Colossus #1

Issue Date: 
October 1997
Story Title: 
A Most Dangerous Game

Ben Raab (writer), Bryan Hitch (pencils), Paul Neary (inks), Richard Starkings & Comicraft (letters), Jason Wright (colors), Matt Idelson (editor), Bob Harras (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

Colossus and Meggan have taken a break from their Excalibur duties and visit Paris together. When visiting a local museum, Peter mourns about the loss of his family. Meggan feels his loss and that depresses her. Peter feels sorry and decides to make it up to Meggan. He takes her to Dudleyworld, the most amazing amusement park on the planet. But, when they arrive there, the park is closed, so Meggan gets upset and walks away. Colossus calms her down and takes Meggan to a café at Champs Elysee. There, Peter is approached by his old friend, Elisabeth Wilford. Elisabeth isn’t who she claims to be and, unnoticed by Colossus, knocks Meggan out. After an ambulance has taken Meggan away, she does the same to Peter and puts him in the same ambulance. Elisabeth reveals her true identity: that of Ms. Locke! There has never been an Elisabeth Wilford; it was all just a trick to get Colossus away. Ms. Locke brings Colossus and Meggan to her boss, Arcade, at Murderworld, where the games begin. There, Colossus has to fight his way through the Acolytes and relive his worst memories. After a visit from the Proletarian, Colossus realizes that Arcade is playing with him. After destroying all those look-a-like robots, Peter lands in Murderworld itself. Arcade wants Colossus to kill him, or else Meggan will pay the price. When Colossus won’t do it, Arcade says that it’s everyone’s survival if Peter refuses to do that. Colossus is in. Some time later, they sit in a gigantic roller coaster and almost find their death in it, were it not for Meggan’s quick reaction and rescue. After defeating a dragon, Arcade shows up in a big robotic armor, ready to kill both of them. Colossus wants to kill Arcade, but Meggan prevents Peter from doing that. Colossus wants Meggan to let go, but it’s too late, as they get swallowed by sinking sand below them. At dawn, Colossus and Meggan are still alive and drive away in an ambulance. Meggan is still confused about the plan and wished that Peter had told her about it. Arcade shows up from the back of the ambulance and thanks Colossus for getting him out. He gives the heroes the name of his employers: Black Air! Arcade contracted Black Air first but, after hearing their new agenda, he wanted out but Black Air didn’t let him. And now, thanks to Colossus, he is. Some time later, Colossus and Meggan prepare to go home on a ship. Once there, Arcade and Ms. Locke are present as well. Arcade was worried that Black Air is still after them because he didn’t kill Colossus and Meggan like he promised to, so he goes along for the safety. As the ship departs, none of them notices the several Black Air agents standing on the docks, with their guns ready!

Full Summary: 

Colossus and Meggan, while sitting at the balcony of their hotel, look at the breathtaking sight which is Paris. Meggan can’t wait until they go to Dudleyworld, the most amazing amusement park on the planet. But if they don’t hurry, the park will close soon! Peter has a solution for that. He picks a surprised Meggan up and jumps downstairs! He says that, once they’ve landed, they’ll go to a museum first and then to the amusement park.

Meggan panics a little bit, because they are five stories up. Peter isn’t worried and transforms in his metal form, so that they both land safe. Only the ground beneath their feet is a little bit smacked. Meggan tries to catch her breath and says that she could have flown themselves down! Peter jokes about it and tells Meggan that if she can’t handle that, she doesn’t have to see the amusement parks biggest attraction, the Dragon Drop Freeball, which is twice as high as their balcony!

Meggan gets angry at that and defends herself that she will just do fine. Peter knows and says that he was just playing. Meggan realizes that and thinks he did it only to show off his powers to the French public. Peter denies that and explains that he just wanted to laugh a little bit, since it’s been so long since he did that. He has been hiding himself for years now, either as an X-Man or as an Acolyte. And he doesn’t want to play any of those most dangerous games ever again.

Meggan understands and they walk away together, not realizing that they are being watched by a woman sitting at a nearby café. She reports everything she saw back to her boss, who tells his servant to change quickly and meet with the boys at the rendezvous point. The woman does as told, but hopes that her boss will die slowly. The boss takes goodbye from her too and logs off.

Some time later, Peter and Meggan have arrived at the Musee D”Orsay. They take a look at Picasso’s “Old Guitarist” painting from his legendary Blue Period. Peter is amazed how sad it is and how much it reminds him of his own life recently: his sister’s death, the murder on his parents and his brother Mikhail’s insanity. Peter stops talking when he notices that Meggan is… crying.

Peter asks Meggan if she’s fine, but she isn’t. She says that the emotions radiating from the painting, and Peter’s own feelings, depress her. Peter takes her to a nearby bench and tries to comfort her. He has never seen Meggan react like this before, but suspects that his sorrow must remind the beautiful woman of her own recent loss. Peter wipes her tears and promises Meggan that he will soon get over his loss, and is confident that Brian will shortly return to the team and to her side. Meggan thanks Peter and cheers up again, and all singing they decide to finally go to the amusement park.

But, when they get there… the park is closed! Peter is suspicious about it because his traveling brochure said that the park would still be open. Meggan presses a button and the informant on the other side says that the park is closed for renovation. Meggan gets angry and, after destroying a plastic dragon, angrily takes off!

Peter takes Meggan to a café on the chic Champs Elysee, where Meggan pouts about it. Peter tries to cheer his friend up, but Meggan isn’t interested in it. Suddenly, a woman tries to get Peter’s attention and seems to know him. Peter turns his head around and can’t believe when he sees… Elisabeth Wilford!

Peter can’t believe how long it’s been and kisses the flight attendant on her cheek. Elisabeth asks Peter what he is doing in the most romantic city of the world… hanging out with his girlfriend? Peter introduces Elisabeth to his friend Meggan, and they shake hands. Meggan feels how cold Elisabeth’s hand is and when she withdraws, Meggan feels sick! She tries to warn Peter about it, but faints.

Peter panics and doesn’t know what to do. Elisabeth, unnoticed, contacts her boss, who isn’t interested in Meggan but only in Colossus, with whom he has a game to play. Peter wants a paramedic, but Elisabeth isn’t sure if that’s such a good idea. Peter asks Elisabeth what she means: does he has to let her friend die?!

Of course not, Elisabeth says, and an ambulance shows up. Peter’s surprised at how fast they came. Elisabeth claims to have called them immediately when Meggan crushed. Doctors take Meggan away and Peter is worried about her. Elisabeth tells Peter that he best worries about himself, and kisses him!

Peter gets himself loose from Elisabeth and, when he does, he suddenly feels sick too, like his lungs are constricting. He transforms in Colossus, but Elisabeth says that won’t rescue him. Peter notices Elisabeth laughing and realizes that her lips were poisoned. Colossus knows that the woman isn’t the real Elisabeth. He is right, and “Elisabeth” smashes Peter through the café!

Peter becomes unconscious and Elisabeth tells him that she has never been Elisabeth Wilford, or Amanda Sefton’s roommate. Nor did Kurt Wager, Peter’s teammate, ever set them up on a date years ago. Elisabeth takes off her fake face and reveals her true self: Ms. Locke! The same ambulance from before arrives and lifts up Peter as well. Ms. Locke contacts her boss and rides back to the base. Along the way, Ms. Locke and her boss call each other names.

Ms. Locke puts her uniform on and returns to Dudleyworld. She goes underground of it, where the lair of a notorious villain lies. A villain called… Arcade! Arcade is glad to see his plan worked and, with the players properly dressed, the game in Murderworld can begin!

Colossus wakes up again, but it can’t be. He’s back on Avalon! Exodus, Cargill, Scanner and Unuscione welcome Peter back and tell their former teammate that it’s time for him again to rejoin their cause. Peter refuses to be isolated and wants out. Exodus creates a holding bubble for Peter and tells him that there is no way escaping the past. Peter shouts that he won’t, as he has made penance for his past since. He is his own man now, and his will is his own!

Colossus punches the cell and frees himself. As he lands he immediately punches Exodus, and tells him that he will never call a monster like him a friend. Peter grabs Exodus by his throat and wants to know where Meggan is. Exodus laughs and says that Peter’s elfin friend is outside. Peter panics and sees an unconscious Meggan floating through space.

He runs to the door and finds all this weird. The one minute they were in Paris, and now in outer space in Avalon! But that’s impossible, since Peter was there when Avalon was destroyed and fell on Earth. And, last he heard, the Acolytes were on their way attacking Wundagore Mountain in the Swiss Alps. None of this makes sense.

Peter smashes his way through Avalon and destroys the space station in the process. He grabs Meggan and lands back on Earth, where his birth house is on fire! It’s obvious to Peter that someone is playing with his mind and making him relieve the worst tragedies of his life. Even his clothes change throughout the various scenes: At Avalon, he wore his Acolyte costume, and now his original X-Men outfit.

Colossus runs inside the flaming house and finds his parents… dead! Once more, Peter feels that he is too late to rescue them. But at least this time, he can take a moment to honor their memory, as his parents deserve. A voice at the back tells Colossus not to weep over them, since the poor folks are finally relieved of the burden of the knowledge that their son is a traitor! Peter turns around, and cries. “You?!”

Outside, Meggan wakes up. She calls for Peter but he is nowhere to be seen. She sees the burning house and uses an elemental whirlwind to put the flames out. She rushes inside and hopes that Piotr is all right. Inside, she gets attacked by none other than the Proletarian!

The Proletarian claims to be the true Piotr Rasputin and not the traitorous coward Meggan and the others see him as. He is the hero that shall restore the glory that was the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics! Meggan survived the heavy punch thanks to the trick Nightcrawler taught her, but she can’t understand how Peter could have changed into such a monster. He is such as sweet boy.

Meggan tries to build some space between them so that she can get out of the house. The Proletarian keeps on fighting. Meggan uses her powers to see who’s really wearing her friend’s armor, but… she doesn’t find anyone! The Proletarian sees Meggan as an enemy because she stands side by side with the traitor, and so she must die!

The real Colossus steps out of nowhere and smacks the Proletarian! He shouts that though he may have left mother Russia to join the X-Men, never has his heart left the country he loves. And he is using his powers to help all of humanity, and no to serve one country alone. Peter remembers how the Proletarian first tried to make him feel guilty about leaving Russia, and knows who’s behind all of this. He destroys the Proletarian and shouts: “Arcade!”

With the Proletarian destroyed, Colossus lands in Arcade’s computer room and finds Meggan imprisoned. Arcade smiles at how this most dangerous game has turned out. Colossus angrily grabs Arcade by his clothes. But Arcade isn’t impressed and asks Ms. Locke to do her part. Ms. Locke threatens to kills Meggan if Colossus doesn’t release Arcade, though she doesn’t like the vermin. Peter does as told.

Arcade admits that the reason he brought both Colossus and Meggan there to kill them, but offers to help him if Peter helps him. Peter won’t walk in the same trap, as Arcade played that trick before. Arcade tells Colossus that the only way out is to do him a favor, and to kill him. Peter won’t do that because he isn’t a killer. Arcade laughs at that, as he knows how Peter once killed both Proteus and the Marauder, Riptide.

Peter admits that, but he only killed those two out of necessity and not for pleasure. He had to do them to survive himself, but that doesn’t mean that he isn’t ashamed of those actions. Arcade says that this situation is the same, since they have Meggan’s life at a thin thread. Doesn’t Peter at least want to rip Ms. Locke’s arm of or something?

Too bad, Arcade says, because Ms. Locke isn’t even human! Colossus is free to trash her; it won’t matter to the villain. He’ll just make another one, like he did after he killed the genuine article. But he won’t do the same for Meggan. If she dies, it will be forever.

Besides, Arcade adds, it’s not just Meggan’s survival they are talking about, it’s about the survival of all of Peter’s hero-friends. All Peter has got to do is “kill” Arcade and he will tell him who’s gunning for him. Or is dear Meggan going to pay the price? Colossus silently picks up one of the Proletarian’s arms. Peter shows it to Arcade and throws it on the ground. Arcade takes that as a “yes.”

And so, the game continues. Arcade puts Colossus and Meggan on a gigantic roller coaster, but both of their hands are bonded onto it. Meggan wakes up and asks what’s going on. Colossus explains that Arcade claims the park’s video camera’s feed live footage to his employer’s headquarters. Once the “game” is over, the camera will stop transmitting and the park will shut down. But only if they are successful in their ruse. Meggan asks Peter what he is talking about. But then the coaster goes down real fast and spikes come out of the top! And by the look of it, they are not made just out of metal: that’s pure vanadium! Even Peter’s armored skin won’t rescue him from those.

Meggan reaches out with her mind and her consciousness tickles their death trap and, as it does, it changes into tiny butterflies. Meggan asks Peter why he didn’t just set himself free. Peter didn’t want to, but now he does. He goes out of control and breaks him and Meggan loose of the roller coaster. Meggan panics a little bit and hopes that Peter will calm down soon. But, with Arcade as their enemy, it will mostly likely turn out with one of them dead!

