Ultimate X-Men #74

Issue Date: 
November 2006
Story Title: 
Magician: part 3

Robert Kirkman (writer), Tom Raney (pencils), Tom Raney & Richard Isanove (cover), Scott Hanna (inks), Gina Going (colors), VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters), Kare Levin (production), John Barber (associate editor), Ralph Macchio (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

Magician continues his attack on the X-Men, but becomes confronted by an angry Jean, who has escaped from her cell and is completely on fire – literally. She attacks Elliot by herself, but he proves to be too strong for her. She uses her flame powers to rescue Wolverine from Magician’s holding grip, in the process burning all of his body hair. Wolverine and Magician fight each other, resulting into Wolverine impaling his claws through Elliot’s chest, apparently killing him! However, the weird thing is, on Elliot’s supposed death, he releases the X-Men and Fury from his grip, and afterwards his body completely disappeared and the whole hangar turns back to normal, like nothing happened. The next day, Fury sends a scanning team to the mansion to determine whether Elliot existed, but they cannot find anything. Kitty leaves and goes to sit against a tree, when suddenly Elliot appears in front of her. He admits that he never truly wanted to hurt the X-Men, and also that he doesn’t fully control his powers. But he wants to be free and also doesn’t want the X-Men or anyone else come after him. He just needed to say this out loud. Now, realizing Kitty will tell Xavier about this, resulting in him not being free, he erases Kitty’s memory about the conversation and departs. Later that night, recovering at his room, Wolverine looks at the wedding ring he got earlier, which has his real name on it. Suddenly, he smells something and looks outside but doesn’t see anything. However, Logan doesn’t realize that, not far away, Sabretooth stands against a tree, thinking. Elsewhere, Colossus and Kurt have an unpleasant encounter with one another. They almost fight, but Kurt teleports away with a filled backpack. Colossus wants to discuss this with the Professor, but he has already left on a date with Lilandra. Charles and Lilandra meet each other at a restaurant, where they constantly flirt with each other and Xavier admits he’s intrigued about Lilandra’s Shi’ar organization. When Charles asks his date if she’s trying to seduce him, Miss Lilandra Nurami smiles that may be the case.

Full Summary: 

With the X-Men and Nick Fury all trapped in the floor behind him, Magican has noticed Jean standing behind him, but isn’t impressed by the fire surrounding her. He sarcastically wonders what she’s going to do to him: crazy him to death? “Yeah,” Jean proudly replies. “Something like that.” A huge Phoenix-like fire-bird spreads around Jean, who attacks Elliot with a powerful fire blast.

Magician dodges all of the flames. He reminds Jean that the X-Men fear her... cage her... even treat her like an outsider... so he can’t understand she still defends them. He thinks that’s pretty crazy. Jean keeps attacking Elliot with fire, telling the boy he has no idea what he’s talking about. Elliot jumps up and the blast hits the wall behind him. He mocks Jean she probably wishes what she just said is true. He also bets she knows that isn’t the case. That she knows these people are as afraid of her as they are of him. “Luckily,” Elliot concludes, Jean won’t be around much longer.

Elliot uses his powers and, out of nowhere, the Blob, Toad and Multiple Man appear! The Multiple Man immediately makes duplicates of himself, which surround and overpower Jean.

Meanwhile, Rogue starts to realize that the attack on Ms. Frost’s school wasn’t really the Brotherhood. Iceman thinks so too and wonders what else Magician is capable of. Colossus has almost succeeded freeing himself using his awesome strength, and is ready to attack once he’s loose. Elliot mocks he remembers someone saying they weren’t in enough pain. He uses his powers on Colossus, whose steel starts melting off! Peter screams. Jean, having fallen down onto the ground, realizes she can’t do this on her own. She tries to telepathically contact Wolverine. Logan, thinking that Jean is wondering if he can take the heat, tells her to go for it.

Jean hits Wolverine with a huge fire blast. It causes the floor around him to melt, but he has now completely lost his hair and uniform as well. Naked and in a full rage with his claw already snikted open, Logan rushes to Jean’s rescue. In the meantime, the Blob installed his fat butt on Jean and smiles she’s probably enjoying this. Logan cuts his way through Multiple Man’s dupes and promises he’ll kill Blob if he hurt Jean. The Blob is unimpressed and doesn’t see what harm Wolverine could possibly do to him. Wolverine has had enough talk.

Blob agrees to fight. He promises he’ll hurt Logan so bad he’ll make him forget that sunburn he just took. Wolverine slices his claws through the Blob’s face, causing him to bleed badly. Jean gets up and hits the Multiple Man dupes away from her, trying to stop Wolverine from killing the Blob. She reminds him that this isn’t the Brotherhood. She thinks if they can distract Magician, break his concentration, the Brotherhood may just disappear. That should be their strategy. Wolverine, trying to free himself from Toad’s tongue that’s wrapped around his body, tells Jean to remind the Brotherhood of that as well.

The Blob gets up and shouts he’ll kill all of the X-Men. He throws Toad off of Wolverine and fights through more Multiple Man dupes, and tries to hit Jean. Luckily, she manages to protect herself behind a telekinesis shield. But the Blob keeps punching and breaks through it. The strain is too much for Jean to handle and she collapses. Wolverine rushes towards her rescue, but Elliot has had enough of this. He’s tired of having things done for him. He thinks it’s time to get his own hands dirty. He waves with his hand, and all of the Brotherhood members disappear. Wolverine runs to Elliot and slices through his neck, causing blood to spray everywhere.

The X-Men and Fury are all shocked, and Kitty disgusted. Elliot, while holding the wound over his neck with one hand, uses the other in an attempt to trap Wolverine in the floor again. Elliot also makes two swords for him to battle. Wolverine is determined this won’t help... not even guns or bazookas will do that trick. Logan breaks free and keeps fighting Elliot until he drops the swords. Finally, he sticks his claws through Magician’s chest! The entire room turns red, and Elliot screams.

A second later, everything is back to normal. The X-Men and Fury are free. Magician is gone, and there isn’t even blood around the room, which is also back to its former state. Iceman wonders if all this truly happened. Wolverine, still half-naked, is certain it did happen, and that Elliot is dead. End of story. All of the X-Men get up and, as he looks around, Logan jokes that at least they won’t have any mess to clean up. Scott tends to Jean and asks if she’s okay. She is now, Jean replies.

Colossus picks Xavier up into his arms and helps him back into his wheelchair. Peter asks Xavier if it’s all over now, and wants to know where Elliot went to. Xavier thinks Elliot is just gone. He really thinks it’s as simple as that. He doesn’t sense so much as an afterthought of the boy. It’s though as if Magician never existed. Jean wonders if that’s even possible.

Xavier thinks they’ve discovered today that what is possible is far beyond anything they could ever have imagined. He concludes there’s a lot to learn from this incident. He wants to hope the lessons from today help them live through the inevitable events of tomorrow. They also need to be more vigilant in their recruitment efforts: not just in who they accept into this school but to monitor mutants across the world – immediately, as their powers manifest. He proclaims that mutant powers are a gift. Charles truly believes that. But Magician has proven to them that the X-Men’s understanding of the limits of mutant ability is rudimentary at best. Simply put: there are none. He believes that, if left unchecked, Elliot could have unwillingly caused the deaths of them all... or hundreds, if not thousands, of people. They have to be prepared to do what must be done in the event of such mutants manifesting.

Wolverine and Fury stare quietly at each other. Finally, Fury says he’ll send a team over to scan the area. He thinks there must be a trace of Magician here... something to indicate he existed. Something for his parents to bury. Everyone looks quietly in front of each other, thinking about that option.

The next day...

Kitty sits alone in the gardens against a tree, and sighs. Someone behind her promises he really never would have hurt any of the X-Men. Stunned and recognizing the voice, Kitty looks behind her and sees... Elliot! Elliot explains that the thing is, he didn’t plan this whole thing. He didn’t even know he was a mutant until he was brought to this school... until Xavier and Jean told him. Close as Elliot can figure it, his powers are that reality warps around him, to provide him with whatever he wants. Whether he wants to know it or not.

Kitty gets scared and crawls away from Elliot. Elliot ignores this, and continues to reveal that, when he saw the X-Men on TV, he was thinking, if he were a mutant, he’d want to be on the X-Men, but he was on the team before he knew he even wanted to be there. He certainly didn’t want his parents to die... but that was the easiest way, he supposes, for him to accept his surroundings and be brought to the mansion and to Xavier. Of course, his parents aren’t really dead. Which is a relief, even though his parents are Elliot’s least favorite people in the world. But he’s still glad they are not dead. He’s still trying to figure out exactly how things worked out, what he did and what he didn’t do, and what he was in control of and what he wasn’t. It’s all very unclear to Elliot right now.

Elliot moves closer to Kitty. He tells her it’s his desire that controls his power. Of that, he’s sure. He wanted to be on the team, so the Brotherhood attacked while so many people were away. Elliot merely knew of the dance, not where it was or who was there... and it still worked. He thought Kitty was cute and suddenly she was flirting with him. It was somewhere around that time he started to piece together what was wrong. Elliot admits he can’t control his powers. He just can’t. He thinks they’re by nature uncontrollable. He knows enough about Xavier to know he wouldn’t rest until he had helped out. He knows Xavier would sacrifice his time and resources in the effort, but Elliot’s not sure what the outcome would be.

So, he came up with another plan. He needs to disappear... and he doesn’t want the X-Men to come after him. Elliot realizes he’s just too dangerous to be around anyone. He tells Kitty that, if she thought he was a villain, and better yet, a dead villain, then he would be free. Free to go wherever he pleased. Free to be alone. So that’s what Elliot’s doing: he’s leaving. He’s going to go someplace where there aren’t any people. Someplace like Antarctica or something. Of course, he knows if Kitty was actually aware of all this he wouldn’t be able to go. He knows Kitty would tell Xavier and he would have him hunt down. So, none of the X-Men can ever know.

But... he just needed to say it all out loud... just once... just for himself. Elliot starts walking away, and erases Kitty’s memory about this conversation!

A second later, Scott walks over to Kitty, telling her Fury’s team is done with the scans of the mansion and that she can come back now. The team didn’t find anything. It’s like Elliot never spent any time with them. Scott reaches his hand out to Kitty, helping her up from the grass. He asks what she was doing out there anyway. Kitty says she was... she doesn’t really know. Just thinking, she says. She follows Scott back to the mansion, but quietly turns around one last time.

Later that night...

Wolverine sits in his room, holding a beer in one hand and a golden wedding ring in the other. He quietly stares at it, reading the inscription: “To James, with all my love.” He smells something. Logan looks out of the window, but doesn’t see anything.

Not far away from Wolverine’s bedroom, Sabretooth stands against a tree, still having the big scar around his neck. He looks up to the sky; and ponders.

Back inside the mansion...

Colossus walks around a corner of the hallway and bumps into Nightcrawler. He apologizes to Kurt, and sees him carrying a backpack. He asks Kurt what all this is about, thinking he’s going camping or something. Kurt coldly replies he has nothing to say to Peter.

Peter gets angry as well and, with a firm face, reminds Kurt it would be smart for him to refrain from treating him so poorly. Peter admits he has held back in honor of their past friendship, but his temper cannot be contained much longer. Kurt shouts that he has had enough and jumps at Peter, like he’s about to attack. Peter quickly turns his body into steel, ready to defend himself, but, just as he is about to reach Peter, Kurt teleports away! Peter wonders.

Bobby enters the hallway as well and shuts his MP3 player off. Peter tells his young friend he just had a troubling encounter with Kurt, and asks Bobby if he knows where the Professor is. Bobby doesn’t even know what a “troubling encounter” means. Colossus gets impatient and repeats his question about the Professor. Bobby thinks Peter’s too serious for his own good. But, it looks like Peter is on his own, as the Professor is out on a date.

A New York City restaurant...

Lilandra jokes Xavier’s power isn’t so impressive, certain she could figure it out. She thinks it’s not even that hard to read people’s minds. Xavier suggests Lilandra gives it a try, if she truly believes that. Lilandra moves her two hands to her head, wanting to see if she can peer through that impressive dome of Charles to see what’s inside. She believes Charles is thinking about her kooky religion. That he doesn’t understand how someone as obviously intelligent as her could fall for such an outlandish fairy tale. “Giant cosmic bird,” Lilandra jokes. She bets that’s run through Xavier’s head once or twice.

Not quite,” Xavier says. Lilandra does think she’s close. But it’s quite the contrary. In fact, he thinks the origins of the Shi’ar religion is one of the most fascinating things he’s ever heard. Lilandra is surprised Charles doesn’t find it farfetched. Taking a drink, Xavier reminds Lilandra he has a student who shoots red lasers from his eyes. He can read people’s thoughts as easily as one peers through a window. How could anything be farfetched in a world where those things are a reality? But, he tells Lilandra, she doesn’t have to give him a membership card just yet, as he has yet to see anything that proves her tale of the great Phoenix, and he’s not one to jump to conclusions. He admits he has been reading those books Lilandra gave him and finds them quite fascinating and has even enjoyed them.

Lilandra is impressed. Charles smiles he is an impressive man, to which Lilandra adds that will never be up for dispute. Xavier asks Lilandra if she still thinks she can read minds. Lilandra jokingly admits Charles has her: she doesn’t have the touch and is not a psychic. She wants Charles to do her now. Charles goes for it and enters Lilandra’s mind. Telepathically, he tells Miss Lilandra Numara that, unless he is reading her thoughts incorrectly, he does believe she’s trying to seduce him. Answering telepathically back, Lilandra touches her lips, and admits that maybe she is.

Characters Involved: 

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

Blob, Multiple Man, Toad (all Brotherhood of Mutants)

Nick Fury



various restaurant visitors (all unnamed)

Story Notes: 

The whereabouts of where Nightcrawler teleports to are further detailed in Ultimate X-Men Annual #2.

Wolverine got the wedding ring with his real on it as a gift from Cyclops, which convinced Logan to return to the X-Men, as seen in Ultimate X-Men #33.

Xavier telepathically discovers that Lilandra’s surname is Lilandra “Nurami.” This differs from the 616 version of her name, as there she introduced herself as “Lilandra Neramani.”

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