> Uncanny X-Men Masterworks Volume 2

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From the Mouths of the Marvels:

"Free! Gods of the earth and air be praised! I am free!!!

-- Storm, pg. 9

Ummmm.....I dunno.

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X-Men #103
February 1977 17 pages

Script: Chris Claremont Letters: John Costanza
Pencils: Dave Cockrum Inks: Sam Grainger

Title: "The Fall of the Tower"

Villain: Black Tom, Juggernaut

Guest Appearance: The Families: Donal, Padraic, Kelson; Eamon O'Donnell

Cameo: Magneto, Eric the Red, Emperor D'Ken Neremani (unnamed appearance)

Gadgets & Technology: Black Tom's Neuronic Tangler Glove

Letters Page: Letters page coming soon!

Synopsis: (continued from X-MEN #102)

Nightcrawler's unconscious body is being ferried through the hidden passageways of Cassidy Keep by several little men, revealed to be honest-to-goodness leprechauns! The demon mutant awakes in a shock and is greeted by Eamon O'Donnell, who explains the origins of the leprechauns, known as The Families, as well as how they got stuck in the predicament of acting on behalf of the villainous Black Tom and Juggernaut. According to O'Donnell, the deadly duo took over the castle at the behest of a gentlemen of the description of Eric The Red. Nightcrawler wants to get back into action to save his friends, but first there is the matter of determining the veracity of the leprechauns claim that he became invisible in the shadows. Sure enough, whenever Nightcrawler steps into the shadows, his body becomes invisible, only his eyes glowing in the darkness.

The thrill of discovering a new mutant power is broken when another one of The Families rushes in to announce that Black Tom is set to torture the captive X-Men. They all rush off to the laboratory, where each mutant is neutralized in bondage. In a bid to exert maximum non-lethal pain to each mutant, in an effort to draw in the ultimate prize of Charles Xavier, Black Tom uses his Neuronic Tangler Glove. Before he can apply the glove to the neck of Storm, Nightcrawler ports into the room and takes the disguise of Xavier himself! Juggernaut attacks, and both he and Black Tom are surprised to see a supposed invalid leap out of his chair and fight back like a gymnast.

Juggernaut realizes it's actually Nightcrawler, and in a rage, punches at him and misses, crashing his fist through the wall. A gaping maw at the base of the wall reveals the sky, which charges Storm back to life. Free from her deadening claustrophobia, she creates a hurricane wind which blows through the laboratory freeing her teammates from captivity, but in a precarious manner, as the winds push Colossus and Wolverine outside in a loud thud against the ground. While Juggernaut and Black Tom argue, the leprechauns move quickly to rescue Nightcrawler, who is now buried underneath the rubble created by Juggernaut's punch. As Storm, Wolverine and Colossus regroup, the two villains carry the unconscious body of Banshee up to the top of the castle wall, and dangle him from the ramparts, telling the X-Men they'll have to come and fight for him. Storm races up the wind to face them, and Colossus uses his incredible strength to toss Wolverine up there following her. He climbs up the wall himself, digging his fingers into the castle wall. Energy blaster guns open up on Storm, while Juggernaut tosses chunks of granite down the facing to knock Colossus away. Storm calls up wind, rain and lightning to fight off the energy blasters.

As it turns out, Colossus' toss of Wolverine was too strong, landing him on the wrong side of the castle. But this gives Wolverine the chance to meet Padraic, the leprechaun, who offers to help him. Banshee is forced to stand and watch, tied together at the wrists with a power suppressor manacled to his neck and mouth. Nightcrawler sneaks up behind him and unleashes his bonds, and before Black Tom can fight back, Banshee unleashes a sonic scream that digs a hole out from underneath Juggernaut, sending him falling below to face the rest of the X-Men. Banshee takes on Black Tom man to man, using swords pulled from the castle walls. As Juggernaut takes on Storm, Wolverine and Colossus, Black Tom is hurtled over the side of the castle wall by Banshee. He falls down into the raging ocean waters below, and Juggernaut jumps over the side as well, to save the only friend he has in the world. Storm uses her powers to call the raging wind down, and the storm is gone.

Later, Eric the Red is sitting in front of a communications console, being berated for yet another failure in stopping the X-Men. He tells the man on the video screen- who he calls "my liege"- that his next ally in the fight against the X-Men is to be an old and deadly foe of theirs. It just so happens Magneto is on the video screen as well!

- -synopsis and panel images by Gormuu

- - panel scans provided by Jonathan Clarke, aka doesitmatter

- - letters pages provided by Avengers Assemble

Issues Reprinted
X-Men #101-110

Click on cover image to learn more about each issue.


XM #101

XM #102

XM #103

XM #104

XM #105

XM #106

XM #107

XM #108

XM #109

XM #110


All cover images are courtesy of the Silver Age Marvel Comics Cover Gallery.

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