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Quote1.png I salute you, X-Men -- magnificent though you were as heroes, all a person might wish to be, now you can do much more... because you have become legends! Quote2.png

Appearing in "The Belly of the Beast"

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


Other Characters:

  • Lockheed
  • Unnamed Vietnamese
  • Various demons


Synopsis for "The Belly of the Beast"

Continued from last issue...

As the X-Men and reporter Neal Conan venture into Eagle Plaza to try and free Roma and face the Adversary, the building suddenly explodes, leaving the Freedom Force and Manoli Wetherell to wonder if anyone inside survived. They are happily surprised and horrified to see that they indeed did and that Neal is filming the X-Men as are in what appears to be the Vietnam jungle where Viet Cong soldiers appear to be fighting demons. As the X-Men battle the creatures, Madelyne Pryor runs for cover and stumbles upon Forge's past self. She watches in horror as he casts a spell that takes the spirits of his fellow wounded American soldiers and opens a portal that unleashes a torrent of beasts. Horrified by what he has done, Forge then calls for a B-52 bomber to raze the area, destroying the demons. When the other X-Men find Madelyne, they ask her if she's okay she is frightened and points out what Forge had done many years ago.

While high above the heroes inside Roma's starlight citadel, the Adversary gloats to his three prisoners, Roma, Storm, and Forge. He mocks them for attempting to stop him from throwing the entire universe into chaos, and laughs at his coming victory. While Forge and Storm struggle to free themselves, Roma has secret set things in motion to stop the Adversary once and for all.

Back in the war zone, Neal Conan begins to get on Logan's nerves with his questions and Logan tells him to get the camera out of his face. Neal tells Wolverine that if the X-Men want to paint a better picture of mutants there isn't going to be a better time than now. Telling them that he has to show them mutants at their best and their worst to show that they too are human beings. He says that forcing him to shut off his camera will allow people to continue believing the worst about mutants, winning over the X-Men to allow him to keep filming their ordeal. Wondering where to go next, Psylocke mind scans and detects the mental traces of Storm, Forge and Roma directly above them. Logan sends Rogue to fly up and investigate. As Rogue approaches the Starlight Citadel a powerful wind picks up that sends her crashing back down to the ground.

As the X-Men begin to consider what to do next and how to get at their enemy, Dazzler suggests sending Longshot up first, as his luck powers might give them the edge to get in. As the X-Men rope each other together, Neal asks Madelyne why a normal human would be helping the X-Men. She tells him that she believes what the X-Men in what they stand for and that mutants shouldn't be maligned by people because they are different. Telling the camera that she wants to help build a better world, for everyone, however, isn't optimistic about the current situation where anyone will live to see it. But she hopes for it one day, for her husband and child. Ready to go, Rogue flies up with Longshot and tosses him into the wind. With Colossus working as an anchor until all the X-Men are pulled up into the air. Colossus then exerts an extreme effort to turn off his powers and be pulled toward the citadel as well.

Arriving there through sheer luck, Longshot attacks the Adversary with his throwing daggers, learning that the villain has a weakness to steel. After Rogue absorbs some of the Adversary's powers and Wolverine slashes him with his claws, Colossus comes in -- converting into his organic steel form and plows through the Adversary's human form, shredding it and revealing his demonic form to them all. Rogue, having absorbed the magical talents of the Adversary, opens a portal to banish the Adversary and tries to blast him through, but lacks the strength to do so. As Storm and Forge break free of their bonds, the energy projecting X-Men all lay on their full powers however none are strong enough to knock the Adversary through the portal. When Psylocke picks up a through in Forge's mind on how to defeat the Adversary, he refuses to do what is required, which leads to the Adversary mocking him for his inaction.

Forge explains that in order to defeat the Adversary enough people would have to sacrifice their life forces in order to knock the Adversary back into his prison and seal it off. Storm offers up her life force, and so do all the X-Men -- including Madelyne -- who, after saying goodbye to her husband Cyclops and her son on camera steps up willing to sacrifice her life to save the world. Forge then casts the spell converting the X-Men into pure energy, and tosses it at the Adversary, knocking him into his extra-dimensional prison and sealing it off.

On Muir Island, Shadowcat and Lockheed have been watching the battle on television and she is saddened that her best friends sacrificed their lives. However, there is some bright news from Moira -- Nightcrawler has awoken from his coma. Going to her old friend, Shadowcat has the unfortunate task of telling him the tragic news. While back in Dallas, Forge and Neal Conan are transported back to the lobby of Eagle Plaza. Emerging from the building Mystique demands to know why Forge sacrificed the souls of the X-Men and not his own. Forge tells her that someone needed to cast the spell, and he walks away as the Freedom Force's leader calls him a murderer.

However, within the Starlight Citadel, the now free Roma pulls the life forces of the X-Men out of the barrier trapping the Adversary and resurrects the entire team. She tells the X-Men that the Adversary cannot be locked away forever as the universe has a need for him, as a world without chaos is one without change or growth. Roma tells the group that what they have gone through is a rebirth. Logan remarks that Storm's plan of faking the X-Men's deaths worked out after all and thinks they should capitalize on it before Roma sends them back. While Dazzler is upset at the prospect of letting the world think she is dead, the other X-Men have unity in the fact that it provides their loved ones with protection as their many enemies won't go after them to get to the X-Men now. Havok suggests that they use this opportunity to strike back at their enemies with interest and the rest of the group agrees. Roma congratulates the X-Men and tells them that they are true heroes and that this day they have inspired people and become legends in their minds.


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