I imagine myself at age 18 looking at this cover and asking, “Who the hell are the X-Men anymore? That corner box with 3 mutants I don’t recognize and Havok….seriously? No sale….” In the time since my introduction to the X-Men at #166: Cyclops is done, Storm’s lost her powers, Kitty and Colossus and Nightcrawler are gone, Professor Xavier is AWOL, and Magneto’s in charge.
It seems like it really was a short window of time that we had the classic team.
Here we are 38 issues since Storm lost her powers thanks to Forge. Storm has a fabulous Cheyenne buckskin outfit thanks to a cache of supplies Naze knew of. It’s snowing in the summertime and they are finally close to Forge’s mountain aerie. The Adversary—aka ‘Trickster’—is close to getting what it wants—to come into the world and consume it once Forge opens the gate. Naze full-on kisses Storm—ewwwww and sends her up the mountain. He sneers to himself, he doesn’t care what happens as long as he wins.
In San Francisco, Valerie Cooper holds a press conference to introduce Freedom Force and deflect questions about civil rights and democracy. Rogue is working out at a gym where the owner happens to have old Fantastic Four weightlifting machines—47 tons! Mystique reveals herself to Rogue, they are happy to see each other, Mystique 3ants to take Rogue away but Rogue is an X-Man now. Mystique tells her Destiny sees death for them in Dallas, Texas.
Dazzler does a show in disguise at Club DV8 in SF and shows off her powers when the lights go out. Wolverine gives her the obligatory lecture and Rogue arrives with Destiny’s vision. Meanwhile, Havok and Longshot have this sequence where Longshot rescues a woman from a stereotypical gang of thugs in a big old school convertible. There’s something about swinging around on ropes that doesn’t seem X-Men to me. I don’t dig Longshot, but the the woman he rescues is in love. Havok has been chill the whole time and he just casually unloads, melting the convertible. Lieutenant Morrell arrives and warns that Freedom Force are in town looking for the X-Men.
The team meets to discuss what to do. Wolverine says Destiny told them Storm is the key and he’s gonna go find her. It’s gonna be risky, but everyone wants to go—including Madelyne, who has no where else to go.
Storm is climbing the face of the aerie, dodging the elements and demons. Naze said the defenses would be set for him, not her, so the demons have no effect on her at first. Then she finally sees Forge working magic, a portal is opening…the demons solidify and she fights her way to the top….she’s in full badass mode and the outfit looks pretty cool.
She reaches Forge and he’s happy to see her. Before he can say anything else she stabs him in the heart. As he collapses he tells her he wasn’t trying to open the gate…he was trying to close it….
The Trickster got you, girl.
With a million demons closing in, Forge pulls them both off the mountain and as they fall they are consumed by the hole in reality and their souls burn brightly before vanishing.
Naze destroys the mountain with a mystic blast and rejoices in his victory.