Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #222

Issue Date: 
October 1987
Story Title: 

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: 

Rogue and Dazzler are about to be attacked by Polaris when Havok, from a very far distance, blasts her out of the sky. Rogue flies Dazzler and the unconscious Polaris to the beach. Rogue leaves in search of Maddie, leaving Dazzler behind to guard the Polaris. Havok, Psylocke and two police officers come on scene. Polaris wakes up and attacks Havok and everyone else. More Marauders show up (Vertigo, Harpoon, Arclight) and start fighting. Thanks to Psylocke, Lorna briefly regains control of her mind. She loses it again, though, and the Marauders are able to trap all the X-Men in the sand, except for Havok who grabs onto Polaris' legs. Over at the Golden Gate Bridge, Longshot and Wolverine spoil an assassination attempt by Scalphunter. Scalphunter starts blasting away at them and Longshot falls off the bridge. Wolverine fights Scrambler and Sabretooth as well, before jumping off the bridge. He's saved by Rogue who takes him back up top, but the Marauders are gone. Wolverine heads back down to the water to look for Longshot and finds him rescuing Madelyne. A bit earlier, Polaris and Havok are above Alcatraz. The signal for the Marauder to leave is given and Polaris leaves Havok behind. He tries to blast her out of the sky, but she deflects his attack; he cries. Meanwhile, in the Rocky Mountains, Nazé and Storm continue their quest to find Forge. They're just sitting down to dinner when they come under attack from Eye Killers. Storm figures out their weakness is fire and both her and Nazé are able to destroy them.

Full Summary: 

San Francisco: both Rogue and Dazzler are treading water in the San Francisco Bay, while Polaris floats above them. She's all set to kill them when a plasma blast strikes her from behind. Dazzler is shocked by the timely rescue. Rogue guesses it was Havok who blasted their foe. He probably didn't realize it was Lorna, his girlfriend. Rogue maneuvers herself out of the water to catch the now unconscious Polaris. She grabs Dazzler as well and heads to the shore.

On the nearby beach at Aquatic Park, a gentleman sits eating a hotdog and reading a novel titled "Wild Cards." He thinks to himself how ridiculous costumed super heroes are. He looks up from his book and sees Rogue flying in with Dazzler and Polaris; he's completely taken aback. Rogue is really straining as she nears the shore. As soon as she nears the sand she falls to the ground, dropping her two passengers, all three of them going headfirst into the beach. A bunch of people crowd around them. Off in the distance, the sound of a siren can be heard.

Havok and Psylocke are riding in the backseat of an unmarked police car. Lt. Morrell and her colleague Harry are up front. Lt. Sabrina Morrell, who's met the X-Men before, asks Psylocke to tell her more about the Marauders, who are behind everything that is going on. Psylocke tells her they're ruthless murderers and explains that they took Colossus, Nightcrawler and Shadowcat out of commission. Morrell wants to know more, like who they're working for and why they're after Madelyne Pryor. Psylocke tells her she doesn't know, but she means to find out. She reaches out with her mind and tries to contact her teammates.
Rogue's eyes open as she receives the telepathic call from Psylocke. Rogue fills her in on their prisoner, Polaris. Rogue looks up at the people standing around her and notices three Japanese children gawking at her. It's Akira, Eiko and Jiro and they want some autographs from the heroes. Rogue recognizes the children from their last visit to Japan. Dazzler tells everyone they should leave, including the kids. She tells them they need to clear out for their own safety.

Rogue tells Dazz that Psylocke informed her about Madelyne's whereabouts in the Bay. She says she has to get going before Maddie is lost at sea. Dazzler tells her not to worry. She assures her that she'll watch Polaris until everyone else arrives. Rogue stands up, walks over to Dazz and puts out her hand. She thanks Dazzler for the rescue. Dazzler tells her it's not a big deal; she's an X-Man. Rogue agrees, but she's happy anyway. She takes off to look for Maddie.

Dazzler sits by the shoreline, licking her wounds. She looks over at the unconscious Lorna and wonders what caused her to switch sides. Alison decides to recharge her light powers in case the Marauders come around. She starts sucking up every sound in the area. Everyone else in the area is temporarily "deaf," which causes some confusion, not to mention outright panic. Some of the people get scared and start running. The police car with Alex and Betsy arrives and they wonder if the Marauders are back when they see the panicked people. Then they notice the light show and realize it's just Dazzler. Havok is the first to reach her. He grabs her and tells her she's terrorizing the beach. She's immediately sorry and apologizes. Lt. Morrell jokingly calls her a rookie and Dazzler realizes she still has a lot to learn. Havok walks over to Polaris, who's lying on her stomach. He rolls her over; unaware it's really his girlfriend. When he sees her face, he's completely shocked. Lorna greets him with a smile and blasts him in the midsection with her powers.

