Marvel Comics Presents (1st series) #11

Issue Date: 
January 1989
Story Title: 
“God’s Country Part II: Cold Warriors” (First Story)

First Story: Ann Nocenti (writer), Rick Leonardi (penciller), P. Craig Russell (inker), Ken Lopez (letterer), Glynis Oliver & Michael Higgins (colorists), Terry Kavanagh (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

First Story:

One of the Cold Warriors, Jocko, extends his fingers into long, sharp claws, in preparation t kill the tied-up traitor, Jack. From his remote, sterile medical room, the group’s leader, Alexander, instructs them to kill the traitor, but to cause the boy no pain when they kill him. His order given, Alexander asks his assistant, Gregory, if he thinks he is being too cruel. Replying that he is Alexander’s servant and thinks only of him, Gregory continues with the medical exam he is giving. Though Alexander is in his later years, Gregory tells Alexander that he is healthier than a man half his age. Chiding his servant for his sarcasm, Alexander washes his hands for the eleventh time. As he then does again for the twelfth time, Alexander explains to Gregory that the illusion of free press in America lulls the public into complacency so that they never suspect covert groups like their own are operating. While this is going on, the Cold Warriors carry out their order and Jocko, the one with the claws, pushes Jack into a small pond and drowns him. Meanwhile, the family picnic continues, while nearby Peter muses some more about all the choices in a free country and how overwhelming it all is to him. Bruce spies Peter and suspects him of snooping on the family. He sneaks up and grabs him, but Peter easily breaks free and pins Bruce to a tree. Just as Roxanne and Grampa run up and get Peter to back down, they suddenly hear Zackery scream and rush over to find the Cold Warriors preparing to kill the boy. Acting immediately, Peter transforms into his armored Colossus form and rushes the trio, who let the boy go so they can attack Colossus, revealing they have super-powers of their own.

Full Summary: 

First Story:

One of the three men, Jocko, turns his fingers into long claws and moves to cut the face of the tied-up man, Jack. Another tells Jocko that that looks painful, but Jocko tells his comrade to shut up – and that it’s a small price to pay. The third of their group has their leader on a communications device and relays the instructions of the “old man” to do both – the renegade first.

On the other end of the line is the “old man,” who is in a completely sterile medical room, clad in a white bathrobe. He tells the men that Jack is to be killed for betraying his country and that his death will serve as an example to the other agents. He expresses regret over having to kill the child, but regards the boy as a minor sacrifice when compared to keeping the mission secure. He tells them to kill Zackery gently with love and in God’s name.

Ending the call, the old man asks his assistant, Gregory, if he thinks he is being cruel. Calling him by his name of Alexander, Gregory says that he is just a servant, which Alexander counters by saying servants have thoughts too. Gregory assures his boss that he only has thoughts for him and then begins Alexander’s medical check-up. He times his boss’ heartbeat and declares him to be healthier than a man half his age. Replying that he can never be too careful, Alexander then adds that he doesn’t miss Gregory’s sarcasm.

Alexander tells Gregory that his trouble is that he doesn’t understand his Cold Warriors. There is a great necessity for murder… for secrecy. As Alexander continues explaining his philosophies while washing his hands, Gregory thinks about how many times his boss has washed his hands today. He counts eleven times already.

Oblivious to this, Alexander continues, explaining that the power of the government lies in its secrecy and how having free press deludes the public into thinking covert things can’t happen in America. He says their office must exist to protect America from subversives and long-haired terrorists, feeding stories to reporters so that sensational stories overshadow real events. Alexander closes by saying that the only difference between an open and closed society is a fancier game of manipulation. Gregory asks Alexander if he’s ready for breakfast and Alexander says he must wash his hands first. Gregory is up to twelve in his hand wash count.

Meanwhile, back in the forest, Jocko carries out his instructions, slicing at the helpless Jack and then pushes him into a nearby pond. He then drowns him by holding him under with his foot.

Watching this and helpless in the clutches of another Cold Warrior, the horrified Zackery streams tears, able to do nothing save shooting his water pistol a few times. His task finished, Jocko turns his claws toward the kid.

Back at the family picnic, Roxanne notes that Zackery has been gone a long time though Grampa says he’s probably just on some adventure. Bruce, on the other hand, spies Peter among the trees, lost in thought about America’s freedoms, and begins to sneak up on him. Peter thinks about how he feels sad seeing a family on a picnic, about how something so simple is impossible for him. He wonders if he has been using X-Men membership to hide from living his life and making all the choices a free country has to offer. All those choices are paralyzing to him.

Suddenly, Bruce grabs Peter in a chokehold, but the muscular X-Man easily turns the tables and pin Bruce to a tree. Grampa and Roxanne come running at this commotion and they yells for Peter to let Bruce go. Peter complies and apologizes, saying that there must be a misunderstanding. Hearing his voice, Bruce notes that he is Russian from his accent. Bruce immediately tells Colossus how much he dislikes Communists, but Roxanne gets him to calm down and she says she would love to hear about Russia and invites him to their picnic. Bruce says his wife is a little touched and Grampa rushes to her defense by saying she’s touched by the angels.

Grampa tells Peter not to pay Bruce any attention since he’s racist thanks to listening to too many of Reagan’s speeches. He says Bruce loves America a little too fiercely. Grampa then recognizes Peter as a farm boy and asks him how the global warming trend affects Russia. Peter says it allows for a longer growing season but asks at what price it comes if the planet suffers.

They are interrupted by Zackery’s scream. The Cold Warriors are about to kill the boy when Colossus rushes them in his armored form. The man holding Zackery opens fire with a sub-machine gun, but Colossus swats him aside and frees the boy. The man beside Jocko orders full-force on Colossus and the three Cold Warriors attack Colossus, revealing that they have super-powered enhancements. Jocko has his claws, the man with the gun has eyebeams, and the third has a flame-throwing arm cannon.

Colossus’ metal form deflects the Cold Warriors’ attack, while Zackery runs to his family, who were trailing not far behind. Zackery is so upset that he can barely tell his dad about the murder he witnessed. Roxanne is horrified at how all the people in the fight aren’t really men at all. The bad guys, however, are determined to pour on the attacks until they crack Colossus’ armor.

Characters Involved: 

First Story:


The Cold Warriors (Jocko, unnamed others)

Alexander (Cold Warriors’ boss)

Gregory (Alexander’s assistant)

Bruce, Roxanne, Zackery, Grampa (the family)

Story Notes: 

The other features in the issue are:

2nd story: Man-Thing, “Elements of Terror (part 11 of 12).

3rd story: Ant-Man, “Drain Storm.”

4th story: Slag of Wolfpack, “Over and Over!”

This issue takes place while the X-men pretended to be dead and lived in an abandoned town in the Australian Outback, between Uncanny X-Men #227 and Uncanny X-Men #250.

“Reagan” refers to Ronald Reagan, who was 40th president of the United States and was still in office at the time of this issue’s publication.

When Gramps speaks to Peter about “this warming trend,” he is referring to global warming, the scientific theory that states that carbon dioxide and other “greenhouse gases” from industrial activities are trapping more heat and warming the planet.

Issue Information: 

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