Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #284

Issue Date: 
January 1992
Story Title: 
Into the Void

Whilce Portacio (Plotter and Penciler), Art Thibert assisted by Scott Williams and Karl Alstaetter (Inker), John Byrne (Scripter), Rosas/Oliver (Colorist), Michael Heisler (Letters), Bob Harras (Editor), Tom DeFalco (Editor in Chief)

Brief Description: 

On the Sakhalin Islands, Sunfire meets with government officials from Japan and Russia to deal with a massive, sealed crater on the island. While investigating, Sunfire uses his powers on the cap to the crater. The crater changes into a void and knocks out Sunfire. Three figures emerge from the void and kill everyone else. Nearby, the X-Men are on their way home from their latest battle when they receive a distress call. They reach the island and engage in battle with the aliens. However, Storm realizes that the aliens are fighting to protect the crater. The aliens are defeated but one of them reveals that they were not here to kill mindlessly, but to protect the X-Men’s world from the void. With that said, the void opens and sucks in the X-Men, while Xavier and Forge escape. Meanwhile, Bishop, Malcolm and Randall begin to hunt down the criminals from the future. Unfortunately, the men have no other choice but to kill the criminals, who refuse to turn themselves in, which are all of them.

Full Summary: 

The Sakhalin Islands, off the coast of Siberian Russia, are separated from Japan by the La Pérouse Strait. It was first discovered by China, but colonized by Japan, who later gave up claim to the island, allowing the Russians to take it. Both Japan and Russia vie for ownership of the island. Six hundred thousand live on the island, but today none of them are away of the dangerous events secretly transpiring.

The man known as Sunfire dons a new, red uniform, with silver armor in several places, much like in the style of a samurai. Sunfire tells the scientist, Kobiashi, that the uniform is very uncomfortable and if he is sure that it will function as promised. Kobiashi tells Sunfire that, until he tests it, none of them can be sure. However, the panels installed to the uniform should increase the efficiency with which his body collects and stores energy, while his armbands will convert that energy into a laser. In addition, his convection stabilizers should give him better control over his speed and direction during flight. Kobiashi then tells the man to get up, so they can all see the new Sunfire. Sunfire gets up to see how the suit feels like while walking, but tells Kobiashi that he feels too much like a sardine in a can. Still, he supposes that the uncomforting feeling is nothing when compared to the power he is about to get. Another scientist, Hideko, tells Sunfire that he looks magnificent and every inch the champion. Sunfire tells the woman that he must be if he is to face the mystery nearby.

The three turn to face the giant crater in the middle of the island. Around the crater are scientists on all sides and all wear the same yellow hazard suits as Kobiashi and Hideko. Sunfire and his companions meet with Tanaka and another man, who tells Sunfire that he looks ready for anything. Tanaka chimes in and points out that he needs to be, if half of what they guessed is correct. Sunfire tells Tanaka to spare him the dramatics. He would not be working with the “Russian pigs” if he didn’t think there was a threat to Japan on the island. A man named Rosmenkov asks if this is the legendary Japanese politeness he has heard about. He then reminds Sunfire that it was out of courtesy that the Russians informed the Japanese government about the crisis on the island. Tanaka assures Rosmenkov that Sunfire will not let his zeal jeopardize the mission. Rosmenkov hopes so, for there is more at stake here than the petty squabbles that their two nations have had in the past.

Sunfire tells the men that he will do whatever is necessary to protect Japan. He shall blast open the cap that seals the shaft, but he will do nothing to protect those who have invaded and stolen their land. Hideko is about to say something to Sunfire but the man has had enough and flies to the air to see if this new armor is as good as Kobiashi says that it is. Sunfire uses his powers and, immediately, a blinding light cascades over the area. Tanaka asks for a report from another man, who tells him that the energy build within Sunfire is just as they predicted. Once Sunfire’s energy levels reach one hundred percent, Hideko tells him to fire. However, Sunfire does not need the order as he can feel the power inside of him. He unleashes the energy of one hundred stars at the crater.

Suddenly, the man monitoring Sunfire’s energy levels is horrified. He tells Tanaka that the readings are off the scale and the crater is responding to Sunfire’s assault. It’s adapting its own frequencies to his, which means that it is returning fire. Before Sunfire can be warned, a black void forms where the crater once was and blasts Sunfire out of the sky. The man on the ground continues to call out to companions that the void is getting stronger and that it is changing. “Dear lord—something’s coming out!”

Meanwhile, a hemisphere away, the X-Men fly back to Westchester aboard the Blackbird. On board, Professor Xavier asks Colossus how he feels. Colossus tells the team that he feels better, but is sure that he sounds funny to all of them. Jean taps his nose and tells him that a broken nose will do that. Actually, she finds it kind of cute. Iceman tells her that everything else seems to be fine, but she has more important things to discuss. She was dead for a while. Jokingly, Jean tells him that she should be more careful about that. If she dies and comes back one more time she might turn into some walking cliché. She then apologizes and tells her teammates that she cannot remember most of the events. She remembers the Sentinels attacking and then, suddenly, it dawned upon her that she could save herself by moving her body into that of the White Queen’s. She remembers nothing about that except for pain; she cannot find words to express how that felt.

Xavier apologizes to her, for he knows that it was a traumatic experience, but he cannot let this subject end here. There is too much to find out before they can agree that her ordeal is over. Jean tells him that she wishes she could tell him more but all she felt was terror, then suddenly a moment of tranquility and then she knew exactly what to do. Storm thanks the goddess for that and then walks over to the body of the former White Queen. Storm looks at the body and asks the Professor if such a reflex could be common to all powerful telepaths. Emma Frost was such a powerful telepath. Xavier knows where Storm is going and asks if it is possible that Emma transferred her mind elsewhere, like Jean did.

Xavier tells his students that he was surprised to learn of Emma’s death, for he would have felt the death of a powerful telepath like Emma. Yet he felt nothing, just like when Jean “died.” Forge tells Xavier that he doesn’t like where this is going. Iceman agrees, because there were so many people at the Hellfire Club ball. Emma could have gone into anyone’s mind. Xavier tells Forge to remove Emma’s body from stasis she he can scan her mind for any dim echo of her personality. He then asks Jean to help him. The two telepaths scan but Jean tells Xavier that she is sensing nothing. Xavier is not so sure, because, for a moment, he thought he did find something.

Suddenly, Forge interrupts the two and tells them that they are picking up a garbled distress call. It is coming from somewhere off the coast of Japan. Forge confirms that the call is from the Sakhalin Islands and it is saying that people are injured. Forge stops for a second and tells the team that he must be misreading, because it is mentioning something about an alien invasion. Storm tells Forge that, not matter what it says, it is a distress call. He tells him to reactivate the stasis field around Emma. Right now, there are people who need help that only the X-Men can provide.

Two hours later, Sunfire wakes up to find much of the surrounding area destroyed and all of his government allies dead. Disturbed, Sunfire recalls that the void took what he threw at it and returned it, but it felt like double the power. He turns to see three armored creatures killing the last of the resistance on the island. Sunfire gets up and vows to avenge those dead. He, with the last image of Hideko Tokagara before she was killed still in his mind, then lashes out against the monsters. Pleased, Sunfire believes that he has killed the monsters, but is shocked to see them still standing. Sunfire is blasted away again. The three armored beings announce that the last attacker was down, but his power was great.

One of the attackers picks up Sunfire, who is still conscious, and tells the others that he must be killed before he can use his powers again. A large scythe pops out of the attacker’s armor but, before he can kill Sunfire, he notices something in the sky. The three attackers look up to see Storm, Archangel and Jean Grey descending form the sky. The three X-Men tell the attackers that they do not know who they are, but Sunfire is their friend and those who attack the X-Men’s allies attack the X-Men.

Archangel taunts his foes and tells them that they are uglier up close. One of the attackers tells Archangel that the mutant’s appearance is displeasing to him too. However, that matter little since, in a few moments, he won’t be nothing but ash. Archangel tells him that his buzz-box voice doesn’t scare him and that he shouldn’t judge him before he sees him in action. Archangel picks up the attacker and lifts him into the air, but the attacker’s armored boots dig into the ground, preventing Archangel from lifting him. He then flips Archangel into the ground.

Before Archangel is hurt any further, Jean attacks his attacker with her telepathy. However, the thought patterns of the aliens are too different for her to properly attack. Leaving herself open, Jean is unable to properly defend herself from the other two aliens, who begin to attack Jean. One of the attackers asks Archangel’s attacker, whose name is Primate, if he or she is okay. Primate tells her companions that he or she is fine, but then notices Storm carrying Iceman and wonders where they came from. As if to answer the question, the Blackbird begins to shoot at the other two aliens, who notice that the attack is unfocused, which means that it is a diversionary tactic. They are correct, for at that moment Colossus jumps out of the Blackbird and right at them.

The two aliens shoot at Colossus to prevent him from reaching the ground. They are unable to stop him and Colossus smashes right into them. The two aliens are surprised, because all the beings they are facing are powerful, but no two have the same power. In the Blackbird, Forge tells Xavier that the aliens are pulling back. Xavier reminds Forge to be careful, because not even he can decipher their minds.

On the ground, Colossus stands over the two aliens but is hit in the back by Primate. While Colossus is catching his breath, Primate calls out to one of the companions, called Adjunct, and asks him or her if they are okay. Adjunct tells Primate that they are fine, but wish to return home. Primate then notices Sunfire swoop down from the sky and takes Colossus with him. Sunfire criticizes Colossus for hurling himself unprepared on top of his attackers. Even the power of the sun was little against him, so what does Colossus hope to achieve. Colossus tells Sunfire that it seems his ego is undiminished and hopes that it remains so after they defeat the monsters.

Storm hears Colossus call the attackers monsters and silently disagrees. As savage as they may seem, Primate had a ring of compassion in her voice when she thought that Adjunct and the others were hurt. They are clearly warriors but the X-Men should be more careful how they judge them, lest they fall victim to the very prejudices which they battle. Storm then tells Iceman that the intruders have returned to the rim of the pit and that it is his job to make sure they do not advance again.

Iceman obliges and creates a wall of ice around the creatures and comments that he can rebuild the wall just as quickly as they can knock it down. Storm compliments Iceman but tells him to control his ice field with care. There is much more to be questioned and things disturb her. What is in the pit? Why do the aliens fight so hard to protect it? She does not want them harmed until her questions are answered.

Above, the Blackbird fires a series of missiles at the aliens. On board, Forge tells Xavier not to be worried, as the missiles are only concussion blasts. They won’t kill the aliens but will leave them with a nasty headache when they wake up. Below, the horrified aliens realize that the missiles are heading for the pit and realize that it cannot take another beating again. The three then shoot at the missiles for their lives, ignoring the clearly open Blackbird. Storm observes this and wonders why the aliens did not attack the Blackbird, or her for that matter, since both were clearly obvious targets. They seem to be concentrating the void, even at the cost of their lives.

The three attackers are hit by the missiles. Adjunct lands in the pit. Primate goes to help him, but he tells her that his enervator unit is damaged. Primate tells him to blow his dampers before it is too late. On cue, Adjunct blows into pieces and Primate is caught in the blast, ripping off her helmet, at the same time to reveal a human-looking girl with purple hair.

Jean rushes over to the bleeding girl. Archangel is surprised to see that the attacker was a woman. Sunfire corrects him and tells him that the girl is barely more than a child. Jean tells the others that she is having a hard time reading the girl’s mind. The girl comes around and calls the X-Men fools, for they have doomed themselves. She tells them to get away, while there is still time. She can feel the power of the pit building and, very soon, it will open. Storm asks her what will happen next and what lies beyond the barrier. She asks the girl why she attacked innocents to protect it. Primate is surprised that Storm would think that she was protecting the pit. It was the X-Men she was protecting. She was protecting their world. Now it is too late.

The X-Men turn just in time to see the pit unleash a massive wave of energy. Suddenly, the rim begins to shatter and Iceman falls in, as a roaring wind sucks him in. Colossus tells the others that there is some kind of suction force pulling them in as he and Sunfire are sucked into the void. Archangel, Jean and Primate are also pulled in. Storm tries to fly, but the atmospheric disturbance is too much for her powers. Storm loses her composure and realizes that they are all doomed, as she is sucked into the void.

The Blackbird zooms away and, onboard, Forge tells Xavier that the crater has turned into some kind of black hole. The gravimetric flux is off the scale. He can barely keep the Blackbird on an even keel. Forge continues his report and tells Xavier that the void is a dimensional vortex that is pulling the entire landscape into it. He then asks about Storm and the others but Xavier tells him that he cannot sense them. It is as if they have been wiped off the face of the Earth. Unfortunately, if the void continues to expand at its current rate, the rest of the Earth will join the X-Men in days.

On the other side of the hemisphere, things are quiet in a small forest lodge community. Suddenly, three men walk out of the lodge drunk, all wearing very different and futuristic clothing. Nearby, three men with large guns and X-Men symbols realize that they are too late. One of the men tells his companions that he likes this time. Another man tells him that he likes any place, as long as he can get drunk. The third takes a picture of the others with a Polaroid camera and tells them that he once saw one of these in a museum when he was a kid. The second man tells him that it doesn’t compare to a hologram.

Nearby, Bishop tells Randall to hold his fire until they can confirm that there are only three of them. A few moments later, Randall tells Bishop that there are no more criminals coming out. Bishop tells his companions that they can fire now. The three men come out of the woods to confront the futuristic criminals. Bishop orders the men to turn themselves over to the authorities. The criminals take out knives and refuse to. Wrong answer, says Bishop stoically. Malcolm and Randall open fire and kill the three men.

Malcolm asks if this is the only way to end this. Bishop tells him that there is no other way. They have been dealt a lousy hand, so now they must make it a winning hand. Bishop sends Randall into the huts to see if anyone needs their help. Randall enters the huts but finds everyone inside dead. Randall tells Bishop that the massacre is just as bad as the attack at Harmony Base in their future timeline. Bishop picks up a Polaroid of one of the victims and tells the men that it is only the tip of the iceberg. They do not know how many criminals Fitzroy brought with him. They only know that the criminals will act the same in this time as they did in the future. That is why the three of them must be just as cruel if humankind has any hope of surviving.

Characters Involved: 

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

Forge, Sunfire (X-Men allies)

Adjunct, Primate, third attacker (attackers from the void)

Bishop, Malcolm, Randall

Hideko Tokagara, Kobiashi, Tanaka, Rosmenkov (all government officials)

Various criminals from the future

Story Notes: 

The Jean Grey/White Queen incident, as well as the appearance of Bishop, occurred between Uncanny X-Men #282-283.

Issue Information: 

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