Ultimate X-Men #97

Issue Date: 
October 2008
Story Title: 
Absolute Power, part 4

Aron E. Colette (writer), Mark Brooks (penciler), Jaime Mendoza (inker), Edgar Delgado (colorist), Comicraft’s Albert Deschesne (letterer), Gabriele Dell’Otto (cover artist), Irene Lee (production), Lauren Henry & Lauren Sankovitch (assistant editor), Ralph Macchio (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

Years ago, in the Savage Land, it is revealed that Xavier and Magneto created the drug known as Banshee from Wolverine’s DNA, but as it turned out to be to unstable, they agreed to destroy it. The present day, in Siberia, Colossus, his heart ripped out, continues to battle Wolverine, while Jean Grey’s X-Men (Storm, Iceman, Beast and ally Firestar) take on the rest of the defected, Banshee-induced X-Men (Cyclops, Rogue, Angel, Dazzler, Nightcrawler). In the process, Colossus rips off one of Wolverine’s legs! Colossus is prevented from doing any more damage by the sudden arrival of his believed-dead boyfriend, Northstar, who is indeed alive, but now paralyzed from the waist down. Seeing his boyfriend alive causes Colossus to stop fighting, which effectively ends the battle. Cyclops however, flies away, unnoticed by all except Jean. Later, at the Institute, Jean uses her powers to repair Colossus’ heart and Wolverine’s leg, and Wolverine and Colossus make up. Jean takes off for space once more, and confronts Cyclops, who is on the verge of coming down from the Banshee. He attacks Jean, but is soon overcome. Wolverine meanwhile arrives at Muir Island, where Dr. Moira MacTaggert is helping Professor X recuperate after his recent injuries. Wolverine attacks Xavier for using his DNA to create the Banshee drug, and reveals that Colossus told him his supplier came from Muir Island. Moira reveals that she is the supplier, and displays a powerful sonic scream which she has developed after using the Banshee drug. Moira explains that it takes a lot of money to run her Research Center and care for the mutants here, and vows that she will not stop selling the drug. This angers Wolverine, who suggests to Xavier that he find the teleporter on the Island and get himself and the kids out of here. Wolverine fights Moira, and finds her huge supply of Banshee - which Wolverine then sets alight, creating a massive explosion on Muir Island, and leaving Moira in the fire, while he is blown out into the ocean. Later, Colossus and Northstar spend time together, while Jean and Cyclops appear to reconcile. And, on Muir Island, Quicksilver arrives, finding Moira alive, Quicksilver vows that Magneto has a plan.

Full Summary: 

I always wanted to be a hero….


Fifteen years ago…deep in the exotic Savage Land. ‘This is insane, Charles. You’re going to get yourself killed. There’s no way you can take this on. The velociraptor is one of the deadliest creatures in this jungle, you fool!’ Erik Lensherr tells Charles Xavier as they stand before the deadly velociraptor who is currently devouring some sort of flying dinosaur. ‘A perfect match’ Xavier declares as he walks towards the dinosaur - suddenly, Charles unsheathes three deadly claws from each of his hands and leaps at the dinosaur, knocking it backwards. ‘CHARLES!’ Erik shouts.

‘I’m fine’ Xavier replies as he shoves his claws into the dinosaur’s head, and it drops to the ground. ‘I’m perfectly fine’ Xavier declares, blood dripping from his claws. Looking at his claws, Xavier remarks ‘Healing factor. Claws. Heightened senses. The beast didn’t stand a chance’. A wide-eyed Erik declares. ‘It’s remarkable!’ ‘No. It’s disastrous’ Xavier tells his friend.

Later, inside the citadel, Charles and Erik walk towards a tank, where a man is being kept inside, hooked up to various wires while floating in some sort of fluid. ‘A secondary mutation. Do you know what this means, Charles? We could be invincible!’ Erik exclaims. Xavier agrees, and points out that the drug produced amazing results - not only power amplification, but completely new mutations. ‘Unfortunately, it’s completely unstable’ Xavier reveals. ‘But you used it’ Erik reminds him. Xavier explains that his mind can resist the addictive qualities of the drug, but that others will not be so strong, so it must be destroyed. Standing before the tank now, the man inside is revealed to be…Logan! Xavier declares that no one can know this drug exists, or where it comes from. ‘Will he remember any of this?’ Erik asks. ‘No. I’ll make sure of that’ Xavier declares.


Muir Island, Scotland, right now. ‘Everything all right, Charles?’ Dr. Moira MacTaggert asks Xavier as she approaches him. Xavier sits in his wheelchair on the edge of the Island, watching the sunset. ‘Yes, Moira. Everything’s fine’ Xavier replies.

Meanwhile, at the Ust-Ordynski Collective, in Siberia, Russia, everything is not fine, as Colossus holds his heart in his hands. ‘It’s over, Pete’ Wolverine tells him. ‘No, it’s not!’ Colossus replies, punching Logan in the face and knocking him backwards. ‘You cut out my heart! You cut out my *&**%*%ing heart!’ Colossus shouts. ‘What the hell? How can you…?’ Wolverine begins to ask, to which Colossus shouts that he doesn’t know and doesn’t care. ‘They say you can’t be killed either, Logan. I’m going to prove them wrong!’ Peter boasts, before shouting ‘X-Men! Pound them into the ground!’

Jean “Phoenix” Grey lies motionless on the ground, and a surprisingly concerned Nightcrawler teleports over to her as Colossus punches Wolverine in the face once more. Cyclops blasts Storm with an optic blast, while Iceman covers Angel in ice, as Dazzler puts up a solid-sound wall to protect her from Firestar’s blasts, before casting a solid-sound chain around Storm, trapping the long-serving X-Woman. ‘You heard the boss, Storm. Consider yourself pounded!’ Dazzler exclaims as she flings Storm against a wooden beam. The Beast tries to reason with Cyclops. ‘We started this together…’ he tells his friend, referring to them being founding members of the X-Men. ‘It’s the Banshee. The drug. You’ve got to stop!’ Hank exclaims. Scott replies by blasting Hank across the barn with an optic blast, telling him that he is sentimental and weak. ‘You’re pulling your punches. We’re not!’ Scott boasts.

Iceman begins to cover Rogue with ice, telling her that he is trying to save her, and warning her that if she wants a fight, then his side will just pour it on heavier. Rogue breaks free from Bobby’s ice-covering, shifting her own form into ice, Rogue tells Bobby that she can take his power just by being near him. ‘You have no idea what you can really do, Bobby. Let me show you!’ Rogue exclaims, before kissing a startled Bobby. Suddenly, Firestar interrupts: ‘Get away from him!’ she shouts at Rogue as she blasts some fire, separating Bobby and Rogue.

Jean groans as Nightcrawler tries to wake her. ‘Jean. You have to wake up. You have to stop them!’ Nightcrawler exclaims, telling Jean that the X-Men are going to kill each other. Indeed, Colossus holds Wolverine high over his head, ‘NO! Don’t, you sonofa -’ Wolverine begins, before screaming as Colossus rips one of his legs off, before tossing Wolverine to the barn floor. Suddenly, a voice calls out: ‘Peter! You have to stop!’. Colossus turns and sees Northstar - Jean-Paul, in a wheelchair, with Jean Grey at his side. ‘Jean-Paul? But, how? Are you really…?’ Peter asks, confused.

A concerned Jean-Paul reveals that he is indeed alive, but paralyzed from the waist down. ‘It was the drug, the Banshee. Don’t let it ruin you. Your friends are trying to help you. You saved my life, Peter’ Northstar pleads. ‘You’re a hero. Don’t forget that’. Colossus looks from his boyfriend to his blood-covered hands, then falls to the snow. ‘I’m sorry. I’m so sorry’ he whispers, as the others begin to gather around him. Jean kneels beside Colossus, telling him that it is okay, that everything will be fine. ‘I promise’ she exclaims, before announcing that it is time to go home. Bobby asks is anyone has seen Cyclops, as Jean looks to the sky, where Scott is flying away. ‘Scott’s not coming home. Not yet’ Jean announces.

Later, at Xavier’s School for Gifted Children. ‘It’s all set…your heart is right back where it belongs’ Jean tells Colossus as she uses her powers to sew up his chest in the medilab. Colossus lies on a bed, while Wolverine lies on another nearby. Peter asks Jean if he can turn back, to which Jean tells him not for a while, and perhaps not ever, she isn’t sure. ‘It’s a fitting punishment for the things I’ve done’ Colossus remarks. Jean tells her friend that he only did what he thought was right, and that no one is going to fault him for that. Jean suggests Colossus get some rest before she leaves the medilab.

Wolverine turns to Colossus: ‘You know I had you right where I wanted you?’ Logan tells Peter. ‘I tore off your leg. What were you going to do? Gnaw at my ankles?’ Peter smiles. ‘The Hulk tore me in half once. You shoulda seen what I did to him. It was epic!’ Logan boasts, before remarking that this is the part where he would apologize. ‘If I was the apologizing type’ he adds. Colossus sits up in bed, and remarks that he thinks they all have their confessions to make today. Logan tells Colossus that the Banshee is made from his DNA. ‘They used me. I need to shut down this whole operation. But I can’t do it without your help’ Logan exclaims, before asking Colossus who his supplier is. Peter replies that he doesn’t know who, but that he has a vial. ‘Maybe you can catch a scent and you find the where’ he suggests.

Meanwhile, Cyclops sits in amongst the stars, gazing out into the vastness of space, ‘It’s beautiful, isn’t it?’ a voice calls out. Scott looks hesitant as Jean reveals herself, hovering beside him, cosmic energy surrounding her. ‘Seeing the Earth from up here. The stars. It makes you feel powerful. Omnipotent’ she remarks. ‘But you’re not’ she tells Scott, informing him that it is time to come home. ‘I’m not going anywhere with you. You can’t make me!’ Scott snaps. ‘Of course I can!’ Jean replies, as Scott suddenly finds himself ensnared by a cosmic hand. This causes him to lash out with an optic blast, telling Jean that she is jealous because he is finally as powerful as she is.

‘Maybe even more powerful!’ Scott exclaims as he punches Jean in the face, shouting that he is not going to give it all up. ‘I’m not!’ he shouts, when, suddenly, he clutches his throat, gasping, Scott tells Jean not to put the glasses back on. ‘Let me go!’ he warns her. ‘You would rather die than live without Banshee?’ Jean asks. ‘Think about it, Scott. This isn’t you!’ Jean exclaims before putting the ruby quartz glasses on Scott. ‘You’re the leader of the X-Men. Their spirit. You’ve earned everyone’s respect. No power or drug is going to give you that!’ Jean tells Scott, holding him up with cosmic energy as he begins shaking. ‘I can’t stop. The power is…’ he mutters. ‘I know. I know’ Jean tells him, reassuringly.

Meanwhile, Wolverine strides the Muir Island Research Center, where several young mutant children are residing. ‘Izzat?’ one of them asks. ‘I think it is. He looks much smaller in person’ an odd-looking mutant replies. ‘He looks more pissed off in person’ another declares. ‘Mister Wolverine, sir…?’ a young girl asks. ‘Go away, kid - the grown-ups have a fight to the death!’ Wolverine replies, before arriving in the gym, where Moira MacTaggert is helping Xavier with some physical therapy. ‘Logan? What an unexpected pleasure’ Xavier smiles, calling Wolverine his friend. ‘I ain’t your friend, bub’ Logan snarls.

‘I’m going to KILL you!’ Wolverine shouts, lunging at Xavier, claws outstretched, he pushes Xavier to the floor, ‘You used me! You made a drug out of my DNA and sold it to kids! Is this how you were going to change the world?’ Logan asks. Xavier replies that he discovered the way to manipulate his DNA, but that he shut down the program. ‘I swear!’ he exclaims. Logan reveals that Colossus said he was getting his Banshee supply from Muir Island. ‘If it isn’t you, then who is it?’ Logan asks. Suddenly, Moira steps forward: ‘It’s me. I’ve been selling Banshee’ she reveals, asking Logan if he has any idea how much money it takes to run this facility, to care for the children. ‘Do you? I won’t let you stop it!’ she declares.

‘Oh yeah? How’re you gonna do that?’ Logan snarls. ‘Like this!’ Moira exclaims before unleashing a massive, deafening scream, knocking both Wolverine and Xavier backwards. ‘Moira? How could you?’ a shocked Charles asks. ‘This is my life’s work, Charles. My dream. I’ll defend it with my life. Even if it means using Banshee!’ Moira declares. Logan gets up an asks Charles if there is a teleporter here. ‘Yes’ Xavier replies, to which Logan suggests he gets everyone out of here right now, before he walks towards Moira again: ‘Where is it? Where is the Banshee?’ Logan demands. ‘You’ll never take it!’ Moira snaps back, before screaming again.

‘You wanna scream? SCREAM!’ Logan shouts as he manages to grab Moira and put his claws to her throat. Xavier finds the young teleporter and tells her that she has to get them all out of here, but she replies that she can’t, not this many people. ‘I’ll help you. It’s not safe for us here anymore’. Back in the lab, Wolverine tosses Moira into a room filled with vats of Banshee. ‘There’s enough Banshee here to make an army. This isn’t just selling dope on the streets, is it?’ Logan asks, before asking Moira what she is planning.

‘You don’t understand. I’m trying to make the world safer for mutants!’ Moira declares. ‘Safer? This Banshee is cut with butane. Ethylene. The same crap they use in meth labs. Explosive stuff. All it needs it is one spark’ Logan points out as he begins to break open the glass tanks with his powerful claws. ‘No. Don’t!’ Moira pleads. ‘No one will ever use me again!’ Logan snarls, before clashing his claws together and creating a spark. This of course causes a massive explosion, sending Wolverine careening off the Island and into the water which surrounds it, leaving Moira to die.

I always wanted to be a hero… Moira thinks to herself.

A hero… Colossus thinks to himself as he sits with Northstar and watches the sun set.

A hero… Cyclops thinks as he and Jean are wrapped in cosmic energy, high above the Earth.

But, back on Muir Island…’This is very…disappointing!’ Quicksilver exclaims as he stands over Moira in amongst the ruins of the lab. Moira tells Quicksilver that the Banshee is all gone, but that she tried to stop Wolverine. ‘Of course you did, dear. It’s okay’ Quicksilver tells Moira, before announcing that his father has a new plan on how to deal with the humans….

Characters Involved: 

Angel, Beast, Colossus, Cyclops, Dazzler, Iceman, Marvel Girl/Phoenix, Nightcrawler, Rogue, Storm, Wolverine (all X-Men)



Professor X

Dr. Moira MacTaggert


Various mutant children on Muir Island

In Flashback:

Charles Xavier

Erik Lensherr


Story Notes: 

Northstar was believed to have died in Ultimate X-Men #95.

In the 616 Universe, Moira MacTaggert kept the Muir Island facility running through a combination of her own finances, presumably formed from her various prize money, and an inheritance from her father.

Moira developing a sonic scream is a nod to Sean Cassidy a.k.a. Banshee from the 616 Universe. In 616 Moira and Banshee were lovers.

The Ultimate X-Men / Ultimate Fantastic Four Annual and Ultimate Fantastic Four / Ultimate X-Men Annual take place following this issue. Ultimatum #1 follows the Annuals, before Ultimate X-Men #98 occurs.

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