Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #323

Issue Date: 
August 1995
Story Title: 
A Nation Rising

Scott Lobdell (story), Brian Hitch (pencils), Cam Smith (inks), Steve Buccellato, electric crayon (color), Richard Starkings, comicraft (lettering), Bob Harras (editor)

Brief Description: 

Iceman and Rogue are stuck on the side of the road with a flat tire; Bobby gives her a hard time about it and offers to make a spare with his powers. She tells him no; no powers on the trip. So they start down the road. Archangel is confronted by Psylocke in the danger room about being distracted about what he saw in the club, but they are interrupted by a just awoken Gambit, who wants to know where is Rogue. Cannonball takes Sabretooth out for a run but Creed smells Wolverine, who tells Creed that he is watching him. Storm arrives and takes Sam and Logan to the city to check something. At the CNBC building, Beast confronts Trish Tilby about her broadcast about the legacy virus and she ends up putting the blame on the X-Men for the mob death of a mutant. As she starts to apologies, Beast leaves. At city hall, Graydon Creed talks to a crowd about the club massacre the night before. While at the city morgue, Storm, Wolverine, Cannonball, and Det. Jones talk to a doctor about the bodies. He starts to explain what’s wrong with them, when Wolverine attacks him. From the body of the doctor rises Sack, who was hiding in him. Storm wants to question him but they are interrupted by Vessel, who says they are both members of Gene Nation and, if they have to, they’ll kill the X-Men

Full Summary: 

Iceman and Rogue are stranded in the dessert with a flat tire, with no spare. Bobby reminds her that it was her idea to go on an adventure with only 4 tires. She tells him to relax; it's not that bad. Many people can think of a worse fate than being trapped in the middle of nowhere with her. He agrees and offers to make a spare tire, using his powers. Rogue says no; when they started this trip they agreed to no powers. He thought it was no "in costume, lets go out and save the world" X-Men powers. She tells him no again. If they need a spare, then they'll get it the normal way; they walk. Bobby finally agrees as they take off, commenting that he hopes he doesn’t melt. While walking down the road, Bobby thinks that Rogue hasn't been the same since she kissed Gambit.

At the Xavier institute, Archangel and Psylocke are training in the danger room. Betsy asks Warren what's wrong. He asks her what’s she talking about and proceeds to fly into a moving obstacle. Betsy ends the program and Warren admits to being a little distracted. She guesses it's about the massacre at the disco; it is. He says that he's seen a lot over the years, but every time he closes his eyes, he sees the people, they didn't stand a chance. She tells him it must have been horrible, but is interrupted by the door exploding. They are surprised to see a recently awaken Gambit. He asks "Where is she? Where's Rogue?" Warren tells him she's with Bobby; she's fine. Remy tells them "need to find her, been inside m'head, in danger." He passes out before he can say more. As Warren carries him off, Betsy wonders why she sensed danger before the door blew and why it doesn't ease her fears to discover it was Gambit.

Several doors away, at the rear doors, Victor Creed takes off running, followed closely by Cannonball, who is holding his leash and attempting to get him to stop. He's trying to think of a way to get him to slow down, while contemplating maybe bribing him with Scooby Snacks. He tries reasoning with him and eventually he tries please. As soon as he says this, Sabretooth stops and starts sniffing the air, causing Sam to crash into a tree. When he gets up, he asks Creed what's he smells. Creed is entranced by the scent he's discovered. It's Wolverine. Logan comes out of the shadows and tells Creed "they tell me ya lost yer mind when I poked ya in the Brain. But I ain't so sure." Wolverine goes on to say that, if he gets any sense of this being a setup, he's going gut him.

Creed looks at him and tries to speak is name, Logan notes that he's getting better. Sam then gets in between them. He tells Logan that he's responsible for Sabretooth and that "he can't let him kill him. It would look bad for his first job as an X-Man and it would ruin your karma." Logan tells him that hanging around with Cable has toughened him up. "You got guts." He then grabs Sam, telling him "But just remember, guts'll get ya killed!" As he holds Sam down, Storm interrupts and blows Logan off of Sam. She tells him that he is more than welcome to continue to live on the grounds, but they will not abide his continued assaults on Sabretooth. Logan tells her that, as long as he keeps acting like a newborn kitty, he won't attack, because it less than fair and "that isn't his style." Storm then asks if he would like to go with her and Sam to investigate a matter in the city. Logan asks if she's sure if she wants him to tag along, because asking him on a mission at the moment is "playin’ with fire." Ororo replies, "when has dealing with you ever not been playing with fire?"

In New York, at the CNBC studios, Trish Tilby is preparing for a broadcast, when she is surprised by Beast's clapping. He asks her "How's it feel to be nominated for a Pulitzer and sell out an entire race in one fell swoop?" She admits that she "should have called first, asked for expert advice before..." "Before what!" Beast interrupts, "Before you fanned the flames of intolerance, by going public with half-rumors about the legacy virus?!" Trish responds by telling him to stow the "holier than thou" crap, from where she standing, "You and Xavier, and MacTagart and the rest acted irresponsibly by not letting people know what they are up against." The people have a right to know. "That’s Exactly my point!" Beast says, "We don't know." The Hysteria from your 'News Flash' led to the beating death of one innocent mutant. He asks her "how many more are going to die in this pathetic quest for ratings. Before..." Trish slaps him before he could finish. "Don't you dare try to blame that man's death on me!" She tells him, "I report the news, I don't create it, I don't embellish it, I don't judge it. It's my responsibility. That it's much the same as you and the X-Men make it your responsibly to be the patron saints of all mutants." She tells Hank as she turns her back on him, "if you where doing your job as well as I'm doing mine, there'd be one less dead mutant to mourn!" As she turns to tell Hank she's sorry, as he leaves, he replies, "We're all sorry."

At the same time at city hall, a group of people has gathered to vent their rage about the nightclub massacre of 30+ people. Graydon Creed walks up to the podium. He tells the crowd that he understands their anger, their fear, their frustration, and he shares it. "But understanding is one thing, acceptance is something else. Atrocities like the massacre in the nightclub will continue to happen until something is done. Officially. Legally. Finally." Out in the crowd, one man thinks to himself that before this, Creed was easily written off as just another hate-monger. But now he's riding a groundswell of public support. And he can't help but think that the anti-mutant forces may be about to embrace their own version of a lunatic from Berlin.

A half a block a way, Storm Wolverine and Cannonball arrive to meet Detective Jones. Sam comments that he thought X-force played close to the edge, but you're crazy. Being around the corner from the mob. The group finally meets with Det. Jones. Storm tells her that she's taking a risk by helping them but Det. Jones tells her that she's paid to serve and protect. "There’s a fire about to rage across the country, this might be the only chance to keep the sparks from igniting the flames."

In the desert, Bobby and Rogue rest on some rocks, enjoying the view. Bobby asks if something's wrong, saying it's obvious that she saw something in Remy's mind, something that scared her. She tells him that even if she remembered, she's not ready to talk about it yet and leaves him alone on the rocks. Bobby is then surprised by the White Queen. She tells him that it’s "Emma" to everyone she's been intimate with, and it doesn’t get more intimate than 2 minds sharing the same body. Bobby get mad and turns into Ice. He demands do know what she's doing here. She tells him, "Who says I'm 'here' at all? Maybe I'm just in your head." Iceman tries to grab her, but she disappears. Rogue then returns and asks whom was he talking to. Bobby says he wasn't talking to anybody and asks if there ready to go.

At the city morgue, Det. Jones leads the X-Men inside and introduces them to Dr. Chen. He tells them that it's worse than he thought. At last count they had 33 dead bodies, only that they shouldn't be dead. He couldn't find any physical evidence of a reasonable or even unreasonable cause of death. It was if the people just stopped. Storm asks how is that possible. The doctor says, "that's it, it’s not possible." Wolverine starts to sniff around, and tells the doctor to get to the point. Dr. Chen tells them that even with 'natural causes', such as old age, there is a trigger, and no such trigger is evident. Wolverine starts to growl at Dr. Chen and Storm tells him to control himself. He then pops out his claws, and tells them something isn't right with the doctor's scent and slashes the doctors back. Cannonball then grabs Wolverine, pulling him off of the doctor. He tells Logan, that he's one needle short of a haystack. Logan then tells him that if he is then what’s wrong with the doctors’ body.

From the doctor’s body, rises up a person. He tells Wolverine that he's good; he didn't think that anybody could discover him once he was inside a host body. He tells the group that his name is Sack. Det. Jones is about to shoot him but Storm stops her, she thinks he might be able to answer some questions. All of a sudden, the wall collapses and a large mutant interrupts them. He tells them that his name is Vessel and that he could answer the questions if Sack couldn't. Vessel goes on to say that they are both members of Gene Nation. "And wile are stated goal is the destruction of human society, if we have to, we would gladly kill the X-Men in order to do so."

Characters Involved: 

Rogue, Iceman, Psylocke, Archangel, Gambit, Cannonball, Wolverine, Storm, Beast (X-Men)

White Queen (Generation X)


Graydon Creed
Sack, Vessel (Gene Nation)

Trish Tilby

Detective Charlotte Jones

Story Notes: 

Gambit kissed Rogue in X-Men (2nd Series) #41.

The club massacre happened in Uncanny X-Men #322.

Wolverine stabbed Sabretooth in the head in Wolverine #90.

Trish Tilby revealed the Legacy Virus in X-Men: Prime.

Emma Frost possessed Iceman's body in Uncanny X-Men #311-314.

First appearance of Gene Nation.

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