Witchfire and some Easter Eggs in New Mutants #17

New Mutants #17
Nov 2010

The New Mutants show up in their own title this issue, returning to Limbo to prevent a possible future where the X-Men and New Mutants are slaughtered. That possible future, including Witchfire’s flamey-eyed death, was confusedly explained by a weirded-out Magik in New Mutants #9. Since, Pixie has been kidnaped by Project Purgatory, causing Illyana to sense the exact moment to jump into her own timeline to prevent the deaths of her teammates. Witchfire appears in this issue in a few panels, rather bloodied up but none the less feisty for it.

Yes, another Limbo issue, and writer Zeb Wells makes reference to the very recent adventures in the Hellbound miniseries as Cannonball complains right upon arrival, “Oh, No… No! You’ve got to be kidding me! Dammit, Illyana! We just left Limbo.” They really did just leave, as this issue picks up very shortly after, likely within a day or so, of the ending of the Second Coming storyline.

The mysterious group of mutants seen in the last issue has apparently taken out the massive army of Limbo baddies led by Witchfire. Captured by Magik’s horde on their way to rescue Pixie and brought out to a central square in an abandoned Limbo village, she is announced as “The Burning Witch”, a reference lost on Karma (who I still want to smack in the mouth), but picked up (somehow) by Danielle Moonstar.

In a very intense exchange between Magik and Witchfire, which writer Zeb Wells skillfully pulls off without making either one of them sound cheesy at all, we learn that she’s lost the bloodstone amulet. She then surrenders Pixie’s location willfully, hoping the New Mutants face the same fate she did when she and her baddies attacked Project Purgatory. After flat out asking to be put out of her misery, Witchfire is hauled away, as Magik instructs her horde to “Make sure she suffers”.

Thinking she’s left to be tortured and killed? Well, not to worry… in a later interview, Zeb Wells hints, “I wouldn’t be surprised if she got out of her predicament…” so this post won’t carry the too-often used “death” tag.

Okay, that’s the Alpha Flight-related part of the book, and usually I’d stop here, but there’s a little more to say. In a few panels, Illyana and some other characters speak with a demonic script. Cypher translates a few of these speech bubbles for us, which led me to wonder what was being said in some of the untranslated speech bubbles. One can tell that it’s a simple substitution cipher and I put together a handy chart to figure out what letters match with which demonic script characters, with the exception of J, Q, X and Z, which weren’t shown:

Click to see full-sized image

Well, once I started translating, I almost fell on the floor! It turns out Zeb Wells left us a doozy of an Easter Egg!

In a panel where Magik first meets up with her one of her horde commanders, this exchange takes place:


See that guy’s balls? Yeah…they were weird.

As she returns to Cannonball, she addresses him with this one:


Hey, dick-breath.

While valiantly riding off on her armored steed, she exlcaims:


Pork Chop!

Right before Witchfire is dragged out, Cypher can be seen walking Illyana’s three little red limbopuppies and he says:


Fuck nuts!

Here it is a little bigger so you can see the smallish demon script a little better:


Fuck nuts!

Go ahead and check out the demonscript chart above and you’ll see for yourself!

Note: this issue has a Super Hero Squad variant cover, inspred by the famous Byrne cover from the Days of Future Past issue of Uncanny X-Men #141, with art by Leonel Castellani.

New Mutants #17 – Super Hero Squad variant

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4 Responses to “Witchfire and some Easter Eggs in New Mutants #17”

  1. Flightpath07 Says:

    oh…my…

  2. King_Mungi Says:

    haha hillarious, good find rplass

  3. alistairrobb Says:

    Nice one.

  4. Ahab Says:

    That is AWESOME.

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