New Mutants (4th series) #20

Issue Date: 
September 2021
Story Title: 
Secrets & Lies

Vita Ayala (writer), Alex Lins (artist), Matt Milla (color artist), VC’s Travis Lanham (letterer), Tom Muller (Design), Martin Simmonds (cover artist), Nick Russell (production), Jonathan Hickman (Head of X), Annalisa Bissa (editor), Jordan D. White (senior editor), C.B. Cebulski (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

Karma sees a strangely subdued Wolfsbane talking to the Shadow King in the Green Lagoon. Her attempt to talk to Rahne afterwards is rebuffed, as Rahne accuses her of being biased against the Shadow King. The members of the Lost Club have found Scout dead. They recall how good a friend Scout was to them and fear that, as she was a clone, the adults will not resurrect her, so they decide to sneak into Arbor Magna and do it themselves. No Girl animates Scout’s body and, when Daken stops them, she gives him a stern talking to, pretending to be Scout. They sneak into Arbor Magna but are caught by Tempus and Wolfsbane. Warpath and Magik lead a mutant rescue expedition to Tristan da Cunha to find a new mutant with quake powers. They experience a positive surprise when the villager actually fight to keep the girl whom they love and accept. Back at the Sextant, Karma wants to talk to Mirage about Wolfsbane’s erratic behavior.

Full Summary: 

The Wild Hunt, Krakoa:
The members of the Lost Club – Anole, Cosmar, Rain Boy and No-Girl – are horrified at their find, a dead Gabby Kinney.

Anole figures they have to do something while Rain Boy panics there is murder on Krakoa. Anole snaps they don’t know if she was murdered - just that she is dead! They need to think this through. While Cosmar cradles her dead body Rain Boy points out her healing factor would have protected her. Of course it was murder! They gotta tell the X-Men!

Cosmar replies they can’t help her.

No, Gabby’s suddenly animated corpse shouts. It’s No-Girl speaking. She rants, how many times have their questions and fears been brushed aside with barely any consideration. Cosmar asked for their help and they gave her platitudes. Cosmar agrees and adds that the grown-ups still enter Crucible for little things. No-Girl adds that, when Scout asked if the rights Krakoa extends to them also extend to clones, they sent her away with a pat on the head.

No Girl describes how humans took away her body, and instead of the X-Men undoing what those monsters had done, she was left to figure out how to fend for herself. They even gave her a name that pokes fun at what she went through - No Girl.

She’s learned, if she wants something, to go for it herself, and even though they fought, Scout doesn’t deserve this.

Anole agrees. So how are they gonna do this? Rain Boy suggests they resurrect her. He suggests switching bodies, but permanent. The others point out she is dead and switching burns out their bodies. He explains it only burns them out in the wrong bodies, but they intend to put her in the right one. And she has a back-up in Cerebro, like all of them. All they have to do is get her back-up from the Five, then they put her back, and bang, nobody will notice the difference!

Martha agrees but they can’t even tell Shadow King or they would get him in trouble. The others agree.

The Green Lagoon:
Karma is hanging out at the bar. Fred Dukes tells her he is taking five. She notices Rahne and the Shadow King sitting at a table and hears Farouk stressing the need for discretion, before he leaves.

Rahne seems to be suffering from a hangover. Karma joins her and brings her some water. So she is making new friends? Karma fishes. Rahne asks why that is her business. Karma assures her she isn’t judging, but she knows what being near him can make you feel like.

Rahne snaps at her to keep her concern. She isn’t a child. Xi’an reminds her what Farouk did to her, that’s why she is concerned. She knows Rahne is in a vulnerable state, and that’s the kind of thing he counts on. Isolating people, taking advantage of their weakness and…

Rahne swears and brings down her glass hard. She has taken the promise of Krakoa to heart - unlike some people! And Karma is just selective about who gets a second chance. Seems hypocritical to undergo one of Krakoa’s most sacred rituals for one abuser, then denying another man the chance to change! Kamra doesn’t know her situation and a friend would trust her to mind herself. Karma stammers but Rahne turns around and tells her to worry about her own life. Stop pretending to care about anyone else!

Tristan da Cunha:
Sage reports that there has been a new mutant manifestation connected with an unnatural seismic event.

The New Mutants and several youngsters evacuate people.

Inside a dilapidated building, a woman cries the name Abby. Warpath wants to help her, then he hears someone inside moaning for help. The woman shouts he can’t have her.

As another seismic event starts, he grabs the woman and runs. The other evacuees ask where Abby is. Warpath returns to the building and finds a crying little girl. She didn’t mean to make the ground move, she sniffs. He promises to get her to her mommy. Outside, the citizens have armed themselves, warning he is not going to take her. Warpath warns he won’t let them hurt her. The people accuse them of snatching children. As a fight starts, Warpath realizes that the people are trying to protect the girl, and he returns her to her mother.

Warpath then explains they are used to humans trying to hurt kids when their powers manifest. He suggests Krakoa send mutants to teach Abby her powers at home and promises she is always welcome on Krakoa.

On Krakoa, the Lost Club are taking Scout (animated by No Girl and Cosmar) to Arbor Magna. Rain Boy is nervous. What if the Five use magic to revive the people? Anole tells him it’s nonsense. He continues, what if Scout’s body is already too far gone?

They are interrupted by Daken, who tells “Gabby” she missed all the fun last night (referring to the Hellfire Gala), then asks where she’s been. Laura’s been worried sick. “Gabby” asks him what he wants. He tells her she left a weird message about doing the right thing, and then was gone for three days. “Scout” replies she was hanging out with her friends. It’s no big deal – it’s not like she is in danger here.

He informs her there was a murder at the gala and he can smell when she is lying. She is up to something. And why does she smell like she has been rolling in dead bodies? She again replies in hostile and evasive manner. He reminds her they are family. Angrily, she reminds him he always blows her off when she wants to spend time with him. They are only family when it is convenient to him! “Gabby” accuses him of being more concerned with getting into Aurora’s pants than caring about his own sister!

Daken is hurt by her accusations. Angrily, he tells her hanging with that crowd has changed her. She retorts they have her back, instead of pretending to care. Daken shouts he’d kill for her! They are blood! That means something to him! Cruelly, she replies paying attention to her is more important than killing some strangers.

With that parting shot, they leave Daken behind and head for Arbor Magna, where Wolfsbane is talking to Elixir.

Elixir asks what they are doing out so late. Just out for a walk, they claim, then decide to sneak in from the back. Anole tries a fastball special with “Gabby” / No-Girl but she is thrown against a kind of invisible barrier. No-Girl tells Cosmar to do her thing. She feels it is kind of reality bendy. Proteus’ work? But not enough to withstand Cosmar’s powers. They sneak in, looking for the Hatchery in the basement.

They are amazed when they see all the eggs with husks inside.

They wonder if Gabby will remember what happened and decide to make sure this will never happen to her again. They recall Gabby’s kindness. Cosmar remembers how Gabby never gives a pause as others do when looking at her face. Anole adds that she always had your back. Rain Boy recalls Gabby always picked him first during games. No-Girl adds she never judged the way she communicated and she enjoyed learning new things. She is always open. She needed them and they failed her. They have to fix it.

Unfortunately, that moment they are surprised by Tempus. Martha takes over her mind, demanding she show them the back-ups. That moment, an angry Rahne demands what they are doing.

Back at the Sextant, Karma tells Mirage they need to talk about Rahne…

Characters Involved: 

Karma, Magik, Mirage, Warpath, Wolfsbane (New Mutants)
Anole, Cosmar, No-Girl, Rain Boy (Lost Club)
Elixir, Tempus (The Five)
Daken (X-Factor)
Brutha Nature, Kappa, Leo Eng, Sprite III
Shadow King

Story Notes: 
  • A Mission Brief regarding Tristan da Cunha
  • The Lost Club’s map to Krakoa

Further notes:

No Girl protests about her codename, but it wasn’t given to her by the X-Men but by her fellow students in the Special Class.

Humans taking away her body refers to the U-Men.

Karma has a long sad history with the Shadow King. He possessed and used and abused her body from New Mutants (1st series) #6-31.

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