New Mutants (1st series) #1

Issue Date: 
March 1983
Story Title: 

Chris Claremont (writer, co-creator), Bob McLeod (penciler, co-creator), Mike Gustovich (inker), Tom Orzechowski (letterer), Glynis Wein (colorist), Louise Jones (editor), Jim Shooter (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

The New Mutants gather to watch their fellow teammate Karma get an unwanted make-over from their teacher Stevie Hunter. Making a joke, Psyche accidentally uses her mutant power and pulls horribly real images from Karma's past of her parents getting killed and her and her siblings being kidnapped by Thai pirates. Enraged Karma attacks her until Sunspot pulls her off. Sorry and upset Psyche leaves the room and wanders through the mansion and comes across the X-Men's quarters. Later the New Mutants are summoned by Professor Xavier to the Danger Room for their first Danger Room session. Their mission is to simply cross the room. Cannonball, Wolfsbane, Sunspot and Karma fail and when it's Psyche's turn, she runs away in fear. Wolfsbane later finds Psyche on the Xavier Estate by using her wolf tracking senses. Wolfsbane tells her that she wishes she could stay in wolf form forever. Not so happy with her powers, Psyche tells Wolfsbane how she showed her family their deaths and that the school was her last hope. Leaving her to herself, Wolfsbane joins the other New Mutants and leave the school for an outing to the mall. They are spotted and followed by two agents of Project Wideawake. Dani however, returns to the mansion and sneaks back into the Danger Room, where she activates the test sequence designed for her. Although the program involves robots that can not be affected be her mental power, Dani accomplishes what none of the others could do and crossed the room. However, she is suddenly zapped by a ray from behind and when she comes around, she is once more in the Danger Room, in an X-Men training scenario involving a huge monster, and the safety protocols have been switched off. Meanwhile Moira MacTaggert and Illyana Rasputin meet Israeli Ambassador Gabrielle Haller and learn that she has an autistic son with psi-powers. She needs help, but doesn't want Xavier to get involved as he is unaware of being the boy's father.

Full Summary: 

At Charles Xavier's School for the gifted youngsters the New Mutants Sam Guthrie, Roberto DaCosta, Danielle Moonstar, and Rahne Sinclair are gathered to watched their dance teacher Stevie Hunter give Xi'an Coy Manh a new hairstyle. Xi'an is embarrassed by her fiends watching and asks Stevie if this is even necessary. Stevie replies that Xi'an is a lovely woman and she needs a hair style to match; her old one was plain awful. Rahne Sinclair states that her hair will never be pretty as it never seems to grow. Roberto DaCosta quickly implies that her hair suits her perfectly as its color is as fiery as her spirit, and he kisses the back of her hand. Rahne blushes and wonders to herself if Roberto likes her. Stevie thinks to herself that Roberto is a real charmer but is concerned about Rahne's feelings as her fundamentalist Scots upbringing made her terribly innocent and vulnerable.

(partially flashbacks in holographic images)
Poking fun at Roberto, Danielle Moonstar says that she wishes Roberto would look at her the same way, begging sarcastically for Stevie to perform her "wizardry" on her as well. Xi'an is now laughing and feeling more at ease, but all of the sudden Danielle's psi- powers react with Xi'an's mind. Danielle is a mutant whose powers are to create life like three dimensional images from a persons subconscious such as their greatest fear or love. Without warning Danielle's powers plucks forth the images of Xi'an's mother, father, brothers and sister. Xi'an stares on in disbelief as the next image shows her family fleeing from war torn South Vietnam and her father being shot down. The next image depicted when the family was kidnapped by Tai pirates in the South China Sea. Her mother did not survive the ordeal, and Xi'an in a desperate attempt to save her younger siblings, suffered through some hard times at the hands of the pirates.

Overcome by the grief and horror of re-living her past all over again in the course of a few seconds, Xi'an lunges toward Danielle, calling her a monster. Stevie Hunter tries to pull Xi'an off and to calm her rage, saying that was an accident. Xi'an uses her mutant power of possession to stop Stevie, taking full control of her body and mind.

Roberto acts quickly and smacks Xi'an off Danielle as he holds her back tears well up in her eyes. The shock breaks her concentration, releasing Stevie from the mental possession. Danielle tries to re-assure Xi'an that it was an accident but Xi'an cannot believe her as she asks what will happen next time when she lays bare their souls. Xi'an threatens that she could possess Danielle to make her rip out her own heart to know suffering, but that she can't.

Comforting Xi'an, Stevie suggests that Dani take a walk and the others let Xi'an be alone for a while. Roberto wants to go find Dani, but Sam says that she probably needs time alone too.

Feeling horrible for her lack of control over her power and the pain it caused, Dani walks through the mansion. She thinks back to when her grandfather sent her from the mountains in Wyoming to attend Xavier's school . Xavier was supposed to teach her how to use her mutant power but instead only "gave her a stupid costume and made her life miserable". She wanders into an abandoned room (belonging to Kitty Pride) and looks at the picture on the wall. She recognizes Illyana and recalls meeting her with Dr. MacTaggert . She thinks that Illyana's a little weird . Dani concludes that this must be an X-Man's room, and thinks that something awful must have happened to them since the professor refuses to speak about them.

She continues her wandering and finds an attic. Amazed by the size of it, she thinks that it must spread across the whole mansion. The attic (where Storm lives) is covered with plants of all kinds. She notices that most are wilted and dying so Dani waters them talking to them.

A considerable amount of time later Danielle is still watering the plants and she is thinking of Shan, as she is interrupted by a telepathic message from Professor Xavier. He tells all the New Mutants to get their costume on and meet him in the Danger Room for their first training session.

Meanwhile in London, a car pulls up to the sidewalk at the Israeli Ambassador's residence. A woman and a girl get out of the car. It is Moira MacTaggert and Illyana Rasputin. Inside they are greeted by Gabrielle Haller who suggests they eat before they discuss why she has called for them. After dinner she begins to tell Moira of her autistic son about the same age as Illyana. She explains that she fears the autism is a symptom of something more serious, and that he possesses telepathy and telekinesis. Gabrielle goes on to say that she has tried everything and that Moira is her last resort. Flattered by this, Moira offers her colleague, Xavier, as his work is more practical in nature than hers. Gabrielle quickly replies that she wants Charles kept out of it. Asked for her reasons for why she wants Charles kept out Gabrielle tells the startled ladies that Charles Xavier is the boy's father.

Back at Xavier's School, in the control booth of the Danger Room, Xavier is explaining the functions of the Danger Room to his students, who are busy compliment Shan's hair. The professor interrupts and says that before they can begin training he has something else to say. Xavier tells them he understands their curiosity about the school but that it is not right to invade other people's privacy. Dani knows he is referring to her because he knows where she was when he mindcalled the students. Roberto questions about the stories he's read about the school and more importantly if they are to become the next X-Men? Quickly Professor X snaps "NO". Immediately, Xavier apologizes for snapping but says that the days of the X-Men are over and that chapter of his life has ended.

Showing the Danger Room's gymnasium mode, they are all impressed except Roberto, claiming his fathers gym is just as well equipped. Xavier then sets the Danger Room to a jungle with a holographic monster. Cannonball quickly comes up with a plan but is re-assured when they all realize it is just a holographic image. Xavier tells them that they are not ready for this advanced scenario yet and their first task is simply just to cross the room. He asks who would like to go first.

Sam Guthrie, codenamed Cannonball, enters the room and uses thermo-chemical reaction in and around his body to propel himself as if he were a human rocket. Unfortunately he flies into a rising wall and is sucked through a tunnel ending up where he began. He didn't even make it halfway through the room.

Rahne Sinclair, Wolfsbane, is next. She morphs to complete wolf form and uses her wolf senses to scout for danger. It was a good idea but the floor quickly gives way. As she grabs onto the edge the floor flips her back to the starting point.

Roberto DaCosta, Sunspot, is next up. He makes his way along the wall and is grabbed by a robot. He uses his incredible mutant ability and metabolizes the kinetic energy of the sun to gain tremendous physical strength. He punches the robot and his hand is quickly stuck inside of it. The others watch on and laugh except Danielle Moonstar, Psyche, who is filled with fear.

Karma, Xi'an, is next to go. She feels confident with her powers, having more experience with them than the others, since she already fought against and besides the likes of Spider-Man and the Fantastic Four. Her settings are "real", as the room now resembles an abandoned alley. The other New Mutants are inside as well, to "ambush" her. As Cannonball appears she quickly possesses him and directs his flying into Sunspot. However Karma is knocked to the ground by Wolfsbane, who jumps on her from behind. Karma has also failed her test.

Last to go is Psyche, who is still in the control booth with the professor. He notes that she is rather tense and asks if everything is alright, but she says she is fine. Fear overcomes her as she walks down the steps towards the Room's entrance. Combined with what happened earlier that day with Shan and her feeling of not belonging at school, she panics and runs away down the hall and out of the school.

