X-Men (2nd series) #74

Issue Date: 
April 1998
Story Title: 

Joe Kelly (Plot), Carlos Pacheco (Art), Art Thibert, Lichtner, and Lusen (Inks), Richard Starkings & COMICRAFT (Letters), Mark Powers (Editor), Bob Harras (Editor in Chief)

Brief Description: 

Down in the sewers of New York City, Marrow treats Callisto, who is suffering from what appear to be fatal wounds. Callisto pleads to Marrow that she should leave her and return to the X-Men, but Marrow refuses. Instead, she prays that an angel would come to save Callisto and begins to use Morlock magic to help. Angel flies to the sewers to finally overcome his fears over what happened to him years ago when the Marauders broke his wings. He enters the sewers but is attacked by Abomination, who feels that light needs to be devoured by the darkness. Marrow saves Warren, who reminds her that beauty comes from the inside. He then invites her to come back to the X-Men and also discovers that she had some of his flechettes from when he had metal wings. Logan is hot on the trail of a murderer in Salem Center, who he believes to be Maggott and his pet slugs. Maggot searches for his missing slugs and, when he finds them, he discovers that they are covered in blood. At the most recent crime scene, Logan picks up the scent of Eany and Meany. He is on the way back to the mansion to confront Maggott when he is ambushed. Logan wakes up, naked and healing from what appears to be a vivisection. Next to him are Maggott, Eany and Meany. Maggot starts to cry and apologizes for what has happened.

Full Summary: 

Down in the Morlock sewers, the young mutant known as Marrow tends to her teacher and leader, Callisto, who was seriously injured some time ago. Marrow begins the healing ritual and raises her hand over a candle flame. She tells Callisto that, with the light that was denied to the Morlocks, she will heal her.

Weakly, Callisto turns to face Marrow in her bed, which is surrounded at all sides by lit candles. Callisto looks at Marrow with her eyes half open and tells the young girl to leave her, because there is nothing she can do. In a low voice, Marrow tells Callisto to be quiet or else the ritual won’t work. Marrow is about to close her hand on the candle flame when Callisto grabs her wrist and tells her stop it in a louder, yet still weak voice. Marrow and Callisto are hundreds of feet underground in what has become their home. However, hope is the only thing at the moment that is keeping Marrow’s home from becoming Callisto’s tomb.

Callisto tells Marrow, who is now on her knees by Callisto’s bed, that she must accept the fact that she is dying. Marrow mutters that they, as Morlocks, are survivors. The dying woman tells the frightened girl that that is not true this time. Callisto begins to cough, but manages to tell Marrow that she needs to return to the X-Men.

Marrow tells Callisto not to think about the X-Men and not to speak. She pulls out a raggedy doll of the X-Man Angel and tells Callisto to lie back, let the magic do its job and to hold the doll. Callisto starts to protest, but she starts to cough once again. Marrow continues the ritual and begs the one who was reborn to save Callisto.

It is morning on the streets of New York. A blanket of snow settles on the city, but that does not bother the one man who is flying through the air with grace and speed. He flies with his eyes shut and, like magic, he is no longer Warren Worthington III. He doesn’t run a corporation, do lunches or take meetings. He doesn’t battle evil villains and has never heard of the X-Men or Angel. He is just a man who flies, swoops, careens and soars through the sky with his wings, his true feather wings.

It has been a long time since he has flown just for the sake of flying. He has never had the time, privacy or the right wings. The steel ones he once had were never truly alive like his feather ones. Now, however, he feels the snap at each feather tip, the whistling of air along hollow bones, which finally makes him complete once again. Or at least on the outside.

The return of his feather wings also brought back painful memories. Angel lands outside the train tunnel which leads to the Morlock Sewers. It was down in those sewers that the Marauders, led by someone he once called a friend, hunted him down, tortured him and stole his wings. He doesn’t want to go down there again, but he can never be complete if he doesn’t. Warren takes a long look at the tunnel and begins to walk in.

Elsewhere, Wolverine sits at Harry’s Hideaway. In front of him is a newspaper and his morning breakfast; rare steak. Harry stands behind the counter, eating an apple, and tells Logan that the locals are talking about mutants that drink blood, eat spleens, even mutant republicans. Harry continues and tells him that any fool can tell that it is an animal behind the murders. In a low voice, he says that the other explanation is unthinkable in Salem Center. Logan reads his paper and asks Harry if he has any Worcestershire sauce. In disgust, Harry asks Logan how he can read about the murders and eat rare steak at seven in the morning.

Logan looks at him and says that he is one of those blood-drinking mutants Harry was talking about a moment ago. Harry laughs and tells Logan that it is good to have him back, but then asks if he thinks that the cops will catch whatever is killing people. Logan says that there is no question about it, because he has heard that someone new is on the case and “he’s the best there is at what he does.”

Nearby, at the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning, certain tests unlike any other in the world are being conducted and aced. Beast sits on the steps to the mansion with his laptop while Cecelia Reyes stands by him. Maggott stands in the middle of the snow with a boulder in one hand and his worms Eany and Meany in the other. Maggott asks his fellow X-Men whether they like his pose. Cecelia looks at Beast and tells him that it is no wonder that Maggott is so strong when he has to carry such a big head.

Despite his narcissism, says Beast, Maggot’s strength and control over his powers is impressive. Skeptical, Cecelia leans over to Beast’s screen and asks him if that is why he wrote “…but if the boy doesn’t buckle that yap of his, I may well go psychotic.” Beast assures Cecelia that “yap” is a technical term. In front of them, Maggott drops the boulder.

Beast tells Cecelia that he is working on some idioms for her diagnostic report. Cecilia walks past Beast and tells him that she is not playing his mutant games, so she will save him the trouble. Beast tells her to please do so and also motions to Maggot. Cecilia starts her own diagnostic report and says that she is “equipped with a worthless force field, cellulite saddle bags, and an--.” Suddenly, Maggot throws a snowball at the back of Cecelia’s head.

Angry, Cecelia turns to Beast and tells him that he had better not have thrown the ball at her or else she will have to “white-wash” his “blue behind.” Beast tells her not to even think about it, but Cecelia grabs him from the back of his head and rubs his face in the snow. Cecelia holds his face in the snow and asks him if he has ever gotten frostbitten in the nasal cavity of the brain. Whatever witty remark the Beast had is lost in the snow. Maggott smiles and tells Cecelia to leave some of that action for him and his girls.

Maggott lifts up his jacket, but finds that Eany and Meany are not under there. He looks up and sees their trail going into the forest. Maggot thinks to himself that that has been the second time the girls have ignored him. He reminds himself that he cannot tell the others since they are just starting to like him, but wonder what will happen if he cannot find them in time for feeding. Behind, Cecelia jumps back onto Beast and tells him that this is how they do it in the Bronx. Beast asks Maggott for help as Cecelia rubs his face back into the snow.

Back in the sewers, Callisto tells Marrow that, in the past, she could hear the laughter of her people echoing in the tunnels, but now it is so quiet. Once again, she tells Marrow to go to Xavier and not to watch her die. She needs to claim her right on the surface world. Marrow tells Callisto that the X-Men are offering her nothing. They only want to teach the pretty mutants, not the ones they cannot control. She taught them that no one can control Marrow. Callisto calls her name, but Marrow gets up to get her some fresh water. Marrow tucks Callisto into her bed, but Callisto tells her that she needs someone to take care of her when she is gone and tells her not to let her pride get in the way of her destiny.

The short busts, tight turns and the smell is enough reason for Angel to turn back, but he refuses to turn until he faces it. The darkness is not a problem. Due to his mutation, his avian eyes allow him to see everything. Sometimes they see too well, especially when he looks inward. Warren thinks about Harpoon and Blockbuster, the two Marauders that held him down and broke his wings. He tells himself to stop thinking about it. He reminds himself that there is nothing in the sewers now that can hurt him. There is nothing but memories.

Distracted, Warren hits a pipe with his wings and crashes into the water. The current pulls him, but he grabs onto something to stop him. He thinks about how his wing is going to bruise and stink. He sits up and rubs his head. Warren tells himself to get with the program and then to prove that is not scared. Behind him, though, the object he grabbed raises itself out of the water to reveal the shape of a large green foot.

Marrow walks down the tunnels and thinks to herself. She thinks how even if she did want to go back to Xavier’s, which she doesn’t, the X-Men would never have her back, especially not Storm. Marrow decides to stay underground until her ascension to the surface world. She fills some cups with water from a pipe and turns a corner to see a shocking sight. On the ledge below stands a hulking green beast wearing purple shorts and a purple jacket. Below him is the X-Man, Angel. The beast looks down at Angel and wonders why the lost “Gabriel” is wandering in the home of the Abomination. The creature says that he must be blessed and tells Angel that he is very pretty. Marrow drops her cups and quickly hides behind the corner. She is excited and shocked that her angel is finally here.

Logan reaches the last murder scene, which is an alleyway. He crosses the police tape and puts his rolled up newspaper in his back pocket. Logan thinks to himself that it is nice that the newspaper did not go into gory details and just reported the facts like they should. However, they did mention big bite marks on the victims, which started the whole animal theory. Logan sniffs around, but picks up no trails or scents that he recognizes. The site is stale and the snow fresh.

Logan begins to wonder if it could be an animal imported from South Africa, like a certain new resident of Xavier’s, when from behind a woman yells at him for tampering with a crime scene. Logan thanks her for mentioning it, but tells her that she should have mentioned it to the Keystone cops who trampled it first. Logan turns to the blonde haired woman and says he does not recognize her as any Salem Center P.D. The woman says that he is not with the force either.

Logan pulls out his Nassau Police Department I.D. card and says he thought he could help out. He tells the woman that his family is up here and he just heard about the murders. The woman introduces herself as Myra Armstrong, the medical examiner. Logan asks her to tell him everything she knows about this. Myra says she can do better. She will show him.

Back in the sewers, the Abominations brings his face right to Angel’s and screams that he does not belong in the sewers. Startled, Warren says that it is good he can speak; because that means that they can talk. However, Warren has no words, because they are on the surface along with his heart and courage.

Abomination raises his fist and screams that Angel defiles the sewers. He smashes his fist down to strike Angel, but Warren rolls out of the way and runs for his life. Abomination calls out to Warren and asks if he can bless “Gabriel” before he leaves. Warrens runs down the sewer with Abomination chasing him. Marrow watches and knows that she cannot let him get hurt. She starts to pray that Angel turns left. Warren begins to freak out and finds that he cannot breathe. He climbs down a hole in the ground.

Marrow watches as Warren goes the wrong way and thinks that he smells so good, like the sun. She opens a sewer hole and climbs down. He is too good to be down there. He is not a monster. She vows to help him, but wonders how without letting him see her. Warren emerges from a tunnel into a dead end. However, he has gained several seconds more and Abomination cannot see him at the moment.

Warren thinks that if he had his metal wings he could rocket through the tunnel and attacked the Abomination, but now he is useless and dead like before. That thought frightens Warren. Moments later, Abomination storms into the tunnel, but finds it empty. The creature calls out to the empty sewer and says that he knows the caverns well and that there is no place the light can hide for long. Directly above the creature is Angel, who is pressing his body against the ceiling and holding himself with his wings. His legs are pulled up against his chest and he holds his feet with his hands.

Back at Callisto’s bed, Callisto’s condition takes a turn for the worse, as a fever tears her mind, and her grip to life starts to decay. A figure comes through the shadows and calls her name. Callisto turns to face the figure and asks if Death has come for her at last. The figure comes out of the shadows and tells her, no, because she is not ready to die yet.

Callisto is shocked to see that Colossus has come to save her. Colossus looks confused as to why Callisto is calling him by that name, but decides that whatever floats her boat is best. The man that the feverish Callisto sees as Colossus tells her not to die and presses his finger to her lips. She smiles and promises that she won’t. The mysterious man, who actually has blue hands with sharp nails pulls out a syringe and tells her that she will die when it is convenient for him.

Warren continues to hold himself against the ceiling. Behind him is a sewer hole. Marrow looks at him through the hole and thinks how it is clever of him to hold himself with his wings, but the strain he is under will cause him to give. Marrow wonders why he came back to where everything withers. In her thoughts, she asks him if he returned to answer her prayers just to go with Callisto.

Warren holds his breathe and stares down at Abomination. He then notices that sweat is building on his brow and is about to drip down. Abomination continues to call down the sewers for “Gabriel.” He tells Angel that once he finds him he will pull off his wings. Suddenly, just as Warren’s sweat is about to hit the creature’s neck, Marrow drops the sewer grate onto Abomination’s head.

Marrow jumps down and aims a bone dagger at the creature. She tells him that he is trespassing on Morlock grounds and that he is no Morlock. She promises that whatever he seeks he will not find it here. Abomination looks at her with a murderous look and says that he will have to reassess his goal. He asks for Marrow’s name.

Marrow smiles and tells the hulking creature that if he catches her she might tell him. Warren looks down, amazed at how Marrow, who sounds like a child, is taunting Abomination. Abominations asks Marrow if she belongs here like him, alone and ugly. Marrow runs off and says that he will never find out if he keeps on talking. Warren is filled with joy at the sight of the Abomination leaving, but realizes that he was just rescued by a kid. He then turns horrified over what he just let happen.

Marrow falls down and Abomination catches up with her. The creature tells her that she is a more suitable prize, for she is young and powerful. He tells her that she reminds him of those he lost in the sewers, the ones taken from him. Marrow tells him to back off, but Abomination tells her that, together, they can rebuild what they lost in the sewers, away from those who would hurt them.

From behind, a voice tells Abomination that his face is bad enough, but with those pick up lines he might as well pack up and leave. Marrow and Abomination turn to see Angel standing in the sewer with rays of light shining on him from above. Warren crosses his arms and tells Abomination to step away from Marrow.

Back at Xavier’s, it is much past lunchtime for Maggott, who weakly makes his way through the forest. Maggott continues his search for Eany and Meany. He miraculously finds them huddled under a bush. He goes over to them, but finds something with them. Maggott checks them and finds blood. He starts to scream at the girls and asks them what they have done.

At Salem Center, Logan can hardly believe that the latest victim was killed behind the police station. Myra tells him that the victim was a transient who made nice with the cops. He slept in the garage, which apparently wasn’t enough shelter. She lights a cigarette and tells Logan that the killer cut through steel without leaving a burn or cut mark. Weirder yet, no one heard a thing. She asks him if he is weirded out. Logan sniffs the air and tells her that he is not anymore. Myra turns around to ask why not, but Logan is no where to be seen.

In the sewers, Abomination tells Angel that Marrow would rather stay. Marrow asks Warren why he did not escape. Warren says that the thought did cross my mind, but now he is thinking clearly again. He is not running anymore. He then turns his attention to Abomination and once again tells him to back off.

Abomination tells Angel that Marrow is not one of his fallen who is in need of rescue. Marrow is more like him. He thrusts Marrow forward and orders her to show him her face. Marrow refuses and hides her head in the water. Abomination pulls her out and tells her that she no longer has to hide from him and should show him her face with pride, because it will be the last thing he will see when he dies. Marrow, weakly, apologizes to Angel and tells him not to look at her face.

Angel tells Abomination that Marrow is no demon. She is the courageous young woman who saved his life and opened his eyes. She is the most beautiful woman in the world. Marrow looks at him shocked. Abomination lets go of her and tells Angel that she is ugly. He charges Warren and punches him in the face. Abomination tells Marrow that she must fight against he light and devour it. The more she eats, the stronger she will become.

Marrow gets up and looks horrified as Abomination picks Warren up by the back of the head and lifts him up. Angel tells Marrow that it does not have to be like what Abominations is saying. He was a monster too once. Abomination tells Warren that he is lying. Warren ignores him and tells Marrow that he was a monster, because he saw himself as one. However, it did not matter. Warren tells Marrow that he will hold off Abomination, but she needs to get out of the tunnels and never come back.

Marrow thinks to herself that she can be just like him, but then stops. She realizes that Angel called her beautiful. She pulls out two knives from her belt and calls Abomination’s name. He turns just in time for the two knives to sink into his eyes.

Logan rushes back to the mansion in the snow. He thinks to himself that the first time he met Maggott, he liked him. The boy had crass, charm and was tough. He had a lot of baggage, but Logan’ gut told him that the boy was all right. His gut was never wrong. Twenty minutes ago, he caught the scent of Eany and Meany at the murder scene. Logan’s nose is never wrong. He thinks off how Maggott has disappeared every once in a while to “feed the girls.” He never said what he exactly was feeding them. Logan finds the tracks of Eany and Meany along with blood. Logan raises his head and starts to sniff. Logan is then shocked at what he picks up, but before he can do anything a large four fingered hand rises up behind him and comes crashing down.

In the sewers, Abomination covers his eyes, which are dripping with blood. Marrow tells Warren to get up, because they have to run. Warren tells her that he knew she was beautiful where it matters. Marrow helps Warren up. He asks her what he used to hurt Abomination. Abomination gets up and throws Marrow’s knives away. Blood runs down from his face, but he still advances towards the duo. He asks Marrow if she is going to run to the surface. He reminds her that she has no place up there. Warren tells Abomination that he has no right to treat her like he does. The creature tells Angel that he has no right to give her false hope. He turns to Marrow and tells her to choose between a world that will shun her and a world that will make her stronger.

Marrow looks at Angel for guidance, but he tells her that she must decide for herself. Abomination tells Marrow that her hesitation says enough. He thought he found a kindred soul in her, but now he sees that she and the angel are the same. Abomination turns away and tells Marrow to enjoy her time on the surface and when humanity tears her, she can always return to him.

Angel jokes that Abomination is a monster with issues. Marrow hesitantly agrees. Warren asks her why she jumped in to save him and why didn’t she run. Marrow tells him that running is not what she usually does. Warren tells her that she will get used to it. He introduces himself as Warren and asks for her name. She tells him she is Marrow, but he says he knew that when he saw her. He wants to know her real name. Marrow stutters the name Sarah. Warren tells her that Sarah is a pretty name.

Warren bends down to pick up Marrow’s knives to return them to her, but Marrow says that she has some extras elsewhere. She pulls out a bone dagger and starts to scratch something into the wall. Warren tells her that he has heard rumors about her at the mansion. If she were interested, he could put in a few good words for her. He tells her that there is always room for one more X-Man.

Suddenly; he realizes that Marrow did not attack Abomination with knives. She used one of his old flechettes from when he had steel wings. Warren turns to ask her where she got it from, but Marrow is gone. He looks at what she wrote on the wall. “Light never dies even in monsters.” Warren looks at the flechettes and smiles. He thanks Sarah.

Logan wakes up with what feels like a hangover. He immediately realizes that someone got the drop on him. However, his senses did not pick up what it was. Suddenly, he feels a burning sensation. He raises his hand and finds it soaked in blood. Logan looks down at his almost naked body. The only clothing he has is the remains of his jeans around his waste. Starting from his shoulders are two scars that meet at his upper chest and then extend down to his naval. Behind him, Maggot kneels in the ground and apologizes. “I didn’t mean it!” he cries.

Characters Involved: 

Angel, Beast, Cecelia Reyes, Maggot, Marrow, Wolverine (all X-Men)



Myra Armstrong


Unknown Intruder/Colossus

Various unnamed locals and police officers of Salem Center

Warren’s thoughts:


Story Notes: 

Callisto was critically wounded by Prime Sentinels during Operation: Zero Tolerance in Uncanny X-Men #346.

Warren’s steel wings mysteriously molted to reveal his natural wings in Uncanny X-Men #338.

Angel and several other X-Men discovered that Gambit was the one who assembled the Marauders during his “trial” in Uncanny X-Men #350.

The murders in Salem Center started in X-Men (2nd Series) #71.

Though Callisto saw Colossus come to her aid she was just hallucinating. In truth, it was the Dark Beast.

After a fight with Wolverine, which led Marrow to stab him in the throat, Marrow fled the mansion in X-Men (2nd Series) #72.

Gabriel is an angel of high eminence in Jewish, Christian and Muslim tradition. He is one of the four most often noted archangels. Abomination calls Warren Gabriel due to his wings.

Eany and Meany started acting up in X-Men (2nd Series) #73.

Issue Information: