New Mutants Forever #1

Issue Date: 
October 2010
Story Title: 
Shadows in the Night! – The Fall of Nova Roma: part 1

Chris Claremont (writer), Al Rio & Bob McLeod (artists), Guru eFX (colorist), Tom Orzechowski (letterer), Al Rio (cover), Bill Sienkiewicz (variant cover), Randall L. Miller (production), Michael Horwitz (assistant editor), Jordan D. White (editor), Mark Paniccia (senior editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (Exec. Publisher)

Brief Description: 

The New Mutants are spending the night at the Hellfire Club while Magneto and his fellow Lords Cardinal discuss the team. The kids notice two people being attacked by heavily armed men and join the fight to help. They chase away the soldier and learn the surviving victim is Magma’s father, Lucius Aquilla, who is brought to the Hellfire Club. Most of the New Mutant discuss matters while Magma and Cypher sneak away to search the internet for answers. The Lords Cardinals are attacked by more goons who come prepared for their powers, as are the kids. The Lords Cardinal barely manage to beat their foes, though they all die when Emma Frost tries to question them. The New Mutants beat off their foes as well, with Magik stranding one of the goons in Limbo but Wolfsbane is shot – and the Norse goddess of death, Hela, appears to Mirage – while more goons manage to abduct Magma and Cypher. Selene teleports to Limbo alongside Cannball and Magik to question the goon, while Mirage stays back to take care of Wolfsbane. In Limbo, Selene kills the goon and absorbs his knowledge of their enemy at the same time. Magma and Cypher are brought to a very changed Nova Roma, where the Nazi Red Skull is now calling the shots.

Full Summary: 

The Hellfire Club on 5th Avenue just across Central Park. On display are the current students of Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, the New Mutants: Cannonball, Cypher, Wolfsbane, Magik, Mirage and Magma. The faces of Warlock, Sunspot and Karma are crossed as those three are currently absent.

Making the presentation is the newly named White King, current headmaster of Xavier’s, Magneto. Listening are his counterparts, the Black King, Sebastian Shaw, the White Queen, Emma Frost and the Black Queen, simply known as Selene and recently revealed as grandmother of Magma.

Shaw remarks Magneto should be proud of his students’ performance. But her students will always prove better, Frost gets her shot in. Magneto summarizes that he accepted this position among them at Storm’s urging to try and find a way to set aside the enmity of the past and work together for a common future. However, he warns them, he has known oppression. He grew to manhood in a concentration camp. He heard the screams of the dying. He will not see that happen again! He will not allow these children to suffer such a fate nor permit supposed friends to engage in their exploitation. He trusts he makes himself clear.

As crystal, Shaw retorts. Some of them might find such a challenge tempting. Selene snorts amuses. But he prefers to work together for their common purpose, just so long as in the end he wins.

Meanwhile, in a guestroom upstairs, Magneto’s students aren’t happy with the situation either. Why can’t Illyana just teleport them home? Cypher asks agitated. Why do they have to stay the night? Amara forcefully agrees. The sooner she puts distance between herself and Selene, the happier she’ll feel. Team leader Mirage reminds them they are kind of stuck. Magneto calls the shots. Rahne pipes up that she trusts him. Dani suggests they show a little faith. Illyana tells them all not to worry. If things go south, she’ll have them gone. Unless, of course, something happen to her, Amara points out.

She looks out at Central Park, musing how beautiful it is. She wishes they could go out walking. That moment, though, down in the park, men in paramilitary uniforms and with rifles shoot men in black business suits. Amara hears the shots and screams. The same moment, Rahne turns to her wolf form and jumps out of the window and into the park.

Upstairs, Magik calls a stepping disk and whisks her friends to Limbo, then to the park. They notice that suddenly they aren’t wearing their standard uniforms but individual variations. She figured it was time for a change, Illyana shrugs and summons her Soulsword.

The mutants join Wolfsbane in attacking the shooters. Cannonball wonders who their foes are. Their outfits and hardware are paramilitary but they opened fire here without mercy.

After the youngsters have taken them down, Mirage orders the team to tie up the prisoners and check for survivors among the victims. Shouldn’t they call the cops? Sam suggests. Plenty of time for that later, Amara replies.

Suddenly, Dani has a vision of Hela, Norse goddess of death who greets her. Hela reminds her she has earned a place for herself among the Valkyrior; she is a chooser of the slain. Hela collects their souls.

In the meantime, Rahne has found a survivor. The injured man is Magma’s father, Lucius Aquilla. That moment, Magneto, Selene, Tessa and several Hellfire Club guards arrive. Magneto immediately asks if his students are all right, then asks Selene to have her people secure the prisoners. Selene delegates the job to Tessa.

Amara explains what happened. Magneto rises into the air, announcing he will transport Aquilla to the club (while Selene is actually the one who does it) and tells Tessa to make sure the mutants return safely.

In due course, the kids are back in the guestroom. Dani wonders silently why Hela appeared. Amara’s family is Roman, not Norse. Where’s the link? Rahne senses her concern and sulks. She thought the season would be fun.

Amara joins the others, announcing that her father is stable and the prognosis is good. Her gran must be—Doug begins. Amara cuts him off, ordering him not to call her that. She denies any connection between her and Selene. He tripped over a livewire that time Sam tells Doug. Selene and the New Mutants have a history. Doug apologizes.

Amara wonders why her father came her and why so stealthily. Perhaps Doug could help her find some answers as their computer expert. The two of them sneak away. He doesn’t think Nova Roma is on-line, Doug points out. But Brazil is, Amara retorts and so is NOAA. They can access both satellite imagery and regional news. She’ll wager his software skills can even enable him to access the National Security database. In another room they set up a notebook. What then? Doug asks. One step at a time, she replies. If she is to confront Selene she must be sure of her ground. Like it or not, she’s family, Doug reminds her. But are those not often the worst fights of all? she pouts out.

Suddenly, armed goons in black body armor covering heir whole bodies attack the Hellfire Club. The Lords Cardinal help their troops but find the goons came prepared for their powers. Enhanced armor to counter Shaw’s strength, composed of composite fiber rending it functionally immune to Magnetos powers over magnetism. Shaw suggests he be a little bit old-fashioned then and use his fists!

Nevertheless, Shaw is soon down and the goons’ helmets protect them from Emma Frost’s telepathy. One of them strikes her down. Others tell him to ignore Emma who can’t hurt them and instead help them neutralize Magneto. However, Magneto struggles free and the men are quickly taken out by Selene. Nicely done, he commends Selene who helps up Emma. They came for her son, the Black Queen replies. They will soon learn that is a mistake. At least, they’ve deal with the threat, Shaw sighs. The trouble is over.

Famous last words as it turns out, because they and Senator Aquilla weren’t the only targets. Upstairs, more armored goons are fighting the New Mutants. Dani too finds they are shielded against her powers. When one of the goons fires his weapon at her, Rahne jumps in from of Dani and is injured at the shoulder. Illyana angrily teleports the goon to Limbo and asks Dani how Rahne is. Hurt bad, comes the reply. Again, Hela appears to her, announcing the time has come for death to claim her friend. Dani shouts that she defies her.

Further upstairs in the room where Doug and Amara are working, more goons attack. Amara turns to her Magma form, telling Doug to stay back. But the men came prepared and fire gas at the two of them. Both of them fall unconscious. What are they to do with the boy? one of the men asks. Another decides to take them both and be quick about it. Sounds like things are going bad downstairs! They take the two teenagers and load them into a helicopter. Should they just leave the others? one of them protests, referring to their colleagues. He knows the orders, comes the reply. Does he want to argue with their leader? No, he replies in a small voice.

Downstairs, the Hellfire Club guards are watching their prisoners. Emma remarks that Shaw is concussed and functioning on will alone. She isn’t much better. Nevertheless, Magneto pushes, they need a mindprobe and quickly to learn who they face. Selene? he asks. She used too much power and is drained, she replies. So Emma tries to establish a psilink with the prisoners. A moment later she screams in pain and sinks down as do their prisoners. All of them dead. Their adversary apparently believes in tying up loose ends….

Lucius Aquilla has finally gained consciousness and tells Selene he came not to warn her, but his daughter. The swine are after… Amara! Selene shouts worried and runs upstairs.

What happened here? she asks agitated as she bursts into the New Mutants’ guest room. What’s it look like? Ilylana replies curtly. They just got hammered! And Doug and Amara got grabbed.

Kneeling beside Rahne, who sits in a chair, her upper right arm bandaged, Dani announces they need a doctor. The bullets she took are pushing her natural healing pretty close to the wall. Frustrated, Selene replies the situation downstairs is just as bad. Shaw and Frost are down and all their prisoners dead. They know nothing about their attackers or where they have taken her granddaughter.

Illyana reveals they have a prisoner, safe and alive in Limbo. Bring him here, Selene orders. Illyana considers this a mistake and refuses. Then take her to him, Selene orders. She will have her answers! This is personal for them as well, Sam announces. They will all go. Dani, however, refuses to leave Rahne. She’s seen Hela twice. She is the only thing keeping her away. Sam tells Rahne to take care and get better while Selene orders Tessa to inform Magneto of what happened. They will be in touch, when possible, if possible. Tessa replies that Magneto can track them via Cerebro and if necessary establish contact via the X-Men’s Psylocke. Should help be needed he will no doubt send the X-Men she wishes them good luck, as Illyana teleports herself, Cannonball and Selene away.

And so in Limbo, Selene grabs their prisoner’s head. Moments later, he is a dessicated corpse, while she is restored to full power and has her answers. Cool, Illyana states in admiration while Sam is shocked that the man is dead. Illyana remains unmoved at his fate. He shot their friends. He gets no mercy from her. She and Selene are a lot alike, Sam points out uncomfortably. Illyana takes that as a compliment.

Selene announces she knows who they face and where he has taken her granddaughter. They are going to get her back and bring this to an end. All by themselves? Sam asks. Their advantage is surprise, Selene points out. If they don’t go now, Amara and Doug are lost!

Speaking of whom, chained Doug and Amara are led through a hallway by guards. Doug feels dizzy. Amara explains it’s the heat and altitude. She thinks while they were unconscious they’ve come south. The air and ground beneath them feel familiar. She thinks they are in her home.

They enter a large Roman style hall, decked out with swastika everywhere. Tanks are waiting at the sides. Wryly, Doug remarks he doesn’t think Nova Roma ever looked like this. The guard orders them to be silent; their leader approaches.

The leader appears. Greeting Amara as the prodigal, he summaries that millennia ago her ancestors fled to this land with the dream of re-establishing a Roman republic. As did his comrades to sustain the hopes of the Third Reich. Together, they will bring both dreams to fruition. He introduces himself: he is the Red Skull!

Characters Involved: 

Cannonball, Cypher, Magma, Magik, Mirage, Wolfsbane (all New Mutants)

Magneto / White King of the Hellfire Club

Sebastian Shaw / Black King, Selene / Black Queen II, Emma Frost / White Queen (Inner Circle of the Hellfire Club)

Tessa (Shaw’s assistant)

Senator Lucius Aquilla (first senator of Nova Roma and Magma’s father)

Hellfire Club guards

The Red Skull

The Red Skull’s soldiers

Hela (Norse goddess of death)

on screen:

Cannonball, Cypher, Karma, Magma, Magik, Mirage, Sunspot, Warlock, Wolfsbane (all New Mutants)

Story Notes: 

This limited series continues from New Mutants (1st series) #54.

A short summary of the main events from New Mutants #1-54 is given at the back of the book.

There are spelling mistakes on page 1: Rahne is named “Sinclaire” instead of “Sinclair” and Dani “Mirrage” instead of “Mirage.”

Karma left the team in issue #54 to go looking for her abducted siblings.

Sunspot and Warlock left the team in Fallen Angels #1.

Some artist error on pages 2-3:

The Characters are erroneously shown in their new uniforms (which Illyana has yet to create at that point), even Karma who isn’t part of the team at the moment.

The family connection between Selene and Amara is different (and troublesome too). In New Mutants (1st series) #53-54, Selene revealed she was an ancestor of Amara’s from many generations ago. Now, suddenly, she is Amara’s paternal grandmother, which throws a strange light on the first Nova Roma storyline (New Mutants (1st series) #8-11) where she was revealed to have killed Amara’s mother, tried to kill Amara herself and along with her husband Gallio plotted the death of Lucius Aquilla (who now is apparently her son).

Magneto became the White King at Storm’s urging, as shown in New Mutants (1st series) #51.

Magma is mistakenly shown flying on pages 1 and 7.

On page 8 Illyana’s Soulsword is shown to harm normal men, whereas it should only be able to affect spells and magical creatures.

NOAA: the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency.

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