Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #329

Issue Date: 
February 1996
Story Title: 
Warriors of the Ebon Night: part 1

Scott Lobdell & Jeph Loeb (writers), Joe Maduira (pencils), Tim Townsend (inks), Steve Buccellato (colors), Richard Starkings & Comicraft (letters), Bob Harras (editor)
SPECIAL THANKS TO: Electric Crayon’s Richard Chu (for his work on the Steam Ninja)

Brief Description: 

At his Sanctum Sanctorum home on Bleecker Street, Dr. Strange witnesses some visions in his Scrying Pool, concluding that Wolverine and Archangel need his help, even though they may not realize it. He activates his astral form and hovers over the night city, sensing that an ill wind has arrived. Meanwhile in Little Asia, Warren and Logan themselves arrive in front of a tea house, where Logan believes they shall find help on their quest. Warren isn’t too sure and would rather stay at Betsy’s side, should anything happen to her condition, but a stubborn Logan convinces the rich hero to stay with him. As they go inside the tea house, neither Logan nor Warren realized that they were being eavesdropped, and the spy goes to report the events to its master, who is ready for the X-Men. At the tea house, Warren becomes more and more impatient at doing nothing, until a steam ninja attacks them. Logan notices that the ninja’s weakness is metal, so Warren attacks it, using his wings, despite the fact he’s still injured. But the ninja is tougher than the two X-Men thought and seems invincible, until Logan stabs an old lady in her back, who was apparently controlling the ninja. Warren becomes upset with Logan for killing the woman, but calms down when Logan reveals that there was an old guy inside the woman, controlling the ninja that attacked them. The old man introduces himself as Gomurr the Ancient, and Logan convinces him to help them in their quest for the Crimson Dawn blood, which Logan suspects shall save Betsy because of her being a ninja. As the three are about to leave, Dr. Strange catches up with them and accompanies them as well.

Full Summary: 

Dr. Strange, while staring through his viewing pool, discovered some intriguing images concerning Archangel, Psylocke, Wolverine and another mysterious man. Strange believes that these visions in his Scrying Pool are clear: the X-Men are in need of his catastrophic magic, whether they realize it or not. With nothing more than a mere thought and the snap of his magic fingers, Dr. Strange’s astral form rises from his Sanctum Sanctorum of his Bleecker Street home to begin his quest, searching for two souls amidst a concrete sea of humanity.

Strange’s astral form goes hovering above the city. He has noticed that an ill wind blows through the city this evening, as if the shadows seek to unleash themselves upon a helpless populace. Even though Strange believes that their motives are pure, he thinks that Wolverine and Archangel cannot begin to fathom the forces they may unleash before this night is through.

Meanwhile, at Little Asia…

Warren and Logan are walking through the night city. Warren still can’t believe he let Logan talk him into doing this, believing it’s a complete waste of time. He recalls that Betsy is hanging on an inch of her life after her devastating battle against Sabretooth, and now they are on a wild goose chase! An impatient Logan smirks that he’s heard this song already and tells Warren to skip the refrain. Warren is serious, thinking he should be at his beloved’s side instead of being here. Logan reminds Warren that he told him back at Xavier’s that he didn’t need to come and that it would be easier on his own.

They arrive in front of a tea house. Logan wants to know if Warren is in or out. Warren is in, but swears he will lash it out on him should anything happen to Betsy while they are out there. Logan, confident that Betsy will do anything but die, tells Warren to shut up and instead follow him and to trust him. As Logan walks inside, Warren notices that they are in a tea house and thinks he’ll have a hard time trusting Logan, believing he must be an idiot for going through with this.

Logan smiles that Warren must be an idiot and wants to tell him something about most people like them: they don’t own the world. Instead, they share it with things Warren can’t even start to imagine, not even in his dreams. Just like they keep things to themselves, these creatures do the very same thing. Usually. But tonight, Betsy needs something from them. And Logan and Warren have come to get just that.

Warren reminds Logan that Betsy is already being treated back at the mansion. Logan knows that but also that Betsy doesn’t need medicines, since medicines aren’t what turned her into a ninja. And medicines aren’t going to save her. The only thing that is going to save Betsy’s live is a handful of luck.

As Logan and Warren go deeper inside the tea house, they didn’t notice that a strange, pink magical being had taped itself on the commercial sign board of the restaurant and was eavesdropping on them. The creature returns to its mysterious master and reports these new events to him. The master thinks its only natural that the two X-Men are there to come see him, because people only come to him when they need something. His eyes start to glow in a rather evil, green color with a sadistic smile on his face.

Aunt Susie Cho’s tea house…

While sitting on a table, Warren believes they should at least inform the school about this. But Logan isn’t listening to that. Instead, he caught some weird scents in a room and doesn’t have time to chat. Warren has had it. He angrily stands up, not realizing why he let Logan talk him into this stupid fantasy quest for an elixir that might save Betsy’s life. Logan angrily tells Warren to go sit down again. Warren refuses and tosses some money on the table to pay for the food they had. He thinks it’s time that they faced the fact that Logan is losing it.

Logan grabs Warren’s arm, paining him a bit, and admitting that he doesn’t expect Warren to understand everything. He recalls that Warren always was too self-absorbed to see other possibilities. He orders Warren to sit down right now… Or else, Logan threatens, he’ll break Warren’s arm. Warren goes to sit back down. Logan asks him to think about it: Betsy is a ninja now. He explains that, when her body was transformed and changed by the Hand, there were certain things she went through, certain parts of her body that were changed forever. She became something more than human. Something less, too.

Warren knows that feeling. Assuming that Logan is right, he wonders why, instead of rushing back to the Mandarin, why they are sitting here a tea house in Little Asia. Logan reminds Warren that he saw the damage Sabretooth brought to Betsy’s body. There is no way she can be stitched enough to be brought back to life. Besides, Logan adds, everything they need to help Betsy is right in this bar. Warren still hasn’t seen anything. Logan explains that Little Asia, like every other city in the world, is chock full of mysteries. You just got to know where to look. Warren drinks his coffee, which Logan suddenly pushes out of his hands!

The coffee hits the floor, revealing a ninja completely made out of steam! Apparently, this isn’t the first time a thing like this happens at the tea house, as its other visitors clear the area in record time. The huge ninja assassin steps forward, making clear that the battle begins. Warren wants to know what they are fighting, but Logan has no idea himself. Warren releases his metal wings, believing they are wasting time. Logan thinks that might be true, but mentions that, since they are now fighting this ninja, it must mean that they are making someone nervous, meaning they are on the right track.

As Warren tries to use his wings to fight, he suddenly screams out in pain. He admits he thought he could ignore his own injuries, at least until after Betsy is out of danger. In mid-air, he starts to collapse and crashes on a table. Logan asks his teammate if he’s okay, but Warren doesn’t want to be the one worried about. Instead, he orders Logan to just continue to fight the ninja. Wolverine recognizes that Warren is in deep pain, but still fights on. He gives the spoiled rich kid more credit than he ever thought he could.

The steam ninja suddenly runs to the back of the room and slams his fist on the ground, causing a big shockwave in an attempt to hurt the X-Men. Warren rolls into safety and Logan jumps to the balcony, thinking that whoever sent this guy after them hasn’t done his homework. Warren doesn’t understand that remark. Jumping back into action, Logan explains that the ninja apparently isn’t metal sensitive. Only, it has been a while since Logan has any kind of metal parts in his body. Warren wishes he could say the same thing. He flies towards the ninja and starts slashing it apart with his metal wings!

The ferocity of Archangel’s attack takes even Wolverine by surprise and that, in itself, is saying something. But with Psylocke’s life hanging in the balance, this is no time for Warren to be holding back. Unfortunately, force alone does not always produce the desired result. The ninja starts duplicating itself, and the duplicates all fly towards Warren! He releases the metal blades from within his wings, but more and more duplicates start showing up. Warren hopes Logan comes to help him out any time soon now.

Curiously, in the otherwise empty tea house, an elderly woman sits alone. Watching and waiting. And also… smiling? Suddenly, she gets stabbed in her back by… Wolverine’s claws?! The woman collapses and Logan smirks that the show is over now. All of the ninja duplicates mysteriously fade away. Warren doesn’t want to sound ungrateful, but last time he checked, being an X-Man means finding solutions to situations without having to take a life. Particularly some defenseless old lady, no matter what role she played in all this. While sheathing his claws back, Logan smiles that the reason why Worthington never learns anything is because he yaps more than he uses his wings.

Logan remembers that Warren has been riding him ever since he joined the X-Men. He knows that maybe he has done a few things he isn’t proud of. But right now, Warren is way off his base. Warren wonders what Logan is up to now. Logan sticks his hand in the back of the old lady, digs inside it and pulls out a very old man! Logan tosses the old guy down the floor, and introduces Warren to Gomurr the Ancient.

After getting up again, Gomurr goes to stand on a table and bows for Logan, mentioning that it has been too long between visits. Logan smiles that it hasn’t been long enough. Gomurr can see that the years haven’t taught Logan to have respect for his elders. But he thinks it’s a good thing to see that some people always stay the way they are. As Logan sticks a cigar into his mouth, Gomurr uses a trick, which brings fire on his finger and lights the cigar with it. Gomurr admits that he doesn’t understand why Logan felt the need to destroy his Earthen vessel.

Wolverine thinks it’s maybe because of the same reason Gomurr felt for sending his steam ninja after them. Perhaps it is to prove that they are not who Gomurr suspects they are. Gomurr reveals that much has changed since he and Logan last saw each other. Strange tidings have come. Bad tidings. Warren tries to say something, but Logan holds him back claiming he can handle things by his own. Wolverine explains to Gomurr that he and Warren have only come to get one specific item: a pint of Crimson Dawn from the Ebon Vein, and they have elected Gomurr to help them out.

Gomurr panics, shouting that the quest is an impossible one and that the seeker of the Dawn only finds certain death! Warren wonders what Logan has gotten themselves into. Gomurr tries to get out of it by saying he can only wish Wolverine and Archangel good luck on their quest. But he can’t think of a single reason why he would help them. Logan can give him three reasons: he snikts out his claws and points them at Gomurr’s chin, who sarcastically immediately changes his mind and agrees to help out, thinking he has been too hasty.

He suggests that the sooner they get started the sooner it will be over. He steps forward and wants to leave, but bumps into Dr. Strange’s astral form! Strange asks Gomurr if he’s going somewhere. Logan snikts out his claws, explaining to Strange that Gomurr is doing them a favor and hopes the doctor won’t have a problem with that. Strange doesn’t have a problem at all, and even more: he shall join this excursion as well. Logan doesn’t want it, but Warren doesn’t even care if the devil himself decided to join them. He wants to leave right now since, every second they waste there, Psylocke is that much closer to dying!

At the mansion, an unconscious Psylocke still lies at the Infirmary…

Characters Involved: 

Archangel, Psylocke, Wolverine (all X-Men)

Dr. Strange

Gomurr the Ancient


a Steam Ninja (unnamed)

Little Asia residents (all unnamed)

patrons & clients of Aunt Susie Cho’s restaurant (all unnamed)

Story Notes: 

Psylocke fought Sabretooth to an inch of her life last issue. She became a ninja after stepping through the Siege Perilous courtesy of the Hand, as seen in Uncanny X-Men #256-258. She fully gave into herself being a ninja in X-Men (2nd series) #32.

First appearance of Tar and Gomurr the Ancient.

Archangel’s wings got damaged when he and some other X-Men fought Sabretooth after he escaped from their mansion, as seen in Sabretooth: In the Red Zone. He indeed gave Logan a hard time when he had just given the X-Men and their misunderstandings even caused Warren to leave the X-Men, as seen in Uncanny X-Men #147-148.

Wolverine’s adamantium skeleton got ripped out of his body by Magneto, during the “Fatal Attractions” crossover, more specifically in X-Men (2nd series) #25.

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