Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #281

Issue Date: 
October 1991
Story Title: 
Fresh Upstart

Jim Lee and While Portacio (plot), John Byrne (scripter), While Portacio (penciler), Art Thibert (inker) Tom Orzechowski (letters), Joe Rosas (colors), Bob Harras (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

Jean Grey, Storm, Iceman, Archangel and Colossus, at the request of the White Queen, are attending a party at the Hellfire Club, as the White Queen believes they are under threat, and that the X-Men will be the next target of her mysterious attackers. Jean struggles with being inside the place where the Phoenix became Dark Phoenix, while Iceman flirts with Roulette of the Hellions. The aggressive male Hellions Beef and Empath cause trouble for Colossus, before the White Queen appears with a spy whom she has captured. Meanwhile, Shinobi Shaw is partying with Trevor Fitzroy, and discuss the Upstarts. Shinobi offers Fitzroy some Sentinels, but Fitzroy reveals that he already has some - and some monitors display the Australian Outback, where the Reavers are being destroyed by Fitzroy’s Sentinels. Fitzroy leaves Shinobi, boasting that he is going to destroy the White Queen of the Hellfire Club next. The White Queen begins to psionically torture her prisoner. The psionic backlash affects Jean, so Storm begins to fight with the White Queen, which causes her Hellions to attack the X-Men. Bevatron takes down Storm, while Beef once more attacks Colossus, and Catseye and Tarot take on Iceman. Eventually, Jean ends the battles with a powerful psionic blast. The White Queen proceeds to explain why the X-Men have been asked here, but is still being cryptic, which Storm doesn’t appreciate. Jetstream is suddenly then killed by Trevor Fitzroy who mysteriously appears. Back in Australia, Pierce is pursued by the Reavers, and he encounters Deathstrike, who tries to help him, but the Sentinels display abilities she didn’t know they had. Cylla realizes that the Sentinels only want Pierce, so the two women lay low. Pierce makes it out of the Reavers’ base and finds Gateway, ordering him to teleport him to the person responsible for this attack. Gateway opens a portal and Pierce jumps into it - but so do three of the Sentinels! At the Hellfire Club, Fitzroy slaughters Beef, while the X-Men, White Queen and Hellions engage Fitzroy in battle - until things take a turn for the worse when a teleportation portal opens - and Pierce, followed by three Sentinels, emerges! Pierce is struck down by the Sentinels, who prepare to take on the X-Men, White Queen and Hellions. The White Queen is struck down first, before the battle spreads out onto the streets below, while Fitzroy watches with glee. Tarot is the next to fall, and before long, the battle is seemingly over. Senator Kelly arrives soon and gives the X-Men a lecture about endangering innocent lives, before the X-Men reveal that Jean Grey is dead!

Full Summary: 

The Australian Outback, earlier today, the cyborg criminals known as the Reavers are being their usual selves: ‘There it is again! There’s something moving out there! I can hear it!’ Cole exclaims, muttering that he wished the blasted sand storm which roars outside their headquarters would let up for two minutes. ‘But it won’t. It hasn’t even peaked yet’ Reese tells him as they stand in the doorway. ‘Yes…but…I know I heard something’ Cole exclaims. ‘Something big!’. ‘This blasted sand…’ he mutters, before Reese tells him that he is letting his imagination get away with him. ‘Lord knows, there ain’t much else for a man to do with his time out here. There’s a woman behind every tree…except there ain’t no trees!’

Empty bottles of alcohol are littered on the table where Bonebreaker and Pretty Boy are slurping their drinks. Pretty Boy tells Cole to come over and have another drink, so they can talk about the last time they busted up the X-Men. ‘Yeah. Too long since we cleaned their clocks for ‘em!’ Bonebreaker mutters. ‘X-Men…maybe that’s what…’ begins Cole, before Reese puts his arm around him and leads him over to another table where Macon is drinking, and tells his friend to forget about it and have the drink. ‘Maybe later we can go to Sydney or Melbourne and find us some broads. Real broads. Not witches like Lady Deathstrike or Cylla’ Reese declares.

As Reese hands Cole a drink, Cole exclaims that he can hear the noise again, causing Donald Pierce, leader of the Reavers, to tell him to shut up. ‘I’ve heard too much of your blithering today!’ Pierce snaps. ‘Where’s a million miles from nowhere in the middle of a sandstorm. What could…’ he is interrupted when a small chunk of ceiling falls on his head. ‘Eh?’ he mutters, before the entire roof is suddenly ripped off, and several Sentinels appear! ‘Targets confirmed. Renegade enclave code name “Reavers” one of the Sentinels states, while another reports ‘Targeting systems locked. Terminate all units!’. One of the men screams as a Sentinel picks him up, while Pretty Boy is blasted in the chest. ‘Sentinels!’ shouts a confused Pierce, while the others look up at their impending doom….

Meanwhile, in New York City, inside the headquarters of the renowned Hellfire Club, where, on the fourth floor, three very unexpected, well dressed, people of note stand: Jean Grey, Ororo “Storm” Munroe and Warren “Archangel” Worthington III of the Uncanny X-Men. Storm remarks that she doesn’t know makes her more uncomfortable - being here, or the fact that she must wear such a preposterous gown. Warren assures Storm that she looks fine, and points out that they fit right in with the crowd downstairs. ‘But…Jean? Are you…?’ Warren begins.

Jean Grey replies that she is all right, but that it is the shared memories she has with the Phoenix creature. ‘It was being here, dealing with the Hellfire Club the first time, that led to my - to her…death…’ Jean reminds her dear friends. Storm tells Jean that she knows this is hard for her, to which Jean interrupts, telling Ororo that she doesn’t have to say it, for she knows what she must do. Jean informs Storm and Warren that she is still in telepathic contact with Iceman and Colossus, just as the handsome Bobby “Iceman” Drake, wearing a gray tuxedo, tells Jean that he “hears” her.

Standing next to Piotr “Colossus” Rasputin, Bobby telepathically tells Jean that so far they are doing fine, but that some of the Hellfire Club junior leaguers are approaching them. The scantily-clad Jenny Stavros a.k.a. Roulette approaches Bobby, and exclaims ‘Well, well, Mr. Drake! What a pleasant thing it is to find you here. Could it be you’re even more handsome than I’ve been told?’ Jenny remarks as she puts a hand to Bobby’s chest. ‘Could be…if you’re Roulette…then you’ve been using your luck-changing powers on yourself’ Bobby smiles.

‘Bobby! This is serious business!’, a shocked Colossus exclaims, before the Hellion known as Beef steps in front of Colossus and tells him to lighten up. ‘This is going to be easy’ Beef remarks. ‘You might think so, Beef…since you Hellions have not been taught to respect human life as we have’ ‘Uh oh…’ Bobby mumbles as he turns to the brawlers just as Beef exclaims ‘Hey, big, boy, if you’re trying to start something…’, to which Colossus replies that he is not, but that he will be happy to finish what Beef starts. Suddenly, the uppity Manuel de la Rocha a.k.a. Empath steps forward, shouting ‘Stop it you estupidos! Empath says stop!’

Jean tells Storm and Warren that it sounds like business as usual downstairs, explaining that Empath has used his emotion-altering power to quiet Peter and Beef. ‘But I don’t know why we ever thought we could work with the Hellions!’ Jean exclaims, to which Storm reminds her that they have little choice, and that she too is uneasy, but that until they are through these troubled times, they must trust the judgment of Professor X. Warren motions to a large set of double-doors, which two Hellfire Club servants are preparing to open, and Warren remarks that it looks like their hostess is ready for them. ‘Ms. Frost will see you now, ladies and -’ the servant doesn’t get to finish his sentence, as someone is thrown through the doors, shattering them and knocks the Hellfire Club staff over.

‘Clumsy, child. Very clumsy!’ Emma Frost a.k.a. the White Queen booms as she stands over the young woman she shoved through the doors. ‘You do not bait the lioness in the den, nor the spider at the center of her web!’ Emma exclaims, remarking that this is the second time in as many weeks that an attempt has been made on her life, though it would seem her assassins are getting younger and younger. ‘Welcome X-Men!’ Emma exclaims to Jean, Storm and Archangel. ‘Doubtless you now begin to guess why I invited you here tonight!’ Emma remarks.

Meanwhile, in a luxurious penthouse apartment, just above the bustle of New York: ‘Will it be the oysters or the snails this evening, Master Shinobi?’ a butler asks Shinobi Shaw, who lies on a comfy chair next to Trevor Fitzroy, the chairs positioned over a swimming pool so they can dangle their feet, and good looking men and women in skimpy bathing suits show Shinobi affection by running their hands through his hair and massaging him. ‘Dinner first, I think. A king must not allow his energy level to…diminish’ Shinobi smiles. ‘An odd statement, Shinobi…from one who has chosen such a - shall we say - decadent lifestyle’ Trevor Fitzroy remarks.

Shinobi replies by telling Fitzroy that he should be the last to judge. ‘Are not you Englishmen well known for your…quirks?’ Shinobi asks, before reminding him that they are here to discuss their common interests. ‘Your present wish is to become a full-fledged Upstart, even to replace me as king!’ Shinobi remarks, motioning to several Sentinels lined up in the spacious apartment, and declaring that in the first, at least, he might be willing to assist. ‘Your use of a portion of my inheritance’.

‘Sentinels. Yes. A kind offer. But, as you can see from these transmissions from “Down Under”…Trevor Fitzroy has Sentinels of his own!’ Fitzroy exclaims, motioning to the monitors which flick on, depicting the Sentinels’ slaughter of the Reavers. Shinobi looks at the monitors: ‘Mmm. Smaller than mine. Not a design I’m familiar with’ he remarks, before telling Fitzroy that he will have to do better than this obvious and unsubtle display of force if he honestly hopes to unseat him. Shinobi grins as he reminds Fitzroy that he has already eliminated his own father in accordance with their master plan. ‘And Sebastian Shaw was worth fifty times his weight in Reavers!’ Shinobi adds.

‘Perhaps’ Fitzroy replies, before revealing that he has targeted the White Queen for destruction. ‘And know this…by day’s end, your pitiful “kingship” will be mine!’ Trevor exclaims, grabbing Shinobi by the wrist. ‘You dare…??’ Shinobi shouts, ordering Trevor to take his hand off him. ‘As you wish, “my lord”’ Fitzroy mutters, getting to his feet as he excuses himself, remarking that he has a party he must attend. ‘As I’m sure you can imagine…I have a special interest in seeing dear Ms. Frost come to her timely and - one hopes - most unpleasant end’. Fitzroy remarks. As Fitzroy leaves, Shinobi thinks to himself that Fitzroy’s hatred for the Frost woman is only known too well, and that is Fitzroy’s greatest weakness. ‘I do not let my feelings cloud my wisdom, as you do’ Shinobi boasts. ‘Be sure such prejudices do not prove your undoing!’

Back at the Hellfire Club, Colossus announces that in his head, via the telepathic link to Jean, he heard a scream. Bobby exclaims that he felt it too, and it was a girl. Piotr and Bobby race up a flight of stairs, followed by the Hellions, as Bobby remarks that it didn’t sound like Jean, but that whoever it was sounded like her soul was being torn open. Piotr points out that it must be someone close by Jean, or else the telepathic link would not have transmitted her agony. ‘There is no more time for this game of hide and seek!’ Piotr declares, exclaiming that they must find the others.
It’s not long before Iceman, Colossus and the Hellions makes it to the fourth floor, where Storm is holding onto a shaken Jean, and exclaiming ‘Frost! Enough! The girl will tell you nothing if you destroy her mind!’. Jean pleads with her friends to make the White Queen stop, as she cannot stand the psychic backlash. ‘Spare me your petty sensibilities, X-Men! This young witch presents a threat to myself and my organization. And anything which threatens the Hellfire Club must sooner or later threaten the X-Men!’ Emma declares, before reaching out to her attacker and telling her to open her mind: ‘Before I peel your psyche like a ripe fruit!’

‘I said ENOUGH!’ Storm booms as she pushes Emma aside, telling her that she would not deny her the right to defend herself, but that she draws the line at torture, ‘Especially when it threatens Jean Grey!’. Emma smirks, and replies ‘No? I had no idea that “poor Jean” had become so vulnerable’. Suddenly, the handsome Hellion known as Bevatron steps forward ‘And you can back off, witch!’ he tells Storm as he blasts her with his powers. ‘Excellent, Bevatron!’ the White Queen congratulates her student, remarking that not even Storm is immune to his bio-electric bolts.

‘Looks like the truce is over before it’s even begun!’ Warren exclaims, to which Colossus grabs Bevatron’s hands and tells Archangel that they should have known this would happen, as there is too much bad blood between the X-Men and the Hellfire Club for any peace to be a lasting one. Bevatron tells Colossus to let him go, but when Piotr doesn’t, Beef comes up behind him and smacks him in the face: ‘You heard him, big boy! Pick on somebody your own size!’ Beef exclaims. Warren tells Ororo, who is now in costume, to stay down and remarks that they must end this before civilians get involved. Storm asks Warren to wait, but Sharon Smith a.k.a. Catseye exclaims that it is too late for that, as both sides have been spoiling for this fight for too long.

‘Speak for yourself, Catseye!’ Bobby tells her as he shifts to his ice form, remarking that the X-Men came in good faith, ‘But if it’s a fight you want, the X-Men will give you one!’. Marie-Ange Colbert a.k.a. Tarot uses her tarot cards to create a large scythe-wielding skeleton, while Colossus shoves Beef against a wall, telling him to surrender while he still has the chance. ‘In your ear, Ruskie…the Hellions -’ Beef doesn’t get to finish his sentence, as Jean Grey, sporting her new costume, screams ‘STOP!’, causing X-Man and Hellion alike to clutch their heads from the psychic fury. ‘Jean…!’ Colossus exclaims. ‘My head! Get her out of my head!’ Roulette shouts.

Jean exclaims that they are here because Emma says there is some force threatening all of them. ‘If we battle each other…we only leave ourselves open to attack from whatever the force might be!’ Jean exclaims. Emma steps forward, ‘Good, Ms. Grey’ she remarks. ‘Very, very good. Somehow I would not have expected the call for reason to have come from you, or to have come with such…vigor’. Jean tells Emma that she take a mental note to herself, as none of the X-Men are ever to be underestimated. ‘Agreed’ Emma remarks, standing with her Hellions. ‘If I thought you any less than you are…I would not have contacted your leader, to suggest this truce’.

The White Queen suggests they get down to cases, and reveals to the X-Men that the Inner Circle of the Hellfire Club is under attack. She remarks that it is not necessary to know which of their membership has been assaulted, only the degree of damage which has been inflicted - the savagery of the attacks. The White Queen declares that the identity of their attackers is unknown, but that their purpose is clear. ‘And as I have said…if the Hellfire Club falls, can the X-Men be far behind?’

Storm steps forward: ‘Your logic is flawed, Frost’ she declares, pointing out that the X-Men answered her call for help as they would that of anyone in need - mutant or otherwise. Storm declares that they are not prepared to reinstate the truce until they are convinced of the truth of what she says. ‘You must tell us everything. Who of your organization has been attacked? When? Where? What is their present condition?’ Storm asks. Emma smirks, and replies ‘Again, that is for me to know. And me alone’, before remarking that, as to convincing the X-Men of the severity of the threat against all of them, she can easily accomplish that if she will be allowed to complete her interrogation of their prisoner.

The cocky Jetstream a.k.a. Haroun ibn Sallah al-Rashid stands over the prisoner, exclaiming ‘Yes! She’ll talk! She’ll tell us who’s behind -’ he doesn’t finish his sentence, instead he screams as Trevor Fitzroy appears behind him and puts his hand on Jetstream’s neck and drains his life-force. ‘She will tell you nothing!’ Fitzroy, wearing some sort of futuristic armor exclaims, before telling his spy that she has been clumsy. ‘You should have chosen a target more within the reach of your abilities’. Fitzroy remarks that it would be a pity to see their schemes unraveled because of her foolishness, especially when his own plans continue so perfectly.

Back in the Australian Outback, ‘Save me!’ shouts Pierce as he bursts through a wall into another part of the Reavers’ complex. Lady Deathstrike calls out to him as a Sentinel peers down upon them: ‘Laboratory complex isolated. Programming search for unit identification’ the Sentinel states, while Deathstrike looks shocked ‘But they only hunt mutants!’ she gasps. ‘It would seem they are no longer fussy’ Pierce mutters, informing Deathstrike that the Sentinels blasted through his men with little consideration of their pedigree. ‘Unit Pierce identified. Close and seize!’ the Sentinel states, busting through the lab wall, while Pierce begins to run, telling Deathstrike to hold the Sentinels back as he has to get to Gateway. ‘Gateway? Why?’ Deathstrike asks, confused.

Deathstrike gets no response, and mutters that Pierce’s cowardly tendencies choose the most inopportune times to appear. ‘Lucky for you, Lady Deathstrike is more than a match for any walking automation!’ Deathstrike boasts as she slices off the arm of the Sentinel. ‘Damage to this unit! Assessing level four. Initiate repair sequence!’ the Sentinel states, as Deathstrike watches in shock at the Sentinel who grabs some lab equipment and reshapes it, fusing the pieces with its own body, and then reattaches the severed arm. ‘Repair sequence complete. This unit now fully functional’ the Sentinel states, preparing to bring its fist down upon a shocked Deathstrike.

Deathstrike exclaims that this is not possible, and remarks that she has studied the available data on the Sentinels, and that not even the most advanced could - ‘Unit identified. Code name: Lady Deathstrike. Commence termination!’ the Sentinel states, while Deathstrike remarks that if her talons are no use against the Sentinels, then how does she kill what cannot be killed? Suddenly, Cylla appears, and calls out to Deathstrike, before lunging at her and shoving her out of harms way as the Sentinel brings its fist down. ‘Don’t just stand there, woman! Aren’t you listening? It’s Pierce they want! Get out of their way and they’ll go after him!’ Cylla tells Deathstrike.

Pierce is making his getaway up some stairs, but the Sentinels see him and state that they have relocated their prime target and are re-engaging the termination program. Pierce begins blasting the Sentinels while shouting at Deathstrike and remarking that she put up no more resistance than a housefly. Pierce makes it to a hatch which he uses to get above ground, muttering that he doesn’t need much time now, and that the sandstorm seems to have finally died down, but that even if it hadn’t, he could find his way to Gateway by touch if he had to. After seeing Gateway on some nearby rocks, Pierce begins running towards the odd mutant, just as the Sentinels reach ground level.
‘But will the fool understand what I need?’ Pierce wonders, muttering ‘If I have to waste even a single heartbeat trying to make him understand…! Gateway! Gateway wake up, blast you!’. Reaching Gateway, Pierce begins to shave him, telling him that he must use his powers to send him away from here. ‘Gateway! Do you hear me?’ Pierce asks Gateway, who has his eyes closed. ‘You’ve got to transport me away from here!’ Pierce exclaims urgently, ‘Gateway! Do you hear! Wake up, blast you! Wake…up’ Pierce shouts, until Gateway finally opens his eyes, and does not look impressed at all.

Gateway begins to open a portal, ‘Yes! That’s it! Spin your bullroarer!’ Pierce exclaims, telling Gateway to open one of his teleportation portals. ‘Send me away! Far away! In fact…yes! Yes! Send me to the one who’s behind this attack! That’s it!’ Pierce tells Gateway, exclaiming that whoever it is will never expect him to carry the battle to their own door. ‘Send me to the one responsible, Gateway!’ Pierce orders, telling him to hurry as he turns around and sees the Sentinels fast approaching. Pierce lunges through the portal, telling Gateway to close the portal. ‘Curse your miserable hide! Close the portal before the Sentinels get through!’ Pierce tells Gateway.

One of the Sentinels states that Pierce is escaping, while another scans the dimensional interface, and states that the exit point is undetermined. Three Sentinels however make it into the portal, ordered to maintain pursuit by another of the Sentinels, before the portal suddenly closes. ‘Unit Pierce is beyond out means to apprehend’ the Sentinel states, before it and the remaining two take flight, ‘Remaining units return to launch point’ the Sentinel states. Gateway looks up and seemingly smiles.

Back in New York, ‘Jetstream! You’ve killed him!’ Beef exclaims, rushing towards Fitzroy, only to be knocked over by Fitzroy, who remarks ‘I should certainly hope so, my dear Beef. I cannot image he would much enjoy what would be left of his life in that condition! Much as you will not enjoy your own condition…if you are even alive yourself…when and wherever you land!’ With that, Fitzroy throws Beef through the side of the Hellfire Club’s fourth floor outer wall, down into the street below, where he lands, motionless, in amongst a group of civilians.

‘Who is this guy? Where’s he getting all that power?’ a nervous Roulette asks. ‘From that funky outfit, I’d bet, babe’ Bobby replies, remarking that it looks like the mix just got altered on this little clam bake. ‘FOOLS!’ the White Queen booms, ‘He’s killed two of our number in less than thirty seconds! Are you going to stand there discussing it until he does the same to you?’ she asks furiously, before telling everyone to stand aside, and that Fitzroy may have been more than Beef’s blundering brute strength could deal with, ‘But nothing can long stand before the power of my psionic mind blasts!’ Emma boasts, unleashing one upon Fitzroy.

Fitzroy smiles, and telling the White queen that she may be right about that, assuming her power could reach him. ‘But even were I not protected by the force field of this weapon system…not even you can attack what you cannot see!’ With that, Fitzroy seemingly vanishes. ‘Super-strength…invisibility…this being possesses the powers of the Super Skrull, the alien enemy of the Fantastic Four!’ Storm exclaims, to which Jean remarks that he is no alien, for she would have sensed that immediately, before announcing that she is trying to get a psychic fix on him. ‘If he’s still anywhere in the building…’ Jean begins, when suddenly, Fitzroy re-appears, telling the X-Men that they need not fear on that account, as he will not be leaving before he is done.

Jean calls out to Ororo, who is near where Fitzroy has re-appeared. Storm tells Fitzroy that he is clumsy and remarks that although he recognizes them as X-Men, he is ill-prepared for their powers. ‘Learn, then, why Ororo is known as the Mistress of the Storm!’ Storm shouts, lifting Fitzroy up with the full force of a hurricane. ‘NO!’ Fitzroy booms. Colossus grabs Fitzroy and Jean tells Peter to hold onto him, before announcing that her telekinesis has frozen the circuitry in his control gloves. ‘But you cannot hope to control anything so complex for more than a few seconds!’ Fitzroy tells Jean, before turning to the White Queen and remarking that she can do no more than bluster when her opponent is more than a child.

‘We’ll soon see who is blustering, whoever you are…when my mindblast has turned your brain to -’ the White Queen begins, until she is interrupted by a teleport portal opening, ‘Frost! The Hellfire Club!’ Pierce booms as he steps out of the teleport portal. ‘Pierce!’ Emma shouts. ‘Using your pet Aborigine to teleport here, but…’ Emma begins, when suddenly, a blast from behind Pierce fries his right arm off. Pierce screams, before Emma realizes that he is under attack. ‘You fool! Who - what have you let into out midst?!’ Emma asks. The former White King tells the White Queen to spare him the play-acting, explaining that he ordered Gateway to send him to the one responsible for the attack on him.

‘I don’t know why I should even be surprised it would be you!’ Pierce remarks, pointing out that through Sebastian Shaw, the Hellfire Club has long had access to Sentinel technology. ‘Sentinels?’ a shocked Emma gasps. ‘NO! Pierce! Tell me you haven’t…’ her voice trails off as a Sentinel’s hand attaches itself to Pierce’s head and fries his brain. ‘Pierce? NOOOO!’ Emma screams, before the Sentinels make their way out of the teleport portal. ‘It is Sentinels! The fool has brought Sentinels into the middle of the -’ Emma is interrupted by a Sentinel who extends its arm and grabs her, causing her to scream.

Storm points out that the Sentinels appear disorientated and remarks that it may take a fraction of a second for their robotic circuitry to adjust to the teleportation. ‘Quickly! X-Men! Hellions! Use your powers while you have the chance!’ Storm exclaims. ‘You don’t have to tell me twice!’ Bevatron replies as he uses his electro-blast to free Emma from the Sentinel’s grip. Empath steps forward and exclaims that Emma is so still. ‘I can’t feel her - her emotions! The White Queen is dead!’ a horrified Empath announces.

‘And the rest of you will join her soon enough!’ Fitzroy booms, telling the Sentinels to obey him, the voice of their master. ‘Programming alteration. Attack the X-Men! Attack the Hellions!’ Fitzroy orders, before the hole in the outer wall is made even larger as the battle is carried out onto the street below. ‘They were doing a good enough job of that without your orders!’ Archangel mutters, before telling Iceman to throw up a barrier to protect the civilians on the street. Bobby does so, before joking that this is the flavor he has been missing. ‘This is like the old days!’, Bobby exclaims, before announcing that Colossus is in trouble, and rescuing Tarot from the Sentinel’s hold. Fitzroy and his spy stand in the gaping hole, watching the chaos, and Fitzroy tells Iceman to worry less about Colossus and more about himself. ‘Today the X-Men die…and my kingship is assured!’

Colossus smashes one of the Sentinels in the face and remarks that these Sentinels seem different from any they have battled in the past. ‘But not so different they can resist the power of my armored form!’. Tarot exclaims that she is free, and tells Bobby that she owes him one, to which Bobby remarks that it is a debt that might get called in sooner than she thinks, before Colossus is smashed into the ground by the Sentinel he was fighting with. ‘NO!’ Iceman shouts, while the Sentinels state that they are continuing their termination of Colossus.

‘We will recapture target Tarot’ another Sentinel states as it pursues Tarot with another Sentinel. ‘No! My tarot cards!’ a confused Marie-Ange exclaims as she turns around to look at the Sentinels, only to drop her tarot cards in the process. Marie-Ange tells herself that there is no time to collect the ones she has dropped, and that she will have to make do with whatever she has left. Tarot holds a card up and a large witch materializes. ‘Target Tarot materializing countermeasure. Countermeasure…countered!’ the Sentinels state as one of them blasts the witch - a blast that continues through the witch to smack poor Tarot, who screams. ‘Target Tarot terminated!’ the Sentinel announces.

Suddenly, Jean Grey appears and blasts one of the Sentinels that killed Tarot with a powerful telekinetic bolt that hits it in the face. ‘Alert! Target Jean Grey attacking!’ the Sentinel states. Jean exclaims that this is madness. ‘They’re slicing through us as if we were rank amateurs!’ she declares, before remarking that the Sentinels are like none she has ever battled before. ‘Nor shall you ever battle again!’ one of the Sentinels states as eyebeams pour from its sockets. The Sentinel tells is other to press home the advantage, and states that the target was unprepared for their resilience. ‘Target falling’ states the other Sentinel.

Her uniform tattered, and bloody scratches all over her body, Jean slumps over, while one of the Sentinels states that the target is incapacitated. ‘Termination sequence engaged’ it declares. ‘No… it can’t end like this!’ Jean exclaims. ‘One chance…if I only have the time!’ Jean whispers, before the Sentinels pour more power onto her in a blinding display. ‘Termination accomplished. Target Marvel Girl is dead!’ one of the Sentinels states. ‘A condition with which I understand she is quite familiar’ Fitzroy remarks. ‘This time, however, she will find it more permanent!’

Fitzroy tells his Sentinels that they have done well, for although they have not killed all the X-Men as he might have wished, they have cut them to their very heart. ‘It will be a long time - a very long time - before they recover from this day’s defeat!’ he boasts.

Nearby, Police officers form a barrier around civilians, while rescue workers and paramedics get to work. ‘Look at them! They’re just standing there!’ a civilians onlooker exclaims. ‘You’d think they’d at least try to get away!’ another remarks. ‘After doing all this damage!’ ‘It’s a miracle no one but mutants were killed!’ ‘Still, somebody ought to do something!’ ‘Hey look! Isn’t that Senator Kelly? What’s he…?’ someone points out, when suddenly, Senator Robert Kelly shouts ‘You! X-Men!’ as he approaches the X-Men. ‘What is the meaning of this? How dare you burst into a private club! Endangering innocent lives! I’ll see you pay for this, do you hear me? And pay dearly!’

A rescue worker tells the Senator to lighten up, exclaiming that there is a dead girl here. ‘What…? Who…?’ Senator Kelly asks. ‘See for yourself, Senator!’ Storm exclaims, motioning to the ground as she remarks that while she and Archangel allowed their focus to be diverted to the single Sentinel attacking Colossus, the other two murdered their companion. ‘Speak to us not of payment, Senator Kelly!’ Colossus exclaims. ‘Tonight the X-Men have paid in the most precious coin of all!’ Colossus declares, holding Jean Grey’s lifeless body in his arms….

Characters Involved: 

Archangel, Colossus, Iceman, Jean Grey, Storm (all X-Men)

White Queen (member of the Hellfire Club)

Beef, Bevatron, Catseye, Empath, Jetstream, Roulette, Tarot (all Hellions)

Bonebreaker, Cole, Cylla, Lady Deathstrike, Macon, Donald Pierce, Pretty Boy, Reese (all Reavers)


Fitzroy’s Sentinels

Hellfire Club staff


Shinobi’s butler

Police Officers


Rescue Workers


Story Notes: 

The issue takes place after X-Men (2nd series) #5.
This is the first appearance of Trevor Fitzroy. The reason for his hatred for the Emma Frost has yet to be explained.
Cylla is incorrectly referred to as Cylia this issue.

While Reese, Cole, Macon, Pretty Boy and Bonebreaker are all seemingly destroyed this issue, as they appear, years later, in X-Treme X-Men Annual 2000.

The Phoenix was transformed into the Dark Phoenix, due in part to the scheming of the Hellfire Club, as seen in Uncanny X-Men #132-135.

Shinobi seemingly eliminated his father, Sebastian, in X-Factor (1st series) #67.

Issue Information: 
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