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Quote1 No hard feelings. Nothing personal. It's our job. We're pros. The best. Marauders! Don't feel sad youngster -- 'cause where you're going... you'll soon have lots of company. Quote2
Scalphunter, before killing the Morlock Tommy

Appearing in "The Morning After"

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Synopsis for "The Morning After"

Los Angeles, California... Richard Salmons -- a mercenary in the hire of the Hellfire Club -- has been fleeing from mysterious attackers along with his lover, a Morlock named Tommy. As they run through a train yard Richard is struck by a super-charged harpoon and is fatally wounded. As he dies, he tells Tommy to grab his gun and run as it is her only chance to survive. Tommy complies, wondering why she is being hunted down and is fearful of her attackers because she does not want to die. When Tommy flees without the weapon, Richard reaches for it when his attackers catch up to him. He warns them that his employers will pay these assassins back in kind, to which their leader welcomes them to try before shooting him in the head. Hearing this, Tommy rushes for a moving train and uses her powers to slip inside a rail car hoping that she has escaped her attackers. These Marauders however know where she is hiding but decide to leave her live a while longer as she will take them to where their mission needs to bring them. Their leader hopes their member Malice is having as much fun with her assignment in San Francisco.

In San Francisco, Alison Blaire -- the mutant known as Dazzler -- taken up a job as a back-up singer for Lila Cheney's band since her outing as a mutant had ruined her solo music career[1]. After their latest gig, she turns down an offer from her bandmates to go out and party and decides instead to rest on their tour bus instead. Alone in the bathroom, Dazzler thinks about how much she hates being the back-up singer for a band and having to hide her mutant nature, and disguise herself by dying her hair black. Her thoughts are interrupted when suddenly, Malice, one of the Marauders appears to her in the mirror as an image of Alison's "true" self. She attacks Alison, however she seemingly fends off her attacker with her light powers. Not sure if the attack really happened or not, Dazzler tries to convince herself to keep her head on straight and heads off to bed, unaware that she is now wearing a choker around her neck.

While in Manhattan, Rogue continues the search for Rachel Summers who had gone missing during the X-Men's recent battle with Nimrod and the Hellfire Club in New York City. Along with her search she flies past the X-Factor compound and wreckage caused by a recent super-powered battle[2] and wonders what he organization is all about. She decides to continue her search and has to put it off to save some window washers who's scaffolding breaks loose. After getting them safely to the ground one of them attempts to kiss Rogue. She politely declines it and flies off remembering that she has no control over her powers. Looking at her reflection in nearby office windows she realizes that her costume is in tatters and decides to go out and purchase a new outfit. She stops at Bloomingdales to get a new outfit and some make-up done. As she is being made over by a cosmetics salesperson a crowd who saw her save the window washers gathers. One of them, an anti-mutant bigot, calls her out as a mutant and threatens to call X-Factor on her. She is puzzled, and before the man can do anything else one of the window washers she saves gets in the middle and defends her. In the commotion, Rogue flies away from the scene and as she heads back toward the X-Mansion. Along the way she spies an advertisement for X-Factor on the side of the bus and is troubled to see that they are commercial mutant hunters.

At the Mansion, Colossus is forced to wear his original X-Men costume since all of his most recent ones have been wrecked. He pays a visit to his sister the New Mutant known as Magik. She is looking at his sketches and marvels at his artistic abilities. Coming across as sketch of Kitty, Illyana tells her brother that Pryde is worried about the fate of their missing teammates Phoenix and Nightcrawler and the two agree to go down and see what they can do to try and find their missing friends. They find Kitty in Xavier's former study where she has just succeeded in revamping Cerebro to allow any of the X-Men to use it to track mutants. When they discuss what happened to Rachel, Kitty expresses her displeasure with the fact that Rachel fled the battle with Nimrod when all of them could have died in the conflict. Just then, Cerebro begins to detect one of their missing comrades.

Back in Manhattan, Magneto arrives in an alleyway and uses his magnetic powers to change his costume into street clothes. As he walks through the streets he witnesses the gathered emergency and police crews that are still in the area following the X-Men's battle in Central Park. As he is walking toward the front doors of the Hellfire Club's building, he sees the members of X-Factor and is shocked to see that they comprise of the original X-Men, making him wonder if they have betrayed Xavier's ideals. X-Factor sees Magneto entering the Hellfire Club building as well but decided that there are too many innocent bystanders around to act. Inside the building, Magneto meets with the Lords Cardinal of the Hellfire Club. After discussing the current actions the Hellfire Club has taken against both the X-Men and the New Mutants. Shaw decides that in light of the current wave of anti-mutant sentiment in the United States that the two groups should consider a truce and work together for the self-preservation of mutants. To this end, Shaw offers Magneto a seat within the Inner Circle. Magneto decides that he will consider the offer.

While in a derelict warehouse off the Hudson River, Nightcrawler is being chased by an angry mob who is attacking him due to his appearance. Having tracked Kurt with Cerebro, Illyana, Kitty and Peter teleport to the location to look for him. Confronting the mob, they learn that he unintentionally scared some young children, hence creating the mob that has been chasing him and that they are concerned that Nightcrawler is as dangerous as a pair of radioactive mutants that attacked X-Factor recently[2]. Kitty scolds them and points out to the angry mob that mutants are living beings like them and should be treated humanely. Despite being outnumbered, Kitty manages to talk the mob down and convince them to leave Nightcrawler alone. With the danger averted, Kitty asks Kurt why he didn't just teleport away from the mob. He explains to her that he tried, and for whatever reason, he has seemed to have lost his ability to teleport. While at the Delacorte Theatre, Wolverine and Storm have tracked Rachel's sent to this location. Wolverine explains that her scent just stops.

Wolverine confides in Storm and asks her if he made the right decision wounding Rachel when she attempted to slay the Black Queen[3]. Storm tells him that it shouldn't have come to that and in the dark days ahead the X-Men must begin fighting like a team again. She asks Wolverine to pledge to follow her leadership, that they cannot afford this situation repeating itself. Wolverine swears to her that he will until the end.

While in the subway tunnels below Manhattan, the Morlock named Tommy arrives in the Morlock tunnels after traveling across America. She thinks that she has safely escaped her attackers in LA, but is shocked when she is struck down by an energy harpoon. She is confronted by the Marauders who tell her that they are the best at what they do and that they have been hired to eliminate her, but that it's nothing personal. Their leader pulls out a gun and then shoots her in the head.

This story is continued next issue...


  • The cover art is homaged in New X-Men (Vol. 2) #25 (June 2006)
  • The original five X-Men appear in Uncanny X-Men for the first time since becoming the cast of the spin-off series X-Factor.
  • The Magneto/X-Factor scene is duplicated in X-Factor #9

See Also

Recommended Reading

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