New Mutants (1st series) #18

Issue Date: 
August 1984
Story Title: 

Chris Claremont (writer), Bill Sienkiewicz (artist), Glynis Wein (colorist), Tom Orzechowski (letterer), Ann Nocenti (editor), Jim Shooter (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

Rachel Summers, a young woman from the future, remembers her past – in the future – where she witnessed the death of Xavier and plans to change that. When she reaches the mansion and sees Illyana however, she starts to realize that she is in the wrong timeline and runs away. Mirage is haunted by her Demon Bear in her dreams. She goes through Danger Room scenarios fighting bears and refuses to give any satisfying explanation, much to Illyana’s dismay. Remembering that the Demon Bear is responsible for the death of her parents, Dani finally decides to face it alone. She actually manages to win the desperate fight, seemingly killing the beast, but then unexpectedly it comes back to life. Notified through her rapport with Dani, Rahne wakes up screaming. Racing to the battlesite she and the other New Mutants find a horribly injured Dani. Somewhere in space a young alien named Warlock flees for his life from his incredibly powerful father, who wants to kill him.

Full Summary: 

Lying in her bed, Dani Moonstar is deadly afraid of the Demon Bear, which she fears, is out to get her.
(flashback to Rachel’s childhood several years in the future)

Lying quietly in the night, Xavier’s school suddenly is attacked by heavy artillery. A young Rachel – in her early teens – races through the crumbling mansion, protecting herself with a not too effective telekinetic shield, until she reaches Professor Xavier, sitting in his wheelchair at a window. Xavier orders Rachel to get to safety to the Danger Room and tells her he cannot accompany her. The army has completely surrounded the house. He intends to telepathically reach the commander and surrender. He tries to drag himself up to a standing position at the window, but is shot in the chest at that moment. Young Rachel stays at his side, until the soldiers pick her up as the mansion’s only survivor.

Rachel, a shorthaired, skinny, somewhat sickly-looking young woman stands in front of the mansion, remembering those events that haven’t happened yet and, if her plan succeeds never will. A police car stops beside her. Rachel quickly explains to the worried officer that she’s here to see Professor Xavier. Satisfied with the answer he leaves. Rachel quickly opens the front gate telekinetically and walks up to the mansion.
Meanwhile in the Danger Room, Cannonball, Magma and Sunspot train their powers in a battle with several mechanical foes. Sam’s lack of maneuverability almost endangers Magma, although he manages to twist aside before he hits her. Nevertheless, the display distracts Magma, enabling her robot foe to capture her and drag her up the wall. Magma melts the machine and Sam catches her as she falls, much to the amusement of Sunspot, who is aware of Sam’s attraction to Magma. Sunspot finishes off his foe and exclaims that they have won, to which Illyana and Dani, in the observation booth, reply he had better wait for Xavier’s evaluation of the exercise. Dani remarks that she doubts that Sam’s crush is reciprocated by Amara and notes, how hard it must be for her, to jump from a first century culture to modern society, something Illyana – with her own unique background – understands only too well.
Dani thinks back on her and Illyana’s teleportation trip to the future, where they saw a future, in which their teammates had joined their enemies – the Hellions. Considering, the other New Mutants had been prisoners of the telepathic White Queen, Dani wonders, if they are still trustworthy. Illyana wishes she could control her teleportation talent enough to go back in time and check, whether the White Queen did anything to their friends, but currently she doesn’t possess that kind of control. Dani secretly wishes the professor were with them – not only because of their teammates, but because of her recurring and intensifying nightmares about the Demon Bear. In her dreams, the monster is getting nearer and hungrier. Illyana wants to know what’s wrong with Dani, but Dani refuses to tell her, as – she senses – a part of Illyana is as evil as the Bear.
At that moment the doorbell rings. Shooing the pet dragon Lockheed aside, Illyana ventures to answer the door. Outside a nervous Rachel asks for Professor Xavier, who unfortunately is in Massachusetts for the day. Rachel, getting a good look at Illyana, suddenly asks for her name. Hearing it, she runs away shocked. Illyana is approximately fourteen years old, but in Rachel’s time, Illyana was fourteen, when she died, an event that’s still several years in the future. Rachel is starting to realize that something about her trip to the past has gone horribly wrong …
Elsewhere, a young strange alien awakes on a lifeless planet. He is on the run, has almost no energy left, but hopes this world can restore him, if he has the time. Time, is unfortunately something he is out of as his hunter and father reveals himself. The father – Magus - shoots a devastating energy bolt, but young Warlock flees the world in the last split-second, before the blast hits. Magus is sadistically amused. The game continues and he is sure of his victory.
Back on Earth, Dani Moonstar fights herself through biting weather, armed only with a bow and arrows, when she is attacked by bear. Dani manages to shoot it, when a second bear jumps at her from behind. With a speed born from desperation however, Dani also succeeds in nailing her second foe. Both bears and the winter landscape disappear - the whole scene was a Danger Room scenario supervised by Illyana. Magik tells Dani she’s pushing herself too far, too hard and has been doing so for days. What is she trying to prove? Dani evades, claiming that she wants to be sure that she can hold herself against physical foes. Illyana doesn’t buy it – why bears, after all ? As the two girls leave the room and the lights go out, an animal angrily growls after them.
Alone in her room, Dani muses that Illyana was angry, since she let Dani in on her secrets, but Dani refuses to reciprocate. She knows that her friends would like to help, but she feels she has to go through this alone. Dani remembers how her nightmares and visions as a child sent her parents in search of the Demon Bear – they never returned. Feeling responsible for their deaths and certain that she is the one the bear wants, Dani puts on warpaint, arms herself with bow and arrows and intends to do her warrior ancestors proud.
Stepping out of the mansion into the icy night, she calls for the Bear. The unnaturally huge monster appears. Dani ‘s first move is to try her mutant power on the monster, intending to find out what he fears. With a shock she sees, that she is the monster’s biggest fear. The beast furiously attacks the spirit Dani, giving the real one time to aim an arrow at the monster’s neck. Angrily the bear swats first her bow and then Dani aside, before grasping her in its huge paw. Dani reaches for one of her arrows and attacks the inside of the monster’s mouth with it. The injured beast loosens its grasp on her, enabling Dani to run to her weapon. She shoots another arrow into the monster’s mouth, finally apparently killing the bear. Disbelieving, but relieved, Dani comes closer to inspect her kill, when the creature suddenly opens it eyes.
At the mansion, Rahne Sinclair wakes up screaming out Dani’s name. Switching to her wolf-form, she races outside to the woods, followed by the other New Mutants, who were awakened by her scream. Rahne explains that she could feel Dani being hurt through their special rapport, but then suddenly the pain - and all of Dani’s thoughts - broke off. The Mutants can see why, as before them lies an unconscious, horribly injured Danielle in a pool of her own blood.

Characters Involved: 

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

Rachel Summers

Demon Bear

flashback to Days of Future Past timeline :

Rachel Summers, in her early teens

Professor Charles Xavier

Story Notes: 

The Demon Bear was first shown to haunt Mirage’s dreams in New Mutants #3 and finally showed itself in New Mutants #17.
Illyana and Dani saw a possible future, where the New Mutants and Kitty Pryde had joined the Hellions in New Mutants #17.
Rachel’s story is continued in Uncanny X-Men #184. We see first hints that Rachel’s timeline is not the same as ours (apparently Illyana never ended up in Limbo in her time – explaining the age difference, nor did Xavier ever get the chance to walk again thanks to a cloned body).
The rapport between Dani and Rahne usually only works when Rahne is in transitional state or full wolf-form.
This issue is the first appearance of Warlock and his father Magus. It’s interesting to note that here Warlock speaks and thinks normally, while he adopts a more idiosyncratic form of expression during his later appearances.

Issue Information: 
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