X-Campus #2

Issue Date: 
September 2010
Story Title: 
<BR>Breathing in the Dark (Chapter three) <BR>The Bands of Cyttorak (Chapter four)

Francesco Artibani (story), Michelle Medda (script), Alessandro Vitti (penciler, chapter three), Gianluca Gugliotta (penciler, chapter four), Santa Zangari (inker), Giovanna Niro (colorist, chapter three), Davide Amici (colorist, chapter four), Sergio Algozzino & Fabio Bonechi (colorist, chapter six), Sergio Algonnino, Denis Medri, Marco Failla & Sergio Algozzino (chapter three cover), Roberto Di Salvo, Marco Failla & Sergio Algozzino (cover, chapter four)

(For Panini): Luigi Mutti (translation), Brady Webb (lettering), Stefania Bitta & Maryam Funicelli (editorial coordination), Red Whale's Katja Centomo & Francesco Arbitani S.N.C. (series editors), Enrico Fornaroli, Andrea Rivi, Francesco Meo & Simon Bisi (editors, Panini Comics), Brady Webb & Luigi Mutti (editors, Panini UK), Marco M. Lupoi (publishing director, Panini Comics)

(For Marvel): VC's Clayton Cowles (re-lettering), Todd Nauck & Javier Tartaglia (cover artists), Cory Levine (editor), Alex Starbuck (assistant editor), Jeff Youngquist (senior editor, special projects), David Gabriel (senior vice president of sales), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

Charles Xavier dreams of running with his brother. It’s the same dream he has all the time. In town, Kurt Wagner is trying to keep a low profile, but he hears a kind of calling inside his head, and edges slowly towards the Worthington Foundation. There, Magnus awaits his arrival. He doesn’t wish to scare him off, but he prepares a welcoming party for him should the need arise. Bobby Drake hits it off with one of the popular girls in school. Donald Pierce doesn’t mind. He has designs on the new arrival, Anna Raven. Charles Xavier gets word out that he and Jean Grey wish to meet some of the students at the bandstand that night. Several turn up to listen to Charles explain that he wishes to help them come to terms with what is happening to them regarding their powers and how they can adjust to them. Only Logan isn’t interested in what they have to say. Kurt Wagner nears the foundation and is confronted by Pyro and Toad. A fight ensues, only for it to be halted by the arrival of Charles and his pupils. Pyro and Toad fight for the right to take Kurt, but superior numbers force their retreat. Kurt is given safe haven in Logan’s room for the time being. Later, Ororo Munroe saves Anna from Warren, who wishes to ask her out. However, she has set Anna up for a date with Donald Pierce at the library. Warren’s mood darkens and he retreats to the bathroom, looking once more at the wings growing on his back. Anna goes to help out in the library but, when Donald Pierce kisses her, she is taken aback, scared she might hurt him. He is surprisingly not fazed at all by the kiss. Logan, meanwhile, heads to Hank’s room and finds that he has created an image inducer for Kurt. This will enable him to move around more freely. Later, Professor’s Xavier and Banks take the pupils to a football game in New York. There, Cain Marko, the professor’s step-brother, is the star player. Almost unstoppable. Like a juggernaut, Logan remarks. Cain meets Charles after the game but becomes agitated when Charles presses him not to misuse his gift. When he attacks Charles, his pupils, now named the X-Men, try to assist, but Cain is very powerful. It takes a touch from Anna Raven’s ungloved hand to put Cain down. Later, they head home on the train. Charles can hear their thoughts… Anna’s in particular. She knows why Donald Pierce didn’t react to the kiss in the way he should have. He isn’t human. Charles dreams his usual dream, but this time, Cain is no longer running with him.

Full Summary: 

Chapter Three: Breathing in the Dark

Kurt Wagner walks through the streets, his hood up and with sunglasses covering his eyes. A scarf hides his blue chin. He's tired but he carries on walking. Just two weeks ago, he was on the other side of the ocean. A voice inside of him is telling him that he cannot stop now. He would prefer not to go out during the day, but the landlord at the hotel was getting suspicious, and besides, it's two days since he ate anything.

He opts to spend his last loose change on a hot dog, ordering without speaking as he knows his accent would give him away. The hot dog vendor is curious enough as it is about his looks. Kurt leaves quickly. He's tired and would like to sit down but he doesn't dare. A sign catches his eye as he passes. He doesn't know why, but it looks familiar. Maybe he saw something similar downtown. Or... maybe the mysterious voice is trying to tell him something. The sign reads 'Worthington Foundation.'

Inside the large building, Magnus is concentrating hard. He wears the Cyberno helmet and can sense that Kurt is very close. He can visualize him in his mind. He's nearby and that's all he needs to know. He removes the helmet and heads for his office where he summons Mesmero. The green-skinned mutant enters and Magnus asks him to take a seat. He has good news. Mesmero asks if he received the report from Cyberno. The signal seemed quite strong. Magnus replies that he did, and that it was the signal of Kurt Wagner. Mesmero's face lights up. "Kurt Wagner? That Kurt Wagner?" Magnus asks if he knows any others. Mesmero wishes to go get him, but Magnus wants to give Kurt more time. He might come to them. They can give him until midnight. In the meantime, he wants Mesmero to prepare the rescue squad for action. He reminds Mesmero, as always, to be discreet, especially with their dear Mrs. Higgins.

Carol Higgins heads along the corridor, noticing Donald Pierce trying to lay on the charm with Anna Raven. Once Donald leaves with a cheery wave, Carol tells Anna that it looks like she's settling in quickly. Anna wonders what makes her think that. Carol asks if she's wrong, or did Donald Pierce just ask her out? Anna says that's her business. Carol assures her that she didn't wish to pry, but talking with her students is the best part of her job. However, if she wants, she can keep their relationship on a more formal footing. Anna says that works for her, and departs.

Meanwhile, Hank McCoy is walking with Bobby Drake. He asks Bobby if he heard right. He wants to ask out Reese Gorman? Bobby asks why that's so strange. Hank tries to explain as monosyllabically as possible. Reese, he says, is the most beautiful girl in the school. There's a line of guys who'd like to ask her out running all the way around the corner. Bobby asks him to relax. He has an ice up his sleeve. Hank asks if he means an ace up his sleeve, but Bobby smiles. In his case, it really is ice. They approach Reese who is at the ice machine which she finds is broken. Bobby happily steps in and creates ice cubes in her drink. Reese is impressed and asks how he did it. Bobby replies that it's a secret, but maybe he can tell her later that night, at the movies?

A big guy named Mark approaches them, and he isn't happy. He asks Bobby to tell him his tricks. Reese asks what his problem is and Mark points to Bobby, telling him that he's the problem. They ran into each other at the cafeteria. He is the guy with the frozen lasagna. Bobby remembers. It was the last portion, and it would have been his had Mark not steamed in ahead of him. Mark points his finger in Bobby's face and asks if he's some kind of damn wizard. He wants to know everything! Now! Logan appears and warns Mark to leave it. A wizard never reveals his trade secrets and the public shouldn't know anyway. It would spoil all the fun. He cracks his knuckles and looks right at Mark, asking if he likes spoiling things. Mark backs off and asks Logan not to get mad. He didn't know the boy was his friend. "See you around then," adds Logan as Mark turns and gets outta there.

Bobby thanks Logan, but he tells Bobby he didn't do it for him. He smiles at Reese and introduces himself. Bobby reminds Logan that he and Reese were talking before they were interrupted. Reese informs Bobby that she finishes studying at six so she should be able to make the movies for seven. Great, replies Bobby. He'll see her there. When she leaves, Bobby offers Logan a drink - his treat. Logan asks Bobby to do him a favor... "Scram!"


Jean Grey knocks on a door and finds Hank and Bobby inside. She has brought them an invitation from Professor Xavier. They have been invited to the first lesson of their evening course. She asks if they can tell Scott as well. Hank is unaware of this course and he asks which room it's in. Jean replies that there is no room. The Professor will be waiting for them at the temple in the park at seven. Bobby can't believe it and groans, audibly. Jean smiles and asks if he had any other plans for the evening.

Meanwhile, Warren Worthington III is in a quiet part of the building, alone. A paper plane comes flying in through the window and he reads it. His father then appears and apologizes for being late. It's been a while since they had a chat. The younger Warren tells him he called yesterday but his secretary informed him that his father was in a meeting with Professor Magnus. His father admits that the truth is, is that they need 36 hour days, and maybe even that wouldn't suffice. He just wants to know how things are.

Warren asks what he thinks. Everybody knows that he's his son and they think he's there not because he deserves it, but because of his last name. It's not easy being a Worthington, he admits. His father knows this, but maybe things would be better if his son spent a little more time with the others. More of a social life wouldn't hurt, would it? The foundation has a good sports program, too. His son replies no thanks. He can do sports on his own, and he isn't really much of a team player.

"Is that all?" asks his father, a little annoyed. He reminds Warren that he is his father. He doesn't need his son hiding anything from him. Warren says that he's right. "No secrets between us." He notices a shadowy figure hiding behind a nearby pillar, listening to their conversation. His father places a hand on his shoulder and says all right then. He turns and walks away.

Alone, Warren says that there shouldn't be secrets between father and son, but while his father has his... he'll keep his own. He opens the paper plane and reads the note which says 'Meeting 7pm Temple Park, Logan.'

Meanwhile, Anna enters her room and finds Ororo Munroe clutching the letter she received from the Robbins. She shouts at Ororo, demanding to know what she's doing with it. Ororo insists she was just trying to find some paper to leave her a message, but Anna replies that it's not paper. She should give it back. Ororo tells her that the postmark is a month old and Anna still hasn't opened it. If it was her, she'd be dying to know what it says. Anna snatches the letter from Ororo's grasp and replies that Ororo isn't her, and she's lucky not to be Ororo. She asks what the message was.


Anna joins Scott, Logan, Warren, Ororo, Hank and Bobby at the bandstand. Charles Xavier is there with Jean Grey. He thanks them for coming. He wanted a different place that was out of the ordinary for a lesson that was out of the ordinary. Tonight, he states, in a way they will be talking about biology. Mostly, though, they will be talking about the group themselves and the changes they are going through; difficult changes which may make them afraid. Fear, he adds, is inside and all around them. He is there to reassure them and take them by the hand as they uncover this wonderful mystery. He reads Logan's mind and tells him that he is wrong. He never drinks on an empty stomach and to use Logan's words, he didn't go crazy. Logan replies that he didn't say anything! Charles tells him he thought it. Logan doesn't like this.

Back at the house, Mesmero tells Magnus that it's now dark outside and young Wagner is still out there. Magnus says he felt Wagner's feelings through Cyberno. He is confused... too confused to make the right decision. Pyro and Toad will have to be very convincing.

At the bandstand, Bobby says he still doesn't get it. Charles says he won't tell them something they already know. They all know they possess special abilities. There's nothing magical, bizarre or supernatural in that. Some of them treat their condition as if it were a gift: for others it's just a problem. Something unknown, an 'X-Factor,' in an equation without a solution. He explains that their genetic code had a mutation and this is an extraordinary event which...

Logan interjects, telling Charles to say his #@*% to somebody else. He snikts his claws, causing a gasp of surprise from the others. Logan tells Charles that there's nothing so amazing about his claws. They hurt every time he pops them and that's all he knows. He turns and departs. Jean Grey calls after him, but Charles asks her to leave him. He tells the others that Logan isn't ready yet, but he will be soon. All of them must start to accept themselves, because the world isn't yet ready to do so.

Jean takes over, adding that people fear what they don't know. The path that leads to fear is a short one and it's never a one-way street. Scott reckons that's clear enough. Jean informs them that Professor Xavier can show them a different path, and if they want, they can walk it together. Anna is uncertain. Things have been happening so fast. Her life has changed completely and the world she knew is gone. Charles tells her that there's no hurry to understand this. Her friends are in the same situation, but he can help her if she'll let him. He explains that he is a telepath, but he won't be using his abilities on them. He wants them to show themselves without fear... telling him who they are.

Ororo asks if he means a sort of group therapy. She finds this extraordinary. She always envied her father's exclusive evenings at Alcoholics Anonymous: a group of dazed people sitting around in a circle then standing up in turn to admit their misadventures out loud. "Hi, my name is Ororo and if I focus I can do this." Bobby scratches his head and asks, "What's this? Suddenly, a localized downpour soaks him and he realizes what she's talking about.

Charles tells Ororo that they can consider this a good beginning. Hank says that Einstein once said that the most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is incomprehensible. Bobby has no idea who Einstein is. "Frank," replies Hank with a grin. "Frank Einstein?" replies Bobby. "The monster?" Hank asks him to go back to sleep. He'll wake him up when they get there. Jean senses something and quickly contacts Professor Xavier who can also sense the same things.

Outside the grounds, Kurt Wagner has the feeling he is been watched. The look that's aimed at his back is pressing on him like a knife. The man who's following him moves slowly. Kurt speeds up and the man does the same. When Kurt begins to run, the stranger doesn't let up. When Kurt realizes he's trapped, it's too late. Pyro stands before him, assuring Kurt that he only wishes to speak with him. Kurt knows he has just chance, but this means revealing his secret and dropping his mask. With no choice, he teleports away, causing a cloud of sulfur to replace him. Toad assures Pyro that the stench wasn't him, but Pyro knows exactly what it is. He spots Wagner nearby and points to him. Toad leaps over the railings between them, but Pyro simply melts them and heads through. Kurt is running once again. Using his power is tiring. It's an effort that consumes him and leaves him weak and helpless.

Toad uses his prehensile tongue to lasso Kurt's legs, dropping him to the ground. Kurt doesn't understand what is happening to him as he is dragged backwards, but when he hits the tree, that's something he can understand. All the air is knocked out of his lungs and everything around him goes black. "Welcome to the Worthington Foundation, Mr. Wagner," exclaims Pyro. Toad reckons that wasn't too difficult. Magnus will be pleased. As they bend down to pick up Kurt, a voice from behind Pyro shouts, "freeze!" They turn to see Charles Xavier, Jean Grey and the youngsters all gathered there. Charles says he thought they only worked on school maintenance, but it looks like he's underestimated them. He asks them to step away from the boy. Toad warns him that this is none of his concern. He should turn and leave. Jean uses her telepathy and asks Charles to leave it to her. It won't take long. Charles asks her to wait... and see.

Toad asks what's the matter with Charles. Cat got his tongue? Scott instinctively steps in and Hank quickly backs him up, grabbing Kurt and leaping away. Anna Raven is impressed with Hank's agility and speed, but Pyro certainly isn't. He sends a blast of flame as a warning shot, telling 'fatty' to get back there. Once he is on the ground, Toad kicks him, causing Scott Summers to become angry. Pyro turns his attentions to Anna, aiming his flame at her, but Bobby steps in and shoves her aside. He then erects an ice wall between them, telling them to find a safe place. Warren asks Anna if she's okay but Anna, still concerned about her blossoming powers, pushes him away, asking him not to touch her. Warren is clearly surprised. Jean says they need to get out of there as the ice barrier won't hold out too long against the flame. Scott tells her that he only needs a second. He aims at Pyro and hits him with an optic blast right in the chest. Bobby thinks it's really cool, but Ororo asks if he killed Pyro. Scott assures her that hit wasn't a strong blast. He'll have some bruises but he'll be fine.

Pyro clutches his chest and damns Scott. Magnus will kill them for this. He tells Toad to take Wagner and scram. Toad replies that he'd better scram as well. They make a run for it, but Ororo uses her lighting powers to bring them to a grinding halt, zapping the ground beneath them. Kurt is released and he thanks them for the help. Hank realizes that Kurt is German. Scott sees scratches on his back but they don't look too bad. Ororo kneels down and asks Kurt if he's okay and if he can understand her. Kurt feels Ororo's gentle touch and finds that he isn't afraid at all. He introduces himself as Kurt Wagner. Charles then says that they should move. The flames are going to attract people's attention. Anna watches Ororo as her eyes light up. Ororo looks to the skies and rain comes down, quickly dousing the flames, erasing the tracks of the fight in the park. Kurt knows that he's finally found a safe haven... and some friends.

Back at the school, Kurt takes residence in Warren and Logan's room. Logan isn't too happy, but he won't betray them. Charles states that he is proud of the team. They did well: they acted like a real team. Jean agrees. The X-Boys did well. "X-Boys!" replies Charles. Jean reckons all teams have names. Something like the X-Boys, Xavier Boys... it doesn't sound too bad. Charles isn't sold. Maybe X-Men sounds a little better. Jean reminds him that they aren't men just yet, but Charles says they will be. They will be soon.

Chapter Four: The Bands of Cyttorak

(in Charles Xavier's dream)

It's the same dream Charles always has. His legs are fast and strong. He almost mows down the long grass as he runs. It's a never-ending race between him and his brother, Cain. The race is run again and again until the dream fades.


Charles' coffee cup drops from his hand and hits the floor with a 'tunk.' Jean asks if he's okay, and he admits that he must have fallen asleep. Jean picks up the cup and replies that he doesn't fall asleep over biology books, only over the sports section. Most people do the opposite. She asks if something's wrong. Did he have a bad dream? Charles tells her it wasn't bad. He was dreaming he was running again.


Donald Pierce is outside with a guy named John. John directs Donald's attention to where Bobby Drake is acting the playboy with Reese. He wishes he were in Drake's shoes. Donald agrees that Reese is okay, but she isn't his type. He prefers Anna. John asks if he's kidding. Anna is a wildcat. She lives behind a line she drew in the sand and won't let anybody across it. Donald says that he likes impossible odds. It's more satisfying when you win. John asks him to go ahead then. At least there won't be much competition.

Ororo Munroe is in the laundry. Warren appears and she tells him that if he's looking for the library it's two floors up. Warren replies that he was looking for Anna. He was told she might be with Ororo. She gets up and heads to the door... a door behind which hides Anna Raven. She tells Warren that she has no idea where she is. Does he want to leave a message? Warren says she left a book behind in class, but never mind. He can come back. Ororo takes the book and says she'll hand it over to Anna, no problem.

Once Warren is gone, Anna thanks Ororo for covering for her. Ororo replies that it's okay. It was obvious Warren was going to ask her out, and she already has something going on tonight. She's told Donald that Anna would help him out on his shift at the library. Anna asks if she's out of her mind. Why would she do such a thing? Ororo tells her that it's time she moved on and stopped avoiding people: especially boys. And, she adds, Anna does like Donald. She doesn't know what her problem is, but it's time she faced it. Besides, she thinks Donald is good looking and smart.

Warren is in the corridor, berating himself by calling himself stupid and repeatedly banging his head with his fist. Bobby taps him on the back and asks if that's the title of his autobiography. Warren turns and warns him never to do that. Bobby opens his hands wide and replies that he only touched him. It can't have hurt! Warren reaches his arm over his shoulder and rubs his back. He tells Bobby that he strained a muscle playing tennis. If he ever needs a massage he'll let him know. Bobby is a little perplexed at Warren's attitude.

Warren makes his way to his room and finds Kurt Wagner sitting there listening to his iPod. Warren hasn't time for chit-chat and heads quickly into the bathroom. There, he removes his shirt and peels off layers of bandaging around his torso. He looks backwards into the mirror and sees the two familiar raised strips running vertically up his back.

Meanwhile, Logan heads to Hank's room to find Bobby and Hank both there. Hank is busying himself with some gadgetry. "Looking for me?" asks Logan. Hank asks him to find a seat. He needs him to run a test. Logan looks around the dingy little room and remarks that it's a hole. He's never been there before. Hank informs him that it's the best computer science lab on campus. Professor Xavier managed to get him a pass for unlimited access.

Logan asks what for. Was he missing his games room at home? Hank says it's something like that. He's working on an image inducer for Kurt. If he's going to live on campus then it's important that he can walk around freely. His blue skin could attract attention. "While no one would notice his pointy ears," replies Logan, sarcastically. He asks where the elf is, anyway. Bobby tells him Kurt's right in front of him. Logan is surprised. There is no one there. From nowhere, a small cloud of sulphurous smoke appears as Kurt teleports behind Logan. Hank tells Kurt that it seems the image inducer is working. Logan remarks that he knew he could smell something but he just thought it was the fat boy.

(the library)

The library is very quiet as Anna arrives. Donald thanks her for coming down to help. She puts some books away and asks what's next. He is carrying a large stack of books which need sorting out. She takes them off his hands but finds that they're heavy. He moves in to help, grabbing the other side of the stack. With their faces in such close proximity, Anna loses her cool and lets the books slip from her fingers. Donald wastes no time in moving in for a kiss. He takes her cheek in the palm of his hand and puts another around her waist.

Anna is taken aback, and quickly pulls away shouting, "No!" Donald replies that judging by her kiss he thought she meant yes. Flustered, Anna asks if he's okay. Donald replies that he's never felt better in his life. He asks if there's something wrong. Anna tells him that he has no idea how much danger he was in. She can't touch him. She could have hurt him. Donald has no idea what she's talking about. Anna turns away, saying she cannot explain, but Donald calls for her to wait.

Elsewhere, Scott Summers is in Charles Xavier's office. Charles informs him that they're going to New York to see a Giants scrimmage. They're playing T-Rex - a university team. It was Professor Banks' idea. "A football game?" asks Scott, surprised. Charles tells him that Banks supports the Giants, but he thinks T-Rex are something he has to see. But, this isn't what he called Scott in for. Scott is relieved. He was hoping not. After that night in the park they never had the chance to discuss what Charles said... about their powers. He can't help thinking about what his eyes can unleash. He almost destroyed the school with them, and Charles is trying to convince him that this isn't a curse? Charles holds up a box-cutter and asks Scott if he sees it as a tool or a weapon. Scott replies that it depends on how you use it. Charles replies that this is why he is going to New York; to meet those who might use it the wrong way.

(in Cain Marko's dream)

Once, Cain's dream was always the same. A never-ending race between brothers. Cain still dreams the same dream today, but it's a different one now. A dream in which he can walk on through a storm. Once more he sees the temple on the snowy plateau that he once entered. Things have changed since he found the gem, or maybe it's the gem that found him? Sometimes during the dream, the gem talks to him to tell him it has been waiting for hundreds of years for him to touch it. Did it really happen? Cain doesn't know anymore whether the voice is a memory or just a dream. Does it matter? he wonders. The gem, found on the forehead of a statue inside the temple, is for real. The magic of Cyttorak is for real. Nothing else matters.


The game is in full swing. T-Rex in red dominate the Giants in blue, with Cain Marko as their star man. He effortlessly makes his way past the Giant's defense and scores a touchdown to the roar of applause from their supporters. The Giants fans sit silent, knowing they're in for a drubbing. Professor Banks reckons Cain Marko is unstoppable. Logan thinks he's more than that. He would say Marko is a real juggernaut. Scott asks Charles if this is what he wanted him to see. Cain Marko's strength? It isn't human, so is he a mutant too? Charles replies that he's no mutant, but he is right. His strength isn't human.

Donald is sitting with Anna. He says she doesn't seem very interested in the game. Does she want to talk about what happened yesterday? Anna replies that nothing happened. Donald holds her gloved hand and tells her that she was upset and said she could have hurt him. Anna tells him that this isn't the time and asks him to leave her alone.

Marko scores yet another touchdown and Logan cheers him on. T-Rex may be amateurs but they play like pros. The game ends and Jean asks Charles what they're doing next. He asks her to go with Banks. He wishes to stay a bit longer and the X-Men will remain behind with him. Cain, meanwhile, revels in the victory, but he doesn't party with his teammates for long. He slips out of the locker room saying he has to be somewhere. He already knows what to say at the family reunion.

He greets Charles as he wheels himself into his room. Cain is pouring himself a glass of bubbly. He tells Charles that he got his message and wanted to give him the reception he deserves. The room is all his. Did he enjoy the game? Charles replies that the Giants played well. Cain asks if he's sorry for them, but Charles replies that he is sorry to see what Cain has become. He is a fortunate man who wastes the magical energy of the Gem of Cyttorak for the sake of some questionable glory. Cain replies that Charles says 'waste,' but he says success: fame, women and everything money can buy. That's a heap of stuff.

Charles tells him that there are people born with extraordinary powers. Some decide to use them for their own gain, but others decide to use them to help the next man. This is what he came to talk to him about. Cain tells Charles that he's always been a peculiar man. He should find himself a hobby like most people do - photography, home improvement... but no, he has to save the world. The world cannot be saved, he adds. The strong win, the weak lose. There isn't much else to say.

Charles asks if he's really sure he belongs among the strong. Cain looks at his two red wristbands and replies that until they strip him of those, then yes. They're bonded to his skin. They're a part of him. Charles says that the wristbands are just objects. It's the magic that counts. The magic of Cyttorak wasn't born with him. He can lose it just as easily as he got it. In Cain's mind, he thinks that Charles' rant about saving the world was just a trick, and that he wants the power of Cyttorak for himself. He won't let anyone take that from him. No one!

Cain grabs Charles by the throat and lifts him clear of his wheelchair. "Don't challenge me Charlie," he warns. "No one will take the power of Cyttorak from me!" Charles calls him a fool. He doesn't understand. Cain throws him across the room and into a table. The commotion attracts the attention of the students, and Ororo, Logan, Hank and Scott enter the room to find their mentor lying unconscious. Scott warns them to get back. Marko is dangerous. Cain sees that his brother brought the cavalry, but it won't matter. He is going to tear them apart one by one, and when he's done, it'll be Charlie's turn.

Hank warns Scott that Cain is on the attack, so Scott unleashes his optic blasts at him. They hit Cain square on the chest, but they have minimal impact. Cain reckons Charles is a dreamer if he thinks he can save the world with these kids. He punches Scott to the ground, causing his blasts to hit the walls which begin to crumble. The other people there make a run for it as Cain warns the X-Men that they are too young, too weak and too stupid. They should surrender.

Logan asks if he's talking to them. Hank clenches his fists and heads for Cain, only to receive similar punishment to Scott. Cain reckons Hank has the moves, but it takes more than that to bring him down. Logan snikts his claws and takes a swipe at Cain, missing by a narrow margin. Cain notes that his attacks is all rage but no experience, and Cain lands a telling punch on Logan's chin, putting him down for the count.

Anna Raven appears and she stands in the doorway, blocking his escape. Cain tells her that she is the only one left. Now she's in trouble. Anna replies, "Strange... I was about to say the same to you." She removes a glove and approaches Cain, but he takes her gloved hand and stops her in her tracks. He tells her she has guts and he likes her and all, so he won't break her bones... or maybe just a bit. Anna tells him it was a nice try, and he should enjoy it as it'll be the last time. She places her ungloved hand on Cain's face and to his complete surprise, Anna's hand becomes a block of marble while his own fingers feel soft as clay. The magic of Cyttorak leaves him. The power of the crimson gem flows into Anna's body and Cain's strength leaves him until his legs cannot support him any longer. He slumps to the ground, wasted.

The last thing he hears before he blacks out is Charles' voice. "The magic of Cyttorak wasn't born with you. You can lose it just as easily." Meanwhile, police officers charge into the building, asking where the explosion was. Someone directs them upstairs to room 15. There, Warren picks up Scott who is a little weary. He wants to leave quickly as it will be difficult to explain all this. Scott asks where the professor is. Charles, lying under some fallen masonry, replies that he's fine, but he needs getting out. Anna moves in to assist, but Logan tells her she can't do it. "Of course I can," she insists. She lifts back a heavy stone block, much to Logan's surprise. As he stands there watching, Anna asks what he's waiting for.

Donald Pierce appears and everyone turns to look at him. Xavier asks what he's doing there. Shouldn't he be with the others? Donnie says that he absolutely has to talk to Anna. He saw her go into that room and then witnessed the explosion. He wanted to see if she was okay. Charles replies that they're fine, but he needs a doctor. Donald holds out his bleeding hand and says it's nothing, but Anna notices blood on his neck, too. Donald asks her not to touch it. It's nothing. A cop asks if everything's okay, and Charles replies that there are a few scratches but nothing serious apart from the shock. He and his students were passing by the blast when it occurred. The cop asks if anyone else was wounded. Scott explains that there was one person. A second before the blast they saw someone enter the room. He could have sworn it was Cain Marko.


Everyone is on the train home. Charles Xavier cannot sleep, and it's not his students keeping him awake. It's their thoughts. Anna Raven's mind seems more agitated than all the others. More importantly, there's this boy named Donald Pierce. Anna now knows how he managed to kiss her. No human being could have done it and got away scot-free. But Donald isn't human. What she saw under his skin wasn't human at all. Charles tries to leave Anna's thoughts. There are other things he should be worried about. For example, the phone call from Kurt just before they left New York.


Kurt calls Professor Xavier and explains that he did as he told him and he thinks he's discovered something on that mysterious colleague of his... Professor Bolivar Trask!


Charles begins to feel really tired and he falls into a sleep that envelops him like a soft blanket. Xavier dreams the same old dream. His legs are fast and strong, almost mowing the tall grass. Once, between brothers, there was no race without a rematch. The young Charles turns, waiting to see a familiar face - to see Cain gaining on him. This time, though, there's nobody behind him. There won't be another race.

Characters Involved: 

Robert Drake, Logan, Henry McCoy, Ororo Munroe, Anna Raven, Scott Summers, Warren Worthington III (students at the Worthington Foundation)

Other students at Worthington Industries including Reese Gorman, John and Mark

Warren Worthington II


Jean Grey and Charles Xavier

Professor Banks

Mystique/Carol Higgins


Donald Pierce

Kurt Wagner

Passers By and Shopkeeper

Pyro and Toad

Cain Marko

Police Officers

(on magazine cover)

Cain Marko

(in flashback)

Kurt Wagner

(in Xavier’s dream)

Charles Xavier and his brother, Cain

(in Cain’s dream)

Cain and his brother Charles Xavier

Story Notes: 

Chapters one and two were in the first issue.

In this series, Logan is portrayed as a typical teenager, unlike the regular 616 universe version in which is over a hundred years old.

Issue Information: 
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