Ultimate X-Men #56

Issue Date: 
April 2005
Story Title: 
The Most Dangerous Game - part 3

Brian K. Vaughan (story), Stuart Immonen (Pencils), Wade von Grawbadger (inks), Justin Ponsor (colors), Chris Eliopoulos (letters), Omar Otieku (production), John Barber (assistant editor), Nicole Wiley (Assistant Editor), Nick Lowe (associate editor), Ralph Macchio (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

Cyclops, Iceman, Shadowcat, and Marvel Girl defend themselves from the mysterious six-armed woman, Spiral. The X-Men try to figure her out, and deduce that she set up Arthur Centino for the murder of Lord Scheele. Eventually, Jean once again channels the power of the Phoenix, easily subduing Spiral. Meanwhile, on Krakoa, Mojo Adams intimidates Major Domo into finding Longshot. Elsewhere on the island, Angel is ambushed by unseen attackers. Colossus, Nightcrawler, and Dazzler lead Longshot back to the jet, dodging land mines. When they get to the plane, they find a video message from Mojo, ordering them to return Longshot or Angel, who is pinned by his wings to the wall behind him, dies.

Full Summary: 

The six armed assassin – Spiral - stands over Jean Grey’s unconscious body, pointing a sword at her chest. Bobby asks Spiral how much a skeez like her has to spend on deodorant. Spiral counters him, telling ‘Mr. Drake’ that this situation is very serious. If they make another move, she’ll snuff out more than just the torch Cyclops carries for Jean.
Cyclops asks her how the hell she knows their names. She tells him not to be so modest, calling him Scott . The X-Men are celebrities in the mutant community. Her sister defected to the States years ago. She sends her clippings of all their– Scott interrupt asking her what she wants. Spiral responds that she wanted to leave this cursed land, to go to Brooklyn, and to be with her sibling. But when she saw their team at the airport, she realized that they were there to destroy what little she’d accomplished for Genosha.

Scott reaches the conclusion that she assassinated Lord Scheele. She framed Arthur Centino for his murder. Bobby asks, in disbelief, if she set up another mutant. Spiral tells him he has no idea what he’s talking about. Children of privilege like him can’t begin to understand the complexities of a truly oppressive government, and he certainly can’t–

Yo! Kitty yells, halfway above ground, clutching Jean Grey. She tells the boys that she made Jean all ghosty, and they’re good to go. Scott tells Shadowcat she did a nice job, then ordering her to get the two of them underground. Scott reaches for his glasses, and Bobby ices up. He tells Spiral she is so about to get owned.

Back in Mojo’s estate, Mojo Adams demands to know where his show is. Major Domo tells him that all of their local feeds are locked on test pattern, and their hunter isn’t answering on his comm. Their affiliate on Genosha is repeating the Blink episode from their premiere, but–

Unacceptable, according to Mojo. He wants them online yesterday. Domo reminds Mojo that Arcade said something about there being other mutants out there. He continues to say that the grips are refusing to make any repairs in the field without a security escort, a union representative, and– Mojo cuts him off again, telling him if Longshot isn’t back on the screen in one hour, the next thing he’ll broadcast is Domo’s family’s home address. If and when Longshot finds a way to escape, perhaps the murderous contestant will choose to pay them a visit.

Back in the jungle, Colossus is tying up Arcade with a metal beam, and Longshot is speaking with Dazzler and the injured Nightcrawler. Longshot asks if they really risked their lives just to save him. He stutters that he can’t thank them enough. Nightcrawler replies that they should be thanking him. If it wasn’t for his timely intervention, he winces in pain, he believes this man would have been the death of them all. The hell he would, Dazzler replies. She was just about to take Arcade down before Art here got in the way.
Longshot asks her to call him Longshot, as Art sounds so...human. Dazzler asks what’s up with these boys and their dumb nicknames. Get a message board, already. Nightcrawler tells Longshot not to mind Ali. She’s never met a real TV star before. He introduces himself as Nightcrawler, and the muscleman over there is Colossus. Piotr tells Longshot that he likes his boots. Longshot assumes that they’re standard issue for all prisoners. As if being sent out there for something he didn’t even do weren’t dehumanizing enough...Dazzler tells them, if the girls are done trading fashion tips, they should probably hit the road. Devil Boy’s too hurt for ‘porting, so they’ve got a long haul back to Angel. Back to what now? questions Longshot.

Angel is standing on a beach looking out at the sea. He begins to talk to himself. He tells himself that it was such a bad idea. He calls himself stupid. The Professor’s gonna kick him out of school, and then where’s he gonna go? Back to dad? He probably hasn’t even noticed he’s not– Warren hears a crack behind him in the trees. He calls out to Kurt, asking if its him. The outline of many foes descend from the trees.

Back in Genosha, Spiral prepares to battle Cyclops and Iceman. She tells them to please not do anything stupid. Cyclops said that’s fair enough. He then tells Bobby to take formation Echo-Victor. Bobby shrugs him off and flies at Spiral on an ice slide, while Scott shoots an energy blast from his eyes. Spiral deflects them beam with her sword, sending it back at Bobby. Scott tells Bobby that he said Echo-Victor, not Echo- - Spiral launches three ninja stars at Cyclops, shattering his ruby quartz glasses. Scott stumbles, covering his eyes. Spiral apologizes, as she never wanted to- - suddenly she gets cut off as she’s grabbed by a giant ice fist, extending from Iceman’s arm. He stares in disbelief, as he didn’t even know he could do that.

Iceman asks Cyclops if he’s okay, calling him boss. If this fugly hurt him... Cyclops yells at Bobby to forget about him! He tells him to pay attention to- - Spiral shatters the giant ice arm. She warns Bobby not to try that again. Bobby asks her why the #^*% not?! Spiral responds that she imagines it’s very hard to breathe dirt. Kitty pops out of the ground, gasping for air. Spiral says it was only a matter of time...

She cracks Kitty in the head, knocking her unconscious. Bobby yells out to her, and Spiral tells him to power down or she’ll turn his girlfriend “all ghosty” forever. Suddenly, an ominous voice reminds her that she’s forgetting someone, isn’t she? It’s Jean Grey, channeling the full power of the Phoenix Force. Jean asks how many of those appendages she has to rip off before she finally bleeds out.

Back in the Krakoa jungle, Dazzler and Longshot are walking ahead of Colossus, who is helping a staggering Nightcrawler. Longshot asks if their friend Warren is gonna fly them all the way to the States. Dazzler asks if he has a better idea, calling him “Thigh-highs.” Longshot replies that its just that his life is back on Genosha. There are people he cares about, an underground mutant army that’s small but growing...
Nightcrawler tells him that he can always continue fighting for the rights of their people, alongside the X-Men. They would welcome him on the team. Colossus also reminds him that after being on this show, he wouldn’t survive an hour in Genosha. Longshot replies that he knows their right, but it’s still his home. Even when one’s country hates you, it’s not easy to say goodbye. Dazzler points behind them, saying that Deutschland and Mother Russia didn’t have any problem signing up with the good ol’ U.S. of- -
A landmine comes flying out of the ground. Longshot tells her to watch out, leaping at her, knocking her out of the way of the blast. Being dragged on the ground, Dazzler smiles and tells Longshot that he smells really, really bad.

Colossus asks if they’re all right. Dazzler responds no worries, though she thinks she swallowed her tongue ring but- - Colossus interjects that he meant Longshot. He took the brunt of the blast. Longshot replies that he’s survived worse than that out here. He’s like a walking rabbit’s foot, he guesses. Nightcrawler tells him that his probability powers still confound him. Isn’t “luck” a subjective term? He means, shark attack survivors call themselves lucky, but if that were the case... “why’d they get attacked in the first place?” finishes Longshot. He says that he doesn’t truly understand it himself, but things usually turn out okay for him. Colossus replies that having said that, he has no intention of losing Longshot to a booby trap, not after they’ve come this far. He’ll take point from here on out, and he wants Longshot behind him every step of the way. Longshot replies that there’s no place he’d rather be, calling him ‘big man’.

In Genosha, Spiral is completely ablaze, Jean Grey’s doing. Jean’s frightening Phoenix voice informs her that if its any consolation, she isn’t really burning alive. She’s just tricking her brain into feeling like she is. Either way, the end result will be the same. Cyclops, blindfolded, asks Bobby what’s going on. Whose voice is that? Jean informs her that it’s her and not to be scared, calling him “love”. Cyclops flips his head around, interjecting that he knows her voice, that’s not his Jean. Bobby tells him to chill. It is her...he thinks.
Spiral screams that whoever she is, free her and she’ll explain- - Jean tells her to hush, as he slams Spiral against a tree. Jean powers down, and her voice returns to normal. She apologizes to everyone, as she doesn’t know what got into her.

Kitty begins to get up with Bobby’s help. Kitty says that she was such a tool. She held her breath long enough to get Jean clear, but by the time she phased all the way back there to help them... Bobby tells her not to be dense. She did awesome.
Jean approaches Scott, worrying about his eyes. Scott says he thinks she just scratched the corneas. Nothing rest and new glasses won’t be able to take care of. Jean tells him that until then she can go into his mind, patch her vision into his- - NO! Scott exclaims. He tells her that he means...no thanks. When his powers first manifested, he was afraid to open his eyes for six months. He trained himself to get by without sight. For now, his only concern is finding out who that woman is, and why she did what she did. Picking up one of Spiral’s swords, Jean tells him not to worry. The Professor’s been tutoring her in the fine art of interrogation.

Back on Krakoa, Colossus is walking ahead with Longshot, while Dazzler helps Nightcrawler. She asks him that since he’s been in this band a few month’s now, has he ever wondered what team Pete plays on? Nightcrawler, tells her no offense but he’s not sure where someone such as her gets off questioning Peter’s loyalties. Dazzler, says that she’s talking about his...preferences. Nightcrawler begins to understand, telling her not to be absurd. Peter is as normal as he or she. “Normal?” questions Dazzler. She tells him way to be judgmental. She wasn’t saying it’s bad, she’s just- -

Colossus cries out for Angel. They are on the beach, looking around for Angel. Colossus asks Angel where he is. Nightcrawler realizes that Angel is not inside the X-Wing. Dazzler tells him to relax, as the kid probably just went into the bushes to take a- -

Longshot tells everyone that he found something. Colossus tells him not to touch it. It might be another landmine. Longshot picks up a video screen. He tells the others that it’s some kind of video thing, and maybe their teammate left them a- -

The video screen turns on, Mojo’s face is displayed. He addresses them as the “mighty X-Men” and compliments them on their wonderful ship. He considered blowing it to pieces, but his beef isn’t with them. All he asks is that they return the condemned to him. His subscribers demand their pound of flesh...but he’s sure they’d settle for a pound of feathers. Angel is behind him, pinned to a wall by his wings, seemingly unconscious.

Characters Involved: 

Angel, Cyclops, Colossus, Dazzler, Iceman, Marvel Girl, Nightcrawler, Shadowcat, (All X-Men)

Arthur Centino (Longshot)


Mojo Adams

Major Domo

Mojo's guards

Story Notes: 

Blink was a mutant in the 616 Marvel Universe, whose real name was Clarice Ferguson. Its doubtful we’ll ever see her Ultimate counterpart, seeing as she was once on Mojo’s show, she was publicly hunted and executed.

Although the first time Colossus’s sexuality has been questioned out loud, it’s not the first hint. It was established in Ultimate X-Men #18 that he has feelings for someone on the team. One speculation is that its Wolverine, who he has been shown to be quite close to, and even attempted to open up to in issue #29.

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