Appearing in "Big Night"
- Trish Tilby
- Eany and Meany. Maggott's slugs.
- Bounty Hunters
- Angel (Only in flashback)
- Deathbird (Mentioned)
- God (Mentioned)
- Magneto (Mentioned)
- Bishop (Mentioned)
- Violent locals in Pine Bluff.
- Spat's spear.
- Royal Shi'ar spacecraft, "Fireclaw", personal transport of Deathbird.
Synopsis for "Big Night"
The next image reveals that Grovel has a large stick in his mouth, apparently inserted there by Gambit. He complains that he is going to be swollen for a week. Gambit blames Grovel for sneaking up on him and startling him. He thought he was on an alien planet and recognized Grovel too late. Gambit says that he does not know how he returned to Earth, but he has to make sure that his teammates have returned as well. He asks Grovel to allow him to look for the X-Men. He points that they are old friends.
Grovel denies they are friends, though he agrees that they once knew each other. He destroys the stick with a snap of his mouth. He informs Gambit that their former relationship will not get in the way of their consignment. He considers Gambit captured. Gambit is surprised that he is the target of a bounty hunter like Grovel. At this moment Spat reveals herself and points a spear at Gambit. She is Grovel's partner and informs Gambit that they are both bounty hunters.
Spat steps on Gambit and points her spear right at Gambit's face. She is angry at him, claiming he is stupid. She informs him there is a steep price on his head. And she is dying for an excuse to bring them just the head. Gambit asks whether she still sore about what happened in Madagascar. She replies positively.
Gambit explains how he got there from space and finds meeting them to be a coincidence. Spat points that, in their line of work, there is no such thing as a coincidence. Gambit tries to convince his former associates to let him go, because he is worried about the safety of the X-Men. Spat notes that she hears real concern coming out of Remy LeBeau. She asks whether he has actually learned to care about someone other than himself. Not that it makes a difference to her, since there too many riches at stake to let him go.
Nearby, what remains of the Shi'ar spacecraft carrying the X-Men passes the stargate and crash-lands in a strange environment. Beast and Trish Tilby emerge from the cockpit. Trish asks Hank where are they, how they got there, and what happened to the others. He answers all three questions by saying he has no idea. He soon comes up with a hypotheses. The "mammoth ship" that they met damages the stargate. It was supposed to transport them back to Earth's Galaxy but landed them "here". He hopes their friends have also landed nearby, instead of being scattered across the cosmos.
Hank recalls that when he had turn to Deathbird for advice concerning their situation, she had already disappeared. Trish concludes that Deathbird had "abandoned ship". Suddenly Beast stops feeling well. He raises a hand to his head, his voice gets weaker, and then he falls unconscious while standing up. Trish holds him before he lands on the ground, though she struggles with his weight.
The scene shifts to the Alley. Marrow is in considerable pain due to her powers. She struggles not to scream, because giving in to the pain is shameful. Nearby is Callisto, wounded, bandaged, and with herbs on her chest area. She claims that the pain only gets worse when someone is trying to deny it. She points that "Sarah" is denying more than her pain. She is denying who she is and the way she looks. She is aware that the younger Morlock is concentrating and trying to prevent the constant shifting and regeneration of her bones. But this is going against the nature of things.
Sarah denies that the "natural order of things" is a good thing. It is what separated humans from mutants, and what forced the more hideous mutants to hide beneath New York City. The Morlocks survived by relying on the refuse of surface-dwellers. She claims that she will always fight against the "natural order of things". Callisto tries to explain to Sarah that life is about so much more than the fight. Her words are interrupted by intense coughing, which worries Sarah.
When she recovers, Callisto points that "Marrow" is much like they way Callisto used to be. So young and so angry. Determined that if she can not change the world, she will burn it down. But then claims there is more to life, there is hope. She instructs Sarah to try to remember a time she believed in something more than the hurt. Sarah stares at a blood-stained mattress nailed to a nearby wall. She has a flashback to her childhood and to the source of the blood. In the flashback, the wounded Angel is chained there and the child Sarah finds him beautiful. But asks if he is dead. A voice instructs her her to leave. The flashback ends.
Sarah informs Callisto that she has to go. She wants to attack and kill the people of Operation:Zero Tolerance. Callisto asks her student to stop with the killing, though Sarah protests that they deserve it. Callisto points that she does not care about what they deserve, she only cares about Sarah. All the suffering Sarah causes others ultimately comes back to her. She asks Sarah to help the X-Men instead, claiming that they depend on their victory.
Sarah declares that she is going, though she leaves vague her destination. She claims that things are bad and she will do whatever she can to make them better. She says she will try not to kill anyone. She whispers that she will not, unless she has to. Callisto does not believe her and demands a solid promise. Sarah leaves without promising anything. Callisto prays to a God she gave up a long time ago. She pleads to God to keep Sarah safe... from herself.
The scene shifts to Rogue, who wakes up from a sleep. She discovers that Joseph is sleeping next to her, though their skins do not touch. They are next to a brook. She is thankful that she did not accidentally absorb his powers and memories. She is curious, however, what she would see inside his head. She muses that she could see the traumas that once turned him into Magneto.
She wakes up Joseph and informs him that they have to locate the others. She flies up and slams right on an invisible barrier in the sky. She falls towards the ground, and Joseph catches her in his arms. She wonders if she collided with a force field. Joseph decides to cast his electro-magnetic field around to see what he can reveal about their whereabouts. As Joseph casts wide his electromagnetic bio-field, Rogue worries at the display of Magneto-like power.
The alien world around them fades away, and Joseph declares it was nothing more than an illusion. They find themselves in a large cave, surrounded by its walls. Rogue realizes they are back on the Big Blue Marble (Earth). She questions why would anyone bring them there and then try to fool them into thinking they are somewhere else. Joseph finds these caves familiar, though he does not know why. Three miles away Trish and the unconscious Beast are also surrounded by a cave. Two miles away, Gambit, Grovel, and Spat are also surrounded by a cave.
Joseph encounters a person kneeling on the floor of the cave. He asks for his identity and learns that his codename is Landscape. He is a mutant and his power is the creation of holographic environments. He points that Joseph's electromagnetic attack took the wind out of him. Joseph asks him what was the purpose of the alien environment. Landscape says he was simply hired to create this illusion. He does not get paid enough to question the reasons of his employer.
Elsewhere, Gambit recognizes the elaborate illusion was the work of Brett, who calls himself "Landscape". Spat confirms it. Gambit claims she used to be above using a low-caliber freelancer like Brett. He tries to charm her into working with him again. She throws a knife next to him and warns him to stop trying to pull her into his dark red eyes. He has lost the right to speak about partnership and friendship when he went to work for "him". He claims that people make mistakes. She answers that not everybody's "mistakes" cost other people their lives. Then she runs away.
Gambit is left alone with Grovel. He asks Grovel whether Spat is getting worse. Grovel replies that she is getting younger every day, due to taking a bolt meant for Gambit. She was okay with it when the curse started. But then she about what Gambit did and "what went down". The implication is that Spat no longer feels her sacrifice was worth it. Gambit claims that he feels worse than anybody else about what happened.
Grovel does not really believe Gambit. With a bump of his head, he urges the bound Gambit to keep walking. He wants to end the job and wash the stenchy smell off of himself. Grovel claims that Gambit was always a bum, but any one of his allies would have laid down their hides for him. Because at that time, Gambit was at least a bum with honor. Gambit claims that this reputation was a rumor that he started himself. Grovel fails to see a dagger held in Gambit's hands.
The scene shifts to Pine Bluff, South Carolina. Maggott is there looking for Joseph, who was there months ago. The trail is cold and Maggott is disappointed. He is confronted by a group of violent locals who hate strangers. They heard about him asking questions about another stranger and troublemaker. They hate strangers who ask questions even more. Maggott is threatened with a beating. He smiles and unleashes his slugs. Eany and Meany devour one of the locals' trucks in seconds. The terrified locals asks whether the slugs eat humans as well. Joseph claims that they love eating humans. The slugs chase away the locals, who run screaming for their mothers. Joseph pets his "girls" and says they are one step closer to finding Joseph.
The scene shifts back to the cave. Rogue walks while casually holding a captive Landscape. Brett desperately tries to convince her and Joseph to let him go. He claims that he is not like the X-Men, meaning a "save the world and free the whales" type. He actually has to work for a living. Joseph is fed up with the verbose prisoner and instructs him to silence himself. Landscape keeps speaking and accidentally reveals that the plan of his fellow bounty hunters is to turn over Gambit to his employers.
Rogue is enraged and grans Brett by the throat, demanding answers. At this point, their group meets Gambit, Grovel, and Spat. Gambit points that Brett does not know any answers, because he is a low man on the totem. Rogue is surprised to see him bound. Gambit takes this as a cue for an escape attempt. Remy kicks the legs of Spat from under her. Then releases his hands and places the dagger on Grovel's throat. It is charged with enough energy to cut it. The former prisoner now has the upper hand.
A happy Rogue flies to Gambit's side. He asks her about the locations of Beast, Trish, Bishop, and Deathbird (in that order). Rogue answers that they are still searching for them. Spat concludes notices the sexual tension between them. It is clear to her that Rogue has a thing for Gambit. She question if Gambit is actually in love for the first time in his life. She wonders if Rogue knows "what happened".
Meanwhile Joseph attempts to violently interrogate Brett. He reasons that Brett led them to Gambit, so he might lead them to the rest of their friends. Nanny claims that "Magneto" is home. And she is going to make sure that he never leaves her alone again. Which sounds like a threat. The story ends.
- The "him" that Spat blames Gambit for joining is Mister Sinister. She also holds Gambit responsible for the Mutant Massacre. The implication is that her partnership with Gambit took place prior to the Massacre.
- This issue is part of a storyline which works as an origin story for Gambit. It explores his connections with Mister Sinister and the Marauders, and reveals his role in the Mutant Massacre. The emphasis here is on his characterization and his relationship with Spat.
- Spat seems to be a skilled fighter but only uses a spear and knife. She has no other weapons and no apparent powers. She may be human.
- Grovel does not look human at all, though it is unclear if he is a sentient animal, an alien or something else. He has a giant body with claws, fangs, and tail that he can use as weapons. He does not appear to have actual powers.
- This is the first and only appearance of Landscape. While the storyline continues until Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 350 (December, 1997), he is no longer among its cast members.
- Despite Gambit's disparaging comments on the quality of Landscape as an ally, his powers of creating holographic environments seem genuinely impressive. His realistic illusions affect three separate groups of characters at a distance of three miles from himself.
- The story repeatedly refers to the new environment of the X-Men as an alien planet, until it is revealed to be an illusion. However, the art does not really match the concept. It looks like an ordinary forest or jungle of Earth.
- The issue marks the return of Nanny, the robot which was destroyed in X-Men Vol 1 113 (September, 1978). Her deactivated head was discovered by the X-Men in Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 149 (September, 1981) and clawed into pieces by Wolverine. Who managed to repair her was never really explained.
- The mysterious employer of Grovel, Spat, and Landscape is the original Magneto, as revealed later in the storyline. He is mentioned but not actually seen in this issue.
- While the location of the caves is not revealed in this issue, the rest of the storyline points that the X-Men are in Antarctica.
- The storyline never really explains how and why did the Shi'ar stargate deliver the X-Men to the hands of the waiting Magneto and his hired help. Spat hints it was no coincidence, though Magneto could hardly be expected to know that Gambit was off-planet and heading to this particular stargate.
- As of this issue, Bishop and Deathbird are no longer with the X-Men. The two remain in space and their subsequent adventures are covered in their own storyline.
- The issue advances the storyline of Marrow. She wants to stop Operation:Zero Tolerance and Callisto advises her to help the X-Men. This leads Marrow to an alliance with Iceman. She eventually joins the X-Men herself.
- This is the second appearance of Maggott, who is still searching for Joseph. His powers so far are the control of his scary-looking slugs. They seem capable of devouring metal and anything else.
- Maggot manages to scare his would-be attackers without actually hurting anyone. Despite the cover hinting that he might be a new foe for the X-Men, the character does not seem villainous in the story. He was actually being prepared as a new member of the team.
- The Marvel Chronology Project, which tracks character appearances, has the following information about the characters who are not members of the regular cast.
- Callisto's next chronological appearance is in the second story of X-Men Unlimited Vol 1 18 (April, 1998). She then appears in X-Men Vol 2 72 (February, 1998).
- Eany and Meany next appear in Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 349 (November, 1997).
- Maggott next appears in Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 349 (November, 1997).
- Marrow next appears in X-Men Vol 2 67 (September, 1997).
- This is the first actual appearance of Spat. She makes one earlier chronological appearance in Gambit: From the Marvel Vault Vol 1 1 (October, 2011).
- The flashback with the chained Angel chronologically takes place between Dazzler Vol 1 28 (September, 1983) and Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 169 (May, 1983). It is also the earliest chronological appearance of Marrow, as a young child.
- Marvel produced toys of Grovel and Spat, despite the fact that the duo only a had a relative handful of appearances. The characters have their detractors and a small fanbase that finds them interesting.
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