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A Spotlight on The X-Men 'Fifth Week' Event, Black Sun!

This is a feature called "The Fifth," where I spotlight so-called "Fifth Week" events. I wrote generally about DC's "Fifth Week" events in the past (special events done in the four months during the year where there is a fifth week at the end of the month) and reader Wally W. asked me if I could go into further detail on them, so I guess I will do just that. We're obviously talking a limited feature, since there are only a finite amount of fifth week events, but, well, until we finish 'em all, I'll spotlight each one of them!

Today, we look at one of Marvel's entries into the genre. Note that Marvel, who did a lot less of these events than DC, also tended not to follow the "fifth week" aspect so well. In other words, this 2000 event did not actually take place on a "fifth week." In fact, September 2000 (the month it came out) did not even HAVE a fifth week. However, five comics all part of the same "event" and they all came out in a single week? Come on, that's still totally a "fifth week event"!

So let's take a look at X-Men: Black Sun! The series was a five-part series, with each issue spotlighting the All-New, All-Different X-Men, starting with the team in general in #1...

Storm in #2...

Banshee and Sunfire in #3...

Colossus and Nightcrawler in #4...

and Wolverine and Thunderbird in #5...

This was set during Chris Claremont's return to writing the X-Men titles and Claremont writes or co-writes each issue in the series. He went solo in the first and last issues and his co-writers in the middle three issues are fascinating. He did one issue each with three people who had huge impacts on the history of the X-Men, namely Len Wein, Roy Thomas and Louise Simonson.

The story (art by Tom Derenick and Sean Parsons) opens with Kitty Pryde doing a Danger Room training mission fighting the N'Gari demons. Soon, though, the world is ACTUALLY overrun by N'Gari demons! Some of the only heroes left are the original members of the All-New, All-Different X-Men, other than Wolverine, and Kitty herself...

Despite it being rather obvious that these are not the real X-Men, Kitty still somehow goes through with a blood ritual with them at the behest of "Nightcrawler"...

And sure enough, this was all a trick and the N'gari have taken the bodies of these X-Men...

It is all a co-plot by the N'Gari and Belasco, that demonic sorcerer from Limbo.

He is temporarily stopped by what appears to be Kitty's dead friend, Illyana Rasputin, otherwise known as Magik!

We then learn that the N'Gari have to collect five bloodstones from around the world, which also include taking some people's souls!

In #2 (by Claremont, Len Wein, Derenick and Mark McKenna), the possessed Storm fights Archangel, Psylocke and Thunderbird (the new member of the X-Men who used that name)...

There was also ANOTHER demon involved, named Pilgrimm, who was a member of a rival demonic race and while he was not really a good guy, either, he wanted to stop the N'Gari/Belasco plan, so one of those "enemy of my enemy is my friend" deals. However, even the combined might of Pilgrimm and the three X-Men can't stop the N'Gari-possessed Storm from taking Archangel's soul AND the first bloodstone!

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