By Marc Strom
Writer Zeb Wells and artist Diogenes Neves bring the gang back together in NEW MUTANTS #1 on May 6, reuniting the original team for all-new adventures in a brave new world. And to celebrate the much-anticipated reunion, Marvel.com takes a look back at the histories of those individual team members from their first appearances to the present.
Continuing today with Dani Moonstar, catch up on anything you may have missed and
everything you'll need to know to meet these characters once again when the new series kicks off. Plus, NEW MUTANTS scribe Zeb Wells lets us know what role the de-powered Moonstar will play on the team when it reunites!
Dani Moonstar: Cheyenne, Mutant, Valkyrie
From the very first day her powers developed, Dani Moonstar's life has remained in a constant state of flux.
After the disappearance of her parents and the death of her grandfather at the hands of the Hellfire Club, the Cheyenne-born mutant found a new home in Charles Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters. While there she used her ability to create visual illusions based off the emotions of both herself and other people to help the New Mutants keep the world safe for mutants everywhere.
Under the codename Psyche and later Mirage, Dani took a leadership position on the team and helped guide them through their earliest missions. One of those adventures included her and her teammates facing off against the malicious Demon Bear, an entity that she believed killed her parents. Luckily, Magik—aka Illyana Rasputin—helped defeat the Bear, and in the process restored Dani's parents to life.
Dani became an Asgardian Valkyrie during the team's accidental trip to Thor's homeland, where she developed a bond with the winged horse Brightwind and succeeded in quelling Loki's scheme, saving her friends from the Trickster God's clutches. Brightwind perished after another of the team's Asgardian adventures, this time preventing the goddess Hela from killing Odin. Once the battle ended, however, Dani chose to stay in Asgard rather than return to Earth with the other New Mutants.
Once she resurfaced to the land of the mortals, Moonstar spent time as a mole in the Mutant Liberation Front before finally rejoining some of her former colleagues in X-Force. Most recently, Moonstar experienced the loss of her powers in the wake of the M-Day Event and later joined the X-Men in San Francisco to help teach the next generation of new mutants in the Young X-Men.
No Powers? No Problem!
With the New Mutants' impending reunion, Dani finds herself fighting once more alongside some of her oldest friends—only this time, she doesn't have any super powers to help her out.
"She's in a complicated situation because she's been de-powered by the House of M stuff," remarks series writer Zeb Wells. "She's very much still a part of the team, but at the same time there are more things at work here now. I didn't want to just pretend that her losing her powers wouldn't affect her role on the team, because Dani Moonstar is a super capable woman and she's very good at [hand-to-hand] combat, very good at fighting. But at the end of the day, she's a regular human now. I want to explore how team is going to look at her differently. I don't think they'd ever look at her like, 'Oh, it's a bummer we've got a human on the team,' but they might subconsciously try to protect her more or patronize her a little more, and if you know Dani Moonstar you know that's going to rub her the wrong way."
Wells explains that Dani herself may feel a bit out of place and begin questioning her value to the team as a depowered mutant.
"I don't know if this is anything that Dani would ever come out and say," he confesses. "I think she desperately does want to be [a] part of the team, [and] she still feels responsibility to all of her other teammates. But at the same time, deep down, she probably is asking herself, 'Do I belong here?'
"I think a character like her is going to, instead of driving off and taking the time for herself, hop into it full steam and try to prove that she does belong there. But I don't think she wants to face the fact that she might not belong there, that's not something that would be acceptable to her."
Even though she no longer has any superhuman abilities to speak of, fans shouldn't expect Dani to hang back as the team rushes into whatever dangers face them on the horizon.
"She's going to make the case that she is [able to help them in the field], and she'll have supporters on the team [as well as] people on the team that maybe fear for her safety out there," notes Wells. "But she's part of the team, and she will be out there in the field because that's where she wants to be."
Visit Marvel Digital Comics Unlimited for more Dani Moonstar, including this spotlight issue of NEW MUTANTS. And be sure to check back here tomorrow as New Mutants Week continues and we turn our attention to Karma!
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