Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #220

Issue Date: 
August 1987
Story Title: 
Unfinished Business

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

Brief Description: 

Storm approaches Wolverine about taking over as leader of the X-Men while she searches for Forge to ask him to return her powers. He doesn't want to do it, but Storm manages to convince him that it's his duty. She makes her way to Dallas, Texas, where Forge's penthouse is. After finding the building deserted and without power, she takes the stairs up to Forge's penthouse apartment. When she arrives, she is shocked to find holograms of her and Forge out on the balcony, replaying their confrontation from months ago. Suddenly, the security systems are activated, but through some fancy maneuvering she stays out of harm's way. She progresses through the penthouse only to find more and more holograms of herself and Forge. She decides to go to the control room to shut it off. When she does, the holograms disappear and she finds Forge distraught nearby. However, it's just another hologram and the person who turned them on reveals himself. It's Naze, who tells her he wanted to test her skills. He wants her help in finding Forge. She refuses, but after much begging and pleading she agrees to go with him. However, Naze's motives may not be so innocent.

Full Summary: 

Two eagles are flying high up in the sky. One of them, the female, sports a white Mohawk. It turns out that the two are actually mates and in midair they embrace each other. While together, neither is able to fly and so they both plummet towards the ground. At the last moment they break free and take to the air once more. Suddenly, the male eagle's feathers start coming off. Beneath the feathers, lie steel and circuits. The steel eagle swoops towards the female and crushes her with his metal claws. The female falls from the sky and hits the rock face of a mountain wall. No longer able to fly, she tumbles down until she hits the bottom. The male eagle flies away, pleased.


Wolverine is crouching at the edge of a mountain peak looking across the valley; three eagles swoop beneath him. Storm approaches him from behind. Wolvie senses her, turns around, flips out the claws on his right hand and slices through a nearby boulder. He yells at Storm, telling her he wanted to be left alone. Storm says she can't afford to let him be by himself.
Wolverine wants to know how Storm found him. She tells him she knows him better than he thinks. He argues that that's impossible since he doesn't even know himself anymore. Wolverine retracts his claws and lights up a smoke. Storm looks over the peak and tells Wolverine that although she's gotten used to having no powers, seeing the beautiful valley makes her want to fly again. She digresses and tells him that's not why she's there. She needs a favor from him. As leader of the X-Men she thinks she would be more effective if she had her powers back. And since Forge was the one who developed the weapon that nullified them, she thinks he might be able to build something to restore them. She had tried to phone him, but there was never an answer. So she's decided to search him out. She needs someone to lead the X-Men while she's gone and that's where Wolverine comes in.
Wolverine tells her it's not his style, which causes Storm to get angry. She grabs him by his shirt and tells him of the sacrifices she's had to make and will make without her powers. She personally doesn't want to see Forge ever again, but she will swallow her pride if it means getting her powers back and becoming a better leader for the X-Men. She tells him she'll force him to be leader if she has to. He gets right in her face and tells her flat out that he doesn't want to take the job. He suggests Rogue or Psylocke for the position. Storm tells him that they're not ready to assume leadership. He walks away from her and tells her she's making a mistake. Ororo admits to him that he might be right, but if he doesn't do this for her he will be making a bigger one. Wolverine stops, thinks for a moment, and puts on his hat. He tells her he'll do it.
Four days later in Dallas, Texas:

Storm arrives at Eagle Plaza, the home of Forge. It's raining pretty bad outside, but it doesn't seem to bother her. She notes that it was raining the last time she was there to visit Forge. She makes her way to the entrance of the building and walks inside. She secretly wonders if getting her powers back would really be better. She likes the fact that she can depend on her own skills and strength to save her. Sometimes powers prove to be a crutch. She looks around the lobby and is shocked to see no one around. The doors should've been locked if nobody was down there.
She examines the lobby; wary of the automatic defenses Forge has set up. None of them go off, so Storm thinks them inactive. She walks over to the security console and finds it turned off. There's a bunch of dust on it too, which means nobody's used it in a while. Her eye catches a note lying there and she picks it up. It's a letter from the city saying the place is to be condemned. She picks up the phone at the desk, but the line is dead. There's no power in the building at all.
Storm realizes Forge is unlikely to be here, probably the government has him stashed somewhere else, still making weapons for them. However, she decides she has to make sure. Even though Forge's penthouse is 100 floors up and she can't take the elevator, she presses on.
Inside the sanctum of Forge's penthouse, a man, who appears to be Naze, Forge's shaman mentor, is sitting down on a red mat meditating. He's communicating with the spirit lands and before him a smoky image of Forge and Storm appears. It dissolves and Naze is happy to know that Storm is on her way up. His face turns devious and he says he must prepare for her welcome.
Storm finally reaches Forge's penthouse, his aerie. There are a dozen or so floating platforms suspended in mid-air over five stories. The outer wall near Storm is busted open and rain pours in on top of her. Storm marvels at his work and remembers the amazing holographic system he had in his penthouse. Even those who knew to look for it were easily fooled, she thinks. Both by the machines and by the man. She hears a female's weak cry for help and wonders who it could be. Storm sees a shadowed figure out on the balcony and walks over.
She calls out, but gets no response. A voice speaks to her from behind, though, and she turns around. It's Forge! Storm asks him why he didn't answer when she called earlier, but then realizes something's wrong. Then the shadowy figure reveals herself and it's Storm?! Ororo moves towards the two figures and her arms pass right through them. They're holograms and they're reenacting events that took place between her and Forge months ago. She calls out to Forge, whom she assumes is controlling this, to face her.
Suddenly, explosions occur all around her. She looks around and finds herself in a jungle setting. Everything is as it was the last time she was there. Next, a barrage of demons comes rushing by. She realizes the two images belong together and wonders if they had to do with Forge's past and more importantly, what do they mean. Everything disappears including the platforms as they become invisible. With the power working in Forge's penthouse, Storm realizes the same goes for his defense systems. She hops from platform to invisible platform using her memory as her guide. A laser fires at her, tearing a hole in her trenchcoat. She dives into the living room amidst a volley of laser fire. She ducks behind a couch to catch her breath.
Forge's voice booms over a speaker. It warns the intruder to get out or die. Storm yells out to Forge, telling him to stop all the craziness. She tells him she only wants to talk. All around her images of herself in different costumes start popping up. The last image is of her when she was shot with the Neutralizer that stripped her of her powers. As she watches this, a tear streams down her face. She cries out, "WHY?!" She wants to know why Forge is showing her all this stuff. She gets up and is hit in the arm by a laser. She hits the ground with a thud. Her arm's all right, just numb. She decides to head to the kitchen where the lasers can't get her.
She enters and finds more holographic reenactments going on. In one of them Storm is wearing a dress and Forge is admiring her. In another, Forge and Storm are sharing some champagne. She wonders to herself how things between her and Forge got to where they are now. She decides she needs to go to his lab from where all the holograms are being controlled. She walks by his swimming pool and finds several more versions of herself and him swimming, diving, sitting by the poolside, etc.
She finally makes it to the control room and steps inside. The smell is absolutely horrible. She calls out to Forge once more. She wonders if he may have died in there. She moves into a lighted area and finds a dozen or so more holograms of her, imagination this time instead of memories. She thinks of the whole room as an obscene shrine to her and is not sure whether to be disgusted or feel sad for him. She finds the switch to turn them off and hits it. They disappear to Storm's satisfaction. From behind her, someone cries out, "NO!". She turns about and finds Forge strung up to some machine with a bunch of wires wrapped around him.
He demands to know why she turned the holograms off. She doesn't know what to say, but is shocked at his condition. Forge wants to know where his "love", his "heart" is, referring to the holograms of Storm. He wants them back. She tells him to open his eyes because she is the real one. He continues to beg her to bring them back. At this point, Storm realizes that Forge has gone crazy. Forge demands she bring back the Storms and threatens to kill her if she doesn't. He lurches forward and passes right through Storm's hand. He's an illusion too!
Naze makes his appearance and greets Ororo. He's holding a shotgun up, resting it on his shoulder. She's surprised to see the old man in such good shape. She wants to know what he's doing there. He tells her he's there for the same reason as her. He's looking for Forge. He adds that he's actually been there for weeks checking things out. Storm asks him why he didn't warn her about the holograms and the defense system. He replies, matter of factly, that he set them up for her. He wanted to test her out and see if she was still as good as she used to be; he's impressed. She takes a swing at the old man and misses. Then she curses him. She storms away and Naze calls after her. She tells him to go to "Hades".
He follows her anyway and tries to explain things to her. He tells her he only turned the stuff on, he didn't program it. He thinks Forge's mental state is screwy. Storm brushes him off and says it's no concern of hers. He jogs over to her and grabs her by the shoulder. He calls her a "stupid cow" and tells her it is her concern because she's the cause! Forge loved her more than anything, and when the weapon he created took away her powers, he felt horrible and it drove him mad. She knocks his arm off of her and snarls he broke her heart as well with his betrayal. She may have trusted him once, but never again.
Naze tries to talk some sense into her. He agrees she might not be to blame, but she has to take some responsibility for it. He asks her what she's going to do. Storm tells him flat out that she's going to do nothing. Naze wants to know why she even came then. She tells him it was unfinished business, which she now resolved, but he doesn't believe her.
He follows Storm out to the living room. He explains who Forge is: the Maker. He's been blessed with tremendous shaman powers and has been trained since he was a child to battle the Adversary, a horrible being. However, he continues, Forge decided to ignore his teachings and fight in the Vietnam War. They tried to train other shamans, but each one of them failed and was killed. Naze is afraid that the Adversary has taken hold of Forge and driven him mad. He stresses that they need to find him.
Storm denies his request again and says she won't look for him. She has other important things to deal with. Naze pulls out his trump card. He reminds Storm of the time he saved her life and tells her that she owes him.
Storm walks away from him and out onto the balcony, despite the heavy rain. The wind suddenly picks up in force and starts pushing her back into the room. She wonders if the gale winds are the work of Naze. She cries out, claiming that no force will move her from where she wants to be. From inside, Naze yells out to her. He tells her he can't do it alone and needs her help; he's too old. He swallows his pride and finally begs her.
Dawn comes and the rain stops. Storm's still standing outside Forge's apartment. She looks to the clouds and sees Forge's face within them, first calm, then going mad. She comes to the realization that Naze was right. She is partly responsible for Forge's state and it is her honor that convinces her to help him out... maybe even her love for the man. Naze tells her they still have a chance to save his soul. But he needs her at his side. Storm walks over to him and takes hold of his arms. She promises him she will help him find Forge. He assures her that she made the right choice. He turns his head slightly from Storm and has that evil grin on his face once more.

Characters Involved: 

Storm, Wolverine (both X-Men)

The Adversary in the form of Forge's mentor Naze


Forge,Storm (both memories and fantasy depictions of them)

Story Notes: 

Storm lost her powers to Forge's Neutralizer in Uncanny X-Men #185.

The opening story of the two eagles was Storm's metaphorical representation of what she feels was Forge's betrayal.

The holograms were replaying events that occurred in Uncanny X-Men #186.
Naze saved Storm's life in Uncanny X-Men #187.

Naze was replaced (and seemingly killed) by a Dire Wraith (off-panel in Uncanny X-Men #187). In Uncanny X-Men #188 that Wraith was in turn possessed by the Adversary.

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