X-Men (2nd series) #106

Issue Date: 
November 2000
Story Title: 
Search and Rescue

Chris Claremont, Leinil Francis Yu, Thomas Derenick, and Anthony Williams (Script), Mark Morales, Rick Ketcham and Norm Rapmund (Inks), Liquid! Graphics and Hi-Fi Design (Colors), Richard Starkings and COMICRAFT (Letters), Mark Powers (Editor), Bob Harras (Editor-in-Chief)

Brief Description: 

In the Church of St. Michael the Archangel, Domina, leader of the Warclan of the Neo, goes through the Harrowing, a ceremony of the Neo to seek redemption for their dead. Thanks to her brother, Ransome Sole, Domina fights and kills simulations of the X-Men in preparation for the inevitable second match. Cecelia Reyes watches the whole time and wonders how long she can survive, especially since she only has a few vials left of Rave left, the mutant enhancing drug she has become addicted to. Domina is called to a murder scene in the building and sends Rax to find and kill Cecelia and Detective Charlotte Jones. What Domina does not know is that Rax has enlisted the aid of Rufus Delgado in taking Domina down. Delgado, however, has been merged with Charlotte Jones, thanks to an accident by Elysia and Tartarus. Outside, Nightcrawler and Wolverine make a plan to teleport inside the stronghold, but once inside they find Elysia being attacked by the Delgado hybrid. Cecilia saves them all as they escape to recuperate. Elysia wakes up and accuses the X-Men of trying to destroy the Neo. Wolverine and Nightcrawler are able to calm the girl down and convince her that it was a madman responsible for the catastrophe that struck the Neo. Elysia believes them, but says it does not matter as long as Domina believes otherwise. Rax enlists Rogue and the others to help him take down Domina, but Rogue turns his plan against him and the team breaks into the church. The team is reunited as Delgado betrays Rax. Wolverine is forced to decapitate Delgado, killing the drug lord, which causes Charlotte to return back to normal. Domina stabs Wolverine in the back and goes for the kill when Elysia intervenes, defending the X-Men. Nightcrawler and Rogue tell Domina that Elysia is telling the truth and that humanity is not responsible for the destruction of the Neo. Inside, Domina trusts the X-Men and lets them go so she can think about what she will do next. The X-Men leave with their people, leaving the next move to Domina. Elsewhere, in Pennsylvania, Mystique reforms the Brotherhood of Mutants for their latest scheme, which involves Senator Kelly. In Ohio, Kelly is approached by Valerie Cooper and Sharon Carter, who warn him that if he continues on his chosen path he is going to be put in danger. Kelly refuses to listen and says he is willing to sacrifice his life to save humanity if he has to.

Full Summary: 

Her name is Domina, chieftain of the Warclan of the Neo. Now is the time of the Harrowing. Domina stands solemnly in front of a statue of Jesus Christ crucified on the cross. As she prepares herself for battle, the image of her daughter drowning when her powers were neutralized is all that she can think about.

The Warclan has claimed a stronghold in the middle of their enemies’ greatest city, New York City. They are there for one purpose only and that is to take a stand against those who have tried to destroy them. They now reside in a large abandoned building, once claimed by outcast mutants too disfigured to go out in public. The Neo have also taken over the tunnels that connect that building to the Church of St. Michaels, which Domina now stands in.

Domina thinks about those who are set out to oppose her: the X-Men. They are outcasts from both mutant kind and the human race, who have sworn to protect a world that fears and hates them. They are beings of purpose and honor. Domina admires them and thinks that, under different circumstances, they could be friends, but they are in a middle of a war and friendship is something the Neo dare not take. No one offered quarter to the Neo in the beginning and none will be given by the Neo in the end.

Domina begins to think about her own purpose for fighting this war. She is driven by memories that will haunt her to her death. For countless generations, the Neo had shared the world with the inferior homo sapiens, but chose to live apart from them. The Neo believed that the humans would destroy themselves and that the Neo will them inherit the Earth. They thought no evil and did no evil to the world.

One day, though, harm without mercy was brought onto them. One day, like any other, their powers were stripped from them. This was devastating to the Neo, because they were a race whose city was sustained by their mutant powers. Their very lives depended on them. Without their powers their city crumbled and the majority of their people crumbled with it.

For Domina, it felt like her soul was ripped out, but soon her heart followed. Domina could only scream as her parents, whose bloodline dated to the founding of the Neo, crumbled to dust before her eyes. Domina was pierced with exquisite pain from what happened to her parents and she prayed that she could die instead of them, but she was denied.


Domina kneels over the remains of her parents, crying. Her husband, Jaeger, approaches her and tells her that he never though he would see the day that the mighty Domina would be humbled. Angry, Domina tells Jaeger not to mock her, as her parents are dead. Domina crawls over to Jaeger, who tells her that her parents are not the only dead. He tells her that the cyborg Techheads, who had immunity to the power removal, have set up search and rescue teams. Jaeger then reminds Domina that the remaining Neo need a leader and that she is it. She will be the one to embody the hope and retribution the Neo need.


Jaeger had the tongue to tempt the devil back to heaven, so together he and Domina helped salvage what little of their civilization was left. Unfortunately, not even he could offer words when Domina finally found their daughter. She was as much as home in the water as on land. Her natural state was to breathe air, though. She was far too deep in the water to reach the surface when her powers were removed. Then and there, Domina vowed vengeance.

Now, she will have it. Since the X-Men have chosen to oppose her, she will have to take their lives. Before Domina, in the Church of St. Michael the Archangel are members of the X-Men: Archangel, Cecelia Reyes, Wolverine, Rogue, Colossus, Psylocke, Nightcrawler, and Thunderbird. When the Neo first took over the church, Nightcrawler escaped. Jaeger went to kill him but was slain himself.

For Jaeger, Domina has no tears. She only has the imprint of Cecilia Reyes, the one who killed Jaeger. She is her quarry. Domina leaps at Cecilia to kill her, but Thunderbird and Colossus get in the way. Thunderbird shoots a bolt of solar plasma, but Domina deflects it with her sword and sends it right through Colossus’ chest. She then slices Thunderbird’s throat open, killing both men before they hit the ground.

Nightcrawler teleports to Domina, ready to kick her in the face. However, Domina has fought him before and knows his measure. Domina proves quicker than Nightcrawler and catches his ankle. She then throws him into Wolverine, whose claws are extended. Nightcrawler is skewered by Wolverine by accident.

Domina’s brother, Ransome Sole watches with his bodyguard, Big Casino, and Jaeger’s son, Rax. Sole is pleased that the simulacrums are fighting just like the real X-Men. Rax pretends that he cares for Domina’s safety and says that she could be killed. Big Casino mocks Rax and does not believe someone like him could take the place of Jaeger.

Rogue is the next to attack Domina. With a rage, the Rogue simulation punches Domina in the face and sends the Neo right into the psychic katana of Psylocke. Domina falls away from Psylocke and finds herself surrounded by the remaining X-Men. The purpose of the psychic katana was to short-circuit Domina’s nervous system. The plan did not work. As Domina of the Warclan, Domina has the ability to borrow the powers of the rest of the Neo. She uses Antaeus’ strength to shatter the floor.

Domina grabs the Psylocke simulation and uses Static’s power to send her power out of control. Psylocke sends out blasts of telekinesis everywhere, which kills Archangel. Domina then snaps Psylocke’s neck. As for Rogue, Domina takes out her sword and chops the girls head off.

Wolverine approaches Domina and tells her that they are not done yet. Domina thinks to herself of how she and Wolverine are the most alike. However, he has seen Domina kill his fellow X-Men, which clouds his judgment. He also believes his healing factor gives him the edge. Wolverine leaps at Domina, who kneels on the ground and stabs her saber through Wolverine’s head, entering through his chin and exiting the back of his head. In seconds, he is also dead.

Cecilia Reyes is the only one left, the one who killed Jaeger. She faces Domina with courage and in death Cecilia will be a worthy adversary. Domina finds that she does not care. All she wants is for Cecilia to die.

Suddenly, a young Neo named Junction teleports in and apologizes for interrupting Domina. Junction tells her that she is needed elsewhere in the stronghold. There has been another incident. Domina thinks to herself that Junction is the most rebellious of the Neo and has much courage, but there is a tremor of terror in her voice as she tells Domina what happened. Domina finds it unsettling to think that the Neo are now the prey.

Domina tells Junction that she felt nothing, but the young girl tells her that like before the attacks were masked. Domina orders Junction to take her to the incident scene. Junction obliges and the two Neo teleport to another part of the stronghold, while Ransome Sole, Big Casino and Rax run off to catch up. Alone, Cecilia Reyes comes out of the shadows wearing rags around her. Her eyes are bloodshot as she wonders what the intrusion by Junction was all about. Cecilia decides that the incident does not matter. Domina is practicing how to kill the X-Men. Worse yet, she is getting better at it all the time. Cecilia comes to terms with her situation and realizes that if the X-Men do come to save her, it will be a fool’s errand. She looks at the last few vials of rave in her hand and wonders what will happen to her when she runs out, as the drug is what is boosting her powers and keeping her alive from the Neo.

Domina and Junction arrive at the scene. Salvo, Anteus, Elysia, and Tartarus are already there. The scene is the same as the others. A cyborg Techhead has been slain. Ransome, Rax and Big Casino arrive. Domina begins to think of how Rax wants to be the new Jaeger in the Warclan. As long as she lives, though, that will never happen. Rax knows that. That is why Domina watches her back around the young man.

Domina turns to her fellow Neo and asks them to verify that two women – one human the other mutant – were left behind when Barbican sealed off the building with his powers. Tartarus verifies this and tells Domina that they have been searching, but the building is too big and the women have eluded their search. Domina turns to Rax and orders him to find the women and to expunge them. She reminds all that the two were running around with the X-Men, who are much like the Neo. It is only a matter of time before they launch a rescue mission and at the moment the Neo are not ready for that fight. Domina and everyone else leave, expect for Rax, who thinks out loud of how considerate it was of Domina to play right into his hands. Behind him, a monster walks out of the shadows. The creature is made of two entities.

The top is Rufus Delgado, a drug lord whom Detective Charlotte Jones chased into the Neo stronghold. From the waist, Delgado is attached to Charlotte Jones, who now has grown wings and her arms and legs have mutated into brown monstrous body parts with claws. Even her face has elongated and she has grown fangs, not to mention a tail. Delgado is obviously in control of this parasitic relationship. Rax tells Delgado that he has done well by killing some of the Techheads and that when he becomes Jaeger of the Warclan, he will reward Delgado well.

Outside the Neo stronghold on a rooftop, a pair of yellow eyes appears in the dark. Nightcrawler tells his companions that he senses something again. Wolverine asks him what he is sensing. As Wolverine lights cigar, Nightcrawler tells him that inside the Neo stronghold is a teleporter. Rogue, comes forward and blows out Wolverine’s match before he can light the cigar. She reminds him that not everyone is blessed with a healing factor when he smokes. Rogue also points out the Neo may see the flare of the match or smell the tobacco. Wolverine puts his cigar away and asks Nightcrawler if he is sure there is a teleporter in the building. Nightcrawler tells him that teleporting can only be done in so many ways. He also tells Wolverine and Rogue that if the Neo teleporter can jaunt through Barbican’s wall, then he may be able to also.

Rogue refuses to let Nightcrawler go in, but is reminded that the X-Men have yet to come up with a better idea. Kurt tells her that he is far from being an anointed priest but, in his heart, his ministry is clear. His church is in danger. Worse, there are people in the church who are trapped inside because of him. Nightcrawler refuses to abandon Cecelia and Charlotte to that fate that awaits them at the hands of the Neo.

Rogue tries to talk sense into Nightcrawler and asks him how much help he is going to be able to give to the two women. Wolverine gets up and tells Rogue that they have a plan. Rogue is confused as to what Wolverine is talking about. Wolverine tells her that he and Kurt are sneaks and survivors. Kurt tells Rogue that he can safely teleport him and Wolverine through Barbican’s wall. It is his own life and the life of a friend given freely, he adds. If he were not sure they could succeed, he would not try to go in.

Rogue asks them what they will do when they get in since they won’t have any backup. Nightcrawler tells her that they will lower Barbican’s field so the rest of the team could get in. Rogue, who knows that she won’t be able to talk them out of it, hugs her two friends and asks them what if they are killed. So far, the X-Men’s track record with the Neo is not well. Kurt asks if she would rather have them walk away. Rogue tells them to take care as Kurt teleports them in.

Nightcrawler and Wolverine make it inside the building, but it takes a lot of energy from Kurt, who immediately collapses to the floor. Wolverine unsheathes his claws, but finds no Neo in the room. He leans Nightcrawler onto a wall, who asks if they were noticed. Wolverine says that he does not think so. Kurt points out that a complex the size of the one they are in could house an army. Wolverine tells him that from what he has seen Domina only has a handful of Neo with her.

Nightcrawler takes out his cross and rubs his temples. He asks Wolverine if he can imagine a society of mutants who are suddenly stripped of their abilities just as the X-Men were by the High Evolutionary. From what Domina told the two of them, the Neo suffered a Holocaust. Wolverine is unsatisfied by Domina’s story and tells Kurt that she has a reason to fight, but she is not excused for her actions. Wolverine goes on to tell Kurt that those with powers have more responsibilities when Kurt suddenly senses something. Wolverine asks what is wrong. Kurt tells him that he has sensed that the Neo teleporter has sent someone outside and that the two of them have no way to warn the X-Men. Wolverine tells Nightcrawler that Rogue can take care of herself.

As Wolverine tells Nightcrawler this, outside, Rax punches Rogue in the face, which sends her flying away. Rogue recuperates and lunges at Rax, who easily dodges her punches. Rax tells Rogue that it must be hard for her to find out that someone is stronger, faster and better than her. As he says this, he tackles Rogue to the ground. She shoves him away, but he punches her in the stomach. One punch to the face sends Rogue through a wall. Rax is unimpressed by Rogue and wonders why Domina cares so much about them. He tells Rogue that if the X-Men are this weak, they are no use to him.

Rogue shoots out of the wreckage of the wall and goes straight for Rax, who flies into the air. Rogue chases him and is taunted by Rax to prove her strength. Rogue goes to kick Rax, but he catches her by the foot and then throws her into the ground. Rax takes out his crossbow and pins down Rogue’s arms with his knees. He points the crossbow to her head. He tells her that he hears she is invulnerable and wonders if he can put that to a test.

Rogue tells Rax that if he is ready to pull the trigger, he better be ready to eat the bow. Rax says that he is tempted to shoot her, but he must wait for another time, as he is here to offer Rogue a beneficial proposition. He tells Rogue that she has people trapped in the building and that the Neo do not want to fight. Rax offers an arrangement. When Rogue asks him what he gets, Rax says that he simply wants to take Domina down and that he thinks the war is pointless. He wants to make friends.

Rax leans closer to Rogue, putting his lips closer to hers. He says he wants to start a friendship with her first. Rogue tells him that he has a deal on his proposition. Rax asks if they can seal it with a kiss as he gets closer. He then pulls away from Rogue and tells her that he knows that with one kiss she can steal his powers and memories and that would not be fair. He tells her that he will give a signal for the X-Men to make their move. He orders Junction to take him home. Rax is teleported away as Rogue gets up, disgusted that Rax’s lips came close to hers.

Rogue tells Colossus, Thunderbird, and Psylocke that the coast is clear and that they can come out. Colossus asks her if she is all right. Rogue says that she has taken worse punches than that. On the other hand, continues Rogue, she now knows how Rax thinks. Next time he will be in for a surprise.

Nearby, Thunderbird is confused. He tells Psylocke that Rax just used Rogue as a punching bag, but she comes back from it with jokes. He wonders if he belongs with the X-Men with all the things they take for granted. Thunderbird then asks Psylocke if that makes him a coward. Psylocke puts her hands on Neal’s face and turns him to her. She tells him that he is not even close to being a coward and that he is a good man, no matter what he decides about the X-Men. He has more than proved his worth.

Rogue sees the two of them and that Betsy’s hands are on Neal’s face. Jokingly, she asks the two if they are having fun. The two X-Men quickly separate and clear their throats. Neal, in his head, calls himself an idiot and reminds himself that Psylocke is with Archangel. He changes the subject back to the Neo and asks if Rogue considers Rax’s offer as a trap. Rogue says that of course Rax is setting a trap. What he does not know, though, is that two of them are all ready inside the building. The rest of them will play along and turn Rax’s game into their favor. Thunderbird asks what if something bad happens to Wolverine and Nightcrawler. Rogue tells him that they will improvise and overcome.

Inside the building, Wolverine and Nightcrawler continue stalking through the building. Wolverine stops and begins to sniff. Kurt asks what is wrong. Logan tells him that he is picking up a scent one floor down and a ways along the hall. The person is a female and from the scents she is scared. She does not like this new experience and right now she is running for her life.

One floor below, Elysia, indeed, is running down the hall for her life. Nightcrawler teleports in front of her and asks her if she needs assistance. Elysia tells Nightcrawler to get out of the way when she is suddenly hit in back. Nightcrawler sees a flying creature pass him, but it is too fast for him to follow. The creature, which is the Delgado/Charlotte Jones hybrid, returns and says that it wants to kill Elysia and make her scream. Shocked by the sudden revelation, Nightcrawler is in disbelief over what has happened to Charlotte Jones.

Wolverine comes from behind and hits the hybrid in the back of Delgado’s head. Logan says that Delgado is not Neo, but is definitely the dominant half of the creature. Delgado whips out a bone club and knocks Wolverine aside. As the hybrid charges Nightcrawler and Elysia, he tells them that Jones has made his life hell; now he is returning the favor to her. As the hybrid leaps at Nightcrawler and the unconscious Elysia, a shimmering force field of energy comes between the mutants and the monster, which Nightcrawler immediately recognizes as Cecelia Reyes.

