New Mutants (2nd series) #8

Issue Date: 
January 2004
Story Title: 
The Ties That Bind - part 2: Parents Week

Nunzio Defilippis & Christina Weir (Writers), Carlo Barberi & Khary Randolph (Pencils), Faucher, Perotta, & Vlasco (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 Julian and some others are throwing a frisbee around, he meets a strange homeless girl who wants into the Institute, but he sends her away, right before he and Josh are ordered to help with preparations for Parents Week. Later Dani introduces Shan to Luna, which doesn’t go over too well with Shan. As Parents Week begins, the students greet their parents, though not a lot of parents show up. David shows his parents around the school and they discuss his
future at the school and how it may prevent him from getting into Harvard. Derek and Mr. Barrett arrive to see Sofia, but she sends them away after realizing that her father may have only come to get his personal assistant back. Emma Frost attempts to get Sofia to switch advisors to her, but soon ends up fighting with Dani. Julian switches advisors from Jean-Paul Beaubier to Emma Frost, and soon learns that Josh was a Reaver, which ignites a fight involving Josh and David versus Julian and Santo. The fight is ended with Shan using her mind possession power to send the boys off to their rooms. Sofia later comments that she may have been too hard on Derek and worries that she may never see him again, but to her surprise, runs into him right after she says it. David decides that he will stay at the school, giving up his dream of going to Harvard, and he and Josh make a connection after the fight. As Luna opens the store the next morning, she finds someone in the alleyway, and gets hit by an electricity blast and is left lying in the alley …

Full Summary: 

It’s fall in the grounds of the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning, and Josh, Julian, Santo, and Victor are throwing around a frisbee. Julian is talking about the incident involving Magma in the hospital wing, saying that they didn’t do anything wrong. Magma was in a coma so they woke her up, and they got detention for it. Victor mentions that there was that explosion, but Josh says that Julian is right. Their advisors are out of control, and Moonstar has it in for him. Julian adds that Beaubier is wound too tight. Josh says they need to switch to someone cool like Miss Frost as Julian throws the frisbee and Victor catches it with his tongue, and then throws it to Josh saying that he’d like to stick with Shan. As Josh catches the frisbee he says thanks to Victor for throwing him his drool. Julian asks if he has a problem with Victor, to which Josh replies that he doesn’t but he put his tongue on the frisbee so Julian says its Victor’s.

Santo wings the frisbee through the air so Julian says he stinks, but before it goes over the gate, he stops it with his telekinesis, but he gets a surprise as a girl appears at the gate. He tells her that he doesn’t have any spare change as he notices that she is apparently homeless. In really fast speech, the girl says that she doesn’t want his money but wants to know if this is the school where mutants go. Julian looks at her with disgust and says he can’t understand her and tells her two words, ‘bath’ and ‘soap’. The homeless girl tries to explain that she can’t take a bath because water and electricity are bad, and she tells him to please let him in. Julian says it’s a private school, not the Salvation Army.

Josh arrives to ask what’s going on and Julian tells him that some homeless chick wants in and it sounds like she is on drugs. Behind him, there is a flash of electricity and when he turns around she is gone. Josh tells Julian off for not letting the girl in after he just lectured him about accepting Victor, but he replies that he was just teasing, and that with Parents Week coming up, she should be a little more presentable. Josh mentions that neither of them has parents coming so they shouldn’t care. Julian says he doesn’t care, but Mr. Beaubier will extend his detention permanently if he lets some bag lady in.

Just then, Northstar comes up behind them and reminds them that they both have punishment assignments after nearly destroying the infirmary. They should be helping with preparations. Josh, Julian, Victor, and Santo all agree and run off to help with the preparations which have already begun with a few flying students attempting to put up banners.

Later that night, Dani and Shan are walking down the sidewalk in Salem Center. Shan asks why they are going to a coffee shop instead of Harry’s Hideaway like they usually do. Dani says that the kids introduced her to the place and it isn’t bad. As she opens the door of the Grind Stone, she adds that there is someone she wants Shan to meet. She mentions the fact that Luna was hitting on her when she was in there before, so she thought she would introduce her to Shan. Shan says that that is really offensive, and Dani is taken aback. Luna turns on the charm as she greets the girls. Dani introduces Luna to Shan, and Luna asks her what she can get her. Shan says she just wants a coffee.

As the Parents Week reception begins, students and parents greet each other out in front of the school. David enters his and Josh’s room with his parents, showing it off. His dad is impressed with the large space. David introduces his parents to his roommate, Josh, who is lying on his bed reading a sports magazine. Mrs. Alleyne asks if Josh’s parents are there, and he says they aren’t. She invites him to come along with them, but David interrupts saying that Josh doesn’t need the reminder that his parents can’t stomach his being a mutant, and then suggests leaving. As David and his parents walk down the hallway, his mom tells him that he was a little harsh, but David replies that trying to kill him and his friends was a little harsh. He was just being rude.

Out in the front yard of the Institute, Dani and Professor Xavier look over all of the students with their parents. Dani comments that it is such a low turnout, but Xavier says that it is actually a good turnout. Many students have no contact with their families, and many other parents are too afraid to attend.

Nearby, Laurie hugs her mother, telling her that she didn’t have to come. Her mother argues that it is Parents Week so she had to come, but Laurie says that she sees her every week. Not far from them, Mrs. Alleyne says hello to Sofia, saying she has heard so much about her. Sofia apologizes for being rude, but she sees her father’s former assistant … her friend. She hugs Derek, grateful that he came. Derek says he has a surprise for her. Her father is arriving the next day, which brings Sofia to happy tears.

At the registration table, Julian complains to Mr. Beaubier about having to work at the Parents Week, even though he isn’t part of it. Sarcastically, Beaubier says that his heart bleeds for him. Julian adds that his parents didn’t even want to see him. Beaubier stutters, saying that he is sorry, and that he will take over for him.

Nearby, Victor calls to Shan, wanting her to meet his parents. Victor introduces Shan, his advisor, to his parents, and they shake hands. Shan tells them that it is a pleasure to meet them, and that Victor is one of her favorite students. She tells them that she’d love to sit down with them and discuss their son’s situation with them, adding that they shouldn’t worry as his grades are excellent. Julian arrives and drags Victor away, telling him how he got out of registration duty by pulling the “my parents don’t love me” sob story on Beaubier. Victor comment that his parents aren’t there, but Julian says they are just on a ski trip.

At the Grind Stone, David and his parents are sitting drinking coffee, and Mr. Alleyne comments that he spoke to a friend in admissions at Harvard. David gets excited and asks if he showed him his transcript and told him about all the courses he took at the University of Chicago. Mr. Alleyne struggles with telling his son that they don’t accept students from Xavier’s. David gets disappointed and guesses that it is because his powers make it impossible to trust his grades. He complains that just because he absorbs other people’s knowledge doesn’t mean he can’t learn it himself. Mrs. Alleyne suggests suing them, but Mr. Alleyne says that it wouldn’t work. A student openly from Xavier’s would attract violence and Harvard can’t have that. David asks what his father is saying, so he explains that if he wants to go to college, he has to leave Xavier’s.

The next morning at the Xavier Institute, Sofia and Derek are sitting on a bench when Mr. Barrett arrives. Sofia and her father greet each other, and Sofia thanks him for coming. Her father says that she looks good, and that this place obviously agrees with her. Derek lets his presence be known, and Mr. Barrett immediately turns all attention over to him, telling him how good it is to see him and that it has been impossible to find a replacement for him. He begins to ask if he’d like to come back to work for him, but after four words Sofia interrupts, and very angrily accuses her father of only coming to get Derek back, not to see her.

Mr. Barrett tells her to calm down and Derek tells her that she has it all wrong. A small cyclone of wind appears around Sofia, lifting her into the air. She calls Derek a liar, asking him if he had to promise her father he would go back to work for him to get him to come visit her. She says that he needn’t have bothered, and orders them both to leave.

From a window up in the Institute, Dani watches as Emma Frost walks toward the disturbance, while Derek and Mr. Barrett run the opposite direction. As Sofia floats in the air with her eyes shining with white light, a telepathic voice tells her that that is enough. As Sofia falls to her feet, Emma tells her that she has quite a temper, and Sofia apologizes.

Emma sympathises with Sofia, reading her mind. She says that no matter how hard she tries, no matter how popular she gets, it will never be good enough for her father. Sofia tells her that she has heard of her, and that she shouldn’t use her telepathy on her without permission. Emma says that she doesn’t need her telepathy to see how hurt and angry Sofia is. She adds that it must be painful maintaining such optimism in the face of such disappointment, and that she needs to come to terms with her anger and disappointment or she will self destruct. She gets up close and begins talking about how she knows what it is like, and that she needs someone who understands to talk to, and her current advisor isn’t up to the task.

Dani comes marching up from behind Emma, telling her to get away from Sofia. Emma tries to calm her down beginning to explain what she was doing, but Dani says she knows what she was doing. She says that Charles may think she has changed, but she remembers what side she used to be on, and what kind of criminal life she used to make for her students. Emma tells her that the girl needs help, but Dani tells her that the girl has a name, and she has friends. She doesn’t need Emma’s kind of help.

All the while, Laurie and Sofia are sitting on a bench behind the arguing teachers, and Sofia is crying. Laurie asks if she is okay, and Sofia tells her how she was so stupid to think her father had come to see her. Laurie tells her that she is sorry. Sofia leans on Laurie, telling her that she has no family left, and Laurie looks at her awkwardly, but then smiles, telling her that of course she has family, they are her family.

Later, Jean-Paul Beaubier is working in his classroom when there is a knock at the door. Julian Keller comes in, and Beaubier asks him how he can help him. He replies that he would like to start whatever paperwork there is to get a new advisor. Beaubier asks if Julian has anyone in mind, to which he replies that Emma Frost has agreed to take him on, and maybe she wouldn’t ride him so hard. Beaubier tells Julian that he rides him hard because he is in grave danger of abusing his gifts and choosing the wrong path. He adds that Miss Frost may be able to help him, as she took that wrong path. He agrees to sign the papers, but tells him that he is making a mistake.

Josh exits the room, slamming the door behind him. Emma is waiting outside, and asks him how it went. He tells her that Beaubier will sign, and then asks if she would want to take on Josh as well. Emma repeats the name, commenting that a former Reaver would be a good challenge. Julian is surprised to learn that Josh was a Reaver.

Not long after, David meets Laurie and Sofia outside under a tree. Laurie asks David how it went with his parents. He says it’s a long story, and then asks what’s wrong with Sofia. Nearby, Julian and Santo meet up with Josh. Josh asks how it went with Miss Frost. Julian says it was fine, but she uses a lot of big words, like ‘Reaver’. With that he pushes Josh with his telekinesis. Josh tries to explain, but Julian doesn’t give him a chance, asking him what Josh can explain. How he hates their kind? How he wants them dead? He pushes him into Santo, and Josh tells him not to. Julian replies saying that they’ll do more than push him.

With tears falling from his eyes, Josh punches Julian in the face, making him fall to the ground, then continues punching him, yelling that he isn’t like that anymore. Santo tells him to get off Julian and puts him in a headlock. Sofia, Laurie, and David turn and see the fight going on across the yard. Julian uses his telekinesis to hold Josh up in the air, and tells him he picked a fight with the wrong guy, he doesn’t have any Reaver friends to back to him up.

David and the girls arrive, and David tells Julian to put Josh down. Julian asks what he’ll do about it, study him to death? Then asks him why he cares. Josh hates their kind. David just repeats himself. Josh tells David to back off, saying he doesn’t need his help. Sofia blasts Julian with a taste of her wind powers, causing Josh to begin falling from the air, but Sofia catches him with a gust of wind before he hits the ground.

