Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #176

Issue Date: 
December 1983
Story Title: 

Chris Claremont (writer), John Romita Jr. and Bob Wiacek (artists), Glynis Wein (colorist), Tom Orzechowski and Joe Rosen (letterer), Louise Jones (editor), Jim Shooter (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

On their way to their honeymoon, Scott and Madelyne crash in the mid-Pacific, victims of a rising storm. While trying their best to fix their plane, they almost become the victims of a very predatory squid. Having escaped the seafood with attitude and the storm both, Scott decides he wants a normal life with Madelyne and will not join his father and the Starjammers. Wolverine confronts Mariko who has sent the clan’s honor sword back to him. Now free of Mastermind’s control, she still refuses Logan, for both she – while under Mastermind’s control – and her father have bound Clan Yashida to the Japanese underworld. She now considers it her duty to free the clan from that influence first before being able to marry him. Heavy-hearted, Wolverine accepts her decision. In the meantime in Washington, Henry Gyrich and several other government officials are meeting to discuss the growing danger of mutants. In the Morlock tunnels, Callisto, Sunder and Masque learn how Kitty Pryde betrayed Caliban and promise they’ll force her to make good on her promise to him.

Full Summary: 

Somewhere over the South Pacific:

Top o’ the morning to you, Mrs. Summers! Scott Summers greets his new wife Madelyne Pryor – currently piloting their plane – with a kiss. Not quite serious, she asks him to at least give her a chance to engage the autopilot – or would he rather swim the rest of the way to Boragora? He’ll go anywhere, do anything, as long as it’s with her, he proclaims. Madelyne asks him to give her a break or better yet try another kiss. This old crate can fly herself for a while.

A little later, Scott remarks he bets she never realized he was an incorrigible romantic. Incorrigible something, that’s for sure, she scoffs. He took her breath away, he points out smugly. That he did, she admits. So when do they land? With a smile she tells him that at this rate neither of them will survive their honeymoon. But what a way to go.

Looking outside the side window, she tells him he better be that eager on their golden anniversary. He picks up some tension in her voice and asks what’s wrong. She says there’s a nasty front chasing their back. A hurricane? Scott wonders. Too small and out of season, Madelyne decides, but pretty rough nevertheless. According to the weather reports they’re outrunning it though. They should reach safe harbor long before it hits the islands.

Looking at him, she reminds him that they’ve been on the road for weeks. Has he made up his mind yet about joining his Dad aboard the Starjammer? Scott admits he hasn’t and he’s running out of time. They’ll be warping out of orbit soon. If he stays he may never see his father again. If he goes with him, he may never see Earth.

Suddenly, they are surrounded by torrential rain and lightning. Line squall! Madelyne shouts, moving ahead of the main storm! They try to weather the turbulence but it’s like flying into a brick wall. Suddenly, a lightning bolt hits the plane. The electrical systems short-circuit and the plane falls downward towards the Pacific.

Agarashima, in the Northern Japanese prefecture of Myago stands the ancestral seat of Clan Yashida. In her sleeping chamber, the current Clan head Mariko Yashida is awakened by a noise. Startled, she asks who is there and suddenly finds the Clan’s ancestral honor blade next to her.

She knows there’s only one man who could have brought the blade to her – Wolverine! she cries out. Logan, dressed in his uniform greets her and informs her that two days ago an imperial messenger delivered the honor blade to him in New York. He wants to know why. It’s his by right, she replies. If that’s true, he points out, she’s his as well.

Mariko refuses. Quickly, she adds that she loves him. Nothing in life would make her happier than her becoming his wife. But, with tears in her eyes, she states this cannot be. Furious, he shouts that’s bull! She called off their wedding because Mastermind made her. But he’s beaten; Xavier undid all the psychic damage he caused. Everything should be just the way it was.

Is he blind or mad to think that? she shouts back. Nothing is the same. When he killed her father, he chose the path of honor, though he believed that doing that would cost him all he held dear: her. Now it is her turn. Thanks to her father and partially due to her own actions while she was under Mastermind’s influence Clan Yashida is bound to the Japanese underworld. Those ties must be broken. Leave that to him, he offers.

Mariko refuses again. If she is to remain true to her sense of honor, she must undertake that task herself and alone. If he loves her, more importantly, if he respects her, he will let her do so. Suppose she fails? he asks. Then the man to whom she has entrusted her heart will do what must be done, Mariko replies.

He… understands, Logan replies and takes the blade. She knows where to reach him. Sayonara. She wishes him farewell, thinking that it is only fitting that she prove herself as worthy of him as he did of her. She does not want to die, nor to see others slain in her name but she is lord of Clan Yashida. She cannot shirk that responsibility, no matter the cost.

Floating somewhere in mid-Pacific. Madelyne and Scott are outside on their plane, trying to make repairs. Madelyne’s attempt to use the radio failed. Those lightning strikes zapped all their electronics. Scott’s attempts at repairs are slow. It’s a good thing they packed a lot of spares, he muses, or this job would be hopeless. They haven’t got all the time in the world either. He points toward the west. The storm is coming their way. Madelyne suggests a kiss as an incentive for getting them out of here. Scott wants to move to her, but slips off the wing and almost falls. Madelyne grabs him, but he tells her it’s okay, he can swim. So can he, she replies, pointing toward the shark that almost got Scott. Scott angrily fires an optic blast at the beast.

Relieved, he and Madelyne hug. She notes that he’s shaking. Surprised at himself, Scott admits that he’s scared. After all he’s been through as an X-Man, to get eaten by a shark on his honeymoon is a bit much.

Getting serious, Madelyne suggests they fix the engines and blow this joint before the storm arrives to give that critter another chance. Good point, he admits while far below the shark finds its role changed from hunter to prey as he is caught by tentacles and devoured by another beast of prey.

In Washington D.C., Henry Peter Gyrich of the National Security Council attends a clandestine meeting headed by the president’s National Security Advisor Judge Petrie. Gyrich knows of no details but assumes it has to do with Project Wideawake. Entering the room, he finds the meeting already in full swing. Not a good sign.

At the podium, a man shows film material depicting the destruction of the Siberian city Vrykino by a volcano months ago. However, the speaker points out, the volcanic upheaval was not natural in origin. The cause was the self-styled master of magnetism, Magneto. Reportedly, he gave the Soviets an opportunity to evacuate the city. No one was killed but his warning was plain. What was done there could be repeated in Moscow or Washington or anywhere on Earth.

Judge Petrie interrupts the speaker and introduces him to Gyrich as Frank Lowell from the CIA. Next to him is a blonde whom he introduces as his assistant Dr Valerie Cooper. Gyrich silently notes that Petrie’s gathered representatives of every critical military and civilian security department in government. What’s he up to? he wonders.

Lowell continues that Magneto had issued a world-wide ultimatum: either disarm all nuclear weaponry and cede absolute authority to him or face annihilation. The Soviet response was to launch a missile strike at Magneto’s base of operations. He sank the sub that fired them and proceeded to make an object lesson of Vyrkino. Inexplicably after those initial communications, nothing more was heard from him. He never carried out his ultimate threat. Either he was bluffing or he changed his mind or some outside agency stopped him. Had he persisted, the US computers grant him a strong possibility of success, even against the opposition of such supergroups as the Avengers. Indeed, their research further indicates that, were the Avengers themselves to attempt the conquest of, Earth they could do so with ease. They are but a single team but there are a lot more where they came from and the numbers are growing every day.

He is joined by Dr. Cooper, who states briefly that the problem is mutants. A new evolutionary branch of Homo sapiens, possibly a new species altogether, gifted at birth with extraordinary abilities. Most prominent among them are the X-Men. Initially, Cooper states, the concern about mutants was crouched purely in biological terms, that they might one day supplant humans as the rulers of Earth. However, the situation has grown more complicated and dangerous.

The virtual monopoly of superbeings once enjoyed by the US no longer exists. Mutants, adults possessing superpowers have been identified in the Soviet Union, Great Britain, Canada, Israel, Egypt and the People’s Republic of China among others. Governments and private interests are recognizing the potential inherent in these people and are beginning to exploit it. Imagine the damage that could be done by a mutant spy. Or worse yet a mutant saboteur, an assassin. They must have the ability to protect themselves, and if need be, strike back.

Gyrich interrupts: she is suggesting they fight fire with fire, counter foreign mutants with their own? Cooper agrees. Gyrich points out that Magneto’s cardinal argument was that out of greed humanity will use mutants, enslave them and then out of fear destroy them. Suppose her plans convince him he is right? Is his alternative to do nothing? Cooper challenges him. For the moment, yes, Gyrich admits. Does he suppose the Russian maintain as cavalier an attitude? she asks. Mutants pose a clear and present threat to their county that must be dealt with, she insists. Today, for tomorrow will be too late.

In the Pacific, Scott hopes he has fixed the engine and asks Madelyne to try it.
It goes wrong again. Scott curses that he was sure he had it this time, but he must have screwed up. He’s darned if he can figure out where. Pity she didn’t turn out to be Phoenix like Mastermind made them all believe, Madelyne remarks, then she cold simply fly them to safety.

Seriously, Scott replies that if she had even the slightest conception of the reality of Phoenix, she wouldn’t make jokes. He forgets that she’s the sole survivor of a plane crash that killed nearly 400 people, Maddie replies. She knows more than her share about death and resurrection… and nightmare and miracles. Lightly, she tells him that after all she snared him. How much luckier can she get? Feeling’s mutual, Scott jokes, before hinting that there are no storms in space. No life either, she reminds him and orders him back to work.

In, or more accurately under, New York City are the Morlock Tunnels. Caliban furiously asks what they are doing in his quarters, “they” referring to their former leader Callisto, her strongman Sunder and Masque. Is that any way to greet old friends? Callisto asks. He orders them out. Putting her arm around his shoulder, Callisto remarks that they haven’t seen him in ages. They were concerned. She may have been deposed as leader by Storm, but she still cares about her people.

Clearly lying, Caliban assures her it’s nothing. He only wants to be left alone. Snooping through his things, Masque announces dismissively that he knows the truth. He shows the others a picture of Kitty Pryde he has found. Caliban is still mooning over Prettykitty. Caliban shouts at him to shut up and snatches the picture. Again, he orders them out. He’ll have to throw them out, Callisto replies. She reminds him that the four of them founded the Morlocks. If they don’t look after each other, who will?

Sinking to his knees, Caiban admits he is ashamed. Kitty promised that if Caliban helped the X-Men she would stay with him forever. For love of her, Caliban betrayed his friends. But she lied! She never returned. Poor thing, Callisto pities him. His heart made him a fool. He knows. He deserves her hatred. Callisto replies that Kitty is at fault, not he. She gave her word. She means to see she keeps it. Really? he asks hopefully. She asks him to be patient and trust her and his heart’s desire will be his.

Masque reminds her that Storm’s boss now. Suppose she objects. Then, Callisto replies, she will get her heart’s desire too.

Meanwhile in the Pacific, the storm is worsening. They start the engines again. Madelyne steps outside to haul in the sea anchor. That moment, she finds herself snagged by tentacles and dragged down.

Scott only sees her falling, though not the reason why, and jumps after her. Madelyne briefly appears again and Scott sees the tentacles holding her. Trying not to hit her, he fires, only now some tentacles have ensnared his legs and are dragging him down. Careful not to lose his glasses, Scott shoots optic blasts at the giant squid, causing it to release them both.

Scott swims towards Madelyne, but then a tentacle brushes over his face, wiping away his glasses. Scott now fires blindly and busts free, but has to keep his eyes closed. Madelyne shouts that she sees him. He tells her to keep yelling, so he can follow her voice. Madelyne tells him to swim ahead, but then the squid reaches him again and Scott fires a fully powered blast. Without any idea how far down he is, he just swims upward blindly.

Suddenly, he feels something grabbing him from behind. Again the squid, he fears, but then he hears Madelyne’s voice. Madelyne drags him towards the plane.

Inside, Scott puts on his hood with the visor, in case there’s any more trouble. Madelyne has dragged the anchor inside. With Madelyne inside, they finally manage to start the engines and get airborne.

Above the storm clouds Madelyne points out that they’re not out of the woods yet. They’ve no instrumentation, no communication and a very long way to reach a very small island in the middle of a really huge ocean. Scott smiles and guarantees her they’ll make it. Thank you, Mr. Modest, she jokes. She said one of the best. Who is he to argue?

She observes that Scott sounds awfully chipper. Being alive has that effect sometimes. Plus he made up his mind about the Starjammers. His dad is going off to fight a war. He’s seen enough of war and death. He doesn’t want to become as hard as his father. He wants a life, a family. He wants her. He wants to be happy. Is that wrong?

Sounds great to her, and she bets to his father as well. Too bad the autopilot isn’t working, he remarks. Sinking onto his shoulder she jokingly thanks heaven for small favors, before telling him she loves him. So does he.

Characters Involved: 

Cyclops, Wolverine (all X-Men)

Madelyne Pryor-Summers

Mariko Yashida

Henry Peter Gyrich

Judge Petrie (the President’s national security advisor)

Dr. Valerie Cooper (his aide)

Frank Lowell (CIA agent)

Caliban, Callisto, Masque, Sunder (all Morlocks)

Accompanying Lowell’s report:


Accompanying Cooper’s report:

Angel, Beast, Colossus, Cyclops, Iceman. Nightcrawler, Storm, Wolverine

In Caliban’s photograph:


Story Notes: 

The complicated love story between Mariko and Wolverine is told in the Wolverine limited series.

Mariko rejected Wolverine at the altar under Mastermind’s influence in issue #173.

Magneto destroyed the Russian town Varykino and sank the Soviet submarine in Uncanny X-Men #150.

First appearance of Valerie Cooper.

Kitty promised Caliban she’d stay with him if he helped the other X-Men against Callisto in Uncanny X-Men #170.

Issue Information: 
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