Credits: Joe Harris (writer), Phil Jimenez & John Stokes (art), Shannon Blanchard (colors), Richard Starkings & Comicraft (letters)
Summary: Omega Red refuses to leave Province 13, knowing that the X-Men are nearby. Meanwhile, Nightcrawler and Colossus discover Wolverine recuperating in the nearby woods. They return to Province 13 and rescue Nanya, the telepathic girl who haunts Sergei’s thoughts. After Nightcrawler prevents Sergei from killing her, Sergei commits suicide. Nearby, Ariana is used as bait for her son, Nikolas. After Omega Red falls in battle, Nikolas comes face to face with his mother. She ends his suffering by slitting his throat. Soon, the Russian government shuts down Province 13, and Ariana takes in Nanya.
Review: Well, this one certainly took a grim turn. I’m still not sure what the blonde girl’s story is supposed to be, although Harris drops some more hints in the final issue. Her name is Nanya, Sergei resents her for never speaking to him (although he resents all of the kids in Province 13, anyway), and she was the first child brought to the facility. Perhaps the idea is that she’s autistic and can only express herself through telepathy, but I’m not sure why Harris establishes her as the facility’s original subject. It’s hard to judge Nikolas’ age since he’s a deformed monster, but the advanced age of his mother implies he can’t be too young. Is the idea that Nanya can’t age, which makes her existence even more disturbing for Sergei? Regardless, her story has one of the few happy endings in this mini. Pairing her off with Ariana is a predictable move, but the sentiment behind the scene is nice enough. Colossus also has a few sappy pages to say goodbye, reflecting on the loss of his family and the importance of the X-Men as his adopted family. Nothing groundbreaking here, but it helps to reinforce some of the themes that often felt lost during the ‘90s X-boom.