Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #226

Issue Date: 
February 1988
Story Title: 
Go Tell The Spartans

Chris Claremont (writer), Marc Silvestri (penciler), Dan Green (inker), Tom Orzechowski (letterer), Oliver & Wray (colorists), Ann Nocenti (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

The X-Men are in Eagle Plaza with Madelyne Pryor and their prisoner Mystique, while outside Freedom Force has the unconscious Rogue, Psylocke and Dazzler as captives. Both teams are unsure what to do. Dazzler comes around and blinding Freedom Force, she tries to get away with her teammates, though Spiral, unaffected by the blast, rushes over and magically attaches Destiny’s mask to Dazzler’s face, blinding her. Both Psylocke and Rogue attack Spiral, but neither is able to best her. The rift in the night sky grows bigger and dinosaurs and Neanderthals start to appear, causing trouble all over Dallas. Wolverine decides to call a truce with Mystique so the teams can help each other figure things out. Split up in pairs of two, Freedom Force and the X-Men save many innocent bystanders and help the local authorities. A duo of reporters, Neal Conan and Manoli Wetherell, arrives at the scene and is in for the story of their lives. They capture it all on tape. Later they interview Mystique, and when Manoli makes an off color comment about the X-Men, Havok angrily states how the X-Men have saved the world time and again. Spiral attempts to undo the spell she put on Dazzler, but the chaos interferes with her magic. A group of Cheyenne approaches, eager to help. They know a way to end this chaos, but their leader is shot by a human, apparently a racist.. A firefight ensues killing most of the Indians. Back at the plaza, Colossus checks on Destiny. She mumbles something about him being a temporal fluke. She also says that death surrounds the X-Men. Colossus decides to enter Eagle Plaza. Psylocke stops him and scanning his thoughts, she detects Roma’s presence. The X-Men are curious about her involvement. Colossus doesn’t know, but has a weird feeling about Eagle Plaza. Rogue and Spiral go to check out Forge’s penthouse. Spiral gets there first and is sent flying from the rooftop in a huge fireball. Luckily, Rogue and Blob act fast and everyone survives. Wolverine decides to use the stairs, but it turns out the entire building is turning into a scene from Vietnam, where Forge lost his arm and leg and renounced his magic. A Viet Cong soldier pops out and fires some shots. Colossus deflects the bullets. The human that shot the Indian chief takes out this guy too. The X-Men decide they have to keep moving. Wolverine wants to take the X-Men in the building, but also wants Freedom Force to stay outside. Mystique tries to fight it, but Wolverine’s logic wins. Neal and Manoli are both touched by what he says and record it all on camera. Meanwhile, Storm and Forge are still in another world. Forge is still recovering from his knife wound, and Ororo explains that she could not bring herself to kill him. The world they are in seems to be a copy of Earth, though there is no technology, no civilization and no humans besides them. Later they find Forge’s mountain of power demolished. Storm wonders what happened to Naze and Forge assumes he’s just a pawn now. It’s all just a game to the Adversary. Forge thinks they will be safe in this world. Storm, however, knows this is not their true home. Storm leaves him to explore this world and eventually makes it to her native Africa. There she realizes that this Earth has no soul and that she might be destined to become this Earth’s "Bright Lady". A year has passed by the time she returns to Forge, who in the meantime built a new home and consecrated a new mountain. They are excited to see each other again, and Forge reveals that he has found a means to get back home, for which he has to restore her powers. Ororo agrees immediately and they go atop his new aerie, where Forge fires at her with a gun-like weapon. At first Ororo is afraid to access her powers, fearing she might become the distant "goddess" again, but Forge’s love assures her and a storm starts brewing. She takes to the air and uses her lightning to charge the portal. A large bolt hits the top of the mountain and both Storm and Forge disappear from the world. Back in Dallas, a fierce wind picks up and Eagle Plaza starts collapsing. The human with the shotgun transforms into the Adversary.

Full Summary: 

Wolverine is lying down in the lobby of Eagle Tower. He’s still badly injured. He knows he has to pull himself together because the team needs him. Around Wolverine, his friends are busy. Madelyne Pryor ties up Mystique, while Colossus lifts some debris aside. Havok is looking outside to what Freedom Force are up to. He thinks that all of this has to be a nightmare. The X-men are the villains, while their archenemies are now considered the good guys.

In front of the tower, Freedom Force stand next to their unconscious captives Rogue, Dazzler and Psylocke. Destiny is very upset, she sees nothing. "All gone" she says, her inner sight is as blind as her eyes. Crimson Commando asks wether she is concerned about Mystique, but Destiny calls him a fool and says that Mystique is nothing, they all are nothing. Her power is to see the future, but she sees none.

Back inside, Havok sees that Super Sabre is taking off, so he warns the others to cover the back door. As he turns around, he sees the ceiling collapsing, and he shatters a the piece of falling concrete slab with his plasma powers, while Colossus protects Mystique and Madelyne with his armored hide. Logan gets up, he is still far from recovered, but he knows they have to get to a safer place, even if it means abandoning the captive X-Men. Mystique says there is another choice, they could surrender to Freedom Force, that would be sensible, as Destiny predicted that everyone within Eagle Tower at dawn will die. Havok is against it, though Colossus is not so sure. The discussion is interrupted by Longshot, who asks wether the sun is supposed to shine at night.

Outside, the rift in the sky is growing larger and bright light is pouring through. It’s actually snowing outside in the middle of summer in Texas. A field reporter named Neal and his engineer Manoli, skid along the snowy road. They get out of their car and walk over to where the rift in the sky is. They notice that in the enlightened area it’s day and summer, while outside it’s night and winter. They decide to head into the city to see what’s going on. They are reporters after all.

Back at Eagle Plaza Dazzler isn’t as unconscious as everyone thinks. Her mutant power to absorb sound took the brunt of Super Sabre’s microsonic boom, and now she’s near full strength. Nobody is looking her way and she could easily slip away, but that would mean leaving Rogue and Psylocke behind. Instead, she gets up quickly and blinds everyone with her light attack. She then picks up Psylocke and Rogue and tries to get away with them. However Spiral, who was unaffected by the strobe light, dashes over to her with Destiny’s mask in hand. She places the mask over Dazzler’s face and jabs one of her knives into it. Then she performs some magic and Dazzler is now unable to remove the mask. Psylocke awakens from Dazzler’s scream and jumps up and grabs Spiral’s throat, furious at her for what she’s done. Spiral takes two of her knives, crisscrosses them and holds them up to Betsy’s neck. She tries to calm her, explaining that Dazzler is not dead and that with the proper enchantment the mask and knife can be removed.

Spiral thinks that Psylocke is far more dangerous than Dazzler, as her power affects minds, so she should better kill her now. Rogue comes flying in like a bullet and grabs Spiral off the ground. Betsy is released and falls over. Up in the sky, Rogue rears back her right hand ready to wallop her. Only, Spiral teleports and Rogue hits nothing but air. Spiral ends up ‘porting behind her and grabs her. Rogue is unable to move as she has two knives held against her. Spiral taunts Rogue if she can break away from her grip before her magic knifes and spells can affect her. Rogue is ready for the challenge, but then Spiral sees something that startles her.

In another world, Storm stands upon a mountain peak; the wind is racing all around her. She dives off the cliff and lands into a lake below. A little bit later we see Forge awaken from a dream. He’s still badly hurt from Storm’s knife wound. White bandages surround his midsection. Forge tells Storm he knows she was aiming for his heart. He wants to know why she missed. Storm lets him know that she loves him too much to kill him. It was Naze, his old shaman, who convinced her that Forge was going to destroy the world and now she’s ashamed at herself for believing him. Storm walks over to the entrance of the cave. Looking at the stars, she can sense that this is the Earth of present day, but the air is cleaner and there are no machines, technology or civilization. She doubts there are any people either. Forge tells her that the Adversary can send them to another world, a parallel Earth, or even create one if he wishes. Storm doesn’t understand why he would let them live in the first place. Forge moves to answer her and convulses in pain. Storm rushes over, concerned. She tells Forge to rest as he barely survived the wound. She stays by his side throughout the night.

