New Mutants (1st series) #3

Issue Date: 
May 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: 

At night, Dani Moonstar is still haunted by nightmares of the Demon Bear and The Brood. There is some substance to the dreams as when she strikes at the creature with her knife, she draws real blood from the Bear. Wanting to talk about it with the Professor, Dani overhears him talking to Moira MacTaggert on the phone, saying that Danielle is showing signs of schizophrenic behavior including paranoia. Depressed and thinking herself a danger to her teammates, Dani contemplates suicide. The next morning she confides in the rest of the New Mutants, who take her stories of haunting more serious than Xavier. The team soon finds themselves under attack with the entire school surroundings being transformed into some unknown organic material. Soon they find themselves under attack by the monster of Dani’s dream – a Brood Queen. Little do they know that it is secretly growing within the professor’s body growing stronger each day. It uses Xavier’s telepathy to tap into and amplify Danielle’s illusion power to create semi-solid images of itself and the landscape. Dani even ends up captured by this creation of her own power, while her teammates fight on. Soon Dani realizes that she is the key in all this, and advises Cannonball to knock her unconscious, leaving the Brood temporarily defeated as it no longer can draw from her power. Afterwards, Danielle ponders leaving the team, thinking of herself as the weak link for the Brood to strike again, but Roberto reassures her that she are part of a team of friends, and no monster would drive them apart. They still do not suspect that their enemy is within Xavier. On Muir Island, Banshee witnesses Illyana singing a strange song in honor of some old friends. He thinks she is referring to the X-Men, but actually Illyana thinks of her time in Limbo.

Full Summary: 

At Xavier’s school for Gifted Youngsters Danielle Moonstar is awakened by the sudden sound of thunder. It’s so loud that it shakes the house. She tells herself it is only a storm and it is nothing to be afraid of, but she has never seen a storm so fierce, even at her home in the mountains in Colorado. Wondering if the storm has woken anyone else Danielle decides she could use the company. Just then she sees an alien face in the window and she grabs her knife. It is the same face belonging to the Brood who tried to kill her in the Danger Room. Dani thinks it’s come back to finish the job. Looking out her window she sees no sign of the monster. She doesn’t understand how something that size could have moved so quickly, or hide so well. She begins to wonder if it was even there at all. Admitting to herself that she has been on edge for several days, she thinks she might have imagined the entire thing. Codenamed Psyche, she has the mutant power to pull people’s worst fear from their soul and make it appear to be real. Unable to control her power she was sent to Xavier’s school to learn, by her Grandfather Black Eagle. She wonders if she is somehow turning her own power against herself using her own fears to destroy her.

Just then a giant figure, solid black with red glowing eyes and pointy teeth, breaks through her window. It tells her in an evil voice that if she is only using her powers against herself, then she has nothing to fear from a spirit form that cannot harm her. Dani shrieks, as the figure grabs her. Realizing then that it is a solid form, she lunges the knife into it’s stomach. Breaking it’s hold, she starts to run. She thinks to herself that she has stabbed it with all of her strength and it still chases her, that she must warn the others to combine their strength to defeat it. She screams for the others to wake up that there is a monster in the house. Slamming her door behind her to buy some time, she races down the hall. Every second she expects to find the creature tearing at her throat with it’s fangs. She has never been so scared. Opening a door, as she finds her teammates, she knows she has good reason to be scared. She finds Roberto DaCosta shot dead by his deceased girlfriend Juliana. She finds Shan battered and killed. Next is Sam Guthrie buried alive by rocks. And finally she sees Rahne Sinclair burned at the stake by Reverend Craig and a group of followers.

Taunting her, the demon tells her that all of the images are marvelous sites, each killed by their own worst fear come true. Dani thinks of Rahne’s window being her only escape, a two story jump, but she has survived worse. The monster grabs her crushing her in it’s grasp. Not giving up, Dani is warned that there is no escape from one who knows her inner most thoughts and fears. Grabbing the head of the monster, she pulls off what happens to be a mask, unveiling the creature to be the Demon Bear. The exact monster that killed her parents coming back to kill her.

Screaming aloud she jumps up, she is still in her bedroom with no sign of a storm. Sam and Roberto bust in, and Dani is shocked to see them still alive. They ask her what caused her to scream, and what has happened. Covering her face she tells them that she doesn’t know, and that she thinks she’s loosing her mind. Soon Xavier and Rahne have gathered in her room too. Xavier is checking her pulse as Dani has a thermometer in her mouth. Roberto tells them that he thought his Uncle Joao told scary ghost stories, but compared to Dani, he’s only an amateur. Dani is slightly annoyed by his comment. Rahne asks Xavier if Dani is ill. Xavier tells them that she is not physically sick as her vital signs are normal. Taking the thermometer out of her mouth Dani asks Xavier what about her mind, and if he thinks that she is going crazy. Sam tells her not to talk like that, and Xavier says that it was only a dream. Still in denial Dani tells them all that it had seemed so real. Xavier reassures her that everyone around her is alive and well, that she should get some rest and they can continue talking about this in the morning.

Left alone, Dani tries her best to sleep, but is unable too, still afraid and believing herself in danger. She believes that the Professor thinks that she had imagined the Danger Room monster. That it was her fault as well for breaking the rules and going in alone. She swears he’s wrong and someone is trying to kill her. She figures that the dreams mean that they are not giving up, grabbing her knife she prepares to be ready for them. Unsheathing her knife she notices blood on the blade. She thinks that it must have come from the bear when she stabbed it, and that her dream must have been real. Leaping from her bed, Dani knows she must warn Xavier and the others. Being the one he wants, she knows her staying at the school puts them all at risk. She wonders what makes her so special, as she notices a light on in Xavier’s study. She hears him talking on the phone. From inside the room, she hears Xavier talking Moira, apologizing for calling so late.

Dani thinks to herself that Moira is a really nice lady who isn’t a mutant but just as smart as Xavier. Noticing him yelling, she believes that it is a bad connection with Moira living in Scotland. Xavier continues to say that he is concerned about Danielle Moonstar, who’s recent behavior marks her as having increasing psychopathic tendencies. He claims she has extreme paranoia and schizophrenia beyond his ability to cope with. Hearing this Dani collapses to the ground, she thinks that Xavier believes she’s insane. She thinks that maybe she is, that her powers never show anything good maybe because her never wanting them to. She believes that she only shows the wicked and hurtful side of people because she too is wicked and evil. She thinks with that being true that she doesn’t want to, or should be allowed to live. She points the knife towards her chest.

In her Muir Island lab, Moira MacTaggert is on the phone with Xavier. She tells him that she has never heard such rubbish in her entire life, as the child has no past with mental illness at all and she checked out fine when examined last summer. Xavier tells her that the facts speak for themselves, but Moira tells him that’s nonsense, and asks if he’s tried a direct mind-scan, with him being a telepath. Xavier replies not yet, and an enraged Moira tells him not to bother her until he does then, slamming the phone down. Behind her comes a familiar voice telling her that she is on a short fuse today. It is Sean Cassidy, the mutant formerly known as Banshee, her lover. She tells him that Xavier can be so exasperating, that he should of tried a mind scan before contacting him like he did. She tells Sean that the Professor is behaving somewhat odd recently.

Sean says that she was a bit hard on him, massaging her shoulders as she puts her hand on her forehead. When she tells him that she was a bit harsh, Sean asks if has anything to do with the boy. Moira says yes, that the son that Xavier does not know about is the son that they dreamed about having together when they were in love. She recalls her own son, who was so insane and evil that the X-Men were eventually forced to destroy him. She wonders why her son could not have been the joy that Xavier could eventually have, and why she is the one who has to save him. She tells Sean that it simply isn’t fair. Sean then tells her to marry him, and have plenty of sons and daughters. She asks what if they are monsters like her son Proteus, but Sean tells her that Proteus was conceived in an act of violence and hatred, while their children could be conceived in love. She tells Sean that she loves him and she’d like to believe him but it’s a risk she dare not to take. Walking outside, Sean thinks that if Joe MacTaggert were not already dead, then he would kill him himself for what he has done to Moira.

In the near distance he sees a figure, arms raised at the sky, over looking the water. It is Illyana Rasputin, sister to the X-Man Colossus, who was left in Moira’s charge while Xavier introduces the New Mutants to the school. He hears her singing and thinks it’s some sort of prayer. Illyana looks down in sadness talking to herself. She tells her friend Cat that wherever her soul has wandered, that she hopes it finds the peace she always wanted. She tells her beloved friends to be well, and to let the Great One grant that she is worthy of her trust and sacrifice. Noticing Banshee, she greets him, stating that she thought no one was around. Sean tells her that it was his fault for disturbing her, but she assures that no harm was done. Complimenting her, he tells her it sounded lovely. She tells him that it was a song taught to her by Ororo, and she promised her best friend that she would honor her on her birthday, as she thought this was the best way to do it. Recalling to himself, Sean notes that today is actually Kitty’s birthday, and wonders if that’s who Illyana means. Sean tells her not to worry, that they X-Men might have been kidnapped by aliens, but they have survived worse encounters. He puts his arm around her shoulder, as they walk back. Illyana thinks to herself that she was not referring to the here and now at all, but to the daemonic limbo that she was raised for half her life. She was thinking of Belasco, who not only ruled that world, but ruled her as well. She recalls that some of the X-Men were there, some of them dying at the hands of Belasco, but some of dying at her own hands.

(the next morning)

At Xavier’s School, Dani dives from the diving board into the swimming pool. She does ten laps in the 25 meter long Olympic sized pool, as she has almost every morning since her arrival. Climbing out of the pool, she notices Shan offering her a towel. Shan tells her to dry off before she gets sick, asking how she can stand the freezing water. Dani tells her that the water is actually nice as especially with the warm weather. Dani is from the Colorado mountains where at this time of year, there’s snow on the ground, so this weather is like summer to her. Shan who is wearing a jacket tells her that it’s not summer to her. Telling her she’ll adjust to it, Dani tells her that the cold help to clear the cobwebs in her head, helping her to think. She tells Shan, she’s been doing a lot of that lately and that the Professor thinks she’s looney. When Shan asks if she is, Dani replies that she is just scared. That every since her arrival that someone or something is out to get her. At first she figured the idea of it was do drive her away from the New Mutants, but when she didn’t, things got serious. Dani tells Shan that her life is on the line and suspects the professor to be involved.

In the Danger Room, Cannonball is training with his flight as he crashes safely into a landing pad. Overhead in the computer room, Xavier asks how Sam feels. Shaking off the blow, Sam tells that he thought he was invulnerable when blasting, but he guesses he was wrong, and asks if he hit the target hard. Xavier tells him the readings were off the scale, and they should continue with his flight control by flying though scattered hoops in the room. Xavier tells him to take his time, but as he passes though the first hoop successfully, Sam crashes into the next one denting the metal hoop. Xavier thinks to himself that he’s glad that he measured Sam’s ability for physical punishment first. Apparently a minimum speed is needed for Sam to maintain flight, and though they might need to re-space the hoops, Sam should try again.

After the exercise, Sam is shaving, thinking that compared to this, working in the coal mines was a breeze. As he thinks that he has never been through such a beating, Sam blacks out. Continuing his thoughts that it will get worse before it gets better he notices the shaving lather gone cold, and a message on the mirror in shaving cream reading: MEET US IN THE BOATHOUSE. Sam doesn’t remember writing it, but knows that he must have. He thinks that only one person on the team has the power to make people do that, and once he catches up with her, she’s gonna regret it. Quickly putting on his uniform, Sam goes down to the boathouse slamming the door open. He yells at Shan telling her that she may be the oldest and leader of the team, but that doesn’t give her any right mucking with people’s minds, especially her friends. Roberto tells Sam to join the club, that Shan did the same to him and Rahne. Dani steps in, telling them not to yell at Shan, that Dani asked her to do it, to gather them all as quickly as possible.

When Rahne asks why, Dani tells her story, about when she overhead Xavier talking to Moira she felt lousy, but then she started to think about it. That the stains on her knife prove that that part of the dream was real, so why not the rest. Sam asks her if they’re supposed to be ghosts then, not buying her story. Dani asks Sam why he won’t admit that she could be right, that someone wants to get rid of her as quickly as they can. Sam tells her to give him a good reason - if Xavier wanted her out the school, why not simply expel her. Sam opens the door and starts to leave, telling them that Xavier’s a doctor, and that if he believes Dani is sick, they should believe him. A shocked look comes over his face as he looks out the door, saying “holy cow”. Shaken, he slams the door saying that on the other hand..... Shan asks him what is wrong, what did he see. Sam tells her she doesn’t want to know. Opening the door, Shan claims that it impossible. Roberto claims that the smell is awful. Out the door that once led to the school stands only odd alien purplish rock and what once was the school is a odd tower.

