New Mutants (1st series) #23

Issue Date: 
January 1985
Story Title: 

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

Brief Description: 

After acting moody for quite some time, Sunspot goes berserk at Harry’s Hideaway, thrashing the place and fighting Colossus. Piotr manages to knock the strangely transformed boy out, but falls unconscious himself in the process. Xavier sends Mirage and Cannonball to retrieve them. Later, while Xavier and Moira examine the unconscious boys, Mirage and Cannonball are called to a luxurious hotel in Manhattan by Rahne who has no idea how she ended up there. Sam and Dani finally manage to understand Sunspot’s and Wolfsbane’s bizarre behavior, when they learn thanks to a newspaper article that recently two teenagers were attacked by a wolf. They recognize the teenagers as Cloak and Dagger. Sunspot and Wolfsbane were once injected with the drug that gave those two their power and now somehow they have stolen those powers. Sam and Dani ask the two former heroes for help, but they decline as they want a normal life. In the meantime Sunspot wakes up, bursts into shadows, consumes Colossus and attacks Xavier. In the meantime in Manhattan the Hellfire Club’s Inner Circle admits Selene and Emmanuel DaCosta into their ranks.

Full Summary: 

There’s a bigger than usual party at the Hellfire Club. The Inner Circle is admitting two new candidates: Emmanuel DaCosta and Selene as a potential Black Queen. Sebastian Shaw bids them welcome and speaks about the goals of the Inner Circle – the accumulation of power. He offers them the cup of fellowship and among cheers both are welcomed. Selene congratulates Shaw on the charming little ceremony. He is very aware though that she is mocking him, and actually wants his power. He decides to be on his guard and concentrates on Emmanuel instead, congratulating him and expressing the hope that eventually his son Roberto will join them as well.

In Salem Center stands the merry mutants’ favorite hangout, Harry’s Hideaway, a restaurant and bar. Its mysterious owner, Harry Morrel, is busy playing chess with Colossus. Peter marvels at Harry’s fluent Russian, which Harry brushes off, claiming he’s picked those phrases up from their frequent chess sessions, which, he adds, Peter has always been losing so far. In response, Peter puts him into checkmate. Harry demands a rematch, but they are interrupted by the waitress Molly, telling them, there’s a problem and Peter might help. Roberto DaCosta came into the bar hours ago, just sitting there, refusing to talk. Molly asks Peter to take him home. When Peter touches Roberto’s shoulder, the younger boy explodes and hits the Russian. He then transforms into Sunspot mode and hits Colossus again, who has by then transformed into organic steel, smashing him into Molly and Harry, knocking them out. Roberto furiously shouts at Rasputin, due to all his insecurities and Peter notes that Sunspot’s form is changing – he hardly looks human anymore. Mentally he shouts for Professor Xavier.

The telepath “hears” Colossus and awakes Dani and Sam. He asks them to go to Harry’s as no X-Men are currently in the mansion. Sam storms into Dani’s room, unfortunately catching her half-dressed. While he flies them to Harry’s he apologizes, deeply embarrassed. Dani assure him it’s no big deal, he just should knock next time and then teases him. Both of them wonder what’s in store for them.

At Harry’s Roberto is wrecking the pace and Colossus assumes he isn’t’ even aware of what he’s doing. As he tries to restrain the boy, suddenly Sunspot is no longer solid, but just living darkness and Colossus feels how the younger boy is absorbing him. Colossus manages one final blow, hurtling the boy outside, where he transforms to normal and falls unconscious. That last scene is watched by Sam and Dani, who get no answers from Peter either, as he too is unconscious.

Meanwhile in the heart of the Bermuda Triangle Lee Forrester takes a very seasick Magneto to his former Island HQ. Lee is amused by the very notion that the master of magnetism has such a human weakness, but admonishes him he should have stayed in the hospital. Magneto answers that someone was bound to recognize him sooner or later, therefore he’d rather recuperate at a place he considers home. Lee apologizes for the mess – apparently she’s been staying on the Island for some time – but she wasn’t really expecting him to return. Magneto asks whether Xavier is still using the island as a base and shakes his head at Charles’ stupidity. He’s far too vulnerable at the school. Magneto notices that Lee has been doing research on the island, and Lee tells him that she has come to the conclusion it’s original inhabitants weren’t human. Magneto agrees, speculating whether they were aliens or extra-dimensional. He starts using his powers, intending to show Lee something, but then breaks down in pain. His injured body can’t handle the strain. Lee tries to help, but he pushes her away, imperiously telling her he needs no help from a human. “Bull”, Lee shouts as she drags him up and reminds him that this particular lowly human saved his life from a shark and then adds, he is just afraid that admitting to feelings like gratitude would mean he had to admit he was only human himself.

Back in Westchester, Xavier and Moira are puzzling over the two unconscious young men. Harry and Molly at least seem to be alright. Xavier intends to cover all repair costs and trusts Harry to remain discreet. Piotr and Bobby are another problem altogether. Both of them are comatose, although there are no physical reasons. He tries to figure out what happened.

Outside Dani and Sam have the same questions. They wonder what Bobby was doing in a bar. Sam mentions that he might have had something with Molly, but last he knew, Bobby went to bed with a headache. They are interrupted by a phonecall, which Dani takes. Afterwards she runs upstairs and falls due to her injuries. Sam carries her to Rahne’s room, which is empty. Dani asks Sam to fly them into Manhattan, without telling the Professor. The two land in front of a very exclusive hotel and Dani feels a strange sense of dejavu when she sees the building. Sam worries that they aren't dressed right. Dani uses a new manifestation of her power by pulling images of the perfect guests from the receptionist’s mind and then “clothes” herself and Sam in that illusion. The two enter the elevator taking them to the penthouse suit. Dani’s beat by the new stunt she pulled, and now has to replay the receptionist’s memory of the person who rented the suite. They see a stunning redhead demanding the best suite in the house. Neither of them recognizes the woman, although she seems familiar to Dani. They knock and are answered by a crying Rahne in the clothes the woman wore. Rahne tells them, she doesn’t know how she got here, and Dani asks Sam to take them home.

While tugging Rahne in, Dani finds the necklace on her bureau, which also seems familiar and asks if she can borrow it. Sam urges Dani to finally tell him what she knows. She admits, she kept something from him. She had a dream last night, where she roamed Manhattan dressed to kill, and finally entered in the hotel, they found Rahne in. She realizes now it wasn’t a dream at all, but a reflection of Rahne’s experiences, transmitted via their psi-link. However, that link should only work when Rahne is in her animal form. Maybe Rahne’s metamorphic powers are still evolving ?
She wonders whether her condition is linked to Roberto’s and exasperated throws her mug against the wall. She’s sure she has all the puzzle pieces, but can’t fit them together. Just as she’s about to give up, Sam glances at a newspaper story. Two teenagers were mauled by a wolf a few nights ago. The girl allegedly had her throat torn out, but by the time the paramedics arrived, both were healthy and just in shock. Looking at the photograph, the two mutants recognize the teenagers and Dani realizes that the necklace belongs to the girl. They decide to pay Tandy Bowen and Tyrone Johnson a visit at the hospital.

Once there, Dani addresses them as Cloak and Dagger, introduces herself and throws Tandy the necklace. She explains how some time ago Rahne and Sunspot were injected with the drug that created Cloak and Dagger, though Tandy and Tyrone used their powers to cure them. However in the long run it didn’t work, Sam notes. Now the kids have somehow stolen Cloak and Dagger’s powers. Tyrone, a stuttering shy young man, asks them what they want. Their powers are gone, they can’t help. Besides they don’t want the powers back. They want normal lives. They ask the mutants to leave.

Back at Xavier’s, Moira and Xavier decide to call it a night. Moira mentions that Sharon Friedlander and Tom Corsi are still at her research facility, but that they should start to pick up their lives again. Xavier agrees and they turn to the door, while Bobby awakes and transforms. His darkness consumes Colossus and then he turns towards the others. Xavier mentally strikes at him, only to have his power reflected back at himself and he falls unconscious.

Characters Involved: 

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

Colossus, Professor Charles Xavier (both X-Men)

Moira MacTaggert
Dagger / Tandy Bowen

Cloak / Tyrone Johnson


Aleytis “Lee” Forrester

Harry Morrel, owner of Harry’s Hideaway

Molly, a waitress at Harry’s
Emanuel DaCosta, Selene, Sebastian Shaw, Tessa (all Hellfire Club)

Story Notes: 

Wolfsbane and Sunspot were infected with the same drug that created Cloak and Dagger in Marvel Team-Up Annual #6. Their powers went out of control, until Cloak and Dagger healed them in that issue.

Selene was introduced to the Hellfire Club in Uncanny X-Men #189.

Magneto fell to Earth after Warlock collided with Asteroid M in New Mutants #21. He was fished out of the ocean and saved from a shark by Lee Forrester in Uncanny X-Men #188.

This issue includes Notes from the private Journal of Professor Xavier :
Warlock : Xavier notes that he isn’t sure whether “Warlock” is the young alien’s actual name or that of his race. Warlock is a metamorph with the ability to reshape himself into any form imaginable, and being alien his imagination is very different from a human’s. As a result even his imitation of commonplace objects can be rather bizarre. “locke” is a techno-organic being, consisting of living circuitry. He feeds by transforming organic matter into biocircuitry like himself and then draining its energy. The process seems to be irreversible, making Warlock quite dangerous. Warlock is fleeing from his father who wants to kill him, as with their species every child has to fight its parent to the death. Quite a danger, since Magus can tear stars apart with his hands.

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