X-Men Vol. 1 #278

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The Shadow King and Dr. Lian Shen watch various forms of hate taking place across the world. The Shadow King vows that he will destroy Xavier and the X-Men once and for all.

Muir Island has been the site for some odd happenings of late. Now we know why. The Shadow King has taken control of the mutants and they brutally attack each other for sport. The negative emotions flowing from the island begins to hold sway on the world and mass swings of emotion have people acting upon all their hate and prejudice. Professor Xavier returns to his destroyed mansion and finds that things aren't safe their, either. An old charge has returned and looks bent on taking the Professor out for good. Story continues in Uncanny X-Men #279.


The Shadow King and Dr. Lian Shen revel in the negative feelings that people around the Earth are feeling. The Shadow King finds it too easy to push humans over the edge. Once the world boils over in the negativity that he pours out, he will collect all the feelings of ill will and power himself as no other. Lian doesn't quite share her master's optimism, as Xavier and his X-Men have always seemed to thwart the best laid plans. The Shadow King is confident that this time he'll be able to subvert Xaver's dream with his own.

In England at the Weird Happenings Organization, an alarm sounds sending troops to the hanger that houses the Excalibur plane. Apparently someone has gotten through undetected. The hangar has been gassed, but it appears the only people taken out by it were the guards themselves. Inside the hangar, a man laments the discomfort the guards must endure on his behalf. He also laments that he can't get any good psi-reads from outside because of a seemingly world-wide disturbance on the Astral Plane. Just then, however, a truck bursts through and gunfire wracks the suit that protects the intruder. Knowing that none of the bullets could have pierced the stranger, the troops are wary. As they approach, the man realizes that their proximity allows him to enter one's mind and call off the other troops. He then boards the Blackbird. The Blackbird accepts him. The man flies away from the military base under the cover of a very mysterious fog.

On Muir Island, an arena has been set up to pit the mutants against each other. Moira's idea is to use the arena as her version of the Danger Room. People are watching in the gallery as Guido and Rogue tear into each other like animals. With no holds barred, the two pummel each other into the walls. Guido has the upper at first, but Rogue soon lets it all out and smacks Guido into a wall. She doesn't understand why she feels okay with hurting a friends like she does, but the others simply tell her it's good practice. Once in the showers, Rogue debates with herself the morals of her actions. She hates the idea of beating the crap out of her friends. Out of the shower, the Shadow King appears and convinces Rogue of the greatness of letting one's darker side out. Rogue embraces the thought.

On the Blackbird, Professor Xavier takes off the suit and inspects his chest. The bullets may not have pierced him, but they did leaves some fantastic welts. Outside, Storm finds satisfaction in her foggy diversion. She instructs Xavier to follow her to the other X-Men. The Blackbird lands on Scotland, just shy of Muir Island, and Wolverine patches up the Professor. The X-Men are all there. Despite the beating Xavier has taken, he still wants to participate in finding out what's going on with Muir Island. The team flies over to Muir and Forge hops out on a glider and accesses a back door to the Muir Island security systems. The rest of the X-Men make their way down to the island as the Professor flies off the New York to somehow contact X-Factor.

Near Moira's lab, Banshee sneaks into her private residence. He's been concerned about her behavior for some time now and he hopes to find some answers. Just outside, Psyocke psi-links with the team to tell them that the island's population seems to be congregated at an arena. Storm sees the arena and the brutality shown there and asks Forge for further information. He's hacked into Moira's information and explains that Moira is gauging everyone's powers in the most brutal way imaginable. Also, he notes that there is serious power activity in a lower level, calling to mind a very powerful being. Storm is then confronted by Legion. He seems at odds with himself but ultimately uses his pyrokinetic power to torch Storm. Psylocke, unable to sever her link in time, is mentally bound to feeling the same pain as Storm. She passes out. From Moira's room, Banshee sees Storm careen to the ground. He leaps out to try and save her but gets blind sided by a sonic force bolt. He lands in the water and slowly pulls himself out. He sees his attacker and pins her to the ground and threatens to exact revenge until he sees that it's his daughter. She plays coy but ultimately knocks Banshee out with a rock. Inside the lab, Gambit gets overrun by Madroxes. Elsewhere, Wolverine runs into Rogue and the two begin a brutal battle. Jubilee hopes to stop the fight between the friends by using her fireworks, but Amanda Sefton steps in with her demon pets to get Jubilee.

In New York, the Professor surveys the condition of his school. He knows he can rebuild and he commits to doing so. Just then, a car comes crashing down towards him with a rider on top. The driver purposely crashes and gets thrown from the car. The Professor is bothered that the interference on the Astral Plane prevented him from sensing the approach of the people car. He runs to the driver and finds that it is Stevie Hunter. Just then, the Shadow King makes himself known to Xavier. He informs the Professor that he looks forward to destroying him, especially since the X-Men (as shown in an astral projection) have already been subdued. But first, the Shadow King means to have Stevie ripped limb from limb right in front of Xavier by Colossus, the newest of the Shadow King's inductees.

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