New Mutants (3rd series) #18

Issue Date: 
December 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: 

Years ago (Limbo time), General Ulysses learned that it was not the mutant children who had been killed but the demons, as some of the children’s mutations became active (particularly one which blew his own face away). After the boy is operated on, Ulysses begins to indoctrinate the other kids. Years later, the now grown-up Inferno kids face the New Mutants, having already taken out Magik. The New Mutants are horrified when they learn their foes are the babies they once saved but cannot let them kill Illyana, so they attack. However, the Inferno kids prove superior. While some of them take the unconscious Magik away through a doorway, one after the other the New Mutants are beaten (with Cypher being enslaved by the mind controller Trista). Victorious, the Inferno kids decide they can do whatever they want with their beaten foes…

Full Summary: 

Project Purgatory: mission day 1674
Elapsed Earth time: 287 days
Shortly after the attack of Witchfire’s demon horde. With the demons withdrawn, Ulysses runs into the Hatchery. Noc holds a moaning child. In shock, he mutters: Killed them all, didn’t you? Killed them all. Ulysses shouts he needs Noc patching up his men ASAP!

When he come in, he sees the boy and states Noc said the children were dead. No, Noc corrects him, the demons are all dead. He’s sorry, he’s quite in shock… the mutants… The children killed the demons, They’ve started to hatch!

Apart from the injured boy, there are ten other mutant children who give Ulysses scared looks. Noc looks down upon gurgling boy in his arms. This one is hurt, he announces. He’ll need gauze, lots of gauze!

Mission time: 1704 days
Elapsed Earth time: 292 days
In the surgery, Noc and others are operating on the injured boy, attaching a shining oval to what is left of his face. Ulysses addresses the other ten kids. He’s gonna say this once, so listen up: As far as he’s concerned, they are soldiers now. Respect his authority and he’ll respect them!

Noc explains that the boy’s mutation weaponized his brainstem. The blast that vaporized the demons took his eyes, eardrums, tongue and nose with it.

Ulysses continues that their mutant powers are going to be much more dangerous to themselves than the bad guys. He and his men are trained in keeping things like this from happening and fixing it when they do. They may have seen them as their captors but they have all been betrayed and stranded here. No matter what their relationship was in the past, they need each other. They are here to help. They are not the bad guys! The operation over, the boy who is later nicknamed Cannonface struggles wildly, not knowing what is happening. Noc hits him over the head. Who are the bad guys exactly? one of the other kids asks. He’s glad he asked, Ulysses begins…

The present: The New Mutants now face the adult mutant children. The African-American boy, Russell, who seems to be a leader of sorts, remarks the soldiers told them about them (the New Mutants). All of them. They are mutants too, but they didn’t let them stay, did they? They turned them over to the bad guys. They met the bad guys a few minutes ago. He’s still cleaning them off his uniform. They should ask themselves which team they want to be on…

Doug translates that his conviction is clunky and simple, but hard like diamond. He’s been indoctrinated. Oh God, Dani realizes, the babies. The Inferno babies! The others are horrified. They gave them to the government! Amara cries. Looks like they did a bang up job with them too, Roberto observes cynically.

While an African-American girl, Shauna, takes Illyana, Toko explains they are taking her from them now. She’ll be killed when they are done with her. No! Dani screams. The blonde, Trista, remarks they said the mutants would try to stop them. What are they waiting for? another of the Inferno kid asks Try to stop them!

Sam leads the attack, pointing out to his friends that they are outnumbered. So? Magma asks. So, once you pick a mark hit them until they stop moving!

A black-haired woman with tattooed half-demon limbs, Loca, shouts they have a viral telepath. Alex! Alex turns out to be a mass of opaque purple goo that engulfs Karma’s head.

Shauna’s holding onto Illyana’s head, her hands seem to merge with her head. Her skin tastes like a demon’s but a little softer, she announces. Sam flies toward her, Toko and a blue-skinned boy, Bob, planning to get to Illyana. Toko repels him and he lands hard.

Bob suggests they go. They want her. And Shauna takes Illyana away through a doorway. They’re getting away! Sunspot shouts while fighting a blond muscular man parts of whom are covered in red scabs. He his him, then threatens him with a sword to stay down. He is called Scab, the boy begins. He grabs Roberto’s blade and laughs when cuts himself with it. Where he bleeds more scabs cover him, making him more powerful. Well, learning to use this, Sunspot states, referring to the sword, was a colossal waste of time.

Dani fights Loca but the other woman easily evades her, smelling her emotions. Is that anger? she asks, then hits Dani in the face. She doesn’t have powers, does she? That’s not anger, it’s fear. Dani stares up at her defiantly.

Magma tries to free Karma from Alex’ hold. She’s hot! Maw leers, a boy who is covered by mouths. Want him to blow on her? Gross! she replies and opens a small volcano beneath him. Hot! he screams.

A black-haired young man, Timothy, stands above Sam. Not hurt at all? He has invulnerability and can fly straight too? Timothy has a harder time. He can barely control where he goes and his jets aren’t quite as nice. They form on his arms. He fires them at Sam who dodges and suggests he keep practicing.

He sees Karma in Alex’ bubble and flies against it. Unfortunately, he is swallowed by Alex as well.

The blonde, Trista, sits some distance away, holding Facecannon on a leash. The firegirl will be trouble, she muses. Cypher addresses her, asking her to surrender. He has a sexy voce, Trista remarks Watch my friends hurt your friends with me she orders the wrong way round and Doug finds he has to obey. Her orders form neurological connections as they inactivate the frontal lobe. Her wish becomes his thoughts. It’s almost as if-- Hush now Trista orders.

He’s still bleeding, isn’t he? Sunspot asks Scab who is almost completely covered in red now.

Dani tries to wildly hit Loca, but instead the other woman hits her with one of her demonic limbs. She grabs Dani’s right arm, announcing she is going to hurt her now and taste her pain. Look at her! she orders. Dani does and manages not to scream when Loca breaks her arm. Good girl, Loca praises her, then knocks he out.

Roberto is momentarily distracted by this, allowing Scab to hit him until he stays down.

Surrounded by enemies, Magna threatens to burn this place to the ground before she will let them take her. She knew she’d be trouble, Trista tells Russell. She just doesn’t like there being another blonde, he points out and orders her to do it. She taps a command on Facecannon’s head. Doug remarks that even Morse code carries the personality of its author …her tapping is very cruel. So what? Trista asks. Facecannon shoots Magma.

Only the Inferno kids (and the enslaved Cypher) are left standing. What do they do with them now? One of them asks. Whatever we want, Russell replies…

Characters Involved: 

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

Alex, Bob, Face, Loca, Maw, Russell, Shauna, Timothy, Toko,Trista (Inferno babies)

in flashback:
General Ulysses
Doctor Noc
Other soldiers
Alex, Bob, Cannonface, Loca, Maw, Russell, Timothy, Toko,Trista, Shauna and one unnamed kid (Inferno babies)

Story Notes: 

The story is untitled but should be “Fall of the New Mutants – part 4.”

The mutant babies were the ones kidnapped for Inferno (though ironically back then the New Mutants saved their lives). [X-Terminators #1-4]. In X-Factor (1st series) #40, the babies were handed over to the government with the assurance they’d be returned to their parents…

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