Writer Chris Claremont
Penciler John Romita Jr.
Inker Steve Leialoha
Letterer Tom Orzechowski
Colorist Glynis Wein
Reprint of Uncanny X-Men 189
Cover Dated March 1994
I prefer this cover by Tom Raney over the original. Mostly, it is due to Magma’s effect looking better, but are horrible though. Also, Rachel is wearing, for her, a sensible outfit on the newer cover.
Issue opens with Rachel Summers and Magma having a day in New York City. The narration informs us that one is from the future and the other from a land forgotten by time.
Amara is drawn prettier than Rachel.
Poor Rachel lives through another flashback. I have forgotten how much Rachel harps on her origin in these early days. Rachel was the best Hound in her future. She assisted in many mutant murders.
The two ladies are killing time in the city while they wait for the X-Men to see Storm off on her voyage to Africa, to relearn who she is. Not sure why they are not on the ship.
Kitty and Wolverine are still in Japan due to their Kitty Pryde and Wolverine miniseries, which I adore how real time that miniseries is taking to occur.
In attendance on the ship is Illyana, even back then, they were trying to put her in the big leagues – where she belongs.
Kurt opens a bottle of champagne. We get the very first indication that Lockheed enjoys himself some adult beverages. He drinks right out of Kurt’s glass. Lockheed spends the rest of the party around Storm’s shoulders – the first time he has spent time with an older woman.
Rachel and Amara are shopping. They come across a Roman Museum piece and this gives Amara a chance to talk about Nova Roma and how she misses her father. Amara is homesick and this causes Rachel to realize she can never go home again. Though would she want too? I suppose it is different when you can’t go back at all.
Rachel senses a familiar thought pattern and starts chasing after it. She reveals she sensed Selene, who killed Amara’s mother, so both ladies are now invested in seeking her out. Amara is upset with Rachel for taking that information out of her mind.
The trail leads to the Hellfire Club. They change into maid outfits. Rachel is hesitant as she never wants to be a slave again. The maid’s outfit requires a choker and that’s what triggers the thought. Rachel also notices that the club has enough psychic barriers to even prevent Xavier from knowing what is going on.
They are surprised when a butler shows up, once they are in their new uniforms, and he needs one of them to come with him. Rachel realizes she isn’t going to be able to rely on her telepathic powers at all as she didn’t sense him until he was in the room.
Meanwhile, Selene is auditioning for the role of the Black Queen, as they haven’t found a new person since Jean, over forty issues ago. Or they have and the new ladies have failed at lasting a while, but I imagine they would have told us of those ones. Sebastian Shaw and Tessa (who will take the name Sage much later) are watching. Shaw likes that she looks the part but the position has to be earned.
Selene is has vampire powers but also has power over inanimate objects. Or maybe it is that she has to use a power similar to a vampire to maintain her actual power? She absorbs life forces, taking them from living to skeleton. She creates this rock formation that captures Shaw. Since his power is based on kinetic energy, meaning, don’t punch him as that makes him stronger – the way Selene’s power works, it is passive. So she can kill him pretty easily and he knows that now. What he doesn’t know, is if Selene knows that or not.
She then recreates Shaw’s throne, as it was destroyed in the demonstration. Shaw notices that she is sitting in his throne. She states that he is her host, for the moment and it is her custom to give him a gift. She disappears to retrieve it. Shaw asks Tessa if Selene can teleport and Tessa states that it was more of a hypnotic affect.
Rachel was the maid the butler chose. We don’t see what she had to do for them but what we do see if Rachel start cracking up once she believes she can’t be seen by anyone. She realizes she hasn’t laughed in forever and is glad she hasn’t forgotten how.
That nice moment doesn’t last long as Selene is near by and Rachel attacks her. She knocks her out, easily and when she goes to finish the job, turns out it was only Magma, wearing Selene’s cloak. Rachel is then taken captive.
Selene presents the two mutants to Shaw as presents. Tessa notices that Rachel looks like Jean.
In Rachel’s mind, we see that she is a prisoner of her own. She can’t do anything without tripping Selene off to her plan. She takes her consciousness and jumps over to Amara’s body. In Amara’s mind, we see her in the security of the Roman Empire. Amara fights Rachel as she is an invader, by causing an earthquake. By reestablishing her connection to the planet, Amara wakes up in control again. Turns out, that earthquake wasn’t only in her mind but in RL as well.
Shaw orders Selene to fix her mess as Tessa is worried the building is going to be ruined. Rachel sends out a distress call to Xavier, as innocents may be hurt as Magma cuts lose. She has only been a New Mutant for a limited time, so she doesn’t have the precise control over her powers for what she is attempting to do.
Since Selene has control over inanimate objects and Magma’s actions are tearing the ground up, Selene is actually stronger as the debris can be used as weapons. Before she can take advantage of the situation, Nightcrawler shows up and teleports Selene away.
Colossus and Rogue knock down a wall and Xavier is present as his astral form. Xavier tells Shaw that if he wants a fight, the X-Men are here to deliver one.
When Kurt teleported Selene away, he knocked her out with a nerve pinch. Magma wants to finish Selene, and Xavier has to tell her that his students are forbidden to kill. She has to accept that and she reluctantly does.
Shaw tells Xavier that it wasn’t his plan to take the ladies captive. If they all want to leave, Shaw won’t stand in their way.
Rachel doesn’t want Amara and her be seen in french maid uniforms. Rogue makes a joke about how they are in New York City, so who would notice. Rachel doesn’t want to be seen at all and uses her telekinesis powers to change their clothes to more proper attire. Rachel then passes out. Almost as if it wasn’t necessary then. She should have just formed jackets around them. Wouldn’t have left her open to future attacks. Luckily, this is the end of the issue so she is safe.
In a fun moment, Magma asks how Xavier found them. Was it due to Rachel’s distress call? When they exist the mansion, she gets her answer. She has pretty much destroyed the city block. Magma feels bad as the damage didn’t result in anything. Selene is still alive, her mother is unavenged. Rachel states that it will be a while before Selene does anything again.
Issue ends with another tease to the upcoming Kulan Gath storyline. It should start next issue.