Shocked and pointing, Dani tells that Xavier is alone inside the house. Shan asks how they could save him, that illusion or not, the alien landscape masks the school, so they would surely get lost along the way. Sam tells for all they know they could be kidnapped, not even on Earth anymore. Dani claims there’s only way to find out, climbing down the stairs to the secret tunnels that honeycomb throughout underneath the school and other places. Dani says she’s already been exploring through them. When Roberto says he thought they were off limits, Dani replies “yup”. A frightened Rahne grabs Shan’s shoulders as Sam asks what are they going to do if the tunnels have been altered as well. Dani tells Sam that Xavier may be partly behind all of this, or the other hand he might be a victim as well, either way they desperately need to find him. She says that if anyone has any better plans then fine, but if not follow her. She opens the tunnel hatch.

Looking inside, Dani tells them the coast looks clear, when suddenly a tentacle grabs her, pulling her screaming into the tunnels. Rahne screams Dani’s name, as Sam claims that this cannot be real. Dani screams that this is the monster that ambushed her in the danger room. The Brood Queen tells the others to leave Dani’s life to it, and it will spare their lives. Shan screams “NEVER!” as she uses her mutant possessing power on the creature. The alien’s thoughts and fiber of it’s being is to much for Karma to bear, she shrieks, breaking the hold. Still in the Brood’s grip Dani kicks it’s head, telling the monster that it has caused her a lot of grief recently and she intends to return the favor. As she tries to reach inside to pull out it’s inner most fear, she finds that she cannot make any contact. The Brood tells her that is pity and now she is quite helpless. Rahne morphs from girl to half-human half-wolf to complete wolf. Wolfsbane has never been so scared, but she cannot let fear stop her from saving a friend. She leaps through the air gnawing the aliens arm. The alien screams in pain claiming that it cannot be.

Sam notices they have caught the alien off guard, so he ignites his mutant power, propelling himself towards the alien. When the smoke clears from Cannonball’s attack, they team realizes the Brood has disappeared. Sam offers that maybe the monster disintegrated, as they do on TV. Roberto jokes that maybe they beamed it up to the “enterprise”. Noticing the strain on Dani, Shan asks her if she is okay. She tells them except for the headache that feels like her skull is going to bust, she’s fine. Wolfsbane cries “look”, noticing the tunnel has changed from metal to a more cave like tunnel. Roberto has a funny feeling that the tunnel if formed by organic matter, believing that they could be inside a living organism. Rahne notices that everything behind them is still normal, suggesting they turn and even run away. Roberto asks if they do flee from the creature, how could they ever live with the memory that they deserted the professor? But Rahne asks what if they begin to change? Roberto tells that he doesn’t even want to think about it, offers to take Rahne’s hand as they go through the tunnel, so she won’t be as scared. As they travel down the through the tunnel, Roberto takes the lead. He notices how much more the metamorphosis is complete as the get towards the school, realizing that the mansion must be the source.

Shan wonders if they are facing a single opponent, and as they are so young and untrained, why hasn’t the monster overwhelmed them? Maybe the alien is not so formidable as it appears. Just then, one of the tentacles that cover the walls of the tunnel moves and before Roberto can acknowledge Rahne’s warning, it wraps around his waist, lifting him in the air. Rahne tries to save him, but before she can act, Roberto uses the solar power he had stored in his body, becoming superhumanly strong, and breaks free. Without a warning, the Brood attacks flying with wings and grabs Dani. Unable to break free, Dani screams as she feels a severe burning pain in her mind, and she blacks out. The rest of the group is attacked by monsters, which appear to be aiding the Brood.

Dani awakes with the Brood hovering over her, and her entire body from neck down cocooned. As she thinks that thy demon has wrapped her, her thoughts are spoken out loud by the alien who has the ability to read her mind. Asking why the alien did not kill her, she is told that it has a better plan for her and her teammates. An image appears of the rest of the team in agonizing pain, slowly transforming into Brood. The alien reveals that it will plant a royal egg inside each of them and when they hatch, the New Mutants will transform into young Brood queens. Together they will enslave the human race and conquer the world. Trying to use her power, Dani gets another headache, but then she remembers that she usually only gets them when she tries to use her power. She realizes that the Brood must have been forcing her to use her illusion power for quite sometime. Danielle tries to force the alien out of her mind, but wonders why everything that they’ve faced today has been solid objects, while her power only creates images. Reading her thoughts, the Brood tells that it has been augmenting her powers, fulfilling her abilities to their true potential.

Suddenly Cannonball smashes through the wall, with the rest of the team right behind him, ready to take on the creature. Sunspot notices that they are in Xavier’s study and asks what the monster has done with him. Tackling the Brood, Cannonball tells him to worry about that later. Dani orders Karma to possess her, believing with her possessed that the creature cannot use her powers. As Karma tries, the plan is back-fired, as the Brood queen senses the link, and possesses Shan instead. Karma, now under the alien’s hold, attacks Sunspot, who quickly elbows his teammate and knocks the wind out of her. With the enemy disappearing once more it waits only seconds to attack again, grabbing Wolfsbane from behind. The Brood claims that each time it is attacked, it will attack a million times stronger. Realizing that her and the team cannot take much more, Dani orders Cannonball to knock her out, since she is the key to it’s attack. Cannonball flies towards her, with the alien furiously leaping at him, but Sam is faster and punches Dani out.

Suddenly the room reverts to normal and Cannonball says that Dani was right, but wonders if this all was a creation of her insanity. Karma defends her telling that when she attempted to possess her that she had sensed the alien’s presence, telling them to take Dani to the infirmary quickly to see if she suffered any damage from his pulled punch. They receive a mental question from Xavier telling them to explain themselves for the destruction. Sunspot tells them to come up with something quick, because he thinks they are going to be in trouble.

Later that night, Dani is sitting outside the front door when Roberto comes out, asking how her jaw is. She tells him sore but not broken and when he asks if he could join her, she tells him that it is a public porch. Roberto tells her to cheer up that Xavier had believed their story after he mind-scanned them all. He tells that Xavier has been trying to find a way to locate the creature all afternoon, but they won today’s battle, and with Xavier leading them he knows they will win the war. Dani tells him that the creature is a long way from being beaten, as she can sense it out there, somewhere in the dark. She tells that she is the weak-link for which it’ll strike, that Xavier isn’t sure even he can protect her from it’s attack, and that maybe she should just leave. Roberto asks what would that prove, that she is part of a team who are friends. That they will stick together, and no slimy giant insect will ever drive the New Mutants apart. Reassured she thanks him, telling him that’s exactly what she needed to hear. She gives him a big hug. She tells him of her fear that the Brood queen knew so much about her power, things that she figured only Xavier knew, and what if he was involved under the aliens control?

Roberto tells her that no one is that good of an actor, and seeing a shooting star, he tells her that he has never seen one so big or bright, that it has to be an omen. She tells him that he might be right, but they have only been with Xavier for such a sort time, how are they to really know what he is like? He tells her that they will cross that river when they get there, as Sam comes outside telling them that Magnum is on TV, so they better come in if they want to watch it.

Characters Involved: 

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

Professor Charles Xavier

Banshee (former X-Man)

Moira MacTaggert

Illyana Rasputin

a Brood Queen

the Demon Bear

Story Notes: 

Danielle Moonstar believes the Demon Bear killed parents. (revealed in Marvel Graphic Novel#4) They were actually alive and trapped inside of the Bear until they were released in New Mutants #18-20.

In New Mutants #1 Moira was contacted by Gabrielle Haller who revealed that she has an illegitimate son with Charles Xavier.

Moira’s son Proteus went on a rampage that only ended with him being killed by the X-men in Uncanny X-Men #125-128.

Illyana’s song and mention of Cat and Ororo were a teaser for the fans at this time. It would all be revealed in her four issue limited series, which depicted the events of the time she was stuck in Limbo.

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.

Uncanny X-Men #167 picks up right where this issue left off, with the New Mutants watching TV. In the issue the X-Men return from space and manage to defeat the Brood Queen inside Xavier.

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