Age of X-Man: Prisoner X #5

Issue Date: 
September 2019
Story Title: 

Vita Ayala (writer), German Peralta & Matt Horak (artists) 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 several brawls between inmates and guards take place throughout the Danger Room prison, five prisoners – Polaris, Bishop, Beast, Honey Badger and Dani Moonstar – plan their escape. But making their way through the prison, they find themselves going in circles, as Legion manipulates their surroundings. The five are forced to battle guards that find them, and are shocked to discover that the guards aren't real people, but some sort of energy construct, which enables them to last out with their abilities – and for some of them, Polaris in particular, that feels great. But there are too many guards, and the escaping mutants can't seem to get on with their escape, so Polaris keeps the guards busy, while the others find Legion in one of the cells. Legion traps Bishop, Beast and Honey Badger in a psychic realm, where they are unable to fight him. Their trouble increase when Legion once again creates several versions of Bishop, who fight the real Bishop. Something happens to Legion, and the Shadow King, who had been interfering in Legion's state of mind, appears as Shard, who tries to help Bishop, giving him some clues about Nate Grey, before Legion asserts control, but before long is taken out when Dani Moonstar places a collar around his neck back in the cell. The psychic realm vanishes and the mutant heroes are fine. Legion is annoyed with them though, and tells them that they have more freedom in here than out in the world, before Dani knocks him out. They rejoin Polaris while the battles still continue to rage around the prison, and the five continue to plan their escape

Full Summary: 

guards are engaged in an all-out fight. 'Watch out!' Anole calls out as several guards are knocked past him. 'Whoa!' the mutant called Julia utters as she is knocked back through the air. Armor and Glob Herman look up at her, while Rockslide remarks that the food isn't that bad. 'Gotcha!' a winged mutant calls out as she flies up and grabs Julia and lowers her to the ground. 'All that crap Bishop talked about freedom and he disappears when things hit the fan' the winged mutant exclaims. 'Not just him... where are Lorna, Hank, Gabby and Dani?' Julia asks as she slams a guard's head into the ground.

At that moment, Lucas Bishop, Lorna Dane a.k.a. Polaris, Hank McCoy a.k.a. Beast, Gabby Kinney and Dani Moonstar are marking their way down a long line of cells, 'Uh, is it just me, or is this hallway, like, extra stretchy?' Gabby asks. Bishop tells the group that they need to get to solitary confinement. 'So you've said, but wouldn't it be better to find a way out of the building instead of going into the heart of it?' the Beast asks. 'Doesn't matter if the door is wide open, he won't let us leave. Only way out is through Legion' Bishop explains. Beast asks Bishop how he suggests they take on a psychic so powerful. Bishop points out that Legion has to keep this whole place on lockdown, and is going to be distracted by the riot, therefore open to a physical attack.

'We just gotta -' Bishop begins as he opens a door and enters a cell – then walks out through another cell door, back into the corridor. '- get to him, Hank...what the -?' Bishop exclaims, confused. 'Did I fall asleep and not know it?' Gabby asks, while the Beast remarks that he honestly didn't expect that. 'This isn't real' Bishop tells the others as he opens another door. 'I dunno, Bishop – seems pretty real to me' Gabby replies as she enters the cell, and walks out through another cell, back into the corridor. Bishop explains that they are being mentally manipulated by Legion, that he isn't in charge, but he is in on whatever is going on here. Bishop adds that if Legion is trying this hard to keep them from getting to him, then they must be on the right track. As several guards move down the corridor, a projection of Legion appears above them. 'Think you're clever, huh? Time to wrap this little party up' Legion exclaims.

The mutants lunge towards the guards, 'Step aside, construct!' Beast calls out as he knocks one backwards. Lorna hurls some rubble towards the guards, but one guard steps out of a cell door and smacks her over the head with his batton, forcing Lorna to the floor. 'Missed me!' Gabby exclaims as she leaps away from one of the soldiers. 'Think fast!' she calls out as she kicks two guards at the same time. The guard who knocked Lorna over loom over her, while Bishop punches a guard back and tells the others that whatever happened, Legion is not at full power – if he was, he would be able to control them. He explains that if they can find the real door, they will be able to get to Legion and make him let them go. 'Five against an army – odds a Spartan would happily take' the Beast replies as he smashes two of the guards together. 'Four for one!' Gabby calls out, while Lorna elbows the guard on top of her away, 'Hands off!' she exclaims, cracking the guard's faceplate.

'Back off!' Polaris shouts as she hurls trays, cutlery and other metal objects towards the guard – impaling the guard on the objects. 'Whoa! That was brutal!' Gabby calls out as she pushes back a guard who had grabbed her in a headlock, muttering that she was holding back before, but that this is getting out of hand. Polaris knocks back several guards with a wave of magnetic energy, then runs down to join the rest of the fight, as Gabby pops her claws, announcing that it is time for “Snikt” and “Snakt” to come out and have some fun. The Beast punches a guard in the face and suggests that they find an alternative strategy, as this one is lacking. 'I'm with Hank!' Dani calls out as she kicks a guard backwards, and Bishop head-butts a guard, then punches the guard backwards while telling the others that he is thinking.

Suddenly, one of the guards shoots Bishop from behind with some sort of taser weapon. Bishop frowns and turns to the guard, 'Hitting a man from behind's a coward's move. How about you try that to my face!' Bishop exclaims as he releases the energy he absorbed, right at the guard, knocking the guard down the corridor. Lorna screams as she uses her power to hurl screws into the chests and heads of the guards, brutally taking them down. The mutants have a moment's respite and Bishop points to a door, he thinks is the one that the guards came from, which is where they need to go. Beast tells him that is a good suggestion, and better than standing around here. But suddenly, the guards get to their feet. 'Uh...' Bishop begins. 'As always, it is easier said than done' Beast remarks. 'Can't even catch a break' Bishop mutters.

Gabby slices off the leg and arm of one of the guards and asks if she is the only one who thinks these zombie guards are super creepy. Another fight ensues, and Bishop points out that the guards will keep getting up until they drop, so they need to get through that door. Polaris announces that she has an idea. 'I'm all ears' Bishop replies. Polaris instructs him to take the others and go, while she keeps the guards back. 'Absolutely not' Bishop replies. Lorna collects scrap metal and forms it into an armor around her right arm – which she then punches right through one of the guards and tells Bishop that now is not the time to argue, and that she is the only one who can take all the guards on at once. Bishop hesitates, before telling Lorna to 'Give 'em hell'. Beast, Dani and Bishop,  who grabs Gabby away from one of the other guards, run down the corridor, leaving Lorna alone. 'Hey, lemme go! I can take them!' Gabby boasts, but Bishop tells her that they have to get to Legion, so they shouldn't waste the chance Lorna is giving them here. Beast tells Bishop that he hopes he is correct about this. 'Being right's what I do, Hank' Bishop responds.

Through another door, the mutants find themselves in a dank, dark corridor, lined with several cells, and Gabby points out that this way looks different than the rest of this place. The Beast agrees, 'Who knew that the “vipers pit” would appear the most humane?' he asks, to which Dani remarks 'You think this is humane?' Bishop opens one of the cell doors, 'Am I losing it, or is that the cafeteria? And is it a zoo somehow?' he asks as he sees the battle raging in the mess hall. 'It appears as it always does, at least to me' the Beast remarks. Gabby tells them that she would rather be in a zoo than school, as at least she can hang out with animals and you don't have to wear a uniform. 'Clever… keep us all off-balance with our own mind's idea of the worst kind of prison' Bishop remarks, before opening another door and telling Legion that they still figured him out – and they are here for him. 'I'm ready when you are, big man' Legion replies, smirking as he hovers cross-legged in what appears to be a blank cell.

But as Bishop, Gabby and Beast enter the cell, they find it resembles what they saw behind the guards' faceplates – a strange realm with space-like objects floating around them. 'You're the one responsible for this torture?' the Beast asks. 'What are you going to do about it, fuzzy?' Legion replies. Bishop warns him that he is about to find out, and Gabby snarls

'Can I cut his hair? I bet he'd look better with way less up top' as the trio move through the strange realm towards him. 'How many times do you have to fail before you realize that blindly bum-rushing your problems isn't the answer?' Legion asks as he knocks Gabby aside. 'Hey, rude!' Gabby exclaims, before Bishop grabs Legion by his neck. 'You assume we're not thinking laterally' Bishop points out, before Legion flips him backwards and declares that he has his X-Y axis covered. Legion glances sideways as the Beast appears behind him, but before the Beast can strike, Legion hurls Bishop into the Beast, knocking them both backwards. 'Cute, but not enough to cut it' Legion remarks.

Legion tells the mutants that he was willing to have a little fun, then put things back to the status quo, but now he thinks perhaps he should teach them all their place. Bishop moves back towards Legion, but before he reaches him, a robotic arm reaches out and grabs him. Bishop tries to break free, before being hurled onto a floating asteroid, where Beast and Gabby are standing. 'Ummm...' Gabby mutters, while Beast tells Bishop that he doesn't want to alarm him, 'Yeah...I was hoping he was too distracted to call them up' Bishop tells the others as he looks up behind Legion, where five other versions of Bishop himself, including one with a robotic arm, are waiting, and all looking very angry. 'You don't mind that I called some of my friends to come play, right?' Legion grins.

'We would have preferred that you hadn't, but here we are' the Beast snarls. Legion suddenly tears at his face and screams, 'Uh, is this his war cry or something?' Gabby asks. 'I don't...believe so' the Beast tells her, while Legion asks 'What is happening?' as his form begins to fade away, replaced by the woman with short blonde hair and the “M” over her face that Bishop encountered earlier. 'I don't have much time!' the woman exclaims as she hovers over the asteroid where Bishop, Beast and Gabby are standing. She tells them that they have to listen to her. 'The hell I do!' Bishop exclaims. 'You think I'm going to fall for that?' he asks. The woman addresses Bishop by his first name, Lucas, and tells him that she is here to help – and that she is the one who sent the note.

She drops down onto the asteroid and tells Bishop that she knew once he regained his memories that he would trust this face, hence the appearance as his sister, Shard. 'I needed you to believe me when I told you that I'm the paart of him who doesn't want to be part of this' “Shard” remarks. “Shard” glances back to the other versions of Bishop and tells the mutants that the riots have Legion spread thing right now, which is why “Shard” could break through. 'I'm doing my best to shield your minds from his attack, but I don't know how long it will last'. Bishop asks “Shard” why she is helping him, and “Shard” begins tearing at her body, 'Because what they are doing is wrong' she utters, to which Bishop tells her that he knows Legion isn't acting alone. 'Who's he working with?' Bishop asks. 'I keep trying to tell you, but I can't!' Shard exclaims, wide-eyed.

Bishop embraces Shard and asks heer if there is anything she can say. '... you already know who is doing this' Shard replies. Shard tells Bishop to trust his memories and look for who doesn't belong. 'He thinks he's a god, and he's shaped this world in his image' she explains, before leaping off the asteroid and declaring that she can't stay much longer. 'The door has always been open' Shard calls back. 'He just keeps you from seeing it' she adds, clutching at her head as her form begins to change, she “melts” away, 'That's the cruel joke of this place. Stop him – stop me – and you are free' Shard adds, before she is gone completely, and Legion takes her place again, grinning, 'Whoops. Too late' he exclaims.

Bishop tells the others that he has dozens of timelines memorized, hundreds of conflicting memories rattling around in his head, and people forget that. 'What, do you want a medal?' Legion asks, while the other versions of Bishop stand around him. 'Your better half was right. I do know who did this' Bishop declares, to which Legion looks concerned. Bishop announces that he knows that empty, displaced feeling at the center of a man that would make him think that this was the answer to all the horrors of the world. 'I've been there' he remarks. 'What is it with you people wasting time on giving speeches' Legion asks, annoyed. 'Just buying her some time to put you down' Bishop smiles.

An instant later, Dani Moonstar locks a collar around Legion's neck. 'Oh, you sonova -' Legion begins, before the strange realm he was floating in disappears, the alternate Bishops vanish, and Legion falls to the floor of his cell. 'Now what?' Gabby asks as she, Beast and Bishop appear back in the cell. Bishop gasps, wide-eyed, before Dani helps him to his feet, asking him if he is okay. 'Absolutely not. But thanks for the save' Bishop replies. 'Fair enough. And you're welcome' Dani tells him, while Gabby asks if they can never do that again. Dani looks at Legion and tells him that, for once, there is strength in being ignored. Legion clutches at the collar around his neck and exclaims 'You don't have it so bad here, do you? Three hots and a cot. You've got more freedom here than anyone else in this world. Don't throw that away!' he shouts.

'Of course you would think  that is freedom' Dani remarks, declaring that she did nothing to deserve this place – none of them have, not really. Dani then punches Legion in the face, knocking him backwards and rendering him unconscious. Dani declares that she is done suffering in this place so that other people can go through the motions of living out their empty lives.

In the other corridor, Polaris floats above the ground in a meditative pose, while the guards are all stuck to the wall with scrap metal. 'Time to go, old friend' the Beast calls out to Lorna, who drops  to the ground. The Beast asks if this is what success looks like, to which Bishop tells him that you have to take what you can get. 'Indeed' the Beast agrees. Dani reminds Bishop that he said he thinks he knows who is behind them. 'It took me a while – he really did a number on my head, but, yeah' Bishop replies. As the battle continues to rage in the mess hall, and another carries on out in the yard, another in the common room and a fourth in the corridors of the cells, Bishop declares that they are in a world that is supposedly a utopia, the only utopia he has any memories of in his head – only there is no love, no family, or no real sense of community. 'What kind of person thinks that perfection comes at the cost of caring about other people?' he asks. 'Who could be so disconnected from other people? Only one man comes to mind, who can be so backward, even when he supposedly means well?'

Beast, Polaris, Bishop, Moonstar and Gabby all remember themselves as they truly are, while an image of Nate Grey appears above them, and Bishop declares that this is place is done – now that Legion isn't clouding their minds and making them think they are trapped, they can see the door's open. 'Let's go pay Nate Grey a visit!'


Characters Involved: 

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

Anole, Armor, Glob Herman, Rockslide




Shadow King (posing as Shard)



Jamie, Julia and other inmates


in illustrative image:



in memories:

Beast, Bishop, Honey Badger, Dani Moonstar, Polaris


Story Notes: 

Bishop encountered the Shadow King posing as Shard in Age of X-Man Prisoner X #1-2.

The story concludes in Age of X-Man: Omega

Written By: