X-Men: The Hidden Years #15

Issue Date: 
January 2001
Story Title: 
Death Be Not Proud

John Byrne (writer), Tom Palmer (pencils), Greg Wright (colors), Lysa Hawkins (associate editor), Jason Liebig (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

At the Worthington Estate, the X-Men discuss with Warren why he didn’t informed them earlier about the fact that his uncle was the villain known as Dazzler. He could have informed them about it, because they are his family too. Stuart helps out, explaining that the Worthington family was never the kind of people to share their private secrets with others. Later, as Warren notices strange things going around his former home, namely that none of the house staff are the people he knew, his uncle Burt decides to stop the charades and reveals his identity as Dazzler. He starts attacking the X-Men and also reveals that he’s working together with Dr. Stuart to kill the last remaining Worthingtons, so he can finally have their fortune. Warren almost kills his uncle, but Scott and Hank hold him back before he does it. With his uncle down, Jean can now enter his mind and erase his knowledge of having powers so he won’t harm anyone anymore. Burt realizes he’s defeated, but wants the X-Men to do the same thing to Stuart as well. As the X-Men meet up with Stuart, the doctor reveals that Burtram has poisoned Warren’s mother and, an hour later, she dies in his arms while Warren flies her through the clouds. Meanwhile in Westchester, Lorna goes out alone and takes a walk through the city. She is approached by a man who introduces himself as Tad Carter. However, something is strange with Carter. He claims to have an interest in Lorna, and his friends apparently use their influence to persuade Lorna into joining Carter for a cup of coffee. An hour later, she returns back at the school, with an angry Alex welcoming her home. The strangest part is that Lorna can’t even seem to remember what she did all day. Alex doesn’t care much about it, as he wants to take off to the Himalaya’s to locate the new mutant Cerebro detected, as he is determined that they can be full members of the X-Men as well.

Full Summary: 


The X-Men are on their way from Florida back home. Cyclops reports their return to the mansion via radio, and Iceman replies, welcoming them back. Scott is surprised to hear Bobby again, which Bobby himself doesn’t understand. When Jean reminds Bobby that he stormed out of the mansion before they left, Bobby remarks that he won’t ask for the return of his club card. Lorna explains that they sort of found Bobby when they were looking for the X-Men in the Savage Land.

After the team arrives back and exits their craft, Scott asks their welcoming teammates as to what Alex and Lorna were doing in the Savage Land. Alex explains that Professor Xavier had sent them to look for the team when he lost mental contact. Iceman admits that he sort of “heard” the message as well, and decided to go after the team alone. Iceman wants to know what happened to the X-Men in between, and Scott explains that they visited Africa, Florida, outer space with the Fantastic Four and had Candy along with them and had her wear Jean’s uniform because she couldn’t be recognized.

Bobby notices that Angel is holding the unconscious Avia in his arms and asks who she is. Warren introduces Avia, and admits it’s a long story, but he met her in the Savage Land. They rush Avia to the medical room and have her attached to a medical scanner. Jean explains that, despite the degree of mutation, Avia’s physiology doesn’t seem much different than the X-Men’s. When Warren asks if they can fix her, Scott thinks only time can tell that. Candy smiles, and wants to know if she has reason to be jealous of Avia. Hesitant, Warren denies that and explains that Avia saved his life and helped them escape from the Savage Land, but he has no feelings for her.

Beast also returns, joking that Candy has reason to be concerned, given Warren’s reputation as a ladies’ man. Scott is glad to see Hank again, and wants to know where the Professor is. Hank explains that the mutant he and the Professor went to check out in Illinois required his continued observation. The Professor had sent him back home to make sure the mansion is secure. Scott is glad that Hank is back, and mentions that there is something brewing at the Worthington family estate.

Present time, the Worthington Estate…

Warren explains to the group that his uncle Burt was tough enough when he first adopted the identity of Dazzler, but with the way he seems to have boosted his powers, Warren isn’t sure if he can handle his uncle alone this time. Bobby still has a hard time understanding why Warren never told them about this before. Beast agrees, as Burtram murdered Warren’s father and is now about to marry his mother. This is the sort of thing you expect someone to share with his friends.

Stuart steps in, stating that Warren acts the same way his father would have done in this kind of situation. He explains that the senior Worthington was always inclined to keep his personal business to himself. Jean thinks that’s probably the reason of why Warren never informed his parents that he was secretly Angel as well. That would be Stuart’s suggestion. He explains that the news would have troubled Warren’s father to learn that his only son is a mutant.

Scott notices that Stuart says that like it leaves a bad taste in his mouth. Warren promises Scott that he doesn’t need to worry about the doctor. Stuart delivered him into the world when he was first born, and Stuart has been a good counselor to him all his life. Beast believes that the more pressing matter is the concern of the extraction of Warren’s mother from this situation. He wants to know where they should begin.

Meanwhile, at Salem Center, New York…

Lorna, wearing a blond wig, walks alone through the city. She feels bad for leaving Alex alone at the mansion, but she felt bored listening to Alex complain about how Warren had left them out of this mission. Lorna admits she doesn’t like it either, but she can understand Warren’s motives.

As Lorna walks, she doesn’t notice that she’s being watched by several men, who recognize her despite the wig. One of the men wants to go make first contact. Moments later, Lorna suddenly trips, and the man catches her. Lorna thanks the man, and mentions she’s not usually this careless, and it almost felt like somebody tripped her.

The man smiles that these old sidewalks can be treacherous, and asks Lorna if it’s really her. Lorna confirms that, and asks the man if they met before. The man denies that, though he hopes they would have. He claims not to be a stalker, but he confesses he noticed Lorna the moment he moved into this town. He asked around and got her name. Lorna wonders who could have known her in this town, because she’s rather new in it as well.

Two men appear behind the man Lorna is talking to, and telepathically tell him to do it now. Lorna’s mood suddenly changes, and is surprised that the man really asked for her. She’s flattered and wants to know the guy’s name. The man introduces himself as Tad Carter. He asks Lorna if she wants to go somewhere quiet and have a coffee with him. The men behind Carter again tell him to do it now. Lorna agrees, and the two leave together.

The Worthington Estate…

Stuart mentions to Warren that he can’t overstress how fragile his mother’s state of mind has become. The death of Warren’s father was a terrible blow to her. And, Stuart defends, whatever Warren might think of his uncle, he has been a great comfort to her, along with faith. Warren finds that hard to believe, because his mother has never been the religious type. Stuart knows that the Worthingtons have always tended to be pragmatists. He believes it was something of an irony that Warren chose the name of “Angel” as a codename. But, his mother has now returned to the faith of her fathers. She even goes to church and reads the Bible. And that has also been very good for Kathryn’s well-being. The two of them meet up with Kathryn and Burt. Kathryn is glad to see Warren, and mentions to him that Burt has something to ask him. Burtram claims to Warren that it would mean a lot to his mother if Warren gave his blessing to this union, and that Warren would act as his best man!

A while later, Warren has informed his teammates about this unpleasant news. Bobby thinks that’s just cold, and he should know. He wants to know why they just can’t take this creep down and be done with it. Beast believes they have to listen to what Dr. Stuart tells them. Candy thinks there must be something the X-Men can do. They are super-heroes, after all. Scott defends that, even though the X-Men have a lot of experience in defeating would-be world beaters, but there isn’t anything they can do in this kind of situation.

Bobby asks Jean if she can’t just read Burtram’s mind and find out what he’s up to. Jean reveals that she tried to do that, but there are parts of Burtram’s mind that are closed to her. She believes the guy must have learned some sort of discipline that allows him to shield his thoughts. Scott believes Burtram must have done that, knowing he might run into them. Iceman still defends that they can’t let Warren down.

Warren mentions to Bobby that they won’t do that at all. He’s grateful that the X-Men all wanted to help him, but he realizes that none of their powers can do any good now. Jean doesn’t like to even suggest this, but she believes that if they contact the Professor, he might be able to break through the blocks in Burtram’s mind. Warren doesn’t see what they could do afterward. He believes that anything they do against Burt, they might also hurt his mother along the way. An attack on Burt is an attack on her! Candy hugs her beloved.

Elsewhere at the estate, Burt offers Kathryn more tea. Kathryn thanks him for it, and mentions that Burt’s tea tastes fabulous. It’s almost addictive. Burt smiles he’ll take that as a compliment. Kathryn wants to know why Warren is so angry with Burt when he first saw him, and hopes there isn’t any bad blood between the two of them. Burt lies that Warren is just upset about their marriage. He explains that a son doesn’t like to see another man take his father’s place in his mother’s heart.

Stuart interrupts and wants to have a moment with Burt. Kathryn asks Stuart if something’s wrong. Stuart smiles that there isn’t, and that he just wanted to talk to her fiancé. They leave, and Burt angrily wants to know why Stuart interrupted them. Stuart reveals that he overheard what Kathryn said about the tea being addictive. He wants to know if Burt altered the dosage he informed him to use. Burt smiles that he might have increased it a little, as he wasn’t seeing any effects. Stuart calls Burt an idiot, reminding him that he told him there wouldn’t be any visual effects until a specific threshold was reached. He wonders if Stuart wants Kathryn dead before the wedding even begins. Burtram smiles he doesn’t want that, because that would spoil their plans. He agrees to reduce the dose again. But, he reminds Stuart that this plan better works and that, if Kathryn isn’t dead in three days, Stuart will be!


Lorna returns home, and an angry Alex demands to know where she has been. He asks her if she knows how long she has been gone. Lorna thinks it can’t be more than a couple of hours. Alex corrects Lorna that she has been gone for nine hours, and wants to know what she did that long in Salem Center. Lorna doesn’t think that’s possible, because she only stopped for tea. Alex thinks something else must have happened. Lorna defends there isn’t anything else, and wants to know why Alex suddenly cares what she does in her free time, because he doesn’t own her! Alex calms her down, explaining that he’s just antsy because he just got an idea, and tells her to follow him.

They walk to Cerebro, and Lorna wants to know what Alex is going to do with it. He asks Lorna if she remembers that odd signal Iceman found on Cerebro when they had just returned from the Savage Land. Lorna does, and recalls that Bobby said something about a new mutant in the Himalayas. Alex confirms that, and reveals that he has isolated the signal, and now knows within a dozen meters where the mutant is located. He thinks they should go and check it out.

Lorna believes the others would get angry if they were to do that. Alex doesn’t care, because he’s tired of being a second-stringer. He defends that with Warren cutting them out of his trip to his estate, clarifies that the others still don’t see them as full X-Men members. Lorna wants to know how they could possibly travel to the Himalayas. Alex takes Lorna to the hangar, and shows her the ship the X-Men captured from the Sentinels. He ran an auto-repair program to make sure the ship is safe, making it so sophisticated that the ship almost flies on itself. Lorna wonders if they are both crazy enough to actually do this. Alex smiles they are and tells Lorna to get into uniform, because they are off to Shangri-La!

The Worthington Estate…

The other X-Men notice how Warren sadly looks out the window of his mansion at the wedding preparations. When Scott asks his friend what’s wrong, Warren admits that he was looking at the staff of the place, but he finds it odd not to see one familiar face among them. Kathryn walks into the room, and promises his son that he doesn’t need to worry about that. She reveals that Burt decided to let all of the old staff go. She admits that she wasn’t sure if that was such a good idea, but she went along with it. Warren tries to explain to his mother that Burt wanted her alone in the house, with no one to look after her best interest. Kathryn claims that’s just silly and, suddenly, she starts to feel all dizzy and falls into her son’s arms! Quickly, Hank takes off to find Dr. Stuart.

A moment later, Stuart explains to Warren that his mother just felt a little exhausted, thanks to this busy day she had. Kathryn blushes, feeling foolish about fainting like that. Stuart promises Kathryn she’s got nothing to worry about and, as he places his arm gently around her shoulder, he promises Kathryn he’ll guide her to her room. As the two are gone, Hank tells Warren that he finds this odd. When Warren doesn’t understand, Hank asks Warren if he noticed a bluish tinge around the edges of his mother’s lips. Hank believes that she experienced a surge indicator of oxygen narcosis, yet Stuart doesn’t mention any of this. Jean wonders what that could mean.

Burtram, now wearing his Dazzler suit, proudly enters the room and promises he’ll explain what it means. It means that the time for charades is over! He and Kathryn are going to get married this afternoon, just like he planned. And he won’t allow the X-Men to attend that wedding! Dazzler powers up, and creates a very shiny bright light around the entire room! As the X-Men are now blinded, Dazzler proclaims that he isn’t so easy to defeat. He reveals that, the last time, Warren was able to upset his plans only because he didn’t anticipate something, namely that his nephew was secretly the high-flying super-hero known as Angel. Burt believes that, back then, his carefully laid contingency plans still allowed him to escape. And this time, Burt promises, he won’t make any more mistakes. At long last, the Worthington fortune will be his, as it always should have been. Once his lights have destroyed the X-Men’s nervous systems, there won’t be anything the six of them can do to stop him.

Suddenly, Dazzler notices that something’s wrong. Only five people have fallen to his might. On that very moment, Cyclops crawls from behind the coach, and fires his optic blast at Dazzler, causing him to fall through the window, as witnessed by the entire staff! When Jean wants to know how Scott managed, Scott explains that he dove behind the couch the moment he heard Worthington’s voice. He apologizes for staying behind it until now. Hank mentions it’s nothing, because now they have a chance to win this battle. Iceman powers up and wants to bring Dazzler down, but Warren holds his friend back and declares that he’ll take his uncle down. He shreds his suit apart so his wings can move freely.

As Warren flies out of the house, he sees it looks like the staff ran for cover when his uncle got blasted out of the window. However, he thinks that’s good, because he didn’t want to waste any more time putting his X-Men uniform on. Dazzler notices his nephew approaching him, and smiles that he can come and get him. Warren angrily punches his uncle, reminding him that he killed his father and tried to kill him and Candy. And Warren now also realizes that Burt is the reason why his mother acts so strangely. Warren promises Burt that his evil schemes are over now, reminding his uncle that before he hooked up with the X-Men, he called himself the avenging Angel!

Characters Involved: 

Angel, Beast, Cyclops, Iceman, Havok, Lorna Dane, Marvel Girl (all X-Men)

Candy Southern


Dazzler I (Burtram Worthington)

Kathryn Worthington (Angel’s mother)

Dr. Stuart

Tad Carter

mysterious men with Carter (unnamed)

Wedding staff

Story Notes: 

Iceman stormed out of the mansion in X-Men: The Hidden Years #1. Havok and Lorna were ordered to find the “missing” X-Men in X-Men: The Hidden Years #3. Warren met Avia in X-Men: The Hidden Years #4. The X-Men traveled to Africa where they met Ororo Munroe in X-Men: The Hidden Years #5-7. They had adventures with the Fantastic Four throughout X-Men: The Hidden Years #8-9. Professor X is currently monitoring Ashley Martin’s recovery after he used his telepathic powers on her to calm her down, as revealed last issue.

Tad Carter previously appeared in Amazing Adult Fantasy #14.

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