Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #405

Issue Date: 
June 2002
Story Title: 
Ballroom Blitzkrieg

Staff: Joe Casey (writer), Sean Phillips (artist), Hi-Fi Design (colors), RS Comicraft's Saida! (letters), Pete Franco (assistant editor), Mark Powers (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Bill Jemas (president)

Brief Description: 

While the others are away, Radius pays Stacy to do what she has done during her prostitute days, but hard as she tries, her pheromones don't enter his forcefield. They get surprised by Avalanche and the Blob. Radius gets buried beneath the ground and Stacy gets knocked out. The villains then escape with the entire fleet of gunships. When Banshee and the X-Men return from Zürich they find that the X-Corps has been betrayed from within. Sunpyre is found dead in the lab, and Abyss is in shock. Nightcrawler discovers the unconscious Chamber in the Blackbird, right before a time delayed bomb goes off. Meanwhile, the villains, especially Fever Pitch, are causing mass destruction in Paris to show the world the true face of mutant pride. Turns out that they also have dozens of Multiple Men under mental control. Banshee and one of the loyal Multiple Men go to Mastermind's chamber to shut her down, but "Multiple Man" is actually Mystique in disguise. From behind she rams a knife into Banshee throat. Archangel and another Multiple Man inspect the X-Corps weaponry for something useful.

Full Summary: 

Back from Zürich, Banshee finds the X-Corps' hangar empty, only the X-Men's Blackbird is still there. Banshee asks Multiple Man if there are any aerial maneuvers scheduled, but Jamie denies it, however he suddenly feels a little bit dizzy. Banshee tells him to pull himself together; he needs to know where all those helicopters went. Archangel and Nightcrawler say that this incident proves that Banshee is not as much in control as he thinks, and he almost lost it in Zürich. Banshee finally gives in and says that he couldn't possibly have kept his secrets forever.

After waking up Iceman, the three X-men accompany Banshee to the chamber with Mastertmind's tank. Kurt is horrified by the looks of her, and he explains that she is the daughter of the original Mastermind. She calls herself Martinique Jason, but that might just be an alias. Despite her power of illusion casting, she is also a telepath and possesses the raw power to modify an individual's behavior. Kurt begins to understand; Banshee used her to hold his X-Corps against their will. Sean confirms it, though not all of them. Radius, Sunpyre, Multiple Man and the girls from Generation X are there because they believe in the idea of mutant unity, but to make the proper statement, Banshee needed recruits that would illustrate this unity, and the criminals were added to their ranks. Mastermind gives Iceman a slight headache to show how recruits that step out of line get dealt with. He now realizes that the other night in the bar, the Blob and Avalanche had received a similar treatment when they were about to cause a fight with him. Warren asks Banshee how he could have hoped to keep a criminal telepath under his control, and Nightcrawler states that these are serious ethical breaches. Iceman remembers that Surge seemed unaffected of the headaches, and Banshee realizes that his operation has been betrayed from within.

(three hours earlier)

In the woods, outside of the X-Corps building, Radius is sitting on the ground with Stacy. He has paid her for what she usually did in her former profession (prostitute), and Stacy tries to slip her stimulating pheromones into Radius' forcefield, to no effect. Suddenly they are disturbed by the helicopters flying away from the hangar. Before they can even think of investigating, the ground starts to shake. A rift opens, Radius falls inside, and then it closes again. Yet Stacy is not alone, as the Blob and Avalanche approach, behind her. Avalanche states that he never liked the arrogant Radius, and the Blob says that it's now his turn. He stomps on the ground, causing a small tremor and while Stacy is off balance, he grabs her by the leg and hurls her on the ground, face first. While Stacy lies not moving, the two villains are picked up by a helicopter. The Blob complains that his hand feels all tingly.


In the lab, Jubilee and Husk have found the body of Sunpyre. She is really dead. Abyss is still in his containment field, though apparently in shock. They report to Banshee, who doesn't believe it. The X-Men get angry, now that blood has been spilled this has really gone too far. Archangel takes charge; he tells Kurt to search for Chamber, while he and Iceman will accompany Banshee and some of the Multiple Men to the command center. Warren asks if the X-Corps uniforms have inbuilt tracking devices and they confirm, though the villains might have disabled them. Jamie once more says that he doesn't feel too well.

Once at the command central, Banshee orders his personnel to search around and locate the missing operatives, but right then a transmission comes in from Fever Pitch. Jamie tracks the signal and finds that the gunships and the villains are in Paris, causing mass destruction. Fever Pitch confirms, they are in the city of lights to show the world the true face of mutant pride by burning down the old monuments and make way for the new world. To back up his claim, Fever Pitch sets the Arc de Triomphe on fire. Even worse, the villains have their own army of Multiple Men at their disposal, this explains why he wasn't feeling well. Banshee angrily smashes the screen, and then tells Jamie to find as many of is duplicates and consolidate. If Martinique has taken control of some of his selves they have to override her telepathy. As the local authorities report about massive civilian casualties and widespread property damage, Archangel says that they have to take down Mastermind immediately. Banshee agrees, though then they will loose their only chance to get the villains back in line.

Meanwhile Nightcrawler teleports through the huge X-Corps building in search for Chamber, but he is nowhere to be found. Hallways, bedrooms, kitchen, every room is empty. Kurt then has an idea and decides to try the Blackbird in the hangar. Inside, he finds Jono unconscious, but still alive. He is unable to communicate, but Kurt finds burn marks on his clothes. Nightcrawler radios Archangel about their friend's condition, but then he spots a bomb in the Blackbird. The timer is already down to two seconds. As the jet explodes, Warren loses radio contact with him.

A few minutes later, Archangel and a Multiple Man are standing before the remains of the Blackbird. Jamie offers to search the wreckage, but Warren, still in denial of what has just happened, tells him not to. Warren says that it's time to take the fight to the villains, and since they have taken away all of their air power, he wants to know what the X-Corps have left. Jamie leads him to a secret weapons room that only he and Banshee know about. It contains various weaponry salvaged from their many missions. While they are searching for something useful, Multiple Man explains his reasons for why he joined the X-Corps. After he returned form his time in Genosha, he had felt like a mutant without a country. He was never bothered by humans, it had always been other mutants that got in his face, and he found that Banshee had the right idea about dealing with any threat to mutants from either humans or other humans. Warren states that evil has to do nothing with genetics; both humans and mutants can do good or bad. By then he has found a huge blaster that he thinks will be of good use.

Outside in the woods, Stacy comes around, she's boiling mad and says that "somebody's dyin' for this."

Banshee and another Multiple Man have gone back to Mastermind's chamber. Sean operates the controls. They want to locate Jamie's missing dupes and then break whatever telepathic connection she has with them. Sean asks Multiple man to keep an eye on Martinique. If she blinks, they can send a neuro-shock into her cortex. While operating the controls, Banshee wonders how all of it could have happened. He and Jamie were the only ones who knew about the tank, and it all started as a dream of a better tomorrow. Banshee talks about his dead lover, Moira. If he had never left Muir Island all those years ago, she might still be alive and they'd be happy. Lost in his thoughts, Sean fails to notice "Multiple Man" reverting back to her true appearance - Mystique. She rams a knife into his throat and tells Banshee to say "hello" to Moira when they meet in hell.

Characters Involved: 

Archangel, Chamber, Iceman, Nightcrawler, Stacy X (all X-Men)

Avalanche, Banshee, Blob, Fever Pitch, Husk, Jubilee, M, Mastermind II, Multiple Man, Radius (all X-Corps)



Story Notes: 

Multiple Man and Forge were seen undercover in Genosha in Uncanny X-Men Annual 1999.
Moira died of the injuries she sustained when Mystique's Brotherhood blew up the Muir Island complex during Dream's End.
Banshee left Muir island years ago in Uncanny X-Men #259-260 to search for the then missing X-Men. After finding them, he became a part of the team again and later accepted to become the headmaster of Generation X. His relationship with Moira was a long-distance one.

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