New Mutants (2nd series) #10

Issue Date: 
May 2004
Story Title: 
The Ties That Bind - part 4: A Few Small Repairs

Nunzio Defilippis & Christina Weir (Writers), Carlo Barberi (Pencils), Wayne Faucher, Juan Vlasco, & Rick Ketcham (Inks), Dave Sharpe (Letters), Avalon Studios’ Ian Hannin & Rob Ro (Colors), Stephanie Moore & Cory Sedlmeier (Assistant Editors), Mike Marts (Editor), Chris Bachalo (Cover), Joe Quesada (Editor In Chief), Dan Buckley (Publisher)

Brief Description: 

Rahne and the kids find the homeless girl, and manage to calm her down with Laurie’s pheromones. They learn that her name is Noriko Ashida, and they take her back to the Institute where Hank McCoy, the Beast, helps her to figure out how to help her. Dani arrives and scolds the kids and gives them all detention, and she and Rahne get into a fight. The kids and Shan visit Luna DePaula in the hospital, while Rahne learns that she isn’t allowed to become a teacher and decides that she is going to leave. Dani confronts her to try to help, and learns exactly why Rahne has changed the way she has. Rahne takes off to a bar, where Josh eventually joins her and after a good conversation, he helps her understand her thoughts about her mutation. Hank gives Nori some gauntlets to help her control her powers, and tells her that she may eventually not need gauntlets or pills to control it. Nori and David run into Julian in the grounds of the Institute and they confront him for sending her away. Nori quickly turns on David for being so judgmental, and then storms off. Later, when Josh and Rahne arrive back at the Institute, Rahne admits that she wants her powers back, and in a wild kiss, he heals her, bringing back her wolf powers. Unfortunately, the sudden return of the wolf makes Rahne lose control and she slashes him with her claws, leaving her in a wild half wolf, half girl state, and him lying on the ground bleeding …

Full Summary: 

At the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning, Emma Frost is having an advisor meeting with her five student advisees, who are all sitting around on a nice white couch. She tries to convince them to try some food she brought, but one of her advisees, Santo Vaccarro, says that Iceman always had pizza for his advisor meetings. Emma counters that Iceman has no class, and pizza is for peasants. She brought French pastries from the finest patisserie in New York. She adds that she spares no expense for her new advisees.

Julian Keller, another of Emma’s advisees, changes the subject, asking about the old school, where Emma’s students were more of a team, the Hellions. Emma assures him that they are not the Hellions, but Julian continues talking about them, mentioning the fact that they always took whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted. Emma says that they met an unfortunate end, but that dream is over. They are there to serve Charles Xavier’s dream of peaceful co-existence. Julian isn’t so sure.

As she sits on a large round white chair, Emma continues that there will always be those that are destined for greatness, and it is her job to teach her advisees how to be among those select few. She then mentions the fact that all students at the school eventually get codenames, generally chosen by the faculty. Many students dread getting something embarrassing, but since Emma is one of those that help select names, she asks what her advisees would like to be called.

She starts by asking Santo. He says that ‘Rocky’ would remind people of the movie, so he chooses ‘Rockslide’. Next, Emma asks Dallas. He says that anything with the word Shadow would be cliché, so he chooses ‘Specter’. Emma then turns to Brian, mentioning that he has one of the more esoteric powers. He says that he isn’t an esoteric kind of guy, then chooses ‘Tag’. Emma then asks Cessily. She says that since she is made of it, ‘Mercury’ would work. She adds that the teachers would have probably chosen that anyway.

Last, Emma asks Julian. He says that he’s been thinking about it ever since Emma became his advisor. He wants to be called ‘Hellion’. Emma isn’t impressed, and says that she told him that there are no Hellions anymore. He argues that he didn’t say one of the Hellions. He said Hellion, singular. They were Emma’s favorite students, and he won’t let the name down. Emma puts a hand on his shoulder and tells him to see that he doesn’t, and then they will talk.

As the meeting comes to an end, Emma tells the students that throughout her life she has been many things, a villain, a hero, but she has always been a teacher above all. She says that if they ever need or want anything, or they don’t understand something, they should come to her, and only her. She is there for them.

As the five students empty into the hall, Brian comments that the food really is better than pizza. Cessily says that Emma really is intense, and Julian says that he was right. Emma Frost is cool. Santo says he can’t believe she let them pick their own codenames. Julian agrees, then adds that it is too bad that Victor decided to stick it out with his advisor, but he’s glad they ditched Josh before they switched to Miss Frost. He continues that he and his New Mutant buddies never get to do things as cool as this.

