X-Men (2nd series) #5

Issue Date: 
February 1992
Story Title: 

Jim Lee (plotter, penciler), John Byrne (script), Scott Williams, Art Thibert, Bob Wiacek and Joe Rubinstein (inkers), Tom Orzechowski and Lois (letters), Joe Rosas (colors), Bob Harras (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

Beast wakes up in an ambulance along with Rogue, Gambit, and Jubilee. They manage to break free, but can’t stop a second ambulance that they believe is carrying away Wolverine. At the War Room in Xavier‘s Mansion, Forge picks up a signal from Cerebro that a new mutant signature has been detected. Cyclops, Psylocke, and Colossus go to find the source of the signature. Colossus and Cyclops arrive in enough time to stop the other ambulance from getting away, but the Hand causes it to explode. In the debris they find Wolverine’s mask, but they know it’s a red herring, trying to lead them in the wrong direction and they head back to the mansion. In a briefing, the X-men decide that the Gold team will head to help Emma Frost at the Hellfire Club, while the Blue team will go after Wolverine. Beast finds that the airplane carrying the new mutant signature was headed towards Berlin. At Fenris’ secret lab in Berlin Wolverine is being held hostage while Dr. Cornelius examines his memories to find what Logan, Victor Creed and Maverick have done with the Carbonadium Synthesizer they had stolen thirty years ago from this same lab. Meanwhile Maverick is watching all this from the ventilation system and shuts down the lights in the facility, giving Wolverine the chance to break free. He quickly disposes of most of the guards, leaving only him and Omega Red standing. Wolverine knows that he would not win, so he runs from the fight and jumps out a window and drops ten stories down where Maverick rescues him. Meanwhile the Blue team breaks into the facility to try to save Wolverine. In Malibu Lila Cheney, tries to get Dazzler to remember her life with the X-Men. Suddenly Longshot arrives, hunted by Spiral, who is trying to take him back to Mojo and Lila teleports away with her friends.

Full Summary: 

At Xavier’s Institute Cerebro detects an unknown mutant signature and Forge checks Cerebro to see what it is. Cyclops, Psylocke, and Colossus join Forge in the War Room as Cyclops assumes something must be wrong with Gambit, Rogue, Wolverine, Beast, and Jubilee who had just left on the same road where they are now detecting the new mutant signature. Psylocke confirms it through a psychic distress signal from her psi-link with Wolverine. The three X-Men leave in the Blackbird to help the other X-Men.
Beast wakes up in an ambulance with Gambit, Rogue, and Jubilee next to him; also there are two members of the hand guarding them. Gambit pulls an Ace card from his sleeve and explodes the two Hand members from the vehicle. Beast and Jubilee crash through the cab of the ambulance taking out the driver and passenger. Jubilee takes the wheel as Rogue fly’s ahead to see about Wolverine in the other ambulance ahead of them. Two hand members from his supposed ambulance start firing on Rogue and they hit her back into the ambulance Jubilee is driving, Beast takes over the wheel and stops them before they crash, though they lose track of the other ambulance.
The Blackbird appears overhead of the first ambulance and Cyclops and Colossus jump down to it. Colossus takes out the two hand members in the back, as Cyclops takes out the driver in the front. Just then Psylocke experiences a precognitive flash and finds that there is a bomb on the ambulance; she yells for Cyclops and Colossus to jump off. Cyclops jumps just in time to avoid the explosion and Colossus walks from the fire unhurt, holding Wolverine’s mask. Cyclops says that the uniform is just a red herring to lead the X-Men in the wrong direction, because when Logan left the mansion he was in his street clothes. They head back to Xavier’s mansion to get Professor Xavier’s help.
(the next day)

At a secret facility in Berlin, Wolverine and Omega Red are battling in a field of snow, while Fenris, Matsu‘o Tsurayaba, and Dr. Cornelius watch the battle on monitors. Wolverine thinks he’s finally defeated Omega Red, but he really hasn’t, finally after eighteen hours of fighting Omega Red gets the upper hand and releases his death spoor’s knocking Wolverine out.

Wolverine remembers a patchwork past thirty years ago in Berlin when Logan and Victor Creed (Sabretooth) worked together. Logan is lost in thought as Creed is trying to find out if Logan’s head is into the job they are fixing to do. Logan says yes and they head off to complete their mission.

Pain brings Wolverine back to the present as members of the Hand are dragging him through metal hallways, Wolverine knows he’s been here before. Dr. Cornelius and Matsu‘o Tsurayaba are looking at the lab reports on Wolverine while an unknown visitor is listening in on their conversation. This unknown visitor, who we find out is named Maverick, calls a report into central saying how theirs no sign of Creed, but he has located Logan. Dr. Cornelius has placed Wolverine in a monitoring/containment contraption with Matsu‘o Tsurayaba, Fenris, and Omega Red watching. The machine was built to read all of Wolverine’s thoughts and process them through a video screen. The doctor says that they will have to wait another two hundred and thirty minutes before trying to coax Wolverine into remembering what happened to the Carbonadium Synthesizer he and the other members of his team stole from the Berlin lab thirty years ago. The doctor explains that too hard of a coaxing would most likely kill Wolverine. Wolverine is conscious while all this goes on, but does not have the strength to fight back yet. They agree to wait, but tell the doctor that next time he better not be so easy on Wolverine.
(24 hours ago)

At the Xavier Institute both the blue and gold teams of the X-Men are in a meeting deciding on how to split the teams to help Wolverine and find out about why Emma Frost has called for the X-Men’s help (see those events in Uncanny X-Men #281). Forge says that between the telepaths at Xavier’s Institute and Cerebro it should be no problem tracking Wolverine down. Beast interrupts saying that it would not be necessary for that, because he tracked the plane to a military airport in Berlin. Storm says that she thinks it is all a trap, because why would Emma Frost need their help the same time Wolverine is kidnapped. Then Jubilee asks why she wasn’t put on any team, because she knows more about the Hand than anyone besides Psylocke does. Cyclops disagrees saying it is to hard of a mission to risk her on. Psylocke intercedes on Jubilee’s behalf saying that she has seen Jubilee against the Hand and believes she can handle herself. Xavier agrees and it is settled. Jubilee thanks Psylocke for her help and Psylocke tells her to save it for when they come out alive. Banshee talks to Xavier on why he wasn’t put on either team and both agree that it would be better if he went after Moira instead. Cyclops and Jean say their good-byes and Jean tells Cyclops to make sure he comes back, and that they both have a lot of things to talk about. A little later as Xavier watches the Blackbird fly off, he looks at a Top Secret file entitled “Project Xavier 1964, classified“. Forge walks in saying that Xavier needs a distraction to keep his mind off of the troubles the X-Men are facing and both of them sit down to play a game of chess.

Dr. Cornelius releases Wolverine from his monitoring system and puts him in a mobile containment device to take him to a holding area. While Omega Red escorts him through the hallways, Wolverine starts to become more conscious again. Maverick is watching from the ventilation system, he says he doesn’t like what’s going on and causes the lights in the building to go off. This gives Wolverine enough time to break free, take out the guards surrounding him, and to capture a vial full of his own healing cells that Dr. Cornelius had removed from his body earlier to see if they could help Omega Red fight his need for the life force of others. The only two left standing are Wolverine and Omega Red, Omega Red says the only way out is through him and since Wolverine knows he does not have enough strength to fight Omega Red and win, this time he decides to run and try to escape.
(flashbacks / present simultaneously)

While Wolverine is running he remembers the same run thirty years ago, although then instead of the canister he had to save, it was a woman. Logan tried to keep the woman calm while something was after them; the three rescuers and the woman ended up at a dead end and from the foreground you can see what looks like two tentacles fixing to attack them. Back in the present the same two tentacles come from the floor after Wolverine, as he is trapped at the same dead end. Omega Red says that this time he will defeat Wolverine once and for all, but Wolverine says that Omega Red is wrong and busts out the glass and falls ten stories to the pavement. When Omega Red looks out the window he sees no body on the pavement. Matsu‘o Tsurayaba criticizes Omega Red for losing Wolverine.

From the Blackbird Beast detects Wolverine’s signature, but he is worried because it is not a strong signature he is picking up.
Maverick has Wolverine in the basement of the facility where Wolverine was being held. Wolverine tries to stand, but can not, Maverick tells him to lie back down and give his healing factor time to heal his body. Maverick’s defense alarms go off as he explains that they are tied into Fenris’ security system. Wolverine asks who it is and Maverick explains that the X-Men have arrived to try to save him. As Wolverine passes out he hears Maverick say that once Wolverine heals enough they are both out of there and his friends will probably be dead.
In Malibu California Lila Cheney tries to get Dazzler to remember her past with the X-Men. Dazzler says that she does not remember anything of her past with the X-Men that her mind seems blank. Lila says she should at least remember the cute guys and Dazzler agrees she wants to remember the cute ones. Just then Longshot crashes through a window, but Dazzler doesn’t recognize him. Longshot kisses Dazzler saying she should at least remember that, as Spiral appears, eager to capture Longshot. Lila Cheney teleports herself and her friends away, but Spiral states that it doesn’t matter; Longshot can’t escape, because “Mojo always gets his way.” In the foreground of the last picture we see Mojo’s face on the television screen smiling.

Characters Involved: 

Archangel, Banshee, Beast, Colossus, Cyclops, Forge, Gambit, Jean Grey, Iceman, Jubilee, Psylocke, Rogue, Storm, Wolverine, Professor Charles Xavier (all X-Men)

Dazzler, Longshot (former X-Men)

Lila Cheney

Omega Red

Matsu‘o Tsurayaba


The Hand

Dr. Cornelius


In flashbacks:
Creed, Logan, Maverick (all Team X)

Story Notes: 

The issue is set before Uncanny X-Men #281-283, where the Gold Team visits the Hellfire Club. In that storyline Xavier and Forge finish their chess game.
In her appearances in various Marvel UK titles staring Captain Britain, Psylocke was mostly relying on her precognitive powers and slowly explored her telepathy. This issue is one of the rare times that her original ability gets mentioned after she started to appear in US issues.
The Top Secret file Xavier was looking at was sent by Carter Ryking., as is explained in X-Men (2nd series) #12.
This issue is the first appearance of Maverick.
Dazzler doesn’t remember her time with the X-Men after she stepped through the Siege Perilous to emerge amnesiac at the beach house of Lila Cheney in Uncanny X-Men #259. Since the release of her movie she became famous, but found that this was not what her heart desired.
Longshot left the X-Men in Uncanny X-Men #248 on a quest for inner peace. What happened to him since then is unknown.

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