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New Mutants (Marvel Comics) classic era - team battle

New Mutants

(Rest of the 1980s, part 1/2)


This article is part of a chronological series, intended to be read in order.

To see the whole series in context, start with our X-teams profiles orientation page.



The first two articles in this series covered the formative years of the team. In the remaining two articles we’ll covering the rest of the 1980s.

This means enough changes in roster and operations that having a fresh team description form is clearer.

Full Name

The New Mutants.


Young mutants in training to master their powers and some day fill the ranks of the X-Men.

Modus Operandi

They are teenagers, residents at the Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters in Salem Center, NY. They split their time between 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. 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.

Cable has a more active point of view, and builds an officer/soldiers relationship. He’s certainly not overprotective, and leads the team in the field.

Extent of operations

Until the end of Inferno, Magik (Illyana Rasputin) can send them to any location on Earth. They often end up in Limbo. When Illyana’s disc fails, it can land them in alternate time-lines as well.

Afterwards, they rely on Warlock’s transformations. His range is not really limited.

They are usually involved in adventures without asking for it. So their operations are usually limited to either:

  1. Getting back safely.
  2. Taking whatever side they think is the good one in the events they are thrown in.

When Cable takes charge, he takes them into action against anti-mutants factions or evil mutants: Freedom Force, the MLF, Genosha, the Morlocks.

New Mutants marvel Comics classic - unused cover by Joshua Middleton

Bases of Operations

  • Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters in Salem Center.
  • X-Factor’s Ship.
  • X-Men’s underground complex below Xavier’s Estate.

Major Funding

Professor Xavier’s family fortune.

Known Enemies

Known allies

  • X-Men.
  • X-Factor.
  • Lila Cheney.
  • X-Terminators.
  • Cable.
  • The Fallen Angels.
  • Asgardian heroes.
  • Dr Strange.

New Mutants (Marvel Comics) classic era - recreation bad movie night sienkiewicz


Number of active members

Up to 9 teenagers.

Number of reserve members

  1. Karma, after she left the team in search of her younger siblings.
  2. Magma after she left for Massachusetts and Nova Roma.
  3. Wolfsbane when she decided to stay in Genosha.

Organizational structure

As students at the Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, they are under the responsibility of its headmaster. When Professor Xavier left Earth with Lilandra, he transferred the responsibility to Magneto (Max Eisenhardt), then repentant.

The New Mutants are supposed to be the next generation of 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.

The pupils also study more complicated subjects than their mundane counterparts. Magneto is even more demanding than Xavier in this area. Sometimes, he expects too much.

Unlike Xavier, he’s not used to being obeyed simply out of respect. He’s much used to relying on fear and intimidation. This brings so much more stress when the students are due to write papers.

Later, Magneto bails out of the responsibility. Cable eventually fills that vacuum, but heavily emphasises combat training over academics.

As Cable participates in The New Mutants’ missions, Sam can hardly be considered field leader anymore. Thus, Cable is their trainer, commanding officer and field leader.

Original Roster

X-Terminators additions

During the Inferno, The X-Terminators join The New Mutants. The younger ones then enlist with a private, more regular, school. But the older members permanently join, namely:

Later additions

Membership requirements

All members are young superhuman mutants. Even Warlock, whose non-aggressive nature is considered a mutation of his alien species.


  • X-Mansion’s facilities (Danger Room, Medical bay, academics facilities before the destruction of the mansion).
  • UNSTABLE MOLECULES COSTUME [BODY 05, Cold Immunity: 01, Misc. Adv: Insta-Change].


(See the previous chapters for the earliest history).

Sequelae of the second secret struggles

The Beyonder is back. In a quest to understand the meaning of his existence, he confronts Earth’s heroes.

In the process, he kills The New Mutants, and erases all traces of their existence. Then, he recreates them.

The students are left deeply traumatized. Magneto, now in charge of Xavier’s school, can’t find a way to heal them. However:

  1. Warlock is less affected.
  2. Dani, with her new death related power, manages a higher point of view. She’s depressed, but less shocked.

Emma Frost contacts Magneto. She felt the teenagers’ dismay and offers her telepathic skills to help.

Meanwhile Empath, the Hellion, is surveilling the school.

Frost’s play

Empath increases Magneto’s desperation to save his pupils until he accepts Emma Frost’s offer.

From the beginning, the master of magnetism had been feeling out of his depth in taking over Xavier’s school and dream. Empath’s nudge made Magneto bail out.

All but Warlock and Dani are transferred to the Massachusetts Academy. They join ranks with The Hellions.

When Empath was surveilling Xavier’s school, he was discovered by Tom and Sharon. He provoked unbridled sexual attraction between the two. They dropped any other interest in life.

Once they shake off their sexual frenzy, they give Magneto the hint he needed to understand Empath’s mind games.

Frost anticipates Magneto’s retaliation. She calls Snow Valley’s police to warn them about his possible attack. The Master of Magnetism is still regarded as an international terrorist.

Snow Valley’s police call the Avengers for interception.

Group shot of the merged Hellions and New Mutants roster (Marvel Comics)

Merged New Mutants/Hellions roster.

Magneto’s answer

Magneto remains firmly on the defensive against the Avengers. This clues Captain America (Steve Rogers) that the situation isn’t as it seems.

When The New Mutants join Magneto, and when he strictly fights to protect them, the Avengers recognize he’s no longer the villain.

Emma Frost pretends to be unware of Empath’s interference. She and Magneto then work hard together, and manage to restore The New Mutants’ spirit. They leave Frost’s academy.

Though they escape her grasp, for now, the White Queen is satisfied. To the New Mutants them, she’s the one permitting their recovery. They owe her and that’s good.


The students spend some time with their families.

Sam introduces his improbable girlfriend, Lila Cheney, to his mother and family.

Dani learns her childhood friend was close to proposing to her before she left for Xavier’s.

Returning to the Mansion, The New Mutants learn what Sharon and Tom went through. They decide to get even with Empath.

Illyana traps him in Limbo and trusts S’Ym to scare the bejesus out of him. When the Hellions show up, Mirage appeals to Thunderbird’s Apache sense of honor to forbid Empath’s abuse of them in the future.

They meet Betsy and Brian Braddock and live through the first direct confrontation of an X-Team with Mojo.

New Mutants (Marvel Comics) classic era - team photos frost magneto hellions

The Mutants Massacre

The Marauders slaughter The Morlocks in their tunnels under Manhattan. The X-Men bring the survivors to the X-Mansion.

The New Mutants try to help the wounded. But they are overwhelmed by the raw suffering and misery, and relegated to support tasks. Such as providing food or medical supplies.

Karma checks on her siblings in New York City, but she can’t reach them by phone. Worried sick, Xuân asks Illyana for transportation.

When Karma inspects the apartment, the bomb rigged to the light switch explodes. Someone — possibly the Marauders — knows the two children are associated with mutants.

Without news from Xuân or Illyana, and against Magneto’s orders, The New Mutants enter the Morlocks’ tunnels. They find Illyana carrying an unconscious Xuân.

But the terrifying Magus, Warlock’s father, comes in.

Across time and space

Illyana makes an emergency evacuation to Limbo. But Magus is so powerful he follows them there. Magik makes another rushed exit from Limbo to Earth.

However she botches it. The team appears in Robert the Bruce’s Scotland. When they try again, it’s another fumble. The team is split in two and ends up in alternate futures.

  • Amara, Xuân, Roberto and Rahne are sent in a “Days of Future Past”-like time-line. There, Sentinels rule and mutants are killed. The local Mirage and Cannonball are rebel leaders.
  • Sam, Dani, Doug and Warlock are in a dystopia where mutants rule. Roberto and Amara are the mutant rulers. There, humans are inferior citizens… Better than the previous time-line? Not really.

Meanwhile, Illyana is trapped in Limbo Magus infects the demons with his techno transmode-virus before leaving in pursuit of Warlock. S’Ym takes advantage of his increased power to stage a coup.

Illyana is forced to thrust her Soul Sword into the top of Limbo’s central mountain. This imposes her will over the whole dimension. S’Ym and his rebels disappear and the nightmarish landscape becomes nice and peaceful. She then teleports away.

Magik rejoins Prof. Xavier – but he is now roaming Shi’ar space with the Starjammers. Xavier reinforces Rasputin’s control over her power so she can gather The New Mutants.

With the help of the Starjammers and The New Mutants, Warlock confronts Magus and wins.


Returning planetside

The New Mutants tell Charles about events since he left. He decides to get back.

However, Illyana is still in shock after her battle in Limbo. She doesn’t want to use her teleportation to go back to Earth. Xavier coerces her, using Karma’s possession, despite Xuân’s and Danielle’s reluctance.

When it’s time to leave, the Starjammers are attacked. The ship is in no fighting condition. Only Xavier’s telepathy manages to anticipate the strikes and keep the ship dodging. He cannot leave lest his love and friends will die.

Illyana brings The New Mutants home, but she’s very upset.

Magik retreats to Limbo. Reverting to her Darkchylde persona, she resumes the fight with S’Ym and his techno-transformed demons horde. Once again she thrust her Soul Sword in the land and gets back to Earth. But with each such incident, it becomes harder to recover from her dark side.

Magneto offers his help against S’Ym and the rebel demons. This proves decisive, and Magik wins a temporary peace.

The Fallen Angels

Magneto, increasingly anxious about The New Mutants’ safety, is trying to get an ever tighter grip on them. Feeling out of options, he fills the Hellfire Club’s vacant White King position.

Storm (Ororo Munroe) approves, but the other X-Men — and The New Mutants — consider it a treason.

During a rough soccer game, Roberto seriously injures Sam using his Sunspot’s power. Magneto scolds him. Roberto runs away. Warlock goes after him.

Together, they join the band of runaway mutants calling themselves “The Fallen Angels”. They roam the streets of New York, under the leadership of the Vanisher, an early X-Men adversary.

Magneto asks for Moira MacTaggert’s help. She sends Siryn (Theresa Cassidy) and Multiple Man (Jamie Madrox).

Among the runaways, Ariel is an alien from a species who can no longer evolve. She joined the Angels to bring in new genetic stock, preferably mutants, to her homeworld the Coconut Grove.

Ariel deceives The Fallen Angels and sends them to her home world. There, she’s betrayed by Unipar, her leader. The Fallen Angels fight back, and Ariel sides with them.

When they get the upper hand against Coconut Grove’s troops, Ariel strongarms Unipar into letting the Fallen Angels go. She brings them back to Earth.

Siryn and Multiple Man stay with The Fallen Angels. Roberto and Warlock return to The New Mutants.

New Mutants (Marvel Comics) classic era - team shot roberto returns

The ambassador’s party

Meanwhile, the rest of The New Mutants are invited to a very posh party at The Hellfire Club’s townhouse in New York.

The grown-ups make it a token of good will between the two parties. The youngsters are much more bitter.

The tension is obvious between…

Only Rahne and Catseye seem to get along.

The New Mutants and The Hellions decide to settle it with a competition. They will expose a crook who made a false statue of Selene and provoked an awkward situation between The Black Queen, Amara and The Black Rook.

It also involves Viper (Ophelia Sarkissian).

Karma splits

The Hellions, particularly Thunderbird, outwit The New Mutants and win.

Karma takes advantage of the commotion to search the Hellfire Club’s databases for a lead for her missing siblings. She’s exposed. Tessa guarantees they already tried this approach, without result. Magneto confirms.

Karma, one of the few to trust Magneto, believes them. However, as she estimates Magneto’s efforts are not enough, and she can’t just stand waiting, she decides to leave and go after them on her own.

New Mutants (Marvel Comics) classic era - early individual costumes

The birds, the bees, the volcanoes

With Warlock and Sunspot still missing, The New Mutants go to a party held for Lila Cheney’s new album.

A gang of interstellar thieves tries to convince Lila to take part in a robbery. She refuses. As they think it’s because of Sam’s influence, they drug him to get him out of the picture.

However, the drug makes him go on a rampage. He collides with a building where the authorities are holding a strange bird-man creature they captured earlier. The creature is set free.

The New Mutants fight the gang and neutralize them. Illyana sends the thieves to Limbo, to think a bit about their future.

Dani accidentally reveals that Amara is in love with Empath. Upset at Dani, upset at her father asking her to get back to Nova Roma to get married, and indeed in love with Empath, Amara leaves The New Mutants. She joins the Massachusetts Academy.

She has quite a hard time there. Partly manipulated by Empath and the White Queen, teased by the other Hellions, she eventually goes back to Nova Roma. Empath goes along, half willingly, half following Frost’s orders.

The death of Doug Ramsey

Seeing the bird-creature chased by the authorities, The New Mutants decide to help him.

The Hellions find out about this and decides that if The New Mutants want him, it’s worth interfering. Both teams race to get Bird-Boy. This time, The New Mutants win.

They take him, discreetly, to the X-Mansion. The Danger Room allows for reproducing an environment where the creature is at peace. They start to know him and, thanks to Doug, understand him. Bird-Boy’s troubled history moves them.

The full moon arises. It drives Bird-Boy toward his island of origin. The New Mutants, once more against Magneto’s explicit order to stay safe in school, follow.

They thus discover that Bird-Boy is the product of a mad scientist’s genetic manipulations. Other man-beasts exist there, in a mutant remake of The Island of Dr Moreau.

This scientist works for Cameron Hodge’s movement, The Right – and Hodge personally comes to investigate. A big fight ensues, where the man-beast creatures fight The Right for their liberty.

In a jump to push Rahne out of harm’s way, Doug Ramsey is killed. A enraged Illyana starts sending The Right’s personnel (mad scientist and guards) to Limbo.

New Mutants (Marvel Comics) classic era - Cypher killed gunned down


Roberto and Warlock return from their escapade with The Fallen Angels. They find the mansion empty of their friends.

Roberto blames Magneto for not trying hard enough to locate them. He and Warlock manage to find and join the rest of The New Mutants.

But the New Mutants are devastated by Doug’s death – particularly Warlock and Rahne. And when they return Magneto has left to use the Hellfire Club’s resources to locate the missing teenagers.

The New Mutants then witness, live on TV, the X-Men’s sacrifice in Dallas.

Illyana takes her brother’s death very badly. She feels responsible as she brought the recovering Colossus from Muir to Dallas.

Magneto gets back, very upset about their disobedience. When he finds out about Cypher, he gets particularly mad, not really caring about the X-Men.

Rasputin’s raging revenge

Illyana rejects him. She goes to Limbo. Unable to locate her brother through her scrying glass (due to Roma’s magic), she becomes irrational.

She retrieves her Soul Sword (thus freeing S’Ym to advance his coup), and lashes out at Magneto and The New Mutants who try to calm her. Everything has gone wrong between headmaster and students.

During the funeral, The New Mutants have trouble adjusting to that reality. Warlock, who was by far the closest to Cypher, can’t grab the concept of his friend’s dying while his body looks so alive.

Indeed, he thinks it’s a good idea to animate the dead body, as if it would be alive, just as in this Night of the Living Dead movie Dani was watching earlier. Of course, it freaks everybody out.

Illyana goes after the person she considers to be responsible for Piotr’s death: Forge. First, she visits a recovering Kitty, on Muir Island. But she doesn’t receive the support she expected.

She’s ready to do it alone, but the rest of The New Mutants hijack her teleportation disc. To get to Forge, they first go against The Freedom Force. Then, Magik battles Forge in a sorcerers’ duel.

To get the upper hand she must draw on her evil self and transport the fight in Limbo. Ultimately, Forge gives up out of guilt. The Darkchylde decides it’s worse letting him live in guilt that to kill him.

New Mutants (Marvel Comics) classic era - team kitchen breakfast

Evolutionary Wars

The New Mutants get involved in the Evolutionary Wars. The High Evolutionary kidnapped Magma and tries to remove her power.

The team and two captive Morlocks — Bulk and Glow Worm — rescue her. But Mirage is accidentally trapped in the power-removing machine intended for Amara. Bulk reverses the process, turbo-charging Dani’s powers.

From now on, when she gets an image from someone’s mind, it’s no longer an illusion. It’s real. It stays real, until she makes another image appear.

Dani learns to create a “good” thing to force any “not so good” thing she created to disappear. She focuses on a miniature version of her Valkyrie’s spear, worn as a pendant.



By Nicolas Lemaçon.

Source of Character: Marvel Universe (primarily X-Men, New Mutants and X-Factor comics up to X-Force #1).

Helper(s): Marvel Wiki  , Darci, Pufnstuff, Sébastien Andrivet.

Writeup completed on the 07th of January, 2016.