New Mutants (1st series) #37

Issue Date: 
March 1986
Story Title: 
If I should Die…

Chris Claremont (writer), Mary Wilshire & Bill Sienkiewicz (artists), Orzechowski & Buhalis (letters), Glynis Oliver (colorist), Ann Nocenti (editor), Jim Shooter (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

The New Mutants are relaxing around the television at the mansion. They are watching a John Wayne movie. Dani is on the phone with her mother. In this movie, the Indians are the bad guys. Rahne does her best to remind her teammates that Dani is also Indian and her view of history will be different than the movies. Dani suddenly sees the personal deities or symbols of death above her teammates. This upsets her and she runs out of the mansion for the barn. Dani takes Brightwind for a ride into the night sky. While on this ride she sees visions concerning herself and her Grandfather. She is a little girl and they are seated around a campfire. Cannonball finds Dani in the middle of one of her visions.
Meanwhile back at the mansion, the New Mutants are attacked by a being calling himself the Beyonder. This being defeats each of them. Eventually, Dani is the only one left standing. She is determined to go out fighting and does so. With a wave of his hand the Beyonder erases her existence from her parents minds. He also erases the existence of Professor Xavier’s School. Roberto in themeantime is being driven through midtown Manhattan when the traffic suddenly backs up. He sees that a crane has fallen and hears whispers from the crowd of a women being trapped under the crane. He decides to help out as Sunspot. The She Hulk comes along and assists with the rescue. The media pays attention to the She Hulk leaving Sunspot to feel like a failure once more. A policeman tells him that the crane started slipping before She Hulk arrived and that he and the women owe their lives to Sunspots timely intervention. Upon returning to the car, Roberto decides to pay a visit to his mom at their family home in Rio De Janeiro
Roberto also forgets all about his teammates.

Full Summary: 

The X-Mansion’s living room:

The team known as the New Mutants are scattered over the living room floor and various pieces of furniture in front of a large screen television. They are relaxing and enjoying having the mansion to themselves. The senior team, the X-Men, and their Headmaster Magneto are still in San Francisco dealing with the repercussions of battling the being known as the Beyonder.

Sam is pretending shoot Illyana over the expanse of the living room floor and she is doing her best to die for him. Rahne is getting a bit upset as she has trouble concentrating on the movie with all the silliness going on around her. Doug tells Rahne that this John Wayne movie is not to be taken so seriously, but laughed at instead. Warlock appears to also be trying to watch the movie and Amara has a bowl full of unpopped popcorn kernels in her hands .

Shan, stretched out on a sofa, tells everyone that when she was little she had a crush on John Wayne. Sam tells his friends that John Wayne was his hero too and further informs them that the Duke’s first name is “Marion”. Amara changes to Magma and back again to share her freshly made popcorn.

On the television an image of a blond-haired female being menaced by an Indian with a tomahawk is displayed. Illyana refers to the Indian as a “snake in the grass” and Doug threatens the Native American with the US Calvary if the woman is harmed. Rahne goes up to the screen and points at the image of the Indian and reminds all of her friends that they could be hurting Dani’s feelings by making sport of Indians. Sam protests that this is just a movie. Silently Dani agrees with Rahne’s point of view. However, she chooses to remind her friends that she is on the phone with her mom and would appreciate it if they could keep the noise level to a minimum.

Dani tells her mom that her friends are watching some cowboy movie and she does wish Indians were portrayed a little differently. Then she tells her mom about her beautiful horse, Brightwind. Dani says her horse is named after the Pony that her Grandfather gave her when she was a little girl. Then her mom asks her the ultimate question, where did she get the horse? She hesitates to reply and her mom picks that up also. Dani knows there is absolutely no way she can tell her mom that Brightwind has wings and is from Asgard. She also knows she can’t tell her mom that Brightwind is one of a number of special horses that can only be ridden by Valkyries – All-Father Odin’s choosers of the slain.

While Dani is on the phone and mentally working out what she can share with her mom, she sees the image of a demon suddenly appear over Illyanas head. Shan has an angel above her head.
Dani sees Pluto (Lord of the Olympian underworld) above Amara, Rahne has a strange image of someone resembling a stern saint, the grim reaper above Doug, above Warlock appears an image of his evil father, the Magus, and Sam has a preacher holding a bible above him. Dani is so startled by these sudden images that she drops the phone, jumps from the chair, and runs from the room. Her friends watch her exit and wonder if it was something they said that drove her from the room.

