X-Men #123 (1979, July)
Oh, we’ve got a good issue today. Let’s get right into it, with “Listen – Stop Me if You’ve Heard It – But This One Will Kill You!”
Spider-Man is swinging to a date when he comes across Scott and Colleen. After saying hello, he moves on, and Scott and Colleen are nabbed by a garbage truck. At the Metropolitan Opera House, Peter and Kurt are captured along with their dates, Amanda and Elizabeth. Logan leaves Mariko’s place after having dinner with her, and doesn’t notice a garbage truck heading towards him. At the Mansion, Sean is woken by the phone, then gets put back to sleep by a tranquilizer dart. Ororo comes out of the bath to answer the phone, but also gets knocked out. The phone is finally answered, and it’s Spider-Man, calling the X-Men from a pay phone to tell them Arcade is gunning for them. Arcade says he’s right, and that he’s coming for Spider-Man next. Spidey freaks out and smashes the phone booth, in a rather silly panel.
The X-Men all wake up in costume, in small clear balls. As Arcade pulls back the hammer on his pinball machine, he welcomes them to Murderworld. He’s unimpressed to start, recalling how Spider-Man actually busted free of his ball. Cyclops lands in a room with three doors, two of which lead to death; the back wall is also moving towards him, forcing him to choose a door. Colossus is in a dark room, and is told to sit in a small chair. A KGB agent comes in and starts accusing him of being a traitor. Wolverine goes through a hall of funhouse mirrors, and gets attacked by twisted android versions of himself. Nightcrawler is in a round room shaped like a bicycle track, and some bumper cars with buzzsaws come out of the walls. He teleports to the ceiling, then gets knocked off it by one of the cars. Banshee is in a gray space, and suddenly comes under attack from Stukas. The whole space becomes a battlefield full of strafing planes and bombs. Storm is dropped only barely managing to use her winds to keep from falling into some water. She tries to use her lightning to make a hole in the ceiling, but it’s reflected back on her.
Cyclops has little time left to choose a door, but he doesn’t trust Arcade. So he instead blasts at the wall. This happens to destroy one of the Wolverine robots. Cyclops and Wolverine are then confronted by Colossus, calling himself the Proletarian, and that his first mission is to destroy the X-Men.
This issue’s great. Arcade’s such a fun character, and Murderworld such a fun setting. The threats he comes up with are really neat, and seeing the X-Men reacting to them is just as cool. And, of course, there’s Arcade’s comments all along, making it even more entertaining. I always love seeing Arcade pop up. As an aside, this issue is basically the end of Scott’s relationship with Colleen. The next issue continues the Murderworld arc, and then #125 has Scott learn that Jean’s still alive. A shame, because they were a pretty interesting couple. Oh well.