Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #247

Issue Date: 
August 1989
Story Title: 
The Light That Failed

Chris Claremont (writer), Marc Silvestri (penciler), Dan Green (inker), Glynis Oliver (colorist), Tom Orzechowski (letterer), Bob Harras (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

Before it is able to deal a death-blow to a beaten Rogue, the Master Mold finds itself under attack by the newly arrived X-Men. Using teamwork, the X-Men are able to apparently destroy the Sentinel, only to realize the battle has already taken the life of an innocent; Senator Kelly's wife, Sharon. With little warning, the Master Mold springs back to life. Using newly generated defenses and weapons, the rejuvenated Sentinel seems more than a match for the X-Men. Realizing that she still has the Siege Perilous in her possession, Dazzler throws the crystal amulet toward the Sentinel. The Siege Perilous grows to a tremendous size, large enough for the Master Mold to pass through. Rogue, sensing Dazzler's plan, uses her powers to push the Sentinel through the portal, but not without being dragged inside with it. Kelly blames mutants for his wife’s death and ensures Shaw that his Sentinel project will get all required funding. Elsewhere the Reavers are plotting revenge on the X-Men, unaware that they are being watched by Nanny and the Orphan Maker, who want the X-Men for themselves.

Full Summary: 

The Master Mold reels from the combined energy projection assaults of Havok, Dazzler and Storm. They, along with the rest of the X-Men, have appeared out of nowhere thanks to teleportation portals of Gateway and the psicall summons of Psylocke. The X-Men quickly assess their situation, recognizing the design of their foe as being a mutant-hunting Sentinel. The Master Mold systems begin to register alarm at the apparent dysfunction of its scanning systems. Unaware of the X-Men's current ability to be invisible to all forms of electronic detection, the Master Mold theorizes that its inability to establish contact with its targets is due to its ongoing incorporation and synthesis of the Omega Sentinel, Nimrod, it absorbed hours before.
Psylocke takes this moment to check on Senator Kelly's wife, who had been injured moments before when the Master Mold attacked Rogue. Through Senator Kelly's pleadings, Psylocke says that there is nothing that she can do to help his wife, except ease the passing into death. The Senator pushes Psylocke away, cursing her.
Meanwhile, the Master Mold begins to rise. Until it is able to develop a counter-measure to its foes' cloaking field, the Sentinel decides to continue its prime directive, that of survival by regeneration. The X-Men, realizing that this is unacceptable, press the attack. Colossus uses a steel girder to knock off a leg of the Sentinel. Dazzler, with a laser beam, manages to sever the Sentinel's right hand at the wrist and Havok, with a plasma discharge, obliterates the left arm. Storm summons a hurricane force wind to hurl Colossus toward the Sentinel in a variation of the team's classic move, "the Fastball Special". Colossus impacts in the Master Mold's torso and begins tearing it apart. After a telepathic warning from Psylocke, Colossus leaps away from the robot just before Storm summons the necessary lightning to incinerate the rest of the Sentinel's body.
The X-Men are impressed with their swift victory and begin to piece together the events that led up to it. Rogue relates her story, telling them that from its speech the Sentinel was none other than the Master Mold itself and that its quest was finding a group of mutants called "the Twelve". Havok relates to his teammates what he knows of the history of the Master Mold, that of it being the original Sentinel matrix. More confusing is the fact it was supposedly destroyed by the original X-Men! Rogue shifts the conversation to that of the X-Men's invisibility against electronics, leading Psylocke to reveal the astonishing: that during the battle, she perceived the ghost-image of a living awareness within the robot.
Nearby, Dazzler consoles Longshot who, lacking the ability to help in the fight against the Master Mold, feels useless. The X-Men continue to converse on their situation, noting both the insignificant (Rogue being back in mental control of her body and wearing Carol Danver's Ms. Marvel costume), and the truly tragic (Senator Kelly cradling his dying young wife).
Meanwhile in Australia, Jubilee uses the absence of the X-Men to explore her new home, the X-Men's base camp. The opportunity seems hollow, however, as the youthful Jubilee finds herself bored beyond belief. While exploring the base, Jubilee notices many confusing contrasts. While the ladies she followed through the portal were, in her terms "radical", they live in a town that is a "dud". While all of the cabins appear shabby on the outside, inside she finds designer showcases. Making her way through Dazzler's home, Jubilee finds memorabilia of Dazzler's career in music. While Jubilee cannot recall a singer called Dazzler, she does recognize the artist for whom Dazzler evidently sang with, Lila Cheney. This revelation leads Jubilee to theorize that Dazzler is very old; at least in her twenties. In further investigation Jubilee notices a photograph with Dazzler in it. In the photo she sees the woman posing with a group of people who sign the picture as the X-Men, a group she doesn't recognize.
In an adjoining room, Jubilee finds a large closet full of wonderful clothes that make her scream in excitement. Grabbing a red dress, she stands in front of a mirror admiring herself until she catches sight of someone through the window. Sitting on a hill and staring directly at the teen is Gateway, the means by which she arrived in Australia. Panic grips the young Jubilee who doesn't understand why the only person who knows of her presence, who has to be friends with those who live there, has not told the others. Filled with fear, Jubilee darts to her hiding place, deciding to play it safe until she can decide the best way to introduce herself.
Unaware of their town's newest resident, the X-Men, still in Manhattan, watch and mourn with the grieving Senator Kelly. Kelly's wife, still alive, notices the electrical stirrings of the supposedly destroyed Sentinel. She pleads with her husband to warn the heroes, but the Senator, blaming the mutants for his wife's condition, refuses. The Master Mold springs back to life, announcing the completion of its integration with its host unit, Nimrod. The X-Men are startled, but based on their previous encounter, confident. Havok fires a plasma discharge to the now rebuilt and upright Sentinel. Raising his arm, the Master Mold generates a deflective screen, successfully reflecting Havok's blast. The ricocheted blast impacts in front of the X-Men, creating a crater in which Dazzler falls. Both sides of the conflict swiftly come to revelations. Havok exclaims to his teammates that they are no longer invisible to the robot, the Master Mold, after analysis, identifies the powers and strategies of his targets as those of the X-Men, a group of mutants currently registered as deceased.
Sirens begin to sound, marking the arrival of local authorities. The Master Mold presses the attack. Using metal from his own body, the Master Mold throws metal spikes toward Longshot, which he evades. Storm rises into the sky and generates a powerful wind, attempting to sweep the robot as far out as possible into the Atlantic. The Master Mold responds by anchoring himself to the island's bedrock. Colossus, seeing this, removes one of the Sentinel's anchoring leg. The Sentinel responds by pounding the armored X-Man into the ground with a single blow.
On the sidelines, Psylocke finally senses the living consciousness within the Master Mold and tries to solidify the contact and try to take control. The Master Mold detects the psychic attack, and is amazed when another voice, inside his own head, cheers on the telepathic attack. Nonetheless, the Master Mold fires a blast in Psylocke's direction, but misses when Havok pushes the armored telepath out of the way. Colossus pulls himself out of the hole he was pounded into moments before. The dazed Colossus tells the approaching Rogue and Longshot that he is fine and needs but a few moments to recover. Rogue realizes that they lack the time for Colossus to recover and borrows his powers with a kiss. Absorbing Colossus' powers, Rogue armors herself and flies into the sky, leaving Longshot to care for the unconscious X-Man.
Still in the bottom of the crater in which she fell, Dazzler returns to consciousness. After getting stuck by something in her pocket, Dazzler pulls out the Siege Perilous. As she holds the mystic amulet in her palm, Dazzler's hand begins to bleed, reminding her of mere hours before, when she had gazed into the ruby center and saw multiple lives she could have lived, only to the see each end in death.
Miles above, Rogue ends her ascending flight and begins her descent back to battle below. Flying at her top speed, Rogue adds to her velocity the pull of Earth's gravity and to her invulnerability the mass and armor of Colossus. These combined forces make her the functional equivalent of a meteor, which impacts squarely the form of the Master Mold. The X-Men are knocked to the ground by Rogue's impact. As they recover, the X-Men find the only part of the Master Mold still intact is its head. Much to the X-Men's surprise, the head begins to talk to itself. Although the Master Mold had claimed its assimilation of its host form was complete, Nimrod lives! Regardless, the Sentinel begins anew its regeneration, much to the horror of the on-looking Rogue.
Rogue yells to her fellow X-Men, asking how can they beat something that keeps putting itself back together. Dazzler, with the Siege Perilous amulet in hand, answers the question to herself; by sending it somewhere it can't do any harm. Recalling how the X-Men sent the Reavers though the Siege Perilous, Dazzler conceives of a similar plan. Dazzler throws the amulet toward the Master Mold. The small trinket lands next to the Sentinel's head and proceeds to grow to tremendous size. The Master Mold's sensors cry alarm, detecting the pan-dimensional portal. Rogue praises Dazzler's plan and launches toward the Sentinel to drive it through the portal. The Master Mold responds by anchoring itself to the ground. Next, the Sentinel grabs Rogue and wraps her in metal, holding her tight. Rogue yells to the watching Dazzler, exclaiming that she is unable to break loose and tells her the blast the robot. Dazzler hesitates, wanting instead to cut her teammate free. Rogue protests, declaring that she believes that she is history either way, and wants to make sure that she takes the Master Mold with her.
While Dazzler ponders her decision, another dialogue takes place. Nimrod's consciousness, still within the Master Mold, poses a conundrum to its usurper. If the X-Men can only be detected by living entities, and the Nimrod/Master Mold synthesis can detect them, then they must, in some sense, be alive. Nearby, Dazzler makes her decision. Asking for forgiveness, she unleashes her laser blast, cheered on by the captive Rogue. As the Master Mold is pushed into the mouth of the Siege Perilous, Nimrod continues his line or reasoning. As robots are machines, they cannot have life. So if the hybrid sentinel is no longer a machine, then they have evolved beyond the technological plane and have mutated. As the Sentinel passes through the portal, Nimrod finishes its thought. The Master Mold's programming mandate is the destruction of all mutants. Now, as a mutant, it must fulfill its prime directive.
The Master Mold disappears inside the Siege Perilous, still carrying the captive Rogue. Dazzler screams for her teammate, and runs to her rescue. By the time she arrives, the Siege Perilous has shrunk, returning to the form of a hand-sized amulet. Dazzler asks herself over and over again, "What have I done?"
Sometime later the authorities comb the area, trying to make sense of what has passed. Among the people are Sebastian Shaw and Lady Tessa of the Hellfire Club. Tessa reports that the robot that started the conflict appears to have been destroyed. Furthermore, while impossible to verify on current data, witnesses reported it identifying itself as the Master Mold. As to the super beings that fought the sentinel, no witness appears to have a direct recollection of their appearance or names and no image was captured by photograph or videotape. Lastly, Tessa reports that there was only one casualty in the conflict, Sharon Kelly. Shaw approaches the Senator, and attempts to console the grieving man. Before he can complete his second sentence, Shaw is interrupted by Senator Kelly. His grief now turned to rage, Kelly makes Shaw a promise. Whatever federal support is needed for the hunter system of which they spoke earlier, Project Nimrod, it will get. Swearing on his wife's grave, Kelly says that this carnage must end.
On a monitor, far away, three shadowed forms watch the exchange between the Senator and Sebastian Shaw. They laugh as Shaw tells his friend that he will not regret his decision. They, unlike Kelly, know Shaw's status as a mutant. The recently freed Donald Pierce tells Bonebreaker that, in time, they might inform the Senator of that very fact. Lady Deathstrike, the third figure, asks Pierce how he is certain that the X-Men were involved, when they were not visible to the monitors. Lighting a cigarette, Pierce asks Deathstrike to take his word. Furthermore, he states that as their group knows where the X-Men live, added with their ability to take the mutants by surprise, will enable their group to destroy them.
Ironically, as Pierce gloats in his self-prophesized victory, he is unaware that he and his group are being watched. Nanny and the Orphan Maker plot their own move. Whether the X-Men like it or not, the two of them will save the band of mutants ... and get lots of new friends to play with at the same time.

Characters Involved: 

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

Gateway, X-Men ally


Master Mold

Nimrod personality, merging with Master Mold

Senator Robert Kelly

Sharon Kelly, his wife
Sebastian Shaw, Tessa (formerly Hellfire Club)

Bonebreaker, Lady Deathstrike, Donald Pierce, Lady Deathstrike (all Reavers)


Orphan Maker

Story Notes: 

Shortly after Dazzler's secret of being a mutant was publicly outed, she disguised herself with a black wig and became part of Lila Cheney's band as her keyboarder. (New Mutants #42, Uncanny X-Men #210)
Rogue would not be seen again until emerging in her room in the australian outback town in Uncanny X-Men #269.
Master Mold and Nimrod fully merged and weree transformed into Bastion, who would much later organize Operation Zero Tolerance. The revelation was made in a flashback of Machine Man / Bastion Annual 1998.

Issue Information: 
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