New Mutants (3rd series) #17

Issue Date: 
November 2010
Story Title: 

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

Brief Description: 

Dani and Sam share a romantic moment, which is interrupted when Illyana senses that Pixie has been abducted by her enemies. Turning into the Darkchilde, Illyana teleports her friends to Limbo, all except for Warlock, intending to use the additional time that gives them to find Pixie. There they question the imprisoned Witchfire and track the men of Project Purgatory’s trail to Limbo until they end up at the military installation where they currently are. However, the soldiers order the “Inferno babies” to fight. And they quickly take out Magik.

Full Summary: 

Three hours ago:
The cabin where the New Mutants are on vacation. Dani and Sam are having an argument. In disbelief, Dani blurts out: Lila Cheney? The rock goddess? Is he kidding her? He couldn’t keep his hands off her! He’s not saying he could, Sam replies defensively. He’s saying she wasn’t a great kisser. He was crazy about her, she laughs. Again, he agrees that’s true… still, like kissing your hand.

Is he sure she was the problem? Dani inquires skeptically. Whoa, whoa, what is she talking about? Sam demands. It could have been him, Dani points out. The bad ones never suspect themselves. She’s barking up the wrong tree, Sam blusters. He’s gotten rave reviews. Reviews from significant others don’t count, she informs him. It’s not like he told Lila how bad she was, right? He needs an impartial judge. He warns her that he has punched her in the face. Don’t think for one second he wouldn’t kiss her where she stands. Bring it, she goads. Hope she likes knees made of jelly, he threatens. And they both break up in laugher.

A little later, deciding they are ready, they decide to give it another go and the test kiss may become a bit more. How was that? he asks afterwards. Dani stammers.

The moment is interrupted by Amara. “Illyana,” she says simply. Magik is surrounded by energy as she manifests her Soulsword. A soul gem is taken, she announces, no from herself. Pixie. They’ve taken Pixie. She turns to her Darkchilde form. Her future births itself in the present. They strike now, or all is lost!

Who’s taken Pixie? Sam asks, trying to insert some reason. The men who bring Armageddon, is the cryptic reply. That walk with the Elder Gods. They need to tell Cyclops, Sam insists. The X-Men cannot help, Magik resolves and orders her teammates to prepare themselves. They leave in one minute.

Cypher informs Sam that Illyana’s syntactic rhythm suggests impending doom. Perhaps he should listen. Perhaps all the X-Men should listen, Sam points out sensibly. If Pixie’s in danger they need to know.

Warlock just enters, asking if friend of self/friend is in danger. Will he be asked to fight again? Will he be asked to kill? No, Illyana replies and teleports him away. She explains that she has made a concession and sent the Technarch to warn the X-Men. He infected her home once before. He is unwelcome. She armors up and teleports them all away. Sam protests she needs to stop this. He is in charge! Not where they are going, is the reply.

Moments later, they are in Limbo where a demon army is waiting. She’s gotta be kidding him! Sam exclaims. They just left Limbo! This is really blowing his buzz, Sunspot sighs. Hell will do that, Karma points out.

Cannonball still tries to talk reason into Magik and follows her until two demons bar his way. Speaking a different language, Magik addresses her demon army before returning to Sam. Nice friends, Sam remarks. Not friends, she corrects him. Subordinates. They have done well.

Is she going to tell them what is going on? Magma demands. Very soon her enemies will extract a soul gem from Pixie and use it to complete the bloodstone amulet, she explains. On Earth, they have one hour to stop them; here they have weeks!

Did she know this was going to happen? Sam wants to know. She admits that she assumed her presence would tempt their enemies into the open. She expected them to abduct her. There is still time to thwart their plan if she is listened to. Give him a reason to do that, Sam asks. Illyana loses her helmet and reveals that in the timeline she left, his entire team is dead. Sam led them all to their slaughter. Stand aside and she will keep that from happening again. Those who can fly... fly. The others ride. She equips them with demonic animals to ride. Does she know how to find Pixie then? No, but her horde has found one who does.

And so the New Mutants follow. He hopes this still feels like a good idea when they sober up, Roberto remarks.

Project Purgatory is at the military base where they had the Inferno children kill General Combest’s men. Wearing a demon mask, McDonald remarks that she knows they have the fairy girl. She ain’t close though. The kids will buy them the time they need to extract the gem, Ulysses decides. Is he sure they are safe here? another soldier asks. They obliterated an entire battalion of the USA army. No, one of the Inferno kids points out, they obliterated an entire battalion in less than thirty seconds. From where he is standing that means they have as much time as they need.

Back in Limbo after two weeks, Magik and her crew enter a castle. Cypher translates the dialogue between Illyana and a demon. “She did not want to be taken alive.” And Illyana’s reply: “You have done well. The burning witch fights to the death. Bring her to me.”

The burning witch? Karma wonders. No, Dani realizes as they bring the prisoner. Witchfire.

Illyana grabs the other woman roughly by the hair and demands where the bloodstone amulet is. Witchfire cackles. They have it. The humans that walk with demons. And surely she would know that Witchfire would not give it freely. Her weakness has upset the order of Limbo, Illyana points out. It was Illyana who gave them passage to their realm, Witchfire retorts. It was all her kind! Follow the blood-thumbed road and they will find their home! She tells her this for it will lead to her destruction! Illyana turns away and gives a command to her demons. “See that she suffers,” Cypher translates.

Back on Earth at Project Purgatory’s base: Noc tries to get the soul gem out of Pixie’s dagger. Noc explains that the bioradiation in the dagger is but a fraction of that which is stored in the girl. If they lay this energy bare, the smaller quantity will be pulled to the larger.

The soldier holding the tied up Pixie leers he can’t wait to see what her soul looks like. Pixie flaps her wings and releases pixie dust. The soldier begins to see scary bees whereas Ulysses asks Noc if he is holding a leprechaun. Noc explains it is a harmless hallucinogenic. The soldier, however, begins to fire at the “bees.”

Two weeks later in Limbo, the New Mutants are camping. Does he look good with a beard, Sunspot asks about his fuzz, only to be informed by Magma that’s no beard.

They have reached the hatchery. Inside, Cypher has made the computers work and explains this is a United States military installation. Their doorway home w as closed when their base was ransacked by demons. Their only other way out was an observational portal 600 miles bloodnorth. Through the shifting worlds of the Elsewhere Desert, Illyana remarks. It would take untrained travelers decades to pass. They ride!

On Earth, Ulysses beats up the hallucinating soldier, telling him to find his head. He is given the thumbs-up by his hallucinatory leprechaun. He is informed that they have ice. Something is coming through!

They walk to the portal where amidst smoke, Darkchilde appears, demanding to know where she is. She is followed by the rest of the team. Cannonball identifies the place as a military base. Illyana doesn’t care. Neither does Roberto (who by now has a beard and only wants a shower).

One of the soldiers utters in disbelief it’s White Devil. She came here? Noc exclaims. “You’re up, kids,” Ulysses orders. The soldiers and scientists move aside, shouting the babies are coming The babies? Sunspot asks.

A moment later, a blast from above pulverizes the ceiling and the Inferno kids come down. With her sword glowing Illyana announces they reek of Limbo. So does she, a dark haired young man remarks. A blonde orders Cannonface to go down. An African-American young man with black face tattoes remarks they have heard a lot about them. It’s good to know they are real. The brass wants her sword. Let’s not make it too easy though, ok?

Illyana promises they will all taste her sword, though none will leave with it. Fantastic! the young man exclaims and orders an Asian young woman with chinlong hair named Toko to bring him the sword. Illyana gets ready to strike Toko with the Soulsword. However, the blade just thuds against her and doesn’t move any further. Toko simply takes the blade and yanks it away.

Good girl, the young man praises her and puts on a helmet. Then he moves at superspeed to hit Illyana until she is down. He’s had his fun, he tells the others. The rest are theirs… and the others attack…

Characters Involved: 

Cannonball, Cypher, Magik, Magma, Moonstar, Sunspot, Warlock (all New Mutants)
Pixie (X-Man)

General Ulysses, Doctor Noc, soldiers (Project Purgatory)
Alex, Bob, Face, Loca, Maw, Russell, Shauna, Toko,Trista (Inferno babies)

Story Notes: 

Warlock’s hang up is a result from having to kill during “Second Coming.”

Warlock infecting Illyana’s home before is not quite accurate. Actually, his father Magus infected Limbo in New Mutants (1st series) #46.

“Just leaving Limbo” refers to the “Hellbound” limited series.

The other timeline Illyana experienced was referred to in issues #1 and 9.

Magik and her demons talk in a different language at points in this issue. A translation (including risqué language) is offered by the Alpha Flight Collector blog site.

Interestingly both the soldiers of Project Purgatory and Reverend Strkyer’s Purifiers (during Second Coming) refer to Magik as “Codename white devil.” A possible connection? Stryker’s men had to get the spell they used on Illyana from somewhere after all…

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