X-Men (2nd series) #8

Issue Date: 
May 1992
Story Title: 
Tooth And Claw

Jim Lee (plotter, penciler), Scott Lobdell (scripter), Art Thibert and Lee (inkers), Tom Orzechowski (letters), Joe Rosas (colors), Bob Harras (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

Storm and Xavier are giving a tour of the mansion to their newest X-Men Bishop. As Bishop walks in to where the X-Men are waiting to introduce themselves to him, his eyes become wide and is amazed to see all his past heroes in one room. After he hears Gambit talk though, he recognizes the voice as the mysterious Witness from his future timeline. Bishop reveals Gambit’s real name setting Gambit off and Cyclops steps between them to keep them from fighting. Xavier tells them to continue with their plans for a picnic and everyone leaves to get ready. At the lake Cyclops is distracted by Psylocke swimming and does not hear what Jean is saying to him. Storm and Bishop are walking together and she is trying to convince him to not be so hard, that to become better then his enemies he has to choose peace before violence. Elsewhere Rogue has prepared a meal for Gambit, but it is interrupted when Bishop shows up. Gambit picks a fight with him and charges a pie up Rogue had made and threw it at Bishop, but Bishop ducked and it accidentally hit Rogue instead. As Bishop and Gambit begin to laugh and discuss their differences an unknown assailant blasts them off their feet. Gambit stops Bishop from firing back saying that their assailant is his wife Bella Donna. Later in the X-Mansion Belle explains why she needs Gambits help and the Blue team heads off on a train to New Orleans. Although now in New Orleans a cop tries to pull over the Ghost Rider for going over the speed limit, but when the cop notices his face he runs off scared.

Full Summary: 

Wolverine is in a research room inside Xavier’s Mansion trying to find information on his past but being given an access denied symbol for every file he tries to open. Jubilee comes down to find Wolverine to tell him that the Professor wants all X-Men topside to introduce them to his newest X-Man Bishop. Wolverine tells her to go away and Cyclops who came to tell Jubilee to leave Wolverine alone ushers Jubilee from the room to go meet the newest X-Man.
Charles Xavier and Storm are giving a mansion tour to Bishop and meet Forge in the Blackbirds hanger. Bishop refers to Forge as Genesis but he is told that his name is actually Forge and Bishop says “for now”. Storm asks Forge if he has been working on the Blackbird since last evening and Forge remarks that his evenings have been free of late and the work needed to be done. Xavier and Storm escort Bishop to an elevator platform and Xavier asks if there is any tension between her and Forge. Storm remarks that there’s none that she knows of, but Bishop says that he is feeling high strung, that its not every day a person of his upbringing gets to meet the X-Men’s greatest leader Cyclops. Storm tells him that all of his history books might not be so accurate and Xavier says he is about to discern for himself fact from fiction.
When the doors open the X-Men are waiting to greet their newest member and Bishop sees all of them in real life for the first time. He tells the X-Men what he knows of each of them: Cyclops the first X-Men, Beast a great philosopher, Gambit little is known of him, and Jubilee the last X-Man. Jubilee remarks “cool” then Gambit asks then how does that explain Bishop himself, who just joined. Hearing Gambit’s French accent, Bishop reveals Gambit’s last name “Lebeau”. Gambit takes offense by his name being said without his permission and Bishop explains that Gambit was alive in his time and named the Witness but no one knew they were the one and the same. The Witness was supposedly the last one to see the X-Men alive before a traitor among the team killed them all. Bishop asks Xavier to mind-probe Gambit to see his true intentions and Xavier tells Bishop no. Jean Grey reminds everyone of his or her previously planned picnic and most of them leave to prepare for the picnic. Bishop asks Storm why no one believes him and she reminds him that Gambit has showed his loyalties to the X-Men on many occasions, while Bishop has just arrived.
Below back in the research area with Wolverine, Xavier goes to find him to try to be a friend. “Barrington is the best you can offer me?” asks Wolverine to the computer, as Wolverine smells Xavier coming in the room. Wolverine tells Xavier unless he needs him to save the world, to leave him alone. Xavier says that he knows Wolverine needs a friend and Wolverine says he can feel himself reverting back to the way he was before he joined the X-Men, more primal and less intelligent.
At the lake on Xavier’s Estate, Jean Grey is talking to Cyclops about Xavier’s recent fight against the Shadow King where his legs were crushed and the fact that Xavier has not said anything about it since the incident. Cyclops however has his attention on something else, namely Psylocke swimming in the lake near him. As he stutters his words coming out, meaning nothing, Jean telekinetically gets his attention and Cyclops apologizes saying his mind must have been somewhere else. Jean says that it must have been in the gutter because he did not hear a single word she had said.
Bishop is walking near the edge of the water when he bends down to notice a ladybug crawling up a flower. He tells Storm that in his time he never knew there was anything but human or mutant. Storm tells him to realize that he needs to know that he is not judge, jury and executioner now. Bishop hears Cyclops scream Jean’s name off panel and a splash and automatically Bishop pulls his gone out thinking Cyclops is under attack. Storm tells Bishop that yes he is under attack, sort of, but he can handle it. Storm tells Bishop that the X-Men need to be better than their enemies are and that is to think peace before violence.
Rogue has prepared a Cajun meal for Gambit to make up for their dinner date they missed (because their date in issue #4 was interrupted by an attack). Gambit tries to pull his charm over on Rogue so she drops her meal on the ground and Gambit chases her to try to touch her. Rogue runs looking back so she does not notice Bishop until she runs straight into him. Gambit picks Rogue up saying how he has only met Bishop for ten minutes and already doesn’t like him. Bishop tells Gambit that he had better get used to him because he will follow Gambit till he finds out where Gambit’s loyalties truly lay. Gambit jabs Bishop in the chest and says what are you waiting for and Bishop says “that,” then he hits Gambit and knocks him into Rogue sending Rogue flying backwards. Bishop tells him that after the Great Betrayal that Bishop was raised by Gambit and that he knows what kind of monster one-day Gambit will become. Gambit picks up a pile of debris and charges it up and hurls it at Bishop, sending Bishop to the ground. Bishop is pulling out his plasma rifle while Gambit begins to throw a pie he has just charged up at Bishop, when Bishop ducks and it hits Rogue in the face. Rogue gets mad and starts to attack both of them when they both start laughing, and Rogue tells them its fitting that they die with a smile on their face. Rogue tries to talk some sense into Bishop and it seems to be working. Suddenly a plasma blast comes from off panel, striking the three X-Men to the ground. Bishop absorbs the blast and fires it back at his would be assailant when Gambit stops him from firing a second and says “that’s no way to treat a lady, ‘specially when that lady is my wife.”
(partially flashback)

Back in the Xavier’s Mansion all the Blue team of the X-Men are astonished to hear that Gambit is married. Jubilee thinks that Bella Donna Boudreaux, as she introduces herself, is just trying to get into the X-Men, now that Gambit’s in good with them. Belle claims that she is there to discuss Clan business with Gambit. Gambit explains to the X-Men how Belle and him became married. He says that both the Assassins Guild and the Thieves Guild knew the only way for unity was if a Thieves Guild boy married an Assassins Guild girl, which of course was Gambit and Bella Donna. Gambit says though some were for the marriage, others were against it, especially Bella Donna’s brother whom Gambit apparently killed in a duel. He said that both sides agreed that it was self-defense but they had to order Gambit to leave for both the Clan’s unities. Gambit say’s though that somebody has shattered that pact and both the Thieves Guild and Assassins Guild are killing each other again; only Gambit can set things right. Cyclops and Beast agree to help Gambit and Xavier asks what about the rest of the team. Psylocke and Jubilee say yes, while Rogue too announces to come along, but she says it very coldly. Wolverine walks in and asks if he can join, and of course he can, so the team leaves on a train (since the Blackbird is being fixed by Forge).

A sheriff is on patrol when his radar gun picks up a motorcycle going 120 miles an hour. The Sheriff catches the bike, but when the officer notices that it’s a driver with his head on fire with no skin he runs away leaving the Ghost Rider to drive off without a ticket.

Characters Involved: 

Beast, Bishop, Cyclops, Forge, Gambit / Remy LeBeau, Jean Grey, Jubilee, Psylocke, Rogue, Storm, Wolverine, Professor Charles Xavier (all X-Men)

Bella Donna Boudreaux, Gambit’s wife

Ghost Rider II
in flashbacks :


Bella Donna Boudreaux

Julian Boudreaux, her brother

Story Notes: 

Bishop joined the X-Men in Uncanny X-Men #287.

The Witness too was seen in Uncanny X-Men #287, in a flashback to Bishop’s mission in the future timeline he stems from.
The battle between Xavier and the Shadow King took place during the Muir Island Saga (Uncanny X-Men #278-280, X-Factor #69-70).
This is the first appearance of Bella Donna Gambit’s wife.
It’s also the first appearance of Gambit’s brother-in-law Julian Boudreaux, who is shown in a flashback.
Gambit’s real name is revealed to the X-Men or even for that matter to the readers.
The story continues in Ghost Rider (3rd series) #26.

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