New Mutants (1st series) #7

Issue Date: 
September 1983
Story Title: 
Flying Down To Rio!

Chris Claremont (Writer), Sal Buscema (Penciler), Bob Mcleod (Inker), Tom Orzechowski (Letterer), Glynis Wein (Colorist), Louise Jones (Editor), Jim Shooter (Editor-In Chief)

Brief Description: 

After the explosion all of the New Mutants are accounted for except for Karma. After the X-Men and New Mutants have spent hours searching for her, Sunspot’s mother, Nina Da Costa offers the New Mutants to leave with her for a break. Not wanting to leave, they are forced by Xavier who tells them the X-Men are more able to handle such a search. Secretly he knows of a powerful psychic being that appeared before the blast, and he doesn’t want the New Mutants injured. Down in Rio the team try to relax and enjoy themselves despite the tension between Roberto’s parents until Nina is kidnapped by Hellfire Club guards. The mutants attempt to save her, but are beaten down quickly by a man known as Axe. Running away, Wolfsbane changes into wolf form, and finds Axe’s scent. Tracking it to an abandoned haunted house the New Mutants choose their plan carefully. Sidetracking the guards, they take them down one by one, and save Nina while Sunspot takes on Axe by himself. After a quick slugfest, axe is out for the count. Days pass and Nina is ready for her trip to the Amazon with the Mutants to accompany her. From away, a car with Emmanuel da Costa and Sebastian Shaw sit and watch the plane take off. Emmanuel was not pleased with the performance of the Hellfire Club, surely not giving him reason to join its Inner Circle. He wanted Nina taken care of, so Shaw asks if he wants him to do anything else. Da Costa replies no, arrangement s have already been made, her expedition will fail , and she will never reach the Maderia. Shaw asks even if it means the death of his wife and son?

Full Summary: 

In Big Sur, 120 miles south of California, Roberto Da Costa is lost in a gaze as he stares out the open sea. He remembers the flash of the explosion as the ground beneath him collapsed and the cliff face shattered into the sea. Using his power as Sunspot, he was able to save himself. His super strength allowed him to smash the boulders, the size of houses, as they crashed down on him. He used those smashed pieces to stay afloat the sea until he had reached the shore. Following a cry for help, he found his teammate Samuel Guthrie stunned and need of help. Not knowing how to swim, Sam was rescued by his friend. Eventually the New Mutants would make it safely back to dry shore. Except one.

Looking back, Roberto thought it was the end of his world. But for his friend and teammate Xi’an Coy Manh , he fears it literally was. He recalls the team were so happy after defeating the Silver Samurai and rescuing Dani from the Viper. How quickly things can change. His teammates approach him, calling out to them. as he greets them, Dani explains they have been looking all over for him. He tells he just wanted some time to himself, to think things over, and he didn’t intend to upset anyone. Noticing he is completely soaked, Dani takes off her jacket and throws it around him to keep him warm. Sam, looking a little drained, reports there was no word from the search for Shan, as the X-Men continued the search after they had gone to bed. Xavier, he continues, has tried many times to telepathically track Shan’s thoughts but came up empty.

Roberto supposes there must be no hope, since the search has gone on for days. Rahne very upset, tells him there has to be hope, Shan can’t be dead. She asks what they will tell her siblings, as Dani hugs her for support. What will become of Shan’s siblings? Sam tells Roberto Xavier had sent them after him on foot instead of mind calling, because he guessed they needed the exercise. Roberto wonders what kind of heroes they are, not even good enough to catch their friend’s killer? Awaiting the New Mutants are Xavier, his love Lilandra and Storm, Nightcrawler, and Colossus of the X-Men. They are overlooking a map, when Nightcrawler sees the Mutants approaching. He teleports towards them with hot cocoa for them.

Frightened by his devilish looks, Rahne jumps towards the safety of her friends, calling him a demon. Kurt Wagner informs her he is many things but he is just as human as they are. He gives the startled Bobby the cocoa, hoping it will warm him up. At the table, Storm wishes Wolverine was here, so they could make use of his keen tracking senses. Rahne snaps that she could follow any trail in her wolf form. Storm acknowledges the offer, but tells Rahne Wolverine is an expert, and he could find clues she might overlook. Bobby asks why he was summoned, if they had found any clues. Xavier tells him there is someone here to see him. As he wonders who, he hears a familiar voice and spins around to find his mother.

He runs to hug and greet her, and realizes if she is here with the X-Men, she must know her son is a mutant. She already knows this, after being informed by his father, through a letter. Bobby tells her he really needed her back then, especially when his girlfriend Juliana was killed. She informs him she was on a "dig" in the middle of nowhere. Sullenly he replies she always is. Nina reminds him she is an archeologist, and she loves her work. Bobby accuses her of loving her work, perhaps more than her husband and son. Looking hurt by his comment, she tells him she had come as quickly as she could.

Xavier tells them Bobby’s mother plans on leading an expedition to through the headwaters of the Amazon River, and she has invited him and the other New Mutants to join her. With recent events, Xavier believes this to be a great idea. Bobby asks what of Shan? They have yet to find her. Xavier explains such a job is better left to the X-Men. Enraged, Bobby points out that Shan did not give up on Dani when she was kidnapped by the Viper, and her team will not give up on her. Xavier notes they have done all that they can. Pointing the finger, Bobby wonders who Xavier is to give orders, as it’s his fault she’s dead. While he was busy sheperding Team America, he should have been helping them. Angered, Xavier reminds him he is Bobby’s teacher, as Bobby is his student, and with that he owes Xavier the last word and his obedience. Bobby yells then now it is time for him to quit, as he storms off from the group. Nightcrawler asks Xavier if it wise to provoke this confrontation, as Colossus asks what harm could it do to let them stay? Xavier informs his X-Men that the situation of Shan’s disappearance isn’t as simple as it seems. He has sensed a powerful malefic and psychic entity. He is convinced Shan is alive, or else he would have psychically "felt" her die. But whatever entity attacked her, he wants the New Mutants as far out of danger when it should choose to strike again. Now it is simply safer for them to believe Shan dead and Xavier heartless, rather than be in danger or get killed themselves.

Memories haunt Bobby as he charges into solar form, and smashes a huge rock to pieces. He lost his first love Juliana, and now he has lost a friend and a teammate. He knows for all of his accursed powers, he was powerless to save them. He breaks down on the ground, claiming it’s not fair. Approaching him, Sam asks what else is new?

Roberto threatens him not to mock him at a time like this. But Sam just recalls his own losses to Bobby. Like his father’s death. Sam wanted so hard to believe he was just playing a joke, holding his breath or something. They had so many plans, him and his father .Sam was to go to college and make something of himself, but his father’s death crushed that dream. He became man of the house, putting his mother and siblings before himself. Bobby tells him his story is just going in circles, and he hopes there is a point. Sam continues: Bobby had it right, life isn’t fair, not to him or anyone else, but all you can do when life does this to you, is just keep on living. Bobby asks if they should just do as Xavier asks , behave like good little children, and pretend Shan didn’t exist? Dani cuts in, telling him not to be stupid, of course they don’t, but in this case Xavier’s right. If they stay, the X-Men will be worried about them as much as finding Shan, and she is what is important now. Bobby exclaims that he misses her, but Dani tells him they all do. Sam tells him his mother is waiting, as the friends all head back.

A week later, in Rio De Janiero, along the most fashionable coast Ipanema is the most elegant mansion around. It belongs to Emmanuel Da Costa, and the mansion was constructed over a century ago by a prince. Bobby smiles coming home, and as his friends pile out of the car, their mouths drop in awe. His father grew up in the house as a house boy, and swore he would one day own it. His mother saw the dream come true, as mistress to the estate she once was a maid in. Simon, one of the many butlers, welcomes Nina back, claiming it has been too long since she has graced the these halls. She thanks him asking if her husband is at home. He replies he is out on business, but shall be returning for dinner. The staff shall show the guests to their rooms, as well as see to their needs. There will also be dinner served promptly at eight, the butler informs them condescendingly, and formal dinner wear is expected¼ if possible. Dani smirks slightly telling him they really like him too.

At the age of 20 Emmanuel had become a millionaire, by the age of 30 he’d become a political force to be reckoned with. He married the most beautiful woman in the world, and with all their love they couldn’t be happier when she had a son. Over the years, the dream faded, and he began to wonder if the empire he had spent so much time on was worth the effort.
Over dinner Emmanuel makes conversation with Dani, asking about her trip to Rio prior to this. She answered yes, she was here before, with a¼ friend. He mentions that she met Roberto that time, and adds that it was a sad time for them and the Sandoval family. When he asks why their friend is not with them, Nina tells him she is the one she had already told him about, the girl who is now missing. He apologizes as he should have realized.

Changing the subject, he asks where his wife is gallivanting off to this time. Nina tells him the Maderia, the headwaters of the Amazon, as she already told him. As she sips her wine, Roberto nervously touches his forehead, noting to himself his parents are as hostile as ever. When he tells her the journey is too dangerous in uncharted territory, she reminds him he is sending geologists to that same location. He reminds her he is a business man, he sends people where he sees a profit.

She asks what exactly it proves, they have more money than they will ever be able to spend. He replies that she is a woman who has never been poor, and his money has been earned by his own sweat and blood, giving them their house, clothes and food. He asks if she would rather live in a shack, and have her son be a starving beggar boy? She tells him sharply she would rather just be happy. He boldly replies he is happy.

The bickering shows its strain on the team, as Sam recalls his parents having little fights, but nothing like this. Rahne feels as if they shouldn’t hear such words, feeling badly for Bobby. Dani notes what is the saddest thing is they still love each other, as you can tell by their reactions. Bobby just wants them to shut up and realize they’re
tearing him apart.
Nina passionately tells her husband that each year more of the Amazon basin is destroyed, that he, and those like him are endangering the future. He smokes his cigar, and gets up from the table. He tells her it is progress, and she tells him it’s more like madness. Before telling them good-night, he claims he always knew she was an idealist, but he never knew she was such a fool.

In the morning the Mutants discover the wonders of Carnival in Rio with Bobby’s mother. Dani is excited at the sight of the whole city celebrating. Nina tells her it is the equivalent to Mardi Gras. Sam looks at a woman wearing nothing more than a bikini and a headdress. He has never seen such beautiful women. Bobby tells him Rio’s famous for them, and their wild uninhibited behavior. Just then the woman he was staring at comes up to him kissing him. Dani cheers him on, as Rahne tells them he should be ashamed of himself. Dani taunts that it actually looked like fun, maybe they should put on some costumes and join the celebration. Sam blushes as Rahne is shocked.

Dani confronts Bobby if things are okay at home, after last night’s rather rough dinner, maybe there is something they could do. Bobby, looking glum, tells her to pray for miracles, but not to hold her breath. Dani thinks of all the lousy breaks, Nina asks her if she wants to be a part of the carnival. She points towards Sal’s Costume Shop, and reminds them whatever costume they pick is what they will be wearing tomorrow to the governor’s ball.

Entering the shop, Sam admits he is a country boy, and he isn’t quite sure he can handle high society. They tell him he’ll meet lots of girls, and that changes his mind to change his clothes. From across the street, someone watches from the shadows, and reports to notify all units they will spring the ambush here.

Inside the shop, Dani and Rahne are in costume. Dani jokes that her outfit is a tad more modest than she hoped for. It looks like a two piece bikini with one small piece of fabric joining them. A small cape flows behind her. Rahne looks in the mirror. Her dress in beautiful and yellow, she exclaims she is beautiful like a fairy princess. Sam assures her she always was, she was the only one who never noticed. Sam is wearing a red musketeer-ish outfit with sword. Behind him is Bobby, who admits his caveman looking outfit is not for him. Maybe Fred Astaire will be a better try than Conan. As Nina watches on and smiles, a store clerk approaches and tells her she is needed outside from someone she believes is a chauffer. She speaks Portugese, as does Nina assuming it probably is a chauffer sent by her husband. She tells the children to put their street clothes back on, and she will be right back.
Outside the shop she is grabbed by masked men. They take her, mouth covered, and throw her into a near by black car. From inside the shop, Sam notices the action, and ignites his mutant power, propelling him through the store window. He alerts the others, as he recognizes the men as guards of the Hellfire Club. Once through the window, Sam knows the car can’t escape his speed. But the enemy was ready for this. A huge axe smacks him across the face, and he flies into a near -by building. As the building crumbles and falls upon him, Dani commands they must get him out. Bobby is more concerned with his mother, as the villains are escaping. From behind them a sinister voice assures him his mother is in good hands, and if he minds his manners, he will not be hurt. The remaining team spins around to find a huge man towering over them. He is a very built black man, with a mohawk, and an axe. His name is Axe and he threatens if they mess with him, they will be chopped down to size. Charging up, to his solar powered form, Bobby charges him warning him to stand aside or suffer the consequences. Axe swats Bobby’s attack and sends him flying back. Dani tries to use her spirit forms, to confront Axe with his greatest fear. He was warned about her powers, calling her an "injun" he slaps her hard. as she flies back, Axe taunts he doesn’t scare.

Seeing her teammates beaten easily, Rahne runs around the corner. Axe taunts her, that running away is the smartest thing he’s seen all day. He wonders why his boss was so worried about these chumps, as they were just easy pickins’ for him. Sam crawls from the rubble. He sees Axe get into a car and drive away, too groggy to chase after him. He knows by the time he has the strength Axe will be long gone. While he is still unfamiliar with Rio and not too successful with maneuvering, he decides he will not risk any more innocents hurt. He runs to check the others, as wondering what the Hellfire Club wants with Mrs. Da Costa? Are they using her to get to them? Looking around he asks where Rahne is, but they are too busy calming down the shop owner. Bobby tries to get Mrs. Goulart to call the police and report what has happened. She is angry, and raising her hands, asks what about her store, and who will pay the damages? As Bobby assures her his father will take care of everything, Dani gets a mind call from Rahne. After escaping out of Axe’s sight, she shifted to wolf form, and is now on his trail.

At moonrise they New Mutants are now in uniform as they approach an old building. They notice the windows are boarded, and they ask Psyche if she is sure this is the hideout. Psyche assures them this is where Wolfsbane’s trail has led. Sam asks what they are waiting for, they should call the police, or better yet, go in and kick some butt of their own. Sunspot tells him no, not yet. The Hellfire Club are killers, if the go in unprepared, his mother could be killed as Juliana was. He will not let that happen again. Psyche contacts Wolfsbane through their psychic rapport to learn of their enemies’ plans. Deep within the mansion, Rahne reports what she learned. Psyche reports his mother is in no danger, unless they are cornered, until morning when their employer arrives to decide her fate. With that knowledge Psyche admits calling the police would be too risky. Cannonball jokes too bad Bobby’s hero, Magnum P.I. isn’t around he’d know what to do in a jiffy. Snapping his fingers Sunspot comes up with a plan. He wonders why he didn’t think of this before.

Inside , Nina Da Costa sits next to the fire place, as Axe sits cleaning his fingernails with his axe. There is a eerie howl and one guard is shaken by it, asking what it was. Axe isn’t disturbed. He suggests it was either the wind or just a dog looking for love. He calls the guards pathetic, as he was told he would be working with men, not wimps. The guard tells him to get off their backs, this hideout he picked is haunted, and according to legend, these ghosts kill. Almost curious, he tells them to search the place to make them feel better.

The guard does, as he thinks one of these days that stinking mutie will push him to far. The room he is in is dark, and bigger than he had thought. The building seems to be coming apart around him, and he is spooked by the sudden silence of the room. as he wonders why he didn’t bring any back-up, a haunting voice asks him "what kept you lover?" he spins around and fins three women in the light of his flashlight. They assure him they are nothing to be afraid of, they are just looking for a good time, and he looks like he’d enjoy that. Walking up towards them he asks how they got inside, as they boarded and locked all the doors and windows.

They tell him not to worry, after all, how often does a man come face to face with his hearts desire? They touch his face, and he suddenly notices their faces changing. They aren’t as angelic as they were before, now they have the faces of demons. They taunt him they aren’t only demons, but his worst fear. He struggles trying to get away, and falls down the steps. Hidden from view are Psyche and Wolfsbane. Dani leans agains the wall, sweating and looking worn out. She recalls practicing pulling specific types of images, good and bad, back home in the Danger Room. She admits it’s a lot harder to do in the field. Wolfsbane warns her it’s not over yet, and tells her to duck as more guards fire up at them from the lower level. Dani knows Sunspot’s plan is working, while Rahne’s howling made the guards so edgy and their partner’s scream is causing them to act in panic instead of thinking. She knows she has to put them out of action before she and Rahne are shot up . She clenches her fists and with a strain she searches their mind for their own private fears. She knows it has to be done, but seeing their reaction doesn’t make them feel better. The three guards are caught up in their private fears, one is believing he is on fire, the next covered with some slime, and the last is attacked by vicious rat illusions.

Before they can do anything, Wolfsbane launches from overhead, landing on one of them. Psyche right behind her slugs on guard noting one down. Wolfsbane chimes in "two" as she is in her transitional form both human and wolf, as she tosses her target into the last guard. Dani is kneeled down as her friend comforts her. Rahne is so excited about throwing the guards around like they weighed nothing. Dani admits having her doubts about Bobby’s plan. Those type of plans don’t work all of the time, not even for Magnum. But they’ve done their part, the rest is up to the boys.

Smashing into the room where his mother is held, a solar charged Sunspot screams out Axe’s name. Holding his mother by the hair, he warns Sunspot if he goes any farther, his mother will be gutted. Sunspot tells him his threats do not impress him, as he smashes the floor they are standing on, cracking in. the floor cracks wide throwing Axe off balance. entering the room, Cannonball asks his friend if he is sure about his idea. Sunspot says yes, for him to do his job and leave Axe to him. He wonders if he is making a mistake leaving him, as he tells Nina Da Costa to hold on tight. Flying in and grabbing her, he blasts through the wall to safety. He assures him that his power makes him invulnerable while he blasts as well as who he’s carrying. She asks what about her son? But Cannonball tells her he will be along after he finishes business. Inside Sunspot challenges axe, telling him to get to his feet. Crawling out of the crack in the floor, Axe taunts he will live to regret his birth. As Sunspot punches him, he admits axe caught him off guard before, and that will never happen again. Laughing off his punch, axe asks if that’s the best he can do? Sunspot ducks, then punches him twice more, knocking him through walls and leaving him in rubble. Sunspot coldly states it wasn’t the best he could do.

A few days later, at Santos Airport, the New Mutants are helping Nina load the plane for her trip. With all the interruptions of being kidnapped and questioned by the police, her preparations for the trip were constantly disrupted. But this morning is filled with excitement as they load her Piper Seneca for the long flight North to Manaus, on the Amazon itself. Putting her hand on Bobby’s shoulder Dani asks what’s wrong. He fears his mother is not yet out of danger. Sam assures him they will look out after her, but she’s one lady that can take care of herself. From inside the plane she waves and tells them time’s wasting, it’s time to go.
A car is parked away from the plane watching the takeoff . From inside Emmanuel Da Costa admits the performance of his friend’s operatives is hardly enough to get him to join the Hellfire Club. He was promised they would deal with Nina. Sebastian Shaw notes that Emmanuel wanted her unharmed, which caused problems. He also had believed Axe capable of defeating the New Mutants. They are still prepared to offer any assistance though. Emmanuel tells him arrangements have already been made. Whatever happens, Nina’s expedition will not succeed. She will not reach the Maderia . Shaw wonders even if it means the death of Emmanuel’s wife and son?

Characters Involved: 

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

Colossus, Nightcrawler, Professor Xavier, Storm (All X-Men)


Nina and Emmanuel Da Costa (Sunspot’s parents)
Mrs Goulart (A shop owner)

Simon (the Da Costas’ butler)

Axe (a mercenary)

Sebastian Shaw

Hellfire Club Guards

Story Notes: 

Sunspot’s first love, Juliana Sandoval, was killed in Marvel Graphic Novel #4 by Donald Pierce’s Hellfire Club guards. This is also where New Mutants met each other and the Hellfire Club for the first time.

The explosion at the end of last issue took place after a victory over The Silver Samurai and The Viper. Viper caused the explosion to tie up loose ends.

Wolverine is in Japan during this time in the Wolverine Limited Series.
Karma’s fate is revealed in New Mutants # 31-35.

As revealed in New Mutants #24 Karma’s siblings were left in the care of Shan's mentor Father Michael Bowen.

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