The New Mutants.
Young mutants in training to master their powers and some day fill the ranks of the X-Men.
They are teenagers, residents at the Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters in Salem Center, NY. They split their time between classic academic studies and training sessions in the mansion’s Danger Room.
Though they are told, again and again, to stay away from trouble, they often disobey to follow their heart into helping people and manage for trouble to find them anyway. They are in a rebellious period of their life. With the overconfidence superpowers may bring to your average teenager, they often end up in situations way over their head.
Extent of operations:
With the help of Magik (Illyana Rasputin), they can reach any location on Earth. To help Illyana, or take advantage of her enhanced magical influence there, they often end up in Limbo. When Illyana’s disc fails, it can land them in alternate time-lines as well.
They are too young to drive or leave the country on their own, so they depend on adults to travel by conventional ways. They go wherever studies (Downtown Salem Center), family matters (Brazil with Sunspot) or duties (Muir Island to visit Dr McTaggert) take them.
Bases of Operations:
Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters in Salem Center, NY.
Professor Xavier’s family fortune.
X-Men, Lila Cheney, Power Pack, Dazzler.
Number of active members:
Up to 9 teenagers.
Number of reserve members:
None. Karma went missing, but was presumed dead.
As students at the Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, they are under the responsibility of its headmaster – Professor Xavier. Even if their headmaster forbids them to take an active part in any dangerous mission, he plans to make them X-Men. Therefore, they train to be a mutant heroes group where Cannonball and Mirage share the field leadership.
Xavier’s institute is also a regular school. So, along their mutant training, the students follow a regular scholarly course. They study basic maths and physics, English literature, computer use… much like regular high-school pupils.
However, Xavier expects a bit more from his students. They tend to study more complicated subjects than their mundane counterparts. Like regular students, they’re due to write papers… and it brings the same kind of stress when the deadline approaches.
Karma (Xi’an Coy Manh), Wolfsbane (Rahne Sinclair), Sunspot (Roberto da Costa), Psyche (Danielle Moonstar), Cannonball (Samuel Guthrie), Magik (Illyana Rasputin), Magma (Amara Aquila), Cypher (Doug Ramsey), Warlock
All members are young superhuman mutants (even Warlock whose non-aggressive nature is considered a mutation of his alien species)
X-Mansion’s academic facilities (the most spectacular being the Danger Room).
UNSTABLE MOLECULES COSTUME [Bod: 05, Cold Immunity: 01, Misc. Adv: Insta-Change]
The Unstable Molecules are a fabric patented by Reed Richards of The Fantastic Four. It’s classic in the Marvel Universe. It allows characters with extreme powers to keep their clothes on.
It all began when the Brood, with the help of Deathbird, abducted the X-Men. The aliens wanted the mutants as hosts for their parasitic embryos. Professor Xavier was left behind, mourning the loss of his students. The X-Men could be dead… or worse.
The X-Mansion felt so big, only inhabited by Charles, Illyana Rasputin and Stevie Hunter visiting him. Soon, Moira McTaggert joined, hoping to ease the grief, and to convince him to start his school for mutants over again. Unfortunately, he was too much into brooding to hear sensible arguments.
In Xavier’s mail, Moira found a letter from Reed Richards. It was a recommendation for Karma, a self-taught powerful mutant. Moira tried a reverse psychology tactic. As a brilliant geneticist herself, she pretended to be able do a fair job of teaching young mutants. And, if it were not enough, she presented other options for mutants to turn to: Magneto’s Brotherhood or Emma Frost’s Academy.
It worked. Charles Xavier yielded. He will, though reluctantly, train new young mutants to master their powers. Someday, they’ll fill the void left by the X-Men’s disappearance as a mutant super-heroes team.
We learn later that Professor X has been indeed impregnated by a Brood embryo: a queen. Its influence was starting to grow at that time. It was appealed by the perspective of a new hatching of powerful mutant hosts. It favored the overcoming of his reluctance.
Karma was the first recruit. Reed Richards recommended her after their encounter (Marvel Team Up #100 in December 1980). During a party attended by the FF, Karma possessed Spider-Man. She tried to use his powers to recover her young siblings from the clutches of her criminal uncle and brother.
Moira provided the next: Rahne Sinclair. Moira was the girl’s ward since she saved her from a fanatical mob, led by local priest Reverend Craig. Rahne’s first transformation as a wolf hybrid made her a werewolf to burn at the stake. She will be Wolfsbane.
Then, several mutant sightings occurred worldwide. But Charles Xavier was not the one to witness them. Donald Pierce, now White King of the Hellfire Club, discovered them. He hates mutants. He planned on tracking these new ones and destroy them or use them to destroy further enemies. He wanted to overthrow the ones leading the Hellfire Club.
In the Colorado mountains, lived Danielle Moonstar, a proud Cheyenne young girl. Her grand-father was an old friend of Xavier. He wrote to Professor X for his help with his grand-daughter. Moira, Karma, Wolfsbane and Xavier arrived too late, after the old Cheyenne’s death.
Pierce sent his goons to kill him. But they were still in time to save Danielle from the Hellfire’s guards. She was trying to avenge her grand-father. She joined their forces, but only to have her revenge. She will be Psyche (later renamed Mirage).
In Brazil, lived Roberto Da Costa, a talented young football (soccer) player. Cerebro detected his mutant’s anatomy. Xavier sent Moira, Karma and Psyche to fetch him. They arrived after Pierce. He kidnapped Roberto’s fiancée.
During the rescue, she was killed by Pierce’s triplet (Reese, Cole and Macon, cyborged after their former encounter with Wolverine). Roberto agreed to join to avenge her death, not for Xavier’s teaching. He will be Sunspot.
In Cameron County, Kentucky, lived Samuel Guthrie. After his father’s death, he dropped high school to tend to his family (mother and 10 siblings). He took his father’s place at the coal mine. During a cave in, his mutant powers awakened and he saved his and another miner’s life.
Once more, Pierce beat Xavier to him. This time, he took advantage of Sam’s innocence and convinced him to join his rank. Sam took a part in Xavier’s capture.
The rest of the teenagers came to the rescue. Pierce’s plan was foiled. The Inner Circle doesn’t take betrayal too lightly. Pierce will be dealt with internally. Poor Sam was left behind. But Professor X convinced everybody it was best for him to join the newly found class. He will be Cannonball.
Their training started. Their first ordeal was to survive an attack by sentinels. Henry Peter Gyrich monitored a field testing of Shaw Industries’ MkIV Sentinels. He targeted The New Mutants while they were shopping along with Stevie Hunter. Michael Rossi, from SHIELD, led them to escape capture and expose Gyrich.
Meanwhile, the Brood queen embryo, inside Xavier, plotted against them. It made Xavier unconsciously program the Danger Room with mortal training. Psyche was the first victim. She felt like being a coward. She desperately wanted to go over it, to prove herself and to respect her Cheyenne ancestors.
So she trained alone in the Danger Room, despite Stevie’s warning not to use it without any adult supervision. She was saved by the arrival of her classmates, after they returned from the shopping mall.
Later, they found out that Stevie was stalked. They discovered the stalker. He was a rather nice young male student from Stevie’s dance class. He desperately loved her. Victim of child’s abuse by his parents he took refuge in this delusional romance.
The X-Men return
The X-Men eventually returned to Earth, after defeating the Brood Infestation. They knew Xavier carried an embryo. At first they were surprised to find The New Mutants in their mansion. They focused on neutralizing the embryo. A brief fight occured between X-Men and New Mutants as the teenagers tried to defend their teacher.
The matter was resolved. Charles’ body was cloned by Sikorsky, the Starjammer’s medic. Not only was he rid of the embryo, but his legs were not paralyzed anymore. It still took a long time for him to adjust to his newly restored walking capacity.
At this time Kitty Pride (not yet called Shadowcat) was around 15. Professor X dictated that she had to leave the X-Men to join the younger New Mutants, supposed to be less exposed to danger while training their powers. Kitty entered a childish tantrum, denying the rightfulness of the decision. For a long time afterward, The New Mutants will recent her for the contempt she displayed toward them.
While The New Mutants attended a fair with Stevie Hunter, they saw Team America’s show. Team America was a band of motorbike showmen/stunt-men. They were mutants. Their power combined to incarnate the essence of the ultimate motorbike pilot into an unsuspecting host. The host became The Dark Rider.
Viper, from Hydra, sought this power to complete a bold robbery at an AIM facility. She started an assault during the fair, to lure Team America to call upon their power. Danielle Moonstar became the unwilling host. Viper kidnapped her.
When Viper understood she was not The Dark Rider. She demanded Team America to perform the robbery in exchange of her hostage’s life. Xavier made contact with them. He convinced them to pretend accepting Viper’s deal, and started training them specifically.
While the operation started, The New Mutants took upon themselves to free their friend held captive. Karma contacted his criminal uncle to get the location of Viper’s base on the West Coast. For the information, she accepted to serve him for a full year, like her brother did before she killed him.
The New Mutants assaulted Viper’s hideout. They got the upper hand. Before being defeated, the Viper/Silver Samurai pair teleported away and Viper detonated her last resort surprise. The New Mutants barely escaped the explosion with Dani but not with Shan. The link with Xavier was violently severed. Everybody thought Karma to be dead.
In California, mourning Shan’s death, Roberto met with his mother. He offered The New Mutants to spend some time in Rio de Janeiro. Things were tense between his parents. His mother was an archaeologist and much of an utopian.
His father was an industry baron, self made, greedy and pragmatical. She wanted to study the legend of an ancient settlement in the head waters of the Amazon. He wanted his geologists to study it for resources.
Emmanuel da Costa’s fortune and greed made him a potential recruit for the Inner Circle of The Hellfire Club. They lent him goons to scare off his wife and let him freely exploit these lands. For all the tension between him and his wife, he still cared for her, and wanted her safe if things got nasty with the locals. Thanks to The New Mutants, the intimidation failed.
She launched her expedition. To protect her, Roberto and The New Mutants rode along. Emmanuel da Costa planted an inside man to sabotage the expedition. Exposing him, The New Mutants indeed discovered what looked like an ancient roman settlement: Nova Roma.
There, they met Amara Juliana Olivia Aguila and her father, Lucius Antonius Aguila, First Senator of Nova Roma. Amara was a Mutant with powers related to Earth and lava.
The New Mutants helped preventing a coup by Marcus Domitius and his evil wife. For years, this woman preyed on Nova Roma’s population, for she was Selene, a very ancient sorceress and psychic vampire. Her defeat to The New Mutants led her to consider going back to the outside world. We’ll see her next in New York.
This exposure to the outside world brought perspectives to the ancient city. Senator Aguila considered potential trade partnerships. He also saw the point in making his daughter familiar with the foreigners’ ways. Amara joined Xavier’s school. She became Magma. It took time for her to adjust to the modern ways and to harness her powerful abilities.
Meet the Hellions
Back in Salem Center, Kitty Pride, still in high school, shared some academic project with a local student, Doug Ramsey. He was a geek, just like her. They became very close (much to Colossus’ dismay, who saw him as unfair competition for Kitty’s heart). Doug just got selected for a scholarship at the so selective Massachusetts Academy. Kitty freaked out.
This school was the hunting ground of Emma Frost and The Hellfire Club. She told Xavier and the X-Men. She was shocked to learn that Doug was a mutant. His was a power to comprehend languages. Not so fancy, not so dangerous to control, Xavier decided to leave him out of his mentor-ship.
Emma Frost was supposed to be in a coma after her last encounter with the X-Men. Xavier agreed to let Kitty accompany Doug to Boston. The X-Men were standing ready for backup if the need arose. Unfortunately, that’s when the Beyonder decided to play his Secret Wars game.
The X-Men were abducted to his planet. In the private plane, appointed by the Academy to convey them, Emma Frost proved to have fully recovered. When Kitty reached out to telepathically cry for X-Men’s help, there was no response. She was on her own.
Not quite on her own. Illyana Rasputin was her roommate. Illyana was a powerful sorceress, but The New Mutants didn’t know that, yet. She worried to not have any news from Kitty. She took an astral form to scout the Massachusetts Academy. She soon discovered Kitty was held prisoner while Doug attended more regular studies.
Emma Frost’s powerful mental powers allowed her to sense Illyana’s presence and dispel her astral form. The shock was so violent that Illyana entered a screaming hysteria, unleashing demons from Limbo. Alerted, The New Mutants witnessed the extent of her corruption by Belasco’s Limbo.
Recovering, Illyana convinced them to go to Kitty’s rescue. Not confident enough in her teleporting ability, they reached Snow Valley by bus… They hoped to sneak their way in and out. Things turned sour when Emma Frost revealed her own teenager mutants team: The Hellions.
Playing home, backed by the Hellfire Club’s hardware and personnel, and its White Queen, they captured The New Mutants. Illyana managed to retreat, grabbing Dani, through a long range teleportation disc. In Limbo, Dani grabbed a part of what Illyana’s childhood have been, along S’Ym and his fellow demons.
Illyana and Dani got back to Snow Valley, but the teleportation mishap one year in the future. What had become of The New Mutants, incorporated has Hellions, displeased them. They managed to get back in time, only 1 week after their capture. They tried to sneak The New Mutants out of the dormitory.
The Hellions surprised them. Instead of fighting, Jetstream explained he and his comrades joined by choice. He didn’t like The New Mutants being forced to join. He proposed a duel between two challengers. If The New Mutants won, they would be free. Otherwise, they were to stay willingly.
Cannonball won. However, the White Queen and the Black King didn’t let this unsanctioned decision be. The Hellions half joined the fight along The New Mutants, to allow them to escape through Illyana’s disc. Kitty was safe back at the mansion. Illyana joined the ranks of The New Mutants as Magik.
The Bear Spirit
Danielle Moonstar’s Cheyenne ancestry made her close to the World of Spirits. Her nights were haunted by nightmares about the great bear who killed her parents. It was much more than nightmares.
With the help of Magik and her classmates, she fought the Bear Spirit. She won, and freed her parents. They were not dead but trapped by the Bear Spirit.
Two bystanders, Sharon Friedlander, a nurse from the hospital, and Tom Corsi, a local cop passing by, were involved in the process. The great Cheyenne Bear Spirit turned them from plain white dudes to native Americans with enhanced abilities. They went to Muir Island. They hoped Moira McTaggert could revert their transformation. She couldn’t.
Warlock and Magus
In a galaxy far, far away… an alien child came to realize he must flee to survive. He was from a breed where one has to kill his sire in order to live. His flight brought him to Earth, where he crashed near the X-Mansion.
His father was Magus, ruler of the Technarchs. He went into pursuit. Their intergalactic path went through Magneto’s Asteroid M. Poor Magneto survived the atmospheric fall, recovered in mid Atlantic by Aleytys Forrester. This was the first step toward his redemption and his joining ranks with the X-Men.
Warlock made contact with The New Mutants. Unable to communicate, they reached for Doug Ramsey and his languages mutant power. He had some trouble adjusting to the revelations that he was a mutant. He managed to establish a link with the alien. The New Mutants now got the alien’s whole story.
The X-Men came back from the Beyonder’s planet. Xavier met the newcomer. He welcomed him among his young students. He will be Warlock. Xavier also welcomed Doug Ramsey. He will be Cypher. The link between Doug and Warlock will endure and strengthen. In battle, Doug will wear Warlock as armor, in a very symbiotic fashion.
Meanwhile, the X-Men defeated Magus after his landing. He fled. We won’t see him until the “Mutant Massacre” story arc.
Sam and Lila
The New Mutants attended to a concert by rock star Lila Cheney. She secretly was an interstellar thief.
She involved The New Mutant in an intergalactic scheme to steal the Earth. They helped her against her villainous contractor.
Sam Guthrie started an improbable romantic relationship with the rock star.
Cloak and Dagger
It will create a bond between the 4 of them.
Rahne, Dani, Doug and Warlock went with Xavier to Muir Island. They went to help Moira McTaggert with the case of David Haller. He was the son of Xavier and her former love Gabrielle Haller. Xavier didn’t know he was the father. Unsurprisingly, the teenager had powerful psychic powers. As a child, he killed a young terrorist with a mind blast. The trauma made him autistic. He was much more than that. He was Legion.
Legion trapped Tom Corsi and Sharon Friedlander in a coma, after violently exploding Muir’s medical bay. Soon, Rahne and Moira joined them in a coma. Xavier used his power to reach for David’s spirit.
He, along with Dani, Doug and Warlock were swallowed in David’s mind. It was a battlefield where 3 distinct personalities competed for the control of David’s mind and body. Xavier managed a truce between the split personalities and freed the trapped souls.
Meanwhile, at the Mansion, Roberto and Amara were abducted. Sam and Illyana went after them to Los Angeles. They got involved in the gladiator games where Dazzler made the show.
The arena was now sponsored by a mysterious obese woman. The gladiators, the crowd, even The New Mutants, were somehow possessed. Surprise! The mysterious woman was Karma. She survived Viper’s explosion but had been possessed by Amal Farouk, The Shadow King.
We were at the beginning of The Secret Wars II, where The Beyonder was on Earth, taking a human form. The X-Men were in California to battle him. Kitty Pryde was Illyana’s roommate and her closest friend. They shared a tight bond together. Through that bond, she was aware of Illyana’s trouble. She even inherited part of Illyana’s power. Kitty and Rachel Grey helped The New Mutants against the Shadow King.
When things turned wrong for Farouk, he used all the possessed people as hostages to blackmail his safe escape. The complete New Mutants crew, without Kitty and Rachel this time, started a wild goose chase around the world to get their friend Karma back.
With a bit of time travel, they got the explanation behind Karma’s possession. In Cairo, they met Storm (depowered and roaming in Africa). With her, they helped Karma vanquish the Shadow King in an astral duel.
Karma felt so bad for her physical shape. Farouk’s taste for all sorts of excess made her a unmovable mountain of flesh.
After defeating the Shadow King, Storm and The New Mutants are recovering on a Mediterranean island. In Asgard, Thor is missing, and Loki is plotting to find a surrogate thunder god he will control.
Loki knows Ororo is now deprived of her ability to master the weather elements. Restoring her powers may somehow fulfill his scheming. As he swore not to harm the X-Men ever again, he charges Amora, The Enchantress, with bringing the depowered mutant to him and of repaying the X-Men for their former insult. Mistaking The New Mutants for their elders, as they accompany Storm, Amora captures everyone. Storm is brought to Loki.
When The Enchantress is about to dispose of The New Mutants, Illyana teleports them away. Amora’s power makes the stepping disc malfunction. All The New Mutants emerge in different parts of Asgard, except Illyana who is left in the dungeon. Somehow, they will have to find their way on their own. Along the ordeal, they make friends and enemies.
The most significant experience is for Danielle Moonstar. She helps a beautiful winged stallion avoid capture by Hela’s minions. The horse is the mount of a fallen Valkyrie, servants of Odin, harbingers of the fate of the dead to be.
The Valkyries recognize Dani as one of their own. As such, she is granted the power to predict the imminent death of anyone, and, to a limited extent, to try to delay its coming. And she keeps the flying horse.
Karma, teleported in a desert and several months into the past, manages to survive. Overweight at the beginning of the story (from Shadow King’s possession), she loses her extra weight and returns to her fighting fitness.
The Enchantress extracts Illyana’s dark personality, gives it physical form, and launches it to collect the dispatched New Mutants. Between Darkchylde’s gathering work and each mutant’s wanderings, the whole crew is reunited and defeats The Enchantress. Illyana sends her to Limbo for S’Ym to deal with appropriately. Now The New Mutants want payback from Loki.
Through the link Kitty Pryde shares with Illyana, the X-Men discover the abduction of Storm and The New Mutants. They come to the rescue.
To restore Storm’s powers, Loki plans to give her a new thunder hammer to replace the missing Mjolnir (gone with Beta Ray Bill). He will control her through the power of the hammer. Loki tricks Eitri, the Dwarf Lord, into forging the hammer. To complete the hammer, the Dwarf Lord asks for the participation of Magma (then transformed into a cute little faerie) and Cannonball.
Under the directions of Eitri, she uses her heat and molten rock control, while Sam lifts her all around the ironwork. The New Mutants plan to use the gift as a Trojan horse and turn Loki’s trick around to get to him.
They are joined by the arriving X-Men. They split in several teams to reach the ceremonial hall where Loki will hold the enthronement of Storm.
Storm receives the magical hammer and is thrilled to be repowered, very grateful towards Loki.
Through several rounds of fighting, captures, escapes, evasions, great suffering from Wolverine, Storm recovers her spirit and sends back his gift to Loki’s face. A bit of arm-bending from Shadowcat convinces Loki he’d better set the X-Men and The New Mutants free.
As usual, his offer is a double-faced good deal. Either they all stay in Asgard and enjoy all they gained: powers, friends, position, or they all go back to Midgard to suffer the mutants’ miseries. They choose the second option.
Odin’s law about the Valkyries grants Dani the right to keep Brightwind, the flying horse, and the death related vision power. She changes her codename to Mirage.
Going back to Earth, they emerge in Paris, France, where Magneto, then in the Freedom Force’s custody, is being tried by an international law court. The trial is interrupted by the attack of The Fenris Twins. Xavier suffers a severe heart attack. In deep space, Lilandra feels her lover’s pain. With the help of the Starjammers, she manages an emergency evacuation.
Before leaving, Professor X, with a renewed trust in Magneto, leaves the care of his students and his dream to his repentant former friend. The new headmaster will have a hard time proving himself worthy of the X-Men’s and The New Mutants’ trust. He isn’t even sure to believe in Xavier’s dream of peace between mutants and humans.
Source of Character: Marvel Universe (primarily New Mutants and X-Men comics up to The New Mutants – Special Edition in November 1985)
Helper(s): Marvel Wiki, Darci, Pufnstuff, Sébastien Andrivet
Writeup completed on the 02nd of January, 2016.