X-Man #47

Issue Date: 
February 1999
Story Title: 
Blood Brothers Part 3: Dream’s End

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

Brief Description: 

After realizing Stryfe’s pyramond is absorbing their psi-energies, Cable flees from it, taking Nate Grey with him. Madelyne Pryor stays behind, seemingly corrupted by Stryfe’s ambitions for world domination, starting with the conquest of Latveria. Cable tries to convince Nate they should rest before attacking again, but after the pyramond begins growing, Nate, worried for Madelyne, goes back inside. During the ensuing battle, Madelyne is revealed to have been slyly pilfering Stryfe’s gathered psi-energies, which she blasts onto Nate, empowering him. As Stryfe starts draining Madelyne’s energies that keep her ghost “alive,” Nate attacks him, only to have his own energies absorbed by Stryfe again. Suddenly, Ness appears in the pyramond, urging Nate to remember his vision. Nate uses his telekinesis, locking Doom’s Power Siphon device on Stryfe’s head, catching him into an energy-feedback-loop cycle, until he overloads and explodes. The crisis past, Ness, Nate, Madelyne and Cable all gather together as a new day dawns for Latveria.

Full Summary: 

Doomstadt, capital city of Latveria

The country of Latveria has been leaderless as of late. Its monarch, Doctor Doom, is presumed dead. Stryfe, the twisted, power-mad clone of Cable from the far future, has just crashed down with his “pyramond” on Castle Doom. Stryfe came, he saw, he conquered; he did what he was born and raised to do.

Stryfe has just single-handedly defeated both Cable and Nate Grey and holds a seemingly disoriented Madelyne Pryor in his arms. “Because of you, Cable, I released the Legacy Virus upon this era,” Stryfe says to a rather weak Cable who tries to get himself together and once more attack Stryfe with his Psimitar. Stryfe keeps taunting Cable by telling him that, because of him, hundreds are dead already and thousands will die until Cable himself tastes his greater defeat! As Cable tries to stand up, he tells Stryfe he is not going to be defeated by the likes of him. However, the Chaos-Bringer kicks him on the chest and Cable falls on the ground again.

Stryfe remarks that he and Nate have far more in common than Stryfe and Cable. As Stryfe telekinetically summons Nate near him, he confesses he sees both Nate and himself as products of immeasurable power, genetic “seconds” by some standards but actually “improvements” of the first draft: Cable. Indeed, Nate shares the same parent DNA as Cable and Stryfe but in different combinations and stirred on an entirely different Earth.

Stryfe decides to finish what he started with Doom’s infamous power-sapping device – add Nate’s raw psionic powers to his own. Indeed, he starts draining Nate’s energies, causing the young mutant to scream. Stryfe believes that between him and Nate, there is room for just one in Stryfe’s new world.

Stryfe embraces Madelyne, apologizing for ignoring her. He believes that she, of all people, should understand why he cannot allow such psi-energies go to waste. Stryfe can feel that Madelyne sees the lure of power more clearly than her comrades; she is incredibly power-thirsty.

“Save it, Stryfe. You’re preaching to the choir,” says Madelyne, birthmother of Cable and companion of Nate Grey, bearing a malicious glee. Satisfied, Stryfe generates a psionic armor that adorns her body while he keeps siphoning Nate’s energies.

Madelyne, now entirely corrupted, turns on Cable, urging him to start figuring out how to use his flaws, rather than fighting them. As she says that, she touches his shoulder and Cable starts screaming as his body seems to be corroded by her touch, his energies drained by her. “Stay away from us, traitor,” Cable screams and breaks away from her touch. In an instant, Cable throws his charged Psimitar, which focuses whatever psi-force was left on Cable to clear a path out for Nate and himself. Indeed, the Psimitar tears apart a wall and Cable escapes through the opening, carrying a very weak Nate on his shoulders.

“Idiot,” says Stryfe. With the advanced technology of his pyramond already reshaping Doom’s castle to his own needs, it is a simple matter to have Cable and Nate be telekinetically cut off before…

Madelyne interrupts him, telling him he shouldn’t bother. Both Cable and Nate are drained-dry at this point and thus useless. She believes Stryfe shouldn’t lose sight of the big picture now.

Stryfe calls her “little devil” and admits she’s right. He and Madelyne stand on the edge of the ruined Castle Doom and gaze at the city of Doomstadt, entirely ruined, fires still spreading around after Stryfe and his Dark Riders raided the place. Stryfe thinks he has a responsibility to “his” people; he believes they need him now like a sheep needs a shepherd. Stryfe is ecstatic to see most Latverians up in arms about something or the other, doing more damage to their land and each other than the foreign invaders they always fear so much. Indeed, there is utter chaos in Latveria. Without warning, Stryfe’s telepathic words roar through the minds of all Latverians as a psionic image of both Stryfe and Madelyne, triumphant and bearing a wicked smile, towers over Doomstadt.

At the Latverian borders, soldiers of neighboring countries refuse to allow the Latverians to pass into their countries. A helicopter of the news flies over the borders, reporting that this scene takes place in all borders of Latveria. Even Latverian policemen and border guards join the would-be refugees trying to flee the country. However, neighboring Balkan countries remain adamant in their refusal to open long-closed borders, some even bringing in armed reinforcements to maintain the strict “no-crossing” policy first instituted by Doom himself.

Ness, recent exile of the long-hidden race known as Hellbent, last of the Night-Tribes, takes advantage of the fact no man in his right mind would try to slip into Latveria under the circumstances and indeed enters the country unnoticed.

Ness watches Blaquesmith’s airship leave the area. Blaquesmith dropped Ness there but he wouldn’t risk penetrating Latverian airspace, even with the stealth-tech keeping his airship cloaked. Ness knows what’s going to happen if Nate Grey isn’t stopped in time. Ness was there in the dream – in Nate’s dream. He is destined to be there at the end of the world.

Meanwhile, Cable urges Nate to pull himself together: they have to get out of there at once. Nate strongly refuses and tells him to let go of him. Cable happily complies; with their telekinetic powers shut down now, actual physical contact is a pain in the brain for him.

Nate realizes Cable doesn’t know anything. Everything around Nate reminds him of his apocalyptic vision: Cable’s strange metal arm reminds Nate of the armored “other” he saw in his vision. Stryfe’s pyramond is close to what he saw; even Nate’s hair is longer like in his vision. There are some slight differences, such as architectural details or Cable holding a Psimitar rather than a gun, but Nate can’t deny it anymore: this is where he dies. Where this Earth dies with him.

Nate suddenly realizes Maddie is still inside the pyramond with Stryfe. He can’t believe Cable left her behind like that. Cable retorts Nate can’t help her now; he can’t go back in there. He can’t let him go back in there. The reason? Cable figured out Stryfe’s pyramond is designed to focus any and all psionic energies around him, adding to his already overwhelming power. That’s why he retreated, taking Nate with him. Cable tells Nate one has to know when to walk away. If Stryfe wants power, they will give it to him, in spades; only they will do so outside the castle, outside the grip of his energy-sucking pyramond.

Cable anxiously awaits Nate’s response, knowing that Nate is significantly more powerful than him, unaffected by the Techno-Virus that saps at Cable’s psi-strengths. He fears Nate may refuse to cooperate, leading to a fight between them. Nate, however, knows, without doubt, that such a clash with his “other” will be the beginning of the end. So, he reluctantly asks Cable how they are going to get Stryfe out there. Cable replies with strategy. By the time they’re rested, up to full strength, he promises he’ll…

His phrase is interrupted by a terrible noise: the pyramond is suddenly growing! Nate instantly makes his decision: without having to delay or engage in battle with Cable, he telekinetically slip-sides through Cable’s molecules and then through the wall of the pyramond, catching Cable by surprise. As Cable opens a hole on the wall with his Psimitar, he remarks what Nate does best is to rush where angels fear to tread; not unlike what Cable used to do once.

Ness witnesses them both entering the pyramond. He realizes all the pieces are in place now – all the ingredients for full-blown disaster, except for himself. Ness contemplates whether anything may change if he doesn’t follow them in the pyramond. Suddenly, though, the pyramond grows again. Ness overheard enough from Cable and Nate to know this isn’t good. He doesn’t know who Stryfe is but wonders what kind of monster could set out to ruin this once-proud land.

In the pyramond, Stryfe complains on how “second millennium” is this whole-rocks-and-bricks thing in Doom’s castle. He simply won’t have it. Despite his legendary achievements, it’s obvious Doom never managed to fully rise above his pedestrian roots. Stryfe, on the other hand, was born and bred to rule. Latveria is but the first step towards his final goal: complete command of this entire world. Madelyne congratulates him on thinking big. For Stryfe, even this world is but the first step towards command and control of the galaxy; of all reality; all time itself! No one can stop him; neither Cable nor Nate, whose rich energies are already coursing through Stryfe’s body, courtesy of Doom’s Power-Siphon.

Stryfe admits he’s still curious about Nate. Madelyne promises she could share a thing or two about him that might surprise Stryfe – if he’s into sharing, that is. Stryfe replies he is; the psi-armor Madelyne wears is but a prelude to what he offers. He finds her quite unique, yet so alike. She’s the closest thing to a mother he’s known and he is the closest thing to a true son she’ll ever know. Both of them, cloned by others and from others are together now and can protect each other.

Nate suddenly appears, telling Stryfe to give it up: the lady’s leaving with him. A confused Maddie screams “No!” and blasts Nate with huge amounts of energy. As she turns to Stryfe, with her psi-armor wearing off, she states she just wanted to protect… Stryfe cuts her short: he was reading in her mind all along her uncertainty over what she would do when she saw him again. Stryfe now clearly sees her true colors.

Suddenly, Cable makes his entrance and Madelyne pleads him to go, but Nathan refuses. Now holding Madelyne, Stryfe informs her he was fully aware of her pilfering his gathered psi-energies. He was even impressed by her audacity but he won’t bear the fact she gave that power to Nate. Indeed, at that very moment, Nate flies upwards, in an explosion of energy, admitting how nice Maddie’s psi-bolt felt: so much concentrated psi-force all in one shot.

Stryfe tells Madelyne he won’t tolerate her insult; she can’t survive. He starts draining her of the psi-energies that literally define her; the energies that have been reanimating her long-dead spirit for months now.

Nate wants to rush to her aid, however Cable urges him to fight Stryfe since he’s at peak power levels, while Cable himself will remove Maddie from the area. He swears he’ll do anything he can for Madelyne. Nate tells him he’d better, because, if she dies, Cable is the next person Nate will come after. As he says these, he attacks Stryfe. Stryfe tells him to bring it on; the witch barely whetted his appetite.

Cable approaches Maddie, telling her not to talk and save her strength; she is leaking psi-energies and losing physical cohesion before his eyes. He uses his telekinesis to hold her together but realizes she’s fading fast. Maddie tries to make Cable understand there was no other way she knew in order to deal with the situation up there. Cable assures her he realized her plan from the moment she touched him and he saw her eyes. Nate never doubted her for a second.

Nearby, Stryfe taunts Nate that, even with all the stolen energy now surging through him, Nate still can’t armor himself against him. In response, Nate produces a psi-armor around his body and attacks Stryfe, telling him to taste psi-steel. Stryfe maliciously starts absorbing Nate’s psionic armor right off his body, replenishing himself with the energies he lost! Horrified, Nate can’t believe he made such a stupid mistake.

As the pyramond grows again, Stryfe, with a weak Nate crawling on the ground, realizes he’s more powerful than ever, with his pyramond channeling all the psi-energies into himself, including those leaking from Madelyne. Stryfe turns on Nate again, urging him to fight back so that he can amass his energies even faster.

An agonizing Nate pleads Cable to take Maddie and get out of there, realizing he has to finish this once and for all. Cable hesitates; he’s the one who’s usually in a position to sacrifice himself. How can he leave a kid alone to fight his greatest enemy? Still, he flees, carrying the fallen Madelyne with him. Stryfe is amused to see this; the coward abandoning Nate at the fate that should have been his. With a voice that is barely heard, Nate tells him Cable knows what Nate can do with his powers and how far he’s willing to go.

Suddenly, Ness appears, pleading Nate to remember his future vision. He tells him that, if he dies there, he takes half the world with him. As Ness easily avoids a blast aimed at him by Stryfe, he warns Nate that if the final outburst of his powers occurs here – and combined with the psi-energies gathered by Stryfe – this will create a wave that will destroy half the planet. He reminds him of what he told him in Clifden: to think broader and bigger.

Nate realizes he’s right. He’s not going to play Stryfe’s game anymore; at least, not by his way. As Stryfe mockingly tells him his newfound ally is nothing more than a babbling distraction, Nate slyly uses his telekinesis until he brings the Power Siphon right on Stryfe’s head, locking the inductors on his skull. When Stryfe realizes it, it’s too late: the Power Siphon has him caught in an energy-feedback-loop style, draining all the energy out of him and pumping it back in, building into a tremendous overload! Realizing this, Nate flies away with Ness moments before the actual explosion takes place. Ness tells him that, just like in his vision, he could do nothing but stand there as a witness but they were all saved thanks to Nate’s ingenuity.

As Nate approaches Cable, he asks him on Maddie’s condition. Cable informs him she’s unconscious and stabilized and, with the pyramond wrecked and no longer sucking psionic energy out of her, she will regain her health in time.

Nate is amazed to see how his future-vision came to pass and he didn’t die. Ness tells him everything got to be saved based on the right choices, as always. Nate asks him who he is; the mysterious man explains his name is Ness, but can also be called the Witness. He mentions that, in time, Nate will understand why their fates are linked.

As Maddie wakes up and Nate promises her she’s never going to lose him, Cable takes this as the cue to leave. As he’s about to go, though, Nate stops him and tells him that up there he saw two different versions of what he could become one day and it’s Cable he relates himself with. Happy to hear this, Cable says breakfast’s on him. And thus a new day starts for Latveria, bringing the hope of peace and renewal.

Characters Involved: 

Nate Grey

Madelyne Pryor




Latverian citizens

Border guards of unidentified neighboring country

In Ness’ vision:

Nate Grey

Man in armor


Story Notes: 

This is the final chapter of “Blood Brothers.” It began in X-Man #46 and continued in Cable (1st series) #63 The title of the storyline refers to the complex genetic relations between Nate, Cable and Stryfe. Nate is the artificially engineered son of alternate reality versions of Cyclops and Jean Grey, Cable is the son of present-reality Cyclops and Madelyne Pryor (who is Jean’s clone) and Stryfe is Cable’s clone.

Stryfe’s pyramond crashed down on Doom’s castle in X-Man #45.

Stryfe gave Mr. Sinister a canister that supposedly contained the Summers DNA material. Actually, it contained the Legacy Virus, a deadly virus affecting only mutants. After Sinister had the canister opened, the virus was released in the atmosphere. [X-Force (1st series) #18]

The full name of the device known as Power Siphon is the Power Cosmic Siphon Harness. Doctor Doom had originally used it to drain Silver Surfer’s Power Cosmic into himself. [Fantastic Four (1st series) #57]

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.

After crossing over to the present reality, Nate’s psionic powers subconsciously gave form to Madelyne’s psionic ghost. [X-Man #5].

Nate saw a future vision in which he fought a madman near a pyramid, only to overload on his own psi-energies and destroy half the world. Ness saw the same vision and contacted Nate in Clifden, Ireland, in order to warn him. [X-Man #39, 42]

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