New Mutants (2nd series) #12

Issue Date: 
June 2004
Story Title: 
The Ties That Bind - conclusion: One Of Us

Nunzio Defilippis & Christina Weir (Writers), Khary Rhandolph (Pencils), Rich Perotta (Inks), Dave Sharpe (Letters), Avalon Studios’ Ian Hannin & Rob Ro (Colors), Stephanie Moore & Cory Sedlmeier (Assistant Editors), Mike Marts (Editor), Randy Green (Cover), Joe Quesada (Editor In Chief), Dan Buckley (Publisher)

Brief Description: 

As Josh lies on the verge of death in the Infirmary, it looks like there is no way to save him, because traditional medicine can’t work fast enough to heal his wounds and Warren, the only known healer is unavailable. The kids are all worried, especially Laurie, as she has a major crush on him. Dani goes after Rahne and manages to calm her down enough to change back to human form, and they work through some of Rahne’s recent troubles. Back at Xavier’s, Nori and David realize that Josh can heal himself if they can only wake him up. After some convincing, Dr. McCoy agrees, and Nori uses a small surge of electricity to wake him up. As he is disoriented, Laurie and the others manage to help him use his powers and he heals himself… with an unexpected side-affect. He is now literally the golden boy. Later, Dani reveals that when Josh’s parents gave up custody, she became his guardian to make sure he had family when he came to the school. Days later, Nori apologizes to Luna for the attack and theft and they come to an agreement that Nori could work at the Grind Stone to pay Luna back. The kids all arrive and order drinks and it becomes obvious that they are very close to one another, a family.

Full Summary: 

Josh is in bad shape being pushed on a gurney through the halls of the Xavier Institute towards the infirmary. People around him are talking about getting Warren in to heal him, but it’s unknown how fast Archangel can get there. Someone asks how this could happen to Josh, and Laurie tells them that it was Rahne, all wolf-like. Dani argues that Rahne doesn’t have her powers anymore, but Shan asks if it’s possible that Josh somehow healed her powers, and Dani asks Dr. McCoy if he thinks Josh is that powerful. As the group rushes towards the infirmary doors, Dr. McCoy tells them all that Xavier had been keeping a secret about Josh, not wanting to make things more difficult for him, but Josh is an Omega-class mutant, capable of manipulating the body’s functions at the genetic level. He is that powerful.

As they all go into the infirmary, Dani stops Laurie, much to her dismay, but Dani ensures her that he’ll be okay. Inside, Shan asks Dani if she really thinks he’ll be alright. Dani admits that she doesn’t know, and adds that she’ll feel better when they get a hold of Warren or someone else that can heal him faster than medicine can. Shan comments about the Omega-class thing, and asks Dani what else he can do, but Dani gets distracted by something.

She says that Rahne isn’t on campus, but she thinks she knows where she is. Shan starts to ask how, but Dani explains that the telepathic link she and Rahne used to share seems to be returning, which would make sense if she’s back in wolf form. Dani tells Shan to keep trying to find Warren and to let her know if anything happens. She’s got to talk to Rahne.

Outside the infirmary, Laurie is still waiting, looking pretty glum leaning against the wall, but Sofia and David come along. Sofia asks Laurie if she is okay. Laurie says they won’t let her go inside, so David assures her that they will wait with her. Sofia tells her that he will okay. They’ll take care of him. Laurie isn’t so sure. They are calling for all of the mutant healers, as if medicine won’t help him. David asks himself what Josh got himself into this time.

Just then, Shan pokes her head out of the infirmary door and tells all of the kids, including Nori who arrived after the others, that they can go see Josh, as there is nothing they can do until Warren arrives. As they go in, David asks Nori if she wants to go in with them. She responds rudely, asking why she would go in with him. David just shrugs it off and escorts Laurie through the door with his arm around her, but Sofia holds back to find out what is going on.

She says to Nori that she does not understand. Josh led them all to find her. Why would she not want to see him? Nori responds that it is because David is in there. She heard him judging Josh and now he is acting worried like he’s his friend. It is the same with her. He’s trying to be her friend, all the while judging her for the pills. She says she knows the type, all holier-than-thou. Sofia tells her that David’s relationship with Josh is complicated, and he isn’t judging her either. He’s trying to help. Nori turns to go, saying she doesn’t need help. She had things under control. Sofia disagrees, reminding Nori about Luna, how she has been nothing but nice to everyone, yet Nori put her in the hospital, and then stole from her. She demands to know if that is how she keeps things under control. With a cold look on her face, she continues, adding that maybe the school isn’t the place for Nori. She obviously prefers life on her own, with no one to care for her or prevent her from making mistakes. She won’t get that at Xavier’s. Here, they are family. They take care of one another. They protect one another. And yes, they criticize one another. She finishes telling her that it is her choice if she wants to be part of this family, then enters the infirmary.

Sofia is sitting on a chair next to Josh’s hospital bed, where he is lying unconscious with bandages wrapped around his torso. Tears well up in Laurie’s eyes, and Sofia and David stand behind her, David looking grim and Sofia trying to comfort her friend. Laurie turns to David and asks him if he’s going to make it. David stutters on his answer, admitting that he doesn’t think so. Laurie rushes out of the room saying that she can’t stay and watch. Sofia goes after her, and David says he’ll stay here. He looks at Josh with an annoyed expression, “Josh… yet another mess you’ve gotten yourself into.”

Nori enters the open door behind David. She tells him that she doesn’t get it. David clearly doesn’t like Josh very much, but here he is. David explains that Josh is difficult. When he first got here, David thought he was a racist, but that’s not it. He’s just so desperate to be popular, he doesn’t care which crowd it is. He doesn’t think. But then if you really look at him, he’s just trying to fit in, like they all are. So, yeah, there are times when David wants to strangle him, but there are also times when he wants to protect him. From himself.

Nori says that David talks about him the way she talks about her little brother, and David says he didn’t know she had a brother, then asks her where her family is. She admits that she ran away a few years ago. Her dad doesn’t believe in mutants, like they were Santa Claus or something. Her mom would never stand up to him, so she just left. She adds that one could say she doesn’t really have a family. David tells her that it depends on your point of view.

On the outskirts of Salem Center, a familiar homeless guy is sleeping against a wall when he is awoken by a growl. Wolf-Rahne lets out another large roar that sends the guy running, telling her to get away from him, calling her a freak. Rahne sits against the wall where the old homeless guy had been sulking, until Dani shows up and tells her she’s just being cranky, adding that she wouldn’t have hurt him. Rahne lunges with her claws ready to attack, asking Dani how she knows, and if she knows what she did to Josh. Dani says she does know, but asks her to tell her what happened.

Rahne repast the question, then tells her that she was weak. She asked for the wolf back but now she can’t control it. Dani says that that’s not true. She can control it. Rahne tells Dani to tell that to Josh, and then calls him a stupid boy. She wonders why he did this to her, so Dani tells her that she just said she asked him to. Besides, ever since she came back to Xavier’s, they could tell she was miserable. She needed the wolf. Rahne says that she can’t handle it, but Dani isn’t buying it. She sits down beside Rahne and reminds her that she is in her head again. How does she think she found her?

Dani tells her that they have a telepathic link, so she knows her better than anyone else. Better than she knows herself, apparently. Rahne was fourteen and she had a beast inside her, yet she was the strongest and bravest of them all. She tells Rahne not to tell her she can’t handle it now, because it’s not true, and she doesn’t need a telepathic link to know that. Rahne slowly begins to change back as Dani tells her that she beat the beast before and she can do it again. Finally back in human form, Rahne says that she is scared. She asks what it says that she can’t live without an animal inside her. “That you’re human,” is Dani’s response. They get up and start walking, heading for home.

Back at Xavier’s, Laurie and Sofia sit on the couch in the waiting room, and Laurie tells Sofia that she thought she had saved him. She actually controlled her pheromones. She decided to scare Rahne, and it worked. Sofia says that it is wonderful, but Laurie complains that it didn’t do any good for Josh.

As the two girls talk, Dr. McCoy walks by into Josh’s infirmary room and informs Annie that Warren can’t be there for another hour. Annie tells him that that is too long. Josh could be dead by then. Hank sees David and Nori’s shocked faces and tells Annie that they should take the conversation outside. David looks down in despair, pointing out that the sad thing is if Josh was awake he could heal himself. All of a sudden, both Nori and David get look at each other with wide-eyed looks of realization. David says they have to wake him up, but they have him on some kind of medicine. He starts rubbing his chin in thought when Nori says that she can do it. Like on those medical shows, she uses her hands like the paddles they use, and she’s been pulling in static electricity since she got to the Institute so she has plenty of charge.

David points out that on those shows they stop the heart and then start it again, and they don’t want to do that, but Nori says she could go with a small charge. Just something to jolt him awake. David argues that she can’t control it, but she reminds him that they gave her the gauntlets to control discharge, and then tells him he’ll just have to trust her. She can do this. David decides that they should disconnect the IV so that Josh isn’t being sedated, but as he attempts to do so, Dr. McCoy walks in and asks him what he’s doing.

From behind the Beast, Sofia and Laurie hear him tell David that doing that will kill him. David tells him that he knows what the IV is for, as he is absorbing medical knowledge from him and Nurse Annie, but Josh isn’t getting better. He’s dying, and all the painkillers are doing is making him comfortable. Beast asks David if he’d prefer Josh be in pain as he dies, but David counters that he’d prefer him not to die at all. They are waiting for a healer. Well, Josh is a healer. Wake him up. Beast counters that he could go into shock, but David adds that then he’d end up as dead as if they do nothing.

As the girls walk into the room, Beast takes down the IV bag, saying he can’t believe he is doing this, and then asks what is next. Nori steps in and says that next she gives him a tiny surge to wake him up, and with that she puts a hand on either side of his head and releases a small surge of electricity. Josh’s eyes open wide for a second, and then close again, and he tries to say something, but it comes out as moans. David talks loudly to Josh, telling him that he knows it hurts and he knows he is tired, but he has to stay awake. Laurie grabs Josh’s hand and tells him that he has to heal himself, and as David tells him not leave them, Laurie places his hand on his chest. David finishes saying that they were just starting to like him, and a bright light shines from Josh’s hand and eyes.

When the light clears, a golden Josh is left lying on the bed. He says hey, and adds that he didn’t know they cared. He asks them why they are all staring at him as they all stare in amazement. He then asks why he is crying. He feels all goofy, happy. Laurie nods and apologizes, saying that she did it, with her pheromones. Josh says its okay, but then he looks at his hand and stutters out in surprise about his skin. As Nori sneaks out of the room, he remarks in surprise that he is gold.

Beast leans in closer and decides that it must be some sort of secondary mutation. Those don’t usually occur until the twenties, but perhaps he triggered with his healing. Josh asks why he would do that. Why would he change himself? He liked the way he looked. He starts to say he looks like something, but David cocks an eyebrow and tells him not to say “like a freak.” Josh says he didn’t mean it that way. But it’ll take some getting used to. Sofia points out that at least he is alive. Josh smiles and says that it is thanks to Laurie. She turns in surprise, and Josh tells her that she saved his life. She argues that it was Noriko, but he says he didn’t mean now. Earlier. Outside.

Laurie starts to say something about it being nothing, but Dani and Rahne walk in and Josh calls out to Rahne. Sofia puts an arm around Laurie for comfort as Rahne comes over to the bed and tells him she is glad he is okay, but double checks that he is okay, seeing his gold skin. He says he is fine. He’s gold, but fine. He says it wasn’t her doing, not the gold part anyway. Rahne says sorry, but Josh tells her not to be. It was a momentary shock. She agrees, saying the wolf came back with a vengeance. Josh points out that at least it is back, adding that he told her he’d get it done, calling himself “the man.” Rahne turns and calls him a jerk and leaves the room, leaving Dani looking at him with a grin and a cocked eyebrow. Josh asks what he said, so David tells him that they definitely need to work on his people skills.

Later that night, as Josh is lying in bed with the lights off, Dani walks in and tells him that she thinks Dr. McCoy is wrong. Josh turns to face her with a very tired look on his face. She continues that it’s not a secondary mutation. She thinks he did do it to himself. He always wanted to be the golden child around here. Josh apologizes for getting in trouble again, and says that he must make her crazy. He says that she should let him switch advisors just so she can get him out of her hair. Kneeling beside the bed, Dani reminds Josh about when his parents decided to give up custody. A school can’t be his guardian. Someone had to sign. That someone was her. Josh starts to say that she is his-- but she interrupts him, saying that she knows how hard it is to come here without any family. She wasn’t about to let that happen to him. She says that if she rides him too hard, it’s because that’s what parents do. She smiles and tells him to get some sleep, and he rolls over and closes his eyes, a smile across his face.

A few days later, Dani and Nori wait outside the Grind Stone for Luna to arrive. As she does, she spots Nori sitting on the curb and lets it known she isn’t happy to see her. Nori pulls off her hood and tells Ms. dePaula that she is really sorry that she hurt her the other day. She explains that she had a full charge and she was out of the pills that slow down her powers, she couldn’t keep it in. She apologizes again, then adds that she is at Xavier’s now so she is learning how to control he power. Luna tells her that she doesn’t need to apologize, but Nori says she does, because after she was hurt, Nori stole from the store, and she wants to work here to pay her back.

Luna asks, surprised, what it is that she wants, so Nori repeats that she wants to work for her until she can pay off the money she stole. As Luna works on opening up, Nori continues, adding that she could come in after class. That’s when most of the kids come anyway. She could also come early and help her set up. Luna says she isn’t sure if it is a good idea, adding that though she is learning to control her power, there could still be an accident. Nori points out that she has taken care of herself for a long time, but she is accepting the school’s help because she needs to. What happened here, she got herself into, so she wants to work herself out of it. Luna turns to Dani and asks if it was her idea, and Dani says it wasn’t, but she thinks it is a good one. Luna lifts the counter-door for Nori to come in and says that they’ll try it out.

Just then, David, Laurie, Sofia, and Josh enter, and Luna tells Nori that they are her first customers. As the group comes up to the counter, Nori ties on an apron and welcomes them to the Grind Stone, asking if she can help them. David orders a regular coffee, black, no sugar; Laurie orders a vanilla latte, large; and Sofia orders a chai tea. Off to the side, Dani tells Luna that she is a decent woman, and Luna tells her to remember that as she grins, leaning against the counter. Nori repeats the orders, but forgets what David wanted as she writes them down, so he reminds her.

Josh leans on the counter, saying he’ll have a soda. He can’t stand coffee but he needs the caffeine. He then tells her to make it snappy. He’s got class soon and he might actually go. David grabs his shoulder, telling him not to be a jerk, but Josh smiles asking him what he did. The customer is always right. He continues that David can’t pick on him because he’s the new golden boy around here. Literally. As they all head over to a table, David apologizes to Nori for Josh’s behavior. She says yep… definitely a little brother. A moment later, Luna hands Nori the orders and tells her to bring them to her friends. Nori argues that she just met them and wouldn’t call them her friends. Luna shrugs it off, saying, “if you say so,” and Nori brings the tray of drinks to the happy foursome at the table.

Characters Involved: 

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

Rahne Sinclair (former New Mutant)

David Alleyne, Noriko “Nori” Ashida, Laurie Collins, Josh Foley, Sofia Mantega (students at the Xavier Institute)

Henry “Hank” McCoy / Beast (X-Man)

Annie Ghazikanian (nurse at the institute)

Luna DePaula (waitress at the Grind Stone)
Old Homeless Guy

Story Notes: 


Issue Information: 
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