> Uncanny X-Men Masterworks Volume 1

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From the Mouths of the Marvels:

"What's'a matter, hotshot- you gutless or somethin'?”

-- Wolverine, to Cyclops, pg. 18

Havok and Cyclops discuss their familial issues.

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X-Men #97
February 1976 • 18 pages

Script: Chris Claremont • Letters: Annette Kaye
Pencils: Dave Cockrum • Inks: Sam Grainger

Title: "My Brother, My Enemy!"

Villain: Eric the Red

First Appearance: Clancy and Reece (Starcore pilots)

Guest Appearance: Moira MacTaggert, Havok, Lorna Dane/Polaris

Cameo: Dr. Stephen Lang

Letters Page: No letters page this issue.

Synopsis: Professor Xavier lies in bed, the victim of a turbulent dream. In this nightmare- one he has seemingly had many times before- opposing battleships of interstellar starfleets face off in an epic fight, destroying each other until a lone scoutcraft emerges unscathed and fleeing the fracas. The occupant of this ship is seemingly drawing the sleeping mind of Xavier to it, and he cannot stop it, cannot deny it- until he wakes screaming. He repairs to the kitchen, where he confides in Moira MacTaggert about his dreams and his fears that he is going mad from some outside force sapping his will.

Across the country, in the arid, desert countryside of Rio Diablo, Alex Summers and Lorna Dane share a goodbye kiss as Alex heads off to work, leaving Lorna behind to do housework. It’s an idyllic existence for these two super-humans, but one shattered by a mystery figure that intrudes and knocks Lorna out with some sort of force beam. Alex hears her scream and runs back to their cabin only to find Lorna Dane clothing herself in new costume and declaring herself Polaris, Mistress of Magnetism. She then fires a magnetic bolt at Alex and knocks him out.

Three days later, Jean Grey accompanies Scott Summers, Ororo, Peter Rasputin and a disguised Kurt Wagner to the airport, where they are to say goodbye to Prof. Xavier who is flying to a vacation. As they help Xavier board the plane, they see Alex, now donned in his Havok uniform, along with Polaris. Polaris makes a sudden attack on Jean Grey. Scott is bewildered by the actions of his brother and his wife, and they push him away to get to Xavier, their target, who is in the airplane now rolling across the tarmac.

Starcore pilots Clancy and Reese do their best to launch skyward, but are in the sights of Havok. Noting this, Nightcrawler leaps behind him and pushes him away, causing his shot to destroy another airplane (empty, natch!), leaving the Starcore flight safe to fly away. Cyclops pushes his brother violently for account on what he is doing, and while Havok flutters in and out of coherence, the secret, sinister figure appears, and it is Eric the Red! Or at least he claims to be the evil villain, as Cyclops reminds this Eric the Red that he, Scott Summers, used to be Eric the Reed (see X-Men #51-52.)

A battle ensues that pits the four assembled X-Men (an unconscious Jean Grey is cleared from action by Storm) against Havok, Polaris and Eric the Red. Cyclops tries to reason with Havok, who is quite obviously fighting mind control. But it’s no use, and their interaction devolves into a battle royale between brothers. Colossus and Nightcrawler take on Eric the Red, decommissioning an Eastern Airline jet in the process. Storm and Polaris face off, pitting their powers over electrical fields and magnetic fields against each other, with Storm coming out on top. Polaris’ defeat sends Havok into a rage, turning the full force of his power against his brother Cyclops and then rushing to the aid of Polaris.

As Wolverine and Banshee arrive on the scene as backup, Eric the Red gathers up Havok and Lorna Dane and beats a fast retreat. Cyclops stands paralyzed in inaction, while Wolverine breathes down his neck demanding he fire an optic blast to bring them down. Bickering ensues, and as the X-Men fight amongst themselves, Dr. Steven Lang watches in on the action via closed circuit signal. But unbenknownst to Lang, he is being watched by another mystery figure!

--synopsis and panel images by Gormuu

--letters pages provided by Avengers Assemble

Issues Reprinted
X-Men #94-100, Giant-Size X-Men #1

Click on cover image to learn more about each issue.


GS XM #1

XM #94

XM #95

XM #96

XM #97

XM #98

XM #99

XM #100


All cover images are courtesy of the Silver Age Marvel Comics Cover Gallery.

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