Firestar #2

Issue Date: 
April 1986
Story Title: 
The Players and the Pawn!

Tom Defalco (writer), Mary Wilshire (pencils), Bob Wiacek (finished art), D. Graziunas (colorist) Tom Orzeccowski & Buhalis (letterers), Ann Nocenti (editor), Jim Shooter (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

Months after Angel starts attending the Massachusetts Academy, she is kept away from the other mutant students by orders of Ms. Frost. Besides Ms. Frost, Angel is pretty much alone except for her personal bodyguard Randall and her favorite horse, Butter Rum. The other mutant students have resentment against Angel, thinking she is stuck-up because she will not associate with them. The White Queen has many plans for Angel, named Firestar by her in this issue, intending to groom her into an assassin. She starts to induce Angel’s mind with nightmares and horrid images of the X-men and Xavier, to cause Angel to fear and hate them. At the school dance at the Massachusetts Academy, with the New Mutants in attendance, Angel meets Cannonball. After they decide to take a walk, Angel has her first kiss with him, as Frost yells at her through psi-link. Fearing she put Sam in danger, Angel runs to the stable, which quickly catches fire. Trying to save Butter Rum, the horse collapses and dies as soon as it is clear of the flames. Believing that she killed Butter Rum and started the fire Angel starts to break down emotionally with a fear of herself and her powers, with no one to trust but the White Queen. The White Queen started the fire and telepathically killed the horse, knowing that eventually Angel will belong to her body and soul.

Full Summary: 

Angelica Jones is now a fourteen year old student at the Massachusetts Academy. As she rides her favorite horse, Butter Rum, her care taker Randall tells her it is time to rein it in. Her free time is almost over. Calling him a spoil-sport, she begs for a couple more minutes, as her and Butter Rum were just getting started. Randall tells her to suit herself, but she does have a training session in thirty minutes and he thought she should shower first. Miss Frost doesn’t appreciate it when her students smell like horses, he adds. Angel admits that she doesn’t want to upset her, so Randall tells her to stash Butter Rum with one of the stable hands, and get a move on to the main campus. She agrees, and after a five minute walk up-hill, Randall asks her that she really does love that old horse, doesn’t she? She admits she sure does, next to him and Ms. Frost that horse is her only other friend on campus. He agrees, as he thinks the poor kid is so lonely, and she’s been here for four months, but Ms. Frost keeps her away from all other students.

They enter the administration building, then quickly proceed to the reserve elevator for employee use only. As Randall’s key allows them to enter, they are soon whisked away to the vast underground complex which very few of the school’s population even know about. Asking if she is ready, Angel says yes, asking how she smells. He tells her fine, the deodorant soap works wonders. After he slips his mask on, she punches the access code for the training center.

Angel notices that she is early for her training as Frost is in the middle of another session. She is happy to be able to see what the other students are learning. Emma belts out that Jetstream has ruined the entire exercise, calling him a clumsy oaf. She adds that he first dropped Catseye too soon before actually colliding with Thunderbird. Jetstream apologizes as Emma shouts the next command to Catseye ordering her complete her transformation before hitting the floor. Catseye turns from girl to cat-girl telling Emma ‘Am trying Missy.’

Angel is excited to them in action, knowing the are the Hellions and mutants just like her. She recalls Ms. Frost’s promise that if Angel practiced real hard on her powers, she might make the team someday. Emma in psi-link shouts she has had enough; she is bitterly disappointed in today’s session. She conjures a small mind blast across her students as her way of inspiring them to do better next time. Realizing Angel was there she turns, her bitter face now turned sweet. She tells Angel she is happy to see her wearing the bracelet she has given her. Angel replies it so beautiful, she would never take it off. Emma is pleased.

Catseye asks ‘why that pretty person here?’ Jetstream tells that he had always thought she was a regular student but now he knows she’s one of them. Roulette offers she must be one of the ‘special cases’ one of the dangerous ones enough to rate her own bodyguard. Thunderbird notes he’s seen her around and she seems awfully shy. Empath believes she is just stuck up. While her teammates gossip over Angel, Tarot holds her head thinking they must have really screwed up this time for Ms. Frost to be so angry. She’d never stay there if this kind of treatment was a normal occurence.

