All-New X-Men (1st series) #39

Issue Date: 
April 2015
Story Title: 
The Black Vortex – chapter 5

Brian Michael Bendis (writer), Andrea Sorrentino (artist), Marcelo Maiolo (colorists), VC’s Cory Petit (letterer), Andrea Sorrentino & Marcelo Maiolo (cover artists), Xander Jarowey (assistant editor), Mike Marts (editor), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

X-23 awakes from a nightmare to find Cyclops has rejoined them. After she and Iceman read him the riot act for abandoning the team, X-23 orders him to talk to Jean, which he does. Scott and Jean quickly become close again when they all meet to plan their further strategy. They decide they are not powerful enough to attack Mr. Knife directly. That moment, they get a distress call from Ma Savage’s orphanage on Spartax. The heroes split into three groups: one led by Star-Lord and Storm goes to Hala to try and recruit their cosmically-powered friends and get back the Black Vortex, one led by Kitty goes to Spartax to help Ma Savage and the smallest group led by Cyclops heads for the moon to distract the Slaughter Lords. In the meantime, the cosmically powered members attack Hala. Cyclops’ team arrives on the moon and is quickly taken prisoner by the Slaughter Lords. Luckily, Mr. Knife wants them alive. On Mr. Knife’s flying fortress, Thane has had enough and decides to leave Mr. Knife and return to his flock.

Full Summary: 

What did she think would happen? the transformed Angel, surrounded by a conflagration, asks X-23. Did she think he would love her? That he would not see what she really is? The fire begins to burn her.

X-23 awakes with a scream to find young Scott Summers sitting at her bedside. He was sure she would bounce back. He tells her she’s been through a lot. They all said it took a long time to heal. Especially for her.

Confused, she asks what he is doing here. How is he here? All very good questions, Iceman agrees. So they are all mad at him? Scott asks. For abandoning the team, Bobby points out. Scott reminds them he reunited with his dad. All he knows is Scott left them for a man with a sash, Bobby points out stubbornly.

Is this going to go on much longer? Rocket butts in. Because in that case he’d like to jump out of an airlock and accept the cold embrace of space death now. Drax decides to go right behind him. “I am Groot,” Groot agrees.

Laura asks Scott where Jean is. Avoiding him, Bobby explains. She orders Scott to make it right. He is sorry they are all mad. What did he think they would be? She snaps. Happy for him and his dad, he suggests. They can be both things, she points out. Scott follows her advice and joins Jean who is staring into space.

Mr. Knife’s flying fortress:
Where is the Black Vortex? an angry Thane demands. Mr. Knife orders him to address him with respect… or not at all. Thane ignores the demand. How will Knife hold his promises to Thane without the Black Vortex? It is being pursued, is J-son’s reply.

Invisible to everyone else, Ebony Maw whispers into Thane’s ears, suggesting ways of killing Mr. Knife. Thane announces he thinks this has gotten away from J-son and he is too arrogant to admit it. He finds his lack of faith disheartening, J-son replies. He thought they had each other’s trust. He though Mr. Knife had this under control, Thane retorts. Thane announces he will return to his flock. All of this is a mistake. Well, he is certainly making one now, J-son mutters.

His Slaughter Lords are still on the moon of Spartax looking for the Black Vortex. Czar Doon fears it was destroyed. Misa orders him to keep looking. Delphinia gets her bow ready, believing the Earthers are still there. They discuss whether it is possible that they survived and whether they would be stupid enough to face the Slaughter Lords again. After all, they are stupid enough to repeat the same mistakes over and over.

Aboard the spaceship:
Scott asks Jean if she is reading his mind. She already did. He thought she didn’t do that without permission. Yeah well, oops, she replies unapologetically. He tells her she looks great. She orders him to stop it. Everywhere she goes, she reads people’s thoughts and they are thinking these things about her and it just—

Poor her, he states sarcastically. It’s not flattering, it’s disgusting! She‘s not a thing. He points out thoughts are supposed to be private. He tells her he was trying to be nice. She does look great.

So does he, she admits. Space seems to agree with him. He misses Earth food so bad he could cry, Scott admits. They don’t owe each other anything, Jean remarks. Yes, they do, he disagrees. They share a silent look. Just because they grow up to fall in love and get married and whatever… she continues. It doesn’t mean… Yeah? he asks. Their faces are very close. She is a different person now, Jean stresses. So is he, he thinks. Their faces move closer. Before they can kiss, Hank is not sorry to interrupt, but they have a plan.

Elsewhere, Hala is burning as the three vengeful transformed heroes attack.

Back in the Guardians’ ship, Star-Lord has gathered the team to discuss the plan. They can’t just attack his dad’s flying fortress (are words he never thought he would say in a sentence). Corsair agrees they don’t have the manpower. Drax considers that unimportant. They try. They prevail! It’s math, Peter sighs. They can’t win. He hates math! Drax shouts.

Cyclops pragmatically asks what they need that they don’t have. He hates to say it but they need their crazy cosmic powered: Gamora, Beast, Angel. And they need the Black Vortex.

Cyclops announces he’ll take a small team back to the Spartax moon and distract the Slaughter Lords to give the others a headstart. “I am Groot,” Groot volunteers to join him.

Peter decides the rest will go try to find the others and talk sense to them. Corsair isn’t comfortable with Scott going down there. He’ll take a couple of the big guns with him, Scott smiles. He means him, Iceman grins. Jean volunteers to go with Star-Lord’s group. She can talk to Hank McCoy.

That moment, a distress call from Spartax reaches them. Panicked, Ma Savage shouts the orphanage is under attack.

Okay, they do that first, Peter amends. They can’t be everywhere, Drax points out darkly. Kids, Storm reminds him sternly. Kitty tells them to stick to the plan. She’ll grab a handful of the others and go down to Spartax.

Yet another distress call. Rocket takes it and grimly announces they found Gamora. The camera shows ruins in flames on Hala and Gamora amidst the conflagration. They declared war on the Kree Empire? Peter groans.

Kitty, Storm and Carol, in the meantime, divide the team. Kitty asks for a pilot and Corsair volunteers. Kitty and Peter share a last look, so do Jean and Scott while X-23 looks after Scott unnoticed.

Soon the three groups are on their way: Kitty, Corsair, X-23, Beast and Agent Venom are off to Spartax. Cyclops, Iceman and Groot are off to the moon and the rest is heading for Hala.

Cyclops’ groups lands on the moon to find the Slaughter Lords are gone. Iceman marvels at Cyclops’ new piloting skills. “I am Groot,” Groot remarks. That’s not going to get old fast, Bobby sighs. Scott tells him to be nice. Groot is a gentle soul. Of course he is, Bobby points out. He is a tree. Has he ever met a passive-aggressive tree? He missed him, Scott remarks and looks at the bracelet he is wearing which picks up energy fluctuations.

There’s something over there, he points but they see nothing. Oh no! Scott suddenly shouts as the Slaughter Lords come out of hiding and attack. Moments later, only Cyclops is still standing and soon not even him. The Slaughter Lords decide not to kill them, as Mr. Knife wants them.

Characters Involved: 

Angel, Beast, Cyclops, Iceman, Marvel Girl (original X-Men)
Kitty Pryde, Magik, X-23 (X-Men based at the New Xavier School)
Beast, Storm (X-Men based at the Jean Grey school)

Agent Venom, Captain Marvel VI, Drax, Gamora, Groot, Rocket Raccoon, Star-Lord (Guardians of the Galaxy)

Mr. Knife / J-son
Ebony Maw
Ronan the Accuser

Brother Blood, Czar Doon, Delphinia, Father Diablo, Misa (Slaughter Lords)
Ma Savage

Changed by the Black Vortex:
Angel (original)
Brother Blood, Czar Doon, Delphinia, Father Diablo, Misa (Slaughter Lords)

Story Notes: 

This is chapter 5 of the Black Vortex. It follows The Legendary Star-Lord #9. The next chapter is Guardians Team-Up #3.

Continued from All-New X-Men #38.

Written By: