X-Men 2099 #8

Issue Date: 
May 1994
Story Title: 
Ghost Winds

John Francis Moore (writer), Ron Lim (penciler), Jim Sanders III (inker), Tom Smith (colors), Ken Lopez (letters), Joey Cavalieri (editor), Tom DeFalco (chief)

Brief Description: 

The X-Men and the Freakshow prepare to leave Iron Horse since soon other trackers will come looking for them. Xi’an is haunted by yet another hallucination of his younger self accusing him of lying to himself. Mama Hurricane gives Xi’an a disk containing her old routes and meeting points with the Driver, hoping that it will help the X-Men to find Avalon. Metalhead has overcome his infection, but he is now ugly and can no longer change back to human form. He decides to stay with the Freakshow, both because he thinks he would be a liability to the X-Men and his growing affection to Rosa. In Santa Fe, Krystalin and Victor Ten Eagles investigate the sightings of a creature that could be the Archangel. Instead they run into the Chosen X-Men, a warped version of the original five X-Men : Wingspan, Frostbite, One-Eyed Jack, Monster and Psycho-K. They are lead by Zhao, the leader of the previous generation of X-Men who had been missing for decades. Zhao uses his mindfire-powers on Victor and Krys, planning on adding them to his team of Chosen.

Full Summary: 

Krystalin and Victor Ten Eagles discuss the chances of one of the original X-Men being alive after seeing a silhouette that had an uncanny resemblance to Archangel in last issue. Victor has some old SHIELD-holographic files of the first X-Men and Krys is amazed by the quality of the 3D images. Krys goes on that they know not much about Xavier‘s first students, only that they died and returned again and again, and that many reports of these times are lost or falsified. However they were the template on which Xi’an based the current X-men, like Zhao and Del Ruiz founded their X-Men groups in the past decades. To hope that about 100 years later one of the originals could still be alive is too much, but Victor came to the same conclusion when he saw the silhouette, that is why he contacted Xi’an the first place. Victor explains that he has a blood debt to Xi’an and as a Keewazi his people has ties to the heroes of the 20th century. Krys tells him that they shouldn’t jump to conclusions, they are plenty of other possible explanations and tonight they will look for them.
In Iron Horse, the secret hometown of the Freakshow, Mama Hurricane tells the captive Trackers that she’s sorry for what happened to their Seeker (Breakdown killed him last issue), but that is their own fault. The Trackers tell her that their employers will get to the Freakshow sooner or later. At the same time, Meanstreak is dismantling the Seeker-armor at superspeed, while Dominic is watching. Meanstreak finds a signal beacon in the armor that he hands over to Hurricane, telling her that she can use it as an advance warning against other Trackers. The Freakshow readies themselves to leave the town, but Breakdown and Psyclone want to fight their pursuers. Shakti argues with them that the corporate has much more resources than the Freakshow, but Meanstreak tells her it’s no use to argue with a psychopath like Breakdown. Mama Hurricane prevents another fight from erupting, and then goes outside to find Xi’an as she wants to have a word with him before they leave.
Metalhead has overcome his infection, and although there are no longer any bubbles on his skin, his head has become very bulky and his hair is gone. He keeps trying to change back to human form, but he can’t. Contagion taunts him that he should be lucky to even be alive, after all he is the first one ever to survive his disease bringing touch. Tim helps his friends to keep standing but Metalhead is too heavy, so Rosa comes over to help him. As Metalhead was too ill to recognize her before, she introduces herself once more.
Ten Eagles and Krystalin arrive at a cooperative depot in New Mexico where geneticists and agriculturists are working to create crops that can grow in the toxic soil. Victor says that one of the geneticists knows the mountains very well and should be able to help them with their Angel sighting. They notice that the farm has been attacked and Krys creates a crystal club, while they enter to investigate. Inside they find heavy equipment that has been tossed across the room and a thick metal door that has been cut open by laser beams. In the room behind, Krys and Victor find the scientists, encased in blocks of ice. Most have suffocated or froze to death, but one of them is still alive. Victor uses a small heater to thaw her out and introduces her to Krys as Gloria, the geneticist they came to see. Gloria tells them about her attackers: monsters and a flying demon, who took their DNA growth system. She then says that the attackers talked about going back to the ranch, back to Zhao. Krystalin is surprised - Zhao was the leader of the previous group of X-Men, but he hasn’t been seen in ages.
In Iron Horse, Xi’an walks along the tracks when he sees a train heading for him. Just before the train hits him, Xi’an says: “ This is not real”. The train stops and the driver is the younger version of Xi’an, the leader of the Lawless. The young Xi’an accuses his older self of lying to himself. The hallucination then disappears and Mama Hurricane approaches him. Xi’an asks Hurricane about her time in the mutant underground, an organization that saved mutants from extermination in the mid-21st century, and about their agent and her contact, the Driver. Hurricane tells him that she only has limited knowledge to reduce the risks should the authorities capture her. She hands Xi’an a disks with her old routes and meeting points with the Driver, hoping that it will help the X-Men to find Avalon.
In a street, Rosa and Metalhead are talking. She asks him about his time as a musician, but he stops talking when he notices a reflection of his new appearance in a broken window. Eddie despairs and feels that he is ugly, but Rosa comforts him, telling him about the father of her child, who despite his good looks was a monster, while Eddie still is golden inside. Tantrum helps the X-Men by righting the Experience, their van. (it was knocked over by Psyclone in #6). The X-Men and the Freakshow are ready to leave, when Metalhead tells the X-Men that in his current state he would be a liability to them and that Rosa has invited him to stay with the Freakshow. Most of the X-Men are surprised, but Xi’an respects his decision.
Back in the Sangre de Christo Mountains, Victor and Krys spy on a ranch that is surrounded by a laser-fence. Thinking of the damage they saw at the cooperative, Victor attaches an impulse cannon to his glove in case they have a run-in with the monsters and demons. Krys make a small arch of crystal that deflects the laser-beams of the fence. Victor then tells Krys to stay close, because he’s wearing a field jammer that confuses the sensors of the guard-drones, but when they take a closer look, all the drones are inactive. Inside the ranch, they trip the alarm and are attacked by the Chosen X-Men. Wingspan uses his razor-sharp wings and cuts Krys, after which Psycho-K uses her telekinesis to throw knifes at them. Krys creates a crystal shield to deflect the knifes, and she realizes that the five superpowered beings they are fighting are modeled after the original five X-Men. Ten Eagles couldn’t care less and he fires his cannon at them, as these Chosen X-Men killed several scientists without apparent reason. Frostbite creates a block of ice around his arm and cannon and One-Eyed Jack attacks them with his optic blasts. Krys and Ten Eagles are cornered until Ten Eagles notices a control panel in the wall. He pushes some buttons and suddenly a group of Sentinels burst through a wall. The Chosen regroup to fight the Sentinels, but Victor takes Krys and they walk straight through the Sentinels. He tells her that he activated the holograms without giving them any density. They discuss escape when they are hit by a psychic blast of the Chosen’s leader Zhao, who comments that they will become worthy additions to his X-Men.

Characters Involved: 

Cerebra, Krystalin, Meanstreak, Metalhead, Skullfire, Xi’an (all X-Men 2099)

Victor Ten Eagles, old friend of Xi’an

Gloria, a geneticist

Breakdown, Contagion, Dominic, Mama Hurricane, Psyclone, Rosa, Tantrum (all Freakshow)
Frostbite, Monster, One-Eyed Jack, Psycho-K, Wingspan (all Chosen X-Men)


Jones, Wallis and a third unknown tracker

Story Notes: 

The cover is a copy of X-Men 2099 #1 with Zhao and his Chosen instead of the X-Men and Bloodhawk.
Victor’s holographic X-Men images are from different time periods :

- Beast and Iceman are in their original looks as in Uncanny X-Men #1 (1963, furless Beast in training costume and “Snowman”)

- Jean is actually not Jean but the Phoenix (in the green costume) from Uncanny X-Men #101-132 (ca 1977)

- Cyclops is in his blue and yellow uniform that he wore since X-Men #1 (1991)

- Archangel’s file seems to be from the same time, he is shown with his metal wings and in his purple/pink costume, though the head is not covered

Issue Information: 
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