Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #217

Issue Date: 
May 1987
Story Title: 
Folly's Gambit

Chris Claremont (writer), Jackson Guice (penciler), Steve Leialoha (inker), Tom Orzechowski (letterer), Glynis Oliver & Petra Scotese (colorists), Ann Nocenti (editor), Jim Shooter (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

Muir Island, where the X-Men are running a training exercise. It's a night-op and it's Psylocke versus the rest of the team. Rogue and Dazzler hit her hard, but Psylocke manages to best them. It's not until Longshot's crazy luck enters the equation that Psylocke is beaten. Afterwards they meet for breakfast with Banshee, who goes over their training with them. His main gripe is lack of teamwork. Later on, the X-Men are in the gym working out. Callisto and Dazzler end up going head to head, resulting in Dazzler storming off and heading to the mainland. Once there she goes to a pub and has the time of her life. She even wonders if she should stay an X-Men. After the party's over, she leaves and is almost run down by Cain Marko. Intent on proving herself, she goes after him. It turns out that Juggernaut's a big fan of her work and doesn't want to fight her. It's too bad that Dazzler doesn't feel that way. After none of her tricks work, she waits for Juggs to get close. When he's near, she throws everything she has at him. It doesn't work and the stress kills her, or so Juggernaut thinks.

Full Summary: 

It's night on Muir Island and Psylocke is running through the rocky snow-ridden terrain. A flash of light, like a flare, appears above her. Psylocke's eyes are unaffected by the flare thanks to her bionic implants.
Nearby, a small ship called the Mary Rose goes on guard. After seeing the starflare, one of the crewmembers, Geordie, thinks it's an explosion. He alerts the captain, who calms him down. He tells Geordie that it's not important. The explosion occurred over Muir Island where many weird things happen. He warns Geordie never to go near there. Just to be safe, the captain yells out to another of his men, Wullis. He tells him to keep watch, if anything should happen. Wullis acknowledges the command, but within his thoughts he knows who his true master is - Dr. Doom.
Back on Muir Island, Rogue is flying through the air carrying Dazzler with her. She hassles Dazzler about her light show. They shouldn't be drawing attention to themselves. Dazzler retorts, saying she knows how to use her powers and reminds Rogue how she beat her every time they fought in the past. Rogue realizes that Dazzler still doesn't trust her and feels horrible.
They spot Psylocke on the ground nearby. Rogue swoops down to the ground, drops Dazz off and goes after Betsy. Dazzler thinks this battle is too easy. Nearby, Psylocke reads Dazzler's thoughts. She now knows what's coming and has a plan. Rogue flies in, but is hit by a telepathic sledgehammer from Psylocke. Rogue's not through though and comes right back at her. Except it's just a mind trick and Rogue flies right through her. Psylocke then uses her power to alter Rogue's perception of reality. Rogue's world goes loopy and she crashes headfirst into a cliff.
Psylocke is so impressed with Rogue's takedown that she stops paying attention to the exercise. Dazzler seizes the moment and zaps her with a photon blast. Psylocke is blasted and hits the ground. She isn't moving anymore, so Dazzler runs towards her to make sure she's all right. She bends down to shake her and is greeted by a smile. Psylocke was faking her injuries to draw Dazz closer. She takes control of Ali's mind and makes her fire a photon blast at a rock. Out of the shadows pops Longshot. Psylocke could sense him there and used Dazzler to try and take him down. She misses and Longshot counters with several blades with netting attached. Both Dazzler and Psylocke are tangled up on the ground.
The newly recovered Rogue walks over and breaks them free. Then she gets in Betsy's face. She's not happy about the stunt she pulled messing with her mind. She lifts her up into the air and draws her fist back to hit her. Before anything can happen, Banshee interrupts her. He tells them the exercise is over and he wants them back at the house for breakfast. There, they will talk about how the training exercise went.
Later at breakfast, Rogue asks Banshee if there's any news from Storm or Wolverine. Banshee relays the news about their latest adventure in upstate New York. He assures her they will contact them when they're ready to join up. Rogue says they should be together as a team. Banshee tells her that Storm is the boss and this is what she wants. He goes on to ask Psylocke why she took the risk of being out in the open during the exercise. She explains that she knew where everyone was and what they were doing, so she didn't think it really mattered. Banshee agrees, but comments that she still was beaten by Longshot's luck. Longshot, unsure of the comment, asks if he did something wrong. Banshee assures him he did fine and tells him that his luck may prove invaluable to the team.
Banshee then asks Rogue why she didn't try to take Psylocke out from the air, using Dazzler's photon blast. He reasons they both would have been safe that way. Rogue explains she thought she could take her out herself. Banshee responds rather curtly. This sends Rogue into her second hissy fit since she came to the island. She slams her fist into the kitchen table and breaks the corner off. Then Banshee starts on Alison, asking her why she rushed towards Psylocke, exposing herself to a 'psychic attack'. She tries to answer, but he cuts her off. He goes on to explain that teamwork is essential if they're going to work together. The whole will always be greater than the sum of its parts. Rogue gives him some backtalk as she cleans up her mess. Sean assures her that he is right. Acting as one unit is the key to success.
In Moira MacTaggert's underground research complex lie the wounded from the Mutant Massacre. Moira walks through the hospital wing, checking on all her patients. After she finishes, she heads to the gym to talk to Callisto. Upon entering, Callisto asks if anyone died overnight. Moira tells her that nobody did, but there are a few she doesn't think are going to make it. They just don't have the will anymore. Callisto states, if their will is gone, they're better off dead.
Moira asks her about the X-Men. She wonders how Storm and Wolverine are handling all of this. She wonders if the X-Men will make it without those two, after all that has happened. Callisto, flipping herself on the pull-up bar, tells her they won't.
Later on, the X-Men partake in use of the gym. Longshot's working on his acrobatic skills, while Rogue is deadlifting 57 Tons. Banshee examines Psylocke's leg nearby. She has a slight muscle cramp. Both Callisto and Dazzler are at the pull-up bar. Callisto rags on Dazzler for not being able to keep up. Dazzler mouths off right back at her, but ends up losing concentration and falling to the ground. Callisto makes fun of her some more. Dazzler yells back at her, telling her to stop. Callisto jumps down and puts a knife to Dazz's throat. She threatens her saying her good looks won't save her. From above, Longshot loses his balance and falls to the ground. This distracts Callisto, allowing Dazzler to knock the knife out of her hand. Dazz gets up and storms off in anger. Callisto heckles her as she leaves.
Dazzler makes her way to the edge of the island. She knows deep inside Callisto would beat her in a fight. She wonders why she's even with the X-Men. She realizes, it's because she's scared. The world is crazy these days, especially with the Marauders on the loose. Among the X-Men, she has a chance to survive. Her only worry is, if she has to become like Callisto in order to do so. She was a singer before all this, after all.
She realizes she hates the X-Men as much as she needs them. She walks towards the pier and hops into the boat. She realizes, she's running away, but doesn't care. Rogue flies over to her, wanting to know if she's all right. She brought with her Dazz's jacket and her wallet. Dazzler tells her, she wants some time alone. Rogue asks her, if she's coming back. Dazzler replies, she doesn't know.
Dazzler makes her way to Ullapool, a fishing port on the northwest coast of Scotland. She's enjoying herself, walking around town like a normal human. She feels so free and happy that she wonders what it would be like, if she quit the X-Men. She knows she'd be living a lie, but wonders if it would be preferable. She passes by a pub called Black Ned's. She hears the sound of bagpipes and singing from within. Intrigued, she makes her way inside.
At first she's a little shy, but soon after makes a few friends. Within minutes she's dancing up a storm with the regulars. After a while she decides to go on stage and sing with the band. The crowd quiets to hear her sing. When she's done, everyone is impressed. By the end of the night she's slow dancing with a Scotsman by the name of Conal. In fact, when Alison leaves at the end of the night, she leaves with Conal. He invites her to come back next week for another good time. Then, all of a sudden, a man in a red sports car comes racing down the road. He almost hits Dazz, as she steps onto the street. She starts to yell at the man and then realizes she's seen his face before. It's Cain Marko, the Juggernaut.
Dazzler hops on a nearby motorcycle and takes off. Conal yells after her to stop. Dazzler tells him, she has to stop the crazy driver and she's one of the few who can do that. As she drives through the back roads, she charges up her powers by taking away the sound from everything around her. She wonders what the Juggernaut is doing here. She also wonders, how powerful he actually is. Either way, she thinks she can take him. She can't wait to show the X-Men, and especially Callisto, that she can handle herself.
She rounds a corner and is suddenly face to face with Juggs. With not enough time to stop, she crashes into his car and goes flying off the road. She gets up and is in some pain from the landing. Juggernaut yells at her for messing up his car. He picks the motorcycle up and throws it off into a mountain. Then he asks her, why she was tailing him and why he couldn't hear her. She tells him she's Dazzler and throws off some lights to show him she means business.
She doesn't get the effect she was looking for. Instead, it turns out, Juggernaut is a fan of her music. He tells her he has all her records. He's so happy to meet her. He then apologizes for messing with her and for ruining her bike and promises to make it up to her. However, he has a job to get to and he has to leave right away.
Dazzler doesn't think this 'job' is the good kind. She proceeds to blast two of the tires on his car. Then she uses her light power to give off a radiance pattern that hypnotizes him into complacency. He snaps out of it after only a short time and slams his hands together, knocking her to the ground. He's really angry now. He yells at her telling her she shouldn't be messing with him. He might have to hurt her. Dazzler, lying on the ground now, wonders if she might have gone too far.
She gets up and runs away. Juggs goes after her, intent on teaching her a lesson. Dazz turns around and throws a full strength dazzle blast at him. It doesn't work due to the sun's brightness in the morning. She notices some boulders on a cliffside nearby and uses her power to zap them loose. As they fall towards Juggernaut, he punches them with his fists. She continues to run without many options left. She slips and falls down the hillside and into the ocean. Juggernaut jumps off the hill and lands next to her. He picks her up by the coat, assuring her he won't kill her or even hurt her too bad. He holds her up to his face and tells her she should stick to singing. This reminds her of what Callisto said and makes her mad. She zaps him in the face in a bout of rage.
Juggernaut falls to his knees, dazzled. Dazzler gets up and runs away once more. She doesn't know where to go. She doesn't have any transportation other than her feet and she knows he'll be after her as soon as he recovers. She takes a little bit of solace in knowing that she's keeping him from his 'job'. She stops on a knoll and watches as Juggernaut gets closer. Her power is almost drained with nothing around to charge it. She realizes now that Banshee was right. She needs to think before she acts. She charges all of her remaining power into one shot and fires at Juggs. She thinks, if the rest of the X-Men were here, they'd be able to stop him. She wishes she had called them earlier As she uses up her powers, her body starts to hurt. She knows she has to keep it up if she is to have a chance to stop him.
Her powers run out and she just stands there. Juggernaut asks if she is done and if she's ready for his turn. Instead of answering she collapses to the ground. He starts yelling in disbelief. He is very upset. He never wanted Dazzler to die. He loved her and her music. Now, he's killed her.

Characters Involved: 

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

Banshee (former X-Man)

Moira MacTaggert


Toby, patron of Black Ned's pub

Conal and other customers of the pub

Unnamed Captain, Geordie and Wullis, crew-members aboard the ship, Mary Rose

Story Notes: 

Psylocke was given bionic eyes by Mojo in New Mutants Annual #2.
When Rogue was still a member of the Brotherhood of evil Mutants, she and Dazzler had a longstanding feud running in Dazzler's own title [Dazzler # 22-24; 28].
The Mary Rose /Dr. Doom subplot is in reference to events coming up in the "Fantastic Four vs. The X-Men" limited series.
Longshot makes a humorous comment about breakfast, "Dead, burned animal flesh and unborn baby birds? Yum!"
Rogue replies, "Don't be gross, Longshot, those are just ham 'n' eggs."
Rogue?s first hissy fit happened in Uncanny X-Men #216.

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