X-Men: Soul Killerby Richard Lee Byers
Cover art by famed artist Richard Corben
Interior illustrations by acclaimed
Marvel Comics artist Leonardo Manco
Available now from Byron Preiss
Multimedia and Berkley Boulevard
When Rogue and Storm disappear on a mission to
Natchez, their fellow X-Men are naturally concerned, but they have no idea how
dire the situation really is. Using the possessed Rogue as his tool, the demonic
sorcerer Belasco has finally found a way to return the monstrous Elder Gods to
Earth. In a matter of hours, the world as we know it will cease to be.
This tale of superheroes vs. the supernatural
reunites what just may be the greatest X-Men lineup of all--Wolverine, Cyclops,
Phoenix, Rogue, Storm, Nightcrawler, Colossus, Shadowcat, and Amanda Sefton--for
a desperate race against time. But with the Federal authorities hunting them and
Belasco's magic hindering their every move, even their powers may not be enough
to prevent the impending holocaust. And so they accept an offer of help from a
most unlikely source: their old enemy Dracula, Lord of the Vampires. But will he
prove to be the ally they need to prevent the enslavement of all humanity, or a
deadly traitor in their midst?
AN EXCERPT FROM
X-Men: Soul Killer
Rogue began to take stock of herself, and what she
found sent a thrill of elation singing through her. She was many times stronger
than Helen had ever been, and her power to wrest away the thoughts and
capacities of any victim made the other woman's simple blood-drinking seem a
paltry thing indeed. She'd never lusted to use her gift before, indeed, she
would have paid any price to be rid of it, but suddenly such squeamishness was
inconceivable. Now she hungered to devour someone's else vitality, needed it as
a parched man needed water.
Fortunately, sustenance was near at hand, in the
form of prey whose superhuman energies would invigorate her as no ordinary
victim's could. Smiling in anticipation, her fangs lengthening even though she
didn't need them anymore, she pulled off her remaining glove and let it drop.
Then she soared upward toward Storm, who was still concentrating so fiercely on
undoing the master's handiwork that she evidently hadn't even noticed the
confrontation unfolding under her feet.
Lightning flared, illuminating Ororo's lovely,
frowning features. Beholding them, Rogue halted her ascent in confusion and dismay.
Storm was her friend. She didn't want to hurt her.
She didn't want to use her power on anyone. Or rather, she did--the urge seethed
inside her--but only because something was wrong with her.
Though her mind was in disarray, she dimly
comprehended what was happening to her, because she'd experienced something
similar before. Helen's essence was too strong. It was contaminating her own
thoughts and threatened to possess her completely. If it succeeded, she would
essentially be Helen, a merciless predator who hungered for the vital energy of
Ororo glanced down, and, seeing her teammate
hanging just a few feet beneath her, floated lower, her silver tresses streaming
in the wind. At her approach, Rogue's hunger welled up inside her. She opened
her mouth to warn her friend away, but simultaneously levitated to meet her.
"Your eyes!" Storm exclaimed in
surprise, and then Rogue grabbed her right forearm just above the dark steel
Ororo convulsed and went limp, while Rogue
discovered that her power was working a bit differently than it ever had before.
The transfer of energies seemed slower, yet even more powerful, powerful enough
to wrest away a victim's very life. The influx of energy felt so good that it
set her to laughing madly.
But despite her ecstasy, a part of her fragmented
self still loved Storm and loathed what she was doing to her, and after a moment
that seemed to last forever, that portion clawed its way to a fragile
ascendancy. She shoved her friend violently away, then turned and fled before
Helen's hunger could master her anew. In her addled state, she flew for several
minutes before realizing that she'd just dropped her depleted, unconscious
teammate to plummet to her death.
Copyright (c) 1998 Marvel
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