The Uncanny X-Men at the State Fair of Texas

Issue Date: 
September 1983
Story Title: 
Battle at the State Fair of Texas

Jim Salicrup (plotter), David Kraft (scripter), Kerry Gammil & Alan Kopparberg (penciler), Chic Stone (inker), Rick Parker (letterer), Marie Severin (colorist), John Romita (cover artist), Jim Shooter (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

While observing Wolverine, Cyclops, Storm, Colossus and Nightcrawler in a Danger Room training session, Professor X learns of a new mutant. He summons the X-Men to meet with him, and Ariel is in awe of them. Professor X tells the X-Men that they must find the new mutant before Magneto does. The young mutant is at the Dallas State Fair, working with horses, whom he loves. A mysterious stranger visits him, and the young mutant, Danny, reveals his origin of how he was able to transform into a winged centaur, although he does have a default human form. The mysterious stranger returns to his ship - he is none other than Magneto, who wants to recruit the boy to his cause. The X-Men arrive in Dallas and search the State Fair for the mutant, with no luck. But the next day, Professor X identifies him, and realizes that Magneto is with him. The X-Men track Danny to the horse barn, and Magneto tries to convince him that they are evil. Danny shifts into his centaur form, and calling himself Eques, assists Magneto against the X-Men. The battle moves out of the barn, but when Magneto throws Colossus from a great height to the barn, Danny is worried about the horses, and realizes that Magneto was deceiving him. With the help of a large statue called Big Tex, the X-Men defeat Magneto. They invite Eques to join them, but he declines, preferring to lead a quiet life with his horses.

Full Summary: 

All seems peaceful at Professor Xavier’s School for Gifted Children on a bright, sunny day. But inside, Professor Charles Xavier sits in the Danger Room control center, with newcomer Kitty “Ariel” Pryde, as the five members of the X-Men - Scott “Cyclops” Summers, Ororo “Storm” Munroe, Piotr “Colossus” Rasputin, Kurt “Nightcrawler” Wagner and Wolverine a.k.a. Logan stand ready in the Danger Room proper. ‘All right, my X-Men - let the test begin - now!’ Xavier calls out from the control center, and as guns and other weapons emerge from the walls, Wolverine tells his teammates to look alive, as it is “circle of death” time.

Cyclops quickly takes command, and fires an optic blast at several missiles, he calls out to Storm, who unleashes a windstorm that disperses some paralzying gases. Colossus shifts into his steel form in a split-second as a powerful beam punches forth, slamming against him, while Wolverine ducks down to the floor, dodging a ray gun as he pops his claws, then dodges more ray guns as he moves across the room, and knocks two metal balls away, as Nightcrawler, sticking to the wall, asks why he should waste his time on acrobatics, when he can teleport himself right out of harm’s way - and does so, materializing in the control room. ‘Right, Herr Professor?’ he asks.

The Professor tells Nightcrawler that normally he would reprimand him for such antics, but not now, and telepathically instructs all X-Men to come to the control room. ‘What gives? Test over so soon?’ Wolverine asks, while Xavier telepathically repeats his instruction. ‘You “heard” the man, X-Men! Let’s move!’ Cyclops orders, and shortly, enters the control room with the others, while Kitty looks at them and thinks to herself ‘Wow, Cyclops and the others breezed through that one! They’re so fast and strong’. She tells herself ‘All I can do is phase through things. What kind of power is that compared to theirs? No wonder Professor Xavier wouldn’t let me take the test’. Professor X looks at the young mutant and tells her that she will get her chance when she has the experience that the other X-Men do. He adds that she should never denigrate the power she has been given.

‘Now - to the matter at hand’ Charles remarks, and tells the X-Men that, as they know, he has dedicated his life to finding gifted people - “mutants” - born with special powers, to bring them to this school, and train and to develop those powers. He motions to a computer and reports that Cerebro, his mutant tracking device, has located another such person. ‘We must find him and persuade him to join us - before Magneto the mutant arch-criminal can lure him into his band of Evil Mutants’ Xavier then informs the X-Men that the new mutant has been located in Dallas, specifically, the vicinity of the State Fair.

The State Fair of Texas is swarming with people, and a man in a wide-brimmed hat and long purple coat, his face hidden, approaches the horse barn. ‘Here is the place I want…’ he thinks to himself. He sees a blond boy fixing the horseshoe on a brown horse. ‘Come on, Danny! Hurry up with that horse!’ someone calls out further down the barn. The mysterious man sees Danny and knows that he is the one he seeks. ‘Daniel Wiley, why do you labor for ordinary mortals?’ the mysterious stranger asks. ‘What?’ Danny gasps, turning around.

Many beguiling lies later, Danny and the stranger are outside in the fair, sitting at a table, Danny is eating, and remarks ‘Gee, Mister, it’s nice to meet someone who finally understands and likes horses, too!’ to which the stranger replies that he knows what it is like to be misunderstood, and asks ‘Your father was a scientist?’ Danny explains that his father retired from government work after some accident that he never talked about, and started the horse ranch outside Dallas, which is where he was born.

Flashback images, narrated by Danny:

Danny would ride horses with his mother, while his father watched. He was the happiest kid alive, he loved horses, and dreamed of being one. Then, one night, he couldn’t sleep, and felt strange. He went to the barn to be with the horses, when he suddenly keeled over, and felt sick. His body began to change, his feet were replaced by hooves, his lower body replaced by that of a horse’s, and he grew wings - he had changed into a centaur. He let the horses loose, and he ran with them - then flew.


‘And then you found you could return to normal form at will! But you knew you cold never be happy again, as an ordinary human, correct?’ the mysterious stranger enquires. ‘Only I’m too scared to be what I really am’ Danny explains.

A short time later, at a sinister-look airship secreted outside Dallas, ‘Yes, he was scared. Scared of the ridicule and persecution heaped upon mutants by inferior ordinary mortals!’ Magneto, the Master of Magnetism, declares as he removes his hat and coat inside the ship. He uses his powers to levitate his helmet towards him and puts it on, deciding that he sensed great courage in young Daniel. ‘Courage I am helping him find’ he decides. Magneto shakes a fist and declares that soon, when he has won Daniel’s trust completely, he will join his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants - and they will rule the world.

In the meantime, the X-Men’s special strato-jet nears Dallas, ‘Ten minutes to landing, people!’ someone calls out. And, shortly, the X-Men have switched to civilian clothing so that they won’t attract undue attention, and their first stop at the State Fair is the music hall. Xavier looks around and decides that the fair is quite large, so they will have to split up into team. Storm and Cyclops are paired up, and sent to the Age of Steam exhibit, but find no one unusual there. Wolverine and Nightcrawler are sent to another exhibit, and although Nightcrawler finds it very interesting, they see no mutant. They look up at a large statue of a cowboy and Wolverine remarks ‘Wonder if ol’ Big Tex knows where our brother mutant is hiding?’

Colossus and Ariel remain with Xavier, and Colossus, in his human form, smiles at some cars and tells Xavier and Kitty that as long as it has been since he left his country, he is always awed by American automobiles. ‘Might I remind you, Colossus, that we are looking for a mutant… and not a new car?’ Xavier remarks as he examines a map of the State Fair of Texas.

The next day, Magneto is once again wearing his wide-brimmed hat and purple coat ‘Mister, it sure is swell of you to take me to the Cotton Bowl!’ Danny calls out a he walks alongside Magneto. They take their seat in the Cotton Bowl, where Piotr, Kitty and Charles are also seated. Magneto tells Daniel to consider it a gesture of friendship, from a fellow horse lover. ‘Whooee! If that’s what Texas has playing for them, we’re doomed!’ one of the crowd remarks to another as they watch the game. Charles telepathically informs Colossus and Ariel that he senses the mutant here, and turning, looks at Danny, who is walking up some stairs. Charles tells Colossus and Ariel that he is the mutant they seek, before senses a sinister presence beside him, disturbing the psychic force field.

Suddenly, Magneto turns around, ‘Just as I feared! Professor Xavier and two of his students!’ he thinks to himself, realizing that the X-Men are looking for Daniel, too. He tells Daniel that they have to leave. ‘Leave? But why?’ Danny asks, following Magneto, who tells him to trust him, as their lives are in danger even as he speaks. Charles alerts Kitty and Colossus to the fact that the mutant is leaving, and supposes that the older one must be Magneto. ‘If it is, we cannot fight him until we are all assembled as a team’ Charles adds, while Kitty races up the stairs of the stadium, telling the Professor that she will follow them and keep an eye on them until the group is ready. Charles telepathically alerts Cyclops and Nightcrawler, and Wolverine and Storm who are out searching, to report to the Cotton Bowl immediately.

Meanwhile, ‘You mean these other mutants - the X-Men - want to kidnap me?’ Danny asks Magneto, who adds that they will enslave him, that Professor Xavier and his gang are traitors to mutant kind. ‘Your only chance is to flee with me!’ Magneto adds. ‘Well, I don’t know…’ Danny replies, before Kitty phases through the wall of the Cotton Bowl, ‘Well here goes nothing, I lost them upstairs, so I thought my best chance would be just to phase right down - oh no’ she thinks to herself before she sees them. ‘It’s one of them! The X-Men!’ Magneto declares, before telling Danny to run, while he holds them off. The evil mutant uses his magnetic powers, and levitates a motorcycle right out from under the man driving it, and slams it against the wall, shattering it where Kitty phased through. ‘Wow! I don’t believe my eyes!’ Danny exclaims.

Quickly, Ariel phases back through the wall, ‘Phew! That was close! Mustn’t let surprise ruin my reflexes’ she thinks to herself. Kitty then phases up through the ground, and arriving outside, sees that Magneto is running away, he thinks to himself that he must not have a confrontation with the X-Men until Daniel is his. ‘Well, there he goes, too fast for me to catch, even if I wanted to’ Kitty thinks to herself. But, she sees the mutant boy and calls out to him: ‘Hey! Kid’, but Danny sees her and starts to run towards the horse barn. Kitty is surprised, she didn’t expect him to run away from her like that, she decides that she better follow at a safe distance and stay out of sight.

Later, in the horse barn, Magneto is dressed in his costume, and explains to Danny that he came to him disguised lest the evil X-Men discover him. Suddenly, ‘Couldn’t we speak to the boy first?’ a voice calls out, as Charles Xavier appears, with the X-Men, in their costumes, behind him. ‘All we want to do is talk’ Charles explains. But, the deceitful Magneto is quick with a ruse, and steps between the X-Men and Danny, ‘Look out, Daniel, they’re attacking!’ he lies, as he uses his power to hurl metal objects from all around the barn at himself and at Danny - horse shoes, nails, hammers and other tools, and he quickly creates a magnetic force field around himself and Danny to protect them from the impact. ‘Observe, Daniel, as I protect you from those criminals!’ Magneto calls out.

Suddenly, ‘You were right about them! I’m fighting beside you, Magneto!’ Danny calls out as he shifts to his winged centaur form. ‘The charge into battle - noble Eques!’ Magneto calls the young mutant. Eques flies towards the X-Men and kicks Wolverine backwards, while Xavier tells his team not to hurt the boy, as he is innocent. ‘Dupe, am I!?’ Eques exclaims as he moves onto his hind legs before Xavier. ‘He’s attacking the Professor!’ Kitty calls out, before Nightcrawler teleports onto Eques’s back. Charles tells Nightcrawler to be careful, and instructs the rest of the team to get Magneto. Eques reaches around and tries to pull Nightcrawler off of him, while Wolverine, Cyclops, Storm and Colossus rush towards Magneto. ‘We don’t want to hurt the kid - but we don’t have to spare you, Magnet-head!’ Wolverine snarls.

‘Primitive beast - your metal claws are useless against the mutant Master of Magnetism!’ Magneto declares as he takes control of Wolverine’s claws, and flings the feisty mutant up to the ceiling, causing Logan’s claws to stick into the ceiling, leaving him hanging. While Wolverine struggles to free himself, ‘Cyclops fires an optic blast at Magneto, who surrounds himself with a magnetic force field, deflecting the blasts. ‘Let me handle him -’ Colossus suggests as he marches forward, but Magneto calls him stupid and points out that he presents too tempting a target for a living magnet. Colossus falls under Magneto’s power, and he is hurled through the roof of the horse barn. Magneto starts to fly through the hole, with Colossus still under his magnetic control. Storm flies after them, while Magneto calls out to Eques, instructing him to follow also.

Eques knocks Nightcrawler off of his back, while Kitty and the Professor continue to watch the battle. ‘I follow where you lead, Magneto!’ Eques replies as he kicks Cyclops in the back, then heads for the hole in the ceiling. Kitty phases outside to see what is happening, while Magneto and Eques are in the air, and Magneto keeps Colossus floating above him, asking him if he misses his classmates. ‘Then join them!’ Magneto shouts as he frees Colossus from his magnetic grasp, letting him fall to the barn. ‘Wait! Don’t!’ Eques calls out. Storm hovers nearby, while Colossus tells himself that he must turn and brace in time.

In the horse barn, Nightcrawler goes to help the Professor, while Wolverine, who has dropped down from the roof, helps Cyclops. ‘Got to land on my feet’ Colossus thinks to himself as he slams through the roof, as Nightcrawler teleports himself and the Professor to safety. ‘Did it!’ Colossus calls out as he lands on his feet in the barn. Magneto drops his shield to admit Eques inside it, while Storm follows him. ‘How could you? You almost injured the horses in the horse barn!’ Eques calls out. ‘Horses? Who cares about the idiotic horses?’ Magneto asks. Eques grabs him by the throat and declares that the X-Men were right. ‘You are a deceiver!’ he exclaims. Magneto drops to the ground, and Storm fires a lightning bolt at him, and the statue of Big Tex that Magneto falls besides kicks him, knocking him out.

The next day, Professor X, Storm, Wolverine, Ariel, Cyclops, Nightcrawler and Colossus meet with Eques, and Xavier asks him if he won’t join them. Eques replies that it would be an honor to join the X-Men, but that their life seems too wild, and he prefers to stay in Dallas, in peace, with his horses. Xavier tells Eques that they understand and accept his invitation to see more of the wonderful State Fair. Eques smiles and tells the X-Men that he admires their style, adding that he likes the way Storm made Big Tex kick Magneto in the pants. Storm looks at the statue and announces that she didn’t do it, that she thought it must have been Cyclops’s optic blast. Big Tex just winks.

Characters Involved: 

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


Danny Wiley / Eques

Civilians at the State Fair of Texas

In Flashback Images


His mother and father

Story Notes: 

This issue which is out of continuity was released as a free supplement in the Dallas Times Herald, advertising the State Fair of Texas.

This issue also features several activities, like word finds, join-the-dots and a page with very brief bios on the X-Men featured this issue.

Issue Information: 
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