Weeks ago…the high priest Ghaur, lord of the Deviant offshoot of humanity, entered into an alliance with Llyra, the water-breathing Empress of undersea Lemuria. The purpose of the alliance was to implement the rituals that will bring the Elder God Set to Earth, and thus extend their own influence over all the peoples of Earth. Part of this magic includes the sacrifice to Set of an entire race of people. Llyra’s ancestral enemies, the water-breathing Atlanteans, have been chosen for this purpose. In pursuit of this goal, using specifically designed equipment in his secret island heaquarters Ghaur has scanned the Atlantic Ocean. And now….
‘No! It cannot be!’ the foul Ghaur exclaims as he stands at a monitor. Llyra, flanked by three other beings, steps forward into the chamber, while one of the others asks ‘Master, your shout! What has happened? Has the Empress -?’ one of the others exclaims, interrupted by Ghaur - ‘Attacked me? Idiots! Fools! Do I appear to be in danger?’. Llyra asks Ghaur if his guards are always so paranoid for his safety, to which Ghaur explains that over many centuries, the Deviants have learned to trust no one, not even their closest allies. ‘It has become a reflexive reaction, I fear…a tragic flaw in our character, perhaps. And yet…it has survival value, does it not?’ Ghaur remarks.
Ghaur adds that if that Atlantean fool Attuma was less trusting, he would never have heeded their urgings and attacked the surface dwellers, leaving his own kingdom unguarded and ripe for destruction. ‘In accordance with our grand plan, I have searched the oceans…and my instruments have registered something wonderful!’ Ghaur exclaims. On the monitor, an image appears - of the teenage mutant heroes known as the New Mutants, fighting a sea creature, along with Namor the Sub-Mariner. ‘What do you see?’ Ghaur asks. ‘Surface dwellers, master…I think! But not…ordinary ones!’ Ghaur’s furry, wolfen guard exclaims. ‘Excellent, Spike!’ Ghaur tells his guard, revealing that they are the New Mutants, surface dwellers with extra-ordinary powers.
‘They’re battling a giant of the sea! Never have I seen its like!’ Spike exclaims, while Ghaur agrees that it is impressive, before asking ‘And beyond them?’, to which Llyra remarks is Prince Namor. ‘What is that in his hand?’ she asks, to which Ghaur explains is the Horn of Doom, an ancient Atlantean artifact of unimaginable power. Ghaur explains that the New Mutants found it, and blew the single note that drew the lesser monster from beneath the sea. Ghaur tells Llyra and his guards that all of Atlantis heard the blast since the horn resonates specifically to their physiology.
Ghaur explains that the Horn of Doom is ancient, and only Namor understood the true significance of the sound, and so he came at high speed from who knows how far, to seize the horn and destroy the monster. ‘Namor now has the horn. We have but to take it from him!’ Ghaur exclaims. Llyra tells Ghaur that to take it by force would be next to impossible, and adds that nor do they want Namor to become aware of their designs upon his precious Atlantis. ‘He’s smarter than that bungler Attuma, and strong. Your Deviants would be no match for him!’ Llyra exclaims.
‘If that half-breed Namor’s prowess is so great, how did Attuma manage to wrest rulership of Atlantis from him?’ Ghaur asks, declaring that he is well aware of Namor’s abilities. ‘But he cannot guard the horn forever’ Ghaur adds, boasting that, soon, Namor will be dead. Ghaur turns to his guards - the wolfen Spike, the oversized String, and the dark Coal - and orders them to follow the Sub-Mariner and watch what he does with the horn, before reporting back. ‘And when I give the word, you will steal it!’ Ghaur orders. ‘But…but master…from the Sub-Mariner? Please…!’ String begins, while Spike exclaims that others are better equipped for undersea duty, and Coal points out that the Lemurians are water-breathers. ‘Why not send them, instead?’ he asks.
Ghaur tells his guards that he has chosen them for a reason and they will obey him. He tells them to take others with them if they are afraid, but that they must lead and be in the forefront of any confrontation. ‘Now go! Do not return without the horn!’ he booms. ‘And then -?’ Llyra asks. ‘When the horn is mine, we will use it to call up one of the great serpents of the sea. It will destroy Atlantis…and out Lord Set will be one step closer to dominion over the Earth!’ Ghaur replies, grinning wickedly.
Meanwhile, today, a group of six unique teenage mutant heroes has just returned to Earth from an outer-dimensional experience. The group are collectively known as the New Mutants, and with the five human mutant teens riding on their alien teammate Warlock, who has transformed into a make-shift ship for them, they soar across the ocean. ‘Sure is great to be back on Earth again - even if we can’t find our ship!’ Sam “Cannonball” Guthrie exclaims, to which Bobby “Sunspot” DaCosta asks Warlock if Ship used to hover around here. Warlock replies that it did, but he registers no sign of it at all now.
Cannonball suggests to Warlock that he lands, as he can use the rest. Sam announces that he doesn’t mind searching solo for a while. Warlock lands on the choppy ocean, thanking Sam, he remarks that the water is gloriously cooling, and transforms his form into a raft. Sunspot tells his teammates that he hates to be the one to say it, ‘But what if the Ship…and X-Factor on it…are still away in space…? What if they never return?’. Tabitha “Boom-Boom” Smith tells Bobby to shut-up, and exclaims that they have to return. ‘We have so much to tell them. About Dani and Asgard…and Rusty and Skids…X-Factor can’t be -’ Tabby exclaims, to which Julio “Richter” Rictor tells Boom-Boom that he is sure X-Factor and Ship are both fine, while Cannonball blasts off into the air.
Rictor quietly tells Sunspot to chill out, and that there is no reason to upset people without good reason. Sunspot quietly agrees, and apologizes, before remarking that this little ocean cruise reminds him of when he was small, of days aboard his father’s yacht with the beautiful Brazilian coastline hazy in the sunlight. ‘Well this isn’t a bit like my beautiful, cloudy Scotland’ Rahne “Wolfsbane” Sinclair exclaims, announcing that she is already beginning to burn. Warlock apologizes to Rahne and asks if he should extrude a canopy, but Rahne shifts into a lupine form and tells Warlock not to worry about it, as she has a built in sunburn-protection in this form, but adds that her fur does make a hot day even hotter, so she dives into the ocean.
‘What a great idea! Just let me get my shoes off -’ Boom-Boom begins, while Julio asks her if she is out of her mind, reminding her that the monster that attacked their Ship appeared right around here. ‘Oh, please! It came because we called it…with the horn. It’s not like…sh - shhh…’ Tabby exclaims, interrupting herself, though Rictor tells her that shutting up won’t change things, before seeing Sam blasting at a fast rate across the sky and asking where he is going in such a hurry. ‘RAHNE!’ Sam calls out as he moves downwards, and pulls Rahne from the water, while Rahne tells him to put her down, before she suddenly sees the danger in the ocean - a shark.
‘I’ll save you!’ Boom-Boom exclaims as she throws a plasma time-bomb into the shark’s mouth as it lunges at Sam and Rahne, though they clear the deadly shark in time. Moments later, Sam and Rahne drop down onto Warlock and Rahne thanks Sam, explaining that she was only trying to distract Boom-Boom. ‘I never thought -’ Rahne begins, before alerting Rictor to more sharks swimming towards the Warlock-raft. ‘Maybe you were right - for a change - about the monsters, I mean’ Boom-Boom remarks, while Rictor unleashes his vibro-power on the sharks. Boom-Boom asks him if he wants her time-bomb them as well. But as the sharks begin rocking backwards, Rictor replies that his vibes will keep them off for a while.
Rictor asks his teammates if the radio report that they flipped past, about costal disturbances, has anything to do with the shark attack. Cannonball suggests that they get out of here, and Warlock propels himself into the air, while the sharks continue to circle below. Sam reminds everyone that Ship ranged over a wide area, and they have still got miles to search, so they might as well get on with it, while Warlock exclaims that they shall search from the air.
Meanwhile, leagues away, far beneath the waves lies the once bustling metropolis of Atlantis. Now, most of its male citizens are away, fighting a hopeless war, and beneath the midnight sky, Atlantis lies still and silent as a grave…unaware that Ghaur’s trio of guards are swimming towards it. The trio are wearing masks to enable them to breathe at such deep depths. As they makes their way closer to the sprawling undersea city, Coal remarks that Lord Ghaur was correct - the Sub-Mariner did, in time, put aside the Horn of Doom. Spike adds that the horn was surrendered to a half-grown girl. ‘Namorita is a woman, surely. And a hybrid like Prince Namor himself!’ String remarks as he follows the other two. String adds that they had much to report to Lord Ghaur, who was pleased with how effectively they spied on the Atlanteans.
Coal declares that since the Sub-Mariner is dead, they must obey Ghuar’s orders and retrieve the horn. The trio float outside a window, and String tells Spike to go through the window as he knows where it is hidden. ‘But go silently’. The other two follow Spike through the window and into Namorita’s room, where she sleeps. Coal remarks that Namorita looks harmless, but that rumor has it she is like her cousin and has the Devil’s own strength. ‘So do the Deviants who accompany us, Coal. They were chosen for that reason’ Spike points out as he opens a trunk - but the trunk makes a sound and Namorita wakes. ‘WHAT -?’ she gasps, while Spike quickly lunges at her.
‘Air-breathers! Who are you to attack me in my chambers? What do you want?’ Namorita asks, while Spike grabs her. ‘Get away from me!’ she tells the wolfen creature, but Spike ignores her and tells Coal that he has her. ‘The secret compartment is nearly open! Get the horn! Hurry!’ Spike exclaims. Namorita wonders how they know about the horn, before biting down hard on one of Spike’s fingers, causing Spike to release her, though Spike calls out to the Deviant guards who accompany him. ‘She’s loose! Stop her!’ one of the guards, wearing a plain scuba-diving costume, exclaims as they swim towards Namorita.
‘Hold her!’ ‘I’m trying!’ ‘Ow!’ the Deviants exclaim as they bumble around trying to catch Namorita. Namorita manages to hold them at bay, but she realizes that there are too many, and they have more than normal strength. As the Deviants move in on her, she tells herself that she will never break free, nor does she want to cry out for help, or those loyal to Attuma will discover what she has hidden. ‘The horn is ours!’ Coal announces as he removes the Horn of Doom from the trunk. Namorita fights with her vast strength to reach the horn, but she is overpowered by the sheer force of her attackers’ strength and numbers. ‘Come, my brothers! While she is half-stunned, let us escape with our prize!’ Coal exclaims as he and the others turn to flee.
Moving through Namorita’s window, they are unaware that three silent figures are watching them. ‘Look! Come from her window!’ one of the new arrivals exclaims. ‘The assassins must have slipped past us in the night!’ another remarks. The third tells his companions to capture the assassins while he tends to Namorita. ‘I pray that we are not too late!’ the second remarks. The long-haired member of the trio is called Undertow, and he boils the water, sending the Deviant guards reeling backwards. ‘An attack!’ one of the Deviants exclaims. ‘There’s one of them!’. The larger, bulkier of the trio moves towards the Deviants, ‘Fools!’ he shouts, while one of the Deviants fires a spear at him. ‘Get him! He must not stop us!’ the Deviant shouts, firing more spears, he realizes that they aren’t stopping him - nor are they even slowing down as the large Atlantean moves towards him, the spears stuck in his body, he exclaims ‘That’s why they call me Sharkskin!’.
Back inside Namorita’s chambers, Namorita struggles with a final attacker, when suddenly, the third of the new arrivals calls out ‘Stop! Unhand the lady!’. Namorita turns to the newcomer, ‘Thought you could sneak up on me from behind, did you?’ she asks. ‘Well, think again!’ she exclaims as she unleashes a punch at the new arrival, only for his form to stretch out and evade the attack, while the final Deviant escapes through the window. Namorita is thrown by the force of her own blow, into a priceless collection of Atlantean pottery.
The crash is heard outside by Sharkskin and Undertow. ‘It sounds like trouble!’ Sharkskin exclaims, while Undertow suggests they forget about the assassins, as Namorita’s safety must take precedence over their need for vengeance. ‘I am not sure that it’s she who is in trouble! From her window! Listen!’ Sharkskin exclaims as he and Undertow make their way to the palace, their companion exclaims ‘My lady - cease your attack! I am not your enemy!’. ‘Right…and I’m the Queen of Sheba!’ Namorita replies sarcastically as she takes another swing at him. ‘Well, well’ Undertow exclaims. ‘It seems our own Eel is the one who is in trouble!’. Eel calls out to Undertow and tells him to cease his laughing and do something. ‘She’s trying to kill me!’ he exclaims.
Undertow gestures and a funnel of water separates Namorita from Eel, and traps Namorita within the funnel. ‘You were supposed to save her, Eel, not attack her!’ Sharkskin exclaims. ‘She attacked me!’ Eel protests, reminding his teammates that they were supposed to capture the assassins, before asking where they have got to. Sharkskin explains that they thought Namorita was in trouble, so they let the assassin go. ’After all, our first object was her ladyship’s rescue!’ Undertow adds. ‘Then you aren’t part of that thieving band?’ Namorita asks. ‘Far from it, my lady!’ Undertow replies as he gestures, causing the swirling water around her to go still. Swimming over to the trio, Namorita asks them who they are, to which Undertow reveals that they are Atlanteans, like herself, only they were born with physical mutations. Eel explains that they have been shunned by “normal” Atlanteans as inferior - as was the Sub-Mariner because of his pink skin.
Sharkskin reveals that it is worse since Attuma has ruled, to which Eel explains that is why, able-bodied as they are, they are not with the Atlantean army, wrecking havoc on the surface dwellers. ‘And so, we have banded together, secretly, in an anti-Attuma alliance!’ Eel adds, while Undertow tells Namorita that they wanted her cousin, Prince Namor, to return and rule. ‘And even in death, we serve his memory’ Undertow adds, to which Namorita asks them if Namor knew, and tells them to keep talking as she needs to get some stuff from the other room.
Namorita gathers some items and puts them into a duffel bag, while Undertow explains that Namor had never heard of them, as he was a Prince, and they are quite ordinary, except in form and in power. ‘But we wish to help’ Undertow adds, remarking that they knew Namorita had returned to Atlantis from her sojourn among the surface dwellers. Undertow tells Namorita that they place no trust in the honor of Attuma. ‘You are, after all, Namor’s cousin and half-surface dweller’. Eel tells Namorita that they feared Attuma might have her killed, and so they kept guard outside the palace. Sharkskin explains that they waited and that’s when Namorita was attacked, but not by Attuma’s assassins.
‘Who were they?’ Eel asks, to which Namorita, who has since removed her nightie and is now wearing a green bikini, reveals that they were surface dwellers and they stole a horn - a weapon created by the ancient Atlanteans. ‘I have to get it back!’ Namorita exclaims. ‘Surface dwellers?’ gasps Undertow. ‘And a weapon? How can a horn be a weapon?’ Eel asks. Namorita explains that the Horn of Doom can call up monsters from beneath the sea, that each note summons a different monster. Namorita reveals that the horn had been lost during an epic battle, and was recently found by a group of surface dwellers called the New Mutants, who used it and learned, to their horror, of its great power.
Namorita leads the way out of the palace, explaining that Prince Namor took the horn from the New Mutants, but had to continue his quest for the lost sons of Marrina, his dead wife. Following Namorita, Eel asks her if she is going after the supposed surface dwellers who attacked her, and remarks that they do not look like surface dwellers. ‘Nor do you…or I…look like other Atlanteans’ Namorita points out, before explaining that the New Mutants were born with an altered genetic structure that changed their bodies and gave them extraordinary power. Namorita reveals that, from Namor’s description, she recognized the black one, the furry one and the spindly one, before telling her newfound companions that for all their powers, she might have been able to catch up with them if the three of them hadn’t interfered. ‘Or maybe you’d be dead!’ Eel exclaims.
Undertow exclaims that they serve Prince Namor, and if he commanded that the horn be safe, then it shall be, while Sharkskin vows to Namorita that they will help her to retrieve the horn, or die in the attempt. Namorita smiles, ‘All right. You win and thank you’ she tells the trio, while one of them asks where the New Mutants headquarters are. Namorita explains that Namor said they live in a vast ship that hovered near the kelp plain, which is why she was in such a hurry, as it will take hours to get there. ‘Not any longer!’ Undertow exclaims as he charges the water around them, propelling them forward. ‘Attuma may scorn what the humans’ atomic tests have made of us…but we shall find it useful!’ Undertow exclaims.
Meanwhile, the New Mutants hover above the waves in a wonky craft of typically Warlockian design. ‘We’ve looked! We can’t find out ship or X-Factor anywhere!’ one of the team exclaims. ‘So…what do we do now?’ another asks. ‘Call our parents, I suppose…or our guardians’ Rahne remarks, still in her lupine form, as she lounges on a deck chair next to Boom-Boom, who tells everyone that X-Factor was here and Rictor’s guardians. Suddenly, Wolfsbane alerts Boom-Boom to an enormous wave, and exclaims that it is the biggest she has ever seen. ‘Probably Avalanche and Freedom Force attacking us again…just what we need!’ Boom-Boom mutters.
But as the wave towers over the New Mutants on the Warlock-raft, Rictor tells Boom-Boom that he doesn’t think this is Avalanche, unless his teammates have taken to riding surfboards - as he sees several figures riding the over-sized wave. ‘Move it, Warlock! We gotta get out of here!’ one of them exclaims, while suddenly, Namorita and her companions appear, and leap from the wave, with Namorita shouting ‘Get them!’. Warlock announces that he cannot outdistance them. ‘We are doomed!’ he declares as the wave smashes them into the ocean. Beneath the waves, Sharkskin watches as Cannonball begins to glow, getting ready to blast, causing Sharkskin to lunge at Cannonball, knocking past Warlock, preventing him from blasting away, while Warlock tells his friends that Sharkskin shreds like a thousand knives. Sam tells himself that it is a good thing it was he who was grabbed, as he is invulnerable so long as he is blasting.
Wolfsbane latches on to Cannonball, and becomes protected by his blast field, while Sharkskin continues to hold Sam tight. Sam tells himself to get out of the water and into the air where they can breathe and find out what is going on. Cannonball musters the strength to blast into the air, while Sharkskin, still holding on, tells him that he cannot escape by this trick, before asking where the horn is. ‘Horn? Man, Ah don’t know what you’re talking about…and right now, Ah don’t care much!’ Sam replies.
Back under the water, Namorita strikes out at Sunspot, exclaiming that the New Mutants alone, among the surface dwellers, know of the horn’s existence and its power. ‘I’m half-surface dweller myself…I’ve lived among you!’ she exclaims. Namorita remarks that she knows all surface dwellers aren’t evil, like Attuma says, but that surface dwellers do have a kind of weapons madness, and collect weapons as an Atlantean child collects shells. ‘But in this case you must relent! Surrender the horn…and we’ll let you live!’ Namorita tells Sunspot, who manages to throw Namorita off him, while wondering to himself ‘Who’s Attuma?’, and whether Namorita is babbling about the Sub-Mariner’s horn. Bobby thinks to himself that Namorita is strong, and darn good looking, but that if she thinks he is less strong, or willing to bow before such threats, than she is far more foolish than she looks.
Eel shifts his form to spread over Boom-Boom, telling her that the New Mutants made a mistake in their attack, a fatal mistake by allowing Namorita to recognize them. ‘Attuma attacks the surface world...and this was to be your revenge!’ Eel exclaims, before remarking that they served Prince Namor, and will not allow Atlantis to be thus threatened. ‘We weren’t even there! How can he recognize us? And I can’t talk underwater…or breathe either!’ Boom-Boom thinks to herself, before deciding that a time bomb should blast her free and get her to the surface - but Eel knocks the plasma burst from Tabby’s hand and wraps his form around her. ‘Got to make another. If only…I could breathe…’ Tabby thinks herself.
Nearby, Warlock swims towards Rictor, who is floating aimlessly. Warlock pulls Rictor to the surface, while Julio thinks to himself that he is nearly out of air, as he swallowed some water trying to yell out to Boom-Boom. ‘She’s in worse trouble than I am!’ Rictor realizes. Moments later, Warlock breaks the surface, and Rictor thanks him, before pointing out that the others are still down there. ‘Got to go back…’ Rictor exclaims, to which Undertow exclaims is very noble, as he approaches them, warning them that they can only save their friends by revealing the location of the horn. Warlock quickly informs Rictor that the water is dragging them back down, to which Undertow explains that is his power, in part thanks to their kind. He exclaims that it was their atomic weapons tests that irradiated their settlement of Maritania and twisted them genetically. ‘Things are tough all over, aren’t they dude?’ Rictor replies, before using his vibro power against Undertow’s water-spouts, knocking Undertow backwards.
Many leagues away, and many fathoms deep, a vast submarine glides silently toward Atlantis. ‘You see now, Empress Llyra, while those particular three Deviants were chosen to steal the horn, it would be clear to anyone who has heard of the New Mutants who took the horn. They, of course would be wrong’ Ghaur exclaims. Llyra tells Ghaur that his Deviant’s resemblance to the New Mutants is uncanny, so Namorita’s mistake is understandable. ‘And it will cost her people dear!’ Ghaur exclaims, declaring that, in mere minutes, they will have the horn, and they will put it to the test - ‘And Atlantis will be sacrificed to the glory of Set!’
Back to the ocean-battle, where teenage human mutant battles Atlantean mutant. Beneath the waves, Namorita and Sunspot continue to exchange punches, while Boom-Boom is still trapped inside Eel. Undertow floats near the surface, while Cannonball blasts across the water with Wolfsbane on his back, and carrying Sharkskin, and Warlock hovers over the water with Rictor, who tells his alien teammate to snap out of it, as Boom-Boom is in trouble. ‘As is friend-Sunspot!’ Warlock replies as he drops Rictor onto the surface of the water, telling him to wait here and use his vibes to watch his back, as Warlock dives towards Boom-Boom, at Rictor’s direction, for Julio points out that Sunspot is super-strong and can hold his breath for quite a while. ’Roger, wilco. Over and out!’ Warlock exclaims as he extends his arms and unravels Eel, freeing Boom-Boom.
‘Self respectfully suggests you cease annoying New Mutants…and save your friend!’ Warlock exclaims to Eel as he swims to the surface with Boom-Boom. Eel turns and sees Undertow floating neat the surface, and calls out to him, before extending his malleable body around him. ‘One of them warned me that you were in trouble! He sent me to save you!’ Eel exclaims, to which Undertow asks if such honorable enemies could have really stolen the horn.
Nearby, Namorita struggles in Sunspot’s grasp, telling him to let go of her and calling him a muscle-bound nincompoop. ‘Sticks and stones can break my bones…’ Bobby thinks to himself as he swims upwards, and as he breaks the surface of the water, tells Namorita to calm down. ‘Much as I’m enjoying this wrestling match, you’re obviously blaming us for something we haven’t done!’ Bobby exclaims, while Sam flies overhead and suggests that they oughta all calm down and discuss this rationally. ‘You are fine ones to talk about reason! You - who stole the horn…knowing all alone what it could do!’ Namorita exclaims, demanding for Bobby to let go of her, before breaking hold of his grasp and taking to the air.
Wolfsbane notices that Sharkskin has ceased struggling, and that she fears he has been in the air for too long. ‘Throw him back!’ Rahne exclaims, so Sam does as his friend asks, and Sharkskin hit’s the water with a splash. Sam turns to Namorita and tells her once and for all that they never took her blasted horn. ‘Liar!’ Namorita exclaims, while Eel asks Namorita to look at the New Mutants closely, and asks if they are really the ones they fought earlier. Namorita takes a closer look at Wolfsbane and agrees that the colour is wrong, and that the furry one they fought was male. ‘But they’re so similar! I thought -’ she begins, before Sam tells her that it sounds like she thought what somebody wanted her to think, before asking her who she is and what is this all about a horn.
Wolfsbane asks if it is the Sub-Mariner’s horn, the one they once found that has been lost. ‘No. Not lost! Stolen!’ Namorita exclaims, introducing herself as Namor’s cousin, and explaining that he gave it to her for safe keeping, only beings seemingly disguised as the New Mutants broke into her room and stole it. Namorita suggests that whoever the thieves were, they must have known of the New Mutants’ history, as they set her up to suspect them, and divert her from the real thieves. ‘I have to find them!’ she exclaims, preparing to take flight, only Sam tells her to wait, and points out that since the New Mutants uncovered the horn in the first place, they feel responsible for this mess. Wolfsbane adds that they also do not like people deliberately impersonating them and destroying their good name, and asks Namorita if they can help her find the thieves and retrieve the horn. Namorita tells the New Mutants that she knows how they feel, and that they are welcome to help. ‘Only…if you didn’t take the horn, how do we figure out who did?’ she asks.
Meanwhile, near Atlantis, Ghaur’s three guards swim towards Ghuar’s undersea vessel, where inside, Ghaur is aware of their arrival, and informs Llyra that they are bringing him the prize. Moments later, Coal walks towards Ghaur with the horn in his hand, and announces ‘The Horn of Doom is yours!’. Ghaur takes the horn and tells Coal that he has done well. ‘As a sign of my approval, you will be allowed to witness the destruction of Atlantis…and our great sacrifice of this undersea nation to our mighty Lord Set!’ Ghaur exclaims as he blows into the Horn of Doom.
Above the water, Warlock has transformed himself into a large raft, which the New Mutants, Namorita and her allies stand on. ‘Namorita - did you hear that?’ Undertow asks, while Boom-Boom stands nearby, trying to get his attention. ‘That sound…it tears through my heart!’ Sharkskin exclaims. ‘I didn’t hear anything!’ Boom-Boom remarks. Warlock announces that his sensors register a faint and throbbing vibration, but that the source is far to the northeast and below the water’s surface. ‘Where Atlantis lies!’ Namorita gasps. ‘If you say so, ‘Lock, Ah still can’t hear a thing!’ Cannonball remarks, while Warlock explains that at this distance, no human ear could hear it‘.
Namorita covers her ears as she explains that Atlanteans don’t hear as much as feel the note, and remarks that the reverberations shudder in their hearts and heads long after the sound itself has ceased. ‘There can be but one explanation! Some fool has blown the Horn of Doom!’ Namorita reveals, while someone asks Warlock if he can pinpoint where the sound came from. Warlock replies that he already has, and Undertow creates a large wave for Warlock to ride on, exclaiming that they will travel at their fastest speed. Namorita takes some masks from her duffel bag and hands them to the New Mutants, explaining that they are undersea breathing devices, and that she was planning to take the New Mutants back to Atlantis as captives, but now they will wear them as allies. Namorita urges the New Mutants to put the masks on quickly, as they are about to begin their dive.
Indeed, the heroes are thrust downwards towards Atlantis, and in the process Warlock returns to normal. ‘As I feared the blast originated near Atlantis! I only pray we’re not - too late!’ Namorita exclaims as they lay their sights upon a huge, scale-covered, tentacled creature with a large gaping mouth filled with countless razor-sharp teeth. ‘Awesome!’ Julio exclaims, while Boom-Boom exclaims that it is gross, and worse than what the New Mutants called up when they blew the horn. Undertow exclaims that it is horrible, beyond belief, and wonders how even they, for all their power, can stop such a monster. The huge creature has covered much of Atlantis with it’s mass, and as they approach it, Eel tells everyone to take care, as energy crackles from the creature’s tentacles, like the tail of an electric eel.
The New Mutants and the Atlanteans all begin attacking the creature with their own unique abilities: Rictor unleashes his vibes upon it, boasting that they will shake the monster up and draw its attention away from the Atlanteans in the city. ’And focus it on us! Just what we need! How’s that gonna stop it!’ Tabby exclaims, while Sharkskin runs along one of the creature’s tentacles, exclaiming that his spines easily shred its skin, but that the monster is huge. Namorita fires a spear-gun at the creature, but Eel points out that spears have little effect. Boom-Boom grins as she exclaims that the traditional way to get rid of these things is to explode them, and admits tradition is not really her thing, she will just this once make an exception. ’Everybody move back!’ Tabby exclaims as she throws a massive plasmoid at the creature. But as Cannonball points out, the creature doesn’t even seem to know it was hit, as nothing happens.
Namorita alerts everyone to the good which is dispersing on the water’s currents, and announces that she suddenly doesn’t feel so well. ’It’s bleeding though…if that dark good is blood!’ Rictor exclaims while Wolfsbane pulls Namorita away from it. Rictor suggests that if they cannot stop the creature from smashing the city, they may be able to hold the city together while everyone gets out.
Meanwhile, in his vessel, Ghaur learns that Namorita has returned with the New Mutants as allies. ’Your ship is armed, is it not, my lord? Let us draw closer and fire upon them…and destroy them before they can disrupt our great plan!’ Llyra suggests.
Back at Atlantis, some Atlantean soldiers are overcome by the black goo, while Sunspot, Cannonball and Wolfsbane try to brace part of a tower long enough for the people inside it to escape. ’Inside they’ll be crushed…outside they’re being poisoned!’ Wolfsbane exclaims. Warlock remarks that Rahne is correct and suggests that they dare not inflict further wounds to the creature, as the ichor leaking from the monster’s wounds has poisoned the water and all those who breathe it. He scoops some unconscious Atlanteans up into a net, while Wolfsbane asks if they cannot wound the creature how can the kill it. ‘What so we do now?’
While the full impact of their dilemma strikes the New Mutants, Ghaur’s ship draws ever closer. Warlock notices the approaching ship, and alerts his teammates to the unknown vessel’s arrival. But, inside the submarine, Ghaur is so intent on revenge, that he fails to notice the thrashing tentacle of the massive creature, which smacks into the side of the submarine, breaching the hull. Water pours into the submarine, and Ghaur loses the Horn of Doom, which is swept out of his reach while he tells Llyra to go through the gasket door into the next compartment. He remarks that the aperture will seal behind them and they shall be safe. ’The horn! No!’ Ghaur gasps as the horn is suddenly sucked into the sea, where it is crushed beneath the rubble of a destroyed city.
‘The mutants are still free to defend the city! We have failed!’ Llyra exclaims as they watch the goings-on outside. ‘No. Never. A city is but stone and mortar. It can be rebuilt…’ Ghaur remarks, declaring that its people have been decimated and he declares by the blood of the monster that now blackens the water, that their ritual sacrifice is complete. ‘And now. We must be away!’ he exclaims, alerting Llyra to the gathering of super-beings outside and remarking they have attracted the attention of Atlantis’s would-be rescuers. ‘Our identity must remain a secret until our final goal is met!’ Ghaur exclaims.
Outside in the water, Bobby exclaims that Warlock is right, it is a submarine. ‘Of Deviant design!’ Namorita reveals, while Warlock asks his friends if they saw that those in the submarine had the horn. ‘It’s gone now…crushed!’ Namorita points out, to which Rictor remarks that is just as well. Sharkskin remarks that Attuma has been betrayed by his allies and declares that when he returns to Atlantis, there will be nothing left to rule. Sunspot swims after the submarine, exclaiming that they have to answer for what they have done, but Namorita exclaims that the monster is still here, poisoning the ocean and destroying their city. ’When it has finished its decimation here, it will attack ships...or cities along the coast’ Namorita points out, telling the New Mutants that they will need all their powers to stop it.
Sunspot remarks that if it can be stopped, he hopes somebody has a bright idea. Undertow swims towards the creature and remarks that the first step is to create a whirlpool to try and contain the monster’s poison blood, and he begins to do so, while Rictor swims alongside him and begins to use his vibes to annoy the creature, getting it mad enough to chase them away from Atlantis and the remaining inhabitants. The plan works, and the creature begins to chase the heroes with a vengeance. ‘Undertow - get us out of here!’ Rictor exclaims, to which Undertow speeds up the current around them, while Cannonball points out that they still must stop the creature, if they can.
Namorita exclaims that they need some place where its ichor is least likely to poison the sea. Namorita reveals that there is a deep trench, a notch, in the Continental Shelf where the walls are sheer and steep, similar to the Grand Canyon, but deeper and even more majestic. ‘A trench with high walls? Then Ah know how we’ll do it!’ Sam exclaims, telling Namorita to take them to there, and that working together, they will be able to stop this thing once and for all.
As the New Mutants and the Atlanteans are swept along on Undertow’s current, strategies are discussed and plans formulated and all the while, the creature, stung by Rictor’s vibes, snaps at their heels. Shortly, they arrive at the Hudson Canyon. ‘Man…that’s something!’ Cannonball remarks about the sprawling canyon, while Rictor tells his teammate to admire the scenery later, as the creature is right behind them. ‘Okay, Boom-Boom…let’s rock an’ roll!’ Sam exclaims as he grabs Tabby and blasts down into the canyon, asking her if she is making the biggest time bomb that she can make. ‘Absolutely! Course I have to figure in the stability factor’ Tabby replies, telling Sam not to sweat it, and to trust her to do the job.
Undertow announces that the monster is coming, and tells Warlock to grab hold of the cliff, and the others, while they SURFERS lure the monster below. ‘And may the Gods have mercy on all of us!’ Undertow adds. ‘Alarm…alarm…it is here!’ Warlock exclaims urgently. The alien New Mutant remarks that he hopes the creature will take the lure and that in this gloom will mistake the SURFers for all of them and descend according to plan, into the chasm. Dangling off the edge of the chasm, Warlock has Rictor, Namorita, Sunspot and Wolfsbane clinging to him. ‘Selfriends hold onto each other…hold tight…or you will be swept away!’ Warlock exclaims, while the teenage heroes almost forget to breathe as the monster’s belly skims over them - and begins its headlong descent.
Cannonball and Boom-Boom lead the way, with SURF following, the time-bomb glowing ever brighter in the increasing gloom. The monster follows, tentacles crackling, like bolts from heaven. Boom-Boom reports that the time-bomb is unstable, presumably because it is so large. She announces that she has held it as long as she can, but that it is going to blow - and soon. Eel asks Boom-Boom to give it to her, as they are deep enough. Boom-Boom does, and Eel swims forward, ‘Come, monster! You have chased us fathoms deep! Finally you have caught one of us!’ Eel exclaims as he swims into the jagged-tooth mouth of the foul sea creature.
‘So show me what you will to dispose of us!’ Eel exclaims, urging the monster to close its mouth and give a good deep swallow. The creature’s mouth snaps closed, and Cannonball tells Boom-Boom that the creature took the bait, that he shut his jaws. ‘And locked Eel inside!’ Boom-Boom adds, as she begins her countdown at three. Sam reminds Tabby that she is forgetting Eel’s power, as he can turn paper thing and squeeze through the gaps in the creature’s teeth. ‘Unless he’s been swallowed’ Tabby remarks, as she countdown’s two. ‘Unless he can’t get out in time’ Tabby adds, as she reaches one in her countdown - and just in time, Eel emerges from the creature’s mouth - while a blinding glow can be seen between the creature’s teeth - followed by a BOOM beneath the depths of the ocean.
Cannonball blasts through the water while still holding onto Boom-Boom, while SURF follow. ‘Well done, Eel!’ Sharkskin exclaims. Eel thanks his friend, before pointing out that they must still contend with the creature’s poison, which leaks from the creature, adding that they must be away from here so that phase can be initiated. Moments later, they arrive at the top of the chasm, and Sharkskin asks the others to do their part, as they have done theirs. ‘They hurt him, guys. Now let’s us bury him!’ Sunspot boasts. Rictor points out that the cliff is steep and covered with rocks, so it will take little to trigger a massive undersea avalanche. He uses his vibes, setting the avalanche off, while Sharkskin and Sunspot smash their powerful fists into the cliff, helping enable the rocks to tumble into the chasm. ‘And so the creature…along with its poison lies buried beneath tons of rock and sand’ Sunspot announces, while Sharkskin asks ‘And what of Atlantis?’
‘Deserted!’ Namorita exclaims when the group of heroes arrives back at the fabled city. ‘Everyone left alive has fled…it’s so polluted here now…the city’s not fit for habitation!’ Namorita exclaims. Cannonball asks Namorita what she will do. ‘You’re half-human. Will you come back with us to the surface world?’. But Namorita replies that she will not, as Atlantis has been destroyed, but they lured the monster off and saved most of the inhabitants. ‘My place is here, with them, beneath the sea’. Namorita explains that the Atlanteans will need her help and strength like they never have before. ‘And when I’ve done all that I can here, I’ll search out the Deviants…and make them pay for what they’ve done to my people!’
Eel, Undertow and Sharkskin approach Namorita and tell her that they will help her. ‘You see…Atlantis may have turned its back on us. But we will never abandon Atlantis!’. Eel adds that they have learned through this encounter. ‘That as different as surface dwellers and Atlanteans seem, in most ways, they are very much the same’ Namorita concludes. The New Mutants swim to the surface of the ocean, propelled by Undertow’s powers, while Cannonball tells his teammates that before this happened, he was acting like it was a major tragedy losing their ship. ‘I mean… we still don’t have any place to live… but they lost their whole city…had their world practically destroyed!’. Someone else adds that it gives you a sense of perspective, while Boom-Boom exclaims that it sure does. ‘Dig it - we’re alive. So it’s bound to be uphill from here…all the way!’….
Tabitha “Boom-Boom” Smith sits in her room aboard X-Factor’s sentient Ship - she is a quintessentially bored and hormonally-restless teenager. Issues of Hunk Magazine are strewn across her bed, while various posters - including one for the film Dirty Dancing are tacked to the wall. As Tabby sits on her bed, Ship tells her that concentration on her studies seems less than it should be today. ‘Yo! Ship - I can’t keep my mind on this stuff, study, study, study! All we ever do around her is study and save the world. It’s so-o-o-o boring!’ Boom-Boom replies, before asking Ship if he happens to know any cute guys. Ship apologizes to Boom-Boom and explains that is not his domain, before asking ‘What of the young men in the New Mutants? They all seem like fine fellows…’
‘Them? They’re all so goody-good and boring! AA-A They’re all right for superheroing around with - but…’ Tabby’s voice trails off when there is a knock at her door. ‘C’mon in’ Tabby calls out, before muttering ‘Oh, it’s you...’ as her teammate Rictor opens the door. ‘You! Boom-Boom - hey…what’s up, babe?’ Rictor asks. ‘”Babe”?’ Tabby thinks to herself, before replying that she is not up to much, just studying a little physics - ‘Like, you know - trajectories, air resistance, delayed firing’. The love-struck Rictor runs his hands through his hair as he asks Boom-Boom if she wants to go shake up the town a little and go to a movie, and get a burger after. ‘Or...anything else ya could think of’ Rictor adds.
Boom-Boom tries to hide behind her sunglasses as Rictor approaches her, thinking to herself ‘Oh right…burgers…why not milk and cookies?’. Boom-Boom gets up from her bed and leads Rictor out of her room, thanking him but explaining that she has a million things to do: ‘My hair - uh - laundry! Yeah! That’s the ticket…my ah - book report’s due tomorrow on “Anne of Green Gables”…’. Rictor tells Boom-Boom that he thought she saw that on TV, to which Boom-Boom replies that she missed the end. ’We had to go fight demons, remember!’ she explains, telling Rictor not to let the door hit him on the way out.
With Rictor gone, Boom-Boom flops down onto her bed: ‘Oh, pul-leeze!’ she complains, exasperated. ‘Why Can’t I meet…just one really cute guy…for a change…Boom-Boom mutters, before falling asleep.
In Boom-Boom’s dream:
‘Hunh?’ Boom-Boom asks, looking around, her surroundings are bleak and colorless. ‘Something’s screwy around here - I think I’m not in Kansas anymore…’ Tabby exclaims, before noticing something strange. ‘What’s this?’ she asks as she appears to knock on a panel: ‘Who’s out there? Rod Serling?’ Tabby calls out, when suddenly, a voice from beyond her dimension calls out to her: ‘Oh! Hi, Boom-Boom! Come on out!’ the voice exclaims. ‘Out? Where’s out? …Wh…? Are you drawing this? Drawing me!?’ Boom-Boom exclaims as she steps out of the panel and onto the artist’s pad, where she returns to color. ‘Sure! One of my pleasanter tasks too. Mmmmmm’ the artists remarks.
Boom-Boom stands on one of the artists’ pages and exclaims that she doesn’t know what is going on around here. ‘But don’t mess with this chick, mister!’ she shouts as she tosses a time-bomb at the artist. ‘Oh?’ the artists replies as he flicks the time-bomb away, while Boom-Boom (rather small compared to him) jumps around on his desk. ‘Aagh! Oh, no! Now look whatcha did!’ Boom-Boom exclaims as she looks down at the page comprising her bedroom: ‘You’ve - like - totaled my room!’ she shouts. ‘Don’t worry, Boom-Boom! This is the Marvel Universe. Anything’s possible here…’ the artist replies as he begins erasing the mess on the page.
‘I sure hope you’re proud of yourself’ Boom-Boom grumbles, before jumping clear of the eraser: ‘Hey! Watch it with that eraser will ya?’ she yells. The artist tells Boom-Boom that he is just giving her a taste of her own medicine, before asking her what she is complaining about, as he is the one who has to redraw a whole panel. ’Right!’ Boom-Boom replies as she lies down on the page, before exclaiming ’Hey! While you’re at it, how about redecorating this dump a little? Give me, like, some new curtains…update my sound system?’
‘Sorry, Boom-Boom - continuity problems, y’know…’ the artist replies, before telling Tabby that they should cut to the chase: ‘You want me to fix you up with a cute guy?’ he asks. ‘The cutest guy in the universe?’ Boom-Boom exclaims, to which the artist replies that he only has the Marvel Universe to draw. ‘But that’s pretty good pickings’. ‘But how - Where?’ Boom-Boom asks. The artist tells Boom-Boom to hop out off the page, as he is going to show her samples of her life with some of Marvel’s cutest. ‘Starting with the corporate logo’ he begins, as he starts drawing Spider-Man.
‘Oh! Wow! That’s Mary Jane. She is - like - the world’s most famous model. I’d just love a chance to stop with - oh - you mean the guy hanging around with her…’ Boom-Boom realizes as she sees Spider-Man hanging upside down alongside Mary Jane. ‘Nah! He is cute. But I don’t wanna muddy up M.J.’s pond. And besides, I don’t think I’d appreciate all the footprints on the ceiling’ Boom-Boom remarks, before Mary Jane pulls Spider-Man’s head towards her, and Spider-Man shoots some webbing at Boom-Boom.
‘Hmmm…guess they wanted their privacy’ Boom-Boom remarks as she finds herself in the laboratory of Mister Fantastic. ‘I don’t usually go for computer geeks, but…’ Boom-Boom begins as she places her arms around Mister Fantastic - only for the Invisible Woman to materialize. ‘An older man is pretty cool!’ Tabby exclaims, before asking the Invisible Woman if Mister Fantastic’s grey-at-the-temple look drives her bananas, too. The Invisible Woman just frowns, before kicking Boom-Boom off the panel. ‘Hey! Don’t be so touchy! I was just going!’ Boom-Boom complains.
Tabby calls out to the artist: ‘Yo, artist! These guys are cute, but messing with married guys is just asking for trouble. Who else’ve you got that’s available?’ Boom-Boom asks, as the artist begins to draw Captain America. ‘Hmmm…big chest, okay…head’s a little small…’ Boom-Boom remarks, before finding herself in a scenario with Captain America.
‘Good morning, dear…did you get Wally and the Beaver off to school all right?’ Captain America asks, walking past Boom-Boom in their kitchen, reading a newspaper, he kisses her on the cheek, wearing a robe over his costume. Boom-Boom calls Cap “dear” and bids him a good morning, before telling him that the boys are upstairs getting their homework. ‘I have your breakfast all ready’ she smiles, when suddenly, their two children rush into the kitchen, ‘Oh, boys! Break!’ Boom-Boom exclaims as she is knocked back. ‘No thanx, mom - I’ll grab a hunk of milk on the way out…promised to meet Eddie and Lumpy before school!’ one of them exclaims, while the other announces that he is going over to Larry Mondello’s house’.
Lying on the kitchen floor, with eggs and bacon splattered over her face, Boom-Boom does not look impressed - even less so when Captain America reaches over with a cup of coffee and tells her that when she is done cleaning up the boys’ mess he will have some scrambled eggs and toast - with marmalade - and some white sugar in his coffee. ‘Certainly, dear. One lump or two?’ Boom-Boom replies coldly, as she tosses two small time-bombs into Captain America’s coffee - which erupts over him like a fountain while Boom-Boom rushes away, screaming ‘ARTIST!’
Next Boom-Boom appears standing on a rooftop with Daredevil. ‘That domestic scene was totally bogus! I’m definitely not on the mommy track. Artist - you’re not doing too well. Haven’t you got anybody cuter?’ Boom-Boom exclaims as she removes her apron. Tabby spots Daredevil standing statuesque, and remarks that there are possibilities there. ‘You know what they say about blind people? Like their other senses are more developed?’ she remarks, before commenting that Daredevil has a nice body. But as she places her hands on him, and he doesn’t move, she exclaims ‘Nope! This guy is mega-cute, but he is just too serious!’
‘Get me out of here!’ Boom-Boom shouts, to which the artist begins adding water to the panel and tells her not to worry, and to take a dive. ‘Say what?’ Tabby asks. ‘A dive - just dive!’ the artist exclaims. Boom-Boom does as he suggests, and finding herself submerged under water, Tabby thinks to herself that she is not going to even ask why she can suddenly breathe under water. Moments later, she appears lying in a shell-throne, while the scantily-clad Namor the Sub-Mariner stands before her. ‘I, Namor, hero of countless battles - mighty Prince of Atlantis…shall offer you the honor of becoming Princess Namora / Boom-Boom the First!’ Namor declares.
‘Oh, give me a break…’ Boom-Boom mumbles, while Namor declares that Boom-Boom shall be the bride of the Sub-Mariner. ‘Most fearless monarch of all the vast and trackless seas!’ Boom-Boom throws a time-bomb during the Sub-Mariner’s next speech, and proceeds to swim away. ‘Are you kidding? He doesn’t need me, he needs a mirror - full-length!’ Boom-Boom tells the artist. ‘Ok, ok. Time to try a different type…’ the artist replies.
A sopping Boom-Boom suddenly finds herself in front of Doctor Doom: ‘Ah, Boom-Boom my dear - delighted you have come to join me in my austere loneliness’. Doom takes Boom-Boom in his arms and tells her that she will grace his castle with a simple elegance and that his peasants will learn to worship her. Doom tells Boom-Boom that he will place her on a pedestal, secure from all contact with the tawdry world whence she came. ‘You shall have no work more difficult than delicate embroidery, blah, blah, etc…’ Doom exclaims. Tabby smiles and taps Doom’s faceplate, telling him that it sounds real cute, but that there is no way she is becoming “Baroness Boom-Boom von Doom!”, before asking Doom ‘Er, how long can ya stay fresh in that can?’. ‘Zounds!’ Doom exclaims as a metallic tentacle comes up behind Boom-Boom and pulls her away.
‘Oh, brother! This is a joke, right? Major yuks! What happened to cute?’ Boom-Boom exclaims as she finds herself wrapped in the tentacles of Doctor Octopus. The love-struck Doc Ock exclaims that not all his plans for world conquest, or destruction of the accursed Spider-Man can equal this one supreme moment. ‘Boom-Boom, darling, will you be my main squeeze?’. Boom-Boom warns Doctor Octopus that he is about to say farewell to his arms unless he loosens up right now. Boom-Boom calls out to the artist and tells him that she wouldn’t mind her guy being all hands, ‘But what a toad!’ she remarks about Doctor Octopus. ‘You know anyone who’s like in shape?’ Tabby asks.
‘Okay, one body-builder coming up…’ the artist replies, only Boom-Boom finds herself standing in a messy lounge, packets of food and drink strewn everywhere, while the Hulk is slumped on the sofa, burbling and watching television, the Hulk calls out to Boom-Boom: ‘Hey, toots! Gimme a kiss!’. the Hulk exclaims, while Boom-Boom carries him a large sandwich. ‘NEXT!’ Boom-Boom screams.
‘All right - this guy is kinda cute - but this is - like - the woods. Where am, I gonna shop?’ Boom-Boom asks as Wolverine leans against her, and carves “Logan + Boom-Boom” into a tree, while Boom-Boom paints her matching claws a bright pink. ‘Sorry, artist - back to the city!’ Boom-Boom exclaims.
Next, Boom-Boom finds herself wearing a matching Punisher outfit, while the Punisher himself narrates his own adventure: ‘Sneaking around another corner of another scuzzy street…this time it’s different. She’s here…a partner…someone to share the rich smells of garbage and dust and rot - blood and gore - the intangibles that make this work so satisfying…my kinda woman…’. A furious Boom-Boom kicks the Punisher in the butt and exclaims ‘That’s it! This macho stuff turns me off!’
Turning to the artist, Boom-Boom asks him if he has anybody in his whole Marvel Universe who is cute and lovable and can count past his toes. ‘Okay, Boom-Boom. I’ve shown you the best I’ve got. There’s only one guy left who fits all your requirements. Here is - the cutest, smartest, most lovable guy in the entire Marvel Universe - definitely - the cutest!’ Boom-Boom looks shocked as Franklin “Tattletale” Richards is suddenly drawn before her. ‘Uh, don’t you think he’s just a little young…?’ Boom-Boom asks, before dropping to her knees as Franklin places a kiss on her cheek. ‘Aw, what the heck, it’s worth the wait!’ Boom-Boom smiles.