Title- New Mutants (Volume 1) #15
Release Date- May 1984
Writer- Chris Claremont
Artist- Sal Buscema
Features Kitty Pryde, Emma Frost and Doug Ramsey
Very early in the morning at the X-Mansion Illyana Rasputin is casting a spell in her room. She is worried about her best friend Kitty Pryde who has not contacted her since leaving to visit the Massachusetts Academy with her friend Doug Ramsey. As Illyana casts the spell her astral form leaves her body and travels the distance over to the Massachusetts Academy. There in one of the subbasements Illyana sees Kitty strapped to a chair with the villainess Emma Frost before her. Kitty’s mutant abilities are being blocked. Emma intends to make Kitty renounce the X-Men and join her. The X-Men can’t save her since they have gone missing and Emma has placed Doug in trance where he believes that Kitty is by his side and he kisses her. This is when Kitty learns that Doug is in love with her. Emma explains how she recovered from her catatonic state and gives Kitty the option of joining her or else she will use her influence to ruin her parents. It is then that Kitty sees Illyana’s astral image and when she looks up at it Emma senses it and destroys it with a mind blast.
Back at the X-Mansion the New Mutants are awoken by Illyana’s scream and they rush to her room. When Cannonball kicks down the door they are confronted by demons. The demons are originating from Illyana and they begin to run through the mansion. The other New Mutants leave so that they can track down the demons and stop them from escaping while Mirage remains behind so that she can help Illyana.
The New Mutants attack the demons throughout the mansion but whenever they come into contact with the demons they fade away. In his personal battle with a demon Cannonball accidentally rockets out of a window but so far the team as a whole are doing relatively well.
In Illyana’s room Mirage tries to get close to her but the demons begin to overwhelm her. In her panic she uses her mutant abilities to project the one thing that the demons fear, Illyana herself. With the sight of their demonic mistress the demons disperse but Mirage begins to hallucinate herself as she feels herself be carried away by the demonic Illyana. The next thing she knows she is in bed with the real Illyana by her side. The other New Mutants then enter the room to demand an explanation from Illyana.
A short time later the team have regrouped in the kitchen and Illyana explains that not only is she a mutant but also a sorceress. When they ask her why she cast the spell in the first place she explains that she was worried about Kitty and has discovered that her best friend is in danger. She tells the team that they must go and rescue her but rules set by Professor Xavier state that a situation like this requires the X-Men, Avengers or Fantastic Four. Unfortunately all three of those teams have mysteriously disappeared meaning that it is up to the New Mutants to rescue her. At first the team are unwilling to fight the Hellfire Club but Magma stands by Illyana and eventually the rest of them agree to rescue Kitty. Unfortunately none of them are qualified to use the X-Jet or even drive a car. Illyana is unwilling to use her mutant abilities and Stevie Hunter is away on vacation. In the end they have to raid their piggy banks to get enough money to take the bus to the Massachusetts Academy.
A short time later the team travel to Port Authority Bus Station where they buy their bus tickets. Magma is somewhat overwhelmed by the amount of people there but the team also notice Sunspot and Wolfsbane travelling up to the observation deck. When they get up to them they seemed to have been in a trance and they had been looking at the church which is the base of operation for the crime fighting duo of Cloak and Dagger. The pair snap out of the trance and they’re unsure how they got up there.
Later the team are on the bus heading to Massachusetts and Cannonball goes over to Mirage who is trying to devise a strategy. They also go over what happened to Sunspot and Wolfsbane during the team’s team-up with Spider-Man, Cloak and Dagger. They had been injected with a serum that had turned them into monsters but they had seemed to be cured. Cannonball fears that they might have traces of the serum still within them but Mirage reminds him that they have a more pressing concern to concentrate on and that is to rescue Kitty from the clutches of the Hellfire Club.
Cannonball moves over to Wolfsbane who feels that Illyana is a witch and a spawn of the devil much like herself. Cannonball reminds her that she is not a spawn of the devil because of her mutant abilities. He too is very religious and they go over how they have lost those that they have loved and that God still loves and judges them. He even invites her to go with him the next time he visits home and she more than willingly agrees.
That evening in the subbasement of the Massachusetts Academy the New Mutants enter as Magma has used her powers to tunnel them in. Wolfsbane transforms so that she can pick up Kitty’s scent but there are too many different scents for her to pick up. Thankfully Illyana still remembers where she saw Kitty so the team make their way to the lab where she had seen Kitty.
When they arrive they see Kitty still strapped to the chair. She is happy to see them but when they go to release her they realise that she is just a hologram. Suddenly a series of bright lights blind the team and moments later they see an oversized hologram of Emma with a dejected Kitty by her side. Emma states from the team belong to the Hellfire Club and that Kitty already belongs to her. Illyana vows that she will destroy the entire academy if Kitty is harmed.
Now we return to the New Mutants in what might be one of their most treacherous capers yet. As we saw in Uncanny X-Men #180 Kitty Pryde has been kidnapped by the Hellfire Club and it is up to the New Mutants to save her. They might not like her too much but the heroes that they are doesn’t allow them to give up on her. They also don’t have any of the A-List superhero teams to fall back on so since they are all taking part in the Secret Wars crossover event.
The first thing I have to mention is that I’ve seen a superhero team travelling to battle in a wide range of transport. I think this is one of the very few times that I’ve ever seen a team travel on a bus to battle. It is things like that which gives the series a sense of realism since the team can’t drive and they have no one else to depend on. I could even imagine them being late for a battle because the bus was late. But thankfully in the future the New Mutants won’t have to rely on public transport.
We saw a nice scene between Cannonball and Wolfsbane who have feelings for each other and it seems like they’re expressing their feelings towards one another. As it has been mentioned several times Wolfsbane sees herself as a devil spawn due to her mutant abilities and the teachings of her local vicar who doesn’t seem to like mutants. The scene was great in the way that we saw the pair begin to draw towards each other.
Mirage also shows the leadership skills that she will be widely remembered for as she was the only member of the team who was doing research while on the bus. This shows that even when she loses her powers twenty years later that she will still have skills that will make her an extremely valuable member of the team. I wouldn’t be surprised if she ultimately becomes the team’s leader.
Illyana further shows her loyalty to Kitty as she is the one who was most worried about her when she didn’t call the mansion. The other New Mutants still don’t particularly like the young X-Man who refused to join their ranks but Illyana refused to leave Kitty to her fate. This is a friendship which will last for many decades and it seems that there is a link between the two characters since Kitty was able to see Illyana in her astral form. I’m not sure if this is ever explained but it could probably mean that they are Best Friends Forever in the literal sense.
Emma Frost portrayed a great villain in this issue and it still makes me wonder from appearances like this how she was able to redeem herself. She doesn’t seem to be an unwilling villain or misguided. She seems to be evil through and through with no redeemable qualities. I prefer this Emma Frost over the one that is in the comics right now. Maybe one day we could see her return to her old ways.
In conclusion I’m giving the issue an 8 out of 10. It was a good set up and the ending makes the reader want to skip to the next issue immediately.
Uncanny X-Men (Volume 1) #180