New Warriors #31

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New Warriors #31 (Volume 1)

The issue opens up with Cannonball, Warpath and Firestar making their way through a dense jungle and come up the city of Nova Roma – a city appearing to resemble the ancient Greek cities – but this one, in the middle of an extremely dense jungle. When Roman guards approach the three, Sam tries to explain that they’re there to see Amanda Aquilla and Manuel De La Rocha – former members of the Hellions. Merely here to deliver news that the other members of the Hellions were slain in an all out battle – the Roman guards seem to have very little interest and begin the attack.

The Roman guards are all too quickly and easily defeated, at which time Manuel and Amanda appear.

We cut back to Manhattan at Empire Szechaun Cuisine, where Rich Rider, better known as Nova and Laura Dunham enjoy a peaceful date with one another. Things seem to be going well, as the two talk back and forth. It’s not until the bill comes and Rich says he has it; but then looks and sees he can’t afford it, that Laura, with a kind and warm smile, offers to split the bill with Rich. Rich then thinks to himself that he has to get a job and start bringing in some cash.

Back to Nova Roma, the estate of Senator Lucius Antonius Aquilla, Cannonball, Warpath and Firestar enjoy the food and festivities presented before them. As they drink and eat, Firestar goes on to explain how Cannonball had called her and told her that the Hellions were killed by Trevor Fritzoy, and Sentinels had put the White Queen in a coma (all of this happened in Uncanny X-Men #281-282). She goes on to say how Cannonball informed her, that since she was a part of the Hellions, he was just letting her know. She decided to join him and Warpath on their journey to Nova Roma to tell Amanda and Manuel, both former Hellions as well.

When Cannonball asks why Amanda didn’t answer the communications calls earlier, Manuel interrupts and says it was his fault; being the only one with technological experience, he had not gotten around to it. He then says he is terribly sorry to hear about the news about the Hellions, and in an almost robotic tone, Amanda also said she was sorry to hear it.

This immediately brings exchanged glances between Cannonball and Firestar, that something was unusual.

Hours later, Firestar dons on her costume and sneaks through the night, realizing that Manuel must be using his mind controlling powers. She sneaks through Nova Roma, when suddenly Manuel (also known as the Hellion, Empath), Amanda (also known as Magma), as well as Cannonball and Warpath stop Firestar. Manuel makes it clear the only problem in Nova Roma is the presence of Firestar!

We leap to Springdale, where we see Robbie Baldwin torn between his parents, when they discuss their coming divorce. Robbie, better known as Speedball, tells his father that he will be living with his mother after the divorce is final. The argument turns sour, and Robbie turns into Speedball and bounces away. Short moments later, he is in the Crashpad with Rage, and the two of them laugh over the fight. When Speedball makes a joke about Granny Staples adopting him; Rage looks down and makes mention that it takes almost all of her pension just to feed him. To break the mood, he then makes mention why no one told him the Crashpad was so big. When Speedball asks him what he’s talking about, with a few flicks of the computer; a display comes up that shows the Crashpad is five stories deep into the ground!

Back to Nova Roma, Firestar shows how the control she has over her powers, which comes easy when fighting the others. The others are slower, stiffer, since they fight under Firestar’s control. Firestar takes to the skies again, and emits a massive microwave pulse which scrambles Manuel’s control over the minds of everyone in Nova Roma. Manuel falls down, and tears fall from his eyes.

We learn that Nova Roma wasn’t built by Romans so long ago. Rather it was built by Selene who tried to recapture the time she loved the most. It also turns out the people of Nova Roma were kidnapped and brought there, and mind-wiped to believe that they were Romans, as a part of Selene’s spell. But Manuel knew the spell was wearing off, and used his mind control to keep the illusion that they had all been actual Romans. He goes on to say how he loved the people, how he loved the life, and how he loved Amanda. But the most startling truth comes when Manuel reveals to Amanda that her real name is Allison Crestmere, a British mutant. She had been with her family in Rio when Selene captured her and mindswiped her to believe her name was Amanda. Manuel goes on to say that he knows all their real names, their real lives, and can help them all rebuild their lives.

Two days later at the Massachusetts Academy, former home of the Hellions, Warpath walks out with a book that says, “Hellions Master File.” Warpath, Cannonball and Firestar look, and with a heavy heart, Firestar ignites the book and tells them, “There is much to bury… memories to put behind them… as their lives move forward and carry on.”

In their apartment, Firestar and Namorita talk, and Firestar makes mention that it’s time for her to change. To focus on the future, and with that a change of costume. Namorita is excited as she rummages through the closet and pulls out a newly designed outfit for Firestar.

“Today I buried the past, and now it’s time to look to the future.”