> Uncanny X-Men Masterworks Volume 4

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From the Mouths of the Marvels:

"We have done you no harm, butcher, yet you attacked without warning, slew without mercy. As you have done to us - - so shall the X-Men do to you!

-- Colossus, pg. 18

For the first time, the X-Men find themselves facing a hostile army decked out in George Perez splendor!

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X-Men Annual #3
1979 35 pages

Script: Chris Claremont Letters: Tom Orzechowski
Pencils: George Perez Inks: Terry Austin

Title: "A Fire In the Sky!"
Part 2: "Rogue in the House!"
Part 3: "Land of Shadow - - Dawn of Death!"

First Appearance: Isadore and Irmgarde Uhman, Sashia

Guest Appearance: Arkon the Imperion, Jarvis, the Grand Vizier, the Warlord, Sashia

Cameo: Isadore and Irmgarde Uhman

Letters Page: No letters page in this issue.

Synopsis: A burst of lightning flashes down in front of the newspaper stand of Izzy and Ima Uhman, and they are shocked to see- standing in the epicenter of the blast- the warrior Arkon, with shield and clad only in boots and a loincloth. He immediately sets out on his mission: to find Thor of the Avengers. He trots determinedly toward the Avengers Mansion, waking Jarvis and demanding to know where Thor is. Jarvis tells him Thor is no longer a regular member and he doesn't know where he is. Arkon takes great umbrage to this and tries to force the information from him! Before he can do any damage to Jarvis, he receives a transmission from his Grand Vizier, who tells him there is another person of Earth who can help him, and he guides him to her.

The X-Men have no idea that Arkon is headed their way, and they while away the day working out in the Danger Room. Unfortunately, on this day, all things go haywire when Storm overcompensates to destroy a wind vacuum she is in. The resultant blast sends shrapnel up to the control room, destroying the monitor banks Banshee is presiding over. This launches a full-out assault of the Danger Room that takes several harrowing minutes for the team to get under control. Storm is unnerved by this moment, and Cyclops talks to her privately about her mixed feelings about always leading a life of fighting. Scott has no easy answers for her.

Storm heads upstairs to her attic, where she finds solace tending to her garden and contemplating the burden on her life as an X-Man. Suddenly, Arkon springs from the skylight above and grabs her, demanding he come with her. She knocks him back with a blast of wind, which alerts her teammates. Arkon crashes through the floor and Cyclops notices who he is. The X-Men take a defensive posture, with Cyke blasting Arkon out towards the swimming pool, where Colossus smacks him across the lawn. Arkon stands his ground, firing his bolt arrows at Colossus, but Wolverine slashes his shield in half with his claws, which amazes Arkon. He notices Storm flying above him, and he fires one of his bolts at her, and she disappears into thin air. The fight continues all over the lawn of the school until Arkon is sufficiently subdued so the X-Men can get a straight answer out of him as to why he has come to Earth. Arkon won't talk, so Cyclops surmises that with the dropping of another of Arkon's bolts, the X-Men will be able to follow Storm wherever she went.

They suddenly find themselves transported to the main chamber of Arkon's palace, with hundreds of warriors surrounding. They hold Arkon hostage and demand a trade for Storm. They are refused by the Grand Vizier, who declares that Storm is their only salvation and cannot give her up. An all-out fight breaks out, as the X-Men are forced to push aside all the warriors. While his teammates battle each other, Nightcrawler decides to follow the Grand Vizier, who is leaving the palace. He traces his steps all the way to a fortress set into a mountain nearby, where inside, Storm is being kept. Nightcrawler sees her dressed in native clothing, declaring she is ready to do "what must be done." Nightcrawler is shocked to see Storm cooperating with her captors, and he tries to summon the X-Men to come help him, but Storm lashes out at him, sending a lightning bolt up into the sky. Wolverine sees this and he and the rest of the X-Men take a ride on the back of a dragon Colossus managed to commandeer.

They make it up the the fortress and confront Storm, who resists their attempt to rescue her. Arkon shows up and explains what is going on: his home planet has no sun, so it has always been powered by a ring of energy that rotates around it. At one time, it went out, and Thor ended up helping restore it by means of charging a device with his powers of lightning that Iron Man had created (see Avengers #75-76.) But, again, the device has lost its power, and the planet is rapidly losing its energy. Without Thor's help, they can only turn to Storm, who can recharge it, but at the possible cost of her life. Storm sees her chance to help a whole world of people and refuses to let it pass.

Cyclops decides that the X-Men can help in a manner that may be less of a risk to Storm's life. They do a quick redesign on Iron Man's gadget so it can absorb Cyke's optic blasts instead of Storm's lightning. Then, they channel Storm's lightning- with Colossus acting as a ground for the energy current- so it passes into Cyclops, powering up his optic blast. The resultant energy is enough to power the device, restoring the energy band which floats around Arkon's planet. There is a flashback explosion once the energy is dissipated, but the X-Men and Arkon all live to tell the tale. Arkon and his planet hold a victory celebration for the X-Men, and then he uses his dimensional transport bolts to send them back to Earth.

--synopsis and panel images by Gormuu

Issues Reprinted
X-Men #122-131, Annual #3

Click on cover image to learn more about each issue.

XM #122 XM #123 XM #124 Ann. #3 XM #125 XM #126
XM #127 XM #128 XM #129 XM #130 XM #131


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

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