Dani does not stop to answer her friends‘ questions, for she suddenly realizes the one thing all her visions have in common. She has just seen their personal images of death over her friend’s heads. Dani runs by a mirror and comes to a dead halt. She sees her reflection as an image of the outfit she wore when she road with the Valkyries in Asgard.
Dani’s second thought is that this is a spirit form of what she fears most, courtesy of her very own mutant powers.
The image in the mirror speaks. She claims to be Dani’s mistress and her most dreaded foe. Dani recognizes the image as the Norse goddess of Death, Hela. The Goddess of death tells Dani that she can see those who are about to enter the Goddess‘ Realm. The Goddess also adds that if Dani has the courage and the power she can save her friends from this fate. Dani is so upset by this apparition and what she says, that Dani believes this information to be a lie and runs out of the mansion and onto the grounds.

Mansion Grounds:

Dani continues her mad dash from the mansion into the solace of the night. She is screaming to herself that this is a lie. She refuses to believe the images are real and a potent to an actual event about to take place. Dani runs for the barn and to her only link that may help her understand the true nature of her vision.

All Dani can think of is running away from this horrendous vision. She mounts Brightwind without saddle or bridle and orders him to soar into the sky and away from her scary visions. While riding through the clouds she has time to think and analyze what has just occurred. She realizes that while she was in Asgard she did see a demon above Wolverine. Could this have been a warning that Wolverine would have died had Storm not fought Hela off?

Dani is slowly beginning to realize that she changed in Asgard. She wants to deny that Hela has once again told her the truth. However, she also realizes that if the visions are true and the New Mutants are about to face Hela. This may be an experience that none of them will survive.
Suddenly, Brightwind rears-up startled at the vision that he also sees. Dani does her best to calm him down and stay mounted. Dani and her steed observe her with her grandfather, Black Eagle, around a campfire when she was just a little girl. She is worried that her powers are creating a memory image, or could there be something else happening to her?

The image of her Grandfather speaks to the image of the little girl. He tells her that the Cheyenne, or the human beings, were once too proud and too free so the “white eyes” were sent to teach them humility. He tells the girl that the “white eyes” way of war was to kill the enemy. They would only end the war when their entire enemy was dead or had surrendered. He states that a warrior of the human beings must walk a different path. He explains to his grand-daughter that their peoples way is to “touch your foe” in order demonstrate how easily you could kill if you chose. This action shames the enemy.
He further states that the “whites” had no shame and were only concerned with winning.
Since they won, he says, he is not sure which way is better to follow.

Dani is concentrating on this vision when she hears a familiar voice call her name. She tells Sam that he must be crazy to startle her while she is lost in thought. Sam tells her that she has managed to scare all her friends and wants to know if they drove her away with their comments about the movie. He tells her they were all jerks except for Rahne who realized that the comments could hurt Dani’s feelings. He states that he just wants to help and that’s what friends are for.
Dani tells Sam that the action of coming after her was enough to let her know just how important she is to her teammates. Dani silently wonders how she can tell them about the vision she has seen regarding their deaths. She believes she does have to tell them. She wonders if Roberto will be spared the same fate as the rest of the team as she has seem no vision of death for him. She silently prays to her ancestors that this is the case.

In Manhattan:

Roberto is enjoying a chauffeured ride home when the traffic comes to a stand still. The chauffeur informs him that there has been a construction accident and they could be stuck in traffic for quiet awhile. Roberto decides to see if there is any way he can help and gets out of the car, much to the dismay of the chauffeur. Roberto approaches the accident scene and observes a crane lying on its side, policemen working crowd control, and two emergency workers trying to work on someone trapped underneath the crane. He also observes a news crew already doing a live feed and the newswomen stating that the crane has been like this for less than thirty minutes. Roberto hears from the whispers of the crowd that there is a lady trapped under the crane and she is badly injured. Everyone is afraid the rescue workers won’t free her in time to keep her alive.

Roberto decides that he must act quickly if he is to save the woman’s life. He reveals his identity as Sunspot to the surprised onlookers and policeman. Roberto is greeted with cries from the astonished citizens surrounding him of “It’s a mutie!”. At first, the police reject the offer of help. Then they realize they don’t have much choice as the jack holding the crane as weakening. Sunspot is directed to Sergeant Fletcher, who is currently supervising the rescue operation. Sergeant Fletcher silently includes Sunspot in his prayers as he New Mutant attempts to lift the crane by himself. As the crane is lifted slightly and the woman is close to being slid free, the jack slips. Sunspot realizes that he cannot hold the crane by himself although he is making a valiant effort. Suddenly, Sunspot feels the weight of the crane being shifted off of him and realizes that he now has help. After the helpless victim has been freed, he discovers that the She-Hulk is getting all the media attention. Sunspot begins to feel like failure, just as he was with his beloved Juliana.

Sergeant Fletcher approaches Roberto and says that the crane started shifting before She-Hulk grabbed it. The Sergeant feels that Sunspot saved his life and the life of the women trapped under the crane. If he has not been able to keep the crane from crushing them they would both be dead at this point. The policeman tells Roberto that muties will always be acceptable to him no matter what the world may say. He tells Sunspot to be proud of himself because of the two lives he has saved here today.

When Roberto gets back to his car he changes back to street clothes. The chauffeur asks where he wants to go and he says home. Silently Roberto wonders where exactly home is. He feels he does not fit in with either his father of the New Mutants even though he wears the uniform. Then he asks her if she knows what country his mother is in this week. She tells him his mother is in Brazil at the family home in Rio de Janiero. Roberto changes his destination to the Kennedy Airport.

The Mansion:

Danie is giving Sam a ride on Brightwing and they are discussing their separate plans for Thanksgiving. They are currently soaring above the mansion grounds. Sam says that he will be heading home for Thanksgiving. Dani says she will miss the first Thanksgiving with her family since she was a kid. Silently she regrets not telling her mother how much she loves her while she was speaking to her mom on the phone last night.

Suddenly, they both observe a flash of light from the mansion grounds. The flash temporarily blinds Sam. Dani tells him that someone has materialized in front of the mansion. Silently Dani realizes that the confrontation she has dreamed of is about to happen. She still feels that there is no need for a fight as she stills believes reason to be possible.

Inside the mansion:

The New Mutants are also responding to the flash of light. Everyone is in uniform except Amara who is in he long white Roman-style gown. Warlock grabs Amara in alarm and attempts to hide behind her. Amara assures Warlock that whatever the danger is, the team can definitely handle it. Warlock screams n fear for his life as the mansion doors are swung open by the force that has just appeared outside.

On the grounds of the mansion the team sees an all too familiar figure. As one they say the name "Beyonder". The figure voices agreement with the team. He states that his purpose is too understand the meaning of his own existence. He states that he offered them a chance to be at peace with all creation and they refused his offer. The team on the ground whispers to each other that they have bad feelings about this visit from the Beyonder. Rahne thinks he has come to punish them for their refusal.

Meanwhile in the air, Sam asks Dani if she is scared. Dani says she is scared, but she will never let the Beyonder see her true feelings.
On the ground, Illyana sates that she was the chosen messenger. She tells the Beyonder that if anyone is at fault she is. She says that the others should be spared and she should pay the price for denial.
The team screams Illyanas name as the Beyonder accepts her sacrifice. Amara changes to Magma and unloads her full force on the Beyonder. The Beyonder takes to the sky and tells Magma that her flames cannot hurt him as he is too powerful. Sam leaps into the air from Brightwinds’ back and joins the battle by hitting the Beyonder with the full force of his power. Sam sees the Beyonder still standing and makes another attempt at him. The Beyonder responds by backhanding Sam and sending him hurdling away, through the mansion and into the pool.

Dani sees that Sam is protected by his power and despite the rough landing he is ok. She then decides to use her power to pull the Beyonders’ greatest fear from his mind and make this fear his reality. Dani screams, grabs her head, and falls from Brightwinds back the ground below.
Dani experiences the Beyonders’ reality as no other has. She sees him as being as much afraid of life as of dying. Yet, interwoven with the fabric and existence of the universe, while at the same time being the greatest threat to the life of the same universe.
Karma rushes to the fallen body of her friend and yells at the Beyonder to release Dani before he kills her. The Beyonder states that Dani's death is his intention. Karma puts her whole heart and soul into an attempt to possess this powerful being. Unfortunately, her power is reflected back at her with its force magnified so much that her mind is instantly destroyed.

On the ground, Dani regains consciousness only to have Rahne tell her that Karma is dead. She silently fears that her visions are coming to pass. Rahne tells Dani that there is no more they can do against this powerful being. Magma overhears this conversation and continues the fight by pulling granite stones from the ground to crush her enemy. However, her effort is not enough. The Beyonder shatters the mountains of stone as effortlessly as he has shattered Karma's mind. Warlock wants to flee this being, but instead stays to fight. The Beyonder reminds him of his dead Sire Magus because he has injured Warlock's friends. Warlock hits the Beyonder with full force while remembering the star Magus destroyed when he was after Warlock. The Beyonder is flung to the ground. Magma and Cannonball join forces with their teammate and keep after the Beyonder until he ceases to move.

Cannon ball tells Magma that he believes they have killed the Beyonder. Magma says that he got what he deserved. She reminds him that the Beyonder was attempting to kill them too. Still Sam is not happy and he begins to cry. For the home and friends he has lost to this battle. Dani tells him to save his tears as she does not believe the battle is over with quiet yet. She reminds her teammates that they are kids, human kids, despite their powers and they Beyonder is anything but human. She reminds her friends of the fight she had last winter with the Demon Bear. Despite her arrows, she did not kill the bear.

The shocked team hear the Beyonders voice congratulating Dani on her perceptive thinking. They turn to see the Beyonder rise unhurt from the ground into the sky once more. He tells them that he has endured everything they could throw at him. And now, its his turn to fight back. A pit opens up underneath Amara and she falls. She has suddenly lost her ability to control the earth around her. Cannonball goes in after her and catches her. However, the pit has sealed itself and despite his blasts and invulnerability the walls of the pit are closing in on them. Dani silently wonders if the Beyonder was sent to humble them, teach them their true place in the scheme of life.

Warlock scans for his friends underground but can get no life readings. Rahne cries out their names in shock. The Beyonder turns his power on Warlock next. Doug, seeing Warlock nearly killed, goes to offer his life-force so that Warlock can reconstitute his body and survive this experience. Warlock refuses his friends help but Doug reminds him that the ultimate choice belongs to Doug, himself. Rahne stands nearby and silently prays for her friends to be strong and fight. In reality, she appears to be in shock and repeating the words "I'm sorry".
Dani stands with her head buried into Brightwnds side. She realizes that to the Beyonder they are just enemies to be dealt with as the Cheyenne were in the movie she watched with her friends earlier this evening. The Beyonder turns to her and asks her why she does not flee.
Dani answers him by stating that he is so powerful he could have destroyed them at any time. Yet he chose to play with them. She asks him if he was trying to learn something new about being human? She states that she wants to live just as much as her ancestors did, but realizes that her life, and the lives of her friends, ultimately mean nothing to a being as powerful as he is. The Beyonder tells her that there is a purpose to everything he does and he is very sorry that she is unable to understand this. Dani tells the Beyonder that what he is doing is wrong. The Beyonder tells her that it is his job to cleanse the world, which will restore peace and order to his existence. Dani reminds him that she and her friends have done him no harm. The Beyonder replies that they have done more harm then they can be aware of. Therefore, he will no longer tolerate their existence but will envy their eternal serenity instead.
Dani chooses this moment to say goodbye to her loved ones. She believes this is a good day for her to join Black Eagle. The Beyonder states that he has no choice and with a wave of his hand Dani and Brightwind tumble from the sky.
With a wave of the Beyonder’s hand, Dani's parents forget they had a daughter, Roberto forgets about his friends, and a virgin shoreline can be seen around Breakstone Lake. It is as if Professor Xavier and his school had never existed.

Characters Involved: 

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


Ruth: Roberto’s Chauffeur

Policemen at crane accident

Sergeant Fletcher, police supervisor at accident scene

Rescue workers at crane accident

Newswomen and news crew at crane accident

Women trapped under crane

Crowed of bystanders at crane accident

She Hulk

The Beyonder
Dani’s memory:

Black Eagle, Dani’s Grandfather

Story Notes: 

The X-Men too forget the existence of the New Mutants as shown in Uncanny X-Men #203. Only Kitty Pryde remembers thanks to her odd link with Magik.
This issue takes place after Secret Wars II # 8. In #9 the mutants will be restored.
The X-Men and Magneto are in San Francisco as shown in Uncanny X-Men #202.
The epic battle where Storm fought Hela for Wolverine occurred in Uncanny X-Men Annual # 9.
Sunspot’s girlfriend Juliana sacrificed her life for him in Marvel Graphic Novel #4.

The New Mutants traveled to Asgard in Uncanny X-Men Annual #9. It is there that Dani was chosen by Brightwind and became a Valkyrie.
The New Mutants first met the Beyonder in Secret Wars II # 1.

Issue Information: 

This Issue has been reprinted in:

Written By: