Marvel Comics Presents (1st series) #31

Issue Date: 
November 1989
Story Title: 
<BR>“Pharaoh’s Legacy” Part 8: A Heart Attacked (First Story) <br> Having a Wild Weekend, part one (Fourth story)

First Story: Howard Mackie (writer), Rich Buckler and Bruce Patterson (artists), Bill Oakley (letterer), Andy Yanchus (colorist)
Fourth story: Michael Higgins (writer), Erik Larsen (penciler), Terry Austin (inker), Tim Harkins (letterer), Tom Vincent (colorist)
Jon Bodganove & P. Craig Russell (cover artists), Kelly Corvese (assistant editor), Terry Kavanagh (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

First Story:
Havok is shocked to learn that Leila O’Toole is Plasma, the heir to the Living Pharaoh. She reveals that she has been working with the Cult all along and served as the bait to capture him so they could use his power to instigate the rise of the Pharaoh’s heir. She knew when he first used his powers near her that she herself was the heir to the Living Monolith. She demands that Havok release his energies to complete her empowerment. When he refuses, she turns her powers on her own followers. In her rage, she causes a cave in. Wolverine returns and helps save Havok who decks Plasma and leaves her to die in the cave-in. Alex vows never to be used by a woman like that again.

Fourth Story: Excalibur are having a relaxing evening at home, when Kitty’s computer begins acting strangely, and suddenly six odd-looking creatures dubbed “the Loonies” emerge from the computer. They introduce themselves as Gums Gunny, Billy Bird, Rooster Cockburn, the Ham, Tailgunner and Southpaw as they apprehend the unprepared Excalibur almost too easily, while in a prison cell, the Loonies employer is thrilled at Excalibur’s capture.

Full Summary: 

First Story:

Havok looks up in shock as Plasma, queen of the Cult of the Living Pharaoh reveals herself to be Leila O’Toole. She tells him not to look so shocked and insists he should have suspected. He asks weakly “How? Why?” and Leila says that she’ll explain everything if he comes with her. Havok hesitates, unwilling to leave his unconscious teammate Wolverine behind. Plasma assures him that her men will take care of Wolverine and gives her word. Alex questions this, given her truthfulness thus far.
Plasma explains that she’s been honest with him but has omitted a few details. She explains that she was pulled into the Cult quite innocently and was shocked at one of their ritual sacrifices. She ran away, as she told Alex earlier and then the High Priest explained some things that intrigued her and convinced her to try working with the Cult.
She then went to Australia to act as bait in the hopes of capturing Alex. The plan was to encase Havok in a substance that would block the cosmic energies that fueled his power. Their idea was that blocking Havok’s powers might trigger the latent mutant powers of the heir to the Living Pharaoh. When Havok used his powers near Leila, she felt a physical connection and knew that blocking his access to cosmic rays was wrong. She saved him from the cultists. She also realized that she was the heir to the Living Pharaoh who was her uncle.
He asks why they kidnapped her then if she was working with the Cult from the beginning. Leila explains that the sudden advent of her powers temporarily confused her and the Trackers assumed she had betrayed the Cult. Havok asks how they found him since the X-Men are generally believed to be dead. Leila points out that the instant connection they felt when they met was passed on through the bloodline of the Living Pharaoh.
Plasma cuts her explanations short and explains that it is time for her to receive the full gift of her heritage. She tells Alex that he is the source of her power and strength and directs him to release his energies so that she may absorb them in full. Doing this will enable her to continue the rule of the Pharaohs. Havok refuses and Plasma lashes out at him, sending him across the room. She says that he will obey or die, despite the fact she may love him. Alex refuses to be used again. Plasma grabs him and lifts him into the air. She again tells him that she will not be denied and threatens to rip him in half if he doesn’t comply with her demands. He tells her to do it and she flings him away angrily into the stadium filled with her acolytes. She tells him that she needs him to be complete.
Plasma fires at Alex who dodges. Her blast strikes her acolytes. She demands that he give her what she wants and Havok tells her that she’s killing her own people. She doesn’t care and threatens to kill more if he doesn’t relinquish his power to her. She tells him that he can’t deny her forever and he replies that he can and he will.
Infuriated by his refusal, Plasma fires a blast into the roof causing it to collapse on them. Havok dives clear and is confronted by a Tracker who threatens to kill him. Wolverine flies out of nowhere and takes the Tracker down. He helps Havok up and tells them they have to get out of there before the place caves in completely. Havok turns to see a pair of Trackers helping Leila up.
He turns from Logan and says there is one more thing he needs to deal with. He fires his plasma blasts and takes out the Trackers. Plasma smiles maniacally and demands that he give her what she deserves! He walks towards her and punches her in the face. She is knocked unconscious by the blow. As he walks away, Logan pats him on the back. Havok vows that she is the last woman who will ever use him that way again.

Fourth Story:

Excalibur, protectors of Great Britain, were having a quiet evening spent at home, in their lighthouse. For once, all was calm, the Earth was not being threatened, no one was attacking, nothing seemed amiss. But that is now over, as Kitty “Shadowcat” Pryde screams ‘No! It can’t be!’. Kitty’s pet dragon, Lockheed, the beautiful Meggan, the swashbuckling Kurt “Nightcrawler” Wagner, the handsome Brian Braddock a.k.a. Captain Britain and Rachel “Phoenix” Summers, as well as Lockheed the Dragon and Widget rush to their teammate’s aid.

Excalibur find Kitty in front of her computer, and Rachel asks her what is going on. Kitty replies that she isn’t sure, but that something very strange is going on around here. Meggan asks Kitty if she is all right, to which Kitty replies that she is fine, and Kurt tries to calm her, asking her to tell them what is wrong. ‘From the looks of it, Nightcrawler, nothing, just Kitty’s overactive imaginations’ remarks Brian. Someone tells the mighty Captain Britain to let Kitty have a chance, to which he replies ‘Fine, then you’ll all see that there’s really no problem at all!’

Guess again, as a giant SURPRISE suddenly bursts out of the computer screen, to which Kitty mutters that she told them all the computer has gone crazy, that it is doing things which are…impossible! Impossible indeed as just as suddenly, six odd looking beings, dubbed THE LOONIES emerge from the computer in a host of bright lights.

‘You were saying, Captain Britain?’ remarks Kurt. ‘Forget about that! I’ll apologize later!’ replies Brian, pointing out that right now it looks like they have got a fight on their hands. Leaping into action, the heroic Brian asks the strange creatures who in the world they are.

‘Actually, we’re more out of this world’ comes the reply, before the carrot-totting rabbit asks Excalibur if they didn’t see their logo. He exclaims that they are called the Loonies and that they paid big bucks for that, so would appreciate if everyone would pay attention, before asking Brian if he is wanting to know who the individual members of the spectacular sextet are, he would be honored to take care of the introductions as they go along.

The odd rabbit introduces himself as Guns Gummy, before motioning to the big bird with the goggles - and he doesn’t mean the one from Sesame Street - is called Rooster Cockburn, before he shoots a lazer from out of the carrot in his hand, telling Brian to stay back, as he has barely begun the intros. The results of Brian being struck by the lazer instantaneous, he tries to move, to continue his attack, but it is useless, it is as if every muscle in his body have been turned to silly putty.

Gums Gunny declares ‘The Daffy-looking one with dark feathers is Billy Bird’, and the duck starts to chase Nightcrawler, asking him if he has not heard the old expression “Never send a bird to do a man’s work!”. With a highly noticeable lisp, Billy Bird replies that they were not talking about him, nor were they counting on his “rathor-sharp plumage!” (translation: razor-sharp plumage).

‘Hold still, varmint!’ exclaims the little guy with the moustache and ten-gallon hat to Shadowcat, as Gums Gummy introduces as Southpaw, before telling Excalibur that they get two demerit points if they cannot figure out which one is the Ham. The Ham, a fat pig in a green outfit, is approached by Meggan, who has shape shifted into a werewolf. The Ham remarks that she is a scary one, to which Meggan replies ‘Oh, is the little piggy afraid of the big, bad wolf?’

The Ham makes a comment about Meggan’s big teeth, boasting that it is too bad they will not help her. Meggan is shocked when she reverts unwillingly to her normal form, and asks the Ham how he did that. ‘Super powers!’ the Ham stutters, pointing out that Meggan is actually in transitional form - and she changes again - into a pig with long blonde hair. The Ham exclaims that the two of them could make beautiful piglets together. ‘Squawk! Squoink! Oink!’ replies Meggan.

Lockheed uses flames to edge the Loonie that Gums Gunny introduces as Tailgunner towards Widget, who has opened a portal, but Tailgunner boasts that it is now time for him to reveal what his feathers can do, and he plucks one off of his tail. The feather transforms into the shape of a mallet, and Tailgunner heaves at Widget, disrupting the portal, while asking them if they really thought he would be stupid enough to run into it.

Nightcrawler is still dealing with Billy Bird who is slashing away at him with his sharp feathers. Kurt knows he has no choice but to teleport. Kitty dodges some purple plasm that Southpaw shoots at her, wondering what would happen if she connected with it. Not willing to take that chance, she begins to phase up behind Southpaw and grabs his gun, taking him by surprise. ‘What’s the matter? Kitty got you gun?’ she asks, remarking that it won’t be much use to him now. Southpaw asks Kitty what makes her think that his moustache is just for show, when his moustache extends itself to pull the trigger, smothering Kitty in the purple goo.

Rachel displays her powers, telling the Loonies that they cannot conceive of the challenge that they have undertaken, informing them that the power of the Phoenix is far greater than any of them have imagined. ‘You don’t say’ remarks Rooster Cockburn, laughing as he stares into Rachel’s eyes and asking her what she knows of the power of the Rooster aroused? Pain spreads over Rachel’s face as she exclaims that it is unbearable. Rachel declares that this is the one thing she fears the most, that it can’t be happening, she will not be enslaved, she must be free. Rooster Cockburn just grins and remarks ‘If only your psionic powers didn’t leave you so dang susceptible to my mental commands!’

As Kurt reappears after his teleport, he warns himself not to overuse his powers, as he is dazed and cannot get his bearings. Suddenly, Kurt cries out in pain as Billy Bird comes up behind him, ‘so nice to slash you again!’ the duck exclaims, knocking Kurt out. Tailgunner exclaims that he is through toying around with Widget and Lockheed and declares ‘Let’s see if you guys are more powerful than a locomotive!’ As he heaves a locomotive at them, Lockheed and Widget fall to the ground. ‘I guess not!’ exclaims Tailgunner.

Excalibur, Widget and Lockheed are now all defeated. In his putty-form, Captain Britain tries to speak, but Gums Gunny tells him not to, as none of his muscles will able to respond to any commands. Motioning to the golden-haired pig lying on the floor, the Ham explains that he used his powers to slow her down until she finally collapsed. Southpaw asks his teammate if he thinks Kitty makes a nice statue, as Billy Bird suggests that they might be lucky and Nightcrawler will bleed to death, either way, he wont look good no matter what they do.

Gums Gunny reminds Billy Bird that the boss wants Excalibur alive, before Tailgunner motions to Lockheed and Widget and laughs that he doesn’t even know if they were alive to begin with. Rooster Cockburn informs everyone that they have to be careful with the Phoenix, as she was defeated by a horror created by her own mind, with a little help from himself of course, so there is no telling how long she is going to be out.

Gums Gunny tells his fellow Loonies to get Excalibur all wrapped, and lowering Brian into a special carrot confinement container, he explains that they will be kept neutralized. Southpaw asks if it is time that they filled the boss in on what is happening, to which Gums Gunny tells him to go ahead, but points out that the boss probably already knows what is going on.

Meanwhile, at Crossmoor Prison, an evil laugh spreads throughout the prison cells, causing a prison guard to confront the culprit. ’I can’t stand this anymore! Enough you Joker, shut-up - unless you’d like to check out the accommodations in solitary confinement!’ declares the prison guard before walking away, leaving the prisoner to snicker as he leaves, while thinking that he would laugh too if he had accomplished what he has today. A wicked grin of pearly white teeth gleams in the darkness, as the prisoner thinks to himself ’At last! I have them right where I want them!’

Characters Involved: 

First story:

Havok, Wolverine (Both X-Men)
Leila O’Toole/Plasma

Trackers and other unnamed acolytes (All Cult of the Living Pharaoh)
In Plasma’s flashback:

Leila O’Toole

High Priest, Trackers and other unnamed acolytes (All Cult of the Living Pharaoh)

Fourth story:

Captain Britain, Meggan, Nightcrawler, Phoenix III, Shadowcat (all Excalibur)



Billy Bird, Guns Gummy, the Ham, Rooster Cockburn, Southpaw, Tailgunner (all the Loonies)


Prison Guard

Story Notes: 

The other features in the issue are:

2nd story: Black Panther “Panther‘s Quest“ – part 19 of 25

3rd story: Coldblood “Rise and Shine“ – part 6 of 10
First story:

This story 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]

Fourth story:

This story takes place between Excalibur (1st series) #8 and #9.

The Loonies are a parody of the well-known Warner Brothers cartoon franchise “The Looney Tunes”. The characters parodied this issue are Bugs Bunny (Guns Gummy), Foghorn Leghorn (Rooster Cockburn), Billy Bird (Daffy Duck), Yosemite Sam (Southpaw), Porky Pig (The Ham) and Roadrunner (Tailgunner).

The Prison Guard looks remarkably like Marvel founder Stan Lee.

The gleaming white teeth and comment ‘Enough, you Joker’ are of course a throw-away to DC Comic’s well known Batman villain the Joker.


Binaryan (1st story)

Daytripper (4th story)