Later, Wolfsbane finds Psyche overlooking the lake. Wolfsbane said that she followed her scent and that she has a lovely scent. Rahne explains how she can hear, smell and taste things as a wolf that she never dreamed existed. Dani tells that she is glad Rahne's power makes her happy, and that she wishes she could simply get rid of hers. Rahne asks if that is what is bothering her, and Dani asks if she could tell that by her scent. Rahne answers that she hasn't got everything with her senses worked out, and that life is so complicated that she wishes she could stay in wolf form forever. Dani tells Rahne that she would miss her. Rahne reassures her that she would never leave her friends because she didn't have any back home in Scotland. Relating to that, Dani tells how her powers drove everyone away back home. Except for her parents and her grandfather Black Eagle.

She then tells the story about pulling a nightmare out of her father's head years ago. She pulled out the image of a bear standing over the bloody remains of a palomino pony fighting off a golden eagle. The bear then killed the eagle. Dani tells Rahne that they didn't know what to make of this image at first until a week later when her father went a trip into high country with her mother and they were never seen again. Dani explains to Rahne that her mother was of the horse clan and her father was of the eagle clan and by this image she revealed to her parents their own death. Her parents had left her in the care of her grandfather Black Eagle and she pulled out the image of death out his mind as well, shortly before he got killed.

Dani tells Rahne how at first she did not want to join the school until she met the others and she thought she could have a chance at a normal life. Not only has she hurt Shan, but she also disgraced her name and heritage by running away like a coward.

Rahne tries to make her feel better by saying that she was scared as well, but Dani points out that she did not run away. Rahne tries to reassure Dani by telling her that Shan isn't mad at her and that was only upset because of the sudden surprise of it.

Rahne is interrupted by Stevie Hunter's car horn, she turns to wolf form and runs to the car leaving Dani to herself. Jumping through the car window she joins the other New Mutants as they set of on a trip to the mall. They ask about Dani, and Rahne implies that she wanted to be by herself.

As the car pulls away, it is spotted and followed by two agents in a car. One agent says to the other that they better alert headquarters about the car traveling towards Salem Center. Agent Feduniwicz reports a car registered to Stevie Hunter traveling down Graymalkin Lane with four unidentified occupants, possibly Xavier's new students. They are ordered by Henry Peter Gyrich, appearing on a small video screen, to follow them at a discreet distance and to do nothing to alarm them.

Back at the school, Danielle Moonstar enters the Danger Room control room. The professor is no longer there, and partially she is glad that she is alone, as she does not want any witnesses - wether she fails or succeeds. She watched Xavier operate the consoles and starts the program designed for her. She attempts to make it across the room, something that she was afraid to do earlier, and something that none of the team could accomplish. When she enters the Danger room she is encountered by robots, which her powers have no effect on. Dani out-maneuvers them and leaps through the exit door. She accomplished it. She passed the first test. Just then she is zapped by a beam of energy, she falls to the ground. Above in the Danger Room control room someone sets the safety interlocks off. As Dani comes around, she looks behind her only to see the same jungle monster as before, but she understands that it is not an image but a deadly reality.

Characters Involved: 

Cannonball / Samuel Guthrie, Karma / Xi'an Coy Manh, Psyche / Danielle Moonstar, Sunspot / Roberto DaCosta, Wolfsbane / Rahne Sinclair (all New Mutants)

Professor Charles Xavier
Stevie Hunter, dance instructor
Moira MacTaggert
Illyana Rasputin

Gabrielle Haller, Israeli Ambassador
Henry Peter Gyrich, National Security Council
Agent Feduniwicz and other unnamed agent of Project Wideawake

in flashbacks:
Colonel Coy Manh and his wife, Karma's parents
Tran, Xi'an, Nga and Leong Coy Manh

Story Notes: 

The New Mutants were assembled by Xavier in Marvel Graphic Novel #4 which is set two weeks before this story.

The X-Men were abducted by the Brood in Uncanny X-Men #161 and are believed dead, though they later returned to Earth in Uncanny X-Men #167.

Karma encountered Spiderman and the Fantastic Four in Marvel Team-Up #100, when they were attacked by her misguided twin brother Tran who had the same power as her. In the end she w as forced to end his life. Reed Richards referred to Xavier by in a letter in Uncanny X-Men #165.

"Xi'an" is the correct spelling of the name, "Shan" its pronunciation. Both are used in the stories.

Gabrielle Haller and her relationship with Xavier over a decade ago were introduced in flashbacks of Uncanny X-Men #161.The story bout her son will be continued in issue #26.

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