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1985-01-01 00:04:30
Questprobe #3
1985/Box 21/EiC: Jim Shooter
Daredevil #214

ROM annual #3

Issue(s): ROM annual #3
Published Date: 1984
Title: "The prodigal son!"
Bill Mantlo - Writer
William Johnson - Penciler
Ian Akin & Brian Garvey - Inker
Mike Carlin - Editor

This annual features the return of Hybrid, and since he only seems to appear when there's mutants around, Professor Xavier and the New Mutants guest-star as well.

The story opens with a group of female Dire Wraith children, whose parents were killed or banished by ROM, and they are therefore immature and confused.

That doesn't stop them from terrorizing a classroom full of children, or mind-sucking and killing their teacher right in front of them.

ROM and Starshine intervene before any children are hurt (not counting mental trauma!), and continue their kill vs. banish debate.

As ROM banishes the final Wraith, something slips out of the opened portal. It's Hybrid, who manifests as a young human during a baptism in a small West Virginian town.

"Several weeks later", the New Mutants arrive in town to visit Cannonball's family. This is the first time we meet the Guthries, including five brothers and sisters. One of them, Joshua, will later turn out to be a mutant, code-name Icarus (although Icarus goes by the name "Jay" Guthrie, and i think linking him to this Joshua was a retro-fit).

Sam's other mutant sibling, Paige, aka Husk of Generation X, does not appear in this issue.

After a rather nicely done horror movie-ish plot, the New Mutants, ROM, and Starshine face off against Hybrid. ROM gets stuck in Limbo, and Hybrid removes the Starshine armor from Brandy Clark (he also puts her into a weird "sexy" wedding outfit).

Hybrid intends to use the female mutants for breeding purposes.

Magik teleports away to Limbo...

...where she encounters ROM. She initially recognizes it as "her" Limbo but wonders why she's never encountered all the Wraiths that ROM has banished there before (i'm also reminded, due to the (mis?)coloring of these female Wraiths, that now that the females have been introduced we simply don't see the males anymore. Limbo should be full of male Wraiths since that's what ROM fought for most of his series).

ROM responds that Limbo is "less a place than a concept".

Hybrid is defeated through a combination of Magik's soulsword...

...and a powerless Brandy Clark using ROM's Neutralizer, shielded from the pain (from the safeguards that prevent others from using ROM's weapon) by Professor X.

Mantlo really delivers with this one. It's a creepy story, and i like the side touching on the Limbo concept, even if the differences are explained with a bit of hand-waving. William Johnson's art is a nice break from Ditko; my one complaint is he never gives us a nice scary splash panel of Hybrid.

Quality Rating: C+

Historical Significance Rating: 3 - Brandy Clark loses her Starshine powers. Introduction to the Guthrie family, including Joshua "Jay" Guthrie, later Icarus.

Chronological Placement Considerations: Brandy Clark loses her Starshine powers in this issue, placing it between ROM #60-61. The MCP places Xavier here before Uncanny X-Men #189, which fits with the New Mutants not knowing about Storm's power loss, which Amara, at least, should be aware of by UX #189. But if we accept that, this story has to also take place before New Mutants #23, since New Mutants #23 takes place after UX #189. See my comments on the New Mutants entry for more on that, since it differs from the MCP's placement.


  • Before leaping in with the rest of the New Mutants to stop a forest fire, Illyana says that she wished that Storm were there to put out the fire with her rain powers. Xavier is aware that Storm lost her powers in Uncanny X-Men #185, but the New Mutants don't seem to be, yet.
  • ROM knows from Cindy Adams in ROM #60 that the Dire Wraiths are up to something big.
  • Scanning Hybrid, a SHIELD ESP-er goes into mind-shock, despite the protections set up by Dr. Strange in ROM #54.
  • Hybrid's origin was shown in his first appearance, ROM #17-18, incorrectly footnoted as #16-17, unless there's some tidbit in issue #16 i'm not aware of.
  • Brandy Clarke became Starshine in ROM #40.
  • Trapped in a coal mine at one point with the New Mutants, Professor X is reminded of the cave-in that crippled him. No footnote for that, but it was first shown in Uncanny X-Men #9. Xavier has since regained the use of his legs.

Cross-over: N/A

Continuity Implant? N

Reprinted In: N/A

Inbound References (3): show

Characters Appearing: Cannonball, General Merriwether Locklin, Hybrid, Icarus, Jebediah Guthrie, Joelle Guthrie, Lewis Guthrie, Lucinda Guthrie, Magik, Magma, Professor X, ROM, Starshine II, Sunspot, Wolfsbane

Questprobe #3
1985/Box 21/EiC: Jim Shooter
Daredevil #214

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