Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #290

Issue Date: 
July 1992
Story Title: 

Scott Lobdell (Plot Script), Whilce Portacio (Pencils) Scott Williams (Inks), L. Lois Buhalis (Letters), Kevin Tinsley (Colors), Bob Harras (Editor), Tom DeFalco (Editor in Chief)

Brief Description: 

At La Casa Mia, the Drakes escape, while Iceman and Hiro battle the Cyburai, who want the Drakes dead to safeguard their family honor. Opal stays behind with the boys, who eventually realize that the fight is hopeless. Hiro says goodbye to Opal and tells her to leave with Iceman. Iceman promises to come back but, as they leave, Hiro initiates his self-destruct program, which kills him and the Cyburai. Meanwhile, Colossus and Mikhail go to a travel agency to make a trip to Russia. While Colossus is inside getting the tickets, Mikhail is overcome by a severe headache outside. When a pizza boy runs into him, the enraged Mikhail uses his powers to merge the boy with a tree. Forge speaks with Jean about his proposal to Storm but he is worried that Storm will say no. He asks Jean to use her telepathy to see if Storm really loves him but Jean tells him that it is not her place to say, which means to Forge that Storm doesn’t truly love him. Mystique continues to taunt Bishop, who is about to attack her when Forge intervenes. Forge realizes that Mystique needs him more than anyone and that she cannot stay in the mansion. Storm makes her decision but, before she can tell Forge, he confronts her and takes back the proposal. He tells her that she can never leave the X-Men and that she has numerous problems to sort through before she can marry him. He apologizes for even asking her and tells her that he is leaving with Mystique. After Forge leaves, the crushed Storm reveals that she was going to accept Forge’s proposal.

Full Summary: 

In the remains of the restaurant, La Casa Mia, Mr. and Mrs. Drake and Opal Tanaka hide behind an ice wall, as a battle rages on in front of them. Enraged, Mr. Drake tells Opal that this is exactly the type of “ninjaness” he expects from her people. Mrs. Drake holds back her husband and tells him that he cannot possibly blame Opal for all of this. Mr. Drake, however, does blame Opal. No sooner do they sit down to dinner than her ex-boyfriend appears shouting death threats.

Opal tells Mr. Drake that they all heard what Hiro said. He came to help Bobby. Mr. Drake tells Opal that his son is a member of the X-Men. He doesn’t need help from her foreign friends. Mr. Drake pulls his wife away from Opal and tells her that they are getting out of here. The last thing Bobby needs are hostages to worry about. As the two sneak out, Mrs. Drake calls out to Opal to come, but Opal tells her that she cannot leave Bobby. Silently, to herself, she also adds that she cannot leave Hiro either.

Iceman and Hiro battle against the forces of the Cyburai, six humans who have been enhanced with robotic parts. Iceman freezes the chest of one of the Cyburai, who tells his companions that Iceman has frozen his circuits. Iceman demands that one of the Cyburai tells him what is going on here. Nearby, another Cyburai ducks Iceman’s attack and tells him that this is about vengeance, honor and death. Iceman sarcastically tells the man that the explanation wasn’t too vague. Iceman then asks Hiro what has caused this attack to occur with his cousins, who are a more recent model of Cyburai. Hiro leaps atop one of his cousins and tells Iceman that he will tell him what is going on but, right now, they are in a battle for their lives, so it will have to wait a minute.

Meanwhile, in Salem Center, Piotr and Mikhail Rasputin reach a travel agency. Mikhail sits outside on a bench next to a couple, while Piotr opens the door to the agency to go in. Before he goes, Piotr tells Mikhail that, due to his recent headaches, maybe they should postpone their trip to Russia. Mikhail tells his brother that the trip is still a week away and he is very anxious to see his parents and his sister, who was born while he was away. Piotr argues that he is not well, but Mikhail tells him that he will attend to his own health. Reluctantly, Piotr goes inside the travel agency. Soon, the street empties, as the evening gets late. Mikhail finds himself alone, which is his least favorite place to be.

Mikhail is suddenly overcome by another headache, as he remembers the horror of the time he was most alone. That was when he used his mutant powers to manipulate energy to close the portal of the High Avatar. His powers killed everyone present. Mikhail gets up from the bench, holding his head and asking for forgiveness. Suddenly, he collides with a young pizza boy, who was rolling by on roller skates. Scared, the boy apologizes to Mikhail, who is on the ground catching his breath. Mikhail suddenly becomes very angry and tells the boy that he is not sorry, but he soon will be.

Moments later, Piotr walks out of the travel agency and thanks the agent who helped him. Piotr promises to send a postcard from Russia but then hears someone faintly calling his name. He turns to see Mikhail on the ground. Piotr helps him up and asks him what happened. As Piotr looks around at the numerous scattered pizza boxes, Mikhail looks at a nearby tree, with the face of the terrified pizza boy in it. Mikhail tells Piotr that nothing happened, nothing that he would like to speak of at least.

High above the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning, Storm happily flies through the air. She wonders if it is true. After a youth spent pick pocketing in Cairo and later as a goddess in Kenya, has the time come for her to relish in the happiness she has long denied herself? Should she take Jean Grey’s advice and follow where her heart takes her, which would mean accepting Forge’s proposal of marriage? Has the time come for her to leave the X-Men and attempt to create a life where her own welfare and that of her husband’s is her primary concern?

Simultaneously, in the sub-basement of the school, Forge works on repairing the Blackbird. While Storm is filled with happiness, Forge, on the other hand, is considerably less enthusiastic. Jean sits nearby with a towel draped on her shoulder. She asks Forge what Storm said after he proposed to her. Forge tells her that Storm said she needed time to think about it. It wasn’t the answer he was hoping for but it beats being told to drop dead. Jean tells Forge that Storm could have said no. She could have said yes, replies Forge.

Forge announces that he has fixed the Blackbird. He repeats this and then starts laughing. Confused, Jean asks him what is so funny. Forge tells her that life is funny. He is a mutant who can repair anything; anything except the woman he loves. Jean uses her telekinesis to hit Forge with her towel. Jean apologizes for blowing his ego but there is nothing wrong with Storm. Forge picks up the towel and tells Jean that she does not believe that any more than he does. That woman has dedicated all her time to the X-Men since he met her. Even Professor Xavier found time to love Lilandra. The only time she and him had together was when they were banished on the Adversary’s world. That is kind of pathetic, if you ask him. Jean tells Forge that she does not know what to say.

Forge grabs Jean and tells her that she can reveal the truth to him. She is a telepath and she can pick up stray thoughts and strong emotions, especially from those close to her. Jean tells him that she can, but not on purpose. Forge tells Jean that she knows he loves Ororo more than life. Jean tells him that she does not need telepathy to see that, for it is obvious. Forge tells her that it is not so obvious if Ororo loves him in return. She says she does and she may believe it, but can Jean tell him if Storm truly loves him. Jean looks away from Forge and, after a moment, she tells him that it isn’t her place to say. Forge lets Jean go and walks away, telling her that she just did.

At La Casa Mia, Iceman clobbers another of the Cyburai into a wall. Iceman asks if what the villain told him is really true: that Tatsuo wants to destroy his family, because as Iceman his interference savaged Tatsuo’s family. The Cyburai tells Iceman that Tatsuo will have his revenge, but Iceman knocks him out, telling him that he only asked one question. Iceman then asks if they come with a volume control. The Cyburai tells him that the only variable they are programmed with is how slowly their victims die. “Let’s hear it for free will,” mutter Iceman, as he encases the Cyburai in ice.

Another of the Cyburai grabs Opal, who tells her cousin to take her and leave the Drakes alone. The Cyburai tells Opal that there is no need to choose when they can clearly do both anyway. With her father still recovering from the attempted poisoning at the hands of her mother, Opal should be very willing to return to Japan. Hiro knocks out the Cyburai and tells him never to touch Opal again, lest he forgets that he is a pawn in his uncle’s mad schemes, much like how he was before he felt the love and compassion of a beautiful woman. Opal wonders if Hiro is referring to her.

Hiro continues to attack his cousin, who calls him a fool. Even the weakest of the Cyburai is stronger than him and Iceman. Hiro realizes that he is right. His blows are as effective as a willow against the wind. That is why he must trust that Opal’s mother upholds her end of the bargain. The Cyburai asks Hiro if he does not understand. Unlike them, the Cyburai won’t stop until they are dead. Iceman arrives and hears this last part and tells Opal that it is a good reason for her to get out of here. Opal disagrees and tells Iceman that she won’t let him and Hiro stay to fight her battle, like last time.

Hiro tells Opal that Iceman is right. He tells Opal in Japanese that she should go with Iceman and live and be happy. From time to time, she should think of him and she should know that he loves her. Iceman apologizes for interrupting their tearful goodbye, but the Cyburai are regrouping. Iceman takes Opal and creates his standard ice slide to carry himself and Opal out of the restaurant. Opal argues that they cannot leave but Iceman tells her that, as soon as she is safe, he will come back to help Hiro. “He’ll be fine,” says Iceman reassuringly, “Trust me.”

Hiro finds himself surrounded by the Cyburai, who tell him that it is fitting that the traitor should be abandoned by his comrades. Hiro tells the Cyburai that he came to America at the request of Madame Tatsuo in a final attempt to salvage the family name.

At the mansion, rain falls. Bishop stands outside with his shirt off, soaking himself in the water. Bishop closes his eyes and thinks to himself that, since he arrived in this time period, Storm has taken the greatest lengths to make him feel more comfortable. If she decides to leave and marry Forge, then he will be more alone than ever. Mystique comes outside and asks if she is not disturbing anything. Bishop asks her what she would do if she were interrupting.

Mystique tells Bishop that, the last time she checked, this was still a free country, very different from the fascist state that he lived in. Is she right? Bishop tells her that she is correct and adds that she is also rude. However, it is his understanding that she isn’t the woman she used to be. Mystique smiles and asks Bishop to tell her more about herself. According to her file, continues Bishop, she has not been the same since the death of Destiny, a woman under her command. Taken aback, Mystique asks him if they really are going to compare notes about casualties. She shape shifts into Randall when Bishop looks away and asks if this is his version of being therapeutic, this whole “walk it off soldier” bit he has. Mystique faces Bishop and asks him where he was when Randall was dying to save his life.

Angered, Bishop tells Mystique that Randall’s death was not his fault. He was fulfilling his responsibility as a member of the X.S.E. Well, what about Bishop’s responsibilities to Randall, asks Mystique. Bishop’s hand begins to glow with energy. He tells Mystique that he has witnessed her powers multiple times and wonders if she is prepared to experience his.

Forge rushes out and restrains Bishop. Bishop tells Forge that this doesn’t involve him but Forge does not back down. He asks Bishop if he cannot see that Mystique needs help. She is losing part of her sanity each day. She is cursed with the ability to be anyone she wants; she can barely keep track of who the real Raven Darkholme is. Mystique reverts back to her true form and tells the boys not to worry about her, she will be fine. In fact, she adds, she will be anyone. Mystique begins to dance in the rain. Forge tells her to come back into the mansion with him and that everything will be fine. Mystique tells her “father” that she doesn’t want to be late for dance class. Forge tells her not to worry, for they have all the time in the world.

Back at La Casa Mia, the Cyburai are astounded as Hiro begins to glow. Hiro tells his cousins that he has initiated his self-destruct program. They are not the only clan members who will not be stopped by nothing short of death. To himself as he cries, Hiro asks that Opal forgives him, for there was no other way. As Iceman escapes with Opal, the entire restaurant explodes, much to the horror of Opal.

Iceman tells Opal that Hiro can teleport. He has to believe that he got out. Opal tells Bobby that Hiro is still in there and that she can feel it. They have to go back to save him. Iceman tells Opal that, even if Hiro was still in there, there is no way no one could survive that explosion. Iceman continues to take Opal to safety and tells her that he does not get it. Why didn’t he wait for them? Why did he try to take them all on his own? In his head, Iceman calls him an idiot. Opal cries and tells Bobby that it was a matter of honor. She adds, under her breath, that honor is something she does not expect him to understand.

Storm descends to the balcony of her room with a determined look on her face. She has made her decision. Just as she walks into the room, Forge comes in with a duffel bag. Storm, worried, asks Forge why he is dressed as if he is leaving. Forge tells Storm that he is, tonight, with Mystique. Destiny was right about him and Mystique being together in the end. She has been through a lot and it is only getting worse. Mystique, at least, needs him.

Scared, Storm asks what about her. She needs him. Forge tells her that he wishes that it were true. The truth, though, is that she doesn’t need anybody. He is holding a woman in his arms but, in her heart, she is still the frightened little orphan buried under her parent’s house. The rubble has just been replaced by the responsibilities of being an X-Man. Until she eases upon herself, she will just be a stoic, emotionless leader. Storm begins to cry and asks a barely audible, why?

Forge tells her that she is as much as a lost stray as Bishop. Again, Storm asks Forge why he is doing this. Forge ignores her and tells her that she will never leave the X-Men for good. She will stay trapped beneath the debris that is her life, forever. Storm gives one final plea for Forge to stop. Storm falls to the floor and Forge asks her to stop doing that. Should he stop trying to help her change? Should he stop watching her throw away her chance to lead a normal life? Fine, he will stop. He asked her to marry him. However, he has realized that will never happen. Forge leaves the room and tells Storm that he is sorry.

Bishop, from across the courtyard, has watched the whole scene. He is the only one to hear Storm after Forge leaves. “I…I was going…to say…yes,” stammers Storm.

Characters Involved: 

Bishop, Colossus, Iceman, Jean Grey, Storm (X-Men)

Forge, Mikhail Rasputin (X-Men allies)


Mr. and Mrs. Drake

Mystique (X-Men houseguest)

Opal Tanaka

Various Cyburai

Story Notes: 

Mr. Drake’s explanation of the attack last issue is a bit skewed.

Mikhail’s time in the other world was seen in Uncanny X-Men #284-286.

Forge proposed in Uncanny X-Men #289.

Iceman battled against Tatsuo and his family in X-Factor (1st Series) #63-64. However, Tatsuo is Opal's grandfather and not, as was stated in this issue, Opals's father.

Destiny died in Uncanny X-Men #255.

Randall died in Uncanny X-Men #287.

Destiny foretold that Forge and Mystique would be together in the end in Uncanny X-Men #255.

Issue Information: