Appearing in "Arena"
- New Mutants
- Nina Da Costa (Mentioned)
- Incans (Mentioned)
- Emmanuel Da Costa (Mentioned) (Unnamed)
- Professor X (Charles Xavier) (Vision)
- Julius Caesar (Mentioned)
- Romulus (Mentioned)
- Remus (Mentioned)
- She-wolf (Mentioned)
Races and Species:
- Nova Roman Chariot
Synopsis for "Arena"
The New Mutants and Amara Aquilla are taken to Nova Roma by Roman Legionaries and locked in a cell. Amara asks the team not to reveal she isn't actually one of them and admits that she is the daughter of Lucius Antonius Aquilla, first senator of Nova Roma. But she doesn't tell them that she fears being discovered by the Black Priestess (Selene). The students don't trust her and Roberto's mother, Nina Da Costa, is still missing after they lost track of her in the rapids, so they are eager to escape their prison to search for her. Sunspot easily breaks the cell door, but before they can leave, curare tipped darts are fired at the group, leaving them all unconscious.
In Nova Roma's Senatorial Baths, Marcus Domitius Gallio is informed about the mutant captives and their special abilities. He contrives to use them in his ploy to take control of the city, but his senate colleague Lucius Aquilla has also been informed of the new prisoners and warns Gallio that the law dictates what will happen to them: the girls will be auctioned off as slaves and the boys will first fight in the arena and, if they survive, auctioned with the girls. Gallio's wife, Selene, offers to use her powers to kill his rival, but he refuses insisting that Senator Aquilla will only die by his hand. Selene introduces him to another prisoner she is secretly keeping. Castro claims to server a great lord to the east who can provide weapons in exchange for the right to mine the area's natural resources.
Danielle Moonstar, Rahne Sinclair, and Amara are in the House of Women where they are cared for in preparation for auction. Moonstar and Sinclair are kept docile through the drugged wine served there. Amara realizes what is happening, and escapes during the night, but she is quickly discovered and captured by Selene.
Meanwhile, Samuel Guthrie and Da Costa are being held in preparation for their participation in the gladiatorial combat at the Julian Circus, but are drugged to keep them from using their powers. They square off against two experienced gladiators, Falco and Rogier and resist the effects of the drug; they defeat the pair easily with the benefit of their powers. The crowd, which includes their drugged teammates, is in a fury, urging more combatants to attack the two mutants. The pair defeats the remaining attackers and then, still feeling the effects of the drugs, attack each other. Sunspot gets the upper hand on Cannonball and Sinclair panics at the thought of Guthrie getting injured, and transforms to her wolf form to join the fray. Moonstar breaks free from the effects of the drug and produces a vision of Professor X which shocks her teammates out of their drug induced rage. Now the spectators demand that the mutants be killed as they fear youths' powers, but Gallio intervenes claiming that Sinclair's red hair marks her as descendent of Julius Caesar and her wolf powers show that she is a descendent of the She-wolf. Claiming that the mutants are gods, he welcomes them to the cheering crowd.
They've been captured by an ancient race! They're fighting for their lives in an arena of death! But that's no the real problem. The problems are within the minds and hearts of the New Mutants. Possibly the most revealing character story ever. Can Rahne cope with Goddesshood? Can Roberto, Sam and the rest decide for themselves the course of wisdom and right in the midst of a sea of lies? The trouble starts when they win.
- Editor-in-Chief Jim Shooter is listed in the issue credits as "Emperor."
- Rahne Sinclair is the only member of the New Mutants to wear a uniform in this issue.