Cecilia uses her field to hold the hybrid back and at the same time she apologizes for not getting to them sooner. She and the monster have been “playing tag” since they have been trapped in the building. Delgado asks Cecilia why she didn’t tell him that she wanted to join the party. He tells her that with one kiss she can join Charlotte. Cecilia tells Delgado to look at himself and to think about what his current situation means. This hybrid is his soul made flesh. It is what he does to those who use his drugs like rave. Cecilia asks him if he likes what he has become and if he can live with that. Delgado says he loves it and so does Jones.

Delgado says she will soon love it too as he breaks down her force field. The hybrid flies away as Wolverine comes to Cecilia’s aid. Cecilia immediately asks him why the X-Men took so long to try and save her. Nightcrawler picks up Elysia and apologizes to Cecilia. He tells her that other threats came up that had to be dealt with. Cecilia is not surprised, but then tells her companions that the Neo will come to find them soon. She asks Nightcrawler if he can jaunt them all as the mutant does indeed teleport them elsewhere in the complex.

Elsewhere, somewhere in Ohio, Senator Robert Kelly continues his campaign for the presidency across the country. Kelly is delivering a speech to the people of Ohio and tells them that together they can make a difference. News reporters go on air and report on the speech and begin to talk about how Kelly has been able to gain much popularity with his mutant campaign, much to the surprise of his fellow candidates. Another reporter tells viewers that public support on the mutant issue has been growing, which is aiding Senator Kelly. This is making him a legitimate contender for the presidency. Another reporter points out to viewers that Kelly has not answered whether his views on mutants are good for the nation he clearly loves.

As Kelly walks off stage into a throng of supporters, who cheer him on, two women stand on a hill and watch him. Valerie Cooper tells Sharon Carter, director of S.H.I.E.L.D., that Kelly has struck a nerve. Sharon tells Valerie that people are already afraid of mutants. Kelly is making that a respectable fear to act on. Cooper tells the other woman that if she listened to the speech, she would know that what she just said was not what Kelly was talking about.

Carter says that it is very political of Cooper. Cooper says that, since she works in the White House, it is her job to be political. Carter tells her that as director of S.H.I.E.L.D. that makes her part spy, part cop. She tells Cooper that people hear what they want. This is not about people going after mutants with pitchforks and guns. It is about mutants believing it will happen, because of Kelly. Kelly is making him a flashpoint for the most dangerous topic in the world. For some, that is an irresistible temptation.

Valerie and Sharon reach Kelly’s bus before he does and enter. Kelly comes soon and asks them to what he owes the honor. The president told him to expect their visit, but he did not say why. Bluntly, Carter tells Kelly that his life is in danger. S.H.I.E.L.D. has evidence that the terrorist Mystique is tracking him. Kelly smiles and tells Carter that Mystique is a persistent woman. Carter tells him that, since Mystique almost killed him once, he should not be treating this as a laughing matter. Kelly tells her that he grew up laughing at the H-bomb, because it was the only way to stay sane. He believes mutants qualify the same response.

Kelly takes a sip of his coffee and tells the women that Mystique is a shape-shifter, which means she could be anyone of them in the room, including himself. If she wanted him dead, she will find a way to kill him. Carter tells the senator that she is not sure of his judgment, but she cannot find fault in his courage.

Kelly tells Carter that humanity is at a crossroads and that what they do today will define generations for years to come. He finds himself in a unique position. People want to hear what he has to say. With that power comes unparalleled responsibility, which is to try and settle the mutant question once and for all. That way he can bring a better world. Kelly tells the women that everyone dies and that is a fundamental fact of life. At least he knows what he is dying for. That is a risk he is willing to take and price he is willing to pay.

Back in the Neo stronghold, Cecilia finishes checking on Elysia, who is asleep. She checks on Nightcrawler, whom she says is in better shape than the last time she saw him. She looks at his uniform and asks if he traded his priest life for skintight body armor. Nightcrawler says he does not know, but the outfit was better suited than anything a priest would wear.

Cecilia’s hand begins to shake. Nightcrawler barely gets out of the way as Cecilia’s force field shoots out several spikes, which stab themselves into the wall Kurt was leaning against moments earlier. Cecilia holds her wrist and orders herself to stop. She begins to sweat vehemently as Wolverine calls out to her. She tells him to be quiet and begins to search her pockets for something. She pulls out a vial of rave and drinks it.

Cecilia tells herself that she feels much better and more in control. She then worries what will happen to her when she runs out of the drug. Suddenly, right before her, the wall turns into a giant stockpile of rave, which Cecilia realizes could last her a lifetime. The vials turn into intravenous tubes and head right for Cecilia, whose shield immediately tries to block them. Cecilia finds permanent injection ports all over her body and the tubes plug in. Cecilia finds that she is disgusted with herself for what she did as the tubes wrap around her like a mummy. Soon, she finds herself in ecstasy.

Wolverine unsheathes the two outer claws on his right hand and backs Elysia against a wall. He orders her to stop whatever she is doing to Cecilia, as well as Nightcrawler. Elysia stops and Wolverine tells her that was her only warning. Nightcrawler is dumbfounded, as he thought he was blessed. He asks Elysia what he did to them. Elysia tells them that she gave them what they desired most. That is her mutant power. She turns to Wolverine and tells him that she could sense nothing in him. She then asks him if he desires nothing. Wolverine tells her that what he desires is no ones business and then asks for her name. She introduces herself as Elysia and asks why they did not kill her before when they captured her.

Wolverine tells her that the X-Men do not kill. Elysia turns furious and calls Wolverine a liar. She tells him that it was outsiders like him that attacked the Neo without warning and slaughtered them almost to the point of annihilation. She saw her friends and family die in a day. However, she continues, Wolverine’s kind made a mistake of not killing them all. Now they will suffer like the Neo.

Nightcrawler says the X-Men already had, from the same man that made the Neo suffer. A madman tried to erase the mutant strand from the human genome. He thought that would end the war between mutants and humans. For him, sacrifice of a few was justified to save the whole. The X-Men fought him and reversed the process. If the X-Men knew the Neo existed, they would have helped in every possible way. He then asks the child if she would condemn a whole world for the act of one.

Elysia asks why she should believe the X-Men. Nightcrawler tells her that they are telling the truth. Elysia tells them that it does not matter, because Domina is a hard case. She does not care who is responsible. She means to deal justice in her own way so nothing like this happens to the Neo again. That means even if she must create a world where only the Neo survive.

In an abandoned steel mill in the Monongahela Valley near Pittsburgh, the newly reformed Brotherhood of Mutants train for their latest scheme. The Blob stands ready and tells Avalanche to give him his best shot. He tells the man that even though he can liquefy concrete and send it flying, nothing can move the Blob. Sabre comes by and almost hits his partner in the face and makes fun of Blob for being all talk when the X-Men have beaten him on numerous occasions.

A bald man on the floor above looks down at Sabre and reminds him that he and his friend are untested neophytes. Sabre can speak when he has earned the right to. Toad comes from behind the man and asks what he has planned for him. “What about you?” asks the man. Toad asks if there is any room for him in the new Brotherhood of Mutants. The man says there is no room for Toad, but is cut off when Toad flicks the man in the face with his tongue. Toad tells him that a man he respects said he has a “wicked tongue.” As the man falls to the ground, Toad says that it is about time Mystique felt its sting. The man on the floor reverts back into Mystique, who begins to rub her head.

Toad kneels by her and tells her that, with the new venoms he can employ, he can now make the strongest minds susceptible to his will. From now on, says Toad, Mystique will listen to him. Mystique gets up and tells Toad that one ancillary aspect of her morphing power is that she is immune to pathogens and poisons. His venom was wasted on her. However, she is impressed that he tried. Mystique has a devilish smile and tells Toad to stay near her and apologizes for underestimating him. She now wants to put his new power to a deadly new use.

Back at the Neo stronghold, a woman from the United States Census Office knocks on the doors of the church and orders its occupants to open up as she is there for official federal government business. With her southern accent, she tells them to open up or she will return with the authorities.

Rax opens up the door slightly and asks what she wants. Rogue busts out of her disguise and punches Rax in the face. She tells him that she got what she wanted when he opened the door. She tells the team to rock-n-roll as Colossus, Psylocke and Thunderbird charge in. Psylocke sees some Neo come and warns the rest of the team. Thunderbird identifies them as Salvo and Anteus. Salvo morphs his arms into guns and starts to fire at the X-Men.

Rogue blocks the bullets from one gun while Thunderbird melts the shells from the other gun. Rogue sees Static come on the scene and warns the X-Men that the woman can scramble their powers. Psylocke tells Rogue not to worry, as the situation is being taken care of. She lifts Colossus with her telekinesis and sends him towards Static.

Colossus realizes that Betsy has used too much force and ends up overshooting Static. Colossus decides to use some tricks of Nightcrawler’s, as the last thing they would expect from a giant like him is that he is an acrobat. Colossus rebounds himself from a wall and knocks Salvo and Static down. Anteus comes and punches Colossus and tells the X-Man that the fancy footwork won’t save him. Colossus says he thinks differently as he trips Anteus. On the floor, Anteus kicks Colossus and tells him that the outcome has remained the same.

Psylocke uses her telekinesis to hold Anteus, who does not believe that the woman can hold him. Anteus tells her that as long as she has a hold on him, he has a hold on her. He demonstrates this by flinging his telekinetically held arms back, which launches Betsy over him and onto some steps.

Colossus punches Anteus in the face. As he continues his barrage he thinks to himself how Anteus is much stronger than himself. Colossus decides to combine his strength with some skill by hitting the Neo so fast that he has no time to recover from the blows and to hope that he will prevail. Colossus does this and, soon, Anteus falls.

From behind him, Domina sneaks up on Colossus. With one punch she sends the man flying across the church and into a wall. Rogue rushes to Colossus, who is barely conscious. Colossus tells Rogue it is up to her as he reverts back to human. He kisses Rogue, who naturally absorbs his powers and memories. Rogue’s skin armors up, but she is also flooded with his feelings for her. Rogue thinks to herself that a relationship is a complication neither of them need. Also, she is spoken for.

“Let’s get it on!” Rogue yells to Domina as the two charge at each other. Up above, Rax watches the two women exchange blows as he prepares his crossbow. He is impressed by the X-Men and realizes that they can win even without his aid. However, Rax’s true intentions are to kill Domina and the also the X-Men. Rax turns around as the Delgado hybrid comes. Rax, annoyed, asks Delgado why he kept him waiting. Delgado tells Rax to watch his tongue as he tosses the young man off the ledge he is on and into Domina and Rogue. Delgado says he is not a chump and won’t let the Neo onto his turf. He pulls out his bone club and leaps down at the three below.

Nightcrawler and Wolverine arrive at the scene at that moment. Kurt teleports to Delgado and throws him aside before he can reach the women and Rax. He kicks Delgado in the face, but the drug pusher hits Kurt in the face with his club. Jones picks up Nightcrawler and pitches him aside. Thunderbird breaks his fall and tells Psylocke to use her telekinesis to restrain the monster.

The hybrid charges for Domina and Betsy is tempted to let it go, but she refuses to let Charlotte become a murderer, as she is a friend of the X-Men. The hybrid breaks through the telekinetic net, but Wolverine leaps in the way. Wolverine thinks to himself that Elysia and her brother, Tartarus, caused all this. They have the powers to manifest their targets’ greatest fears and desires. Somehow, against Delgado and Jones, the process got scrambled. Jones’ fear was that as a cop she would fall prey to a drug lord like Delgado. She also felt that being with the X-Men would destroy her. That is how Delgado was able to merge with her when Elysia and Tartarus attacked them.

Wolverine picks up the same kind of scent that Cecilia has on Delgado. His bloodstream is saturated with the performance-enhancing drug, rave. Wolverine realizes that there is only one way to end this as he chops of Delgado’s head with his adamantium claws.

Jones falls to the ground. Wolverine turns around, but Domina comes from behind and stabs him in the back after she uses Barbican’s powers to reshape her arms into sickles. Elysia screams at Domina and tells her not to kill Wolverine, as the women has raised her other sickle to chop Wolverine’s own head off. Wolverine falls to the ground and Rogue rushes to his side. She calls Domina a “motherless witch” and tells her that Wolverine just saved her life. Domina says she is not responsible for the X-Men’s actions. This is war and the X-Men are enemies.

Elysia steps in between Domina and Rogue. She tells the leader of the Warclan that she is wrong about the X-Men and the Harrowing. She tells Domina that the war is an awful mistake. Domina tells Elysia to step out of the way or she will share the same fate as the X-Men. As Charlotte Jones begins to transform back into her human self, Psylocke uses her telekinesis to make sure she does not cause any more trouble.

Nightcrawler approaches Domina as Thunderbird helps Wolverine. Kurt asks Domina if she is so caught up in her war that she would sacrifice a child, one who is also a fellow Neo. Kurt begs Domina to listen, as he is a man of God and she is in his church. He swears on the altar of the Almighty that Elysia speaks the truth. A madman is responsible for her Harrowing. Humanity does not deserve the punishment of one man, only he does. The only war, Kurt continues, is the one Domina starts. Whatever blood is spilled is from her hands.

