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X-Men 2099 #29

Issue Date: February 1996

Story Title: City of the Dead: Conclusion: Undead Zone

Staff: John Moore (writer), Ron Lim (pencils), Harry Candelario (inks), Ken Lopez (letters), Tom Smith (colors), Malibu Mancha (computer colors), Joey Cavalieri (editor), Bobbie Chase (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description:
Tim and the other Undead have deactivated the Spark, thereby causing entire Halo City to run without energy. The X-Men arrive, and rescue the fallen La LunŠtica before she gets killed. The X-Men battle the Undead, but they arenít strong enough for the job. Morphine arrives and negotiates with the Undead that he will give the Graverobber Zail Haddad, whom he hates for ruining his life. But in exchange, the Undead will have to recharge the city and leave it for good. The X-Men refuse to do that, but the Graverobber accepts the deal. Morphine is glad to, but didnít inform his enemies about another part of his plan: he has wired a neural shock device on Zailís restraints! Morphine activates it and gives both Zail and the Graverobber a powerful electrical shock, making them both knocked-out. The other Undead members feel the shock as well and faint too. Later, the X-Men give Serpentina a proper funeral and make sure that nobody will be ever able to revive her again, and spread her ashes across the ocean. Later, Morphine overhands the remaining Undead and the Graverobber to Herodís servants, the Puzzle Samurai. They thank Morphine for it and tell him that the contract on his life is thereby cancelled. As the Puzzle Samurai leave, their ship is blasted down by none other thanÖ Doom! Doom wants revenge, and is out to kill Herod, Morphine and the X-Men! Meanwhile, Victor Ten Eagles arrives in Halo City and visits Xiían. Their past has caught up with them, because someone is out to kill the surviving members of the Lawless.

Full Synopsis:
With Tim shutting down the Spark, which is Halo Cityís only power supply, the Graverobber is certain that the cityís leaders will give him everything he wants: meaning control over Halo City, and the life of Zail Haddad.

Meanwhile, Gunnar hesitates whether or not he should help the defeated La LunŠtica out. But his thoughts get beaten by the supers-speed of Meanstreak, who instead does the rescuing and brings Luna to the other X-Men, who have arrived to safe the day. At least, thatís what they will try to do. While Sham takes care of Luna, Shakti and the other X-Men point their attention to the Undead. Shakti tells the Graverobber that the X-Men will only give them one chance to leave Halo City Ė or else!

The Graverobber isnít impressed by Shaktiís ultimatum and doesnít see what possible harm the mutants could do to him or his team. Meanstreak and Krystalin recognize Serpentina and canít believe that the Graverobber actually revived her.

The Graverobber doesnít understand why Shakti defends her father like this, when she made the right decision ten years ago and left him. Meanstreak doesnít defend Zailís crimes, but doesnít allow the crimes of the Undead either and attacks them. Arcadian defends his master, throwing his charged-up cards like his ďpoppaĒ used to do. The cards hit Meanstreakís legs and harm him.

Meanstreak canít run anymore, but luckily Krystalin protects him with a crystal-made igloo. Serpentina tries to destroy the igloo using her Venom Stinger gun, but Krystalin knocks the weapon out of her hands. Serpentina wants to defend her master at all costs. Krystalin notices how hypnotized Serpentinaís voice sounds and tells her former friend to fight it. Serpentina recognizes Krystalin as well, but finds that her past is behind her and that her life now belongs to the Graverobber. Serpentina attacks and knocks Krystalin down. Sham sees this and, since she doesnít know Serpentina at all, she easily fights back and defeats the former X-Man.

Ember attacks Sham and destroys her jacket. The villain surrounds Sham in a flame circle, so she is trapped. Meanstreak would help her out, but his legs are still useless after the shot and he also gets attacked by a furious Catscratch.

Luna wakes up and realizes that the X-Men are in a fight, so she helps them out and defeats Catscratch. Shakti attacks the Graverobber, knowing that this event isnít about her father, but about Halo City and everything it represents. Shakti wonít turn that over to an insane villain. The Graverobber believes that Shakti is only fighting to regain her fatherís love, but wonít allow that.

Shakti realizes something, and finds out that the Graverobber is still alive beneath all the circuitry on his body. She attacks the Graverobber again, but he makes Nicolai attack Shakti instead and grabs her by her throat.

Gunnar Heywood oversees the drama, but doesnít know what he could possibly do to help the X-Men. As he watches, Gunnar still doesnít realize that he is being watched by two evil-looking red eyes.

Morphine appears behind Nicolai and touches him. Nicolaiís body turns into ashes. The Undead want to kill Morphine for that, but Morphine tries to calm them down, saying that he is there to negotiate. The other X-Men donít want to hear about it, but decide to hear the man out first. Morphine tells the Graverobber doesnít really want to control Halo City, despite what he says, and only wants to have his revenge. So, Morphine gives themÖ Zail Haddad! Morphine tells the Undead that they can have the old man, in exchange for making them Tim use his powers to recharge the Spark again.

The X-Men donít want to do it, especially not Luna, who is worried about Timís life. Morphine promises that he has thought about that, too. Unheard, Shakti says to herself that Morphine has overstepped his authority and wonít forget it.

The Graverobber grabs Haddad and remembers the disaster that caused him to change in the creature he is now. The Graverobber takes the blindfold off from Zailís mouth and asks his enemy if he has any last words before he dies. Zail shouts that Morphine is going to kill them both.

Morphine confirms, saying that he indeed brought Zail to the Graverobber, but was smart enough to wire Zailís restraints with enough neural charge to slow down an elephant! Morphine activates the charge and gives both Zail and the Graverobber a powerful electrical shock, which in theory is strong enough to kill them both!

Zail and the Graverobber fall down, and the Undead members suddenly donít feel so good and faint. The X-Men wonder if their enemies are dead. They think itís best to burn their bodies up.

Shakti hates Morphine for using her father like this. He had no right to it. Morphine defends himself that the X-Men would have never allowed him to do it. Shakti doesnít want to hear his excuses and attacks Morphine with a psychic attack, making him knocked-out for a while. Krystalin canít believe that Serpentina was abused like this.

Luna wants to know whatís going to happen to Tim now. Tim is screaming, as all the energy that got stored up in his body after shutting the Spark down, now once again floats out of his body. Reiko visits Tim again, telling him that he is now free. Reiko explains otherwise, telling Tim that his salvation was in the physical world, and that he is still tied to his corporeal self. Reiko claims that he was only hear to guide Tim through all of this. She adds that what Tim experienced as death was merely a first step into transformation. Reiko fades away, promising Tim that he will soon learn the truth.

Tim wakes up and Luna immediately goes to him. Tim doesnít understand whatís happening to him: his powers are on, and he canít turn them off!

Meanwhile in the polyclinic, Xiían heals an old lady. Sister Margaret informs Xiían that an old friend came by to see him. Victor Ten Eagles greets his old friend, but says that something bad is happening. His right arm is gone, and he had to leave New Mexico because someone is hunting down the surviving members of the Lawless. Their past is catching up with them.

Elsewhere, the X-Men give Serpentina a proper funeral, making sure that she will never be revived again by anyone. Tim is giving the honors, and he spreads her ashes across the ocean.

Meanwhile, at the Halo City airstrip, Morphine welcomes several of Herodís Puzzle Samurai and hands them over the remains of the Undead. The Samurai arenít pleased to only see four of them, when they expected seven. Morphine tells the Samurai not to worry, because their master will be happy to see that the Graverobber is still intact.

The Samurai depart, with final note to tell Morphine that the contract on his life has been cancelled. Shakti appears behind Morphine, asking what he is going to do when Herod decides to use the Graverobber to make him create an army of undead. Morphine doesnít want to bother about that now and leaves, because he has some work to do.

EpilogueÖ
A beam destroys the Puzzle Samuraiís ship. The one responsible steps out of the shadows and is revealed to beÖ Doom! Doom knows that the Undead wouldnít be of use to Herod once the man finds out that he is still alive. Doom plans to deal with Herod first, and then with Morphine and the X-Men. After all, he built Halo City. Its future belongs to himÖ

Characters:
Cerebra, Krystalin, La LunŠtica, Meanstreak, Sham, Skullfire (all X-Men 2099)
Xiían Chi Xan

Arcadian, Catscratch, Ember, Graverobber, Nicolai, Serpentina (the Undead)

Morphine Somers

Zail Haddad (Cerebraís father)

Gunnar Heywood

Sister Margaret (of the Sisters of the Howling Commandments)

Victor Ten Eagles

Doom 2099

Herodís Puzzle Samurai (various and unnamed)

In Timís mind:
Reiko (his former, now dead girlfriend)

Notes:

Issue Summary written by: Homer Jay


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