New Mutants (2nd series) #9

Issue Date: 
February 2004
Story Title: 
The Ties That Bind - part 3

Nunzio Defilippis & Christina Weir (Writers), Carlo Barberi (Pencils), Wayne Faucher & Juan 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 Avalanche wrecks downtown Manhattan, a mystery redhead on a motorbike makes quick work of him before the X-Men can arrive. Havok and Nightcrawler are surprised to see who the girl is. Back at school, Laurie gets in trouble for paying too much attention to Josh when she should be learning about American History. Dani tells her to go ask Josh to lunch, and the two soon join Sofia and David in the cafeteria, where Julian plays a prank on Josh, but Sofia pays him back. The redhead who beat up Avalanche arrives at the mansion, and Shan and Dani greet their old friend, Rahne Sinclair, AKA Wolfsbane, and Laurie becomes jealous as Josh begins to develop a crush on the newly returned New Mutant. At the Grind Stone a short while later, the kids learn that the waitress Luna has had an accident, and Josh runs into the homeless girl that Julian turned away from the institute. The kids tell Dani, Shan and Rahne all about it and the fact that the homeless girl is probably responsible, and Dani decides that she will take care of it later, while Josh complains that he should get to help. Later, Rahne rounds up the kids to go find the girl before Dani can, and they head off, learning that the girl is Japanese, and nicknamed Surge. They eventually find her buying pills, which they believe caused her accident, so Sofia blows the pills away, only to realize that the girl had been using them to keep her powers under control, and without them, she explodes with electricity.

Full Summary: 

Manhattan. While suiting up, a mystery redhead listens to the radio. Apparently, downtown traffic is stopped because the mutant terrorist, Avalanche is tearing up the city. The redhead hops on her motorbike and zooms off, while the radio says that the police are waiting for the Avengers or the X-Men to arrive.
The motorbike comes from behind the police line and goes flying into the air towards Avalanche. He doesn’t even have time to move before the redhead slams him with her feet, using the momentum of the bike to throw him to the ground. Avalanche attempts to get up, but receives a powerful kick to the chest from our mystery girl. Havok and Nightcrawler arrive on the scene, only to realize that aren’t needed after all. They wonder who this good Samaritan is, and as she removes her helmet, Havok recognizes her, saying long time no see to the “kid.”

At the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning, Dani Moonstar is teaching a class on American History, while Laurie Collins daydreams in the back of the room, staring at Josh Foley. Dani calls upon Laurie to answer a question, but she wasn’t paying attention so she doesn’t have the answer. The bell rings, and Dani asks to speak to Laurie for a moment. Dani tells Laurie that she needs to pay better attention in class, and then encourages her to go and catch up to Josh to ask him to lunch or something. Laurie catches Josh and they agree to go eat lunch together.

In the Cafeteria, Laurie asks Josh if it is okay if they eat with Sofia and David. Josh agrees and says that he and David are finally talking. As they go to sit down, Julian Keller comments that Josh has joined the New Mutants wannabes. He then gets his friends to watch as he uses his telekinesis to pull back Josh’s chair as he is about to sit down, causing him to fall to the floor. Sofia says that her wind can do anything better than Julian’s telekinesis, and she blows Julian’s tray into him, leaving a large amount of food all over his front. Kids all around laugh and Josh fumes about his ever being friends with Julian. David tries to calm Josh, while Sofia congratulates Laurie on finally making the first move on Josh. Laurie quickly shushes her.

David asks the others if Dani got the news in their American History class. He continues on that the X-Men picked up one of her old teammates from the New Mutants, and they are bringing her back here. Josh says he doesn’t care, because he’s seen pictures of Dani’s group, and the only one unaccounted for is that frumpy, Catholic schoolgirl, Sinclair. All the school needs is another uptight chick. Somewhere else in the cafeteria, Shan and Dani smile widely as the spot their friend, calling out her name. Rahne tells her friends that she is back, and Josh ogles the busty scantily-dressed redhead Rahne has become while Laurie looks upset by his change in interest.

The reunited New Mutants girls exchange hugs and Dani asks when Rahne got back. She responds that she just arrived in the city and decided to help take out Avalanche. The other girls comment on Rahne’s new look. She let her hair grow out, and she lost her accent. Rahne responds that she’s been in the States since her mother died, and they shouldn’t expect her to talk like a wee lass her whole life. She’s changed, and Dani agrees.

Outside, Sofia, Laurie, David, and Josh head to the Grind Stone, and Josh comments about the fact that he thought the others were doing something cool when they left early at lunch, but they are just going to the coffee shop -- teens gone wild! Sofia says she needs the caffeine to last the day, and Josh complains that this is how he is spending his last day out before getting more detention. As the others go into the coffee shop, Josh recognizes the girl sitting on the sidewalk across the street. The others ask the guy at the counter why Luna isn’t working, and he says there was an accident. Across the street, Josh apologizes to the girl for Julian’s rudeness when she came to the Institute the other day. She tries to tell Josh about something she didn’t mean to do, but he can’t understand. She is talking way too fast. She tries to say something else about taking some money, but the other kids come running from the coffee shop telling Josh there is trouble. Josh turns back to the homeless girl, but in a flash of electricity, she is gone.

Back at Xavier’s, Dani says she tried to reach Rahne by their telepathic link, but Rahne explains that all of her residual powers eventually faded, so she doesn’t have her wolf senses or heightened healing, nothing. Dani tells her that that is good, though, since she never wanted her powers, and Rahne acts unsure for a moment, and then agrees that it is good. Just then, the kids come running calling the names of Shan and Dani. David explains that there was an accident at the Grind Stone. Some sort of power surge hurt Luna. Dani reminds Shan that Luna is the woman she introduced her to at the coffee shop. David says Josh doesn’t think it was an accident, and Josh explains that there was a girl that he thinks has some kind of electricity powers. She was talking about how she didn’t mean to. He adds that he doesn’t think it was on purpose, and that she seemed really scared. Dani says that the Professor isn’t there to use Cerebra, so she will figure out how to find and approach the girl safely. Josh says he thinks he should be there, but Dani says it would be an exceptionally bad idea. She could be dangerous. Josh begins to object, but Dani thanks him for the information but she’ll handle it. Josh has gotten in enough trouble lately. Laurie gets him to come with the others. They have class soon.

Later in Josh and David’s room, Josh is playing hoops with a wall basket and ball. He wonders aloud if Moonstar’s gone looking for that girl yet. David says he has no idea, then asks if Josh ever does homework. Josh says his concentration is off, and that he can’t believe he was cut out of the whole electro girl thing. David asks him why he thinks it’s his thing in the first place, but then there is a knock at the door. Rahne comes in and asks the boys if they are up for a field trip to find the girl who injured the coffee lady. David asks if Dani said it was okay, but Rahne asks why wait when they can handle it themselves. Josh calls her a woman after his own heart, to which Rahne tells Slick not to get ahead of himself.

In the hall, David tries to get Josh to wait for Dani. Curfew time is coming up and they are already in trouble for their fight with Julian and Santo last week. Rahne asks Josh if his roommate always does what he’s told, and Josh replies pretty much. As they walk down the hallway, Josh comments on Rahne’s old codename, Wolfsbane, and asks if that makes her a werewolf. She says she used to be, but not anymore, so Josh suggests that they’ll need some more firepower. Outside the Sofia and Laurie’s room, David mentions that it is bad enough that they are breaking the rules and asks if they can leave the girls out of it, to which Josh responds with a simple nope and knocks on the door.

Laurie answers and is happy to see Josh and says hi. Josh asks if she wants to blow curfew and get out of this place, and Laurie says sure, but falters when she sees Rahne. Sofia asks what they are planning, and Josh explains that Rahne had the great idea that they could go out and find the girl before Moonstar and look like heroes. He adds that its not like they are breaking any rules, because Rahne is practically faculty, but in a cool way. Laurie begins to look glum and yellowish pheromones begin to float up from her head. Sofia blows them away with her wind power, saying to Josh that if Rahne is practically faculty, then they are in.

As the boys and Rahne walk ahead, Laurie asks Sofia why she used her wind powers on her. Sofia says it was because Laurie looked a little upset and jealous, so she was afraid her pheromones might accidentally cause trouble. Up ahead, Rahne tells them to stick close, and Josh says it won’t be a problem. Outside, David worries that if they go out the front gate, someone is definitely going to see them. Rahne tells him he worries to much and mentions a tree along the south wall that they can climb to hop the fence.

On the outskirts of Salem Center, the five walk along in the dark gloomy neighborhood. Rahne mentions that the homeless in Salem Center like to be near the river. They stop as Rahne and David examine cracks in the wall and sidewalk, and David says that they’ve come to the right place. It definitely looks like she discharged some electricity here. From behind them, a voice asks the kids if they are looking for Surge. Rahne repeats the name, and a homeless guy explains that he doesn’t know her real name, but knows it’s foreign and probably Japanese. The guys down here call her Surge, for obvious reasons.

He goes on to say that they probably shouldn’t mess with her. Sofia says that they don’t wish to mess with her, they want to help. Josh asks if the guy knows where they can find her. The guy points up the hill and says there is a guy called Click who sells pills. Surge got some money the other day and is probably looking to score.

As the merry group of mutants walks up the dark street, David asks if he meant that she’s on something. Rahne suggests that that might be why she lost control of her powers, and Sofia asks what kind of a name is Click. David then says something in another language, and Josh asks him what that was. David apologises and says he must have picked up Japanese, and comments that it was weird because he didn’t even realise he was speaking it, but since he is probably getting it from Surge, they must be getting close.

Josh spots the girl up the hill buying pills from a man in a dark trench coat and they hurry to catch her. David tells the others to keep their distance, and Josh turns to Sofia and tells her not to let her take the pills, otherwise she might explode again. Sofia says that she’ll stop her and blows the pills out of the girls hands, and, in a very fast voice, the girl says she needs them, a horrified look on her face. She falls to the ground hugging herself, saying she can’t control the power without them, and she explodes with electricity, causing the others to jump backwards in shock.

Characters Involved: 

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

Rahne Sinclair (former New Mutant)

David Alleyne, Laurie Collins, Josh Foley, Julian Keller, Sofia Mantega (amongst other students at the Xavier Institute)

Havok, Nightcrawler (both X-Men)
Avalanche (mutant terrorist)

Homeless Girl (Surge)

Unnamed Police Officers

Unnamed Grind Stone worker

Homeless Man

Click (drug dealer)

Story Notes: 

Rahne lost her powers when Mystique shot her with Forge’s Neutralizer during the Dream’s End crossover. Rahne’s foster mother, Moira MacTaggert, also was killed during that storyline.
Despite Josh’s comments, Rahne isn’t Roman-Catholic, but Presbyterian, a denomination similar to Puritanism.
In the New Mutants story in X-Men Unlimited #43, which took place after Dream’s End, Rahne still displayed some non-active powers such as accelerated healing and her link with Dani. But now those have faded away as well.
Julian rudely chased Surge away in issue #8.

Issue Information: 
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