X-Man #6

Issue Date: 
August 1995
Story Title: 
Earthly Delights

Jeph Loeb (writer), Steve Skroce (pencils), Bud LaRosa (inks), Mike Thomas and Digital Chameleon (colors), Richard Starkings and Comicraft (lettering), Lisa Patrick (editor), Bob Harras (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

In Genosha, the Sugarman senses the presence of Nate Grey and sends his assistant, Rex, to recover him. Nate is in Switzerland, still trying to come to terms with this major change in his life. With him is Madelyne Pryor, a beautiful woman who Nate still doesn’t know whether to trust. While chatting, as Nate mentions Mister Sinister’s name, Madelyne lashes out at him. He comforts her but is concerned about the reaction. She too appears to know little about what is happening in her life. Nate wonders just who is here to comfort whom. Sven Claris, whose chalet Nate is staying in, is at the White Horse Tavern in Montreux. He looks miserable and tries to tell the bartender about his recent experience with Nate. As he talks, Rex appears and offers to buy him a drink, telling him he appears to have found a friend of his. Nate, meanwhile, tries to enter Maddie’s mind to retrieve the information they both are looking for. She allows him to probe around but, as he does so, he somehow creates a grotesque version of Havok. Maddie swears she doesn’t know who he is. The creature disappears as quickly as it came, but the effort of tackling it has severely exhausted Nate. Rex, finding he no longer needs Sven’s help, disposes of him and heads to the chalet, where he confronts Nate. After enigmatically informing Nate about power games, people coming after him and about his power burning itself out, he fires his weapon as a warning shot. Nate’s reaction is to smash him clean out the chalet with his telekinesis, before departing with Madelyne. He ponders about what Rex has said to him about his power burning out, but finally appears to have determined that Madelyne and he were destined to meet after all. Blaquesmith, meanwhile, monitors Nate and also becomes curious about the second signal.

Full Summary: 


The Sugarman, a survivor from the Age of Apocalypse, is contemplating his lunch, namely a small, helpless rat, which howls in pain as the Sugarman’s tongue squeezes the life from it. He has sensed the coming of Nate Grey, some twenty years after he appeared on this alternate Earth. For twenty years, Sugarman has kept his secret from the world. He has been the unknown force which guides Genosha, a small war-ravaged island off the coast of Africa. It is an island where mutants and humans struggle to survive. That anonymity may be drawing to a close.

Surrounded by his underlings, he asks his right-hand man, Rex, whether he is capable of bringing this Nate Grey to him. Rex confidently smokes his cigar and replies that, if that’s what he wants, he knows he will. He does, however, require a little special hardware, as he doubts Nate will come along peacefully. Sugarman respects Rex and admires his forward thinking. He reminds Rex that there will be others that will want this new arrival. Rex says they’ll just have to be a little quicker about it, then.

(Montreux, Switzerland)

A few hours later and half a world away, Nate is in Sven’s chalet and he opens the fridge door. He has vague recollections of things like this on his world. The light comes on as it opens and he tells Madelyne that simply having a light that goes on was considered a luxury where he comes from. It makes him realize how different this world is. Unfortunately, he doesn’t know where to go from here. He closes the door and reopens it, and the light comes on once more. Bathed in the light, he informs Madelyne that he doesn’t understand what is happening to him and, for some reason, she doesn’t know much either. She asks if it isn’t enough that she is here to help him, but Nate doesn’t know if it is.

Nate fell out of the sky less than twenty-four hours ago. His memory and body were damaged in the process, but he is still a being of enormous and potentially frightening power. He comes from a place that can only be described as a dark reflection of our own. His arrival may just herald the beginning of something worse. Madelyne, on the other hand, simply appeared to help him as he struggled with fever. Her arrival is a mystery that Nate finds….unsettling, just as he finds her eyes beguiling.

Madelyne doesn’t know what to tell him, other than things like this happen for a reason; as if they were destined to meet. Nate replies that he isn’t so sure about that. He never believed in destiny. All he knows is that he’s somewhere in Switzerland. Some nice old guy called Sven found him in the street and is letting him stay in his house. Then, she showed up. “And I guess my not knowing this Sven person doesn’t make this any easier for you?” says Madelyne. She is right. How can Nate be sure she isn’t a spy for Apocalypse? Madelyne has no idea what he’s talking about, which surprises Nate. How can she not know who Apocalypse is? This guy’s conquered half the planet! He slaps his head in frustration. If she doesn’t know that much, how can she begin to help him?

Madelyne stands and informs Nate that he’ll find out soon enough how valuable she can be to him. Nate responds by asking her to put herself in his position. She resembles a woman he doesn’t know very much about. He was thinking about her, and then Madelyne appeared, like in a dream. She reminds Nate that she isn’t a dream. She asks who this woman is that she looks like. Nate knows little, save her name; Jean Grey. Madelyne pauses, but is reluctant to say what she was thinking. She apologizes to Nate. “What about…Sinister?” he replies. As soon as the name leaves his lips, Madelyne Pryor lashes out, and her left fist collides with Nate’s jaw, sending him to the kitchen floor. “Don’t ever mention that name!” she cries, “He…I can feel his evil. Do you know him? Is that why we’re together?”

She crouches down and puts her head in her hands, sobbing, and asking herself what’s happened to her. Nate assures her he won’t mention his name again. He holds her and wonders just who is supposed to be helping who here. He also wonders why Sven is taking so long. He said he’d be back for supper.

(The White Horse Tavern)

This is where Sven is enjoying a tipple; a tavern in the center of Montreux. It’s a village that has stood for centuries, nestled in the Swiss Alps. It’s a tourist attraction, which welcomes its visitors. In all that time, it has never experienced what will happen today. Sven Claris has a lot on his mind, a mind soaked in whiskey. He mutters to himself before ordering another shot from the bartender, who asks him if he hasn’t had enough. It’s a good question and he wishes he knew. He lets the bartender in on a little secret. He was heading home, minding his own business, when he bumps into this most peculiar young man. For the life of him, he doesn’t know why, but he’s taken the lad in, when all he really knows about him is a name; Nate Grey.

Having travelled from Genosha, Rex makes his appearance in the White Horse. In a quiet Swiss tavern, he stands him out like a sore thumb. Wearing violet, thigh-length boots, a red jacket and gloves with faux knuckle-dusters on, he seems like a man out of time and place. A Mohawk sits atop a non-too attractive face, which comes complete with a long scar, which extends above and below his left eye. “What an incredible coincidence,” he says, “I’d like to buy this man a drink. It sounds like he’s found a friend of mine.”


Blaquesmith is engrossed in his usual monitoring, surrounded by hi-tech machinery, which allows him to keep track of the new arrival in this time. His long, bony fingers tap away at a keyboard, as he tracks the anomaly. Nate’s trying to cloak himself, but Blaquesmith has tracked better in his day. He orders the computer to run all data on the psionic presence, but the computer records two signatures coming from Montreux, despite the faint signal. He is perplexed and asks the computer to recheck all the data. Something’s not right here.


It is evening, and Madelyne stands before an open fire. Nate watches her. She looks lo lonely and, yet, like she doesn’t have a care in the world. There has to be a way to find out about her; what she wants, and why she’s here. He suggests that she wants to find out some answers. Though it might sound crazy, there are things he can do. He can go into people’s heads and, maybe, just maybe, he can help her remember what she knows about…whatever. He is careful not to repeat the name that caused Madelyne so much anguish earlier.

Maddie isn’t sure she wants him inside her head. What if something goes wrong? What if something bad happens? Nate assures her that he’s done this before, and they have to start somewhere. She acquiesces to his persuasion and, for some reason, doesn’t find this odd in the least. They seat themselves on a sofa and, having not fully recovered, the telepathic energy Nate will expend will leave him spent and unprepared for what he finds. As he teases her mind with his probing, Madelyne begins to sense something awry.

Suddenly, a huge psionic manifestation emerges, sending Nate reeling backwards. It is a grotesque image of Havok, who screams at Nate. He knows he has to stop this, and wonders if he somehow created this thing. Could he? The Havok monster is uncontrollable and Nate asks Maddie if she has any idea who this guy is. She doesn’t. Nate notices that she hesitated and thinks that maybe she it was out of fear, but wonders if she is hiding something.

As quickly as it started, it is all over. The creature disappears, leaving the dark room a mess. Maddie crawls over to Nate and asks if he’s okay. Like a far away echo, Nate can hear her voice, but the sheer magnitude of psionic energy that thing pulled out of him has left him exhausted. Madelyne realizes how vulnerable he is in this state.

Back in the center of Montreux, Rex walks Sven out to his Jeep. “So you really know this boy,” asks Sven, wanting a little clarification. Rex assures him that, as he’s been telling him, the boy’s a runaway. It’s probably why he didn’t tell Sven where he comes from. Rex gets a communication on his gadget-laden wristband. It informs him of Nate’s whereabouts. He turns to Sven and tells him that it seems that he won’t be requiring his help after all. His wristwatch pinpoints psionic activity. Sven doesn’t understand.

Rex pulls a small device from his person, and lets Sven know that he has a lovely parting gift for him. He walks away from the Jeep, leaving the device to explode the vehicle, sending Sven’s burning body high into the air. His wristband registered two psionic presences, thinks Rex. He hopes that won’t make this twice as difficult. He turns up his collar and disappears, inexplicably singing ‘Put on a happy face.’

Back in Sven’s chalet, Madelyne tries to arouse Nate, who’s feeling pretty bad. She senses that they must leave, and go far, far away. Her concerns are realized when Rex strolls through the doorway. He tells Nate that the lady has a point. There has to be a whole bunch of people looking for him. There are power games going on, he adds, the likes of which he couldn’t possibly imagine. A young man like himself, with the amount of power he’s demonstrated, could prove helpful working for the right individual. That is, he continues, if he doesn’t burn himself out too soon. The way he has it figured, he stands the best chance by coming with him.

Nate looks up at him and asks what he’s talking about. Who’s after him? What power games? Madelyne again tells Nate they must go. Rex informs Nate that he’s afraid he can’t answer all his questions right now, just like he can’t let him go. It’s not like it’s personal. It’s his job. Nate angrily informs Rex that he has three seconds to get out of the house, but secretly knows he hasn’t felt this weak since he arrived here. Rex whips out a strange looking gun and points it at them. He offers a quick warning, before firing the gun. The blast takes out one side of Sven’s chalet and he tells Nate that his next shot won’t miss.

Nate replies that he just made the biggest mistake of his life, ‘cause he doesn’t miss. He charges Rex and uses a large portion of his remaining energy to telekinetically hurl Rex clean back out the chalet doorway and into the snow. Madelyne wonders just what Nate is, and asks if he killed him. Nate replies that he wouldn’t do that, even though his opponent wouldn’t have given it a second thought. She helps Nate put on his jacket and says that, if what he said is true, there will be others.

As they stagger away from the chalet, Nate feels sick to his stomach. He asks Maddie if she knows anything about what Rex said about his powers burning out. She simply assures him that she’s certain he’ll get better and stronger with some rest. “Maybe you were right earlier,” Nate says, turning to his new companion, “Maybe we were destined to meet after all.”


Rex wakes and slowly gets to his knees, rubbing his neck. One tough kid, he thinks. The redhead was interesting. He receives a call from the Sugarman on his wristband and he asks Rex if he got him. Rex replies that there’s no problem. He has it under control. He grabs a beer from the fridge and notices the bulb’s dead.

Characters Involved: 

Nate Grey

Madelyne Pryor

The Sugarman


The Sugarman’s underlings

Sven Claris

Bartender and customers of the White Horse Tavern


(as a psionic image)


Story Notes: 

This is the first appearance of Rex, though he did have an Age of Apocalypse counterpart.

The real Madelyne Pryor and Havok had a relationship after her marriage with Cyclops became strained, just before Madelyne’s transformation into the Goblyn Queen.

Issue Information: 
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