Uncanny X-Men (1963) - #143
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Tom Orzechowski - 'Tom Orz'
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Cover Date: March 1981
Cover Price: US $ 0.50
Issue Tagline: ...Guess What Just Came Down The Chimney!
Format: Color; Standard Comic Issue; 32 pages
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Letters Column: X-Mail
Flashback - The X-Men's first battle with the N'Garai, specifically Storm's destruction of the obelisk which was the nexus of the gateway between their world and ours. The X-Men believed that, with the obelisk gone, the gate was sealed, but a lone demon slowly crawls from amidst the rubble, free in our world!
Now. A couple out looking for their first Christmas tree. Quickly their happiness becomes ashes - the N'Garai demon kills them swiftly and then feasts upon them, body and soul.
The X-Mansion. Kitty is learning how the Blackbird runs, backwards and forwards, when, to her relief, Angel interrupts to let Xavier know that its time to be going. In the entranceway, Logan introduces Mariko Yashida to Professor X. A mistletoe prank of Kurt's with Mariko draws Wolverine's ire, but things are soon set aright, although the mood is tense. Kitty lightens it by playing a similar trick on Colossus, who blushes deeply. Then most of the X-Men depart: Wolverine and Mariko, Angel off to see Candy Southern, and Professor X, Peter, Ororo, and Kurt off in the Rolls. Kitty Pryde is left in the mansion... alone.
Kitty, feeling lonely, tries calling her parents - no luck. Scott calls to wish everyone a merry Christmas. Finding only Kitty in the mansion, he promises to call tomorrow. He then finds Lee Forrester to see about taking a job as a sailor.
Still at loose ends, Kitty decides to work out, using a Danger Room exercise program. However, her work-out is interrupted by the intruder alarm - something has caused it to go off in Ororo's room. Not wanting to disturb the police over what may be something as simple as a fallen branch, Kitty decides to investigate... only to discover the N'Garai demon!
Kitty leads it on a merry chase through the mansion, phasing through walls with it fast on its heels. Losing it briefly at one point, she tries to make it to a phone to call the other X-Men. The demon is waiting for her, however, and while she phases in time, she still feels the claw as it scythes through her incorporeal form!
She escapes to the Danger Room, air-walking up to the control booth to use the room against her. The demon is taking its time to show, however, and she's starting to wonder just how smart it is when it enters the control booth instead of the room below. Kitty backpedals into the Danger Room and it pursues her through the 'unbreakable' glass. The Danger Room comes alive, and Kitty manages to barely keep just ahead of it and not get nailed by the room. Of course, the demon just tears through everything the room has to offer, but it delays it long enough that Kitty gets a good head start, out of the Danger Room and to the rail car to the hangar. Halfway to the hangar the demon ruptures the rail, forcing Kitty to travel the rest of the distance on foot.
Weary from exertion, Kitty gets into the blackbird, its turbine engines pointed down the tunnel, the only realistic path for the demon to follow into the hangar. She starts going through the ignition checklist. At the last second she ignites the engines, crisping the demon but wrecking the blackbird. She exits the plane, air walking, confident nothing could have survived, when a burned claw arcs towards her...
The X-Men return home to a darkened house, having encountered police earlier warning them of gruesome murders that have occurred in the area. Wary, and with Professor X's telepathy somehow foiled, they enter cautiously. Kitty is curled up watching TV with a fire, and is overjoyed that the X-Men have returned! Kitty's parents are also with them.
It turns out that last swipe was the creature's dying attempt to kill Kitty. It made the supreme effort. It failed.
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Final issue of the Claremont, Byrne, Austin run.
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