Monday, August 19, 2013

The Karma Conundrum Part III: Wouldn't It Be Easier To Simply List Who Doesn't Get Mind Controlled?

When we last left the New Mutants, they'd been trying to track down and capture their former teammate Karma... For the longest time, Xi'an Coy Manh was presumed dead after she disappeared during a fight with Viper and the Silver Samurai.

Professor Xavier told a whopper of a white lie when he claimed he wasn't able to tell she had survived and went about business as usual... Turns out Karma was very much alive ánd possessed, which is ironic considering her mutant powers allowed her to take over anyone's mind.

As a victim of this unnamed entity, she gained a tremendous amount of weight ánd augmented powers. The new Karma effortlessly controlled dozens of people, using them as playthings.

Unaware of this power upgrade, the New Mutants barged into Karma's headquarters and attacked. Only Magik and Moonstar managed to escape Karma's mind control. After some adventures we covered last time, they met up with Storm and Warlock, their fellow New Mutant, in Cairo. Here, the beyond pleasantly plump Karma had taken over nightclub Pharaoh where she entertained.

"Shall we then play with them, my pets?"

And play they did... Karma's power had been intensified to such a degree that everyone she possessed became a part of her... up to the point she was able to manifest her mind control through them. So, when Cannonball approached the couple, he (or rather Karma) was able to do this.

"Ha! The poor man doesn't know I possess his lovely bride. As I do Sam Guthrie and his fellow New Mutants. The tramp is little more than a puppet."

Karma apparently feeds off more than fast food...She also snacks on the emotional misery she causes, enjoying the anxiety of the husband who has to watch his wife jumping in the arms of another man. Not to mention the eventual horror of the woman when the possession ends and all she can remember is how easily she cheated on the man she'd only just promised to be eternally faithful to... 

"Wonderful! I've inflicted the kind of wound that rarely ever heals. Their love will turn irrevocably into something foul... which will... in time, with luck... utterly destroy them." 

Big ol' Karma isn't allowed too much time to revel in her latest psychic scarring... Because a very familiar face enters the Paraoh Nightclub, ready to confront the malicious mental mistress & her mutant minions... And all she has is a walking stick. 

"I crave the wind-rider's heart, pets... bring it to me."

Storm, ladies and gentlemen, is bad ass... Even without her weather control powers, she stands up to against Karma's New Mutants and manages to hold her own until Magik teleports in the others... like Dani Moonstar who uses her psychic link with Wolfsbane to talk some sense into the mind controlled Rahne Sinclair... A clever plan, but it backfired somewhat....

"NO! Can't break contact, Karma won't let me! Head aching...
feel Karma's influence growing... trying to resist..."

Due to the struggle between Moonstar and Karma, Wolfsbane gained enough freedom to revert to her human form... which severed the psi-link between herself and both Dani and Karma. Free to act, Dani Moonstar used her mutant abilities to manifest one's worst fear to create a diversion. Wanna guess who Karma's worst fear or biggest enemy is?

No silly, it's not the threat of starvation as a Vietnamese boat refugee, or the cruelty of her uncle, general Ngoc Nguyen... let alone having to absorb her evil twin brother during her first appearance... Nope, her biggest fear tuns out to be the man who showed her nothing but kindness since day one: Charles Xavier.

Still, taking anything she could get, Moonstar uses the distraction to get Rahne and herself to safety... which isn't exactly an easy thing to do...

"She's possessed everyone in the club! But how...?! There are so many... Karma never had such power, when I knew her she could barely manage two."

Moonstar and Wolfsbane managd to get out of Club Paroah (interesting typo) thanks to Warlock, who posed as a giant rug but instantly transformed himself into a getaway plane that brought them to Storm's place in downtown Cairo. There, free from Karma's influence, Rahne finally realised just what she's been through...

"I feel... dirty inside! The others... 'berto, Amara, Sam... They've become evil! Was I like that?!"

Bless Warlock's techno-organic heart for changing into a Disney character and yelling 'unimportant'. But it truly is an emotional scene for the god fearing Rahne who at this point still feels guilty for being a mutant... What if she finds out she was possessed and forced to kill? After all, Karma had the enthralled New Mutants slaughter the gladiators guarding her villa. 

But Rahne and the others didn't get too much time to ponder the deeper consequences of Karma's mind control... Because the equally mind controlled Sunspot, Magma and Cannonball attacked Storm's hideout out of the blue and were ready to take care of business. In the midst of battle, Magik had a bit of an epiphany and teleported Dani Moonstar away...

"Is this a peace offering, Illyana? Has self-preservation prevailed over your sense of loyalty to your fellow New Mutants? How charming..."

And Illyana was only getting started. By dropping Dani off to get mind controlled by Karma, she caused Wolfsbane to immediately fall under the same spell, because of their psychic bond. 

But Magik was a bit too busy to realise that, as she stopped in Limbo to pick up her loyal pet demon S'ym and together they got back to the battlefield in Cairo where she snatched Warlock away to Limbo, ordering S'ym to take good care of the young Technarx during his stay in her realm...

Returning to Cairo, Illyana has a personal moment of doubt, fear and confusion in an abandoned alley, wondering if her plan would work or if she even did the right thing to begin with... When all of a sudden, Dani Moonstar and Wolfsbane turn up to make it even harder for Magik to answer that question...

'I'm so pleased, I would much prefer having you as partner... rather than slave."

Karma, via Dani Moonstar, told Illyana they were very much alike... Kindred souls even, a thought that made Illyana shiver, thinking of how her own soul was tainted by evil and darkness. But that didn't stop her from pressing on, as she heard how Karma's New Mutants had finally found Storm and were moving in for the proverbial kill.

Much to Ororo's credit, she managed to beat back all of them with only her smarts, the aforementioned wooden walking stick and a bit of luck... Also, when Illyana showed up to rescue her, Storm willingly agreed, not knowing Magik had already made her decision...

My collection is very neary complete."

Yup, Magik had picked Karma's side by delivering Storm into Xi'an's undoubtedly grease stained hands. Ororo was one of the biggest jewels in Karma's crown, for reasons only know to the entity that controlled her. But it wouldn't be a Claremont comic if the slave wasn't forced to humiliate him or herself for the master...

"I humble myself before your majesty... and worship you with all my heart and soul."

And while Karma made Storm, the New Mutants and whoever happened to be around participate in her debasing games that would outgross the sickest of the sick, Karma's 'ally' Illyana observed via a scrying pool... 

"It's a big gamble... the risk is so great... and I'll only have the one chance."

Just how Illyana's plan will unfold, we'll see in the fourth part of The Karma Conundrum, but considering this was the clifhanger... you do the math.


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