X-Men: The Hidden Years #5

Issue Date: 
April 2000
Story Title: 
Riders On The Storm

John Byrne (writer), Tom Palmer (pencils), Greg Wright (colors), Jason Liebig (editor), Bob Harras (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

Candy Southern, the girlfriend of Angel, arrives at the Xavier school. She wants to know what it’s all about, since Warren informed her that this is the secret home of the X-Men. However, she is quickly spotted by a security robot, which captures her. Professor Xavier notices the intruder and, thought he knows why she’s there, but isn’t so pleased with the unannounced visit. Meanwhile, in Tierra Del Feugo, Iceman refuses to let the still ongoing heavy storm stop him from saving his friends. He remembers a tunnel existing across the ocean, which can bring him to the Savage Land, so Bobby uses his ice-slide to bring him there. Elsewhere, the X-Men try to use the Nhu’ghari ship to escape, but it’s in such a bad condition that they fear they won’t make it. Magneto happily confirms that, and jumps out of the ship, rather wanting to die on his own. Avia flies after him, wanting to save Magneto’s life, despite Warren’s warnings not to do that. He wants to go after her, but Beast holds him back, causing an argument between the two. At the Savage Land itself, Havok and Lorna follow Ka-Zar, in the hope to locate their teammates. As he touches the ground, Ka-Zar feels an earthquake coming up, and notices smoke in the nearby mountains. Lorna, who also decides to drop her “Magnetrix” codename, suggests they use their craft to move over there. Warren realizes the mistake he was about to make, and thanks Beast for stopping him. With that settled, they decide to use the gas balloons of the ship as their new escape vehicles. However, along the way, Beast’s balloon gets separated from the others, due to the heavy storm. He makes it back to the jungle, but makes a dangerous landing and faints when he reaches the ground. After that moment, a beautiful, goddess-like woman approaches him.

Full Summary: 

The pleasant countryside beyond the town limits of Salem Center, New York…

A car stops by the Xavier Institute. The driver jokes that the mansion looks just like her dad’s place in Darien. Candy Southern steps out of her car, smiling that one would never guess that this is the secret headquarters of the X-Men. She certainly wouldn’t have guessed it, if Warren hadn’t told her.

She rings the bell, but nobody answers it. She thinks that makes sense, remembering Warren telling her that Xavier doesn’t have a house staff, despite him being attached to a wheelchair. Candy does realize that the place must be filled with “detection devices,” which is fine by her, as she wants to be caught.

Candy walks towards the yard behind the mansion, and doesn’t notice a security camera, which has spotted her. On that moment, a giant security robot appears, and is in battle mode! Candy panics, as this sure wasn’t what she had in mind. Candy tries to make a run for it, remembering she just wanted to confront the professor about this and nothing more. The security robot G-3 captures Candy in a huge net, but Xavier arrives, and telepathically orders the robot to stop the battle. Candy introduces herself to the professor, but he already knew who she is, and why she’s there. But that doesn’t mean he tolerates her presence!

Meanwhile, in Tierra Del Feugo…

Iceman stands alone on a rock, with the stormy weather still taking place. He thinks this is nuts. He recalls hiring a charter to fly him to the Atlantic, but he won’t take him any further than Tierra Del Fuego due to this storm, which might be the biggest one in human history, as it stretches all the way from South America to the East Coast of Africa! But Bobby refuses to let this stop him from going to the Savage Land. He rips his jacket off, and transforms into his ice form. He remembers that there exists some tunnel that connects the tip of South America to that hidden jungle. However the last time Bobby was there was when the X-Men only found it by accident.

And he doesn’t have the time to search for it now, which means he’ll have to make his own way across the ocean he’s facing, which is seven hundred miles to the closest part of the Antarctic continent. As Bobby thinks about this, he creates an iceslide with an igloo above him, which protects him from the storm. So protected, he starts heading towards the Savage Land! Still, he also sadly realizes that, once he gets there, that doesn’t necessarily mean he’ll find a single clue about the X-Men’s whereabouts, since the jungle is so big.

At the Savage Land…

The X-Men panic, as the gigantic ship they are in is starting to completely fall apart now. Beast jokes that perhaps choosing this ship as an escape pod wasn’t such a bright idea as they first thought. Jean tries to calm everyone down, mentioning that the storm is at least giving them one favor. When Warren doesn’t understand, Jean reminds everyone that she said she was going to hold this ship together with her telekinetic powers. Hank remembers that, as he protested against it, fearing she won’t be able to handle the strain. Now, he realizes that, with the total mass of the vessel so much being reduced, there may be a chance Jean can save them all.

Magneto wakes up, calling everyone fools. Angel becomes angry at Hank, since he told everyone Magneto would be out of it for a while. Hank defends he just assumed that, since most other people he knocks out stay out of it longer than Magneto has. Magneto smiles that, once again, the X-Men have underestimated him. And, he claims, just like the X-Men underestimate themselves, he doesn’t think they have any chance of surviving this mad flight. He believes that this entire ship is doomed, and hence also his global conquest plans.

He reveals that the big bags which held this vessel aloft are filled with radioactive steam, charged with the same radiation which stimulated the higher brain functions and granted immortality to the Nhu’ghari. When Beast voices his theory that the bags drained the will-power from the former slaves, Magneto confirms that, believing that all human minds are weak compared to those of the Homo superiors. Angel believes that Magneto figured he’d make himself immortal, and everyone else too befuddled to stop his plans. Magneto confirms that, believing his plan was pure brilliant. Jean doesn’t think so, as the X-Men were there to stop him, just like they always have been there.

