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New Mutants (Marvel Comics) classic era - featured 4 limbo war

New Mutants

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


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.


History (resumed)

Sam goes to a Lila Cheney’s concert in New York. He witnesses the abduction of his girlfriend by alien slaver Spyder.

The audience doesn’t realize it was an abduction. As Lila routinely uses spectacular visual effects during her shows.

Seeing the incident live on TV, the New Mutants teleport in to fight off the abductors. The aliens nevertheless escape with the singer.


Enter Gossamyr, an attractive young alien woman with strong empathic powers. Boys are immediately seduced, girls are immediately suspicious.

She explains she managed to escape Spyder and came to Earth. Her parents are captives of Spyder, too. Gossamyr pretends she could help free Lila if they help free her parents.

The mutants go to Limbo where Illyana tries to locate Lila with her scrying glass – though it was shattered by Forge during their duel. She succeeds but also has a very scary vision of herself in the darkest possible aspect of her Darkchylde personality.

The surrounding demons get very excited by that vision. Magik therefore gets everybody out of Limbo in emergency.

When The New Mutants confronted The Freedom Force in Dallas, Destiny made a terrifying prophecy about Illyana and Limbo. The combination of this prophecy and of her scrying glass’ vision makes Magik afraid to use Limbo again.

To reach Lila, The New Mutants decide to instead use Gossamyr’s space shuttle. Then have Lila teleport them back to Earth.

Things go out of control.

  • Gossamyr’s parent are transformed into planet eating monsters.
  • Lila sacrifices herself and teleports them in the local sun.
  • Illyana reluctantly transports The New Mutants to Limbo to get back to Earth.

New Mutants (Marvel Comics) classic era - team talks in attic


Unrest is growing in Limbo. S’Ym is getting bolder, and allies with N’astirh.

N’astirh is a major demon. He was the disciple of Belasco before he was replaced by the child Illyana. He also salvaged one of Belasco’s spell books when Illyana destroyed them after her victory in Limbo.

Now is the time to unleash his master plan to conquer both Limbo and Earth.

N’astirh’s influence reaches Earth, and Manhattan in particular. He sets a base of operation and sends lesser demons to do his work. Objects start to animate and hurt people all across town.

When the returning New Mutants emerge in Limbo, S’Ym locks them in the middle of an armed rebellion against Illyana. He picked up her Soul Sword, greatly increasing his power.

N’astirh also uses his magic to prevent Illyana’s stepping discs from getting out of Limbo.

Goblin Queen

N’astirh convinces Illyana that only through the acceptance of her full Darkchylde personality will she grasp enough power over S’Ym. It’s the only way to get her sword back – and open her portal towards Earth.

She does and manages to open a stepping disc toward Manhattan, bringing The New Mutants back “home”. That was the first part of N’astirh plan.

N’astirh prepares the next stage: the sacrifice of 13 mutants babies. This will leave Illyana’s portal open, so Limbo’s demons horde will pass freely to our dimension.

The centerpiece of this sacrifice will be Nathan Christopher Summers, son of Cyclops and Madeline Pryor. To this end, N’astirh manipulates Madelyne’s frustration over Scott and Jean’s relationship. He awakens Madelyne’s latent Phoenix powers, and she becomes The Goblin Queen.

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

People getting loose now, getting down on the roof

The youngsters of X-Terminators try to interfere. N’astirh blackmails one of them into building a computer to handle his complex spells.

He then tricks S’Ym into infecting him with Magus’ trans-mode virus.

Thus infected, N’astirh gets the ability to interact with the computer. However, the X-Terminators and The New Mutants combine forces to destroy the computer and free the sacrificial babies. At last, the portal closes.

However, demons and demonic influence still rage through the city. X-Men, X-Factor, X-Terminators and The New Mutants fight them.

In a violent effort of reflection and self-consciousness, Illyana throws all her power into repelling Limbo’s influence. She sacrifices her present self. She leaves her six-year old self in her place, just like she was before Belasco abducted her.

N’astirh remains more powerful than ever, now that the trans-mode virus gives him a technological access to magic. And he now has a powerful ally, the Goblin Queen.

The X-Men and X-Factor will eventually join their forces – and destroy both.

The British are coming

Shortly before, Rachel Summers, now Excalibur’s Phoenix, feels the fear of her baby brother and rushes to New York. The rest of Excalibur follows, and is caught in the mayhem.

Never do they have a chance to notice the X-Men are still alive. But Shadowcat (Kitty Pryde) has a vision of Illyana’s Soul Sword (and armor). She always does when Illyana loses her influence over Limbo.

The sword ends in a rock, in front of Excalibur’s lighthouse, in a very Arthurian fashion.

In her last breath, Madelyne points toward Mister Sinister. X-Men and X-Factor confront him at Xavier’s School, which destroys the building.

The New Mutants and the older X-Terminators go back to X-Factor’s Ship, with all the babies rescued from N’astirh’s pentacle.

As Gossamyr leaves for her home planet, the New Mutants go back to Xavier’s school.

Community conflict

Kitty takes advantage of Excalibur’s presence in New York to go to the Mansion and collect personal things. She confronts The New Mutants in the ruins, rudely calling them X-Babies. She also blames them for Doug’s death and Illyana’s return to infancy.

Illyana is then returned to her parents, at the collective farming home in Siberia.

Magneto and his new friends of the Hellfire Club come to the X-Mansion. In a brief confrontation, Magneto traps The New Mutants in a steel bubble.

The Black King and the White King find their positions about human/mutants relations irreconcilable, and a fight erupts. Shaw loses and is expelled from the Inner Circle.

But The New Mutants are now openly and completely opposed to Magneto. They leave him here to rejoin X-Terminators on X-Factor’s ship.

They then have a brief encounter with Namor, over an Atlantean artifact able to call krakens.

Evil within

Dani starts to have strong headaches – and increasingly frequent and morbid visions of her own death. Ship’s medical facilities fail to help, and the New Mutants visit Doctor Strange.

In front of The Sorcerer Supreme’s house, in the middle of the street, Dani and Brightwind (the winged horse) burst into flames. She starts attacking her teammates, obviously possessed by some evil outside influence. Even Strange cannot help.

Only Dani’s spirit manages to contain the possession and prevents it from killing her friends. The New Mutants battle her.

In a flash of awareness, Mirage unleashes her power on herself, conjuring a giant ice machine to freeze her. She encases both Brightwind and herself in a prison of ice.

New Mutants (Marvel Comics) classic era - trapped by spidery metal cage gossamyr

Yes, yes, Freedom

In Hel, Hela witnesses the scene and revels her doing in Dani’s torment. The goddess plans to take over Asgard by corrupting all the Valkyries, and that includes Mirage.

Warlock transforms into a giant lifting machine to carry Dani’s ice machine and its precious encased payload. It’s a very slow process.

The Freedom Force is dispatched to deal with the fire attacks of the possessed Mirage. However, they are misled, thinking the attacks were done by Rusty Collins. Collins is wanted for deserting the Navy and attacking bystanders.

The Freedom Force engages The New Mutants. The battle goes to ground, on Liberty Island.

Skids wraps Rusty in her force field, preventing the Freedom Force from catching them. The New Mutants try to reach Ship. They are intercepted – but manage to down the pursuing copter.

Avalanche launches a huge wave that catches Warlock and Mirage’s ice machine. It releases the possessed Valkyrie from her ice prison.

Return to Asgard

But in the meanwhile, Dr. Strange has discovered Hela’s influence. Before the released Mirage can do any more damage, he sends the New Mutants to Asgard.

There, the team discovers the extent of Hela’s plans. Furthermore:

  1. Odin, after an important battle against giants, is recovering in his magic sleep.
  2. Thor is away.
  3. All of Asgard is currently cast in The Negative Zone. That makes any contact with Midgard impossible through Bifrost, the enchanted bridge.

Hela takes advantage of these conditions. She possessed the Valkyries and had them collect warriors from among the living, which is forbidden by Odin. She thus assembled an army of her own, with the best warriors from all the peoples of Asgard.

New Mutants (Marvel Comics) classic era - group shot with eitri on asgard

Aye, there was a battle

The New Mutants are separated. With the help of some Asgardian heroes (including those friends The New Mutants made during their first adventure in Asgard), each group manages to assemble an army, among those people still free of Hela’s influence.

The two armies clash. During the battle, Hela sends Dani to kill Odin with a specially designed magical sword.

However, the Dwarf Lord who forged the sword sabotaged it. Cannonball charges Mirage and breaks the sword. The resulting magical explosion breaks Hela’s hold on the Valkyries and her enslaved army. She’s defeated.

The New Mutants receive a map of the dimensions currently surrounding Asgard. With it, Warlock brings everybody back to Earth.

In the aftermath of Hela’s war, Mirage decides to stay in Asgard. She thinks her place is among her sisters, The Valkyries, to repair the damage done.

Acts of Vengeance

Rusty and Skids were left behind on Liberty Island. And they know that Freedom Force has been kidnapping those mutant babies once abducted by N’astirh, so they have to disappear.

The Freedom Force scoops the ground under the youngsters and bring it to a federal prison, out of sight of the public. There, Skids can’t keep her force field forever. When she drops of exhaustion, Rusty can do nothing to prevent their arrest.

Rusty is sent to a maximum security prison. The Vulture (Adrian Toomes) is his cell neighbor. With the help of The Wizard, the Vulture gets his flying harness back and escapes. Rusty escapes with him in the hope of containing him, but the Vulture easily gets rid of him.

Rusty frees Skids. Together, they try to stop the Vulture from freeing Nitro (Robert Hunter). They fail. Nitro explodes and goes away.

The Freedom Force now has another good reason to take Rusty and Skids to a secure discreet prison.


Enters Cable

Stryfe’s Mutant Liberation Front raids the Freedom Force’s headquarters and frees Rusty and Skids. Cable, who had been trailing the MLF terrorists, cannot prevent this. He’s arrested and blamed for the jailbreak.

Cable soon escapes, and the Freedom Force goes after him.

The New Mutants, who have just returned from Asgard, help Cable take refuge in X-Factor’s Ship. Rictor is shocked to see Cable, but refuses to explain why.

Cable fills the mentor’s role left vacant when Magneto abandoned Xavier’s School and The New Mutants. But he brings a whole new worldview – more cynical, more violent, ever more at odds with Xavier’s initial vision of peace between humans and mutants.

X-Tinction Agenda

The New Mutants and the X-Men both live under the remnants of the X-Mansion. It has been destroyed again, this time by Mister Sinister at the end of Inferno. The lack of space in the Mansion’s basements is starting to get on everyone’s nerves.

Suddenly, Genoshan troops, led by Havok (Alexander Summers), storm Xavier’s estate. Their intent is to hit and run, kidnapping the X-Men. On a hunch, Storm (Ororo Munroe) locks the underground access hatch, blocking X-Men reinforcements.

Genoshan operative Pipeline brings back multiple captives including Storm, Rictor, Boom-Boom, Wolfsbane and Warlock.

Cable resents Storm’s decision, and identifying the attackers proves difficult. But the New Mutants, X-Men and X-Factor join forces.

The mastermind behind the attack is Cameron Hodge. His immortal head has been attached to a monstrous cybernetic body, which drove him insane.

Rictor recognizes Hodge, as he was once held captive and tortured by The Right. Paralyzed by terror, he cannot help with an attempt at breaking out. The captured mutants are then depowered by Wipeout.

New Mutants (Marvel Comics) classic era - group shot with x-terminators

Visiting the beautiful island of Genosha

Pipeline’s transfer greatly weakened Warlock. But his depowered friends are willing to give portions of their life force for him to drain.

Hodge interrupts this. He wants to steal Warlock’s Transmode Virus, so he can rebuild his monstrous artificial body.

Warlock, barely able to move anymore, takes advantage of the time left to free his friends. Indeed, he sacrifices himself for it, throwing his last strength in the process. The escapees split, leaving Warlock behind.

  • Rictor and Boom-Boom manage to get out of The Citadel. They don’t have their powers, but they have Cable’s combat training.
  • Storm sneaks back into The Citadel. Her training as a thief makes it quite easy.
  • Rahne voluntarily goes back, in a stupid attempt to save Warlock.

Rahne attacks Hodge just as the Techno-Organic Virus transfer begins. She fails to save Warlock but ruins the process.

The furious Hodge order Genoshan experts to brainwash and enslave Rahne. But they subtly disobey, and make the process partially reversible.

Crisis on Genosha

Genosha makes a public announcement about the capture of the X-Men and the death of Warlock. They make the mind-wiped Rahne issue a statement about the wrongness of X-Men interference on Genoshan’s affairs.

This escalates into an international crisis. The US military machine gets in gear, threatening the small island with retaliation. Hodge is jubilant over this, and Genoshan authorities start to freak out.

Val Cooper has an interview with the X-Teams’ leaders, with Cable representing The New Mutants. The US Government cannot sanction any intervention on Genoshan land, but it will not interfere. Cooper gives them what information the government has on Genosha.

X-Factor, X-Men and what’s left of The New Mutants stealthily land on Genosha. But Hodge notices their landing. He welcomes the mutants’ party with a detachment of magistrates led by Havok.

Cyclops (Scott Summers) attempts to reason with his brother, and he’s immune to Havok’s blasts. It doesn’t work.

Meanwhile, the sneaky Storm captures the Genegineer – Genosha’s chief genetic engineering expert. Hodges takes her down and is about to kill her, but the Genegineer saves her life. He pretends to immediately brainwash and enslave Storm, but there too the process is actually reversible.

New Mutants (Marvel Comics) classic era - Sunspot leaves the team

Mutant assault

Wolverine, Jubilee and Psylocke reach Genosha. They save Rictor and Boom-Boom from pursuing magistrates.

Psylocke and Wolverine steal uniforms to infiltrate The Citadel. But this fails when they meet Havok.

A big fight follows. Hodge reinforces the magistrate and captures Wolverine and Psylocke. They make a public display of this capture, to show Genosha’s determination and skill.

Cyclops and Cable make a plan to invade The Citadel.

This fails. Everybody is captured. Genosha displays a mock-trial of these dangerous terrorists.

All the prisoners are sent, manacled, in an isolated chamber, except for:

  1. Forge, who put himself in a catatonic trance to avoid revealing where all the bombs are.
  2. Psylocke who is carried away.

Down but not out

As soon as the guards leave, Gambit uses a projectile that hit him to escape from his restraints. He then frees the others.

The Genegineer is ordering a mutate to tunnel the ground to reach Hodge laboratory. Rictor, Boom-Boom and Jubilee shadow him. When the mutate breaches the wall of Hodge’s lair, Forge’s charge detonates, ruining Hodge’s information center and much of his work.

Havok finally recovers his memory. The Genegineer tells him how to partially restore Wolfsbane to normal. In her human form, she’s mindlessly enslaved. In her wolf or hybrid form, she’s herself, and more powerful than before.

The mutants are now completely reunited, Havok included. They form an alliance of convenience with The Genegineer and The Chief Magistrate. And Forge discovers how to neutralize Hodge’s phasingBeing immaterial and able to walk through walls, like a ghost. mechanism.

The Genoshan president is impeached at gun point and committed to a mental institution.

A final all-out assault defeats Hodge. It takes a bit of time as his head, once detached from his destroyed cybernetic body, still lives. Rictor collpases the whole Citadel onto it.

New Mutants (Marvel Comics) classic era - team with Cable


In the aftermath, Havok decides to stay in Genosha to monitor their anti-mutant apartheid. Rahne, more powerful than before, feels the need to help her fellow Genoshan mutates.

From initial lineup of The New Mutants, only Cannonball and Sunspot are left. Now, it’s made of: Cable as mentor, Cannonball, Sunspot, Boom-Boom, Rictor.

Soon, Domino will join on Cable’s call. Further joined by more warriors The New Mutants will become The X-Force.

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.