[NAME REDACTED] Returns in This Week’s WOLVERINE & THE X-MEN #31

**DANGER: There be spoilers here for this Wolverine & The X-Men #31.**


The last panel from Wolverine & The X-Men #31. (Click to enlarge)

The last panel from Wolverine & The X-Men #31. (Click to enlarge)

If you’re an X-Men fan of a certain age, the final page of this week’s Wolverine & The X-Men #31 probably made your week. Why? Because it featured the return of the enigmatic amulet the Siege Perilous.

Originally created by Chris Claremont when he launched the Captain Britain series in 1976, it made its way over to the X-titles when the magic-infused Roma, daughter of Merlyn, gave it to the X-Men to defeat the demonic villain the Adversary. Long since thought destroyed, Wolverine & the X-Men #31 showed the Hellfire Club using it to transform some of their Hellfire Academy students into more hellacious villains. We’ll have to wait and see what Jason Aaron and Marvel have planned for this, but we can talk about how pivotal this mostly-forgotten device is.

As I said earlier, Claremont originally created the Siege Perilous back in the mid-70s Captain Britain series; in that original incarnation is was a circle of standing stones, ala Stonehenge, that Brian Braddock used to transform into Captain Britain. The name “Siege Perilous” was borrowed by Claremont from Arthurian legend as the name of the vacant seat at King Arthur’s round table destined for the person who would ultimately find the Holy Grail, with anyone else who attempts to sit there being killed instantaneously. Captain Britain’s Siege Perilous fell out of use quickly due to the inconvenience of having to travel to a specific place in the world to become a hero, but popped up briefly during Captain Britain & M.I. 13 as a squeeze point in the Skrull invasion.

The second and best known Siege Perilous was introduced once again by Roma, but this time given to Psylocke (who, remember, is the sister of Captain Britain) and the  X-Men just after the “Mutant Massacre” crossover during the beginning of the Australian-era X-Men.


The object was a magical gateway  to a purgatory-like dimension where unnamed higher powers judges all who enter and, in essence, reincarnates the person in a new life with no memories — albeit at the same age they entered. The X-Men used it several times to deposit foes whom a normal prison would not hold like Bastian, but it was also used as a last-ditch escape hatch for several of this era’s X-Men like Colossus, Storm, Havok, Psylocke and Rogue. The most effected by this was Psylocke, who was transported to Japan and then subverted into her Asian body which people know her from now.

It was a pivotal part of the X-Men during their time in the Australian Outback, but was destroyed when former Hellfire Club member Donald Pierce, then head of the Reavers, crushed the device after the X-Men used it to escape their assault. Seeing it pop up now in the hands of the Hellfire Academy — and by extension, the Hellfire Club — digs up some old memories and some new fun in the Marvel Universe.



  1. This was quite helpful, thought it was a Negative Zone like place till now.

    I believe they mentioned/used it in the Otherworld arc in Uncanny X-Force as well?

  2. I am fairly sure a certain iFanboy founder cried tears of joy reading this.

  3. Avatar photo Griff Endo (@griff_endo) says:

    I’m just glad snot is going to beat someone up

  4. Thanks for this. I read this yesterday, and although I’ve read a ton of X-Men, and could sort of tell that the last page reveal was a big deal, I had no idea what it was. Came here today specifically hoping to find out the deal, and sure enough it was the top article.

  5. i know i’m in the minority but Australian era X-men is my favourite era of X-men. So out there and bizarre, it’s like Claremont was watching a bit too much David Lynch. I love it

  6. It was pretty cool to see something from the lore pop up like this but I gotta say, the silliness of the characters in this title are starting to wear thin for me