Back in Dallas, things are getting even crazier. Dinosaurs are roaming around within jungle landscapes. Primeval men march across a field. Chaos is everywhere. Inside Eagle Plaza it’s business as usual with the X-Men. Mystique can’t believe what’s going on outside. She doesn’t know how it’s possible. Wolverine comes over and slices the ropes around her hands with his claws. He knows that if they’re going to deal with it, they’re going to need the combined forces of the X-Men and Freedom Force. He calls for a truce and Mystique accepts. They decide to head outside and try to calm down the people.

Colossus remains in the building and walks over to the elevator shaft. He looks up and remembers what the strange woman told him, "A choice after which nothing will be the same and on which the fate of everything depends." He has a feeling it has something to do with Eagle Plaza. Madelyne Pryor walks up to him and asks if anyone is there. Colossus tells her it was only his imagination. They head outside to help the team.

Nearby, Neal and Manoli are inspecting a news van. The people inside are dead. Manoli finds a revolver with one bullet missing. Then she starts fooling around with the equipment, fascinated by its simplicity. She turns to look at Neal and sees a green monster with an axe standing behind him. It rears back to hack away so Manoli yells for him to watch out. He ducks and the thing’s axe swings right into the van, shattering the windshield. Manoli lets loose with the other five bullets and the monster goes down. They decide it’s time for them to hightail it out of there.

There’s a Tyrannosaurus Rex loose in the Galleria. Dozens of people are running around and screaming attempting to get away. The T-Rex rears its head at a couple of kids named Jim-Bob and Cissy. Jim-Bob hurt his leg and can’t run. Luckily Longshot comes swinging through and snatches them up. The T-Rex’s jaws snap on air. The T-Rex follows their movement and comes over to where the trio lands. The kids hold each other fearing their oncoming death. From the opposite side of the landing, Pyro creates a giant flame falcon that engulfs the dinosaur. The T-Rex bursts into flames and only its skeleton remains. Pyro walks over and everyone thanks him. He introduces himself and Longshot to the kids. At the mention of "X-Men", the kids become wary. They know the X-Men are mutants. Longshot implores that it means nothing. They are still human. They can still be heroes.

Meanwhile near Interstate 35 and the Dallas North Tollway, a large band of humanlike warriors emerge from a castle wall. They’re headed into the city and only four police officers are in their way. They continue blasting away and are about to be overrun when Super Sabre comes zooming in. He knocks dozens of guys over with his super speed. Wolverine also shows up and he’s ready to party. He gives these men a chance to back off. When one of them draws his sword instead, Wolverine pops his claws with a big grin on his face. He starts hacking away as dozens of the Neanderthals move in for the kill.

From the news van, Neal and Manoli capture all the battle on tape. Manoli is watching the video feed and is a little worried. She refers to Wolverine as a “wild man” and doesn’t trust him. Neal, recording with his camera from the van’s roof, argues with her that the X-Men are heroes and shouldn’t be feared. They debate a bit further, but nobody comes out the winner.

Elsewhere, Storm and Forge come upon his mountain of power. It is leveled to nothing. Forge suspected as much, but had to see for himself. He plucks a flower and drops it on the scorched Earth where his mountain once stood. It withers and dies upon contact. He realizes the Adversary must have something up his sleeve if he left both him and Storm alive. Storm wonders if Nazé fell prey to his power. Forge brushes the idea off. He figures the Adversary is either possessing him or using him as a human avatar. This is a game to him after all. That’s why the Adversary loves chaos - it upsets the rules. Storm cannot believe what she is hearing. It sounds so perverse to her ears. Forge tries to calm her down by explaining they’ll be safe in this world. Storm argues that it’s not their true home. Forge tries to sweettalk her, but she’s not going to listen. She listened to Nazé not too long ago and look at what happened. She leaves to explore the area by herself. Forge, left alone, seems to know more about what’s going on than he lets on. He is aware that this sanctuary is a trap and once Ororo discovers this for herself, the Adversary will be surprised that his precious pawns have transformed themselves into queens.

Back at Eagle Plaza, the X-Men and Freedom Force are helping out the victims in every way they can. Neal and Manoli are interviewing Mystique on a live feed. Mystique answers a few questions about what they’re doing and why they’re working with the ”outlaw” X-Men, as Manoli puts it. Havok overhears this and loses his temper. He tells Manoli the X-Men are superheroes, otherwise they wouldn’t even be there. He goes on to mention that they have saved the world a few times. He walks away after making his point. Mystique tells Manoli that Havok’s right and leaves, telling her they’ve got to get back to work. Behind his camera, Neal Conan is impressed.

Nearby, Spiral attempts to undo the spell she put on Dazzler. She dances and throws some magic rays at the mask and attempts to pull out her mystic knife, but she can’t pull it free. She assumes it has something to do with the chaos going on, possibly it’s twisting her magic dance. As she’s explaining this, Colossus grabs her by the throat. He doesn’t believe her. She swears she’s telling the truth and after Psylocke verifies it with her telepathy, Piotr drops her. They exchange some threats and she teleports away. Colossus looks up at Eagle Plaza, still wondering what lies ahead for him.

Elsewhere, Storm is meditating in what would be the real world’s Africa. She doesn’t sense anything special about the area, like she did on her Earth. There is no "Bright Lady" here either, the goddess who once appeared to her in her youth, this world has no soul. She wonders if maybe she is supposed to be the "Bright Lady" of this world. The idea excites her.

Back in Dallas, Crimson Commando and Stonewall are leading a convoy of people and cars to a sanctuary downtown. One of the men shouts for everyone to look over at the ridge. A tribe of Cheyenne Indians are running horseback towards them. Instead of attacking, they stop and the tribe leader comes forward. Crimson Commando goes out to talk to him. The Native Americans are offering their help against this “chaos”. They tell the Commando that their medicine chief knows a way to end it and his magic must be made on top of Eagle Plaza. Commando points out that Forge, the creator of Eagle Plaza, is a Cheyenne himself – this can’t be coincidence. Behind them, one of the racist hicks decides to take a shot at the chief. He fires his rifle and knocks him down. Then more join in and they wipe out most of the Indian tribe. Crimson Commando looks back in horror. He kneels by the side of the chief and wonders if the human race deserves to be saved.

Elsewhere, Storm returns to Forge after her long journey and finds he’s constructed a solar powered house in her absence. They haven’t seen each other for a year, and Forge welcomes her back and they embrace and kiss. Storm talks about her journey and they discuss the Adversary. A decision has to be made and that’s what they’re going to do.

In Dallas, humans and mutants alike are fighting against the hundreds of Neanderthals that have entered the city. Behind the battle lines is where the wounded go. Neal is there attending to a wound Spiral received. Wolverine comes over with another patient and asks if there’s any word from the outside world. Neal tells him that all other super hero teams are either busy or being kept in reserve. Wolverine takes this news as no surprise. He makes the comment that they’re left to fight against overwhelming odds; much like the Spartans were while the Greeks raised their armies. Mystique questions when Logan became a romantic, though he replies that one can’t be an X-Man and not be romantic.

Nearby, Colossus is checking up on Destiny. Maddie tries to tell him it’s no use, that she’s in deep shock. Destiny mumbles about how Colossus shouldn’t be there. He’s a temporal fluke. Colossus asks her what the future holds. “Death”, she says. However, there’s a glimmer of hope, somewhere in Eagle Plaza. Except for the X-Men. They are doomed no matter what. Colossus looks up once more at the tower wondering what to do. Maddie thinks he’s crazy to be thinking of going in there after all Destiny said he would die. He tells her that everyone dies sooner or later, and that it would be all right to die, if other lives are saved in the process.

Up above, the rift in the sky opens wider. Everywhere the sunlight hits turns into chaos. Castles and pirate ships emerge out of nowhere. While down below, Colossus makes his way to the entrance of the plaza. Psylocke gets in his way, preventing him from entering the building. Colossus says he does not have the time nor the words to explain what he is doing, but she asks him to wait and let her scans Piotr’s thoughts and memories to relay them to Wolverine and Mystique so as to get a better hold of the situation. Piotr agrees, and Betsy establishes the mindlink. During her scan she picks up the image of Roma. She tells the uninformed that Roma is the guardian of the omniverse, caretaker of reality. Colossus realizes she must either be behind the chaos or something’s happened to her. Psylocke wants to know more of why she contacted him. Colossus isn’t sure, but he admits to being drawn to Forge’s aerie.

Wolverine tells Rogue to check out Forge’s penthouse, but Mystique orders Spiral to get there first. Rogue takes to the air, a little peeved at her foster mother’s order, but then Rogue sees a fireball coming towards her from the sky. It’s actually Spiral, who teleported up and is falling out of control. Rogue catches her, but can’t stop the massive descent. Blob moves underneath them and they crash into him. Everything turns out okay, except for the sidewalk. They figure they must be going in the right direction since someone doesn’t want them up there. Wolverine suggests they make their way up the stairs. Havok comes over and tells him most of the building has been turned into a jungle and there’s no way they can go up that way. Wolverine’s not sure what to do now, but does realize what the building’s turned into and why. Colossus asks for answers. “Vietnam”, Wolverine tells him.

Elsewhere, Storm and Forge are enjoying themselves. Forge makes a joke and Storm laughs. He’s glad that she is happy here. Storm wonders what they should do. Forge agrees that they need to decide something. He tempts her, asking if it would be wrong for them to follow their hearts and stay in this world. Storm knows it would be great to give birth to a new world, but she also knows that if they stay, their other world will die.

Forge goes on to explain more about the Adversary. He actually respects Forge and Storm’s power, but also fears it. He’s the ultimate gamesman and that’s why he didn’t kill the two of them when he had the chance. He let them be the beginning of the new world he wishes to create. Storm wonders to herself, if this is Forge speaking or the Adversary. She asks him what the other option is. He tells her they can go back and fight the Adversary. However, if they do go back they will be subject to the fate of everyone else. They could die. Storm is surprised to find out there’s a way home. He tells her that while she was away on her travels, he constructed a way back on top of his new aerie.

At the Eagle Plaza, the two teams look around at the Vietnam surroundings. The man who shot the tribe chief a little earlier is also present. Mystique wants to know why Vietnam is so important. Wolverine tells her it’s where Forge lost his arm and leg and also where he renounced his magic. Suddenly, a Viet Cong soldier jumps from behind a bush and fires a few rounds at the mutants. Luckily, Colossus is there and the bullets bounce off. Still unable to see, Dazzler aims by sound and tries to get him with a laser blast, but misses. The human with his shotgun ends up taking out the Viet Cong. Wolverine walks over to the man with the shotgun and smells something peculiar. He dismisses it and tells everyone to get moving. He can smell more Viet Cong nearby and some Americans too.

Psylocke tells Wolverine she can sense Roma in the general area. Wolverine thinks about it for a moment and decides they should go after her, even if it is a trap. Mystique tries to argue with him, but is cut off by that pesky human again. He starts insulting them for being mutants. Crimson Commando comes over and escorts the guy out of there. Mystique eventually gives in to Wolverine and says Freedom Force will go with them. He won’t let them though. He says that if this is a trap , it makes no sense that they all walk into it. Since according to Destiny the X-Men are going to die either way, they will go in while somebody else needs to stay behind to watch over the civilians – Freedom Force. Neal, who is touched by this, shakes Wolverine’s hand. Watching from inside the news van, Manoli starts to cry.

Elsewhere, Storm and Forge sit atop the aerie. Forge explains to Storm that his neutralizer gun didn’t really take away her powers, but made her unable to access them. Storm’s excited to hear the news. Forge goes on to tell her that if she wants them back bad enough she can get them. He’s built a new device that can restore her ability to access them. Forge tells her there will be a cost. Storm’s ready to listen.

In Dallas, Wolverine tells the rest of the team that their mission is volunteer only. Everyone says they’ll go. He’s surprised that even Dazzler and Maddie want to go. Dazzler states that she is an X-man and will stick with them to the end, and Madelyne tells him she’ll be Dazzler‘s eyes. Logan thinks them crazy, but Rogue points out they are just taking after him. She then says goodbye to her foster mother, Mystique, who is pretty sad. The team walks away while Wolverine says goodbye to the camera. He tells the world to remember them. Behind Neal, the man with the shotgun is still hanging around.

Elsewhere, Storm is about to get her powers back. Forge warns her she might be hurt or killed by the blast. Storm replies that they have no choice. Forge grabs Storm and kisses her passionately. He lets her know he doesn’t want to have to do this. He wants to take her back to the house and make love to her. Storm tells him she wishes it as well, but knows that they must not give in to their desires and instead go back to their world. Forge agrees and Storm readies herself for the blast. He fires and the blast hits Storm in the chest. She tries to use her powers, but is unable to. Forge tells her she must believe she can do it. It’s the only way. Storm is afraid, she fears she might become the unreachable, untouchable "goddess" she was before she lost her powers. Forge says that this would mean she has learned nothing from these past months, and that would be a tragedy. Everything has a price. Storm says it is too high, and runs over towards him to wrap him up in her arms. They kiss once more and the thunder rolls. She summons a bolt of lightning and it comes. She takes to the air, feeling the rush of her powers coming back.

Forge yells for her to use her lightning to open the portal he’s constructed. She fires them from her fingertips and the poles Forge set up crackle with energy. The gateway Forge setup is in the shape of a pentagram. A large bolt of lightning strikes the aerie and they’re gone.

In Dallas, a fierce wind has come to Eagle Plaza. Freedom Force takes action and hurries to evacuate the civilians. The man with the shotgun isn’t too surprised to see what’s happening. He’s actually the Adversary and he morphs back to his previous form, that of Naze. He’s actually kind of happy that Forge and Storm decided to return. It makes the game all the more interesting. Blob seeing this, decides it’s time to leave. He picks up Mystique and runs away. Mystique tells him to go back, the X-Men and the reporter are still there. Blob says no. There’s nothing they can do. The top of the Eagle Plaza explodes and the building is collapsing.

Characters Involved: 

Colossus, Dazzler, Havok, Longshot, Psylocke, Rogue, Storm, Wolverine (all X-Men)

Madelyne Pryor


Neal Conan, cameraman

Manoli Wetherell, reporter and engineer

Jim-Bob and Cissy, two kids

Avalanche, Blob, Crimson Commando, Destiny, Mystique, Pyro, Spiral, Stonewall, Super Sabre (all Freedom Force)

The Adversary
flashback to Storm's youth

young Ororo

the Bright Lady

Story Notes: 

The title "Go Tell the Spartans" comes from a stone enscription left at the location of the Battle of Thermopylae where 300 Spartans held off the Persian Army for a short period of time. The stone inscription stated the following: "Go tell the Spartans, stranger passing by, obedient to their laws we lie."
Storm stabbed Forge in Uncanny X-Men #224.

A Dire Wraith posing as Nazé was possessed by the Adversary in Uncanny X-Men #188.

On page 31, panel 1, Storm is supposed to be laughing, but the dialogue bubble is coming from Forge.

Storm lost her powers in Uncanny X-Men #185 when she was shot with the neutralizer gun Forge had built for the government.

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