Ultimate X-Men #29

Issue Date: 
April 2003
Story Title: 
Return of the King - part 3

Mark Millar (story), Adam Kubert (pencils), Danny Miki (inks), Dave Stewart (colors), Chris Eliopoulos (letters), Stephanie Moore (assistant editor), C.B. Cebulski (associate editor), Brian Smith (associate editor), Ralf Macchio (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Bill Jemas (president)

Brief Description: 

At the end of their adventure in the Savage Land, Cyclops drops halfway down into a chasm. After making sure that Kitty isn't watching, Wolverine drops him down all the way. Badly injured, Cyclops tries to stay sane for more than 26 days, until he is finally rescued by members of the Brotherhood and brought to Magneto's headquarters. Marvel Girl, Iceman and Shadowcat are infiltrating a SHIELD base to find out what the government knows about Magneto, which, as it turns out, is less than the X-Men do. Colossus tries to tell Wolverine about his feelings and is rebuffed. Beast and Storm worry that their time is running out, but finally make up again. And, in Camp X-Factor, Xavier comforts Nightcrawler, telling him that he has a plan.

Full Summary: 

the Savage Land, four weeks ago:

In the upheaval and conflagration that follows their battle with the computer mind, Cyclops falls into an opening chasm, just managing to hold onto the edge with one hand. Absurdly calm, given his predicament, he tells the frightened Kitty Pryde to relax. He's in little danger here, he just needs someone to help him up. Wolverine orders Kitty to find a clear exit; he has Cyke covered. Scott has faith in Wolverine. Logan may be acting like a lunatic at times but, when the chips are down, he can be counted on. Professor Xavier was right again, he states as he reaches for Logan's hand. Put two guys who hate each other together into a bad situation together and, sooner or later, the one will end up saving the other's life. Wolverine sneaks a look behind to see whether Kitty's gone. He then tells Cyclops to "guess again," drops him down the chasm and leaves.

Cyclops finds himself lying on the ground of the chasm with several broken bones - both his right arm and his left leg are twisted in an unnatural shape. On the first day, he believes, for a fraction of a second, that this whole thing is a dream and that he is lying in his bed. But then he tastes the blood and feels the pain between his shoulder blades and numbness in his hips. Opening his eyes and seeing the shape he's in, he cries out in horror. Then, his analytical skill takes over. He tells himself to remain calm - he must not go into shock. A crisis can only be fought with logic. Analyze the facts, he tells himself while he shouts "Wolverine" in despair. He repeats mantra-like: "there is no such thing as a hopeless situation." Eventually, he blacks out from the pain.

Austin, Texas:

A MacDonald?'s restaurant half a mile above one of eight US deep-cover SHIELD intelligence stations; Iceman sits in the restaurant, Marvel Girl waits in the car outside and Shadowcat has snuck down into the SHIELD station. Seeing a SHIELD agent pass by her, she nervously asks Bobby, via their communicator, whether he is absolutely certain that he has nixed all the cameras in the place. For the eighteenth time, he whispers, he's frozen every camera, heat-sensor and silent alarm in the complex. Jean is telepathically feeding him psychic images from all 29 cleaning staff and they know the place like the back of their brooms. Jean telepathically adds that she is feeding Kitty computer skills from the personnel the same way. There's nothing to worry about, she calms the younger girl. She just needs to find out if SHIELD knows more about Magneto's hidden Citadel than they are publicly saying.

Kitty phases into a room with computer consoles and tells the others that she wonders whether the best way out of this wouldn't be admitting Magneto was right. He's not the one throwing mutants in jail, is he? Shouldn?t they at least discuss the idea that they might have joined the wrong side? Bobby angrily replies he can't believe this crap. Suppose they go over, what then? Ask Magneto to spare their families and friends? What about everyone else when he launches his big attack?

Kitty has, in the meantime, accessed the computer files and comes back with bad news. Apart from the fact that the Brotherhood travels around the world and saves troubled mutants, the government knows even less than the X-Men do.

The Savage Land, day two.

Cyclops spends the morning alternating between shouting for help and giving his lungs a rest. Realistically, he knows nobody's around. The steady tick from his father's old army watch is the only thing to help him tell the time, as he sees no sunlight. It's probably all that keeps him sane. Mentally, he counts all injuries he's aware of, believing they come down to eight broken bones, three lost teeth, one collapsed lung and fourteen cuts. Nothing fatal. He promises himself not to die and wonders why Wolverine did this to him. Cyclops thought he loved the X-Men. Then, it hits him as he fantasizes about Jean getting closer to Wolverine. Sarcastically, he congratulates himself. He just turned the back on his girlfriend's greatest admirer.

Downtown Los Angeles:

Wolverine is slicing and dicing up the members of the American cell of the Brotherhood of Mutants. Colossus stands behind a fruit vendor and asks if his teammate needs any help. He feels a little stupid just standing here. Wolvie tells him to use his imagination. Roll up a car into a ball or something. That's what he's always doing, Colossus sighs. Incidentally, he states, as he reaches for a car and starts crunching it into a ball, he doesn't believe this terrible rumor about Wolverine harming Cyclops in the Savage Land. He believes Wolverine has too much integrity to murder a teammate over something as petty as a woman. And while they are on the subject of opening up their hearts... Wolverine cuts him off and tells him to not even think about it. But Colossus insists that they are facing their greatest challenge and may not even be here five days from now. He doesn't want to die with any regrets, and it's healthier to air one's little secrets instead of keeping the bottled up. No, Wolverine replies as he finishes the last Brotherhood member. Keeping them bottled up is a lot healthier. Standing there with a crunched car on his shoulder Colossus states that this would probably not be a good time to mention the "fastball special" move he thought up last night.

The Savage Land, day twelve:

Cyclops keeps himself from starving by munching on every kind of grub and insect he can reach. It took him ninety minutes to bite into his first centipede. Now he's wolfing them down.

Day twenty-six:

Scott becomes aware that he's starting to hallucinate. Either that or Scooby Doo's trapped down there with him. As a bundle of rocks and pebbles sprout tiny legs and start dancing over his forehead he fears that he might be losing his grip.

He grabs his X-Men communicator that's useless that far down. He tries to keep himself busy by running through timetables, lists of US presidents, anything; Holding onto the hope that his friends will come looking for him sooner or later. Why aren't they coming, he wonders and has a fantasy of Wolverine slyly comforting a desolate Jean. He'll come home to Jean, Scott swears to himself, unaware that a group of strangers - apparently mutants as they are levitating the rocks around them - are nearing the hole. They find him, dig a tunnel to him and identify him as a mutant.

San Diego:

The X-wing is hanging over the San Diego sky. Beast sits on the wing and Storm joins him, asking him why he switched off the cloak. He admits that, for once, he wanted to remind himself of what it is like not to hide. He wanted to see a sunset. She asks if he had any luck finding Magneto. None. Not much he can do while this Forge character builds radar-invisible headquarters and such. Not to mention the doomsday weapon, Ororo adds. Beast asks her to change the subject, but continues himself. Here, they are hiding from the government and, 48 hours from now, might be the end of Homo Sapiens and what's going through his head? That, for the first time since they got together, he can be absolutely certain that Charles Xavier isn't manipulating them. Meaning also that, for the first time, he can ask this question without any hidden feelings of Paranoia: does a tiny part of her still love him? Shedding a tear, Ororo admits that she honestly never stopped.

Camp X-Factor, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba:

Charles Xavier and Nightcrawler are in cells next to each other. Xavier tells the boy not to feel guilty. It's not his fault the SHIELD telepaths intruded into his mind. His Weapon X training wasn't enough. But his weakness led them to Moira MacTaggert and the sick mutant children she was hiding in Scotland, the boy insists. Now they are going to be captured as well. That's true but they can do nothing about that. And, on the bright side, some of those children were very sick. Now, at least they can get the medical attention they so desperately needed, Xavier replies. But they are going to be incarcerated now.

Xavier again tells Kurt to focus on the positive side. Look at him. They've blocked his telepathic powers, but they also locked him up with 43 young mutants who didn't want to know him before and turned him down flat. Now they have to listen to his philosophies 24 hours a day. But now it's all down to his X-Men, Nightcrawler states. What if they don't find Magneto's secret citadel? Oh, they'll find him, Xavier dismisses that thought. After all, he trained them for that. Everything happens for a reason, so Kurt should sit back and save his energy for the big moment of glory he's been plotting for him.

Day thirty-one:

Lying in a medical station Scott Summers thinks to himself that for the first time in God-knows-how-long he gets a lucky break. It's unclear whether he?d still think that if he knew that he's been saved by the Brotherhood and is now in Magneto's headquarters?

Characters Involved: 

Beast, Colossus, Cyclops, Iceman, Marvel Girl, Professor X, Shadowcat, Storm, Wolverine (all X-Men)


Unnamed SHIELD agents

unnamed mutants (all Brotherhood of Mutants)

Story Notes: 

Moira and her patients fled into a hideout beneath an Edinburgh underground station, as seen in Ultimate X-Men #27.

Wolverine and Kitty claimed that Cyclops had perished in the Savage Land in Ultimate War #2.

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