New Mutants Vol 1 #20: "Badlands"
Just a small warning to start with. As you know Fox has filmed a New Mutants movie. The plot of the movie will be based on this issue and the previous one as well. So if you want to know nothing in case the movie ever comes out, you might want to skip this post.
The issue opens with a recap of the previous issue. Danielle Moonnstar, a student in Professor Charles Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, has been attacked by a bear demon or spirit that has killed her parents and she barely survived. Her friends found her broken body and she was rushed to the O.R. However, the bear returned, but it found worthy opponent in the New Mutants. So, it cast a spell on them that took them away from Earth into a sort of different dimension.
The bear goes into action immediately. Before Illyana Rasputina cam even try and cast a spell on the spirit bear, he attacks the police officer and the nurse that he has taken from the hospital. His attack corrupts their souls. Cannonball is enraged and attacks the bear. The attack only stuns the bear. But the people are now demons, which Illyana tries to bind. The shadow of the bear turns day into night, giving the bear and its new demon servants more power. As soon as the New Mutants are distracted with the demons, the bear returns its attention to Danielle.
The New Mutants have a hard time dealing with the demons. Their powers don't seem to work on them. Illyana is scared that casting a spell on them will help the bear break the wards she puts around Danielle's O.R. and so it will doom her to death. The rest of the mutants are failing their battle. Sunspot is on the verge of death and everything around him turns into darkness. Wolfsbane saves him, but the demon seems unharmed by her attack.
Illyana sees that the situation has become even more lethal and summons the soulsword. The manifestation of her powers. But the bear is strong and draws power from the land around it. Magma, a member of the New Mutants, has apparently been controlled by the bear so Illyana stabs her. Cannonball doesn't understand what is going on and his powers no longer protect Illyana. However, her metal armor appears to protect her, though she has no idea where it came from. Still, the stabbing set Magma free and she is furious at Cannonball. But it doesn't matter. The bear feels that victory is close.
But the New Mutants attack together. As an efficient team they defeat the demons. In the meantime Wolfsbane uses her mind link and searches Danielle's mind for the answer. Why does the bear want to kill Danielle? But she is attacked. They notice that when another demon is stabbed with the soulsword, it becomes human again. So they will attack the bear with the sword.
First, Magma attacks it with lava as it seems vulnerable to that. Cannonball attacks the bear while carrying Illyana, which protects her. Then after a moment of hesitation, Illyana strikes the bear on the skull with her sword. The bear is cut in half and the land around him dies. All of his servants turn to human once again. The New Mutants are back at the hospital again. The police officer and the nurse are human, but shape shifted into different humans. There are faced with two new people, Danielle's parents. They weren't killed by the bear, they were the bear. How odd. They were enslaved and were forced to try and harm their daughter, they don't know by who, but the war may not be over, even though the battle is won.
The X-Men arrive. Storm brings a healer from the Morlocks who does his best to heal Danielle. It will be hard work, but she will be fine again in the end.
Though we don’t know who created the bear, this battle is over.