Laurie tries to get the attention of the others as she looks back towards the school. Santo asks if David really wants to get involved as he gets ready to throw a punch at him, and as he swings, David dodges out of the way and says ‘yes’, but asks if Santo thinks he can really hit him. Laurie tells the others that they shouldn’t be fighting because they could get in trouble as she watches Shan and Victor come running towards them from the school.

Josh and Julian are on the ground fighting when Shan arrives and tells the boys that that’s enough, as there are parents there. Santo and David stare, but there is no sign of Josh and Julian stopping, so Shan says that they have left her no choice, and she uses her mind possession power to sent them to their rooms.

Later, Laurie and Sofia walk down the hallway, Sofia saying that Miss Moonstar was really angry, and Josh will undoubtedly get detention again. She then adds that she was sure that she would get detention for what happened with her father. Laurie tells Sofia not to get mad at her, and then asks her if she thinks she was a little too hard on her father.

Sofia says she doesn’t know why her father even came. Maybe he did come to see her, but she is tired of assuming the best of him. She adds that she is more worried about Derek, saying she was unfair to him, and now she may never see him again. Laurie tells her that she wouldn’t worry about it as she opens the door to see Derek sitting on one of the beds waiting. She calmly says what a surprise as Sofia smiles excitedly then hurries in to hug Derek. Laurie smiles and leaves them alone, saying she has studying to do.

On the front porch of the Institute, Mr. Alleyne talks to David about fighting on school grounds, asking how he thinks Harvard will react to that. David counters that it was them who wanted him to be nicer to Josh. Mrs. Alleyne agrees with her husband, saying that David is hurting his future at the school, and tells him to come home with them. David tells his parents that he would like to stay, and his father asks him what about college. David says he belongs at the school. He has friends here, people going through the same things he is.

He is a mutant. That is who he is. If certain colleges can’t accept that then he will apply elsewhere. Mr. Alleyne asks if he is sure about this. Harvard is his dream. David says it was his dream, but he has a new one. Mrs. Alleyne hugs David and asks if they will see him for the holidays, and David says ‘of course’. Mr. Alleyne holds David’s shoulder and tells him that this decision will make thing harder for him, but he is proud of him. As David heads back towards the door, his mom asks him why he would fight for Josh if he doesn’t like him. David says he isn’t sure, but two on one is hardly fair.

As David arrives at his door, he finds a notice on the door. He enters the room and tells Josh, who is lying on his bed. He makes a comment about more detention, then asks David if he is going to lecture him now. David smirks and asks him about what, being a Reaver? Josh has already heard his best stuff. Josh agrees. David sits at his desk and says he’s going to study. Josh says he always studies, then thanks David for sticking up for him.

The next morning at the Grind Stone, Luna opens the door and tries to turn on the lights, to no avail. She says they must have blown the lights leaving them on all night, and then makes a note to herself not to let anyone else close up. She drags a garbage bag out the door into the alley, then gets surprised by someone in the alleyway. She comes closer and asks if the person is okay, and if they need some food or something, because they don’t look so good. Suddenly a huge blast of electricity hits Luna, leaving her moaning on the ground with a small plume of smoke rising off of her …

Characters Involved: 

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

David Alleyne, Victor Borkowski, Laurie Collins, Josh Foley, Julian Keller, Sofia Mantega, Santo Vacarro and others (students at the Xavier Institute)

Jean-Paul Beaubier / Northstar , Emma Frost, Charles Xavier (all X-Men)


Luna DePaula (waitress at the Grind Stone)

The Alleynes, Mr. Barrett, the Borkowskis, Mrs. Collins (all students’ parents)

Homeless Girl (Surge)

Story Notes: 

The Reavers are a group anti-mutant terrorists led by Donald Pierce who Josh had just joined when his healing power first manifested.
The White Queen tried several times to co-opt the original New Mutants. While she also helped the team once after they’d been traumatized by the Beyonder Dani was the only student who recovered by herself and refused the White Queen’s help. As such she’d be the (former) New Mutant least likely to trust Frost.

Issue Information: 
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