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Quote1 Wolverine...I told you never to call Storm a "broad" again. And I meant it. Happy landings tovarisch. Quote2
-- Colossus

Appearing in "The Fall of the Tower"

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Synopsis for "The Fall of the Tower"

At Cassidy Keep in Ireland (Banshee’s ancestral home), the Juggernaut and Black Tom Cassidy have defeated the X-Men, save for the absent Cyclops. During the skirmish, a group of leprechauns (!) took an unconscious Nightcrawler away through a secret passage.

Nightcrawler revives and is shocked to find himself surrounded by what he thought were mythical creatures. Eamon O'Donnell is there as well and explains that the little people have been under the care of the Cassidy family for generations. Eamon explains further that Juggernaut and Black Tom had only come to the castle just recently. They had been hired by Erik the Red to lure the X-Men into a trap, and their ultimate goal (as per Erik’s orders) is to kill Professor X. To this end, they forced Eamon into servitude by taking the leprechauns hostage.

The little people relate how when they found Nightcrawler partially in shadow, his body was nigh invisible. Nightcrawler is surprised himself by this previously unknown ability of his and hopes he can use it to his advantage. Just then, another leprechaun warns him that Black Tom and Juggernaut have the other X-Men prisoner in a laboratory. Nightcrawler asks the leprechauns to lead him there.

In the lab, Juggernaut and Black Tom have the defeated X-Men contained in specially prepared shackles to neutralize their mutant abilities. Black Tom is just about to torture Storm with his neuronic tangler glove. Nightcrawler teleports into the room and uses his image inducer to make himself appear like Charles Xavier. Juggernaut charges at what he believes to be his step-brother, but finds him nimbler than he remembered. Black Tom sees through the ruse, however, and attacks Nightcrawler as well, subduing him. One of Juggernaut's punches accidentally smashed a hole in the castle wall to the outside, however, and Storm (who has a connection to the natural world) summons the willpower to break her inhibitor device and create a tornado to suck herself, Wolverine and Colossus out into the open air. Banshee, muzzled to prevent him from screaming, remains a prisoner, however.

Colossus frees Wolverine from his bonds and the leprechauns quietly remove Nightcrawler from the rubble. Black Tom and Juggernaut take Banshee to one of the castle towers and threaten to kill him if the other X-Men don't try to rescue him. Aided by the leprechauns, Storm, Wolverine and Colossus each fight their way up the ramparts from a different direction, but the tower is rigged with many weapons to keep them at bay. In the middle of this, while separated from his teammates, Wolverine is surprised when a leprechaun calls him by his real name, Logan. The little person will not explain how he knows it, save to say that “We little people know a LOT o’ things!”

While Tom and Juggernaut are distracted by the frontal assault, Nightcrawler sneaks up his own way and frees Banshee from his bonds, including the muzzle. Banshee cuts loose on the two villains with a powerful sonic scream. Black Tom lunges at his cousin, but Banshee flips him and sends him careening off the tower and down into the ocean below. Concerned for his friend, the Juggernaut abruptly abandons his fight and dives in after him, vowing that if Tom dies he will come after the X-Men and finish them.

Later and elsewhere, Erik the Red reports back to his master concerning his minion’s failure to defeat the X-Men. The shadowy master expresses his disappointment with Erik. But Erik vows that his next scheme will not fail. He intends to use unleash the X-Men's most deadly foe of all upon them: Magneto!

Notes

  • The storyline of Cassidy Keep contains an inordinately large number of plotholes: The story is first introduced in #98 when Black Tom murders Banshee's solicitor Flaherty for sending Sean a telegram to summon him home, indicating that Black Tom did NOT want Sean returning to the castle. But in this issue, we learn that the whole point of Black Tom being there was to lure Sean and the rest of the X-Men into a trap. Also, we learn this issue that Erik the Red hired the villainous pair to kill Prof. X. Why didn't the pair just go to NYC and attack Prof. X when they knew that the X-Men (who would have protected him) were on vacation in Ireland? And Eamon says the leprechauns have been protected by the Cassidy family for generations, but Banshee doesn't seem to have any knowledge of this. Furthermore, Eamon says he was forced to aid the villains because they held the leprechauns hostage, but it seems as if the little people have free reign at the keep, unimpeded by the villains in any way. (They even rescue Nightcrawler from them twice!)
  • While it's implied that Black Tom is a mutant like his cousin, his actual abilities are never explained here. Apparently, he can shoot energy beams out of his cain (shillelagh), but it isn't explained whether the cain itself is a weapon or merely a conduit for Tom's mutant ability.
  • It seems highly unlikely that Nightcrawler could have reached adulthood without ever having noticed his (totally automatic) ability to blend in with shadows and become invisible. For that matter, the revelation violates the storytelling principle of "Checkov's gun" since a fairly large part of this issue is devoted to him discovering and exploring this ability and even wondering aloud if he can use it to get the drop on Juggernaut. But then, this new ability is not a factor at all in the ensuing battle. Indeed, the ability proved to be of little use in the long run and has often been ignored or forgotten by later writers and artists using the character. Further, as long-time X-Men artist John Byrne pointed out, it makes little sense for a character whose face is almost always in shadow to become invisible in shadow.
  • This issue implies that the leprechauns have some prior knowledge of, and even connection to Wolverine. Writer Chris Claremont was notorious for dropping foreshadowing hints of plot developments that were left dangling for long periods, sometimes even years. This plot point, however, was completely dropped and never referenced again (which is probably for the best, considering how goofy it is.)

Trivia

  • Wolverine is called Logan for the first time.

See Also

Recommended Reading

  • This is the conclusion to the three-part storyline from X-Men #101 and #102.

Links and References

Footnotes



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