Classic X-Men #3

Issue Date: 
November 1986
Story Title: 
<BR>Warhunt ! (1st story)<BR>Mourning (2nd story)

Chris Claremont (writer), John Bolton (artist), Glynis Oliver (colorist), Tom Orzechowski (letterer), Ann Nocenti (editor), Jim Shooter (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

First Story :
The main story is a reprint of X-Men (1st series) #95.
Second Story :
The X-Men take Thunderbird’s body to his native New Mexico for the funeral, but the body gets stolen and strangely the parents ask them to leave it alone. They investigate and follow the thief’s trail through the desert. Along the way they share some fond and not so fond memories about their fallen teammate. Finally they find that Proudstar’s younger brother James has taken the body to give him a warrior’s funeral, and also they learn that John had fought in the Vietnam War, explaining his bitterness and his attitude to never let his guard down.

Full Summary: 

First Story :
This main story reprints X-Men (1st series) #95.
However there are some additional pages.
Cyclops remembering the events of last issue were left out, instead this space and an additional page show Nefaria talking to a government official by the name of Heggadorn via video screen. Nefaria tells him to pay the ransom or else the Doomsmith System won’t be stopped. Afterwards Cat-Man of the Ani-Men shows concern and asks Nefaria if he really will allow mass destruction or if he is only bluffing. Nefaria ensures him that the government will pay.
Another sequence is added when the X-Men are about to enter the Valhalla base. The original plot contained a dangler / error, as Nightcrawler usually doesn’t dare to teleport to unknown places out of fear of materializing within something solid. In the added panels, Banshee uses his abilities as sonar to tell Kurt where he should teleport to.
Second Story :
Xavier is sitting in his wheelchair, in the beautiful landscape of New Mexico, lost in his thoughts. The X-Men have come here to bury John Proudstar. Jean Grey joins him, telling that she knows how the Professor is feeling. He stayed in mental contact with Thunderbird while he died, and years ago she experienced the same when her childhood friend Annie was run over by a car. Suddenly they are called back to the main building of the reservate.
Piotr has discovered that John Proudstar’s body has been stolen from the coffin. Nightcrawler is shocked, as are most of the others, though Storm says that the spirit has long passed; violence on his body can no longer harm him, only those responsible. They decide to call the police, but Proudstar’s parents ask them not to. They thank the X-Men for having returned them their son’s body, but they would now prefer them leaving and letting them alone. Kurt wonders why they don’t care, but Ororo says that from their looks it’s obvious they do, only not as he would, but in their own way. Still Logan decides to find out what happened and tracks Proudstar’s scent, the other X-Men following and Jean and Xavier staying by the car.
Walking through the desert, Logan scouts ahead and finds not only Thunderbird’s scent, but a similar one, his brother’s. He gets angry as Banshee continues to soar above, since his sonic scream alerts anybody of their coming. Miles behind, Nightcrawler and Colossus start complaining about the heat and Cyclops offers that they could return and wait with Jean and Xavier, but they refuse, since they are a team.
Weeks ago, Thunderbird was hitting a punching bag in the Danger Room, and Nightcrawler made fun of him that the bag would never cross words with him again. Thunderbird got even more angry and hit the punching bag so hard that it was hurled across the room. Colossus caught it and asked why he pushing himself so hard and constantly trying to prove himself. John answered that he kept asking himself why he was among the X-Men and if they had to battle villains for the rest of their lives. Nightcrawler asked if he truly felt that way, why stay, and Thunderbird wasn’t sure, probably because he got nowhere else to go.
Kurt gives himself a hard time. If he had listened closer, spent more time with him, things could have turned out differently. Storm flies above them and calls up a rain shower to cool them down. She says that Logan has already reached the mountains far head, impressing Scott. Ororo says that all of them are full of surprises.
Ororo had refused the room Xavier offered her, and instead settled in the school’s attic, which she quickly filled with plants reminding her of her african home. One evening she suddenly got aware of Thunderbird in her room, trying to prove that he could sneak in as secretly as Logan. Ororo asked why he was constantly competing, and John said that he can’t allow to let his guard down. Storm said that there was nothing to fear from her or the plants, but Thunderbird replied that plants can also be a jungle, and that beauty would lure one into a false sense of security. Ororo asked him about his home, about family and friends, and Thunderbird confessed that he could not wait to leave New Mexico, but when he did, he missed it. Surely he has family, but his friends he had to leave in the jungle.
In the mountains James Proudstar is giving his older brother a warrior‘s funeral, he is meditating, singing and dancing next to the body that is laid out on a wooden construct. Logan has been watching for an hour, and he is waiting for the others to catch up so that they can leave. Suddenly he finds a box that James must have thrown away. It contains medals and a picture of John and other soldiers in Vietnam. Logan understands that John must have lied about his age to join the army, and that the experiences in the war hardened him to become the bitter person the X-Men met. He goes back to his teammates and they return home.
At the gravesite, James is holding one of his brother’s costumes and swears vengeance. Xavier called his brother Thunderbird, and it will be another Thunderbird who will claim Xavier’s life as payment for John’s death.

Characters Involved: 

First Story (additional characters that were not seen in X-Men #95)
Heggadorn, government official
Second Story :
Banshee, Colossus, Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Storm, Wolverine, Professor Charles Xavier (all X-Men)
Marvel Girl, former X-Man
Neal and Maria Proudstar, Thunderbird’s parents
James Proudstar, Thunderbird’s younger brother
In flashbacks :
Colossus, Nightcrawler, Storm, Thunderbird

Story Notes: 

James is a mutant too, and once his powers manifest, he will join the Hellions as Thunderbird II. He even tried to kill Xavier out of revenge for his brother’s death in Uncanny X-Men #193.
Jean mentions the death of her childhood friend Annie Malcolm, however her name is Annie Richardson. (as was established in Bizarre Adventures #27 and correctly used again in Uncanny X-Men #241)

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