New Mutants: Dead Souls #5

Issue Date: 
September 2018
Story Title: 
New Mutants: Dead Souls #5

Matthew Rosenberg (writer), Adam Gorham (artist), Michael Garland & Andrew Crossley (colorists), Virtual Calligraphy's Clayton Cowles (letterer), Ryan Stegman & Michael Garland (cover artists), Adam del Re & Anthony Gambino (graphic designers), Chris Robinson (assistant editor), Darren Shan (editor), Jordan D White (X-Men group editor), CB Cebulski (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (president), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

Despite having a week off from working for the Hatchi Corporation, the New Mutants arrive at the home of Dr Strange, as Magik had a warning from Tran that he was coming to New York to find some “real magic” so she assumed he meant here. They split up to explore, with Rictor coming in contact with two talking serpents who mock him. Wolfsbane is annoyed that Strong Guy is following her, and lashes out at him for killing her son, and tells him that she will never forgive him. Wolfsbane goes through a door in an attempt to escape Strong Guy, but finds herself running through a maze of memories of some of her most tragic events. Strong Guy ends up in the room, too, he witnesses Wolfsbane's memories and chases after her – only for Wolfsbane to be confronted by a nightmare of Strong Guy killing her son – however it's Strong Guy's nightmare, too. Strong Guy breaks down over losing his soul and killing Wolfsbane's son, and Wolfsbane hugs him. An unimpressed Boom-Boom finds the kitchen and takes some snacks to the living room to watch TV, and befriends a strange, pale dog. Magik locates Dr Strange, who is surprised to find his one-time pupil has broken into his home. They talk for a time, with Strange asking Magik  whether she is in control, or if the Darkchild has taken over, as if he was trying to force Magik to let the Darkchild loose. The plan works, and Darkchild is about to cut Strange's head off when Wolfsbane and Strong Guy arrive and stop her. However, it wasn't Dr Strange – it was Tran pretending to be Strange, who is brought to this reality by the Soulsword. Tran traps Magik, Wolfsbane and Strong Guy, until Rictor arrives and uses a mystical gem he found in Strange's house against Tran, which enables Magik to banish Tran to Limbo, although Strong Guy sacrifices himself to pull Tran down into Limbo, causing Wolfsbane is worry about Strong Guy. Magik, Rictor and Wolfsbane find Boom-Boom and after telling her she was talking to a ghost dog, they leave. In Connecticut, the boy called Christian returns to his home, and rushes into his bathroom, where he tries to wash what appears to be Warlock out of is body – only Warlock starts to take him over – and then he bursts into flames, before the house explodes.


Full Summary: 

177A Bleecker Street:

'This sucks' Julio Richter mutters as he stands with his arms folded on the pavement outside the residence where he and his teammates have gathered. 'Shan said we could have the week off' Rictor adds. Tabby Smith a.k.a. Boom-Boom tells Rictor that nobody made him come, to which Rictor declares that Illyana did, that he was going to the Whitney and then she “bamfed” him down here to the West Village – and not even the fun part.

Illyana Rasputin a.k.a. Magik presses the doorbell, but gets no response. Rahne Sinclair a.k.a. Wolfsbane leans against the wall near Magik, while Guido Carosella a.k.a. Strong Guy  sits on a stone wall nearby.

'You don't want to be here. Just go' Tabby suggests to Rictor, who points out that Little Miss Sunshine is his ride. 'The train is, like, two blocks away. Stop using Illyana like she's a cab' Tabby declares, and as Magik summons her Soulsword, the door to the large house suddenly opens. 'Guess he's expecting us after all' Magik decides.

'Hello? Anybody home?' Rahne calls out as the mutants enter the foyer and examine their surroundings. Guido remarks that Rictor is right, that he thought they were on vacation, and asks why they are meeting with Dr Strange. Magik tells the others that there was something Tran said on the plane, that he was coming to New York to find some “real magic” and she thinks he meant here. 'That was before he tried to kill us all? What did he say when you asked him about it?' Guido asks, but Illyana doesn't respond, so Guido realizes that Illyana didn't talk to Dr Strange, that he doesn't know they are here. 'Oh no... you just broke into a wizard's house, didn't you?' Guido asks. “We” Illyana corrects Guido, explaining that she needed to know what Tran was looking for. Guido asks her why she didn't ask Strange for help. As Rahne looks at strange skeleton in a small jar on a table, Rictor laughs: 'Illyana? Ask for help? Ha!'

Illyana leads the group through a door and tells them that they are just going to look around for anything unusual. 'Unusual...' Rahne mutters. The group come to a hallway which splinters off into four other corridors. Illyana points out that it is a big house and suggests that they spread out. 'And don't touch anything' she adds.

Rictor walks down one of the corridors, when he hears a voice calling out from an indoor greenhouse, 'Pssst. Bootleg Holden Caulfield'. Rictor walks into the garden and looks up to where two serpents are hanging from a tree. 'Umm... are you talking to me?' Rictor asks, wide-eyed. 'No. I'm talking to the other Miley Cyrus cosplayer. You look like what happens when a Gap and a Whole Foods have sex' one of the serpents remarks. 'You look like the guy Justin Bieber pays to hang out with him so he looks cooler by comparison' the other serpent adds. 'Look, I don't know -' Rictor begins, to which one of the snakes tells Rictor he has a nice sweater and asks him if his boyfriend bought it for him. 'He did. And I don't appreciate the subtext of that' Rictor replies, and the other snake tells the first that was uncool, and to leave aging hipster Harry Potter alone to keep sneaking through their house looking for stuff to steal. 'Listen you #$&% $%& of %$#&$ of $%#&$ %$&$%. I don't need a $%##& to $%&&$ my $#% okay?' Rictor snaps, clenching his fists. The snakes look at him, before dropping down at Rictor, forcing him to the ground.

'For someone so small, your legs sure do move fast' Guido tells Rahne as he follows her down another of the corridors. Rahne scowls as she strides ahead, telling Guido that he shouldn't be here, as Magik said to split up 'I know, but -' Guido begins, before Rahne shifts to a part-wolfen form and spins around and asks Guido what she has to do to get him to leave her alone. 'I work with ye cuz she said Ah haveta, but Ah donnae haveta like it. And Ah certainly donnae haveta act like yer mah friend' Rahne exclaims. 'Ranhey, I just -' Guido begins, but Rahne tells him to take his “Rahney” and shove it. She reminds him that he killed her son. She declares that Illyana and the others can go on about how he wasn't in his right head at the time – but he still did it. 'So you'll forgive me if Ah want nothing to do wit ya'. Rahne reverts to her human form and motions to another door, suggesting Guido go in gthat door, while she goes in this other one. 'Understood?' she snaps. 'Okay' Guido replies, as Rahne slams the door after her, leaving Guido in the hallway, hanging his head.

An unimpressed Tabby enters the kitchen, quoting “Come work for me, Tabby. It'll be great. You'll go cool places, have fun missions. It's not going to be like uptight old X-Force or that weird Nextwave stuff”. She looks aroundthe kitchen then opens the fridge and checks out what is inside. She is shocked by the strange foods – if that's what they are – in the fridge, 'You're right, Shan. This is just super fun' Tabby mutters, referencing Karma as she sniffs the odd food. Tabby decides that she is getting real sick of having to work all the time, and grabs a cold drink and a packet of potato chips as she closes the fridge.

Magik enters some sort of library, where a voice calls out 'I don't remember inviting you in' and Magik looks up to see Dr Strange hovering above her. 'Oh! I didn't think you'd be here' Magik declares, wide-eyed. 'And I didn't think you would be. But it's my home, so my surprise may be slightly more warranted' Strange points out, before asking Magik why she would come into his home if she thought he wasn't here. Illyana tells Dr Strange that she is sorry, and explains that they encountered an evil entity, who implied he was coming to find him. 'And that gives you the right to break into the Sanctum Sanctorum, Darkchild?' Strange asks. 'Don't call me -' Magik begins, but Dr Strange cuts her off, pointing out that she may be his former protege, but she is also the demon spawn of Limbo, and her defense is an “evil entity” told her it was coming here. 'Did it never dawn on you that you might have been lied to?' Strange asks. 'No, I -' Magik begins, but Strange interrupts her again, remarking that he can't tell if she is truly correct, or if her judgment was clouded – but that she has made a grave mistake.

Meanwhile, Tabby enters a living room and remarks that Strange better have cable TV, as there is no way she is missing her “Atlanta”. She puts the drink and some hummus on the small table, while placing the bag of chips next to her and looks around for the clicker. 'Weirdo better not have some dumb magic-powered TV' Tabby mutters, unaware that the remote control is levitating next to her. “By the tired tears of Time Warner” Tabby jokes, before noticing the remote on the arm of the sofa. 'Previously, on Agent Carter' a voice can be heard from the television. 'Whaa? They're making new episodes of -' Tabby begins, before a dog walks up to her and gets up onto the sofa next  to her. 'Oh, hey there, little buddy. Hummus?' Tabby smiles at the pale dog, offering it a potato chip and hummus.

'No!' Strong Guy gasps as he follows Wolfsbane through her door, where he finds a series of bridges and staircases surrounded by flames – and memories flood their minds. 'Doug, stop it! Come on, get up. Stop teasing us...' Wolfsbane hears herself call out over the body of Cypher. A memory of Strong Guy shoving his trident through Tier can be seen, 'Guess I won' Strong Guy can be heard saying. Wolfsbane looks shocked as an image of Reverend Craig appears, announcing that they do God's work this night. Another memory appears before her, and Rahne sees herself as a Mutate, with Cameron Hodge leering over her 'Ready to play your part, my once and former werewolf?' Hodge asks. 'As my master commands' the Mutate Wolfsbane responds. Rahne continues to run, but she finds more bridges and more flights of stairs. 'Ah have ta git out of here!' Rahne exclaims, as she sees an image of herself, mouth covered in blood uttering 'There is no sin so terrible God's love cannot forgive...'. Strong Guy pursues Rahne down more and more stairs and calls out to her, until she finally spins around: 'Ah told ya not to follow me!' she snaps at him.

Guido tells her that he didn't, and explains that he had to walk through some room full of his own nightmares, and it put him out here. 'Same. Ah'm glad that's... over' Rahne utters, before she and Guido see shadowy figures approach them – it's Strong Guy and Tiier. 'Oh no. Please...' Guido utters as he and Rahne watch as the soulless Strong Guy plunges his trident into Tiier, killing him. 'Ah...Ah didn't know. We're still in may nightmares. And yours' Rahne frowns, turning to Guido, who tells her that losing his soul, it was like he was trapped in his own body – he could see it, but he couldn't stop it. He tells Rahne that he knows she believes in souls, their importance, and admits that he never believed in that stuff – Heaven and Hell – their souls – he wasn't raised the way, he didn't believe. 'But I do now. I wish I could say this wasn't my fault... but I see it every day. This is my hell. Every single day I know what I did. What I am' Sobbing, Guido collapses to his knees and admits to Rahne that he did it, that he killed Tiier, that he is a monster – and he is sorry. 'I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry. Please forgive me' Guido utters. Rahne begins to cry, too, and puts her arms around Guido, telling him to shush and that it is okay.

Back in the library, Illyana tells Dr Strange that he is wrong about her. Strange asks her if she can hear the voice of the Darkchild when she is in this form. 'That's not -' Illyana begins, as Dr Strange asks her whether she has dark urges that are difficult to fight. 'Nothing beyond my control' Magik replies, to which Strange asks her if she admits that she has impulses, and points out that the human form is not meant to contain the powers of Limbo. 'You know this. We've discussed this' he tells Illyana, asking if she can say for sure that Illyana Rasputin is in control. 'Yes... I... this isn't what I came here for' Magik replies, to which Strange asks her if she is sure, and suggests that there is a simple way to deal with this. 'Draw your Soulsword' Strange instructs Illyana, who tells him that she doesn't think that is a good idea. Strange assures Illyana that he can protect himself, and that he is not afraid of what she might do with it. 'Are you?' he asks her, before Illyana draws her Soulsword and raises towards Strange. 'Good' Strange remarks.

'Now let the Darkchild come out' Strange tells Illyana, but she refuses. 'I'm not speaking to Illyana anymore. Bring forth your true self. We will speak as equals' Strange declares. Armor appears on Illyana's form and her feet become hooves, she grows a tail and horns sprout from her head as she transforms into the Darkchild. 'Is this what you wanted? Is this what you were hoping for, sorcerer?' Illyana snarls. Strange tells her that was just the first step, and now he wants her to stab herself. Strange explains that the Soulsword will only hurt the magical aspects of Illyana's being, and that if she is truly in control, then she can cut the demon out and rescue the poor mutant child. 'Nice try' Illyana replies, holding her Soulsword close to Strange, when suddnely, 'Illyana, no!' a voice calls out, it's Guido, who lunges at Illyana and pushes her away from Strange, telling her that he won't let her do it. 'Get off me!' Illyana shouts as Guido holds her to the ground. 'You don't want to do this, Illyana! Trust me!' Guido exclaims. 'Yes, I do' Illyana replies.

Strange moves closer and announces that Illyana is no longer in control of her actions, that the demon is all that is left. 'It's a trick! He's lying!' Magik retorts as Strong Guy continues to hold her down. Dr Strange states that he is not, and that their dear friend may be gone for good if they don't act quickly. Strange instructs Wolfsbane to take her sowrd, but Wolfsbane exclaims that something is wrong, and tells Guido to let Magik go. 'But look at her, Rahney. She's a monster' Guido points out. 'We all are' Rahne replies. Guido lets go of Magik, and Strange tells them that they have made a terrible mistake. 'Wouldn't be my first' Guido mutters. 'Of course not. You're the worst the X-Men have to offer' Strange points out. 'I'll show you the worst!' Guido retorts as he lunges at Strange, only to pass through him. 'You all really are terrible at this. You know that, right? No wonder my sister picked you'.

Tran then drops his disguise, and his grinning skull appears, no longer masked by Dr Strange's appearance. 'She picked us ‘cuz she knew we'd kick yer arse!' Wolfsbane snarls as she and Magik move closer to Tran. 'No, no, no. you are her B-team. You're the $%&#-ups. She knew you'd spend too much time distrusting each other and infighting to ever figure out you were being used. The right mix of “blind loyalty” lack of trust and total incompetence make you the perfect pasties' Tran declares. 'Not so incompetent that we didn't make it here to stop you' Magik points out. Tran turns to Magik and tells her that he feels like he knows her so well after watching her grow up all these years, trapped behind his sister's eyes, and yet, she never ceases to astound him in the lengths she will go to apppear in control when she is the furthest thing from it. 'You didn't catch me here. I left you clues. I couldn't get past Strange's magical seal. Only your Soulsword could, darling. You opened the door for me' Tran explains.

Tran bets that the rest of Illyana's little team didn't even know they were looking for him, and tells Illyana that secrets are no fun. 'Shut up!' Illyana snaps. Tran tells the New Mutants that at least they can be happy knowing they have been carrying out her agenda for months without any of them knowing it – and can take comfort knowing that they failed and she will lose. 'i'll kill you myself!' Magik exclaims, when suddnely, a dozen or so swords are thrust towards her, Wolfsbane and Guido, surrounding them. Tran tells Illyana that if she could, he knows she would, but that hr has had years to focus and become so much more powerful and that there is nothing she can do to harm him when he is in this form. 'You can't stay like that forever' Illyana points out, to which Tran tells her he is lucky that he can kill her now so he won't have to. 'Lucky for us, we have a me!' Rictor declares as he enters the room, the two snakes wrapped around his neck, he holds up a glowing green gem and points out that his legless amphibian friends told him that being near this gaudy little piece of flare will turn Tran back to his physical form. 'We're reptiles, moron' one of the snakes hisses.

Tran suddenly reverts to his human form in a surge of energy, and, naked, he exclaims 'Silly boy, that's what I was after this whole time'. 'Oops' one of the snakes utters. 'Yeah, oops' Rictor agrees, while Magik, Wolfsbane and Guido look on. 'I banish you to Limbo!' Magik suddenly announces, as fiery energy surrounds Tran, who asks Illyana if she thinks she can just banish him with one of her little stepping dics, and boasts that having a physical body has only made him more powerful. 'But it also means we can hit you!' Guido declares as he suddenly grabs Tran, despite having several swords stuck in his own body. Guido then tells Illyana that when he goes in, she should know what to do. 'Get off! Wait!' Tran snaps, but too late, as the stepping disc rises up and engulfs both Strong Guy and Tran. 'No! Ye have ta open it back up. Guido's in there!' a shocked Wolfsbane exclaims, but Magik tells her that she can't, as she can't risk Tran getting back out, he is too powerful. Wolfsbane clutches her head and begins to cry, 'Ye can't leave him there. It's Hell. Ye can't leave him' she gasps. Magik takes the gem from Rictor and decides that it is time they have a talk with Karma.

Magik leads Rictor and Wolfsbane down a hallway, 'Tabby, we're leaving' Rictor calls out as they walk past the living room where Tabby is watching television. 'Ugh. Fine. You guys find Doctor Strange?' Tabby asks. 'No' Magik tells her, to which Tabby asks if they are still getting paid. As she feeds the strange dog some more hummus, Tabby looks up at her teammates and tells them that they look like $#&% and asks where Guido is. 'Trapped in Hell' Wolfsbane informs her. 'Geez. I miss everything' Tabby remarks as she follows her teammates outside, before remarking that Illyana told her this place would be all cool and freaky, but that it was pretty boring, and that all she did was watch TV and play with a cool dog. 'That dog is dead' Magik reveals, as she pulls her cloak down over her head.

Meantime, in Canterbury, Connecticut, 'Christian?' a woman calls out as the youth called Christian rushes through his front door and straight up a staircase, where he slams the door into the bathroom. 'Honey? Are you okay?' Christian's mother calls out from behind the door. His face glowing, he splashes water over his face and tells his mother that he did something bad tonight. His mother tells him that it is okay and to open the door. 'And now something is happening to me... Self doesn't feel well...' Christian remarks. He looks up into the mirror, his whole body is yellow and black – Techno-Organic.  There is a glow, and his mother calls out to him, asking what  that light is – when suddenly, Christian explodes, and blows up his entire house!

Characters Involved: 

Boom-Boom, Magik, Rictor, Strong Guy, Wolfsbane (all Corporate New Mutants)



Tran Coy Manh



Ghost dog


Christian McKnight

Mrs McKnight


in Strong Guy & Wolfsbane's memories:

Strong Guy




Cameron Hodge

Reverend Craig

Story Notes: 

Tabby mentions not wanting to miss “Atlanta” - a reference to the reality TV series 'Real Housewives of Atlanta”.

Holden Caulfield is the main character of the famous novel “The Cather in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger.

“Agent Carter” was canceled in 2016 after two short seasons on the ABC network. Apparently Dr Strange can get  channels form other realities.

Cypher died in the classic New Mutants (1st series) #60.

Strong Guy killed Wolfsbane's son, Tier, in X-Factor (1st series) #256.

Strong Guy lost his soul in X-Factor (1st series) #217. 

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