New Mutants (1st series) #38

Issue Date: 
April 1986
Story Title: 

Chris Claremont (writer), Rick Leonardi (guest artist), Bill Sienkiewicz (inker), Ken Bruzenak (letterer), Glynis Oliver (colorist), Ann Nocenti (editor), Jim Shooter (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

Magneto is haunted by dreams of the New Mutants squaring off against the Sentinels and the Hellions. His dreams increase his feelings of helplessness; he is as unable to help in the dream world, as he is unable to help them in reality. The dream always ends with Magneto telling the children its time for bed and the children returning to their own graves on the mansion grounds. The next morning finds Magneto brooding in the kitchen over a cup of coffee. Sharon brings in the mail and they discuss the dreams. Sharon gives him a letter from the White Queen. The children show up for breakfast but their mood is depressing. Despite Tom’s effort to communicate with Amara, it is clear that this is not going to be a problem easily solved by Magneto or anyone else presently at the Mansion. The situation has Magneto wishing that Charles Xavier were there to handle this instead of him. The White Queen appears to Magneto that night in his study. She says that she is aware of what is happening and knows that she can help. Magneto rejects her offer. The next day, Magneto puts Sam through a training session in the Danger Room and realizes that this depression is affecting the kids severely. Despite the teacher’s attempts to reach Sam, the session ends with Magneto feeling as if he has failed everyone. Magneto observes Stevie Hunters’ dance class and interrupts it to have words with the students thinking this will increase their level of performance. Instead, Illyana leaves for Limbo, and Stevie asks him to leave so she can teach her class without further interruptions. Dani spends some time caring for Brightwind. During this time in the stall, a frog appears (Thor in frog form) and Thor himself helps her through her personal turmoil. That night, Magneto arranges for the New Mutants to attend a dance at Salem Center, thinking this will help the kids out of their shared depression. However, his plan only backfires and the other kids comment on them as “the snobs at Xaviers”. Magneto meets the Salem Center Principal under his cover identity as Michael Xavier and rejects her offer of help as well. The next day finds Magneto brooding in his study and sitting in a chair that is in reality Warlock. Warlock reforms himself and tells Magneto he knows something is wrong with his friends. Magneto tells the youngster he is aware of the problem but does not know how to correct it any more than Warlock does. Magneto is puzzled that Dani is better and the other students aren’t. Magneto decides the problem stems from their time in battle with the Beyonder. Doug Ramsey’s parents meet with Michael/ Magneto to discuss the possibility of pulling Doug from the school because of his depression. Outside the mansion, Tom and Sharon stumble upon Empath observing the mansion through binoculars. Empath, however, controls their emotions making them more interested in each other than in him. The next morning Magneto calls the students to his study to announce that he is planning to transfer them all to the Massachusetts Academy. Dani objects and refuses to go, but the other students don’t seem to care at all. Magneto regrets this decision but feels he is doing the best thing he can for the students as Emma can help them where he cannot.

Full Summary: 

Magneto’s dream; battle scene

It’s all of the New Mutants against the Sentinels. Magneto is commenting that there is no way he can save these children that he cares for so much for. Even with all his power, he realizes that he can only watch them be slaughtered in this duel.
Mirage is aboard Brightwind, Rahne is in wolf form, Magik is using her Soulsword, and Sam is blasting. Magneto realizes that all their powers combined will not be enough to defeat this formidable foe. Magneto finds himself helpless to help the young mutants in their desperate battle. A battle he knows is only happing because they are mutants, different from the normal population of humanity. Magneto feels that as their teacher he should be able to do something because they depend on and trust him with their very lives.
Suddenly, the Sentinels are gone and a new foe has arrived. Magneto now observes his fledglings in a battle with the White Queen and her Hellions. The rougher the battle gets, the more the mutants seem to like it. The White Queen makes a valiant attempt to possess Karma, who in turn possesses Jetstream and sends him hurtling towards the White Queen. The White Queen dodges quickly to avoid getting smashed. Simultaneously, Magik conjures up a monster to deal with the Hellion who is attempting to pull Mirage from Brightwind’s back. This action results in empathy appearing directly in front of Magik, making her believe that she loves him so much she will transport him and the White Queen to her Realm of Limbo. Magik complies, helplessly under Empath’s spell. The White Queen orders empathy to slay the newfound girlfriend. Since Magik’s sorceress powers reign supreme in Limbo she is able to break the spell and return the favor to both Empath and the White Queen.

Magneto then senses another Hellion, this time in the mansion. He sees Tarot getting ready to draw a card from her deck and give it a life of its own. Mirage and Brightwind are close behind. Mirage draws/ manifests a likeness of Tarots true love from her mind while Brightwind deals with the apparition.

Suddenly Magneto sees himself at the second story window of the mansion. He opens it and tells his pupils that they have had enough for tonight and its time for bed. Cypher comments that he enjoys almost dying. The New Mutants begin saying goodnight to one another. But instead of heading for the mansion they go to a graveyard on the mansion grounds where each has their own tombstone. Each one crawls into the grave in front of the appropriate headstone and pulls earth over them.

Reality - the kitchen of Xavier’s mansion

Magneto has woken and gone downstairs for a cup coffee. He feels apprehensive, a little afraid that last nights dream is a reality, even though he knows different. Sharon strides into the kitchen to ask Magneto if he wants the mail or the New York Times. She stops short when she sees the look on his face. She inquires if he had the dream again. He nods a yes. Sharon sits down at the table across from Magneto. She says that she should have guessed, and the kids probably had it too. After all, it is late in the day and they are the only ones up. Magneto shares the detail with Sharon and says he fears for the kids’ very souls, the spirit that keeps them going into battle against such impossible odds. He also tells her that the White Queen and the Hellions are now a part of the dream. Sharon opens an envelope and tells Magneto that it’s a letter from the White Queen asking how things are progressing. Sharon asks Magneto if there could be a connection? He tells her that it is possible as he is sensitive enough to pick it up and she is a full-blown telepath so she should have no problem.

Sharon tells Magneto that he looks awful, and asks when he last ate? Magneto tells her that coffee is fine. She announces that there is no point for her to be the school nurse when no one listens to her. Sharon explains to Magneto that the kids look worse and they need him healthy, not in run down condition. Magneto tells her to hush as he sees Doug, followed by others, entering the kitchen. They all sit down at the table with him; all look like they haven’t slept in weeks. Sharon offers to cook but they all tell her they are not hungry. The mood in the room changes to an extremely depressed one. Tom enters and asks if Amara would mind meeting with him later and use her powers to clear snow off the driveway. Her despondent positive reply puts him off any more questions. Sharon pulls Tom aside and tells him that her training is in emergency medicine, not in treating psychosis. She also states that she wishes Charles were here, as he would know how to handle the situation. She tells Tom that she does realize Magneto is trying his best, and the present situation is unfair to him. Magneto sits silently drinking coffee, wishing to himself that Charles were present to help the kids where he cannot.

In his study Magneto cannot sleep, so he spends the hours roaming the mansion in quiet solitude. This night he has retired to his study for a drink. He realizes that Charles is a born teacher, and that his skills are far behind his friend’s. In the midst of his thinking, Emma Frost materializes seated on his desk. Magneto is surprised at her sudden appearance and demands to know what she wants. She asks him if he is drowning his sorrows in drink, and then reminds him that if she had wanted to kill him, he would already be dead. He tersely tells her to state her business and them leave as quickly as possible. She mockingly accuses him of gallantry and then tells him that she can hear the anguished cries of his students from her Massachusetts Academy despite the distance. Emma states that she can help his students where Magneto cannot. He asks for a reason to trust her. She tells him that he simply has no other option. After all, he can do nothing but watch helplessly as they go about their days like zombies, devoid of all emotion. Since she is a powerful telepath, she believes that she is capable of helping in this unique situation. She states that she is willing to admit them to her school and teach them as Xavier would. She also adds that she will not pressure them to join the Hellfire Club, but will instead help them live as happy and normal a life as possible under the circumstances. Magneto still insists that letting her take his students, entrusted to him by Charles Xavier, would be an act akin to the highest treason. Emma tells him that even though he is trying his best, his efforts are failing. She further states she does not want to see him sacrifice the students well being because he is unwilling to sacrifice his own pride in letting someone else help.

Next morning, the Danger Room

Magneto still remembers the sound of Emma Frost’s laughter from her visit the night before. At present, he is working with Sam Guthrie on some exercises to increase Sam’s maneuverability while blasting as Cannonball. Magneto utilizes his own power to arrange metal hoops into a slalom course for the young mutant to fly through. However, on this day Sam’s heart is not in his training session and he ends up covered with metal hoops in various arrangements.
Magneto halts the training session, tells Sam how disappointed he should be in himself over his own performance. Even asks Sam point blank if he cares about the training session at all. Magneto feels as if he is talking to the wall, so he tells Sam that better performance is expected of him. Sam only responds with a dismal “sorry sir”. Magneto asks the youngster if that’s all he has to say for himself; if something is wrong? Sam denies anything is wrong and says he feels fine. Magneto finds this news hard to believe and tells Sam that since he and Dani are co-leaders of the team the younger students look up to them for guidance. Magneto also tells him that he hopes the two co-leaders will also look to him for their guidance. Magneto asks Sam if what is happening to the team concerns him at all. Sam replies with an apathetic “nope”. Magneto tells Sam that all of the New Mutants have regressed in the control over their powers to the point they were at individually when they each came to the school. He tells Sam that by behaving this way they are failing themselves. Sam’s only reply is to stare at the floor and ask Magneto if they are through yet so he can go. Magneto tells him to run 5 kilometers around the track and them meet with him in the classroom as his academic performance has also been suffering lately.
Magneto stays in the Danger Room and uses his formidable power to fashion the metal hoops into a metal sculpture of Charles Xavier. He talks to the sculpture as if it were Charles, by saying that he knows he was too hard on the boy but has no other idea how to reach him or any of the other students. He tells Charles his personal theory that something happened when the students faced the Beyonder. Magneto feels that he must prove himself worthy to be Charles’ successor much sooner than he anticipated. Magneto walks away from the Danger Room feeling helpless, a feeling he is not used to, and the knowledge that the White Queen is right. He is a truly frustrated man.

Later, Steve Hunter is running a few of the young mutants through a choreographed dance sequence that they have practiced before. Rahne, the lead dancer in this sequence, is clearly not up to her usual performance level. Stevie calls a halt to remind her students that they need to do better and makes them start from the beginning again, with a special reminder to Rahne to at least try. Despite Stevie’s admonishments no improvement in performance is seen. In fact, quiet the opposite seems to be occurring. Magneto has been watching from the shadow of the open doorway. This scene pushes his temper over the edge. He disrupts the class with a loud “students” and tells them that when a teacher gives them an assignment they are expected to do it properly and tells them to start the dance sequence again. Illyana replies “Who cares” and is admonished sharply by Stevie.
Despite Stevies intervention Illyana states flatly that she will be back if she feels like it and zaps herself to limbo. Stevie turns on Magneto and asks him if he’s happy now. One student has gone, the others are still bad dancers, and Stevie requests to be able to finish her class without any more idiotic interruptions. Magneto strides back through the doorway without another word to Stevie.

Brightwinds’ stall is out back, in the unused carriage house on the mansion grounds. Dani is busier caring, for her treasured friend than for herself. She is helping her steed to feel good although she herself does not. Dani talks to Brightwind of watching the Beyonder kill her teammates while she watched helpless to stop it. She tells her equine friend that she feels she has failed the team on a very deep level. She states that when she was killed she was glad she got what she deserved for her actions. Then she states that the Beyonder did not let any of them stay dead because he wanted to play with them some more. She tells Brightwind that the entire team was told the Beyonder was dead, but she finds this news very hard to believe.
Suddenly, Brightwind begins to bow. Dani looks in the direction he is facing and sees only a glowing frog. Dani, however, also sees a vision of Thor and hears his words. Thor reminds her that because she is Valkyrie and mortal that she is unique. He tells her to use her faith to save herself from the shrivler of souls, despair. He tells her that if she can triumph or despair than nothing else can ever beat her.
It takes Dani a few seconds to even believe the vision was real. When she looks around for the frog, to offer assistance to Thor, it is gone. She tells Brightwind that she thinks she knows what Thor was trying to tell her. This makes her feel lots better and believe she can emotionally and spiritually recover from the terrible event she has endured.

Salem Center High School

The scene is of a typical high school dance. Right down to the crowded gymnasium, which serves as the dance floor. Teenagers are overheard talking about shoes, clothes and boyfriends. They are also overheard talking about the snobby kids from Xavier’s that are in attendance at this particular event. Magneto is standing on the opposite wall observing his charges. The fledgling mutants do not smile, speak to others, or even look like they are enjoying themselves. Magneto thinks he has made a grave error in bringing them. The dance was intended for them to enjoy themselves, not become outcasts from their own community.
A woman in her late 40’s approaches, calls him Michael Xavier, and introduces herself as Annalie Hagoth, Principal of Salem Center High. She inquires about Charles and is told that his prognosis is favorable but he won’t be returning to the school anytime soon. Annalie tells Michael that if he needs any assistance or advice he can always count on her help. Michael/ Magneto realizes the woman is perceptive trying to be tactful. He also knows that he cannot ask for her help any more than he can ask Emma Frost for help. Annalie states that she has heard that Dani Moonstar is going away soon. Michael/ Magneto tells her that Dani is going to visit her parents. The woman states that his tone of voice suggests that this particular student will not be returning anytime soon.

Magneto’s Study

Magneto stares out the window of his study and thinks that the night brings only dreams and the day brings only anticipated terror of the night to come. He realizes that things cannot continue on in this fashion. He is afraid that if Dani does return she will not find a school to return too. He realizes that in the old days he would have used physical force to make them submit to his will. He feels that something inside him has truly changed to prevent him from falling into the old pattern. Hi sits in his chair, thinking how odd it is that Dani has fully recovered while the others are in worse shape. Then he realizes that he is not sitting in his own chair. As he rises, the chair reforms into a very surprised Warlock. Warlock tells Magneto he is non-hostile and in non-defensive mode and begs Magneto not to hurt him. Magneto tells him to calm down and explains that old reactions die-hard. Warlock explains to Magneto that he is picking up anomalies in his teammates and does not understand why. Magneto tells him that the teacher is as lost as the student in this situation. Magneto asks Warlock what effects he has suffered from the encounter with the Beyonder. Warlock tells him that he was rendered inert but did recover. In the middle of their conversation, Sharon lightly taps and informs Magneto that Doug Ramsey’s parents have arrived. Magneto tells Warlock to come back later and then tells Sharon to show his students parents in.
Magneto greets them by their first names, Phillip and Sheila, whom state that they wish they were meeting him under better circumstances. They tell Magneto that Doug had been extremely happy with the move to the new school. But these past few weeks, Doug has not been himself at all. Magneto tells them that he is aware they are the schools attorneys and Charles has kept him up to date on this. Phillip tells him that they knew Charles, but they do not know him beyond the paper history they were given. They feel something horrific is happening to their only child and they want to stop it before it gets any worse and permanent damage is done.

Outside on Mansion Grounds a lone figure in a red jumpsuit can be seen watching the mansion with binoculars while standing in the snow in a grove of barren trees. He is glorying in the fact that worse is yet to come and Magneto is putty in his hands: for he is the Hellion Empath. A man and woman’s voice from behind demanding to know what he is doing on mansion grounds interrupt his thoughts. The man reminds him he is on private property. Empath turns, and recognizes them as Tom and Sharon, Magneto’s human assistants. It takes Tom a second to identify the intruder as a Hellion and another to order the young man into the house to face Magneto. Tom tells Sharon to keep a sharp lookout for the rest of the Hellions, but Empath tells them he is very much alone. Empath states he has no intention of going anywhere with them and reminds them that he possesses the ability to control emotions. Empath takes control of the two humans, forcing them to lose interest in him, and have a very passionate interest in each other. Empath, having taken care of the humans, turns his attention back to the mansion. He laughs silently at the predicament he has inflicted upon the humans and hopes someday he can do worse to Emma Frost. He also plans to play the faithful student until the time for a rebellion by him is ripe.

Magnetos’ Study (next morning)

Magneto remembers his conversation with Doug Ramsey’s parents from yesterday. Magneto tells the Ramseys that he agrees with their feelings. He also claims that he has been stubborn when it came to asking for help because of his own foolish pride. He regrets that his students have paid the price for this and in the morning he will rectify the problem.

Magneto is seated behind his desk with the new mutants dressed in uniform and in full attendance. Also in attendance at this meeting is Emma Frost. Magneto tells his students that he has decided to transfer them to the Massachusetts Academy. He tells them that he is disbanding the New Mutants and that the transfer has their best interest at heart. All the team members reply with a disheartened “yes sir’ with the exception of Dani who objects loudly. Dani begs Magneto to change his mind but he tells her it is already done. Dani states that she will not go and no one can make her. Emma Frost tells her that she is sorry Dani feels that way and hopes she will change her mind on the transfer. After everyone has gone, Magneto gazes at the picture of Charles on the wall and speaks to it softly as if to Charles. He says that he understands why Dani is upset, but he believes he has made the right decision and it is for the best.

Characters Involved: 

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

Brightwind (Dani’s winged Valkyrior Steed)

Magneto (Headmaster of the School)

Sharon Friedlander(Mansion Staff and School Nurse)

Tom Corsi(Mansion Staff)

Steve Hunter (Dance Teacher at Xaviers School)

Annalie Hagoth (Principal of Salem Center High)

Phillip and Sheila Ramsey (Parents of Doug Ramsey, Cypher)

The White Queen


In Magneto’s dream

The Sentinels
The White Queen

Empath, Jetstream and Tarot (All Hellions)

Story Notes: 

The New Mutants fought the Sentinels in New Mutants #2. Magneto was not present so we can assume his dream was based on his psychic senses of the children’s nightmares combined with what he had read of the history of the team that Charles left to update him.
The New Mutants originally fought the Hellions in New Mutants #16
The New Mutants’ last battle with the Beyonder occurred in New Mutants #37. He restored them to life in Secret Wars II #9 to use them as guinea pigs.
Thor was transformed into a frog in Thor #363. Presumably it’s Dani’s rapport with animals that allowed her to see him as he truly was.

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