The New Mutants enter the war against the High Evolutionary - and one of the New Mutants winds up with a whole new set of powers! Plus: a special bonus feature giving all the details on those aforementioned mysterious new powers!
Bulk & Glow Worm fought off the High Evolutionary's soldiers, the Purifiers. The radiation levels off the two mutants caused problems for the high-tech soldiers, however the Purifiers captured them. The High Evolutionary planned to remove the powers from dangerous mutants to save and advance humanity.
Half of the New Mutants were playing around in the Danger Room when Magneto appeared. He chastised them for entering the Danger Room without permission when Magik teleported herself, Sunspot & Wolfsbane into the room. Wolfsbane was excited at receiving a new scroll from Magma. The New Mutants then began to play around, using their powers to try and catch Wolfsbane. Suddenly they stopped when Magneto grew enraged. He reminded them that they were grounded and forbidden to use their powers unless otherwise instructed. This caused Sunspot to grow angry. He powered up his fiery strength and stormed out of the room in defiance. Magneto berated them all, reminding them of Cypher's death. He then ranted about how Mirage was now his "least useful" student, and insisted that she remain in the Danger Room for further training..
The team slumped around in the living room. Sunspot was still ranting about Magneto's attitude while the others were waiting for Mirage before they started to read Magma's scroll. They were still amazed that Magma was engaged to a boy she'd never met before even though she was barely 16 years old. They mused about Magma's romantic feelings for Empath.
Meanwhile in the Purifier's complex, Dr Stack had Bulk & Glow Worm attached to a giant machine. He understood that their mutant powers absorbed the radiation, even though it was slowly killing them. Therefore they had been deemed to dangerous, and he activated his machine to remove their mutant powers. After the machine powered down, Sunder & Glow Worm were left restrained in the machine's manacles. Their detection equipment then registered Magma's presence in Nova Roma. Magma had become their next target.
Back on Earth, Magma was taking her frustration out on the mountainside over-looking Nova Roma. Empath appeared while she was still in her Magma form. She was furious that she was to be bartered into marriage to further her father's career. Her mutant powers were even alluring to her fiancée . Magma wanted to run away into jungle again, but Empath reassured her that he would influence her father. Their conversation had been watched by Dr Stack, who had already detected Empath's psionic-based powers. Stack led a group of men to Nova Roma where they attacked Magma from behind, knocking her unconscious. Empath held them off by making the soldiers adore him, but Dr Stack was able to fight off Empath's influence enough to physically strike him before they teleported away to Jackson Hole.
Magma's father was both angry & concerned. He used a radio to contact the White Queen at the Massachusetts Academy. He demanded that Magma be returned, but the White Queen rebuked him saying that Magma would have been safe had she been allowed to remain in the safety of the school grounds. She then made plans to contact other Hellfire Club members, especially Magneto.
Back at Xavier's School for the Gifted Magneto and Sunspot were arguing about why Emmanuel Da Costa had sent his son to the school when the White Queen interrupted with an emergency video call. Sunspot was sent out of the room, angering him further. The other New Mutants were gathered around outside Magneto's office and Wolfsbane used her lupine hearing to eavesdrop on the conversation between Magneto & the White Queen. After the video call ended, Magneto didn't catch them but did state that he was leaving on Hellfire Club business. He then reminded them that they were all forbidden to leave the school o use their powers. However, the New Mutants didn't trust the Hellfire Club to save their friend so they teleported to the co-ordinates they'd over-heard.
The New Mutants teleported into Dr Stack's futuristic laboratory and found Magma strapped into the same machine that had removed Bulk & Glow Worm's powers. The two powerless mutants were being held in glass containers that prevented their radiation from poisoning the rest of the Purifiers. The New Mutants seemed to battle the Purifiers with ease. Sunspot threw them into Magik's stepping disc, and as Darkchilde she greeted them in Limbo.Mirage was caught up in hand-to-hand combat while Wolfsbane rushed to free Magma from the machine. The machine was activated and Cannonball swooped in, wrenching Magma free but they weren't sure if it had stolen her powers or not. So Cannonball put her on the floor and she instantly turned into molten lava.
Mirage could see the ghostly death warning above Bulk & Glow Worm. Sunspot used his strength to smash the glass chambers open in an attempt to free them. Dr Stack approached and Mirage tried to scare him away with her psychic illusions. However, he was strong willed and therefore began to fight with Mirage. He caught Mirage off balance and threw her on to the still-activated machine. When Stack walked away, Bulk & Glow Worm decided to use the last of their strength to save Mirage. They moved the setting switch to give Mirage her powers back and pushed it to the boost setting. They then slumped at the base of the machine and died of radiation poisoning. Wolfsbane discovered Mirage still trapped on the energy grid of the machine. Sunspot stopped her from diving on, and then destroyed the machine. They carried Mirage away, but were again confronted by Dr Stack. When Mirage tried to create an illusion of his worst fear, it came to life and physically attacked him. When she tried to use her powers on other another Purifier, the first creation disappeared and was replaced by a hoard of demons. Magik sent most of them into Limbo, while the others disappeared when Mirage summoned up a spear.
The New Mutants continued to fight the Purifiers until the Inner Circle of the Hellfire Club appeared. They teleported away before they were seen by their teacher, and the Hellfire Club then quickly defeated the last of the Purifiers. Arriving back at the mansion, the New Mutants were finally re-united with Magma. They begged her to stay, but she decided to return to her father in Nova Roma. Magik teleported Magma back to South America where she hugged her father and Empath embraced her.
Mirage rode Brightwind and flew away from the mansion. She considered her new evolved power to create real illusions. She decided that her spirit lance (see the previous story) was too cumbersome. Wanting to experiment with her powers she created Brightwind's greatest desire. Unfortunately it was a female pegasus, and upon seeing the potential mate Brightwind bucked Mirage from his back. She splashed down in Cooper's Lake and swam to shore.
As she walked out of the lake, Mirage realised that she'd sprained her ankle. Unable to walk back to school she began to dream of ideal ways to go home. Suddenly a bright red Porsche Coupe appeared, answering her own greatest desire.However, as she drove home a local police car pulled her over. When the officer asked to see her license she used her power to create one without thinking about the side-effects to her new illusions; the car instantly disappeared the moment she created the license. She then changed the details on the license from Danielle Moonstar to Poca Hontas with a false address. The policemen then dragged her into the back of his car as he was determined to take her in for questioning.
The police car was suddenly attacked by Brightwind. The policeman was startled and drove off the road. When confronted with a winged-horse, he let Mirage go free. Back in the air, Mirage remembered the license she'd left behind. To get rid of it, she recreated her spirit lance. She then wished for it to decrease in size and turned it into a necklace. When Mirage & Brightwind returned to the mansion, Magneto had returned from his rescue mission in Nova Roma (see previous story). He stated that Magma had disappeared in a bright flash of light (Magik's stepping disc) and the Purifiers teleported away soon afterwards in a similar flash. Magik whispered to the others that she had nothing to do with it, and Magneto confessed that he believed they had voluntarily returned Magma for fear of reprisals. Magneto then complimented Mirage on her pretty new spear necklace. She thanks him and said it was exactly what she had wanted.
In March 1931 the Geneticist Herbert Wyndham (see the High Evolutionary) supervised the construction of a scientific citadel at the base of Mount Wundagore. He pondered the future while Subterraneans worked as slaves, unaware that a ghostly image in a Victorian top hat watched him from behind (see Phaeder). Jonathan Drew appeared and complained about the Subterraneans, however Wyndham had grown accustomed to using them inhumanely.
Meanwhile outside, two children were playing in the mud. Jessica Drew (see Spider-Woman) collapsed face-down in the mud, and Philip Masters (see Puppet Master) asked with childish innocence why she was sleeping. Merriem Drew found her daughter unconscious and called for her husband's help. They rushed her to Wyndham who diagnosed radiation poisoning & placed Jessica in a cryogenic unit to slow down her cellular decomposition. He had given up hope of Jessica's recovery, but her father wanted to try a an experimental spider-extract. The serum appeared to have no effect, but Wyndham reminded Jonathan Drew that his serum was expected to take up to a month to work.
Merriem Drew was distraught. She was also angry that her husband was more interested in using Jessica as a guinea pig for his scientific research. Merriem Drew walked out on her husband. It was six hours later when Jonathan Drew approached Wyndham to help him find his missing wife.
They searched the deserted roads with flash-lights and were shocked to hear an animal howling. Turning the light towards the direction of the howl Wyndham discovered Merriem's mauled corpse. Wyndham then saw the silhouette of a strange man-beast against the low moon. Jonathan Drew than caght up with Wyndham and broke down in hysterics at the sight of his wife. Herbet Wyndham was then determined to find who was responsible for the strange creature and the death of his friend.
Note: Chapter 5 of the Evolutionary War can be found in the Fantastic Four Annual # 21.