Suddenly, the ship starts to bounce heavily. Everyone loses balance and falls down on another. Hank mentions it would seem that the surrounding storm has abated not a jot while they were discussing things. Jean notices that there are only a few gas bags and a small compartment left, while Warren fears they won’t last long in this weather. Magneto believes that the end is upon them all, and thinks everyone should make peace with whatever gods they praise. However, he swears that, if he is to die today, it will be because of his own choosing. He walks towards the open door of the ship, and jumps through it, falling straight into the ocean!

Avia panics and flies after Magneto in an attempt to rescue him. Warren panics and wants to go after her, but Beast holds his friend back, believing he won’t survive in that storm. Warren defends that won’t change his situation much. He knows he has only known the bird-girl for just a few hours, but she did save his life and he believes that, if Avia’s training compels her to help someone like Magneto, he won’t let her die because he didn’t try to rescue her. He breaks lose from Hank’s holding grip and flies after her.

Elsewhere in the Savage Land…

While in their plane, both Havok and Lorna are impressed about the vast speed Ka-Zar seems to move over the treetops around them. Lorna guesses that’s the reason why people call him the lord of the Savage Land, and jokes it’s a good thing they don’t have to follow the guy on foot, as they wouldn’t be able to keep up with him at that speed. Ka-Zar suddenly lands on the ground, and signals to the two X-Men to join him. Lorna and Havok land the ship down, and ask Ka-Zar what’s wrong.

Ka-Zar touches the ground, and feels that an earthquake is coming up. Havok believes there mustn’t be many earthquakes in the Savage Land. Ka-Zar admits that the part of the Savage Land they are currently in is even strange to him, as his usual range is far to the north. He thinks they’ll have to head towards the mountains, which the trio can now see in front of them. When Lorna notices a lot of smoke coming from the mountains, Ka-Zar tells Zabu to stay put, and suggests to Havok and Magnetrix that they’ll get to the mountains faster in their ship. Lorna agrees, but thinks that she better sticks with people calling her by her first name instead of “Magnetrix.”

In the heavy weather…

Jean tends to the still unconscious Cyclops. She notices Hank putting some ropes onto his uniform, and asks what he’s going to do. Hank thinks he’s going to do the only thing he can do. He sympathizes with the feelings Warren has for his newfound friend, but he believes that not even Angel can last long in this dangerous weather. He hatches the rope onto the ship, and jumps down, hoping he’ll survive the storm himself and find Warren rather sooner than later. Luck is in Hank’s favor, and he finds Warren and quickly grabs his foot. Angel orders Hank to let go, but Hank refuses and pulls them up back to the ship, or rather what’s left of it.

They make it safely back into the ship, but Warren feels upset because he couldn’t go after Avia, confident he could rescue her. As Jean tries to calm Warren down, Hank notices something. There are only four of the gas bags left and, by the poor looks of them, they will soon tear free. Still, he thinks that, while the cabinet they are all in still clings to what is left of the rigging, they do have one chance to pluck advantage from adversity. Jean doesn’t understand what Hank means by that. Hank picks up Scott, explaining that the winged Nhu’ghari can fend for themselves, just like Warren can. But, seeing that Scott is in no condition to do anything by himself, he believes he’ll have to take care of him. Hank believes that their only hope is to lash themselves to the balloons, and let the winds carry them where they may!

Jean admits that’s the craziest plan she ever heard. However, she can’t think of anything better right now, so they go hang outside the cabinet against the balloons. Warren mentions he’ll catch a ride on the things as well, as by doing that they’ll at least stand a better chance at being swept away along the same course. Hank ties Scott up to the balloon, in the hope this will keep him a bit safer. The Nhu’ghari fall out of the cabinet, but use their wings to bring themselves into safety. Hank wishes he could find it in his heart to wish them luck, but knowing what they did, he just can’t.

Suddenly, Beast’s balloon breaks away from the others! Jean quickly moves over to Scott’s balloon, not being able to see him land somewhere alone, in his condition. Warren now realizes that Hank was right about Avia, and that he couldn’t possibly reach her. Hank accepts the apology, and wishes his friends good luck, hoping they’ll meet again soon. He gets carried away in the heavy weather, and notices the jungle below him. Strangely enough, the sun shines down there! Hank believes he’s got a better chance in the jungle than up there in the storm, but the balloon won’t let him go down. So, he realizes he has no other choice but to jump down!

Hank does, but he lands on some trees. The high landing causes Hank to bounce against the trees, which rip his uniform apart and cause his head to hurt. Finally, Hank lands on the ground, but he is too much in pain to hold himself together, and faints. On that very moment, a beautiful woman approaches Hank, and looks at him with the smile of a goddess…

Characters Involved: 

Angel, Beast, Cyclops, Havok, Lorna Dane/Magnetrix, Marvel Girl, Professor X (all X-Men)

Iceman (former X-Man)

Ororo Munroe


Candy Southern




Xavier Institute security robot G-3

several Nhu’ghari (all unnamed)

Story Notes: 

Candy learned about Warren being Angel and him being an X-Man in Marvel Tales #30.

The last time Iceman was in the Savage Land prior this issue, was in X-Men (1st series) #62.

This issue indicates that Ororo Munroe, later the weather manipulating X-Man known as Storm, first met the X-Men during this and the following two issues, instead of rather first meeting them in Giant-Size X-Men #1, as was first made believed.

Candy’s reference to “Darien” most likely refers to Darien, Connecticut, which is beachfront town and is one of the most expensive places to live in North America.

Issue Information: 

This Issue has been reprinted in:

Written By: