X-Men Unlimited (1st series) #39

Issue Date: 
January 2003
Story Title: 
<BR>The final Alternative (1st story)<BR> Wounded Animals (2nd story)<BR> Rebirth (3rd story)

First story :
Jason Pearson (story and art), Dave Stewart (colored)

Second story :
J. Torres (written by), Keron Grant (pencils), Rob Stull (inks), J.D. Smith (colors)

Third story :
Chris Claremont (story), Paul Smith (art), Brian Reber (colors),

Chris Bachalo (cover), Randy Gentile (letterer), C.B. Cebulski (editor), David Bogart (managing editor) Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Bill Jemas (president)

Brief Description: 

First story :

Attending the funeral of Eric Tucker, a teenage mutant who committed suicide, Storm finds that the funeral is also secretly attended by Magneto and eventually disrupted by Eric’s former best friend Dylan – accompanied by Eric’s ex-girlfriend Amy – who makes fun of Eric’s death. Responding to Ororo’s anger, a thunderstorm appears out of nowhere, which leads to the teenagers having an accident and their car being precariously balanced on a bridge. Storm’s attempt to handle the situation is interrupted by Magneto who demands she ignore the children and wants to know why she – who used to be revered in her homeland –chose to throw her lot in with Xavier. Storm gets embroiled in an argument with Magneto and, when he drops the car, she uses her powers to create a waterspout, leaving the car hanging in the air. Dylan flips out and shoots at them, hitting Storm in the shoulder while Amy admits that she only left Eric so he would finally go to a mutant school and get help. Storm tells Magneto that Amy’s deed proved that humans can be as noble than mutants. The spout collapses, but Magneto saves the children as a favor to Storm. However, he tells her that her and Charles’ dream will, nevertheless, eventually fail

Second story :

A Japanese watch-station notices that the X-Man, Storm, is entering the country and Sunfire flies out to handle the situation. He follows the flying Storm and tries to explain that there are new laws in Japan, keeping mutants from illegally entering. Storm first ignores him and then angrily attacks when Sunfire attempts to touch her. After a brief airborne struggle, they come to rest on an island. While Sunfire still tries to reason, Storm is all set to use her powers in earnest against him. They are interrupted by Wolverine, who wanted to meet Storm here. Sunfire explains the new law to Logan and asks them to leave. Wolverine looks at Storm and states that there have been a lot of changes he doesn’t like.

Third story :

Storm and Yukio are fiercely arguing and Storm finally hits Yukio, who is balancing on a cliff, high above the ocean, with a gust of wind, sending her tumbling into the ocean. Storm follows her with the result that they both end up in the water, separated. Feeling helpless, as she can’t reach the air, Storm is about to pass out until she remembers Yukio. Finally, she tries to work with the water as she would with air, manages to find the unconscious Yukio and propels both of them onto the beach. There, she admits to Yukio that she’s finally realized her emotions can be an asset, not a threat. She feels reborn. One week later, they go search for a new look for Storm and Ororo finally ends up with a new look: a Mohawk haircut and leather ensemble.

Full Summary: 

First story :

A wrecked car hangs halfway over the edge of a bridge. The two teenagers inside are angrily arguing. Amy, the girl, berates her friend, Dylan, for going a hundred miles per hour in the rain. Dylan tells her to stop whining and blames hydroplaning for their accident. At the same time, he wonders where the storm came from. It wasn’t announced in the weather forecast. Amy wonders if she deserves to die, because of what happened to Eric. Dylan notices a woman on the bridge, looking at the car. It is Storm, who stands there silently, apparently not reacting to Dylan’s cries for help.

(flashback to earlier that day:)

Storm is attending the funeral of Eric Tucker, a teenage mutant who committed suicide. Ororo tries to comfort Eric’s mother, who tells her that she tried to convince her son to go attend Xavier’s school. Ororo wants to know what exactly happened to lead to this tragedy.

Mrs Tucker explains that while they had kept Eric’s mutant powers a secret ever since he was twelve, somehow, word got out. As a result, he was kicked off the football team, his best friend, Dylan, turned against him, and finally his girlfriend Amy left him. When he saw her kiss Dylan at the prom, he was utterly devastated and it may very well have been the final straw that led to his suicide. Mrs. Tucker was 42 when she had him, her only child, she states and breaks down crying. Trying to comfort the grieving mother, Ororo notes someone lurking in the shadows – Magneto in civilian clothing.

Suddenly, a car enters the cemetery, its driver, Dylan, laughs, shoots around with a gun and asks Mrs Tucker if that was the sound she heard before Eric’s “mutie brains kissed the wallpaper.” The car drives off and Mrs. Tucker faints. Magneto, too, has disappeared, leaving a very angry Ororo. Echoing her emotional state, a thunderstorm springs up out of nowhere.


Amy shouts at Ororo to get help. When the woman doesn’t move, she asks what her problem is. Storm replies with a question of her own: did Amy leave Eric because he was a mutant? Amy denies this and wonders how the woman knows about Eric and her. Dylan recognizes her from the funeral and shouts that she’s probably a mutie herself and wants them to die. The world wouldn’t be a lesser place if that happened, Ororo states with a calm fury. A wind rises up, endangering the already precariously balanced car even more.

Suddenly, Magneto floats down from the sky, announcing that, despite all their battles, Storm never considered killing him. Now, ignorant children tempt her to become a murderer? Should he be insulted?

Storm denies this. She had no intention of letting them die. Her control over the weather has been somewhat inconsistent - on the edge - since her recent adventures in space, that’s all. Perhaps it’s her, who’s actually on the edge, not her powers, Magneto suggests. Storm angrily asks Magneto what he was doing at the funeral. He’d been following her, he admits. Of all the X-Men, only she avoided the prejudice that usually accompanies the manifestation of mutant powers. She became revered instead in her homeland. Nevertheless, she relinquished her status to follow Xavier. Why?

The car moves another inch towards the abyss and the kids scream. Magneto tells Storm not to let them distract her. His questions alone are worth more than their lives. Why, because he’s the great Master of Magnetism? Storm asks sarcastically. He may impress the rest of the world, but as far as she’s concerned, he’s just “an arrogant megalomaniac in the middle of a mid-life-crisis”.

Dylan angrily exclaims that those “freaks” are just standing there, arguing and not caring whether he and Amy live or die. Why should they? Amy cries. She left her boyfriend in his time of need and he is the “mutant-hating meathead” who ruined his funeral. How could he do that to his best friend’s mother? Dylan brutally pulls her hair. Eric was a freak and he’s dead, he snarls. She should remember that the next time she kisses him. Amy shoves him away and shouts that he’s insane. Sometimes, insanity is all one needs, Dylan replies ominously and reaches for the glove department.

Magneto blusters angrily that Storm risks much by angering him. Storm impatiently tells Magneto to fight or leave. She’s had enough of the discussion. With a sullen stare, Magneto tells her to witness the consequence of her contempt: with a gesture, he repels the car, causing it to finally fall. Storm concentrates, trying to redirect the updraft and the currents. Finally, she creates a waterspout that keeps the car up – that is until Dylan madly shoots at them, hitting Storm in the shoulder, while a disgusted Magneto protects himself with a magnetic shield, mumbling “fool”.

With a gesture, Magneto melts Dylan’s gun and asks Storm how she can even consider saving the pathetic hides of those ingrates. How are mutants any better, Storm shoots back. Do they not bleed? Do they not fear death as well? Amy shouts from the car, that she loved Eric but, unlike him, she realized that it became too dangerous for him to stay. She left him because she realized that he wouldn’t go to a mutant school as long as he had her! Was Amy’s attempt to save Eric any less noble than her attempt to save them, Storm asks Magneto, as the storm rages.

Magneto notes that her control over the storm is waning. Is she foolish enough to risk her life for them? Storm replies that she saw too many of her people die in Africa. Now that she has powers, she will not dishonor their memories by succumbing to weakness. She believes in hope and possibilities – that’s why she’s following Xavier, she states.

Storm’s lightning bolt, unfortunately, is attracted to the spout, thanks to the metal car, and tears apart the funnel. Storm cries out as the spout collapses, taking the car with it. To her surprise, she sees how the children are being levitated in a magnetic bubble and are lowered safely to the ground. While Amy tells Dylan they are through, Ororo asks Magneto why?

Because, he answers, at his age it is hard to be impressed, but she managed to do so. To thank her, he saved the children. However, he adds, he does not share Xavier’s foolish idealism, though he will tolerate it a little longer. After all, in the end, his way is the final alternative. He will leave her with her hopeful possibilities because, when she stops dreaming, he will be there and then there’ll be no turning back.

Second story :

A high tech Japanese watch-station detects a mutant presence nearing the Japanese borders. The mutant is identified as the X-Man, Storm. The soldiers ask if they should send out an unit to intercept, but Sunfire – Japan’s national hero and former X-Man – who’s also present, interjects that he will handle this himself.

Unaware of this exchange, Storm flies on until Sunfire, who’s closing in on her, fires a warning shot with his plasma powers. Storm angrily asks why he fires at her without any provocation. Sunfire answers that he just wanted to get her attention. She flew so fast that she didn’t hear his call. He starts to explain that she isn’t authorized to be in Japanese airspace. While he’s in mid-sentence, Ororo turns away, apparently intent on flying on.

Sunfire grabs her arm and, suddenly, Storm slaps, punches and kicks him. Eventuall,y she announces that that was his warning shot and flies on. Understandably angry, Shiro continues the pursuit, no matter how hard she tries to shake him off. After both finally land at a beach, Sunfire tackles Storm and they come to rest in a little wood.

The skies darken. Storm, now really furious, summons her lightning, intent to strike Sunfire. Shiro bravely refuses to budge and explains there is a new legislation in Japan that he is in charge of enforcing. Aside from his duties in the X-Corporation, he has been tasked with keeping unauthorized mutants out of Japan. Storm seems unimpressed and is about to strike. They are interrupted by a gruff voice, telling Shiro that he’s not exactly doing a great job at it, is he? It’s Wolverine and Storm extinguishes her lightning.

Logan tells Shiro that they aren’t here to cause trouble. They were just meeting for a little R & R. Ororo has some need of the healing spas of Japan. Shiro points out that they’ll need special visas to be in Japan. Mutants will no longer be allowed to use the country as their personal stomping ground. He asks the two X-Men to please adhere to those laws. He respects Logan’s ties to this country, but things have changed. They have twenty-four hours to leave, he informs them, and flies away.

Logan turns to Ororo, who kept silent during the entire exchange, and states that she’s pretty feisty for someone with a serous back injury. Quietly, Storm turns away, leaving Logan to mumble that a lot of things have changed and he doesn’t approve of any of them.

Third story:

Outside a Japanese castle that stands on a cliff, high above the sea, Storm and Yukio are having a heated argument. Losing her temper, Storm hits Yukio with a gust of wind, causing the Japanese woman, who was already precariously balanced on the edge, to fall towards the ocean.

Realizing what she’s done, Storm jumps after Yukio, who strangely seems to be enjoying the ride. Creating a downdraft, Storm manages to reach the woman and grabs her hand. However, at that moment, they get into the path of a huge breaker, which separates them and drags them both under.

Caught in the relentless undertow, Ororo struggles with all her strength, but seems helpless as the riptide tumbles her into a rock. Close to drowning, she feels her claustrophobia acting up and remembers the last time she felt like this – during her childhood, when their house exploded around them and her parents died. Thinking of her mother, the image that comes to Storm is actually that of a laughing Yukio. If she gives up now, Storm realizes, Yukio will pay the price as well.

Storm realizes there are currents in the water she can manipulate, same as in the air – it’s just harder. She attempts to sense the patterns and work with them. The pressure eases and she gambles that she can sense the movement of objects in the water, same as in the air. That leads her to the unconscious Yukio. Ororo senses another big wave coming and uses it to propel them out and onto the beach.

When she realized Yukio isn’t breathing, Ororo performs CPR on the young ronin, until she awakes and becomes violently sick. Nevertheless, she thought it was a great ride. Ororo tells her she’s insane. She almost died. But that’s what makes the experience so glorious, Yukio exclaims. How else to celebrate life, but by living it to the extreme?

Changing the subject, Yukio asks, how Storm feels now. Ororo admits the terror she felt when things totally spun out of control for her. She felt she was doomed. But when she stopped thinking and, instead, got angry, her body knew what to do. All her life she’d been afraid of her passions and locked them away, when actually she could use them as an asset. She feels reborn.

One week later, in an extravagant boutique in Tokyo, Storm is in the dressing room, trying on outfits, while Yukio stands before a computer testing several possible looks for Ororo. Storm has doubts, but Yukio reminds her that there is no point in being reborn, if you return in the original packaging afterwards. She needs to make a statement to the world. Life was simpler in Africa, Ororo moans. If she really believes that, Yukio tells her, she should go back. But the woman who took no risks would have died in the surf… And if she really feels like that, why did she go for that radical a haircut?

Yukio’s influence, Storm replies. If she goes for a change, why go the safe route, she asks and finally presents herself in her new mohawk and leather ensemble.

Characters Involved: 

First story :



Mrs. Tucker



Mourners of Eric Tucker

Second story :

Storm, Wolverine (both X-Men)

Sunfire (former X-Man, currently a member of X-Corporation)

Japanese soldiers

Third story :


Boutique patrons

Story Notes: 

First story :

This story takes place between somewhere between UXM #168 and #172, although it clashes with the characterization Magneto was given at the time, as he had started to turn from his anti-human stance starting with UXM #150.

Storm’s powers are acting up as a result of her abduction by the Brood and her long stay in space (UXM #161-166)

Ororo’s eyes are mistakenly colored brown, instead of blue, during this and the second story.

Second story :

The story is supposed to take place sometime after X-treme X-Men #19 (presumably even after X-treme X-Men X-posé, though it is unclear when exactly.

Storm is still suffering from the consequences of the back injury she received from Viper in X-treme X-Men #11.

Third story :

Although the editorial note claims that this story takes place between Uncanny X-Men #173 & 174, it clearly takes place between the pages of Uncanny X-Men #173.

Issue Information: 
Written By: