New Mutants (1st series) #61

Issue Date: 
March 1988
Story Title: 
Our Way

Louise Simonson (Writer), Bret Blevins (Pencils), Terry Austin (Inker), Tom Orzechowski (Letterer), Bill Wray (Colorist), Ann Nocenti (Editor), Tom DeFalco (Editor-In-Chief)

Brief Description: 

The Mutants return home with their deceased teammate, Douglas Ramsey, Magneto is not there when they return, as he is at the Hellfire Club searching for them. The team all deals with Doug’s death in tears and anger, and as they finally break down to call Magneto, they learn he is returning home. They turn on the TV to see a huge fight in New York and Dallas with the X-men. Illyana sees her brother, and wishes to be with him, but all of the sudden he and the other X-Men enter a building as it explodes.

Just then, Magneto returns home asking where they have been. When he learns about Doug’s demise, he snaps. He grabs all of his students in the air, with his magnetic powers and asks them frantically if this is the only way that he can keep them safe. Their carelessness has cost Doug’s life, and they will not use their powers or leave the property without his permission. Upset at his lack of concern about her brother or the X-Men, Illyana teleports away to help her brother. She returns later, unable to enter Dallas, as there appears to be some mystical barrier preventing her to enter. She has the Soulsword, and tries to attack Magneto, for his lack of passion or concern. Her teammates assure her he does mean well, and ask her to send the sword back to Limbo. The New Mutants leave Magneto in the room, with the thoughts of his carelessness, and find Illyana in the attic.

Illyana had thought with Magneto around standing guard, she could have a chance at a normal childhood once in awhile. But Rahne tells her they cannot afford to be children anymore. Within minutes they gather scraps of uniforms left scattered in the attic, and each don a new uniform. They joined this school, not to learn under Magneto, but Xavier. With him gone, they still follow his dream, and with Doug and the X-Men now dead, they’re all that’s left to save the world.

Full Summary: 

After coming to Paradise to save Bird Brain and his friends, the New Mutants paid dearly. Bird Brain had lived, but on of their own, Cypher, had died. Tears in their eyes, the Mutants gather in a circle around their deceased friend. Clenching Cypher’s body tightly is Wolfsbane. She is upset, screaming that he died saving her, and she’s not worth the effort. Mirage tries to comfort her best friend to calm her out of her hysterical state. She’s only going to make herself sick. Still holding on to him, Wolfsbane claims she should be worse than sick, she should be dead. Magik is behind them all, her tears are combined with rage. She screams that it is the Animator who should be dead, and they should have let her kill him when she had the chance. Mirage reminds her that’s not the way they do things. Cannonball adds that she teleported him into the hands of demons in Limbo, wasn’t that enough? Maybe, maybe not, she replies still upset.

Close by, one of the Smiley-face soldiers of The Right still moves after their battle. He mutters the words ‘half breed monsters’ as the gun on his back fires away. Wolfsbane switches to half wolf half girl form and grabs Cypher’s body. She won’t let them have him. Sunspot, now in his solar form, charges the Right member. Overhead Cannonball flies towards their attacker. Warlock grabs Sunspot, stating he’s lost one dear friend today, he’s not going to lose another. Mirage backs him up, as Sunspot should know in his solar charged form he is very strong but not as invulnerable like Sam. Angered Sunspot tells her to shut up, and demands Warlock let him go. It’s his fault Doug’s dead, and this is his chance to make it up. Magik opens a stepping disc, teleporting behind the attacker. She claims this is bull, Doug’s death was none of their fault, only mutant-haters like him are the reason to blame. As she teleports away with him in his arms, Sam smashes into the rocks where his target was.

Once a great threat, their attacker now screams out in fear, asking where he is. Limbo, Magik announces, her, home sweet home, a terrible dimension to visit, and he certainly wouldn’t want to live here. Her appearance has changed as well. Horns stretch out of her head, armor on her body, and her feet have turned to hooves. Below them various demons have gathered around them. S’ym stands high on a rock as he greets her. In another rock, lies the Soulsword stuck inside its rock. Magik knew Sym would be around, as he’s always there for the scent of blood. She asks him about the changes to him and his demon horde. While the sword was gone, Sym took it upon himself to redecorate. He asks if this is a tribute to him, the new lord of her domain. Ever the humorist, she says, driving her fingers into the face mask of the Right member. She’s brought this soul to swell the ranks of her kingdom, knowing him and her other unruly subjects will welcome him with open arms. She lifts him over her head and tosses him into the crowd of anxious demons. Teleporting away, she offers there are more where he came from, and they should greet them just as fondly. The demons tear away at him as she leaves.

Back with her team Mirage wants to know what in Heaven’s name she thinks she’s doing. Heaven has nothing to do with it, Illyana remarks. They know they can’t take all of the animates back with them, not when there are monsters to cage them like The Right. Fighting alongside them, she continues, they’ve earned their right to live on their own. But they couldn’t leave them here with the smiley-faced army, so she put them where they wouldn’t be able to ever hurt anyone again. Magik wonders why it’s such a big deal, as Mirage had just recently asked her to do so. Maybe the fact that they now see the real her and they fear her. She slowly resorts back to normal, and Mirage grabs her trying to tell her this is who she really is. Magik warns her not to count on it. Walking back to her teammates, Illyana asks Rahne how she is. Rahne states the bullet only clipped her leg. Knowing her thoughts are wicked against her upbringing, Rahne admits she’s glad Illyana sent those monsters in Limbo. It makes the world better for everybody, and it’s what Doug died for.

Later the New Mutants know they have to head home. Rahne says her good-byes to Bird Brain. She knows he doesn’t understand everything she says, but she asks him one more time to join them in coming back home. Tears in both their eyes as they stand over the body of Doug, Bird Brain squaks that he belongs there, he tells his friend goodbye. Parting Sam tells Bird Brain they never thought of him as an animal, and Doug would have been proud at the way he behaved, and he probably would have agreed they were worth dying for. The New Mutants teleport home through Illyana’s stepping disk and call out to their headmaster Magneto announcing their arrival. Outside the window Brightwind teleports home as well. Mirage tells Illyana not to strain her vocals, Magneto is nowhere to be found. Sunspot tells them of Magneto’s near hysterical reaction to their disappearance and how he left shortly after Warlock and he arrived. He left to use the Hellfire Club in Manhattan to use their equipment to track them down.

Flying above Manhattan, Magneto looks done and sees the city in shambles. It must have happened last night during his sleep, or while he was awaiting the return his absentee students. He has seen worse done to humans, and has done worse in his time, to his regret. Landing he knows his care only lies with mutants, particularly the students Xavier left him in charge of, the New Mutants. Being the Master of Magnetism, he possesses great power, yet he is powerless to control the actions of a few young students. That will soon change. With a wave of his arm, the metallic ruble that lies outside the Hellfire Club door is removed from his path. He only hopes they have not been injured ort worse.

Inside the building, on a level only open to the Hellfire Club’s exclusive Inner Circle, he finds his sometime allies gathered around a monitor. On the screen a dinosaur wrecks his way through rubble. Sebastian Shaw tauntingly reminds him he’s growing soft. There was a time, when he lead the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, that he would have never missed that fight. Fight? Magneto asks. Tessa tells of the Horseman attacking Manhattan and a giant airship, captured by a mutant who calls himself Apocalypse. Apocalypse escaped, Leland says, perhaps they should invite him to join them? Since he is their White Bishop, Magneto would have come if he were called, but while his students are missing his heart would not have been it. The major threat was only to humans and he has not yet become pro-human.

Glancing at the screen Magneto sees X-Factor whose identities he had discovered long ago. He wonders why their mutant hunting scam, but he has more pressing business. He mentions his students, but his attention is cast toward the monitors as Colossus among the X-Men in Dallas carries on their battle.

In the infirmary at Xavier’s the Mutants gather around Doug as they prop his body on an examination table. Cannonball recalls that Doug isn’t the first of Xavier’s students to die. Danielle reminds them even Xavier couldn’t save Thunderbird from being killed, and Colossus was hurt recently as well. She offers that danger, even dying is part of being a hero. Illyana reports her brother is better now, and she teleported him to Dallas to be with the X-Men. She points to the picture on the wall where her brother joined the X-Men. The picture is one of four. One showing the original team, the next the second wave of X-Men, the next the recent incarnation, and the last is the New Mutants themselves. Her brother, so handsome all shining like a knight in armor. Cannonball sees Professor Xavier and notices he trained a whole bunch of mutants. Mirage misses Xavier, and Magik wishes Magneto would come home. Even though she disobeys him regularly. Right now, Sunspot shouts, he’s consorting with villains, the Hellfire Club. Magik reminds him he’s probably looking for them. Danielle knows they should call him, to let him know they’re back, and what happened to Doug.

Sam puts his arm around Rahne and tells her she should lie down for awhile. Danielle tries to get Bobby to call Magneto since he was the last to see him. He declines as Sam asks Illyana and Warlock to stay with Doug’s body. Illyana covers Doug’s face with a sheet, and Warlock, not understanding such human traits, questions her actions. She assures him it’s only temporary until Magneto gets home and they can bury him. Warlock doesn’t understand the burying process either, and asks how Illyana can trust Magneto so much, yet constantly disobey him. She recalls her past, basically being a baby lost in Limbo. Where she grew up and gained power at a terrible price. Her demons want her to stay there, and part of her wants to stay there as well. But Magneto helped her once in Limbo, with him around standing guard she feels she can relax a little. Then she can try to pretend to be a normal kid.

Sam walks Rahne to her room, she is still in tears, remembering Doug dying to save her life. Sam reassures her they were all fighting for their lives, none of them noticed, she can not blame herself. She tells him to stop, she is wicked, she doesn’t deserve people’s love. It was her who should have died, she just wants to be left alone. She runs up the stairs to a tower, she leaps out the window, and hits the roof falling off. She yelps as she scratches trying to steady herself on the roof. Sam propels himself out the window, grabbing her, asking just what the heck she was trying to do. She only wanted to be alone, she climbed out on the roof, and the roof slate crumbled. She couldn’t switch back fast enough and she just fell. Sam confesses he nearly blew it this time too. He is the oldest, and he should have been watching Doug, same as he used to watch his brothers and sisters. He knew Doug didn’t have physical powers, he was almost like a normal kid he should have been watching him. They land on the roof, and climb in and sit on the window ledge. Rahne tells him it is selfish to blame himself. With their powers, they sort of just feel invulnerable, like her on the roof. They just have learned the hard way that they’re not invulnerable. He stares out the window, and Rahne touches his shoulder from behind. She has an idea, they can’t be invulnerable but maybe if she looks after him like she was his sister, and he looks after her like she was his little sister, maybe they’ll be okay. She’s never had a brother like Illyana, who she always thought was so lucky. Another tear falls from her eyes, she says with a deep sadness, she has never had a family. He puts his arm around her, and “officially” declares she is his little sister from now on.

Danielle walks with Bobby towards the phone, telling him the story of Doug being jealous of Bird Brain at first. After Rahne’s coaxing him, he attempts to talk to the Bird Boy, and eventually they dressed him as human and took him to a malt shoppe. He ends up dumping a chocolate shake on Doug’s head, and Illyana just starts laughing. Danielle doesn’t remember Illyana ever laughing like that. They dial the phone, and she tells him the malt shoppe owner called Magneto and complained about Xavier’s students behavior. When they got home Magneto was so angry, and Doug still had shake in his hair. Roberto holds the phone to his ear, he saw magneto’s face when he got home. He was worried sick something had happened to them. He charges into his solar form and yanks the phone of the stand. It’s his fault Doug’s dead, he claims. If he didn’t leave Warlock would have stayed with Doug. They were always a team, with Warlock protecting him.

He falls to the floor in anger, Magneto doesn’t like him, Xavier thought he would turn out like his father, and his father thinks he’s a wimp. But he’s really just a, Danielle stops asking what a monster? She creates an illusion of a gigantic Monster form of Sunspot over him. She tells him she knew very well they were grounded, and why, but she agreed to help Bird Brain and his people anyway. She could have said no, being co-leader of the team, or insisted waiting until Magneto was awake. She kept silent and went along with it, and Doug ended up having to pay for it. They calm down and realize they can both be monsters some time. With the phone destroyed and a need still to call Magneto, they decide to go to the kitchen phone together.

Soon, Bobby calls up to Sam and Rahne to come down and join them. Magneto wasn’t at the Hellfire Club, he was only there to locate them, and he’s on his way home now. But the Hellfire club said they had to turn on the TV now. Illyana wonders why they would want to turn on the television at a time like this. Gathered on the couch, they turn on the TV to see X-Factor in Manhattan. The X-Terminators are really the first X-Men and recently came out as mutants on television. That’s not all, Bobby adds their X-Men are in Dallas fighting something weird. Danielle points to the screen seeing dinosaurs, monsters, and Colossus, Illyana’s brother, amongst the X-Men running into the skyscraper, she announces, wishing she was there. Just then the building blows up before her eyes. Illyana screams out for her brother. She teleported him there to Dallas, now it’s her fault he’s dead.

Behind them, their headmaster Magneto approaches, asking where they have been. Mirage tells him of the terrible things happening in New York and Dallas. For all he knows they could have been in either place, even killed. Cannonball looks at him, and tells them they’re okay. Magneto looks around and asks where Doug is. Another tear falls down Rahne’s face, as she tells him he is dead, and now they fear Colossus and the rest of the X-Men are too. A look of shock comes across Magneto’s face, as he whispers the word dead. He reaches down and hugs the now lifeless body of Douglas Ramsey. He looks up asking what happened, what have they done to him? He lifts them up with his magnetic powers, among all of the other items in the room. Is this the only way he can keep them safe, he asks.

Rahne shifts to her half wolf, half human form, and tells him Bird Brain and his friends were in danger. Bird Brain being their friend they decided to look after him, because they look after each other. Anger crosses Magneto’s face as he looks up at his students. Doug was one of them, he adds, and a fine job they did at protecting him. Cannonball tries to blast free, as he yells at him to leave her alone. It’s not Rahne’s fault, they were just helping Bird Brain, he was their responsibility. And they are his responsibility, he adds. Mirage tries to wrestle free, as she asks if this is how he means to keep them safe, wrapped up in foil on some shelf. They are people, not dolls, they have power to use for good or ill, but to use no matter what. NO, he screams out. Smashing free from his wrappings, Sunspot tells him more of them would have been dead, if not for their brains and their powers. While Magneto was busy running off to the Hellfire Club, he and Warlock discovered where they were and left a note informing him. If he had given them credit, or come back and found the note, things might have ended differently.

Magneto starts to comment on Sunspot’s arrogance, but Illyana cries out for them to stop. While Doug is dead her brother and the X-Men may still be alive. The X-Men are adults, Magneto says choosing to protect humans, they can take care of themselves. Illyana asks him shocked if he’s going to do anything. Magneto tells her he will be doing the hardest thing he has ever done, and that is calling Doug’s parents, and try to figure out some way to explain how he let their son die. As tears fall from her eyes, a look of evil comes across Illyana’s face. She tells him she will not stay there if he does nothing to help her brother. She opens a stepping disc underneath her and teleports away as Magneto yells at her teammates to stop her. Wolfsbane snarls at him, telling him to look around and see what he has done. They stopped a mad scientist working for evil humans named the Right, but he grew bored and tried to kill his creatures. Magneto intervenes including that he killed Doug as well. Cannonball tells him they saved lots of animates, and Mirage tells him that they’ll help Illyana save her brother if she takes them with her.

Magneto tells them enraged they will do nothing. Humans killed Doug, and protecting humans has destroyed the X-Men. He informs them humans are forcing known mutants to register, asking if they know what that means. They are not the X-Men and he forbids them to use their powers at all or leave the grounds without his supervision. Shaking his fist at them, he promises this time he will make them obey. Appearing behind him from a stepping disc, Illyana asks if he will go as far to put them into shackles. She holds the Soulsword, and her appearance has reverted to demonic form, with horns and tail. She tells them she has been in Limbo fighting to get into the magicked areas of Dallas. But whatever is there has some sort of barrier, and she can’t find a way to get in. Her scrying
glass doesn’t even register her brother at all. She believes he and all the X-Men are dead. She lunges at Magneto with her sword drawn. She admits she was wrong about him, he doesn’t care at all, he is the one who should be dead.

Barely missing him, the sword smashes into the floor. Her teammates try to stop her, telling her Magneto means well, and to put her sword back into Limbo where it belongs. Cannonball reminds her, her sword helps keep Limbo partly free of demons, she can’t afford to keep it here. What has happened is no more Magneto’s fault than it is hers, but she needs to put the sword back, this is not what Doug or her brother would have wanted. Tears fall from her eyes, and knowing he was right, she summons a disc a sends the sword back into Limbo, as she runs out of the room. Wolfsbane snarls once more at Magneto telling him to see what he has caused. But Mirage tells her teammates to forget him, they have to find Illyana if they can.

Looking down at the sheet that covers Doug’s body, Magneto lifts back the top revealing Doug’s lifeless face. Magneto is lost in thoughts and curses Xavier for putting him in such a crucial position. He has no rapport with these children, and this is fatal proof as to that. What shall happen to them with Registration Act, should it come to the days like he remembers living in Poland? But these are children, he thinks, do they know what may come, or understand any of it? Reaching the attic, the Mutants call out to Illyana. She is crying with her head buried on top of an old chest. She admits she hates feeling so helpless, and she feels so dumb. She thought of Magneto like a knight in shining armor like her brother. She wanted him to protect her, so she could just be a normal kid. Rahne hugs her, and tells her there is nothing wrong with that but Doug ,her brother, and the X-Men are dead. Rahne states she doesn’t think they can be kids anymore.

Soon still in the attic, Cannonball tells them they didn’t sign up at the school to be Magneto’s students. The attic is crammed full of costumes. Even though Xavier is gone, they are still pledged to his goals, Danielle calls dibs on a pair of boots. Magik knows she’s right, they should be fighting evil mutants like the Horsemen and the Marauders, picking up a belt. Rahne adds they have to fight evil humans too, like the Right and the Mutant Registration Act. Warlock asks about the potential danger in their plan. Sunspot knows there will be danger, and Magneto doesn’t think they’re up for it. Rahne states they have to learn that for themselves. Mirage admits with the X-Men are gone, they’re all the world has left. Magik asks if they don’t save the world, who would?
They stand gathered in their new uniforms, former children now grown into adulthood.

Characters Involved: 

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


Selene, Sebastian Shaw, Tessa (all Hellfire Club)

Two other members of the hellfire club apparently meant to be Leland and von Roehm
S’ym amongst various demons of Limbo.

On monitor screen

Cyclops, Marvel Girl a dinosaur

In photographs in Infirmary:

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

Dazzler, Havok, Longshot, Psylocke, Rogue, Storm, Wolverine (current X-Men team)

Angel, Beast, Cyclops, Iceman, Marvel Girl, Xavier ( original X-Men)

Banshee, Beast, Colossus, Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Nightcrawler, Storm, Xavier (the originals and their all-new all-different successors)

Story Notes: 

The changes in S’ym and his demons were a result of Warlock’s father Magus entering Limbo and infecting the demons with the transmode virus (New Mutants #47-50)

The destruction on the monitor is a glimpse of what happened in Uncanny X-Men #225-227, when the X-Men took on the Adversary in Dallas.

This issue mistakenly shows von Roehm and Leland among the Hellfire Club members. Both men actually died fighting Nimrod in Uncanny X-Men # 208-209. Also Magneto mistakenly refers to his title as that of “White Bishop” instead of “White King”
This issue gives one rare tidbit of Magneto’s ever-changing past that is likely to be true (as he is thinking this to himself – so why would he lie?), namely that he is from Poland.

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