New Mutants (3rd series) #5

Issue Date: 
November 2009
Story Title: 

Zeb Wells (writer), Zachary Baldus (artist), James Campbell (colorist), VC’s Joe Caramagna (letterer), Adam Kubert & Justin Ponsor (cover), Daniel Ketchum (assistant editor), Nick Lowe (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (Exec. Publisher)

Brief Description: 

In the X-Men’s new home, the science team is taking care of Legion, trying to restrict and possibly reintegrate his personalities with the help of Rogue, whom Sunspot shamelessly tries to hit on. In the meantime, Cyclops thanks Dani for her help with Ares and reveals that Sam doesn’t want her on the team. Dani angrily confronts Sam in the Danger Room and hits him. One talk and sparring session later, she manages to make him see her side of things, they make up and she is on the team, provided she follows orders. Karma, in the meantime, is debriefed by Dr. Rao about the adventure with Legion. Karma tells her that one of Legion’s personalities had murdered Marci, which is why Legion absorbed her personality. What she doesn’t tell her is that Karma, egged on by Magik, slew that personality. Rao believes that Illyana killed him (as she did several other personalities) as this is what Magik told her and Karma doesn’t disabuse her of that notion. Warlock finally returns home to Earth and visits first the X-mansion, to find it in ruins, and then the grave of Doug Ramsey, to find it empty…

Full Summary: 

Two automated missiles announce that there are ten seconds to intercept. Request permission to arm.

At HAMMER Anti E.T. Missile Command, the man in charge announces that the missile AI is asking to go live. Look at that thing move! Permission to arm granted, another decides. Kill the target!

However, the missiles don’t blow up. Instead, their target touches them and control learns disbelievingly that the missiles don’t want to blow up.

Newfriends wish to fly with self for a while? Warlock asks the two transmuted missiles. Affirmative comes the reply. Thank you.

Meanwhile in Utopia, the X-Men’s new mutant nation state, Danielle Moonstar is in the makeshift stables, busy grooming Brightwind, the flying Asgardian horse she regained after her deal with Hela.

Some creatures are just born to fly, aren’t they? the X-Men’s leader Scott Summers aka Cyclops marvels. He apologizes that they have to coop Brightwind up here for the time being. Their fight with Osborn may have left them a rogue nation, but he doesn’t want to test airspace treaties until everyone’s settled down. He’ll be okay, Dani replies. Stomping all over the god of war should be all the exercise he’ll need for awhile.

Scott praises Dani for her battle against Ares. He couldn’t ask for a better soldier. He’s not sure what she agreed to or gave up to get Hela to grant her that power, but if she owes her anything, he can… It was her deal to make, Dani stresses. When the time comes to pay the price, she doesn’t expect anyone else to reach for their wallet.

He knows, Scott agrees, but until they figure out what that price is, he was thinking she might want to think about teaching again. What about Sam’s team? Dani asks confused. Scott looks down for a moment, at a loss for words. Then he simply states that Sam submitted a permanent team roster for his group of X-Men. Dani wasn’t on it.

Horrified Dani turns away, ignoring Cyclops’ “sorry.” Alone, he realizes how cruel his bluntness was. He might as well have Emma break the news. He calls Sam. They might have a situation here.

Elsewhere on the island, Xi’an Coy Manh is reading a book outside Doctor Kavita Rao’s office. Illyana (dressed in a metal t-shirt, a miniskirt and wearing a sword pendant reminiscent of her Soulsword) steps out of the office. With a broad grin, Illyana winks at Shan as she walks past her. Shan is called in next.

Dr. Rao apologizes for this debriefing not being earlier but now that the Osborn situation has been addressed, David Haller is the science team’s alpha priority. She’s sure Karma has heard she is in charge of debriefing her team. It’s come to their attention that Illyana destroyed five of Legion’s personalities while rescuing Shan from his mind. This is a serious breach of conduct and she is afraid there will be consequences. Luckily, Dr. Nemesis assures her David’s psyche is split into so many pieces that losing a few won’t do any major harm. They’ve found even that some of the personalities have been cannibalizing each other with no great effect.

Oh my God! Shan exclaims horrified. Is Marci okay? Marci? Dr. Rao asks, then looks at the file. One of Haller’s personalities, yes? She’s sure she…

Shan interrupts her. Marcie was a real person. She went looking for her when she accidentally invaded Haller’s mind. She’s trapped in there like Shan was. Interesting Dr. Rao replies. Is the science team aware…

Shan looks away. They told her they would take care of her. She’s just a little girl… She shouldn’t have left her there. Dr. Rao tries to calm her. The science team is terraforming Legion’s psyche as they speak… She’s sure Marci is being well taken care of.

Legion’s mindscape:
All of the different personalities are in separate numbered see-through cages. Most of them unhappy at this. A voice announces: Please be calm. You are being sequestered for your own safety. You will not be harmed.

In the cage labeled number one is David Haller along with Marci. He has put his arm around her protectively.

You little brat! another personality in a different cage shouts at Marci. Give me the &%$§ doll! He is the next to be drawn away.

Hugging the doll, Marci admits she is scared. What’s happening? David tells her not to be scared. They are really doing it. They are fixing him.

The science team’s lab where Doctor Nemesis, Madison Jeffries and Danger along with X-Man Rogue are at work on David – his different personalities shown on a screen behind them. Awed, the rest of the New Mutants – Cannonball, Magma and Sunspot watch.

That’s another one of the bastards, Dr. Nemesis announces contently. 143 down. His psychic energy is well within safe parameters, Jeffries announces. Rogue is siphoning off just enough of his power. He praises her level of control, and she thanks him.

That’s really amazing Roberto simpers at Rogue. She is such a strong woman. Oh God, stop it! Amara moans disgusted and Sam agrees, suggesting he take it easy.

Sam asks Nemesis what that machine is doing to Legion, if he can ask. Haughtily, Nemesis informs him that since Sam’s team’s intel informed the design of the “machine,” he is obligated to tell him. Although he has grave doubts of Sam’s ability to understand the answer.

Haller’s mind instinctively manifested a crude mental construct to create order within his fractured ego. This was a “doll” that existed only inside his mind, bestowing dominance to the personality that possessed it.

They are using a combination of electric pulses and suggestive hypnosis to build neural pathways in the patient’s brain. These pathways manifest themselves as mental constructs which have their own “rules” inside Legion’s mind. They have been successful in manifesting rudimentary “cells” with which they may isolate and catalogue his personalities.

Working with the machinery, Madison Jeffries tells Sam not to feel bad if nothing of this makes sense. Half these machines have no idea what they are doing either. That’s not true, Danger protests. He wasn’t talking about her, Jeffries replies, he was talking about the rest of them.

He asks Rogue if she needs a break. No, she feels fine, comes the reply. It’s a strange feeling… She usually gets a feel for the mutant powers she absorbs, but the energy she is siphoning off Legion seems… ambiguous. If anything, it’s making her power stronger… more focused.

Sam agrees that Legion has changed somehow. The last time they fought, his powers were psychically based… now some of his personalities have physical mutations. Bobby was almost killed by a prehensile tongue that mutated instantly. It wasn’t really that bad Roberto tells no one in particular. He had it handled… (Worst wingman ever…)

The last time they faced Legion, he traveled to the past and killed Professor X, Nemesis muses. It took the combined might of almost every X-Man on the planet to undo the damage to the timestream. What is he talking about? Sam asks confused.

If they don’t remember, Nemesis replies, that would be because they won, wouldn’t it? The look of pained confusion on Sam’s face is most likely the reason Hank McCoy never discussed that particular timeline with them. Luckily for them, he enjoys watching the minds of those less intelligent grind to a halt… But because there’s only so much time in a day, he’ll simplify: Legion is an omega level mutant who, when whole, can bend time to his will. Causing a spontaneous mutation is most likely well within his capabilities, whether he’s conscious of it or not.

So what’ he’s saying is their ragtag group of X-Men marched in and took down an Omega level mutant, Bobby translates, still making eyes at Rogue, and that’s totally badass and kind of hot. She can’t watch this, Amara moans.

What he’s saying is, Legion’s ability makes him incredibly valuable to the 99% of mutants whose X-gene is now dormant, Nemesis replies. Unfortunately, that also makes every second he spends away from work talking to them a criminal waste of time. Good day.

Getting the not so subtle hint, the three of them leave, Bobby shouting back they should let them know if they ever need them to take down an Omega level mutant again. If anyone wants to know how they did it, he’d be happy to discuss it over dinner sometime. It’s getting sad, Amara announces and pushes him. Omega, he replies. That went well, he decides. He thinks Rogue’s into him. In no way is that true, Magma protests, She hasn’t been able to touch a man in like ten years, he explains. Ten. Years. No action? Can she imagine how that would feel? Sam, tell Amara how that feels. Real funny, Sam replies sourly as they walk past the Danger Room.

Its door opens. Dani’s waiting inside. Guthrie! she shouts and gestures for him to get in. He’ll see them later, Sam tells Bobby and Amra who are only too happy to leave him there.

Back in Dr. Rao’s office, Rao asks Karma if she still feels responsibility towards this “Marci.” Of course; it was her job to find her and protect her, Xi’an snaps. And she did, didn’t she? Dr. Rao states. She thought so, Shan replies. She kept… them away from her until Illyana rescued them. Then they found David Haller and took control of his body. He told them he could show them the way out of his mind.

Dr. Rao insists to learn every detail. There was a civilian with them, Karma replies. He had been at the bar when she possessed Legion and her powers went haywire. He asked if he could come with them. He was so scared.

Rao jots down what Shan says. Shan continues. David took them to a door. All they had to do was step through it and they’d go back to their bodies. The man from the bar tried to go first, but she wanted to see Marci out safely. That’s when David said Marci doesn’t have anywhere to go. She had already started arguing with him when it hit her. Legion had absorbed Illyana and that guy at the bar through her. He can’t do it on his own. Unless he’s right next to someone when they die

The Danger Room:
Dani is standing in a fighting pose with raised fists. He’s been meaning to talk to her, Sam begins. She doesn’t want to talk, Dani replies. She though they could spar. The Danger Room isn’t functional yet, he replies. He doesn’t think-

Dani slugs him in the face. She has got to stop doing that, he states, holding his chin. So that’s two he owes her, she replies. Here’s his chance to pay her back. Sam refuses to spar. She’s not on a combat team. Frankly, he has a sneaking suspicion that’s the reason she’s is doing that. She did think he might find room for her after she saved his /&%&/ life! Dani snarls. Sam reminds her she disobeyed a direct order. They are X-Men… That’s kind of not allowed. This is about him not thinking, she replies exasperated. She can handle combat which means he must have been high when she put the God of War on his ass.

Sam reminds her she was packing an Asgardian super-charge at the time. But this isn’t about her battle readiness. It’s about her thinking it’s okay to punch him in the face!

Dani reminds him they would spar all the time when they were younger. Why doesn’t he hit back. He refuses. Is he her friend? Dani asks suddenly. She doesn’t need to go there, all right? That’s mean… She knows he is. He’d die for her? she presses. She knows he would, he replies again. What if someone told him he couldn’t? What if she was in danger and they wouldn’t let him help? What would he do to that person?

Sam thinks and understands. He’d punch them in the face. This is his team and he is taking this seriously. If she wants in, she’s got to follow orders. Fine Dani agrees. All she asks is that he treat her like any other team member. After some silence he admits she’s earned that. She asks for his promise. He does as he takes her hand.

They’ll see, Dani states and slugs him again. When she tries to hit again, he blocks it and strikes back. They fight. There, was that so hard? Dani asks. It was a lot easier than it should have been, Sam admits as he helps her up. &%$& you, she replies, not meaning it. She thought she was going to get a few more freebies. Buy her two beers? he asks. Two? One for her and one for her face? Dani laughs and warns him that unfortunately for him her face likes really expensive beer.

Back in Dr. Rao’s office, Rao is trying to clarify what Shan told her. Is she saying that David Haller killed Marci? Shan explains. David Haller… at least the one they found… wouldn’t hurt a fly. They asked him why she wouldn’t have a place to go. He told them Marci was the first one to find him when he arrived from wherever it was he had been. David told them Marci had brought him some water and they played together… but then he said someone else had wanted to play with her.

Karma’s narration accompanied by memory:
He started crying too hard at that point. He couldn’t tell them who. But he could point. Karma wanted to see which one of them had done it. She wanted to face him, and scared, the other personalities obeyed, bringing him forth. But it was a mistake. Because Karma was sharing the same brain with them. When she saw him, she knew what he had done, as if she had done it herself. She wanted that memory out of her head. She would have done anything to get away from it. And then Illyan had her Soulsword and she… she…

Present: Illyana killed him, Dr. Rao states. The personality that murdered Marci… it’s in her statement.

Shan is silent. She remembers.

Karma’s memory:
Shan stared at the killer in wordless rage. And Illyana handed her the Soulsword. Here. It’ll be their little secret. Covering Marci’s eyes, Illyana added with a grin, let’s all cover their eyes for a moment, yes?

Karma swung he sword and struck.

Was Illyana’s statement correct? Dr. Rao asks. Yes, Shan replies. Dr. Rao thanks her and Shan leaves.

Westchester, New York. Warlock lands in the ruins of the Xavier Institute. He finds a picture showing him as part of the old New Mutants team. He picks it up, then walks to a graveyard. Selffriend? he asks. There’s a hole where the grave of Doug Ramsey should be.

Characters Involved: 

Cannonball, Karma, Magik, Magma, Moonstar, Sunspot (all former New Mutants / Cannonball’s X-Men squad)
Warlock (former New Mutant)
Rogue (X-Man)
Danger, Dr. Nemesis, Madison Jeffries, Kavita Rao (member of the X-Men’s science team)

David’s sub-personalities

Military personnel of Hammer

in Karma’s memory:
Karma, Magik (both former New Mutants / Cannonball’s X-Men squad)
David Haller

Rapist / killer personality

In picture:
Cannonball, Cypher, Mirage, Sunspot, Warlock (all New Mutants)

Story Notes: 

Warlock was recently seen in issues of Nova before returning to Earth.

During the events of Utopia Dani, acting on Cyclops’ orders, approached the Norse goddess Hela for a boon. She later returned to the X-Men on her flying steed Brightwind, given a temporary powerboost to take down Ares in the Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Exodus One-shot.

Re Osborn: see the Utopia crossover.

The X-Nation was the result of the Utopia crossover.

Rogue gained control over her power since X-Men Legacy #224.

Dr. Nemesis briefly explained the events of the Age of Apocalypse to Cannonball, an event most people don’t remember.

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