After the Hellions leave the training center, Emma has hooked up wires over Angel , trying to asses the true nature and limits of her mutant abilities. From above in the control room, Frost tells her to begin the breathing exercises like she had taught her. Going easy, trying to concentrate slowly drawing the power that lies deep within her. Angel starts radiating like before, as Frost reassures that she is doing just fine. Frost’s assistant reports that Angel is incredible, as she generates an intense field of microwave energy surrounding her entire body, but she’s just barely tapped the surface of her natural potential.

A look of contempt comes across Frost’s face while she is pleased that Angel may prove to be on of the world’s most powerful mutants, and she belongs to Emma. She asks Angel if she can feel the power crackling around her, telling her to draw it in, bathe in it’s wonder. Now she asks her to focus on the magnetic plate which slowly moves towards her. As the plate moves towards Angel, Emma tells her to lift her arms and push towards the plate by using her energy as if it were a solid object. as she encourages her with sweetly, she tells on her assistant to activate the hallucinator now .

Pushing the button as he is commanded, he lets her know it is done. Emma is pleased once more, seeing the bracelet on Angel’s wrist pulsating with energy. Angel thinks to herself she has to concentrate real hard to make Ms. Frost proud of her. as she forces herself to push harder and harder, she notices something happening, an image is appearing on the plate. She sees the image take shape slowly until it forms the figure of a evil twisted face. (Unknown to her it is Charles Xavier’s face) She fears that the evil face is of a man that wants to harm her. She will not let this happen, as she pushes her energy harder.

Emma notes that she is reacting to the hallucination as planned, telling her assistant to proceed with phase two. As commanded, he does, and with a crash a figure busts through the wall. The figure that is unknown and frightening to her is actually Wolverine. With a snikt of his claws he threatens that playtime is over for her, she is facing the real thing now and he means business. She is terrified asking who he is and what he wants. As he leaps for her, she knows that his claws would rip her apart. She screams, warning him to get back as the figure suddenly blows up with a loud explosion. A tear falls from her eye as she fears that she has killed him, accidentally blasting him with her microwaves.

Approaching her Emma reassures her that she did not kill him, and by looking at his remains he was only a robot, an elaborate test to see how she could handle a life-threatening situation. She warns that the current anti-mutant sentiment in this world, she must learn how to defend herself. While she did well today, her control over her powers is still to erratic for Angel to attend group training, and until further notice, she will continue to be privately tutored. Looking away with hurt, Angel agrees. As Angel solemnly walks out, Frost’s assistant reports of a problem. While the monitors were registering all the energy Angel created, but as the robot blew up they recorded no energy even existed. Calling him a fool, Emma tells him not to bother her with such dreary details. As she thinks to herself, especially when since the robot self-destructed - this was an elaborate test, but one she only knows its true nature.

Later in Pitman Hall, on of the larger dormitories, Thunderbird tells his friends to check it out, the school is actually having a dance next month. Empath adds he supposes they all have to attend, as Catseye asks ‘music not fun time?’ Angel walks by and notices the Hellions in their civilian clothing and is afraid to face them after the way her training exercise went earlier. Thunderbird greets her, telling they were waiting on her. Now they know that she is one of them, they would like to know her better. They were going to a movie in town and (Catseye adds ) ‘Pretty person come too?’ She confesses she’d love to go but can’t. Empath cuts her off saying he’s right, teacher’s pet doesn’t want to associate with them. She thinks she’s too good for us, Empath shouts down the hallway as she walks away upset. She wonders how she could ever tell them the truth, because of her dangerous power, Ms. Frost won’t allow her to go off grounds without proper supervision.

In her private room, Angel sits in her chair, head in hands in deep thought. She doesn’t know what to do while the mutant students think she’s stuck-up and she can’t make friends with any of the human students either. Looking at her M on her palm, she recalls the times when she thought it meant she was special. Now she knows it’s the mark of the mutant, and she can’t stand to look at it. Hating being different, she picks up her father’s framed picture. She believes that he is afraid of her, and that’s why he had sent her to this awful school. She know understands why normal humans hate mutants, they are freaks and monsters. as she covers her face again, now on the floor, she hates the power she can feel growing inside of her, she even hates herself sometimes.

At that time, in a different school, Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, the New Mutants are just finishing a training session. Sunspot yells up to his friend Cannonball telling him to stop showing off - the session’s already ended. He knows claiming he is just too keyed up to relax. Wolfsbane asks Mirage if she has noticed the way he’s has been acting lately. Mirage wonders who hasn’t explaining that he still has a crush on Magma. Amara asks shocked why her. Magik adds that she should be flattered - Sam is cute. Magma thanks her, but jabs that she really doesn’t need her opinions.

From the control panel, Nightcrawler reports to Xavier that there is a small problems with the New Mutants, a terminal case of puppy love. Xavier notes his statement, and he’ll look into it ,a little side-tracked. Storm notices this asking if he is okay. He confesses, for some reason that he has been thinking of that poor girl who had tried to recruit a few months back, he believes her name was Jones. When Nightcrawler asks if she is the one that Frost beat them to, Xavier replies that is exactly why he is haunted. The fact that he could not prevent her from falling into the hands of such a creature as the White Queen.

Later that night, in the underground complex beneath the Massachusetts Academy, Frost calls Sebastian Shaw via video screen. Shaw notes it is always a pleasure to hear from her, and trusts that she and her young charges are well. Telling him he can relax, Frost explains her call is to update him on the progress of one of her more intriguing students. Her name is Angelica Jones, but she will soon be referred to as Firestar. Shaw recalls reading her file report with interest. Frost informs him that Angel’s body is constantly absorbing microwave energy from her environment, and she can project this energy in various ways. When she asks if this poses an interest to him, Shaw recognizes that Angel is a natural assassin. She could fry her victims from the inside out and be long gone before an autopsy could reveal the cause of death. Considering the long range goals of the Hellfire Club, Frost knew he would be pleased. Frost confesses that she’s already begun to ‘adjust’ Angel’s mental attitude for such future duties.

Even as they speak, the hallucinator is attacking Angel’s subconscious. In Angel’s room, her bracelet with her name across it glows brightly. Frost continues that it will fill her with images she will learn to fear and hate. By the time she is done with her, she will be lonely, bitter, and ready to strike back at the images who have tormented her. That is when she will be taught to kill. Angel tosses and turns in her bed, her head is filled with frightening images she does not recognize but fears. (Xavier, Cyclops, Storm, Wolverine)

Three weeks later, Angel walks across the hall in school uniform holding her books tight to her chest. She notices some commotion at the end of hallway and she goes closer to investigate. She notices something posted on the wall, unable to make it out. In front of her, a male student asks a girl (possibly Roulette) if she is going to go. She replies of course she will go, only a total nerd would miss the this shindig. It will be the event of the school year. Angel realizes it is only a flyer for the dance, she had forgotten it was approaching.

A familiar voice asks her what she is doing he, asking if she is actually thinking about of attending a social event with mere common folk? She turns to notice Manuel, Empath. He tells her to face it, she won’t be there, and no one will even miss her. Defensive, she states she might just go after all. Empath asks her what Ms. Frost will have to say to that? The crowd that has gathered starts to clear away as the Roulette asks if ’Red’ has no come back? Then she loses. They laugh and disappear down the hallway. Angered Angel doesn’t care what Ms. Frost will think, she is determined to go to that dance, and nothing is going to stop her.

The next day, in training Angel is floatig above the White Queen and Randall in a Hellions uniform. She is excited and shouts down that she’s doing it, she’s actually flying. Correcting her, Frost adds in point she employing her microwave energy in a manner which simulates flight., but it shall do for now. Excited Angel confesses that she doesn’t care, she loved it, she asks what Randal thought. Randal tells her she is looking good.

Frost congratulates her on her progress being far more remarkable than she would have expected. Frost is pleased. Angel thinks now is her chance, while Frost is still pleased with her. She asks, if she could maybe ask her a favor. Angel admits she really wants to go to the dance next Friday, and asks if she is allowed. After she says please, Frost gives in with the promise that she will be extra careful. Angel jumps up in the air with a ‘yahoo’ as she swears to be good.

As Angel runs excitedly for the door, Randal starts to ask if it was a good idea to let Angel… He is cut off. Frost snaps at him asking how dare he question her judgment? That she has scrambled the brains of men for far less of affronts. Randal begs, meaning no disrespect. Frost tells him to consider himself lucky that Angel appears to hold him in some regard, and she feels extremely forgiving today. allowing him to go on with his miserable brain intact. Trembling Randal thanks her. Frost thinks to herself Firestar will go to the dance because she desires her to go. There will be a few interesting guests that she is anxious for Firestar to meet.

At Xavier’s school, the New Mutants have something to ask of Xavier. Sam explains they’d all got invitations to a dance at the Massachusetts Academy, and they really want to go. Emma Frost’s school, Xavier asks, reminding them of their recent experiences with the White Queen, the Hellions, and the Hellfire Club. Roberto assures him they have not forgotten, but they don’t believe Frost would try anything while her own students are attending.
Wolverine adds he does not like the idea, that putting yourself in your enemy’s hand when you have nothing to gain. Roberto jokes he wouldn’t mind ending up in the hands of some very pretty co-eds. Illyana points at him telling him to be quiet. Storm stands for it, claiming the young ones need to be exposed to more social situations. He can’t simply keep them in their nest forever. Colossus agrees and volunteers to chaperone, Xavier finally agrees to let them go. As the New Mutants cheer, they leave the room. Xavier tells Storm he must be mellowing in his old age, claiming he would have never let the original X-Men go. Storm tells him change is always good when it is tempered by wisdom and experience. As she walks out, Xavier asks her to check in and see how the Jones girl is doing.

Friday morning at the Massachusetts Academy stables, Angel is talking to Butter Rum. She really wishes she could model her dress for the dance for him. It is such a beautiful dress and Ms. Frost even helped her pick it out. Feeding him, she adds she knows her Daddy would be so proud to see her in it. She notices the keepers are awfully busy this morning, she wonders what is up. Angel asks one where they are taking all the horses. To a horse show down South but they will be back in a few weeks, he answers. When Angel asks if Butter Rum will be going too, she finds out Frost has ordered him to stay. Hugging Butter Rum, she adds Ms. Frost is so thoughtful, knowing how much they’d hate being separated. She bets Ms. Frost is the kindest person in the world.

That night, at the dance, Frost greets Storm and Colossus, telling them how pleased she is that they and their students could come. Storm drinks some punch, and thanks Emma for inviting them. Colossus conveys Xavier’s regrets for not being able to attend. Frost understands, and she laughs to herself thinking while they try to shield their thoughts from her, she can sense beneath their calmness that both are prepared to spring into action at the first sign of trouble. In the background Illyana and Dani talk, both wearing nice formal dresses. A beautiful blonde girl grabs Roberto’s arm, wanting to see his fancy dance steps. Telling her sure, but to give him a sec, he notices Sam standing by himself as usual. Glad that he is not still mooning over Magma, he notices Sam has found someone new. It is Angel, in a beautiful yellow dress, nervously playing with her hair. Nudging his friend, Roberto tells him she’s cute and he should ask her to dance. Out of his depth, Sam is unsure, and afraid she will say no. Literally pushing his friend towards the girl, Roberto adds if she says no, then he will just ask someone else. Sam nervously says hello, as does Angel.

Watching his friend start to dance, Roberto is pleased at the match he made; the girl seems to tie with Sam in the shyness department. While trying to dance, they step on each other’s feet. A near-by couple notices them, and the girl asks if they are dancing or trying out for the kickball team. Her partner admits they’re no Fred and Ginger. Stopping, Angel admits she was never good at dancing, and she has only danced with her father. Sam assures her he isn’t that good a dancer either. Stuttering he offers to go for a walk instead. Angel would like that, but from afar, Frost plants thoughts into their head ‘Yes it is a beautiful night for a walk’ Sam parrots that it is a beautiful night for a walk.

Sometime later, Angel tells Sam of her father as they walk along a path. Her father specialized in nuclear power plants, they were forced to move from town to town whatever town was the site for his new project. Barely able to settle into a school before she had to move to the next, she never really made any friends. She continues she was very close to her grandmother though before she passed on. She still can’t believe she’s gone, she was always fussing over Angel, trying to build her up. They are now underneath a tree. Angel tells Samof her grandmother telling her of the M on her palm, claiming she had exceptional talents. Sam recognizes it seeing the letter M, he notices that he has one too. Angel notes that his looks a lot like hers, as she thinks she ahs never met anyone so kind and gentle as Sam, feeling totally at ease with him. Sam nervously tells Angel that he really likes her. Slowly as if being pushed by a gentle insistent breeze, they find themselves drawn closer together. They kiss, as Angel is excited having her first kiss. The White Queen quickly snaps at Angel through psi-link. She demands to know what Angel was doing, putting the innocents boy’s life in danger. Angel breaks away from Sam and starts to run away. Sam calls out to her asking her what is wrong, telling her to wait. He wonders what he did to scare her like that. As she runs Angel knows Ms. Frost was right, she might have somehow hurt Sam with her microwaves. She runs toward the stable.

Wanting to be alone, she enters the stable, wondering how she could have been so stupid and careless. She thinks if anything happen to Sam because of her, she would never forgive herself. Suddenly fire starts in the stable crackling as she hears Butter Rum ‘whiney’ in fear. She screams out to him, as a student runs back to the dance reporting there’s a fire, the stable is in flames.
Illyana offers they’d better get Storm and Colossus. Agreeing, Dani warns for her teammates to stay together as it could be a ploy to get them separated. Rahne asks where Sam is, as Roberto notes that he doesn’t see him or his new ‘girlfriend‘. Outside the students rush to the stables as someone screams out that there is actually someone in there. They recognize Angel as she appears trying to save Butter Rum. As soon as they are clear from the flames, the great horse starts to convulse, violently gasping for air. Angel screams, asking Butter Rum what’s wrong. He collapses, as she screams out „NO!" She runs away again saying that she killed him, it was all her fault. Sam tries to reassure her she had done her best to save him, but she is too distraught to hear what he says.

Soon Frost finds her sobbing on a tree. She tells Angel she has been searching all over for her. Angel looks up, afraid, she tells she didn’t mean for that to happen, she loved Butter Rum. Frost knows this, telling Angel to calm down, and everything will work out eventually. Angel asks if she is angry with her. Frost replies of course not, she puts her arm around the frightened child. She tells her it isn’t her fault she can not control that awful power inside of her. She tells Angel to put herself in Frost’s hands, and she will ensure nothing like this will ever happen again. Begging, Angel asks please, she needs her. Frost thinks to herself perfect; whenever Angel thinks of the horror of this night, she will remember Frost as the only one who comforted her. Others will be associated in her mind with fear and hatred. Even though it was Frost who pre-set the fires and telepathically stopped the horse’s heart beat. She knows from here on Angel will be hers, body and soul.

Characters Involved: 

Angelica ‘Angel’ Jones / Firestar

The White Queen
Randall (Angel’s bodyguard)

White Queen’s assistants

Catseye, Empath, Jetstream, Roulette, Tarot Thunderbird II (all Hellions)

Various human students at the Massachusetts Academy

Colossus, Nightcrawler, Professor Xavier, Storm, Wolverine (all X-Men)

Cannonball, Magik, Magma, Mirage Sunspot, Wolfsbane (all New Mutants)

on screen

Sebastian Shaw (The Black King)

In Firestar’s forced nightmares/ hallucinations

Cyclops, Professor Xavier, Storm,Wolverine

On Firestar’s picture

Bart Jones (Firestar’s father)

Story Notes: 

The New Mutants first encountered the White Queen and the Hellions in New Mutants #15-17

Tarot’s hair is colored black in this as opposed to her normal reddish-brown.

Catseye’s speech was always odd, as she was abandoned by her parents at an early age because of her mutation. She was raised by cats, with one as her surrogate mother. She had an phenomenal IQ. (Stats revealed in back page files of New Mutants #31.)

Issue Information: 

This Issue has been reprinted in:

Written By: