Power Pack #20

Issue Date: 
March 1986
Story Title: 
Turning Point

Louise Simonson (writer), Bob McLeod (artist), Joe Rosen (letterer), Glynis Oliver (colorist), Carl Potts (editor), Jim Shooter (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

Demons from Limbo are setting about on their quest to transport Manhattan to Limbo. They steal some amphibians from a pet store, a mummy from a museum, and head to the hospital to take some newborn babies. However, it is the same hospital where Power Pack currently sits on the windowsill outside the room where their mother lies seriously injured. They child heroes overhear a doctor telling their father in the room that by midnight they will have a better idea whether Margaret Power will recover. The children are worried about their mother, but their thoughts turn to the newborn babies whom they see the demons take into an alleyway. The children power up and start to take the babies from the demons, eventually they retrieve all the newborns, and cause the demons to flee, although one of the demons sees Katie Power using her energy abilities and sets his sights on her. When the demons leave, Power Pack leave the babies for the police to find, and as the police approach the alleyway, Katie finds a handbag that one of the demons was carrying - she searches through it and discovers Kitty Pryde’s library card, so the children worry about their friend. They return to the hospital, so Jack and Julie go to phone up to their mother’s room and tell their father that they will go home, while Alex and Katie go to a payphone to call Kitty. Katie starts to wander off on her own, unaware the demons are watching her. When Alex phones the Xavier School for the Gifted, he learns that Kitty is not there. He speaks with Mirage, and after telling her about the demons and their plan to transport Manhattan to Limbo, Mirage reveals that the New Mutants are in part responsible for the demons, so she rallies her only other present teammates, Cannonball and Wolfsbane, and agrees to meet Alex. In the meantime, though, the demons have taken Katie. Shortly, the New Mutants arrive at the hospital, and learn both of Katie’s disappearance and Margaret Power’s plight. Cannonball and Wolfsbane urge Mirage to use her Valkyrie power to save the children’s mother, so she agrees, despite some reservations, while Alex, Jack and Julie accompany Cannonball and Wolfsbane to go in search of the demons. Mirage encounters Death, who has come to take Margaret Power, and they battle for some time. Katie, meanwhile, is held captive on top of the Empire State Building, as the demons prepare the spell to transfer Manhattan to Limbo. They force Katie to release an energy blast, which ignites the spell, and the city is plunged into darkness. Power Pack, Cannonball and Wolfsbane arrive, and start to engage the demons in battle, although they worry the black out will spread to the hospital and turn off their mother’s life support system. Mirage continues to battle Death, but Margaret’s soul leaves her body when the black out reaches the hospital. Death prepares to claim Margaret, but Mirage urges Margaret to think of her children and her husband. Margaret does so, and pulls away from death. A strange mist starts to float around Manhattan, and the heroes fear that they have lost. Katie has so much energy stored up within her, that she accidentally knocks herself off the top of the Empire State Building, and releases that energy, closing off the barrier to Limbo. Before she hits the ground she is rescued by her sister. Mirage at the same time is able to ward off Death once and for all, but Death warns her how she continues to tamper with things beyond her knowledge. The young heroes gather and nurse their wounds, before returning to the hospital, reunited with Mirage, the Power children listen in at the window to their mother’s room as the doctor informs their father that Margaret will be fine. The children are relieved. They share their joy with their new friends the New Mutants, who then depart, before Katie wishes everyone a Merry Christmas.

Full Summary: 

Lucy’s Pet Shop, where several demons run out the door, and onto the sidewalk. ‘Ed, What are those monsters?’ a woman asks as she follows Ed out of the shop. Ed fires his gun at the demons, and exclaims ‘Lord, they’ve destroyed the place - slaughtered most of the animals! What are they doing here? What can they want?’ A woman on the sidewalk throws her arms up in horror, dropping her packages. ‘Eye of newt - tow of frog! Fresh! Yummm! Is gonna make powerful brew!’ a large demon declares as he puts the animals into a small sack. ‘Yeah - but where we get mummy’s dust?’ another demon enquires. ‘There! Is museum!’ another demon points out as they race down the street towards a large building. ‘Good! Is lots of mummies - also our fellows await nearby’ the large demon replies.

On the museum, some of the other demons are waiting, and one reports that they have marked the shoreline of Manhattan all around in blood. ‘Show area that come with us to Limbo!’ another adds. ‘If we can get power source’ another remarks. A pink demon with yellow eyes and large jagged teeth tells the others to worry about that later, for now they get the mummy’s dust, which will give the brew extra zing. ‘Will expand consciousness good, so we can open portal to Limbo dimension’ the demon adds. Another asks about Illyana. ‘Mutant Darkchild rules Limbo! She not gonna like it!’ ‘Too bad!’ the pink demon retorts, pointing out that it was through the Darkchild and the being called Beyonder that they were brought here, trapped here. ‘Her fault…our opportunity!’ A smaller demon leaps at a civilian, ‘Tell us where is mummies?’ it snarls at the frightened man, while others start to look scared. ‘There! They’re through there!’ the man announces, pointing towards the entrance.

‘That way!’ the large demon instructs the others. ‘Good! We truck Darkchild yet! Defeat her! Destroy her!’ another demon calls out. ‘Ha!’ the large demon laughs as it punches its fist through one of the glass boxes housing a mummy on display. ‘Got it now!’ the demon declares as it pulls the bandaged body and carries it, telling the others that it is heavy, but that once they have a million Manhattan humans as slaves, they can carry the heavy things. ‘Yeah! And fight Darkchild or us!’ another demon points out. ‘When we rule Limbo! Be more powerful than anybody!’ the demon boasts, while a third reminds the others that all they need is a kid to sacrifice - the more innocent the better. ‘Where we get one, then?’ the demon with the horns carrying the pets in the sack asks. ‘Lots of babies at hospitals!’ the demon carrying the mummy states. ‘Hold on -’ a security guard calls out as he rushes forward, but the demon knocks him aside with ease. ‘Good! Then we take lots! If one not work…can always sacrifice another!’ it grins.

Downtown, several hours later, the Power children are bundled up in jackets, coats and scarves as they walk down the sidewalk. ‘Tomorrow’s Christmas! Sure doesn’t feel like it this year’ Jack remarks. ‘I told Daddy I wanted a Goo-Gam Doll!’ Katie announces. Alex tells his youngest sibling that with their Mom’s hospital bills, there is not much money for presents this year. ‘It’s my fault! If I’d gone to buy my own stupid poster board…’ his voice trails off, before Julie declares ‘Then Kurse could’ve flattened you!’ Julie adds that the rotten part is they have to meet their Dad and Gramps in the hospital lobby because they are too young to visit their Mom. ‘Except we can! We’re way early - if we use our powers to do it!’ Alex tells the others, as they enter an alleyway. ‘At least we can look in her window’ Jack smiles. ‘Great! Costumes on!’ Julie calls out.

An instant later, Alex, Julie, Jack and Katie become Gee, Lightspeed, Mass Master and Energizer. Mass Master shifts to cloud form and floats up the side of the hospital, towards the room where their mother is. Lightspeed pushes the de-gravitized Gee, who holds onto Energizer. ‘I can’t wait to see -’ Mass Master begins, as inside, a doctor informs Dr Jim Power that his wife’s prognosis is not very good. ‘Shhh, Jack! Listen!’ Alex tells his brother. The children stand on the ledge outside the window, Jim is slumped over in a chair beside Margaret’s bed, while Gramps Power stands beside Jim, and the doctor states that Mrs Power was very badly injured, and now a severe infection has set in. The doctor adds that it may not be scientific, but Mrs Power does not seem to be fighting hard enough to get well. ‘The crisis should come this evening. If the fever breaks by midnight, there’s a good chance she’ll recover! But -’ the doctor begins.

The children are devastated. They turn away from the window, and Jack leans against the building, arms crossed, frowning. Alex keeps his back to the wall, and puts a hand to his head, ins shock. ‘Midnight! We were given our powers to save the world and we can’t even save our own Mom!’ he gasps. Katie starts to cry, so Julie puts a hand on her sister and tells Alex that she knows, but that death is nothing they can see to fight. At that instant, the demons leap from the windows above, onto the ledge that Power Pack stand on. ‘Got two!’ one of the demon calls out, carrying two babies. ‘Got one!’ another demon calls out, boasting ‘Mine’s fatter!’ Power Pack turn to the commotion, ‘Hey - what’re those?’ Julie asks. A nurse pokes her head out the window above, ‘They’ve got the babies! Dear Lord, they stole the babies! Stop them!’

‘Those things stole babies? We’ve gotta get ‘em back!’ Lightspeed tells the others. ‘Yeah! Power up, Energizer!’ Gee tells the youngest member of Power Pack as they leap off the ledge. ‘I am! I’m disintegrating the top of the bricks as we fly by!’ Energizer replies. The demons land on the ground, ‘Mine got real innocent face! Bet it by one that do job for us!’ it boasts. ‘When we get to pinnacle, we sacrifice mine first!’ the large demon announces. ‘No, mine first!’ a purple demon with two babies calls out. ‘Mine!’ the smaller demon with the fat baby exclaims, before the purple demon suggests they do it all at once, then it will work for sure. ‘That’s truly disgusting!’ Lightspeed snaps as she swoops down and grabs one of the babies out of the purple demon’s hand. ‘Hey!’ the demon snarls. Mass Master switches to his solid diminutive form, ‘Hey, goblin? How’d you like to be Jack-Hammered by the great Mass Master?’ he calls out as he drops on the demon, slamming it to its face, though it drops the fat baby, sending the crying child into the air. ‘Careful, Jack! These babies look new-born!’ Gee points out as he leans to the side and grabs the baby before it hit’s the ground.

‘Oh, can I hold him, Alex? Please…?’ Katie asks, smiling as she holds onto her brother. Alex tells Katie that she is too little, that she might drop the baby - or disintegrate it. ‘I would not!’ Katie retorts, firing a blast of energy at another demon who runs nearby as Alex tells her to stop arguing and to fire a power ball, as it will slow them down. ‘Ow!’ the purple demon calls out when the diminutive Mass Master jumps on its nose. ‘Ha! Two down!’ Jack boasts, before shifting to cloud form as the demon drops the baby, and Lightspeed flies in to rescue it. ‘Good going, Jack’ she tells her brother. Gee hovers in the air after de-gravitizing the large demon and pulling it into the air with him. ‘Hold him there, Alex! I’ll power up again and -’ Katie calls out, her entire body glowing as she touches a trash can. The large demon however sees this, ‘Huh! Look at small one! She power source and innocent kid’ he decides.

‘You goblins - drop babies! Don’t need ‘em any more!’ the large demon orders, explaining that he has a better idea, one that will move Manhattan to Limbo for sure. ‘Hey!’ Alex exclaims when the demon suddenly drops the babies. Alex is able to let go of the demon and swiftly moves to grab one of the babies, while calling out to his sister, telling her to grab the other one, as he can’t reach it. ‘Are you kidding? I’ve got two already! If I drop one -’ Julie begins, as she flies under the baby and it drops into her arms, with the other two. Julie sees another demon under her, carrying another baby, and she tells Mass Master that this demon must be deaf. ‘Stop him’ she calls out. ‘Yeah!’ Jack declares, as he returns to his smaller form, grabs the demon’s foot, causing it to fall on its face, although the baby goes flying from its arms. ‘See, Gee, I did get one! So there!’ Katie calls out when she dives forward and saves the baby. Julie sets down near Katie and puts the babies she was carrying on the ground, while Alex stands nearby, holding the other baby, he tells Energizer to put her baby down, as she might drop him.

‘I will not - yuck! He needs changing!’ Katie replies, while Jack alerts his siblings to the approaching cop cars. He suggests they dump the babies where the cops will find him, and then they can get out of here. The Power children get ready to leave, ‘Katie, come on! What do you want with that disgusting pouch?’ Julie calls out when Katie doesn’t follow them. ‘Those - those goblins dropped it! Look, there’s stuff inside!’ Katie calls out a she starts looking through the bag. ‘Good grief, Katie -’ Alex begins, before Katie holds up a library card. ‘What’s it say?’ asks. One of the others reads the card and announces that it belongs to Kitty Pryde. ‘She’s our friend Shadowcat - one of the X-Men!’, before wondering how the demons got her library card. At that moment, a police car approaches the alleyway, and one of the officers inside sees the babies. ‘Good… they’ve seen ‘em! Let’s go!’ Mass Master declares as he covers his siblings in cloud. ‘You don’t suppose they sacrificed Shadowcat?’ Alex asks, to which Lightspeed tells him ‘Of course not!’ before suggesting that they best call her - just to make sure.

Later, in front of the hospital, Julie and Jack rush to the entrance, as Julie tells her siblings that Gramps and Dad won’t want to leave Mom, so she and Jack will phone up to her room from the lobby and say they will go on home. She tells Alex and Katie to pone Kitty from here, to use their cab money, as they don’t need a cab to get home. Jack remarks that those goblins didn’t sound like they would give up, so they ought to follow them. ‘Just what I was thinking! They’re something we can do something about!’ Julie agrees. Alex puts some money into the payphone, ‘Information? I’d like the number for the School of Gifted Youngsters in Salem Center…’ he tells the operator, before turning to his youngest sister, and calling out ‘Katie, don’t wander off!’, to which Katie snaps ‘I’m not a baby and I can if I want to!’ She walks away from Alex, unaware that some of the demons are around the corner of a building. ‘Little one is one we need - the Lightchild!’ The large demon declares ‘She sacrifice and power source both! You see what she can do!’

At the phone, Alex asks if he can speak to Kitty Pryde, and introduces himself as Alex Power. At the Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters: ‘Sam, Rahne, cut it out! I can’t hear the phone!’ a voice calls out, before replying to Alex: ‘No Kitty’s not here now! This is Dani speaking! Can I have her call you back?’ Dani Moonstar a.k.a. Mirage glances to where Sam “Cannonball” Guthrie and Rahne Sinclair a.k.a. Wolfsbane in her full wolf form are playing tug-o-war with a piece of material. ‘She’s not there? Oh no!’ Alex gasps, before informing Dani that he is with the Power Pack, and there are these goblins who had Kitty’s library card. ‘And we’re worried that…’ his voice trails off, as Dani assures Alex that Kitty is okay, but reveals that the goblins are the responsibility of the New Mutants, as they got loose via one of them. ‘We thought that we’d put them all back in Limbo where they belong but -’ Dani begins, before Alex tells her something, and she shouts ‘They’re planning to take Manhattan to Limbo? Good grief!’ She asks Alex where they should meet him, that they can be there in fifteen minutes. ‘On the roof of St Vincent’s Hospital? Yeah, we know it!’ Dani replies.

‘Okay, we’ll wait’ Alex replies, unaware that behind him, the demons have captured Katie. ‘I got her hands!’ one of them calls out. ‘Good! I sprinkle her with last of fairy dust!’ the large demon declares. One of the other demons tells the “Lightchild” that she is in their power now, and will obey them and sleep. ‘Feel power in her…should hold portal open for a long time!’ the purple goblin boasts. Alex hangs the phone up and calls out to Katie: ‘Well, that’s it! For once we’re gonna use our powers to save people like we’re supposed to!’ He adds that Manhattan is not the world, but it sure has a lot of people to save. ‘Right, Katie? Katie…?’ he looks around, but Katie isn’t there.

Across town, Power Pack’s newest member, Franklin “Tattletale” Richards and his pal Edwin Jarvis have purchased one final ingredient for tomorrow’s Christmas feast. ‘And you dreamed I‘d forgotten the cranberries Master Franklin? How useful, lad!’ Jarvis remarks as they walk down the street, as the young boy asks Jarvis not to tell his Mommy, as she thinks her special dreams are bad. Jarvis replies that this one, at least, was a life-saver. He adds that the deli would have closed soon, when suddenly, ‘Oh no! Jarvis! Look!’ Franklin gasps, when he sees an illusion of a cab getting hit by the Santa Claus that walks past them. ‘Franklin? What’s wrong?’ Jarvis smiles.

‘That Santa Claus! The cab hit him!’ Franklin utters. ‘Didn’t it? I saw it…but he’s there on the curb and the cab’s down the street and…no! No! Get back!’ Franklin cries as he runs towards the Santa, pulling on his suit. The Cab suddenly screeches past them, and the Santa is knocked off balance. The driver of the cab comes to a halt, and gets out of the cab, announcing that it skidded on the ice. He asks the Santa if he is okay. The Santa replies that he is fine, as the young man pulled him to safety. ‘You knew what might happen? How?’ Jarvis asks. Franklin replies that he doesn’t know, that he just did, and this time, he wasn’t asleep. ‘Please Jarvis, don’t tell my Mommy’ Franklin asks.

And back in Upstate New York, Dani, Sam and Rahne have changed into their New Mutants costumes, and exit the front of the Mansion, ‘What do you mean the goblins plan to shift Manhattan into Limbo?’ Cannonball asks as he puts a boot on, adding that Limbo is another dimension. Rahne wishes that the rest of the New Mutants were here, to which Dani declares that it serves them right for waiting until the last minute to do their Christmas shopping. Dani adds that she left a note in case they come back early and want to join the fun. ‘Fun? How’ll we get to Manhattan?’ Wolfsbane enquires. ‘Ride Brightwind, of course!’ Dani replies, before projecting a spirit-form of the thing he loves best to call him to them - and as an image of Dani appears in the sky, projected as the thing that Brightwind loves best, the Asgardian Pegasus flies towards the New Mutants and drops down beside them.

‘You’re getting downright conceited, gal, ya know that?’ Cannonball declares. ‘And all ‘cause a Valkyrie horse chose you when us mutants visited Asgard. You’d think Mirage power’d be enough for anyone, but noooo…’ Cannonball mutters. Mirage and Wolfsbane climb onto Birghtwind’s back, and Wolfsbane asks Sam if he isn’t coming also. Cannonball replies that Brightwind is big, but the three of them would be heavy even for him. ‘He might get annoyed and buck us off mid-flight’ Sam jokes, adding that Dani would then get to se another Valkyrie “death glow” for sure - around them. As Brightwind takes to the sky, with Mirage and Wolfsbane holding on tight, Cannonball blasts alongside them, boasting that he needs blasting practice, and that he will bet them a week’s allowance that a cannonball is faster than a winged horse. ‘Bet you’re not!’ Dani replies, while encouraging Brightwind to keep up with Cannonball.

Son, ‘Ha! Told ya, Cannonball! Brightwind’s faster than you are! Pay up - a week’s allowance!’ Mirage exclaims as they land on the roof of the hospital. ‘You’re the New Mutants? You’re just kids!’ Gee declares as he steps forward. ‘So’re you! So what?’ Mirage replies. Mass Master informs the New Mutants that their little sister disappeared. ‘Goblins took her and Alex said it’s your fault they’re here!’ Gee assures the New Mutants that Mass Master doesn’t mean to be so cranky, but they are all worried sick. Gee admits that he should have been watching Katie. ‘It’s my fault, not yours…just like it’s my fault Mom’s in the hospital down there…maybe dying…’ his voice trails off. ‘Dying? Show me!’ Dani asks him.

And, shortly, the New Mutants stand on the ledge outside the room where Margaret Power is, her husband and Gramps at her side. ‘It’s true! The death glow surrounds her! Soon, Death will come to claim her!’ Dani announces. Wolfsbane starts to cry, ‘No! You canna let it! Please, Mirage…you must fight it off!’ she utters. ‘Fight death? You can do that?’ Alex asks. Mirage shushes everyone, and suggests they get back to the roof before the Powers hear them.

And, ‘Mirage…you canna let her die! I never had parents…but you…you lost yours…and your grandfather who raised you!’ Wolfsbane exclaims. The Power children all look sad, while Cannonball frowns, and Mirage scowls, while folding her arms. ‘He died as you watched! The pain of it tore you apart! And here are four children! Four times the pain!’ Wolfsbane declares. ‘We cane here to stop the goblins from stealing Manhattan’ Mirage reminds everyone. She adds that she is a Valkyrie, and she is supposed to collect the dead, not drive Death off. Cannonball points out that Dani saw the same glow around Wolverine in Asgard, and how she fought Hela, the Death Goddess there to save Wolverine. ‘Look!’ Dani gasps, ‘Death’s coming!’ she exclaims ,as a Dark Angel appears in the air above them. ‘Can you see it? Larger than Hela… and more beautiful’ Dani utters. ‘No!’ one of the kids replies. ‘Me either!’ Sam adds.

Mirage tells her teammates that millions will die if Manhattan is sucked into Limbo, that it is up to them to stop it happening. ‘I can’t stay here and delay the fight! I haven’t the right!’ Cannonball assures Mirage that he, Wolfsbane and Power Pack will save Manhattan. ‘Stay and do what you can to save their Mom’ Mirage gets onto Brightwind, who takes flight, as Mirage knows she shouldn’t to this, but realizes she has to try. ‘I just pray I’ve made the right decision’ she adds. ‘You have Mirage - we’ll see to that’ Cannonball calls out. He turns to Power Pack and tells them that Mirage will do her part, and now they have to do theirs. Sam asks Rahne if she can track the goblins, tyo which Mass Master asks her ‘How? Have you got tracking powers?’ Rahne replies that in way she does, and transforms into her half-wolf half-girl form, ‘Holy cow! You’re a werewolf!’ Mass Master exclaims as Power Pack look shocked. ‘Yes…’ Rahne replies, before asking the kids where their sister disappeared.

And, shortly, down on the street, Wolfsbane switches to full wolf form, and reports that the demon stench is awful here. ‘I should have no trouble tracking them at all’ she announces. ‘Wow!’ Mass Master exclaims, while Cannonball tells everyone ‘Come on! Let’s get ‘em!’

Back at the hospital, ‘What rights have you here - false Valkyrie? You who are not of the Vikings nor of the dead…for a Valkyrie must face her own death before she can claim the deaths of others!’ the Dark Angel enquires, before telling her to begone. ‘Thos woman’s soul is mine!’ Brightwind flies towards the Dark Angel as Mirage explains that she was chosen by Brightwind and accepted by the Valkyries, living though she is. ‘I’m not here to claim a death, but to protect a life - from you - with all the powers I possess!’ Mirage announces, before suggesting they see what Death fears the most. ‘Do you think, child, that Death knows nothing of your power to project illusions of things most desired or feared? Death fears nothing…but I will show you what I most desire…and you most fear!’ the Dark Angel screeches, reaching out, she grabs Dani and Brightwind, and they start to turn to skeletons. ’My touch means death! Do you choose to die so young?’ the Dark Angel asks.

‘No! I can’t fight this…’ Dani utters, before breaking free of the Dark Angel’s grasp, ‘And yet…I must!’ she declares, boasting that she has not died, and nor will she. ‘Cast your illusions as you choose - I won’t let you pass!’ Dani tells the Dark Angel, before she conjures the Cheyenne ghost-shaft, which appears in her hands. The Dark Angel points out that the weapon is just an illusion, but death is real. ‘As you shall learn to your everlasting regret!’ the Dark Angel declares as she swoops towards Mirage.

Thirty blocks downtown, unearthly clouds roil ominously, as Katie is pinned to the top of the Empire State Building. The demons dance around her, one of them declares that the Darkchild rules Limbo now, but the Lightchild is theirs, and they will use her shining weapon to destroy the Darkchild forever. ‘Brew is finished’ one demon reports. The drink is passed around, with the large goblin telling the others to drink and focus mind-energies to open the rift to Limbo and beyond. ‘We are linked! We are one!’ another demon reports. ‘As we look into abyss, so does Lightchild’ another goblin announces, while a small goblin declares that as they call to cosmic energies, so does she - a slave to fairy dust! The clouds above crackle with energy, and the one demon instructs the Lightchild to send her spark into them, and her energy will release the energy of the clouds.

Katie is compelled to fire an energy blast skyward, and the spire she is trapped to glows. ‘Energy crackles through sky - barrier between Earth and Limbo shatters!’ another demon announces, while one of the goblins tells the Lightchild to absorb the energies, to open a gateway so they can journey to Limbo and take this island with them. Down below, ‘Up there!’ Wolfsbane points to the top of the Empire State Building as Cannonball blasts upwards carrying her, Mass Master flies up in his cloud form, and Lightspeed carries Gee. ‘Yeah, Ah can see that, Wolfsbane! What the heck’s going on?’ Cannonball wonders, before telling Power Pack to be careful. ‘You don’t wanna get struck by -’ he doesn’t finish his sentence as another blast of lightning crackles around them. Gee tells Lightspeed to look at the city lights. ‘Downtown’s blacked out! What about Uptown…where Mom is?’ Lightspeed asks. Mass Master tells her that it is okay, so far, before asking about Katie.

The young heroes arrive at the rooftop, ‘No! What’s happening to her?’ Lightspeed gasps when she sees Katie, glowing with energy, trapped to the spire. ‘Good grief! There must be fifty goblins!’ Gee utters, as Mass Master points out that they cannot fight them all. ‘She scrams scream no one can hear!’ one demon laughs, while the large demon declares that that the gate is open, the barrier is sundered, and this island and Limbo are now one! Lightspeed flies down to one of the demons, ‘So what if there are fifty? We can’t just leave her there!’ she tells the others. Mass Master shifts to his dense, small form, and drops onto a demon’s head, declaring that they have to save Katie, but admits that against this many, he doesn’t know if they can. Cannonball and Wolfsbane join in the battle, ‘We don’t have a choice’ Cannonball announces, telling everyone to look at the shoreline, that it is outlined in lightning. ‘And the sky! You ever see anything like it on Earth?’ he asks.

‘The Lightchild!’ one of the demons exclaims. ‘Stop them!’ another calls out. ‘Don’t let them near her!’ one demon shouts as Wolfsbane lands on him. ‘They mustn’t free her!’ the purple goblin screeches. Gee drops a demon off the side of the building, and Cannonball blasts towards some, knocking them off, as well. Cannonball figures that Manhattan is moving out of phase with the Earth, and into phase with Limbo. Suddenly, there is a loud noise. ‘Oh no! What’s that?’ Lightspeed asks. Gee looks down over the city and sees that there are some explosions - water mains and power lines must have been severed. He realizes that Lower Manhattan is flickering, too. ‘That’s where Mom’s hospital is!’ he tells the others, while Lightspeed points out that their Mom is being kept alive by machines. ‘If the electricity’s cut off -’ she doesn’t finish her sentence.

And, caught in the flickering lights of the hospital windows, Mirage fires an arrow at the Dark Angel ‘You’re illusion - without substance - but with great power’. Dani tells the Dark Angel to face her arrow of power and illusion. ‘Fall to the ghost-shaft from which Hela herself has fled!’ Mirage exclaims as the arrow strikes one of the Dark Angel’s wings. ‘My wing! You have the power to wound me after all!’ she gasps. And inside the darkened hospital, ‘No! The lights! The life support equipment! It’s shutting down’ Gramps gasps, while Jim remarks that the hospital has a back-up generator, so he wonders why they aren’t using it. The Dark Angel grins, and boasts that her strength grows, that this island is ripe with death. Suddenly, ‘So beautiful…’ Margaret Power’s spirit utters as she flies towards the Dark Angel. ‘That’s her?’ Mirage asks. ‘Yes… her spirit-form! She shall be but the first to join me this night!’ the Dark Angel boasts.

‘No!’ Dani exclaims. ‘You wish then to be first?’ the Dark Angel enquires as she reaches out for her. But Dani recoils back, and slips off Brightwind. ‘You dodge my touch…an so, fall to your death! Absurd!’ the Dark Angel calls out, adding that, either way, Dani’s body and soul belong to her. ‘No! I defy you! We defy you! We must!’ Dani replies, hanging onto Brightwind, Dani calls out to Mrs Power, telling her that her children love her, and need her. ‘You can’t give up! You’ve got to fight to stay alive!’ Dani urges. The Dark Angel’s face takes a skull-like appearance, and black energy swirls around her. ‘My...children? Jim! Where are they?’ Mrs Power calls out. The Dark Angel floats towards her, ‘No! I can’t! I won’t! What was I about to do?’ Margaret gasps. Mirage notices the air is suddenly filled with strange mists, and supposes that the others have lost, ‘If only I’d gone with them!’ she laments, realizing that now she has lost too, and betrayed Manhattan into goblin hands.

While back at the Empire State Building, the mist has enveloped the young heroes and the remaining goblins. ‘Oh no! From what Ah can see through the mists, Manhattan’s almost in Limbo now!’ Cannonball gasps. His uniform is torn and he tries to hold back the purple goblin. Mass Master flies towards Gee and tells hi that there is less goblins now, but there are still lots, and that they seem to be stronger, like they draw their strength from here. ‘What’re we gonna do?’ he asks his older brother. Gee replies that Katie is the link that binds them here, that they have to free her fast, but he isn’t sure how. Gee points out that Katie is shackled to an auxiliary antenna, so even if they could reach her, none of them is strong enough to free her. ‘Maybe not, but Ah sure make a mess o’ things when Ah’m blasting!’ Cannonball declares as he flies forward, and crashes into the spire where Katie is held prisoner, breaking it. Am thinks to himself that he is pretty near invulnerable when he is blasting ,but he has never sheared though stonework this solid before, so he had to build up top speed to shake the kid loose, other wise they are goners.

‘Ah did it! But Ah can’t stop fast enough - the kid -’ Cannonball exclaims, as Katie starts to fall off the rooftop. She screams, and Lightspeed flies towards her, ‘Katie! You’re awake! Don’t be scared baby, I’ll save you!’ Julie calls out. But Katie tells her sister to stay back, as she is burning up and can’t hold all this energy in. I’m gonna -’ Katie begins, before releasing a powerful energy spark, which results in a very large explosion of the city. ‘Holy cow! What happened?’ someone calls out.

And, back at St Vincent’s Hospital, Mrs Power’s spirit cowers as the Dark Angel looms over her. ‘No! Go back! I won’t die! I - that light - what is it?’ she calls out. Mirage shields her eyes from the light, and realizes that it has blown the mists away. ‘They’ve won! They must have!’ she thinks to herself, deciding that she has to win, too. ‘You won’t take her the way you took my Grandfather!’ Mirage declares, holding up a spear, she shouts ‘Come, death killer…weapon of the spirit world! Fly swift! Fly straight! Death, you aren’t wanted here, not needed! Go!’ And, with that, Dani shoves her spear into the unsuspecting Dark Angel. ‘Go!’ DanI tells the Dark Angel. ’I go! The woman yet lives!’ the Dark Angel replies as she starts to fade. ‘Twice you have thwarted death! Twice you have called to life those I would gladly have taken! Beware how your tamper with the balance of things beyond your ken, child!’ the Dark Angel warns her to know that in time, all things are dust, and the price of her power will be exacted from her very soul.

Back at the Empire State Building, ‘Katie! Katie! I got you, Katie! Speak to me!’ Julie calls out as she grabs her younger sister mid-air, before she can plummet to the ground. Julie flies back up to the rooftop, where Cannonball tells vermouth that they did it. ‘When Katie shot off that huge power bolt, it musta closed the energy barrier’ he supposes, adding that Manhattan snapped back to where it belonged and left the goblins behind. Gee supposes that the demons must have been keyed to their own dimension, like magnets, sort of. ‘Ah saw you catch Katie, Lightspeed. You move pretty darn fast when you have to’ Cannonball remarks, while Wolfsbane checks a scratch on Mass Master’s arm. ‘Yeah, we saved Manhattan…but the cost is more than I can bear’ Julie announces as she gives the limp body of her sister to Sam. ‘What’s the matter? Is she…? No - look! She’s breathing!’ Sam declares. ‘Poor little baby’ Sam adds, before telling the kids that they can take her back to their school, as they have lots of medical equipment there. ‘They’ll save her…Ah swear they -’ Sam begins, before Katie opens her eyes, and declares that she is not a baby. ‘Only…I’m just real tired! What… what happened?’ she asks.

Soon, with Katie in his arms, Cannonball blasts off the rooftop, Mass Master follows in cloud form, and Gee de-gravitizes himself and Wolfsbane so that Lightspeed can carry them. ‘It’s just as well they had her ensorcelled! How awful to remember going through al that’ Wolfsbane remarks. ‘Thank Heaven she’s okay! And she doesn’t remember any of it!’ Cannonball declares, before pointing out that it looks like the power and water mains all snapped back to just the way they were before the spell started. Lightspeed suggests they get back to the hospital, as the doctor said their Mom’s crisis time would come around might night. ‘I - I wonder what time it is?’ she asks.

And, shortly, ‘You guys wouldn’t believe the fight I had!’ Mirage tells her teammates and Power Pack as they land on the rooftop of the hospital. ‘Neither would you!’ Cannonball replies, before Gee asks ‘How’s my Mom?’, to which Mirage tells him to go see for himself, and that they will keep Katie with them here, as it looks like she is no shape to see anything. Julie, Jack and Alex drop down to the ledge outside their mother’s room, as inside, the doctor tells Jim that his wife’s condition is much improved, that it is almost miraculous she rallied, and is fighting it. He adds that with a little luck, she will be up and around in a couple of weeks. He admits that he was afraid they would lose her, the way that freak storm played havoc with their electricity, even just those few seconds of downtime were dangerous.

The doctor remarks that it messed things up some, but no one was killed and there were very few injuries. ‘We were very, very lucky - a Christmas blessing on us all’ he smiles. Gramps and Jim smile back, as the doctor tells Jim that he should get home, put the presents under the tree and get some rest. But Jim replies that he will sit here for a while longer, ‘If you don’t mind, Dr Beane! This…their Mom getting well…is the best Christmas present my kids could ask for’ Jim adds, while on the ledge, Julie, Alex and Jack all smile, before they go back up to the rooftop, Jim puts a hand to his face.

Soon, Lightspeed and Mirage hug, while Cannonball and Gee shake hands, and Wolfsbane rubs her hand on Mass Master’s head. Cannonball tells the kids that they handle their powers pretty well, and informs them that they have a practice area called the Danger Room at their school. ‘Ah’d sure like to see y’all in it! Maybe you’d like to come out and visit us some time, just for fun’ Cannonball offers. ‘Fun…ha! Our new principal’s a real ogre…but we would love to have you’ Mirage adds. And soon, the New Mutants take flight off the rooftop, with Cannonball blasting ahead, as Mirage and Wolfsbane sit on Brightwind. Wolfsbane tells Sam that he owes Dani his allowance since she beat him earlier, but she thinks Illyana should pay. ‘After all, those were her goblins’ Wolfsbane points out. Sam suggests that so long as they are using Illyana’s money, they should double or nothing that he can beat them back to the school. ‘You’re on!’ Mirage replies.

‘Gosh, it’s hard to believe that somebody actually owns those goblins’ Lightspeed remarks, while Jack adds that, awful as they were, if the goblins hadn’t come and they had not fought them, Mirage wouldn’t have fought off Death and they wouldn’t have been able to save their Mom. ‘Not to mention the other millions who live here’ Alex adds. Suddenly, ‘We did…?’ Katie asks as she wakes up. ‘Yeah, sleepyhead! We did!’ Julie smiles. The young heroes gather together, Alex announces that they saved their mother, and it is almost Chrismtas morning. ‘The best Christmas we ever had’ he smiles. Jack and Julie smile, too, as Katie throws her hands in the air and shouts ‘Merry Christmas! Merry Christmas everyone!’

Characters Involved: 

Energizer (Katie), Gee (Alex), Lightspeed (Julie), Mass Master (Jack) (all Power Pack)

Jim & Margaret Power

Gramps Power

Franklin Richards / Tattletale

Cannonball, Mirage, Wolfsbane (all New Mutants)






Security guards

Doctor Beane



Cab driver

“Santa Claus”

Story Notes: 

Margaret Power was injured by Kurse when she was out buying Alex some poster board, which is why Alex blames himself for his mother’s injuries. This took place in Power Pack (1st series) #18, which tied into the Secret Wars II crossover. Power Pack fought Kurse the same issue, before teaming up with Beta Ray Bill in Thor (1st series) #363 to defeat Kurse.

This issue takes place before New Mutants (1st series) #37.

The demons were trapped on Earth in New Mutants (1st series) #36. They acquired Kitty’s bag in the same issue.
Mirage bonded with Brightwind (and became a Valkyrie) in New Mutants Special Edition #1 / Uncanny X-Men Annual #9.

Mirage’s grandfather was killed in the New Mutants Graphic Novel.

Issue Information: 
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