X-Men (2nd series) #23

Issue Date: 
August 1993
Story Title: 
Leaning Towards Oneself

Fabian Nicieza (writer), Andy Kubert (penciler), Mark Pennington (inker), Joe Rosas (colorist), Bill Oakley (letterer), Bob Harras (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

In Alaska, Mr. Sinister surprises Scott and tells him of Stryfe's final revenge against Scott and Jean: the release of the Legacy Virus. As Cyclops asks Sinister at his comment on his brothers (plural), the Dark Riders appear and attack the two. Sinister surprises everyone by taking out Foxbat and showing that he could win the battle against the Dark Riders by himself. Now having gained their respect, Sinister orders the Riders not to kill Scott, but tells them he has said nothing about not roughing him up. After Sinister teleports away, the Dark Riders attack Cyclops. After Cyclops holds his own in the fight, Hard Drive appears and stops the battle. Cyclops, still angry about the Dark Riders' hand in making him send his son into the future, accuses them of starting the very same war they are testing for. As they teleport away, Barrage tells Cyclops they knew what they were doing. In Japan Lord Nyoirin explains to the X-Men that Shinobi Shaw and Matsu'o are responsible for Revanche and Psylocke's merging of minds and abilities. Gambit and Beast then head off to Tokyo, where they give Shaw a message to send to the Upstarts: the X-Men now know they exist. At the same time, Psylocke and Revanche find Matsu'o at his house in Chosin Japan where they are attacked by him. The two women easily defeat Matsu'o and, both using their psi-powers, have their revenge for his manipulation. In Xavier's mansion, he and Wolverine discuss Wolverine's recent trip to the Savage Land and the evidence he discovered of Magneto's return.

Full Summary: 

Cyclops is in Anchorage, Alaska at the house of his Grandparent's neighbor, Mr. Milbury. Moments ago, Cyclops had come over to help with a fallen tree, only to find that Mr. Milbury was all along Mr. Sinister in disguise. Cyclops, extremely angry, shoots a hole into Mr. Sinister's body. As his torso regenerates, Mr. Sinister stands with a smirk on his face. Looking at Scott, Sinister tells him that by now Scott should know no physical assault could hurt him. Straightening his ruby glasses, Scott reminds Mr. Sinister of the time when Cyclops' optic blast had blown Mr. Sinister to nothing but a pile of bones. Dismissing the memory, Sinister tells Cyclops that all of that was just a ruse and that at the time he had aligned himself with dishonorable people. Though admittedly he tells Scott that even now he has not learned from his mistakes and later aligned himself with another dishonorable person in Stryfe. Mr. Sinister, with his back turned to Scott and a smile on his face, tells Cyclops that he has made a terrible mistake and probably has released a plague on mutants.

Standing very somberly over a tombstone, Sinister shows Scott what he is talking about. He tells Scott that the reason he had kidnapped him so many weeks ago and gave him and Jean Grey to Stryfe was that, in return, Stryfe had promised him the DNA material of future Summers' yet to come. However, when his head geneticist opened the container, a virus was released killing him and began to spread throughout the world. Hearing this, Scott remembers what Stryfe said before on the moon. It is a pox on mutants, a revenge against Scott for allowing Stryfe to be sent to the future. As Sinister leans over the grave and touches the tombstone, Cyclops asks Sinister why he is telling him this now. Sinister tells Scott it is because he cares, selfishly he grants, for the fruit of his own research. Sinister then tells Scott that he cares enough to wish for Scott and his brothers' safety. Confused, Scott asks why Sinister said brothers, plural, when he only has one brother, Alex (Havok). Very sneakily, Sinister changes the subject just as the Dark Riders show up. Leading the group, Gauntlet informs Cyclops that he is the next to be tested and judged whether or not he is fit to survive.

