Ultimate X-Men #57

Issue Date: 
May 2005
Story Title: 
The Most Dangerous Game - Conclusion

Brian K. Vaughan (story), Stuart Immonen (Pencils), Wade von Grawbadger (inks), Justin Ponsor (colors), Chris Eliopoulos (letters), Jacob Chabot (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: 

Nightcrawler, Colossus, Dazzler, and Longshot storm Mojo’s compound in an attempt to rescue Angel. Once there, they subdue Mojo. Major Domo then threatens them with Angel’s life, to which Longshot responds by holding Mojo’s life on the line. Domo surrenders, but Longshot viciously attacks him anyway. He stops after Colossus and Dazzler talk him down. The four X-Men go home, while Longshot departs for locations unknown. Meanwhile in Genosha, Jean probes Spiral’s mind. She learns that Lord Scheele sympathized with the underground mutants’ cause, and he and Spiral had an affair. Jean also learns that Longshot, Spiral’s boyfriend, caught the two of them together, and murdered him. Spiral explains that turning in Longshot gave the public what they wanted, rather than targeting innocent mutants. Jean informs the others, and Spiral is free to go. Once the X-Men arrive back at the Institute, Xavier informs the four renegades that they are grounded, and whoever orchestrated Longshot’s rescue will be expelled. Angel accepts the blame for Dazzler, and because he has suffered enough, he is allowed to stay. Warren explains why he defended Ali, and she kisses him in return. The two of them walk off together, Kitty and Bobby snuggle on the couch, and Kurt comments to Colossus on how they are running out of available women. Colossus looks off distantly. Professor X reflects on how reality shows don’t show people at their worst, but exactly as they are.

Full Summary: 

Longshot, Dazzler, Colossus, and Nightcrawler are standing on the beach looking at a portable video device showing Angel pinned to a wall by his wings. Nightcrawler asks what they’re going to do. Dazzler replies that he heard what Mojo said, referring to him as fatso. They give him “Lucky” back or else Angel is as good as plucked. Colossus tells her that if they return Longshot, he’ll be executed. Dazzler reminds him that would have happened anyway if Warren hadn’t risked his life to save Longshot, which he only did because they forced him. She’s sorry that they can’t save them both, but it’s time to make some hard decisions.
Longshot agrees that she’s right, and he’s turning himself in. Colossus tells Longshot that he can’t. Even if he did surrender, they have no reason to trust that Mojo really will give them Angel in return. Longshot asks what choice they have. Colossus replies that they must storm Mojo’s compound. Longshot tells him that the place is a fortress. He goes on to say that Mojo would kill “their brother” the second they breached the perimeter. Dazzler curiously repeats the phrase “our brother”. Colossus asks Nightcrawler if he is healthy enough to teleport the four of them directly inside wherever Angel is being held. Nightcrawler informs him that he is healthy enough for one last jump, but the odds that they would all survive a blind ‘port like that are a million to one. Longshot’s eye glows as he responds perfect.

In mainland Genosha, Jean is keeping Spiral at bay, while Iceman blocks her in ice up to the neck. Cyclops asks Jean if she’s up to it. Jean replies that the woman isn’t going to admit to murdering Lord Scheele, so entering her mind is the only way to find out the truth. Spiral, calling Jean “little girl”, informs her that her head is the last place she wants to be.
Iceman sarcastically tells Shadowcat that Octopussy there is so scary. Kitty laughs, confirming that it*s because she has eight arms. Then telling “Bob” its brilliant. Iceman thanks “Kit”. Jean, calling them the Wonder Twins, tells them to dial it down. Probing Spiral’s mind is going to take some concentration. For starters, she’s going to poke around her limbic system and find out what the witch’s real name is. Spiral informs her that she threw away her human name after she hit puberty. Her mutant name is Spiral. Welcome to her world.

Back in Krakoa, Mojo is talking to a barely conscious Angel who is still pinned to the wall. Mojo begins to speak to him. Calling him young one, Mojo asks Warren to forgive him. He’s not an unjust man, but trespassing is a capital offense, and because his so-called friends have apparently chosen to abandon him, he must pay for their sins. Angel weakly asks Mojo not to kill him. He hasn’t even kissed a girl yet. Major Domo asks Mojo if he should have the animal gagged. Mojo tells him no, let him have the last word. He deserves - - BAMF!

Nightcrawler appears behind Mojo, with Dazzler and Nightcrawler in tow. Kurt states in disbelief that he did it. Dazzler asks him where the indestructible member of their party is. Kurt passes out, barely managing to say that he is so tired. Mojo spins around and asks his guards what they’re waiting for, a bloody commercial break? He says to kill them already.

The guards begin to fire, and Longshot leaps into the air above them. He orders Ali to rescue Angel, while he draws the flatscans’ fire. Dazzler asks him what the hell a flatscan is. Longshot knocks a guard over, then kicks another in the face. A third guard rushes at him, but Longshot ducks out of the way. The guard’s gun smashes into the lens of a camera, and he is instantly electrocuted. Longshot is grabbed by the back of the neck by Mojo and lifted into the air. Like a true director Mojo signals, “Aaaaaand cut.”

(Spiral’s mind)

Jean Grey and Spiral stand before black and white projections of Spiral’s memories. Spiral begins to explain the situation to Jean. She tells her that he called himself Longshot. It was the first time she ever really loved someone. They stand in front of a memory of Spiral and Longshot kissing at a table in a bar. She tells Jean that this used to be her favorite memory. She says that they met before Genosha officially outlawed their kind, in an underground club where mutants like them could slip out of their disguises and just be themselves for a few hours.
Jean asks her to confirm that the guy she set up was her boyfriend. Spiral tells her that she doesn’t understand. She informs Jean that as kind and loving as Longshot often was, he could also be...negligent. He was used to having everything he ever wanted fall into his lap. She supposes it’s part of being the luckiest man in the world.
She continues to say that after they had been dating for a few months, he started taking her for granted, even standing her up completely some nights... And it was one of those nights when Lord Scheele walked into the club. Jean asks why a human politician would visit a mutant dive. Spiral states that he said he was there to investigate Genosha’s mutant subculture firsthand before Parliament decided whether or not to eliminate it...but she thinks he was just curious how the other half lived. Either way he was brave, and noble, and above all, attentive. They soon became...intimate.
Jean asks her if she did in fact have an affair with a married man, while she was still dating Longshot. Spiral tells her not to sound so self-righteous. She asks if she’s honestly telling her that her heart has never beaten for two men at the same time. Jean stutters out “of course not”.
Spiral continues with her memories. A black and white Lord Scheele and Spiral are making out on a couch. Spiral tells Jean that when you grow up in a country where most of the population would lynch you if they knew what you really were, you learn to protect your secrets at any cost. She and Scheele made sure that no one ever knew about their encounters. A shadow comes over the two figures in her memory. She begins to say but the best-laid plans of mutants and men...


Back in Krakoa, Mojo is holding Longshot by the back of the neck, and is choking the life out of him. Mojo tells him that he usually prefers to be a little more hands-off with his productions, but this program is all about evolution. Anything can happen, so a good producer is always ready to adapt. He asks Longshot where his good fortune is now, calling him a murdering son of a - -

Brilliant bursts of light begin to go off, causing Mojo to drop Longshot. Dazzler is creating the light show, while singing “Luck Be a Lady Tonight”. Mojo, calling her a pathetic lounge act, tells her that he’s in show business. Does she honestly think a few bright lights scare him? Dazzler tells him that they should...especially when they weigh about a hundred pounds each. Mojo looks up, only to be hit by a falling stage light. He’s knocked unconscious, and Dazzler goes to check on Longshot, who’s getting up off the ground. She asks if he’s all right, calling him Rimshot. Longshot tells Ali to forget about him, they were supposed to be rescuing - -

Major Domo holds a machete up Angel. He tells the rescuers that is enough. He tells them it’s over, and all the luck in the world won’t save that thing after he carves out its kidneys. Ali calls out to War. Domo tells her that they have no idea what they’ve interfered with. He insists that Mojo was doing their people a favor by hunting Longshot like a dog. Ali asks Domo what that is supposed to mean. Domo tells them that whether or not they admit it, all humans despise their kind. Mojo’s show gives ordinary people a healthy outlet to vicariously live out their darkest fantasies...against mutants who actually deserve death. Longshot interrupts and tells him speaking of which, to drop the blade before he puts Domo’s boss on permanent hiatus. He has his right foot on Mojo’s neck.

Domo tells Longshot that he may be good with gambling, but he stinks at bluffing. Longshot reminds him that the cameras are off now, and there’s no more need for him to play the part of the compassionate wrongly convicted sap. He murdered a man, remember? He tells Domo that he’d be thrilled to do it again. Domo drops the blade. He complies with Longshot, telling him just not to hurt him. He tells him that Mojo isn’t an evil man. He was just trying to- -

Longshot yells at Domo to shut up, and punches him in the face. Longshot holds Domo by his shirt collar, and continues to yell at him, though he appears to be unconscious. Longshot asks him how it feels, calling him a genetic throwback. He asks how it feels to be treated like subhuman scum. Dazzler tells Longshot that it’s a wrap! He can drop his crazy bigot character already. They need to get Angel down from- -

Colossus smashes through a wall. He asks Ali if she’s alright. He says Nightcrawler must not have been strong enough to carry him, so he fought his way inside as fast as he - - Ali tells him to relax, calling him Kool Aid Man. Referring to Longshot, she tells Colossus that Brando there saved the day with his mutant acting chops. He convinced those tools that he was a stone-cold killer, and he had ‘em quaking in their boots. Longshot sheepishly says he’s just glad he could help.

(Spiral’s mind)

Back inside Spiral’s memories, Longshot stumbles upon Spiral on a couch with Lord Scheele. Longshot asks what the hell this is. Jean tells Spiral that she was just about to ask the same thing. Spiral, calling Jean Ms. Grey, tells Jean to be quiet. This is the moment. The memory Spiral is startled and begins to talk to Longshot. She tells him that she thought he was meeting with the resistance tonight. She- -

Longshot asks her if that's a human she is with. She tells him to listen. Joseph here isn't like the others. He believes in their cause He- -

Longshot whips out a knife. He asks her if she's cheating on him with a flatscan. With one of the savages who oppresses them. Lord Scheele pleads with Longshot. He tells him he has a family. Longshot lunges at him, stabbing him in the chest. Spiral screams no. Longshot asks her what she made him do. What did she- - Spiral knocks Longshot unconscious with a vase.


Jean snaps out of the memories in pain. Kitty asks Jean what happened. What did she see? Jean tells Bobby to let Spiral go. She didn't kill anyone, a man named Longshot did. Bobby asks her if that's the guy they came there to clear. He really did do it? Jean tells him he did just before Spiral knocked him unconscious in self-defense. Jean tells them she's mind-linking and downloading all the gory details for them right now.
Blindfolded Cyclops tells Jean that he still doesn't get it. If Spiral's only guilty of infidelity, why drag Longshot and Scheele all the way out there instead of just calling the police? Spiral asks him what he thinks the Genoshian authorities would have done to her if they'd found a dead member of Parliament in her apartment. She tells them that shy of killing 'Shot herself, she did what she had to do to make sure justice would be served…and then she bought the first ticket out of the hellhole.
Kitty asks why she attacked them. Spiral says that she just wanted them to go home. She couldn't risk them uncovering the truth and exposing Scheele's indiscretions to the world. He wasn't perfect, but she loved him. She didn't want to bring his family any more suffering than she already had.
Jean tells her that they're not there to drag anyone's name through the mud, but if this was a crime of passion and not cold-blooded assassination, they might be able to get Longshot's sentence commuted to manslaughter. Spiral tells her that her country makes no distinction between the two, and neither does she. She saw the look in his eyes when he killed that man, didn't she? Longshot deserves whatever the barbarians do to him. With any luck, he's already dead…

Back on Krakoa, Longshot is boarding a boat with "MOJO II" written on the back. Colossus is holding the still unconscious Angel, and Dazzler is helping Nightcrawler walk. Colossus asks Longshot if he's sure they can't convince him to go with them to Xavier's. It would be a shame for Warren not to be able to meet his guardian angel when he regains consciousness. Longshot thanks Colossus, but he doesn't belong with the X-Men. He says that he's not a hero, he's a...he's a venturer. And one man's luck sometimes means another's misfortune, so it's probably safer for them if he tries his chances out there alone. Colossus tells him that if he ever needs sanctuary, he'll always have a home with them. Nightcrawler asks Dazzler if they're going to get in a lot of trouble for this. Dazzler asks Nightcrawler if he's kidding, calling him Rammstein. They just freed an innocent man from death row. The Professor's probably going to give them trophies…

Back at the Institute, Professor Xavier tells the student's that it's unacceptable. Xavier sits behind his desk, while Scott and Jean stand behind him. Colossus stands before them alongside Dazzler, Nightcrawler, and Angel, whose wings are bandaged together. The Professor tells them that the four of them have violated God knows how many international laws and loosed a convicted murderer upon the world.
Colossus tells him that there must be some kind of mistake. Longshot saved their lives out there. Maybe that Spiral woman had…he doesn't know, false memories implanted in her brain. Jean tells Peter she's sorry, but the guy was using him. He's heard of Ted Bundy, right? Killers can be just as charming and attractive as the rest of them. Xavier tells them that regardless, Longshot has already escaped Cerebro's range of detection, and General Fury believes he may currently be hiding in the Savage Land. It could take S.H.I.E.L.D. months to find him.
Xavier goes on to say that the four of them will be suspended from active duty for the duration of the semester, but he's afraid whoever the mastermind of the little operation was has left him no choice but to expel him or her from the Institute. The four of them stand with their heads hung low. Xavier says that he sincerely hopes he won't have to read their minds for the answer. Dazzler begins to confess, until Warren steps forward and accepts the blame. The Professor looks shocked at Warren. Angel tells him that he's sorry, but his gut told him that Longshot was innocent, so he convinced the guys to help rescue him. Xavier tells him that he is disappointed. He thought he of all people would know that they let their instincts inform them, but they always wait for intelligence before acting. Xavier continues that having said that, Warren has already suffered more than his accomplices and he suspects that the next three months of painful rehabilitation will only add to that. Xavier tells him that Warren is literally and figuratively grounded for the foreseeable future, calling him Mr. Worthington. But he may remain there with them. And with that he excuses his X-Men.

Leaving the office, Dazzler asks War what that was. She let him get nailed to a wall, and he throws himself under a bus for them. Why? Warren tells her that it doesn't take a psychic to tell that Professor X has been looking for an excuse to get rid of her. If she'd admitted that it was her idea, Xavier would've kicked her out of there for sure… and she needs the place a hell of a lot more than he does. Besides, he's not a stool pigeon. He - -

Dazzler interrupts him when she kisses him full on the lips, with her arms around his neck. Colossus and Nightcrawler look stunned. Warren asks where that came from. Ali shrugs and says she doesn't know. Bad boys make her hot, she guesses. She takes him by the hand and tells him to come on. They're going to go polish that halo. Nightcrawler tells Colossus that he guesses they lose another friend. Colossus isn't sure what he means. Kurt says that Scott has Jean, Warren now has Alison, and he hears that Robert and Katzchen have grown closer after Genosha. They walk past Bobby and Kitty snuggled on the couch, watching tv. Kurt tells Peter that they are quickly running out of available young women, no? Colossus looks away distantly.

Back in the Professor's office, Scott apologizes to Xavier. He reminds him that first Fenris, now this. They could use a win in their column. Xavier reminds them that the X-Men are students first and soldiers second. Every mission where they learn from their mistakes is a victory. Besides, his team succeeded in safely relocating Spiral to the States. And while he can't say he approves of their classmates' methods, at least they managed to take Mojo's network off the air, once and for all.
Jean asks if anyone else isn't uncomfortable that Mojo wasn't exactly wrong. She means that his show was a hate crime, but he was basically right when he said that Longshot was a lying murderer. Xavier says that perhaps that is why this "reality" television troubles him. It's not that it shows mutants and humans at their worst, it's that it shows them as exactly what they are. Xavier turns off the TV.

Characters Involved: 

Angel, Cyclops, Colossus, Dazzler, Iceman, Marvel Girl, Nightcrawler, Shadowcat, Professor Xavier (All X-Men)
Arthur Centino (Longshot)
Mojo Adams, Major Domo

Mojo's guards

In flashbacks:



Underground mutants
Lord Scheele

Story Notes: 

Octopussy was a villainess in one of the James Bond 007 films.

The Wonder Twins were two shape-shifting siblings on the old Super Friends cartoon.

The Kool Aid Man is a giant pitcher of Kool Aid who often bursts through walls in the Kool Aid ads.
Ted Bundy was a serial killer known for his charm.
Rammstein is a German band.

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