New Mutants: Dead Souls #6

Issue Date: 
October 2018
Story Title: 
Chapter 6: Something Must Break

Matthew Rosenberg (writer), Adam Gorham (artist), Michael Garland (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Clayton Cowles (letterer), Ryan Stegman, JP Mayer & Michael Garland (cover artists), Adam del Re & Anthony Gambino (graphic designers), Chris Robinson (assistant editor), Darren Shan (editor), Jordan D White (X-Men group editor), CB Cebulski (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (president), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

Three months ago, Dani Moonstar searches the ruins of a home in Connecticut. She contacts Karma and reports that she doesn't sense her brother's involvement. She is about to leave when she notices some techno-organic dust on the ground. She touches it, and then falls to the ground, where she starts speaking strangely, gasping for help. Today, Magik visits the remains of that house and finds Dani's headband, while at the Hatchi Corporation, Karma is growing increasingly unhappy with Magik, and begins querying Prodigy, Wolfsbane, a very unimpressed Boom-Boom, and Rictor about things, but none of them give her any answers that she wants. Karma confronts Magik directly, and they both accuse each other of hiding things. Magik understands Karma is trying to weaponize magic and warns her that is not a good idea. Magik also understands that the Hatchi Corporation is involved with the ONE. Karma tells her they aren't, and Magik tries to explain to Karma that she was hearing her brother's voice for years, and that at some point, he took control. Karma denies this, so Magik opens a portal to Limbo, and Tran appears, trapped behind a barrier, unable to touch them. Magik asks Karma where Dani Moonstar is, but Karma claims she doesn't know, but Tran claims that Karma got Dani killed during her hunt for him – and that he wants Karma killed, as she is his prison. Karma tells Tran that he needs her. Magik tries to explain to Karma how powerful Tran has become since he left her body – but when Magik uses her Soulsword on Tran, this enables him to return to Karma's body, even more powerful than before. Magik is then attacked by the techno-organic infected Moonstar, along with techno-organic copies of Cannonball, Sunspot, Wolfsbane, Magma and one of herself, too. Karma reveals that Moonstar merged with Warlock, that he needed her to survive. An enraged Magik attacks Karma, and Wolfsbane hears the commotion, so she joins the battle too – only to be infected with the techno-organic virus as well. The techno-organic copies of the other New Mutants fight Magik, and knock her into the kitchen where Boom-Boom, Rictor and Shatterstar are. They don't get the chance to help, as Magik teleports them away. She does get some assistance by the form of Strong Guy, who she brings back from Limbo – however the stress causes him to have a heart attack. Moonlock – as the combined Moonstar / Warlock is known – infects Strong Guy with the techno-organic virus to save his life. Unfortunately, Strong Guy then infects Magik. Karma / Tran is pleased with what has happened, and contacts General Callahan, offering him test subjects – but the call is cut short when Magik infects Karma, and tells her that they are all monsters now.

Full Summary: 

Three months ago:
Canterbury, Connecticut, where a “police line do not cross” barrier surrounds the ruins of a suburban home. 'I've been over the whole thing. There's no sign of him' Dani Moonstar announces as she speaks with Xi'an Coy Manh a.k.a. Karma on her cellphone. Dani passes the police line tape, and tells Shan that she was right to send her, that she can't quite put her finger on it, but something unusual happened here. 'I just don't sense your brother's involvement' Dani adds. She pauses as she listens to Shan, and tells her 'Nobody but you calls it “Valkyrie Sense” but yes, Shan. If Tran's soul was here I would have sensed him'.

Dani reports that she is done here, and tells Shan that they can grab dinner and figure out where to go next.

Suddenly, Dani stops, 'What is this?' she wonders, noticing some strange black and yellow dust amongst the dirt. She puts some of the dust onto her fingers, and sniffs it – which causes the dust to enter her nose. Dani's skin begins to turn yellow and black, she goes wide-eyed, and gasps for help, as she collapses. 'Self... friend...' Dani utters, suddenly grabbing the red ribbon around her head, and pulls it off, while Karma's voice can be heard on the phone, 'Dani? Hello?' she asks, but gets no response.

Canterbury, Connecticut, where the “police line do not cross” barrier has been removed. The remains of the house lie in ruin still, and Illyana Rasputin a.k.a. Magik stands among them. She notices a red ribbon in the dirt and picks it up. 'You're not supposed to be in there, ya know' a boy on bike calls out as he and another youth pull up on the edge of the property. 'Yes, I am' Magik remarks as she turns to the youths. 'My mom says they all died because the kid who lived there was a mutie freak' the other kid remarks. 'Tell your mom to go #$%& herself' Magik retorts as she opens a stepping disc and teleports away, holding the red ribbon.

Meanwhile, at the Hatchi Corporation, headquarters of the New Mutants, where David Alleyne, sometimes known as Prodigy, looks at a computer screen and tells Shan that he doesn't know what Illyana looked at – all he can tell is that she accessed a lot of secure files last night. Shan asks how Illyana was able to do that. 'I gave her access' David reveals. 'WHAT?' Shan snaps. 'You made her team leader. I just assumed she was allowed to look at it. Is there a reason she isn't?' David replies, without looking at Shan, who mutters 'Dammit. I have to find her'.

'Where is Illyana? Shan snaps at Rahne Sinclair a.k.a Wolfsbane who is doing some knitting. Rahne replies that she hasn't seen Illyana in a couple of days. 'Why?' she adds, but gets no response from Shan.

Shan ignores her and bursts into the bedroom of Tabby Smith a.k.a. Boom-Boom. 'Go away! How many times do I have to tell you I don't work early mornings!' Tabby screams at Shan, her head buried under her pillow. 'It's noon, Tabby' Shan declares, before asking her why they went on a mission that she knows nothing about, and why did Illyana never file a field report about that mission. 'What the $#%& is a field report?' Tabby retorts.

'Where is Guido?' Shan snaps at Julio Richter a.k.a. Rictor, who is eating in the kitchen, while Shatterstar stands nearby, wearing only an apron as he cooks some food. 'Vacation?' Rictor suggests innocently. 'I know you are all covering for Illyana! I don't know what you're up to, but when I find out... and tell Shatterstar to put some damn clothes on' Karma exclaims. 'No' Rictor replies.

Illyana meanwhile is in her quarters, sitting cross-legged on the floor, candles surround her. 'Ha! Found you!' Shan exclaims as she bursts in. Illyana opens her eyes and tells Shan that she wasn't hiding from her, she was just out. Shan looks down at Illyana and asks her if she is sure, because it really feels like she is hiding something. 'Did you take the team on an unsanctioned mission?' Shan asks, hands on hips. 'I assumed you didn't want to know that your employees broke into the Sanctum Sanctorum and stole things from Doctor Strange' Illyana replies. 'Why would you do that?' Shan asks. 'Because I am not the only one not being forthcoming, Shan' Illyana points out. She  stands up so she and Shan are at the same level, and asks Shan what the Hatchi Corporation has been working on – what the mission in the Arctic was and why Shan was so interested in hurricane clean-up. 'This company has many different facets. You know this. Why are we even discussing -' Shan begins, but Illyana interrupts her: 'You were weaponizing magic, Shan. You know that's not a good idea'.

'You don't understand. Hatchi Corporation needs to keep up with companies like Rand, Stark, Richmond, Roxxon, Trask -' Shan begins, as Illyana interrupts her again: 'Trask? Are you listening to what you're saying?' 'To secure our future, it's time for a mutant-run business to -' Shan starts to say, as Illyana asks her if this is for mutants, or for herself. Shan tells Illyana not to be so naive, and declares that they are ensuring the survival of their species and their friends. 'I'm making sure that mutants have a place at the table, and out contractors -' Shan adds, to which Illyana asks 'You mean ONE? Did you forget the Office of National Emergency put Sentinels on our doorstep and you want to work with them?' 'We don't work with the Office of National Emergency?' Shan exclaims.

'You really didn't know, did you?' Illyana asks, before telling Shan that she has always worried about this: 'You've had your brother's voice in your head for most of your life now, whispering to you. But somewhere along the way, I think he started to take control. He was doing things you don't even know about' Illyana remarks. 'That's impossible' Shan replies, turning away. 'You're free of him now. Yet you're sending us running all over the place to find him. Why?' Illyana asks. 'He was attacking our company. He was hurting people' Shan replies. 'Is that it?' Illyana asks, before suggesting that they ask Tran, and she opens a stepping disc to Limbo, where Tran appears before them. 'Tran...' Shan utters. 'Hello, sister' Tran grins back, before lunging at her, roaring, until a magical barrier slams him back.

Illyana holds up the glowing green gem discovered at Dr Strange's, and asks tran if he remembers it, reminding him that it makes sure he has a physical body. Referring to the mystical symbol etched into the floor, Illyana informs Tran that is a retaining spell, because she didn't trust him, and only she can pass through the barrier. 'Now it's time we all talk' Illyana announces.

'Tran... I...' Shan begins, as Tran grins back from behind the magical barrier, and tells Magik to get his sister away from him. Magik assures him that she will, before asking him whether the idea of selling weaponized magic to the highest bidder was his idea or Shan's. 'There's no difference. I've been a part of her for as long as you've known her, Illyana. Her voice and mine are two parts of the whole. The yin and the yang' Tran responds, adding that finding new uses for magic was him, but saying it was to “save mutants” was her, and he was happy to let her take the credit. 'You can't trust him!' Shan exclaims, to which Magik asks her where Dani Moonstar is.

'What?' Shan replies. 'Where is Dani Moonstar, Shan?' Magik asks again. Shan tells her that she doesn't know, but Tran declares that she is lying. Tran slams his fist against the magical barrier and reveals that some of the early magic they discovered allowed him to finally escape his sister's body, and when that happened, Shan went a little crazy and sent her beloved Dani after him, before she hired this little team. 'AND YOU HURT HER!' Shan shouts. Tran grins and tells his sister that if he had done something to Dani, he would be gloating right now. 'Do you see now? She got Dani killed in her hunt for me. She thinks she's broken without me, but she's always been broken. She's obsessed. She wants me back' Tran declares.

Magik asks Tran what it is he wants, to which Tran announces that he wants Shan destroyed. 'I may be half of her soul... but she is my prison' Tran utters.

'You lie! You need me and I need you! You know it's true!' Shan exclaims. Illyana warns Shan that Tran has only grown more powerful since he has been out. 'He was already gaining control of you before. Even if it was morally acceptable, taking him back would be very -' Illyana begins, as Shan declares 'You won't get away. You -' and takes possession of Magik, forcing her to draw her Soulsword out. Magik, under Karma's control, remarks '- know you belong with me, brother'. 'Wait...Illy -' Tran exclaims, before Magik slices through the magical barrier, and her Soulsword strikes across Tran's chest. 'Return to me!' Karma calls out through Magik. 'Well played...sister -' Tran utters with his dying breath. Freed of Karma's control, Magik gasps, as Tran's essence returns to Karma. 'Welcome home' Karma tells her brother, as Magik watches in shock.

'WHAT DID YOU MAKE ME DO?' Magik shouts at Karma, who tells her not to act like this. 'Part of me was missing. You know what that's like' Karma replies.  'I killed him! How dare you make me do that!' Magik snaps, holding her Soulsword out towards Karma, who tells her to stop. 'You've been judging me this whole time. Acting like you're better than me. We both know what you really are. What you've always been. Your whole team... you're monsters!' Karma shouts, as Magik begins to switch to her Darkchild form.

'No! I am not a -' Magik begins, before someone blasts through the wall and knocks her away from Karma. Magik looks up and sees Techno-Organic copies of herself, Sunspot, Moonstar, Wolfsbane, Cannonball and Magma standing over her. 'Self-friend Illyana needs to calm down' the copy of Moonstar remarks.

Karma tells Magik that there are things she does not understand. 'Try me' Magik declares, to which Karma informs her that Dani was helping her track her brother before Magik did, but something went wrong and she merged with Warlock, who was very sick and needed her to survive. 'You're saying Dani Moonstar is... in there?' Magik gasps. 'Moonlock is Dani. Moonlock is Warlock' utters the transformed Moonstar/Warlock. 'RRAAAAAH!' Magik screams as she lunges towards Karma, only for the Techno-Organic Cannonball to blast straight into her, knocking her backwards. Suddenly, Wolfsbane enters the room, and asks Magik what she is looking at. Magik explains that when Karma's brother's soul left her, it fractured her psyche and she has been lying to them about everything – and even had Warlock hidden away creating replicas of them. 'Is this one me?' Rahne asks, going over to the Techno-Organic Wolfsbane. Magik tells her it is, and Rahne asks if there is a person in there. 'No. Warlock can reproduce by himself' Karma explains, adding that it is fascinating that he re-created all his friends – he made the original new Mutants.

'So it's an abomination? That's all Ah needed ta hear!' Wolfsbane exclaims as she lunges at her Techno-Organic copy, while Magik slams her Soulsword across Techno-Organic Magma. 'Goodbye, fake Magma' Illyana exclaims.

“Moonlock” goes over to Wolfsbane, who is strangling her Techno-Organic copy and tells her not to do this, that they want to help her. 'Dani? That really you?' Wolfsbane asks. 'Of course it's me, sweet-friend' “Moonlock” responds as she grabs Wolfsbane by her throat and tosses her to the ground after infecting her with the Transmode Virus.

'No! Get off of her!' Magik calls out, rushing over to Rahne, asking her what she should do. 'Help me...' Rahne pleads, when suddenly, the Techno-Organic Magik appears behind the real Magik, grabbing her, she tells her that it is time to merge. Magik reaches for her Soulsword and slams it against her copy, knocking her away.

But the Techno-Organic copies are relentless, and the Techno-Organic Sunspot rushes forward and smacks his fist into Magik so hard that she is forced through a nearby wall, into the kitchen, where Tabby has joined Rictor and the still-naked Shatterstar. The trio look at Magik with shock, 'What the hell, Illyana? If this is more of your weird -' Tabby begins. Magik, battered and bruised, interrupts her: 'Run' she orders. 'What the $%&# are you talking about -' Tabby snaps, when suddenly, without looking at her teammates, Magik mutters that she doesn't have time for this, and a stepping disc rises up and engulfs Tabby, Rictor and Shatterstar.

“Moonlock” and the remaining Techno-Organic New Mutants enter the kitchen and “Moonlock” tells Magik to put the sword down, or else they will take it from her. 'I'd love to see you try' Magik replies as she opens a stepping disc above the Techno-Organic Sunspot. 'You missed?' the being asks. 'Not quite' Magik replies, looking up at the Stepping Disc, 'Come on... please...' Magik utters, when suddenly, a now bearded Guido Carosella a.k.a. Strong Guy drops from the stepping disc, straight onto the Techno-Organic Sunspot. Guido looks at Illyana and asks her if she is standing on Sunspot. 'No! Hit him!' Magik responds. 'Okay' Guido replies as he starts to hit the creature, while Magik warns him not to let them touch him. 'Things sure got weird while I was gone, huh?' Guido remarks, asking how long it was that he was gone, to which Magik tells him it was thirty-six hours as she plunges her Soulsword into Techno-Organic Cannonball who blasts towards her once again, and Guido slams the Techno-Organic Sunspot into the ceiling above.

Suddenly, Guido drops to his knees and clutches his chest. 'Oh... felt like.. years...' he remarks, before collapsing. 'Guido! No no no!' Magik exclaims, wide-eyed. She rushes over to him and kneels beside him, as “Moonlock” does the same. 'Friend is having a heart attack. I can help him' “Moonlock” announces. 'Stay back!' Magik snaps. 'He's dying, Magik. I can help him' “Moonlock” explains. Magik raises her Soulsword and tells “Moonlock” to do it. 'But if you hurt him -' she warns. “Moonlock” places their hands on Guido's face – but the Transmode Virus doesn't appear to spread, as “Moonlock” announces that they cannot hurt what is not living. Guido lies there, motionless, as Magik remarks that it didn't do anything. Guido then sits up, gasping for breath. Magik looks at him and tells him that she is sorry, and not to do that again, as he scared her.

'Don't be scared leader-friend' Guido replies as he places a hand over Magik's mouth – and spreads the Transmode Virus to her! Magik drops to the ground, clutching her neck as Karma walks into the kitchen.

The Techno-Organic Sunspot and Cannonball appear fine, and stand next to her, as do the infected Wolfsbane and Guido. Karma tells her team that they did a good job, that she knew she could count on them.

Karma then picks up her cellphone and calls General Callaghan – introducing herself as Tran Coy Mahn from the Hatchi Corporation. 'If you're still looking for some test subjects, I think I have some you'll love' she tells him.

Suddenly, the infected Magik declares 'Quiet, enemy-self' as she covers Karma's mouth with her hand, and infects her with the Transmode Virus. Karma drops to the floor, and as “Moonlock”, the infected Wolfsbane and Strong Guy, and the Techno-Organic copies of Cannonball and Sunspot gather around her, Magik welcomes Karma to the team and tells her 'We're all monsters now'.

Characters Involved: 

Boom-Boom, Magik, Rictor, Strong Guy, Wolfsbane (all Corporate New Mutants)
Karma, Prodigy IV (both Hatchi Corporation)

Tran Coy Manh

Cannonball, Magik, Magma, Sunspot, Wolfsbane (Techno-Organic copies)

Story Notes: 

This issue reveals that the sub-plot in New Mutants: Dead Souls #1-5 involving Warlock and the youth called Christian took place three months ago.

Strong Guy was sent to Limbo with Tran last issue.

The mission in the Arctic took place in New Mutants: Dead Souls #2 and the hurricane clean up was seen in #1.

Karma phones General Callahan, who was referred to as Colonel Callahan, in Astonishing X-Men (4th series) #13.

Karma absorbed Tran’s consciousness in Marvel Team-up #100, her first appearance, and was about 18 years old at the time. So while she has had Tran in her head for years it certainly has not een most of her life, as claimed here.

This is the end of te limited series, but Rosenberg iconfirmed that the story will be continued in Uncanny X-Men (6th series).

Written By: