Age of X-Man: X-Tremists #4

Issue Date: 
July 2019
Story Title: 

Leah Williams (writer), Georges Jeanty (penciler), Roberto Poggi (inker), Jim Charalampidis (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Clayton Cowles (letterer), Rahzzah (cover artist), Annalise Bissa (assistant editor), Jordan D White (editor), C B Cebulski (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

Northstar observes his teammates in the aftermath of the “battle” against the “Resistance” that Moneta concocted. As Moneta is placed in shackles, Iceman notices the Blob and Psylocke, and asks Northstar when they got so friendly, and Northstar sees Blob put his hand on Psylocke, deciding that it is a very intimate thing to do. Iceman does the same to Northstar, who shrugs Iceman off, then flies away, high into the air, wondering if he should fly so fast that his breath is robbed from his lungs. He lets himself free-fall to the ground below – flying up at the last minute to save himself. He later wakes in his bed, alone. On Monday, he goes to work and is surprised to see Moneta sitting at her desk – only to discover she has been reconditioned and is a wide-eyed eager member of the Department X team. Iceman arrives and introduces himself to Moneta, before briefly arguing with Northstar. Blob and Psylocke arrive together, and the Blob reports that they have two investigations to make today, one is a few miles south of the city, and the other is the old Prictea Theater downtown. Northstar looks up from his work and announces that he will go to the theater – alone. He arrives there six seconds later, and is greeted by Rictor, the two appear to know each other, Rictor invites Northstar in to watch the film. Back at Department X, Iceman is bored, so after checking Moneta is fine on her own, he leaves – but when he's gone, Moneta uses her powers on herself, shoving her tendril-like fingers into her mind. At the cinema, Northstar interrupts a couple kissing, and they apologize to him, as if they knoew him, too. Northstar sits with Rictor as they start to watch the film, when Iceman arrives. Northstar confronts Iceman, asking him why he is here and declaring that he doesn't need help, that he wants to be left alone. Iceman explains that he is worried about Northstar. Rictor joins them, and interrupts their squabbling, telling them a customer gave him some booze and he wants them to join him. Shortly, the trio are on the cinema rooftop, Northstar is enjoying the expensive champagne, before he flies up towards the sky. Rictor and Iceman discuss Northstar, they think he will be okay, and vow to watch over him. Elsewhere, Moneta enters a coffee shop – and is attacked by followers of En Sabah Nur. Northstar returns to the rooftop, memories beginning to emerge, he confesses to being plauged by some sort of phantom limb, as if something – or someone – was missing from him. Northstar begins to cry, engulfed by pain. Iceman and Rictor are there to support him, when a series of what appears to be fireworks errupts overhead. Iceman looks down from the rooftop to see Jubilee, who has started several fires below and is carrying a baseball bat as she announces that she remembered she has a kid, and is going to burn this situation to the ground. Northstar suddenly remembers his husband, Kyle, and his twin sister, Aurora, and tells the others that it appears some very specific memories have been taken from them, suggesting to his friends that they riot.

Full Summary: 

In the run-down library, Jean-Paul Beaubier a.k.a. Northstar watches as Betsy Braddock a.k.a. Psylocke puts her hand on the hand of her teammate, Fred Dukes the Blob. 'Thank you' Betsy utters. 'Oh, it's, um -' the Blob replies, while Betsy smiles at him, he lowers his eyes and tells Betsy that she is welcome. Jean-Paul continues to watch the, before Bobby Drake a.k.a. Iceman goes over to him and asks him what is wrong. 'What?' Jean-Paul asks. Bobby tells him that he has got this expression on his face like he just stepped in dog $#%&. 'I mean, more so than usual' Bobby jokes. Jean-Paul motions to Betsy and the Blob and asks Bobby when they got so friendly, as Betsy and the Blob prepare some handcuffs to place on their teammate, Moneta. Blob places the cuffs on Moneta, while Betsy readies her psychic sword, and Jubilee checks on some of the unconscious mutants who lay nearby. 'Fred and Betsy? You feeling okay, Jean-Paul? Maybe you have a fever' Bobby replies, reaching fore Jean-Paul's face, butb Jean-Paul pulls away and tells Bobby 'Stopl. I know what I saw'.

Jean-Paul informs Bobby that Betsy put her hand on Fred's arm, to which Bobby asks what is wrong with that. 'It's intimate!' Jean-Paul snaps. 'Is it?' Bobby asks, smiling as he puts his own hand onto Jean-Paul's arm. '... yes' Jean-Paul responds as he scowls at Bobby, then pulls away and tells him not to touch him. 'Whoa! Okay! See ya Monday, JP!' Bobby calls out after Northstar, who speeds away.

Northstar takes to the sky, 'Don't listen to what anyone else tells you' Jean-Paul thinks to himself, boasting that he is the fastest mutant who has ever lived – capable of traveling at light speed – but he simply chooses not to, because the strain on his body would be fatal. He flies up above the clouds, and knows that if he wished to he could travel so fast that it robs the breath from his lungs, destroying everything in his wake – and killing him. Tears form in Jean-Paul's eyes, and he suddenly stops flying, he begins to free-fall back to the Earth. 'If I wished to do so...' Jean-Paul thinks to himself, falling closer and closer to the streeet below – where civilians look up and see him falling – until, at the last second, Northstar corrects his fall and flies upwards, away from impending doom. '... I could know what it feels like to outrun eternity. It would be the last thing I ever feel' Northstar knows.

Northstar gasps as he sits up in bed, light streaming into his darkened room and falling across him, as he wonders if it would be worth it.

Monday morning, Jean-paul plays a game of squash, goes for a stroll downtown – and then arrives at Department X headquarters, carrying a newspaper underarm – and to his surprise, he sees Moneta sitting at her desk. 'You're here?' Jean-Paul asks. A wide-eyed, grinning Moneta turns from her desk and looks at Northstar, asking why she wouldn't be here. 'I... I see. And never mind – you're just...nhere very early is all' Northstar explains, informing her that he is almost always the first to arrive in the mornings.

Jean-Paul looks down at Moneta., 'When one can almost but not quite remember something' he thinks tro himself. Sitting at his desk, drinking some coffee and looking up from his newspaper, Jean-Paul wonders how much they took from Moneta, and whether she feels an itch in her thoughts – a psychic scab where all of her memories used to be?

'OMIGOSH!' Iceman suddenly shouts as he rushes into the office, knocking Jean-Paul and causing him to spill his coffee all over himself. Jean-Paul sighs, as Bobby goes over to Moneta: 'Hi, shiny new co-worker!' he exclaims. 'My name's Bob-bee. Bahhhh-bee -' Bobby begins, speaking very slowly and leaning over Moneta's desk. 'BOBBY!' Jean-Paul snaps as he  wipes up the spilt coffee. 'Hiiii Jean-Paul' Bobby smiles, walking over to Jean-Paul, who quietly tells him that Moneta still knows who he is, that they didn't reset her. Bobby sighs, 'I know, I know. Union rules' he replies. Jean-Paul tells Bobby to stop compromising Moneta's reconditioning by acting like an idiot. 'You're in a mood' Bobby replies. Jean-Paul turns and glares at Bobby. 'Your sweater is stupid' Jean-Paul replies, before he turns away. 'Aw, I like it' Bobby responds. 'You look like a cartoon hot dog' Jean-Paul snaps. Bobby then laughs and pulls his sweater up off his body, revealing his toned chest and abs underneath. '... better?' Bobby smiles.

'Mornin' folks' the Blob calls out as he and Betsy enter the office. 'Beautiful day out there, huh?' Blob smiles, before Betsy apologizes that they are late, and explains they decided to walk to work this morning. Northstar doesn't look up from his desk as he writes some notes on paper, while the Blob informs his team that there are two places to investigate today. 'That's exciting' he remarks, before reporting that there is a residence a few miles south of the city and a movie theater – the old Priteca Theater downtown. Suddenly, Jean-Paul looks up 'What?' he asks. 'The Priteca Theater downtown. It's the one w-' the Blob begins, to which Jean-Paul interrupts him and declares that he will go. The Blob decides that that is a good idea and points out that they will be more efficient if they split up. He states that he and Betsy will check out the residence – and it will be a long ride – so they should hit the road pretty soon – while Jean-Paul and Bobby go to the theater. 'No. He'll just slow me down. I go alone' Jean-Paul declares as he speeds off.

Arriving at the deserted and run-down theater six seconds later, Jean-Paul tells himself to breathe deep and not to think. He enters the theater lobby, and is about to walk into one of the cinemas, when a voice calls out 'Jean-Paul!' and a young man with brown hair carrying a large tub of popcorn walks over to him. 'It's weird seeing you on a weekday. You here for the matinee?' the young man asks, smiling, he informs Jean-Paul that he just started the projector. 'Hello, Rictor' Jean-Paul responds, while once again urging himself not to think.