The Rocky Mountains:it's evening and Nazé is cooking a few rabbits over an open fire. He calls out to Storm to tell her that dinner is ready. Storm questions him as to why they didn't just drive to where Forge is. She feels as though they're taking the most difficult path. He reminds her that that's what a Vision Quest is all about. It is a test of body and spirit and must be difficult, as only the worthy can make it. Storm asks if Forge was worthy. "Once," the shaman replies. They have to be better.

Nazé takes a bite of his dinner. Storm tells him how unbelievable it is to her that Forge has switched sides and is now working for the Adversary. She can't believe it because she loves him, is what Nazé thinks, and because Forge is the only one who can restore who powers. He shares in her sorrow, however, as he admits that Forge was like a son to him. Storm spots someone coming towards them off to the right. It's a girl, dressed up to the nines, and she's in distress. She calls out for help. Nazé whips out his bow and arrow.

The girl goes to Storm, who tries to calm her. Nazé wants to know who's after her and what weapons they have. Storm asks him to give her some time to recover before questioning her. Nazé says he doesn't want to be taken by surprise. Storm tells the girl to sit down and try to calm herself. She starts to ask her if she wants some food, but a huge boulder comes flying at them. Nazé knocks them out of the way and the boulder smashes into the campfire. Storm wonders what kind of being could have the power to do that. She gets her answer when the girl grabs her by the throat and lifts her in the air. She tells Storm it was her brother. She proclaims that she serves the Trickster and then tosses Storm towards the boulder.

Storm does some fancy maneuvers in the air, twists around and glances off the boulder's side instead of smashing into it. She looks up and sees the girl's brother. He applauds her acrobatics and fires some black lightning from his eyes at her. She dives out of the way; the beams hit the boulder, destroying it.

Meanwhile, the girl has Nazé by the neck. She's draining him of his life force. Storm sees this, grabs a nearby staff of wood and takes batting practice with the girl's head. The girl falls backwards into the scattered fire. She starts screaming in agony because of the fire. She suddenly transforms into an owl/snake like creature. It turns out that that is her true form, and that fire is their weakness. She calls herself and her brother "Eye Killers". She continues, telling them that back in the day they used to prey on the Native Americans, before the "white man" came. The Adversary has promised that it will be that way again. She shoots a fire beam from her eyes and hits Storm's vest. Storm quickly takes off the vest and throws it at her.
Nazé calls out to Storm, telling her to stand her ground. He fires an arrow at the female Eye Killer, which pierces her behind her left shoulder. The "brother" gets angry and races towards Nazé. Storm dives at him and wraps up his legs. He falls to the ground and morphs into his true form. He grabs her and lifts her in the air, dragging his claws along her back. Storm screams in agony. The male Eye Killer starts to drain Storm of her life force.

Nazé throws a firebomb at the female, which engulfs her in flames. The male is distracted, giving Storm the opportunity to unsheathe her knife and stab him in the chest. She then grabs him by the neck and flips him over her shoulder and into the flames with his sister. Nazé tosses another firebomb into the mix to finish them off. Both the beasts are destroyed.

Nazé asks Storm is she's ok. She responds angrily that she's well enough. Her wounds remind her of how easier the battle would have been if she had her powers. Nazé informs her that the Eye Killers were banished to the Spiritlands an age ago, but the walls between worlds are breaking down. He tells her it will get worse unless they do something. It was originally Forge's job to keep that from happening. Now he presumes that Forge has instead opened the gates wider. Storm holds up her bloody knife to her face to get a good look at it. She tells Nazé that if he speaks the truth, then she will do whatever is necessary to stop Forge. Nazé says that that's all he asks.

San Francisco: Havok is upset and asks Lorna what she's doing. Lt. Morrell tells Harry to head to the car and radio in for back-up. Polaris hears her and magnetically tears apart the car. Psylocke takes advantage of her preoccupation and enters her mind. Betsy recognizes something familiar about her thoughts, realizes that she isn't alone in there and attempts the isolate the other psyche. Suddenly, the real Lorna Dane is back. She's shocked at where she is and how she's dressed. She sees Alex and asks him what happened. Psylocke informs her that she's been possessed by Malice. Vertigo comes on scene and turns their worlds upside down. Alex pleads with Lorna to fight Malice's control.

Nearby, Vertigo, alongside Harpoon, continues to make the X-Men sick. Lorna is about to fly over and stop them, but Malice reasserts control. She tells the duo to take care of the X-Men. She wants to kill Havok herself. Harpoon throws his energy spear at Dazzler. She takes aim and fires a dazzle blast at it. It connects and the spear explodes.
Vertigo stops using her powers. Harry regains his composure and takes aim at Polaris, realizing she's the leader. He fires one shot at her, but she is able to stop the bullet in midair and send it back. It ends up hitting Lt. Morrell. Arclight shows up and lays down a shockwave. She causes a split in the beach and most of the X-Men, including the two police officers, fall in. A surge of water comes rushing in to drown them. Before Havok falls in, he leaps at the flying Polaris and manages to snag her legs. He tells her he loves her and he won't let her continue the madness.

Over at the Golden Gate Bridge, Rogue makes her way to Maddie. Standing underneath the bridge is Scalphunter and he has a weapon aimed right at Rogue. He has her in his sights, but suddenly a smiling blonde-haired face appears before him. It's Longshot hanging upside down in front of his scope. Scalphunter backs up. A hand reaches down and grabs him by the neck and swings him back onto the bridge. It's Wolverine and he's mad. He challenges Scalphunter to a battle, face to face. Scalp quickly takes position and fires a volley of gunfire at the two heroes. Wolverine jumps forward, whereas Longshot falls backwards and off of the bridge. Wolvie runs and watches as Longshot plummets into the Bay. Scrambler sneaks up on Wolvie and tackles him to the ground. Unfortunately for him, that's not enough to take out Wolverine. Wolvie knocks him away into Scalphunter. Sabretooth is there as well and he jumps at Logan. He slashes Wolverine across the chest, then punches him in the face. He yells in pain, as his hand is broken. Wolvie's Adamantium was too hard for him.

Wolverine punches him in the chest and keeps his fist balled up there. He unsheathes his claws and they go clean through. He tosses Sabes right into Scrambler. Scalphunter has recovered and starts firing at Wolverine again. This time he?s firing explosive shells. Wolverine's a bit worried this time, because Scrambler's touch really messed up his powers. He might not recover from a direct hit. He decides his only choice is to jump off the bridge. Scalphunter runs over to the edge and continues firing. He can't find a trace of Wolverine and wonders whether he got him or not.

Meanwhile below, Rogue catches Wolvie before he hits the water. He tells her to take him back up to the action. However, when they arrive the Marauders are gone. They have no idea how they got away. Rogue asks Wolvie if he wants her to search for them. He tells her to stay and survey the damage. He wants her to fix anything she can. He's going to head down the stairwell to the bottom and look for Longshot.
He reaches the bottom and smells Longshot's scent. His powers are finally back to normal. He looks in the water and spots Longshot, and he has Maddie with him. Longshot's crazy luck did it again. He landed near Maddie and they ended up rescuing each other. They swim to the embankment and Wolverine pulls Madelyne out. She asks Wolverine if the battle is over. He tells her that it is for now. He suspects they think that Maddie died, thus accomplishing their mission. She asks Wolverine if he knows why they're after her. He tells her he doesn't know, but he intends on finding them, finding out and dealing with them once and for all.

Nearby above Alcatraz, a few minutes earlier, Alex is still clinging to Lorna's legs. Alex continues to beg Lorna to fight Malice's influence. Malice assures him that Lorna's personality is unreachable. In fact, she loves being evil. Suddenly, a bright flare over the Golden Gate Bridge appears. Malice tells him the signal means that Maddie's dead and it's time to leave. She kicks Alex loose, but decides to let him live and magnetically slows his descent. She thinks the knowledge of what Polaris has become is the best torture. She reminds him that he can still stop her by blasting her out of the sky. Otherwise he'll be partially responsible for every crime she commits. He calls out to her from the ground. He pleads with her to come back. With no other options left, he whispers, "I love you. Forgive me." and blasts away. It has no effect as her shield blocks his attack. She scoffs at him, and says that what matters, is that he actually tried to kill her. Havok drops to his knees and cries.

Characters Involved: 

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

Madelyne Pryor

Lt. Sabrina "Bree" Morrell and Harry (two police officers)

Akira, Eiko and Jiro (three Japanese children)

Arclight, Harpoon, Malice/Polaris, Sabretooth, Scalphunter, Scrambler, Vertigo (all Marauders)

The Adversary posing as Nazé

Eye Killers

Story Notes: 

Art error: Lorna/Malice is sporting blonde hair on the first page.

The Marauders injured Colossus, Nightcrawler and Shadowcat badly in Uncanny X-Men #211 during the Mutant Massacre.

Akira, Eiko and Jiro met the X-Men previously in Uncanny X-Men #181.

"Wildcards" is the title of an anthology series of novels edited by bestselling author George R.R. Martin. The premise of the series is people gaining superpowers and strange mutations and how they deal with those changes.

Lieutenant Morrell was a supporting character during Chris Claremont's run on Spider-Woman and also previously appeared in Uncanny X-Men #206.

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