At the same time, those same “New Mutants” are jumping for cover as the homeless girl, Surge, explodes with electric energy. As it happens, David yells out to get down and knocks Sofia out of the way as the others, Laurie, Josh, and Rahne try to avoid the blast. Back out of the blast range, Sofia asks how David did it. He cannot move faster than lightning. He admits that he doesn’t know, but somehow he knew which direction the attack was coming from.

As they stand up, they see Laurie cringing on her knees holding her arm, and David calls out her name asking her if she’s alright. She says she just kind of fell. Nearby, Josh says that maybe getting rid of her pills was a bad idea. Maybe she was taking them to control her powers. Rahne says that this is ridiculous, and that someone needs to put her down, and then she gets hit with a blast of electricity.

David says they can’t even get near her, but Rahne says they have to do something. David points out that he doesn’t thing she is the bad guy. They just need to calm her down so they can talk to her. He turns to Laurie and tells her to use her pheromones, but she counters that she isn’t all that calm right now. David tells her not to worry; Sofia will help, and then gets closer to the floating girl exploding with electricity. She warns him to look out. He says he’s sorry. They didn’t know about the pills, but they can help.

Meanwhile, Laurie says she doesn’t think this is going to work. She says she doesn’t have enough control to project an emotion without feeling it herself. Sofia tells her to close her eyes and think of something or some place that is safe and calm. And happy. Laurie looks over at Josh, then closes her eyes with a smile, and some white pheromones float off of her body. David tells the girl that there is a place for kids like them … a school. They can help. She counters in her speedy speech that they sent her away.

As the pheromones begin to take effect, Sofia tells Laurie to keep at it, and soon, the girl collapses on all fours, no electricity flowing off of her. David tells her to just stay calm, and they’ll get her into the school. He crouches down beside her and asks her what her name is. She says her name is Noriko Ashida. Nori. David says hi and introduces himself.

Back behind those two, Josh sees Rahne’s hand and comments that she was burned, and he can heal it. She pulls her hand away and says that he’d probably have to lay his hands on her, and she’s not interested. He argues that it’s not like that. He’s a healer. He then goes over to Laurie and heals her injury, saying that there is no intimacy at all, just totally meaningless contact. Laurie hangs her head in sadness as Josh says this, though he doesn’t notice.

Up ahead, Rahne asks David, who is carrying Nori in his arms, if he is sure that is a good idea. Noriko could go off at any minute. David tells Rahne to look at her. She’s completely wiped out. She completely expended her charge, then says he’ll be fine.

Back at the Xavier Institute Medical Center, which has apparently been rebuilt, Nori lies on a bed with a bunch of wires connected to her. She also appears to have gotten cleaned up, as her hair is no longer matted up. Dr. Hank McCoy, Beast, comments that she seems to recharge automatically by draining nearby electric sources. He adds that that’s why the lights are flickering. Nori tells him that that’s a brilliant observation, and calls him furball. He says that he prefers “Dr. McCoy.”

Hank apologizes that things aren’t moving quicker, but they need to figure out how her mutation works in order to help her master it. She says that when she gets fully charged, her brain moves to fast to control it. She tells him to just give her the pills and she can slow it down. Hank says that that is out of the question, so Nori tells David way to go on bringing her here. She’s not getting a lot of help. David tells her that Dr. McCoy is right. She can’t go back to the pills. They are a dead end and she knows it. Nori thanks Mr. After School Special.

Just then, Dani barges in demanding that someone explain to her what’s going on. Rahne tells Dani that they found the mystery girl. It was no problem. She adds that Dani’s kids were amazing in the field and they’d make a great team someday, like they were as the New Mutants. Dani tells her that they are not a team. They are high school students, and her advisees. She tells Rahne that she’ll speak to her outside, then turns to the other four. She tells them that they broke curfew and put themselves in a dangerous situation after she specifically told them not to. She adds that she is tired of having this conversation with some of them, and then tells them that they are all on a week’s detention starting tomorrow.

As Dani heads out into the hall, Rahne asks her when she got so uptight. Dani counters that it was totally inappropriate to bring the kids into a combat situation, but Rahne tells her that she isn’t her advisor and she can’t lecture her, then heads off to bed. Back inside, Josh laughs and jokes that he was going to get detention for fighting with Julian anyway, so they’ll just put it on his tab. David gets mad and asks him if this is funny to him. Josh says it is kinda funny, and that Dani is overreacting. They are all safe, and they got Nori off the street, so it’s a win-win.

David goes off on Josh, saying that he should be in detention for even listening to him. He goes on to say that he doesn’t even know why he gives him the time of day after-- then Josh cuts him off. He asks him after what? After how they met, or how he ran with the bigots? He calls David a broken record and says that he’s changed. David asks if he really has. Josh ran with the bigots because his buddies did, then he started hanging with Julian and started dressing like him and looking like him. Now he’s trying to impress Rahne. He’s a follower, and he’ll do whatever it takes to be “in” no matter what the consequences.

Behind them, Sofia and Laurie just watch without words. Josh says that he guesses he’ll never be in with David’s little group, and David agrees that he never will, leaving Nori watching completely surprised. As the others all leave Nori’s room, Sofia calls that they’ll come visit her later. In the hallway, David apologizes to Dani, then tells her he isn’t arguing about the detention, but they wanted to go see Luna in the hospital, and asks if they still can. Dani says they can go if they bring a teacher, but otherwise, no off-campus trips for a week.

As the kids begin to leave, Dani calls back Josh, telling him they need to talk. He asks what she wants, adding that he was bad, got detention, he’s got it. Dani tells him that it is getting to be a habit, and mentions the incident at the medical center and the fight with Julian, but he cuts her off, saying that Julian started it and it would have been over and done if that suck-up Victor hadn’t run to a teacher. Dani cuts him off and tells him not to blame them. It’s not about Victor and Julian. It’s about him. Josh tells her that if he’s such a problem, he’ll find a different advisor. Dani says that he’d like that; someone more lenient, but tells him that he’s stuck with her. As he walks away, he replies, “Lucky me.”

The next morning, as Luna reads in her room at the Salem Center General Hospital, there is a knock at the door. In walk David, Laurie, and Sofia, and as David brings a bouquet of roses, he says hi, and comments that she is awake. She says hi to the kids and tells them they didn’t have to come. David tells her that they told them that Luna hadn’t had any visitors, and it seemed wrong. Luna tells them that they are sweet. That or they are bucking for coffee, but her money is on sweet.

As Shan steps into the room, she tells Luna not to underestimate the kids, and that she’d bet they’d take the coffee. Luna remembers Shan as Dani’s friend who just wanted coffee, and Shan agrees, adding that she is the kids’ chaperone. Luna is surprised that they need a chaperone, as they always come to the Grind Stone themselves. David says it’s a long story, so Luna encourages him, telling him she’s not going anywhere.

Back at the Institute, Rahne enters the weight room where Cyclops is working out, and says that he wanted to see her. He tells her that he heard about what happened last night, and Dani was right that she was reckless. Rahne tries to explain that in the old days— but she gets cut off by Cyclops as he explains that there are two hundred students now, not seven. It can’t be like the old days. She says that she understands that now, and she is sorry.

Rahne then mentions that she heard that the Professor had hired Dani and Shan as teachers, and she attempts to ask who she could talk to about that, but Cyclops explains that that would be a bad idea. Shan and Dani are a few years older than her and she is clearly not ready for the responsibility. He asks if that was why she came back, but she says that she came back to see some old friends. She adds that she thinks it’s about time to leave, but Cyclops asks her to wait, adding that it is possible to reverse the effects of the gun that took away her wolf powers. Rahne tells him that she never wanted those powers, then thanks him for the offer, adding that it is the wrong one, then leaves.

A short time later, Dani arrives in the garage where Rahne is working on her motorcycle. She comments that Cyclops told her that she’s leaving, and Rahne agrees. Dani then asks her why she didn’t take him up on his offer. Rahne just says she never wanted them, so why would she want them back. Dani tells her that she has changed. She is angry and impulsive and it’s like she’s looking for the wolf inside. Rahne loses her temper, telling her to spare her the pop psychology, and then goes back to working on her bike.

Dani kneels down behind her, putting a hand on her shoulder. She says that this is hard for her. They used to be like sisters, but now she doesn’t know what is going on inside Rahne’s head. Rahne stands up fuming and tells Dani she only knew what was going on in her head because of their telepathic link, but that left with the rest of her powers. They don’t have the link, so they aren’t close anymore, and Dani doesn’t understand her. Dani asks her to help her understand. Rahne explains that no matter how comfortable she got with the wolf, she always wanted her powers gone on some level, but when she finally lost them, she was powerless to save her own mother’s life. Will getting her powers back bring her back? She asks Dani if she understands now, then rides off, with Josh watching from around the corner.

Later, the bartender at Harry’s Hideaway tells Rahne that he hasn’t seen her in a while, and comments that she grew up nice. She quickly tells him that if he keeps eying her like that he’ll stop growing altogether. From behind her, Josh comments that it’s a little early for drinking. Rahne tells “Slick” that he’s underage and to get out. He points out that she’s underage, too, and she’s only a couple years older than him. Rahne asks “Slick” if that’s why he followed her, hoping she’d get tipsy so they could “get to know each other.”

He tells her that his name is Josh, not Slick, then tells her that he just wants to talk, adding that neither one of them has anyone to talk to. Rahne tells him that if he wants to stay it’s his business, but she’s there to have fun, not talk. So Josh pulls up a stool.

Meanwhile at the Institute, Shan asks her class if they know where Josh is, and Victor says that he hasn’t seen him all day. Shan decides to start the class without him as Sofia and Laurie pass by in the hallway. Laurie comments that that’s weird. He wasn’t in history either. Sofia says that it is hardly surprising that he took the day off, nor is it surprising that Laurie would take this hall so she could see him. Laurie starts to argue, but Sofia tells her that she needs to do something about this crush. Asking him to lunch was a good start, but perhaps lunch alone next time would be good. Laurie comments that the last boy she liked left the school, but Sofia tells her that it wasn’t her fault that Kevin left. Laurie says it doesn’t matter if she likes Josh or not, because all he can see is Rahne.

Back at the bar, Rahne explains the fact that when she got her powers, she thought she had been touched by the Devil. She was a good little Christian girl with a beast inside her. She goes on to mention that when she was older, she got trapped halfway between wolf and girl, and asks why anyone would think she wants that back. She says she’s not looking for the wolf, she’s just changed. Josh offers his theory, saying that she misses being able to blame all of her raging hormones and fits of anger on the wolf. It let her stay this good little Christian girl, but now she has to deal with those feelings like everyone else, and it flips her out. Then he shoots a ball into the corner pocket. She says that he’s smarter than he looks, and then tells him he made a good shot, and kisses his cheek, calling him Josh instead of Slick.

Meanwhile in the infirmary at the Institute, Hank gives Nori a pair of gauntlets, and explains that they should help regulate the flow of power, letting her control when and where she discharges. He goes on to explain that when she reaches full charge, she can channel safely into the gauntlets to avoid mental overload. Nori comments that the pills also help her with the mental overload, but Hank tells her that her physiology sped up her addiction to the pills, so her mind and body think she needs them. The school can offer an alternative, and they can teach her to control her powers so one day the gauntlets and the pills will be unnecessary.

As Hank leads Nori to the door of the infirmary, David arrives and tells him that he can handle it from there. He then asks her if she’d like a tour, but she says no and begins to walk away. Out in the grounds, David asks Nori if she is staying or leaving, but she says she hasn’t decided yet. Behind them, Julian and Dallas are playing frisbee and Julian stops and asks Nori if they’ve met, as she looks familiar. She reminds him of his rejection at the gates the other day, and David goes off on him.

Julian tries to defend himself, saying she was filthy, but Nori gets angry, telling him that she has electric powers, and asks him if he wants to know why bathing is a problem for her. She tells him to go take a bath with a toaster and let her know how it works out. Then she turns on David, telling him he’s hardly one to talk about turning people away, calling him Mr. Judgmental. She walks away saying she doesn’t need his help, she doesn’t need anyone.

Later, Josh and Rahne arrive back at the Institute on Rahne’s motorcycle. As she removes her helmet, Rahne tells Josh that she’s been thinking about what he said, and she wants her powers back. He says that wasn’t what he said. He said that she needed to deal with these emotions, and Rahne agrees that she does need to deal, but the way she dealt was with the wolf. She says she wants the wolf back, and Josh says that they’ll make it happen, all the while, the two are getting closer together, until they finally kiss. As they do so, Josh’s healing power goes off. Rahne asks what is happening, and Josh admits he doesn’t know, but he thinks he’s healing her. They kiss again, but Rahne’s arms begin to get hairy and her eyes begin to glow as she lets out a growl. Suddenly, she slashes Josh, and as he falls to the ground, Rahne is revealed to be half wolf, half girl. She growls loudly as Josh lies bleeding on the ground in front of her…

Characters Involved: 

Xi’an (Shan) Coy Manh, Dani Moonstar (former New Mutants and teachers at the institute)

Rahne Sinclair (former New Mutant)

Brian, Dallas, David Alleyne, Noriko Ashida (Surge), Laurie Collins, Josh Foley, Julian Keller, Cessily Kincaid, Sofia Mantega, Santo Vaccarro (amongst other students at the Xavier Institute)

Emma Frost, Henry “Hank” McCoy / Beast, Scott Summers / Cyclops (X-Men and teachers at the institute)

Nurse (possibly Annie Ghazikanian)

Luna DePaula (waitress at the Grind Stone)
Bartender at Harry’s Hideaway

Story Notes: 

Rahne lost her powers when Mystique shot her with a version of Forge’s neutralizer during the Dream’s End crossover. During that same storyline mystique also caused the death of her foster mother, Moira MacTaggert.
Rahne got stuck in her half-wolf / half-human form as a result of events during the X-Tinction Agenda, but was healed by the misguided cult leader Haven in X-Factor #100.

Issue Information: 
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