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Quote1 We'll contact those mutants, just as Xavier plans to -- only the Hellfire Club will get there first, and recruit them -- by hook or by crook. And if, along the way, we manage to acquire -- or eliminate -- some of the X-Men, so much the better. Quote2
-- Sebastian Shaw

Appearing in "God Spare the Child..."

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Other Characters:

  • Unnamed malt shop owner and patrons

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Synopsis for "God Spare the Child..."

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.

Notes

  • Banshee leaves the team because of damage sustained to his sonic scream power during X-Men #119 and to help Moira in her time of grief.
  • This issue contains a classic "Claremont-ism" (memorable bit of dialogue that Claremont reused periodically). When Scott tells Jean he loves her, Jean replies "And I you, Scott, with all my heart." It's a melodramatic bit of dialogue that he would reuse in issue #137 and a few other times as well. (Likewise, Claremont would "rerun" another bit of dialogue from this issue -- Wyngarde's line "Your man Warhawk did his bugging well." -- in the very next issue.)
  • This issue contains an homage to the original X-Men run. When Scott remarks that he hears voices from behind a particular door, Jean remarks "Wait, Scott. That door leads to -- THE DANGER ROOM!" as Wolverine abruptly bolts through it. This is an almost identical repeat of a situation and dialogue from X-Men Vol 1 60, except that in that instance it was the Beast barreling through the door to escape a laser beam.
  • This is the start of the first Hellfire Club storyline which leads directly into the Dark Phoenix Saga. The storyline continues from this issue through #137.
  • Wyngarde's dialogue in this issue confirms that Warhawk (from X-Men Vol 1 110 rigged the X-Men's Danger Room with bugs to covertly learn about the team's strengths and weaknesses.
  • This issue contains the first appearance of the Hellfire Club's inner circle (albeit in shadows, with individaul idnentities still unknown), Emma Frost a.k.a. the White Queen (a longtime adversary who would eventually switch sides and join the X-Men) and Kitty Pryde (who becomes a longtime prominent X-Man).
  • Each Hellfire Knight is equipped to fight a single X-Man.
  • Refers to X-Men #128 in regards to Proteus.
  • Refers to X-Men #125 and X-Men #126 in regards to Jean Grey's perception that she is in the 18th century, events caused by Jason Wyngarde.

See Also

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