New Mutants (1st series) #78

Issue Date: 
August 1989
Story Title: 
Let‘s Make a Deal!

Louise Simonson (Writer), Rick Leonardi (Penciler), Al Williamson (Inker), Joe Rosen (Letterer), Glynis Oliver (Colorist), Daryl Edelman (Assistant Editor), Bob Harras (Editor), Tom DeFalco (Editor-in-Chief)

New Mutants Created by Chris Claremont & Bob McLeod

Brief Description: 

Dr. Strange continues to watch the New Mutants’ plight as they try to figure out how to help Mirage and deal with her mysterious illness, thankfully though, she is incapacitated and frozen in ice for the time being. They manage to begin transporting the ice machine, Mirage and Brightwind to Ship, but on the way are attacked by Freedom Force, who have come to arrest Rusty Collins yet again. Destiny has a premonition about Rusty being important to mutantkind’s future, so it is very important that Freedom Force apprehend him. However, the New Mutants are not going to lose another teammate without a fight, so one begins on Liberty Island. Rictor is injured early on in the battle, and during the battle, the Blob reveals that Freedom Force have the Inferno babies, which X-Factor gave them to return to their parents, and that the government has big plans for the babies. Protecting Rusty by throwing a force field around him and herself, Skids tells the other New Mutants to get Mirage to Ship and tell X-Factor about Freedom Force and the babies, that she and Rusty will be fine until they get back. Some of Freedom Force go after the New Mutants as they don’t want X-Factor knowing, and eventually Mirage is freed from her ice prison thanks to a tidal wave that Avalanche creates. Arriving at Ship, the New Mutants are shocked when Ship is uncontrollably propelled into space, with X-Factor aboard, leaving the New Mutants with no help. Dr. Strange knows what he must do now, and teleports the New Mutants, Mirage and Brightwind to Asgard, leaving Skids and Rusty on Earth, and the other New Mutants utterly confused as to what to do next.

Full Summary: 

What has gone on before…Danielle “Dani” Moonstar a.k.a. Mirage, co-leader of the New Mutants, burst into eldritch flame and attacked her teammates. Doctor Strange, Sorcerer Supreme of this dimension pulled Dani’s astral form from her body, hoping that it would end her deadly rampage, however, Dani’s body and that of her winged horse, Brightwind, were possessed by a bizarre, malevolent entity and continued the onslaught. Appalled by the danger to New York, Danielle returned to her body and fought the entity for control, finally trapping it, by means of her mutant power to make a wish come true, creating an ice-making machine to encase Dani and Brightwind in ice. But she doesn’t realize that her problems have just begun….

Now…the New Mutants look up at their teammate, covered in ice and ponder their next move, unaware that the astral form of Dr. Strange is hovering over them. Mirage’s co-leader, Sam “Cannonball” Guthrie exclaims that he didn’t think they had a chance, but that Dani must have got control of that thing that possessed her and used her powers to create this machine to hold her in the ice. Sam’s best friend, Bobby “Sunspot” DaCosta points out that although Dani stopped the monster that possessed her, she is now trapped herself!

Dr. Strange has begun to suspect that both Mirage and Brightwind are the victims of an assault from the other-dimensional world of Asgard, though who is responsible remains a matter for conjecture. The alien New Mutant, Warlock informs his friends that his sensors indicate, that, though Dani still burns white-hot-heat, her machine constantly manufactures new ice to replace that which melts.

Sam remarks that they are lucky Dani was able to wish up a device like that, otherwise he doesn’t know how they could have stopped her. Dani’s best friend, Rahne “Wolfsbane” Sinclair motions everyone to look at how Dani’s skin is pulled taut against her bones, as if the fires have burned away the flesh beneath. Rahne shifts into a wolfen form, suggesting that perhaps in this form she can re-establish the rapport that she and Dani share. Rahne adds that Dani may know who attacked her, and how they might be able to help her - but suddenly a deathly image appears over Rahne, who screams ‘NO!’

Sam leaps to his friend’s side, asking her what is wrong. ‘Pain…terrible…pain!’ Rahne exclaims, remarking that Dani besieged because Brightwind chose her to be a Valkyrie. Wolfsbane shifts back to her human form, explaining that the cold keeps Dani sane and in control for now, but that the fires are growing hotter and the machinery cannot last. Rahne adds that the flames, blocked from Dani’s body, consume her very soul.

Sally Blevins a.k.a. Skids points out that if Dani had not acted so quickly, then the flames would have destroyed Manhattan. ‘Poor Dani!’ adds Sally’s boyfriend, Rusty Collins, remarking that he remembers his own horror, his own panic, the first time he burst into flames. Rusty adds that he didn’t feel any pain though, as it turns out, he is impervious to the heat he generates. Rusty demonstrates his ability as fire flickers around his hands, as he remarks that other people are not impervious to his flames - which he learned the hard way as he ran away from the woman he burned by accident, and the whole navy came after him, and now they want to try him for desertion.

Sally goes over to her boyfriend and puts a comforting hand on his shoulders, remarking that it isn’t fair, as Rusty wasn’t running from the navy. Rusty replies that he was running from himself, as he knew what he had done. Sally points out that Rusty wouldn’t sign the government’s Mutant Registration papers, to which Rusty declares that he doesn’t believe mutants should automatically be registered, like deadly weapons, just because some of them, such as himself, are born with potentially dangerous powers.

Julio “Rictor” Richter asks Tabitha “Boom-Boom” Smith what is wrong, ‘You’re not crying are you?’ he asks the usually vibrant girl. ‘What, me, cry?’ Boom-Boom replies, reminding Rictor of who he is talking to. With a worried expression on her face, Tabby lowers her green sun-glasses and thinks to herself ‘Besides, what could possible be wrong? Except, maybe…everything’.

Cannonball tells his team that they have got to get Mirage back to Ship, and fast. Warlock agrees, and announces that he has seen on TV who is the strongest, and shifts his form into that of cartoon character “Popeye” as he attempts to lift the ice-machine up. ‘Do self-friends possess a can of cosmic spinach?’ Warlock asks, referring to the vegetable that Popeye eats to increase his strength.

Sally tells Warlock that it is a pretty massive machine he is trying to lift, what given the ice and the inertia, so it is no wonder it won’t budge. Sunspot informs Skids, that using his strength he can lift it, barely. Sally points out that it is enough, and slides a deflector field beneath it in the small gap Bobby has made, before telling Warlock that they need a new approach, something a little more practical. ‘Like a forklift friend-Skids?’ Warlock asks, shifting his form into a tractor, complete with driver - himself - as he lifts the ice machine, Dani and Brightwind onto it. ‘You did it!’ someone exclaims. ‘We did it, self-friends, together!’ Warlock replies.

Warlock informs his teammates that the ice maker is heavy and he cannot hold it for long. Sunspot tells him not to worry, and uses his strength to support some of the weight. Sam declares that they now have to get back to Ship, and Rusty orders everyone aboard the “forklift”. ‘Perhaps, it would be best, in this instance, if self became a transformer rocket?’ Warlock suggests. As Rictor helps Wolfsbane aboard, Rahne tells Warlock to become whatever he likes, just as long as whatever it is has enough lift. Rusty explains that Sam will need all the help he can get, and everyone watches as Cannonball begins to blast off the ground, pushing the Warlock-rocket carrying the New Mutants, the ice machine and all the ice covering Dani and Brightwind into the air. ‘Fire all rockets and lets get this show on the road!’ Sam shouts.

