X-Men (1st series) #106

Issue Date: 
August 1977
Story Title: 
Dark Shroud of the Past!

Chris Claremont & Bill Mantlo (writers), Brown & Cockrum (Pencilers), Tom Sutton (inker), Joe Rosen (Letterer), Andy Yanchus (editor), Goodwin (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

For the brief time that Lilandra was on Earth, Professor X found some relief from the pain and anguish he had been feeling for many months. However, when she is abducted by Eric the Red and taken away through the Stargate, the feelings return in force, driving him into a hallucinogenic sleep. In his dream, Xavier is tormented by visions of the original team of X-Men fighting his “new” X-Men. The teams go back and forth, neither seeming to gain an edge, but it soon becomes apparent to the new X-Men that the original X-Men aren’t being hurt because they aren’t real. They are all constructs of Professor X’s mind. The good part of Xavier’s mind has conjured his “new X-Men” and the evil part of Xavier’s mind has conjured evil versions of the original X-Men. The good Xavier regains control of his own mind and banishes the evil half of his mind, regaining his sanity in the real world at the same time.

Full Summary: 

Firelord, Professor X, Misty Knight, and Jean Grey’s parents are still on the roof of Jean and Misty’s building. Firelord is still out for Phoenix’s blood, and Professor X reminds him that Phoenix and the X-Men have traveled through a Stargate across “infinity” to save the Universe. Professor X is once again in pain as a result of the psychic connection he shares with Lilandra. For the brief period when she was on Earth, the anguish he had been feeling was gone, but now it has returned. Misty rushes to his side as Firelord expresses some concern for Xavier’s state. However, Xavier starts to hallucinate and thinks that Misty is Moira Mactaggart…

Xavier’s Dream::

In his dream, Xavier is given something by Moira to help him sleep without nightmares. She leaves him to his sleep to go check on her other charges.

The X-Men are training in the Danger Room. Wolverine seems to be dancing around while avoiding flamethrowers and lasers until a steel girder starts to fall on him. Colossus sees it, but is unable to warn Wolverine. He quickly morphs into his metal form and shoves Wolverine out of harm’s way, only to have the girder break on top of him. Wolverine is annoyed, because he thinks Colossus is trying to steal his show. So he challenges Colossus to a fight right there and then.

At this point, Cyclops steps in and uses his optic blast to get Wolverine to back off. He is tired of Wolverine’s “Mad Killer” act. Wolverine points out that it’s not an act and then blusters that it’s Cyclops that should be backing down because all he does is talk about how the “old X-Men” did things, which doesn’t help. Banshee agrees and goes on to point out that the “new X-Men” are older and set in their ways. He thinks they need their own chance to be successful. Cyclops apologizes. He feels responsible for Thunderbird’s death and has been hard on the others. Wolverine goads him stating that death is a part of life, and if Cyclops can’t take it, he should quit. Storm jumps in telling Wolverine that some of them are tired of hearing his voice all the time. She says Cyclops is the leader and if Wolverine can’t handle it, maybe he should leave.

Suddenly, to the surprise of all, Angel shows up in his original costume! He proceeds to taunt a confused Cyclops about his “creature feature” X-Men. Cyclops is angry, but can’t do much as a still human-looking Beast swings him up towards the ceiling, also taunting Cyclops and the new X-Men. Wolverine gets angry and Nightcrawler notices that none of this makes sense as Beast has grown blue fur in reality. At that point, the rest of the original X-Men show up. Storm is astonished at how the old X-Men are treating them, as they recently parted as friends. Beast calmly states that the original X-Men are proud of their reputation, and they’re kicking the new guys out. Wolverine wants to take out Iceman, but Beast hits Nightcrawler first.

Cyclops jumps in to try and calm everyone down. He desperately wants some explanation for what’s going on. Instead of offering an explanation, Angel grabs Cyclops again and drops him from what would be a fatal height. Banshee catches him, though, while Marvel Girl telekinetically aims the Danger Room’s weaponry at Storm. Storm wonders at why the old X-Men would do this and then realizes that she senses no humanity in them!

Meanwhile, across the room, Wolverine and Iceman are facing off and Wolverine is noticing the same thing as Storm. It’s as if Iceman is both there, and not there. However, his confusion gives Iceman an advantage and Wolverine is suddenly almost completely encased in ice. With one claw free, though, he is able to claw his way out.

Banshee, in the meantime, takes off to take on Angel, but Cyclops is worried that the new X-Men are fighting as individuals, while the old team is fighting as a team, giving them an edge. Banshee uses his sonic scream on Angel, who seems to lose consciousness and falls towards the ground. It’s a ruse, though, to capture Cyclops, who rushes to help the falling Angel. Colossus runs to his leader’s aid, only to be hit hard by Cyclops’s optic blasts. Angel has removed his visor! Colossus fights through the optic blast, managing to distract Angel just long enough for Cyclops to break free and take down Angel. Belatedly, Cyclops realizes that earplugs wouldn’t really protect a human from Banshee’s sonic scream, so this Angel must be something non-human.

Meanwhile, Nightcrawler and Beast are facing off on one of the Danger Room’s walls. Beast makes short work of Nightcrawler, but Nightcrawler gets a nice save from Colossus. Cyclops searches for his visor, feeling the X-Men will lose without him. However, as Nightcrawler and Colossus team up to take out Beast things start to look better. Cyclops finally finds his visor and rallies his X-Men, pointing out that these old X-Men cannot be people, but are only images! Angel congratulates Cyclops on finally figuring it out but points out that there’s nothing they can do about it, because they still don’t know who’s responsible.

However, Professor X does! He crawls into the Danger Room, claiming to have created both of the X-Men teams in this crazy battle and, now, he will destroy them. Professor X concentrates and the original X-Men “pop” out of existence. However, Xavier isn’t solely responsible. A very evil looking Xavier shows up, claiming to have more power than the X-Men could possibly defeat. Cyclops hits him with an optic blast that goes right through him. Wolverine rushes him, but almost falls into a bottomless pit, narrowly being saved by Colossus.

The good Xavier tells everyone that they must not give into the illusions that the evil Xavier is creating. At the same time, the good Xavier conjures up his own team of original X-Men who start to pummel the evil Xavier into non-existence. Xavier will not allow his mind to be usurped by anyone, and yet, he wonders if this cursed dream will drive him mad.

Back in the real world…

Fortunately, Professor Xavier realizes that he hasn’t been battling madness for the last few months. As he wakes up in the real world again, he understands that his dreams have been the byproduct of a forced telepathic rapport between two alien minds. Lilandra has been desperately crying out for help and has, as a by-product, been forcing the dreams on Xavier. Now after reliving the first manifestation of this nightmare, Professor X has been able to lay his personal demons to rest.

Characters Involved: 

Professor Charles Xavier
Misty Knight (Jean’s roommate)

John and Elaine Grey (Jean’s parents)

In Xavier’s Dream::

Banshee, Colossus, Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Professor X, Storm, Wolverine (all X-Men)

Moira Mactaggert

Evil Xavier

Angel, Beast, Iceman, Marvel Girl (all Original X-Men)

Story Notes: 

The time period for the events in Xavier’s dream would actually be between issue #96 and issue #97, but since it’s a dream, none of it really happens.

This issue is unusual in the fact that it is almost all inside Xavier’s head. Because of this, it is not necessary for the overall story and it was not reprinted in Classic X-Men. However, the idea of “Xavier having a dark half was later used in the X-Men/Micronauts limited series, also co-written by Claremont & Mantlo, just like this issue.

Issue Information: 
Written By: