New Mutants (1st series) #24

Issue Date: 
February 1985
Story Title: 
The Hollow Heart

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

Brief Description: 

Before the horrifyingly changed Sunspot can attack Moira, Rahne enters the room. She changes into a glowing angel of light and soothes him with her light. As the other New Mutants join them, the terrified Roberto teleports himself and Rahne to St. Anne's Church, where he asks Father Michael Bowen for help. Roberto admits that he consumed Colossus, but Rahne mentions that Peter can still be saved - she enters the shadow as a silver wolf and drags Colossus forth from a nightmare of self-loathing, due to his guilt about Kitty and Zsaji. Back at the church, Xavier and the other mutants are waiting for them, having traced them with Cerebro. Xavier attempts to learn about the shadow's nature with the help of Dani, who manifests Roberto's fears. As his shadow manifests again, Illyana comes to the conclusion that those powers might be fought with magic. She teleports herself, Rahne and Bobby to Limbo and tries to exorcise them, but fails spectacularly. Upon returning to the church, Xavier furiously tells her that he had everything under control, until she intervened and it was extremely dangerous to act on her own. They're joined by Tandy and Tyrone, who after a lot of soul-searching have decided that they can not turn their back on the mutants and want to help if they can. In the Bermuda Triangle, Lee Forrester and Magneto get to know each other better.

Full Summary: 

With Xavier unconscious on the ground, Moira faces the horribly changed Sunspot, who seems to have turned into a ravenous shadow intent on consuming her. She tries to reason with him, but Roberto is mad with pain and hunger for light, light he senses in Moira. He begs her to run and save herself, even while he reaches for her.

At that moment Rahne enters the lab, asking him what he's doing. Berto turns to her, entranced by her light. Moira panics and shouts at him to stay away from her child. Rahne should call the X-Men. There's no need, Rahne assures her and suddenly changes, turning into a tall, longhaired incredibly beautiful woman. She glows with brilliant light, shining it on Roberto, giving him peace. Moira and the awaking Charles wonder where this new power of hers is coming from. Roberto turns human again and Rahne comforts the frightened boy. Bobby asks for help. At that moment Sam and Dani run into the room. The scared Roberto explodes into darkness again and teleports himself and Rahne away, with Cloak's power Sam surmises.

Reluctantly Sam and Dani open their minds to Xavier's psi-probe and let him know what they've pieced together: How months ago, Bobby and Rahne were injected with the mutagenic drug that originally gave Cloak and Dagger their powers. When they became monsters as a result, Cloak and Dagger used their powers to cure them, but now apparently the serum became active again and the kids managed to strip Cloak and Dagger of their powers. Xavier recalls this event and how the kids seemed healthy afterwards. Apparently the drug's interaction with their mutant DNA matrix triggered a gradual ongoing mutation. There's no telling where their changes will end.

Roosevelt Hospital, Manhattan. Late at night Tyrone and Tandy sneak out of the hospital since Tyrone is afraid the New Mutants will return. Tandy points out that they only wanted their help. Ty answers those guys are probably no better than the mob. He'll take care of Tandy. He vows to himself he'll never lose her, he'd die first or kill.

In the Bermuda Triangle, on Magneto's island, Lee Forrester watches the sunset, dressed in a beautiful but outlandish dress. Magneto sneaks up on her and compliments her on the dress. She tells him, how she sometimes puts on the things she finds on the island and imagines herself to be the woman. She wonders what kind of lives those former inhabitants lived and thanks him for the compliment. Magneto nervously apologizes for striking her earlier. This is clearly not something he's used to. Lee is surprised and amused, thinking there's hope for him yet.

At St. Anne's at the lower East Side, Father Michael Bowen tidies up the church after the evening service with the help of his wards Leong and Nga Coy Manh. The three discuss the service and the nuns' behavior, until suddenly Roberto and Rahne appear out of nothing. Roberto desperately asks the priest for help and collapses.

Tandy and Ty are at a bus terminal and wonder what to do with their lives, now that their wish for normalcy has come true. Ty is moody and finally explains that Tandy has a life to return to - she's a rich white girl. He's from a slum. They have nothing in common anymore. They are interrupted by Slick, a pimp, who offers them a place to stay. Ty rudely tells him off. Slick shrugs. There are enough potential victims around and turns towards another couple of teenagers. Tandy tells Ty to let him be. There's nothing they can do for those kids now.

Back at St. Anne's, Roberto tells Bowen that he fears he has become a demon and cries that he consumed Peter Rasputin. Rahne, who by now starts to exhibit more characteristics of Dagger, including her circled eye, interrupts - she felt Peter's spirit in the shadow. She can save him, if Roberto turns into shadow once more. He turns into the monster, she into a silver white wolf and enters the shadow.

Peter, lost in the shadow, is living in a nightmare scene. He's a farmer, but is surrounded only by a barren desert, when suddenly he sees Kitty Pryde before him. Kitty assures him of her love and walks towards him - flowers blooming wherever she steps. He starts walking towards her as well, when suddenly they are joined by a third - Zsaji, the alien healer, Peter lost his heart to during the Secret Wars. He momentarily forgets about Kitty, who dies and the flowers with her. He looks up and as he realizes what's happened, Zsaji too dies in his arms. Alone in the dark, Peter despairs. Did he destroy both women and himself? Are the others right and his feelings for Zsaji weren't true love at all? Was everything for nothing? Rahne finds him and tells him not to lose faith - he is a good man. She feels he is tearing himself apart with guilt, even without the shadow. Rahne manages to carry him out and finds Xavier, Rogue and the New Mutants waiting for them. Cerebro led them to the church. Xavier assures her they want to help - and both kids become human once more. Rahne races into Xavier's arms, telling him how scared she is. He reassures her, promising to make it better.

At the Bus station, Tandy tells Ty that they can't abandon the mutants. They have to help. Ty keeps on evading the issue. He wants to say yes, because being Cloak and Dagger is the one thing they have in common, but she doesn't know how horrible it is to carry the darkness within.

In the church, Illyana has tugged Peter into bed. Xavier assures her that his psiprobes revealed nothing wrong and telepathically chides Sam for his punk T-shirt he got from his girlfriend Lila, even while Rogue admires it. Roberto and Rahne in the meantime have fallen asleep too. Illyana, the demon sorceress, thinks to herself that she feel extremely uncomfortable in a house of God.

Xavier explains that Rahne's lifeforce has been amplified to an incredible degree, but he cannot isolate what happened to Roberto and wonders whether he is just a vessel for an outside entity. Dani suggest that maybe her psi-talent can help, since she interacts more with emotion. Xavier hesitates, but then tells her to join en rapport with him first, so he can monitor her progress. Dani explores Bobby's fear and the boy explodes with shadow. Rahne would be the only one to fight him, but she is asleep and therefore vulnerable to the shadow and unable to help. Only Xavier seems unaffected by the onslaught. Suddenly though, Illyana manifests her Soulsword and hits Dani with it, breaking the rapport and returning the room to normal. Rogue mutters that this shadow within and without reminds her of the demons the Dire Wraiths conjured in Dallas.

Illyana agrees, thinking to herself that those creatures could be beaten with spells. Maybe she can help her teammates the same way and teleports herself, Rahne and Roberto to Limbo, before Xavier can protest. Illyana is surrounded by a silver pentagram but faces the base - a curious mix of black and white magic. Roberto and the horrified Rahne are at different ends of the pentagram. Rahne protests, trying to change, but Illyana changes her back, telling her to stay put. As Illyana tries to exorcise the two, Rahne resists with all her will power. The spell backfires - the light and shadow powers become a part of Illyana. As the two powers are completely opposed, but equally strong, they threaten to tear her apart and Limbo with her.

She summons her sword and sees that it is half black. With all her will Illyana restores the sword and herself, resulting in her being covered in her mysterious armor from head to toe and the powers returning to Rahne and Bobby. Magik teleports them back and gets chewed out by Xavier who angrily tells her he had everything under control, until she intervened - he used his Psi link with Dani to learn everything about Bobby's condition. Dani defends her, but Charles curtly replies this was dangerous and he doesn't plan to sacrifice any of them to save the others. No, Tyrone interjects as he enters the church with Tandy, if anyone should be sacrificed it's them.

Characters Involved: 

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

Colossus, Rogue, Professor Charles Xavier (all X-Men)

Moira MacTaggert


Father Michael Bowen

Leong and Nga Coy Manh, Karma's younger siblings

Aleytis "Lee" Forrester
"Slick", a drug dealer

Story Notes: 

Apparently the Manhs have been under the guardianship of Michael Bowen, since Karma disappeared and was presumed dead. [New Mutants #6-7]
During the Secret Wars series, Colossus fell in love with the alien healer Zsaji on the Beyonder's World, forsaking Kitty Pryde for her. Zsaji died to save his life.
Rogue refers to the shadow demons created by the Dire Wraiths, whom the X-Men and friends fought in Forge's building in Uncanny X-Men #187-188.
As revealed in issues of Cloak and Dagger, the Shadow power is indeed the vessel for a demon.

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