- We are all free...but only because of Volcana's sacrifice. I'm going to find her. No matter what it takes I swear I won't stop until I find her...and free her. And to the devil with anyone who tries to stop me.
- -- Killraven
Appearing in "Mint Julep"
- Killraven (Main story and flashback)
- Volcana Ash (First appearance)
- Keeper Whitman (First appearance) (Only in flashback)
- Sirens (First appearance) (Only in flashback)
- Skarlett (First appearance) (Only in flashback)
- Mint Julep
- Mint Julep's army
- Artemus (First appearance) (Only in flashback)
- Mint Julep's zeppelin
Synopsis for "Mint Julep"
The story opens as Jonathan Raven his childhood, when he was first captured by the Martians. The Martians' human pawn Keeper Whitman and his men assess Raven's health and tell him they want him to join a school they run. He offers Raven some food and water, but tells him if he wants it, he'll have to fight for it, as three other boys attack him. Then the action switches to several years later, and Raven is an older teenager and a hardened fighter. He successfully beats three other boys his own age, and claims his prize of food and a protein shake. Whitman tells Raven he is a true killer, and Raven pours away the rest of his drink in shame.
Raven remembers being told by Whitman that he was ready to enter the adult gladatorial arena. Raven tells Whitman he doesn't want to kill, but is told it is kill or be killed, and that the Martians will punish him if he doesn't do as he is told. Whitman puts an implant in Raven's head so that the Martians can experience his emotions and thoughts in the arena. Whitman introduces Raven to Skarlett, one of the Martians' genetically-engineered law enforcers, the Sirens. Skarlett uses her psychic abilties to convince Raven to enter the arena and kill, giving him his nickname Killraven.
In the arena, Killraven slays around a dozen other gladiators in one match, before coming up against Artemus, a comrade from his own gladiator school. Killraven tells him he doesn't want to fight him, but Artemus attacks anyway, and Killraven is forced to kill him to survive. He asks the watching Martians why he must kill to live. Whitman tells Killraven he is tired of his rebellious attitude, and he and the Sirens try to force him to obey as Killraven resists, and says he will be free.
Killraven awakes in the presence of Mint Julep and two of her men, Marvo and Koko. The telepathic Marvo has been scanning Killraven's mind, but has recieved feedback from his mental shield. Mint Julep tells him the rest of his Freemen were only stunned by her earlier attack and are safe. Julep tells Killraven that she can either turn him in for the bounty on his head, or they can make a mutually beneficial arrangement. She leads him out onto the deck of her mobile headquarters - a zeppelin towed by four elephants - and shows him her army beneath them, all human hybrids the Martians had experimented on and abandoned.
Julep explains that she feigns allegiance to a scientific elite based outside of what was Washington D.C. in order to find out more about the Martians' science. She offers Killraven the opportunity to join with her and use his invisibility to Martian scanners in her cause, and hints that they could become lovers too. Killraven refuses, and tells her she only wants to relace the Martians' rule with her own. Julep strikes him, and sends him below with some of her men, telling them to soften him up. However, Killraven reveals he has been pretending helplessness, and overpowers them. He is complimented by another prisoner - a woman who is chained up in a vat of oil. She tells Killraven she can take him to his friends if he frees her. Killraven does so, and she washes off the oil that covers her. An alarm begins to sound, and Killraven goes to free his friends and tells the woman to escape, telling her it's too dangerous for her to help him.
Killraven helps his friends escape, and they cut their way up through the deck. They are confronted by Julep and her men, who predicted their escape. The Freemen are trapped, but are saved by the intervention of the woman Killraven helped, Volcana Ash, who reveals she is a pyrokinetic, and uses her flames to keep some of Julep's men at bay. Hawk throws a line to the ground and the Freeman slide down it, leaving Killraven and Volcana holding the army at bay. Killraven tells Volcana to go next, but she decides to go after Julep. As Marvo uses his telepathy to keep Volcana distracted, Julep shoots her with tranqilizers and has her men carry her off. Volcana's flames become stronger without her control, and Julep, her men and the captive Volcana escape on a subsidiary zeppelin that detaches from the main one. Killraven grabs on to a line, but Julep shoots it and Killraven falls, to be caught by his friend Old Skull. Knowing that Volcana saved them all, Killraven vows to save her, saying he'll stop at nothing...
- Contains a preview for Uncanny X-Men #416.
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