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First Story: Howard Mackie (writer), Rich Buckler and Bruce Patterson (artists), Bill Oakley (letterer), Andy Yanchus (colorist), Michael Rockwitz (assistant editor), Terry Kavanagh (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor-in-chief)
A stunned and exhausted Havok is shocked by the rise of Plasma, who declares herself the queen of the Cult of the Living Pharaoh and his one true descendant. His power supply completely depleted. Havok makes a run for it and manages to escape. He somehow makes his way into the desert and falls unconscious. He is found by Wolverine mere moments before a cadre of armed cultists manage to track him down. They try to return Havok to their queen but are delayed by Wolverine. When Havok comes to, he subdues his captors and is joined by his fellow X-Man. He declares that he’s taking the fight to Plasma and her cult and is determined to rescue Leila O’Toole.
Havok stands bewildered before Plasma as she declares herself the heir of the Living Pharaoh. Alex is still reeling from the fact that there was a woman within one of the Tracker armors. Plasma orders her new devotees to remove the infidel from her sight. One of them reminds her that he must die by her hand as decreed by their law.
Havok realizes that he is completely spent and has little chance of escaping at this point. He makes a run for it anyway and she orders them to stop him. He finds his way to an airshaft and musters enough power to blast it open.
. As he jumps through and begins to fall, he remembers the reason he’s there: to rescue Leila O’Toole. He grabs a flag on the wall and tries to pull himself back up to continue his search for her. But he can’t maintain his hold and as he plummets into the darkened shaft, everything goes black.
The following day in the desert outside Cairo, a robed figure travels by camel. The Egyptian desert is harsh and dangerous in the man called Wolverine, it has met its match. Discarding his disguise, Wolverine uses his enhanced senses to track Havok. He finds Alex unconscious in a small stream. Wolverine tries to revive Havok with some water, while wondering aloud what the younger mutant has gotten himself into. He notes that at least he had the good sense to leave the X-Men a message telling him where he’d gone and that he sounded out of sorts in the message. He guesses that a woman is involved.
As he tries to get Alex to revive and fill him in on who is after him, a blast of energy from above barely misses him. Logan pops his claws as an air skiff and a handful of armed men on horseback approach. He revels in the prospect of combat as the forces of the Living Pharaoh charge towards him.
They declare that the queen has demanded the return of the infidel. Wolverine is stunned when they all charge past him towards Havok. One of the riders snags Havok’s unconscious body as Wolverine runs towards them, baring his claws and demanding they let Havok go.
Finally one the men notices Wolverine and orders the others to kill him. Logan tells them that better than them have tried and there are cemeteries full of them. He dives into the fight with gusto. As he wades through them, he tells them that his claws are made of adamantium and aren’t easily stopped… and neither is he. He slices through one of their handguns and knocks its owner from his mount. He climbs up on the back of the camel using it to gain enough height to leap onto the wing of a fleeing air skiff like the one that is transporting Havok away.
Wolverine bares his claws once more and demands that the pilots help him follow the air skiff that Alex is on. They refuse to betray their new queen and call to the Tracker aboard to stop Wolverine. The Tracker grabs Logan’s throat and pulls him forcefully back away from the pilots. The Tracker hoists Logan into the air. Wolvie tells him that he has a grip that would give Colossus a run for his money as he struggles to regain his leverage. At that moment, the Tracker cries out as he is hit by Havok’s distinctive energy blast.
The pilots of Havok’s skiff declare the need to stop him but reconsider and abandon ship when they see that a single blast from the cosmic-powered mutant was sufficient to take out the Tracker. Havok pilots the ship into the ground near the remaining mounted cultists causing them to scatter as he jumps clear of the collision. Wolverine lands nearby and welcomes him back. Havok tells Logan that Queen Plasma wants him so badly but is about to get more than she bargained for. He says boldly that he’s going back and is going to get Leila out of there.
Havok, Wolverine (Both X-Men)
Unnamed High Priest, Trackers and Ahmed and other unnamed acolytes (All Cult of the Living Pharaoh)
This issue features four different heroes in feature stories:
Second story: Black Panther, “Panther’s Quest Part 17 of 25: Lost Promises”
Third story: Coldblood, “Rise and Shine Part 4 of 10: The Strip”
Fourth story: Quasar, “It Came from Within…”
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]
Despite their clear physical resemblance and the rarity of strawberry blonde women in the Egyptian desert, Havok does not yet realize that Plasma is Leila O’Toole.