New Mutants (3rd series) #35

Issue Date: 
February 2012
Story Title: 
Sole Survivor

Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning (writers), David Lopez (penciler) Alvaro Lopez (inker), Val Staples (colorist), Leandro Fernandez & Andres Mossa (cover artists), Jason Pearson (variant cover artist), Virtual Calligraphy’s Joe Caramagna (letterer), Sebastian Girner (editor), Nick Lowe (senior editor), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

Blink rescues the New Mutants before their jet crashes. When the New Mutants explain they have come to find and help her, Blink gets annoyed and teleports away - before having second thoughts, and returning. She accompanies the New Mutants to the concert where Diskhord is performing and after X-Man spends time convincing Blink that she is atoning for past deeds with her currents acts of heroism, Blink reveals that she has been following Diskhord around, and that major trouble brews wherever they go. Warlock finds out what the energy pattern from Diskhord is, and goes off with Cypher to track it. The others move towards the stage, and before long, Diskhord release their energies, creating another storm, and a tornado. The New Mutants do what they can to avert disaster, while Cypher and Warlock uncover a strange creature in Diskhord’s tour bus. Cypher is rendered unconscious, but Warlock manages to escape. Mirage and Blink engage the band in combat, but the band eventually escapes. In the aftermath, Mirage is upset about the injured civilians. Warlock was struck down in the melee , and Blink is frustrated that the band will go on to a bigger city and cause even more damage. Indeed, the band is already en route - with Cypher lying motionless in the back of their bus.

Full Summary: 

High over Stroud, Michigan, the Blackbird jet belonging to the New Mutants is knocked about mid-air, thanks to a storm that rages on and on. Purple energy - like lightning - strikes the jet, where inside, Danielle Moonstar a.k.a. Mirage, Bobby “Sunspot” DaCosta, Amara “Magma” Aquilla, Doug Ramsey a.k.a. Cypher, the alien mutant Warlock, and their companion Nate Grey a.k.a. X-Man hold on for dear life. ‘Terminal dive!’ someone shouts. ‘These Blackbirds are supposed to be cutting edge flying machines! How come we crash them so much?’ Mirage mutters. ‘Oh, now’s the time for that conversation!’ X-Man mutters, adding that if they start it now, they can probably get halfway through before they nosedive into the ground.

At the controls, Warlock announces that he is set for multi-friend evacuation. ‘Friend-selves should -’ he begins, before energy strikes up through the controls and renders him unconscious. ‘Warlock’s fritzed!’ Sunspot exclaims. ‘By lightning? Since when does lightning -’ Magma begins, before Mirage orders X-Man, who has taken over the controls, to pull up. ‘I’m trying!’ Nate shouts, while Doug looks at his immobilized best friend. Suddenly, ‘What the hell?’ Nate exclaims as Clarice Ferguson, better known as “Blink”, lands on the front of the Blackbird. ‘It’s Blink’ Mirage remarks. As the Blackbird almost crashes nose-first into the ground, Blink teleports the jet, and the young mutant heroes inside, to safety, carefully returning the jet much closer to the ground, and on a level setting, the Blackbird screeches and bounces along the ground, before coming to a stop.

‘She just took us, turned our nosedive into a slide, and put us down! Man!’ Bobby exclaims as he and the others emerge from the vessel. ‘You’ve’ finessed your skills’ Mirage remarks to Blink, who asks the New Mutants what the hell they are doing here. ‘That’s actually our line -’ Sunspot begins as he and Mirage approach Blink. Mirage interrupts Roberto, telling him to shush, before she addresses Clarice, explaining that they were looking for her, and that they are here to help. ‘I had to leave the venue to come and save you’ Blink replies. ‘The…venue?’ Dani enquires. ‘I was in with the band. Finally. I was…’ Clarice begins, to which Mirage asks her ‘What band?’ after remarking that Doug mentioned something about a band. ‘It’s not the band, it’s something they’ve got. Something they’ve found. It’s doing all this. All these events’ Blink declares.

‘I…’ Mirage begins, but Blink tells her to go home, and remarks that she has to start over. ‘We came to find you. To help -’ Mirage calls out, but Blink retorts that she doesn’t want help. ‘But w-’ Dani begins, however Blink ignores her, and teleports away. ‘Touchy’ Sunspot mutters, when suddenly, Blink teleports back to the New Mutants. ‘On second thought, maybe I could use some help. But we do it on my terms or I’ll blink you all to Timbuktu’ Clarice declares. Mirage and Sunspot look at each other out of the corner of their eyes, hoping Blink didn’t hear them talking. Blink announces that the band is called Diskhord, and are pretty small-time, but are making a cult out of themselves.

Shortly, walking down the side-walk, Warlock has been revived, and the New Mutants follow Blink. ‘What kind of music is this?’ Sunspot enquires. ‘It’s noisy crap but you know “the kids dig it”’ Blink explains. ‘He likes Rihanna’ Magma jokes. ‘Only for the hotness’ Sunspot replies. ‘And Shakira’ Magma adds. ‘Shut up!’ Sunspot exclaims. Blink remarks that she already regrets letting this conversation go past the “leave me the hell alone” point. X-Man tells her ‘This is atonement’. ‘I beg your pardon?’ Blink asks. Nate reveals that he read her file, as prep for this mission. ‘I’m a mission now?’ Clarice asks. ‘You were missing and there was concern’ X-Man tells her, before remarking that he understands that this is atonement, as she was used, bad things happened and they weren’t her fault, but she decided they were.

Mirage looks at X-Men suspiciously, as Nate declares ‘You turned down the offer to stay with the X-Men and went off to wander the Earth and help people. This is atonement’. ‘It is?’ Clarice asks. ‘Textbook’ Nate confirms. ‘Who the hell is this person?’ Blink asks, turning to Mirage, who introduces him as Nate Grey. ‘And you haven’t smothered him in his sleep becaaaause?’ Clarice asks. ‘I figure I take him on a few more missions and some giant robot will do him in for me’ Mirage mocks. Nate grimaces, while Clarice smiles and tells Dani that she likes her. The young mutants continue on their walk towards the concert, with Dani asking Blink if this is atonement. ‘Absolutely. Penance. Whatever you want to call it. I’m shriving myself’ Blink remarks.

Glancing at a Diskhord poster stuck to a wall, Blink explains that it started with accidents - storms and floods. ‘I’d teleport in to help people. Just get them out of danger’. Blink reveals that this last month or so, she has begun to realize that not all of the emergencies were natural. Clarice explains that this band tours, and where they go trouble happens. ‘It was fairly small stuff at first. Now it’s getting worse. Major disasters’. Mirage suggests that they could just be unlucky, or really badly managed, but Blink tells her that the incidence is too high, that it almost as if their performances draw these disasters down. ‘Like a lightning rod?’ Mirage asks. ‘Sometimes literally’ Clarice explains. ‘Storms. Fires. Floods. I was trying to get close tonight. Close enough to see how it works. I may already be too late’.

Warlock explains that the energy that struck him was not local, and Cypher asks his friend to define “local”. ‘Adjective, not of this planet or dimension. That was why self was knocked for total loop’ Warlock reveals. Mirage asks Warlock if he is all right now, to which Warlock replies that his self-repair is dandy. Mirage enquires as to whether Warlock could sniff out the energy pattern once more, to which Warlock grins and replies ‘Most enthusiastically’. Dani smiles and announces that they have their bloodhound. Arriving at the entrance to the concert grounds, Mirage announces ‘Spread out, and go steady. Keep in contact. The rest of us will try moshing’, and with that, the team enters the large crowd of Diskhord fans.

