Escape from the Negative Zone
Cyclops and three of the more difficult X-Men become stranded in the Negative Zone while trying to find a new means of entry to Limbo. In-fighting makes their situation even more dangerous and it takes the intervention of Steve Rogers to help them escape from the Negative Zone and its chief warlord Blastaar.
- Cyclops, Hope, Dr Nemesis, Namor, Pixie III, White Queen
- Steve Rogers
- Colossus, Cypher, Dazzler, Madison Jeffries, Iceman,Magneto, Prodigy, Dr. Kavita Rao, Warlock
- Denizens of the Negative Zone
- SHIELD agents
Uncanny X-Men Annual (2nd series) #3, Steve Rogers: Super-Soldier Annual #1, Namor: The First Mutant Annual #1
- The New Mutants had trouble in Limbo, raising the concern about how to access the dimension in the future. [New Mutants (3rd series) #16-21]
- Hope and Cyclops discussed how much independence her team can have. [Generation Hope #5]
- Blastaar took control of the US prison in the Negative Zone. [Civil War / War of Kings]
While Madison Jeffries and Dr. Nemesis are conducting an experiment regarding Limbo teleportation under the supervision of Cyclops and Emma Frost, Hope Summers bursts in and accosts Cyclops, who has refused to give her team free rein to use the transports without supervision. They are joined by an equally enraged Namor, who is angry that Jeffries "borrowed" Atlantean technology for their experiment, leaving Atlantis in the dark.
As the arguments escalate, Jeffries activates the device. Unfortunately, the machinery blows up, causing Cyclops, Hope, Dr. Nemesis and Namor to disappear. Jeffries is knocked unconscious and Emma Frost does her best to manage the situation, rallying various citizens of Utopia to aid her in determining what happened to Cyclops and the others.
Scott, Hope, Namor and Nemesis find themselves floating in space in a dimension where the normal rules of physics do not seem to apply. Adding to their problems, Cyclops soon finds that herding cats is easier than getting this particular group to work together. Namor, who is becoming paranoid about finding water, flies away from the group, followed by Nemesis, while Scott orders a sulking Hope to stay with him.
Namor is soon attacked by a giant kraken-like monster. The battle against this behemoth is intensely fought until Nemesis finally takes it out with a chemical cocktail from his gun. Unimpressed, Namor flies off after ordering Nemesis to find him water or not approach him at all. Elsewhere, Cyclops and Hope scrounge for food and are arrested by alien-looking troops. They soon find themselves prisoners in the former U.S. Prison 42, which now resides in the Negative Zone. They are confronted by the Zone's self-appointed ruler, Blastaar, who has plans for the pair of heroes from Earth.
Back on Earth, Pixie and Emma Frost teleport to New York to ask the Avengers for help in finding the missing X-Men. They (and the rest of the world) soon learn their friends’ location and predicament when Blastaar makes a public broadcast to the world and demands that Reed Richards come to the Negative Zone and ask for them.
Instead, Steve Rogers, the former Captain America, intends to go and handle the hostage situation on his own. He steps through the gate to the Negative Zone in Camp Hammond and is immediately attacked and almost killed by Blastaar’s people when the tyrant sees that he isn’t Richards.
Back at Prison 42, Hope has managed to free herself and, after humiliating him a little, does the same for Cyclops. The two of them try to make their way out when they run into Rogers, who has dispatched Blastaar’s soldiers. He greets Cyclops warmly and is pleased to finally meet Hope, whose reputation and status as the only mutant born since M-Day has proceeded her. After telling Hope not to get too full of herself, he makes plans to lead them to the portal and back to Earth. Unfortunately, they run into Blastaar and are also attacked by Namor, whose lack of water has driven him into a blind fury. In his rage, the Prince of Atlantis hurts Hope. In the meantime, Dr. Nemesis has reached the citadel as well and has taken some scientists hostage, forcing them to work on recreating the portal control.
In his madness, the crazed Namor turns against Blastaar. While Cyclops remains behind to deal with the two combatants, he asks Steve Rogers to take care of Hope and find a way out for them. Steve stabilizes Hope and they go looking for the portal but find it trashed from the fighting. Simultaneously, Dr. Nemesis has forced Blastaar’s scientists to create another portal device and flees with it. He meets up with the other heroes. Rogers offers to hook the portal up to a router with the coordinates which are sure to get them home. However, there is still the problem of the now insane Namor.
Luckily the monster that attacked Namor and Nemesis before has become hooked on Nemesis’ chemical cocktail and Nemesis manages to sucker it into fighting Blastaar, keeping him busy while they manage their escape.
Hope syncs up with Namor’s powers and keeps him occupied until they get through the portal and drop him into water, where his madness quickly abates. As they all recover from their injuries on Utopia, Namor thanks Hope and Rogers for their efforts to contain him. In light of her competence in this situation, Cyclops promises Hope he will be less overprotective in the future.
- Following this incident, Cyclops was true to his word and allowed Hope and the Lights to undertake missions on their own, usually in response to newly emerging mutants.