Firestar #4

Issue Date: 
June 1986
Story Title: 
Now strikes the assassin!

Tom deFalco (writer), Mary Wilshire (penciler), Steve Leialoha (Inker),Tom Orzechowski & Buhalis (letterers), Daina Graziunus (colorist), Ann Nocenti (editor), Jim Shooter (editor-in chief)

Brief Description: 

With Angelica present, Emma Frost almost becomes the victim of what seems to be a sniper attack – actually a set-up to make Angelica believe in the menace of the Black Queen. After some more training, Emma invites Angelica to a formal dance at the Hellfire Club. She and Shaw intend to use Angelica as an assassin against Selene that evening. Firestar’s bodyguard, Randall Chase, becomes suspicious of Frost’s motives. Snooping around, he learns the truth but gets caught before he can tell Angelica. Emma Frost makes her believe that the Black Queen’s agents killed Randall. When she mentions that Selene will also attend the ball, Angelica practically begs her to be allowed to be present to protect Ms Frost. The evening of the ball, Angel phones her father to make peace with him. Randall has finally escaped from his captors. Fatally hurt, he still manages to tell Angelica the truth before he dies. Furious, she confronts Frost in her underground complex and cuts totally loose with her powers, humiliating Frost and making her promise to never come after here. Afterwards, Firestar detonates the underground complex and returns to her father, more confident now, as she knows that she can control her powers and always could.

Full Summary: 

With a warning cry, Emma Frost pushes young Angelica Jones to the ground, a moment before sniper’s fire comes though the window. Several guards run into the room, asking if Ms Frost is all right. Someone tried to kill her, Frost explains. Luckily, she caught the sniper’s thoughts a moment before he started shooting. The guard, Stein, promises to have his men scout he school grounds. A waste of time, Emma declares, as she touches the injury on her forehead. She’s already mentally scouted the area. The assassin is gone. The name of his employer was clear though – the Black Queen.

Angelica’s private bodyguard, Randall Chase, comes running, inquiring if his charge is all right. Angelica wishes to know who the Black Queen is and why she wants Ms. Frost dead. Frost tells her it’s all rather complicated and asks Randall to escort Angelica back to her dorm.

After Randall and Angelica are gone Stein gleefully remarks that everything went according to plan. Not quite, Emma hisses, as she hurts him with a psi-blast. This was his responsibility. He should have thought to hire a marksman who wouldn’t have scarred her with a piece of flying glass.

Angelica tells Randall that this Black Queen must be a monster. She’d be dead now if it weren’t for Ms. Frost. Randall outwardly agrees but is suspicious. But he’d never convince Angelica. She practically worships Frost. Nevertheless, he wonders how that killer snuck onto their grounds without being spotted. They’ve got more security here than most missile bases. Inside the dorm, another student, Roulette, asks what the ruckus outside was. Some firecrackers, Randall tells her and asks her to go back to bed.

Inside Angelica’s room, Randall asks if she is ok. Angel tells him she’s actually worried about Ms. Frost. He doesn’t know how much she means to her. It’s been almost three years since she’d discovered she was a mutant. She still remembers the fear in her father’s eyes. She felts so alone but that’s when she met Ms Frost, who offered to train her. It wasn’t easy for her but she never gave up, not even when Angelica accidentally killed her horse, Butter Rum.

He can’t imagine how alone mutants feel in a human world. Does he remember when they tried to visit her father and she was almost torn apart by a crowd of mutant haters? Ms. Frost said that mutants have to take care of their own and she’s right. What is she saying, Randall asks. Angelica continues that she hates the thought of turning her microwave powers against another living being. But she’ll do what she has to protect the people she cares about. She shows him the bracelet Ms Frost gave her as a symbol of the love they have for each other. She swears on that love she won’t let the Black Queen harm her.

The next moment her dresser blows up, thanks to the microwave energy she was throwing around. Ashamed Angel wonders what Ms Frost would say.

