X-Man #7

Issue Date: 
September 1995
Story Title: 
Whispers in the Night

Jeph Loeb (writer), Steve Skroce and Phil Hester (pencils), Bud LaRosa with Matt Ryan & Keith Williams (inks), Mike Thomas and Digital Chameleon (colors), Richard Starkings and Comicraft (lettering), Lisa Patrick (editor), Bob Harras (the ugly American)

Brief Description: 

In Paris, Selene senses a new power in the city and wants it for herself. Nate and Maddie, meanwhile, are hovering high over the city when his power fails, and they crash land in a fountain. As they recover, they both sense something special is happening between them. Selene, watching events from afar, decides to go after Maddie in person. In Genosha, Sugarman is impatient for news from his hound, Rex. He kills one of his mutate helpers, demanding to have answers. Back in Paris, as Nate chats with Maddie outside a café, Selene appears and tells Maddie she can help her, before disappearing. Nate doesn’t see her, but reluctantly helps Maddie track her down through the tight streets of the city. Despite her not telling him the whole truth, he feels he must trust her, and wonders why. Rex watches them, biding his time. Maddie decides to leave Nate for a while and find the woman herself. As soon as she is alone, Selene gets her hooks into her, using an ancient gem to test her abilities. Even though Maddie doesn’t know her, she senses a dark power within Selene and is drawn to it. Nate catches up to her, but she is unwilling to reveal Selene’s existence to him just yet. She runs into the night, leaving Nate alone. Rex sees her run and wishes to make his move, but Selene has other plans for him. Sugarman watches his apparent demise on his monitor and is concerned that things are going badly. Selene slowly persuades Maddie that going with her is her best option and, before Nate can reach her, she agrees to leave with Selene, and they vanish into a swirl of mist. Nate is alone again and, for the second time in his young life, has lost someone he held dear.

Full Summary: 


It’s evening, and Selene senses something in the night air. Holding her pet creature on a leash, she can feel that, whatever it is, it is gloriously powerful and is something she must have. She is in the city to rebuild and reclaim her sphere of influence. Tonight, she feels she has found an integral piece, and what Selene wants, she gets.

Elsewhere, high above Paris, Nate Grey and Madelyne Pryor look down on the City of Lights, a city so unlike many Nate has seen before, in that it remains standing. His telekinesis holds them aloft, as Maddie holds on, saying the city pulses as if it were alive. Nate can’t believe how beautiful it is, and Maddie replies that it’s more than that. He should open his eyes. There is much here they could take advantage of. “Like how?” he asks.

Before Maddie can respond, she notices Nate freeze, and he begins to black out. Being high in the air, this isn’t good, and as they plummet to the ground, Maddie shouts at him to concentrate and pull it together, now! Nate’s power suddenly kicks back in, and they crash land in a fountain, overlooked by an angelic statue.

Nate laughs and Maddie smiles at the madness of it all. She asks if he’s okay and Nate tells her that he guesses so, but he’s a little shaky and a little scared maybe. His powers just… cut out. He looks through his bedraggled fringe and says that he isn’t real good at saying stuff but, ever since they met, she makes him smile. Madelyne’s green eyes stare right back at him and she replies that she knows. There’s something special between them. A police officer makes his presence felt, and asks what they think they’re doing. Nate tries to think of a convenient excuse. “We tripped,” is the best he can manage.

Meanwhile, Selene is keeping tabs on them and smiles as she relaxes in her golden snake-style throne. She talks to herself, saying that Nate has no idea what he has tripped into. The fates are being entirely too kind to her. She knows Madelyne all too well, but it pleases her that Madelyne doesn’t appear to know herself. “What power resides within you?” she asks rhetorically. “Ripe for the taking… you are a gift from heaven itself.” Her maid, Ella, stands by her side as a little guy with concrete slippers cleans her shiny black boots with Windex. Ella asks if there is any way she can be of service. Selene stands and heads for the window, saying no; this is a matter that needs to be handled delicately; and personally.


The gruesome Sugarman is unhappy. He rants and raves at his hapless mutate underlings, demanding to know where Rex has gotten to. The mutates try their level best to avoid his line of sight, but the unfortunate #911 gets the short straw (and Sugarman’s long tongue). Sugarman demands that the mutate answer his question, but, clearly, the man has no idea. For this, he has his life squeezed out of him by Sugarman’s prehensile tongue, as he tells the others he wants Rex found. He also wants Nate Grey before anyone else can get their hands on him, and everything comes crashing down.

(Paris, the Latin Quarter)

Nate and Maddie are sitting outside a cafe, and Maddie wonders how he can eat so much. Nate’s never thought about it. He apologizes in advance, as they promised not to talk about it, but he wants to know who or what the image he telepathically pulled from her mind is. Maddie replies that she doesn’t know if it relates, but she’s been having flashes of being hurt, terribly hurt by a group of people from her past. They were a group calling themselves, the X-Men.

Selene calls to her from across the street, surrounded by a soft mist. She tells Maddie she can help her. Maddie asks Nate if he can see her, but Nate appears to have been too busy munching on a snack to notice anything. He motions across the street and the recently vacated sidewalk. Madelyne stands, knowing what she saw. She wants to find her, now, but Nate grabs her arm and asks how they’re going to pay for all of this. Maddie pulls a few hundred dollar bills from her cleavage and tells Nate she’s got it covered. He asks where she got it, but she asks if it matters. She urges him to join her in the search. She doesn’t want to lose this stranger. There was something familiar about her. Nate knows she’s not telling the whole truth, but somehow he wants to accept what she says at face value. The question, is why?

He chases after her as she makes her way through the alleyways of Paris. He has to face facts. Right now, Madelyne is all he’s got and vice versa. Two lost lonely people. Maybe that’s all the answer he needs. Watching from the shadows is Rex. In another time he would have been a magistrate. That time has passed, and now, he’ll find anyone on the planet. Once he finds them, he’ll bring them back, dead or alive - take your pick. Right now, his job is Nate, and Rex can not and will not be stopped. He lights a long cigar, deciding to leave his prey alone for now. They’ll get comfortable in their surroundings, and they’ll let him get so close, you can practically reach out and touch one of them.

Dashing through the moonlit streets, Nate enquires as to whether she actually saw anyone. He tells Maddie that she’s acting like she’s possessed. Maddie responds by asking if that bothers him, and maybe this is something she should do by herself. No way, replies Nate; they’ll find this mystery woman together. How hard can it be? His question is answered as they emerge from an alley, and into a kind of mini carnival. Street performers and bystanders mingle, making the job of finding the mystery woman a whole lot harder. As seedy as the Latin Quarter can be, Nate somehow finds something charming about the revelry of the people here. Somewhere, in the faintest memories, Nate remembers living like this; faces of people, friends, now gone. Forge was their leader. Was it a theatre group? He asks himself.

Nate loses himself watching a fire-eater, as Maddie slips away, saying they should split up and cover more area. As soon as she is alone, she is confronted by Selene, wearing a long flowing violet cape over her leathers. She dangles a golden apple pendant in front of Maddie, who asks who she is and how she knows her name. Selene tells her that she knows many things, things that could be mutually beneficial. She mentions the apple, an exquisite gem, very powerful, and asks Maddie what she sees. Maddie looks into it, and sees Selene’s face looking back at her. “Your face,” she replies, “It has a darkness; a powerful darkness.”

A shiver trembles down Maddie’s spine. How familiar this power feels. Selene says she is more adept than she even dared dream of. Most look into the stone and see nothing. She wants Maddie to take it, as a gift. Madelyne is uncertain, as she doesn’t even know Selene. The energy vampire practically forces it around her neck, asking her not to speak so hastily. She may not truly know who she is, or what she is capable of, but Selene can help her. She tells Madelyne that she knows her. Together, they can discover the mystery of her wondrous resurrection. She adds that the boy is a distraction. Staring intently into Maddie’s eyes, Selene says, “Come with me, Madelyne.” The lace of evil, which dances in Selene’s voice, chills Madelyne, and yet, she is drawn to it.

Suddenly, the moment is over. Nate comes running towards her, eager for her to see a guy who can eat razor blades. Maddie opts not to reveal Selene’s existence to Nate just yet. She feels a power welling up inside and Nate looks so young and innocent; so full of hope. Nate senses something’s wrong and asks her what it is. She replies that it’s nothing, and flees into the night. The darkness feels like her only comfort. She hears Selene’s whispers in the dark, haunting her, beckoning her.

Rex watches Maddie running, and reckons this will make what he has to do that much cleaner. He contacts Sugarman on his wrist communicator, but is getting an awful lot of static. Selene suddenly appears. “Little man, you are getting in my way. ‘Static’ is the least of your problems.”


Sugarman stalks his base, not happy at all with Rex. He only wants to know one thing. Has he found Nate? Rex’s face appears on a large screen, though the static disfigures the image. His face vanishes completely and Sugarman wants to know what’s going on. Selene’s face appears on his monitor. She tells him that this is a private matter, and she wishes it to remain so. The line goes dead. Sugarman has no Rex, no young mutant and now this woman interferes. Things are bad, very bad.


Madelyne Pryor runs until she can run no longer. In her heart, she knows there is no turning back. If only she could fight it. If only she could hide from the truth about herself. She stands, looking over a bridge into the river. “Nate…I tried…” Selene appears once again in a plume of mist. She asks Maddie to look within herself. She cannot deny the destiny she was destined to have, but was ended before she could reach her true potential. At her side, she will rise up to a new height. At her side, all her dreams will come true. Madelyne tells Selene that she has a life, and what about Nate? Selene asks what about him? He’s only a boy. She says that Maddie knows what she is offering. If she stays, she could destroy him. Maddie asks how she can know that.

As Nate spots her and rushes towards her, Selene tells her that it does not matter how she comes by this knowledge, only that she knows it to be so, and so does Maddie. She warns her that, if she cares for the boy, then she should do as she says. There is no choice. If she comes with her, power is for the taking. Madelyne is swayed. Nate is almost upon them and calls her name, begging her to wait for him. Mist begins to swirl around the two women and Selene says there never was any question as to the outcome; only how long before she accepted it. “Nooo!” screams Nate as they vanish before him. If only he’d gotten there faster. If only she’d heard him. If only…

For the second time in his short life, he has lost someone he held dear. Now, more alone than ever, as the black silence of night envelops him, somewhere he hears a whisper. “Goodbye…

Characters Involved: 

Nate Grey

Madelyne Pryor


Police Officer


Windex guy


Genoshan mutates including #0.3, #001, #10, #227, #317, #602, #911, #1907 and #3110.

Restaurant waiter

Street performers and residents of Paris

(on monitor)



Story Notes: 

Nate pulled a grotesque image of Havok from Maddie’s mind in the previous issue.

Issue Information: 
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