Uncanny X-Men (1963) - #152
"The Hellfire Gambit"
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Josef 'Joe' Rubinstein
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Cover Date: December 1981
Cover Price: US $0.50
Issue Tagline: None.
Format: Color; Standard Comic Issue
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Storm is attacking a sports car driven by the White Queen, but appearances can be deceiving! Inside the car Kitty Pryde comes back to consciousness, only to instinctively start phasing when she sees the White Queen. Ororo/White Queen lunges for Kitty, and just then the car hydroplanes and flies off the road! Emma/Storm is caught in the resulting explosion, and summons gust of wind to carry her to safety. Kitty recaps last issue as she comes back to her senses - having been thrown free of the car while phasing - and comes to investigate the crash. There she sees the White Queen just outside the fire, and while she almost leaves her there, she decides that as a hero its her job to rescue her.
Storm/Emma returns to X-Mansion, where she curses Ororo's name for having destroyed her body. Sebastian assures her that her current body is quite pleasing.
Near the crash scene, Ororo/White Queen comes to consciousness bound and with Kitty. She tries to persuade Kitty that she is in fact Ororo, but nothing seems to work - until she slips the bonds Kitty had tied using knots Ororo herself had shown her.
In the X-Mansion, Storm parades herself before the captured and neutralized X-Men dressed as the White Queen. Wolverine is stopped from revealing what actually happened (he can presumably smell it). Reese, Cole, and Malcolm want revenge on Wolverine, as does Harry Leland - They take him out into the hallway to deal with him, permanently.
Outside, Ororo/White Queen and Kitty have Stevie do a drive-by of the mansion, and then move in on foot. Stevie is about to get going again when Sebastian Shaw and Emma/Storm catch her.
Inside, Wolverine is getting thrashed, but then Amanda Sefton casts a spell to make it look like Wolverine died. They express their disappointment to the X-Men.
Ororo/Emma makes a mind link with Kitty to show her how to pick locks while Kitty phases through the ground into the hangar to open it for Ororo. Suddenly, Ororo is captured by Sebastian Shaw and Emma Frost, who are surprised to see her alive. Ororo notices that there's a powerful storm brewing, and wonders whether Emma is aware of what she's doing. Just then Kitty opens the hatch to the hangar, throwing them off-balance and allowing Ororo to get away.
Kitty and Ororo split up, Ororo hoping to slow Sebastian Shaw and Emma Frost down enough that they can't interfere with Kitty's rescue attempt. Kitty, however, gets ambushed by a very much alive Wolverine! Together they hatch a plan. Kitty phases through the captured X-Men, neutralizing their power nullifiers. The X-Men make short work of the now-cyborg hellfire guards and Leland, and then Emma and Shaw burst through the wall! With a little help from Cyclops, Colossus throws Shaw fastball special style into the lake while Emma deals with Nightcrawler. Just then the magnitude of the storm outside becomes apparent to everyone, and a humongous bolt of lightning strikes Shaw dead on. He doesn't get up. Then Ororo rushes up to Emma and mind scans her. Emma tries to fly out of her reach, but Ororo holds on - they struggle in mid-air. Suddenly the White Queen falls - but who's mind is inside? Then Storm flies down and catches her, demonstrating that their minds have been switched back to their rightful bodies. Vindictively, Emma attacks Storm with a mental assault, but Storm zaps her, and is ready to kill her but Wolverine steps in to prevent it. While the X-Men are victorious, they have to allow the Hellfire Club to leave, and they part on uneasy terms, although Emma does concede 'the brat' to the X-Men.Kitty being the brat. Of course, why or how a battle between the Hellfire Club and the X-Men decides where she'll go to school, given it was her parent's decision in the first place, is never clarified.
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