Marvel Comics Presents (1st series) #83

Issue Date: 
August 1991
Story Title: 
<BR>Weapon X - chapter eleven (1st story)<br>Firestar - Life During War Time: Part 2 of 8 – “Things Fall Apart” (2nd story)

First story: Barry Windsor-Smith (writer, penciler and co-letterer), Jim Novak (co-letterer), Barry Windsor-Smith (front cover), Dave Hoover (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 is lured to the adamantium reactor’s exhaust-pit by the Professor. Once he’s inside, the Professor purges the reactor, flooding the pit with heat. Logan’s body burns, and the Professor contacts his superiors to gloat that he’s killed their experiment. However, as he gloats, he realizes that they are now in control of the purge, and have switched it off. He turns to see Logan standing behind him, his body burning; a walking dead man. Logan crashes through the window and attacks him. The Professor tries to contact security, but they are all dead. Logan then cuts off the Professor’s other left hand, before thrusting all three claws into his skull, killing him.

2nd story: While escaping from an ambush by Freedom Force, Firestar’s father is gravely wounded. She gets him to a hospital and demands immediate treatment. The surgeons do their best but inform her that her father will die long before he receives the necessary organ transplants, but Firestar vows to find a way to save him. Meanwhile, some organ harvesters decide they want Mystique captured, and intend to make Firestar do it by exploiting her dire situation.

Full Summary: 

First story:

Logan has been lured to the adamantium reactor’s exhaust pit by the Professor, who has thrown Carol Hines into it as bait. The Professor has his hand on the switch, which is on standby. Carol is understandably nervous as Logan approaches her, but she tries to communicate with him, asking him if he understands her. The Professor asks her not to beg. She is living the last few moments of her pointless existence, and shouldn’t waste them cowering and pleading to a mindless animal.

As Carol begs him to kill her quickly, Logan slows a little and whispers that he does understand. She doesn’t matter to him. It’s not her he wants. Logan then looks up to see the Professor with his hand on the switch. He pulls on it and the purge begins. Flames and smoke pour from the pipes above them as the fission gate opens. Carol runs for it, and tells Logan to do the same.

Logan fails to get out in time and, as the discharge rises quickly, his skin begins to burn. The Professor contacts his superiors. He informs them that Experiment X is destroyed, and he is his destroyer. “Do you hear me?” he cries, “I beat you!” As he rants at the microphone, he doesn’t see Logan, his skin red raw from being burned off, climb up molten steps and out of the chamber. The Professor then realizes that the chamber is being switched off, and the heat inside it gradually reduces. His superiors are controlling the fission-gate. Is there nothing they cannot do?

He then turns to see the burning body of Logan standing behind him. He says they’re still transmitting to him, controlling a corpse - a walking dead man. Logan crashes through the window and into the control booth with his claws extended. The Professor falls backwards, and Logan stands over him. He moves his face to the Professor’s. “Am I dead?” he asks. “Is that what you’ve done to me?” The terrified Professor replies that he is an animal. “I am… Logan!” he shouts, before picking the Professor up and throwing him into the control panel.

The Professor groans, but presses a switch and calls for security to help him. His plea falls on deaf ears, for the security guards are all dead. With his finger still on the switch, Logan brings his claws down at his wrist. His left hand is severed, matching his right. Logan grabs him by the collar and once more brings the Professor’s face to his own. He retracts his claws and tells the Professor that now they’ve both got their paddles bollixed. Does he think it makes them even? Well, it doesn’t.

He snikts one claw and jabs it into the Professor’s skull. He follows it up with a second claw and then a third. Blood splatters all over his face, and he lowers the Professor to the floor. “Now we’re square. Got that, chump?”

2nd story:

Although she wants nothing more than a peaceful existence, life keeps getting in Angelica Jones’s way, this time in the form of the mutant-hunting government team Freedom Force. Having just been ambushed, Firestar grabs her father and explodes through the roof of her home. Hang on, she tells her father as they soar through the air. He demands she put him down, and while she obeys, she informs him she needs to put as much distance between herself and Freedom Force as possible. Her father scoffs. Freedom Force is a team of government agents. Angelica has just become a fugitive. This is what he was afraid of when they discovered she was a mutant.

Angelica hangs her head and apologizes. She doesn’t understand how they found her; she had not used her mutant powers in such a long time, until that afternoon. She had no choice! Had she not intervened, those two men would have kidnapped her friend Meg. But no one saw her use her powers, Angelica says! Everything seemed perfectly normal afterward! “Face it, honey,” Bartholomew says to his daughter, “…nothing has been normal for us since your powers developed.”

Freedom Force, still at the Jones household, begins their pursuit. Mystique orders her two minions to follow Angelica’s trail, which she predicts will lead to the nearby park. “I’m glad someone was paying attention, Mystique,” Spiral says. “I thought I was working with professionals.” Frankly, Spiral cannot believe Mystique just let Firestar waltz out of their hands. Avalanche agrees with his teammate; he easily could have knocked her out of the sky, if Mystique hadn’t forced him to neuter his powers. Mystique defends her decision. Firestar, while inexperienced, is incredibly powerful and could be a valuable resource to Freedom Force, but only if caught unharmed. With her intentions clear, she orders Spiral to teleport ahead and nonviolently apprehend Firestar. “Sure, Mystique. I won’t harm a hair on her red head,” Spiral says, “unless she starts something.”

Teleporting ahead, Spiral inserts herself between Angelica and her father. Bartholomew gasps at the woman’s appearance, but Spiral ignores him and holds a sword to Angelica’s throat, ordering her not to resist. Defying this command, Angelica fires a microwave at Spiral’s feet. Spiral couldn’t be happier. “You named the tune,” she says. “Let’s dance.” And dance, she does. Her first movements reflect Firestar’s microwaves back at the young mutant. Her next dance psionically binds her and lifts her into the air. Although Mystique thinks she has value, Spiral disagrees. The girl may have potential, but no substance to accompany it.

Bartholomew gets up and attacks the six-armed woman strangling his daughter. Spiral, calling him a stupid oaf, pulls him off her back and skewers him with her sword. With his last conscious breaths, Bart urges his daughter to run. He collapses to the ground. “Awkward old man,” the remorseless Spiral says. “Shouldn’t try to lead if you don’t know the steps.” Firestar rushes to her dying father’s side and lays his head in her lap. She calls Spiral a witch and tells her she hates her, an insult Spiral barely acknowledges. “You don’t know hate, princess, until you’ve lived through worlds of it,” Spiral says, adding she has hated Firestar since she first saw her.

Finally, Mystique and Avalanche arrive, just as Spiral offers Firestar her ultimatum. Will she join them, Spiral asks? Angelica responds with an angry “no.” Good, Spiral says. She calls out to Avalanche and tells him Firestar is escaping. The overzealous Avalanche jumps at the opportunity to attack, and creates a crashing tidal wave of dirt and rock that buries Angelica alive even as she pleads for mercy. The disgusted Mystique scolds him for his overreaction and orders him to clear the debris immediately. He does. By the time he unearths her resting place, however, Firestar has already escaped through a melted storm drain cover. He turns and barks at Mystique for making him go so easy on their target. Mystique finally gives in and announces that because Firestar will be expecting their next attack, they will hold nothing back. Next time, they take her down, Mystique says. “Next time, I take her apart,” Spiral adds.

Angelica emerges from the storm drain outlet with tears in her eyes. Her whole life is falling apart, and now her dad might even die. She flies him to the hospital as fast as she can and kicks open the doors, demanding immediate medical attention. The orderlies pull out a clipboard and ask her to give some basic information first: name, background, insurance, etc. “How’s this for basic,” Angelica says, zapping the clipboard out of his hands “My name’s Firestar, and if you don’t get this man some help now, I’ll nail you to the wall!” They prep him for surgery right away.

Elsewhere, a mysterious man named Fitch gleefully peruses Mystique’s government profile on his computer. As a shapeshifter, she can attune every cell of her body to completely duplicate anyone. She sounds like a perfect candidate, he tells Cross, his colleague. Cross agrees with this assessment. With Mystique’s raw material they could make a fortune, maybe even enough to cover their losses from losing Meg Fallon. The problem Fitch foresees, however, is Mystique’s employment with the government. If something goes wrong, dealing with Freedom Force will be the least of their worries. They decide they need a patsy.

Firestar, meanwhile, patiently waits in the hallway outside her father’s operating room. A surgeon finally exits and gives her the news: her friend’s condition is stable, but without a lung and kidney transplant, he will die. Unfortunately, the search for suitable donors will take far longer than he has to live. Angelica refuses to let this happen and vows to do whatever it takes to save him.

Unbeknownst to Firestar, an undercover agent overhears this conversation and slinks away to inform his boss. After the mole tells Fitch about Firestar’s predicament, Fitch orders him to find Firestar and let her know they can save her friend if she promises to meet with them. Fitch laughs as he hangs up the phone. Planting their agents as hospital orderlies was the smartest idea his organization ever had. Not only does it provide them with a constant source of buyers and suppliers, it also proves valuable when they have other, exceptional needs filled. “I think we’ve found our patsy,” he says to Cross.

Characters Involved: 

First Story:


The Professor

Carol Hines
2nd story:

Firestar/Angelica Jones

Bartholomew Jones

Avalanche, Mystique, Spiral (Freedom Force)

Fitch, Cross (organ harvesters)

Malcolm (hospital mole)

Various hospital staff

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:

This story takes place after Freedom Force’s encounter with Cable in New Mutants (1st series) #86-89, but before Freedom Force teams up with the Avengers in Marvel Graphic Novel #68: Avengers - Deathtrap: The Vault.

Summarizers: Fantomex (1st story) & Sixhoursoflucy (2nd story)

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