X-Men (2nd series) #29

Issue Date: 
February 1994
Story Title: 
Return to Hellfire!

Fabian Nicieza (writer), Andy Kubert (penciler), Matt Ryan (inkers), Joe Rosas (colorist), Bill Oakley (letterer), Bob Harras (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

Sabretooth and Psylocke face one-on-one and, finally finishing Creed off, Psylocke removes his face shield. Creed tells Betsy that she seems to be a lot like him. In the observation room of the Danger Room, Xavier, Hank and Warren watch all this transpires and Warren begins to show feelings for Betsy. Walking down the hall, he meets Betsy walking out of a nearby elevator. The two talk for a moment, until Jubilee busts in with a letter to Warren from the Hellfire Club. He has been invited by Shinobi Shaw to join him at a gala he is having. Betsy reminds Warren that her father was a member of the Hellfire Club and she wants to join him, as his date. Warren obliges Betsy’s request and the two X-Men, escorted by Hank McCoy (chauffeur), go to the party. In the party, they meet a couple of old acquaintances and then they are drugged by Tessa and taken in front of Shinobi Shaw. During their meeting, they find out that Shinobi is a mutant with the ability to phase. After a brief confrontation, Shinobi is left sulking in self-pity and Warren denies Shinobi the chance to drag him down to his level.

Full Summary: 

Sabretooth stares at his assailant, feeling oddly comfortable in this mansion he has now learned to call home. Sabretooth is held back by his restraints from biting or clawing. Even so, he still can be a deadly foe. Psylocke, his assailant, knows this and she fights just like it. The two combatants are in a closed environment named the Danger Room. Creed parries Psylocke’s moves, but is caught off guard as she sinks the handle of her katana into the back of his head.

Above the two combatants, they are being observed by two of the X-Men and their mentor, Charles Xavier. Warren questions Hank and Xavier’s motives for pitting these two against one another. Xavier tells Warren that they could not keep Creed locked in his cell twenty-four hours a day and expect him to conquer his killing tendencies. He tells Warren that Hank and Bishop created the restraints that Creed is wearing and Betsy agreed to test them out in open combat. Hank tells Warren that Betsy wanted to fight Creed without his restraints. Jokingly, he tells the others that he did not feel like cleaning such a beautiful ladies entrails off the walls on such a gorgeous Thursday morning. Warren leans over the computers and teases about how they would never get the stains up in time for Saturday’s wedding. Xavier tells the others that it seems their humor is a little misplaced. Hank jokes back by saying that he could have sworn he picked it up earlier this morning.

Below them, Creed has Psylocke pinned to the ground, trying to pull her arm behind her back. Moving her foot quickly in a back-arching method, Psylocke strikes Creed in the head and flips him under her, all in the same move. Betsy moves her katana to Creed’s throat and he tells her that she doesn’t have bad moves for a girl. Psylocke removes Creed’s mouth protector with her knife and Creed is seen smiling from below it. Psylocke tells Creed that she spared with him without the use of her powers, because of his handicap with his powers being restrained. Creed kisses the tip of her blade and tells her that she is his kind of gal. Psylocke gets up and walks out of the room. As she walks, she tells Creed that she knows. Suddenly, she stops and turns to look at Creed; she tells him that she is scared of that knowledge.

In the control room, Warren asks aloud what all the flirtation was about down in the Danger Room. Xavier tells him that he is afraid that, when it comes to Betsy, he can offer no advice to the gentlemen of his school. Hank, teasingly, asks Warren how is his relationship with Charlotte Jones fairing? Warren replies that his relationship is going as well as Hanks and Trish Tilby’s. Hank replies, “Ouch!” Warren turns to leave and he tells the others that he is feeling tired of all the women at the school not paying him any attention.

Exiting the door, Warren thinks of his recent trip to Colorado and the revelation of the Biosentinel that looked like his lost love, Candy Southern. He thinks of how the Sentinel tried to free him from his guilt, but watching it die was like watching Candy die once again. Looking out at Scott and Jean’s wedding being prepared, Warren thinks of how selfish he is to be sad for himself, when he should be happy for them. Warren remembers how Apocalypse turned him into the Archangel and gave him only darkness inside. Warren is saddened when he thinks about how he has still not found a light to replace his that he lost so long ago.

While Warren soaks in self-pity, Jubilee skates into the room with the day’s mail. Warren reminds Jubilation of Xavier’s recent request that she no longer skates in the mansion. Jubilee, not caring, tells Warren that, if Iceman can drip and the Beast can shed, then she can skate. Looking through the mail, Jubilee tells Warren that she knows he got something today. Behind Jubilee the mail keeps falling as she looks for Warren’s letter. Jubilee notices the Hair Club for Men ad for Xavier, Bobby’s National Geographic Naked Pygmies book and, finally, coming to Warren’s letter. Jubilee tells Warren that the team didn’t receive any news from Logan yet, so she doesn’t know if he’ll make it to the wedding. Next, Jubilee skates off, pretending that she isn’t hurt by Logan’s absence. Warren thinks, as he opens the scented letter, about how Jubilee is hiding her feelings even though the entire mansion knows she hurts.

Ripping the letter open, Warren thinks of how Jubilee needs another surrogate father figure, since Logan is no longer here to care for her. Behind Warren, Betsy comes into the room, drying her hair off with a towel. With the towel draped across her neck and a large amount of her bust line showing, she startles Warren with her presence. Warren, gaining his composure, tells Betsy that he has just received an invitation to a Hellfire Club party, since his Father was a member; Shinobi Shaw wants to see him. Betsy tells Warren of her presence at the Hellfire Club in Britain, because of her Father’s activities in the club there. Both realize that since their parents were members of the Club, they two now are members, since the Club’s charter is passed on to the next generation.

Warren begins to complain about how his life has been nothing, but choices made for him. Now, he must be included in a club he despises, as well. Betsy tells Warren that he shouldn’t start sulking and asks Warren about the X-Men’s past with the Club. Warren tells Betsy of their seduction of the Phoenix Force, posing as Jean and how each of their battles always seemed to end in a stalemate. Warren tells Betsy that the Club seemed to end, recently, when Sebastian Shaw was reported killed. Betsy tells Warren that since Shaw is dead the charter is now passed on to Shinobi. Warren finishes her sentence by telling Psylocke that Shinobi is a known member of the Upstarts. Warren wonders why he would be of any interest to Shinobi and Betsy answers that it is because he would be prime recruiting material for the Hellfire Club. Realizing that Betsy is probably right, Warren walks off to report the news to Xavier, as Psylocke tells Warren she will look for something to wear.

The Manhattan Brownstown on Fifth Avenue in New York hasn’t seen such a gala in months. Tonight, the rich from across the globe gather, some as members and some as hopeful new members. In front of the entrance, Hank McCoy parks the limo to let Warren and Betsy out. Inside the limo, Hank tells Betsy to warn him telepathically if anything goes wrong. Betsy tells Hank that she doesn’t like being called Betsy after Revanche’s recent revelation. Hank tells her that he calls it as he sees it. Betsy thanks Hank for his trust and leaves the limo to be escorted by Warren into the Club.

The two enter the Club and Betsy is surprised by the amount of glitz she sees inside. Warren tells her that the Club knows how to impress…Shocked, Warren notices Dwayne Taylor and Taylor jokes that the Club seems to be on a minority recruitment. Dwayne jokes that the Club seems to be looking for people both black and blue! Warren, who is hiding his skin tone by an image-inducer, has his conversation with Mr. Taylor interrupted, when Ronald Parvenue asks Taylor to pardon them for a private conversation. Parvenue tells Warren that he was a friend to Warren’s Father and of his hopes that Warren will follow in his dad’s footsteps. Parvenue leaves Warren’s side just as Tessa appears to greet the two X-Men. She tells them that she would like to speak to them in private. After going into a nearby room, Betsy screams watch out, as the two of them are knocked unconscious by a psi-blast from Tessa.

The two X-Men regain their composure and look around to notice they are in the Inner Sanctum of the mansion, dressed in extravagant nineteenth century clothes. Warren looks up to notice Shinobi Shaw. Shinobi apologizes for the abruptness of his treatment, but if the two of them are going to work together, he thought they should start in more of an elegant fashion. Shinobi offers them wine. Warren reminds Shinobi that, when they were children, Shinobi hated the Hellfire Club. Shinobi tells Warren that he is telling the truth, but now that he is older he has grown to appreciate the luxury the Club brings. Shinobi kisses Betsy’s hand and offers his regret for her recent problems with the Jigoku Cartel. Shaw pours a glass of wine and he tells Betsy that, when she is ready to learn more about her past, she should come to him for the answers.

Turning his attention back to Warren, Shinobi tells Warren of his plans to reestablish the Inner Circle with Warren as the White King. Seen through the glass of the wine, Shaw remembers the times when they would meet as children and how much Sebastian Shaw liked what he saw in Warren, even more than what he saw in Shinobi. Warren tries to remind Shinobi of the times he would cry, because of the way his Father was so mean and how he swore he his Father was a monster. Shaw hands Warren a glass of wine, but Warren pours it on the floor in disgust. Warren asks Shinobi how he could be turning into his father after the abuse he suffered as a child? Warren tells Shinobi that the Club’s Inner Circle stands for far too much evil and he is rejecting Shaw’s offer. Shinobi tells Warren that what didn’t kill him made him stronger. Shockingly, Shinobi rams his fist into Betsy’s chest and Warren screams at the revelation that Shaw is a mutant, just like his Father. Shinobi tells Warren that he has no problem with letting her go, because the fight is just between them.

Warren’s inhibitor is turned off and he shreds his old-time clothing, turning himself into the Archangel once more. Warren asks Shinobi to come clean about his father’s death, because he has heard rumors that it was Shinobi himself that murdered Sebastian. Shinobi sarcastically announces that the rumors are false and his father died due to natural causes. Archangel flies into the air, sending hundreds of paralyzing darts towards Shinobi. He laughs them off and phases so none of them come in contact with him. Warren tells Shinobi that he needs to realize what is father had done to him and how he can stop the cycle of evil. Shinobi tells Warren, as he lunges for his heart, that sometimes who have to be pushed to the edge to find out who you truly are. Warren’s wings phase through Shinobi’s body and he tells Shinobi that the two of them are at a stalemate and if he wants doesn’t want to see his house toppled he needs to stop this talk about raising the Inner Circle.

Betsy wakes up and comes over to Shaw with her psi-knife bared. She tells Warren that it is time Shinobi flies free on his own self-delusional repressions. Betsy strikes with her blade, causing Shinobi to remember bad times in his life. After his memories pass, Warren tells Shinobi that where they come from does not affect who they are. Warren tells Shinobi that he is glad he had the right type of friends to help him through his trial and Warren asks Shinobi whom he has? Shinobi answers, “me.” And that’s all he has ever had, he exclaims. Shinobi tells Warren that he does not want his pity and Warren begins to leave, saying that he wasn’t going to give it. The two X-Men leave Shinobi sulking in the meeting room, pondering about his past.

Characters Involved: 

Beast, Cyclops, Jean Grey, Jubilee, Professor X, Psylocke (all X-Men)


Shinobi Shaw


Dwayne Taylor (a.k.a. Night Thrasher)

Ronald Parvenue

Hellfire Guests and Employees

Wedding crew

Donald Pierce, Harry Leland, Jason Wyngarde/Mastermind, Phoenix I, Sebastian Shaw (members of the Hellfire Club)

Shinobi Shaw’s Mother

Warren Worthington II

Young Shinobi Shaw

Young Warren Worthington III

Story Notes: 

Dwayne Taylor is a.k.a. Night Thrasher, founder of the New Warriors.

Issue Information: 
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