Uncanny X-Men Annual 2001

Issue Date: 
January 2002
Story Title: 
Absolute Progeny

Joe Casey (writer), Ashley Wood (artist, colors), RS & Comicraft (letters), Pete Franco (assistant editor), Mark Powers (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Bill Jemas (president)

Brief Description: 

The X-Men meet with Nick Fury at the sitre of a recent mutant riot and tell him the they have heard rumors of a new drug which creates temporary mutations. They want to deal with it themselves. Logan and Iceman go to Cuba to investigate whilst Chamber and Stacey X go to a rave to find more about it. After harassing a local drug pusher, Logan and Bobby find out that the Vanisher is behind it and is wiping out all the other Drug Cartels to take full control. Back at the rave the X-Men see first hand the effects of the drug as a teenager in front of their eyes grows wings. Later the Kid falls from the sky as the drug wears off and he starts O.D.ing, luckily Stacy is able to give him an adrenaline shock. At the mansion the Beast analyzes the drug, and finds that it is a retrovirus derived from pure mutant DNA. Indeed the Vanisher watches over some of his crew as they drill into the spine of a giant mutant that is hidden underneath a nearby lake. Logan and Bobby try to join the Vanisher’s team and are taken blindfolded to the base. On arrival Bobby attempts to ice up but is knocked unconscious. The Vanisher recognizes Logan and takes him out with a gun. Wolverine awakes to find himself strapped to an operating table and the Vanisher tells him that they are going to use his DNA for the drug, meanwhile Bobby has been put in an oven to die.The other X-Men arrive but the giant under the sea who has been awakened by the Vanisher knocks out their jet. Archangel flies Chamber and Stacy down to earth, while Nightcrawler teleports into the base and rescues Logan and Bobby. Chamber destroys the giant and Archangel confronts the Vanisher. But before they can bring him to justice, he teleports away.

Full Summary: 

3:48 am, CenterView, Texas. A large number of teenagers possessing mutant powers riot in the streets. Later that day S.H.I.E.L.D. Agents are clearing up after the riots. Nick Fury calls them in for debriefing and is surprised by Nightcrawler and Archangel arriving. Fury believes that it was a large group of mutants that rioted but the X-Men disagree as they have heard rumors. An autopsy is being done on one of the bodies from the riot. Nightcrawler tells Fury that they believe a drug called Designer Genes has hit the streets. These drugs give the user a mutant ability for a short while, but side affects on the human body are also unpredictable. They believe that it is being shipped from South America; Fury gives the X-Men his word that S.H.I.E.L.D. won’t get involved unless it escalates.
In San Francisco, two dealers watch a video of the son of their boss Alvarez, jumping from a bridge, but the boss still sold the drug for another day until a package was delivered with a severed head in it. Since then someone else has been supplying the drugs instead of them.
In Havana, Cuba, Wolverine and Iceman are trying to find the root of the drug smuggling operation. Wolverine is worried that people in the area may recognize him so he shaves his head. They discuss what happened to Alvarez and the fact that the drug hit the streets so quick they are still trying to find out exactly how it works.
Elsewhere outside Shreveport, Chamber and Stacy X are at a rave. Everyone is dancing and the light show depicts an image of Magneto’s helmet. They spot a line and find that teenagers are waiting to get their hit of the drug. One of them asks what’ll happen, but the dealer tells him everyone reacts differently. As they watch the kid takes a hit and instantly his arms turn into giant bat-like wings.
Back In Cuba, Logan threatens a drug runner into revealing the name of the Head of the cartel. He tells them to contact Dizzy, who hires for him before finally giving up the name, it’s the Vanisher. Iceman is shocked and Logan comments that if it is him he’s certainly stepped up in the bad guy rankings.
Elsewhere the Vanisher talks about how he got rid of the Alvarez cartel, leaving the playing field empty. He tells his colleague that the first rule of the new mutant economy is ownership as he looks out over a bay. Under the water two divers drill into the spine of a mutant, lying on the sea bed. As they finish and return to shore, Vanisher reports that he never thought he wuld be lucky enough to have a 5th cousin with gigantism.
At the Xavier Institute Beast is running analysis on the drug. It appears that the drug is a retrovirus that attacks the bodies cells and reproduces for several hours before dying out. Beast believes that some people are dying due to the rigors of the mutation. Nightcrawler is shocked and they wonder how they are manufacturing it, and where they are getting the DNA from.
Back in Cuba, Logan and Iceman are in a car blindfolded, as Dizzy only agreed to take them to his leader this way. Iceman is surprised how the Vanisher has managed to get to his current position as he remembers when he first met him and he was just a petty thief, never believed him to be a heavy hitter like Magneto. The car stops and they are led into a box room. Bobby thinks that they should play by their rules now, Wolverine agrees but before Bobby can ice up he is knocked out. Logan pulls off his mask and is confronted by the Vanisher who wonders who he is. Logan pops his claws and the Vanisher realizes its Wolverine and pumps him with a full clip from a gun to take him out.
Back at the rave, Jono and Stacy watch as the kid that sprouted wings crashes from the sky as the drug wears off. They reach the kid and he is O.D.ing. Stacy gives him an adrenaline rush to snap him out of it just before Nightcrawler arrives in the x-jet to take them to Cuba, since they haven’t heard from Logan or Bobby.
Logan has been drugged up and is on an operating table. The Vanisher tells him that Bobby has been put into an oven room to die. The Vanisher tells Logan that the origin point for the drug is mutant DNA taken from the Spinal Bone Marrow, and that he intends to take some from Wolverine. They start to drill but the bit shatters on Wolverines adamantium laced bones. The Vanisher tells the operator to get an adamantium drill bit and to let him know when the first sample is ready for analysis.
The X-Jet arrives in Cuba but the Vanisher is aware of their arrival and tells one of his workers to wake the sleeping giant. Suddenly the cousin that is under the water is awakened and rises from the sea, smashing the x-jet. Archangel grabs Chamber and Stacy to take them to safety as Kurt teleports.
Kurt arrives in the lab and beats up the operators, before removing the restraints from Wolverine. Outside Chamber and Stacy are left to deal with the Giant. Chamber realizes that the giant is actually a remote controlled zombie meaning he doesn’t have to hold back and lets loose with a large amount of energy, destroying the creature. They head in to the complex to see if the others need help.
Warren has caught up with the Vanisher and wonders how he was able to get so many loyal men. He tells him that so many organizations like Hydra and A.I.M. have fallen on bad times and the men are loyal to money, which he can supply. The Vanisher remembers the time when Warren hit him on the jaw and is ready for a rematch, at which point Nightcrawler, and a badly injured Wolverine and Bobby arrive. The Vanisher tells them that there will be no fight today, he is purely a businessman exploiting a new market place before vanishing. The X-Men are amazed by the size of operation he had built. Nightcrawler comments that his exploitation signals a New World they are entering and he fears the atrocities are only just beginning.

Characters Involved: 

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

Nick Fury, director of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Dizzy, Miguel and Luis, various operatives of the Vanisher’s organisation

Story Notes: 

The first battle between the original X-Men and the Vinisher that Iceman remembers occured in Uncanny X-Men #2.
Angel hitting the Vanisher in the face is not seen in earlier issues, but it must have happened off-panel either in the same issue or in their next encounter while the Vanisher was part of Factor Three in Uncanny X-Men #38.
Wolverine’s hair has already grown back by his next appearance.

Issue Information: 
Written By: