X-Men Adventures (Season II) #3

Issue Date: 
April 1994
Story Title: 
Cast a Giant Shadow

Ralph Macchio (writer), John Hebert (penciler), Jeff Albrecht (inker), Michael Higgins (letterer), Carlos Lopez (colorist), Jaye Gardner (assistant editor), Kelly Corvese (editor), Bob Harras (group editor), Tom DeFalco (editor-in-chief)

Based on the Teleplay by J J Lewald

Brief Description: 

A strange energy appears at Mt Kilimanjaro and takes possession of a teenage boy named Mjnari, giving him incredible destructive powers. While using Cerebro to try and find the missing Charles Xavier, Jean Grey detects this power surge, and when Storm realizes that it is in Africa, she becomes concerned and departs with Rogue to investigate. Upon arrival, they find a village ablaze, so after Rogue rescues some villagers, Storm uses her powers to put the flames out. Storm is reunited with Shani, a tribal elder and her old friend. While the possessed Mjanri watches from a distance, Storm explains how she is Mjnari's mother of sorts, and reveals that Mjnari possesses super-human speed. Mjnari confronts Storm, and she instantly recognizes that he has been possessed by the Shadow King, an old enemy of hers. To free Mjnari, Storm offers herself to the Shadow King. Rogue tries to stop her, but Storm knocks her friend aside. The Shadow King then takes possession of Storm, and with Mjnari free, Storm vows that the Shadow King will not use her for evil again. She remembers her previous dealings with him when she was a child, and flies into the atmosphere, which purges the Shadow King from her mind. Rogue grabs Storm and brings her back to Earth, which is when Mjnari alerts them to the energy glowing from Mt Kilimanjaro. The Shadow King appears before Storm, Rogue and Mjnari, so Mjnari races into the mountain, and through a tear in the Astral Plane. The Shadow King follows him in, and realizes that he is back in the Astral Plane, Storm reaches into the Astral Plane and is able to pull Mjnari free – the portal closes a moment later, trapping the Shadow King once again. Storm and Mjnari hug, before Storm and Rogue leave Africa. Meanwhile, Wolverine has tracked Morph to Central America, where he tries to make sense of what has been going on with Morph. Morph isn't interested in sharing, and escapes into the jungle. Finally, wandering the Savage Land, Magneto finds himself yanked into the air by a villager riding a dinosaur. Xavier is ab le to hurl a branch at the villager, causing him to jerk the dinosaur's reigns, and Magneto is released, dropped into a river. Charles dives into the river, but a moment later, both of them are swept over a large waterfall.


Full Summary: 

On the border of Kenya and Tanganyika rests the largest most majestic peak in all of Africa – Mount Kilimanjaro. No written reference had been made to thermal movement there until 1927. it was not until 1942 that unmistakable signs of activity were observed. Now, in 1994, this giant among giants once againn bellows its presence to all of the dark continent – as a mighty explosion ripples up through the volcano, lightning up the night sky. But, the cause of this eruption has little to do with normal volcanic process, as a strange glowing energy form rises from the volcano, a face can be seen, and hands reach down to two local villagers who are kicking a ball around nearby. 'Look Mjnari!' one of the boys exclaims. Minjari looks up and tells the other boy, Trisan, that there are enormous hands coming from the sky. 'And more – a face of evil!' Trisan adds, while the energy creature looms down over the boys: 'There you are, young one! I have need of you!' the energy form utters. 'No! Stay back – whatever you are!' Mjnari calls out – before the energy creature strikes him, and Mjnari screams as the energy being declares 'Too late! You are mine!'

'Mjnari!' Trisan calls out to his friend, who collapses to the ground, writhing in pain, he cries out for the energy creature to stay out, and to leave  him alone. Suddenly, Mjnari rises up, glowing like the energy creature, he hovers over the ground, and the energy creature's voice can be heard from Mjnari, boasting that this form will do nicely. 'My friend – what has happened to you?' Trisan asks. Mjnari grins wickedly and replies 'Something beyond your wildest imaginings! Something wonderful!'

Meanwhile, half a world away at Professor Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, in Westchester County, New York, where inside the ultra high-tech War Room, two of the X-Men – Jean Grey and Hank McCoy the Beast – have taken note of the awesome occurrence. 'Extraordinary!' the Beast utters as he examines some computer readings, and asks Jean what sort of phenomenon Cerebro has ascertained. With the Cerebro helmet on her head, Jean tells Hank that she isn't quite sure, explaining that she was using the machine to attempt a comprehensive world-wide scan in hopes of discovering Professor X's location, when this appeared on a screen. She adds that it seems to be a localized reading or tearing in the Psychic Plane, which Cerebro is programmed to register. 'Perhaps if I concentrate further...' Jean begins. 'Curiouser and curiouser, as the lass through the looking glass was known to have intoned' the Beast remarks.

There is a flash on the computer screen, and the Beast asks 'What a sight for sore spectacles has just crossed the threshold to favour us, Jean...' Jean removes the Cerebro helmet, 'I hear you, Hank' she replies, before noticing Ororo Munroe a.k.a. Storm enter the War Room. 'We didn't expect to see you out of the hospital so quickly' Jean tells Storm, before asking her how she is feeling. 'Aside from some sore ribs, I am doing fine' Storm replies, touching her side, before explaining that Rogue brought her home. 'She threatened to make it rain in the operatin' rooms 'less they let her out. Ah like  her spunk!' Rogue grins as she stands nearby. Rogue then asks Jean and Hank what they are doing by Cerebro. Jean explains that they are searching for the Professor, but instead they have discovered a tear of sorts on the psychic plane – but the most fascinating part is that it seems to be shrinking – healing itself. Suddenly, Storm goes wide-eyed upon seeing the location of the tear. 'Africa – no! I must leave at once!' she announces.

Elsewhere, in an Equatorial rain forest in Central America, 'Thanks for the lift, Bub. Figure I can go it alone from here' Wolverine a.k.a. Logan tells the driver of a boat that has dropped him off on a jetty that juts out over a large river. A non-descript wooden building is at the end of the jetty, and Wolverine enters it. The building appears to be some kind of bar, and calling out to the man behind the counter Wolverine exclaims 'Game's up, Morph. I tracked yer hide clear down here – and yer coming back with me'. Wolverine tells Morph that the bartender disguise doesn't fool him – he has his scent, and you can't fake that. 'C'mon. Sure ya turned against us fer awhile, but in the end, ya went after Sinister yerself. I'll forgive an' ferget, but ya gotta meet me halfway' Logan tells Morph, asking him 'What's it gonna flippin' be?' The bartender suddenly changes form – Logan was right, it is Morph. 'Speaking of “flippin',” Logan...how do you like this flip?' Morph asks as he pushes the bar counter over, knocking Wolverine to the floor.

'So you have to take me back, eh? Just can't live without me, can you? Maybe you can't live without love, hmmm?' Morph asks, leaning over Wolverine as he shifts into the form of Jean Grey. 'What're you jabberin' about – an' what're you changing into?' Logan snarls. Morph, as Jean, leans in closer to Logan: 'Oh, just the woman you madly adore...who's always on your mind' Morph grins. 'Jeanie!' Logan gasps. 'Yes, Jean Grey, your own gtrue love, who's in love with -' Morph starts to reply, before he starts to run away, '- Cyclops! Ha ha ha! Must dash!' Morph calls back as he runs from the bar. 'You crossed the line, Bub! Better keep runnin', 'cause when I get ahold o' you – you'll be... gone. Blast!' Wolverine mutters as he claws his way through the bar counter that was pushed on him, then races out of the bar, but can't find Morph.

Two hours later, over African skies, Storm pilots one of the X-Men's Blackbird jets as Rogue asks her if she is sure this was wise of her to make the trk here, still being injured and all. Storm responds by informing Rogue that the location of the tear was in this vicinity – where her home village is located, so nothing could have kept her away. Storm adds that she shall be fine, as flying the Blackbird here has conserved her energy. Suddenly, Storm notices three villages down below that are afire. 'We must put the blazes out!' she exclaims. 'You got it, gal!' Rogue replies, offering to fly down there and take care of business while Storm lands this plane. Rogue does so, exiting the Blackbird, she flies down to the ground, knowing she has to move fast, or else the kids in the village are going to be greased by a wall that is starting to fall. 'Hang on, gang! Ah gotcha!' Rogue exclaims as she swoops down and grabs the two children, flying them out of the way of the flaming wall that collpses to the ground.

Rogue drops to the ground and tells the youngsters not to move, that she will shield them from any falling debris – when suddenly, it begins to rain, and hard. 'Never thought Ah'd feel so danged good getting wet' Rogue remarks, looking up to the sky, where Storm hovers, arms raised above her head, the rain pours down and lightning crackles behind her as she shouts ' Rains – descend and quench the flames! Do not cease until every cinder is extinguished!' Rogue calls out to Storm, telling her that not only has she got a way with water – but she does pretty fine with words, too. Storm reports that from her vantage point she can see that the other two villages have been equally inundated, and she believes all are safe. Storm then thanks Rogue, who tells Storm that it was she who did all the hard work, she just grabbed a couple of kids.

Moments later, the village leader emerges from her dwelling to greet the newcomers. 'Ororo! This is truly an unexpected surprise! You have arrived home so fortuitously... to save the lives of your people' the woman wearing a purple dress remarks. Storm grins: 'Greetings, Shani, tribal leader' before introducing Shani to Rogue, her friend and fellow X-Man. 'Pleased tuh make yoh acquaintance, ma'am' Rogue tells Shani. Shani then asks Storm what has brought her this way. Storm explains that their instruments recorded a disturbance in the etheric plane located here. 'Oh, Storm, this can only mean the problem is Mjnari' Shani utters as the two women hug. Rogue smiles and asks Shani to lead them to this Mjanri character – they will whip his butt good and teach him a few bedside manners. Storm turns to Rogue and remarks that the situation bears further scrutiny, and reveals that Mjnari is her son. 'Yoh son!?' the shocked Rogue utters, wide-eyed.

At that moment, on a rocky outcropping above the village, Mjnari holds out a hand as the rain falls down. 'Rain. She has returned. As I planned. Storm godmother to this body, slave to this soul. How will you greet us now?' he remarks. His eyes flash with the energy of his possessor as he grins, 'Soon, you will return where you belong – into the service of the Shadow King!'

Back down in the village, Rogue and Storm are working with Shani to make repairs to the damages. Rogue tells them that they have to fill her in on this situation, as there is a real gap in her understanding. Shani asks Storm if she objects to that, to which Storm tells Shani that Rogue is like a sister to her. Shani reveals that Mjnari's birth was very difficult, and although the mid-wife helped her survive it, the baby was not breathing – so young Ororo, of the tribe, sought to aid him, literally breathing life into him, a form of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Shani informs Rogue that during her recovery, Ororo cared for Mjnari, and they became almost inseparable. Then, one day, Ororo left the village that she had come into as an orphan – left as one of them, and second mother to Mjnari. Shani reveals that one year ago, Mjnari developed a special skill, as Ororo did, he ran faster than anyone – and to see him do this was both beautiful and terrifying.

Shani announces that yesterday, something horribile happened, and Mjnari changed. 'For the better, mother dear!' a voice calls out. 'Mjnari!' Storm exclaims, turning to the young man, who strides towards them. 'All for the better' Mjnari grins, his eyes flashing. 'This must be our problem child' Rogue jokes. Mjnari – or rather, the Shadow King possessing him – remarks that he is unafamiliar with Rogue: 'But Storm recognizes me, don't you?' he snarls. 'No! Shadow King!' Storm gasps in horror. 'You appear shocked. Did you think we would never meet again?' the Shadow King asks. Storm reminds the Shadow King that when they last encountered, Professor Xavier banished him to the Astral Plane. 'What has happened to my son!?' Shani utters. 'Easy, ma'am, easy' Rogue tells her as she tries to comfort her.

The Shadow King boasts that banishment ends, and proposes that he releases this child from his control, if Storm, in her infinite wisdom, volunteers to take his place. 'Your answer?' he asks. 'Yes. Yes...if it will free the boy, I accede' Storm responds, hanging her head. 'It is me you want, after all' she adds. Storm then strides towards the Shadow King-possessed Mjnari, and tells him that she is his. 'Not if this gal's got anything tuh say about it!' Rogue exclaims as she flies after her friend. 'You do not! This is my decision alone!' Storm responds, striking Rogue with a blast of lightning. Mjnari opens his mouth, and the Shadow King begins to exit his body, and starts to engulf Storm. 'My essence into you. Feel the energies coursing through you – permeating every cell – assuming absolute control! Such ecstasy!' the Shadow King declares. Rogue watches in shock, 'Oh, Storm – tell me you didn't let it happen' she utters. 'Tell me you didn't throw yoh life away! Tell me!' Rogue cries out.

Storm grins as the Shadow King controls her body, and boasts 'She has hardly thrown her life away. She has begun it anew! A glorious rebirth in the service of the Shadow King!' The Shadow King control's Storm, rising up into the air and knocking Rogue back with a surge of lightning. Mjnari goes over to Rogue and asks her to tell him what happened, as he has no memory. Rogue tells Mjnari that his mama will fill him later, but right now they have a more immediate problem. 'That fool Xavier would never dare attack me in this body!' the Shadow King declares, when suddenly, Storm is able to speak, vowing that the Shadow King will not use her for evil again – not as he did when she was a child. Storm remembers being on the streets of Cairo, a thief in the Shadow King's employ – never allowed to keep anything she acquired, she did everything in his service – and was humiliated in return.

'I will never allow that to happen again!' Storm exclaims, sweat pouring down her face. She flies high into the air, vowing that she will starve this body of oxygen, that she will fly beyond the point there is breathable air. 'Stop! You could kill us both! Succumb to my will! Succumb!' the Shadow King calls out. 'Never! I will die before remaining in your thrall!' Storm responds, before she begins to falter, she is light-headed, and dizzy – there is no more air, and she begins to fall. At this moment, the Shadow King departs Storm's body, 'Very well, Ororo. Savor your small victory in the moments of life remaining to you!' the Shadow King tells her, warning her that he will seek out a more abiding host – but that Storm will pay.

Storm begins to freefall back to Earth, but thankfully Rogue is watching and flies up to grab her friend. 'Gotcha! Good thing Ah followed yuh up heah! Ah figured you'd never let him take ovah without a scrap!' Rogue exclaims. Rogue drops back down to the village, as Mjnari rushes over to her, 'Ororo! Are you all right? Are you hurt?' he calls out. Rogue tells Mjnari to keep his shirt on, as Ororo is still among the living. 'You cannot imagine how wonderful it is to see you. But I knew there was no evil powerful enough to conquer the one who holds such a special place in my heart' Mjnari smiles. Storm touches her godson's face and smiles as she tells him that it was his love that sustained her, as she knew she would see him again in this life.

Rogue tells Storm that she doesn't have anything against touching reunions, but that she thinks they should sneak a peek at Kilimanjaro. 'Yes! There!' Mjnari shouts as he looks over at the mountain and points at the glow atop it. He explains that yesterday that glow seemed to cover the entire mountain before it exploded, and now it has lessened in size, but that is where the monster had come down from. Rogue adds that that is where the blip showed up on their Cerebro machine, so she figures the Astral Plane opening must be in the mountain. Suddenly, the fiery form of the Shadow King soars down from the mountain and shouts 'For the sin of resistance, Storm, you and these others will suffer as none before you have ever suffered! Prepare to meet your fate!'

Storm looks up in shock and tells Rogue and Mjnari that they must drive the Shadow King back behind the Astral Plane barrier before the tear re-seals. 'But it is not even certain that we can get there in time' she adds. 'I can get there in time – and I will!' Mjnari boasts as he suddenly speeds towards the mountain, despite Storm calling out after him 'No! You could be killed!' But Mjanri runs on, and when he reaches the Shadow King calls out 'Ho! This way, demon – follow the leader!' The Shadow King's astral form turns and pursues Mjnari back up the mountain, 'You cannot outrun me, strippling! I will absorb you with the others! Make it easy on yourself!' the Shadow King calls out. Storm and Rogue are following too, and Rogue tells Storm to step on it as they see Mjnari slip through the portal to the Astral Plane. 'Your fight is useless! You are mine! MINE!' the Shadow King shouts.

The Shadow King re-enters the Astral Plane behind Mjnari, 'MINE!' he booms, while Mjnari looks back and tells him 'No, demon! You are mine! Or have you been so intent on my capture that you have failed to note your surroundings?' Mjnari grins. The Shadow King is furious, 'NOOOO!' he screams. 'I'm back in the cursed limbo! I've been tricked by a child!' the Shadow King declares, while Mjnari notices that the entrance to the Astral Plane is becoming smaller. He tells the Shadow King that he will never escape now.

At that moment, Storm is furiously reaching into the ever-closing tear to the Astral Plane, calling out for Mjnari, 'Wherever you are! I can only get my arm through! Reach me – hear me!' Storm exclaims. Rogue is holding onto Storm to prevent her from climbing through the tear, and tells her that it is over, that she has to face it – Mjnari is gone. 'No! No! I can feel his hand – his small fingers grabbing, clutching mine! I will not let go!' Storm replies, while asking Rogue to help her pull back – and quickly. Rogue does so, 'Gonna give it all Ah got, lady! Just hope Ah don't rip yoh arm outta its socket!' Rogue remarks as she pulls Storm backwards – and Mjnari too, emerging through the tear to the Astral Plane. 'Storm! I'm through! I saw your hand – I knew it was you – you'd never leave me! Never!' Mjnari calls out. Storm and Mjnari embrace, 'Oh, come to me, some to me. You are safe. My son' Storm utters, while Rogue smiles as the tear to the Astral Plane closes, 'Looks like we've seen the last of ol' pop-tart head! Hope he took something to read with him... “Gone with the wind” maybe' Rogue jokes.

Shortly, Storm and Rogue stand near the Blackbird jet, as Storm embraces Shani and tells her that it is a pity she came back under such circumstances. 'Yes, but without your aid, all would have been lost. How can I ever thank you?' Shani responds. 'By seeing that our son continues to grow strong, with the power of your spirit within him' Storm tells her friend. Rogue smiles and tells Mjnari that he is one heck of a kid, and suggests that if he ever makes it Stateside, he should look them and they can show him and his mom some of the sights. Storm and Mjnari hug, as Storm smiles and declares that someday Mjnari will come to America, and a new world of experience will await him. Mjnari grins and bids Storm goodbye, assuring her that he will continue to hone his powers until that time comes – when he may become an X-Man!

Moments later, villagers gather around as the Blackbird jet rises, and inside, Rogue asks Storm if she thinks there has been any word from the Professor. Storm tells Rogue that she does not know, but that even if Xavier is absent in a physical sense, she believes that wherever he is, his thoughts were with them on this day.

Meanwhile, in Antarctica, where a hand belonging to Charles Xavier emerges from the snow. Charles pulls himself free, and looks over to see Magneto nearby. 'You survived the sudden avalanche as well, I see' Charles remarks, before asking Magneto why he asked him to meet him here. 'I was under the impression it was you who summoned me here' Magneto replies, before pointing out that it appears they have been duped by a third party. Suddenly, to his surprise, Charles is able to stand, and walk. But he realizes that his mental powers have faded. He wonders what has happened, as Magneto reveals that his magnetic powers have inexplicably disappeared, which has never happened to him before – in the Savage Land!

'Savage Land?' Charles asks as he looks out over a lush green landscape, full of jungles, mountains and rivers. Magneto reveals that has been here before, in this mysterious jungle valley beneath an opening in the antarctic ice. Magneto adds that the avalanche deposited them here, and tells Charles to gaze upon the lost world of legend. 'I have never seen such a sight! It's breathtaking!' Xavier gasps. He wonders why they were directed here and what all this means – when suddenly, Magneto is dragged into the air by a winged dinosaur called a pterodactyl that is being ridden by a warrior. 'Must rescue him!' Charles exclaims, picking up a fallen branch, he hurls it at the rider, striking the warrior, who jerks the reins, and the dinosaur pulls back, releasing Magneto from its grasp. Magneto plummets to a large river below, and realizing that he could be in shock and may drown, Xavier dives into the river after him. Xavier grabs Magneto, and starts to swim back to shore – but he isn't used to working his feet, and the current is too strong – as it forces the two over a large waterfall...!


Characters Involved: 

Beast, Jean Grey, Rogue, Storm, Wolverine, Professor X (all X-Men)




Shadow King


Mjnari, Shani, Trisan



Savage Land warriors

in flashback images:

Ororoas a child and adult

Mjnari, Shani


Shadow King


Story Notes: 

This issue is based on “Whatever It Takes” which originally screened on November 6 1993.

The Professor left to go in search of Magneto in X-Men Adventures (Season II) #1, although the X-Men do not know that.

Storm was injured by a member of the Friends of Humanity in X-Men Adventures (Season II) #1, and was seen in hospital last issue.

Morph fled the X-Men as they battled Mr Sinister last issue.

This issue includes a bonus pin up featuring Wolverine battling Sabretooth while Cyclops, Jubilee and Gambit look on.

Issue Information: 
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