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Appearing in "A Fire in the Sky!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Uncanny X-Men Annual #1979.

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Synopsis for "A Fire in the Sky!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Uncanny X-Men Annual #1979.

A quiet summer Sunday in Manhattan is shattered upon the appearance of Arkon the Magnificent. He has come to Earth to seek the aid of Thor and the Avengers once more. But when he visits the Avengers’ Mansion, their butler Jarvis informs Arkon that Thor is away on persona business. Without Thor, Arkon thinks all is lost. But then, he is suddenly contacted by his Grand Vizier in a vision. The Vizier suggests someone else who might be useful: The X-Man known as Storm.

Having survived their recent ordeal against Arcade, the X-Men are engaged in a Danger Room training session with the now-powerless Banshee running the controls. During the training session, Storm gets caught between two blasts of wind, causing her claustrophobia to kick in. Before they can shut the Danger Room down, Storm panics, unleashing the full fury of her powers, wrecking the control room and sending the Danger Room into utter chaos. The X-Men are saved from injury thanks to Cyclops's quick thinking, using his optic blast to hit the emergency shutoff. While the rest of the X-Men clean up the damage, Cyclops consoles Storm. She confesses that she is troubled by her new role as a superhero, which is vastly different than her old life as a "goddess" in Kenya.

Storm retreats to her room to spend time alone but is accosted by Arkon who demands that she help him. Alarmed by his sudden appearance, Storm fires a lightning bolt and sends Arkon crashing down through the floor right in front of Cyclops and Banshee.

Cyclops’ optic blasts sends Arkon crashing through another wall and outside of the mansion, where all the X-Men attack him. During the fight, Arkon tosses one of his mystical thunderbolts at Storm, striking her and teleporting her away. The rest of the X-Men manage to fight Arkon to a stand-still and remove his quiver of thunderbolts. With Wolverine threatening him with his claws, Arkon is forced to show them how the thunderbolts work. They teleport away, leaving Banshee behind to contact the Avengers or Fantastic Four should they not return.

The X-Men and Arkon appear in the middle of his royal palace and see that Storm is nowhere to be found. They soon have to defend themselves against the Imperions of Arkon's world. When Nightcrawler spots the Grand Vizier making an escape, he follows as the other X-Men fight their way through the palace.

Nightcrawler follows the Vizier to another castle where Storm is being held. Upon hearing that Storm is willing to sacrifice her life to help these people, he tries to get the drop on them and Storm accidentally attacks him.

Seeing the lightning bolt from the faraway palace, the other X-Men commandeer a flying beast and ride it to the castle. They find Storm there but she refuses to leave. Arkon appears and explains to them that his world does not have a sun and gets its light from an energy ring that encircles it. He explains how the Avengers once came and restored it with a device when the ring was failing. The ring is failing once again. Being unable to find Thor to restore the power in the device, he sought out Storm as a substitute.

Examining the device, the X-Men come up with a solution to repair the device: Wolverine and Nightcrawler repair it's mechanisms. Storm channels her powers through Cyclops, super-charging him with energy. He then blasts the device with his optic blast and gives it enough energy to restore the energy ring around Arkon's world. The device explodes however.

When Arkon's people inspect the wreckage, they find Arkon and the X-Men alive. With the artificial sunlight of their world restored, Arkon and his people revere the X-Men as heroes. Parting as friends, Arkon thanks the X-Men for their help and uses his thunderbolts to send them back home.

Appearing in "Cry for the Children!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
X-Men #122.

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Synopsis for "Cry for the Children!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
X-Men #122.

The X-Men are once again back at the X-Mansion after their long sojourn. As the story opens, Colossus is in the middle of a Danger Room test and faring poorly. His goal is to prevent a pair of crushing walls from pulverizing him, but he pleads that he cannot do it. In the monitor room overlooking the testing floor, Cyclops expresses concern that the Russian mutant’s lack of self-confidence is preventing him from exerting his full strength.

Wolverine has been observing the test and sneakily sabotages the controls in the monitor room, before entering the Danger Room. He climbs into the crushing unit and refuses to leave, thus putting his own life at risk as well as Colossus’s. Over the intercom, Cyclops relates that the safety parameters have been disabled and that Colossus must either defeat the test or he and Wolverine will be crushed. Colossus then rises to the challenge and saves them both. He thanks Wolverine for his “encouragement”, but Cyclops tasks Wolverine with repairing the controls he damaged.

Leaving the room, Cyclops runs into Colleen Wing who asks him out on a date. Glad to have a day off after their battle with the Living Monolith, he agrees to go. But first, he checks in with Sean and Kurt who have been in the hanger working to get the Blackbird back in operational order. Sean is puzzled as to why the Blackbird has been “mothballed” (taken out of commission and put into long-term storage), as much of the rest of the school has been. Scott wonders where Professor Xavier could have gone to while the X-Men were missing in action.

At that moment in deep space, Charles Xavier, consort to the galactic Empress Lilandra is being introduced to life on the Shi'ar throne world. Celebrations of Lilandra's ascension to the throne are met with much fanfare and Xavier is overwhelmed by the alien culture.

Meanwhile in Scotland, Jean has been out shopping and is carrying quite a load of packages on her way to meet with Moira, Alex, Lorna and Jamie Madrox. She quite literally runs into a man and spills her bundle. The man helps her pick up the packages and introduces himself as Jason Wyngarde before seeing her on her way.

When Jean meets up with Moira and the others at the dock, they pay no attention to a pair of local sailors who are looking for boat-renter Angus MacWhirter, who has gone missing since Christmas. As Moira’s boat carries her small group to Muir Isle, Jean does notice Wyngarde observing her from the shore. As he watches her, Wyngarde confidently muses to himself that he will make Jean fall in love with him. Standing under a street lamp, his shadow appears to be quite different than his body.

In New York, Cyclops and Colleen go on their date and Scott talk about their developing relationship. Elsewhere, Wolverine drops Storm off in the Harlem neighborhood where she was born. Driving back through the city, Logan sees Mariko Yashida entering the Japanese embassy and stops to gain admittance to see her but is refused at the door.

Ororo meanwhile is walking through her old neighborhood and is dismayed to see it has become a slum. Several local people she passes notice how very different she appears to most residents, including her white hair and tonier clothing.

Entering an old apartment building where her parents used to live, Storm is surprised to find that it is now an abandoned tenement and a junkie shooting gallery. When the junkies squatting there assault her, she uses her weather powers to fight back. One of them sneaks behind her and is ready to stab her but is subdued by Luke Cage, who is accompanied by Misty Knight. The pair explain they heard talk on the street about a woman who fit her description in the area and then saw lightning bolts emitted from the tenement window so they came to investigate. Ororo wants to help the junkies but the jaded Cage says the youths have made their choices are wouldn’t take their help. He remarks “We’re superheroes, not gods...” Disillusioned, Storm departs with Cage and Knight.

Colleen takes the train back to the city, and Scott sees her off. As she leaves, Colleen gives Scott a farewell gift: the key to her apartment and an invitation to come by anytime.

Meanwhile aboard a private aircraft, Juggernaut and Black Tom Cassidy are seeking to hire an assassin to take care of the X-Men for them. The meet the lunatic hitman known as Arcade. Loving the possible challenge, Arcade tells the two men that he will take the job and that the X-Men are as good as dead.

Appearing in "Listen -- Stop Me if You've Heard It -- But This One Will Kill You!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
X-Men #123.

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Locations:

  • Japanese Consulate

Items:

Vehicles:

  • Arcade's sanitation trucks
  • Arcade's helicopter

Synopsis for "Listen -- Stop Me if You've Heard It -- But This One Will Kill You!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
X-Men #123.

The Amazing Spider-Man is swinging through New York's Greenwich Village when he recognizes Colleen Wing and Scott Summers and briefly stops in to say hello. Scott and Colleen are unaware that they are being watched by one of Arcade's minions, Mr. Chambers, who uses a specially rigged garbage truck to capture them. Overhearing this, Spider-Man recognizes the noise[3] and realizes Arcade must be after his friends and arrives too late to stop the kidnapping. Considering the fact that the Arcade might be after the X-Men, Spider-Man decides to try to get in touch with them.

Nightcrawler, Colossus and their dates Amanda Sefton and Betsy Wilford are all gassed and taken prisoner by Miss Locke. When Wolverine ends a date with Mariko, he too is captured by Mr. Chambers. Arcade personally takes care of Banshee and Storm by breaking into the X-Mansion and taking them out with tranquilizer darts. When Spider-Man calls into the school, Arcade answers the phone and tells him that he's too late to warn his friends.

When the X-Men come around, they find themselves in uniform and placed in giant glass pinballs. Arcade introduces himself and sends them off through his gigantic pinball machine. After bouncing off a number of electrified bumpers, each ball goes down a separate slot, sending each X-Man into a different room.

Cyclops lands in a room where he has to make a choice between three doors, with only one leading to safety. In order to force him to make a decision a moving wall threatens to crush him.

Colossus ends up in a room where he is confronted by a robot disguised as a KGB agent named Alexi Vazhin who begins interrogating him over his loyalty to Russia while powerful hypnotic lights confuse him.

Wolverine ends up in a hall of mirrors that create distorted robotic duplicates of him to battle.

Nightcrawler is trapped in a room where remote control cars chase after him with cutting buzz saws.

Banshee (who is still unable to use his mutant powers) has to make it through a holographic simulation of a World War II battle, where some of the model jets are real.

Lastly, Storm finds herself trapped in a dark room that is filling with water. As her claustrophobia sets in, she tries to blast her way through the roof with a lightning bolt onto to have it reflected back at her.

Cyclops decides not to choose any of the doors and instead blasts through one of the walls with his optic blast. This clears a passage into the hall of mirrors and damages the replicating mirrors. After helping Wolverine dispatch of the last of them, the two X-Men head for the exit door only to be attacked by Colossus who has been brainwashed into thinking that he is a Russian loyalist called the Proletarian.

In Arcade's control room, Colleen, Amanda and Betsy are being restrained in present-shaped harnesses and can only watch helplessly from the control monitor. Arcade howls with laughter, exclaiming that with Colossus under his control, the X-Men are finished.

This story is continued next issue.

Appearing in "He Only Laughs When I Hurt!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
X-Men #124.

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Synopsis for "He Only Laughs When I Hurt!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
X-Men #124.

Continued from last issue...

Captured by Arcade, the X-Men are being subjected to a variety of death traps in his lethal amusement park, Murderworld. Cyclops and Wolverine are currently facing off against Colossus, who has been brainwashed into thinking he is a "Proletarian", a Soviet loyalist.

Meanwhile Arcade cackles with glee in his control room. With him are prisoners Colleen Wing, Amanda Sefton and Betsy Willford. When Colleen demands to know who he is, Arcade relates his origin story: he was an idle rich kid of Beverly Hills until his father cut off his money, prompting him to murder his father. Realizing that he had (in his words) “a knack for killing”, he then used his family fortune to construct Murderworld and hire himself out as an assassin. He recounts how he was previously hired by the Maggia to try and eliminate Spider-Man and Captain Britain, although the two heroes survived his traps.

Meanwhile, the battle between “Proletarian” and Wolverine and Cyclops continues. The brainwashed Colossus manages to knock both of his comrades through different revolving doors.

Elsewhere, Storm tries desperately to get out of a room that is rapidly filling with water while struggling to keep her claustrophobia in check.

Cyclops ends up landing in the room where Nightcrawler struggles to avoid being cut by a number of bumper cars lined with razor blades. When Cyclops arrives, all the cars pop out at once to strike.

Wolverine ends up in the holographic simulation alongside Banshee. Wolverine's senses allow him to find a wall and he attempts to cut through it. But Arcade, having already anticipated this, has a surprise waiting for the two mutants: robot duplicates of the Hulk and Magneto.

Storm attempts to find an escape underwater. Discarding her cape and boots, she swims down and finds a gated grate that might lead to a way out. Desperately hoping to be able to escape through it before her air runs out, she attempts to overload the room’s circuitry with a torrent of lightning bolts.

Cyclops dispatches the razor-cars with a trick shot and blasts a hole in the wall that leads to an access tunnel. He sends Nightcrawler off on his own to find the control room while he blasts his way into another room, the same room where Wolverine and Banshee are fighting the Hulk and Magneto robots.

Nightcrawler gets the drop on Arcade, Miss Locke and Mr. Chambers. Taking Miss Locke's machine gun, Nightcrawler blasts the controls to Murderworld before being brought down by knockout gas.

Cyclops, Wolverine and Banshee finish off the robots just as a panel in the wall opens, dumping out a flood of water into the room, as well as an unconscious Storm. Cyclops revives Storm just as Colossus enters the room. Still under the influence of his brainwashing, Colossus knocks out Wolverine and Banshee and begins to strangle both Storm and Cyclops. Storm, however, appeals to Colossus’s true nature, making him snap out of his brainwashing.

With the battle lost, Arcade decides to let the X-Men live and pushes a button that ejects the X-Men and their friends out of Murderworld into an abandoned amusement park. Moments later, Nightcrawler, Colleen, Amanda and Betsy are similarly ejected from the deadly theme park. Cyclops finds a note from Arcade pinned to Nightcrawler’s costume, telling the X-Men that they won the first round but he'll get them next time.

Although Wolverine wants to go back, Cyclops advises against it and the team decides to return home to recuperate from their battle.

Appearing in "There's Something Awful on Muir Island!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
X-Men #125.

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Synopsis for "There's Something Awful on Muir Island!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
X-Men #125.

On Muir Island, Moira MacTaggert is testing out Jean/Phoenix’s abilities to learn the upper limits of her expanded powers. Moira is disturbed at the seemingly limitless amount of energy the Phoenix can generate. After correlating some data, Moira hypothesizes that, after saving the universe from the effects of the M'Kraan Crystal, Jean had subconsciously created her own mental barriers to keep her powers at a manageable level. Now, however, they seem to be returning to their cosmic level and Moira would like to know why. Moira’s theorizing prompts Jean to recall the events that transformed her into the Phoenix and then the events that brought her to Muir Island following the supposed deaths of the X-Men. (Unbeknownst to them, a shadowy figure is spying on them.)

The X-Men are alive and well, however, and believe that Jean is the one who died (as well as the Beast). At that same time, they are undertaking a training session in the Danger Room. Wolverine attempts to help Colossus but is neutralized while an overconfident Nightcrawler is taken down by a sonic attack. After it’s over, Cyclops chews them out for their poor performance until Wolverine loses his temper over “playing games" and storms off. Cyclops laments to Storm that he’s uncertain the new X-Men, who still don’t function as a cohesive unit, will ever work as well together as the original team did because the disparate members were all brought together as adults rather than as teenagers as the original team were, and are each so strong-willed in their own ways that it’s hard for them to truly cooperate.

In orbit around Earth is Asteroid M, Magneto’s secret hideout. He is still recovering from injuries sustained in his last battle with the X-Men. While reviewing his computer records of his previous battles with the original team, he accidentally accesses an old data file on his late wife Magda. Seeing her face causes him to recall the painful memory of the death of their child child at the hands of bigoted peasants, as well as how Magda fled from him in fear when he used his powers to avenge their daughter. He deletes the file so that he does not have to relive the memories again.

Meanwhile, the mysterious man named Jason Wyngarde, a mutant himself, has been slowly molding the mind of Jean Grey since he first met her. He has been stalking her throughout her extended stay in Europe, taking on different guises and accessing her mind in order to plant the seeds for his plans to transform her into the Black Queen of the Hellfire Club.

On Muir Isle, Jean seems to briefly fall into a trance while Jason is thinking of her. Lorna snaps her out of it however and Jean uses her powers to instantaneously transform her clothes several times as she pirouettes around the room.

In Moira's lab, Moira pores over the data and ponders the fact that Jean has been granted powers akin to a god. Profoundly disturbed, she wonders where Charles Xavier may be and wishes he would come back.

Xavier is in the Shi'ar galaxy as Lilandra's consort. While she is attending to matters of the imperial court, Xavier (who, by Shi’ar standards, is like “the village idiot”) checks out holographic records of the X-Men’s previous adventures in this galaxy. Xavier had never been fully briefed on the events and only just realizes how much power that Jean/Phoenix wielded during the adventure with the M’Kraan Crystal. As Moira already has, Xavier realizes that Jean’s new powers are likely far too vast for her to control for long. He prepares to return to Earth immediately.

Back on Muir Island, Moira steps on a gold tooth. Examining it, she becomes alarmed and rushes to Mutant X’s containment chamber. She reacts in horror at what she finds there.

Elsewhere on the island, Jean - using her powers to shield her the cold of Muir Isle - passes by Jamie and Alex. While Jamie remarks on how well Jean in a light summer dress is withstanding the bracing cold of Muir Isle, Alex thinks to himself that it is not like Jean to show off her powers in the matter, or use them in such a casual manner. Jean telepathically “hears” Alex’s concern but dismisses it.

Upon entering Moira’s research facility, Jean detects an intruder in the vicinity. Changing into her costume, she begins searching for the intruder when suddenly she finds herself seemingly transported back in time to the Victorian era for a brief moment. She snaps back to reality when someone jumps her from behind. Looking into her attacker’s face, she screams in terror. Alex and Madrox hear her and run to investigate.

Back at the X-Mansion, the Beast drops by to check out the school. He’d left sensors in place to alert him of any possible intruders, which have gone off since the X-Men returned. He is stunned to find the X-Men (whom he’d believed were dead) very much alive - and vice versa. Explanations are made all around and he informs them that Jean is alive as well and visiting Muir Isle. While Cyclops places a call to Muir Isle, Beast departs to check in at Avenger’s Mansion and inform them he’ll be traveling with the X-Men to Scotland as well. (He doesn’t want to miss out on the reunion.)

Lorna answers Scott’s call and tells him there is a security situation going on at the island. However, before she can explain further, Lorna is attacked by some strange being that has a need for her. The last thing Cyclops hears before the line goes dead is Lorna's screams.

This story is continued next issue.

Appearing in "How Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth...!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
X-Men #126.

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Synopsis for "How Sharper Than a Serpent's Tooth...!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
X-Men #126.

Continued from last issue.

The X-Men’s private Blackbird jet blazes across Scotland’s moors in haste to reach Muir Isle. Responding to Lorna Dane’s distress over the phone, the X-Men left in such a rush that they could not even wait for the Beast to rejoin them. Upon arriving at Muir, they split into small groups to search the facility. Colossus finds Alex, who has suited up as Havok. Banshee and Cyclops find Lorna and the ravaged body of Angus MacWhirter. Storm finds Moira. Wolverine catches Jean’s scent, but Cyclops insists on meeting her alone initially. He finds her still dazed after a fight with Mutant X. In a haze, she initially thinks Cyclops is Jason Wyngarde; Scott is disturbed when she calls out the name Jason.

The entire group convenes in Moira’s home. Jamie recounts the events that happened after Lorna’s call was cut short: Mutant X first attacked Phoenix, but she drove him off. Afterwards, Jamie created a small army of duplicates to search the grounds. When Mutant X then attacked Lorna, she also successfully repelled him but one of Jamie’s duplicates came on the scene and the villain took him over, knocking Jamie for a loop. Concerned by the ease at which their opponent overpowered Jean Grey, Polaris and Jamie Madrox, Cyclops asks Moira for more information. Moira explains that Mutant X is an energy being who possesses bodies to use as host forms. This possession kills the host and ultimately Mutant X reduces the body to a dessicated carcass. Cyclops demands to know who Mutant X is. Moira refuses to talk initially, but finally relents and reveals that he is her son.

Meanwhile, using the form of Madrox's doubles body, Mutant X has escaped to the nearby city of Stornoway where he attempts to find a new body (Jamie’s duplicate is almost spent). He crosses paths with an unaware Jason Wyngarde, but is foiled by the latter man’s psychic defense mechanism. Alas, the hapless Ferdie Duncan fares less well.

The next morning the X-Men (including Phoenix, Havok, Polaris and Moira) head to the mainland while Jamie remains behind. They reason that their target will be headed towards a major town or city. As they split up, Moira explains to Cyclops that she’s been attempting for years to rein in her son’s killer instinct with no success. She further explains that he will be driven to seek more host bodies as he burns through his victims and that his one weakness is any form of metal, which is toxic to him.

From a distance, Jason Wyngarde observes the team’s dispersal and causes Jean to suddenly experience another vision of an 18th century life. She's a Scottish noblewoman riding horseback on a hunt alongside her “betrothed” -- Jason. Suddenly, the dogs bring their quarry down and when Jason clears them off, he offers Jean the knife in order to put down their quarry. She initially accepts his offer but blanches when she realizes they’ve been hunting a man playing the part of the stag - and Jason claims it was her own idea! The shock reverts her back to reality and she finds a mummified corpse of one of Mutant X’s victims.

Wolverine has picked up Mutant X's scent. Ignoring the radio call concerning Jean’s find, he follows his nose to a policeman. Impressed at how fast Wolverine saw through his new facade, Mutant X tries to possess him only to recoil when he realizes his opponent’s his body is laced with metal.

Nightcrawler drives up just as Wolverine threatens to gut their enemy. Mutant X, who now declares that he has renamed himself Proteus, demonstrates his ability to warp and twist reality itself. Wolverine's heightened senses make him especially susceptible to this form of attack. He and Nightcrawler are nearly overwhelmed when Storm arrives to aid them. Her attack distracts Proteus but he quickly turns gravity upside down on her, causing her crash her into the ground. Injured and in danger of becoming Proteus's next host, she desperately tries to repel him with a massive gust of wind. Yet he inexorably closes in on her.

This story is continued next issue.

Appearing in "The Quality of Hatred!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
X-Men #127.

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

  • Jennie Banks (First appearance) (Possessed by Proteus)
  • Unnamed constable (Possessed by Proteus)
  • Wallis (First appearance) (Joseph MacTaggert's butler)
  • Unnamed Scottish locals

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Synopsis for "The Quality of Hatred!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
X-Men #127.

Continued from last issue.

As Proteus closes in on her, intent on stealing her physical form, Storm risks flight once more, but Proteus warps space around her and brings her back to the ground again, this time knocking her unconscious. Just as Storm seems doomed, a sniper on a nearby ridge distracts Proteus. The metal of the bullets are a real threat to him and forces him away from Storm. The sniper is Moira, who is intent on finishing him off. Cyclops, who does not want to use lethal force tries to stop her. Moira knocks Cyclops out to get her shot but Proteus has already driven off in the X-Men's jeep, not wanting to be vulnerable while he switches bodies. Guessing (correctly as it turns out) where her son is ultimately heading, Moira takes off after him.

The X-Men regroup and patch up their wounds. Wolverine has been badly shaken by his encounter with Proteus and is in a fragile state. Cyclops provokes a fight in order to snap him out of it. Unaware of Cyclops’s intentions, Colossus tries to intervene but Phoenix (who has read Scott’s mind) stops him. As Cyclops planned, his taunting escalates into a brawl and he provokes responses from Nightcrawler and Storm as well. Finally, he sues for peace and explains his motivation: to test their psyches to see if there was any other damage that was not immediately apparent.

Meanwhile to the south of them, Proteus claims his next victim: a young woman named Jennie Banks whose car has a flat tire. Jennie/Proteus hides the used-up policeman's body and fixes the flat before continuing on his way, intent on killing "the one [he] hates".

In Edinburgh, Moira pays a visit to Joe MacTaggert, her estranged husband who has repeatedly refused to divorce her. She tells him he has a son and that he's trying to kill him, prompting an outraged response from him. Moira pulls a gun on him before leaving. Outside, she crumbles in tears at the situation, unaware that Proteus is near her. Proteus closes in for the kill in on his quarry: his father.

Phoenix detects Joe's psychic death scream and feels his pain physically. She also warns that with each new host body that Proteus consumes, his mutant ability to warp reality increases exponentially. Now knowing his location, she telekinetically flies the bulk of the team to him while Storm and Polaris fly on their own power. Scott secretly notes with some concern the new extent of Phoenix’s powers (As Marvel Girl, Jean’s telekinesis would never have been strong enough to transport so many people so far.)

Having possessed his father’s body, Proteus confronts Moira. She grabs for her gun, but he transforms it into a snake. Proteus displays a blatant Oedipal complex as, having killed his father, he seems to sexually accost his mother.

The X-Men arrive on the scene to find reality going wild. Proteus foils the team’s initial assaults on him and uses Moira as a hostage. Banshee, who is in love with Moira, begs Cyclops not to let her get hurt. Cyclops however says that their opponent has grown too powerful and they can no longer afford to pull any punches, even at the cost of Moira’s or their own lives.

This story is continued next issue.

Appearing in "The Action of the Tiger!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
X-Men #128.

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Locations:

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Synopsis for "The Action of the Tiger!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
X-Men #128.

Continued from last issue.

Proteus’s reality-warping powers is affecting an ever-increasing radius of Edinburgh. The X-Men, including Havok and Polaris, are hard-pressed to rescue innocent civilians from the bizarre effects, let alone confront their opponent Proteus, who reflects on the events leading up to this standoff.

Meanwhile, Proteus amuses himself by sadistically toying with his mother, Moira. He transforms her into grotesque animal forms as punishment for keeping him in captivity for years. But while he is preoccupied with Moira, he is caught unawares when Banshee fires a bullet into his shoulder. Cyclops remarks that he asked the now-powerless Banshee to hang back. Sean retorts that Moira is the woman he loves and he will do anything to save her.

Proteus fights back by creating a deep pit directly beneath Banshee’s feet and he plummets into it. Nightcrawler teleports in to rescue him. As he’s climbing out with the now unconscious Banshee in tow, he realizes that Proteus is warping space around him, entombing him. Nightcrawler is forced to teleport out, despite it being a strain to teleport while carrying someone.

Proteus makes a tactical withdrawal and takes Moira with him. Phoenix catches up and nails him with a powerful psychic attack, but he successfully retaliates. Wolverine has caught up as well and tears into him with his deadly adamantium claws. Cyclops and Havok then let Proteus have it with both barrels. But while these attack weaken Proteus, he still manages to escape from them with Moira as his prisoner. He retreats to the ramparts of Edinburgh Castle.

Colossus scales the castle walls in pursuit. Hoping to catch the evil mutant unawares, he initially attacks Proteus while in his human form. As his current physical form is rapidly decaying, Proteus prepares to steal Moira’s form when Colossus intervenes and tosses him away from her. The host body shatters against the wall, reduced to ashes by the blow, and Proteus is revealed as a being of pure energy. He takes delight in torturing Colossus's psyche as he slowly roasts him with fire and then prepares to take possession of his form. But Proteus hasn't figure in Peter's ability to transform himself into organic steel. Colossus transforms and thrusts himself into the heart of Proteus's energy form, dispersing it and killing him.

The scattered members of the team convene on the castle ramparts, where Colossus is consoling a distraught Moira. Even despite Proteus’s evil and her husband’s terrible treatment, she still loved both of them and is devastated by their deaths. When Banshee arrives, she collapses into his arms.

The X-Men quietly depart, leaving Sean to comfort Moira as best he can.

Appearing in "God Spare the Child..."

This story is a reprint of the comic
X-Men #129.

Featured Characters:

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  • Unnamed malt shop owner and patrons

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Synopsis for "God Spare the Child..."

This story is a reprint of the comic
X-Men #129.

The X-Men bid their friends farewell as they prepare to depart Muir Island. Banshee chooses to stay behind. Having lost his sonic scream ability, he feels his usefulness to the team is limited whereas Moira needs his support while she recovers from her recent traumas.

Cyclops extends offers to Madrox, Havok and Polaris to join the X-Men as Banshee’s replacement. Each of them respectfully decline and so the X-Men leave. Phoenix leaves with them, however, having finally rejoined the team.

As the Blackbird cruises over the Atlantic, another private jet owned by the Hellfire Club transports Jason Wyngarde to the States as well. He once again causes Jean to experience hallucinations of being an 18th century noblewoman who in love with his own ancestor. This time, he creates an illusion that they are crossing the ocean on a ship together. Jean had previously assumed her visions were some manifestation of Proteus’s reality-warping ability, but now thinks to herself that her Phoenix abilities may be causing her to experience actual timeslips, perhaps experiencing the life of an ancestor of hers.

Scott’s approach snaps her out of this supposed timeslip and the two discuss their relationship. Jean lets him know that she’s gotten glimpses of Colleen Wing from the other X-Men’s thoughts. Scott assures her that his brief “romance" with Colleen Wing only happened because he thought Jean was dead and that Colleen is a friend, nothing more. The two confess their love for each other and share a kiss.

As the Blackbird approaches the X-Mansion, the team is alerted that the security perimeter has been breached. Storming into the school, the X-Men are surprised to find that their mentor, Charles Xavier, has returned to Earth.

Over the next few days, Scott and Jean spend a lot of time catching up. Jean ponders to herself how she “overheard” the Professor’s thoughts and knows that he returned due to concern for her new powers. The couple are approaching the Danger Room when Wolverine suddenly storms out of it. Scott realizes that Professor X (who has had very little time actively leading the new team) is using the same heavy-handed methods he used to mentor the original team. Scott advises him that the new team is not a group of teenagers and that he’s learned that he must use a different approach with them. Xavier dismisses this advice, suggesting that Cyclops’s own confessed inability to discipline the team was a failure of leadership.

Before their argument can continue, Cerebro alerts them to the existence of two new mutants whose powers have manifested, one in Chicago and the other in New York. The Professor mobilizes the X-Men to investigate the two new mutants: he will lead half the team to Chicago while Scott takes the other half to New York. The team is unaware that they are being spied on by the inner circle of the Hellfire Club, which includes Jason Wyngarde. The shadowy members of the Hellfire Club want to acquire these mutants before the X-Men do. The Club’s White Queen is dispatched to deal with the one in Chicago, while Jason Wyngarde is sent to deal with the one in New York.

In the suburb of Deerfield, Illinois, thirteen-and-a-half year old Katherine "Kitty" Pryde returns home from ballet practice to find her parents meeting with Ms. Emma Frost (the White Queen in her civilian guise), who is headmistress of the exclusive Massachusetts Academy. Kitty instinctively dislikes Ms. Frost and realizes that the fact that her parents are discussing sending her to a private school means that her parents intend to split up. She lays down on her bed in her upstairs bedroom to rest as a migraine hits her. After enduring the pain for a few moments, she opens her eyes to find herself on the floor of the living room! Baffled, she rushes back up to her room just as her parents see Ms. Frost out and welcome their next visitors: Charles Xavier, accompanied by Ororo, Peter and Logan. Like Ms. Frost, Xavier is seeking Kitty as a student at his own school. Kitty spies on Xavier and his students and decides they are much more interesting. In particular, she thinks that Peter is “cute!”

While Charles talks with Kitty’s parents, the rest of the team take her down to a local malt shop to get acquainted. Kitty strikes up an instant friendship with Ororo, who confides to her that they are the X-Men, much to Kitty's surprise. Meanwhile, Logan and a flustered Peter check out a few girly mags in the store’s racks. Just then, three armored mercenaries barrel through the storefront window and attack the three X-Men. Each of the X-Men’s attackers has find that they has armor specially equipped to neutralize their abilities. As the fight erupts, Kitty cringes in fear and is extremely surprised when she passes right through the outside wall, landing in the alleyway behind the shop. Before she can fully comprehend what happened, she passes out.

Storm hasn’t noticed exactly how Kitty departed but is relieved to see that she’s gone. Meanwhile, the X-Men realize that they can defeat their enemies if they switch opponents; they then easily trounce their attackers. Their victory is brief, though, as they are then struck down by a powerful psionic bolt from the White Queen. She orders more minions to take the X-Men prisoner. As they all speed away, the Queen detonates explosives laced within her defeated minions’ armor, killing them as the penalty for their failure.

The Hellfire Club’s vehicle speeds away while the White Queen orders the X-Men to be stripped out of their uniforms. When asked what she intends to do about Kitty, she dismisses her, convinced that she can get her any time she wants. Unbeknownst to them, Kitty has used her newfound phasing ability to sneak aboard the hovercraft. She wonders how she can possibly save her new friends all by herself.

This story is continued next issue.

Appearing in "Dazzler"

This story is a reprint of the comic
X-Men #130.

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

Races and Species:

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:

  • Professor X's Rolls-Royce

Synopsis for "Dazzler"

This story is a reprint of the comic
X-Men #130.

Continued from last issue.

Cyclops, Phoenix and Nightcrawler investigate a Manhattan dance club to seek out the mutant detected by Cerebro. Cyclops orders Nightcrawler to stay outside and remain on the lookout from the shadows for trouble while he and Jean search the nightclub for the new mutant. They are all unaware they are being watched by minions of the Hellfire Club, who have been sent out to capture the new mutant as well.

Entering the club, Scott and Jean find the club and its patrons to be extremely decadent. As they canvass the room to find the mutant, Jean can’t help finding the sordid thoughts among the crowd somehow attractive.

At the Hellfire Club's headquarters, Jason Wyngarde and the Hellfire Club’s leader Sebastian Shaw get a report from the soldiers surveying the night club. Jason tells Shaw that he will personally see to Jean Grey.

Shaw then checks in with the White Queen in Chicago. Emma reports back showing that she has captured Wolverine, Storm, Colossus (whom she holds in cages) and Professor X (who is being held in a comatose state). The young mutant named Kitty Pryde has escaped, however - for the time being. Unbeknownst to her, Kitty has used her phasing ability to sneak into Emma's industrial complex. Approaching Storm, she discovers that something about the cage has dulled Ororo’s mind. But Storm does rally and manages to rip a tag off her costume to provide Kitty with a phone number to call. Kitty is spotted by one of Emma's guards and she to escape using her phasing powers.

Back in New York, Jean continues to search through the crowd when she is confronted by Jason Wyngarde and instantaneously finds herself experiencing another “timeslip”, seemingly living the past life of an ancestor once more. She finds herself in a burned-out church in the middle of a wedding ceremony between her and Jason, with Sebastian Shaw presiding. After they have exchanged vows, Wyngarde removes Jean’s wedding dress to unveil her as the Black Queen. As the assembled guests (members of the Hellfire Club) cheer, she lustily kisses Jason.

Just as suddenly as it began, Jean finds herself back in the present but kissing the modern day Wyngarde right in front of Scott! Before Jean can even begin to explain (or comprehend) what happened, the club’s musical act takes the stage amid an amazing pyrotechnic light show. She is a singer known as Dazzler. Cyclops mini Cerebro unit indicates that she is the mutant they are seeking.

Outside, the X-Men’s car phone rings and Nightcrawler answers; Kitty is calling for help. Before Nightcrawler can learn anymore, he is attacked by Hellfire Club soldiers in a specially designed suit of armor to combat his powers. The soldier attacks him with a sonic device that is strikingly similar to a Danger Room device that stopped him once before.

Two more soldiers burst through the club’s skylight above the stage. Jean uses her powers to change her and Scott’s street clothes into their X-Men uniforms, shocking Scott at her display of power. The armored soldiers have also been specially fashioned to combat their mutant abilities as well, including one who lobs a glop of ruby quartz material onto Scott’s visor, preventing him from firing his optic blasts, and one who attacks Phoenix with a psionic distorter (which Cyclops notes would require her attackers knowing her specific brainwave patterns.) The soldiers hadn’t anticipated Dazzler entering the fight, distracting them with her light powers. Dazzler’s power renders one of the soldiers catatonic -- something that surprises even Dazzler herself. This allows Jean to free Cyclops and the two switch opponents, easily defeating them.

The last soldier and Nightcrawler crash through the skylight while mixing it up. Phoenix easily dispatches the third opponent. Nightcrawler explains to Cyclops and Phoenix that the X-Men in Chicago were ambushed. Cyclops very quickly explains to Dazzler that she is a mutant and that they need her help in saving their friends. Dazzler is surprised by all this, but agrees to help. As soon as they have departed, the the club explodes, destroying all evidence of the battle. (Obviously the soldier’s armor was detonated in the same manner as the White Queen’s lackeys last issue.)

As Cyclops drives away, he sees Wyngarde looming beneath a streetlamp and wonders what he was doing kissing Jean. As the car passes by, Cyclops vaguely notices that the shadow Wyngarde casts does not match his body, but he is too distracted to reflect on the fact. After the X-Men have gone, Wyngarde laughs over the progress he is making with Jean Grey.

This story is continued next issue.

Appearing in "Run for Your Life!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
X-Men #131.

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

Races and Species:

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:

  • X-Men skyship

Synopsis for "Run for Your Life!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
X-Men #131.

Continued from last issue.

Kitty Pryde is being chased through the streets of Chicago by minions of the Hellfire Club. Just when it seems they have her cornered, Phoenix intervenes and demolishes their car while Nightcrawler grabs Kitty and carries her up to the roof of a warehouse. Scott is upset at the force Phoenix exerted in taking out the Club’s minions, but she counters that she was herself was upset at just how much they terrified Kitty. Dazzler, meanwhile, cannot believe she is tagging along with a bunch of real superheroes.

Phoenix then spirits all three of them to the rooftop where Nightcrawler relates how Kitty used her phasing ability to elude her. Panicking, Kitty tries to hide from the X-Men until Jean approaches her and wins her trust.

In the Hellfire Club’s hovercraft (which has been commandeered by the X-Men), Cyclops tends to Kitty’s wounds and listens to her recount how the other X-Men were taken prisoner by the White Queen. Nightcrawler silently laments that Kitty seems afraid of him. Cyclops formulates a plan to rescue the captive X-Men and asks for Kitty and Dazzler’s assistance.

Soon enough, the car used to tail Kitty pulls up to the gates of Frost Industries’ Chicago branch and the Club soldiers sent out after Kitty appear to have captured the remaining X-Men (Cyclops, Phoenix and Nightcrawler) as well as Dazzler. It’s all a trick, however, as Jean is telepathically causing the guards to see what she wants them to see. The car is allowed entrance to the base’s grounds.

Observing this on a monitor, the White Queen is suspicious but not immediately alarmed. Confidant that if it is a trick, she can easily defeat the other X-Men, she resumes her painful telepathic interrogation of Storm.

Meanwhile, Kitty uses her phasing ability to once again sneak into the room where the other X-Men are held captive. With Storm gone, she manages to free Wolverine by phasing her hand through his cage’s lock. As she helps a still-groggy Wolverine out of his cage, she is waylaid by a guard who then orders Wolverine to get back in the cage. Instead, Wolverine pops his claws and advises the guard to say his prayers.

At the same time, the free X-Men drop the facade and go on the offensive. Cyclops blasts the roof off the car with an optic beam. Dazzler quickly springs up and uses her light-show powers to overwhelm the guards’ senses, leaving them in a catatonic state. A battle erupts between the X-Men and the Hellfire Club rank & file.

The White Queen is outraged and tells Storm that as payback for the X-Men’s attack, she intends to wipe her mind clean, leaving her drooling zombie. Before she can carry out this threat, however, Phoenix confronts her and challenges her to a one-on-one duel. Colossus (carrying a dazed Kitty) and Wolverine join the others as they fight their way out of the complex while Jean and White Queen are locked in a telepathic battle. Phoenix quickly overpowers her opponent. But Storm is nevertheless unnerved by Jean's show of power.

Outside, the other X-Men have dealt with the rest of the troops and are searching for Phoenix and Storm when suddenly the complex explodes. Cyclops momentarily fears the worst, but then Phoenix emerges with Storm in tow, both of them unharmed. The White Queen, according to Phoenix, was not so lucky.

Having witnessed the battle from the sidelines, the Professor commends his X-Men for a job well done. The next day outside of the Pryde residence, Charles offers Dazzler a place with the X-Men. She politely declines, telling him that she was born to be a singer not a superhero. After she departs, Scott wonders aloud if they can trust her with their secrets. Xavier assures him they can.

Kitty's frantic parents emerge from the house. Kitty's mother is in tears, relieved that her daughter has been returned home safe and sound, while Kitty's father demands answers from Xavier about what they’ve been doing with his daughter all night. But then they quite abruptly change their tone and invite them all inside to discuss the school. Professor X appears as baffled by the about-face as everyone else. Jean confesses to Scott that she used her telepathic powers to alter the Pryde’s thinking and make them agree to let Kitty study at Xavier's school. She assures him there’s no real harm being done.

Alone with Ororo, Scott expresses his fears that Jean is using her powers far too casually. Ororo concurs and confesses that she was terrified to see the Phoenix at full force in her battle with the White Queen. As they rejoin the others, Storm opines that something, or someone, is exerting an unnatural influence on Jean and that they must do something before the power of the Phoenix consumes her.

Notes

See Also

Footnotes

  1. First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks



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