Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #216

Issue Date: 
April 1987
Story Title: 

Chris Claremont (writer), Jackson Guice (penciler), Dan Green (inker), Tom Orzechowski (letterer), Glynis Oliver (colorist), Ann Nocenti (editor), Jim Shooter (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

Wolverine’s out and about running through the woods. He’s on the trail of Jean Grey and he’s starting to lose control. He runs out into a road and is struck down by a truck. The impact causes the truck to break down, however Wolverine keeps on running. Elsewhere, Storm and a drug dealer by the name of Priscilla Morrison are on the run from three super-powered war veterans. Storm lays a trap for Super Sabre that would decapitate him. She has second thoughts though and drops the trap. Priscilla is not too happy with Storm and how she’s playing this game. After Sabre runs by, they head off into the woods. A little bit later, Crimson Commando and Stonewall come across Storm’s trap. The fact that she didn’t spring it causes Stonewall to resent going after Storm. Super Sabre comes zipping by again and they show him the trap. Sabre takes off intent on beating them to where they’re going. He arrives at the most likely spot and waits. Unfortunately for him, Storm and Priscilla are already there. Storm attacks him and they fall off a small cliff. Priscilla takes advantage of the situation and causes an avalanche on both of them. She runs off and comes across the broken down truck and the couple it belongs to. Priscilla steals their gun and shoots them. She gets in the truck and takes off, but soon ends up in a swamp. Later on in the evening Stonewall finds Priscilla sleeping by the swamp and goes towards her. However, Storm is there hiding and she gets the upper hand on him. After rescuing him from the swamp and escaping a brain bashing from Priscilla, Commando comes upon her. Wolverine is also there and everyone watches as Storm fights the Commando. After a few minutes Storm wins and tells him to give up to the authorities or else she will kill them both. Commando eventually agrees and later they turn themselves in. Storm and Wolverine are there to make sure they do. During a conversation with Wolverine, Storm decides to take a new approach to thwarting evil mutants. In the meantime the other X-Men are at Moira’s lab complex on Muir Island. No signs of trouble except a few more Morlocks have died of their injuries.

Full Summary: 

Wolverine’s out in the forest following the scent of Jean Grey. He’s really angry because his senses are going wacky and it’s messing him all up. He doesn’t know why his senses picked up Jean, but he’s going to follow the scent and find out. He runs out onto a road and doesn’t realize that a truck is barreling down on him. He’s hit and goes flying backwards. The occupants inside the truck, Marcie and Phil, start flipping out. They have no idea what happened.

They get out of the truck and find blood on the road and their grill smashed up. However, whatever they hit isn’t lying around anywhere. Marcie wants to go look for it, but Phil cautions against it. It’s dark and he wants to try and fix the truck. They hear a loud growl (Wolverine’s) from off in the distance. Marcie wonders if that’s what they hit. Phil tells her he doubts it, as that sound wasn’t human. Wolverine continues his run after being nailed by the truck. He’s running so fast and carelessly that he doesn’t notice the small cliff he’s coming towards. He falls off, sending dozens of rocks with him. He gets up into a kneeling position. He lets loose a long howl of anguish.

Elsewhere, Storm stands atop a different cliff. She hears Wolverine’s howl and wishes he were there; she doesn’t realize it’s actually him. She wonders what’s happened to him, and why he knocked her unconscious before. Then she concentrates on her current situation. She knows the retired world war heroes will be on them soon. She thinks she could definitely take them, but she has Priscilla to watch out for.

Storm takes some fishing line and ties one end to a tree. She walks backwards stretching the line out with her. She looks at Priscilla and tells her she should be getting some rest. Priscilla tells her she tried, but it was too cold. Storm sympathizes, but tells her that a fire would give away their position. Priscilla asks her about the howl from before. Storm tells her not to worry about it. Priscilla starts complaining again. Storm assures her that if she trusts her, she will get her home. Storm makes her way over to another tree and ties the other end of the string up. Deep in thought, she wonders if she’s doing wrong by getting Priscilla, a known drug dealer, home, free from consequences.

Priscilla asks her what she’s doing. Storm tells her she’s setting up a trap for Super Sabre. The notion of Sabre losing his head excites Priscilla. She’s all pumped up. Storm tells her she’s only doing it because it’s necessary. Priscilla doesn’t care. She’d gladly kill those men. Storm interjects, telling her death isn’t always the answer. Priscilla counters, telling her she’s the one setting up the trap. Priscilla realizes she went a bit too far with her last comment. She tones it down a notch and tells Storm if she can get her out of there, she’ll do anything she asks.

The sun comes up over the horizon and the two ladies lie down next to each other in the grass, waiting. Storm’s lack of sleep is starting to get to her. Priscilla asks her what’s going on. Off in the distance Storm can see movement. It must be Super Sabre. Storm comes to her senses and lowers the trap. She will not kill anyone today. She tells Priscilla they’re just going to lie there and let him pass. Priscilla gets all upset. She wants death. She wants them to suffer. Storm puts her hand over the girl’s mouth and pins her down. Super Sabre runs by without so much as a glance in their direction.

Storm gets off of Priscilla and onto her knees. Priscilla starts yelling at her for not killing Super Sabre. She knows they would kill them without a second thought. Storm tells her they will be playing by her rules. She assures Priscilla, once again, that they will make it out of there alive.
Priscilla wants to know the next move. Storm points towards the valley and tells her they need to get there by mid-morning. Priscilla is shocked. She doesn’t think she could make it that far. Storm reminds her of her fate if she stays behind. And with that, Priscilla starts moving. Storm follows behind wondering if saving Priscilla is really worth it. She knows everything she believes in says it’s so.

(three days ago)

Aboard the Blackbird, the other X-Men make their descent towards Moira MacTaggert’s research facility on Muir Island. Rogue tells Psylocke to scan for everyone on the island to make sure they’re all friends. She does so and everything’s all right. However, she picks up something else. There was a death last night and another one is soon to come. The Marauder’s have done a fine job indeed. They land the jet and are met by an angry Moira.

Rogue flies out of the cockpit telling everyone to assume battle positions. Moira, still upset, asks Rogue what’s going on. Their crazy maneuvers frightened her, as if a possible attack was coming. Rogue tells her that they wanted to be prepared for anything. The rest of the X-Men get off the Blackbird. Moira notices that Wolverine and Storm are missing. She asks Rogue where they are and Rogue tells her they went off on their own. The thought of their leaders abandoning them sends Rogue into a hissy fit. She kicks the ground sending tufts of grass into the air.


In upstate New York, three hours after sunrise, the Crimson Commando and Stonewall have come upon Storm’s waylaid trap for Super Sabre. The Commando is amazed at how far Storm and Priscilla have traveled. It’s the farthest anyone has ever gone. She’s also very smart, heading into the thick woods where Sabre can’t utilize his super speed. His only question is why Storm didn’t spring the trap. Stonewall tells him she might have had second thoughts. In fact, he thinks maybe they should think twice about what they’re doing. They know Storm is innocent, but since she knows their secret, they went after her anyway. Crimson Commando assures Stonewall they’re doing what needs to be done. If they are sent to jail, their work will be finished. Stonewall isn’t satisfied with the Commando’s answer. He stresses the fact that she didn’t kill Super Sabre when she had the chance.

No sooner was his name mentioned, then Super Sabre zips right to them. The Crimson Commando yells for Stonewall to stop him; he left the trap up. Stonewall gets in the way and Sabre bounces right off him. He gets up and is angry at Stonewall. The Commando tells him Stonewall saved his life. He holds out his hand and shows a rather shocked Sabre the fishing line that was strung up across the trees. The Commando tells him he thinks the girls are heading towards the ridge nearby. Super Sabre, knowing he can’t follow their trail directly, takes off on the main path, intent on beating them to where they’re going.

A few minutes later Sabre has reached his destination. He stands atop the ridge and looks across the valley. He’s very confident they’ll catch the girls. While waiting, he contemplates Storm’s innocence. He comes to the conclusion that her death will be a small sacrifice for the greater good. From behind, Storm watches the speedster. She dives forward, knocking him down the mountainside. Priscilla is left to wonder her fate. She realizes they will kill her if Storm is defeated and thinks Storm will probably turn her in if they both make it out. With no options left, Priscilla walks over to a large rock outcropping. She pushes with all her might and sends a small avalanche toppling down on the two mutants. Both Storm and Sabre get up to run, but are knocked down and buried.

On a road not too far away, Marcie and Phillip continue the repairs on their truck. Not a car has passed by them since the accident and Phil can’t get anyone on his C.B. radio. Marcie tinkers a bit more and tells Phil to start the engine. It turns over and Marcie jumps for joy. Not too far back into the woods, Wolverine sits watching. He notices a young girl with orange hair make her way to the couple. Wolverine senses danger and starts to softly growl. She walks over to Marcie in a friendly manner. Then she grabs hold of her and pries her gun away. She takes aim at Phil and fires a shot off. He’s hit and he goes down hard. Marcie freaks out and Priscilla takes aim at her. She fires off another round and Marcie’s out for the count. Wolverine’s claws unsheathe and his growl grows louder.

Marcie hears the growl for the first time and decides it’s time to hop in the truck and get out of there. She drives off, a billow of smoke trailing behind her. Wolverine emerges from the woods and looks down at the dead couple. He’s upset with himself because he knew he might have been able to save them. Instead, he was slow to react and now they are lying in their own pool of blood.

Back at the avalanche site, Commando and Stonewall search through the rubble for their friend. The search is unsuccessful, but they do find Storm’s vest and Sabre’s headgear. They realize that Priscilla’s the one who caused the avalanche; she’s the one to blame. They head off to find her.

Nearby on the road, the truck Priscilla stole didn’t make it too far. She crashed it headfirst into a swamp. She’s sitting down huddled next to a tree with the gun propped between her knees. She’s really worried that she’s going to be caught now. She hears something and calls out. A hand reaches out and covers up her mouth.

It’s now dark, Priscilla is unconscious next to the truck. Stonewall finally comes upon the girl and heads over to kill her. A hand reaches out from the swamp and takes hold of Stonewall’s ankle. He trips and falls right into the water. It was Storm and Stonewall is shocked to see her. He thought she was dead. She shrugs off his comments and tells him he’ll be stuck in the marsh for a while. She’s going to take care of the Commando. She turns to leave, but Stonewall calls out to her for help. He’s sinking into the ground. By the manner in his voice, Storm believes him. She wades out into the water and grabs hold of him. She pulls with all her might and frees the giant man. They make it back to the dry land. Storm is tired.

Priscilla wakes up, picks up a big rock and heads over to Storm. She’s mighty mad at Storm for knocking her out. She lifts the rock over her head ready to bash Storm’s brains in. A knife cuts through the air right into Priscilla’s chest. It’s the Commando and he’s ready to slice Storm up next. Wolverine appears from the darkness and threatens the Commando. With amazing speed he throws one knife at Wolverine and one at Storm. Wolverine deflects it with his claws and Storm manages to catch hers by the handle. Wolverine asks Storm if they should take on the two strangers. Storm tells him that her battle with the Commando is for her alone.

The two fighters face off. Commando goes for her midsection, but Storm manages to dodge him. She lands a kick to his face. Then she delivers a swift elbow to the head and knocks him for a loop with an uppercut. She does a fancy maneuver off of a tree and strikes him on the head once more. He falls and grabs for one of his discarded knives. Storm, quick as lightning, grabs it first. She pins him down and swings the knife towards his face. She misses his head and strikes it into the ground. He’s shocked to still be alive.

During the fight, Storm has made up her mind. Storm tells him unless he and Stonewall turn themselves in to the authorities, she will kill them both and dump their bodies into the swamp. The Commando thinks Storm’s offer over and doesn’t like it. Stonewall tries to convince him they can handle the law. Commando doesn’t want to give up. He suggests they fight once again. Storm doesn’t back down. The Commando wants to know why Storm is even giving them a chance. She tells him because she knows what’s right and she won’t kill unjustifiably. Crimson Commando is convinced. He knows Storm and him are alike in most ways. He will try it her way.

(the next day)

In Russell New York, Storm and Wolverine sit in a car watching as Stonewall and Crimson Commando turn themselves in to the State Police. Wolverine is surprised they went through with it. Storm assures him that if they didn’t she would have gone after them and killed them. Wolverine’s a little shocked by this. He asks Storm what’s next for the X-Men. Storm tells him they will no longer wait for the enemy to strike. They will, instead, go after them first. Wolverine’s not too keen on the new strategy. Storms tells him they need to be more proactive. They [I]will[/I] make mistakes and learn from them. Wolverine’s not too sure. He wants to know if they follow this new path, what separates them from the hunters that just turned themselves in. In other words, will they stay the good guys.

Characters Involved: 

Dazzler, Longshot, Psylocke, Rogue, Storm, Wolverine (all X-Men)

Moira MacTaggert


Priscilla Morrison



Crimson Commando


Super Sabre

Story Notes: 

At this point Wolverine and the X-Men had no idea Jean Grey was alive and well and part of X Factor.

Several Morlocks and three X-Men were injured by the Marauders during the Mutant Massacre and are currently being treated in the Mutant Research complex on Muir Island.

Val Cooper arranged for Stonewall and Crimson Commando to become part of Freedom Force in Uncanny X-Men #223. The same issue reveals Super Sabre to be alive. He needed some time to recover from his injuries and too joins Mystique’s group.

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