X-Men '97 #2

Issue Date: 
June 2024
Story Title: 

Steve Foxe (writer), Salva Espin (artist), Matt Milla (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Joe Sabino (letterer), Todd Nauck & Rachelle Rosenberg (cover artists), Nick Dragotta & Romula Fajardo Jr; David Mack (variant cover artists), Jay Bowen & Kat Gregorwicz (designers), Jordan D White (editor), C.B. Cebulski (editor-in-chief)
X-Men created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby

Brief Description: 

Mr Sinister is unhappy with his Nasty Boys failing at Dazzler's concert, and with Xavier's dream of peaceful human-mutant relations coming close to reality, he sets about to disrupt the progress by enlisting the assistance of several other mutants. At the X-Mansion, Cyclops is delighted to learn he and Jean are about to become parents – although Wolverine isn't happy about it and drives away from the Mansion, which Storm notices. Cyclops and Jean's happiness is interrupted by the arrival of a mutant called Hazard, who claims to have been ignored by Xavier many years ago. Cyclops and Jean battle Hazard to defend their home, while at the same time, Jubilee, Bishop, Rogue and Gambit are heading back from the concert, when they are attacked by a young mutant who identifies herself as Siena Blaze. Storm finds Wolverine at a tavern. They discuss Jean's pregnancy, before Sabretooth and the Marauders launch an attack on them. Hazard prepares to destroy the X-Mansion, and when Siena Blaze boasts that she is tapped into the Earth's electromagnetic field and tells the X-Men that she wants to test the limits of what she can do, Rogue sneaks up behind her and drains some of her power, to which Siena bids her good luck in attempting to control them. Storm and Wolverine battle the Marauders and soon find they have another on their side – Morph!

Full Summary: 

Trish Tilby's image appears on a monitor as she provides a report on a surprise act who joined this evening's Charles Xavier memorial concert as a group calling themselves the “Nasty Boys” attempted to disrupt the festivities. Image of the Nasty Boys attacking Dazzler is displayed, as Trish reports that it was fortunate that several members of the X-Men were in attendance, working “in concert” with mutant pop star Dazzler to make short work of the party crashers. Trish announces that this is the latest high-profile act of heroism from the formerly controversial team, who have become increasingly popular with average Americans in recent months. An image of a masked woman with purple hair appears as Trish begins another report: 'In other news, the “psychic ninja” known as -' the report ends when a fist is smashed into the screen courtesy of the diabolical Mr. Sinister.

'For years, humanity hated and feared mutants – which enabled my great work to advance while the X-Men fought battles on other fronts. But Xavier's whelps have come far too close to realizing their mentor's “noble” goals of acceptance and assimilation' Sinister declares. He clenches a fist and raises it into the air as he boasts that the key to his genetic research is finally within his grasp, incubating within one of the X-Men. 'I will not let it slip away because the sheep of the world celebrate the wolves in their midst!' Sinister turns to several shadowy figures before him and tells them that they must remind humanity that the X-Men bring danger to their doorsteps, that they are to be despised, not celebrated. 'We must remind them, my Sinister Seven... of the mutant menace!'

Meanwhile, at the X-Mansion, in Westchester, New York, Scott Summers a.k.a. Cyclops smiles as he looks at Jean Grey's positive pregnancy test and tells her that he doesn't know what to say. 'I can't read the test result. It's a red line, right? My visor -' Scott begins, before Jean puts her fingers on his neck and kisses him. 'We're going to be parents, Scott' Jean utters. 'We're going to have a family' Scott declares, before Jean tells him that she couldn't be happier right now. Logan a.k.a. Wolverine scowls as he storms down the corridor, although Scott and Jean apparently don't see him.

Wolverine arrives in the garage and gets into his jeep, deciding that he needs some air. 'This mansion's feeling cramped' he complains. Ororo Munroe a.k.a. Storm watches from the mansion's balcony where she sees Wolverine speed away in his jeep. 'It appears my intuition was correct...and I am not the only one to discover the news' she realizes. Storm takes flight as she wonders if it is perhaps now Logan who needs a friend's comfort.

Back inside, Scott puts a hand on Jean's stomach and asks her who else knows. 'Can you detect if it's a boy or girl? Do you have names in mind yet?' he asks excitedly. 'I wanted to tell you first, but I think Ororo could sense -' Jean begins, to which Cyclops exclaims 'Beast! We should tell Beast – I'm sure he's up-to-date on the prenatal care for mutant pregnancies'. But before they can speak with the Beast, the mansion's security system sounds an alert, reporting that there is an intruder on mansion grounds. 'The proximity sensors! We're under attack!' Cyclops exclaims. Cyclops tells Jean that they have to get her somewhere safe, but Jean tells Scott to calm down, suggesting it could be a false alarm – but a moment later, the wall to the mansion is blown in and a mutan wearing a silver, pink and yellow armor appears. 'You mourn a false legacy! Charles Xavier was not a great man. He was a liar, a manipulator... and his students will suffer as he should have!' the mutant exclaims.

'Jean – don't overexert yourself' Cyclops calls out, but as she telekinetically lifts some rubble, Jean tells Cyclops that she is not helpless. 'In fact...I can still give this intruder a taste of his own medicine!' Jean declares as she directs the rubble back at the intruder. 'The name is Hazard! And if you stand in Xavier's shadow, you will perish as he did!' Hazard exclaims, gritting his teeth. 'You came here to insult Professor X and threaten my wife? Buddy, you picked the wrong fight!' Cyclops exclaims as he prepares to fire an optic blast.

In the skies over New York City, 'And can you believe the songs she picked for the encore?' Jubilee exclaims inside the X-Men's Blackbird, which is piloted by Bishop, while Gambit and Rogue sit nerby. 'Talk about, like, the perfect concert!' Jubilee adds. Gambit smiles and admits that Dazzler puts on a show. 'And de lady is quite a looker too, non?' Gambit adds. 'Remy! Ah swear!' Rogue exclaims. Gambit tells her not to worry, as he only has eyes for her – when suddenly, something hits the Blackbird, shunting it. Bishop announces that they have been hit with some sort of electromagnetic pulse, and that the Blackbird's controls are fried. He starts to bring the jet down as gently as he can, but tells the others to brace for a bumpy landing.

Rogue declares that she will get outside and try to slow the jet down, and while strapping herself into a seat, Jubilee asks if they are going to crash anyway, perhaps it's time for her to finally fly the jet? Ourside, Rogue holds up the Blackbird with her incredible strength and jokes that it is just like wrestling gators back home, and lowers the Blackbird down onto a nearby field. The others emerge from the Blackbird and Jubilee jokes 'When I said I should drop by Central Park more often, I didn't mean it literally!' Rogue suggests that it is a good thing it is after hours, as it could have been real bad if the Blackbird fritzed during the middle of the day. 'What hit us?' she then asks, to which a voice calls out 'That'd be me...name's Siena Blaze! And don't worry – your night can still get a whole lot worse!' a young woman in an orange and yellow costume exclaims as she leaps towards the X-Men, energy crackling around her hands.

Elsewhere, at Harry's Hideaway in Westchester, Logan sits alone at the bar, when a voice calls out 'Is that seat taken?' 'All yours, darlin'' Wolverine responds, before turning to see Storm and, noting her outfit, suggests that she might not be dressed for a dive like this. 'My new hairstyle fits in, does it not?' Storm responds, referring to her hair which is now styled up. Storm takes the seat next to Logan and tells him that she saw him leave the mansion in a hurry, and thought he might like some company. 'Came to see an old friend about a drink' Logan responds, narrowing his eyes as Storm asks him if this is about Jean. Logan hangs his head and supposes that he is the last to find out the big news. 'She did not yet tell me either, but I could discern what she was dancing around' Storm explains. Logan tells Storm that he wasn't trying to snoop on Jean and the boy scout, but the bad thing about enhanced senses is sometimes you hear stuff you're not meant to hear. 'The bond between you and Jean is unique, Logan. But you must accept -' Storm begins, when suddenly, Wolverine picks up a scent and tells Storm to hold that thought. 'I'm smelling something I really shouldn't be smelling. Something that stinks to high heaven!' Wolverine snarls as he pops his claws and leaps off of his bar stool.

Patrons in the bar look on in shock as a mutant bursts into the tavern in some sort of whirlwind. 'Mind if we drop in? My reservation should be under Riptide!' the mutant exclaims. Several wind-blades appear to be fired into the tavern from Riptide, but Storm deflects them with whirlwinds of her own. 'You are foolish enough to attack Storm, Mistress of the Elements with the forces of the wind? Hubris knows no bounds!' Storm exclaims. 'Neither to Sabretooth and the Marauders, frail. We go where we please!' Sabretooth snarls as he enters the tavern. Riptide hovers at his side, while three other mutants stand behind Sabretooth.

Back at the X-Mansion, the Beast pokes his head out of his laboratory after the mansion's alarms interrupted his reading – and is surprised to see the intruder smacked backwards against a wall thanks to Cyclops' powerful optic blast. 'Beast! This lunatic blew a hole in the mansion and almost crushed Jean!' Cyclops exclaims. 'I'm fine, Scott, really' Jean calls out. Hazard starts to get to his feet, while the Beast leaps at him, presuming that there is subtext beyond his grasp here. 'Ah well, one theory at a time' he decides – but before he can land a punch on Hazard, the intruder shouts 'Enough!' and blasts upwards through the ceiling, escaping through a hole in the mansion roof which he creates with his powers. 'Not how I would choose to install a skylight' the Beast remarks. Hazard glows with energy as he hovers above the mansion and declares that Charles Xavier left him to rot when his mutant powers manifested. 'If this mansion is to be his legacy...then let it reflect the ruin he leaves in his wake!'

Back in Central Park, 'Finally, I get to bust out the big guns!' Bishop announces as he holds up a large weapon towards Siena Blaze. But when he opens fire, Siena dodges the blast. 'Pew pew, Rambo...good luck lining up those crosshairs!' she exclaims as she darts about and creates a powerful blast, aiming it towards Jubilee, who is knocked off-balance. 'Hey!' Jubilee complains. Siena puts her hands on her hips and boasts that she is tapped into the Earth's electromagnetic field – so there is no limit to what she can pull off. 'Real bad for the planet, real fun for me!' she grins, unaware that Rogue is approaching her from behind – with one of her gloves removed. 'Ah think you've had enough fun, sugah!' Rogue remarks as she puts a hand on Siena's face. At first, Siena cries out in shock, but then energy engulfs her and Rogue, and she smiles as she tells Rogue: 'You want my powers, X-Lady? Good luck controlling them!' and Rogue screams as she is overwhelmed by Siena's incredible powers.

'We're taking this little shinding outside, Sabretooth!' Wolverine snarls as he pushes Sabretooth backwards out of Harry's Hideaway. 'Sounds good t'me, runt!' Sabretooth replies, before calling out to one of his teammates, Arclight, and telling her to 'Let 'er rip!' 'You heard 'em – let's party!' Arclight declares as she slams her fists onto the ground, creating a siesmic shock. 'Lightning, heed my command! No harm will come to this city tonight!' Storm announces as she takes flight above the street. 'I could say the same about my fellow Marauders, weather witch! Name's Prism, my powers can refract whatever you throw at us!' the Marauder called Prism boasts as a charge of lightning strikes his body, and he re-directs it back up into the sky.

'What's the matter, Creed – didn't think you could take me on yerself?' Wolverine asks as Sabretooth pulls back on Wolverine's arms. 'All these years watching you run with your little friends, figured I'd get some of my own' Sabretooth snarls, calling out to his other teammate, addressing him as Harpoon, he tells him to wrap this up so they can cash their checks. Unaware that a figure has appeared in the shadows behind him, Harpoon raises one of his weapons – but before he can aim it at Wolverine, the figure emerges from the shadows and taps him on the shoulders – it's Sabretooth. 'Careful, buddy – wouldn't want to hit the wrong angry, hairy, stabby guy, would you?' he asks. 'Huh? How'd you move so fast, Sabretooth?' Harpoon asks, confused.

'That's not me, you idiot!' the real Sabretooth exclaims as Wolverine escapes his grasp and shoves him backwards. 'Back off!' Wolverine snarls. The imposter Sabretooth suddenly vanishes as the impersonator reveals themselves: 'You've got to admit, I do a pretty convincing imitation. After all... they don't call me Morph for nothing!' the shapeshifter grins as they punch Harpoon hard in the face.

Characters Involved: 

Beast, Bishop, Cyclops, Gambit, “Jean Grey”, Jubilee, Rogue, Storm, Wolverine (all X-Men)

Trish Tilby

Mister Sinister
Siena Blaze
Arclight, Harpoon, Prism, Riptide, Sabretooth (all Marauders)


(in video footage)
Gorgeous George, Hairbag, Ruckus, Slab, Vertigo (all Nasty Boys)

(in video footage)

Story Notes: 

This series takes place between X-Men: The Animated Series season 5 episode 10 “Graduation Day” (originally aired 09/20/97), the final episode of the original series, and X-Men '97 season 1 episode 1 “To Me, My X-Mem” (which was first available to stream on 03/20/24).

The reality that the X-Men animated series and comic books takes place in is designate Earth-92131.

The Jean Grey appearing in this comic is actually Madelyne Pryor, as revealed in X-Men '97 season 1 episode 3, “Fire Made Flesh” (03/20/24).

Psylocke had a significant role to play in part 2 of the “Beyond Good and Evil” storyline of X-Men: The Animated Series, season 4 episode 19. She subsequently appeared in the background of season 4 episode 21. Earlier in the series, she had non-speaking cameo appearances in season 2 episode 5 and season 2 episode 11.

Sabretooth first appeared in the debut episode of X-Men: The Animated Series, and made several appearances throughout the rest of the series. 

Arclight made several cameo appearances throughout X-Men: the Animated Series, in season 4 episodes 3 and 4 two-part storyline “Sacntuary” (10/21/95 and 10/28/95), season 4 episode 7 “Secrets, Not Long Buried” (originally aired out-of-order on 02/17/96) and in season 5 episode 10, “Graduation Day” (09/20/97). She also appeared at the end of last issue alongside the other Marauders.

First full appearances of Harpoon, Prism and Riptide, who previously made cameo appearances at the end of last issue.

First full appearance of Siena Blaze, who made an appearance on a monitor at the end of last issue.

First full appearance of Hazard, who appeared on a monitor at the end of last issue.  In the main 616 universe, he first appeared in X-Men (2nd series) #12 and has history with the fathers of Charles Xavier and Cain Marko. 

Morph appeared periodically through the original X-Men: The Animated Series. Here, they appear with the blank-face look at they have adopted in the new X-Men '97 cartoon.

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