New Mutants (1st series) #2

Issue Date: 
April 1983
Story Title: 

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

Brief Description: 

Danielle Moonstar is trapped in the Danger Room, trying to escape from a jungle monster. She manages to escape climbing up a mountain. When she attempts to find the exit door, she is encountered by another monster, who tells her Dani can't be allowed to live, as she is very close to sensing the truth. Dani falls off a cliff, and hits the ground hard. Her last thought is of her dead parents. The other New Mutants and Stevie Hunter are having ice cream at a mall in Salem Center, where they make friends with some local kids. While Stevie goes to call the school, to check if everything is alright, the teenagers are approached by federal agents working for Project Wideawake, who are well aware of them being mutants. Henry Peter Gyrich and Sebastian Shaw, the heads behind the project, are pleased with everything proceeding along to their plan, which is to obtain the mutants and force them to serve the government. As the New Mutants are escorted away, unexpected help arrives in the form of Colonel Mike Rossi. He and Stevie manage to keep the agents busy, which forces them to call for plan Beta - a pack of Sentinels. As the robots attack, Cannonball smashes one of them through the roof, but he gets encased in a block of ice and is carried away. Sunspot manages to topple over a second robot, while Karma mentally possesses the captive Cannonball and directs him upward eventually thawing him out. However it requires her full concentration, leaving her easy prey for the remaining Sentinel. Sunspot and Rossi distract it long enough for Cannonball to return and smash his pursuer and the robot attacking Karma into each other. By the time the local police shows up, Karma possesses the lead agent and makes him confess for attacking them and summoning the Sentinels. Shortly afterwards, back in the school, they find Dani in the Danger Room, frightened, but unharmed. Stevie thinks that the description of her attacker fits a Brood alien, but she wonders who overrode the Danger Room's safety protocols, as only she, Moira MacTaggert and Xavier have authorization. Stevie doesn't know how right she is, indeed the Professor has been infected with a Brood egg, and each day the alien's influence over him is getting stronger.

Full Summary: 

At Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, Danielle Moonstar is running for her live. She is trapped in the Danger Room in a jungle setting and is being chased by a monster. The monster is huge and has three horns on his head as well as giant talons. Running through a stream and looking back in fear she screams to herself. She swears that this is impossible and can't be happening to her. Paying more attention to what is behind her than what is front of her she trips over a root from a nearby tree that crosses the water. She falls flat on her face and quickly gets back up. Danielle is a mutant codenamed Psyche, who has the ability to make a persons deepest darkest thoughts, their inner most hopes and fears become three dimensional images. It is a powerful gift but deep down she fears that it will not be enough to save her now. Out of the stream she finds the base of a mountain and she begins to climb. The monster is right behind her is clawing at her, until she climbs high and out of reach.

Collapsing with exhaustion against the rocks she prays for her safety. After catching her breath, Dani looks out at the view. She sees the mountain continue and a beautiful view of the jungle below with birds flying above the trees. She hardly believes that she is still in the Danger Room and all that she sees is merely an illusion. Danielle thinks to herself that something is terribly wrong, that the sequence she is in was the one showed to her earlier by the Professor, a top of the line setting, far too dangerous for her or the other New Mutants. She wonders how and why she is stuck in this setting, remembering finishing her workout, and then being zapped. Believing that someone is trying to kill her she questions who and why, but first she needs to safely escape. Believing that the mountain-rock wall is probably the actual wall to the danger room, she follows it along to find the exit door.

Going around a corner Dani sees yet another monster. It calls her a youngling and tells her that her salvation will be denied. That it would prefer to see her host its progeny but she is too dangerous. That she alone has sensed its presence and could bring its destruction. Therefore she must die. Approaching her, Dani backs up loosing her footing and falling backwards off the cliff edge. Dani screams as she falls through the jungle trees and foliage, smacking the earth beneath her. The last thought she has is of her parents that were slain many years ago. She believes that she is on her way to join them in the other world, and hopes that they will be happy to see her.

