X-Men (2nd series) #79

Issue Date: 
September 1998
Story Title: 
Little Morlock Lost

Joe Kelly (Writer), German Garcia (Guest Artist), Holdredge, Mendoza, Alquiza (Guest Inkers), Liquid! (Colors), Richard Starkings and COMICRAFT (Letters), Mark Powers (Editor), Bob Harras (Editor in Chief)

Brief Description: 

Marrow is approached by the healed Callisto, who tells her that she is leaving and that she wants Marrow to stay at Xavier’s school. To make things worse, the man she has a crush on, Cannonball, must go back home to tend to his sick mother. Marrow, hurt by both events, goes on a rampage in New York and assaults several people. Cannonball, Storm and Callisto try to track her down, but Callisto keeps on cryptically implying that she made Marrow stay with the X-Men because Callisto’s life is in danger. As Storm and Callisto argue over Storm’s messy history with Marrow, Cannonball finds her and argues with her about how she is not the only one to experience loss. He tells her that he is not leaving the X-Men for fun, but because his mother may be dying. Suddenly, the two officers that Marrow beat up during Operation: Zero Tolerance show up to arrest Marrow for the assaults. Marrow is about to kill them, but asks Officer Cleveland if he ever lost anything. Cleveland explains that he and Aguinal both lost respect in the NYPD and became laughing stocks, because they were never able to regain their wits after she attacked them. Cannonball asks Marrow is she wants to still be a monster and Marrow agrees that she doesn’t. Storm and Callisto arrive, the latter saying her goodbyes to Marrow and then leaves. Storm helps the officers agree to move on with the next steps in their lives and apologizes for their misfortunes. Storm and Marrow begin to repair their relationship, as they take Marrow back home. While Aguinal and Cleveland ponder going back to their old duties, now that mutants aren’t so scary anymore, a figure watches all this transpire and is glad that Marrow is now with the X-Men, which is just how he wanted it. Meanwhile, Beast recommends to Maggott to join Generation X in their Massachusetts Academy.

Full Summary: 

Walking down Wall Street are two New York Police Department officers who are on grave shift duty. The NYPD are some the best trained and most respected in the world. Their lives are often steeped in chaos and mayhem. Superstitions, rituals and ceremonies impose order for them. Without them, the world closes in with all its monsters and bad luck. Such two officers who probably have the worst of luck are Officers Aguinal and Cleveland.

As the two walks down the street, Aguinal with a pretzel and Cleveland with a slurpie, Officer Aguinal tells his partner to watch out for the crack in the sidewalk. Cleveland thanks him and the two continue on. As Aguinal is about to take a bite out of his pretzel, a black cat crosses his path. Aguinal bites on his pretzel, which is rock hard. His mouth sears with pain, as he realizes he may have broken a cap. Cleveland tells reminds his friend that he told him not to buy that pretzel from that vendor. Cleveland does not watch where he goes as he talks and walks into a railing, spilling his slurpie all over his face. Bad luck wasn’t always like this for Aguinal and Cleveland but, as a shriek resonates down the street, there is little time for the men to reflect.

Somewhere nearby, Marrow stands on a car in an almost empty street with a sharp bone blade in one hand and long blonde hair in another. She then asks her victim to repeat what she said, because Marrow couldn’t hear her over the shrill scream. What kind of freak is she? Come on now, she is listening. Before Marrow is a couple who were busy kissing in the alley. While the man finds lipstick all over his face, the women is not so lucky, as her two colored hair, one side blonde and the other red, now finds itself one side red and the other side bald. While the woman is still in shock over her hair being cut off, the man tells Marrow that his girlfriend was under the influence of liquor. She wouldn’t have said anything if she knew that Marrow was a...

The man is unable to say the next word out of fear, so Marrow completes his sentence. She is a mutant. Blood boils in Marrow’s body. She wanted rage and the stink of sweat and fear tonight. In other words, she wants an excuse to get some blood. Marrow screams at the man to say what she wants to hear. As she tosses the woman back her hair, the man screams that she is a mutant. Marrow leaps over a wall and tells the two that next time they spit on someone not like them, she will be there to rip off their lips. Marrow lands on the other side and runs. She has had a simple code to follow all her life. She had to survive in a broken world that hates. She has learned to give worse than what she gets. Tonight, however, Marrow got it really bad and tonight someone is going to pay.

Elsewhere up on a skyscraper rooftop, Callisto asks Storm if she thinks Marrow came to the Financial District to review her stock portfolio, or did she come to meet with the C.E.O. of Price Waterhouse? Storm descends unto the rooftop and tells Callisto that it is not funny that she finds the spilling of blood to be amusing. Callisto tells Storm to lighten up, as Marrow hasn’t killed anyone yet. As Callisto sniffs the air, she adds that she wouldn’t really cry a river, even if Marrow did kill a couple of people. She then tells Storm that Marrow went into the following direction.

Storm asks Callisto how she can act this way. Marrow may be a child, but she is quite dangerous. She is now blinded by rage and this can only lead to one thing: tragedy. Doesn’t Storm think that she knows that by now, asks Callisto. The truth is that the surface world deserves whatever Marrow throws at them. It was scorn and hatred that forced the Morlocks underground. However, this isn’t the way and it certainly isn’t Callisto’s plan for Marrow. They are going to make things right, especially since she is the one Marrow is mad at.

Earlier that Day:

A flower plot smashes into pieces on the floor and, immediately, Storm screams at Marrow that she invited her to her attic to make peace and all she can do it show her violence. Marrow screams back at Storm and tells her that she does not want to make peace with her. Suddenly, Callisto walks into the room, dressed in a towel, and scolds Marrow. That is no way a Morlock, or an X-Man for that matter, should speak to their leader. She was raised better than that. Overjoyed, Marrow jumps on top of Callisto and is glad that she is healed. Marrow asks her mentor when they can leave this horrible place. Callisto pulls Marrow away and lifts her chin up with her hands. She looks Marrow seriously into the eyes and tells her that she has something to tell her.


Callisto tells Storm that she would give her other eye up to take Marrow back from the X-Men. Being with Marrow, it almost feels as if the Morlocks are alive and well again. However, the reason Callisto sent Marrow to be with the X-Men in the first place was to give her a shot at a life that Callisto could not give her. Marrow needs to be nurtured and safe, and at the moment safety and Callisto have parted ways. Storm, who looks out to the sky, tells Callisto that this is the third cryptic time that she has insinuated that her life is in danger this night. No matter what has happened between them in the past, the X-Men will come to her aid. Storm turns around and sees Callisto is gone. “…Or perhaps not,” says Storm, correcting herself.

Deep in the sewers of Manhattan are the former Morlock tunnels. Now, however, only one room in the tunnels is used and right now it was for Callisto’ long recovery. A blue man walks into Callisto’s room with a syringe saying that he just got eighty CCs of the best “blood juice” from Bellvue Hospital. This will guarantee that even the most lethargic Morlock will be restored. As the figure walks towards Callisto’s bed, he pulls back the sheets to find her gone and a raggedy old doll in her place. He screams that she has recovered too soon, as he flips her bed over. The man calms down and announces that, if her recovery endangers his plans for Marrow, then it looks like Callisto will need to go to the morgue sooner than later.

In Battery Park, in southern Manhattan, Marrow sits on a statue of a bird and wonders why Callisto is doing this to her. Marrow prayed for her and took care of Callisto. She even played her games and lived with the X-Men just so her mind would be at ease. However, Callisto was supposed to get better and take her away from the X-Men. Now things are different. Callisto left her just like everyone else, even…no, not him. She will not think about him. All she wants to do now is punch back at the world. As two joggers run by, Marrow leaps out and screams at them. The two terrified men run away. Marrow is about to give chase when a voice calls out to her. She turns around to see Cannonball, who asks her what she is doing.

Marrow turns her face from him and blushes. She cannot believe that Cannonball came for her. She must say something to him. Marrow throws three bone daggers at Cannonball and tells him that if he comes closer she will dance on his “still beating heart” and heat his spleen. The bones easily are deflected by Cannonball’s blast field, who explains that he is invulnerable right now. If it makes her feel better, he will feint pain. Now, what is she doing out here? Marrow tells him that she is taking back something that was stolen from her. She wants her due in blood and no one can stop her, not even he… especially not him, even if he tries really hard, adds Marrow in the end, hoping that Cannonball will give chase. As Marrow bounds away, Cannonball wonders why she picked today of all days to do this.

Officers Aguinal and Cleveland round a corner and find the couple attacked by Marrow. Cleveland asks if they were screaming. The woman tells the officers to look what she did to her hair. The man tells the officers that they were attacked by a girl with bones coming out of her skin. Cleveland and Aguinal look at each other, scared. He said bones. Bones, repeats Aguinal, which means it’s her.

Back at the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning, Maggott enters the kitchen and asks the Beast, who is eating, whether the others will find Marrow. Beast tells Maggott that he will lay odds on that they will. Callisto is a master tracker and knows all of Marrow’ haunts. He just hopes they find her before she eviscerates anyone. Maggott wonders if he should have gone since they are both new. He might have been able to help. Suddenly, Cecilia rushes into the room screaming Maggott’s name. Maggott turns around and tells the woman that his name sounds like music when she screeches it.

Cecilia tells him that his slugs devoured half of her medical books. She shows them a half eaten textbook and reveals that when they were done with her books they had desert in her underwear drawer. Maggott starts snickering, but Cecilia tells him that it isn’t funny. Beast tells her to process the visual and then she will agree that it is a riot. Cecilia throws a book at Maggott, who ducks under the table. The book hits Beast’s drink instead. Maggott tells Cecilia that she needs to practice her aim; too bad that there aren’t any teachers here to help her throw. Beast agrees that there aren’t any teachers, or at least not at this school.

Storm carries Callisto over Manhattan. Callisto looks at the cars below and tells Storm that humans are vermin that she has sworn to protect. They pollute without care, poison each other for nothing and exploit their own children. They have no responsibility whatsoever and Storm has picked up the worst of their habits. Storm drops Callisto purposely onto a charter bus and tells her that it is hypocritical of her to say such things when she is dropping her surrogate child on the X-Men’s doorsteps. Callisto tells Storm that, last she heard, Xavier’s was a place for all mutants. Those were Storm’s words, not hers. However, when they get down to it, the X-Men always have time to save the Kitty Prydes and other pretty mutants, while someone like Sarah, who really needs help, is left alone.

Storm lands on the bus and explains that she extended her hand to Marrow before and the girl tried to cut it off. Maybe when this is all over, Marrow may be better off with Callisto. No matter how hard they try to help Sarah, she needs to want the help first. Callisto continues to argue with Storm, saying that she doesn’t want Marrow around, because Storm failed to save her once. Was there no other way than to rip out her heart? Enraged, Storm calls down lightning, which destroys some lights, and tells Callisto that Marrow brought that upon herself. The fates of innocents were in the balance and Storm had to act. Storm suddenly sees the damage she caused and then realizes she lost her cool. Callisto also sees that she struck a nerve. However, even if Marrow did those things, isn’t it Storm’s responsibility as her leader and, as an X-Man, to make sure Marrow doesn’t do it again?

In Battery Park, Cannonball realizes that he has lost Marrow. He stops and tells the absent Sarah that she has no right to put everyone through all this nonsense; especially not for him, for time is one thing that he doesn’t have. He opens a compartment on his uniform and pulls out a letter. He thinks how it is funny how fast a day can go down the drains. He reads his letter he got from his brother, Josh, recently, which stated that their mother has fallen ill and they need Sam back home. Cannonball knows that he is the oldest and he needs to go home, but he cannot leave the X-Men when they need him. He hopes they settle this mess with Marrow soon, or else he would never forgive himself or Marrow if he gets home too late. Above Sam, in a tree, is Marrow, who recalls how everyone leaves her. She doesn’t want him to go but, if she cannot have him, then maybe no one can.

Marrow leaps out of the tree with two bone daggers ready, but Cannonball catches her with his blast field and tells her that she needs to be faster than that. He twists her arm behind her back and tells her to stop thrashing around. What is her problem? Marrow elbows him in the face and the two fall over a bench. She tells him that he is the problem, as well as the rest of the X-Men. How could they know what is best for her? They know nothing about her. Cannonball wrestles with Marrow and tells her that they want to learn about her. Marrow pins Cannonball to the ground and tells him that they cannot understand her. Callisto is the only one who can, because she understands loss.

Cannonball tells Marrow to give him a break. She is dumb to think that only she knows what loss is. His father died when he was a boy and he worked underground in the mines to support his family. Marrow cuts him off and points out that, while the rest of them are staying to fight, he is running back home. Cannonball tells her that he isn’t going home for fun. His mother is really sick and may be dying, just like Callisto. Every minute he wastes with her arguing there in the park is one less minute he has with his mother. Marrow looks at Cannonball and knows that she would like to know how soft the skin on his arm is under hers. However, she knows that these aren’t her moments to spend.

Cannonball feels Sarah relax and slowly pulls her back. She tells him to go and see if she cares. Cannonball tells her not to be so emotional. Suddenly, Aguinal and Cleveland reach the scene and tell Marrow to freeze. Marrow sees the men pointing their guns at her and recognizes them from the police station a while back. She asks if they brought another pair of glasses for her to break. Stuttering, Aguinal tells her to come along nice and slowly. Marrow tells him that there is nothing nice about her and there is nothing she respects about their laws. She charges at them with her bone dagger, as Cannonball tells her to stop.

Back at the school, Maggott throws Cecilia’s half-eaten book towards Eany and Meany and tells them not to eat her books anymore. The two devour what is left of her book, as Maggott tells his girls that, if they must eat her books, then they should at least finish them so she thinks that they are missing. Now he may never get her into bed. Maggott sulks and tells Eany and Meany that they have horrible table manners. Beast suddenly walks into Maggott’s room, which scares Maggott. “Gah! You gave me a skrik!” says Maggott, “Nothin’ like a rock up, is there?”

Beast is flabbergasted and says no, hoping for the best. He then asks Maggott if he has a moment. Maggott says that he does and asks what kind of Beast is he. He sure doesn’t look like anything he saw in Africa. Beast puts his laptop on Maggott’s desk and explains that it was a college nickname that stuck. Speaking of college, says Beast, who turns on his laptop, he would like Maggott, who reminds him of himself at his age, to try and further his education. As an image of Generation X pops up on the screen, Beast asks him to consider the team’s sister school in Massachusetts, the Xavier School of Gifted Youngsters.

In Battery Park, Marrow tackles Cleveland. Aguinal calls out to him, but Marrow tells him that Cleveland cannot talk with a vertebra in his mouth. Aguinal aims his gun at Marrow and tells her to get off or he will shoot. Cannonball quickly disarms Aguinal and tells Marrow that the cops are just doing their job. Why is she acting like this? Marrow thinks to herself that she is doing this for the joy of the kill. However, she knows that feeling won’t come, because she has changed since she first walked into the school.

Earlier that Day:

Cannonball is on the phone in the school’s foyer and tells someone that he has some chores to do around at the school. Marrow sits on the staircase in the shadows and looks at Cannonball lovingly. He is cute when he talks, she thinks to herself. He is always polite, and not just on the phone. He is nice and clean. If Callisto is leaving her at the school, then maybe Marrow should make at least one friend, an ally against the rest of the imbeciles in the school. Who knows, maybe they can be more than friends. Suddenly, Marrow hears Cannonball tell his mother that he will come home and stay as long as she needs him. Was that the chance moment that brought Marrow to this?


Cleveland tells Marrow that he has kids. When Marrow asks him if he ever lost anything, Cleveland explains that he has, because of her. He and Aguinal were in the hospital for weeks after the Zero Tolerance strike in their precinct. He almost had to quit being a cop, because of a psych discharge. He couldn’t get the memories out, especially at night. He kept his job, but his wife left him. Aguinal started shooting at anything that moved, because he was spooked ever since she attacked them. They got branded the “Bad Luck Boy.” That all happened because they ran into her that day.

Marrow looks away and asks if she should cry. She was a victim too that day. Cannonball comes to her side and tells her that Aguinal and Cleveland are not faceless upworlders. They are real people with real problems, like her and him. These are people she needs to protect. Look into his eyes, says Sam. Does she want to be the monster he is afraid of, or does she want to be the human who saved him from that monster?

A voice from above asks Sarah what the choice is. All look up as Storm and Callisto descend from the air. Callisto tells her that she needs to decide now. Storm tells her that the answer is hers alone. The X-Men are ready to welcome her, but only as the hero she is capable of being. Marrow tells them that she is not a monster and gets up. She tells Aguinal that Cleveland is all his and then apologizes. Cannonball tells Sarah that he is proud of her. Why, says Marrow, because she said a few words? No, replies Sam, because she didn’t say to them to get him off her back. She meant those words. He tells her that she did well, as the two hug.

Moments later, Storm and Cannonball explain to the officers that they are mutants, not monsters. They share the same hopes and dreams, and, in some cases, the same fears. Aguinal asks if Storm is going to brain wipe them. “NO,” says Storm, annoyed. Nearby, Marrow leans up on a tree, as Callisto asks if she is at peace. Marrow tells her no, but she is a Morlock and will survive. Callisto taught her that. That is good enough for now, says Callisto. Marrow has a second chance now and she shouldn’t waste it for pride’s sake. Callisto starts to walk off into the bushes. Marrow asks her to promise that she will be back and Marrow will promise not to waste her second chance. Callisto pauses and then tells Marrow that they will see each other again. Callisto disappears into the woods and tells Sarah to make her proud.

Storm approaches Marrow and tells her that there is a bitter history between them, but they are bound together as X-Men. She pledges to never abandon Marrow, no matter what happens. From this moment, Marrow can consider her an ally, a teacher and, perhaps in time, a friend. Storm extends her hand, but Marrow looks away and says “maybe” after a pause. Storm looks away and admits that “maybe” is a fine place to start.

Storm approaches the officers, who realize that Marrow is just a child. What do they do now? Storm tells them that she has a suggestion, but first asks Cannonball to escort Marrow back to the mansion. Cannonball says goodnight to the officers and motions for Marrow to hold onto him from behind. Marrow smiles and wraps her arms around Cannonball, asking him how fast he can go. Jokingly, Sam says that it would be inappropriate to brag but, since this is their last mission, he will show her, just as long as she can hold on. Just try to shake me off, says Marrow, as she rests her head on his back.

Storm tells the officers that tonight has been an awakening for them all. They should stop trying to undo the past and forge a new future together. She hopes they accept her apologizes and asks them to move on with their lives. Marrow will no longer be a problem for them. Storm rises into the sky, as Cannonball flies off with Marrow. Aguinal asks Storm who they should report as the heroes for the day. Storm introduces herself as one of the X-Men, who fight for the children of both humans and mutants. She tells them to sleep well as she flies off. Cleveland asks Aguinal if he sees how she fills out her costume, but Aguinal calls him a pervert.

The two walk off, as Aguinal wonders if they should transfer back to their old neighborhood. Cleveland asks about the “monsters” in the Village, but Aguinal doesn’t think that they are so big anymore. Neither men notice a figure in the bushes, however, who comments on the Kodak moment. The Morlock makes good against odds, despite Callisto’s sudden recovery. The blue figure pops his head out a little and comments that Marrow has no family except for the X-Men. She is one of them. “Which is exactly how I wanted it,” says the mutant, “Yum.”

Characters Involved: 

Beast, Cannonball, Cecilia Reyes, Maggott, Marrow, Storm (X-Men)


Officers Cleveland and Aguinal

Mysterious Stalker

Various NYC pedestrians

Story Notes: 

Aguinal and Cleveland ran into Marrow in X-Men (2nd Series) #68 during the Operation: Zero Tolerance crossover. Callisto was hurt in Uncanny #346.

The bad blood between Storm and Marrow stems from Uncanny X-Men #325.

The mysterious stalker, who has been seeing Callisto since X-Men (2nd Series) #74, was intended to be the Dark Beast, but the plot line was dropped after this issue.

The end of this issue will mark a status quo change for the X-Men. After a comment in X-Men (2nd Series) #70, in which the writers joked about there being too many X-Men, one by one the large cast began to shrink starting from X-Men (2nd Series) #71-79 and Uncanny X-Men #351-359. Professor Xavier, Bishop and Gambit were gone prior to this point. Cyclops and Phoenix left in X-Men (2nd Series) #71 temporarily, but after the events in X-Men (2nd Series) #77-78, they decided to stay longer, as seen in Uncanny X-Men #359. Psylocke lost her powers in X-Men (2nd Series) #78, and Archangel was only a reserve member, since both were still recovering from their experiences with Sabretooth and their new transformations; Betsy’s with the Crimson Dawn and Archangel with the regaining of his wings. Iceman never fully rejoined the team and only came back during Zero Tolerance to help out. Joseph left in X-Men (2nd Series) #73 to investigate his past. Cannonball leaves this issue, but would soon rejoin X-Force. Maggott will move on to Generation X for a few issues before leaving that school. Both Beast and Cecilia leave the team off-panel after this issue; Cecilia to open her independent medical practice and Beast to research the Legacy Virus, as seen in Uncanny X-Men #360 and Avengers (3rd Series) #14. That leaves the team with Storm, Marrow, Rogue and Wolverine, starting in Uncanny X-Men #360.

Issue Information: