Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #355

Issue Date: 
May 1998
Story Title: 
North & South

Steve Seagle (writer), Chris Bachalo (penciler), Tim Townsend, Beatty and Smith (inkers), Buccellato (colors), RS/Comicraft’s EM (letters), Mark Powers (editor), Bob Harras (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

Rogue is visiting Dr. Agee’s South Manhattan Institute for Genetic Studies. After speaking to Dr. Agee, she departs, leaving him with a genetic sample from her mouth to analyze. Meanwhile, Wolverine is taking the recently defeated Sauron into the city on the back of his hog in order to leave him with the authorities when he is forced to crash the bike after being buzzed be a low-flying aircraft. The jet that passed Logan lands, and out get Alpha Flight who are under orders to recover Logan for the Canadian Government. When first challenged he is unimpressed by their attitude and decides to leave. Guardian follows him and he reluctantly enters into combat. With the rest of Alpha Flight following, Logan knows he can’t handle an entire team alone but his bravado slows them sufficiently to allow a passing Rogue to bring in reinforcements in the form of several X-Men. Despite trying to assure Alpha Flight that he is innocent of the crime he is accused of (the murder of Madison Jeffries), the hotheads in their team force the issue and a battle erupts. It takes the cool head of Cannonball to straighten things out, convincing them that Logan couldn’t have been the guilty party, as by the time of the crime, Logan was a prisoner of Bastion. Alpha Flight realize that they have been lied to, as they were told that Logan was tracked down by his adamantium, though he no longer has the metal. They make up with Logan and depart. In Alaska, Jean tries to explain to Scott that she is wearing the Phoenix costume as a symbol of rebirth, as she no longer wants to hold back with her powers. Scott is not convinced and considers calling the X-Men for help.

Full Summary: 

The X-Mansion’s new answering machine takes calls from three people. Kurt Wagner calls from Muir Island but doesn’t say what he is enquiring about. Margaret Stone calls from the Department of Education saying a representative named Marta Walz would be staying with them, and Jean calls to say she and Scott have arrived safely in Alaska. She mentions that Logan might like to know about the suspicious Department H troops they encountered on the flight over.

Logan is taking Sauron into the city on the back of his hog in order to hand him over to the authorities. He is bound in a potato sack and chained as he is still in the transformation stage and hasn’t yet fully reverted to Karl Lykos. Logan isn’t in the mood for his remonstrations and warns him to stop struggling as he is upsetting the bike’s balance. Sauron says he isn’t doing anything and Logan questions why the hairs on his neck are standing to attention. Suddenly, a jet sweeps past them at very low altitude and forces Logan to crash the bike, throwing him and Sauron to the ground. Logan thinks he knew it was going to be one of those days.

Meanwhile, Rogue is visiting the Agee Institute for Genetic Studies in South Manhattan run by Dr. Agee in order to learn more about his practices. She is concerned about her powers and questions her own recent actions concerning Gambit, Wolverine and Joseph. She gives her name as ‘Ms. Smith’ and tells the doctor she is there looking for information. Dr. Agee informs her that the Institute involves itself with unlocking genetic mutations so that mutants can live normal lives again. Rogue mentions that his work must be interesting to the government (notoriously anti-mutant) but he replies that he knows all about mutants being feared by the public because his own sister ‘was’ a mutant. Rogue is about to ask if his sister is now dead as he refers to her in the past tense but he proceeds to explain that she was his first success story and has now been cured, plus the government has no involvement there. Dr. Agee then takes a swab and gathers some cells from the inside of Rogue’s cheek which he says will be analyzed in order to determine her genetic code. It is only then, that he can decide the next course of action. He asks Rogue to schedule her follow-up appointment with his receptionist, Martha, and as she leaves, he asks what exactly her mutation is. Flustered, she is reluctant to impart too much information at this early stage and instead says she’ll tell him next time before hurriedly leaving his office.

Logan has put both himself and Sauron back onto the bike and continues towards the city. As he rounds a corner he finds his former teammates Alpha Flight blocking the road, stood in front of the jet that has just buzzed him. His old friend Puck is there alongside Vindicator and Guardian and he also recognizes Sasquatch but doesn’t yet appear to know the more recent additions to the team. Guardian says that under edict of the Canadian Ministry of Defense, he is ordered to remand himself into their custody for immediate extradition. He adds that Logan shouldn’t make this any harder than it should be and they will take him by force if necessary. Despite lighting a cigar, Logan’s olfactory senses are sharp and he circles Guardian, sniffing him inquisitively.

Vindicator then approaches him and reveals why they are after him. Department H has shown them a surveillance video showing Logan murdering their teammate Madison Jeffries. Logan reminds her that they are old friends and asks who she believes, the Department or him. He also adds that James (Guardian) smells strange, saying “He’s him, but he ain’t him, know what I mean?” After greeting Puck and Sasquatch, Logan uses his experience to play mind tricks with the new recruits. Flex is extremely nervous about the possibility of confrontation but his older brother Radius appears eager to test himself against Logan. Wolverine says he won’t hurt him unless he gives him reason to and Radius answers he’ll give him a reason. Logan pops a claw and asks him if he wants to fight but Radius replies that he feels like they’ve fought already. Logan jokingly says that is impossible as Radius still maintains his hair, all his teeth and a bunch of unbroken bones. Radius responds by telling him that he fought a simulation of him in Combat Central and kicked its butt. Logan nonchalantly asks if Combat Central was some kind of Ottawa espresso bar. He then acquaints himself with Murmur before heading back towards his bike. He thanks everyone for letting him know Alpha Flight was back in business, but unless they wish to follow through with their threats, they should leave him alone. He then rides off once again with Sauron.

In Ptarmigan Creek, Alaska, Jean is a little tearful over Scott’s reactions to her new costume which turns out to be a replica of the green and gold outfit worn by the Phoenix Force when it had taken her place among the X-Men. Jean doesn’t appear to mind that her bird-shaped energy effect might possibly be seen from afar and tells Scott that she sees his thoughts, even the unconscious ones he probably isn’t even aware of and says he is constantly remembering Phoenix and Madelyne Pryor, negative images of who he thought was Jean at various times. In his memories they are wearing this costume but Jean reveals that she chose the name Phoenix as part of a plan to claim this identity, to empower herself and not to upset him. She adds that the costume isn’t symbolic of corruption, but of her rebirth as the only woman he loves.

Back on the bike, Logan and Sauron are once again knocked off, only this time it is at the hands of Guardian, saying he is now following through with the earlier threat. As he approaches Logan, he sees him pop his claws and leap at him. With Guardian pausing too long, Logan is able to get through to him and knock him to the ground while recalling their recent meeting when everything seemed fine. Everything fishy about this situation seems to point to his former bosses at Department H. Sauron tries to use the situation to his advantage, and hops in the direction of a nearby gas station only to find Sasquatch and Murmur blocking his escape, and Sasquatch knocks him backwards against a pump.

Rogue meanwhile is flying back from Manhattan and happens to notice emanations coming from Guardian’s suit. She decides to investigate and finds Logan in a brawl with several members of Alpha Flight. Rogue tells him she’ll bring reinforcements. Confident as ever, Logan says it doesn’t look like he’ll need any but she heads off regardless. Logan senses that the team isn’t on top form and seems hesitant which gives him something of an edge. He takes out Puck and Flex before both Guardian and Vindicator round on him. Logan though, manages to make it to the gas station and tells them that if they use their powers now, the whole place could go sky high as gas has been leaking from the pump ever since Sasquatch threw Sauron at it. He tells them he has been trying to provide them with a little time to clear up their screwed up heads but pops his claws again, ready for a close quarters fight.

When Vindicator realizes the claws are bone and not adamantium as she expected, however, she mentions that Department H are supposed to be tracking him through his adamantium. Logan wonders why this is a surprise to them, as he met Mac and Heather after he lost the metal, they even examined him. The two parties are about to cease hostilities, but Sasquatch suddenly appears behind Logan and punches him, forcing Logan to defend himself. He is grappling, rather unsuccessfully with Sasquatch when Rogue finally returns having brought Storm, Cannonball and Maggott with her.

Vindicator asks Storm to stand her ground and not to interfere with their business. Storm however replies that what concerns one X-Man concerns them all and hostilities break out once again, with Storm felling Vindicator with an electrical blast. Maggot asks Eany and Meany to circle Murmur to keep her out of the battle but instead the slugs disappear into the distance. Rogue goes at it with Radius and tests his force field, though he gives as good as he gets. Cannonball, as the youngest member, is about to take on Flex but before he can land a shot, Flex pretty much submits, telling Sam that though he doesn’t wish to fight, he also doesn’t want to get thrown off the team. Sam replies that he doesn’t want the fight either but they’re the ones who started all this in the first place. Flex then begins telling Sam exactly why they were trying to recover Wolverine.

While the explanation continues, Logan is fighting Puck and Guardian. Storm lets Vindicator know that she thinks they act as though they have been brainwashed. Sasquatch takes out Maggott by hitting him with the chained Sauron, and Murmur approaches the falling X-man intent to use her power on him. However, she seemingly finds something in Maggott’s mind that causes her distress and she cries out in pain. Suddenly, Sam grabs everyone’s attention and explains that Flex has told him that Logan was supposed to have murdered Madison Jeffries two weeks ago. The problem with this is that Logan was in Bastion’s jail at the time and therefore couldn’t have been responsible. Vindicator by now is adding things up and with this news, plus the fact they were lied to about Logan’s adamantium, determines that they should return to Department H and find out what exactly is going on. Logan looks around for Sauron but finds only a chain. Logan and Heather say their farewells and Logan says that if she needs any help back in Canada, she should give him a call.

Back at the X-Mansion, the answer machine is still in demand. A radio moderator informs them of the missed opportunity to win 25.000$. Next up is a call from Scott, but he hangs up without saying anything. Shortly afterwards he calls again and is about to mention something about Jean before she asks him who he’s talking to. He hangs up again.

Characters Involved: 

Cannonball, Maggott, Rogue, Storm, Wolverine (all X-Men)

Cyclops, Phoenix IV (both former X-Men)

Flex, Guardian III, Manbot, Murmur, Puck, Radius, Sasquatch II, Vindicator II (all Alpha Flight)


Dr. Agee

voice only:


Margaret Stone

unnamed radio personality

Story Notes: 

Marta Walz never did visit the school.

The suspicious Department H troops were confronted by Scott and Jean in Uncanny X-Men #352.

Roughly midway through their own series at the time, this issue was told from Alpha Flight’s point of view in Alpha Flight (2nd series) #9. Steve Seagle wrote both Uncanny X-Men and Alpha Flight at this time. Not much was added to the story, but it did provide a little more background into why Alpha Flight was chasing Logan.

Logan’s suspicions about Guardian were well founded. The one among Alpha Flight was actually a younger clone while the real Mac returned later on in Alpha Flight’s series.

Sasquatch wasn’t actually the real one (Dr. Walter Langkowski), but an actual Sasquatch who later died in Alpha Flight (2nd series) #12 saving his teammate Radius.

The Phoenix Force had replaced Jean from Uncanny X-Men #101-137, while at the same time the real Jean was lying in a healing cocoon at the bottom of Jamaica Bay. As Phoenix later was corrupted by her power, leading to her transformation to Dark Phoenix, Scott fears that the same might happen to Jean.

Logan had recently met Guardian and Vindicator in Wolverine (2nd series) #92.

During the crisis knows as Operation: Zero Tolerance, Logan and several other X-Men were incarcerated by Bastion’s troops.

During the battle, Rogue wore the purple Shi’Ar mining suit she used before while she and a team of X-Men were in outer space, helping the Shi’Ar battle the Phalanx. (Uncanny X-Men #342-345)

Apparently Wolverine catches Sauron again between the issues, and in Uncanny X-Men #356, he is again Logan’s prisoner, though by then he has reverted to Karl Lykos.

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