New Mutants (1st series) #6

Issue Date: 
August 1983
Story Title: 
Road Warriors!

Chris Claremont (Writer), Sal Buscema (Penciler), A. Gil & J. Tartag (Finishers), Janice Chiang (Letterer), George Roussos (Colorist), Louise Jones (Editor), Jim Shooter (Editor-in-chief), Created by :Chris Claremont & Bob Mcleod

Brief Description: 

On the hunt for their kidnapped teammate, the New Mutants ask Karma’s uncle crime lord Nguyen Ngoc Coy for help in finding the kidnapper, Viper. After a struggle, he agrees to help them for the price of one year of Shan’s services to help his criminal empire. She agrees and they get the information they need to track Viper to Big Sur, California. Team America continue their mission to steal a crystal from AIM laboratories, so the Viper will not kill Danielle Moonstar. They realize they must work as a team, and they eventually get the crystal, with the help of Xavier. After they grab the crystal the building explodes, and they are somehow saved. After they flee the base, they are tracked down by AIM guards as Wolf bravely calls upon the power of the Dark Rider. He gains the power to save himself and his friends, and destroy the enemy. In Big Sur, Karma leads the New Mutants into Viper’s area, to save Dani in case Team America should fail,as she hears a voice calling out to her. She turns and finds something horrible and she screams out letting the guards know they are there. Acting quickly to save their friend they succeed in driving away Viper and the Silver Samurai with only Wolfsbane injured. As Xavier mindcalls to them, his face changes, but only to Shan. The voice she heard before calls out to her, threatening it is here to claim her body and soul. As she screams the New Mutants pick her and Wolfsbane up to leave. Outside in a yacht making their getaway, Viper orders Samurai to dispose of them. He does, and with a push of a button, the fortress explodes. Xavier cries out, sensing first pain, then nothing from his students.

Full Summary: 

In the heart of San Francisco’s business district, stands the 60 story tall Carillon Towers. With the building are half offices, half leisure apartments, but within the penthouse is where the owner of the building lives, Nguyen Ngoc Coy. Nguyen was formerly a general in the South Vietnamese National Police. While officially he is a prosperous businessman, secretly he is the self-styled crime lord of the Bay Area. He sits on his couch with two beautiful women when suddenly the New Mutants bust in, with Sunspot, busting through the wall and Cannonball smashing through the ceiling. Nguyen shocked screams „Sacre Coeur!" Over the years Nguyen has beaten back every single challenge to his rule, destroying every foe, he believed to never have a fear in the world again. He was wrong.

Karma greets her Uncle, sarcastically stating it is pleasant to see him again. Nguyen is shocked, ordering the women to kill her, to kill them all. They draw their guns, as Karma claims they won’t be doing any killing as she possess the two women. Her distinctive halo of energy surround his female bodyguards’ heads, causing their thoughts and will to belong to Karma. While her teammate acts, so does Wolfsbane, turning from girl to lupine form she tackles General Coy. Karma tells Cannonball that they will have no further problems from the bodyguards as she made them simply fall asleep. She hopes her Uncle will be as easy to deal with.

Karma reveals the reason for their visit, demanding her uncle’s knowledge of the international terrorist known as the Viper. Face down on the ground, with Wolfsbane snarling at him, Coy tells them they are wasting their time. When he tells them he is a simple business man with no dealings with such, he is cut off by a vicious growl from Rahne. He demands that Shan tell her beast to get away from him. Rahne gets up, shifting back to human form, as Shan states she knows that he is lying as she knows too. They are in no mood for his games, while the Viper has abducted one of their friends. They mean to rescue her, and he will help them. When he asks what would happen if he chooses to refuse, Shan warns it would be… regrettable.

With her warning, Shan takes control over her uncle, forcing him outside his window onto the balcony. Roberto tells his friends it is a pity Professor Xavier is not with them, as he would be able telepathically read her uncle’s mind, they would get the information they need and more. Shan tells Roberto while Xavier is in Mexico, aiding Team America, they are left to their own devices. Shan forces her uncle on the edge of the balcony, then allowing him to regain control. She threatens him to look down to the 250 meter drop to California St. Clutching the ledge, Coy screams ‘Blessed Saints!’. Shan tells him that his Saints cannot save him, but she can destroy him, with only a thought she could rid the world of human vermin. She threatens him to talk or die, as he turns around to face her with a sinister smile, and challengingly tells her no. He yells at her to do it, possess him, and kill him. He continues his challenge reminding her of the many reasons she has to kill him. When he betrayed her parents, corrupted her brother, forcing her to destroy him. He tells her he is everything she hates and despises, telling her to kill him unless she is bluffing. Shan struggles with herself for a minute before she refuses, looking away. Coy taunts her father and the priests taught her too well. Angered Roberto threatens while she may have scruples, he is not so squeamish. Begging him no, Shan yells for her friends to stop him. Grabbed by Rahne and Sam, Roberto demands they let him go.

Shan reminds him of the New Mutants’ pledge not to kill, and if they do not stay true to their promise, they are no better than her uncle. Coy tells his niece she judges him too harshly, he is neither an unreasonable man nor vindictive. He offers he will be happy to help them, but for a price - her services for one year. Shan’s thoughts race as she knows she will be forced to use her mutant powers to help his criminal empire, just like her brother had done voluntarily. She thinks she dares not, but she cannot abandon her friend Dani in this time of need. Looking ashamed and down at the ground, she accepts his offer.

In Sonora Province, New Mexico, the calm desert air is interrupted by the roar of high performance engines. Two motorcyclists of Team America, The Wolf and R.U. Reddy make their way south towards the mountains. The team’s motor-cross expert takes the lead, while the Wolf, their fastest rider, struggles to keep up. R.U. boasts that speed isn’t everything, especially out here in the desert, you have to know where and how to land. The Wolf lands on his front tire, and flies from his bike. R.U. adding his insult to injury tells him it looks as if it hurt and asks if he cares to finally admit he isn’t in R.U.’s league. Clenching his fist, Wolf notes that R.U. did that on purpose. R.U. tells him he’s not on the speedway or highway and if he keeps playing the bulldozer out here, he’ll spend most of the time picking himself outta the dirt. Catching up, with them their teammates ask what had happened. R.U. just states that Wolf learnt a long over-due lesson . Angered Xavier enters their mind through via a Psi-link, asking if they have completely lost their senses. Shocked at Xavier’s power, they ask him to tone it down, as his projection is so loud it hurts. Xavier continues, asking how dare they act so childish and irresponsible when Danielle Moonstar’s life is in danger. They have a long way to go, with a dangerous mission to accomplish. They need cooperation and team work if they are to succeed.

Honcho apologizes, promising it won’t happen again, asking how Wolf’s bike is. Fixing the bike Wrench, the team mechanic, reports it will need minor work, but he will work as fast as he can. Georgina Hebb, his wife, brings him some of his tools so he can start his work. Wolf tells him to make sure he just fixes it properly. Telling Wolf to knock it off, Honcho asks R.U. if he is proud of himself, or if he thinks this is some sort of game and he’s earning points. Honcho reminds them Xavier was right, Danielle is counting on them to save her, and if they continue that way they’re going she’s as good as dead, and so are they.

Xavier sits in the custom made SR-71 Blackbird on the California bank of the Colorado River. Lilandra approaches, seeing the obvious strain he is in due to this situation. She massages his shoulders asking if he is well. Xavier tells her he is tired, while they have landed in a mid-way point in between the New Mutants in San Francisco and Team America’s mission, he is near the limit of telepathic range for both teams. The stress of the journey already mixed with the tension Team America has within, leaving him to focus most of his time with them, not with the New Mutants. Lilandra comforts him telling him to rest, that he will be a help to no one if he has exhausted himself. He thought he could keep tabs on both teams, switching back and forth mentally, but it’s proving impossible. He recalls the plan for Team America to steal the crystal Viper wants, with the New Mutants rescuing Dani in case they would fail, and so far neither goal has been reached. Lilandra reminds him to be patient, that they wait is hard, but it is the price one pays for being a leader.

In Big Sur, California off the coast , up upon a cliff, Dani sits in her cell inside the Viper’s hide-out. She is huddled in her bed, as she tells herself to face the facts. She’s in a dungeon, the prisoner of some crazy lady who plans to kill her if her ransom is not met by tomorrow morning, and she may kill her anyway. She knows she is in big trouble. Getting up she peers through the bars of the window of her door in search of guards. She could possibly scare them with her spirit forms as she did their boss earlier. Then she decides it wouldn’t do her any good, it would only make them run away, what she needs is the door open. Turning to stare at the camera watching her, she recalls Xavier trying to teach her how to control the images she pulls from peoples’ minds. If only she could lure a guard in there, or create a solid reality instead of illusions she could bash the door down. Or if she could only make her power work long distance she could frighten who holds her in this cell.

From the monitor, the Silver Samurai watches Dani in a robe. He knows there is a untamed spirit and passion in her, one that even rivals Viper’s. He wonders if Xavier knows he has the tiger by the tail. Coming out of the bathroom, drying off, Viper asks how their young guest is doing. Still staring at the screen, he tells her she is too dangerous and should be killed. Shutting of the monitor, she assures him in good time she will, but her death should be artistic, and that will take some thought. Viper is also curious about her power.
Touching his face, she asks, not trying to pry, what has been troubling him recently. He seems pre-occupied, it affects his efficiency, and she can not allow that even for someone she cares for. He reminds her that Yashida Shingen, his father, is dead. She is sorry, knowing how much he meant to him. She asks if he intends to return to Japan to reclaim his inheritance. He grabs his sword and angrily slashes through a lamp and the table it’s on. He screams he has no inheritance. Shingen pledged that, upon his death he would become lord of the clan Yashida. But his place has been usurped by his half-sister Mariko. She has announced her love for the X-Man known as Wolverine. Still looking angry, he tells Viper he has no land, no name, he is nothing. Comforting him she tells him he is her champion, and her friend. When their business here is finished , she suggests they travel to Tokyo to claim what is rightfully his. Should Lady Mariko or Wolverine stand in their way… he finishes her sentence sword raised in the air, they will die!

A fortress stands in Black Mesa. No one knows who built this fortress and bribes keep the government away. Those who do not stay away simply disappear, as does anyone who penetrates its security zone. Passing that zone is Team America, Georgina claims she has never seen so much riding. They’d never have reached the fort on time at all without Wolf and R.U. blazing on their trail. R.U. admits this rich kid is tired, jokingly asking GeeGee to find him a bed. Wolf admits the credit is R.U.’s, for all of Wolf’s speed would have been nothing if R.U. did not teach him the way, he would have crashed long ago. R.U. thanks him, a compliment means a lot coming from Wolf. He admits they would have never gone so far without Wolf pushing him, and maybe that’s what Xavier meant by team work.

Minutes later, Cowboy slides down the small cliff and finds Wolf and R.U. sleeping, he wonder what gives. Xavier explains through a Psi-link they have earned their rest, and with them asleep and their natural defenses weakened, he can easily hone their mutant abilities. Cowboy admits it’s better them than him because he doesn’t care for people to poke around inside his head. He asks Georgina for help to put the bikes away, as she hopes Honcho and Wrench are okay inside the frightening place.

Inside, Wrench jokes it’s a heck of a way to earn a living, as Xavier warns them of two approaching guards. Honcho thanks Xavier as he knocks out the guards, and tells wrench to put their uniforms on for them to move more freely in disguise. Wrench notices that they are women, but luckily the uniforms are so bulky, no one should notice. Wrench asks if Honcho knows who they are, and he learns they are AIM, Advanced Idea Mechanics, a crime think tank. They ask Xavier through the Psi-link what is going on. Xavier informs them that he made a scanned layout of the entire complex from the guards, before Honcho knocked them out, and he will direct them to their destination. Xavier senses references to a „Project: Matrix," but little beyond that. The thoughts of the research staff are protected by sophisticated psi-shields. He notes there is a considerable amount of excitement and fear within their minds. Wrench can identify with those, as they’ve reached the vault, Honcho tells him it’s time for Wrench to „strut his stuff’.

Working on the lock, Wrench notes the lock is electronically coded, and it will take too long to figure the proper combination. Honcho tells him to do what he thinks is best, but not to make a mistake. Before Honcho finishes his words, an alarm sounds off. A worker below calls out unauthorized personnel along the catwalk. Another shouts to gun them down. As they open fire amongst the two, Honcho tells Wrench to hurry up. Wrench has the vault open and sees what they have came for - the crystal. He never imagined it to be so beautiful. Honcho yells for him to admire it later, just grab the rock and run. But before either man can take a few steps, the entire building blows up, leaving their teammates to shield the face from the explosion. They scream as they realize they may never see them again. At the same time, Xavier falls from a psychic attack from Black Mesa. Xavier knows one so savage and powerful could only belong to another mutant. His telepathic powers prove to be his undoing, as the rogue mutant strikes him down, and with him Lilandra who shares a psychic-rapport with Xavier.

In Big Sur, Viper’s estate, a mercenary guard, the best money can buy and always on alert. This time it does no good to be on alert, as she falls to the ground asleep, victim of Karma. The New Mutants approach the building as Sam starts to mention this adventure reminds him of the first time they met. Karma shushes him, as Roberto asks if they have trouble. She states she was supposed to contact Xavier before moving any further, but he is not responding to her mind calls. Roberto offers sarcastically, he is probably busy with his new darlings, Team America. Sam says he thought they were his heroes, especially Wolf. Roberto tells him they were, until he met them. Karma decides they can no longer wait, as it is getting too late. She warns them to move carefully and quietly. She hears a voice in her mind hauntingly calling her name. She asks who calls, asking if it is the Professor. She turns to hear the words, "hardly my dear, I am that which will bring about his destruction and you shall be my instrument." She screams no, looking as if she had seem something worse than a ghost. She wonders what exactly she saw that frightened he so, she wonders what she has done.

Asking why she had screamed, Roberto warns them of the spotlight about to hit them. A guard announces there they are, as more armed guards pile outside. A leader barks out commands as they run by, and another guard asks what the orders are. Another replies "what do you think dummy?" as his plans are stopped by Cannonball blasting through them, who tells them the New Mutants don’t take kindly to being used as target practice. He blasts through them and into the building, shaking its occupants. His teammate Sunspot uses his strength from solar charged energy to lift a near by truck and smash it into a building, having similar effects. Karma moves along easily as Sunspot’s rampage caused him to blow the generator. She uses the darkness to her advantage and possess two guards to attack their comrade.

In Dani’s cell, there is a giant rumble and a chunk of the wall flies out. She notes it sounds like a heck of a fight upstairs. As guards approach her she uses her spirit forms from their innermost fear to side track them as she punches them out. Running through the hall, she holds her hand after the punch left it sore. She thinks punching people is a lot harder than it looks on T.V. Looking for the exit, she notices a body laying limp on the floor. It’s her teammate, Wolfsbane in human form. Approaching her friend, she sees she is cut, slashed very badly down one side. From behind her she hears, „that blow was meant to kill, as is this one!" She spins around to find the Silver Samurai.

Back in Northern Mexico, Team America race across the desert. Wolf calls up to his partner, claiming he still doesn’t know how him and Wrench survived that blast. Honcho doesn’t know the answer, unless it has something to do with the crystal. He lets his partners know that he figures it’ll be an hour until they reach the border, then they should be home free. Wolf replies he does not like the fact they have heard nothing from Xavier for an hour. A blast of some sort of grenade falls between the bikes, as he yells for Georgina to watch out. She flies off her bike after the explosion, as they see AIM hover crafts approaching fast. They should have known they would not give up the crystal that easy. Getting up, Georgina notes they do not have any weapons there is no way they stand a chance against them. Cowboy orders his teammates to high-tail it home as he will provide a distraction. Wolf screams for him not to, such an action would be suicide, but Honcho tells him there is no other way. Wolf knows another way, as he screams out „Black Rider, hear me!" He begs the Dark Rider to come the aid of him and his friends. Honcho asks if he is crazy, as Wolf tells him he might just be, but Xavier has been working with them to gain control over their powers. He recalls Roberto saying some harsh things which no prove true. He didn’t ask to be mutant or hero, but since fate made him both he shall do so with honor. His entire body and motorcycle are illuminated with superb energy, as his teammates cry out with concern.

Above them the AIM guards fire at Cowboy, claiming he moves like a jackrabbit. His partner tells him to box him in to stop his maneuverability. Suddenly and much to their surprise, a man on a motorcycle slam into the back of their hover craft. Neither bike, nor rider should have been capable of such a feat, yet quickly and effortlessly they do. as the Black Rider leaps from that hover craft to the next and leaps once more as he flies from his bike to punch the pilot of the third. He lands gracefully on the back seat of Cowboy’s bike. Surprised, Cowboy asks his comrade if it is really him. He answers „in part, yet so much more." He summoned the powers of the Black Rider, and the sensations are magnificent to the point that he can not describe. His eyes are glowing white. He continues he has never felt so capable, like there is nothing he cannot do. Cowboy is glad as he sees more hover crafts approaching in the distance.

Back at Viper’s lair, Dani shields her friend as the Silver Samurai raises his sword for the deadly blow. Calling her a witch-child, he warns her that her illusions will not save her. Blasting through the wall, Cannonball tackles him and continues to fly. He assures them her forms will not have to save her, as he will do the job. He figures he owes him a rematch since their little scrap back in New York. Before he slam-lands with the Samurai in his grasp, he taunts he hopes it hurts, as there will be more to come from where that was from. Taking his stance with his sword, Samurai warns him, appraoch if he dares, as his energy blade will send him to his ancestors. Quickly approaching them, Sunspot tells his partner to stay down, the next round us his, as he knocks Samurai with a solar charged punch. Samurai is shaken by the blow, even through his armor. He knows he will not be able to withstand another. His primary responsibility is to Viper, and once he knows she is alright, he will comeback to dispose of the children. He teleports away, just as Sunspot’s punch was about to connect.

As the Samurai uses his teleportation ring to find his mistress, she is locked into a heated battle of wills against Karma. Viper tries her best to withstand Karma’ possession to point her handgun at her head and pull the trigger. Samurai appears behind her calling out her name, as it breaks her concentration, she calls him a fool. Karma thanks him for the distraction, as she overwhelms Viper’s defenseless mind. Viper, now with the energy halo around her head, swings around pointing the gun at her partner, demanding he drops his weapon. He knows Viper speaks, as it is Karma’s voice, as he chops Vipers neck rendering her unconscious. He warns he hopes Karma’s gods have mercy on her, because Viper surely will not. He notices as he strikes Viper, Karma feels some pain. He will keep that in mind for next time, as he knows she is now vulnerable. It would take no effort to kill her now, but he shall leave that glory for the Viper. Stepping over her, he uses his teleportation ring to teleport to safety.

Sunrise on the Colorado River, Team America are now aboard the Black Bird. They try to revive Xavier with a wet rag, as he starts to move, they announce he’s coming around. Wrench claims at least they know why he wasn’t responding to their mind calls. Xavier tells them he was attacked by a psychic assault like none he has ever encountered, he asks how his love, Lilandra is doing. She replies she has a fierce headache as well but she shall recover. Xavier reports there is no sign of the entity anymore, as Honcho suggests perhaps it died in the explosion, and he felt a psychic backlash from it. Unfortunately Xavier sensed a birth, not a death. A new mutant possessing unknown unimaginable power. He wonders exactly what AIM was working on. Honcho reports they did retrieve the crystal, and that should count for something. It only raises another question, Xavier adds, why did Viper want it? He tells the team to strap them selves in, he has been out of contact with his students for too long, they must move quickly. Honcho tells him to hold on just a minute. Wrench tells him they had to leave two of their own in the desert, and they go nowhere without them. Xavier replies of course they wouldn’t but they should have reached them by the time they take off. He points out the window to Wolf carrying Cowboy across his shoulders.

At Big Sur, Karma jumps through a hole in the wall shocked and happy to see her friend Dani still alive. They hug, as Dani admits she has never been so happy in her life. Shan jokingly asks if her outfit is the newest in the wild west fashion, it’s very becoming. Dani blushes and tells Shan to give her a break and not to joke like that in front of the guys. Roberto sees Rahne hurt on the ground, as Shan tells him she was cut by Samurai’s blade, but she appears to be healing quickly. Dani tells Shan Rahne had informed her of her deal with her uncle, and Dani will not allow her to go through with it. Shan replies it is not her concern. Angered Dani, tells her it is, if it wasn’t for her, none of them would have been in this mess, if anyone should pay the debt, it should be her. As Shan tells her she gave her word, they are interrupted by a Psi call from Xavier.

Xavier asks Karma what she has done, as he told her to consult him before taking any action against Viper. Shan tells she did try but he did not respond, and she only acted out because there was no other alternative. Xavier tells her he’d have preferred her to wait, but with her success, he supports her decision. He reports he is airborne and he should reach them in within the hour. Shan notices his astral image fading, changing before her eyes. She notes the others are not reacting, as they must not see it. The same voice from before calls out to her "Xi’an Coy Manh -I have come to claim you-body and soul forever!" Her face shifts from slight concern to utter horror in seconds, as she screams out, falling to the ground. Concerned for their friend they ask what is wrong as she speaks in Vietnamese, and they cannot understand her. Sam tells Dani to grab Rahne as Roberto gives him a hand with Shan. They need to get out of there.

Unknown to them, cruising in a yacht offshore, Viper tells Samurai she does not like loose ends, dispose of them. Doing as she commands, Samurai presses a button, and behind them the base explodes. Xavier sits up in the Black Bird, screaming "NO!" His mind-link with the New Mutants has been severed. In the last instant he felt sudden surprise, terror, pain, then nothing. He tells Lilandra to hurry with her flying. He orders her to get them to California as quick as possible, as he fears something terrible has happened!

Characters Involved: 

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

Professor Charles Xavier


Cowboy, El Lobo, Georgiana Hebb, Honcho, RU Reddy, Wrench, (all Team America)
General Nguyen Ngoc Coy (Karma’s uncle)

Two of General Coy’s armed female bodyguards


Silver Samurai

Many mercenary guards, under Viper’s command

A.I.M workers
The mystery rogue telepath who attacks Karma

Story Notes: 

Team America learned they are a mutant team: they have the collective power to possess a nearby person turning that person into a being known as the Dark Rider with all of their abilities. It took the form of Danielle Moonstar who was captured believed to be the Dark Rider by Viper and Silver Samurai. (last issue)

Karma faced and killed her twin brother Tranh in Marvel Team up #100.

The identity of the mystery telepath as well as the fate of Karma are revealed in New Mutants #31-34.
It is unclear what, if anything, AIM’s "Project Matrix" had to do with the rebirth/reconstitution of the telepathic being who attacked Karma. Viper's interest in the crystal she had Team America steal was apprently connected with a storyline in Marvel Team-up #82-86 also written by Chris Claremont. It was never revealed though what Viper wanted with that crystal.

Viper and the Silver Samurai confront the X-Men over Mariko Yashida’s inheritance in Uncanny X-Men #172-173.

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