Mirage, Magma and Blink stay together, and move towards the front of the party-goers, where they can get a better look. Suddenly, the three members of the band are surrounded by a strange energy. ‘Okay, that wasn’t a stage effect’ Mirage remarks. ‘Neither is that!’ Magma exclaims, as a tornado moves towards the concert arena, and a storm brews all around them. Cars are knocked into the air, and Blink shouts ‘They just generated a twister!’. The New Mutants leap into action to protect the crowd from any flying cars, and Sunspot mutters that this is out of hand. ‘We’ve got to get these people out of the way! Bobby! Nate! Amara! Keep the crowd safe!’ Mirage orders.

In the parking lot nearby, Warlock and Cypher walk through the pouring rain, but Doug is aware of the danger back at the concert, and tells Warlock that they have to get back. ‘Self can hear it talking. It is here. Self can smell it’ Warlock replies as they approach a bus. ‘You’re right. I can hear it too. Oh - I can hear it and it’s not very nice’ Cypher exclaims as they enter the bus, and find a small trunk, with green energy glowing inside it. ‘Careful, self-friend!’ Warlock urges Doug as he crouches down and opens the lid to the trunk - only for the energy to crackle around them, and Doug screams when he sees what is inside - a tentacled, multi-eyed creature. Blood pours from Cypher’s nose, and he passes out. Warlock rushes back out into the rain, away from the bus.

At the stage, ‘ENOUGH!’ Mirage shouts as she climbs on stage and approaches Diskhord. The band all wear punk-rock clothes and have masks covering their faces. The male guitarist strikes a his guitar and flames shoot up around Mirage. ‘Don’t mention it’ Blink mutters when she pulls Dani to safety, before the flames can reach her. The young women re-appear in the air above the guitarist, and as Mirage drops down towards him, Blink shouts ‘Now! Take him down’. Mirage punches him in the face and tells him that the show is cancelled. The female guitarist looks concerned, and a twister emanates from her instrument. ‘Whoa!’ Blink utters as she falls backwards, before opening a portal, which sucks the twister into it - then teleports it back behind the female guitarist. ‘Back atcha!’ Blink exclaims as the female guitarist is carried away.

The drummer is about to slam his drum sticks down on his drums, ‘Don’t let him-’ Blink calls out to Mirage, but it’s too late, as the drum sticks strike the drums, and Mirage and Blink are knocked backwards. ‘Okay, that could possibly have gone better’ Mirage mutters, upside down, while Blink reports that the crowd has totally lost it, like a mob. Dani gets up, and Sunspot and Magma return. Dani, the storm -’ Sunspot calls out, to which Mirage tells her team to contain this and start saving people. ‘But the band -?’ Blink calls out. ‘Can wait! Do this now or people will die!’ Mirage orders.

And, as the storm passes. Firemen have arrived and the clean up process has begun. Mirage sits slumped over on some rubble, and Nate informs her that there are eight people wounded, some heavily, and one girl might lose a leg. ‘That’s eight too many’ Mirage declares. ‘The whole town’s trashed!’ Sunspot declares, and Mirage mutters that she hates it when it goes wrong. Blink teleports into view, and announces that she has found him. The others rush over to where Magma is kneeling beside an unmoving Warlock. ‘Zapped hard. The tour bus is gone, and so are the band’ Blink reports. Magma adds that she thinks they may have Doug.

‘Which is, obviously, bad’ Blink remarks. ‘But it’s not the really bad part’ she adds. Dani frowns, before Blink announces that Diskhord are drunk with whatever this power is. ‘They’re just riding out the rush. ‘If they get to a bigger population center, a city, they’ll do this again’ she declares, adding that it will be more than eight people next time, and that it will be worse than seriously hurt. ‘A lot worse’ she declares.

And as Diskhord’s tour bus travels onwards, a storm brews overhead. Lightning crackles in the sky, and Cypher lies motionless and bloodied in the back of the bus….

Characters Involved: 

Cypher, Magma, Mirage II, Sunspot, Warlock, X-Man (all New Mutants)


Members of Diskhord

Concert attendees


Story Notes: 
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