New Mutants (3rd series) #15

Issue Date: 
September 2010
Story Title: 

Zeb Wells (writer), Leonard Kirk (art), Guru EFX (color), VC’s Joe Caramagna (letterer), Dave Wilkins (cover), Daniel Ketchum (assoc. editor), Nick Lowe (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (Exec. Publisher)

Brief Description: 

After the events of the war against Bastion, Cannonball offers to resign leadership but Cyclops tells him to fix his team instead. So, Sam decides to take them on vacation where they can talk with each other. Before they leave, Magik tells Pixie she might soon need her help. Pixie refuses and tells her she is going on vacation too. Karma has to try out her new prosthetic leg and Warlock feels guilty about killing Cameron Hodge. Sam takes the team to a place in the Texas Badlands where they spend an evening (with beer) talking about recent events and their feelings. In the meantime, the soldiers of the mysterious Project Purgatory are giving their superior General Combest trouble, as they claim the mutant children they were responsible for are dead and insist on going after Illyana Rasputin. Combest forbids it, which just means that General Ulysses and his men implement their plan anyway by hijacking a few helicopters and attacking and abducting… Pixie, something which Illyana Rasputin senses.

Full Summary: 

2.8. miles below sea level. Location undisclosed. A strange bunker with a symbol depicting a circle within a triangle on the doors. The men inside, soldiers all (except for one rather odd scientist), are arguing. They are not ready to close the door on this one! one of them, General Combest, insists. On the table lie pictures showing young mutant children, infants even. The children represent a sizable investment! Washington wants a full report before they forget this ever happened. Like it or not, that’s their priority!

Doctor Noc, the scientist of the military team that had been trapped in Limbo for twenty years, throws another file onto the table, the picture showing Magik. Their priority is taking Illyana Rasputin into US custody, he insists. The children are a distant memory!

Another officer insists that the fate of the children is an open wound that needs redressing. Noc warns them they have no idea what the girl is capable of. He has no idea what Norman Osborn’s attack on the X-Men cost this government! the officer retorts.

Another officers suggests, if they could give them intel on the children’s whereabouts, maybe they could--

General Ulysses – leader of the team lost in Limbo – who’s been staring at some maps informs them without even turning around that the children are dead. They know that. That’s how his team got trapped there in the first place.

General Combest snarls that Ulysses’ orders were to keep the base secure. He doesn’t care if they were at the gates of hell—

Limbo, Ulysse corrects him. The natives call it “Limbo.” He and his men did twenty years there on six months of supplies. They know more about this place than they could ever tell them. So when he says that Illyana Rasputin needs to be brought into custody, he expects them to listen!

Combest shoots back, it must have been hard country indeed for the general to forget the chain of command. Ulysses replies that the other man outranked him when he left but he had twenty years of hard combat in the two years Combest’s been fiddling his thumbs, waiting for them to come home.

Doctor Noc warns them that his transplant is sensitive to aggression. He’s going after Rasputin! Ulysses snarls. Combest warns him he’ll have his butt kicked down to private!

Noc tries to draw back his demonic right arm with the chain attached to it but against his will it reaches out, clawing at Combest’s face. Cekej. Pust’ Lehni! he shouts and manages to draw it back. Ulysses fixes it to the table by stabbing a knife through it. Noc thanks him. What the hell happened to them out there? General Combest shouts. Others hold him back, telling him he is bleeding. Before he steps out, he warns them if they make one move against Rasputin, he’ll code black their entire squad. He leaves. Withdrawing his knife, Ulysses silently stares after him as does Noc.

Utopia, island home of the X-Men where all mutants are busy with construction work after their recent war with Bastion. Standing in what remains of Cyclops’ office, Cannonball watches the proceedings through a hole in the wall. Nice view, huh? Cyclops jokes as he joins him. He’s thinking of turning it into a window. Utopia could use more sunlight.

He looks at the sheet Sam put on his desk. His mission reports for the last few weeks, Sam explains. Scott suggests they go over this when they have the time. Sam interrupts that the report calls his ability to lead into question. The assault on Hodge was a disaster. Shan lost a leg! Warlock was forced to kill! Limbo didn’t pan out much better! He broke his team. For lack of a better term. He understands if Cyclops has to consider a new leader…. Cyclops shoves back the sheets at him. Utopia is under reconstruction, he has plenty of things to consider. This isn’t one of them. If Sam broke his team, fix it! That’s an order!

In the med bay, Karma tries out her new leg prosthesis. In a game of “who lost more,” Hellion, who lost both his hand to Nimrods, complains that a leg’s a bigger deal from a body mass perspective but he lost his hands! Unless her foot had an opposable toe, he has her beat! Eh, maybe, she replies, clearly not interested.

Roberto and Amara join her. Looking good, Roberto flirts. Which one’s the prosthetic? She’s got to go, Shan tells Hellion. Oh, no problem, he complains. He’ll just sit there and twiddle his thumbs. Oh wait!

As they leave, Bobby asks what Hellion is up to. Reminding her why she likes girls, Shan retorts. What’s up? Amara explains that Sam wants them ready to move at 0600 tomorrow. Drills? Shan asks. Nope…

They are going on vacation, Dani informs Cypher outside. Sam’s orders. Looking at the beach, Doug replies that’s fine. He’ll be done soon. “He” refers to Warlock who seems to be vomiting energy. When did this happen? Dani asks. After he was sure the war with Bastion was over and his friends safe, Doug replies. He’s purging the lifeglow he harvested from Hodge’s men. Should they leave him alone? Dani asks. Doug thinks that his suffering should be observed so that its meaning is not diminished.

In her room, Pixie is packing some belongings. She can feel her watching, she tells Illyana Rasputin, who is standing in the doorway. She doesn’t want to hurt her feelings but she still doesn’t consider Magik one of her “pop-in” friends. She’s leaving? Illyana ask. She’s grabbing some R& R just like Illyana’s group. Didn’t she hear? The war’s over. They won! Her war hasn’t even begun yet, Illyana replies ominously, but it will soon. And she may have use for Megan’s aid.

She’s asking her for help? Pixie asks incredulous. The first time this happened, Illyana warped a piece of her soul into a bloodstone! Pixie walks past her. Add that to the fact she just saved Illyana’s &%$ in Limbo and the way she figures that’s two Magik owes her. She’s getting away for a while to someplace where she won’t have to think about Magik or Limbo. Try to return the favor!

Elsewhere, General Ulysses addresses his ragtag team of soldiers who survived the years in Limbo with him. They are on their own on this one, he informs them. What else is new? one soldier scoffs. In their absence, the US government has allowed the muties to commandeer an island fortress, Ulysses continues. Their target is on that fortress, surrounded by well over 100 combatants. If and when she leaves that fortress they will be waiting for her. Ooo-Rah? he asks. Ooo-rah! the men cheer.

The Texas badlands:
Two helicopters bring the New Mutants there to a cabin. He figured they could relax here with no one else bothering them, Sam explains. Are those horses alive? Shan wonders. What are they supposed to do out here for a week? Roberto asks. He thought they could hang out, Sam suggests, looking for something in the chopper. Talk about their feelings and stuff. Silently, the others exchange doubtful looks. While they drink beer, Sam adds, getting out the freezer box. “Let’s give him a chance,” Dani suggests.

7:15 PM.:
A bunker. Two frightened guard asks Ulysses and his men for authorization. Ulysses shows them a black card with triangle circle symbol. Delta-black. Stand aside, he orders. And the men leave to get to the choppers.

8:35 PM:
Inside the cabin, Karma shows off her lower cybernetic leg and Roberto wants to know how high the cybernetics go. Shan asks Doug who comes inside where Warlock ahs gone. Doug explains that he has gone for a walk. He found it uncomfortable to watch the consumption of food, the meaning of which for him as drastically changed. Amara pities him, musing the fight with Hodge really messed him up.

That’s why they are here, Sam reminds them. The last couple of weeks were rough. He wants to talk through what happened, what he did wrong. Dani tells him it was a bad fight. Everyone knows he was in a tough spot. They are all adults. Do they really have to dwell on it? Yes, they do, he insists. They had casualties. A post-operation brief is important. This is serious…

The army choppers are in the air.

9:20 PM:
The mutants sit around the table sharing snacks and beer, as Dani tells them how her part of the fight against Hodge and the RIGHT went. She thinks Shan’s been shot, but then she sees this Smiley in front of her calmly taking off his armor. And he’s like “Dani it’s me, put this on!” Then Shan must have jumped ‘cause he just sits there staring at her. So she just levels him in the face with a roundhouse. He never even saw it coming. Dani battering someone’s face? Sunspot exclaims in mock surprise. He thinks he didn’t hear right. At least it wasn’t him this time, Sam sighs.

The choppers land stealthily and the soldiers fan out.

10:26 PM:
Sam tells Dani how he embarrassed himself in front of Cyclops, walking in and announcing: “I broke the team. You should fire me.” He’s such a dork, Dani sighs.

Shan, Doug and Illyana sit in another corner, Shan explains she has no idea how long she spent inside Legion’s mind. Has he ever been inside Legion’s brain? But she looks up and there’s Illyana with this huge sword and she’s like “we’re getting out of here…”

Elsewhere, Sunspot tries to flirt with Amara, reminding her of the palm tree in the Amazonas. Oh, where he tried to kiss her, she recalls.

The soldiers have the cabin in sight.

11:36 PM:
Roberto finally gets Shan to show him just how high the prosthesis goes up. Sam and Dani for some reason kiss. And Illyana begins to feel bad. She manifests her Soulsword. What’s wrong? Amara asks. Something… she replies vaguely.

The soldiers are next to the cabin right outside the window, then they storm in and fire at the people inside. Their quarry, Pixie, tries to begin her teleportation spell. “Shh,” a small demon the soldiers brought tells her, just before using some sort of power. Suddenly, she cannot speak anymore. “Take her!” Ulysses orders.

Sharabus Noetum,” one soldier says and opens a sack full of small demons who attack Pixie. To defend herself, she manifests her Souldagger, as expected. She stabs one soldier with it, but is then brought down. It’s not the Soulsword, Ulysses remarks as he takes the magical weapon. But it will do….

Characters Involved: 

Cannonball, Cypher, Karma, Magik, Magma, Moonstar, Sunspot, Warlock (all New Mutants)
Angel, Anole, Colossus, Cyclops, Hellion, Northstar, Pixie, Rockslide, Rogue (all X-Men)

General Combest
General Ulysses, Dr. Noc, soldiers (all Project Purgatory)

on pictures:
the Inferno children


Story Notes: 

The military project has been named Project Purgatory, but so far only in the ads and not the story proper.

While untitled, the storyline is called “Fall of the New Mutants.”

The children the military are talking about are the mutant infants that were used to bring about Inferno (see the Inferno crossover) and their whereabouts have been a huge dangler in the X-books.

Actually, yes, Doug has been in Legion’s brain, in New Mutants (1st series) #27-28 to be exact.

Amara, Sunspot and whatever they did under that palm tree is a reference to New Mutants (1st series) #14.
Warlock’s attack on Hodge and the loss of Karma’s leg occurred during the “Second Coming” crossover.

Pixie and Magik came to a détente (with Magik actually apologizing) in the “Hellbound” limited series.

Hellion lost his hands during “Second Coming.”

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