Darkchilde tells them and advises them to yield.
Elsewhere, the Enchantress watches the proceedings via a scrying crystal. She is unnerved. Danielle Moonstar is mortal and yet she has become one of Odin’s choosers of the slain – a Valkyrie. Those warrior women are immune to her enchantments. Danelle’s soul cannot be stolen. Therefore, Amora orders Darkchilde to kill her. Dani gets ready for a fight, but Karma interjects, wanting to try something first. She uses her power on Darkchilde and the Enchantress’ scrying glass shatters in response. She wonders what happened to her demon, but calms herself. As long as she has her body, Illyana is no threat. She grimly realizes that Karma, too, has become an implacable foe after her ordeal in the desert. She, like Moonstar, must die.
The following morning, one of Amora’s servants enters her bedchamber, excitedly telling her that riders are at the gate. Her demon horde returned triumphant. Amora agrees and orders him to tidy her bedchamber first, then kill himself for entering without knocking. She wonders whether to make the mutants her servants instead of the trolls and already schemes to use them against Loki. However, at that moment, the mutants shatter their suits of armor and attack. Karma managed to free them after all. While the mutants fight her troops, Amora escapes.
Especially Doug is happy that, joined with Warlock, he can finally actively participate in a battle. Karma, in the meantime, takes the possessed Darkchilde down the dungeon – a hard task, as she feels the demon’s essence corrupting her. She remembers her experience with Farouk and wonders how Illyana can bear to live with this evil as part of her being. A troll guard stops them and hits Darkchilde’s head with a battle mace before Karma can react. Another troll comes up behind Karma and she instinctively stabs him through the guts with her sword, realizing, too late, that Illyana’s evil is affecting her
Having arrived, she is at a loss for words as she sees the real Illyana horribly injured, as all wounds Darkchilde received were reflected on her. Fortunately, the joining with her Darkchilde half banishes the injuries. Much better, Illyana states, as Shan crouches beside her. She just wishes she could banish the memories and… other things as easily. Suddenly, Shan is hit by an eldritch blast. The Enchantress has arrived, telling her that her wish is granted in death, as she attacks Illyana next.
Fortunately, the New Mutants crash through the wall: Amara creates minor volcanoes, Moonstar distracts Amora with an illusion of the firedemon, Surtur, Sunspot hits her and Karma finally possesses her long enough to force her to remove the wards that keep Illyana from teleporting. A moment later, they are in Limbo, the magical domain Illyana rules, where they are greeted by the demon S’ym. Illyana create a pair of manacles for the Enchantress and leaves her to S’ym’s tender mercies. She tells him that she isn’t to be physically harmed. Beyond that, he should use his imagination.
She triumphantly shouts that they won while the other mutants catch up on what happened and wonder what to do next. Cannonball interrupts the celebratory mood when he reminds the others that they have unfinished business. Ororo is still Loki’s prisoner. Illyana suggests they teleport to Earth and call the X-Men. Sunspot protests: they can save Storm as well. And maybe some of them don’t want to go home. He, for one, is happy in Asgard. Dani surprisingly adds that leaving Brightwind behind would break her heart. Rahne would like to say good-bye to her prince, Amara feels she has no place on Earth as a fairy and Karma is curious why the Norns helped her. Sam can’t believe he is hearing all of this, but he tables the discussion as long as they all agree on saving Storm. Amora bitterly shouts that this is a fool’s quest. They are no match for Loki. Better that they have tried. Dani clenches her fists and grimly states that Loki started this, but they will finish it, whatever the cost.
Cannonball, Cypher, Karma, Magik, Magma, Mirage, Sunspot, Warlock Wolfsbane (all New Mutants)
Unnamed serving wench and other members of Harald’s hall
The wolf prince
Vigdal, an Asgardian Warrior
Tavern owner and guests
Eitri, King of the dwarves
Egvanda, Eitri’s wife
Kindra, Eitri’s daughter
Axe, Mist and other Valkyries
Fandrall, Hogun, Volstagg /Warriors Three
Nightgaunts and other servants of the Enchantress
Three giant brothers
Hela, goddess of Death
Throff the Terrible and other trolls
This story takes place between New Mutants #34 and 35.
The story is continued in Uncanny X-Men Annual #9.
Loki wants to revenge himself on the X-Men after the events of the X-Men/Alpha Flight Limited Series (Strangely enough, he doesn’t attempt any revenge on Alpha Flight).
Storm helped fight the hordes of Surtur in Thor #352
“Midgard” is the word the Aesir use for “Earth”
Remington Steele and Laura Holt were the main characters in the 80ies romantic crime show, Remington Steele. It was also the role that made later James Bond actor Pierce Brosnan famous.
The Enchantress briefly met the X-Men in Dazzler #2 and presumably also ran into them during Secret Wars.
Harald, Thigvald and his love seem to be based on Popeye, Bluto and Olive Oyl (and, among the guests in Harald’s hall, one man looks suspiciously like Conan the Barbarian)
Longshot wasn’t associated with the X-Men at that time (he was only just being introduced to the Marvel Universe at that point). Warlock turning into Longshot was just an in-joke, as this issue’s artist, Arthur Adams, and X-Men editor, Ann Nocenti, were the creative team behind the character and his limited series.
While it isn’t specifically mentioned within the story, Dani’s link with Brightwind is probably a result of her empathy with animals (a power she rarely displays apart from her rapport with Wolfsbane).
This Issue has been reprinted in:
X-Men: Asgardian Wars (Trade Paperback)
X-Men Legends Vol. 3: Arthur Adams Book 1 (Trade Paperback)
Essential X-Men Vol. 6 (Trade Paperback)
New Mutants Classic Vol. 5 (Trade Paperback)
Issue Summary written by: Ruth