X-Man #59

Issue Date: 
January 2000
Story Title: 
The Ties That Bind

Terry Kavanagh (writer), Mike Miller (penciler), Brad LaRosa (inker), RS & Comicraft (letters), Mike Thomas (colors), Jason Liebig (editor), Bob Harras (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

Nate Grey is at the Fantastic Four’s headquarters undergoing some tests in simulated combat. After not too long, he manages to defeat the trio of Mr. Fantastic, the Thing and the Human Torch. Unfortunately he forgot about the Invisible Woman and she takes him out of the game. After it’s all over, Reed Richards runs some analysis on the results. He’s searching for a way to identify the other AOA mutants that survived the AOA reality. Nate wants to go after them and prevent them from ruining this world. He spends the rest of the day socializing with Johnny Storm and Franklin Richards. All of a sudden Nate gets the feeling he should leave, says his goodbyes and flies away. Previously, during Nate and Reed’s discussion, a brown oblong creature stole some files on Nate. He returned them to Egypt to show Apocalypse. He is very pleased with Nate and sends one of his horsemen to capture him. As Nate is flying over New York City, Caliban appears mid-air and manages to snag him and bring him through the teleportation disc. Caliban’s new claim to fame is Pestilence, horseman of Apocalypse.

Full Summary: 

New York City, New York : The West Side Piers, home to the headquarters of the Fantastic Four. Nate Grey is exhibiting his battle skills with the legendary team. Reed Richards warns him that his psi powers won’t work against them. He has placed some psi bafflers in their ears, which makes them immune to his psi power. Nate takes the Thing into the air with him. A few flying robots and some ion cannons on the ground take some pot shots at him. They manage to hit Nate so he uses his TK shield to deflect the rest of the blasts. From behind, the Torch zeroes in on Nate and closes in for the attack. Nate quickly boxes Grimm’s ears, which results in him letting go of Nate. Ben falls several hundred feet to the ground.
Johnny Storm comes upon Nate and throws some fire at him while performing some fancy aerial maneuvers. Falling towards the ground below, Grimm yells for Reed to help the Torch out. Mr. Fantastic stretches into a trampoline and sends the Thing back in the air to knock Nate out.
Up above, Nate is dodging everything that the Torch is throwing at him. Johnny wants to know why he won’t fight back. The answer comes quickly as Ben Grimm clobbers the Torch. He lands on the ground and catches what he thinks to be the body of Nate Grey. Instead, he discovers that it was Johnny that he knocked out of the sky. He realizes that Nate must have played a mind trick on him.
The Thing is really angry now. He looks over and sees Nate standing close by. He storms over and wallops him with a powerful left hook. It turns out that it was really Mr. Fantastic that Grimm hit, another trick by Nate. The Thing wonders aloud how Nate could be messing with him like that. Nate flies down nearby and tells him that he took out his bafflers when he boxed his ears earlier. Grimm charges after him once again. This time Nate takes control over both the Thing’s and the Torch’s mind. He makes them attack Reed.
Mr. Fantastic tries to escape his fellow teammates. He assumes that Nate has somehow snagged Johnny’s bafflers as well. He becomes tired of the fight and calls for his wife, Susan, to end it. The Invisible Woman appears behind Nate and puts him into a hold with her energy power. He releases his mind control over the other two members.
Nate tells Mr. Fantastic that he’s proved his point. Reed wants to know what he means by that; after all it was Nate who came to them for help in finding the other survivors from the AOA universe. Nate assures them that they’re all bad mutants and he needs to start taking care of them before this Earth is destroyed as well. In Reed’s lab, he explains to Nate that he needed to test his abilities in a fight. Then he could find some sort of alien pattern in his physical structure and use it to search for other AOA energy signatures. Nate wonders to himself if Reed will also search for a way to keep his body from being consumed by his own energies. As Reed starts getting technical, Nate slips away for a shower. Nearby, a brown oblong figure pokes its head out from a computer screen and then disappears.
Nate walks into the shower room just as Ben Grimm finishes. As the Thing is walking away, Johnny towel whips him in the butt. Nate takes the shower next to Johnny. The Torch apologizes for Grimm’s attitude and tells him that he’s happy that he’s around. They continue their conversation, talking about things like Spider-Man and Nate’s girlfriend Threnody. The freshly dressed Grimm walks into the shower room for some revenge. He tells the computer to set the shower temperature to 20 degrees. Nate and Johnny yell in shock as the freezing cold water hits them.
At that same time, the brown oblong figure from before emerges from a different monitor. It walks over to a computer with X-Man’s DNA sequence and body structure on the screen.
In the FF’s kitchen, Nate and Franklin Richards are enjoying some lunch. Franklin wants some dessert, but Susan says no. Nate asks her how they can be superheroes and yet enjoy normal lives. She tells him it’s because they’re a family. Then she leaves the kitchen.
Beneath the sands of Egypt, the brown oblong figure is at the computer again. This time the shadowed figure of Apocalypse is behind it. He is extremely pleased with Nate’s genetic structure. He says he needs X-Man and sends one of his horsemen to retrieve him.
Back in the FF’s kitchen, Nate and Franklin are bonding over some dessert. They talk about their battle with Onslaught and about other super heroes like Iron Man and the rest of the Avengers. Mr. and Mrs. Richards are watching them both from a computer monitor. They’re both pleased that they’ve become friends. Suddenly, Nate looks straight at them and tells them he needs them on the rooftop A.S.A.P.
On the rooftop, Nate tells the family that he has to leave. Franklin gets upset and starts to cry. Nate assures the little tyke that he’ll be back. Reed tells him that he’ll always be welcome. Nate thanks them for their help and flies away. Susan asks Reed if he could have done anything for Nate. He says nothing that he couldn’t have done himself. As Nate flies over the city he wonders to himself why he left. He’s not sure what urged him to leave. He’s thinking about possibly hooking up with the X-Men, specifically Scott and Jean, and trying to form some sort of family bond with them.
Suddenly, a teleportation disk opens from behind. Out emerges Caliban who claims he has been made more powerful and turned into the horseman Pestilence. Nate’s all confused. He wants to know where X-Force is. As Caliban scrapes his chest, he tells him that he’s free of X-Force. He is no longer held back, especially with his new power. Then he teleports away with Nate.

Characters Involved: 


Human Torch, Invisble Woman, Mr. Fantastic, Thing (all Fantastic Four)

Franklin Richards

Caliban / Pestilence (Horsemen of Apocalypse)

Story Notes: 

Bonus Insert: “Fast Lane”, part 2 of 4, “Feel the Rush” found in this issue.
This issue ties into The Twelve Crossover.

Issue Information: 
Written By: