New X-Men: Academy X #9

Issue Date: 
March 2005
Story Title: 
Haunted: Conclusion

Nunzio DeFilippis & Christina Weir (writers), Carlo Pagulayan (pencils), Norm Rapmund (inks), Peter Pantis, Soto & Chu (colors), Dave Sharpe (letters), Randy Green (cover), Stephanie Moore & Sean Ryan (assistant editors), Mike Marts (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

After being teleported by the ghost, the New Mutants materialize over the lake and fall down. Thanks to the help of combined teamwork and the unsuspected aid of Julian, nobody gets hurt. Dani and Shan show up and explain to the kids that they have found out that they are dealing with the spirit of Jeffrey Garret, a kid who died when Magneto attacked and destroyed the school. Josh and Laurie come back from their date and kiss. Rahne sees that and she doesn’t want to ruin Laurie’s happiness, so she brakes up their relationship for good this time. However, none of them notice being overheard by Kevin from up in his room. The next day, Kevin pays a visit to the psychiatrist his advisor, Emma Frost, picked out for him, namely Dr. Sean Garrison. Later that night, Sofia asks Dani to close down the school cafeteria to hold a séance. Jay refuses to help, because he’s mad at the ghost because he messed with the photo of his lost love, Julia. But the group gets the help from both Dani, who offers her old Valkyrie powers, and Julian, who wants to clear his name. Together, they contact Jeffrey and convince him to stop haunting everyone. Kim realizes that she’s not a mutant and feels sorry, but David cheers her up and is happy to know that Kim most likely will never be the victim of hatred and prosecution. Noriko promises Jeffrey to help him when he needs it, and brings him to Shan’s class of Institute’s lower school.

Full Summary: 

The Xavier Institute Campus:

All the New Mutants, minus Laurie and Josh, fall out the sky after being teleported by the ghost. Jay catches Kim. David tells Sofia not to bother about him, but instead catch Noriko first, as she is about to hit the lake beneath them, and water and electricity don’t mix - Sofia does so. David keeps falling, but before he can reach the water, telekinetic powers hold him away from it! David was saved by, ironically, none other than Julian!

The rest of the New Mutants land and curious they ask Julian what he is doing there. Julian angrily explains to his rivals that Cyclops made him make sure that the New Mutants were kept safe, since Scott holds him responsible for all the weird things that have been happening around the school. Sofia thanks Julian, but he arrogantly tells Sofia that it wasn’t his choice. He tells her that he’s got tons of friends, and after the way she blew him off, Sofia isn’t one of them.

The New Mutants walk away but, before they go, Julian asks them what’s really going on. David informs him about the ghost, whom they found at the cemetery but teleported them away, and now they plan to find it again. Julian thinks that the New Mutants are a bit understaffed for a mission like this, and asks them where Laurie and Josh are. David informs him that they are on a date.

Laurie and Josh are visiting her mother and have just finished supper. Josh fakes that he liked Gail’s cooking. Gail is glad to meet Josh, as she keeps telling Laurie that, since she lives so close to the Institute, that she can bring her friends over anything but hardly does that. Josh offers to help with the dishes, but Gail tells the kids to just sit back and relax. When her mom’s gone, Laurie tells Josh she knows he didn’t like the food. Josh doesn’t want to say. Laurie says that it’s okay, since her mom never spend much time learning how to cook. Usually when they eat together, they order something. Josh likes Laurie’s mom. He never knew that she was so… hip. Josh really was going to say “hip.” “Right,” Laurie says.

Josh looks at the many pictures of Laurie and her mom around the house. Josh knows that Laurie’s mom is single and, since she is so hip, a lot of men must be waiting in lines for her. Laurie explains to Josh that her mom doesn’t date. Laurie remembers Josh about her father, who had the same powers she had but used them to make people do whatever he wanted them to do, and also to make them love him. Josh finds Laurie’s dad a jerk and promises to beat him up should he ever meet him. Gail asks the kids if they are ready for desert. Gail promises Josh that she bought it, so it should be good. Josh doesn’t know what to say, but Gail admits that she isn’t a great cook. But Josh got points pretending he did like it.


The New Mutants still wander around the cemetery. Dani and Shan show up and tell the kids that Rahne is out informing the rest of their squad about what’s going on. Dani wanted to let the kids know that they’ve figured out who the ghost is. Dani remembers that, when Magneto attacked the school, it was their job to get the kids out. There was one student with the name of Jeffrey Garret, who had come to the school after his parents died. He refused to run and was upset with Dani because the school was supposed to be safe. Jeffrey forgot something in his room and wanted to go back. Dani tried to stop him but, hotheaded as Jeffrey was, he ignored her warnings and teleported away. Later, Dani and the others didn’t found his body, so they assumed that Jeffrey had survived but just didn’t wanted to come back like a few other students.

Julian thinks that Jeffrey did get out and, since he hated the school, he just came back to mess with everyone. Dani doesn’t think so, since she has a certain connection with the dead, and she knows that Jeffrey simply isn’t alive. She could already tell that back in the Danger Room. Sofia suggests to contact the ghost and help him lay his spirit to rest. Kim wants to help out, still thinking that she has mutant powers. Noriko convinces her of the truth and that Kim isn’t a mutant, since the ghost talks to everyone. Dani agrees on doing that, but since it’s getting close to curfew she tells the kids to go to bed, but promises to do the thing tomorrow.

Josh and Laurie arrive back at the Institute. Josh admits he had a fun night. Laurie did too. They stand before her door, and… they kiss! Josh tells Laurie he’ll see her tomorrow. With butterflies in her stomach, Laurie goes into her room and Josh walks to his - though he’s awaited by Rahne. She takes it that the date went well. They argue about their relationship, and Rahne wants to end it for good this time. She knows that Josh makes Laurie happy, and Rahne doesn’t want to ruin that for her. She’s a good person. As they talk, they don’t notice to be overheard by Kevin from up in his room.

The next morning:

David tells Josh that he’s going to their friends, but Josh doesn’t want to go. He even refuses to go to his classes. He doesn’t feel well. David tries to make Josh understand that he can’t do that, but leaves him be and gets out. Outside, he sees Noriko and runs over to her, asking if she wants to go to breakfast to him. Noriko’s a bit upset and doesn’t want to. David notices that and asks what’s wrong. Noriko hates it that David’s sister doesn’t like her. David doesn’t understand, as since when does Noriko cares when people don’t like her? Noriko explains that she wanted Kim to like her, because David has been nice to her and Kim is his sister.

As they go sit on the grass, David tells Noriko that Kim is fourteen years old. And if Noriko gives Kim a few days, all of that could chance faster than she knows. David thinks that can’t be all that’s bothering Noriko. Noriko explains that she phoned to her house the other day and just wanted to talk to her brother, but her dad wouldn’t even let her. He acted like Nori wasn’t his daughter anymore. David feels a little bit guilty. Noriko tells David not to. They walk to the cafeteria together, and David jokingly promises Noriko that he’ll make Kim like her. Noriko knows that David’s telepathy doesn’t work that way. David says that’s not what he meant.

That afternoon:

Dani goes to see Josh, who’s still sulking in his room. She was worried about him since he didn’t show up in her History class, and Shan told her that he didn’t show up in French either. Dani asks Josh if he skipped all of his classes today but Josh only says that he did but promises to be back tomorrow. Dani remembers Josh that she isn’t just his advisor, but also his guardian and if Josh has problems, she wants that he talk about it with her. Dani asks if the date with Laurie didn’t go well, but Josh doesn’t want to talk about his romantic life.

Dani asks if Josh worries about the fight he had with Kevin over Laurie. Josh says it isn’t, and tells Dani to go bother Kevin because he threatened to use his powers on him and not otherwise. Dani explains to Josh that she can’t do that since she isn’t Kevin’s advisor anymore, but that Emma is but promises that she’s making sure that Kevin gets the care he needs. Josh tells Dani that he appreciates her concern, but that he can’t talk about his love life to her. Dani respects that and tells Josh that she’ll be there for him should he ever need her.

New York City:

Emma walks Kevin to his psychiatrist. Emma explains that the shrink is good and that he didn’t chose him because of his cable television show or because of his best-selling books. No, Emma brought Kevin there because this psychiatrist is smart, insightful and always has been a champion of mutant rights. They open the door of the office of Dr. Sean Garrison. Emma leaves them so that the two can get to know each other.

Sean asks Kevin to tell about himself and to say why he’s there. Kevin doesn’t have much to say, but explains that he accidentally killed his father when his power manifested themselves and that the government wanted to throw him in jail. Kevin asks Sean if he can work with that. Enthusiastic, Sean tells Kevin that he can work with everything.

That night:

Laurie and Sofia are preparing a séance in the cafeteria. The rest of the New Mutants and Kim also show up. Laurie whispers to Sofia that she won’t lose control and didn’t even do that when Josh kissed her. Sofia wants to know all about it, but the conversation has to be put on hold as just then Josh enters.

Sofia explains that they are doing the séance in the cafeteria because it’s the closest to where the dormitories used to be, plus the closest where Jeffrey died. Sofia tells the team that they need to help the ghost and put him to rest. Jay gets angry hearing, refusing to help the ghost, since he was messing with the most painful memories of his life. He wants the X-Men to handle things and leaves. Sofia tries to stop Jay but fails to. Julian shows up and tells Sofia not to bother, as Jay didn’t take orders from him either.

Sofia is surprised to see Julian, but he explains that he promised to keep the New Mutants safe and he’ll keep his word. Dani shows up too and wants to know why Sofia asked her to close the cafeteria for everyone else. Sofia explains about the séance and is glad that Dani’s there, since they could use her connection to the death. Julian asks Dani what “connection” they are talking about. Dani explains that she used to be a Valkyrie. Julian knows about the chooser of the dead and that the term comes from Asgard. Dani agrees and remembers Asgard to be a nice place. But she explains to the group that she stopped being a Valkyrie a long time ago and isn’t sure if those powers are still there within her. She admits that she just has a feeling off Jeffrey.

Sofia tells Dani that’ll be enough and that she’ll be their anchor. She and Laurie tell everyone to sit down and hold hands. Julian jokes that Sofia only wanted to do this so that they could hold hands. They argue about it, but eventually do hold hands as told. They sit around the table and ask Jeffrey’s spirit to come to them. Outside, the wind gets heavier. Josh thinks that it’s Sofia’s doing, but she swears that it isn’t and orders everyone to concentrate.

The plan seems to work as the tables around them start disappearing. Julian notices that and wants Dani to tell Cyclops that this isn’t his doing. Knifes and forks fall out of the sky onto the table. The group wants to stop but Sofia wants to go on, as she’ sure that Jeffrey doesn’t want to hurt them. The group does so, and Jeffrey Garret’s ghost appears, with knives in his hands, and angrily orders everyone to “leave now while you can!”

Kim wants to talk to him, but Jeffrey makes Kim understand that she isn’t a mutant and that she should leave. Dani asks Jeffrey why he didn’t escape together with them. Jeffrey explains that he wanted to go back to his room to take the picture of his parents with him, since that was the only memory he has of them. Dani apologizes. She explains to Jeffrey that he has to stop scaring people, as he knows how rude the outside world is. Dani can try to protect the Xavier kids from all the Magneto’s, but begs Jeffrey not to make her stop him as well. Jeffrey sees his mistake and cries and can’t stop apologizing.

Jay comes back and has overheard it all. Noriko walks over to him. Jay explains to her that he’s still mad at Jeffrey, but feels sorry for him as well. David tells Sofia that he admires her for being such a medium in contacting ghost. Sofia takes David away and admits to him that she had no idea what she was doing. She just looked the thing up on the Internet before they began.

The next day:

Kim sits alone in the library and mocks. David finds her, and they talk about the fact that Kim finally realizes that she isn’t a mutant. David is happy for her, knowing that Kim will most likely never be the victim of hatred and prosecution. Kim still has one more day left in the Institute and wants to have some fun. She asks David if she can go to Sofia’s flying class. David thinks that they can arrange that.

Jeffrey feels sorry that Jay hates him. Noriko is with him and explains to Jeffrey that Jay doesn’t hate him, but just doesn’t like him because Jeffrey messed with the memories of his dead girlfriend. But Noriko promises that she will help Jeffrey with the ghost thing. She brings him to Shan’s class, who’s just teaching the Institute’s lower school. Shan tells Jeffrey that he won’t be put in a squad until he’s mature enough. Noriko smiles, and lets Jeffrey and Shan continue.

Characters Involved: 

Elixer, Icarus, Prodigy, Surge, Wallflower, Wind Dancer (all the New Mutants)

Karma, Moonstar, Wolfsbane (former New Mutants)

Hellion, Wither (all the Hellions)

Jeffrey Garrett (the ghost)

Kim Alleyne (Prodigy’s sister)

Gail Collins (Wallflower’s mother)

Emma Frost (Xavier Institute headmaster)

Dr. Sean Garrison

various Xavier Institute students (unnamed)

In Dani’s flash-back:

Dani Moonstar
Jeffrey Garrett (alive)

various panicking Xavier students running away (unnamed)

Story Notes: 

Jeffrey Garrett was first introduced in the “Schism” storyline from X-Treme X-Men #20-23. There, he was convicted of the murder on his parents, but eventually Storm’s team proved his innocence and they brought him to Xavier’s.

Dr. Sean Garrison previously appeared in New Mutants (2nd series) #4. He acted as spokesman at the Chicago University at Shan’s graduation day. He is pro-mutant and thereby wasn’t liked by Purity, the anti-mutant racist group, which even labeled him as a “race traitor.” Fans suspect him to be Laurie’s mysterious father.

A further detailed story about Wallflower’s past with her parents can be found in New Mutants (1st series) #11.

Jeffrey messed with the photo of Julia Cabot in New X-Men: Academy X #7. Julia is the big love Jay lost in Uncanny X-Men #441.

Dani used to be able to perceive the coming of death in the form of a mark on those individuals about to die. She received that power when she became a Valkyrie in the New Mutants Special Edition #1. She stopped being a Valkyrie somewhere between New Mutants (1st series) #87 and X-Force (1st series) #66, because she didn’t like it anymore. As she never used those powers since then, it was assumed by fans that writers simply had forgotten about it, but this reveals otherwise.

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