Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #430

Issue Date: 
October 2003
Story Title: 
The Draco - part 2

Chuck Austen (writer), Philip Tan (penciler), Avalon Studios (colorist), Rus Wooten (letterer), Annie Thornton (assistant editor), Mike Marts (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Bill Jemas (president)

Brief Description: 

On Isla des Demonas, the X-Men discover that Carter Ghazikhanian has snuck along for the ride, once Alex asks the dig site professor to get him to safety they engage the situation, trying to free Nightcrawler from the circle he seems stuck in and before the hordes reach them from out of the dimensional rift. They engage the circle, but not before Iceman is struck with an arrow and seemingly killed, his body turning to ice and shattering. Archangel mourns his friend until his girlfriend, Husk is in danger and he tries to save her, when suddenly, the rift seems to explode and leaves a huge hole in the middle of the jungle. At the Institute, Xorn suggests to Nurse Annie that her son attend his special class, an idea that makes Annie discomfortable. After taunts from Polaris, she agrees to enter Lorna’s mind with Xavier where they learn that on Genosha, Lorna began to seek the truth about whether or not she was Magneto’s daughter. Meanwhile, in Vancouver, Squidboy is abused by his father and runs away.

Full Summary: 

Vancouver, Canada. Samuel Pare, a former student of the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning in Westchester, New York, receives a hard blow from his father, who shouts at the frightened Sammy. The boy’s mother tries to reason with her husband, who then starts to turn his violent outrage onto his wife. Sammy runs out of the house, his father can be heard ordering his wife not to protect Sammy while he is disciplining him. Sammy’s mother asks her husband how he can hit his son like that, and Claude Pare asks if he is really his son. His wife asks him how he can suggests such a thing. Sammy overhears these harsh comments and tells his father, not that he can hear him, that he is his son, and should be so lucky to be someone else’s. Claude proclaims that his "fish-face-freak" son didn’t come from him, and suggests that his wife was sleeping with Will, a man she works with. She protests, saying that she never did such a thing, and starts to leave the house to look for Sammy. Claude stops her and forces her to sit down, adding that if they are lucky, he will never come back.

Meanwhile, in the infirmary at the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning, Professor Charles Xavier and Nurse Annie Ghazikhanian are preparing to mentally exam Lorna "Polaris" Dane, one of the most powerful mutants in existence, who has had a very abrupt attitude change. Lying on the bed, the restrained Lorna mockingly suggests to Charles that Annie should join them on the „mind-walk" they are about to embark, adding that as Annie is a healer, it would prove most informative. Sternly, Charles asks Lorna not to taunt Annie.

Lorna smiles and tells Xavier that she isn't taunting, but offering a unique opportunity, what with him going into her head to learn why she has changed, and what led to her „occasionally violent" behavior. Lorna adds that this is a chance for someone who doesn’t like mutants, yet who heals them, to understand them better. A voice from behind the groups asks Annie why she doesn’t like mutants. Annie turns around and Charles looks up as Xorn makes his presence known, and stating that Annie’s fear of mutants would explain her sons distant behavior with him, adding that racism is usually handed down from parent to child.

Annie does not deny that she has had racist beliefs, but adds that she has tried not to impart them to her son. ‘Of course you haven’t’ Lorna snaps as Xavier asks Xorn if he is here to help with Lorna. Xorn cuts Charles off before he can go on any further, simply saying that there is some healing that he prefers not to attempt, as he finds it futile and personally draining.

Xorn’s eyes flare as he informs the trio that he is here to ask Annie if Carter can be included in his special class, after all he is a powerful mutant, and Xorn believes that the experience will prove beneficial. Nervously, Annie’s mouth gapes as she stutters before saying that she will talk to her son about it, believing the choice should be his. Xorn asks if the choice should be Carter’s while Charles points out that Carter is not one of the problem children. ‘He is with Annie as his mother’ smiles Lorna on the bed. ‘Shut up!’ whines Annie.

As Xorn begins to leave the infirmary, he reminds Charles and Annie that Carter is a powerful mutant who needs guidance. Sternly, Charles informs Xorn that Carter will get the guidance, which he will deal with later, but for now he has something very important that needs to be dealt with presently. Xorn tells Charles that he understands, and apologizes for his intrusion after bluntly stating that a mutant with a disregard for human life is in need of modification, while a human with disregard for mutant life is assisting.

Annie snaps back that she does not have "disregard" for any life, before turning to Lorna and tells her that if she really wants her inside her head to understand why she has become a killer, then she will do it, and adds that when they are done, Lorna can come inside her head and have a look at the flip side of mutant-human-relations. Annie’s eyes go wide and her brow furrows as she tells Polaris that then she will be able to see how someone can go through Hell and still come out to this school to help save lives, not take them. Polaris just smiles and her eyes narrow as she states she is looking forward to it.

Back in Vancouver, a cold and lonely Sammy Pare is suddenly visited by his friend Carter Ghazikhanian, Nurse Annie’s son, who is projecting his image mentally to Sammy. Sammy asks Carter how he can do it, but the image of Carter replies that he doesn’t know, but it seems to have something to do with the way he went into Alex’s head, it is just part of his mutant powers. Carter asks Sammy to guess where he is, but before Sammy can answer, the excited Carter tells him he is in a jungle, on a mission with the X-Men. Sammy asks Carter if his mother knows he is there, adding that she will be seriously mad.

Carter proclaims to Sammy that it is all right as he is with Alex, who is almost like his dad now, and that Havok is down with the X-Men and „a bunch of glowing people". Sammy looks skeptical and asks Carter if Alex even knows he is there. Suddenly, a disturbance cuts the two friends off and Carter looks behind himself to see a man standing over him, who asks Carter who he is and what he is doing at his dig site.

Back at Xavier’s, Charles’ fingers rest on Lorna’s temples as he announces he has prepared her mind, and he asks Annie if she is ready. Nervously, Annie replies that she is, as Lorna tells her to relax, and smiling wickedly she adds that it is going to be fun. Annie asks Xavier what she is supposed to do, to which the world’s greatest telepath tells her just to relax, to let go of her mind, and let him do the work. Eyes closed, Annie proclaims that she can see what appears to be a room, and suddenly, they are in the room. Scared and puzzled, Annie asks where she is. Xavier announces that they are in Lorna’s mindscape, "memories viewed through personal interpretation and emotion".

Annie is surprised at just how real this all is, unemotional, Xavier supposes that it must be for someone who has never been here before. Annie asks Xavier if he means this is like therapists using hypnosis, before asking how reliable the "memories" are. Charles informs her that the memories are very reliable, that he can cut through most of the falsehood and reach the actual stored information. Both Annie and Xavier turn their heads in unison, shocked, they see Polaris in bed with the attractive Alex „Havok" Summers, her former long-time boyfriend. ‘Oops’ is all that Lorna can say, and as "Alex" kisses her, the green-haired beauty asks Charles if this isn't the memory he was looking for, getting cozy with Annie’s new boyfriend.

Meanwhile, back on La Isla des Demonas, Wolverine, Archangel, Havok, Iceman, Jubilee and Husk, all stand in shock or awe at the indescribable mass of what seems to be mutants or demons, all surrounded by a powerful surge of energy. Bobby "Iceman" Drake asks what they should do, to which Paige "Husk" Guthrie, the newest member of the team suggests they stop it. Warren "Archangel" Worthington, Paige’s older boyfriend and one of the founding members of the X-Men, proclaims that it appears to be a dimensional rift, and that the people within it do not look friendly. Alex Summers crosses his arms and looks uncertain, while Logan, a.k.a. Wolverine announces he is with Husk, proclaiming they should get Nightcrawler out of the rift and leave before things take a turn for the worse.

The six X-Men break out of the row-formation they were in, as Havok holds Logan back, informing him he is not disagreeing with him, but suggests that Kurt is not here of his own free will, and that something probably manipulated him into being here. Alex suggests that whatever this "call" was had probably been calling him here for some time, making Alex believe that that is why Kurt invited himself along when Lorna and he first came to the island several weeks ago.

Havok informs his teammates that they do not know what kind of effect pulling Kurt from the group may have on him, adding that it may even kill him. Logan, concerned for one of his closest friends, states that they cannot just leave Nightcrawler there. Havok assures Logan that they will not, but they need to think of a way to ensure his safety first. A voice calls Alex’s name and the team turn around to see two men holding up Carter Ghazikhanian. The man who found Carter sees that it is Alex, and proclaims that he isn't sure what they are all doing here, but he has found something that belongs to them.

Back in the infirmary at the Institute, Polaris, Xavier and Annie have exited Lorna’s mindscape and Lorna taunts Annie again, asking her if she has a problem seeing that Alex did love her once. Trying to be brave, Annie says that she doesn’t, before asking Lorna if she has a problem seeing that Alex prefers she now, and that that was just a memory. Lorna smiles and tells Annie that she isn't any fun as Xavier informs Lorna he is taking control of the situation. Slightly forlorn Lorna tells him to just get on with it.

Again, Xavier places his fingers on Lorna’s temples and she informs him that she always had to prove "it" to herself, so that is why she went to Genosha. Once there, Lorna says that she actually began to believe in Magneto’s dream, and it all happened after that, because once she began to believe, she had to know. They appear in Lorna’s mindscape again, this time in a laboratory on the Island nation of Genosha. Lorna appears garbed in the green costume she was wearing at the time, and stands next to a table stacked with test tubes and beakers.

With her back turned to Xavier and Nurse Annie, Lorna announces that she had always wondered, how could she not? After all, her powers are the same as Magneto’s, and her parents died under mysterious circumstances. She states that it was supposedly proven that Magneto was not her father, but that the person who provided the information was not trustworthy, and what if the proof was a lie?

Polaris holds up a test tube of blood, it was all she needed, as she was already in Genosha and had Magneto’s trust. Lorna informs Charles that there was so much available because Magneto had been doing a lot of testing, studying medicines and possible cures to the paralysis caused when Wolverine severed his spinal cord, she didn’t think anyone would notice. All she needed was a little blood, and an independent test done by someone without possible hidden agendas, and Lorna Dane would know once and for all, if she were Magneto’s daughter!

Back on La Isla des Demonas, Alex is shocked to see Carter and asks him what he is doing there. Carter replies that he wanted to be with him, and grabbing the boy, Alex tells him that it isn't safe, not to mention his mother will be worried sick. Professor Dibble asks Alex what they are all doing at his dig site. Havok informs him that they are trying to save a teammate in danger, but they stumbled across this strange ritual – Wolverine cuts Havok off, telling him that they have to make their move. Iceman adds that the strange others are almost through the dimensional rift, and arming up.

With no warning, Iceman is struck in the chest with an arrow. The young mutant starts to pull the arrow out of his chest, mentioning how if he were anyone else he would have died, when suddenly, he shatters, turning to ice and spreading everywhere. Warren is stunned at his best friends’ apparent demise and the others look on shocked. Warren races towards Bobby’s remains, as Havok orders Wolverine into the dimensional rift, and for Jubilee to use her powers to provide a distraction, while Husk tries and breaks up the circle.

Warren holds up the decapitated head of Iceman while Havok asks Professor Dibble to get Carter to safety. Arrows are fired at Alex, but he manages to use his powers to stop them, while Dibble runs away with Carter. Husk made her way to Nightcrawler, who is linked, to several other beings, but she cannot seem to pull him free. She realizes that they are all melting together and Alex orders her to change form whatever it takes. Someone creeps up behind Husk with a club, Warren calls to warn her, but the assailant knocks her down.

Havok has several arrows stuck in him now and informs Warren that he may explode with them, but they need to break the circle. Still holding Bobby’s head, Warren announces he will do it, and with Bobby’s head under one arm he rushes towards his girlfriend. Paige seems to be okay, when a loud "Vwweeeeen" noise is heard and the dimensional rift seems to explode, catching everyone inside of it, and leaving a huge gaping hole in the middle of the jungle.

Characters Involved: 

Archangel, Havok, Husk, Iceman, Jubilee, Nightcrawler, Polaris, Professor X, Wolverine, Xorn, (all X-Men)

Annie Ghazikhanian

Carter Ghazikhanian


Claude Pare, Squidboy’s father

Squidboy’s mother

Professor Dibble

Other archeologists on Isla Des Demonas
Mutants on Isla Des Demonas

In Polaris’ mindscape


Story Notes: 

Havok, Polaris and Nightcrawler visited the Isla Des Demonas (or at least an island nearby) in Uncanny X-Men #422, where they discovered the remains of what appeared to be ancient mutant civilization.

Sammy "Squidboy" Pare, a Canadian citizen, was removed from the Institute by Alpha Flight in Uncanny X-Men #422.

Polaris has had a very sudden personality change since she returned to the mansion in Uncanny X-Men #416. She was found in Genosha in New X-Men #132, it has been hinted at that her personality change may have something to do with witnessing so many deaths and being one of the very few survivors of the Genoshan massacre, [New X-Men #115] however it has yet to be confirmed.
Lorna was informed about her parentage by Iceman who had questioned her adoptive parents about the subject. it is unclear why Lorna would consider them "unreliable."

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