Ultimate X-Men #60

Issue Date: 
August 2005
Story Title: 
Shock and Awe – part two

Brian K. Vaughan (writer) Stuart Immonen (pencils), Wade von Grawbadger (inker), Chris Eliopolous (letterer), Justin Ponsor (colorist), Jared Osborn (production), John Barber (assistant editor), Nicole Wiley (assistant Editor), Ralf Macchio (editor) Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

Some time ago, Dr. Cornelius, late of Weapon X, offered the wheelchair-bound Yuriko Oyama a chance to walk again, to become stronger and to have revenge on Storm. In the present, Yuri, now called Deathstrike, attacks Storm and Wolverine (Cornelius’ actual target). Deathstrike is in many ways an enhanced version of Wolverine and knows his weaknesses, so she is briefly able to take him out. Storm traps her under a tree, but moments later they are attacked by a helicopter with more Weapon X soldiers. Wolverine attacks the chopper and Storm finds herself at Deathstrike’s mercy. She summons lightning to hit them both. Wolverine returns and performs CPR to save Ororo’s life. Storm later awakens at the Xavier Institute, where Wolverine refuses to tell her what happened to Deathstrike. He intends to leave again, until she can persuade him to stay and start anew.

Full Summary: 

(Flashback, El Paso , Texas)

A wheelchair-bound young Japanese woman is looking outside the window of her hospital room. A voice addresses her as “Yuriko Oyama.” Without turning around she replies that her name is “Yuri.” The elderly gentleman replies that his name is Dr. Cornelius. She interrupts him. Unless his name is Kevorkian, she is done talking to doctors.

He read about her unfortunate accident he remarks. He is also familiar with the young woman Yuri holds responsible for putting her in that chair. He continues that Ororo Munroe murdered the only man who ever really supported his research. Witnesses say that she destroyed his friend’s helicopter with a bolt of lightning.

So, she is a mutie, Yuri states. Cornelius agrees. He should know. He dedicated his life to studying Homo sapiens superior. He once attempted to turn dangerous mutants like Ms Munroe into instruments of national security but, thanks to her assassination of Cornelius’ sole defender, he ended up going to prison for his service to his country. After spending the last year in federal hell, he intends to make the witch pay, but he needs Yuri’s help for that.

She’s not exactly in fighting form these days, Yuri points out sarcastically. She will be, he replies surprisingly. He believes he can give her the ability to walk again and possibly much more. His days of experimenting with mutants are over. Why make one’s enemy more powerful than he already is? Instead, he plans to use his knowledge to augment humans like her.

Yuri isn’t buying it. If all he wants is to take down a punk like Ororo, why go to the trouble of turning her into a six million-dollar woman? Why not shoot Ororo himself? Killing Munroe won’t be hard, Cornelius replies. Putting down her attack dog will be.

He shows her a picture of punkish Ororo and Wolverine walking the streets of New York. He explains that Wolverine is an unrepentant psychopath who was turned into an indestructible soldier in the earliest days of something called Weapon X. His programming eventually wore off and he’s been loosed upon a helpless world since. Intelligence suggests he and Ororo are rarely apart these days, so Yuri won’t be able to terminate her without going through him. He thinks he can transform Yuri into Wolverine’s equal. He warns her that the surgery is untested on humans and there is no guarantee of survival. Has he come to the right woman?

(Alberta, Canada, now)

With her car going up in a conflagration, Storm looks in surprise at the person responsible for this, barely believing that this is really Yuri. She’d heard the other woman was dead! Yuri is dead, her opponent shoots back. She is Deathstrike. She has been given orders to end her, just as Ororo ended Colonel Wraith.

Logan corrects her. Wraith was shot by SHIELD. Ororo adds that she only tried to kill him. She is not helping, Wolverine sighs. Storm explains that this has nothing to do with Wraith. She’s known Yuri since she was a kid. She still is a kid, Logan stresses and orders her to stay back. He will handle this.

He attacks Yuri who has claws of her own. Both of them lash out. Wolverine makes contact, slashing Yuri in the abdomen over Storm’s protest cry. Bending over, Yuri mocks that it is a bit late for the girl who never visited to start faking concern. Besides, thanks to a spliced gene or two, she heals twice as fast as Ororo’s little bodyguard. Some DNA from James turned her into what she is today.

Wolverine demands to know how she knows his name. She knows a lot more, Deathstrike taunts. She knows about his weaknesses. With that she extends one claw, hitting Logan in the chest. He screams as he falls down. Yuri explains to Storm that Logan’s Xiphoid hadn’t ossified when Admantium was bonded to his skeleton, so now it is the only fragile bone in his body. Break it just right and the whole nervous system shuts down. She learned a few tricks from Cornelius, the same guy who turned Ororo’s old pal Hank into a furry blue freak. Oh, sorry, that freak’s a corpse now, right?

Ororo’s eyes turn white and a bolt of lightning hits a nearby tree. She needs to work on her aim. Yuri mocks. No, she doesn’t, Ororor replies coldly. Moments later, the tree falls – onto Yuri.

Ororo tries to help Logan up. While Storm’s thunderstorm still rages a Weapon X helicopter with Cornelius aboard as well as several soldiers is closing in. They have learned that Deathstrike is unconscious. Cornelius informs the men that despite what he told Deathstrrike the primary target is Wolverine, not Storm..

The chopper shoots at Storm and Wolverine. Wolverine tells Storm he needs her to fly him up there. She protests that she can’t carry him. That’s not what he meant. A little later, Storm winds propel Wolverine like a missile directly at the helicopter. He slices up the cabin and begins taking out the soldiers.

Ororo watches in horror as the helicopter catches fire, plummets down and explodes. She is so distracted that she doesn’t notice Deathstrike, until the woman’s claws are wrapped around her throat. Look at Ororo, pretending to be the hero, she mocks, does that act really fool her new friends? Don’t they know she is nothing but a second-rate thief? At least she was never a third rate car thief, Ororo spits back.

Yuri describes how she is going to kill Ororo. Storm apologizes for Texas, for everything. Does Ororo honestly think she will accept an apology? Deathstrike asks. No, Ororo replies and her eyes begin to crackle with electricity. Yuri warns her off. As long as she is holding Storm, she’ll fry too. Nevertheless Storm summons a bolt of lightning that hits them both.

Wolverine, still smoking, runs to their sides. He is close to panic. He doesn’t even know CPR. He knows how to break stuff, not to fix it. Nevertheless he tries and succeeds in making Storm’s heart start again. No problem he can’t punch his way out of, he jokes as he cradles her. He tells her to rest and promises everything will be fine. Claws unsheathed, he runs towards the unconscious Deathstrike.

Storm awakens from blackness to find herself in her room at Xavier’s school with a worried Nightcrawler looking down at her. He points towards Logan telling her she has to thank him for her return. Logan asks for a moment’s privacy and Kurt teleports away.

Storm asks what happened to Yuri. Long story for another day, is all he says. He wanted to say “hey” before he took off. He doesn’t want to risk bringing more enemies to the X-Men’s door step. Storm explodes. Weapon X was coming after her and if he hadn’t been there she’d be dead now. They need him. He still has a wife out there, he reminds her.

No, he doesn’t! Whoever he used to be might have somewhere but that man is gone, Storm retorts. They are both too obsessed with their pasts. She’s been running from hers and he’s been running back to his. Maybe it’s time they stop running. Today isn’t so bad. Tomorrow can only be better.

Characters Involved: 

Nightcrawler, Storm, Wolverine (all X-Men)

Yuriko ‘Yuri’ Oyama / Deathstrike

Dr. Cornelius

Weapon X soldiers

on snapshot



Story Notes: 

Dr. Cornelius was the head scientist of the Weapon X project as shown in issues #7-12, the “return to Weapon X” arc. Storm intended to kill Colonel Wraith, the project’s head, in issue #12, but was actually prevented from doing so by Nightcrawler.

Dr. Jack Kevorkian, nicknamed ‘Dr. Death,’ is a controversial medical doctor, (in-)famous for his support for the right to die and his assisted suicides.

The picture of Storm and Wolverine Cornelius shows Yuri is from around issue #48.

Ororo’s lover Hank McCoy aka the Beast was killed in issue #44.

Issue Information: 
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