Marvel Girl’s yearbook:
Professor Xavier: …Yesterday during our mission Xavier had a song stuck in his head, and now it’s stuck in MY head. Driving me nuts!
Cyclops: I hear Scott down the hall. Can always tell by the quick footsteps. Wonder if he wore that silk shirt he sometimes does. Now that’s HOT.
Marvel Girl: Why didn’t I get to choose my own picture for this thing? I hate this picture. Ug! I’m thinking we all need red uniforms
Beast: Hank’s explaining something to me… keep nodding, smile… WHAT IS HE TALKING ABOUT!!!
Angel: Warren, stay put… the Professor is a li’l cranky today… I know it’s sunny out and the window is open, but don’t… don’t… - he’s gone.
Iceman: Bobby needs some advice on the girl down at the coffee shop and I told him just BE- YOUR –SELF. But quit wiggling, making nasty jokes and mouthing sound effects to things all the time. And be yourself
An icy desert. Gathered around a scrying pool, four longhaired individuals clad in fur coats watch the X-Men. One of them tells another to learn from their ordeal.
They began by sending Ulf, the icetroll around the area where they had heard reports of the new elemental. Can we watch this inside? another complains. He’s had enough of the cold for now. That youngest one? One of the others asks. Yes, he was the key to it all…
Ulf the icetroll is tearing up things around the harbor. And the X-Men are ready to attack. That’s their boy, Angel remarks. He may be your boy, but he’s not mine, Cyclops retorts. Angel quickly gathers two men and transports them to safety, assuring them the X-Men will handle things. Oh, good. Some other weird characters are here! one of the men observes dryly.
Beast remarks that this is clearly the creature they’ve been hearing about all over the northeast. It must not have heard of keeping a low profile. Marvel Girl levitates the last bystander in a boat away, and tells Cyclops he can blast away. Cyclops fires his optic blast beneath the troll’s feet and then orders Iceman to act, however Bobby can’t freeze him.
Of course not, Ulf is an ice troll, comes the explanation from one of the longhaired bearded individuals who are suddenly there. He and the three others fire tranquilizer darts at all the X-Men save for Iceman. As they sink down, Bobby alone is left with the troll. Aw, crud! about covers it. Ulf takes him prisoner on the newcomers’ orders.
Bobby tries to telepathically reach the Professor but is gassed by the female stranger. They must get out of there, the leader decides. That will be no problem, now that they have the elemental. One of them holds a stone above Bobby and remarks that the rune glows in his present. Then use it! the leader commands. They are enveloped by the glow and disappear.
Somewhat later, the X-Men awake. A newcomer, a blond man with a cane and an aura of calm authority, remarks that they’ve been drugged. He would suggest drinking water.
Is he a doctor? Jean asks. Yes, as it happens, comes the reply. They are heroes? What gave them away? Warren asks bitterly as he rubs his head. The majestic way they were lying on their faces?
They’ve been in battle, the doctor replies. It wouldn’t have been with a group of four, would it? Did they all have long hair? Jean asks. They were fighting this big weirdo when some … band showed up and shot them with darts. Tranqued like a common animal, Beast mutters as he examines one of the darts. “Bobby!” Cyclops suddenly shouts, before amending “Iceman.” They’ve taken him. It was them, the doctor mutters. Again, he’s picked up their trail too late.
Xavier mentally contacts the team. They inform him that Bobby’s been kidnapped. The doctor squints his eyes, remarking he can almost see who they are speaking with. Is this a god? Beast points at him, stating that they should be questioning him. He doesn’t seem to be very surprised by a man with wings and he is unnaturally perceptive. Also oddly tall, like their attackers. There is a connection, the stranger admits.
Xavier scans him, remarking that he is not getting all of his being. Yet he senses no maliciousness in this man, only nobleness of purpose. He assumes he is being judged now, the stranger asks.
From the plane, Xavier tells them he’s almost in the area. Cerebro indicates that Bobby has already traveled thousands of miles. While Angel looks for a place for the jet to land, the stranger asks if they know where their missing friend is. If they tell him, he will take care of this. Cyclops states that he appreciates this, but the X-Men tend to take care of their own. And he still hasn’t given the word one what his story is. The stranger replies that the people who took their friend call themselves the Vanir; they are likely observing them now. He doesn’t wish to be secretive but, if he shows his hand now, they could go into hiding indefinitely.
Indeed, watching in their scrying pool one of the Vanir mutters if only they’d known who he was then.
Xavier mentally informs Scott that he believes he knows who the stranger is. And he is an ally they want. Cyclops takes the stranger’s hand. He’s welcome to tag along as he’s just been given a good character reference; the best in fact.
Meanwhile, the Vanir await around the altar Bobby is chained upon, impatient at the cusp of their plans being fulfilled… if he ever wakes up, that is. The Midgard Vanir have waited thousands of years for this moment, one of them remarks. They can be patient a few hours more.
Bobby finally stirs (with a headache). Anxious, he demands to know where he is and who they are. They snagged the wrong college kid, he tries to threaten them. However he finds that his powers don’t work. A Vanir woman corrects him with a smile that his power is working perfectly. But it doesn’t serve him now, it serves the Vanir. Bobby notices the glowing stone around his neck and demands they take it off.
Meanwhile, the X-Men’s jet lands nearby, courtesy of Charles Xavier. The stranger is impressed by his landing in all the ice, a tough landing for any pilot, done all by Xavier’s mind no less. Xavier wishes them luck. He shall advise them from the plane.
Packed into anoraks, the X-Men and their new companions follow the smell of the Vanirs’ fire, which Hank can smell. The stranger explains that they have to get the talisman away from the Vanir first now that they can use it to transport… That shouldn’t be too hard, Jean remarks, as she peers across a corner, it looks to be attached to Bobby (who in turn is in the hands of Ulf, trying to carry him into a cave).
Not having noticed the X-Men the Vanir say that Bobby is in and ask Ymir to accept the sacrifice.
Within the cave, there is a rumbling sound. Ulf looks up surprised, but doesn’t drop Bobby. The next moment, he is hit in the shoulder by an optic blast. Loosening his grip on Bobby means that Angel can snatch him away and leave the cave with him. It does not matter, the Vanir woman observes, poor loyal Ulf – referring to the troll – will supply the nourishment. The ice stalactites and stalagmites in front of the cave begin to close like rows of sharp teeth and, the moment the cave is shut, a face shows itself. The Vanir have reached their goal. Ymir, the frost giant lives.
This is what he feared they were trying to do, the stranger observes. Yeah, he can see why he might fear that, Cyclops mutters.
The Vanir captured in Marvel Girl’s telekinetic field make obeisance to Ymir whom they call the living winter. They beg him to return the world to frozen glory, so they may rule. Show them his power, they entreat. Ymir swats them aside, announcing that he answers to no mortal.
Then look before you, frost giant! the stranger shouts as he raises his cane. The cane comes down as the stranger shouts that Ymir will answer to … the Mighty Thor.
They brought Thor for him? Bobby exclaims, still carried by Angel. They rock! Ymir grabs Bobby in his fist, recalling that he was used to summon Ymir.
Thor swings his hammer and shouts this is no longer the frost giants’ realm. Ordering him to unhand the youths, he throws Mjolnir, injuring Ymir by severing his arm. Marvel Girl uses this opportunity by telekinetically raising the severed limb and hitting Ymir with it. In your giant face, Bobby shouts as Ymir lets go of him.
Xavier commends Jean for her quick thinking, as he uses the jet to draw Ymir’s attention, so Warren and Scott can reprise their flying gun routine. Angel carries Cyclops upwards. Once they are in range, Cyclops fires at Ymir’s head. Unimpressed, Ymir gathers up his severed arm and swirls it around, creating a vortex. Ymir does not control nature, he boasts. Ymir is nature!
He bets Thor has a plan, Scott tells the others. However, the Thundergod has been frozen and Jean observes if his plan was to become a thorsicle, mission accomplished. Beast announces that Ymir is focusing all his power on Thor, they are inconsequential to him.
Bobby notices that his control over his power is returning, but he doesn’t see how that’s going to do any good there in all that ice. Suddenly, he shouts for Warren whose wings are nearly frozen to come over to him. He creates a covered area for Warren to perch in and take a break. He has a lot of material to work with. These are the best conditions he ever had for his power.
Xavier announces that the jet wings are iced over. He’ll have to find a place to crashland. Bobby tells him to just cut the engines and creates a runway for him to land on plus a snow cushion. Everything’s coming up Bobby, he announces satisfied. At least it was, he mutters a moment later, when an annoyed Ymir picks him up.
Ymir looks at him furiously. So he would become a lord of winter. He seeks to replace Ymir. Dude, no! Bobby protests. He can keep his job. He was kidnapped. With Ymir’s attention on Iceman and off Thor, Cyclops frees Thor with his optic blast.
Bobby finds that Ymir is sucking away his power. A moment later, Thor attacks, proclaiming that the age of ice is over. He orders Bobby to stand back and swings his hammer. He explains that Ymir can reform himself endlessly whenever they smash him, so he needs to be banished. Mjolnir opens a gate to a netherrealm of Asgard, to which Ymir is banished.
With that over, Thor explains that Ymir had originally been banished for eternity but he has consumed the Midgard Vanir’s talisman. Along with that troll dude, Bobby adds. Thor adds that now it will be easier for him to breach the gaps between worlds again. He should warn the Avengers of that possibility. Xavier and Thor great each other and exchange pleasantries, however, Thor warns them. Iceman possesses the elemental powers of winter. The legends say that Ymir was once a human like him. They must consider well the paths great powers lead them down. He would not wish to return in a thousand years to battle another frost giant. Looking cowed for a moment, Bobby replies, “Yes sir.”
Elsewhere, the Vanir watch them from their scrying pool, taking note of Thor’s “suggestion.” Perhaps a new frost giant must be fostered… and with him the Vanir return to glory…