Marvel Comics Presents (1st series) #22

Issue Date: 
June 1989
Story Title: 
<BR>The Retribution Affair - part 6: Alliance of Convenience (1st story)<BR>Suffer a wolf to live (3rd story)

First story: Bob Harras (writer), Ron Lim (penciler), Jeff Albrecht (inker), Agustin Mas (letters), Andy Yanchus (colors), Terry Kavanagh (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor in chief)

Third story: Sue Flaxman (writer), Rodney Ramos (penciler), José jr. Marzan (inker), Ken Lopez (letters), John A. Wilcox (colors), Terry Kavanagh (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

First story: Scott, Callisto and Moira are put in a prison cell, where the two mutants find their infection to go into a remission, though Moira tells them its only a temporary phase before the virus’ final stage. With the Retribution virus now also affecting humans, Conscience tries to Get Master Mold to stop their plan of launching the Death Spores but the robot doesn’t listen to his reasons. Having no other option left, Conscience turns to the three prisoners for help against Master Mold. Moira blackmails him; they’ll only help if he gives her access to the genetic lab, so that she can try to find a cure. Conscience complies and, while Moira starts her research, Conscience, Callisto and Cyclops enter the spore chamber to stop their release. Unfortunately, they are discovered and Master Mold fires a plasma beam at Conscience for his betrayal, before knocking out Callisto and capturing Scott, whose optic blast still is not working. It decides to crush Scott at the same time as the spores are released.

Third story: Rhane Sinclair and Dani Moonstar are enjoying the beautiful landscape of Muir Island, when, suddenly, Rahne sees a wolf close by. Despite Dani’s warnings, Rahne runs after the animal and gets lost in some heavy mist in the woods. A strange girl appears, named Meghann, and she reveals to be able to transform into a wolf too. In fact, she was the wolf that Rahne followed. Meghann takes Rahne to her village on Avalon, which is full of wolf-people who refer to themselves as Tuatha de Dana. They need Rahne to bring fresh blood into the tribe, as they are about to become extinct. Entranced by the wolf-people, Rahne spends days in the village, hunting, singing and dancing with them. Back on Muir, Moira and Dani are worried about the missing Rahne and Dani accidentally manifests and image of her greatest fear – that of Rahne dead. Through their mental rapport, Rahne senses the emotional turmoil she is causing and snaps out of the spell. She runs away through the mists back to Muir but the wolf-people don’t want to let her go and follow her. Dani, however, uses her illusion power to scare the wolf-people back to Avalon and welcomes Rahne back.

Full Summary: 

First story:

Master Mold oversees the Death Spores, metallic globes filled with the Retribution Virus being prepared in a giant chamber. Before the day is done, they will be launched and mutantkind shall be excised. Master Mold doesn’t bother about Conscience standing behind him, urging him not to go through with their original plan. The Retribution Virus also affecting humans changed everything; killing a large number of them won’t help humanity, he reasons.

Conscience realizes that it’s no use; his alter ego shut down his audio processors. As the Servitors carry in more of the Death spores, Conscience leaves the room, wondering whether Master Mold could be insane. However, this could not be, as they are both derived from the same human engrams. That would mean, if Master Mold was crazy, so would he be and Conscience doesn’t like the thought of that. It was a beautiful plan, he thinks to himself; a virus bred only to kill mutants, created by one of their best-known defenders. However, now everything is changed, Master Mold needs to be stopped and, worst of all, Conscience realizes that he can’t do it alone. He needs help and that means he has to make a deal with the devil.

Elsewhere, in a prison cell with laser bars, Callisto tells Moira MacTaggert that she is feeling better than before, wondering if that is possible. While tending to Scott Summers, who is resting on a bench, Moira answers that his fever has broken as well, but it’s only a temporary reprieve. The virus is merely waiting to unleash its final attack. “An apt war-lie description,” Conscience says, as he deactivates the laser bars and enters the room. “And, in true warrior fashion, I’ve come to discuss a truce.” Scott asks what he wants but Callisto doesn’t care and leaps for Conscience’s neck. The cyborg makes further fun of her, telling Callisto not to do it “in front of the children.” Scott gets up from the bench and asks Callisto to back down; Conscience must be pretty scared to propose a deal with mutants. Scott deduces correctly that Conscience and Master Mold are in a disagreement and that Conscience wants their help in stopping the giant robot.

Moira wonders why they should trust him and cruelly Conscience reminds her that they have no choice, unless she wants to go down in the history books as the biggest killer since Hitler, that is if there is anyone left to read. Scott tells Conscience to shut up and tells him that they’ll help him. This might be his final battle but he can’t think of a better way than destroying Master Mold. Callisto agrees but, to everyone’s surprise, Moira doesn’t. She says they are not leaving the room, unless Conscience takes her to the genetics lab, as she wants to stop this terrible disease. Conscience can’t understand her reasons; so far only a “worthless few” are infected and their lives don’t matter against billions of humans that will die. Moira points out his bigotry: he is actually asking Scott and Callisto to help him but still thinks they deserve to die. She states that they won’t help him them. Conscience calls Moira nuts but he needs their help and, therefore, decides to let her play with her DNA if she wants to. As they leave the prison, Scott tells Moira that she took a dangerous risk and it wasn’t worth it, but Moira knows better. After all this years with the X-Men, Scott should know too, she says. Every single life is worth the risk.

Several minutes later, the group is in the lab, Conscience showing Moira a holographic image of the virus. She curses at him and Master Mold for making her create this abomination. Grinning as always, Conscience says she is hurting his feelings. With Moira getting to the task at hand, the others leave for the spore chamber to disable them, before they go after Master Mold. Conscience agrees with this plan, telling Callisto and Scott to hurry up before they drop dead. Moira encourages herself to think, knowing that if she made this virus, she should also find a way to destroy it.

By now, Master Mold has returned to the main chamber. Sitting in its giant chair, it tells the computer to locate his Conscience, for his earlier behavior disturbed it. The computer responds that it can’t comply, as Conscience has disengaged his transmitter beacon. Master Mold is not pleased; Conscience acts brazenly and seems to forget his station as Master Mold’s tool. As the computer alerts the giant robot to an unauthorized power surge in the genetics lab, it dawns to Master Mold that Conscience has betrayed him and it orders the spore chamber to be checked.

Cyclops, Callisto and Conscience have just reached the spore chamber when they are spotted by a Servitor. Conscience quickly terminates it with his built-in lasers, commenting on how synthetic life-forms are so disposable and wishing mutants were as easily to get rid off. Scott reprimands Conscience, who claims to have only been joking. Just as the three prepare to get to the spores, they notice a huge shadow. It’s Master Mold. As the robot charges its weapons, it angrily yells at Conscience having betrayed him. Holding up one hand in defense, Conscience claims to have just been giving the prisoners a guided tour, kind of like the condemned’s last meal, but Master Mold doesn’t buy any of it. Shouting, “Conscience, shut up!” it releases a massive plasma blast from one of its palms, hitting Conscience at full force.

Scott and Callisto leap out of the way in time but Master Mold comes after them, ripping through the room’s equipment. Scott tries his optic blast but his power is still gone. Master Mold plunges down with one fist, knocking Callisto over and grabbing Scott. Holding him up right before its face, Master Mold calls Cyclops a fool. He couldn’t have though that it would let him stop it again. The robot declares that, finally, it can have vengeance, as it will crush Scott even as it releases the death spores.

Third story:

On Muir Island, on Midsummer Eve, Danielle Moonstar and Rahne Sinclair have climbed up a cliff to enjoy the view. Dani tells Rahne that she was right; the beautiful sunset in front of them was worth the climb. However, as it is getting dark, they should be heading back now. However, Rahne spots a wolf in the nearby forest and, pretty upset as she didn’t think there were any left on the island, she chases after her. Dani calls out to her friend to wait for her but, as she tries to run after Rahne, she trips over a root and falls. Despite her friend’s warning that the woods aren’t safe, Rahne runs, desperate for a closer look at the wolf that, in spirit, is closer to her than many humans.

Rahne runs, never noticing the mists closing in behind her until it is too late. The wolf is gone and Rahne is lost in the darkening woods. She wanders for hours, becoming more and more lost and frightened. Finally, she sits down on a rock, taking some rest. Behind Rahne the mist opens, revealing a stranger. A brown haired girl, about Rahne’s size, appears. Her clothing is pretty plain, a white dress and a blue cape, and in her hair she is wearing a cornet made of flowers. Noticing her, Rahne is startled but, calling her “little sister”, the girl tells Rahne not to be afraid. She then introduces herself as the wolf Rahne followed and tells her that she isn’t lost but has done what only few can – she has come through the mists to Avalon. She is home now. Rahne is confused but, once the stranger touches her face, her manners change and Rahne understands everything. The girl invites Rahne to come along, for the midsummer celebration awaits.

Using a stick as a cane, Dani stumbles back to Moira’s house, her ankle is sprained. As soon as Moira sees her, she runs out and asks what happened. Dani fills her in, explaining that she tried to search for her but it got too dark and she hurt her foot. For a brief moment, she felt Rahne’s mind, so she must have switched forms, but then she lost their mental contact. Moira helps Dani back in the house and tells her not to worry; they will find her.

Meanwhile in Avalon, Rahne and the strange girl arrive in a village. The girl says that there are many villages like this one and they are called the Tuatha de Dana – the children of Danu, the mother goddess of Avalon. A gray wolf runs towards them and licks the girl’s face. She calls him Gwydion and tells him to stop, for they have a guest. The wolf transforms to a man, who apologizes to his love, who is called Meghann. Rahne is amazed – both of them are able to transform into wolves, just like her. Meghann tells Rahne that Gwydion is her husband and he welcomes her to their village and hopes that she will find peace with them. Next, he suggests for Rahne to walk around the village and meet everyone, which she does. Once she is out of hearing range, Gwydion tells Meghann that she has done well and that Rahne will stay. She agrees; soon Rahne will be truly one of them.

(over the course of several days)

Rahne becomes more and more enmeshed in the life of the Tuatha de Danan. She joins them in the hunt, which they do in wolf form, and, after the hunt, she attends their festivities. She joins them in revel – song and dance of the celebration of life – and together they sit around a campfire, roasting the animals they hunted. But, when night grows still, Rahne’s thoughts turn home to the world she has left behind.


Sean Cassidy and Moira MacTaggert are visited by a police officer but he has no good news for them. Although they have looked over the island, there is no trace of Rahne. Moira tells him that they’ll just have to keep looking then and Sean tries to comfort her, saying that there are lots of places on the island where she could be. Dani overhears everything from the next room but she believes that the police aren’t really looking for her friend. Intending to find Rahne herself, she walks out of the house, still having to use crutches. Unbidden, her mutant power materializes an image of her worst fear – her friend lying dead. At first, Dani panics but then she reminds herself that this is just an illusion and she moves on, into the woods.

In Avalon, at precisely the same moment, Rahne is startled out of her sleep. Calling out to Dani, she says that she is not dead. Rahne wonders what has been happening and for how long she has been in Avalon. She knows that she has to get back home. After getting dressed, she tries to sneak out of the cabin, though Meghann hears her and wakes up. Rahne runs out but Meghann and Gwydion catch up with her outside, telling her that she can’t leave yet as they need her. More villagers arrive, surrounding Rahne. She tells them to get away and that she is scared. Meghann answers that she can explain everything and pleads with her not to go. Only she can help them. Their tribe is dying; no more children are being born and Rahne could help keep the wolf tribe alive by bringing new fresh blood in the tribe. Without her, their race will become extinct.

Rahne doesn’t want to hear any of this and transforms into her wolf form. Leaping over some of the villagers, she runs away into the mists. In her mind, she can still hear Meghann say that they need her but she runs on, the wolf-people pursuing her. In the woods, Dani hears the howls of several wolves and, eventually, runs right into Rahne. Reunited with her friend, Wolfsbane changes to her transitionary form, just as the wolf-people arrive. Dani wonders who they are but Rahne urges her to do something about them, though not to hurt them.

With her mental powers, Dani reaches out and projects an image of the wolf-people’s greatest fear - the soldier who drove them into the mists centuries ago. They panic and retreat back into the mist to their village in Avalon. Dani asks what they have just seen but Rahne tells her not to mind, gladly hugging her friend. However, as the last mournful sound of wolves rises over the mist, Rahne’s thoughts drift once more. In her mind, she says goodbye to her “sister,” Meghann.

Characters Involved: 

First story:



Moira MacTaggert

Master Mold



Third story:

Mirage, Wolfsbane (both New Mutants)

Moira MacTaggert

Sean Cassidy

a police officer

Gwydion, Meghann and several others (all Tuatha de Danan)

Story Notes: 

The other features in the issue are:

2nd story: Black Panther “Panther’s Quest“ – part 10 of 25

4th story: a stand alone story featuring Starfox

Third story:

For obvious reasons, this story takes place at a different time than the Cyclops – Retribution one.

Issue Information: 

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