New Mutants (1st series) #36

Issue Date: 
February 1986
Story Title: 
Subway to Salvation!

Chris Claremont (writer), Mary Wilshire & Bill Sienkiewicz (Artists), Tom Orzechowski (letters), Michael Higgins (colors), Ann Nocenti (editor), Jim Shooter (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

Illyana gets a visit by the Beyonder who takes away her dark side, offers her harmony and wants her to pass this on to the other New Mutants. Illyana intends to convert her teammates – whether they want to or not. Things get more complicated though, as her magic passed to Kitty Pryde who suddenly finds herself having to fight demons which break through as the dimensional walls are weakening. Finally Magik takes back her evil side to save Kitty’s life.
Sunspot in the meantime has an argument with Magneto caused by his despair over the Beyonder and then takes a leave of absence from Xavier’s.

Full Summary: 

Danger Room:

Sunspot is practicing with his power observed by Tom Corsi. Sunspot is lifting a heavy metal beam.

Danger Room Control Room:

Magneto and Sharon Friedlander are observing the test. Sharon voices her opinion that Sunspot is nearing the limit of what his power can handle based on the physiological readouts she sees. However, Magneto disagrees and increases the weight the young mutant is handling.

Danger Room:

Tom asks Sunspot if he is ok but Magneto mentally tells Tom to stay out of this and Tom watches Sunspot strain under the newly increased weight. Sunspot believes that the weight has been doubled and his determination to handle the test in spite of Magneto’s interference increases. Sunspot believes that Magneto expected him to be incapable of handling the suddenly increased weight.

Danger Room Control Room:

Sharon voices her opinion to Magneto that this was too risky and was not really needed as a test. Magneto points out to Sharon that despite her doubts, Sunspot is capable of passing this test. After all, if he doesn’t challenge Sunspot’s abilities then the young mutant will not grow in power.

Danger Room:

Magneto tells Sunspot that he has passed the test. Sunspot vents his anger with Magneto by snapping the heavy metal beam in half. Sunspot as Roberto turns to the window of the control room and yells at Magneto in anger that he is happy with his capabilities and does not see the need to develop them further. Magneto telepathically communicates that some day Sunspot may face a situation in which more power is needed from him. Roberto reminds Magneto that he is not a member of the X-Men team and does not want to be one. Roberto states that all he feels he has accomplished what he came to Xavier’s to accomplish and now wished only to live a normal life. Roberto states that he does not in any way want to be a super hero and then he storms out of the Danger Room.

Danger Room Control Room:

Magneto tells Sharon not to worry about repairs as his power enables him to handle that. Sharon states that Roberto is only 13 years old. Magneto reminds her that Roberto will still have to face situations dealing with life and death regardless of his age. Sharon states that she is wondering if Magneto is being too hard on the young mutants, especially since the loss of Xavier was such a big shock for them to handle emotionally. Magneto states that he is not the source of Robertos’ anger, merely the person closest for Roberto to take it out on. He voices his opinion that this is not a problem that anyone can help Roberto with. He privately believes that Roberto’s problem goes back to the boys meeting with the Beyonder. Roberto is disturbed by the knowledge that the Beyonder has control over past, present and future – pretty much all existence.

Boys’ Locker Room:

Roberto takes out a picture of Juliana Sandoval, his long lost love and verbally wishes that he were not a mutant. He asks if Juliana can see what is happening from Heaven. Roberto is frightened that the Beyonder considers the mortal realm nothing by a toy. And since the Beyonder has control then nothing he can do will ever matter.

New York Public Library:

Kitty Pryde sits at a table heaped with books on Norse Mythology. A new interest for her stimulated by the X-teams’ recent adventure in Asgard. Totally wrapped up in her research, she phases through a lamp while reaching for a pencil. Thankfully, she catches herself and corrects the situation before anyone notices.

On the Subway:

Illyana Rasputin is riding the Lexington Avenue Express and worrying about being late for her meeting with Kitty at the library. Illyana has just left Bloomingdale’s and her arms are loaded with packages. Suddenly, the subway train screeches to a halt and goes dark. The frightened passengers see a light coming toward them in the darkness. One of the passengers says that the train is on fire and they should move into the next car. As Illyana is on her way to safety she hears a familiar voice call her name. She turns, Soulsword in hand, and recognizes the Beyonder.
The Beyonder tells her that he brings the dawn of a new age. Illyana tells him she is not interested and strikes the Beyonder with her Soulsword. She is shocked as the Beyonder calmly takes her Soulsword – something that should not be possible – and asks why she tried to harm him. Illyana knows that only she and Kitty can touch the sword, so what is he doing? He states that he can also touch the sword because he is beyond rules and restrictions. The Beyonder states that he is a being of what is but he wishes to know more. He states that he is in chaos but desires only order and with a wave of his hand he manifests Illyana’s darksoul for all the world to see. The Beyonder places his hand on her head and proceeds to probe her feelings about this part of her being. Passengers who have moved into the next car observe this entire scene in disbelief. Illyana asks the Beyonder what he is doing. The Beyonder states that he is just restoring the natural order of things and wishes his own natural order would be restored to him in return.

On the Street Above:

Onlookers are shocked when the subway car containing Illyana and the Beyonder, rises out of the ground and takes to the sky.

New York Public Library:

Kitty is still buried in books but beginning to get hungry. The Soulsword materializes right in front of her causing her to phase through the chair in fear. Kitty the finds her right arm clad in eldritch armor and the medallion Belasco gave Illyana around her neck. She remembers something similar happening when she and the New Mutants faced the Beyonder in Los Angeles.

A Librarian approaches Kitty to let her know that weapons don’t belong in the library. Kitty realizes that she must find Illyana and alert the X-Men that the Beyonder has returned. Kitty hears a scream from the great hall of the library and dashes off in that direction. Kitty finds a three-headed demon in the great hall. She quickly phases through the floor in order to get behind the demon without being seen. She attacks the demon from behind with the Soulsword. As Kitty dispatches this demon two others appear to take its place.

Xavier’s Mansion, at the pool:

Illyana’s fellow New Mutants are enjoying a lazy afternoon at the pool. Danielle and Doug are racing around the pool, Warlock is playing submarine, and Shan is helping Amara cope with the world’s worst sunburn. Sam comments on Amara’s situation as he climbs out of the pool. Sam is looking around for Bobby when he sees something start to materialize on the other side of the pool. Amara states that she cannot see what is happening because the event is too bright. Shan exclaims it can’t be possible and Warlock sounds the alarm as the demon materializes from the very air itself. Doug breaks the surface of the poor and is followed by Dani. Doug states the seeing and smelling this horror make him sick as Dani orders the New Mutants into action.

Amara blasts the apparition with lava while Shan tries to possess it. Rahne changes into wolf form to protect her teammates. Warlock, however, touches the horror, turning it into a techno organic being and then drains its energy. This drops the creature to the ground where it once stood. Shan comment to Dani that Sam did not help them and is nowhere to be seen. Sam has gone into the air to meet the approaching subway train car. A surprisingly serene Illyana sees Sam and invites him to come aboard so she can teach him everything she has just learned. She tells Sam that she is always who she dreamed of being. Meanwhile, the subway car lands on the Mansion grounds and the other team members approach it.. Illyana calls out a greeting to them, and says she thinks the subway car is cute but not as wonderful as Kitty’s’ pet dragon. Warlock reminds Illyana that now is not the time to joke. After all, a monster attacked them and she did not even offer to help defeat it.

Warlock privately wonders if the monster came from Limbo. Much to everyone’s astonishment Sam tells them that the apparition is not at all important.
Illyana tells them that something wonderful has happened to her and Sam. Sam states that that the plot of “Childhoods End” by Arthur C. Clark has come true. Illyana states that the Beyonder wants to help them in a similar fashion to the plot line.

Dani states that she is not interested and is much more worried about the monster lying on the ground. Illyana takes a look at the demon and identifies it as a minor demon of the Elder Host. They want to conquer the Earth and apparently the dimensional barriers are weakening. and more will be popping out anywhere they want to. The team is astonished that Illyana has no concern for the situation at all. Illyana states that the only thing that is important is the Beyonder and his plans. Doug accuses her of being in league with the demons and their plans. He reminds her that she is a demon sorceress and a mistress of black magic. Illyana states that she used to be evil but that the Beyonder changed everything by allowing her to see what he is and helping her to attain her true self. Illyana also offers to help her friends the same way and offers them her hand. Rahne reacts by moving to attack Illyana, but Shan grabs her and holds her back. Rahne states that she has her own set of beliefs and does not care to change them for anyone. Shan tells Illyana that she is happy for her as a friend but has no wish to change her beliefs either. Illyana still pressures her and Shan states she will not be forced. Sam states that he needs to show them so he grabs Amara to demonstrate. Warlock is told by Dani to prevent Sam from taking Amara into the subway car. Illyana grabs Warlock instead of Amara. Warlock reacts badly to the change so Dani decides to manifest Illyanas worst fear so Warlock can be rescued. A gigantic four armed, horror with a tail appears towering over the new mutants and the subway car. Dani is shocked that she could manifest such a thing.

They all quickly realize that this time the monster is real. The monster tells them all that Kitty fought well but did not know what she was doing so she was easily defeated. The New Mutants observe that Kitty is part of the creature’s necklace. The horror states that it needs Kitty’s life soul and one more in order to create the last two bloodstones and open the rift so the demons can take over Earth. The Demon then grabs Sam. Shan tries to possess the demon and Dani tries to use her spirit form to scare it while Rahne tries to attack the clawed feet of the towering form. Doug mentally anguishes over the uselessness of his translator talent in relationship to this battle. Amara turns into Magma and tries to lava blast the demon.
Amara urges Sam to switch to Cannonball in order to free himself from the creatures grasp. The demon laughs at their efforts and states that Kitty’s soul is to form the fourth bloodstone. Dani yells at Illyana to save her friend. Illyana realizes that Kitty is there in her place because of the cleansing action of the Beyonder. Illyana also realizes that she must once again become evil to save her friend. If she lets her friend die then she can never be truly good. Illyana changes into Magik and breaks Sam free. Sam changes to Cannonball to give Illyana a lift back to the ground. Illyana sends the demon back to its own dimension and locks the gateway behind it. Then she goes to look for her best friend. Her other teammates gripe about the demon’s stench. Illyana finds Kitty lying on the ground and she grabs her and holds her. Kitty tells Illyana that she was never worried. She knew that Illyana would save her from the demon.

Characters Involved: 

Cannonball, Cypher, Karma, Magik, Magma, Mirage, Sunspot, Warlock, Wolfsbane (all New Mutants)


Tom Corsi, Sharon Friedlander (Mansion staff)

Passengers on subway

Pedestrians on street

The Beyonder
Demons of the Elder Host
On Sunspot’s picture:

Juliana Sandoval

Story Notes: 

In Arthur C. Clarke’s “Childhood’s End” the Overlords, beneficial aliens, come to Earth to help humanity achieve the next evolutionary step by becoming part of the Overmind.
Sunspot’s girlfriend Juliana sacrificed her life for him in Marvel Graphic Novel #4.
The bloodstone medaillion once owned by Dante’s beloved Beatrice was given to Magik by Belasco. Once all five bloodstones are assembled, the walls between Earth and the dimension of the evil Elder Gods would be shattered. At that point three bloddstones already existed [see the Magik LS].
Xavier asked Magneto to take over his role as headmaster, when his failing health forced him to go with the Starjammers [Uncanny X-Men #200].
The X-Men’s and New Mutants’ adventures in Asgard occurred in New Mutant Special Edition # 1 and X-Men Annual # 9.
The New Mutants first met the Beyonder in Secret Wars II #1.
Demons from the incident popped up in Power Pack # 20.
As of Secret Wars II #7 the Beyonder is on a self-styled mission to bring harmony to Earth.

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