Dr. Strange’s astral form flies alongside the New Mutants, and Strange cannot help but admire the young heroes initiative, while admitting that he is uncomfortable spying on them, though he feels that in this instance, secrecy is necessary. Strange thinks to himself that Asgard has drifted into a dimension that renders contact all but impossible, and yet someone there has launched an attack! Strange decides that only when he knows who is responsible will he begin to know how to combat it.

Meanwhile, in the Asgardian dimension of the dead, the death goddess, Hela, crackles with fury. She holds in her hand an image of Mirage and Brightwind and remarks that the mortal was resourceful and brave, she has to admit that, by the use of her mutant powers, Moonstar has thwarted Hela’s plan. However, Hela notes that the Asgardian Valkyries have finally ceased to resist her magic, all are now abed with raging fevers and several have manifested the flame. Too ill, or too mad to be about their appointed task brining in warrior-souls to swell Odin’s army!

Hela remarks that when the seeds of her revenge were sown, she believed Odin to be lost forever, but now he has returned, though the cosmic flux from the Negative Zone interferes with the full sight of the all-seeing Odin. Hela thinks that Odin must know of the Valkyrie’s illnesses, but somehow the fates themselves seem to conspire to hide Hela’s hand in the conspiracy. ‘It is meant that I succeed!’ Hela boasts, before turning back to her image of Mirage and telling her not to fear, as her Asgardian sisters will yet come to serve.

Hela declares that Mirage will set Earth ablaze and bring her warriors souls to swell her army of the dead - then, Asgard will tremble at Hela’s might, and she will have her revenge upon Thor! Hela decides that her next move is clear, and thinks that mortals are ever so eager to complain to those in authority when their life of utter complacency is so rudely interrupted, so she must simply insure that the proper pressure be applied with the right amount of force….

‘Does it seem unusual, Mystique, that Freedom Force is getting so much business these days?’ the Crimson Commando asks his team leader, the deadly Mystique as they and their teammates fly over Manhattan in a helicopter. Mystique replies that all departments are instructed to forward all mutant related matters to them. ‘That hefty bonus we received is proof of your president’s trust!’ Mystique exclaims. Frank Bohannon a.k.a. Crimson Commando exclaims that it is nice to be appreciated, as they have been busting their tails being Uncle Sam’s mutants! Commando adds that it is too bad the Collins kid wouldn’t join when they made him the offer, as this most recent incident could mean big trouble!

‘Incident? That snotty upstart fire-starter tried to torch Manhattan, or I ain’t the Blob!’ Fred J. Dukes a.k.a. the Blob exclaims. The hefty mutant goes on to remind his teammates that Collins wouldn’t register like a good mutant citizen, and believes that they should have kept him in jail. Australian member of Freedom Force St. John Allerdyce reminds Blob that the decision to release Rusty was politically motivated, and made far above Freedom Force. Mystique turns to her long-time colleagues and declares that whatever their motivation, this has provided Freedom Force with the opportunity.

Irene Adler a.k.a. Mystique’s dear friend Destiny cryptically exclaims that in her precognitive visions, the threads of the future are tangled and confused, but that arresting Collins appears to lead to survival for Freedom Force and some of their kind. Suddenly, Crimson Commando announces that their mini-Cerebro has picked up Rusty Collins and the New Mutants - ‘With a huge chunk of…Destiny, what is it?’ Commando asks. Irene replies that she cannot say, though it is perhaps a dimensional warp, out of all probability and hides from her sight. ‘I only know that we must take the Collins boy!’ Destiny declares. Someone asks her about the other New Mutants, to which Destiny replies ‘For us, they are irrelevant’.

Down below, Warlock asks if his rotor blades provide enough lift and balance, to which Cannonball replies they do not, adding that he didn’t figure ice would be this heavy! Suddenly, Freedom Force’s helicopter flies alongside the New Mutants. Freedom Force announce their presence to the surprised New Mutants, and reveal that they have a warrant for the arrest of Rusty Collins for recklessly endangering the citizens of New York. ‘Not now…of all times!’ one of the New Mutants exclaims, while another asks ‘What for?’ and someone protests that Rusty hasn’t done anything.

