|New X-Men (2nd series) #29|| || |
Issue Date: October 2006
Story Title: Nimrod - part 2
Staff: Craig Kyle & Chris Yost (writers), Duncan Rouleau (artist), Brian Reber (colorist), Dave Sharpe (letterer), Sean Ryan (asst. editor), Nick Lowe (assoc. editor), Mike Marts (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)
Nimrod seeks out his creator, Forge to facilitate needed repairs. Forge refuses but is persuaded by a vision of his future. He watches as Nimrod kills his wife (Storm) and threatens his two young children. This alternate Forge sent Nimrod to an alternate past to spare his children. Forge agrees to repair Nimrod but manages to send a distress signal to the X-Men. The X-Men leave for Storm’s wedding, ignoring the New X-Men’s warnings that Nimrod may have returned. When the team receives the cry for help from Forge, they decide to deal with it themselves. They easily evade the O*N*E Sentinels and head to Dallas to save Forge and stop Nimrod. Fearing the X-Men aren’t coming, Forge offers it a new body of his own design and initiates a transfer of its consciousness.
(Dallas, Texas - Forge’s home at Eagle Plaza – Sixteen Years in the Future)
The landscape is painted neon pink as it is being viewed through the mechanical eyes of the mutant hunting menace known as Nimrod. Eagle Plaza is in the distance as Nimrod’s sensors begin targeting its next victims. It identifies four targets: The Maker, Storm and their two children Naze and Orora. As it assesses the threat levels of each target, it switches to full combat mode and draws closer.
Inside, Storm is reading to her pre-adolescent daughter, Orora who has her mother’s distinctive hair and eyes. Nimrod targets Storm first since she poses the most significant threat. As Nimrod teleports into the building, alarms sound to announce his presence.
Forge is putting the baby to sleep and reacts immediately. Nearby, Ororo fiercely defends her daughter but is disintegrated by Nimrod just as Forge arrives. Nimrod grabs young Orora by the head and demands that the Maker “modify this unit” or watch as his offspring are terminated. Tears stream down Forge’s face as he agrees to the robot’s demands.
(Dallas, Texas - Forge’s home at Eagle Plaza –The Present)
The present day Forge is horrified by this vision and asks what he was forced into doing. The damaged Nimrod unit informs him that his future self installed time-travel capabilities that allowed it to travel into the past. Nimrod states that he arrived in this portion of the timeline 1.82 years ago. Forge doesn’t believe it, thinking himself incapable of designing such a device. But even as he thinks this, his mutant power kicks in and he begins mentally formulating the necessary plans to build a time machine. Nimrod again states its current demands: immediate repairs to full functional status.
At the Xavier Institute, David Alleyne explains his theory regarding Nimrod to the assembled X-Men, who are preparing to leave for Storm’s wedding to the Black Panther in Wakanda. David tells them that somehow Nimrod traveled back through time and fell into the hands of Rev. Stryker who used the gauntlet and Nimrod’s knowledge of the future to attack them.
Cyclops tells David that Nimrod is gone and that all its subsequent iterations, Master Mold, Bastion, etc. have been destroyed. David suggests that maybe this is a Nimrod from a different timeline. Wolverine grumbles that he hates time travel and Cyclops brushes David’s concerns aside, stating that if Nimrod had returned he would have already attacked them. He assures David that they are not in any danger. Nori, flanked by her teammates, asks sarcastically “You’re joking, right?”
As the X-Men board their jet to leave for Wakanda, David tries to push his point. Cyclops acknowledges the nightmare of the last several weeks but assures them that the O*N*E* Sentinels are there, Apocalypse is gone and Nimrod was destroyed. David snaps back “Just like Stryker was reformed?” Cyclops is stumped by this one and Wolverine can’t help but echo David’s comment with a simple “ouch”. Cyclops tells David that X-Force and Cable dealt with a version of Nimrod not too long ago and that he’ll ask Cable to investigate. He then assures David that they’ll discuss this further when the X-Men return.
Rockslide asks where Nezhno is going but the conversation quickly turns back to the way Cyclops blew David off. Cessily is just in disbelief that the X-Men would leave them there alone after all that’s happened. Rockslide is just ticked off that Nezhno gets to go to Storm’s wedding and they don’t. Mercury reminds him that Nezhno is Wakandan and that Storm is marrying the Black Panther. Rockslide fails to see the point and Mercury just tells him “Never mind” as the X-Jet takes off. As the team disperses, Hellion tells David not too worry, Miss Frost blew him off just the same when he approached her. He sarcastically adds that they’ll just have to sit around and wait for the killer robot to come and kill them.
At Eagle Plaza, Forge is working on Nimrod and asking it questions to try and buy some time. He asks why it took Nimrod so long to seek him out and the robot tells him that Eagle Plaza had moved. Forge is bewildered but then notices that the temporal devices inside Nimrod didn’t just send him back in time but shifted him to an alternate timeline as well. Instead of arriving at Forge’s home, Nimrod materialized in Rev. Stryker’s former church.
The temporal displacement caused Nimrod’s systems to malfunction resulting in damage to its databases and a systems shutdown. By the time Nimrod managed to reboot itself, it had been damaged by Stryker’s men who had dismantled it partially and hooked it up to a computer system for analysis. Nimrod witnessed Stryker’s manipulation of Jay Guthrie and his plans to destroy the New X-Men. Altering its primary objectives, Nimrod planned to escape by manipulating Stryker into a direct conflict with the New X-Men. Nimrod was aware that this confrontation would lead to Stryker’s demise and manipulated the information it provided to Stryker in order to set-up the conflict that would lead to Stryker’s death.
Forge curses his future-alternate self for the unexpected “gift” he has sent to him. As he works on Nimrod, there is a momentary flux in the Nimrod unit’s chronal databases. Forge uses this moment to activate an alert of some sort but is quickly stopped by Nimrod who demands he proceed with repairs immediately.
Back at the Xavier Institute, Surge is awoken from her sleep by an energy pulse in her gauntlets. She wakes to see a holographic projection of Forge being threatened by Nimrod in his lab. She immediately seeks out David to tell him what she’s seen.
Nori shows this image to the rest of the team and they break down what’s going on. David is furious at Cyclops for not heeding his warning. Mercury wonders why Nimrod would go after Forge when New York has more mutants to target. X-23 notes the damage apparent to Nimrod’s body and suggests that Forge is one of the few who could repair Nimrod. Dust suggests they tell someone and David says he’ll call the X-Men. Hellion reminds him that these same X-Men just blew them off and left them there to be picked off by Stryker’s men. Given this, he figures Forge is a goner.
Surge refuses to leave it at that and tells them that they have to end this. Forty-seven of them are dead, the X-Men can’t save them, the O*N*E Sentinels are a joke and the Avengers just don’t care. She tells them it’s up to them. The X-Men are too far away and this Nimrod thing helped in some way to kill their friends. She tells them they’re going to save Forge themselves and take Nimrod down and they leave in fifteen minutes.
Dust prays for forgiveness for those she killed. Laura tells her that Stryker’s men would have killed her if she hadn’t killed them first and they would not have prayed for forgiveness. Dust replies that Jean Grey told her that X-Men do not kill. X-23 asks where Jean is now.
Elsewhere, Mercury wakes up Anole and asks him to cover for them with O*N*E who will eventually question their sudden absence. Surge tries to dissuade David from joining them but he insists, despite his lack of powers. He tells her that they need him since he knows how to fly the Blackbird. Surge tells him she’s scared and he assures her that he’s going and will be there for her.
Hellion and Rockslide arrive at the Blackbird’s hangar and question how they’re going to get past the O*N*E Sentinels. David and Nori arrive and David explains that they’re going to use an old tunnel exit that leads to a Cliffside over a mile and half from the estate. Rockslide asks how a geek like him deserves such a hot girlfriend. Hellion asks if it’s sealed and David says it’s nothing he can’t handle. Hellion remarks that when they get back they need to find themselves a teleporter.
Outside, the Sentinel pilots continue their patrols as the New X-Men strap in for their escape flight. David joins the team wearing an armored vest. Rockslide asks if he joined up with SWAT or something after losing his powers. David asks Santo if he’s ever heard of Doug Ramsey and Rockslide replies no. David says that that is why he’s wearing the vest.
X-23 adds that she brought guns, to which David replies “Wonderful”.
Hellion sheathes the Blackbird in a telekinetic field allowing it to punch its way through the obstructed exit to the X-Men’s former launch tunnel. As they hit open air, Surge asks if they’re being followed. Mercury chimes in that their headmasters are going to kill them for this. X-23 reports that there has been no reaction from the Sentinels. David is having second thoughts about their plan while Rockslide states the universal opinion of the O*N*E team’s effectiveness: “They suck on a weekly basis”. As he says this, a Sentinel pilot reports that six mutants just dropped off the grid.
In Dallas, Forge explains to Nimrod that he cannot complete repairs on Nimrod because his technology is simply too advanced and the damage too extensive. Fearing that the X-Men aren’t coming, Forge switches to “Plan B” and offers Nimrod a new body. He unveils a robotic form he had previously been working on and explains that he can transfer Nimrod’s artificial intelligence into this form. Nimrod has another chronal fluctuation and deems this solution acceptable. He notes that he will come back online in 27 minutes, three minutes after the arrival of the New X-Men. He retrieves data on these mutants as they approach. He verifies the identity of each and the time at which they will die.
He identifies X-23 as Talon and notes that she will survive the longest from that moment at 38 minutes. He doesn’t note the presence of David Alleyne however. He agrees to Forge’s proposal and initiates the transfer.
Elixir, Surge, Dust, Elixir, Hellion, Mercury, Rockslide and X-23 (All New X-Men trainees)
Anole, David Alleyne/Prodigy, Nezhno (All Xavier Institute students)
Bishop, Colossus, Cyclops, Emma Frost, Nightcrawler, Wolverine (all X-Men)
Forge (Xavier Institute affiliate)
Unnamed members of Sentinel Squad O*N*E*
Via Nimrod’s Visions/Records Only:
Storm, Naze & Orora Munroe
Reverend William Stryker and his Purifiers
In the future vision in which Ororo and Forge are married, their infant son is named Naze. This is clearly in honor of Forge’s mystic mentor of the same name who first appeared in UNCANNY X-MEN #184.
Storm is marrying T’Challa, the Black Panther and king of Wakanda. She and Forge have had an “on-again/off-again” romantic relationship that dates back to UNCANNY X-MEN #186.
Nimrod and Master Mold had merged into a single unit which was sucked into the Siege Perilous in UNCANNY X-MEN #247. The results of entering the mystical Siege vary from individual to individual. Master Mold/Nimrod emerged from the Siege in a more humanoid form and took the name Bastion, as revealed in CABLE (2nd Series) ANNUAL 1998.
Apocalypse recently “visited” the Xavier Institute in X-MEN (2nd Series) #182-186.
X-Force encountered a modern-day version of Nimrod in X-FORCE (1st Series) #35-36.
Jean Grey helped to rescue Dust and was the first to reach out to her in NEW X-MEN (1st Series) #133.
Doug Ramsey was a member of the original New Mutants team, codenamed Cypher due to his ability to speak and decipher languages. His lack of physical abilities was always a concern and proved to be well-founded. He was killed saving his teammate Wolfsbane from a bullet in NEW MUTANTS (1st Series) #60.
This is the first time X-23 has been identified using the codename Talon. Presumably, this is a future alias known to Nimrod. The codename Talon was previously in use by a Marvel character who was a regular cast member of the GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY ongoing series.
This Issue has been reprinted in:
New X-Men: Childhood's End Vol. 3 (Trade Paperback)
Issue Summary written by: Binaryan