X-Man #46

Issue Date: 
January 1999
Story Title: 
Blood Brothers Part 1: Stormfront

Terry Kavanagh (writer), J. H. Williams (penciler), Mick Gray (inker), Mike Thomas (colors), RS/Comicraft/WA (colors), Glenn Greenberg (editor), Bob Harras (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

After a giant pyramid crashes on top of Castle Doom, everyone is concerned of what new threat may arise from it. However, world governments and heroes are reluctant to investigate the situation, given the extremely isolationist nature of the country. In Latveria, Nate and Madelyne behold as the villain Stryfe exits from the pyramid, followed by his minions, the Dark Riders. Stryfe orders the Riders to kill all of the world’s telepaths, starting with the most powerful ones. Madelyne teleports to Scott and Jean’s house in Alaska and saves Jean from being slain. Back in Latveria, Nate reclaims his telepathy, after being attacked by Psynapse and becomes more powerful than ever. He is captured, however, by Stryfe who starts siphoning Nate’s psi-energies into himself. As Madelyne returns to Latveria, she is reunited with Cable. Meanwhile, in Tramahoi, Ness is about to demand some answers from Blaquesmith.

Full Summary: 

San Fransisco

Commander Rafe Scanlon is watching the news on the recent crisis involving the giant pyramid that crashed down on Doctor’s Doom’s castle in Latveria. He realizes his promotion from Field to Command rank couldn’t have come at a worse time. He and the strikesquad he works for, the Gauntlet, are better equipped now to deal with Nate Grey but they are nowhere close to finding him again. He reflects on the three agents that work for them: Barone is probably drinking something in a bar, as usual. Vise is already in skydock field simulation trying out her new uniform. And Cinder Fontaine is in her room. Actually, Cinder is listening on some music, unaware of the developments in Latveria.

On the news, it is reported that authorities continue to gather and review incoming satellite data in order to solve the puzzle of the huge pyramid that came from the moon and hovered above Doomstadt, capital of Latveria, for twelve hours before falling down. Given the infamous isolationist political position of Latveria, other world governments have proven understandably reluctant to investigate too closely.

New York, Avengers mansion

Captain America, Thor and Scarlet Witch are discussing the situation with Nick Fury, who appears on a monitor. Fury doesn’t want them to go to Latveria and investigate. Doom may be gone but not forgotten; Latveria is strictly off-limits to everyone who wants to remain sanctioned by the United States. Cap replies that this is hardly their first priority; there may be people there that need their help. Fury reminds him they are Doom’s people and want no help from outsiders. Thor, in turn, reminds Fury that this is the way the Latverian people have been taught by the despotic Doom.

Scarlet Witch tells Thor that Fury is right and Captain America is aware of it, too. Getting uninvited into Latveria could make matters worse at this point. Fury agrees; he also informs them the S.H.I.E.L.D. hasn’t ruled out yet the possibility of Doom driving that pyramid from the moon. One way or the other, they can’t intervene unless the Latverians request so directly or a more significant threat emerges for the rest of the world. Cap hopes it will not be too late by then.


Nate Grey and Madelyne Pryor, both in shock, are still looking at the huge pyramid on top of what used to be Doom’s castle. They can’t believe that pyramid is there – the pyramid from Nate’s apocalyptic vision! Blaquesmith’s voice, coming from his small spaceship just above Nate and Maddie ensures them reality is undeniable.

As Latverians start screaming and calling out their master, Doom, to save them, Nate asks Maddie whether there is a possibility it is actually Doom himself who is behind this, since Nate has heard many bad things about him ever since he crossed over to the present universe. With his telepathy gone, Nate can’t understand what the locals are saying.

Madelyne advises him to read their faces rather than their minds. The Latverians are fully aware Doom would never destroy Castle Doom, his symbol of power, so it must be someone else.

Blaquesmith’s voice from his airship confirms it’s not Doom. Nate tells him nobody asked him; he also demands he takes them out of there immediately. Blaquesmith insists that this thing they are facing is something that doesn’t belong in this world or time. Not unlike Nate and Maddie themselves. Nate tells him to buzz off but, suddenly, he and Maddie find themselves surrounded by locals, who are shocked by the fact strangers have entered their land.

Blaquesmith happily follows Nate’s advice and immediately leaves with his airship. Nate considers telekinetically smashing his ship when Maddie points him to something far more important: a door in the pyramid slides open, from which Stryfe and his Dark Riders emerge.

Instantly, Stryfe orders the Riders to locate and destroy those who pose the most significant threat to his plan: the world’s telepaths who are currently at their weakest. They should all be removed from Stryfe’s new world, starting from the most powerful on down.

As the Riders start raiding the streets, one of the them, Psynapse, a man of diminutive size sitting on the shoulder of the Rider known as Tusk, uses his psychic powers to point out to Nate and Maddie’s presence.

Madelyne teleports Nate and herself two blocks away. Nate tells her she shouldn’t teleport him away without a warning. She explains it was done out of self-preservation instinct. Nate tells her they know who the ones Stryfe is after are. He pleads her to go and find them when he is suddenly assaulted by Tusk who punches him.

As Maddie screams Nate’s name, Psynapse telepathically informs Tusk that this mutant they’ve just got on the ground is a psionic rainbow, gleaming with rich energies of the psi-spectrum… albeit disturbingly familiar energies. Psynapse orders Tusk to kill him quickly. Nate gets up, though, and fiercely strikes Tusk, knocking him out. Nate turns on Maddie and pleads her to go and do as she was told.

Not particularly excited, Madelyne teleports to Xavier’s estate, to see if the Dark Riders have arrived there. It pains her to see the mansion again, home to the X-Men, her onetime friends who ate and drank in her wedding to Scott Summers until they all betrayed her for Jean Grey. She realizes the team must be out overnight since there are no lights or voices and no sign of the Dark Riders. She suddenly realizes where they must have headed for.

Back in Latveria, Nate watches the crowd running in panic all over the place. Suddenly, he is ambushed by Psynapse, who lands on top of his head and scrambles the neural pathways that transmit Nate’s thoughts. In response to this sudden interruption of Nate’s amazingly complex mental state, his vital defense mechanisms begin collapsing: his psi-inhibitors are the first to go. As a result, Psynapse is instantly vaporized in the backlash of unleashed energies. Nate finds himself virtually reborn, skipping stages of growth he was never meant to survive, commanding energies he was never meant to contain. His psionic abilities are now restored and amplified; his awareness greatly hightened.

Nate easily disposes of the Underlings, the weakest among the Dark Riders, telekinetically sending them back to the pyramid, at Stryfe’s feet. Nate and Stryfe make momentary psychic contact; Nate remains puzzled, unable to believe that Stryfe can be…

His flow of thoughts is interrupted by the continuous voices of the Latverians. Nate flies upwards, warning them all to be quiet otherwise he might do something they’ll all regret. Stryfe rises from the pyramid, uttering the words “Too late, child.”

Anchorage, Alaska

Madelyne teleports outside a house which is actually the last place on earth she’d like to be: her onetime honeymoon cottage where she spent the happiest time in her life, until Scott decided she was nothing more than a pale imitation of his true love, Jean Grey.

Jean Grey is indeed currently living there. She is having a bath, unaware that just outside the bath window Mainframe and his separate consciousness, the A.I. known as Harddrive, are deactivating the alarm systems. Without a hesitation, Maddie attacks Harddrive / Mainframe. Harddrive blasts her and, thanks to Maddie’s intangibility, the blast passes right through her and strikes Mainframe, who falls on the ground, possibly dead. Harddrive prepares to launch another attack against Maddie.

In Latveria, Stryfe grasps Nate with a gigantic psionic fist. “You are mine, Grey,” he exclaims, explaining how intrigued he feels by Nate’s power and how he would like to have it all. As Stryfe probes deeper, he realizes what he and the boy are truly to each other. Suddenly, explosive energies are unleashed from Nate’s body.

In Alaska, Madelyne uses her telekinesis to take down Harddrive. Upon defeating him, she turns around, only to accidentally see Jean through the bathroom window, toweling herself – Jean remains blissfully ignorant to the attack outside the house, to the fact she wouldn’t be alive if not for Madelyne’s intervention.

Maddie’s face momentarily clouds, watching the woman she herself was cloned to replace. Getting her head back together, she teleports to Latveria to find Nate. Everybody seems gone, though: only debris remains. Unbeknownst to her, some Latverians, furious of all those strangers invading their land, are targeting her with guns.

Watching from a monitor in his ship, Blaquesmith tells Cable to forget about Madelyne: they are too many snipers scattered around and Maddie’s unimportant compared to their real target. Cable refuses to comply and jumps on the ground, attacking the shooters. He quickly makes short work of them. Blaquesmith congratulates him and departs with his ship. Cable and Maddie reunite, with the former asking “What’s up with the rest of the family?” implying Nate.

In the pyramid, Stryfe keeps Nate restrained. Having read his mind, he now knows of Nate’s heritage: how he was born in the parallel earth known as “Age of Apocalypse,” how he was designed to be the ultimate living weapon, the product of one madman’s quest for personal power. But for Stryfe, Nate is just another Cable. Another version of himself. However, of all the spawn of Scott Summers and Jean Grey, natural and artificial, Stryfe believes one alone was born to this power – himself. Raised by Apocalypse to have absolute power, he will have no other before him.

Upon saying this, Stryfe starts siphoning Nate’s raging psi-energies into himself by attaching a pair of inductors to Nate’s head and using a device Doctor Doom had once used to drain the Power Cosmic from Silver Surfer.

Tramahoi, Philippines

Ness has just barely managed to survive through the hostile “garden” of the island on his way to Blaquesmith’s base. Ness’ cousin, Slaine, had told him that Tramahoi is the only known source of the volcanic ash found in the composition of the Tech-Gnomes Ness encountered in Ireland. As Ness watches Blaquesmith’s ship landing down and the misshapen being coming out of the ship, he thinks that Blaquesmith better tell him all the information he needs about the boy who dreamt up the end of the world – Nate Grey.

Characters Involved: 

Nate Grey

Madelyne Pryor


Gauntlet, Harddrive /Mainframe, Psynapse, Tusk, Underlings (all Dark Riders)




Jean Grey/Phoenix IV (former X-Man)

Captain America, Scarlet Witch, Thor (Avengers)

Barone, Cinder Fontaine, Commander Rafe Scanlon, Vise (Gauntlet)

Latverian citizens

On monitor:

Nick Fury (S.H.I.E.L.D.)

Story Notes: 

This is Part 1 of Blood Brothers. The storyline continues in Cable (1st series) # 63.

The title of the storyline “Blood Brothers” refers to Nate, Cable and Stryfe. Nate is an artificially engineered son of alternate-reality Cyclops and Jean Grey, whereas Cable is the genetic son of present-reality Cyclops and Madelyne Pryor (Jean’s clone). Stryfe is Cable’s clone, raised by Apocalypse 2000 years in the future.

Doctor Doom seemingly died in Onslaught: Marvel Universe, sacrificing his life to defeat Onslaught. Actually, Doom and several heroes were transported in a pocket universe created by Franklin Richards, where they lived slightly modified versions of their lives. They all finally returned to the main universe through a dimensional barrier, although, just before passing through it, Doom was kicked out of the traveling spacecraft, following a fight with Thor (Heroes Reborn: The Return #4). He then returned to the pocket universe, also known as Counter-Earth.

The Psi-Ops (Barone, Cinder Fontaine and Vise), attempted to arrest Nate in X-Man #37.

Nate saw a vision in which he was fighting a madman near a pyramid but eventually overloaded on his own psi-energies and destroyed half the world. [X-Man #39]

All the telepaths on the planet lost their telepathy due to the “Psi-War” during which Shadow King short-circuited all psis through the astral plane. [X-Men (2nd series) #77-78] Nate lost his own telepathy in X-Man #41.

Stryfe was seemingly killed fighting Cable on the moon in X-Force (1st series) #18. His consciousness somehow survived in Cable’s mind and briefly took over his body before being expunged [Cable (1st series) #6-8]. He was even seen in Hell later in X-Force (1st series) #74. How he has returned to the living is inexplicable.

Similarly, Psynapse was seemingly killed by Gauntlet of the Dark Riders in X-Men (2nd series) #21. His reappearance here is inexplicable.

Gauntlet of the Dark Riders (who is not referred to by name in this issue) has nothing to do with the organization known as Gauntlet, whose members make a cameo appearance here.

Madelyne’s wedding to Scott Summers took place in Uncanny X-Men #175.

Psynapse is erroneously referred to as “mutant” in this issue. He is actually an Inhuman.

Cyclops and Jean started living in Alaska as of Uncanny X-Men #352. They did so because Scott had to recuperate after suffering injuries by the Operation: Zero Tolerance forces. After Jean lost her telepathy (because of the “Psi-War”) in Uncanny X-Men #358, the couple decided to prolong their stay in Alaska.

The “madman” who designed Nate as the ultimate living weapon is, of course, the Age of Apocalypse version of Sinister. He artificially created Nate in his lab, using the genes of the AoA versions of Scott Summers and Jean Grey.

Doctor Doom had used a device known as the Power Cosmic Siphon Harness, with which he drained Silver Surfer’s Power Cosmic into himself. [Fantastic Four (1st series) #57]

When watched by Blaquesmith’s monitor in his ship, Madelyne does not appear in the monitor, even though she is right there. Apparently, this is due to her being a psionic ghost. Interestingly, in her original life she had the same phenomenon, due to the gift of being undetectable by all means, which had been granted to her (and some of the X-Men) by Roma. [Fall of the Mutants]

Ness had come to Ireland to warn Nate of something, having shared the same vision with him but they were separated during the attack of the Tech-Gnomes. The remains of one of the Tech-Gnomes fell into Ness’ hands [X-Man #42]. Ness’ cousin, Slaine, provided Ness with the information that those Gnomes can only be created in the island Tramahoi, although he was killed by the Hellbent. [X-Man #45]

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