Age of Apocalypse #10

Issue Date: 
February 2013
Story Title: 
Hit the Fan

David Lapham (writer), Roberto de la Torre (artist), Lee Loughridge (colorist), VC’s Cory Petit (letterer), Kris Anka (cover artist), Jordan D. White (editor), Nick Lowe (senior editor), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

As Jean Grey flees through the sewers from Weapon Omega’s forces, Fiend regains consciousness and is found by Horror Show. Together they knock Emplate out again and escape to find Jean. Meanwhile, Prophet meets with Penance and receives the weapon the Sugar Man developed to kill Omega. It is a small pill that needs to be ingested so that it can start a chain reaction in his body to split the Apocalypse power from him. In the Hellfire Club, Donald Pierce tries to get Shaw to aid him in finding Jean before Omega. When that seems like a loss, he decides to switch plans and finds out what he can about the Shadow King. In the tunnels, Jean is being hunted and, after taking out a few squads of soldiers, she runs into Weapon Omega. When Sabretooth suddenly appears, the two start fighting, leaving Jean to escape with Prophet and Deadeye. Prophet gives her the pill and explains that she needs to make Omega ingest it for it to work. He also tells her that he sees her as a future leader of the team. After Omega takes out Sabretooth, he comes for them and so Jean leaves to confront him. In the Shadow King’s apartment, he receives a surprise visit from the believed-to-be-dead Quentin Quire.   

Full Summary: 

It had really hit the fan as months… years… worth of planning were now out of the window. Jean Grey, formerly the most powerful telepath on the planet and the estranged wife of Weapon Omega, was on the run. After being found by Cyclops and chased into the sewers, she now had Weapon Omega and his forces hot on her heels. Whilst the X-Terminated were desperately trying to catch up, none of them had ever asked why she was so important. Prophet had said she was and the rest of them were willing to die for it.

As Jean runs into more of Omega’s soldiers, Fiend regains consciousness from the explosion she caused as a distraction. Horror Show finds her and whispers that they have to get out of there before Emplate comes to. As she tries to stand, Fiend realizes her leg is broken and so Horror Show puts her on his back. She tells him they have to find Jean, but her voice wakes Emplate. Horror Show tells her off but she swings round and fires a gun at Emplate, knocking him out again. As the two of them make their way out of the rubble, Horror Show asks her if anyone has ever called her badass. She begins to ask if he thinks Emplate is dead but he cuts her off and says he doesn’t think so. He wants to put as much distance between them and Emplate as possible.

Penance tells Prophet and Deadeye that they were fortuitous in coming to them, as the Sugar Man had managed to procure a small amount of Death Seed energy he stole from Dark Beast’s lab. Were they to not have that, it would have been many months more to acquire the necessary materials. The Sugar Man then hands them a small jellybean-like object on a Petri dish. Deadeye doesn’t seem impressed and Prophet asks him to explain. The Sugar Man tells them that it’s all about bonds and the jelly in this bean will break the bonds between Omega and the Celestial energy.

Deadeye asks if they put it in a bullet but Penance tells her it needs to penetrate Omega’s flesh so ingesting it would be the easier solution. The Sugar Man hands them the pill and says that, once inside Omega, it will break the cell bonds causing a chain reaction. Deadeye points out that this is all in theory and Penance snaps back that of course it is; where would they get a test subject from? Prophet thanks her for the weapon and says that he hopes they will be able to form closer ties in the future. Penance says they shall see but for the time being she will be removing herself from the city.

In the tunnels, Jean Grey has a gun pointed at three of Omega’s mutant soldiers. She asks for them to let her pass, as she and her friends are fighting for their future as much as her own. Any reward they think they might get is nothing compared to the life they could lead. One of the soldiers tells her alls he is thinking of is the life he could he leading five minutes from now. One of the other soldiers leaps at her but she knocks him back and flees further down the tunnels.

(Hellfire Club)
Donald Pierce, aka Goodnight, is dressed in his Hellfire Club costume and wanders through the building with Sebastian Shaw. Pierce quietly tells Shaw that Jean is being hunted and asks him if he knows what a mark like that is worth. Shaw replies that the Overlord wants her for himself and to go against that is to gamble with one’s own life. Pierce tells her if they get her they would be writing their own check and no one would know it was them. A little way off, Azazel sits on a sofa with a couple of women.

The two men continue to whisper and Shaw says that the only one who would possibly know would be Farouk. Pierce tells him to leave the Shadow King to him and he will round of a few of the ladies and go round his place. Shaw cuts him off and says it’s not the Shadow King he is worried about, as he supplies a constant stream of the fairer sex to keep him distracted. He is worried about Pierce as he knew he was half mad, but this is sheer lunacy.

Pierce suddenly spins around and gets the attention of a woman named Fiona, who works at the club. He asks her to spend some time with him and wanders away from Shaw. The scene does not go unnoticed by Azazel, though, who asks one of the women he is with who Pierce is. On a sofa, Pierce is fondling Fiona and he slyly asks her about the Shadow King. She tells him it’s just a job and she has to go wherever Shaw sends her. Pierce kisses her ear and says that he worries about her and he has heard the Shadow King does terrible things. If he were to be unable to find her, he would be beside himself. She is pleased Pierce seems to care about her and he asks her where the Shadow King lives, just in case.

Back in the tunnels, Jean Grey fights so her life and she takes out another squad of soldiers. She runs down a tunnel but comes face to face with Weapon Omega and skids to a halt. He tells her she has been holding out on him, as he spent years trying to teach her moves like that. Maybe she wasn’t properly motivated or maybe she found a better teacher. He could watch her do tricks all day but she is riling up the dregs now and he doesn’t need the headache right now. It’s time to come home, he tells her.

Suddenly, Weapon Omega is caught by an explosion from behind and thrown to the ground. A moment later, Sabretooth stands over him and tells Jean to get out of there, as he’ll take it from here. Omega gets up, sneers at Sabretooth and asks if he is more than friends with Jean now. He says that in the old days they tussled a bit but they never got to finish things. Sabretooth tells him to put down the hand cannon, referring to Omega’s weaponized stump at the end of his left hand. He tells Sabretooth it’s not really an option but he doesn’t need it anyway.

With that he unsheathes his claws on his other hand and the two men lunge at each other. Jean goes to shoot her husband but Prophet appears and grabs her hand, stopping her. Deadeye tells them they had better hurry as this will be over quick but Jean doesn’t want to leave. As Prophet makes Jean leave, he tells Deadeye to stay and watch but not to engage.

As they enter a large room, Prophet asks Jean why she is so important. She says she never really thought about it much, as she just assumed it’s because Omega prized her so much. Plus she had a lot of information. He says that has been invaluable but it’s not it. Jean asks if it’s because of the Phoenix Force and maybe there is a way to get it back. Prophet tells her of course it’s what she would think and the whole team does too and that’s why they don’t question her value. It would be sheer folly though to bet the entire human race on an infinitesimal chance of her regaining her powers back.

Prophet says that his motives were more practical, and even personal. He considers Jean his successor, a concept which seems to surprise her. He says that every single member of the X-Terminated is equal to him in every way except one and that’s leadership. Were he to fall, the movement were be sure to splinter but she has a leadership quality that means the team would follow her. Jean says they would have but now they have run out of time. 

As Weapon Omega mercilessly beats Sabretooth, Jean asks Prophet what they have left. He hands over the pill he obtained from Penance and says it was developed from Reed Richards culled from Doom’s memories. The gel inside spreads from cell to cell and will separate Weapon Omega from the Apocalypse power. He has no proof that it works and he was unable to weaponize it for Deadeye’s marksmanship. It works from the inside out and he is too shielded. Jean realizes she is the one who can get close to him. She looks at the pill and asks what makes Prophet think that she will be able to do it or Omega will want to. Prophet replies that he only knows that no one else can.

Sabretooth lies on the floor in a bloody heap, but he pulls out a device and presses a button, causing a huge explosion to rip through the tunnels around him and Omega.

Deadeye manages to escape and she soon catches up with Prophet and Jean. She says it’s over and Omega is coming. Jean tells them to get out of there, as the world will need the two of the regardless of what happens next. When they are alone Deadeye asks Prophet if he told Jean everything and he says he only told her what she needed to know. What good would it be to tell her that if she succeeds everyone in the city will die?

Elsewhere, a buzzer goes off at an apartment and the Shadow King, in his human form, opens the door. He smiles and tells the women at the door to come in and let the mind games begin. The smile is wiped off his face when he sees Quentin Quire standing behind the women. Quire tells him that it was beneath him to send a human proxy to try and kill him. He does not end because he does not begin, he is everywhere and everything. He is the Overmind. He has now come to topple the false king from his mountaintop. 

Characters Involved: 

Deadeye, Fiend, Goodnight, Horror Show, Jean Grey, Prophet, Sabretooth (all X-Terminated)

Sugar Man

Sebastian Shaw
Hellfire Club patrons

Weapon Omega
Azazel, Emplate, Shadow King (all Ministers)

Story Notes: 

This issue, like the rest of the series, is narrated by Harper Simmons, a reporter from Earth 616.

Quentin Quire seemingly died in issue #5. 

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