‘Yo, Collins! This is your old pal, the Blob! You broke furlough and we’re taking ya in!’ the obese Blob shouts. Rusty tells his friends that this is losing them precious time when they should be thinking of Dani, so he suggests that perhaps he should just surrender. Sally goes over to her boyfriend and tells him ‘No’ that they will keep going and try talking to Freedom Force for a change. Sally calls over to Freedom Force, informing them that Rusty didn’t do it and all of the New Mutants are witnesses. Sally explains that it was their teammate Mirage who has had some kind of attack, which is why she is trapped in the ice.

Sally informs Freedom Force that they are trying to get to Ship, and asks if perhaps they would like to help them. Dr. Strange’s astral form hovers over the New Mutants and watches Sally, while thinking to himself that he dare not assist them, as there are mystic forces at play here that he does not understand. Crimson Commando asks Mystique if she heard Skids and wants to know if she believes her. Raven Darkholme replies that it does not matter what she believes, for their course is set. She orders Commando to fire a warning shot, as the New Mutants must understand that they mean business. He does, and the blast explodes near the New Mutants.

Warlock is startled and begins to flail, though Cannonball tells him to keep steady as he cannot balance it all alone. Sunspot wants to know why they are talking to the Freedom Force fools anyway, as they are not listening to them. Rictor agrees and exclaims that there is no reason to let Freedom Force fire on them without a reprisal. He readies his powers, which is seen by Destiny, who orders Crimson Commando to take Rictor out quickly. ‘My pleasure, Destiny. Precognition is such a handy tool!’ Commando exclaims, ‘Almost as useful as a gun!’ Crimson Commando decides that a gentle blow to the temple should do no more than stun Rictor. ‘Waste not, want not, that’s my motto!’ Commando exclaims as he fires at Rictor, causing some blood to spill from Rictor’s head.

Rusty calls out to his wounded friend, and grabs him before he falls from the Warlock-rocket. ‘No! Not Rictor…he’s…not…’ a worried Boom-Boom exclaims. Rusty assures Boom-Boom that Rictor is alive, no thanks to Freedom Force. ‘If they want war…I’ll give them war!’ Rusty shouts with fury, unleashing a massive blast at the helicopter, and almost hitting Cannonball, who asks Rusty what he is doing. Rusty replies that he will not use his flame against people ever again, but that the rotary blades of Freedom Force’s chopper are another thing entirely.

Pyro looks out the window and exclaims that this was just the move he was hoping Rusty would make, ‘Because whatever its source, Pyro is flame’s master!’ Sally throws a force field around everyone on the “rocket” while Boom-Boom asks what is happening. Cannonball, who is invulnerable while blasting, replies that Pyro has taken control of Rusty’s flame and is using it against them. Wolfsbane tells Skids to protect Dani before any of the others, as the ice is melting thanks to the flames, and Mirage is burning up with pain, in fact she has almost lost consciousness Rahne exclaims.

‘She’ll lose control!’ Wolfsbane exclaims with worry, but Sally replies that she has tried to protect Mirage, but that her force field cannot stretch and farther. Wolfsbane remarks that Freedom Force has seemed almost reasonable before, reminding everyone how they have helped out the X-Men and the New Mutants in the past. Sunspot reminds Rahne that Freedom Force only did it to suit their own needs, that they didn’t do it through altruism. Bobby motions to Liberty Island up ahead and exclaims ‘I say we put Dani down and kick their collective butts!’

Cannonball tells his best friend to chill out, before assuring Rahne that they will get Freedom Force’s help - if they can, before agreeing that if they have to fight Freedom Force, then it is better to do it with Dani on the ground and out of harms way. Lowering the base of the ice-machine to the ground of Liberty Island, Cannonball tells Warlock to settle the machine half off the base, as it will make lifting it easier later. The New Mutants get off the ice machine and Warlock returns to his default form. Rusty lies Rictor on the ground near the ice machine, while Blob exclaims that the New Mutants gave up to easy.

Mystique tells Blob not to worry, as this landing does not mean that the New Mutants will surrender their teammate peacefully. ‘So we’ll make ‘em, eh? Good!’ the Blob exclaims. Mystique, Destiny, the Blob, Pyro and Martin Fletcher a.k.a. Super Sabre exit the chopper, while Mystique tells Crimson Commando and Dominic Petros a.k.a. Avalanche to remain in the chopper. Blob tells Avalanche that they cannot risk one of Uncle Sam’s own shaking apart Liberty Island.

Blob turns to the New Mutants and asks them if they are going to let Freedom Force take Collins without a fight, before warning them that Freedom Force should arrest the other New Mutants for being accessories to a crime. ‘But seeing as how you’re being so cooperative…’ Blob remarks as he approaches Rusty. Sunspot comes to his new friend’s defense, ‘Not so fast!’ he tells the Blob as he comes between the two. Sunspot declares that they are not surrendering anybody, they just hoped perhaps that Freedom Force would listen to them with both feet on the ground.

Sunspot exclaims that if they do not get Mirage to their Ship soon, then she will burst into flames again. The Blob declares that Freedom Force doesn’t believe that mumbo jumbo, and remarks that even if it were true, it is not Freedom Force’s problem! With that, the Blob smashes Sunspot aside, before calling to his friend Pyro to round the New Mutants up. Pyro comments on how Rusty isn’t using his powers, and therefore being a bit more cautious with him around, before Pyro declares that it doesn’t matter, as he carries his own flame, and using his flame-throwers, surrounds the New Mutants with flames, which the quick-thinking Sally blocks with a force field surrounding her friends.

Sally tells Pyro to fire away, boasting that he cannot hurt them through her deflector shield. Suddenly, Rictor regains consciousness and asks what is going on with the fire - did Dani break loose? ‘Is this the end of the world?’ he asks. Rusty assures his friend that she is okay for now, while Pyro turns to Destiny and asks if what the New Mutants are saying can be true. Destiny replies that, perhaps the only certainty is that if Rusty Collins reaches the New Mutants’ Ship then the course of Freedom Force’s own history will changed and the dark times that are coming will overwhelm Freedom Force…’And destroy us!’

Inside Sally’s force field, Rahne asks Sam if he heard what Freedom Force said about Rusty and Ship and the dark times. Sam replies that he heard it, which is all the more reason to keep Rusty safe with them, if they can. Sam thinks that they have given Freedom Force a chance to help them, but they blew it. He decides that the New Mutants better make their move, and fast, before Freedom Force have time to react, and he calls to Sally, asking her to lower her force field, before he blasts towards Freedom Force, grabbing Pyro and throwing him into the water.

Cannonball then calls out to Rusty, telling him to use his flames, to do whatever it takes. ‘Let’s save Dani now…and deal with Freedom Force after she’s safe on board Ship!’ Blob declares that it the “ice princess” is so valuable, then perhaps he will take her, then they can do a little “horse trading” with the New Mutants. ‘Keep back!’ Rusty exclaims, while thinking to himself that he has to keep Blob away from Dani, while hoping that his flames wont make things worse. Rusty casts a half-circle of fire between the Blob and Mirage, to which Blob asks, if Mirage is so important, then why doesn’t Rusty just come with them quiet like, and then his friends can take her on without him.

‘No way!’ exclaims Boom-Boom as she prepares a time-bomb, ‘We’ve lost Illyana and Dani and almost Rictor and we’re not losing anybody else!’ Boom-Boom tells the Blob to go away and leave them alone, when suddenly her time bomb explodes beneath the Blob’s feet, destroying the edge of the platform he was standing on and causing him to fall into the water. Warlock suddenly points out that the explosion disturbed the ice machine which was also on the edge. The New Mutants all rush over to it and grab onto it, preventing it from slipping into the water, when suddenly Cyclops appears before them and asks what they think they are doing defying government agents in their appointed task.

Alarmed, Rusty asks Cyclops what he is doing here, to which Cyclops replies that Ship reported that there was trouble, so he has come to investigate, before telling Rusty that he must go with Freedom Force, adding that he will come along to safeguard Rusty’s rights. Cyclops turns to the others and orders them to go on to Ship, while a forlorn Rusty looks at Cyclops and remarks ‘If you say so’ when suddenly, Wolfsbane leaps at Cyclops and begins ferociously attacking him, revealing Mystique in disguise. Rahne exclaims that she cannot believe Mystique tried that old trick, before informing her friends that she had her eye on Mystique, and that her wolf-sharp senses were not fooled for more than a second.

Super Sabre speeds towards the New Mutants, thinking to himself that Mystique has provided a fine distraction, but Warlock detects the villain’s sudden approach, but it’s too late, as Super Sabre smashes Rusty to the ground, boasting that he has done the deed before the warning can be uttered. Sally comes to her boyfriend’s aid by surrounding them both in a force field and telling Super Sabre that he didn’t do a lot of good. ‘Try getting at Rusty…just try!’ she warns Freedom Force.

Rusty gathers himself while proclaiming that this is stupid, and that Freedom Force can have him, as it doesn’t matter if it isn’t fair, and asks if it is fair to let Dani suffer just to protect him. Blob clambers back up onto the same level as everyone else and tells Skids that her boyfriend has had a rare attack of good sense, and suggests to her that she listens to her man and let them make a deal. Blob declares that Rusty can come with Freedom Force, real quiet and that there is not going to be a real trial anyway.

While helping Super Sabre up, Mystique tries to hush Blob, but the fat mutant continues, exclaiming that there is just going to be a little pony show, a circus to appease the masses, then Rusty will get offered a cushy civil service job, like Freedom Force, with a good salary and great benefits. Blob reveals that there are mutant babies and kids who will need training. ‘There’s people in the government got big plans for them!’ the Blob announces. ‘Plans? For mutant children and babies, Blob?’ Skids asks. ‘Like the ones X-Factor rescued and surrendered to you for return to their parents?’ Sally realizes that Freedom Force hasn’t returned the babies, ‘They’re the one’s you’re talking about!’

Sally exclaims that Rusty is right, and tells her teammates to go and take Mirage to Ship, to save her, then tell X-Factor that Freedom Force still has the babies and are planning to exploit them. Sally tells her friends not to worry about she and Rusty, that they will be right here waiting for them when they get back. Cannonball understands, ‘You got it, Skids!’ he exclaims, before telling his remaining team to hurry, and in a moment, he blasts off, carrying the ice machine and his friends. Sam points out that with less ice it is easier to fly, but it also means time is running out!

Mystique scolds the Blob, ‘You fool!’ she exclaims, pointing out that he has revealed secret information vital to national security and have forced Freedom Force to take action to protect themselves, and their superiors. Raven orders Destiny to go with Avalanche and Commando and to go after the New Mutants. ‘They must not reach X-Factor with this information!’ she exclaims.

Cannonball dodges the chopper, barely, and Warlock informs his friends that the situation is becoming deadly, that he registers heat radiating through the remaining ice. Warlock informs Sam that additional maneuvering will slow them down and they will never reach Ship in time. Sam asks Warlock if he can manage the ice machine by himself now, to which the alien replies that he can as Dani is quite light now, and Ship is close by. Cannonball tells his friend to head for Ship as fast as he can go, before calling to Rictor, ‘Come on, I have an idea!’ he exclaims.

Rictor jumps onto Sam’s back, and they blast away from the ice machine and the others. Sam tells Rictor not to worry, explaining that so long as he keeps blasting, they are both invulnerable. ‘So lets show those dudes what dog fighting’s all about!’ They fly over towards the chopper, and Destiny exclaims that Rictor, with the vibro-power is approaching. Rictor begins to unleash his powers on the chopper, but Crimson Commando turns the chopper and flies straight towards Sam and Rictor, boasting that this time, he will take Rictor out permanently!

A blast from the chopper hits Sam and Rictor. Sam asks Rictor if he is all right, to which Rictor replies that he is, but he missed the chopper. Sam motions to the chopper and tells Rictor to look again, as the chopper is in flames and heading towards the water. From the ice machine, which is being carried by Warlock in his rocket form again, Boom-Boom motions to the sky, where Destiny, Avalanche and Crimson Commando are leaping out of the exploding chopper with parachutes. ‘Figures’ Bobby mutters, while Rahne is relieved that Freedom Force are alive, as she was worried they might have killed them.

Rictor tells Cannonball that it is rather funny, every time they have trouble with Freedom Force it is because the X-Terminators fought some bad guys and saved people’s lives. ‘It’s interfering jerks like them who should have to register under the mutant registration act as dangerous!’ Sam informs Rictor that Freedom Force have registered, in fact they were the first to sign up. ‘Sure made the world a safer place for all of us, didn’t it?’ Sam remarks sarcastically.

As they hit the water, Avalanche tells Destiny and Commando to inflate their vests, reminding them that have orders to apprehend the New Mutants, and declares that they are going to carry them out. ‘Those brats - and their Ship - are going to go for a ride they won’t forget!’ Avalanche exclaims. In the water, Crimson Commando asks Avalanche what he is doing, to which the Greek mutant replies ‘What does it look like?’ and explaining that his power allows him to liquefy earth and create a tidal effect - waves - upon the land. ‘Imagine how much more easily - and spectacularly - I can move water?’ Dominic exclaims, as he begins to create a tidal wave.

Cannonball sees Ship, and Boom-Boom calls out, ‘Yo, Ship, we’re back!’ she exclaims. Sunspot notices water being sucked back from Ship, to which Wolfsbane tells him not to be daft, Ship is just rising from the water to welcome them. Or not, as Cannonball suddenly warns his friends to look out, as Avalanche’s tidal wave hits them, washing over the ice machine and sending the New Mutants careening into the air.

Warlock announces that his sensors indicate that salt water has raised the temperature of the remaining ice, as well as destroying the efficacy of the machine. ‘Oh no!’ exclaims Tabby. ‘DANI!’ screams Wolfsbane, as everyone looks upon a insane Mirage, riding an equally deranged Brightwind, both engulfed by flames as they hover in the air over their friends. Cannonball exclaims that behind Dani, in the smoke and mist, it almost looks like a face. Unbeknownst to the New Mutants, it is indeed the face of Hela!

‘Fools! As if your paltry ice…or mutant magicks…could contain me!’ Mirage screams, before warning that the New Mutants will pay, one by one, they will face her, and will fall, then she will send them, one by one, to join death’s army! Cannonball blasts towards Ship with Rictor, while Warlock flies up with Sunspot, Boom-Boom and Wolfsbane. Sunspot points out that despite Dani attacking them and bursting into flames, Ship has not even noticed, nor answers their cries for help. ‘Maybe it doesn’t see us - yo, Ship!’ Rictor shouts. Boom-Boom calls out to Ship, telling him that they are down here and have a big problem!

Dr. Strange’s astral form is still floating around and thinks to himself that the New Mutants do have a problem, one that is bigger than they know! Strange knows that the fire, that creature, is a manifestation of Hela - ruler of Hel, the Asgardian dimension of the dead! Aboard Ship, the sentient vessel calls X-Factor to the deck, and seems to take off into space right before the New Mutant’s eyes. Sam exclaims that he can’t believe it, while Ship exclaims that something has happened and he can no longer control his external functions and is being thrust into outer space. ‘Ship’s leaving us!’ ‘But why?’ exclaim the New Mutants.

Dr. Strange thinks to himself that Ship will soon be light years away, which is the least of the New Mutants’ problems. Strange knows that Mirage is too dangerous to remain here on Earth, and knows now what his response to Hela’s challenge must be. Strange thinks that the Fates themselves have called these brave young humans to foil the Death Goddess’s scheme - or to perish in the attempt - as they have called Strange to deliver the heroic New Mutants to Asgard. With a flick of his finger, Strange uses his mighty magicks to transport Cannonball, Sunspot, Boom-Boom, Rictor, Wolfsbane, Warlock, Mirage and Brightwind to Asgard.

Down in the water, the Crimson Commando exclaims ‘They’ve disappeared!’ and asks Destiny where they have gone. Irene replies that she cannot say, for there are forces at work here that even her foresight cannot penetrate, but she suspects, for all intents and purposes, that here and now, Freedom Force were merely puppets in the hands of fate.

Soon…the New Mutants, Mirage and Brightwind appear in a strange land. Sunspot asks what happened, to which Warlock exclaims that they have been teleported interdimensionally, though his sensors are too dazzled to know where they are. ‘As if we didn’t have enough problems already! Does anyone know where we are?’ Boom-Boom exclaims. ‘Self suspects that we are not in Kansas’ Warlock replies, quoting “the Wizard of Oz”. ‘This had better not be Oz, either!’ Boom-Boom mutters in reply.

Sunspot tells Tabby that she needn’t worry about Oz, as that is just a story. ‘I think this must be Asgard!’ he exclaims, before remarking that the sky doesn’t look right. ‘The Asgard? As in the home of the Norse Gods? What are we doing here?’ Rictor asks. Sam reminds him of how Dani was chosen to be a Valkyrie, so this must have something to do with Mirage, and that thing that she has become. Sam remarks that somebody must have brought them here - but who? He wonders why they were brought here…and what they are to do now…while Mirage flies away on Brightwind.

Characters Involved: 

Boom-Boom, Cannonball, Mirage, Rictor, Rusty, Skids, Sunspot, Warlock, Wolfsbane (all New Mutants)



Avalanche, Blob, Crimson Commando, Destiny, Mystique, Pyro, Super Sabre (all Freedom Force)

Dr. Strange


Story Notes: 

Mirage’s possession-fuelled rampage took place in New Mutants (1st series) #77.

Brightwind chose Mirage to be a Valkyrie in New Mutants (1st series) Special Edition #1.

Rusty’s powers manifested and he and accidentally burnt a woman in X-Factor (1st series) #1.

Asgard entered the Negative Zone in Thor (1st series) #404.

Notably absent from Freedom Force’s roster this issue are both Spiral and Stonewall.

It is unknown what Destiny meant by arresting Rusty leading to survival for some of their kind, as this was never followed through. Presumably with the New Mutants in Asgard, and Skids and Rusty caught up with Freedom Force then the MLF, then the New Mutant title being changed to X-Force, the plot was forgotten about - and with both Rusty and Destiny now deceased, it is unlikely this vision will be followed up on.

Super Sabre is mistakenly referred to as Silver Sabre during this issue.

The New Mutants and X-Terminators rescued the Inferno babies during the Inferno [X-Terminators #1-4, New Mutants (1st series) #71-73] and X-Factor gave the babies to Freedom Force for return to their parents in X-Factor (1st series) #40.

Ship and X-Factor unexpectedly leave for space in X-Factor (1st series) #43, the beginning of the “Judgment War” storyline which lasts until X-Factor (1st series) #50.

For the next several issues, the New Mutants have an extended story arc in Asgard, viewed by many as one of the weaker points in the series, and one of Louise Simonson’s less popular stories.

Issue Information: 
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