Domina tells Kurt that he is merely speaking words. Rogue asks Domina that if they are only words, then why is she afraid of them? Domina tells the X-Men that they ask the Neo to forgive the unforgivable. If they assume the best, they open themselves to annihilation. Rogue tells her that it beats the alternative. Despair is easy, but hope – “she takes real courage.”

Prudence tells Domina not to take chances. A slain enemy is not threat. Her instincts tell her otherwise. This once, she has granted X-Men safe passage out of the church with their missing people. Time and fate will determine where they will go from there. As Domina closes the door to the church, Barbican seals of the door.

Nightcrawler points this out to the other but Thunderbird, who is helping Wolverine walk, says that at least the fight is over. Rogue says that she prays the fight is over. However, Rogue continues, the hatred in Domina’s eyes is the same she has seen in Mystique’s. Wars are easy to start and, once they do, they take on a life and momentum all their own. Thunderbird asks if they have not stopped the war with the Neo. That’s the gamble, replies Rogue.

As the X-Men walk off from the church, with Colossus carrying the unconscious Charlotte Jones, Thunderbird asks Rogue what they accomplished at the church. Rogue says that they bought some time. The time will be for Domina to think about what she is doing and maybe for her to heal. They X-Men found their missing people and brought them home. That is how the X-Men make things better – one small step at a time.

Characters Involved: 

Colossus, Nightcrawler, Psylocke, Rogue, Thunderbird III, Wolverine (all X-Men)

Anteus, Barbican, Domina, Elysia, Junction, Ransome Sole, Rax, Salvo, Static, Tartarus (all Neo)

Big Casino (Sole’s bodyguard)

Cecilia Reyes (Former X-Man)

Charlotte Jones (X-Men ally)

Rufus Delgado

Avalanche, Blob, Mystique, Sabre, Toad, unnamed female (all Brotherhood of Mutants)

Senator Robert Kelly

Sharon Carter (Director of S.H.I.E.L.D.)

Valerie Cooper

Various reporters and Kelly supporters

X-Men Simulations

Archangel, Cecilia Reyes, Charlotte Jones, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Psylocke, Rogue, Thunderbird III, Wolverine (all X-Men)

Domina’s Flashback


Domina’s daughter

Domina’s parents


Cecilia’s hallucination

Cecilia Reyes

Story Notes: 

This issue is a special giant-sized issue.

The High Evolutionary was influenced by Mr. Sinister to create an X-gene removing satellite array in Uncanny X-Men #379. The first appearance of the Neo and the revelation of their society and their Holocaust was in X-Men (2nd Series) #99.

The X-Men were attacked by the Neo in X-Men (2nd Series) #100, where Cecilia killed Jaeger in self-defense. Nightcrawler led Cecilia back to the church to rescue some homeless mutants, but in the end Cecilia and Detective Charlotte Jones, who was chasing Rufus Delgado, were left behind in X-Men (2nd Series) #101-102. In #101, Cecilia first took Rave to boost her powers so she could save Nightcrawler.

Ransome Sole, Domina’s brother, and Big Casino were taken by the Neo and brought back in Uncanny X-Men #383.

After Cecilia and Charlotte were left behind, the X-Men worked to come up with a rescue plan, but before they could get any further a group of X-Men were kidnapped and the team had to deal with another and more immediate threat in Uncanny X-Men #384-385 and X-Men (2nd Series) #103-104. Shortly later, an assassination attempt put two X-Men’s lives in danger in X-Men (2nd Series) #105.

Mystique first tried to kill Senator Kelly in Uncanny X-Men #141-142.

Toad’s reference to someone he respects saying he has a “wicked tongue” comes from X-Men the movie, in which Magneto says this about Toad to Senator Kelly after Toad catches a bird with his tongue in Kelly’s face.

Toad’s new powers and appearance are due to events in X-Men Forever and mirror those that he had in the movie. The same applies for Mystique.

Signs that Colossus had feelings for Rogue started in X-Men (2nd Series) #100. Likewise, flirtations between Psylocke and Thunderbird started in that same issue, though it is brought into immediate attention in X-Men (2nd Series) #103.

In the scene with the Brotherhood, a woman is seen but neither speaks nor is referred to. In a comic convention, prior to the issue's publication, Claremont mentioned that the Brotherhood would reappear with a new Sabre, Mastermind and Commando. Since Commando is the only unaccounted name, it might refer to this character. Unfortunately, however, the character has yet to appear again, leaving her identity a mystery.

Issue Information: