Age of X-Man: Prisoner X #3

Issue Date: 
July 2019
Story Title: 

Vita Ayala (writer), German Peralta (artist) Mike Spicer (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Joe Sabino (letterer), Patch Zircher & Brian Reber (cover artists), Lauren Amaro (assistant editor), Darren Shan (editor), Jordan D White (X-Men senior editor), C B Cebulski (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Recap art by Rahzzah


Brief Description: 

While Bishop sits in his cell within the Danger Room prison, talking  through the wall to the prisoner in the cell next to him, Dani Moonstar grows concerned that something is wrong, and has memories of Nate Grey. Dani isn't the only prisoner struggling, as Honey Badger has memories of time spent with X-23 that she can't quite reconcile with the existence she knows, and lashes out at another prisoner, Julia, accusing her of psychically manipulating her. The Beast eventually calms Honey Badger down, before guards take her away to be checked by a doctor after she popped her claws, and without her powers, she has sustained injuries. Dani finds the Beast keeping watch over Honey Badger and the doctor and tells him that she thinks there is something wrong with the world around them. The Beast admits that he feels an overwhelming sense of rage within himself, before they are distracted by Polaris, who is in the mess hall, screaming as she remembers events – some from the world as she knows it, and some from a world that seems more true than this one. Dani rushes to check on Polaris, and when some guards push Polaris to the ground, Dani takes their keys and throws them to Polaris, who unlocks her collar, restoring her powers. She lashes out at the guards, which is watched by Warden Forge on the monitors in his office, so he places a phone call. When Polaris finishes trashing the common room, Dani gets to her feet, and has a vision of Nate Grey – she knows for sure that something is wrong. She screams – but as she looks around her, it's as if nothing happened. Polaris is still restrained in her collar. Honey Badger has no injuries, either. Dani returns to her cell, while a wicked laughter fills the prison, and as Bishop continues talking to the prisoner in the cell next to him, the prisoner is revealed to be Legion!

Full Summary: 

The Danger Room prison complex, where Danielle “Dani” Moonstar sits in her cell. She closes her eyes and thinks of Nate Grey. She sees him in her mind, and suddenly gasps, opening her eyes, she leaves her cell.

In another cell, Bishop is talking to someone through the wall. He tells them that he remembers the day Hope Summers died, what her sacrifice did for them all. He adds that he remembers watching as mutantkind finally found a way to not just survive, but thrive in the world – and that he remembers falling in love like it was the truth. 'But none of that is right, is it?' he asks.

A barefoot Gabby Kinney carries an empty tray towards the end of the line in the prison mess hall, only she’s wearing what appears to be a school uniform rather than the standard green prison jumpsuit she closes her eyes, and her mind wanders back to being inside a museum alongside X-23, where they robbed some precious jewels. 'Can't believe these museum types just leave fancy jewelry lying around' she said to X-23. Dani appears next to Gabby, who pinches her nose and utters 'Wha – ugh. My head!'

Bishop remarks that memories are a funny thing and are dependent on so many variables – state of mind, perspective and how you are able to perceive. Timeline is another, as memories can be altered after the fact – by your mood, by other people, either intentionally or accidentally. He adds that it has taken him a while to understand why he had all these conflicting memories – but he gets it now.

Gabby takes a seat at one of the partitioned tables and begins to eat her good, when suddenly, she is overcome by a pain, and touches her face, while remembering sitting across from X-23 at a table, eating a stack of pancakes while Jonathan the Unstoppable sat on the table next to her. She remembers telling X-23 – Laura – that Jonathan thinks they need rocky road to go with their pancakes. Jonathan looks confused, while Laura tells Gabby that she draws the line at ice cream for breakfast. 'My head!' Gabby screams as she stands up and pushes her chair backwards, striking a prisoner with blue hair and a large beastly arm that was walking behind her. 'Hey, watch it!' the other mutant exclaims as she drops her tray. 'You're doing this. Frickin' psychics always figuring out how to mess with us!' Gabby snarls.

Bishop tells the person on the other side of his cell walls that he has an advantage when it comes to sorting through the kind of mess, as his events and knowledge etch themselves into his brain the way information is written on a hard drive – but for other people, memories are emotions, for him they are transcriptions. He explains that part of it comes with the whole time-traveling territory, that his brain adapts to the timeline, reorienting itself, which is lucky, too, because otherwise he would have gone insane, adding that it took a while, but things are starting to settle in his head now.

'What? No, I just -' the prisoner with the blue hair and strange arm remarks, holding her hands up, but Gabby lunges towards her, 'Gonna make you stop!' Gabby snarls as she throws a punch, but the other girl's large hand blocks the attack. 'If I had my powers!' Gabby exclaims. 'You're crazy!' the other girl tells her, while Moonstar and several other mutants gather around. 'I'll show you crazy' Gabby declares as she drops to the ground and extends her leg, kicking the other girl to the ground. Gabby gets back to her feet and mutters that she doesn't care if this collar blocks her healing factor. 'Totally worth it' she boasts as she pops her claws, spraying blood from her knuckles, she leers down at the other mutant.

But as Gabby moves forward, the other mutant moves backwards, and Gabby's claws pierce the ground. 'Gabby! Stop!' Dani calls out, while she stands in front of the other girl, who exclaims that she didn't do anything. Dani calls the other girl Julia and assures her that she has her, and that it is okay. 'You're making me see lies! Get out of my head!' a furious Gabby exclaims as she bares her blood-covered claws, while a memory of standing in front of three blonde girls who look the same fills her mind. 'Um...' Gabby begins, as she turns around when Hank McCoy a.k.a. Beast puts his hand on her shoulder.

Bishop continues, explaining that it was Dani who really got things on track, and that being around her triggered something in his head. He adds that it helps that Dani confirmed there is something off here. Bishop remarks that even out there things weren't quite right – but in here, it is just wrong, like whatever he was seeing was off somehow. Misaligned or ill-fitting, even.

Gabby looks up at the Beast, who tells her to ease down. Gabby and other prisoners appear in green pants and matching tunics now, save for Dani, who appears in a knee-length purple sleeveless dress. The Beast warns Gabby that if she pushes this they will throw her in solitary. He informs her that he has been there often, and would suggest she doesn't visit it. 'Fine, Hank. Whatever' Gabby replies, throwing her arms up, she retracts her claws. Several guards including a female guard with red hair rush into the mess hall, 'Back away slowly!' the female guard instructs Gabby, who points out that she already put her claws away, so they can relax. The Beast tells the guards to lower their weapons and remarks that this won't happen again. 'Right. Yeah, no problem' the blue-haired mutant, Julia, responds.

But the guards don't agree, and one of them shouts 'Hands up', while the continue to aim their weapons at the mutants. 'They're up already, $#%&#%$' Gabby replies. 'I mean, sure. No problem' she mutters, before one of them instructs her to get to medical. 'No frickin' way. I hate medical' Gabby complains. The Beast tells the guards that he will escort her there himself. 'Fine' Gabby mumbles, folding her arms. The guards then lead Gabby and the Beast away, with Gabby telling them that Julia started it, and that it isn't her fault she finished it. Dani tells Julia to take deep breaths and that Alice will take care of her. The female guard, Alice, puts a hand on Alice's shoulder and tells her that she is going to be okay, that they will get her some juice and sit down.

In the cell next to Bishop, a response comes from the unseen inmate: 'Off?' they ask. 'Having experienced all the things you have, the way you talk about reality is almost a joke. What is reality to a time-traveler, huh?' they ask. Bishop replies that the definition of truth is the actual state of a matter – like memories, though, truth is completely dependent on circumstance, so he lets the timeline take care of telling him which truth is relevant.

In the medical facility, the Beast stands in a doorway and watches as a doctor checks on Gabby, who sits on an examination table. The Beast hangs his head, and remembers being in a lab himself, hunched over a microscope and discovering something fascinating. He then remembers being atop a building, roaring and attacking helicopters that flew towards him. 'Something's wrong here, Hank' Dani remarks as she approaches the Beast. 'What was your first clue, Moonstar?' Hank asks. Dani looks up at Hank and tells him that she remembers being angry, almost all the time, that it was a huge part of her, even when she learned to channel it into something more productive – but now, there is this empty space where her fire used to be, and there are pieces of her missing, and it doesn't make sense.

The Beast looks over and watches as the doctor sews up Gabby's wounds while asking Dani 'Isn't that the mission statement here? Replacing maladaptive behaviors with calm and harmonious ones'. He tells Dani that it sounds like this place is working for her. 'Lucky you' he remarks. The Beast takes Dani's hands in her own as Dani asks him 'Tell me you don't think that there's something inside your head, twisting things, changing who you are to the core'. The Beast looks down at Dani's hands and tells her that is just it – he can't think, for whenever he attempts to contemplate anything more complicated than his next meal, his mind gets so flooded with rage. 'Except when I'm around you. Why?' Hank asks. 'I -' Dani begins to reply, before they hear someone shout 'NO! LEAVE  ME ALONE!'

It's Lorna Dane a.k.a. Polaris, who is wearing a straight-jacket inside the common room. She looks in anguish, as memories flood her mind. She remembers being attacked by the X-Men – Colossus, Nightcrawler, Nature girl, Jen Grey, Storm, X-23 and Nate Grey. She remembers being locked in passionate embrace with Havok as members of X-Factor, and confronting Magneto when she finally learned the truth about her parentage. Lorna sees another memory, this time fighting alongside Magneto. Before another, of being dragged away in a straight-jacket with Warden Forge looking over her. Finally, an old memory, she is wearing a purple costume and is manipulated by Erik the Red into attacking Storm and Jean Grey.

Bishop tells the person in the cell next to him that makes what he knows and what he remembers two very different things. Aligning the map in his head to the world – that is the trick. He has gotten pretty good at it, too, but this place, this world – it has no context – it simply shouldn't exist. Bishop adds that the memories he has of being here, they grate against all the other knowledge in his head – some are close to the truths, but there are glaring inconsistencies. The parts that don't jibe all have one thing in common – but he doesn't know what it is.

Another prisoner goes up behind Lorna as Dani, who know appears in a purple blouse and grey pants, enters the common room, while guards rush past other prisoners, who are wearing green jumpsuits. The prisoner tells Lorna to take it easy – to which he gets an elbow in his face, 'Leave me alone!' Lorna exclaims as she twists herself around. One of the guards radios for a sedative for inmate Dane, while another guard tells Polaris that she is hysterical and needs to calm down. 'Don't touch me!' Lorna calls out as two guards grab her, to which Dani tells the guards to let Lorna go. 'We said calm down!' a guard declares as they force Lorna to the floor. Dani uses this moment to grab a set of keys hanging from one of the guard's belts. 'Get off her!' Dani calls out, while the guards turn to Moonstar and lunge at her, 'She took the keys!' one of them exclaims. 'On the ground, now!' the other shouts, while Moonstar hurls the keys at Lorna, and tells her to free herself.

Polaris screams as she tears the straight-jacket open, and reaches down for the keys – which she uses to unlock the collar around her neck. The collar clangs to the floor, and Lorna grins, 'FINALLY, I AM FREE!' she exclaims as she hovers in the air, knocking the guards backwards with a surge of magnetic energy, and the other prisoners look on in shock.

Forge is watching the situation from his office, and sees Polaris fly up above the guards, lashing out with power. Forge hangs his head, then goes to his desk drawer and pulls out an old fashioned telephone. He picks up the receiver and places a phone call. He hangs the phone up, and covers his face with one of his hands.

Bishop continues to speak through his cell wall, telling the prisoner in the next cell that someone created this little faux-Utopia to live out their creepy sterilized fantasy. 'They know this place is here. Of course they do. But they won't sully their hands with it. So that gets me thinking. How does this place run, huh? Well, they must have a willing partner, right?' Bishop asks, suggesting that it is someone who likes playing with people's heads – someone who likes pulling the strings.

'Never again! You will never control me again!' Lorna shouts as she levitates a table in the common room and hurls it into two guards. Dani looks up at Lorna, while magnetic energy darts about the room, and Lorna exclaims 'I will make you pay for what you did to me!' as she levitates all of the guards, then slams them to the ground, one of them knocking into Dani and forcing her to the ground, too. When Dani gets to her feet, the guards and everything in the common room lay strewn about in a mess.

Dani touches her head and utters that something is wrong, as she sees a vision of Nate Grey, Dani leaps to her feet and screams, while a wicked laughter echoes around her.

Bishop asks the person in the cell next door 'But who could that be, right? Who has that kind of power and is that much of an #$%#&#%$'. Bishop adds that it was the laugh that did it – he could never forget a sound so heinous.

Dani looks around – and everything is in order. Guards move around the common room and prisoners are fine, seated at tables that are upright. 'Lorna?' Dani asks, going over to the green-haired mutant and asking her what just happened. 'Wha? Nothing...' Polaris remarks, looking up from her book.

Dani rushes into the mess hall, where Hank is mopping a floor, and Gabby is sitting on a railing. 'Hank, I -' Dani begins, before noticing Gabby's hands. 'What about 'em?' Gabby asks. Dani looks at Gabby's hands and sees they are covered in gloves. She asks her if the gloves will aggravate her injuries. 'What injuries?' Gabby asks. Dani turns and rushes away, to which Gabby calls out 'What are you even babbling about, Moonstar? Did you find a way to get drugs in here?'

In a dank cell, solitary, Bishop leans against the door and tells the prisoner in the solitary cell next to him that it was the laugh that did it – he could never forget a sound so heinous. 'Still... gotta say,  I'm a little surprised at you. You were always a real %$#&%#$, but this? This is crazy even for you' Bishop declares. 'Crazy is such an ugly word, Bishop' the prisoner in the cell next door replies, to which Bishop asks 'What do you even gain here, Legion? What's your angle?' And in the cell next door, Legion hovers in what appears to be a blank room, in a meditative pose, his eyes glowing as he grins and points out that it doesn't matter – as Bishop won't remember this tomorrow anyway.

Characters Involved: 

Beast, Bishop, Honey Badger, Dani Moonstar, Polaris (all prisoners in the Danger Room)


Warden Forge




Alice and other guards

Julia and other inmates



in Moonstar's memory:

Nate Grey

in Honey Badger's memory:

Honey Badger, X-23

Jonathan the Unstoppable

Stepford Cuckoos

in the Beast's memory:


in Polaris' memory:

Polaris at various stages



Marvel Girl, Storm

Erik the Red



Colossus, Jean Grey, Nate Grey, Nature Girl, Nightcrawler, Storm, X-23 (all X-Men)

Story Notes: 

Bishop narrates this issue heavily, although the reader is not aware he is the narrator until the end of the issue.

Written By: