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Some 20 years ago (I feel old: we are talking the first half of the 90s) I was reading (in italian translation, so probably we were lagging some years with respect to the original publication dates) two (or maybe they are the same storyline?) XMen stories which I was never able to read completely. Today I finally realized that scifi.SE could do the magic :-) I have searched around but have been unable to identify the storyline: I am probably using the wrong keywords...

I remember very clearly the following aspects:

  1. the XMen were trapped and were being kept in a sort of alternate reality, hallucinated or something like that. They were in 19th century dresses, maybe in the far west style? and I am not sure but maybe in this illusionary reality Scott was without glasses. They had been trapped by some clan of villains (usual stuff for xmen :-) )
  2. Wolverine was free and started to rescue them starting from the basement of the building. I remember the following scene: two armed guards are surprised by Wolverine and he tells to one of the (scared) guards something along the lines "I know what you're thinking, he's alone and far, I'm armed..." Obviously he then proceeds to dispose of him.
  3. At some point, but I am not sure if in the same storyline, Wolverine had been infected by some kind of... something, which had left his skin all criss-crossed, self healing powers notwithstanding.

Am I recalling an existing story (-ies) or my memory has made it all up?

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    I wish I still had my collection to verify, but I'm pretty sure this was the first encounter with the Hellfire Club, just before or at the beginning of the Dark Phoenix saga. Mastermind was responsible for the illusions in their minds, and these events were the trigger for the Phoenix going "dark". – David Stratton Jul 10 '12 at 3:09
  • The word club definitely resonates. And wikipedia says "period costumes" so that rings another bell. Is it worthwhile in your opinion to try to find those comics? And the "disease" which left Wolverine's skin criss crossed is in the same storyline? – Francesco Jul 10 '12 at 7:17
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    The cd I refer to, if you're interested is amazon.com/40-Years-X-Men-Complete-Collection/dp/B000E28UT2/… It's 40 years of comics scanned to pdf on a dvd. Worth every penny, IMO. – David Stratton Jul 10 '12 at 12:43
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    @DavidStratton I'm sure you're right, it sounds exactly like the start of the Dark Phoenix arc. The only thing I can think of for Wolverine's skin is that I think he'd been in a fight before that scene and his costume was ripped to pieces. The "criss-crossed" skin might just have been the way he was drawn to show how hairy he is. – Ward - Reinstate Monica Jul 10 '12 at 17:55
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    FOUND IT!!!!!!!!!! Again, that 40 years of X-Men was worth every penny! – David Stratton Jul 10 '12 at 22:55
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You've got two story lines mixed together.

Most of these events (items 1 and 2 in your list) occurred in Uncanny X-Men 129-138. They were a critical turning point in the Phoenix Saga, in which Jean was manipulated by Mastermind (Jason Wyngarde), and eventually became the Dark Phoenix.

There were no scars on Wolverine in this storyline, just a lot of hair, and a ripped uniform. But I found the criss-crossed scars in another storyline, and included a screenshot and more info below.

From Uncanny X-Men #132:

Jean is in the fantasy implanted in her mind by Mastermind, while Cyclops, back in the real world, looks on the scene as it is really playing out. The older garb in jean's mind is seen in the first panel below, the real clothes worn at the party in the next.

enter image description here

From Uncanny X-Men #133

At this point, the rest of the team is captured, and only Wolverine is free to try to rescue them.

enter image description here

From Uncanny X-Men # 162

Item 3, the criss-crossed scars you asked about were in a later, but related storyline, where they encountered the Brood, and Wolverine was damaged and infected. The photo below doesn't make it clear, but he is infected, as your comment above indicates.

The two story lines are related in that both the Dark Phoenix Saga and this encounter with the Brood involve the Shi'ar.

enter image description here

  • That's great, I have tried some times in the past to identify these stories, and you have solved it after more than 20 years. Really, thanks. If you happen to pass by Rome, send me a note and I'll gladly buy you a beer :-) Now it's no longer in doubt that I will have to find this 40 years of xmen :-) – Francesco Jul 11 '12 at 6:06
  • By the way, I see that my memory was rather precise. Brood actually uses eggs :-) Another thing that I notice is that the "some years of lag" were about 10 years! The original publications are from the first half of the eighties and I was reading them in italian 10 years later... – Francesco Jul 11 '12 at 6:10
  • Fan appreciation page for the #162 issue, with some larger picture: kraalo.blogspot.it/2011/08/… – Francesco Jul 11 '12 at 6:27
  • Would like to add another +1 if it were possible. I finally managed to read the dark phoenix saga this week! – Francesco Nov 3 '13 at 19:20

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