New Mutants (3rd series) #6

Issue Date: 
December 2009
Story Title: 
Dead Language – Necrosha: New Mutants, chapter 1

Zeb Wells (writer), Diogenes Neves (pencils), Ed Tadeo (inks), John Rauch (colorist), VC’s Joe Caramagna (letterer), Adam Kubert (cover), Daniel Ketchum (assoc. editor), Nick Lowe (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (Exec. Publisher)

Brief Description: 

Professor X is reunited with the New Mutants, a reunion secretly watched by the resurrected Cypher, now in the service of Selene. Cypher later surprises Magma and injures her badly. He fights the mutants and holds his own, thanks to being able to read their moves, until Karma possesses her teammates, making it impossible for him to read them. Cannonball takes him out but is in turn taken out by a suspicious Warlock. Warlock reads Cypher’s infection – the virus that is making him obey – and tries to replace it with s copy of Doug’s personality he has saved. However, Cypher awakes and apparently kills Warlock.

Full Summary: 

Utopia: Island nation of mutantkind:
In his office, Professor Charles Xavier is communicating with the island’s new warden, Danger. He protests that it isn’t right that he doesn’t aid in Legion’s rehabilitation. Legion is his son, he reminds her. Yes, Danger agrees, and records indicate he has never been a particularly soothing presence to the boy. They have performed seven invasive psychic surgeries. His personality outbreak is only 53% contained. Xavier will be allowed to see him, once he’s stabilized.

Leaning back tiredly, Xavier agrees that he will not interfere with their work. Although he is eager to prove that not every young person he comes into contact with turns out the worse for wear.

Hey, prof, got a minute? he hears a voice in his mind. Surprised, he begin to smile.

He turns to the doorway to see Sam’s New Mutants squad standing there, all in their uniforms. Oh my… he stammers, overwhelmed. Taking a step towards the group with open arms, he remarks how they’ve grown. To me, my X-Men.

The young people run to him and hug him with the exception of Magik who stays back.

They are unaware of an intruder watching the reunion from the outside. Their dead teammate Doug Ramsey aka Cypher watches, using his power to understand any language. To him, they reveal far more than what they say. Words, body language facial expressions… They do not know how much they say with the dancing of their hands and faces. But he does. It is all language. He translates it.

Xavier addresses llyana. Isn’t she going to say “hello?” Who are you? Cypher reads from his body language. Hello, Ilylana replies curtly. You are of no use to me, Cypher reads.

Sunspot quickly puts his hand on Xavier’s shoulder. Illyana’s having a little trouble… acclimating. It’s not him. I am afraid if you speak to Illyana, it will be detrimental to you image of our team. Not a worry, Xavier replies, smiling. Does Bobby still play soccer? I have anxiety being around you as an adult. And desire reassurance that you have not changed. Of course, Bobby promises. He’ll never quit. Just like Xavier will ever quit calling football “soccer.” I sense your anxiety and want to reassure you.

Xavier takes a look at them. These are their uniforms. You are soldiers now. I have turned children into soldiers. They are X-Men now, Dani exclaims, all of them. They are their own team. It is important that you see me speak for our team. I need you to know I still matter.

Cyclops gave them the go-ahead Sam adds sheepishly. He means he had to petition Scott. I am not sure of the limits of my authority. Xavier puts a hand on his shoulder, assuring him he has nothing to prove. They brought his son back to him… alive. My son’s survival scares me.

Xavier turns to Karma. He heard her experience with Legion was particularly… harrowing. How is she doing? Forgive me the trespasses of my son. With a thin smile, Shan assures him she is fine. Not yet.

They are all so… strong, he says. You have lost your youth. Is that what I took from you? He’s so proud of them all. I love you, but am unsure I have the right to verbalize it.

Cypher drops from his vantage point as Xavier leads the New Mutants out to talk. Cypher reads My ability to walk is a precious gift. I must use it when I can

He reads no indication of suspicion and tries to inform his queen. The attack may commence. Hello, he suddenly hears as someone else uses the hailing channel.

Inside, the mutants ask Xavier if he likes their outfits. He loves them. Plain and simple. They were thinking they are too plain actually. His students always do, once they graduate, Xavier complains playfully.

Self Soul friend Doug? the intruder asks. Foreign language introduced, Cypher thinks. You live Warlock, the intruder, states excited. Unauthorized emotional output is Cypher’s reaction. Self Soulfriend Doug is sick? Warlock asks. He is coming for him.

Cypher detects a homing signal. He seems torn. But the emergency reboot is initialized and executed and it is impressed on Cypher to obey. He is reminded of his objective: Amara Aquilla.

Later, the New Mutants are in the spacious lounge in front of their rooms. The professor looks taller, right? Dani asks Shan who points out Dani is just remembering him in the wheelchair. As Amara walk to her room Sam asks if she’s going to bed. They are going to try out the new DVR. She’s got to get out of this outfit, Amara explains. Need any help? Sunspot offers. Amara shoots him a withering glare. What is he doing? Sam snarls. It was just a joke, Bobby tries to justify himself while Sam begins reading him the riot act.

Unseen by them, Amara smiles as she enters her room. What an idiot! she laughs.

Amara? a voice asks. She turns around, shocked to see the stranger. Cypher reads in her body language that she will not trust his words alone. A different language is needed. So he talks to her instincts. Help me, he moans as though wounded. Sympathy… He crouches on the ground, moaning they brought him back. Who did? she asks as comes closer. They did, he replies, pointing behind her.

Instinctively, she turns around while he takes out a piece of metal. As she realizes there’s nobody there, she immediately tries to turn to her lava form. The metal comes down on her head and Cypher hits her again and again.

Then, Cypher enters the lounge where the rest of the team has been preparing snack food. Excuse me, he begins, dragging the unconscious Magma by her hair. This is a message from Selene.

Doug Sam asks as they all stand shocked. Doug drops Amara, apologizing, His eyes look normal for once instead of glowing red. Violence is a language he states as he looks at his bloody hand… That is new to him

The mutants assume battle stances. That’s Doug Ramsey, Sam exclaims. Impossible Cypher reads. Powering up, Sunspot announces that Amara looks hurt. Who gives a &%$ who it is? I want to kill something. Careful, there is bad magic here, Illyana warns as she summons her Soulsword. I need you all alive for a future purpose.

Sam orders them to take Doug down. Ask questions later. Mad dog Alpha o three. One. The team attacks. Cypher observes that they assume set positions. They have practiced this. Two! Sam shouts. Three!

Cypher finishes reading their movements – an alphabet of combat. He deftly evades Sunspot’s blow, uses Cannonball as a stepping stone and hits Magik with his wrench.

She’s got him! Karma shouts as she tries to possess him. Please let this work. She tries to get him to obey, in vain.

Dani slashes at him with her knife. He dodges and strikes her, informing her that her attack is useless. It is a dead language.

Sunspot tackles him from behind and shouts: now, Sam! As Cannonball comes flying at him, Cypher tosses Sunspot into Sam with a judo throw. He is left the only one standing.

He kneels down face to face with the crouching Dani and grabs her hair. Every movement of her body talks to him, he explains. They are all made of language and he understands it all. There’s nothing she can do that she hasn’t already told him.

Suddenly, Dani’s eyes glow and she mumbles something literally indecipherable. He cannot read her. Come again?, he asks confused. Dani stabs him in the leg. The other mutants too begin to moan and act strangely, all courtesy of Karma who is possessing them.

Cypher is helpless. No words. Involuntary nonsense. They have lost all their meaning. Side effect of her possession, Shan announces grimly. Takes her a whole lot to get calibrated. Sorry if he doesn’t understand.
Oh, Cypher replies simply and Magik and Sunspot move in. He finds their movements are gibberish and the two of them manage to hit him, followed by Cannonball who propels him out of the building.

Shan looks after Sam and lets go of the others. What did she do? Dani asks suspiciously. She doesn’t know, Shan admits. There were too many minds to keep straight.

Sunspot kneels down next to Amara, who is still unconscious and lying in a pool of her own blood. He tries to call a medic but finds the commlink is off-line. Something must be going on, he announces. Bad magic, Illyana states. Dani decides they have to find Sam.

Turns out an unconscious Sam is coming to them, transported by Warlock who cradles an unconscious Cypher close to his chest. Why are self-friends hurting self/soulfriend Doug? he asks suspiciously. He requires answer most urgently.

Sam comes to and tries to explain this is not Doug. There’s something wrong with him. Examining Cypher, Warlock agrees. Selfsoulfriend Doug infected with malicious code. He announces that he is accessing a copy of real/Doug code stored in his own databanks. Touching Cypher’s face, he begins to defragment Dougselfcode. Suddenly, he screams that he has detected a T/O codevirus Trojan.

Cypher awakes. I have made a mistake, he reads off Warlock. Cypher gets up and Warlock tries to withdraw, screaming Self is under attack. Codevirus spreading. This could cost me my life.

Cypher touches Warlock’s chest, going for his heart. What is he doing? Warlock screeches How could you hurt me?

Selfsoulfriend Doug… please… he begs. I love you and you are breaking my heart.

Do not do this, Selfsoulfriend! I don’t want to die!

For a moment, Cypher seems to look like a sorrowful Doug Ramsey again, then he tears off Warlock’s head.

Characters Involved: 

Cannonball, Karma, Magik, Magma, Moonstar, Sunspot (all former New Mutants / Cannonball’s X-Men squad)

Warlock (former New Mutant)
Cypher (former New Mutant /servant of Selene)

Professor X


Story Notes: 

Cypher was resurrected in X-Force (3rd series) #18 & X-Necrosha.

Xavier returned to the X-Men in the wake of the Utopia storyline.

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