Perfect, Emma Frost states, watching the display on a screen. The image of Sebastian Shaw appears on another screen. He notices her good mood and states that she must believe Firestar has actually a chance of successfully completing that first mission for them. An excellent one, she replies. What’s troubling her, Shaw asks. Emma states that, since Firestar was expendable, she never permitted her to form bonds with any of her other mutant students. But, so much time and effort went into training her, she just wishes she could get a little more use out of her before sending her on a suicide assignment. That can’t be helped, Shaw replies as they end the transmission.

Walking the halls of the Manhattan chapter of the Hellfire Club, Shaw wonders if Emma actually feels something for the girl. He walks past Selene’s quarters and the Black Queen asks if he likes the new gown she bought for their fancy dress ball. Shaw pays her the expected compliment, while secretly gloating about the surprise they have in store for her.

Two weeks later, in the secret underground complex of the Massachusetts Academy, the White Queen runs Firestar through another test sequence. Flying, she easily evades the missiles or blasts them. Suddenly, Ms Frost enters the room. Worried about her, Angelica doesn’t pay attention, almost gets hit and falls. Emma helps her up and chides her about her lack of concentration. In an actual combat situation, this carelessness could be fatal. But she was in danger, Angel protests. Emma explains that the training room has been programmed to ignore her presence. She is completely masked from its sensors.
She then commends Angel on her progress and announces that she deserves a reward. Does she wish to accompany her to the fancy dress ball in Manhattan next week? Angel loves the idea of being taken to a formal dance happily tells her bodyguard, Randall. He’s less enthusiastic and wonders if it is really wise to leave the protection of the school so soon after an assassination attempt. Is he questioning her judgement, Emma asks icily. Of course not, Randall assures her, but he remains suspicious, wondering if Angelica is in any danger.

A few nights later, he meets a colleague from operations in the bar and buys him a few drinks to loosen his tongue.

Later, he walks home shocked by what he has learned. He now knows that Frost plans to use Angel against the Black Queen. What should he do? The reasonable thing would be to remain quiet but he can’t just let Angel go off to her death. Frost is a telepath. She could be reading his mind right now. “You are right,” a voice announces and, a moment later, Hellfire guards are upon him, while Frost announces that he has outlived his usefulness.

Early the next morning,Angelica waits outside her dorm. Randall usually always escorts her to morning class. Another girl tells her there was a call. She is wanted in the headmistress’ office.

Emma tells her that she received some bad news. Late last night, Randall discovered that the Black Queen had a mole. He managed to learn the man’s identity but the information cost him his life. As Angel cries bitterly, Frost explains that the Black Queen is also going to attend the ball at the Hellfire Club. There’s bound to be trouble, so perhaps Angel should not come. Angrily, the girl tells her that now she has to come more than ever. Someone has to protect Ms Frost. Seemingly reluctant, Frost finally gives in.

A few days later, Angelica walks the fields, wondering about what’s going to happen when she meets the Black Queen. The meadow brings back memories of her horse Butter Rum, who died because of her powers. How can she use them against a human being, she wonders but decides that in this case, she must. Suddenly, she notices that the wall next to her has melted. Even with all of Ms Frost’s training, she still hasn’t full control she realizes and runs away.

A guard sees her running and wonders what she’s doing here. He returns to the shed he’s guarding. Inside is the badly beaten Randall Chase, who still hopes to somehow get free. That night, another guard brings his dinner. As he steps inside, Randall has managed to free himself of the rope and takes the man’s gun. The other guard comes running in and shoots him. Randall shoots back. His blood-loss is enormous but he tells himself that he can’t give up, as he crawls up the hill towards the school.

Inside her room, Angelica is now wearing the new dress for the party, her mood somber. She could be dead the next day. She runs outside to the dorm phone and calls her father, telling him that, while he never accepted the fact that she’s a mutant and that while he’s afraid, she still loves him. She hangs up before Bart Jones can reply, but he smiles.

