Marvel Comics Presents (1st series) #82

Issue Date: 
August 1991
Story Title: 
Weapon X - chapter ten (1st story)<br>Firestar - Life During War Time: Part 1 of 8 – “The Price of Freedom” (2nd story)

First story: Barry Windsor-Smith (writer, penciler and co-letterer), Jim Novak (co-letterer), Barry Windsor-Smith (front cover), Erik Larsen (back cover), Mark Powers (assistant editor), Terry Kavanagh (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor in chief)

2nd story: Marie Javins and Marcus McLaurin (writers), Dwayne Turner (penciler), Jose Marzan (inker), Rick Parker (editor), Marcus McLaurin (colorist)

Brief Description: 

First story:

Logan confronts the Professor, Doctor Cornelius and Carol Hines. The Professor wants him shot, but Cornelius is reluctant, saying it appears that Logan is too weak to continue. The Professor hits Cornelius, and his rifle lets off several rounds into Logan. Cornelius then approaches him to check on his condition before shooting the receivers, and he pays the price. Logan thrusts his adamantium claws into his stomach, killing him. After Cornelius is dead, a loose cable sparks on Logan’s forehead, and suddenly feels that he knows Cornelius from… some kind of dream? A memory? The Professor and Hines run for the reactor and, once there, the Professor decides to use Hines as bait for Logan to step into the exhaust-pit. He hurls her into the pit and heads for the control room. As the computer begins the purge sequence, Logan appears at the edge of the pit and Carol screams.
2nd story: Emma Frost, still bitter about Firestar’s betrayal, decides to ruin her former pupil’s life by turning her over to Freedom Force. Meanwhile, Angelica Jones and her friend Meg are ambushed by two masked men while walking home from a soccer game. Angelica immediately assumes the men have come for her because of she is a mutant, but to her surprise, they try to kidnap Meg instead! Angelica activates her powers as Firestar in order to save her friend, and while successful, she has to endure a stern lecture from her father later that evening about exposing her powers in public. Meanwhile, Freedom Force receives the tip from Emma Frost and decides to detain Firestar. Mystique changes into the familiar form of Meg and approaches Angelica at home while, from behind, Avalanche and Spiral burst through the wall and tell her she is under arrest.

Full Summary: 

First story:

Logan has arrived inside the adamantium reactor and faces an injured Professor, Carol Hines and Abraham Cornelius, who carries a rifle. Logan is covered in blood and he just stares at them. The Professor orders Cornelius to shoot, but he replies that it looks like Logan is faltering. He’s lost a lot of blood and he figures he might be too weak to attack. The Professor tells him that the blood is what’s left of their security guard. He is controlled and programmed to kill them all. He should use the gun while they still have a chance. “But he ain’t even movin’ Professor,” replies Cornelius. The Professor punches his subordinate on the back of the head, causing him to fire several rounds at Logan. Many of the bullets hit home.

Logan falls, and the Professor reminds Cornelius to hit the power packs; shoot away the receivers. Cornelius instead approaches Logan, but this is at the cost of his life. Logan sweeps his right hand upwards, piercing Cornelius with his claws and lifting him clean off the ground. Hines and the Professor begin to run, but Hines says they just can’t leave him behind. The Professor tells her he’s dead, and he couldn’t help him even if he wanted to. He must get to the reactor.

They make their way into a large room with a central exhaust-pit where energy smokes and fizzes from pipes above it. Hines says that, if they can purge the core, at least they can save the complex, the labs and the data records. Of course, replies the Professor, of course. What could be more important than the memory of Experiment X?

Meanwhile, a broken wire leading to Logan’s forehead appears to have been dislodged, and it sparks, connecting Logan with… with what? He feels he knows Cornelius, but from where? From a memory, or maybe a dream of… dying?

Inside the reactor room, Hines points out that the containment is already cracking. They must release the fission-gate. The Professor agrees, but he feels he must get Logan into the exhaust-pit first. “I’m sorry, sir?” enquires Hines. He will be incinerated in seconds, he replies, and informs her that he needs some kind of lure. An idea clicks into place. Hmmm.

He turns to Hines and says he knows she has worked long and hard for Experiment X. She’s been a real boon to the good Doctor Cornelius. Hines is reminded of his untimely passing. The Professor says he gave his life for the project, and he dare say she would do the same. Hines replies that she doesn’t want to die, but the Professor tells her it is required. “What are you saying, Professor?” she asks, nervously. He grabs her with his left hand and thrusts her over the barrier and into the pit. She falls around twenty feet. The Professor asks her not to break her neck, because he wants her to scream and yell, and draw the beast into the pit.

The Professor runs for a control room. He shouts at her to scream. Think of the horror of it all, he says. Use your imagination! Hines duly screams as she finds herself alone in the pit. The Professor asks the computer to give him the current thermal breakdown. It’s two hundred-thirty thousand at 70,000 cubic feet. He asks it to advise on the numbers. ‘Open fissure gate at once’ it replies. The Professor orders it to begin the purge sequence and open the manual control to him. Logan appears at the edge of the pit as Carol screams some more. ‘Control open. Purge begin.’

2nd story:

No one betrays Emma Frost, the White Queen. This is the thought that dominates all others as Emma stares at her computer monitor, examining the Hellfire Club’s file on Angelica Jones, the mutant mistress of microwaves known as Firestar. She trained Angelica to control her abilities, gave her a costume and a codename, and inducted her into her school’s Hellions, and how did Angelica repay her? With treachery, rebellion, and an attempted murder. These are not actions Emma takes lightly.

The best revenge, she decides, is taking away exactly what Firestar cherishes most: her chance at living a peaceful, normal life. With one push of a button, the White Queen untraceably sends the entirety of her files on Angelica Jones to Freedom Force. The government’s private team of mutant hunters will soon hunt Angelica down, either destroying her in the process or forcing her to expose herself as a mutant. Either way, Emma wins.

Elsewhere, Angelica Jones and her good friend Meg Fallon walk home after a soccer game. The invigorated Meg recaps the game and swears they might have won, had it not been for the opposing goalie. “She was unstoppable! Maybe she’s a mutie,” Meg jokes. “Next time, Ange, we’ll tell her she’s got to slow down or we’ll maker her register! Ha ha ha!” While not meant to be hurtful, Angelica cannot help but cringe at her friend’s joke. The hysteria about registering mutants may have died down, but she worries the government may still be watching powerful mutants like herself. Of course, she doesn’t tell this to Meg, as her status as a mutant is her well-kept secret. That may not last forever. Maybe she should register, Angelica wonders.

Unbeknownst to the two teenage girls, two men in grey uniforms and hockey masks crouch in the nearby bushes. She’s the one they want, one of the men says. Snag her and ditch the other. He shouts the order, and they lunge from the bushes toward the two girls. Angelica freezes in place; it seems they have finally come for her. To her surprise, however, the two masked men grab Meg instead. She’s just what the surgeon ordered, they say, adding that their boss Fitch was right; she’s in great physical condition. They toss the bewildered Angelica over the nearby fence and tell her she’s lucky they don’t take her as well.

Although Angelica hates to expose her true nature in public, she refuses to sit idly by while these men kidnap her friend. She activates her microwave powers and flies back over the fence. The kidnappers are shocked to suddenly be facing a mutant, but they try to act tough. “Oh stop. You’re scaring me,” Firestar flatly says in response to their obvious bluffs. She blasts Meg’s attacker, and tells the other to get lost before she wastes him too; their actions have done enough damage already.

The kidnapper refuses to leave without a fight. He opens fire on Angelica with the two Uzis built into his gloves, but laments that the bullets might damage her otherwise valuable organs. Firestar laughs at his pitiful attempt at intimidation. After all, her microwaves easily melt his bullets before they can even touch her. The man proceeds with a secondary attack. Using the super-strength given to him by his suit, he pulls a metal lamppost out of the ground and swings it at Firestar like a baseball bat. She easily dodges it, telling her attacker she always liked soccer more than baseball anyway. Firestar then fires a beam of microwaves at the metallic weapon which heats it up considerably in just a matter of seconds. The masked man screams as it burns his hands. “Science lesson for the day,” Firestar says. “Metal is an excellent heat conductor.” As the kidnappers flee, they vow revenge, but Angelica ignores them and tends to the fallen Meg. She wakes up just as Angelica is reverting back to her civilian attire. Where did those men go, she asks? They fled; maybe your fainting scared them away, Angelica replies.

Later, at the headquarters of Freedom Force, Mystique receives the White Queen’s anonymous, cryptic message about Firestar. Strangely enough, before she died, Destiny informed Mystique she would receive such a message. She neglected to tell Mystique what she was supposed to do with this information, however. Mystique, staring in awe at the computer monitor, realizes the young mutant could one day be either a powerful ally, or a fearsome enemy. If she can catch Angelica while she is still young, she can ensure only the former comes to pass. She chooses a trustworthy figure from Angelica’s profile to imitate – Meg Fallon – and departs with Spiral and Avalanche to apprehend the dangerous, unregistered mutant.

Meanwhile, at the Jones household, Angelica endures an angry lecture from her father. How could she have used her powers in public, he asks? Doesn’t she know how dangerous that is? Angelica tries to tell him Meg was in trouble, but he interrupts her. What if someone saw her? Doesn’t she remember what happened with that horrible Emma Frost woman? He grabs Angelica by the shoulders and shakes her as tears stream down her face. He asks her to promise she will never use her powers ever again. Angelica curls up in her chair and looks at him out of the corner of her eye. She can’t promise him such a thing.

Several hours later, three people approach the Jones house under the cover of darkness, while inside, Angelica and her father continue their unspoken stalemate. Mr. Jones broods in the living room; he knows he is right, and this never would have happened if Angelica’s grandmother hadn’t insisted on telling the child how special she was! Suddenly, Angelica enters the room dressed in her Firestar costume. Mr. Jones gasps. Angelica tells him she only wanted to wear the costume one last time before retiring it permanently. The two feuding family members hug and make up. However, this tender moment is interrupted by the frantic ringing of their doorbell.

Meg Fallon bursts into the foyer as soon as Mr. Jones opens the door. Angelica tells her she should not be out and about so soon, especially after what happened that afternoon, but Meg says it could not wait. Angelica must come with her! Otherwise, there will be big trouble, she says as she grabs Angelica’s arm. Angelica, however, has no idea what she means, and tells her to let her go. What kind of big trouble is she talking about?

Your big trouble, missy,” Meg says. Her face suddenly transforms into the blue-skinned, red-haired visage of Mystique. Looks like this will have to be done the hard way, Mystique says. Spiral and Avalanche come crashing through the two adjacent walls as Mystique informs Angelica she is under arrest for being a potentially dangerous mutant. “Little girl, you’re coming with us.”

Characters Involved: 

First Story:


The Professor

Dr. Abraham B. Cornelius

Carol Hines

2nd story:

Firestar/Angelica Jones

Bartholomew Jones

Meg Fallon

Avalanche, the Blob, Mystique, Spiral (Freedom Force)
The White Queen/Emma Frost (Hellfire Club)

Two masked kidnappers

as hallucination only:


Story Notes: 

The other features in the issue are:

3rd story: Iron-Man, “Making Real Progress.”

4th story: Power Man, “Hero in Hiding.”

2nd story:

Although the index of this and the next four issues lists this as an eight-part story, it ends with its sixth chapter in Marvel Comics Presents (1st series) #87.

This miniseries takes place sometime after the four-part Firestar limited series, but before the first issue of New Warriors (1st series). All of Firestar’s history mentioned in this issue, from the death of her grandmother to her betrayal of Emma Frost, occurred in Firestar #1-4. Although this issue was published after the debut of the New Warriors, it takes place before it chronologically.

Destiny was killed by Legion during the Reavers’s attack on Muir Island in Uncanny X-Men #255.

The second page of this story contains a minor lettering error; in the fourth panel. Angelica’s opening line of dialogue is accidentally spoken by Meg.

Summarizers: Fantomex & Sixhoursoflucy

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