New Mutants (1st series) #87

Issue Date: 
March 1990
Story Title: 
A Show of Power!

Louise Simonson (Writer), Rob Liefeld (Penciler), Bob Wiacek (Inker), Joe Rosen (Letterer), Mike Rockwitz (Colorist), Daryl Edelman (Assistant Editor), Bob Harras (Editor), Tom DeFalco (Editor-in-Chief)

Brief Description: 

The Mutant Liberation Front blow up an energy research facility, demanding the release of captive New Mutants Skids and Rusty. The mysterious Cable is following the MLF, but cannot prevent the destruction of the energy research facility. Skids, in her cell, with the unconscious Rusty nearby, watches media reports of their recent battle with the Vulture and Nitro, and is extremely angry that she is being portrayed as a villain, though is surprised to learn of the Mutant Liberation Front, and that they are demanding her freedom. Mystique comes to ask Skids some questions about the MLF, but as Sally points out, she doesn’t know anything, as she is not a terrorist. Mystique informs her that she will be remaining here in the custody of Freedom Force. Stryfe, the Mutant Liberation Front’s mysterious leader sends some of the MLF to liberate Skids and Rusty, unaware that Cable is on their trail once more. The MLF break into the facility where Skids is being kept, and soon Cable attacks them, until he is wounded by Strobe. The MLF break into Skids’ cell, and Rusty wakes, though he is instantly shot by one of the confused guards, thinking he is attempting to escape. This of course upsets Skids who is offered good reasons by Strobe as to why she should go with them, and with little to lose, Skids agrees, and they all escape. On Asgard, Skids’ teammates Cannonball, Mirage, Sunspot, Rictor, Boom-Boom, Wolfsbane and Warlock are celebrating their recent victory with the heroes of Asgard, when they are present with a map, showing them the way home, since the Rainbow Bridge was destroyed. Karnilla’s people are also returned to their human forms after being stuck in stone for so long. Mirage announces that she will be remaining in Asgard to right the wrongs Hela committed in the name of the Valkyries, and after Warlock shifts his form into a large ship, the New Mutants depart Asgard, to varying degrees of sadness. En route to Earth, they encounter the supposedly deadly Mindless Ones, but deal to them easily, before arriving back on Earth at the Statue of Liberty, though they do not see Skids and Rusty there and assume they escaped. With the X-Men and X-Factor gone, the New Mutants are at a loss as to what to do next, when suddenly X-Factor’s Ship falls from the sky. Meanwhile, in federal custody, Cable regrets not being able to rescue Skids and decides that he needs some help against the Mutant Liberation Front.

Full Summary: 

A wall suddenly has a hole melted out of it, now lined with white hot slag, courtesy of the sultry mutant known only as Strobe, and through the smoldering rupture, Strobe’s teammates in the Mutant Liberation Front storm a top secret energy research station - with a most deadly purpose! The deranged Wildside exclaims that there are guards ahead, ‘Let’s rip those suckers’ lungs out!’ he cries, but his four-armed teammate, appropriately code-named Forearm suggests that Wildside keeps his mind on business and continues to make them appear invisible to the guards, reminding him that their boss said to keep the guards confused for as long as possible.

The Mutant Liberation Front begin smashing their way through the second research station this week, more certain of their ultimate success than in past missions as they near their goal. They can smell success and now it is time to strike fear into the powerless humans’ souls! Reaper emits, through his scythe, paralyzing neural disruptors. Strobe continues to burn her way what she chooses, while Wildside concentrates on making them invisible still. Forearm’s mighty fists pack a mean punch as he smashes his opponents, Tempo makes time fly with her, slowing it down or speeding it up as she chooses, while Thumbelina can shrink her tubby form.

Thumbelina cries out that there are more guards, and indeed, several more begin rushing down the large corridor, and one of them exclaims that he cannot see the intruders, although they do register on his sensors. The sergeant tells his men to trust their sensors and attack. They begin firing bullets at the MLF, when suddenly Forearm smashes all four of them at the same time back through the corridor, joking that they cant see him, but he can see them.

Suddenly though, one of the guards gets a lucky shot in and shoots one of Forearm’s arms. ‘Oh, poor baby’ jokes Wildside, to which Forearm tells him to shut up, before asking Tempo to throw up a time-twister and to make it fast. ‘You want it, sugah, you got it!’ Tempo replies as she unleashes her powers. Reaper notes that the bullets are moving so slow that even Thumbelina could dodge them, adding that the guards are hardly moving at all.

Thumbelina complains that super-speed uses up too much energy and remarks that she will be tired for days. Strobe calls her a wimp, to which Thumbelina points out that it is easy for Strobe, as all she has to do is stand there and let the bullets melt as they strike. Thumbelina continues her rant, but Strobe tells her to quit griping, ‘The sooner the bombs are set the sooner we’re out of here, lard face, so get moving!’ Thumbelina begins fiddling with the bomb but announces that the starter wont work, that possible a bullet severed some wires.

‘It’s always something!’ Thumbelina mutters as she shrinks her form and climbs inside the bomb where she struggles to repair the bombs connections. Strobe declares that the guards are getting closer and tells Thumbelina to hurry. Within a moment, the pink-haired Thumbelina returns to her regular size and announces that it is done. Strobe continues to melt whatever is thrown her way while Thumbelina informs everyone that they have got about eight seconds left before it blows, so they need to make them count.

The MLF’s teleporter, Zero arrives just in time and the mutant terrorists escape, except for Reaper who races towards some more guards. Forearm calls back to him and asks him what he is doing. ‘Finishing the suckers!’ Reaper replies. Someone points out that the bomb will finish them, and they vanish, while the timer slips a second closer to oblivion, and in that instant, through the hole Strobe burned in the wall, a mysterious muscular gray-haired man wearing jeans and large shoulder armor and carrying a lot of weapons rushes into the building, asking a soldier who is on the ground what happened.

The guard replies that there were terrorists, including a big guy with four arms. He asks the newcomer who he is, and the reply is ‘I’m Cable’ and the explanation that he tracked the terrorists here and hoped to stop them, before asking the soldier where they are. The soldier replies that they are gone, disappeared into thin air, that Cable is too late. ‘Too late?’ Cable replies, one of his eyes flashes, then he and the guard are blown back by the explosion set off from the bomb.

Meanwhile, in Asgard, the dimension ruled by the Norse Gods, a mead-hall is crowded with feasting heroes, and a toast is in process. Balder the Brave declares that even though the mortal New Mutants are from Midgard, they are the true heroes of this battle against the Death Goddess, and have helped save Asgard from destruction at Hela’s hand. New Mutants co-leader Danielle Moonstar a.k.a. Mirage thanks Balder for his kind thoughts and remarks that since the Rainbow Bridge is broken and Asgard has been severed from Earth forever, it is nice to be here among friends at least.

‘To friends, then!’ exclaims Balder, raising his goblet. The feasters toast with goblets of the purest gold, and though the recipients of the toast smile graciously, their hearts are heavy. Hrimhari the wolf-prince notices that in Rahne “Wolfsbane” Sinclair, and asks her why she is so glum, as he had hoped she would be glad to stay in Asgard for a while. Rahne replies that she would be, but that they have duties on Earth, and friends there in great peril. Suddenly, Rahne notices something fly through one of the windows and asks what it is.

Balder announces that it is a fairy made of ice, and bearing a scroll and glowing vial. Balder calls out to the creature and asks it to give him the scroll and vial, for sure it is for someone in this hall, before remarking that he wonders who can command such a creature as this. Tabby “Boom-Boom” Smith gasps that she knows who its from, and turns to her alien teammate Warlock, who declares that it is from Tiwaz, the old sorcerer-giant from the icy wastes. The sorceress Karnilla approaches her lover Balder and asks him what the scroll says.

Balder announces that the vial is for Karnilla, and for her people who, though cursed by the frost-giant Utgard Loki and were turned to stone, willingly offered what lives they had in Asgard’s defense, and thus have earned the right to walk again as men of flesh and blood. Karnilla casts the vial on her people that are present, and indeed, their stone forms are replaced by their true flesh and blood bodies.

Balder then hands the scroll to the New Mutants and Sam “Cannonball” exclaims that it is a map. Julio Richter a.k.a. Rictor remarks that he has never seen one like that before, and Boom-Boom asks where it goes to. Balder informs the New Mutants that it is a map of the dimensional edges surrounding Asgard - with a path home to Migard. Balder adds that it will be fraught with peril, but doesn’t think that should be a problem for the New Mutants.

‘Yahoo! We’re going home!’ shouts Cannonball as he blasts into the air. Boom-Boom lets off her plasma time bombs like fire works and Rictor and Bobby “Sunspot” DaCosta jump for joy. Rahne turns to Dani and hugs her best friend, exclaiming that it is wonderful. Dani replies that it is, before announcing that she cannot got back to Earth. Teary-eyed, Mirage tells her friends that she is a New Mutant now and always, but that she is a Valkyrie too, and reminds them Hela did terrible things to them, to all of Asgard, so she has to stay and help right the wrongs Hela did here in the name of the Valkyries.

Back on Earth, in a heavily guarded hospital room at a maximum security facility outside of Washington D.C. two badly injured New Mutants - Russell “Rusty” Collins and Sally “Skids” Blevins are being held against their will. Sally pushes a button a television remote, turning the television on, she knows it is news time, and for better or worse, she and Rusty are today’s news. Sally’s boyfriend, Rusty lies unconscious in the bed beside her and Sally wonders what is with their luck - ‘What is wrong with the world?’ - she asks, recalling how she and Rusty stopped Nitro and the Vulture from killing hundreds of innocent people, but the government’s specially appointed mutant dogs, Freedom Force, beat them both to a bloody pulp, then claim that they aided in Nitro’s escape from prison.

Sally remembers what the Crimson Commando called her and Rusty, when Commando’s voice is heard on the screen, Calling Skids and Rusty “Evil mutants”. Commando goes on to say that Freedom Force have learned to their own great sorrow the power of evil, as their teammates Destiny and Stonewall have just fallen tragically to scum like them. Sally begins to change the channels, but every channel in Washington is playing the same stupid tape, the same lies over and over again. The voice of the Crimson Commando boasts that danger, even death, is the price of Freedom Force’s vigilance, and something that Freedom Force will pay for gladly. “Because we are America’s heroes…and we serve you all!”.

Sarcastically, Sally thinks to herself that comment is a regular red-white-and-blue paeon to the patriotism and heroism Freedom Force, ‘If I didn’t know any better, I’d probably believe them too!’ she thinks to herself, wishing that something else was on television, when she discovers “News 4” who has learned that the Mutant Liberation Front has taken credit for the bombing of the top secret energy research station in Pine Bluffs, Wyoming. ‘Mutant Liberation Front? What’s that?!’ Sally exclaims.

The reporter on screen goes on to say that fifteen workers lost their lives in the explosion, and that the following taped message was beamed by satellite to television stations throughout the country: “We are the Mutant Liberation Front and our demands are simple: Free the captive mutants known in the press as Rusty and Skids…or we will take them from you!”. ‘WHAT?’ shouts Skids in surprise. ‘What indeed’ the deadly Mystique, leader of Freedom Force remarks as she enters the ward, greeted by Skids who calls her a witch, before telling her that her thugs are real tough when up against a couple of kids. ‘The Blob cracked Rusty’s skull - he nearly died!’

Mystique admits that Skids and Rusty are young, but warns Skids that Freedom Force will not underestimate them again. Mystique explains that is why Rusty is being kept sedated, incapable of using his pyrokinetic power. Mystique remarks that Skids’ deflection power is not as dangerous, before telling her ‘You, like Rusty, are a fighter. You are both survivors’. Mystique quickly changes the subject by informing Skids that they have more important things to discuss, and asks her who the Mutant Liberation Front are.

Skids replies ‘How would I know?’ and remarks that the Mutant Liberation Front are terrorists, people who she, Rusty and the other New Mutants would have nothing to do with. ‘Really?’ Mystique replies, before asking Skids to explain to her why the Mutant Liberation Front wants her, what makes her such a prize. ‘Maybe because they think we’re innocent and don’t belong her!’ Sally snaps back. Mystique however thinks it is another reason, and suggests to Sally it is perhaps because the Mutant Liberation Front want the information that Skids has learned - information which could bring down certain powerful elements in the government.

Mystique snarls as she warns Sally not to think that her specialized knowledge will help her. ‘What you know is more dangerous to you than to us!’ Mystique exclaims, before telling Skids that until she sees the difficulties from Freedom Force’s perspective and agrees to cooperate, she will remain Freedom Force’s rightful prisoner. ‘Should you ultimately refuse…’ Mystique begins until Sally cuts her off. ‘You’ll dispose of us, won’t you?’ She asks. ‘To protect some human power-monger’s dirty little secret you’d kill Rusty and me!’

Meanwhile, the New Mutants in Asgard prepare to embark on an interdimensional voyage that will, at long last, take them home. Warlock has transformed himself into a large floating ship to carry his friends and tells Mirage that they will go from the Negative Zone where Asgard floats, back to Earth, and that he wishes she would come with them. Wolfsbane turns to her beloved Hrimhari and asks him if he will come to Earth with them, to which the wolf-prince replies that Rahne is the star of his heart, but that his people are here. The dwarf-lord Eitri and his daughter, Kindra, say farewell to Cannonball, assuring him that they will meet again, while Boom-Boom and Rictor bid goodbye to the Warriors Three.

With the farewells said, Warlock suggests that he take his friends home. Cannonball tells his team to get on board, as there is something he wants to say to Dani. Rictor takes hold of the clearly upset Rahne, causing Boom-Boom to fold her arms across her chest haughtily. Cannonball turns to Mirage and tells her that it will be tough leading the New Mutants without her. Dani hangs her head and tells Sam that it is no use, for as much as she wants to go home, honor binds her to Asgard.

Rahne begins to sob in Rictor’s arms, exclaiming that she pleaded and begged for Dani to change her mind, ‘Oh, Ric, how can we just…leave her?’ Rahne gasps, ‘We saved this world, but I’ve lost my best friend!’ Rictor holds Rahne and remarks that he has had to leave people he loved all his life, and points out that although it is hard to think this way, but they lost her, while helping her find her true self. Rictor glances over at Boom-Boom and sees that she is crying too. Tabby wonders why she is crying, she should be happy, as they are finally going back to subways and record stores and MTV!

Balder and the other Asgardians watch as the New Mutants sans Mirage depart. Balder wishes them care, as the journey may not be an easy one. Aboard their Warlock-ship, the New Mutants sail past the broken Rainbow Bridge on the edge of Asgard, and Rictor remarks that it is funny how much things on Asgard are like Earth in some ways, and so different in others. He adds that it feels like Earth, but from out here, it is just a floating island in a sea of stars. ‘Like…is it awesome or what?’ Boom-Boom exclaims throwing her hands in the air as she exclaims that they have actually been in another dimension and are now going home.

Warlock reminds his friends that although they are going home, the route is unfortunately not direct. Cannonball tells his team to take their battle stations, as according to this map, the whirlpool to the dimension of the mindless ones lies straight ahead. ‘Mindless ones? What are they? What does that mean?’ Rahne asks. As the New Mutants enter the whirlpool, Sam replies that he doesn’t know, but that he suspects they will find out any second now, and suddenly the New Mutants are swept from sight.

Meanwhile, back on Earth, the headquarters of the Mutant Liberation Front, housed in unnatural caves beneath the desert floor is a marvel of technology - as is the man who created it…a man known only as Stryfe! Clad in silver armor, wearing a flowing red cape and a large armored mask, Stryfe approaches his lackeys in the MLF and announces that the government of the United States received their last demand, but has refused to release the captive mutants. Wildside asks his master what they care, reminding him that their demands are a smokescreen for their real objectives. ‘We care, Wildside, because they are symbols of the injustices visited on our kind!’ Stryfe exclaims, adding that as proof of their superiority, they will enter the secret complex and take Rusty and Skids from the government.

Wildside reminds his boss that Skids and Rusty are self-styled heroes and may not come willingly. Stryfe lifts Wildside up off the ground by his throat and remarks that he will be pleased to know that he will not be the one to force the New Mutants to come along. Stryfe begins to strangle Wildside, reminding him that in the last battle he allowed himself to be hurt, and therefore has jeopardized a mission once to often, warning him that he does not suffer incompetence lightly. Stryfe drops Wildside to the ground before ordering Thumbelina to remain here also while the others go and liberate Skids and Rusty.

Within moments, Zero has teleported himself, Strobe, Tempo, Forearm and Reaper to the government facility. Strobe remarks that it is too bad Zero cannot teleport them to places they have never been, and Tempo agrees, pointing out that it would be a lot easier to teleport inside the building, grab the kids and teleport out. ‘Maybe, but it wouldn’t be half as much fun!’ Reaper exclaims before suggesting Strobe melt their way through the fence up ahead. The sultry Strobe replies that it is child’s play, but will trigger the alarms nonetheless.

The guards see the approaching mutants and one of them exclaims that it is the terrorists who bombed the research facility, as this is the same MO they saw on the tape. ‘Take them out!’ the sergeant orders, and instantly the guards begin firing at the Mutant Liberation Front. Around the corner of the building, the man called Cable holds his large weapon and thinks to himself that he is glad he took the MLF’s threat seriously. Forearm asks Tempo to twist them some time, to which Tempo replies ‘You got it’ before warning her teammates that they are all going to be really tired tomorrow as she slows down the guards. ‘Better tired than dead’ Reaper remarks.

Cable studies his opponents and realizes that Thumbelina and Wildside were scrapped from this mission. He decides that after bombing the lab this morning, the MLF should be tried and stressed from Tempo’s time-twisters, meaning they will be ripe for mistakes. Cable decides to take them by surprise, first taking out Tempo then Zero, and at all costs, protecting the kids he has come to save.

Meanwhile, far, far away, Warlock tells his friends that this dimensional crossing is not so bad. Motioning to their crazy surroundings, Boom-Boom references the classic “Wizard of Oz” and exclaims that it is like a trip through the middle of Dorothy’s tornado. Rictor tells his friends that it doesn’t seem particularly fair, they all have this great adventure in Asgard, while Rusty and Sally have been stuck on Earth, surrounded by Freedom Force. Boom-Boom remarks that Freedom Force are the absolute worst dolts in existence, but that she believes Rusty and Skids got away. Wolfsbane declares that she hopes so too, before remarking that Mystique can be a dangerous foe.

Suddenly, Rahne notices some light ahead, and Warlock announces that they are leaving the wormhole, adding that the map warned them of the Mindless Ones in this dimension. An orange beam strikes overhead and Warlock asks what that was. Rictor quickly suggests Warlock change his form into a smaller target, as rather plain gray humanoid creatures begin attacking. Boom-Boom exclaims that they must be the Mindless Ones, to which Rictor mumbles ‘Talk about if looks could kill!’

Cannonball grabs Boom-Boom and blasts into the air, remarking that the Mindless Ones are not exactly friendly. ‘Here’s a little something for the welcome wagon…courtesy of Sunspot!’ Bobby exclaims as he uses his strength to punch the Mindless Ones. Cannonball remarks that this dimension is made for aerial combat and asks Boom-Boom to drop her time bombs on the Mindless Ones. Tabby replies that it is her pleasure, while Rictor uses his seismic vibrations to shake the Mindless One’s off of Warlock.

When they are all gone, he points out that they are free of them, but what’s next? Warlock declares that he is searching for the warp area marked on the map that will lead them home. Rictor remarks that he doesn’t exactly want to stay here, before asking if it has occurred to anyone else that going home, might mean going back to school, to an ordinary life, which might get a little boring. No one has time to answer as Warlock blasts away from the Mindless Ones.

Back on Earth, the Mutant Liberation Front continues its relentless assault. Tempo exclaims that they must have wasted thirty guards. ‘They mushroom up outta nowhere, we chop them down to size!’ She adds that a posthumous purple heart is not going to do them any good. Forearm remarks that it wont do the MLF much good either if they all die from heart attacks. Forearm adds that he is the strongest one here and this time twisting is even getting to him, before asking Tempo where the control room is. From beneath her bucket-like helmet, Tempo motions in the direction, before remarking that it looks like it’s about time for them to be winding down.

‘And another hero bites the dust!’ Reaper exclaims as he disposes of another guard. The MLF gather around some controls and Cable rounds a corner, noting that they have dropped out of accelerated time. Tempo tells her teammates to keep their eyes open while she checks the computer for the prisoners location. She adds that they are going to get a lot of trouble from Skids and Rusty, so they better be worth it. Cable thinks to himself that he should take the MLF out while they are distracted and steps into the room, unleashes his various weapons upon his foes.

Tempo is struck first and she screams as she falls to the ground. ‘Sucker took Tempo out! What is he, some kinda robot?’ Reaper asks looking at Cable, who indeed does have some metallic components to his body. Forearm replies that he doesn’t know, but that their foe seems to be shooting like he knows who he is going for, and adds that they could sure use Skids’ deflection power about now. Forearm points out that he hopes Stryfe can turn Skids to their side, as it would be a shame to have to waste her themselves, before noticing that reinforcements are coming and suggesting they get out of here, but Reaper lunges at Cable, ‘Not till we lose our tail!’ he exclaims before slicing Cable with his scythe and telling him to try and move his cyborg body now.

Cable cries out as he stumbles backwards, his body now numb, he barely has the strength to swing his arm - but that is all he needs to take out Reaper, easily with one punch. Suddenly, Strobe leaps towards Cable, who turns and grabs her by the throat, only to find her intense heat begins to melt his metal arm. Strobe smiles and asks Cable what kind of metal that is made of and if he still ahs something left that resembles an arm. Forearm asks Strobe if she thinks they should take their assailant with them, to which the sultry red-head replies that she would love to, but that Zero could not carry them and this Frankenstein too. She then orders Forearm to take Cable’s guns and use him for target practice.

Elsewhere, a portal opens in time-space and the New Mutants fly through it, arriving back on Earth where they left, at the Statue of Liberty. Cannonball looks down and sees that Skids and Rusty are not there. ‘Figures, we’ve been away for weeks!’ he adds, to which Boom-Boom declares that Skids and Rusty have escaped. Rictor remarks that he would like to have seen the fight and bets that they gave Freedom Force a run for their money. Sunspot points out that X-Factor will know what has happened to them, if X-Factor has returned from wherever it is they went. Warlock announces that X-Factor’s Ship is still missing, to which Sunspot asks what they should do now.

Wolfsbane suggests that they wait, before relishing in the ocean breeze that sweeps over them. Cannonball remarks that they are surely going to have hassles with Freedom Force, but that they can’t be as bad as the fight in Asgard. Sunspot adds that whatever happens, the New Mutants will handle it, and make sure right is served. Boom-Boom points out that with the X-Men gone and X-Factor missing, they are the only ones who remember their mentor, Professor Xavier’s dream. ‘You mean that those of us who were born with para-human powers should use them to oppose evil and protect the week?’ Rictor asks. Boom-Boom tells him that he sounded incredibly noble.

As Warlock soars away from the Statue of Liberty, Rahne remarks that she likes the idea, as it sounds like the crusaders, or the Knights of the Round Table. Cannonball declares that they would make pretty good ones, and that the world could use some knights in shining armor to protect folks. ‘But right now I’m just glad to be home’ Sam adds as Warlock lands on the water, shifting his form into a raft.

Back in Washington, Forearm carries the unconscious Tempo and informs Strobe that Skids and Rusty’s cell is right beneath them, so she needs to melt their way through the floor. Reaper tells Strobe to trouble, for if they do not get them fast, then they are in trouble with Stryfe. Down below, one of the guards standing watch over Skids and Rusty remarks to his comrade that he can smell something funny, like burning insulation, and asks his fellow if he thinks they are coming through the ceiling. ‘If they are…if the muties try to escape…’ the second officer replies, his voice trailing off. ‘We have our orders’ the first points out. ‘Freedom Force won’t like it!’ the second remarks. The first points out that it is tough, as the orders came from higher up - any escape attempt will result in termination.

As if on cue, Reaper leaps into the cell, ‘Come on babe, we’re springing you out of here!’ he exclaims. Rusty wakes up with all the commotion and Sally tells him to lie back as he is drugged and hurt, in no shape to help. Rusty gets out of bed and one of the guards shoots him in the shoulder, telling Skids that it was a nice try, but that she is not leaving here alive. ‘Next time, guard his back!’ Skids throws her force field up, and screams, ‘Rusty! No!’ as she kneels beside her boyfriend.

Strobe steps in between Skids and the guards and warns them to keep back. The guards all fire at her, but the bullets melt before they hit her. ‘I tell you, she ain’t human!’ Skids recognizes the newcomers as the Mutant Liberation Front and exclaims that they are terrorists, and asks Strobe what she wants. ‘If we’re terrorists, how come they shot your boyfriend?’ Strobe asks. Skids asks what she and Rusty mean to the MLF, why they care what happens to them. ‘We care, Skids, because you’re symbols of the injustices visited on our kind!’ Strobe replies, before informing Sally that she can take a chance with the MLF, or stay and face the termination order.

‘What’s it gonna be?’ Strobe asks. ‘We…we’re with you!’ Sally replies hesitantly, before throwing her force field up around the MLF. ‘Nice going, girlie!’ Reaper exclaims, before telling Zero to open a teleportation warp up. The MLF all rush through it, but Sally remains behind. Someone calls to her and asks if she is coming, to which she replies that she is, and rushing through the teleport she exclaims ‘If we stay here…we’re as good as dead!’

Later, Warlock rises from the water when Boom-Boom points to the sky and exclaims that Ship is back and falling out of control. Rahne gasps that it is going to crash and Sam orders Warlock to fly towards it, as something is going to happen. Warlock replies that he will hurry and they will save who they can.

Meanwhile, in a military complex outside of Washington, a medical officer tells Cable that he looked like hamburger when they got to him and adds that he is lucky to be alive. ‘Am I?’ Cable replies. Another medical officer tells him that he has a sophisticated prosthesis, to which Cable replies that it is not government issue if that is what he is asking. ‘Too bad your hand got sliced’ the medical officer remarks, to which Cable replies that it is metal and he can make another. ‘With two paper clips and a screw-driver, right?’ the officer jokes, before turning to a guard and stating that Cable is a slippery devil with a dossier a mile long, so needs to be guarded well.

Cable frowns as he lies on the bed, thinking that he let himself get suckered and now those two kids Skids and Rusty are the losers, for if they do not cooperate with the MLF, then the MLF will kill them as they have killed others. Cable decides to keep tracking the MLF, picking them off one by one and hoping to get to Stryfe eventually. However, Cable fears that by that time it will be too late for Skids and Rusty - and who knows how many others. Cable tells himself to face facts - that the MLF are a well-financed, highly sophisticated army, and that he needs to swallow his pride and get some help, because right now, timing is everything…and he can’t bring them down alone.

Characters Involved: 

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



Crimson Commando (voice only on television)

Forearm, Reaper, Strobe, Stryfe, Tempo, Thumbelina, Wildside, Zero (all Mutant Liberation Front)


Balder the Brave


Hrimhari the Wolf-Prince

Fandral, Hogun, Volstagg (all Warriors Three)

Eitri the Dwarf-Lord

Kindra, Eitri’s daughter

People of Nornheim

Ice Creature

The Mindless Ones

Guards at the Energy Research Station

Prison Guards

Newsreader (as seen on television)

Doctors and guards at military compound

Story Notes: 

This issue marks the first appearance of an adult Cable, who will go on to become one of Marvel’s most popular characters, receiving his own long-running ongoing series and starring and guest-starring in many others.

The New Mutants adventures in Asgard can be seen in New Mutants (1st series) #79-80, 82-86.

Boom-Boom, Warlock and Hrimhari encountered Tiwaz in New Mutants (1st series) #83-84.

Karnilla’s people were turned to stone in the Balder the Brave limited series.

Mirage next appears in X-Force (1st series) #27-28, as a member of a reorganized Mutant Liberation Front. Little is known about her time in Asgard, but it seems she was cast out at one point. As revealed in X-Force (1st series) #66-67, she only joined the MLF as an undercover SHIELD agent, and rejoins her friends as a member of X-Force in X-Force (1st series) #70.

Skids and Rusty were once again captured by Freedom Force in New Mutants (1st series) #86.

Destiny and Stonewall were killed in Uncanny X-Men #255 - Destiny was murdered by an insane Legion and Stonewall was killed by Donald Pierce.

The New Mutants were separated from Rusty and Skids in New Mutants (1st series) #78.

X-Factor have been taking part in the Judgment War” on a distant planet [X-Factor (1st series) #43-50]

Boom-Boom’s comment about the New Mutants’ being the only ones to remember their mentor Professor Xavier’s dream (with the X-Men and X-Factor gone) is rather incorrect as she (and Rictor, Skids and Rusty) never served under Xavier, though perhaps she is meaning it in a broader sense, as the four of them were trained by the original X-Men.

Rusty’s hair is miscolored brown this issue.

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