The Listen - Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but this one will kill you ! wiki last edited by oldnightcrawler on 09/21/14 08:07PM View full history

Reprint and retroactive backup story to The X-Men #123 - Listen-Stop Me If You've Heard It, But This One Will KILL You! (July, 1979).

Backup story summary:

Motherland

Storm drops Colossus a few miles from the Ust Ordynski Collective where he grew up so that he can walk the rest of the way. As he approaches his boyhood home, he thinks that perhaps he won't return to the X-men after all, feeling that here in his homeland is where he's always been most happy.

He is first welcomed home by his young sister, Illyana, and then his parents, who are all eager to hear how he's been. As they sit around the dinner table, Illyana marvels at the drawings Colossus has made chronicling his adventures with the X-men. His father worries that perhaps his fantastic adventures have changed Colossus, but he assures him that despite all he's seen and done, his family and his home were never far from his thoughts. Though his father remains not entirely convinced, Colossus says that he's eager to visit his friends as well, especially his friend Sasha.

Colossus' parents become suddenly grim at the mention of the other young man, and they suggest that Illyana take her brother to see him. Realizing something is wrong, Colossus is devastated to find that his sister has lead him to his friend's grave. The marker reads that he was killed at 19 years of age, fighting in Afghanistan. As young Illyana tries to console her brother, he wonders if she too might be a mutant, and what her mutant power might be.

Suddenly, they are both distracted by the sound of a large crash. As Colossus investigates, he finds that a propane truck has run off the road and now threatens the whole collective. Instinctively transforming to is mutant metal form, Colossus carefully lifts the truck and carries it far enough from the town that it can do no harm when it explodes.

Returning to the scene of the accident, he's greeted as a hero by his sister and the townsfolk, but one man comes forth to call him a traitor. The man is a young war veteran, missing an arm and a leg, and he accuses Colossus of running away to America when his country needed him most. He has him arrested as a deserter and says that with Colossus' natural talents, he and his countrymen would have at least stood a fighting chance, and more of them might have made it home. As he's escorted from the local jail by a federal KGB agent, Colossus feels ashamed that the young veteran was right.

As they drive away from the collective, however, the agent explains that there are actually strict international treaties that prohibit any country from employing super-powered humans as soldiers, and that if Colossus had wanted to serve his country, it could only have been as a special agent, rather than as a soldier. Even then, the agent explains, letting Colossus out of the car, the good he could have done for his country would still not have been more than what he has done for it by protecting the world with the X-men.

Colossus is surprised that the agent knows of the X-men, but the agent explains that it's his job to know of such things, just as it's his job to protect his country. From his perspective, that end is better served by letting Colossus go back to the X-men, rather than leaving him to be punished as a traitor.

As he leaves Colossus, he warns him that he will still be seen as a fugitive if he returns to Russia, and despite his love of his country, he must leave it behind to be a hero of the world.

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