At Salem Center Mall, Danielle's teammates are leaving the movie theatre into the mall after watching "E.T." Rahne Sinclair is sniffling and she is reassured by their teacher Stevie Hunter that it is okay to cry. Rahne explains that she thought the movie was beautiful and she was extremely happy when he was rescued. Sam tells her that that's the idea of the movie. Roberto jokes that E.T. was only a puppet, not a real person or a mutant like them. Rahne explains that he seemed so life-like, she apologizes, telling her friends that she's never been to the movies before and that it all seemed like magic to her. They are buying ice cream as Stevie Hunter tells them that she will be back after she phones the school to check if everything is okay. The kids are approached by three teenagers about their age.

One of them, a boy, asks if they are new around here, and why they haven?t seem them at school. Roberto tells them that they are students at Xavier's. The boy tells them that that's a big change when their elite types decide to mingle with common folk. Angered Roberto asks what that was supposed to mean, clenching his fists. The girl from the group steps up and tells her friend Frank to simmer down that he's acting like a jerk. She introduces herself them as Diana. Rahne politely replies telling them her name Rahne Sinclair. Thinking it is spelled "Rain", Diana asks if that's kind of like Moon Unit Zappa, and also tells Rahne that she loves her hair. Diana asks if Rahne is punk or new wave. Sweetly naive, Rahne replies that she is Scots as she continues to eat her ice cream cone. Diana is impressed and asks if the rest of them are from Scotland too. Roberto tells them Sam is from the states, Shan is from Vietnam, and he is from Brazil. Then he jokingly adds that they are international terrorists.

Unknown to the kids they are being watched through monitors in an unknown building. Standing among a group of scientists, Peter Gyrich is talking to his friend Sebastian Shaw. Gyrich states that Roberto thinks that he's making a joke, but he's closer to the truth than he knows. Him and his fellow mutants pose a huge threat to the security of the United States and even the world as much as any mad-man with a gun. Gyrich tells Shaw that's why Project Wideawake was invented, to combat the threat of mutants. Shaw asks him if he thinks that homo superior will one day enslave homo sapiens. Gyrich tells him that while that is potential a danger the real problem is what Roberto had just said. Four different mutants from four different countries. They are popping up everywhere all over the world. He asks what if the Soviets possess an unknown army of mutants and if he could imagine what that would do to the balance of power. The smallest nation on Earth with the right amount of mutant inhabitants could bring the United States down, and that actually may already be happening. They have no answers to how mutants are created and which DNA matrix allows it, but he assures him that if they survive he will discover the answer.

Gyrich tells how Roberto's public display of his mutant power led them straight to the others. Shaw tells Gyrich that he knows Roberto's father Emmanuel DaCosta, as he is a part of his Hellfire Club, and thinks to himself... that so he has not yet made it to the Inner Circle. As they start to walk down a hallway Shaw continues to think to himself about the Inner Circle who is dedicated to achieving political and economical dominion and power over the world. He thinks about how Emmanuel is a very ambitious man and he could possibly soon join them. In his thoughts he also belittles Gyrich, who, if he only knew that he was actually standing right next to a mutant which he hates and despises, probably wouldn't know what to do. Shaw remembers how the teenagers, some just manifesting their powers, beat his former associate, Donald Pierce, whose insane desire was to kill all mutants.

Entering a room of giant Sentinels, Shaw asks if such equipment is actually necessary to beat four young children. Calling Shaw absurd, Gyrich tells him of course not, that the children will be obtained by agents, kidnapped and examined. The Sentinels are for adult mutant villains, and that Project Wideawake has been given top orders from the president to keep under cover. Shaw thinks to himself that Gyrich's plan is about to backfire, and Shaw plans to make the children paranoid and suspicious of everyone, except their own kind. Eventually Professor Xavier will be eliminated and the children will have no other option than to gladly accept the invitation to the Hellfire Club.

Back at the mall, Stevie Hunter is trying once more to call the school, without answer. She is concerned because the Professor and Dani were supposed to be home all afternoon. Stevie wonders if she is imaging things, they probably forgot and there is probably a reasonable explanation for them not to answer. Just then she is grabbed from behind, and a hand covers her mouth. She struggles, but is quickly taken into a nearby room marked "employees only". The man tells her to stop struggling and that he means no harm. He claims to be there as a friend to her and her students and if she will "behave" herself then he will let go of her mouth. He tells that her children are in severe danger and there isn't any time to waste. Stevie, still shook up, nods in compliance. After letting her go he apologizes, saying that he could not risk anyone seeing them together. When asked who he is, he tells Stevie his name is Colonel Michael Rossi of Air Force Intelligence. Stevie recalls the name from a friend of Xavier's Carol Danvers who claimed that her and Michael were lovers. Michael tells her that that was long ago, in a different world. Stevie then remembers the fact that he was supposed to be dead and asks him about it. Michael tells Stevie that being "dead" has served to his benefit over the years, and that she needs his help.

Elsewhere inside the mall, the New Mutants are sitting talking to their newly made friends. Diana tells them that next month they are having a dance at their school and asks if they would like to come. Frank then gives them a warning that cops are heading towards them. Approaching the table, the lead man tells the kids that Shan, Roberto, Sam, and Rahne have to come with them. Shan thinks to herself that his words are phrased as a question, but he is actually ordering them. She asks if they are under arrest. Another man tells them that it is just a routine, which is when Frank speaks up, telling the officers stop hassling them and to leave them alone. The agent tells Frank that he has a big mouth and he suggests that he shut it. Frank replies that he doesn't scare him. The agent tells Frank they should and asks Shan if she is ready. Shan thinks to herself about back home in Vietnam where the police were rarely to be trusted, and that her Uncle Nguyen was a general of the national police and a very cruel man. Reassuring herself, she remembers that Stevie told her things were a lot different here in the States, and she prays that Stevie is right. Roberto stands up angrily and asks about their teacher. The agents tell him that they can phone her from headquarters, but Roberto demands they wait for her. Shan tells Roberto not to make a scene and they are lead away by the agents.

Shan thinks to herself that even if these men are their enemies that they should not start a fight with the possibility that innocents could be injured. The students are escorted from the mall to the parking lot, hoping that Stevie will come to their aid. They want to run and are afraid but they follow Shan's lead, with her being the oldest among them. Shan knows this fact and hopes that in doing so they all will not regret it. Inside the parking lot, Michael Rossi and Stevie Hunter pop up from behind a car. Michael has a gun and Stevie yells to the kids to scatter. The lead agent tells his team to drop them hard, as he radios for backup and to initiate the Beta plan. Michael shoots one agent warning him that his gun is set for stun and that next time he might not be so lucky. Michael tells the kids to run while he keeps the agents busy. Another agent fires at him, missing. Acting on instinct, Sam Guthrie ignites his mutant power propelling him like a human cannonball into a nearby car smashing it into the agent who fired at Rossi. Another agent in a car drives straight towards Roberto and Shan. Roberto becomes his solar powered form and smashes the entire front of the car. At the exact time, Shan possesses another agent's mind who has a gun pointed at Roberto's back. The agents' leader notices the recent turn of the tables tries to flee only to be tackled by Rahne as she transforms into wolf form.

Believing the situation resolved Cannonball asks what he's just done, wondering if these men were actually from the government. Rossi assures that they are from the government, but not to worry, because so is he. Rossi is pointing a gun at an agent who claims his statement as "bull". Rossi tells him that is rough language considering their organization is technically illegal, telling the agents that they will be having a talk with him, these kids, and their teachers. But they won't be talking here, they should go to Xavier's school.

Just then, a giant robotic hand smashes through the ceiling. A robotic voice says "Contact established. Situation evaluated. Contingency plan Beta now operational. Objective: capture target mutants." Michael Rossi screams SENTINELS! The Sentinels evaluate the situation as four mutants and one armed human as marked targets with the armed human as primary threat. Shooting the Sentinel in the shoulder, Rossi yells for the children to run for the mall, that they won't follow them there. Roberto tells Rossi that they will not abandon him, and surely they can handle one robot. Rossi warns them that the Sentinels do not operate solo, they only hunt in packs. Once more he tells them to run, and is sprayed by a gas from a Sentinel's hand. Seeing that Rossi is knocked out, Cannonball propels himself into the giant robot crashing him through the ceiling. Sam thinks that he is heavy but he should remove him before he uses the gas on the others.

Outside the smashed roof, Sam sees three more Sentinels and wonders where they came from and why they are after them. The remaining Sentinels observe the situation and conclude that Sentinel Lambda-Four was unsuccessful in its objectives. Another Sentinel keys his sensors to record the data, for future handling of Cannonball. Inside Stevie tells Roberto to do as Michael said, and move out. Roberto refuses telling the others to take Michael to safety while he goes to help out Sam. Shan tries to stop him, warning that he doesn't know what they are up against. Boasting that the robots don?t know what they are up against either, Roberto is stopped by a Sentinel hand slamming down right in front of him. He notices that the hand is as big as he is and another one appears to trap him on the other side. Not able to catch his breath, Roberto is weak, thinking that he has used too much energy. Roberto uses his last bit of energy to become his solar powered form and smashes through the wall, forgetting he is three stories high. In mid-fall he is slightly recharged, gaining his immense power from absorbing the sun.

Inside the girls watch on and Shan feels useless since her powers do nothing against robots. Wolfsbane screams that Roberto is falling. She is filled with a fear that she has never had before, having only few friends, she cannot lose a single one. Outside Sunspot falls crashing into a car. A Sentinel approaches observing that DaCosta is unharmed, his enhanced strength must give him some form of physical resilience. Sunspot wonders how the Sentinel knows him name and if these agents are truly agents of the American government. He thinks that his father is a man of great wealth and power and if Xavier will not do anything to stop these people than his father will. Feeling the slight re-charge from the sun, Sunspot knows that although he isn?t at his peak strength, it has to be enough as he runs towards the Sentinel. The Sentinel observes that Sunspot has only insufficient strength level, with minimal defense needed. Sunspot tells the Sentinel that he needs to consider a human's force of will, grabbing the robot's foot. The Sentinel starts to fall and smashes through the ceiling of the mall. Running on top of the Sentinel, Sunspot is very gracious that there were no obvious casualties from his actions. Ripping of the robot's head, he asks how the it shall function now.

Elsewhere Cannonball is not having much luck with his Sentinel, having his best shots not affecting it. The Sentinel neutralizes Cannonball with a Frigi-beam, freezing him in a block of ice. Injured and not able to continue its mission that Sentinel starts to fly away with Cannonball prisoner. Frantic, Wolfsbane asks Karma what to do, while Karma tries to possess the frozen Cannonball. Attempting to possess him, she forges a psychic bond between her and Sam, feeling what he does. Running a risk of being frozen as well, Karma makes contact, re-igniting Cannonball, and sending him straight up in the air at full thrust. The sudden acceleration appears too much for the already overloaded Sentinel's system, and it is unable to let go of Cannonball.

Unable to move her body while using her full concentration on possessing Cannonball, Karma puts herself at risk, as another Sentinel fires a beam between her and Wolfsbane. Coming around, Michael Rossi tells Wolfsbane to go back into the garage and grab the head agent and bring him back. That if Karma possesses him then he could call the Sentinels off. Wolfsbane asks who would protect Karma when she leaves. Rossi tells her that's his job yelling at her to go. Transforming into wolf form, Rahne leaps over the hole created by the Sentinels blast to head towards what is left of the parking garage.

Re-joining them, Sunspot is powered down and excitedly tells Stevie that he got one, and asks if she saw it. Stevie tells him that they were busy with their own Sentinel and asks him if he wants to try for two. Stevie is faced with a difficult decision, if they rescue Karma from the Sentinel then she will lose hold of Cannonball. The other option if they leave her defenseless, then they will lose Karma. Stevie wonders what she is doing making such life or death decisions being only a dance teacher. She yells for Sunspot to grab Karma, while Rossi gets the Sentinels attention by shooting his neck. Rossi warns Sunspot that Sentinels can't be beaten the same way twice, as they learn from their experience.

Miles above them, Karma's risk pays off as Cannonball melts free from his ice shell-prison. Sensing Cannonball's mental resistance, Karma releases her hold on him. To his surprise, he wonders how he got up so high. The Sentinel does not release his grip, so Cannonball decide to do it the hard way, angling back towards the ground at full speed. Knowing that he is invulnerable in his blast form, his plan is to find out if the Sentinel is as strong. Flying back towards the others, Cannonball crashes into the Sentinel attacking Karma, effectively destroying both robots.

Within minutes the local police are on the scene, but the New Mutants are nowhere to be found. Not so lucky are the men who hunted them. Handcuffed John Ogilvie is confessing his name, his superior, Henry Peter Gyrich's name and that they were the ones who summoned the Sentinels. He is repeatedly confessing. In a nearby car, Rossi tells Karma to release her hold. Driving away, Stevie asks Michael if his dictating the confession to Karma was a lie to get them off the hook. Michael tells her that every bit of it was true. Released from Shan's possession hold, John Ogilvie is shocked asking why he's in hand cuffs, and to release him at once. The officer tells him that he's under arrest, calling him a dummy, not aware he was forced into confession. Karma asks if he's really a criminal. Michael tells her that he was ready to send them all to their equivalent of a concentration camp. Shan tells him that two wrongs do not make a right. She recalls her brother Tranh who possessed the same power as her and had know problem using his power manipulate and even kill people. Shan tells him that she will not be reshaped into his image. Michael tells her that he is not the enemy, but Shan replies that he does not act like a friend either. Michael then warns her that she has a decision to make, because the man who sent the agents and the Sentinels aren't done with the New Mutants, not by a longshot.

Half an hour later, returning to the school, the group finds Dani knocked out on the Danger Room floor. Sam is worried that she might be injured, while Stevie tells them that she looks okay, breaking open a vial of ammonia under her nose to awaken her. Scared Dani wakes up screaming to them to get away from her claiming that they won't get her. Shan tells her to stop, that it's only them, her friends. Rahne asks what could have happened to her friend, causing her to be so scared. As Cannonball suggest that maybe the Sentinels tried to attack her and the Professor, Dani notices Stevie and hugs her. Still in horror, Dani tells of her experience in the Danger Room. Stevie warns her that she knows the rules, that she is never to use the room without a teacher. She asks if maybe Dani, out of carelessness, accidentally programmed the sequence by mistake. Dani swears that she didn't, that she was first attacked outside the Danger Room.

Stevie thinks to herself about Dani's description of the monster as one of the Brood aliens that the X-Men encountered months ago. She thought that there were none left on Earth, but more importantly she knows that only three people have the security to authorize the Danger Room safety locks. Knowing that Moira MacTaggert is in Scotland, and she was with the children all day, that only leaves the Professor. Upstairs, In Charles Xavier's study, he is asleep on his desk over some papers. The astral image of a young Brood Queen is hovering above him. Xavier is unaware of its body growing inside of him, eagerly awaiting the moment of its birth, when Xavier's metamorphosis will be complete.

Characters Involved: 

Cannonball, Karma, Psyche, Sunspot, Wolfsbane (all New Mutants)

Professor Charles Xavier

Stevie Hunter

Colonel Mike Rossi, Air Force Intelligence

Diana, Frank and other local children in Salem Center

Henry Peter Gyrich, National Security

John Ogilvie and other unnamed agent of Project Wideawake

Sebastian Shaw (Hellfire Club)

a Brood Queen embryo

Story Notes: 

A video screen at Project Wideawake displays read-outs on four of the New Mutants.

- Rahne Sinclair: 14 years old, 95 lbs. 4'11''

- Roberto DaCosta: 13 years old, 125 lbs. 5'4''

- Sam Guthrie: 16 years old, 170 lbs. 6'

- Xi?an Coy Manh: 19 years old, 105 lbs. 5'3''

According to the letter column in New Mutants #21 Rahne's age given here is wrong though. She is the youngest New Mutant and 13 years old.

Sunspot's "public display of powers" and the New Mutants' encounter with Donald Pierce happened in Marvel Graphic Novel #4.

Sebastian Shaw approaches Sunspot's father, Emmanuel DaCosta, about membership in the Inner Circle in New Mutants (1st series) #7-8. He fully joins in New Mutants (1st series) #22-23.

Colonel Mike Rossi apparently died in a plan crash in Uncanny X-Men #96. Stephen Lang had caused the crash because Rossi wanted to stop his Sentinel program. The backstory of Classic X-Men #7 revealed that he barely survived.

The story of Shan's twin brother Tranh was told in Marvel Team-Up #100.

Xavier was infected with a Brood egg off-panel between Uncanny X-Men #155 and #156, while he was an unconscious prisoner of the aliens.

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