X-Man #9

Issue Date: 
November 1995
Story Title: 
<BR>(First story) A Question of Power <BR>(Second story) Teeth of the Storm

First story:

Jeph Loeb (story idea), John Ostrander (writer), Skroce & Haynes (pencilers), Mike Thomas (colors), LaRosa, Carani, Lowe, Hanna & Pennington (inkers), Malibu (separations), Richard Starkings & Comicraft (lettering), Lisa Patrick (editor), Bob Harras (chief)

Second story:

John Ostrander (writer), Lee Weeks (penciler), Bill Sienkiewicz (inks), Paul Becton (colors), Malibu (separations), The Usual Suspects (letters), Lisa Patrick (editor), Bob Harras (chief)

Brief Description: 

First story:

Dark Beast confronts Nate Grey after killing Rex. He has witnessed the incredible job Sinister did in creating him, and he tries to persuade Nate to join him in ruling this world. He also hints that he has information about Nate that he himself isn’t party to. Nate knows what McCoy did in the pens back on his home world and a fight ensues. Dark Beast takes Susan hostage and forces Nate to listen to what he has to say. His persuasive technique appears to be getting through to Nate, but the young mutant realizes that he’ll do anything to prevent this world becoming like his old one; and that includes taking Dark Beast down. He strikes with force, freeing Susan from McCoy’s grasp. Going in close is a mistake and McCoy proves stronger and more skilled than Nate. After hurting Nate, McCoy explains that Sinister created Nate to take out Apocalypse, but asks why Sinister would want a weapon that powerful to remain after the task is complete. He can help him live, and offers him the chance to rule by his side. Nate is defiant and puts McCoy down for the count. He remembers something from a while back, something that seems like a dream. There were people who could help, and they were called X-Men. He will seek them out. Watching events unfold from his craft, Blaquesmith knows he must warn Professor Xavier of Nate’s sudden interest in him.

Second story:

Blaquesmith sets off to warn Xavier about Nate Grey. En route, as he flies his craft close to the water, he is intercepted by a much larger vessel which opens fire on him. It destroys his heat shields, but he manages to take evasive action. The vessel continues to hunt him, but the reason is unknown. It catches him again and shoots, so Blaquesmith decides to head underwater. The vessel searches for wreckage, and Blaquesmith uses this opportunity to get one good shot in. It is successful, and cripples the craft, leaving Blaquesmith free to continue his journey north.

Full Summary: 

First story:

Aboard the yacht, S.S. Wendi, Nate confronts Dark Beast, as Rex’s expired body lies on the deck. Dark Beast is amazed. Incredible! Sinister knew how to create a weapon, he’ll give him that. Nate is furious upon hearing Sinister’s name, and puts two and two together. Dark Beast acknowledges that both he and Nate come from the same place. They were pulled through the M’kraan Crystal, from where Apocalypse ruled and all was merry. He explains that the one called Sugarman also survived the wreck of Apocalypse’s dream. He sent Rex - which is why he had to die.

McCoy continues to point out that they both know the power Nate possesses and how important it is that he uses it wisely. He flatters himself in thinking that he would make a better teacher, a better mentor for Nate. Nate finds this comment incredulous. He heard Dark Beast’s name mentioned in the pens, Apocalypse’s dog, and he knows what he did back there. McCoy asks if this is any way to greet someone who just saved his life, but Nate doesn’t care why he helped him. He won’t play his games.

He strikes at McCoy telekinetically, but his agility keeps him free of danger. A second ago, he points out, Nate was burned out, and now he lashes at him without thinking. He warns him not to be so quick on the trigger, as he knows some interesting facts about him. He continues to say that anyone could have guessed that Sinister was up to something. It’s taken him many years in this reality to piece it all together. He explains that he knew a weapon; a failsafe, existed, but he was little prepared for the glory of Sinister’s achievement. “You are magnificent!”

Nate takes to the air, adrenaline propelling him ever forward against this hateful creature. Nate says that Sinister killed Forge and told him lies. McCoy continues to evade Nate’s attack, advising him that they shouldn’t be fighting each other; they should be allies. He warns Nate not to make him get nasty.

Below deck, Susan is sleeping off her alcohol intake. She regrets throwing herself at Nate. She hears pounding coming from up on deck and heads out to investigate. The sunshine is not the only thing that greets her. She is horrified at the carnage wreaked by Rex, and the dead body wrapped in rope before her. McCoy sees her first. “Ah! A human! How lovely.” Nate turns and sees Susan and cries, “No!” McCoy delivers a right foot to Nate’s chest. He laughs that he’s just proved that Nate needs teaching. Don’t get distracted during a fight, it could be fatal.

Nate goes head first into the drink, but emerges immediately to find Dark Beast with his powerful arms around Susan’s neck. Behind him, high on the promontory, Blaquesmith’s vessel sits silently, keeping well away and out of sight (almost). Blaquesmith monitors everything. Nate warns Dark Beast that he isn’t going to ask twice. “Let her go!” McCoy replies that unless Nate stops fooling around and listens to him, he’ll discover how easily one can unscrew a human head. Nate has no option but to stand down, for now.

McCoy continues his rhetoric. He says that their power is there to be used, and its purpose is to rule. This world is dangerous to their kind. Humans run the world, and most of them hate and fear mutants. Susan confirms this by begging not to be hurt. Nate can see the fear in Susan’s eyes, and in her thoughts. McCoy adds that survival is a matter of rule, or be ruled. Slave pens are an historical inevitability. They have the power to determine who goes into those pens - humans or mutants!

He then tells Nate that they have both survived for a reason. Nate has too much power. If they strike now, they can determine who rules; delay, and the struggle itself may incinerate them all. Does he want the Earth to turn into the mirror image of the wasteland they left behind? Then, they will be the victims.

Nate listens, but through his persuasion, he remembers the beauty he has seen. Switzerland, Paris, the sunset last night. But he has also seen the other side; explosions, death and, of course, he lost Madelyne. No, he finally determines; he doesn’t want this Earth to suffer as his own did. McCoy asks Nate to join him. The only way to save this world is to rule it.

Nearby, aboard Blaquesmith’s ship, he monitors the situation below from afar. He wonders how there can be a bio-signature almost identical to the Chosen One’s. He saw what that power did to Stryfe and it makes him frightened for this world.

Back on the S.S. Wendi, Nate gathers his thoughts and informs McCoy that, when he was growing up, it was so bleak. When he tried to change things, he didn’t always do the right thing. He’d do anything to keep this world from becoming like the world he knew; anything! That includes taking Dark Beast out. He smashes through the side of the ship with a telekinetic quake, which separates Dark Beast from his hostage. Nate moves in close, but finds McCoy’s fighting skills are superior to his own. They tussle in mid-air, with McCoy taunting him about his youth and Nate’s confidence in his own abilities. He crunches his fist into Nate’s face and acrobatically flips to the ground, leaving Nate struggling. He’s hurting, and McCoy can sense it.

McCoy approaches, and reminds Nate about what he said earlier, about knowing things about him. He knows what Sinister had planned for him and the safeguards he built in. “Wanna hear ‘em?” Nate is defiant, telling McCoy he doesn’t know anything. McCoy grins. “Am I?” he asks. Those weak spells he’s been having. Know what’s causing them? He explains that Sinister planned on him to take on, and take out Apocalypse. Nate was his weapon, but would you want a weapon like that lying around after it did its job? He tells Nate that he wasn’t built to last, but he can fix that. He can make Nate better, and help him live. Nate takes this in, but the news is hard. McCoy tells him to forget his old world, forget the pens. Life or death? That is what he offers, and the chance to rule by his side.

Nate ponders for a fleeting moment, before replying, “So… who wants to get old?” With that, he unleashes much of his remaining energy in a furious assault on Dark Beast, hurling him backwards through the ship. McCoy is stunned. Nate tells him he’s a jerk, as well as a liar. Nate now has a purpose. He remembers a place he could go in his head. It seems like a dream, but there were people who could help him called X-Men. Blaquesmith watches with interest. He must be quick about this. He sets his vessel in motion and takes off to warn Professor Xavier of the young man’s imminent arrival.

Second story:

Blaquesmith has departed in his flying craft, en route to warn Charles Xavier. As he passes Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, the weather is atrocious. Lightning strikes keep Blaquesmith on his toes as he skims the waves, trying to keep as low as possible. This was foolish, he thinks. It would have made more sense to go around the hurricane. Mind you, it would have made more sense to stay at home. He’s getting too old for these kinds of risks; but destiny has a way of intervening.

As he carefully guides his craft through the turmoil outside, he thinks back to how it began with Cable, as he prepared for his next trial. Someone had to accompany him to this timeline to make sure he was not led astray. One needs only look at how his clone, Stryfe, turned out to see why. However, the boy he just observed wields enough power to extinguish them with but a thought. Desperate situations require desperate measures. He must do what was strictly forbidden; and contact Xavier.

Suddenly, his craft’s path is blocked by a huge domed vessel which rises from the stormy sea. Atop the vessel are four gun turrets. Blaquesmith wrestles with his controls to ensure he avoids making contact with the large ship, but he isn’t able to steer clear from a blast from one of its cannons, which takes out his heat shield. He feels that life underground has made him complacent. No one should know he even exists. Could this be connected with the boy? Is it connected with the break in? Professor Xavier will be of help, he feels.

The vessel rounds and heads straight towards him. He realizes that, whoever it is, is a formidable opponent. Apparently, the ship doesn’t have to be as maneuverable as his, considering it can simply plow through the waves. He decides to see how his years of training have served him, and begins a steep descent. The vessel fires off another round, which connects with the top of his craft, and he ditches it underneath the water, heading vertically towards the hidden depths. The large vessel hovers above the waves, looking for signs of its opponent, looking for wreckage.

Blaquesmith gambled on this happening and, as it approaches, he raises his own ship from beneath the waves and manages to get one shot in. It is devastating, and a massive explosion rocks the vessel, allowing Blaquesmith to escape during the confusion. He continues his journey to Xavier’s. He has many important tasks at hand and getting to the mansion will only be the first one.

Characters Involved: 

First story:

Nate Grey

Dark Beast




Second story:


Story Notes: 

First Story:

The Chosen One is Cable and Stryfe is his clone, created by the Askani in the far future.

Nate had a vision of Magneto and Bishop arguing in the mansion in X-Man #1.

Second story:

The break-in Blaquesmith refers to occurred in Cable (2nd series) #21, when his freighter was targeted for information on Cable.

Issue Information: 
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