Uncanny X-Men (1963) - #227
"The Belly of the Beast!"
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Daniel 'Dan' Green
William Wray - 'Bill'
Tom Orzechowski - 'Tom Orz'
Daniel 'Dan' Green
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Cover Date: March 1988
Cover Price: US $ 0.75
Issue Tagline: None.
Format: Color; Standard Comic Issue; 32 pages
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The Fall of the Mutants
Eagle Plaza is no more. However the X-Men, Madelyne Pryor and Neal Conan are still alive. They’re right in the middle of a Vietnam War battle, but there is one thing weird about it - there are demons everywhere. The X-Men take to the battle and go toe to toe with the beasties. All the while Neal videotapes with his camera, hoping the outside world can see. Maddie runs for cover and ends up coming upon Forge, as a young soldier in the war. Desperate over his arm buddies‘ deaths, he uses their souls to cast a spell that opens a gateway. The demons the X-Men are fighting came from this gateway. Forge soon realizes his mistake and orders an air strike to fix it. The X-Men realize that this past event is related to what is happening now. Neal asks more questions of the X-Men. He wants them to use this opportunity to show the world that mutants aren’t to be feared. High above Earth, the Adversary has taken over Roma’s Starlight Citadel and Forge (of the present day), Storm and Roma are his prisoners. He watches the X-Men and marvels over his future victory. Down below, Psylocke senses Forge and Storm up in the citadel. The X-Men come up with a plan to get up there. Upon arrival, they discover that the Adversary, like most other magical beings, is vulnerable to iron. As steel is an alloy of the metal, one blow from Colossus rips the Adversary in half and reveals his true form. That was the reason for Roma making sure that the armored X-Man would be present for this conflict. Rogue absorbs some magical knowledge and opens an energy portal behind the Adversary, though he managed to grab hold of the edge. All the X-men’s efforts to blast him fully through fail, and it becomes clear that there’s only one thing that can truly defeat him; Forge’s magic. Years ago he used the souls of his friends to open a gate, now he again needs nine souls to close one. The eight X-men and Madelyne Pryor agree without a second thought and even though it pains Forge greatly, he commences the spell. The Adversary is knocked through the portal and sealed behind a tombstone. Roma transports Forge and cameraman Neal Conan transported back to Dallas, where Freedom Force any many viewers of the live-feed are waiting for them. Shocked by her foster daughter’s death, Mystique accuses Forge of being a murderer. On Muir Island, Kitty Pryde watched the TV as the X-Men sacrifice their lives. She informs Moira MacTaggert, and Nightcrawler, just awakened from his come, of the bad news. However high above in her Citadel, Roma draws the X-Men’s essences from the tomb and recreates them. She tells them that chaos is needed in the universe, so the Adversary should not be locked away forever. Roma thanks the team for their heroism and tells them she could send them where- and whenever they want. The X-Men decide to let the world believe them dead, so that their friends and families are no longer in danger of being attacked by their enemies.
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