New Mutants (1st series) #84

Issue Date: 
December 1989
Story Title: 
The Sword’s Edge

Louise Simonson (Writer), Terry Shoemaker (Penciler), Al Milgrom (Inker), Ken Bruzenak (Letterer), Glynis Oliver (Colorist), Daryl Edelmann (Assistant Editor), Bob Harras (Editor), Tom DeFalco (Editor-in-Chief)

Brief Description: 

Believing the New Mutants dead, Hela prepares her army to invade Asgard, however the New Mutants managed to escape death, and hiding, they disguise themselves as members of Hela’s massive army, knowing that they have to stop Mirage, who has the Deathsword ready to kill Odin, from getting to him. Meanwhile, Boom-Boom, Warlock and Hrimhari leave the wizard Tiwaz, slightly upset that he was unable to help them, though he gives them the location of the Warriors Three, imprisoned by Queen Ula and her savage swarm. The trio manage to break the Warriors Three out, and eventually get Queen Ula and her savage swarm on their side when they inform her that it is Hela who is responsible for taking her finest warriors, not Odin. Hildy and her siblings meanwhile have taken Thor’s special goats and flown to Nornheim, where they inform Balder the Brave and Karnilla of what is transpiring. Karnilla wishes that her people, who were all turned to stone can aid in the battle against Hela, and tries one last attempt at freeing them, which works with a little help from Tiwaz. Balder, Karnilla, the children and Karnilla’s people, alive but very much stone still, make their way to Asgard, and meet up with Boom-Boom, Warlock, Hrimhari, the Warriors Three, Queen Ula and her savage swarm on the way, and just in time, as Hela opens a warp between Hel and Asgard, and the battle begins! Meanwhile, Eitri reveals to his daughter that he created a flaw in the Deathsword, hoping to be able to redeem himself for creating such a device, and on Earth, Rusty is freed from prison when he attempts to prevent the Vulture from escaping.

Full Summary: 

Asgard, the dimension ruled by the Norse Gods. Asgard’s nether dimension, Hel, is ruled by the Death-Goddess, Hela, and it is she who has forced the dwarf-lord, Eitri, to forge a sorcerous Deathsword, powerful enough to slay Asgard’s ruler, Lord Odin, himself, as he sleeps his mystical Odin Sleep. The New Mutants, heroes of Earth, have thus far failed in their efforts to steal the sword and have been cast into the deadly Abyss of No Return.

Hela stands triumphant on the cliff overhanging the Abyss of No Return, and holds her deadly sword high above her head, causing all of Asgard to tremble. The possessed New Mutant Danielle “Mirage” Moonstar, herself a Valkyrie hovers overhead on her winged Asgardian horse, Brightwind, as she remarks that the fumes are noxious, so the New Mutants cannot survive down there. Moonstar exclaims that although she is glad, the small part of her that was once their friend cries out in anguished grief. Mist, a Valkyrie who was up until recently able to resist Hela’s curse, stands behind her mistress as Hela exclaims ‘Let that small part of thee, then, learn, You-Who-Were-Moonstar…that the sacred will of Hela is not to be denied!’ Hela declares that soon, Moonstar’s former comrades will be dead, and their souls will belong to her!

Down below, unseen through all the fumes and rising heat from the lava, the four New Mutants hover above the lava thanks to Sam “Cannonball” Guthrie who keeps aloft by blasting, while his teammates Bobby “Sunspot” DaCosta, Julio “Rictor” Richter and Rahne “Wolfsbane” Sinclair cling for dear life to him. Sunspot asks Rahne, in her wolfen form, if Hela and the others are still up there, to which Rahne replies they are, as she can hear them. Rahne begins to cough due to the fumes, and Sam tells her to stop talking, just to nod, but Rahne points out that are protected from the fumes by his force field.

Cannonball however remarks that the fumes are seeping in and they are all having trouble breathing, adding that her is beginning to have trouble blasting. ‘No kidding!’ mumbles Bobby as he remarks that he has a giant view of the lava lake at the bottom of this abyss and that it is coming up fast. Rahne informs Sam that it is okay now, they can go up so long as they are careful, announcing that Hela and everyone have gone, all except for a single guard. The guard, a small rock-like creature is surprised to see the four teenagers rise from the Abyss of No Return.

