Marvel Comics Presents (1st series) #25

Issue Date: 
August 1989
Story Title: 
“Pharaoh’s Legacy Part 2: A Heart Reborn” (First Story)

First Story: Howard Mackie (writer), Rich Buckler and Joe Rubinstein (artists), Bill Oakley (letterer), Andy Yanchus (colorist), Terry Kavanagh (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

First Story:

The mercenaries have Alex and Leila trapped in a net. They are about to tranquilize them for their clients when Alex cuts through the net with his plasma beam. He uses his powers to kick up a great deal of dirt and bury the mercs so that he doesn’t have to kill any of them. He and Leila then steal a skycraft and retreat to the X-Men’s abandoned town out in the Outback. They are about to part ways when Leila suggests that they travel together. Alex accepts and the two vacation in Australia where their passions for one another come together on a beach where they kiss. Alex vows Leila won’t end up like his past loves. Later, as they are dining at a restaurant later, Leila excuses herself. Shortly after, Alex hears her scream and runs outside to see her about to be carried away by a member of the Living Pharaoh’s gang on a skycraft. A mercenary with the gang member tosses a grenade that seemingly kills Alex. The gang member kills the merc for this, since Alex was supposed to be brought in alive. Leila breaks down in tears, saying they truly only have half a person now.

Full Summary: 

First Story:

The mercenaries who have captured Alex and Leila in a net are gloating over them. One of them, an American, wants to kill them, but his boss, an Australian, snipes at how violent “Yanks” are and says that the two of them are wanted alive, especially the traitor, Leila. Alex realizes he can’t let them take Leila.

One of the mercs wonders aloud what kind of weapon Alex used on the other guys, unaware of Alex’s identity or the fact that he has powers. They prepare to tranquilize their captives when Alex orders Leila to lie down at the back of the net. He fires through the net and hits the ground around a group of the mercs, sending them flying. Alex doesn’t want to kill anyone with his blasts, so he uses a big one to kick up a massive amount of dirt that buries his enemies.

Checking on Leila, she tells him that she must have passed out again and asked how he did all that. Alex says he can’t explain right now and they steal a skycraft and escape. Surprisingly, Leila reveals that she can fly one of these crafts. They decide to go the closest town and rent a car.

Hours later, Alex and Leila drive into the X-Men abandoned Outback town, though none of the rest of the team is present. He thanks her for the ride out there, but she points out that she is the one who should thank him for saving her from those mercs. Alex says his goodbyes but Leila won’t let him go, asking why he’s staying in this creepy town. Alex says he stays here with friends for no real reason and he was traveling because he felt like he needed a break. Leila brings up how they could go traveling together and he agrees.

Days pass as the two of them vacation across Australia’s rivers and countryside. Leila tells Alex that she is having so much fun with him that she is forgetting all that ugliness she left behind. Toward the end of the week, they are running along a beach and Leila excitedly tells Alex that he makes her feel energized and full of life, that this has been the best week of her life. This leads them into a kiss and Alex thinks about how he can’t allow himself to fall in love again.

Later, at evening, Alex’s thoughts return to this subject as he and Leila are going horseback riding. He thinks about how things always go wrong with the women in his life. Polaris got possessed by Malice the Marauder and Maddy Pryor went crazy and became the Goblyn Queen. As he kisses Leila once more, he vows it will never happen again.

Alex and Leila are having dinner in a posh restaurant that night and Leila asks Alex if she can ask him a personal question: is he in love with her? He is hesitant and she says that he doesn’t have to answer right away, but she thinks she is falling in love with him. Leila says that it’s actually more than that and she was incomplete, half a person before they met. She then backs off from the conversation, saying that Champagne makes her say embarrassing things.

Leila excuses herself to go freshen up and asks Alex to think about what she said. He rests his head his hand and smiles, thinking about how Leila is different from the other women he has known, not a mutant or a clone but totally normal. Suddenly, his thoughts are jarred by Leila’s scream! Alex runs to the door and finds it has been jammed from the outside. He looks through the door’s glass panel and sees mercs carrying Leila to a skycraft. Inside it is… the Living Pharaoh?!?

He yells for them to stop as he blasts the door to shards and splinters. Alex says he knows the guy in the pharaoh suit is not the real Living Pharaoh, but he still needs to stop before he gets hurt. One merc addresses the costumed man as “Tracker” and yells at Alex that it is he who is going to get hurt.

Despite the Tracker’s protests, a merc tosses a grenade, which blows the restaurant wall apart and buries Alex in rubble. The merc asks if he gets a bonus for killing the mutant and the Tracker fries him with an energy blast, saying the merc has only earned death for disobeying the order to bring Alex and Leila back alive. As the craft flies off, he comments on how they only have half of what they sought. Leila is heartbroken and in tears, agreeing that they only have half a person.

Characters Involved: 

First Story:


Leila O’Toole

Trackers (Living Pharaoh’s cult)

Restaurant patrons and staff

Story Notes: 

Second story: “Panther’s Quest (part 13 of 25),” Black Panther

Third story: “…From Little Acorns Grow,” Nth Man

Fourth story: “Sophia,” Ursa Major

First story:

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.

The Living Pharaoh and his cult of Trackers are an Egyptian-themed organization that seeks Havok so that they can tap his energies to turn the Pharaoh into the gigantic Living Monolith. [X-Men (1st series) #54-56]

Havok’s previous girlfriends had come to bad ends in recent history. His long-time girlfriend, Polaris, was possessed by the disembodied Malice in Uncanny X-Men #219. she will regain dominance later in Uncanny X-Men #249. Alex & Madelyne became lovers in Uncanny X-Men #239, after which she was transformed into the Goblin Queen by the demonic N’astirh in Uncanny X-Men #240.

Issue Information: 
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