Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #146

Issue Date: 
June 1981
Story Title: 

Chris Claremont (writer), Dave Cockrum & Josef Rubinstein (artists), Tom Orzechowski (letterer), Glynis Wein (colorist), Louise Jones (editor), Jim Shooter (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

Doom places each of the X-Men in a prison cell intended to test their abilities – if they fail, they die. Storm, confined in her own body after having been turned into living chrome, is subconsciously calling forth a great tempest, striving to be free or dead. Havok, Iceman, Polaris andBanshee find their way to Murderworld, and escape Miss Locke’s various traps to defeat her and free the hostages. Back at von Doom’s, Nightcrawler has taken a risk and teleported out of his featureless cell. In the storm caused by Ororo Scott loses his blindfold, causing his optic blasts to be revealed to Lee.

Full Summary: 

Dr. Doom watches a fierce storm gathering outside, despite a clear forecast, and wonders if this could be Storm’s doing. Storm herself is perfectly docile, and
agrees without complaint to fetch Doom and Arcade tea. Arcade complains about his predicament and the failure of the X-Men to rescue him, then asks about their fate. Doom explains that he has imprisoned each with a test, one which they can pass, but only with the ultimate combination of their abilities and intellect.

Nightcrawler is trapped in a featureless cube. He could, of course, teleport away, but has no way of knowing if he will materialize in something solid, which would kill him instantly.
Colossus is trapped on a rock above a raging whirlpool. In his armored form he doesn’t breathe, but there are lasers in the water than blast anything which fall through, preventing him from diving off.
Wolverine finds himself in a zero-gravity room, with the walls done in an
op-art style to create the illusion of infinite space. Worse, every time he moves, it triggers a disorienting psychedelic light show. He hits a wall,
causing inbuilt repellor fields to send him careening wildly around the room,setting off ever more confusing light shows.

Nthen there’s Angel, on a perch in the middle of a giant birdcage. There appears to be nothing to prevent him leaving, but as soon as he attempts it, lasers fire randomly around the cage. Individually, they can’t do serious damage, but if enough hit, it could kill him. He realiZes Doom is testing him. Stay safe on the perch, or risk everything flying through the lasers.

Meanwhile, Ororo returns with Doom and Arcade’s tea, causing Arcade to express amazement at how easily Doom has subdued one as wilful as Storm. The deposed ruler reveals that the Storm serving them is nothing but a robot simulacrum. The real Storm has been transformed to living chrome, still alive, but incapable of movement or even thought. For the claustrophobic Ororo, this is the ultimate horror, and her subconscious mind lashes out but summoning a terrible storm to rage around Doom’s castle.

Its effects are felt as far away as the Caribbean, where a storm rages around the island Lee and Scott are stranded on. A sudden lightning bolt destroys the pair’s hiding place, and dislodges Scott’s blindfold, causing his optic blasts to reveal themselves. Lee quickly intervenes and replaces the blindfold, and Scott reluctantly admits he owes her an explanation.

Six hours earlier, Havok’s team arrives at the park where Arcade released the X-Men after their last trip to Murderworld. From there, Polaris can trace the electrical energy back to Murderworld’s source… under a landfill. Iceman comments that Polaris is wearing the costume given to her by Erik the Red again. It keeps her warm, she replies.
Havok uses his power to bore their way underground, having Polaris short every electrical
system in the complex to prevent alarms from sounding. She does so, but a hologram of Miss Locke still appears after they enter, welcoming Banshee and his ‘new playmates’ back to Murderworld.

Trapdoors open under the four, separating them throughout Murderworld, much to the delight of Miss Locke, watching in the control room. Her assistant, Mr. Chambers, confirms that backup systems are all online, but only just, shields barely held against Polaris’ strike.

Havok finds himself on a roller coaster, which plunges him into a holographic space battle. Problem is, some of the ships attacking him are real, not holograms, and he has no way of telling which is which. While he tries to simply blast them all, he comes face to face with the mothership.

Iceman is thrown into an ice rink, which he quickly discovers is wafer thin. A team of android hockey players appear to attack him, and though he can easily hold them back, their weight crashes through the ice, revealing acid underneath. To make matters worse, heaters fire up along the walls, meaning he has little time to escape.

Polaris awakes on a carousel, to see a laughing llyana Rasputin running by. As she goes to help, she turns her back on the ride’s animals, which spring to life and attack her.
A magnetic force blast quickly destroys her attackers, but as she turns back to what she believes to be Illyana, the young Russian girl pulls a gun and starts shooting.

Banshee is in a fake western shootout, and though he easily dispatches his android opponent, more wait to open fire in a nearby saloon. A quickly thrown microbomb destroys not only them, but also the wall behind, revealing Moira MacTaggert being tied to the tracks of a rollercoaster by an android villain.

Havok jumps away just before his shuttle is destroyed entering the mothership, hoping Miss Locke will believe he died in the explosion. He escapes into a utility tunnel and, lacking Banshee’s knowledge of electronics, destroys the first junction box he sees. His random attack succeeds, and Mr. Chambers reports a systems malfunction in Sector 12, setting out to investigate.

Polaris easily defeats her android opponent with her magnetic powers, only for the carousel to start wildly spinning, breaking free of its moorings and taking off into the air. Lorna desperately holds on until the machine pulls apart from the strain, protecting herself with a magnetic antigravity field. She quickly runs into trouble, however, when an inhibitor field interrupts her powers, sending her plummeting, directly into Iceman’s rink.
Bobby quickly whips up an iceslide to catch her and prevent her falling into the acid, admitting to himself that he still has feelings for her, but he has difficulty maintaining it with the heaters. As the ice below begins to crack, he realizes
he needs to escape, and supercools the wall ahead, making it so brittle the two can break through.

Mr. Chambers has found the destroyed circuit box, only to be ambushed by the watching Havok.
Things are not going so rosily for Banshee, however. He easily
defeats the android tying Moira to the tracks, but she warns him that Amanda Sefton and Candy Southern are on the roller coaster racing towards her, meaning if Sean uses a bomb to destroy the tracks, it will kill them instead. Nevertheless, he finds himself unwilling to let Moira die, and reaches for a microbomb. Fortunately, he is prevented from making that painful decision by the arrival of Iceman and Polaris. Iceman creates a shield to deflect the coast, while Polaris safely lowers the women to the ground. Before the gang can celebrate, however, Moira explodes, Polaris erecting a forcefield just in time to save them. None of the hostages were real, merely more of Murderworld’s androids.

The trio plan to head to the control room, a plan which Miss Locke dismisses as she watches them on her computer. To her surprise, however, Havok has already made his way there, and he easily stops her attempt at resistance. Having defeated Miss Locke, the X-Men rescue the hostages and return to the surface, only to discover an unseasonal hurricane blowing.

Upstate, Doom is worrying about the same thing, while Arcade is too busy
enjoying his Cuban cigar to care. While the Storm-statue begins to glow unnoticed in the background, Arcade gleefully points to the monitor, to reveal that Nightcrawler has disappeared.

Characters Involved: 

Angel, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Storm, Wolverine (All X-Men)

Banshee, Cyclops, Havok, Iceman, Polaris (Former X-Men)
Aleytys “Lee” Forrester, captain of the trawler Arcadia

Moira MacTaggert, geneticist and friend of the X-Men

John and Elaine Grey, parents of Jean Grey

Amanda Sefton, sorceress and girlfriend of Nightcrawler

Candy Southern, girlfriend of Angel

Illyana Rasputin, little sister of Colossus


Miss Locke

Mr. Chambers, Miss Locke’s assistant

Doombot, pretending to be von Doom

Story Notes: 

Banshee, along with the other X-Men, last visited Murderworld in Uncanny X-Men #’s 123 & 124.

The use of modern art in cells as a torture device didn’t originate with Doom and Wolverine; it was used by anarchists against fascist prisoners during the Spanish Civil War.

Issue Information: 

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