‘The mortals, mistress! Come back!’ the guard shouts. Hanging upside down, Sunspot informs Cannonball that there is a ledge above the opening to the cave and suggests he fly up to it, before telling Rictor to use his seismic vibes on the cliff-side where the guard is. Rictor does so, and the cliff begins to crumble. Sam jokes that if they stand Sunspot on his head then he becomes a brain surgeon and suggests they keep him this way. Bobby shushes Sam as Hela marches back out onto the cliff, ‘What is it, Shrannk? I bade thee guard!’ she exclaims when the ground beneath him crumbles and he falls into the Abyss of No Return.

‘Clumsy little oaf to stumble so near the edge!’ Hela mutters, adding that Shrannk did not deserve her faith in him, before turning to her legion and exclaiming that Asgard - and the Odin-Death await them! ‘Of all the cold-blooded witches!’ Rictor exclaims from the ledge above Hela. Sunspot remarks that it is too bad Rictor cannot use his vibro-powers on Hela and her entire army and knock them all into the abyss. Rahne remarks that would not work, but that something will, and points out that the sorcerer-giant that Boom-Boom, Warlock and her beloved wolf-prince have met up with has got Hela worried. Sam agrees, and remarks that Hela is rushing things and getting sloppy, which is the reason they are still alive, though he still can’t see how it can help them stop her entire army!

Meanwhile, in Asgard’s icy wastes, ice creatures gambol as the New Mutants Boom-Boom, Warlock and their ally the wolf-prince Hrimhari stare into an ancient crystal. Warlock exclaims that he sees Hela with Dani, but does not know what the sword is. Tiwaz, the giant sorcerer, announces that is the deceptively deadly weapon that Hela has created, a weapon which in time could threaten to fell the World Tree itself. Boom-Boom turns to Tiwaz and asks that since he is a mighty sorcerer, can’t he just wave his hand and destroy Hela. Tiwaz replies that Hela is Death herself, and not even he has the power to vanquish death entirely.

Boom-Boom a.k.a. Tabitha Smith throws her hands up into the air in frustration and exclaims that they have to do something. Tiwaz replies that it is the Fates who weave and woof their lives, before admitting that, sometimes, the strong may take the strings into their own hands and twist the future to their will, which is what Hela attempts. Tabby smiles and exclaims ‘Well, that’s what we’re gonna attempt, too!’ Warlock informs his friend that Hela is much too strong for them to stop alone, and Hrimhari remarks that Odin is still in his Odin Sleep and Thor is trapped on Earth.

Hrimhari declares that the next strongest amongst the Asgardians are Balder the Brave, and the Warriors Three, and wishes they could find Hogun the Grim. Tiwaz motions to his crystal and shows the young heroes Hogun’s location, adding that he is in dire peril. Hrimhari is shocked to see the Warriors Three as the captives of Queen Ula and her savage swarm. ‘Who?’ Boom-Boom asks. Hrimhari explains that they are trolls who live in a hive-like existence, adding that Hogun faced them on a previous adventure, and declaring that they must rescue them. ‘Trolls! Oh-boy, for a while there I was almost beginning to like Asgard!’ Boom-Boom exclaims.

Warlock asks Tiwaz if he can give him the navigation coordinates, to which Tiwaz replies that even better, he has a map. Soon, Warlock is outside in the snow and informs his friends that a storm is coming, so they must leave soon if they are to leave at all. Boom-Boom replies ’In a minute’ before turning to Tiwaz in the cave and informing him that she didn’t mean to be such a grouch earlier, and assuring him that she knows he would help if he could, adding that at least he saved them from the frost giants.

Boom-Boom remarks that they cannot expect Tiwaz to be able to do everything, ’I mean, sometimes I can’t even do everything right!’ she admits, before declaring that she, they all, will this time, and tells Tiwaz not to worry, before thanking him for everything. In a moment, Boom-Boom and Hrimhari are inside Warlock who has transformed himself into a helicopter, and Boom-Boom exclaims that Tiwaz was a nice gold guy. Warlock agrees, but points out that it is unfortunate Tiwaz is not a very powerful sorcerer after all. Watching the three heroes leave, Tiwaz remarks to his ice creatures that a mortal, a wolf-prince and a mechanical man-thing are indeed a strange coalition, at least on the surface, but ‘They’re all fruit of the World Tree, after all’.

Elsewhere, the hills surrounding Asgard’s regal capital are riche with meadows and it is here that the magical chariot-goats of Thor Odinson graze as they please. Five young children sit and stand before the two mighty goats, and the leader of the young group, Hildy, tells Toothgnasher and Toothgrinder that Hela is planning to invade Asgard, and with their master Thor away on Migard, and their own father and the Warriors Three away somewhere that they do not know, and Odin’s Vizer not believing them, depsite them warning him of danger, Hildy exclaims that they do know, however, where Balder is, visiting the sorcereress Karnilla in her kingdom in Nornheim.

Hildy tells the giant goats that she and her siblings realize that it is a great imposition, but as they can fly rapidly, ‘And we would not ask were danger less imminent…’ Hildy’s voice trails off when the two massive goats drop to their knees. ‘They understand!’ one of Hildy’s siblings exclaims. ‘They want us to climb on their backs!’ another declares. Hildy tells the goats that they thank them most graciously. As the two goats take to the air, one of the kids tells Kev to hold on tightly, and another asks their goat if they are pulling on their fur.

Never before have children anywhere experienced such a ride, but finally, it is over, and the goats circle towards Karnilla’s castle. Kev exclaims that there are peasants working in the field, but points out that they are very gray, so must be dirty, however when he waves to them, he notices that they do not wave back, or even move at all. Hildy explains that the sorcerer-frost giant Utgard-Loki attacked this kingdom and changed its people to stone. Hildy adds that although Balder defeated Utgard-Loki, Utgard-Loki was unable to undo the damage.

One of the children notices someone moving, and as Toothgnasher and Toothgrinder fly over towards the movement, the kids see that it is Balder, and that Karnilla is with him. Hildy begins crying out to Balder, who is holding Karnilla in his arms as they lie under a tree. Balder looks up and sees Hildy and asks her what she is doing here, not to mention with Thor’s goats. The kids all jump off the goats and Hildy exclaims that the wolf-prince Hrimhari told them that Hela has suborned the Valkyries and imprisoned the Einherjar. Kev adds that Hela has armed her legions of the dead and plans to invade Asgard.

The handsome Balder exclaims that this is grave news, and grabbing his sword declares that he must return at once with the children. ‘To fight against all of Hel, with the Einherjar and Valkyries helpless slaves of Hela? Surely it will end in thy defeat, my love, and death!’ Karnilla exclaims. Karnilla goes over to one of her people, transformed to stone, she wishes she could send her people too, armed, for surely Hela threatens everyone. Karnilla remarks that she had held such hopes for her last effort to restore them, but it was not to be, and stone they remain. Karnilla exclaims that she cannot imagine where her spell went wrong, ‘Unless…’. she whispers, as an idea comes to her.

Meanwhile, in a federal prison in New York State, where the New Mutant Rusty Collins is being held. The elderly villain known as the Vulture is being led back to his cell as he exclaims that the food stinks and the service is lousy, warning the prison guard that the second he has a chance, he is getting out of here, boasting that he has a plan. The prison officer replies that they all have plans, ‘Me, I plan to win the Lotto and be done with listening to bellyaching scum like you!’

>From a cell, another prisoner shouts at the Vulture, telling him that he is a has-been, and that he is nothing without his wings. ‘And they sure ain’t giving them back to ya!’ The prisoner asks the Vulture if he has been reading the papers and remarks ‘Even real lameoid super dudes are getting in on the super-hero bash-up - but you ain’t been asked to play in their all-star game!’.

In his cell now, the Vulture slumps down on his bed and snarls that they will all see, he will show them all, when he notices a large package sitting on his bed. ‘So…they don’t want me involved in their little escapade, do they?’ the Vulture remarks, ‘Then why send me this little gift?’ Opening the “gift”, the Vulture is presented with a new set of wings and costume. He realizes that it is his design, using his unpatented magnetic flight system, but they are not his wings, someone has stolen his design, has taken liberties. As he begins to put the costume and wings on, the Vulture notices the set of the hinges, the complexity of the fastenings, and supposes that it is the work of the Tinkerer.

The Vulture raises his new wings high in his cell and boasts that he will show the Tinkerer. ‘I’ll show him what it means to mock the Vulture! I’ll show you all!’ Across the cells, Rusty Collins sees the Vulture and asks him what he is doing. Noticing that the Vulture is dressed and has wings, Rusty remarks that even dressed like that he will not be able to escape, and uses his own mutant powers to melt the bars restraining him, and dives into the Vulture’s cell. ‘Oh, can’t I, you mutant fool? Just watch me!’ the Vulture exclaims as he informs Rusty, who grabs his ankle, that his benefactor enclosed an explosive device, and tosses it at the wall to his cell, before flying out of the open space. Guards try to follow them, but are unable, though the Vulture realizes that Rusty is still clinging to him, ‘Let go of my leg, you idiot! Let go!’ the old villain cries.

Back in Asgard, Warlock has travelled through rain and storm, flying at top speeds towards Queen Ula’s hive. Boom-Boom informs her teammate that there is an opening on the other side of the Hive, while Hrimhari notices that there is an ungodly racket coming from within, like the buzzing of an angry swarm! He asks Warlock if it is possible for him to hover so that they can look into the hive. Peering in through a hole in the hive, Warlock informs his friends that there are thousands of the savage swarm inside.

Inside the hive, Ula rests on a “throne” made from her own Savage Swarm, while a senior guard stands before the Warriors Three and asks his queen why they should keep the Warriors Three alive, pointing out that Asgard has always been their enemy, and this treachery goes beyond all reason. Sitting on a small ledge by an opening in the hive, the three young heroes listen to what is going on inside, and Boom-Boom asks if it seems a bit weird, ‘I mean if these Warriors Three are so good, how come we have to save them?’ she asks. Hrimhari replies that everyone needs a little help sometime, and assures her that their rescue will be easy. ‘All we must do is…’ he begins.

So, soon, Warlock extends his arms and grabs several of the savage swarm, remarking that he does not like the look of the hive trolls, nor the odds. Hrimhari explains that they do not have to defeat the swarm, just steal the Warriors Three away. ‘There speaks an incurrable optimist!’ Boom-Boom remarks as she holds one of her plasma time bombs in her hand, declaring that she created it with a delayed fuse, and asking Hrimhari if he thinks he is strong enough to hurl it over the savage swarm’s heads to the back of the hive. ‘Thou will see. And now, as thy Migardian warriors say…let us rock and roll!’ Hrimhari exclaims, before tossing the time bomb into the hive, past those inside, it slams hard against the back wall of the hive.

‘An explosion!’ shouts Queen Ula, pointing in the direction of the blast. The savage swarm all begin flurrying about, while Warlock, who has shifted his form to resemble a bee-keeper, goes over to Ula and wraps his form around her, telling the Warriors Three that while the savage swarm are distracted, they are rescuing them. ‘But you must hurry!’ Warlock exclaims. Hogun and Fandral look at each other confused, until Hrimhari approaches them and unties them. Hogun thanks Hrimhari for once again saving his life, to which Hrimhari replies ‘You saved me last time, but who is counting?’

Warlock shifts his form once more, this time into a large air-balloon of sorts. Boom-Boom, Hrimhari, Fandral and Hogun are already safe inside, but Volstagg is rather large and cannot climb in. Fandral turns to Boom-Boom and tells her that they are most grateful for this timely interruption, while Warlock informs Volstagg that he is too heavy, and will not be able to take flight with him. One of the savage swarm sees the heroes escaping and alerts his fellows, ‘The explosion was a ruse! Our prisoners escape!’ he cries, while Volstagg acknowledges that Warlock is no Asgardian creation, and calls him a flimsy thing unsuitable to one of his stature, before telling Warlock to go and leave him to his fate.

However, watching the plight of the heroes through his crystal in his icy kingdom, Tiwaz remarks ‘Ah, no, good Volstagg. That we must not allow! Thou has yet a part to play in Asgard’s defense!’, and the mighty sorcerer casts a spell on Volstagg.

Fandral urges Boom-Boom to help him pull Volstagg into Warlock, ‘I’m pulling!’ Tabby replies, while thinking to herself ‘Finally - a cute guy in Asgard!’, when suddenly, Volstagg is reduced in size to that of a small rodent. This enables Warlock to rise quickly and exits through an opening in the hive, but not without Ula ordering her warriors to follow them and to be quick about it. Fandral turns to Boom-Boom and remarks that he does not know how such a wonder has come to pass, but that he trusts she will soon return Volstagg to his former stature. Tabby is stuck for words, before replying that she knows not how either, but will do what she can.

Volstagg exclaims that it is unfitting that he be reduced to such a miniscule state, so Warlock morphs his body so that a miniscule version of himself appears from the air balloon next to Volstagg, ‘Self regrets any inconvenience, friend Volstagg!’ The alien adds that he believes it is for the best, since it has enabled them to break free. Back in the hive though, Ula exclaims that if the Asgardians think they will escape, they must think again, and orders her savage swarm after them.

The savage swarm flit about around the escaping heroes and Hrimhari asks them what the meaning of this kidnapping was, as he was of the understanding that Ula’s swarm was, for now, at peace with Asgard. One of the swarm replies that they thought the same also, until Lord Odin sent his Valkyries to snatch their best warriors, living, from the hive. The swarm exclaim that they cannot stop Valkyries, ‘But you we will slay, and send old Odin one-eye your heads in payment for the evil he has visited on our kind!’

Hogun remarks that the swarm were always given to untruths, and that this is the most preposterous tale they have ever told! Hogun exclaims that the Valkyries do take the best of warriors, but only those slain in battle, as they have no use for living warriors, nor does Lord Odin need the savage swarm, when he has the Einherjar to protect his kingdom, and the Warriors Three. Hrimhari suggests Hogun does not speak so rashly of Asgard’s oversupply of warriors.

Boom-Boom agrees, and informs the Warriors Three that she has bad news for them - the savage swarm are telling the truth, well at least as they see it, anyway. Tabby begins tossing time bombs around to keep the savage swarm away from Warlock while informing the Warriors Three that Hela has taken the Valkyries over by magi while Odin sleeps his Odin Sleep, and that the Valkyries are not taking living warriors, not for Odin, but for Hela’s army as she plans to use them to invade and conquer all of Asgard!

One of the savage swarm holds swords towards Warlock and asks Boom-Boom why they should accept her word for all this nonsense, when Hrimhari comes to Tabby’s defense, asking the swarm to believe him when he says that it is true. He introduces himself by name and declares that he stakes his honor on what Boom-Boom says is true, adding he knows, for Hela has stolen his people also. Hela is the enemy!

‘Can it be true?’, ‘Is it really he?’ mumble the savage swarm, until Queen Ula is flown towards them by her swarm. One of the swarms tells his Queen that mortals are to be trusted no more than Asgardians, but that the honor of the wolf-prince is unquestionable. Another of the swarm points out that Hrimhari serves Asgard no more than they do. Ula declares that if Hela is the kidnapper, then their quarrel with Asgard is at an end, for Hela threatens all kingdoms. She turns to Hrimhari and informs him that, for now, she and her savage swarm ally themselves with him and the rest of Asgard, even though it is Death herself that they must face!

Meanwhile, the New Mutants have followed Hela and her minions through Hel to a large open plain, thronging with ensorcelled warriors, stolen from among the best and bravest of the many kingdoms of Asgard. Hela stands on a ledge at the front of the sprawling plains, and Mirage and Brightwind alongside her, while the four New Mutants hide further back behind some rocks. Cannonball exclaims that Hel and Dani are standing before them with the sword forged and the army ready to go. Sunspot exclaims that there must be thousands of warriors, and Rictor reminds his teammates that if the four of them could not stop Hela alone, how are they supposed to defeat all of them. Rahne hears Hela beginning to speak and shushes her teammates so they can hear what the Death Goddess is saying.

‘The time for the invasion of Asgard is upon us!’ Hela bellows, ‘Each warrior must slay his thousands’ she exclaims, before declaring that it is to thee who were once both the mortal mutant Moonstar and Odin’s chosen Valkyrie, that the pivotal role, the signal honor has fallen. Hela exclaims that with this sword, She-Who-Was-Once-Moonstar will slay Odin, Lord of all Asgard as he sleeps his Odin Sleep, and subsequently bring about the all-father’s death!

Cannonball suggests to his friends that they might not have to stop the army after all, pointing out that it is Dani who is the linchpin of Hela’s plan, so it is Dani that they have to stop. Sunspot agrees, and remarks that if Boom-Boom, Warlock and Hrimhari have managed to warn Asgard, an entire army will be waiting to stop these warriors, adding that there is no reason for the Asgardians to strengthen Odin’s guards since they will expect his magic to protect them. Rictor remarks that all Dani will have to do is duck out of the battle and head for Odin, pointing out that once she kills him, the victory will be Hela’s no matter what the outcome of this battle, which is why he thinks they should let the Asgardians deal with Hela’s army why they concentrate on stopping Dani.

‘If we can!’ Rahne exclaims, before altering her friends to the valley beneath them, where cloaked warriors are on winged beasts. Cannonball tells his teammates to take the winged warriors out, before they get sight of the main army. Cannonball blasts towards them while Sunspot leaps at them and kicks one of them with his incredible strength, ‘Whatever you say, boss-man! But four down doesn’t alter the odds all that much!’ Bobby exclaims while Rahne lunges at another and Rictor attacks the fourth with his vibro-powers. Wolfsbane calls Bobby a “silly goose” as she explains that Sam wants them to ride the winged beasts into Asgard, disguised as part of Hela’s army!

Meanwhile, in the vaulted great hall of Karnilla’s castle, a stone statue, who was once a living guardsman, stands, placed there so that Karnilla might gauge the effectiveness of her restoration spell. Volstagg’s children have never been allowed to witness so powerful a spell in process, and they watch, open-mouthed, as words of power take on a physical reality and roil, crackling with energy over the guardsman. Finally, Karnilla’s spell is complete and all everyone turns to the statue expectantly, but…nothing has happened. Balder points out that nothing has happened, to which Karnilla exclaims that she had so hoped that this time she would have succeeded, before wondering even if she had, what good it would have done Balder and the rest of Asgard, for this is just a single guard, and it will take her years to revive all of her people.

However, in the icy wastes, an ancient figure monitors Karnilla’s progress. Tiwaz sees that the guardsman remains stone, but Karnilla has done better than she can possibly know. Tiwaz remarks that Karnilla is a fine sorceress, and her cause is just, meaning it is a pity to let all that excess magic go to waste! Tiwaz blows over his crystal, which causes an unexpected icy wind to rip through Karnilla’s castle, snatching up the dancing spell, and sprinkling it selectively on the stone people of Nornheim.

In the palace itself, Hildy alerts Karnilla, ‘Look! It did work…in a way. He is still stone, but…’ her voice trails off as Balder motions to the guardsman’s hand, moving on his sword, before the guardsman begins to speak, bowing before Karnilla, his thanks his gracious Queen for her efforts, on behalf of all her people, he explains that he is as she sees him, a man of stone, but that he will serve her if she will have him.

Notes of magic dance in the sunlight as the people of Karnilla’s kingdom no longer immobile statues, but still not quite flesh and blood, flock beneath her castle wall. Karnilla and Balder stand before them, as Karnilla explains the grave situation to them, that Hela threatens all of Asgard, with magic and evil as foul as that which turned them all to stone. Karnilla informs her people that she will ride to Asgard at Balder’s side to battle Hela with what magicks she possesses. ‘I will aid him in his battle as he once aided me in mine!’ Karnilla exclaims, informing her people that she had hoped they would be able to ride with her, but alas, they are not yet fully recovered.

Down below, Karnilla’s people exclaim that they will march with her, every man, woman and child among them! Someone else exclaims that it was a happy chance that made them stone men, for they are now as strong as stone, with muscles hewn of rock and with a stone’s invulnerability! One of the people asks if even Death can prevail against such awesome warriors as they!?

Back in icy Hel, Sam, Bobby, Julio and Rahne are disguised in the clothing of Helish warriors, and mounted on the winged beasts, have joined Hela’s army. Sam tells his friends to pull their hoods up tight around their faces, and Rahne motions everyone to look up in the air before Hela’s army, there is shimmering as happened once before, when Hela created the portal that led them into Hel. Sam replies that this one will lead them out and tells his team to mix in with the army and be ready to make their move when the army does.

Held prisoner nearby, the dwarf-lord Eitri whispers to his daughter Kindra, asking her if she sees beneath the foul raiment of goblins, the fair warrior New Mutants riding to save bright Asgard from evil - evil that he has created by his own accursed hands. A warrior smacks Eitri in the face with his staff, telling him to get back and not litter the path of his betters. Kindra calls out for her father, who now has tears weeping from his eyes. Eitri tells his daughter to not try and comfort him, as he knows his own fault in this, for in that weapon he has sown the seeds of Hela’s destruction, and vows that the New Mutants will not be alone in Asgard’s salvation!

A mere warp away, the spires of Asgard’s capital gleam in the sunlight as Balder and Karnilla’s army of stone approaches the city’s gates. Riding on one of Thor’s goats, one of Hildy’s siblings motions for Balder to look up in the sky. Hildy exclaims that it is flying monsters, so it must be Hela’s army. Balder tells Karnilla’s people to raise their weapons and prepare to meet the attack, while in the sky, one of the savage swarm sees Karnilla’s army and declares that it is an army massed before Asgard’s gates, noting the warriors of stone, they think it must be Hela’s terrible creation.

But in the Warlock-air-balloon, Fandral orders everyone to hold their fire, as the figure leading the men of stone is Balder. Ula orders her warriors to halt, informing them that these are not enemies, but allies in the fight against dark Hel. Balder informs his army that it is the Warriors Three up in the air, with any army to help defend. ‘Surely with allies like these, Asgard can never fall!’

Soon, when introductions have been made and the heroism of Volstagg’s children much admired, the time comes to marvel at the strangeness of Asgard’s allies. Balder is reunited with his allies Fandral and Hogun and asks them what strange allies they have brought to defend bright Asgard. Fandral replies that he will wager they are no more strange than his own allies the stone folk. Warlock holds in his hands the tiny Volstagg out before his heroic children and Hildy informs her father that they flew here on Thor’s goats, turning to Boom-Boom she exclaims ‘We found help for Asgard too’ before asking her father how he got so small.

Balder replies that his bulk was too great for the flimsy man-thing Warlock to bear. Hogun remarks that Volstagg was transformed by sorcery and became as they see him now, before remarking ‘Who this sorcerous ally is and where he abides, no man can say!’ Boom-Boom however suspects Tiwaz, though she says nothing, while Volstagg points out that as they are fully grounded, he trusts he shall be restored to his former glory? And on cue, Warlock drops Volstagg as the mighty warrior returns to his true, large, form. Volstagg declares with such powerful and agreeable allies, surely Asgard’s light will never dim, when suddenly there is a massive flash in the sky above them.

‘What is it?’ someone asks. ‘A warp?’ someone else suggests. ‘Through it rides a grim and terrible throng!’ declares someone as they motion to Hela in the sky, leading her massive army into Asgard, headed by Mirage, Mist and the other Valkyries. ‘Attack ye hosts of Hel!’ screams the Death Goddess. ‘And bring me, Moonstar, the all-father’s heart! Soon, Odin, and all his holdings, will be MINE!’

Characters Involved: 

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


Hrimhari the Wolf-Prince


Hildy, Kev, Signe and two other Children of Volstagg

Toothgnasher & Toothgrinder

Balder the Brave


Fandral, Hogun, Voltage (all Warriors Three)

Queen Ula

Savage Swarm

People of Nornheim

Eitri, the Dwarf-Lord

Kindra, Eitri’s daughter


Mist and other Valkyries


Trolls, including Shrannk, a guard

Hela’s army


Other Prisoners

Prison Guards

Story Notes: 

Boom-Boom, Warlock and Hrimhari met Tiwaz in New Mutants (1st series) #83. Hela learnt of this encounter in the same issue, though she does not know who Tiwaz is.

The people of Nornheim were turned to stone in the Balder the Brave limited series.

The “super-hero bash up” that the prisoner refers to is of course the “Acts of Vengeance” storyline which ran through many Marvel titles over a few months.

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