Angel return to her room and a hand clasps over her mouth, as Randall tells her not to scream. With his last strength, Randall tells her the truth. How Frost meant to set her up as her private assassin. She was the one who killed the horse, not Angel. He begs her to run away. She can’t fight Frost. With those words, he dies and Angel cries out in rage, as she tears off the bracelet Frost had given her.

Meanwhile, Emma is impatiently waiting for Angelica to join her. They are due at the airport. The chauffeur offers to get her. Barely three minutes later, a guard tells Emma that Randall has escaped, while the chauffeur returns to announce that he’s found Randall’s body in Angelica’s room plus her bloody gown.

Frost finds that she can’t locate the girl telepathically. The crowd at a nearby baseball game provides too much of a distraction. She’ll need the mutant-scanner in the underground center.

Frost enters the complex to find that all the men in the control room are unconscious. Suddenly, she senses Firestar, only to be hit by a microwave burst the next moment. Angelica stands before her, dressed in her Firestar costume. Frost realizes that she knows everything and tries to subdue her with a mind blast. Before she can strike, Firestar uses her microwaves to heat the floor Frost is lying on.

Back at the Hellfire Club, Shaw is impatiently waiting but Emma hasn’t yet arrived. Selene walks down the steps mockingly asking if he’s been waiting for someone special. Never missing a beat, Shaw replies he has been waiting for her and offers to escort her to the ball.

Back in the underground complex, armed Hellfire mercs attack Firestar but, with the heat she’s generating, their bullets can’t reach her. Then she melts their guns and topples them over.

She flies straight after Frost, screaming that the woman was only using her. Frost announces that’s not true, as she runs towards the training room. She taught her how to survive, while everybody else abandoned her. Within the training center, she activates all the weaponry at its maximum level. All weapons are trained on Firestar but she doesn’t car, as she makes short work of all of them. Awed by her power, Emma tells her that she’ll never be able to control all of that power without any help. She needs her. She enters the elevator and presses the lock button. Firestar just blasts through the walls, announcing that she doesn’t need Emma. She never did. She walks towards the trapped woman, announcing that Frost wanted her to learn how to kill. She may just get her wish.

She touches Frost’s face and the woman screams, believing the girl to have scarred her face. Actually, she hasn’t. Firestar merely heated up the air molecules to give Emma a feel for what her microwaves could do to her. Why is she doing this, Emma demands. Because she hurt and betrayed her, Firestar shoots back. She just wants to be left alone. Done, Emma quickly agrees and promises she won’t have to ever fear her again. Not so fast, Firestar states. She’ll seal this bargain her own way, just so Emma won’t ever forget Angelica deliberately chose not to kill her. She starts to glow and tells Frost to run for her life. Moment later, the entire complex explodes.

A few hours later, Emma has convinced the fire department hat a faulty boiler was to blame. Shaw has joined her. Emma suggests that, while she has promised to leave Firestar alone, that doesn’t mean he couldn’t… Shaw decides against it. They’ve already wasted enough time and effort on this child. They’d better concentrate on rebuilding her complex. Revenge can come later, if at all. Still, he wonders, where she could have gone…

Back at the Jones’ house, a newly confident Angelica tells her father that the more she cut loose the more she realized that she’d always been holding back. She finally realized that she could control her powers and always had been. It just takes a lot of work. And now she can start getting on with the rest of her life. Bart tells her that he’s glad she decided to give her old man one more chance. He’s missed her. As they hug, he promises that they’ll find a way to make it together.

Characters Involved: 

Angelica Jones / Firestar

Randall Chase (Firestar’s bodyguard)

Bart Jones (Firestar’s father)

Black King / Sebastian Shaw, Black Queen / Selene, White Queen / Emma Frost (all Hellfire Club)

Hellfire Club mercenaries

Story Notes: 

Firestar joins the New Warriors several years later.

She eventually makes her peace with Emma Frost in Generation X #59.

Issue Information: 
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