New Mutants (3rd series) #11

Issue Date: 
May 2010
Story Title: 
Hel’s Valkyrie

Kieron Gillen (writer), Niko Henrichon (artist), VC’s Joe Caramagna (letterer), Terry Dodson (cover), Daniel Ketchum (assoc. editor), Nick Lowe (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (Exec. Publisher)

Brief Description: 

The New Mutants are spending a weekend in Las Vegas, as Hela is calling in the favor Dani Moonstar owes her. She empowers Dani as her own Valkyrie and explains that Asgard (currently on Earth) is under Siege and Dani’s job is to escort the souls of the dead gods to her. Dani is reluctant, fearing Hela is planning some awful scheme. When she reaches Asgard, she quickly finds the Asgardian souls, led by the war god Tyr. But when the Valkyries ask her to join them fighting, she tells the souls to wait for her as nothing bad can happen to them anymore. However, when she is gone, horrible soul-eating monsters, the D’siri, attack and devour several of the souls, despite Tyr’s attempt to protect them. When she realizes what is happening, Dani returns and chases away the D’siri, but too late for some of the souls. She tells Tyr that he is wounded but still alive and has him rejoin the living. She then brings the remaining souls to Hela, ashamed that she was wrong and Hela was actually trying to save them.

Full Summary: 

Las Vegas, the Inferno Club. The New Mutants are gathered in luxurious penthouse suite, amazed that their teammate Dani Moonstar gets to use the penthouse for the weekend because of some favor. It was a big favor, she tells them tight-lipped.

Looking at the TV, Doug Ramsey announces there’s some news story breaking in Oklahoma. Sunspot interrupts him that this is not the time to worry about the news. They are in Vegas, so they should act like it!

Warlock asks where they are going. Putting his arm around his alien teammate’s shoulder, Bobby replies he needs to introduce Warlock to some little ladies he likes to call “the slots.” Sam worries if that’s legal.

As they all begin to head for the exit only Dani stays behind. Isn’t she coming? Sam asks. She’ll catch up later, she assures them. Have fun! She needs to talk with their gracious host.

After they’ve left, she mutters that Cyclops owes her all the drinks in the world! She walks along a corridor and ends up in front of a guard. She needs to get to the roof garden, she tells him. Buzz her up! Her key card should give her full access, she is informed. She wants to go to the other roof garden she clarifies. The lady of the house is expecting her.

She leaves the elevator on the roof. The scenery around it is like some vision of a lava-filled hell. Not batting an eyelash, Dani remarks she likes the view. Hela who is lying on a deckchair replies that Las Vegas suits her, temperamentally speaking… but its heat is oppressive. Sometimes she needs something more home-y.

This isn’t a social call, Dani reminds her. She owes Hela a favor. She’s calling it in. What’s the price for giving her the keys to a Valkyrie for one day? Oh, just a Valkyrie’s duty, comes the reply. An unusual Valkyrie’s duty. Dani asked Hela to make her one and she didn’t think that strange? Hel has no Valkyrie. They are of Asgard, to bring the victorious mortal dead to Valhalla’s blessed halls. What would a Valkyrie of Hel do? Bring the dead of the immortals to her.

Asgard lies under siege, she informs Dani. Many have fallen. Worse, as it is in Midgard, she does not trust the ancient ways to gather the soul-harvest. They need a guide…

What if she says “no, she doesn’t car to play grim reaper to a bunch of gods” and bring all the other X-Men with her, if Hela forces the issue? Dani retorts. Firstly, Dani’s race is nearly extinct, Hela warns her. Face her in open battle and Hela would finish the task their beloved evolution is rapidly completing. Secondly, how could she not do it? She has signed a contract.

Contracts can be broken, Dani replies stony-faced. They can, Hela agrees, but only with costs, and her contracts especially. Hela said she would give Dani power to counter Ares, and Dani would work for Hela. And vice versa: if Dani works for Hela, she will give her the power to counter Ares. They are of the same breath of magic. If Dani does not work for her, she won’t have given her power. It will never have happened. What would have passed that day, had the X-Men faced Ares without Hela’s power? She suspects Dani can guess. She suspects it’s a world she would not wish to live in. She suspects that’s a world she would not be living in.

Looking down, Dani agrees. She’s ready. No, Hela remarks and casts a spell. Swirling energy surrounds Dani and she is clad in dark Valkyrie armor, her armored flying steed Brightwind at her side. Now she is ready, Hela announces. For a most specific task.

Hela explains that Asgard has fallen does not stop the Siege. As a warrior, Dani will be tempted to fight with the living. But her duty is to the dead. She must not forget! Dani doesn’t like it. This is t he gathering of the dead. If she liked it, there would be something wrong with her, Hela points out wryly. Only Hela likes it, she adds as Dani flies off. And it is not a matter of whether she likes it or not, Hela continues to herself. It must be done and done swiftly, for there are worse fates than Hel.

Dani has reached Broxton Oklahoma where Asgard is attacked by all sides from ground and air. Okay, Dani reminds herself, find dead gods, take them to Hel, that’s got to be better than being here. She needn’t look hard. A bunch of spirit forms are below her, one, a warrior, waves at her. Dani lands and asks if this is everyone. The warrior explains they gathered, praying for a guide… and one has come. Their thanks to her house.

Who’s in charge? she asks. The warrior explains he is Tyr of Battles. He will lead the fallen on the Hel-march. No, Dani states and repeats her question. Who’s in charge here? She is? Tyr replies hesitatingly. Glad he understands, she agrees and tells them to gather.

Before she can finish, however, the Valkyrior have found her and ask their sister what she is doing. It is no time to converse with oneself. Asgard calls. Will she answer?

Tyr asks her not to. There are hundreds of warriors here, all fighting for the living. Who will fight for the dead? Dani is torn, then decides to follow the Valkyries. They are already dead, she tells Tyr. The worst has already happened. There’s still enough time to stop anyone else ending up like them. She asks them not to worry, they have nothing to be scared of anymore. But in the shadows, things with teeth are waiting……

The Valkyries charge against the planes. Dani finds the sword given to her by Hela won’t be budged from its scabbard. A moment later, she and Brightwing have to dodge missies. She throws one of them back. She knows this is bad, but she admits she has missed this so much.

In the meantime, the ghosts are nervous. “The Di…” one begins. Tyr cuts him off, ordering him not to say their name. That Valkyrie will return. They are only a myth. Only a myth, he repeats with a small voice as the shadows become monsters towering before them. Tyr orders the others behind him and charges, sword drawn. The creatures pass him by and devour the souls behind him. Fight him! Tyr, God of War, shouts in despair. In the name of he who cursed them, fight him!

Dani finally notices what is happening below her and instantly charges back and faces the creatures. No, she snarls, “fight me.”

She and Tyr stand back to back surrounded by the creatures. What are they? Dani demands. Tyr replies they must not be named, else it tempts their coming. They’re here, Dani points out. It’s too late to be superstitious. Spill!

Tyr’s tale:
The D’sir were once ancient Bor’s Valkyries. They had rebelled not only against their lord but against all decency. They fed on gods. Discovered, they were cast out from all the realms to exist in the spaces, in spirit alone. For the nature of their crime, Bor cursed them, only to consume the shades of gods exiled from their true homes.

So the D’sir would be hungry forever, Tyr concludes, for when would a god’s spirit not be in Asgard or Hel?

Dani gets it and promises to stop it. Their blades slide through the D’sir and cannot harm them, Tyr points out. She has a feeling that this one won’t, Dani replies and again tries to draw her sword, this time successfully. The blade glows with magic. So… any of them want to try anything? she snarls.

She attacks them with her blade drawn. After destroying two of them, the others slide away. She and the surviving ghosts look at those souls which fell and Dani feels ashamed. While she was off playing action hero, she got them killed. If it only were mere death, Tyr sighs. Their very essence is gone. They are forever done. Not helping, Dani replies tight-lipped, eyes cast down. Really not helping.

Tyr tries to comfort her. She saved many. Battles cost. And all others were impotent. With him, they would not even deign to cross swords. It wasn’t his battle, Dani replies, and, he knows he’s not dead, right?

He was cowed and a coward, Tyr replies, and overcompensated with foolhardiness. He should be dead. But he’s not, Dani points out. He’s close but he’s not. He doesn’t have to come with her. And he’s the god of war, yeah? She points toward burning Asgard. She thinks Asgard needs one of those right now. Tyr bids her farewell and returns to his body. With a grim face Dani begins the trek of souls.

Later at Hela’s club, she angrily demands why Hela didn’t tell her about the D’sir. She could have saved them all! They are close to myth, comes the reply. They could have not existed… and to speak their name is to risk drawing their gaze. But if she’d warned her—Dani insists.

Hela reminds her she told Dani her duty. Dani chose to ignore it. She armed Dani against them. She gave her guidance. She came to Hela in her hour of need. Hela saved her and her people. Hela came to Dani in hers… and she acts like this. “We do not always get to choose out duties.”

Dani turns back to normal, realizing that this wasn’t a scheme. Hela empowered her to save them. She empowered her to make sure Hel got its due, Hela corrects her. And its tithe is now sadly short. “Sadly?” Dani repeats. Yes, sadly. And if she repeats that she will suffer. Dread Hela has her reputation to think of. She orders Dani to leave.

Dani’s cell rings. It’s Sam asking where she’s been. They are on the roulette. Join them? Dani refuses. She doesn’t think she’s lucky for anyone around her…

Characters Involved: 

Cannonball, Cypher, Karma, Magik, Moonstar, Sunspot, Warlock (all New Mutants)

Hela (Asgardian goddess of Death)

Tyr (Asgardian war god)

Souls of dead Asgardians


Story Notes: 

This is a Siege tie-in.

Dani made a deal with Hela during the Utopia crossover.

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