Uncanny X-Men (1963) - #169
"Catacombs" (Newsstand Edition)
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Paul Martin Smith - 'PMS'
Tom Orzechowski - 'Tom Orz'
Paul Martin Smith - 'PMS'
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Cover Date: May 1983
Cover Price: US $ 0.60
Issue Tagline: In a moment, the X-men will arrive... they'll be too late. This angel fallen.
Format: Color; Standard Comic Issue; 32 pages
This is a version of the following issue:
Uncanny X-Men (1963) #169 - Catacombs
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From the Ashes
Candy Southern returns home to the apartment she shares with Warren to discover feathers and blood. She hears someone else inside, and calls Professor X, realizing the police could never arrive in time! Just as Charles answers the phone, her attacker announces himself as... Sunder!
At that instant, in Amanda Sefton's apartment, Kurt and Amanda are sharing a Jacuzzi. The conversation has just turned towards their future, when Kurt receives Professor X's telepathic distress call in his head. He responds instantly, teleporting above the city and then over to outside Warren's apartment. He's there in time to see Angel carried into the subway by persons unknown, and then catch Candy as she is hurled out the window by her assailant! He returns with her to Amanda's apartment - needless to say, this makes quite a splash.
Interlude. The Hellfire Club. Sebastian Shaw responds to an urgent summons from Tessa. Emma Frost had come to see him on urgent business - so dire she wouldn't even tell Tessa, and then apparently collapsed in mid-sentence. Tessa tells Shaw that analysis indicates she's entered a state of catatonic schizophrenia - likely induced by her assailant to keep her from speaking. Shaw muses that Xavier would be capable of such a feat, but its not his style.
Amanda's apartment. The X-Men have gathered to discuss strategy. Lacking a tracker, Storm asks Professor X if they could borrow Rahne. He refuses her, and tells her the mini-Cerebro keyed to Angel should be sufficient. Amanda and Lockheed are left in the apartment to watch over Candy, and the X-Men head for the subway.
In the subways, the mini-Cerebro reveals Angel is within a Kilometer laterally, but far below them! Storm eventually has Kitty look for a hidden door. She finds one rapidly, and they make their way down.
Suddenly, they are ambushed by a mass of people! Storm sends Kitty to scout around, and the other X-Men hold their own. Kitty manages to come upon the leaders of the Morlocks, who are watching the battle to get an idea of their strength - comprised of Sunder, Callisto, Masque, and Plague. Despite being phased, Callisto manages to smell her, and sends Plague after her. Plague passes through her... harmlessly?... Kitty runs. Sunder tries to pursue Kitty through the wall, but Callisto calls him off - if 'a single molecule' of disease remains when Kitty solidifies, it should still finish her.
Back at the main event, the X-Men put their assailants to flight, but they take their unconscious brethren with them, denying the X-Men prisoners to interrogate. The fight over, the X-Men worry over the fate of Kitty, but Angel's life hangs in the balance, and Storm chooses to press on. They descend.
After the X-Men have gone, Kitty returns, Plague's disease already coursing through her. She calls out feebly for her companions before collapsing. Caliban finds her, however, and carries her unconscious form off with him, talking to himself about how they will live happily ever after.
The X-Men at last descend into the Alley, a enormous cavern made as a bomb shelter by the US government in secret, and then abandoned. Suddenly, lights and loudspeakers deafen and blind our heroes. A railroad car rolls up unnoticed, carrying Angel shackled to it and Callisto caressing his hair. She declares she intends to marry him, the 'handsomest man in the world' to be her prince. She starts to clip Angel's pin-feathers, to prevent him from injuring himself flying around in the dark tunnels, and the X-Men try to stop her, only to be overwhelmed by a sea of Morlocks! The fight goes badly for them.
Epilogue: Kitty awakens in a strange bed, dressed in night clothes. Despite feeling sick, she tries to get up. The effort makes her vomit. She finally manages to get to her feet, and then Caliban comes in. She's half-delirious, and collapses as Caliban rushes up to her. Caliban vows to defy even Callisto to save Kitty as he cradles her unconscious form.
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