Ultimate X-Men #8

Issue Date: 
September 2001
Story Title: 
Return to Weapon X - part 2: First Strike

Mark Millar (writer), Adam Kubert (pencils), Art Thibert (inks), Jung Choi (colors), Richard Starkings & Comicraft's Wes Abbott (letters), Pete Franco (assistant editor), Mark Powers (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Bill Jemas (president)

Brief Description: 

Wolverine and Cyclops pay a visit to the New York chapter of the Russian Mafia and impress on them that it would be in their own interest to leave Colossus and his family alone. Wolverine then leaves the X-Men alone to go in search of the Weapon X project. Storm, in the meantime, is testing the extent of her powers, learning that she can use them to fly and starting a relationship with Beast. During a short vacation at home, Iceman has told an old girlfriend of the X-Men. When Xavier learns this, he erases this conversation from both the teenagers' minds. In the meantime, with Wolverine having gone to look for Weapon X, Weapon X comes to the X-Men. The mansion is quickly attacked by Colonel Wraith's agents, both normal and super-powered. Despite Cyclops and Iceman taking a stand, the surprised X-Men don't stand a chance. Looking at the mansion in flames Wraith tells the unconscious Xavier that there is a war going on and they have just joined the competition.

Full Summary: 

Wolverine and Cyclops pay a visit to the New York chapter of the Russian Mafia. Seeing Wolverine with his extended claws outside, one of the mobsters draws his gun and tells the others to call Boris. At that moment, Cyclops destroys the door with his optic blast and the mobsters run.

In another room, Boris is busying himself with a female companion. Both are rather surprised when Wolverine kicks in the door and throws one of Boris? men inside. Boris draws a gun from under his pillow, aims at Wolverine and announces that Peter Rasputin belongs to him. It was the Russian Mafia who saved him from a Siberian firing squad, after all, not the X-Men. If Peter won't come back, his family will be killed. Unimpressed, Wolverine lights a cigar and before the Russian can fire he slices through his gun, telling him that now they'll renegotiate the terms of Peter's contract.

A little later, driving home again, Scott muses that Xavier won't be too happy about them using their powers to threaten ordinary people. Wolverine couldn't care less. Colossus had a problem he was too frightened to even talk about and now said-problem is going to send his mother a weekly fruit basket. The way he sees it, they were just looking after their own.
Is that why Logan's moving on tonight, Cyclops asks. Tired of playing by Xavier's rules? It has more to do with the X-Men sleeping with knives under their pillows as long as he is around Logan replies. Xavier is the most decent guy he ever met and his school is about the first thing he's actually believed in. But he doesn't want to cause them any more trouble, so he'll go looking for Weapon X on his own. If he needs help, he should call, Cyclops insists. They have to look after their own, after all.

In upstate New York, citizens are treated to a rare sight - a young girl flying high in the air. Storm's using her winds to stay aloft, before crash-landing in the lake, witnessed by Henry McCoy who shakes his head at this display. Ororo's on a high; this is better than riding a Harley Fatboy, she announces. He has to try it with her! Hank passes - at least until she's perfected her landing technique. Handing her his jacket, he asks whether they weren't actually supposed to study algebra? Who cares, Ororo answers. Can't they just make out instead? Hank admits he still doesn't quite believe that. What does a gorgeous girl want with a fat guy like him? In the past, girls used to play pranks on him. Ororo tells him to chill and stop putting her on a pedestal. She's only human and being with him is the most fun she's ever had without getting herself arrested. They kiss.

Later, at Xavier's school, the Drakes bring back Iceman after a short vacation. Xavier telepathically informs Jean that there's a problem. Apparently, in order to impress a girl at his mother's birthday party, Bobby spilled the beans on the X-Men. Xavier considers erasing that conversation from both their minds but is worried about the ethical implications. What's her opinion on the matter? Bobby knew what he was doing, she replies. She doesn't like it either but there are too many people who hate them for their address to become public knowledge. Xavier agrees and erases the conversation from Bobby's (and presumably the girl's) mind, regretting that it is impossible for Bobby to have a normal life. Jean inquires if Xavier is still "on-mind" and asks whether she was being unreasonable when she called Wolverine a "boorish lowlife" and hoped he'd burn in a thousand hells.

In the Gym, Colossus is bench pressing in his armored form, watched by Iceman who wishes that he were more like Wolverine. You don't see the professor making him take exams! Well, Colossus replies, you can't really see him filling out job applications either, can you? At least the professor thinks that they can be reintegrated into society. Neither of them is aware that helicopters are closing in on the mansion grounds.

Bobby enthuses about how cool it is that Wolverine can come and go without anybody seeing him. What else do people get taught in black-ops, he wonders. The recklessness of bugging five hundred pound Russians, when they are bench pressing? Colossus suggests. Anyway, how did things go with his old girlfriend? What girlfriend, Bobby wonders.

Soldiers silently exit the choppers via ropes. One of them gives the order to kill the lights and aim for the kitchen. They have to take down the psychics first. Jean and Xavier wonder what is happening as the lights go out in the kitchen. Cyclops sees the red laser dot markings on them and shouts for them to hit the floor. Too late, as they are hit. The entire mansion is under fire.

Outside, the order is given to release the Juggernaut. There are explosions all over the mansion and Juggernaut quickly takes out Colossus. Another explosion hits Storm and Beast. Sabretooth enters the living room to find that Storm still has some fight in her. Quickly he hits her over the head with a stick. Beast angrily attacks, shouting for him to get away from her. Sabretooth takes him out by hitting him with his elbow right in the face.

Colonel Wraith watches from outside. A soldier tells him that the boys are having the time of their lives but the kid with the optic blasts is being a real pain in the backside, as he's still defending himself from the kitchen. Intelligence figured Cyclops would go down last, Wraith replies. He's protective about the others, but they'll soon kick that out of him. Nightcrawler teleports in behind Cyclops, snatches away his visor and hits the momentarily disoriented X-Man with a frying pan.

Wraith radios Sabretooth and asks whether he has found Wolverine yet. Negative, the mutant replies. Wolverine hasn't been in the building for ninety minutes at least; his scent is cold. Sabretooth interrupts Wraith's rant. Something weird is going on inside the hall, as if the environment were being manipulated. Suddenly, he and the soldiers are freezing. Iceman walks down the stairway, telling Wraith to back off or he'll freeze everyone's eyeballs.

Wraith radios Rogue, who touches the unconscious Jean. Having absorbed her telepathy she then enters Bobby's mind and makes him relive the appendix operation he had last years minus the anaesthetic. While the soldiers take out the boy who's in agony, Wrath is angry that Wolverine got away. He wanted to pay him back for the scar he gave him. Sabretooth chimes in, swearing they'll get him. Of course they will, Wraith agrees, or Sabretooth can spend another six months as crash-test dummy for NASA.

As the solders drag the unconscious Xavier out, Wraith notices that some joker painted an eight onto the side of his head. Shaking his head at their crude sense of humor, Wraith lifts the unconscious form of Xavier up and tells him he just wishes Xavier could see how all his hopes and dreams are going up in smoke. There's a war going on and the X-Men have just joined the competition.

Characters Involved: 

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

Colonel John Wraith (head of Weapon X)

Juggernaut, Nightcrawler, Rogue, Sabretooth (prisoners / agents of Weapon X)

Weapon X agents

Boris and other members of the Russian Mafia.

Story Notes: 

Wolverine gave Wraith his scars in Ultimate X-Men #2.

Issue Information: 
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