New Mutants (2nd series) #11

Issue Date: 
June 2004
Story Title: 
The Ties That Bind - part 5: Shy Girls

Nunzio Defilippis & Christina Weir (Writers), Carlo Barberi (Pencils), Avalon Studios (Digital 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: 

As Josh lies injured on the front lawn of the Institute with the wild wolf-Rahne standing over him, Laurie attempts to help him sneak in before realizing what has happened. Laurie’s and Rahne’s lives are compared, from their parents’ first meetings, to their first manifestations of their powers, to the many heartbreaks and troubles both girls have faced, all leading up to the moment when both finally use their powers, one accidentally hurting Josh, the one who truly understands her, and one saving Josh’s life, the one she truly loves. Though he seems to be saved, he is in very bad condition, and it is unsure whether or not he will survive…

Full Summary: 

Once upon a time there was a shy girl named Laurie.

In their room, Sofia tells Laurie that her pacing is making her nervous. Laurie tells her she can’t believe that Josh would leave while they are on detention. Just then, there is the noise of a motorcycle pulling up and Laurie wonders if that is him as she goes to the window. She decides to go help him sneak in even after Sofia objects, adding that Josh saved her life before she sneaks out.
She could control people’s emotions.
But she never wanted to.

(Laurie Flashback)

Laurie never knew who her father was, but he was a man with great power over others. A tall man with blue eyes and slicked back blond hair, he gave great speeches in front of huge crowds, and had a talk show. He used pheromones to get what he wanted, and who he wanted. While he was out one evening, he spotted Gail Collins, a beautiful young woman, and decided that he wanted her… for now anyway. Eventually, his powers quit working on Gail, and she realized what had happened. She left him in the middle of the night while he was sleeping. It wasn’t until later that she realized that she was pregnant with his child.


Once upon a time, there was a shy girl named Rahne.
She had a wolf inside her.
But she never wanted it.
As Laurie opens the door, she slowly calls Josh with a shocked look on her face. She sees Rahne, half woman, half wolf, standing over Josh’s torn and bloody body, howling with blood all over her claws.

(Rahne Flashback)

Rahne was never sure who her father was, but he was a man of great influence in her home town. He was Reverend Craig, a clergyman who lost his sense of compassion. He sat in judgment over others, all the while masking his own sins. Sins like his affairs with the ladies of the night. After his affair with one such lady, she found herself pregnant with his child. She died giving birth, and Craig took the child in as a ward of the church but he never told anyone that he was her father.

Rahne lived in the church and served as a caretaker, growing up under the clergyman’s watchful eye. He told her that she was the product of sin, the child of a sinner. He gave her the gift of religion, but he forced her to carry it with shame, and as she grew, she was taught that every urge she had was a sin.

(Laurie Flashback)

Gail Collins raised Laurie on her own and never told Laurie about her father. Gail never again found love or a companion, and raising a child alone was difficult, so she worked long hours. Laurie followed her mother’s example and saw herself as her own best company. She didn’t seek out others because she could tell that her mother had been hurt before.

(Rahne Flashback)

When Rahne was fourteen, all of her urges took shape. She was a mutant, and with puberty, her latent power blossomed. She could change from a girl into a wolf, and at that moment, when she became a beast, she was happy.

(Laurie Flashback)

When Laurie was thirteen, her mother took her on vacation to a nice warm beach-front resort. It was there that Laurie blossomed. Everyone around her adored her. They all waited on her hand and foot. They wanted to make her happy. For the first time in her life, Laurie felt popular. She was happy.

(Rahne Flashback)

But Rahne’s happiness was short-lived. Reverend Craig had seen her transformation, seen her joy. He told her that her mutation was a gift from the devil. It was a physical manifestation of her sinful nature. The fact that she was joyous about it meant that there was only one way to save her. The sin would have to be burned from her, and he and the other townsfolk chased her with burning torches.

(Laurie Flashback)

Laurie’s newfound confidence didn’t last. Gail had seen these reactions before, so she new they were the result of pheromones. She had inherited her father’s ability. She told her that the use of these pheromones was unfair to others, and she tried to explain that she was worthy of admiration even without using them. It didn’t matter to Laurie, though, because she knew she could never trust how anyone felt about her again. When she returned, she was more withdrawn than ever, but eventually, her powers got her into trouble anyway causing her to accidentally scare everyone off in her high school.

(Rahne Flashback)

Salvation for Rahne came in the form of a mother. Moira MacTaggert found Rahne and took her in, becoming her guardian. Moira knew that Rahne needed special help, so she sent her to a very special school. There, Rahne became one of the New Mutants. She made friends in Sam Guthrie, Roberto DaCosta, Xi’an Coy Manh, and Dani Moonstar.

(Laurie Flashback)

The solution to Laurie’s problem came from her mother. Gail knew that Laurie needed special help, so she sent her to a very special school. But Gail was immune to Laurie’s power and wanted Laurie to have one person nearby whose feelings she could trust, so she moved to Salem Center to be near her, though she insisted that Laurie still live in the school. She wanted Laurie to make friends.

(Rahne Flashback)

Rahne grew up as Wolfsbane with the New Mutants: Magik, Sunspot, Cypher, Cannonball, Mirage, Karma, Magma and Warlock, but on some level, she was always the shy girl. She wore her emotions on her sleeve, yet she always feared giving in to them, giving in to the wolf. She had many crushes and romantic thoughts, among them Sam and Doug. But none of them worked out for her. She had to experience death. Through it all, she tried to learn how to control the animal within her.

(Laurie Flashback)

Laurie didn’t make school. Instead, she withdrew from social contact, preferring to enjoy activities alone in her room, like puzzles. Attempts to pair her with a roommate failed. Some, like Angel Salvadore, were because her power caused problems. There were others, like Cessily Kincaid, immune to her power, but she pulled away from them, too. None of them worked out for her. And through it all, she never actively used her power. Never tried to control it.

(Rahne Flashback)

Then the worst punishment imaginable was inflicted upon Rahne. She was captured and turned into a mindless beast. Even after escaping, she was forced to remain trapped halfway between wolf and girl, and with the beast always at the surface, her emotions ran amok. Love, anger, jealousy, she felt them all more strongly than she could control. She was faced with the true nature of her power. And it terrified her.

(Laurie Flashback)

Then the worst thing imaginable happened to Laurie. The school, her safe place, her haven, was the scene of a riot. Laurie hid in her room and avoided the chaos going on outside as mutant students attacked human visitors. But everything she was feeling, she knew it was out there: Fear, anger panic. And as she felt them, she had to wonder… was she sending them out to the crowd? Was she turning a fight into a riot? She was faced with the devastating potential of her power. And it terrified her.

(Rahne Flashback)

Rahne was eventually healed and finally able to return to human form. She was also able to confront the clergyman and renounce him once and for all. But then everything fell apart. Mystique, a mutant villain, used a weapon that removed Rahne’s power. This should have been a great thing. The wolf was gone. But it left Rahne powerless as the villain killed Moira. Killed Rahne’s mother.

(Laurie Flashback)

Laurie finally found a roommate, Sofia, who would not be chased away. She started making more friends, David and Kevin, and even had a crush that she didn’t run away from. But then it all fell apart. She finally used her power by choice to save her friends from Donald Pierce and his Reavers, mutant hunting villains, but because she couldn’t control her power, it left her friends too scared to help her. Too scared to help when Pierce killed her.

(Rahne Flashback)

After her mother died, Rahne wandered. She found herself faced with urges that she could no longer blame on the wolf. She returned to her friends and angered them. She was all but lost… until she met Josh. Josh saw through her bravado and realized Rahne needed the wolf, so he gave it back to her. For this, she attacked him.

(Laurie Flashback)

Laurie had been stabbed from behind; she had been stabbed through the heart. It was a wound no one could survive. She was all but dead, until she met Josh. Josh betrayed the villain and healed Laurie. And Laurie was instantly smitten. But Josh was more interested in someone else. Someone who had now attacked him.

Once upon a time there was a shy girl named Rahne who had a beast inside her.
But she had never wanted it.

As Laurie watches the scene, wolf-Rahne spots her and lets out a frightening growl, but Laurie has new confidence. She says that she isn’t scared and charges at wolf-Rahne, pheromones flowing from her body, an angry determined look on her face. She adds that Rahne will be, then roars at her to get out of here. Rahne runs off completely terrified.
She rid herself of the beast only to discover that she did want it.
And she got it back to have it turn on the one person who understood what she wanted.

Once upon a time there was a shy girl named Laurie who could control emotions.
But she had always been afraid to.

Laurie quietly marvels at herself for actually using her power as she crouches down next to Josh. Very weakly, Josh says Laurie’s name, and Laurie asks what Rahne did, and if he’s okay. He passes out in her arms and she calls out his name, tears streaming down her face.
But she finally controlled her power to save the boy she loved.
And while her power worked, it was too late.

Characters Involved: 

Rahne Sinclair (former New Mutant)

Laurie Collins, Josh Foley, Sofia Mantega (students at the Xavier Institute)

In Flashbacks:

Amara Aquilla / Magma, Roberto DaCosta / Sunspot, Sam Guthrie / Cannonball, Xi’an (Shan) Coy Manh / Karma, Dani Moonstar / Mirage, Douglas Ramsay / Cypher, Illyana Rasputin / Magik, Rahne Sinclair / Wolfsbane (all New Mutants)

Lorna Dane / Polaris, Alex Summers / Havok, Charles Xavier / Professor X (all X-Men)

David Alleyne, Laurie Collins, Josh Foley, Kevin Ford, Cessily Kincaid, Sofia Mantega, Angel Salvadore/ Angel, Santo Vaccarro (all students at the Xavier Institute)

Reverend Craig (clergyman)
Gail Collins

Donald Pierce and the Reavers

Rahne’s unnamed mother
Laurie’s unnamed father

Story Notes: 

Rahne was changed into a mindless Genoshan mutant during the X-tinction Agenda and had to stay in her transitional form or risk reverting to a mindless slave. She was eventually healed by the villainess Haven in X-Factor (1st series) #99.
Rahne lost her powers when Mystique shot her with a version of Forge’s Neutralizer during the Dream’s End crossover. Her foster mother, Moira MacTaggert, also died because of Mystique’s actions during that storyline.
The riot that scared Laurie happened during the “Riot at Xavier’s storyline in New X-Men #134-138.

Issue Information: 
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