X-Men: The Hidden Years #18: Promise of a New Tomorrow

Angel is flying over the Institute’s grounds to clear his mind when he catches a glimpse of Lorna floating away mindlessly.

Back in the Institute, Havok is trying to convince Cyclops and Iceman that Lorna did indeed “floated up into the air and drifted away”. Iceman gets into an argument with Havok about why he did not do anything to stop her. Beast and Marvel Girl interrupts the three of them to give them an update on the Kraven situation. While Cyclops tries to formulate a plan to find Lorna, the telephone rings. Angel called to tell the X-Men that something strange is going on with Lorna.

Lorna ends up in a dark room. A door opens and Tad Carter, the man she met in Salem Centre takes her to meet his friends. The leader of the group is Tobias Messenger, a telepath like Professor Xavier.

The X-Men are in the ship following Angel, who motions for Cyclops to land the ship in a “vacant lot just ahead”. They follow Angel to a house. Havok attempts to enter the house, but is promptly knocked out by a sleep inducing field. This had happened to Angel earlier when he tried to follow Lorna. Marvel Girl uses her telepathy to scan the house, but it is “like one big psychic black hole”. Suddenly, a monster attacks the X-Men.

Meanwhile in Illinois, Mrs Martin has a chat with the Professor. She is concerned why he “seal[ed] off the part of Ashley’s mind that controls her powers” but allowed her to remember the Sentinel attack, the police and the FBI. Being a single mother to Ashley after Ashley’s father died is stressful enough. Now with Ashley being a mutant and the prejudice against mutants, Mrs Martin is increasingly worried for her daughter.

In Messenger’s house, he explains that the original group was assembled by the Claw, who wanted to exploit their powers. The group were contacted by Messenger and the Claw was defeated. The “Promise Business” as they were called continued to use their powers for good, and were last active before Cerebro was built. Tad a couple of others were recruited after the incident with the Claw. They had put themselves in “suspended animation for ten years at a time”. The “Promise Business” represents “the promise of a more hopeful tomorrow”. The human race bears so much fear and hatred that there cannot be peace between humans and mutants.

The X-Men are still fighting the monster. They start to hallucinate and see their team mates as monsters and start attacking each other. Havok succeeds in taking out his brother Cyclops whom the former thinks is a monster. Suddenly, Lorna approaches him, kisses him, then knocks him out. Lorna is revealed to be one of Messenger’s followers, Gracie. Messenger wants Lorna and Havok to join the “Promise Business” as they are least tainted by Charles Xavier, in preparation for the war between “humans and mutants”. Suddenly, Messenger and his group leaves and Lorna is left in the dark again.

The X-Men are captured after succumbing to the monster’s “dreamcast”. Messenger agreed to let one of the group members, Lucy to keep Angel in their group. They prepare to return to suspended animation, bringing Angel, Havok and Lorna with them.

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