New Mutants (2nd series) #4

Issue Date: 
October 2003
Story Title: 
Freaks and Geeks

Nunzio Defilippis & Christina Weir (Writers), Keron Grant (Pencils), Rob Stull & Rich Perotta (Inks), Avalon Studios (Colors), Virtual Calligraphy's Randy Gentle (Letters), Mackenzie Cadenhead (Assistant Editor), C.B. Cebulski (Editor), Joshua Middleton (Cover), Joe Quesada (Editor-In-Chief),
Bill Jemas (President)

Brief Description: 

In Chicago Illinois, David Alleyne informs his family he is taking another class this summer. The family, David specifically, are being watched from outside their kitchen window. Unknown to David he is a mutant, and has become another target for the hate group known as Purity. At Xavier’s Institute for Higher Learning, Xavier assigns Danielle on her newest recruiting assignment. Her recruit looks to have a mental power of sorts, and resides in the Chicago area. Further use of Cerebra picks up he has had frequent meetings with another mutant who is very familiar to Cerebra, the former New Mutant known as Karma. Hurrying to her Commencement ceremony, Shan Coy Manh rushes her siblings Leong and Nga for fear of being late. They stop for a second as she stops some members of Purity vandalizing a poster flyer for Sean Garrison. He is a successful human writer of Three Phases to Success. At the Ceremony he speaks out to the protestors of purity, calling them jealous of talents which they do not possess. After accepting her award, Shan finds her siblings joined by an old friend, Danielle Moonstar. After a bit of catching up, Danielle informs her of her reason for visiting to locate this mutant she has come in contact with. Danielle eavesdrop over one of David’s classes, hearing him know the answers to the teachers question without truly knowing it. Danielle tries to recruit David, but is too late. Purity has left a death threat at his home, outing him being mutant to his family. He runs off, after some heated words with his father. His sister Kim, chases him down and tries to comfort him. Danielle and Shan reach him, and he believes at first they are the ones behind the threat. Shan guesses it was Purity, and her guess is proven right, as a group of six built guys from Purity approach to take care of David’s mutant problem. Danielle casts an illusion of the X-Men which scares away a few. Shan possess one to take out another. David’s power is skill mimicry, a form of telepathy where he temporally learns the skills of others. He uses this ability on a member of Purity who is a black belt. Soon, they take David back home, and offer him a place at Xavier Institute. If Purity has targeted him already, then he will be safest there, learning in a school where the staff knows how to deal with mutants. His father makes up with him, and David leaves in a car with Shan, Leong, Nga, and Danielle on a road trip to Xavier’s Institute for Higher Learning.
Back at the Institute, Kevin Ford is reminded by Xavier to be cautious with his skin. Kevin knows what his skin can do, as he doesn’t need to be reminded he accidentally killed his own father. Walking alone in the hall ways, he’s spotted by Laurie Collins and Sofia Mantega. Laurie shows a slight interest in him, and knows he’s just lonely.

Full Summary: 

Inside the Chicago Illinois home of the Alleynes, David offers his father some Eggs Benedict for breakfast. David’s father knows how to make them, and knows he has never taught him how to. David claims he must have, handing his father the plate of eggs, quickly changing the subject. He mentions his interest in taking another class at the university, where they have summer classes. His mother , Dorothy, wonders who will watch his sister, Kim. Kim steps in, she’s fourteen and doesn’t need to be watched. Ignoring her comment, Dorothy repeats her question. With it only being one class taken twice a week, Kim could hang out in the library during then, David suggests. There’s a really cool woman who works there who could keep an eye on her, he adds. Kim tells her brother if he knows the librarian personally, he really needs to get a life. Dorothy doesn’t understand why he would take all of these extra classes, while his grades are wonderful to begin with. His father tells her to leave him alone, as he ties his tie. His son is going to go to Harvard, and he just wants to get a good head start. From outside the window, a voice asks if they are sure he’s one of them, he looks normal enough. Another voice states that he is one of them.

In Salem Center, at Xavier’s school for Higher Learning, Xavier glances at his computer on his desk. Former student and now recruiter of the school, Danielle Moonstar, stands by leaning on the desk. He reports for the last year, Cerebra has picked up a mutant in the Chicago area. It looks to be some sort of mental power, which is probably why he’s gone undetected by the people around him. The readings come from a cluster of three areas: a residence in Hyde Park, the local High School, and the University of Chicago. Typing further a smile comes across his face, and he finds something interesting. The young mutant has been interacting with a mutant whom the Cerebra files find very familiar. Looking over his shoulder to the screen, Danielle asks if this is a good interesting or an “Uh-Oh” interesting. Sitting back he tells her to take a look for herself. A smile comes across her face.

Outside the University of Chicago, Shan Coy Manh, walks hand in hand with her siblings Leong and Nga. She’s wearing a graduation gown. He brother Leong tells her they’re going to be late, as her sister Nga tells her it’s his fault anyway. Telling her siblings to hush, she notices a sign on the Campus wall. The university of Chicago’s commencement ceremony will have guest speaker Dr. Sean Garrison. A group of four young men approach the sign, One asks his friends if they can do this to them, it is their graduation. Another starts spray painting over the poster, as his friend offers they should boycott the ceremony, seeing how Garrison is a mutie lover. The words “Race Traitor” now read across Garrison’s face. Suddenly with a slight twist of her mutant power, Shan possesses the man with the spray paint. He sprays his friend in the face. Leong asks if his elder sibling did this, but Shan only smirks and tells him to be quiet and they should hurry up.

Inside, Shan sits her siblings down and remind them to clap really loud when the call her name. Leong asks if Aunt Kitty is coming to the ceremony. Surprised at the question, Shan hesitatingly tells them she’s out of town. Putting on her cap, she makes her way towards her seat. Her siblings wish her good luck, and jokingly tell her not to trip. On stage, they announce Dr. Sean Garrison. With his book “Three Phases To Success” being on the best seller list for two years and with millions watching his cable show, he has taken time out of his busy schedule to speak with them. Standing at the podium, he thanks the school for inviting him to their special day. He states for the record he is not a medical doctor. He has a PhD in sociology, which means he knows people. He knows why the protestors from Purity have been making such a stink about mutants, and why intelligentsia is a bad word these days. It’s jealousy, it doesn’t matter if you have a mutant ability, a keen intellect, natural beauty, or able to hit 75 home runs. People will be jealous. His words to the graduating class is just to get used to it. They obviously have gifts and they have used them. After today they have a degree from a esteemed institute of higher learning, the future is theirs. After Xi’an is called to the stage, and receives her diploma, and the caps are all thrown, she makes her way back to her siblings. She smiles as she sees they have been joined by an old friend. Danielle Moonstar smiles and hopes she didn’t mind her taking an empty seat by the children. They hug.

Back at Shan’s place, Danielle looks around and compliments her apartment. She asks how she wound up with so much room. Shan tells her a friend set her up with it. Kneeling down towards her friend with a smile, Danielle asks if it’s a friend or a girlfriend? Shan admits it’s a long story. Danielle wonders if that was who the empty chair was for. Leong and Nga live in hope, Shan says. when she asks her name, Shan replies all she is saying is a friend and there was a moment where she felt like she could have been more. She had tried to talk to her about it, but she wasn’t quite sure she “goes that way”. Apparently bothered by the subject Shan gets up and goes to the kitchen. Nga sits next to Danielle, and asks if she knows how to play Monnaie Disponible. She doesn’t but offers if they’d teach her she’d love to play. Looking inside the fridge, Shan calls out to her not to. It’s a made up game where only the twins know the rules. They’re just trying to get her money.

Shan reenters the front room with a glass for her and Danielle. She was just not going to let her siblings con one of her best friends. Sitting back down, she asks about the kid she’s come for. Cerebra has detected him at the local high school and at the University, interacting with her. Thinking of the local high school, Shan knows it has to be David. He’s a nice kid, and he takes extra classes at the University. Summer session starts in a couple days, and she’s sure he’s signed up for a class or two. Shan offers if she can wait a few days she’s more than welcome to stay with her. Danielle tells her she will always have time to spend with her. When she asks if she has heard from any of the others, Danielle tells her of the fate of Allison.

At Xavier’s Institute, Charles Xavier looks upon his former New Mutants Magma as she lies in her deep coma. Leaving the room he finds the newest addition to his school , Kevin Ford. Kevin reports he’s got a clean bill of health, and Xavier is tells him it is about time they got him into classes. Charles asks if he likes the clothes they found for him. Kevin tells him they at least match the gloves. Xavier reminds Kevin to be careful that anyone who would come in contact with his skin. Kevin cuts him off with a hurt look on his face. He reminds Xavier that he doesn’t need reminded of his “death touch”, as he accidentally killed his own father. In the hallways Kevin walks now by himself against the wall trying to avoid any human confrontation. He passes Sofia and Laurie who both give him a long stare. Sofia smiles at her friend, she admits she never knew what kind of boy she liked until now. What is that called, all dressed in black, she asks. Still being new to this school, and this country, she is always eager to learn new things. It’s called Goth, Laurie tells her, but she doesn’t think that’s what he is. She thinks he’s just lonely.

Inside the Library in the University of Chicago, David approaches Shan at the desk. Shan greets him as Danielle watches from nearby. After he heads toward his class, Danielle asks why she didn’t introduce him. Shan admits her concern for him, especially after what had happen to Allison. If he can avoid detection then why shouldn’t they leave him to live a happy life? Danielle has a disagreeing look on her face, and wonders if her friend can actually believe it would work out that way for him. She’s here for a reason, she says and makes her way after him. Soon eavesdropping outside his class, Danielle hears David’s teacher announce he will be adding “Insanity: The Ideas and Its Consequences” by Thomas Szasz to their syllabus. He asks if anyone would have any ideas as to why he has added it. The student on his left is unsure admitting they haven’t even read it yet. Fair enough, the teacher adds, looking to his right he asks David if he has any idea. David looks directly at him, telling him it is important because Szasz said there was no true insanity, just behavior that was different and branded insane. The teacher tells him he is correct, that David Alleyne has a basic understanding of Szasz’s theories, something that the rest of the class should have before next class. Outside the door, Danielle has a puzzled and suspicious look on her face.

Back in the Library, David asks Shan if they have a copy of Insanity by Thomas Szasz. She offers to check but asks him to spell the author’s last name. He looks confused and admits he hasn’t a clue. She continues to look for it, as Danielle approaches him accusing him that he’s never actually read it. After he says no, she asks how he knew the answer in class, but doesn’t even know how to spell the authors name. He denies knowing what she is talking about. She continues her questions, asking if he pulled the answer out of the teachers head. David’s sister Kim approaches and is eagerly ready to leave. He walks away from them, as Shan calls out that the library does have a copy of the book. He’ll get it later, he replies, and just keeps on walking.

Back at the Alleyne household, Kim ends her conversation with her friends and agrees she can meet them tomorrow. Her father asks her where she plans on going, and she replies the mall. Their mother asks if David could go with her, and Kim starts to defend herself when David calms her. He’ll walk her there, and then disappear into the bookstore he whispers to her. There is a knock at the door, and their father rises and answers it. No one is there, but there is a picture of David taken from the previous morning when he made the eggs for his father. The picture reads Mutant: Wanted Dead Or Alive. He looks at the picture puzzled as David asks him what’s up. He shows his son, admitting he doesn’t understand. David looks in shock at the picture, he stumbles on his words. The woman at the library must have figured it out. His father looks at him, asking if it’s true that his son is a .... David stops his sentence. He asks what? A freak, a deviant? He tells his father the word he is looking for is mutant. David leaves his house slamming the door. Nice going Dad, Kim tells her father. Trying to defend himself he asks her if she thinks it’s easy finding out his son is a mutant. She looks angrily up at her father, and asks him if he really thinks this is easy on David.

Hands in pockets and head down, David walks down the side walk of his street. Kim calls out to him, running to catch up. She tells him it’ll take them time, and it probably just took them off guard. But it didn’t take her off guard? he asks. She smiles and tells him it explains a lot, she always knew he was a freak, she just never guessed it was genetic. The hug as a car pulls up alongside them. Danielle and Shan exit and approach them. Danielle tells him they should talk. But David demands to know who she is, what she wants from him, and why they would do this? He raises the picture of him that was left on his door, his Dad saw this he adds. Danielle assures him she would never do that. Shan guesses it was Purity, the local mutant hating group on the Campus.
A group of six well built young men approach them, telling her she is right. One of Purity steps forward telling the ladies to step aside, and they show them how they handle mutants. Danielle smirks, asking them which mutant they meant exactly. Shan tells them there are three of them, and Danielle adds: or a dozen. Using her powers of creating illusions based on fears and desires, she creates an illusion of the X-Men behind her. Present are from left to right Beast, Wolverine, Xorn , Phoenix, Colossus, Storm, Nightcrawler, Angel, Iceman, Cyclops, and Northstar. Two of the six members of Purity flee, buying the illusion of the X-Men as the real thing. Another member calls out to his running partners, assuring them it is only a some mutant trick. Shan noticing Danielle’s illusion have no affect, decides to use her abilities on another member.

One member knocks out his friend, as the victim questions his friend, thinking he was on their side. Shan tells David who is confused about what is going on what she did, taking possession of his mind, but he needs to watch her back, as she is kind of vulnerable at this point. Another member approaches David, warning him he’s not afraid of some mutants, he’s a black belt. He punches at David, who dodges and thanks him for the information, as now he is a black belt as well. David knees his assailant, and flips him over his back into the last member of Purity. Kim looks on in shock, promising never to call him a geek again. The other two Purity run after Shan’s possession breaks.
Shan asks if they are okay, and David assures him and his sister are fine. Shan hands him the book he was looking for, as David admits he would have never guessed Shan was a mutant because she looks so normal. Shan puts her hand on her chest, and confesses that she is a lesbian immigrant, raising her younger siblings. The fact he thinks she is normal, reinforces the idea that he’ll fit right in at Xavier’s. He asks if that’s the school in New York for mutants. Shan tells him yes, and that’s the safest place for him. Danielle jokes with her friend telling her she guesses she changed her mind. Shan tells her of course she has, and maybe it’s time she paid Allison a visit.

Reaching the Alleyne household, they are greeted by David’s father staring down at him. He hugs his son, and tells him he’s only an old man, and this is all very new to him. He tells David he is the smartest person he knows, so maybe he should teach him. Soon, inside the Alleyne family sits down discussing it. He tells him it’s hard to explain, it’s not telepathy, he cannot read or send thoughts. But when he is near people he knows things they know. For example, he says, someone in the room knows French. Shan chimes in that’s her, and David admits now he does for now. Dorothy, his mother, asks what for now means, like it fades? He says yes, and that is why he’s always studying so hard, because he always tries to learn it for real. She tells him this must be very difficult for him. Danielle tells her it wouldn’t be nearly as difficult if his teachers knew what he was going through, and that’s why she believes he belongs at Xavier’s. His father stands up asking if that’s really what is best for him, to become a target. Not trying to alarm him, she informs him his son was attacked an hour ago, he already is a target. Shan tells him her brother and sister are ten years old, and while she’s not sure if they are mutants, she’s taking them with her to the Institute. After their parents’ death, she is now responsible for them, and she wouldn’t take them there if it wasn’t safe. Dorothy hugs her son tightly, and he tells his parents he doesn’t have to go this summer, he can stay and watch Kim. Kim tries to defend herself telling them she is fourteen. Their Father admits if Purity really is after him , then it’s better if he leaves, besides, maybe it’s time to give his sister a little room to grow.

Later Shan loads the trunk of the car, as Leong and Nga pile into the back seat with David. David introduces himself, and tells them he’ll be a new student at Xavier’s. They tell him their sister went to Xavier’s, and then ask if he wants to play Monnaie Disponible. Sure, he says, he already know the rules. Shan and Danielle look at each other. Maybe they don’t need to play, the twins try to wiggle out of it. David tells them come on, they did bring it up. With that the car heads off to Xavier’s Institute for Higher Learning, as the sun sets in front of them.

Characters Involved: 

Allison Crestmere, Danielle Moonstar, , Xi’an “Shan” Coy Manh (former New Mutants)

Sofia Mantega Barrett, Laurie Collins, Kevin Ford (Students at the institute)

Professor Xavier

David Alleyne

Dorothy Alleyne, Kim Alleyne, unnamed Father (David’s family)

Nga and Leong Manh (Shan’s twin siblings)

Dr. Sean Garrison

Students and Faculty at University of Chicago Illinois

Several unnamed members of Purity

In Danielle’s illusion:

Archangel, Beast, Colossus, Cyclops, Iceman (possibly), Nightcrawler, Northstar, Phoenix, Storm, Wolverine, Xorn

Story Notes: 

Thomas Szasz is Professor of Psychiatry Emeritus at the State University of New York Health Science Center in Syracuse, New York, Adjunct Scholar at the Cato Institute, Washington, D.C., author and lecturer. His classic The Myth of Mental Illness (1961) made him a figure of international fame and controversy. Many of his works--such as Law, Liberty, and Psychiatry, The Ethics of Psychoanalysis, Ceremonial Chemistry, and Our Right to Drugs--are regarded as among the most influential in the 20th century by leaders in medicine, law, and the social sciences.
Xi’an is pronounced Shan, she was last seen in the Mekanix limited series with Shadowcat. Who is Katherine “Kitty” Pride who Xi’an’s siblings referred to as “Aunt Kitty”. Kitty als appears to be the character whom Shan hoped would be more than a friend (baswed on a moment of mutual attraction in Mekanix #5).The Chicago University based hate group Purity also debuted in this six issue mini series.

Magma was attacked by several members of the Church of Humanity in Uncanny X-men #432, where she along with other mutants were crucified and placed on the Xavier Institute front lawn. While she recovered from her injuries, she went to sleep and has yet to be waken up. She remains in a deep coma-like sleep.(As seen in New Mutants Volume2 #3.

Kevin Ford was introduced in New Mutants Volume 2 #3 where he was found by Danielle .He was in a state of shock and running away after the recent manifestation of his mutant power to decay organic objects, which lead to the accidental death of his father.

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