Issue Date: April 1994
Story Title: Hurricane Force
Staff: John Francis Moore (writer), Ron Lim (penciler), Jimmy Palmiotti (inker), Tom Smith (colorist), Ken Lopez (letters), Joey Cavalieri (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor in chief)
The fight between X-Men and the Freakshow continues. Breakdown and Xi’an discover that their destructive powers cancel each other out. Breakdown wants to continue the fight, but Mama Hurricane and Rosa arrive to stop the fight. Hurricane is angry with Breakdown, as the battle might have drawn unwanted attention and the X-Men are definitely not their enemies. They make their way to the Freakshow’s base in an old cinema and once there Xi’an tries to heal Metalhead, whose metallic skin is rapidly shifting and placing him in great pain thanks to Contagion’s infection. However, he is only able to stop the disease from further spreading, and can’t undo the changes to Metalhead’s body. Metalhead panics when he discover that he no longer can transform to human flesh and Shakti knocks him unconscious for his own good. Hurricane tells the X-Men about her past with the MUSE, the Mutant Underground Support Engine. During the Great Purge she helped many mutants to get in contact with the mysterious driver who took them to a secret place called Avalon. Although she has no idea where this Avalon is located, the X-men decide to search for it. As the hideout gets attacked by some corporate trackers and a Seeker, the X-Men help the Freakshow defend their base. In Santa Fe, Krystalin reaches the target of her mission: a man called Victor Ten Eagles, who happens to be an old friend of Xi’an. At night he takes her to the desert to show her the silhouette of a winged man with an uncanny resemblance to a certain original X-Man.
The X-Men are fighting the Freakshow. Breakdown and Xi’an face off, however Xi’an takes the initiative thanks to his superior fighting skills. Cerebra telepathically takes out Tantrum, but Psyclone notices her before she can do the same to her. Timothy tries to help Metalhead who is suffering from Contagion’s disease. His metallic skin shifts and bursts into bubbles and Metalhead is in great pain. Meanstreak occupies Dominic by spinning around him.
Breakdown and Xi’an grab each other and their destructive touches create an explosion that knocks both back. The loud explosion makes everyone stop the fighting. They gaze in awe - both combatants are still standing, apparently their destructive touches negate each other. Breakdown wants to Xi‘an him again, but Mama Hurricane and Rosa arrive in a jeep to stop the fight : satellite cameras can pick up the activity too easily. Hurricane scolds Breakdown for fighting in the streets and Shakti asks Hurricane if she’s the same Hurricane that saved mutants during the Purge.
In Santa Fe, Krystalin arrives at a small building where she finds a cybernetic bulldog. She makes a crystal stick and throws it away. The bulldog runs after it to fetch it and Krys enters the building. Inside there is a cave with a lake of molten lave and fire. Krystalin screams as she is engulfed by the flames, but the fire doesn’t burn her and suddenly it disappears. It was merely a holographic illusion created by a man called Victor Ten Eagles. He wants to throw her out of his workshop, but Krys gives him a card with a red X on it and tells him Xi’an sent her.
In Iron Horse, the Freakshow and the X-Men enter an old movie theatre which is the base of the Freakshow. Under the theatre is an old army base, which functions as home to Mama Hurricane’s “children“. They are all discarded degens who were considered too dangerous by the labs that created them, and Hurricane took them in. Shakti wonders who the mutant is she sensed earlier and using her power again, she finds out that it is the unborn baby of Rosa. Shakti is surprised, as degens are actually thought to be sterile, and Rosa replies that she wished it would have as the baby’s father was a jerk.
As Eddie goes into heavy convulsions, Shakti tells Xi’an that he needs to try his new healing power on him immediately. The Freakshow are somewhat puzzled as nobody before reacted that way to Contagion’s touch. Meanstreak angrily demands that he reverses the effect of his power, but Contagion says that he is only a disease, not the antidote. Xi’an uses his healing touch on Metalhead and tries to cure his teammate, but only with partial success. He is able to stops the infection, but he can’t ease Metalhead’s pain nor can he undo the changes to Metalhead’s body. Additionally Eddie realizes that he can’t switch back to human form and he starts to panic. Hurricane asks Shakti to use her telepathic powers to knock out Metalhead for his own good.
Later, Mama Hurricane sends out another pirate message in which she reveals that addictive chemicals have been added to a special meat-product. This broadcast interrupts one of Desdemona Synge’s meetings, who is kind of annoyed by Hurricane. Desdemona’s staff say that Hurricane has cracked into the systems of Stark/Fujikawa and Alchemax. After the transmission, Meanstreak tells her that her broadcast was near untraceable. Xi’an gets back to the reason they have searched her out and asks her again if she’s the Hurricane of the mutant underground.
Mama Hurricane confirms that during the Purge she was a member of MUSE, the Mutant Underground Support Engine and that she delivered mutants to a man called the Driver who took them to a place called Avalon where they would be safe. However she has no idea where Avalon was if it existed at all.
Outside the Theatre, three Trackers and a Seeker arrive. When they enter the cellars, their sensors are jammed by Rosa’s power and Psyclone, Breakdown, Xi’an and Cerebra attack. Psyclone and Cerebra both take out one Tracker and Xi’an shoots the third. The Seeker then knocks out Cerebra and gives an electric shock to Breakdown. Xi’an shoots him, but the gun isn’t strong enough to hurt him. He only wanted his attention though and Timothy enters. Skullfire drains the power of the armor and blasts the Seeker with his own energy. Breakdown then destroys the helmet and kills the Seeker against Xi’an’s will. Xi’an tries to change Breakdown’s destructive behavior, but Breakdown leaves with Psyclone. Hurricane tells Xi’an that she heard about Xi’an’s time with the Lawless and that he recognizes too much of himself in Breakdown. Xi’an says that he left that behind him, but a shadow of his younger self whispers “liar” to him. Xi’an then tells that the X-Men will try to find Avalon.
In Santa Fe, Victor takes Krystalin to the Sangre de Christo Mountains where he hands her his binoculars. He tells her that he and Xi'an where both members of the Lawless, and that he knew Xi’an would like to see what he recently discovered. In front of the full moon, Krys sees the silhouette of winged man with sharp feathers, and she stares in disbelief. Victor asks her how much she knows about the Heroic Age (20th century).
Cerebra, Krystalin, Meanstreak, Metalhead, Skullfire / Timothy Fitzgerald, Xi’an (all X-Men 2099)
Victor Ten Eagles, old friend of Xi’an
Breakdown, Contagion, Dominic, Mama Hurricane, Psyclone, Rosa, Tantrum (all Freakshow)
Jones, Wallis and a third unknown tracker
In flashbacks :
The cover reads “You know him as Tim ... now meet him as Skullfire“. Though the codename never gets used in a single issue (he keeps getting called Tim or Fitz), Skullfire has made his way into the fans talking about the book, and he will be referred to as Skullfire in the upcoming issue summaries too.
Though some of the letters above the cinema entrance are missing, the title of the last shown movie is still recognizable : Simon Williams Retrospective. Simon Williams is the Avenger and part time actor known as Wonder Man.
Continuity error : The Seeker says that the Freakshow killed Wallis and that they let Anderson and Jones go, but in the last issue it was clear that Breakdown killed Anderson.
Issue Summary written by: David Duijsings