All-New X-Factor #4

Issue Date: 
May 2014
Story Title: 

Peter David (writer), Carmine di Giandomenico (artist), Rachelle Rosenberg (colorist), VC’s Cory Petit (letterer), Kris Anka & Jared Fletcher (cover artists), Manny Mederos (production design), Jordan D. White (editor), Axel Alonso (editor in chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

Though now freed, the incensed robot known as Danger vows to kill all who stand before her, including X-Factor. Her main target of interest is Nil, who has held her prisoner for weeks. Gambit and the rest of X-Factor do their best to stop her, all the while trying to convince her that they are her friends, a fact she does not seem to be able to remember. Worse, armed with her hard light construction powers, her ability to control machines (such as X-Factor’s Raptor jet) and the capability of reconstituting herself after being destroyed, X-Factor finds that Danger is too powerful. One the verge of being killed, Gambit tries the only thing of which he can think and kisses Danger on her mouth. Stunned by the action, Danger is somehow able to regain access to her memories, ending the conflict. After Nil returns the money stolen from Serval, X-Factor is on their way back to the States, accompanied by Danger. When she remarks that she has nowhere to go, Gambit surprises team leader Polaris by offering her a position with X-Factor.

Full Summary: 

Amidst the ruins of the machinery that was once her prison, the robot Danger crackles with both rage and electrical energy. Well aware of the danger posed by the technological energy from the robot of the same name, Gambit haltingly asks her to calm down. Calm down? Danger mechanically repeats. Yes, that’s what she needs ta do right now, he replies. He knows how upset she is with Nil. And he can’t blame her. He’s a total rotter. Nil begins to object to his characterization, but Gambit emphatically tells him to shut up.

He will die, Danger proclaims. They will all die. To this, Gambit rejoins that he doesn’t see that as necessary. They need to sit down and… Gambit’s words are interrupted by a Danger’s fist, which detaches from her right arm and grabs him by the throat and propels him backwards. Though being choked, Gambit tries to reason with his former teammate, remarking about everything they’ve been through together… Coldly, Danger replies that she’s never seen him before in her life.

Eventually, the hand releases its grip on Gambit, depositing him unceremoniously to the ground some distance below. As her appendage returns to her, Danger announces that she’ll kill them later. Now she must turn her attention to… Looking around, Danger suddenly realizes that her real quarry, Nil, has disappeared. Possibly to no one in particular, she questions that it’s that way is it? Fine. Let them him run. He won’t get far.

An expanding distance away, Nil runs for his life, glancing over his shoulder for the death which must surely follow. Suddenly, he runs into Jean Luc, who asks what’s the problem? Nil orders Jean Luc out of the way, but Jean Luc repeats his question, grabbing Nil by the arm until he responds. With no choice, Nil takes the time to explain that he has to get to his sanctum. His place of power. He has to regain control over it. Asked if this has to do with whatever it is that Remy is worried about, Nil replies that he could definitely say that. Still unaware of the gravity of the situation, Jean Luc begins to try to reason with Nil, but is distracted as the building begins to shake around them, following the by the crackle of energy.

Desperate, Nil orders Jean Luc out of his way, but it is too late. The entire facility seems to explode around them, and a moment later the only ceiling above is the sky. With no obstacle between her and her quarry, Danger floats down, only to find Jean Luc cowering before her. When the female robot demands to know where he is, Jean Luc responds by noting that he doesn’t believe they’ve been introduced. He’s Jean-Luc and she is… She is his death, Danger responds coldly.

Before she can act next, a charged playing card is hurled by her face and explodes, knocking her off her feet. Positioning himself between Jean Luc and Danger, Gambit orders his father to get out! Off the island, if he can. Jean Luc begins to object that he can’t leave him, but Gambit interrupts that he can. Now! That’s an order from his chief! This time accepting the order, Jean Luc confirms and flees, leaving Gambit to face Danger.

Placing together two fighting sticks and forming a fighting staff, which crackles with energy, Gambit orders Danger to listen: she has to remember! Nil did something to her memory, but… Back on her feet, Danger interrupts. She remembers all she needs. She remembers that she must kill him… With that, Danger launches herself at Gambit, only to finds him gone by the time she gets to where he was standing less than a moment before.

Being carried away at high speed by Quicksilver, Gambit demands to know why he did that. In reply, Quicksilver quips that he thought Gambit might be interested in living another day. Was he wrong? Well, no, Gambit sheepishly replies. But… No buts, Quicksilver interrupts. He saved his life. Just shut up and live with that. A “thank you” would be nice, though. Yeah, like that’ll happen, Gambit replies. Coming to a stop and taking a moment to get his bearings, Gambit remarks that Danger could tear the island apart looking for Nil. They have to get her to remember who she is… And he’s sure that will stop her? Quicksilver asks. No, actually, Gambit replies, but it’s pretty much all they’ve got. Because he doesn’t think Nil is going to be much help.

Elsewhere, in his sanctum, Nil operates the machinery which comprises his “place of power.” Talking to himself in his desperation, he tells himself that he just needs to reestablish the control sphere. If he can fashion another out of… Nil’s words turn to a curse as the wall explodes behind him, revealing the rage-filled Danger, who electronically mutters “finally.”

Immediately, Nil attempts to flee, only to find another Danger standing in his way. He’s going nowhere, the robot tells him. Nil darts another direction, only to find yet another enraged robot before him. Now he begins to see how she felt, this model continues. What it’s like to be imprisoned. She has strong feelings about that, although she’s not sure why. He can tell her why, Nil pleads. He can give her back her memory. She’s no need of it, she replies. She likes the way she is. She doesn’t know the way she is, Nil counters. She doesn’t know anything! She knows what she needs to know. She knows that now he dies.

With that, Danger raises her left hand, which glows brighter and brighter with deadly energy. All three Danger forms fire simultaneously, only for each to miss their intended target and hit each other. Seeing that Nil has disappeared like quicksilver, Danger rages that that’s enough of that!

Elsewhere, Quicksilver orders Nil to stop moving around. He’s making it hard to hold on. Nil begins to apologize but he has no time. In the path of him and Quicksilver, the ground breaks apart as a gigantic Sentinel erupts from below. As quick as the Sentinel is, it is no match for Quicksilver, who evades its grasp. As more Sentinels appear from below, Nil asks what’s happening. In reply, Quicksilver explains that Danger is generating hard light holograms. Makes it hard to tell what’s real and what’s… Almost in punctuation, the truss bridge over which they were racing dissipates, the hard light of which it was composed no longer being projected.

Gravity immediately takes hold and the two plunge into the open cavern… for a moment. Much to their surprise and the rage of Danger, the two are held aloft via the magnetic powers of Polaris, who hovers nearby. She slapped her around pretty good when she wasn’t expecting it, Polaris tells Danger. Care to take a shot when she’s ready? Happily! Danger replies, firing with the blasters from both hands. Deflecting the blasts with a magnetic shield, Polaris remarks that “happily” is an odd word choice for an unemotional being such as her. Maybe she’s got more going on in her head than she realizes. By the way, Polaris then adds, in case she wasn’t paying attention… last time she checked… Danger is Metal. And metal is kind of her thing.

With that, Polaris magnetically repulses the robot once and then again. As she then begins to tear Danger apart from inside, she informs her that she has one and only one chance to surrender. Never! Danger proclaims. Her call, Polaris grimaces. From behind Gambit tells Lorna to wait, only to receive a simple “no.” A moment later, the body of Danger is no more, her mechanical form shattered with a magnetic gesture into a thousand directions at once.

Dumbfounded, Gambit demands from Polaris who could she do that. Wasn’t hard, Polaris replies simply. Marshalled the magnetic force to… Interrupting, Gambit tells her he doesn’t mean the mechanics! That was Danger! To this, Polaris replies that that was a robot trying to kill them. She’s more than a robot, he emphatically rejoins. Look, Polaris begins, she doesn’t’ know what sort of relationship he may have had with her, but again: trying to kill them. And by the way, she wasn’t really alive. Arms wide in expression, Gambit counters that she’s more alive than some people he knows. Asked what that’s supposed to mean, Gambit replies that he thinks she knows exactly.

The two continue to bicker, but are interrupted by a wide-eyed Quicksilver, who directs their attention upward and asks what their plan is doing there. Polaris replies that she hasn’t the faintest idea, but Gambit has a sobering thought, which he voices by noting that Danger can inhabit machinery, can’t she? A moment later, the Raptor opens fire, causing the area around the group to erupt in explosions.

As Quicksilver drags Nil out of range and Gambit does his best to dodge, Polaris takes to the sky, announcing that she’s going to shut down the guns. Left below, Gambit watches as various pieces of metal and machinery begin to coalesce into a new body for Danger. All right, her new voice-box begins, she’s had enough of this and enough of him.

Once again, Gambit attempts to reason with Danger, telling her that she shouldn’t want to hurt him. They worked together. He thought they even formed a bit of a bond. Whatever he thought, he thought wrong, she replies. Ignoring her, Gambit continues. When Nil captured her, he did something ta her mind. But she can shake it off. He knows she… He’s done, Danger interrupts. Wrong, Gambit disagrees. Just getting started.

Leaping toward her floating form, Gambit tells her she has to listen to her. As he flips over her, grabbing her neck by his bo staff in order to flip her whole form, Danger informs him that he’s wrong. She also tells him that that’s not her. With that, her hard light body dissipates, leaving Gambit with nothing between him and the ground. As he returns to his feet, Gambit silently notes that she didn’t kill him, though. Didn’t even try. For all that she says, she doesn’t remember him, some part of her must. He has to believe that. He has ta believe that he can still get through ta her before she wrecks the whole island.

A distance away at the port, Quicksilver asks Jean Luc if everyone present is everyone on the island. Save for him and his friends, Jean Luc confirms. Don’t worry about them, Quicksilver tells him. They have to battle Danger to keep her distracted while he gets away. When a gigantic robot tentacle erupts from the water, Quicksilver laments “so much for that idea.” He has only a moment to yell for everyone to get out of the boat before the tentacle smashes it to driftwood. A moment later, the tentacle dissipates, replaced by the floating body of Danger, who announces to Nil that, finally, it’s the end of him! She’s coming for him, she tells him. And nothing’s going to save him n…

A voice interrupts Danger’s rant. She blew him apart once, Polaris announces. And she’ll keep doing it until it takes! Is that how she thinks it will end, Danger inquires. She’s wrong. Completely wrong. Before the two can come to blows, however, a third voice announces that that’s enough. There’s no need for any of this, Magneto announces. Shocked at the presence of her father, Polaris is distracted. Unfortunately for her, this was just the plan of Danger, who created the hard light illusion of Magneto. Pressing her foe’s distraction with a crippling energy blast, Danger explains that she has tactical records on all of them. She knows their strengths and weaknesses. And she knows how to distract them just long enough to stop them. Promising to dispose of them in a moment, Danger declares that first she will do so of her captor.

Quicksilver moves to grab Nil, but Nil tells him no. He’s run enough from her. If disposing of him is what it takes to render the island safe, then maybe it’s worth it. He’s lived for 150 years. Perhaps enough is enough. Speaking now to Danger, his arms wide open in supplication, Nil tells her to do what she will. He gives up. Good, Danger scowls. She shall make this quick. Before the blast comes, however, Gambit launches himself at Danger from her side. Danger mocks “not again,” to which confirms yes again. And as many times as it takes. All right, she rejoins. If he has such a great desire to die, then she shall attend to it now!

To her surprise, Gambit kisses her, the only action of which he could think. Though they’ve never had any sort of romantic connection, doubtless impossible what with her being the living incarnation of the Danger Room, he can’t help but think it seems the right thing to do. For the next few moments, Danger floats motionless, as Gambit’s lips of flesh are pressed against her metal ones. Watching below, Polaris and Nil are speechless, but Quicksilver has enough of a presence of mind to admit that he wasn’t expecting that.

A moment later, the kiss is broken and Danger looks upon Gambit with recognition. When she speaks his name, he confirms it. She then glances around and asks what is she doing there. Below, Nil begins to remind her, only to be told to shut up by Quicksilver, which Nil immediately realizes is a good idea.

In the next few hours, Nil is easily convinced to transfer the money he stole from Serval back to where he took it. Afterward, X-Factor is on its way back home in the Raptor, with Danger as a passenger. Taking stock of her situation, she informs the team that her mind was so scattered. What he did to her… it is all bits and pieces. No clear memories. That might be for the best, Gambit notes. Considering him, Danger apologizes for trying to kill him. It’s no problem, he replies. Some of his best friends have tried to kill him. A short distance away, Polaris notes that Danger tried to kill her, but notice she’s not getting an apology.

Ignoring her Gambit asks Danger if they can drop her anywhere. Glancing away, Danger admits that she has nowhere to go, truthfully. That’s great! Gambit tells her. She can join X-Factor! Her eyebrows raised in surprise, Polaris asks she can what?

Characters Involved: 

Gambit, Polaris, Quicksilver (all X-Factor)

Jean Luc
Thieves’ Guild island residents

(hard light constructs)


Story Notes: 

Danger indeed has strong feelings about captivity, as she was for years technically held captive as a mechanical slave by Professor X after she became self-aware as part of the Danger Room’s programming. [Astonishing X-Men #7-12]


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