New Mutants (1st series) #26

Issue Date: 
April 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: 

Tom Coris and Sharon Friedlander become the victims of Moira MacTaggert's latest patient, David Haller. Moira asks for help from Xavier, who comes to Muir Isle alongside several New Mutants. David is the son of Xavier's onetime lover Gaby Haller, who asks Charles to help her son the way he once helped her. The New Mutants, in the meantime, run afoul of Wolfsbane's old guardian, Reverend Craig, causing Rahne to doubt herself and seek out Moira. Both of them are surprised by the astral form of an Arab, trying to warn them before David attacks them as well. At the Massachusetts Academy, Emma Frost restricts the powers of her pupil, Empath, as punishment for what he did to Firestar and, in the Bermuda Triangle, Magneto and Lee Forrester become lovers after she saves his life for the second time.

Full Summary: 

Muir Isle: a sceptical Sharon Friedlander watches her friend, Tom Coris, press weights. It's twice the world record, he tells her exhausted as he drops the weights - nearly a thousand pounds. The Demon Bear didn't just change their features to those of Native Americans, but he fundamentally changed their bodies. Physically, they are in better shape than they ever were, maybe the pinnacle of what an ordinary human can be. Sharon is less enthusiastic. She'd rather have her old looks and life back.

Suddenly, before them stands the astral form of a young Arab man. They realize that he's a telepath, but can't understand what he is trying to tell them as he only speaks Arabic. Then, with a scream, the astral image disappears. At the same moment, an alarm goes off in David Haller's room. Tom and Sharon race there, only to find the door locked but, with his newfound strength, Tom quickly tears the door off its hinges. Inside the room, they find David, a young man in his late teens, floating over his bed. He's childishly screaming for his parents or anyone to help him, as the entire room goes wild in a telekinetic poltergeist-like tantrum. Sharon and Tom, who weren't aware that the boy possessed those powers, find themselves trapped in the room as David is telekinetically keeping them from leaving. As David's screams reach a hysteric pitch, suddenly his hands start to burn. He starts laughing madly with a girl's voice and stares viciously at his two prisoners. And the room explodes.

next morning:

Moira MacTaggert stands outside, waiting for her visitors. Charles Xavier, accompanied by four New Mutants, brings home Moira's lover, Banshee, who had been kidnapped recently. As Moira enthusiastically greets Sean, Rahne realizes heartbroken that the woman she has come to consider as her mother doesn't seem to notice her. Disappointed, she turns away until Moira stops her and chides her half-seriously what kind of greeting that's supposed to be. She was only saving the best for last. Moira telepathically chats with Xavier, noticing that he looks troubled and sickly. She also tells him that she asked him to come, because she has had trouble with a patient.

Warlock, in the meantime, starts chirping frantically and races back to the Blackbird. Dani follows him curiously only to see the alien profusely thanking their aircraft for transporting them and promising the plane to visit, so it won't feel lonely. Incredulously, she tells Doug Ramsey about this exchange. Doug, along with Warlock, the newest member of the team, is fascinated. He cannot believe how much his life has changed since summer, when the New Mutants invited him. He can't wait to see what happens next. Doug is greeted by Jamie Madrox, the Multiple Man, another resident of Muir Isle. As a reaction to Doug's hearty handshake, Jamie splits into two, as his power is usually activated when he's hit. "Can't wait to see what happens, next," Dani mocks.

Moira debriefs Xavier on what happened the other night. After the explosion levelled the room, she found Tom and Sharon physically unharmed, but totally catatonic - their minds are gone. When Charles inquires after the cause, a voice announces that she is to blame. It's Gabrielle Haller, Charles' onetime lover. They greet each other and Gaby explains that her son David is Moira's patient. He's been autistic since he was ten, completely withdrawn from reality that nobody has been able to reach him. Charles is her last hope. As they watch the withdrawn David in a lab, while another Madrox dupe tries to distract him with a Teddy Bear, Charles wonders why Gaby didn't turn to him at once. He could have helped the boy the way he helped her once. He wonders what she has to hide, but refuses to pry. He promises to do his best for the boy.

In the meantime, in Snow Valley, at the prestigious Massachusetts Academy, the Hellion Empath is being summoned to his headmistress, the White Queen. To say that she is displeased with her seemingly contrite pupil would be the understatement of the year. Emma greets Manuel with a painful psi-blast and tears right into him. While she spent years preparing her pupil, Firestar, as an invaluable asset for the Hellfire Club, his self-indulgent manipulations of the girl's emotions might quite possibly have torn down everything she built. He was only trying to help, Manuel defends himself, only to have his assurances met with cold disdain: Emma doesn't buy it for one minute: She knows that he was playing head games with Firestar, Thunderbird and the X-Men. Empath has been a troublemaker from the start and an utter disappointment to her. She's had enough.

So has he Manuel hisses. Nobody talks like that to a de la Rocha. He turns his empathic powers against Emma changing her rage to love. Arrogantly self-assured, Manuel is not even surprised at the lack of resistance Emma displays as she suddenly seems to be completely besotted with him, right until she grabs his throat starting to choke him. This was an act she coolly explains, a test for both the limits of his ambition and his powers. She could kill him, but instead she will only restrict his use of his powers until he has learned his lesson. Stepping away, she warns him one final time.

Back on the Scottish mainland, in Ullapool, a small town: Douglas is playing the tourist snapping pictures of everything, while the girls have to remind Warlock to take on human form. Hungry, Warlock reaches out for one of the many seagulls and, despite Dani's protests, infects the bird with the techno-organic virus and absorbs its "lifeglow." Dani grabs Warlock's arm and chides him for pulling that stunt in public. She lets go at once - she didn't think - if he infected her... Warlock apologizes - they are his first friends. He would die rather than infect or hurt them. Rahne once more reminds him to shift back to human form, while Doug asks all of them to please relax. Calmer, Dani asks Warlock to not transmute anything before checking with her, Sam Guthrie or Professor Xavier.

Suddenly, they are addressed by an angry scraggly-looking man surrounded by several grim-faced locals. Their leader is Reverend Craig, Rahne's foster father and he is less than pleased to see his former ward again: He calls her devil's spawn and claims she does not belong among true humans. Dani rudely tells him to mind his own business, but the hurt Rahne asks her not to argue. She'd rather just leave.

Back at Muir Isle, Xavier senses that Rahne is upset, but he himself is busy: he sends his psychic self to the astral plane, but finds the paths into David's mind blocked by a PSI-wall that protects his mind from reality. He remembers how, twenty years ago, he had shattered the PSI-walls of the then-catatonic Gaby, freeing her, but in the process also forcing her to relive the horror of the concentration camp. Back then, he was so sure that he did the right thing, but a part of Gaby always hated him for that. He is no longer sure whether doing the same for his son is the right thing. Nevertheless, he presses on until the face of a young man forms in front of the wall. The boy telepathically tries to contact Xavier in Arabic, when, without warning, flames spew out of his mouth and eyes towards Xavier, hurling him back into his body and then telekinetically hurling his body along with Moira and Gaby out of the room. David laughs madly, mockingly.

Xavier concludes that there's a portion of his mind that isn't David - something alien was directing those actions. He doesn't let on how weak and unhealthy he feels and remembers that the Morlock leader, Callisto, warned him not to over-exert himself.

On a mysterious island in the Bermuda Triangle, Captain Lee Forrester is roused from her slumber by a scream. She races to Magneto's room to find him caught in a nightmare, magnetically tearing apart his room as a result. Finally, his bed is flying outside the window of the high-up room. Without hesitation, Lee jumps onto the bed and awakes Magneto. He magnetically breaks their fall at the last possible moment. She inquires about his nightmare. A time and place he thought buried he hints: death. Resurrection. Lee just saved his life, he realizes, again. They kiss.

Muir Isle:
Gaby gives the pensive Xavier a back-rub, noting how stiff his muscles are. She has done well with her life, he muses; an ambassador, but she never married... She only met two men worth of the commitment Gaby explains. The one died, the other always had other commitments. Knowing that she means him, Xavier apologizes. He shouldn't have started an affair with her back then: she was his patient and he abused her trust. Nonsense, she contradicts him. They found comfort in each other's arms, which they both desperately needed. She has no regrets. A telepath can play god, he muses and admits his fears to her. He can basically do anything to a human personality; change it however he likes. He tells himself he only uses his powers to do good, but his archrival, Magneto, uses the same words to justify his actions...

Gaby admits, in turn, that when she first realized what Xavier could do and had done she grew terrified and asked herself if he had influenced her emotions. That's one of the reasons she didn't stay in contact when he returned to the States. She couldn't get rid of the doubts. She doesn't know the answer to Charles's question and she doesn't care. She's fighting for her son's life here. He has the same powers as Charles, he's using them to hurt people and she doesn't want to see him end like Moira's mad son, Proteus. If there's a way, he'll find it, Xavier vows and asks her to tell him everything about the origins of the boy's trauma.

As Gaby begins her story, Wolfsbane sneaks out of the room she shares with the sleeping Dani. Changing to wolf-form, Rahne races across the island and enters Moira's lab. She has doubts about herself: she loves the way she perceives the world as a wolf, but she cannot forget that Reverend Craig believes she is evil because of these powers. Noticing her, Moira asks what she is doing up so late past her bedtime. Rahne stutters, not knowing what to say. Moira tells her to come to her and give her a hug. When Rahne apologizes for bothering her, Moira tells her not to be silly. She considers Rahne her daughter. She and Sean will always be her first priority. Rahne tells her she loves her, calling her "mummy" for the first time instead of "Lady Moira". Suddenly, she changes into her transitional form. She perceives something wrong. Moira alerts Charles to come over at once. Before the two women, the astral form of the Arab boy appears, trying to desperately warn them. Moira and Rahne, of course, don't understand one word. Before Charles and Gaby can reach them, the lab explodes.

Characters Involved: 

Cypher, Mirage, Warlock, Wolfsbane, (all New Mutants)

Professor Xavier

Banshee (former X-Man)

Dr. Moira MacTaggert

Gabrielle Haller

David Haller /Legion

Jamie Madrox /Multiple Man

Tom Corsi

Sharon Friedlander

the unnamed Arab


Lee Forrester

The White Queen


Story Notes: 

Xavier has had severe health problems ever since he was beaten up by a group of human students in Uncanny X-Men #192. While the Morlock Healer healed Charles, Callisto warned Charles that over-exertions may kill him.

Banshee was abducted by the Hellion, Thunderbird II, in Uncanny X-Men #193. During the same adventure, Empath used his powers to persuade Firestar into falling in love with him and helping the Hellions against the X-Men, much to the chagrin of the White Queen, who has special plans for Firestar [As seen in Firestar #1-4]

Reverend Craig led a lynch mob to kill his ward, Rahne, when she developed mutant powers in Marvel GN #4: The New Mutants.

David is the product of the affair Xavier and Gaby Haller had [as chronicled in Uncanny X-Men #161]. Gaby gave David into Moira's care in New Mutants #1, though this issue actually marks David's first appearance.

In his nightmare, Magneto probably relived the death of his family - and his almost dying - at the hands of the Nazis. It is apparently a recurring dream and is shown in greater detail in New Mutants #49.

The two men in her life Gaby refers to are, of course, Charles Xavier and David's godfather, Daniel Shomron.

The X-Men were forced to kill Moira's mad son, Proteus, in Uncanny X-Men #128.

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