Issue Date: January 1995
Story Title: Scary Monsters
Staff: John Moore (writer), Ron Lim (pencils), Harry Candelario (inks), Ken Lopez (letters), Tom Smith (colors), Joey Cavalieri (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor-in-chief)
Loki is attacked by two members of the Rat Pack, and imprisoned at the Las Vegas casino from Desdemona Synge. Desdemona thinks that Loki is just another cheater of the poker games and wants him to confess. Loki of course isn’t, but Desdemona doesn’t believe one word of what he says and tortures the truth out of him. Through a bio-electric device that is installed on his head, Loki gets out of control and transforms into a green monster. As the green monster, Loki fights back and escapes. Meanwhile, Krystalin returns to her hometown and attends her father’s funeral. She has a talk with her estranged brother Zak and learns about the new dangers her town has to face. Meanwhile, Tim trains with Shakti and the two try to make battle plans to bring down the Theatre of Pain. A bored Meanstreak trains outside and gets approached by La Lunática. Meanstreak doesn’t trust the vampire at all and runs away from her. When Meanstreak regrets what he has done and returns to her, he finds Luna knocked down by Halloween Jack. Meanstreak easily recognizes his old friend Jordan Boone and asks what he wants. Jack explains his scheme: he wants, together with Meanstreak, to take over Las Vegas!
In Las Vegas, a rich looking man flirts with a blond haired woman. They sit on a high balcony of a hotel. Neither of them realizes that they are being watched by snipers. Suddenly, they are shot at! The man pushes the woman, Felicity, into safety. He himself jumps from the balcony. The snipers think that the man jumped into his own death, but are quickly proved wrong: the man shape-shifts into a falcon!
Mr. Entertainment and the Suicide King quickly run to their sky cycle and chase the man/bird. Mr. Entertainment tells the King to use the neural shattershot gun. The Suicide King follows the command and, after missing a few times, the King hits the bird. It falls down into the water and loses consciousness. As they land, the “bird” has transformed into his true form. That of… Loki!
Oakland, the funeral of Andre Ogada…
The priest reads: “Today, the entire city mourns the loss of Minister Andre Daniel Ogada, a great teacher and a great warrior. As one of the founding soldiers of the Panther, he helped rescue our community from the violence of the seventies, and, as a Council Minister, he worked passionately for the spiritual and economic reclamation of our city. As was sad a century ago of the Wakadan Panther, King T’Challa, we can say about of Andre Ogada: he fought righteously and selflessly for his people, believing justice and equality be not simply philosophical abstracts but genuine possibilities.”
Miko, a servant of Zak, warns him that his sister has arrived. Krystalin enters and apologizes that they haven’t gotten the chance to reunite under better circumstances. Krys and Zak argue about that Krys has left the Panthers, and doesn’t want to help her family anymore. That she would rather stay with the X-Men and Meanstreak. Krystalin tries to defend herself that the X-Men are her family too. But Zak doesn’t buy that, and says that Krys is so much like their mother, with no sense for responsibility. Krys tells Zak to stop talking. They won’t have that talk here, now. Suddenly, it begins to rain. It feels nice to Krys, who says that she hasn’t had a shower since she left New Mexico.
Everyone hurries back inside. Krys wonders why, because it’s only rain. Suddenly, her vision begins to blur and she feels shaken. Everyone realizes that Krys is new in town and hasn’t built up any defenses. Zak explains to Krys that she had her first taste from what they call “acid rain.” Zak explains that the techno-anarchists in the Berkeley Hills have been seeding the clouds with hallucinogens. They’ve no respect for what the Panthers have build right here in Oakland. Zak swears that one of these days, sooner or later, he’s going to make those anarchists pay for what they have done.
Meanwhile, Desdemona Synge and her two Rat Pack members go into the lower areas of their Las Vegas complex. Desdemona asks who he is. Loki introduces himself, but Desdemona doesn’t believe him at all. Desdemona says that cheating isn’t allowed here in Vegas, and the penalty is death. However, Desdemona has an offer to make: if Loki identifies the other cheaters, he can go. Loki says that he is alone. Desdemona still doesn’t believe him, and installs a bio-electric machine on his head. When she activates it, Loki screams it out from the pain: the charge makes him lose control over himself and affects his nervous system, causing him to hallucinate. Loki suddenly begins to transform into something.
Loki transforms into a literally green monster and goes out of control! The Rat Pack tries to calm Loki down, but Loki is so angry that he frees himself and opens the attack and runs away. Mr. Entertainment follows it and tries to figure out what he’s going to do to calm down the scared gamblers inside the casino, where Loki is most likely going to run to. As Mr. E. makes it to the gambling room, Loki is nowhere to be seen! There’s nothing but happy gamblers.
Meanwhile, Tim and Shakti train together in Zhao’s base. Tim fears that Krystalin won’t return and that the X-Men are outnumbered. Tim also congratulates Shakti on the nice moves she demonstrates. Shakti reveals that, as a runaway in Hong Kong, she learned the necessity of personal defense. It was a hard lesson that almost caused her life, Shakti explains. And unlike Krystalin, Shakti has no reason to see her family again.
Tim says that if Shakti were truly from the street, she would know that her previous kick doesn’t work in real life. Tim powers up and wants Shakti to prove herself. Shakti says that Tim shouldn’t challenge someone who can alter someone’s nervous system. Shakti kicks Tim hard in the stomach. Shakti says that if Tim recovers, they best point their attention on the Theatre of Pain and find a way to destroy it. Shakti fears that a frontal attack won’t work.
Elsewhere, Loki stops his rampage. Loki realizes something and finds a way to take revenge on the people who have hurt him. He begins to transform into another creature and laughs.
At the same time, Meanstreak tests his running abilities outside against some robot foes. Meanstreak runs perfectly at a seven ten split, but is disappointed in himself. La Lunática shows up behind him and asks Meanstreak that he must be bored if he is training.
Meanstreak asks Luna if she’s got a real name. But Luna smartly says to just call her “Luna” if he needs to. Meanstreak tells Luna that she won’t get the chance to change him like she did Tim and runs away, telling Luna that she will never be one of them, no matter what Tim says. Luna gets angry and says that she tried. Suddenly, someone appears behind Luna and knocks her down. The mysterious man says that he has some personal business with Mr. Huang.
Meanwhile, Meanstreak himself hates that he is running away from his problems again, like he always does. He wants to forgive Luna for what she and the Theatre of Pain have done to the group, but can’t. Meanstreak says that Tim will have to choose between him or her. As Meanstreak runs back, he finds Luna unconscious and fears that the Theatre of Pain has come back for her. As Meanstreak tries to take care of Luna, he doesn’t notice a battle robot behind him, transforming into a werewolf.
The werewolf attacks Meanstreak, but he is able run away, just in time. As he runs, Meanstreak finds himself attacked by a bird. Meanstreak wants to take off, but then notices the bird changing into something human. At last Meanstreak thinks that the creature he now sees is human. After Meanstreak asks who the newcomer is, the costumed man introduces himself as Halloween Jack, and says that he has great plans for Henri. Meanstreak, however, doesn’t trust Jack and attacks him. But Jack is quicker than Henri and defeats him. Halloween Jack says that he knows more about Meanstreak than he knows about himself, and that’s why Henri needs him.
Meanstreak realizes that he is talking to his former friend Jordan Boone. Henri asks what happened to his Loki guise. Jack reveals that he got tired of using that form, since religion can be so tiresome. Meanstreak thinks that Jack is crazy and asks him what he wants. Halloween Jack explains that he wants to have fun with Meanstreak again, like in the old days, before he exiled himself into this desert with the X-Men. Jack laughs, telling Meanstreak that he wants to take over Las Vegas!
Cerebra, Krystalin, Meanstreak, Skullfire (all X-Men 2099)
Mr. Entertainment, Suicide King (all Rat Pack)
Halloween Jack/Loki 2099/Jordan Boone
Zakarii Ogada (Krystalin’s brother)
Andre Daniel Ogada (Krystalin and Zak’s deceased father)
Miko Ishihara (servant of Zak)
Felicity (woman Loki flirts with)
various people at Ogada’s funeral (unnamed)
various gamblers at Desdemona’s casino (unnamed)
The Wakandan Panther the priest at Ogada’s funeral speaks of is, of course, T’Challa, the Black Panther.
Issue Summary written by: Homer Jay