Credits: Fabian Nicieza (writer), Darick Robertson (penciler), Larry Mahlstedt (inker), Joe Rosen (letterer), Joe Rosas (colorist)
Cannonball, Warpath, and Firestar travel to Nova Roma (an ancient Roman city hidden in the Amazon) to tell former Hellions Empath and Magma about the deaths of their teammates. While there, Firestar realizes that Empath is using his powers to control Magma. When she attempts to investigate, she’s attacked by the mind-controlled Cannonball and Warpath. She creates a microwave pulse to undo Empath’s influence, which frees the entire city. Empath reveals that Nova Roma was founded by the mutant Selene, not ancient Romans, and populated by her kidnapped victims. Her mind control was wearing off, so Empath took over. He releases his control, and the surviving Hellions move on.
The White Queen is in a coma, which contradicts earlier issues that referred to her as a corpse. Someone probably realized that killing off so many established villains in just a few issues was a mistake, so she’s been resurrected very quietly. Empath is also alive and well in this issue, which means he couldn’t have been killed with the rest of the Hellions in Uncanny X-Men #281.
Nova Roma’s status as an actual Roman City has since been re-established, I believe. Nicieza’s only basis for this issue’s retcon seems to be his belief that Nova Roma is just a dumb idea.
I wasn’t a regular reader of New Warriors, so this crossover issue was successful in bringing in at least one X-completist. This issue seems to be aimed at long-time New Mutants readers familiar with Firestar and Warpath’s past with the Hellions, characters that had been casually disposed of a few months earlier. Nicieza seems more interested in retconning an old New Mutants idea he didn’t like than in actually providing an actual sendoff to the Hellions, though. As a story, it’s not very interesting and parts of it don’t work. If Cannonball and Warpath can see that Empath is controlling Magma, why didn’t they call him out on it right then? Why would they leave, go to bed, and give him a chance to zap them? It’s nice that someone bothered to address the senseless death of the Hellions, but I doubt this was really what the old-school New Mutants fans wanted to see.