X-Men Adventures (Season II) #4

Issue Date: 
May 1994
Story Title: 
Red Death

Ralph Macchio (writer), John Hebert (penciler), Greg Adams (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 Ted Peterson and Francis Moss

Brief Description: 

In Russia, a deadly being known as Omega Red is freed from stasis by a government faction determined to restore the glory of the Soviet Union. Omega Red kills the scientists and military officials who were monitoring, while Darkstar informs the government officials of Omega Red's return. In Westchester County, New York, young mutant Jubilee is out skateboarding when she comes across a convenience store that is under seige by Friends of Humanity members who take liberty with the fact that the store serves mutants. They threaten the clerk and trash the store. Jubilee tries to intervene, but she is knocked out by a bottle that is thrown at her. Fortunately, Colossus arrives and the Friends of Humanity members run from him. Colossus helps Jubilee, and accompanies her back to the X-Men's Mansion. Colossus explains that he has come seeking the X-Men's help, as his people are being driven from their homeland by Omega Red and his supporters. There are no X-Men at the Mansion, but Jubilee is determined to help Colossus, and accompanies him back to Russia after leaving a note for her teammates. Upon arriving at his farm, Colossus is horrified to find his home destroyed and his family missing. He recounts the time his mutant powers activated when he saved his sister from a runaway tractor. Thankfully, his sister, Illyana, emerges from the rubble of the family home after hiding from the forces who destroyed it. Nearby, at the regional capitol building, Omega Red lashes out at some politicians, dissolving the parliament, Omega Red tells Darkstar that the people demand the return of the iron hand of a true leader, causing Darkstar to think that this has gone too far. Back in the United States, Wolverine, Storm and Rogue return to the Mansion and discover Jubilee's notes. Wolverine recognizes the name Omega Red and is concerned for Jubilee. Meanwhile, Colossus, Jubilee and Illyana arrive at the facility where soldiers are keeping Colossus's parents and other prisoners. Colossus launches an attack on the facility, before he begins to fight Omega Red – thankfully, the X-Men arrive moments later, and old enemies Wolverine and Omega Red engage each other in battle. Rogue lends an assist by dropping a tank on Omega Red. The battle continues until Darkstar arrives, and turns against Omega Red, instructing Storm to use her powers to freeze Omega Red – that it is the only way to stop him. Storm does, and encases Omega Red in the frozen ice, placing him in stasis once again. Colossus is reunited with his family, and Darkstar returns to the government officials responsible for freeing Omega Red, informing them that their reign of terror is over. Meanwhile, in the Savage Land, Xavier and Magneto run from a Tyrannosaurus, when an earthquake occurs, and the T-Rex falls into a volcano – although Xavier almost falls in with it. Magneto hesitates for a moment, before helping Xavier to safety, and they continue on into a jungle.


Full Summary: 

The snow falls heavily around the Caucasus, between Ukraine and Georgia, near the Black Sea. Inside the high-tech building, a scene of frantic, purposeful activity, as a harrowing experiment nears its unexpected climax. 'No! The power surge – overwhelming the circuits and dampening the relays! We must abandon this station at once!' a bald man in a suit exclaims in his native Russian to two others wearing lab coats, but suddenly, a containment tank in the center of the lab explodes, and a figure materializes. The figure has pale skin and long blond hair, wearing a red and white costume, he towers over the others in the room and declares 'They restrained me once – years ago! The leaders were weak and must have lost their empire'. He boasts that now he has been restored – more powerful than before – a living weapon the rulers had grown to fear. He exclaims that the empire shall live again, while the rulers shall not. 'So speaks...OMEGA RED!'

In a library within Red Square in Moscow, but inside the library there is a room that functions far differently than as a place of learning. Three men in military attire stand or sit in the room. 'So it begins, Kreshov' one of them remarks. Kreshov agrees, and announces that before this night ends, they will have made the first step towards the restoration of former glory. 'And we three generals are the authors of the great change which will wipe the shame that reformists have burdened our people with' the third general states. Kreshov motions to several monitors on the wall which depict various scenes of chaos, and then turns to a large map on the wall and tells Gregor to look at the territory once encompassing the most feared empire in history – the Soviet Union. Kreshov exclaims that now the Soviet Union lies fragmented, split into impotent republics with neither the will nor the resources to achieve greatness. He declares that tonight they begin the task of reunification – and all they need it confirmation of the final player's entry.

Suddenly, a door to the room opens and a stunning woman with long blonde hair, wearing a long coat over her black and yellow costume appears. 'You now have that confirmation, General Kreshov' she announces. 'Darkstar!' one of the generals exclaims, before Darkstar declares that Omega Red has been released from bondage – he lives again!

Two days later, in the town of New Salem in New York's Westchester County, the young mutant called Jubilee smiles as she skateboards down a sidewalk, leaping over a park bench to land on the skateboard as it rolls under the bench. Jubilee thinks that fighting holograms in the Danger Room is rad, and flying around in the Blackbird is neat-o-reen-o, but skateboarding completely rules.  'Now I gotta get some serious munchies or this x-girl is gonna starve!' Jubilee thinks to herself as she sees a convenience store, but as she removes her skateboarding helmet, she is shocked to see somebody has scrawled poison on the wall  - “Destroy all Mutants – FOH”. Putting her shades on, Jubilee asks 'With the Friends of Humanity – who needs enemies?' She suddenly hears some noise coming from the store, and as she enters, she finds members of the Friends of Humanity vandalizing the store and harassing the clerk. 'We understand you serve mutants in this dive, pops!' one of the Friends of Humanity exclaims, grabbing the clerk by his shirt. 'Yeah! We're gonna clear out the cash register then make a few adjustments in yer décor!' one of the Friends of Humanity snaps. 'Then maybe you'll get the picture' he tells the clerk, who asks the brutes not to hurt him, just to take the money and go.

'Hey, dorks! Try picking on someone your own size!' Jubilee shouts, which causes the Friends of Humanity to turn to her, 'It's a mutie -' one of them exclaims, as Jubilee blasts them with one of her plasma fireworks. 'Mild plasma burst should drop him' Jubilee thinks to herself, before one of the Friends of Humanity shouts 'Don't sweat it! I'll nail her with this!' as one of them throws a bottle at Jubilee, which strikes her in the head. At that moment, a muscular man walks towards the convenience store door, 'That commotion inside this convenience outlet! It appears Peter Rasputin must leave...replaced by his mutant persona...Colossus!' the now steel-skinned mutant declares as he bursts into the convenience store, while Jubilee utters 'Ohh... my head...' as she sits slumped on the floor. 'Check out the walking tin can!' one of the Friends of Humanity declares as they all turn their attention on Colossus, who frowns as the Friends of Humanity hurl cans and other foodstuffs at him.

'In my country, we would never waste goods in this manner! Your profligacy angers me!' Colossus exclaims, suggesting that the Friends of Humanity need a lesson in the ways of thrift. This causes the Friends of Humanity to turn and run for their lives. 'Let's book, boys!' one of them calls out. 'You ain't kiddin'! I saw the look on that metal man's kisser!' another exclaims. 'And I'm gonna see it again tonight – in my nightmares!' a third utters. Colossus helps Jubilee stand up and hugs her, telling her that it is good to see her, and that it is fortunate he was passing by when he did. 'Hey, I had a handle on those pugs, big guy! Just another few seconds – they were toast!' Jubilee boasts, before asking Colossus what brings him back to her neck of the woods.

Shortly, at Professor Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters, 'And that is the sad tale. Omega Red has risen to menace us anew. My people are being driven from their homeland by those who follow him' Colossus remarks, adding that he must speak to Professor Xavier. 'Outta luck' Jubilee replies, explaining that the Professor disappeared a few weeks ago, and the rest of the X-Dweebs have split for somewhere, and she doesn't know when they will pop in. Colossus tells Jubilee that he has little time to wait, and that the destruction will continue unchecked, and he is the only one who stands a chance. Colossus asks Jubilee if she will join him, aid him in the struggle to save his homeland. 'Like, you don't have to ask me twice!' Jubilee replies as she starts to write a quick note, then they can leave in the Blackbird – or a dinky mini-jet. Jubilee tells Colossus that she just needs to pack a parka and some booties, then they can go kick major butt. Referring to the bag of groceries on the table, Jubilee adds that she needs to take these Twinkies, too. 'Don't laugh' she asks Colossus, before leaving a note on the fridge that says she has gone to Colossus's home town to stop some guy named Omega Red.

Several hours later, at the outskirts of a small city in the Caucasus, the mini-jet that Jubilee and Colossus used to get here descends, with Jubilee explaining that the Professor simplified the controls so that even she could land it. Smoke rises from the field where the vessel lands, and Colossus races towards the smoke, with Jubilee calls out to him, asking him to wait. 'I cannot! I must see for myself!' Colossus calls back, before he shouts 'NO! NO IT CANNOT BE!' as a look of horror falls across his house. Jubilee catches up to Colossus as he stands before some rubble, where a small home used to stand, the smoke rising from it. 'What is this place?' Jubilee, wearing a red and white costume, asks. Colossus tells her that it is his farm, his home – and apparently, Omega Red has visited here already. Jubilee tells Peter to pull his self together, and that she is here because she wants to help. Jubilee points out that there are no people around, so perhaps they got away, and tells him to hold onto that.

Colossus supposes that Jubilee might be right, but explains that seeing his home in shambles, and knowing he was not here to defend it makes him feel so helpless. Colossus informs Jubilee that his life here was hard, and won't romanticize it, but the labors he performed on their collective had singular rewards – the constant toil broadened his back, strengthened his limbs and gave him purpose. But one fine, sunny day...it ended. Colossus recalls how a tractor, unattended, jumped into gear and headed towards his sister, Illyana, who was playing in a field. Colossus explains that he raced towards his sister, transforming into his mutant form, though in his heart, he knew he would never reach her in time. Their father arrived first, and shoved Illyana out of the tractor's path – and into it, himself. But by then, he had reached the spot, danger lending wings to his feet, and in turn, he pushed his father out of the way. Being no longer of flesh and blood, he remembers turning to face the onrushing monster which had stolen all that was precious to him, and stopped it – the tractor slamming into his metal form, it was destroyed.

Colossus informs Jubilee that the government was always suspicious of any damage to equipment, and workers responsible were branded “wreckers” or disloyal, so he, a mutant,  took that blame, and he left his home and country, rather than bring the wrath of the state down upon his family. 'And now... now I may never see them alive again. Curse this day! What I wouldn't give to -' Colossus begins, when suddenly, a voice calls out 'Piotr!', and Colossus looks up to see a young blonde girl, Illyana, running towards him. 'Guess this must be sis!' Jubilee exclaims, while Colossus tells Illyana that she cannot know how good it is to see her. He then asks her where everyone else is, as she leaps into his arms. Illyana reveals that she hid when the soldiers came, and that the rest were taken away. 'We must rescue them!' she utters. Jubilee realizes that sounds like a call to arms, and hopes that the X-Men got her note on the fridge.

Meantime, in the regional capitol building, near the farm collective of Peter Rasputin, Omega Red uses one of the cables that extend from his body to lift a man in a suit into the air. 'You cannot come in here like this! You -' he begins, before Omega Red interrupts, calling the man “Mr President” and boasting that he goes where he wishes. 'This parliament is -' the President begins, as Omega Red throws him to the ground, he exclaims 'Dissolved!' Omega Red announces that this pitiful excuse for a country no longer exists, and thus is has no need of leaders. Suddenly, Darkstar appears, and tells Omega Red to stop. She reminds him that they were instructed only to exile the parliament.

Omega Red grabs Darkstar, 'Instructed – Darkstar?! The people instruct me!' he exclaims, declaring that in the chaos of disunion, the people are frightened, that they demand a return of the iron hand of a true ruler – his iron hand. Darkstar looks concerned, and wonders if in their zeal to restore the Soviet Empire to glory, whether they have gone too far. 'Have we reawakened an indiscriminate monster who soon will crush us all?' Darkstar asks herself.

Back across the Atlantic Ocean, in the more comfortable surroundings of the School for Gifted Youngsters, where Ororo Munroe a.k.a. Storm has found Jubilee's note. She tells Rogue that it appears their impetuous Jubilation has left for Russian soil, possibly in the company of Peter Rasputin, to deal with some threat. Rogue remarks that she admires Jubilee's spunk, but she does seem to have ants marching around in her britches. Rogue takes a look at the note and wonders what all the fuss is, and why Jubilee had to leave so directly. 'I would assume – oh – Logan!' Storm calls out as Logan a.k.a. Wolverine enters the kitchen. Rogue tells Logan that he is a sight for sore eyes and asks him what he has been up to. 'Up to? Up to my ears in stinking malaria-infested jungles, lady – that's what!' Wolverine retorts, explaining that he was tracking Morph, and almost nabbed him, too, in some Equatorial jungle, but Morph gave him the slip. Logan glances at Jubilee's note, and at seeing Omega Red's name written on the note, he grows concerned, and tells Rogue and Storm to saddle up the Blackbird, as Jubilee doesn't know what she has gotten herself into – if she crosses paths with that maniac, then it is curtains. 'We got a date in Boris Yeltsin's backyard!' Wolverine exclaims.

At that moment, back in the former USSR, Colossus, Jubilee and Illyana are on a hillside, overlooking a fenced facility. 'There! That is where the soldiers brought our people... our parents!' Illyana exclaims as a tank is positioned out the front of the fence surrounding the facility. Colossus identifies it as the Gulag, and remarks that it has been abandoned since the days of Stalin, but now re-opened with the coming of Omega Red. Jubilee tells Colossus that if Cyclops were here, he would say they have to look at all angles before they rush in. 'Well, he is not here, child! And below, my family is imprisoned – held captive simply because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time!' Colossus transforms to his steel form and shouts 'By the white wolf! This injustice shall not stand!' He rushes down the hillside to the Gulag, 'Fire at will! Your weapons of oppression cannot stop Colossus!' he declares.

A soldier in the tank opens fire, and is surprised that Colossus continues to move forward despite the bombardment. 'He's inhuman!' the soldier exclaims, before Colossus lifts the large tank up and hurls it into the gate, deciding that the personal carrier will serve some positive function – as it becomes a battering ram into this place of horror. Jubilee runs past Colossus, blasting some fireworks around, she remarks that it looks like they will save the subtlety for another day. 'Thanks for listening, Petey, you dork!' Jubilee calls out. 'Very inspirational... Colossus. There may be a place for you in the coming rebirth of Soviet dominance' a voice calls out, and Colossus goes wide-eyed, shocked as he turns to see Omega Red standing nearby.

Omega Red has captured Illyana, who can be seeing crying as she is restrained by Omega Red's cables. Omega Red declares that he believes families should remain together, sharing the burden and bounty of life in their glorious empire. 'Do you not agree, little one?' he asks Illyana, but gets no response. Omega Red then wraps a cable around Colossus's body and lifts him into the air, 'Let me acquaint you with me strength sapping coils, Colossus! Feel them snake around you – squeezing your breath... crushing the life from you'. Omega Red warns Colossus that soon his sister will share his fate – and they will be together. 'See ya ain't changed much, Red. Still talking trash to the natives. Now put the rube down before I get mad!' Wolverine snarls as he appears behind Omega Red. 'A voice – from the past. Wolverine' Omega Red utters.

'You get the doorprize, Bub! A brand new set of adamantium claws – stuffed down yer stinkin' throat!' Wolverine exclaims as he leaps towards Omega Red, who has dropped Colossus, and attempts to wrap one of his energy-draining coils around Wolverine. Omega Red scowls and remarks that Wolverine has changed little since they last clashed, and warns him that this time he will not be so merciful – now their encounter will end more satisfyingly – with Wolverine's death! Wolverine struggles to free himself from the cables, 'Haven't escaped yet, Logan?' Omega Red grins, telling him that he must be slipping – that it must hurt to grow old and feeble. 'Yer never gonna find out, Red! Yer mine! All mine!' Logan shouts back, struggling against the power-draining capabilities of Omega Red, who just grins wickedly and remarks that he might have Logan's corpse stuffed and mounted in the Red Square – a symbol of his triumph.

Omega Red looks concerned as a shadow falls over him, 'What can it be?' he wonders, looking up, he is too late to react, as Rogue drops the large tank on top of him. 'Ain't you evah seen a li'l ol' tank before, Omega man?' Rogue calls out, telling him that she will let him have a real close look. Wolverine drops to the ground, and frees himself from the cables, as Storm drops down from above. Colossus, Jubilee and Illyana regroup with the others, as Storm tells Rogue that was a dangerous move. If that tank had struck Wolverine as well...' her voice trails off, while Rogue tells Storm to keep her shirt on, that she had it all figured to the decimal point. Colossus thanks Wolverine for coming to his aid, and remarks that it seems Wolverine has encountered their enemy before. Colossus then asks Wolverine if he can tell him what a “rube” is. 'Uhh, some other time' Wolverine responds, before confirming that he and Omega Red – whose real name is Arkady – go back a ways.

Wolverine reveals that he and Omega Red first tangled when he was first created, and Logan was doing espionage work. He explains that Omega Red was the Soviet's super-man – their ultimate weapon – but he got out of hand and they had to put the kibosh on him. Colossus remarks that he had heard whispered tales of such a being when he was a child, so when he discovered Omega Red had reawakened, he came to America to enlist the X-Men in his struggle, but only encountered the brave Jubilee. 'Brave – and foolish!' Storm declares, telling Jubilation that she should have waited. 'But, like – who knew when you guys were coming back?' Jubilee responds. Rogue starts to tell Storm that Jubilee has a point, and to give her a break, when suddenly, 'Guess who's looking for a rematch?' Wolverine asks as Omega Red pushes the tank up off his body. 'You had a respite, Logan – nothing more! Omega Red cannot be stopped! The force of history itself is on my side!' Omega Red boasts.

'Sure you want another piece of this gent, Colossus?' Wolverine asks as he and Colossus run towards Omega Red. 'Try and stop me, my friend' Colossus replies. But Omega Red snatches both Colossus and Wolverine in his coils, 'Looks like I gotta pull yer fat outta the fire again, Rasputin!' Wolverine remarks, while Omega Red states that that is one of the charming American expressions – and he must learn them as the day of his conquest over them approaches. 'Yeah... well – here's another sayin' ya oughtta write down... in yer ear, Bub!' Logan retorts as he snarls at Omega Red.

'Your last words – a fitting epitaph for one defiant to the end' Omega Red replies. He raises Wolverine and Colossus overhead and boasts that he will enjoy this. Wolverine thinks to himself that he has gotta rake Omega Red's eyes – and only has one chance, when suddenly, Rogue swoops in, 'Hang on, Wolvie! Heah comes the cavalry!' Rogue exclaims as she slams into Omega Red.

'A compatriot of Wolverine – a female! I shall drain whatever foolish power you possess – as easily as I have that of your misguided fellows!' Omega Red calls out, suggesting Rogue prepare to die, as he wraps a cable around her. But Rogue just smiles and asks if she is supposed to be impressed. A look of horror spreads across Omega Red's face, 'No! This has never happened!' he exclaims, as he cannot sense any strength being drained from her. 'How -?' Omega Red begins to ask, before Rogue easily tears herself free from the cables, she informs Omega Red that part of her powers is absorbing the powers of others. 'So yoh tight little coils didn't mean nuthin' tuh me, shugah!' she declares.

Suddenly, Darkstar flies into view and tells everyone that the fighting must stop, that this is a senseless struggle. Omega Red looks up and tells Darkstar to deal with the woman while he finishes the other two off. Darkstar calls out to Storm: 'Mutant! From afar I saw you use weather control power! If you do command the elements, then attack with deepest cold – it's your one chance!' she explains. Storm instructs Rogue to pin Omega Red's arms back, while she calls upon the Arctic winds and snow to freeze him where he stands.

Rogue does as instructed, while Omega Red is bombarded by ice and snow. 'Darkstar – what have you done?' he asks. 'Think of the glory – of the – Soviet empire! It – could have been... once more...' Omega Red utters, before he is completely frozen. 'Wow! All he needs is a hat and a broomstick! Ah'm impressed!' Rogue remarks. 'Looks like that's all she wrote fer frosty' Wolverine jokes as he, Rogue, Storm and Jubilee father around the frozen solid Omega Red. Colossus and Illyana rush towards their parents who emerge with other villagers from the prison. 'Are you all right?' Colossus calls out, while his father tells him that it will take more than threatening soldiers to break a Rasputin, and his mother thanks him.

Rogue tells the Rasputins that they want to talk to them. 'Nice grin' Jubilee remarks as Colossus turns to the X-Men and smiles. 'Jubilee!' Storm gasps, before informing Colossus that they want him to come back to America with them – as an X-Man. Colossus tells his friends that he is honored, but that he must rebuild what Omega Red has destroyed. 'Perhaps someday' he adds, while his father tells him that he has never been prouder.

Within the Kremlin a short time later, one of the generals announces that they will hear a progress report this very evening. Another boasts that soon all will be as it was – a great empire on the move. Suddenly, a blast of energy destroys their map on the wall. 'No!' Darkstar calls out. 'Boshe moi!' one of the generals gasps, turning to where Darkstar stands. Darkstar tells the generals that the night of terror is over, and that it will never again be as it was. She reports that their army is demoralized, and their monster is once again encased in ice – frozen – like their foolish dreams.

At that moment, Colossus and his family wave goodbye as two jets depart Russia. Colossus's mother tells her son that she hopes they are truly safe now. 'As long as there are those such as the X-Men to aid us, mother...there is always hope' Colossus replies.

At the bottom of the world, beneath the Antarctic itself, Charles Xavier and his sworn enemy, Magneto, continue to explore the mysteries that surround them. As they walk towards a large geyser, which steam billows out of, Magneto explains to Charles that the geysers are the reason for the Savage Land's sauna-like climate, that the heat is trapped inside by the sheer mountain walls and perpetual mist, so the thermal energy has kept it in a Jurassic Age condition. Charles responds by telling Magneto that he surmised as much, and laments that the reason why they were both summoned here is not so easily discerned. Suddenly, they hear a loud stomping sound, and a large Tyrannosaurus moves towards them, roaring. Charles and Magneto turn and flee, powerless to defend themselves against the creature.

Unfortunately, Charles and Magneto find themselves backed up against a cliff behind them, a waterfall dropping down the side of the cliff, Magneto declares that they can retreat no farther. Charles starts to suggest they split up, when suddenly, he hears more rumbling, only it is different than before. Magneto realizes that it is an earthquake, and Charles remarks that it may work in their favor if the Tyrannosaurus is kept at bay. At that moment, the cliff gives way, opening up to molten lava underneath – which the dinosaurs plunges into – and Charles, nearly, as the ground underneath him disappears – but luckily, he is able to grab onto the edge of the ground where Magneto stands.

Magneto looks down at Charles and wonders if he should leave his old friend to his fate. 'Imagine how your “gifted youngsters” would react to your death. Fascinating' Magneto remarks. Charles tells Magnus to spare him his pomposity, and points out that his chances of survival increase greatly if he is alive. 'From a strictly selfish perspective – you need me!' Charles exclaims. Magneto frowns, before telling Charles that he makes sense, and extending a hand, which Charles grabs. Magneto pulls Charles up to safety, as orange and yellow steam from the lava below rises around them. Charles thanks Magnus for yielding to the pragmatic, while Magneto points out that it appears there are yet many acts in the drama of their confrontations, and wonders how their rivalry will be written of in the future.

As the run side by side into the jungle, Charles tells Magnus that that depends on which of their world-views triumphs, thus are all histories recorded. Magneto suggests that Charles be thankful that his did not end in the fire-pits of the Savage Land, as he could have allowed. 'Remember that, Xavier, should your side be the one to scribe our struggle' Magneto adds.


Characters Involved: 

Jubilee, Rogue, Storm, Wolverine, Professor X (all X-Men)




Illyana Rasputin

Nicolai & Alexandra Rasputin



Omega Red


Gregor, Kreshov & a third general

Russian President




Friends of Humanity

Store clerk


in flashback images:

Piotr, Illyana & Nicolai Rasputin



Story Notes: 

This issue is based on “Red Dawn” which originally screened on November 13, 1993.

The X-Men first met Colossus in X-Men Adventures (Season I) #8.

Wolverine was tracking Morph last issue, but Morph escaped him.

A “rube” is a slang insult directed at someone who is considered uneducated or uncultured.

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