Marvel Fanfare (1st series) #4

Issue Date: 
September 1982
Story Title: 
Lost Souls!

Chris Claremont (writer), Paul Smith ( penciler), Terry Austin (inker), Janice Chiang (letterer), Glynis Wein (colorist), Allen Milgrom (editor), Jim Shooter (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

Angel awakes to find he’s been rescued by Ka-Zar and Zabu. Together, they work on a plan to help Angel’s fellow X-Men and Ka-Zar’s lover, Shanna, all of whom are imprisoned by Sauron. Angel is to divert Sauron, while Ka-Zar will then secretly enter the citadel. In the citadel, the X-Men are repeatedly subjected to being devolved and re-evolved at which point Sauron absorbs their mutant energies. He has just done that to Storm, when he sees and gives chase to Angel. Ignoring Sauron’s orders, Brainchild has Storm brought to his quarters, intending to force her to become his mistress. Storm refuses but, before brainchild can call the guards, he is attacked by Ka-Zar and Zabu. Together with Storm, they free the other X-Men, just before Sauron returns. Combining their powers, the X-Men exhaust him to the point where he once again becomes Karl Lykos. Karl begs them to kill him but the X-Men tell him that Xavier is trying to find a cure. A few weeks later, Xavier has indeed managed to implement a cure and Lykos and Tanya can finally be together.

Full Summary: 

Angel awakes to find that he’s been rescued by Ka-Zar and Zabu. Ka-Zar found him some time ago when he was still concussed from his fall, feverish and delirious. Angel brings Ka-Zar up to speed, telling him how he had contacted the X-Men to help against Sauron. Sauron’s forces easily captured the team, only he fled by flying above the mist into the cold Antarctic air. He got caught in a jet stream, though. The wind froze him to the marrow and he fell.

Ka-Zar is shaken when he hears that the Fall People’s village had been razed. When he left the Savage Land, Sauron’s threat seemed minimal. He continues, stating that his lover, Shanna, was visiting the Fall People. She hasn’t returned. They didn’t find her body, Angel replies. She could be a prisoner with the X-Men. He suggests that he may fly to one of the UN bases outside the Savage Land to contact the Avengers or Fantastic Four. What if they aren’t available? Ka-Zar asks and offers Angel some meat. Disgusted, Angel replies that he prefers his meat cooked. Too risky, Ka-Zar explans. A fire might be spotted by Sauron’s scouts. If he absorbs the X-Men’s mutant energies, he continues, Sauron can increase his own power geometrically. By the time assistance arrives, he might well be unstoppable. The longer they wait, the more dangerous Sauron becomes.

How was he able to defeat the X-Men? Angel wonders. Before he attacked, they were all feeling lousy, exhausted. By the time he struck, they had lost their will to resist. A device to weaken the resolve of those who invaded his territory, Angel deduces. Sauron wouldn’t trust others enough to leave that weapon in their hands, Ka-Zar assumes. So, if someone were to lure him from the citadel… He means him Angel asks. He refuses. Sauron has been in his mind, in his soul. It is almost more than he can bear! Then their friends are doomed, Ka-Zar states somberly. He can’t do this alone. For a long time, Angel struggles with himself, then promises he’ll try.

Dawn on an escarpment overlooking Sauron’s citadel. Angel and Ka-Zar have been constructing a catapult. Angel remarks that he doesn’t feel anything. The will-destroyer must be inactive.

Inside the fortress, Sauron impatiently demands how much longer. He hungers. Brainchild tells him to wait. The Transformation begins. Four X-Men lie on basalt slab before the mutant energy accelerator. The men are all human; Storm is not. She is what Homo sapiens were 100,000 years ago. Brainchild caresses the controls, wishing he could prolong his victim’s agony. Finally, he activates the device and, step by agonizing step, Storm is returned to her true form.

Suddenly, the alarms sounds and fiery balls are catapulted at the citadel, while Angel makes his presence known from above, ordering Sauron to release the X-Men. Sauron quickly feasts on Storm’s mutant power before leaving to confront Angel. First, he orders Zaladane to double the guards. The challenge may be a ruse. Brainchild is to revert the X-Men. As the neo-mutant reprograms the accelerator, his gaze strays once more to Storm, lolling unconscious on her slab, and he smiles.

As Sauron swoops towards Angel, Ka-Zar and Zabu jump into the treacherous depths of the river, intent on swimming to the citadel. One dispatched sea-beastie later, man and cat reach the other side, praying that Angel will be able to buy them some more time.

Angel does his best, using every scrap of experience and skill to compensate for Sauron’s superior power. They’ve almost reached the mountains surrounding the Savage Land. Finally, though, Sauron’s gaze meets Angel’s and mesmerizes him. Sauron grabs his helpless foe and flies back to the citadel with him.

Meanwhile, in Brainchild’s private quarters, Storm regains consciousness and finds herself dressed and made up in a skimpy outfit. What does he wants? she demands. Her, of course, he replies. Considering the alternative, she really is no condition to refuse. Storm angrily slaps him, not giving a damn about the consequences. Brainchild strikes back, threatening that, as punishment, he’ll devolve her body while keeping her consciousness intact. Before he’s done, she’ll beg him to take her, he threatens, as he shouts for the guards. None come and he takes a look outside to be greeted by Zabu. He faints out of fright.

Ka-Zar follows, asking if Ororo is all right. Weak, she admits, but unharmed. He tells her to rest while he deals with Brainchild. Storm forbids him from killing him. They are supposed to be better than he. Ka-Zar relents but hopes they won’t regret it. Is she able to use her powers? Ororo admits that she doesn’t know. Sauron drained so much of her strength that she can barely walk. And the residual effects of his will-destroyer make it hard to focus her concentration.

They reach the pens, where they find Tanya Anderssen and Shanna – or what’s left of them. Both are devolved. Storm reminds Ka-Zar that the process can be reversed. She’s proof of that. Ka-Zar grimly tells her that he’s putting an end to this, to Sauron, to Zaladane to Brainchild’s neo-mutants once and for all and heaven help anyone who gets in the way.

Suddenly, they hear a scream: the accelerator is being used on Nightcrawler. They run outside. Only one guard stands between them and their goal and Ka-Zar quickly dispatches him. Ororo thinks that she’s never seen Ka-Zar so grim. But then, she’s never felt so grim herself. This once, she wishes she could set aside her oath never to kill. For what was done to her and her friends, she’d gladly tear the living heart from Sauron’s breast with her bare hands!

Seeing what odd manner of creature Kurt has been devolved to, Storm angrily shouts the name of Zaladane, who is sitting at the controls. Unfazed, the former priestess tells her that she was certain Brainchild would be unable to control her. Nevertheless, she does not fear her. After all, Sauron has stripped her of her powers. Zaladane and her master have underestimated her, Storm snarls. A fatal mistake. She concentrates and, at her bidding, an irresistible wind rises that sweeps Zaladane away.

A moment later, Ororo sinks down exhausted and Ka-Zar catches her, while Zabu licks the face of his favorite X-Man – Wolverine. Storm turns off the localized hypno-ray that keeps the X-Men pliable. Ka-Zar shouts that more guards are coming. Colossus switches to his armored form, thus breaking out of his clamps and frees Wolverine. Both of them hurry to help Ka-Zar and Zabu against the Neo-Mutants, while the still exhausted Storm re-evolves Nightcrawler.

This is why he loves the Savage Land, Wolverine announces, after they’ve finished fighting. A fella can always find himself a class-a rough house. Storm and Nightcrawler warn the others. Sauron is flying towards the citadel, Angel in his grip. As the villain sees the heroes, he intends to drop Angel to his death, but Nightcrawler teleports into his path and grabs his teammate.

Before Sauron can strike with his hypnotic power, Storm generates a blizzard dropping the temperature around Sauron to below zero. The effect is staggering and he falls, only to be expected by Colossus and Wolverine. Despite their blows, Sauron still stands and intends to fight, but he has too little power left to fend off Storm’s next attack and so finally reverts to Karl Lykos.

Later, after Shanna and Tanya have been restored, Zaladane and her followers placed into custody and the Neo mutants re-devolved to their original swamp savages state, Colossus destroys the evolutionary accelerator.

Lykos asks the X-Men to kill him. He will always be a danger to others. Wolverine agrees but Storm refuses. Xavier has been studying Karl’s condition. He believes a cure is possible-. After good-byes are exchanged with Ka-Zar, the X-Men leave with Karl and Tanya.

Weeks later at Xavier’s mansion, Karl Lykos undergoes the final in a series of arduous treatment sessions. Xavier explains to Tanya that Karl is not a mutant. The Pteranodons that attacked him and Tanya as children, though, were. Karl was infected with a genetic virus that mutated him. Xavier has isolated the alien element in his DNA matrix and these treatments are designed to burn it out of him. Either it works or it will kill him. However, the tests turn out negative. Karl will survive and his genetic structure registers clean. He is cured. Tanya and Karl finally have each other and Wolverine suggests they celebrate in style.

Characters Involved: 

Colossus, Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Professor Xavier, Sprite, Storm, Wolverine (all X-Men)


Tanya Anderssen





Zaladane’s troops

Amphibius, Barbarus, Brain-Child, Gaza, Timberius, Vertigo (Savage Land mutates)

Story Notes: 

This issue also includes two short stories about Deathlok and Iron Man, respectively.

Claremont’s original plan was to have Lykos join the mansion staff in the New Mutants series, something that never happened. Lykos led a happy life until the new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, under Toad’s leadership, force-fed him Taya’s life-energy – killing her in the process – and turned him into Sauron once more [X-Force #5]

Sauron’s backstory was told in X-Men (1st series) #60.

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