Arcade shows up in a gigantic robotic armor. Colossus and Meggan both stand ready to fight, but Arcade quickly punches Colossus out of the way. Meggan won’t let the monster get away with this. Hearing the “M” word, Arcade has a great plan, and calls his other sidekick: Dudley, a huge dragon! Meggan quickly smashes the dragon down and goes for Arcade. Colossus gets their first and destroys the robot’s top. Arcade is thrilled that Peter will actually kill him. Peter admits it and wants to go for it, but Meggan stops him. Peter asks why. Meggan won’t let Peter make the biggest mistake of his life. Peter begs Meggan to let him loose, or else the quick sand beneath them will...! But it’s too late, the quick sand swallows them all.

Dawn. And all is silent. Silent as the tomb of Murderworld was meant to be. Well, not quite that silent. The gates of Murderworld open and the ambulance from before rides through it. In it sit Colossus and Megan, alive. Meggan can’t believe that Peter didn’t inform her about his plan. She could have ruined everything. Peter explains that time was of essence. And Meggan was not yet conscious while they devised a strategy. Nonetheless, Peter knows that they have fulfilled their part of the bargain and hopes that Arcade will do the same.

Arcade has, and shows up from the back of the ambulance and hands them over an envelope with the names of his employers. And they are none other than Black Air! They wanted revenge for the time Excalibur smashed their quasi-mystical scheme. Arcade admits that he was secretly contracting them at the time, but Black Air’s latest agenda scares even him. But now they think that Arcade is dead, he’s a free agent again. Colossus stops the car and Arcade and Ms. Locke take off in their helicopter.

Meggan and Colossus wonder what Arcade meant with Black Air’s latest agenda. Some time later, they decide to go back home. They take the trip on the world-famous ocean liner, the Qez to get there. Meggan and Peter are in disguise in the hope not to be discovered by Black Air. Meggan hopes that the rest of the team is safe. Arcade and a newly build Ms. Locke are on the ship as well, and inform them that Excalibur certainly is not safe.

Colossus asks Arcade if he isn’t afraid if Black Air is going to find him. Sure, Arcade is, since he was supposed to bring Peter and Meggan’s head on a platter and he didn’t. But he sees this as another part of the most dangerous game ever: survival! And Arcade always says the following thing about a new game: “Let the games begin!”

They decide to simply enjoy the trip home. As the ship departs, none of them notice lots of Black Air agents standing at the docks, with their guns ready.

Characters Involved: 

Colossus, Meggan (both Excalibur)


Ms. Locke/Elisabeth Wilford

several French people and tourists (unnamed)

various Black Air agents (unnamed)

Arcade’s look-a-like robots:

Cargill, Exodus, Scanner, Unuscione (all the Acolytes)

The Proletarian

Nicolai and Alexandra Rasputin (Colossus’ parents)

Story Notes: 

This one-shot story takes place after the events of Excalibur (1st series) #113 and continues in later issues of Excalibur (1st series).

Meggan cries because Captain Britain, her lover, recently went on sabbatical from Excalibur after losing his powers (Excalibur (1st series) #110).

Peter briefly met Elisabeth Wilford in New York when he and Nightcrawler were looking for a date, as seen in X-Men (1st series) #98.

Avalon was indeed destroyed by Holocaust in X-Men (2nd series) #42. Peter escaped before Holocaust had the chance to kill him like he did to some of the other Acolytes and landed back on Earth.

The attack of the Acolytes on Wundagore Mountain can be found in Excalibur (1st series) #113 and later on continues in Quicksilver’s ongoing series.

Colossus was briefly transformed in Proletarian by Arcade in X-Men (1st series) #123, when Arcade kidnapped the X-Men for the first time in Murderworld. His parents were killed in X-Men (2nd series) #19. Peter’s brother, Mikhail, returned in Uncanny X-Men #285 and his insanity happened onwards that issue. Peter’s little sister, Illyana, died of the Legacy Virus in Uncanny X-Men #303. After her funeral, Peter agreed to join Magneto’s Acolytes, though soon afterwards, had his regrets and returned to the good guys, though the Acolytes were of course not happy about that.

Peter indeed killed Proteus in X-Men (1st series) #128, and, when furious, killed Riptide during the Morlock Massacre in Uncanny X-Men #211.

Arcade earlier tricked both Colossus and Kitty into helping him, but was instead trying to kill them both. [Uncanny X-Men #197]

The defeat of Black Air Arcade is talking about can be found in Excalibur (1st series) #100.

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