In the home of Lord Nyoirin Henecha in Japan, the two females of the team are at a stalemate with the Silver Samurai and the Lord of the manor. As Betsy holds her psi-blade to Lord Nyoirin's head, the Silver Samurai holds his sword at the back of her head. Meanwhile Psylocke, who is the only one not in harm's way, holds her psi-knife at the Silver Samurai's head. Trying to make light, Beast comments to Gambit on how they seem to be the voices of reason in their little soiree. Gambit tells Beast it is because of their maturity that they have become the voice of reason. The Silver Samurai asks Betsy to please remove her blade from his Lord's head are he will be forced to kill her. Lord Nyoirin then tries to explain to the two female X-men how both carry one another's soul. Revanche, after hearing this becomes extremely agitated and tells Lord Nyoirin that she is Betsy Braddock, her own person. Lord Nyoirin, with that said, points out to Revanche that before Betsy inherited part of Kwannon's soul, she could not wield a sword or have the look of fury in her eyes. But now, she can do both thanks to the Kwannon essence in her. Psylocke next asks Lord Nyoirin why, if she herself looks like Kwannon, can she remember all about her brother Brian and all about poor Doug Ramsey's death and so she does not accept that she is not truly Betsy Braddock. Lord Nyoirin next says that she must accept it or both or wrong or one is lying. The Lord, with Revanche's psi-blade poised at his head to strike, then asks both of them if they know the names Shinobi Shaw and Matsu'o Tsurayaba?

At Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, Wolverine tells Xavier that he is positive that Magneto was there in the Savage Land. As his smoke billows from his cigar, Wolverine says that he, Jubilee, and Rogue found Brainchild a drooling mess and mumbling about seeing a man who could rip iron from the Earth. When Xavier dismissed this as circumstantial, Wolverine asks Xavier why he denies what Wolverine tells him. Head bowed, Xavier tells Wolverine it is probably because he does not want to believe it's true.

In the next room, Jubilee tells Rogue how she hates it when the other X-Men whisper to each other. Rogue explains that Xavier is just worried because of the growing evidence they have found regarding Magneto still being alive. Wolverine walks into the hall and tells Jubilee to quit yappin'. As he walks away and Jubilee is surprised to see that even Wolverine is worried about Magneto's return. Now worried herself, Jubilee comments to Rogue that if Wolverine is afraid of Magneto, then they can't beat him. Softly, Rogue agrees.

Meanwhile in Anchorage, Cyclops and Sinister prepare to fight the Dark Riders.
When Sinister taunts the Dark Riders, calling them children of Apocalypse, Cyclops angrily tells him to stop talking and help him fight. Pulling off his glasses Cyclops shoots his optic blast, knocking down Tusk. Foxbat, now taunting Sinister, tells Cyclops that Sinister is a schemer and not a fighter, and schemers just try to talk their way out of fighting. Just then though Foxbat gets close enough to Sinister for him to grab one of his talons. Foxbat, surprised by the quickness of Sinister, is thrown to the ground. Gauntlet also amazed by Sinister's prowess in battle asks Sinister to join the Dark Riders. Sinister rejects their offer and fires a plasma blast at Barrage, throwing him into the rest of the Dark Riders. Sinister grabs Barrage by the throat. As Barrage is begging to be let go, Sinister orders the Dark Riders not to kill Scott, but if they want to rough him up a bit, they can. In a flash of light, Sinister disappears and leaves Cyclops to face all the dark Riders alone.

In Japan the X-Men have split up. Arriving at his Tokyo penthouse, Beast and Gambit have come to find Shinobi Shaw, whom they find him in a spa with three women who are pouring him champagne. As the two X-Men burst through Shaw's window, the women cower behind Shaw for protection. Beast tells Shaw that in his younger days he would have chosen the women over the bubbly. Recognizing who the two X-Men are, Shaw asks them why they would break into his apartment. Using his Bo in a threatening manner between Shaw's legs, Gambit tells Shaw to explain who the Upstarts are. Slyly, Shaw tries to explain that the Upstarts are just a small club and harmless, but the Beast and Gambit tell him they can see through his lies. Gambit tells Shaw to warn the Upstarts that the X-Men now know they exist and that the X-men will be looking for them.

In the town of Chosin on Japan's pacific coast, Psylocke and Betsy roam the estate of Matsu'o Tsurayaba, looking for him. The two X-Men are surprised when Matsu'o jumps from one of his balconies, attacking them. In the fight, both X-Men seem to think exactly alike. As one parries Matsuo's attack, the other takes the offensive and slashes Matsu'o in the back, knocking him to the ground. Strangely though, as Matsu'o falls, he smiles to himself. He is shocked by how great of a job Lord Nyoirin did with Revanche and Psylocke.

As Matsu'o falls, he tells the two females of how he is surprised about how Lord Nyoirin could take all of his plans and turn them on the creator of the two female assassins. Revanche, confidently tells Matsu'o that neither of them care for Lord Nyoirin's plans and only want to know what he did to their minds. Matsu'o, still lying on the ground hurt, tells the two that he personally did nothing but mold Psylocke like a lump of clay. Matsu'o explains to Revanche, as he tries to get up, with blood dripping from his mouth, that Lord Nyoirin did the same thing to her. Matsu'o then asks the two X-Men if they do not like that they both seem to have become a better person because both of their memories and abilities having merged. Psylocke then tells Matsu'o that they have liked their new identities and she want to show him how much. As the scene moves back to where we see just the island we can see a red glow behind a rock where Psylocke and Revanche appear to be using their psi-attacks against Matsu'o.

Back in Anchorage, some of the Dark Riders try to hold Cyclops, however they lose his glasses, causing his optic blasts to fire out of control, taking out a few of Tusk's Underlings. Barrage worries aloud that they have set themselves up for a serious bruising. Undeterred, Tusk hits Cyclops trying to make him close his eyes. Suddenly, Barrage finds Cyclops' glasses and returns them to him. Ceasing his attack, he tells Cyclops that the test is over. Hard Drive appears and tells the Dark Riders that Cyclops has passed and has been deemed worthy of facing the coming storm. Cyclops tells the Dark Riders that he will not play in Apocalypse's game of "King of the World". Then Cyclops very angrily accuses the Dark Riders of being the cause of him having to send his only son to the future and how they are the reason Stryfe came to be the tyrant he was. Cyclops asks them if they have realized that they would be the reason the war even started in the first place. Barrage then tells Cyclops that of course they knew. As they teleport away, Cyclops is left alone again. Finally, for the first time in the last few weeks since Stryfe's revelations, Cyclops realizes he has to ask for help.

Characters Involved: 

Beast, Cyclops, Gambit, Jubilee, Professor X, Psylocke, Rogue, Wolverine (all X-Men)
Revanche (X-Men Ally)

Philip & Deborah Summers (Cyclops' Grandparents)

Barrage, Foxbat, Gauntlet, Hard Drive, Tusk, Tusk's Underlings (all Dark Riders)
Shinobi Shaw
Lord Nyoirin Henecha
Matsu'o Tsurayaba
Silver Samurai
Mr. Sinister

Story Notes: 

Sinister was seemingly obliterated by Cyclops optic blast in X-Factor #39.

Sinister struck his deal with Stryfe during the X-Cutioner's Song conflict. Sinister's head geneticist opened Stryfe's canister in X-Force #18..

While Revanche has been inexplicably referred to as Revanche several times since X-Men #21 (even though she herself believes herself to be the true Betsy Braddock), a reason is finally given to call her such when Lord Nyoirin calls her by the name Revanche.

The mission in which the Professor sent Wolverine, Rogue and Jubilee to the Savage Land took place in Wolverine (2nd series) #69-71.

Cyclops was forced to send his son, Nathan Christopher, into the future with the woman named Askani in X-Factor #68.

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