Back at Department X headquarters, Bobby sighs as he stacks various stationery items on top of one another. He looks over to Moneta and asks her if she is fine and doesn't need him for anything here. 'I -' Moneta begins, 'Cool, bye!' Bobby responds as he lets go of the stationery, which clatters to his desk, then speeds out of the office on an ice-slide. 'I – I...' Moneta starts to reply, before looking at her fingers which become like tendrils. She can almost, but not quite, remember. Suddenly, she plunges her fingers into her head and screams. What if you had a mutant ability that meant you could recall what you'd been made to forget?

Back at the historic Priteca Theater, Jean-Paul and Rictor step into a large theater, which is mostly empty save for a few mutants, and some couples, including two who are kissing. 'Why are you looking at me like that? If you want to sit next to me, then just sit next to me' Rictor tells Jean-Paul, who suggests that they talk. 'I revoke my invitation, then' Rictor replies. 'You – ugh. No, I mean we need to talk' Jean-Paul remarks. 'So talk' Rictor tells him as they walk past the couple who are kissing. Rictor smacks the man in the back of the head, and the man and woman look up at Jean-Paul, 'Sorry, JP' the man remarks, before Jean-Paul and Rictor take their seats, and looking up at the cinema screen, Rictor asks Jean-Paul if he has seen this one, adding that there is no plot. 'They know, Ric. I'm here to take you in' Jean-Paul reports. 'No. you won't' Rictor smiles. Jean-Paul informs Rictor that he has been flagged for review, that it is only a matter of time before the whole team comes in to shut this place down. 'You're lucky I came alone first' Jean-Paul adds. 'Shhhhh!' a mutant sitting several rows behind them snaps.

'You dare shush me during a silent film?' Northstar responds, turning to the other mutant, while Rictor eats some popcorn, before turning to Northstar and tells him that he doesn't have to lie to him about coming alone. 'What. Did you tell the twink to just wait in the car or something?' Rictor asks. 'The wh-?' Northstar begins to reply, when suddenly, he spins around as the theater door opens and Bobby entes. Northstar narrows his eyes, then flies to the back of the room, forcing Bobby back out of the cinema, 'What are you doing here?' he shouts. 'Helping?' Bobby asks. 'Me? No. Beacause I didn't want you here' Northstar reminds Bobby, before asking him why he can't ever leave him alone. 'You act like a lost puppy clinging to my heels. It's pathetic!' Northstar exclaims. Bobby pulls away from Northstar and tells him he has some ego, before asking him if it ever crossed his mind that he might just be worried about him. 'I know you're not okay. I can tell!' Bobby exclaims, adding that he knows Northstar, and knows he won't talk about it, so all he can do is be around for when he does decide he needs someone.

'And you think it'd be you?' Northstar asks, to which Bobby tells him that even if he thinks he is annoying, he is still just trying to help. Rictor gets up from his seat in the cinema and walks out into the foyer. 'Hey, Iceman. Been a minute. Do you guys drink?' Rictor asks. '... why?' Northstar asks. Rictor informs him that a customer gave him a whole case of bougie booze and he is not going to drink it by himself – and he is trying to do something nice right now. 'Don't act like a $#%& about it' Rictor adds. 'Don't take it personally. He just is a $#%&' Bobby smirks, before Northstar asks what kind of booze it is.

Shortly, on the theater rooftop, Jean-Paul knocks back his drink, while Bobby tells him to take it ewasy. 'Bobby, relax. He's fine' Rictor remarks as he adjusts a record player. 'Pah!' Jean-Paul exclaims. 'Well. Now' Bobby mutters as he looks down from the rooftop. Rictor walks over to them and hands Bobby a bottle, 'You're both wound so tightly that I'm concerned for your rectums' Rictor tells them. 'What?' Jean-Paul asks. 'Haha. What?' Rictor responds. 'To gifted champagne worth $15K a bottle' Rictor remarks as he, Bobby and Jean-Paul clink their bottles together. 'To playing hooky!' Bobby exclaims. 'Pft. A votre sante' Jean-Pau tells them. 'Cheers' Bobby and Rictor replies, before Jean-Paul drinks some more of his champagne and takes flight. Rictor starts to call out to him, but Bobby tells him that Jean-Paul is fine. 'He's really %$#&^&$ not' Bobby frowns. 'No, but he's going to be' Rictor remarks, adding that Bobby doesn't have to babysit him alone now. 'We've got this'.

Elsewhere, Murshid En Sabah Nur is in a coffee shop with over a dozen followers, who all turn as someone else enters – it's Moneta. She looks back at them, and a moment later, finds herself attacked by them all.

Jean-Paul thinks to himself that, sometimes, careening can be beautiful – or free-falling, spiraling, whatever anyone wants to call this descent. There is just a strange relief that can only be found in breathlessly hurtling toward an end – no matter how reckless. Jean-Paul realizes that this is what he has always loved about skiing: controlling a direction as he plummets down a slope. Steering, despite careening. He remembers smirking as he sped down a snow-covered slope.

Shortly, Jean-Paul has returned to the cinema rooftop, and sits at the end of an old sofa. Bobby sits next to him, and Rictor lies across the sofa, resting his head on Bobby's leg. Bobby laughs as he tells Jean-Paul that he can't believe that is why he calls Moneta “Bibitte. 'Ah, okay, okay, shhhh. Not so loud. We're gonna wake the baby' Bobby jokes. 'Don't shush me. I don't like that' Jean-Paul snaps as he drinks some more champagne from his bottle. 'Do you miss it?' Bobby asks. 'What, drinking? Oui' Jean-Paul admits. 'Skiing. Being an Olympic athlete. The Olympics. Anything! Do you miss it?' Bobby clarifies. 'Oui' Jean-Paul responds while wiping his mouth, before remarking that there is more, he just can't remember. 'I've been having a lot of trouble with my memories' he explains. 'I'm listening' Bobby replies.

Jean-Paul looks at Bobby and asks him if he ever feels like a ghost, like he is the one doing the haunting. 'Because I've felt – I feel... haunted by someone' he admits, adding that he doesn't know who he us, but he just feels the lack of him, like a phantom limb. 'Is it me? Am I haunted by the man I used to be?' Jean-Paul wonders. 'If that's the case, then why do I wake up reaching across the bed for him?' Jean-Paul asks. 'Wha'd I miss -' Rictor asks wearily as he wakes and sits up, but Bobby shushes him as Jean-Paul states that it is like muscle memory – he instinctively wakes up reaching for this unknown man, only to have his heart crushed upon finding himself alone in an empty bed again. 'So my ghost someone I knew? A man I loved?' Jean-Paul asks. 'Did he die? Why can't I remember his name?' Tears begin to well up in Jean-Paul's eyes as he admits that it hurts.

Jean-Paul quickly covers his face as he declares that he would not wish the hopeless pain of starving to death for things he doesn't understand upon his worst enemy. 'Bobby...what has been done to us? What has been taken?' Jean-Paul asks. 'It hurts so much...' his voice trails off, before Bobby pulls Jean-Paul closer and kisses his forehead. Suddenly, what appear to be fireworks light up the night sky. The three men turn and watch, with Rictor assuring the other two that he did not plan this. 'Princess Jelly Bean?' Bobby asks as he goes over to the edge of the roof and looks own to see Jubilee carrying a baseball bat down the street, lots of fire spreading around her. 'What are you doing?' Bobby calls out to her. 'Jubilee! Arretez!' Northstar exclaims. 'Um... basically, I just remembered I have a kid...' Jubilee responds, announcing that now she is going to burn this whole %$&#^&$% situation to the ground.

'You can try to stop me, but honestly, I don't recommend it!' Jubilee calls out. 'What's the bat for?' Rictor asks. 'For funnies, Ric' Jubilee tells him.

'Fair enough' Rictor replies. Jean-Paul looks at his hands, and Bobby calls out to him. 'Kyle' Jean-Paul utters, looking up. 'Bob-bee. Bahhhh-be-' Bobby begins to reply, as Jean-Paul interrupts him and explains that his ghost is Kyle. 'I just remembered' he explains, revealing that Kyle is not a ghost – he is his husband. 'Yup! His name's Kyle Jinadu Beaubier! I was at your wedding!' Jubilee calls out. 'So was Bobby. Now that I'm remembering everything' Jean-Paul smiles, adding that he has a twin sister – Aurora, and points out that it seems some very specific memories have been taken away from them. 'Sure does' Jubilee agrees, holding the baseball bat.

Bobby switches to his ice form, Jean-Paul rises up into the air and Rictor readies a surge of energy as Jean-Paul declares that a “mutant paradise” that removes who they love and how from their minds before granting them entry is no paradise at all – and then he suggests that they riot, causing Bobby and Rictor to smile.

Characters Involved: 

Blob, Iceman, Jubilee, Moneta, Northstar, Psylocke (all Department X)



En Sabah Nur


Unidentified mutants

Story Notes: 

First appearance of Rictor in the Age of X-Man.

Northstar and Kyle were married in the neo classic Astonishing X-Men (3rd series) #51.

Written By: