Amazing X-Men (1st series) #4

Issue Date: 
June 1995
Story Title: 
Dare To Tread On Consecrated Ground

Fabian Nicieza (writer), Andy Kubert (penciler), Matt Ryan (inker), Kevin Somers and Digital Chameleon (colors), Richard Starkings and Comicraft (letters), Bob Harras (editor, editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

In Quebec the Madri Priests try to kill Bishop, but Storm comes and saves Bishop in time. Yet they now have to face an overwhelming army of the Madri. Quicksilver and Banshee sneak into the building disguised with hoods and manage to get to the center, where the one, true Jamie Madrox is held. To their surprise he doesn’t fight them, but asks to be killed as this would leave the Madri soulless shells. The two X-Men do not want to kill an innocent victim, and wonder what to do as Abyss appears out of the shadows. He taunts them and starts a fight, and sacrificing his own life Banshee flies into the void within Abyss to tear him apart from the inside out with his sonic scream at full force. Quicksilver grabs Jamie and manages to outrun the resulting shockwave, and Madrox repeats that he needs to die for the sake of Storm and Bishop who are about to be defeated. Jamie shuts the dupes off and the process strains him so much that he too dies. Storm, Quicksilver and Bishop return to Westchester to find the other X-Teams have returned as well. Colossus and Shadowcat successfully retrieved little Illyana though at the cost of their charges in Generation Next, and Nightcrawler convinced Destiny to come along as per Magneto’s request. In the sewers beneath the mansion Dazzler and Exodus find Gambit, Lila Cheney and Jubilee who inform the others that the M’Kraan Crystal shard and baby Charles were stolen by Guido who betrayed their team. After some deliberation the X-Men prepare to save Magneto and face Apocalypse for the last time.

Full Summary: 

In what used to be Quebec, the Madri Priests are holding a ceremony for the death of Bishop. The Madri Priests are chanting a song of cleansing for Bishop. They tell him that his words of another reality where Apocalypse does not rule is poison and he must die so that his poisonous words do not affect anyone else. One of the priests takes a knife and slices part of Bishop’s arm allowing his blood to trickle into a mug. The Madri Priests take turn sipping from the cup. And they tell Bishop, who is hanging upside down in restraints, that although the Shadow King was expelled from his body, he still was able to glimpse part of the other reality and they will not allow it, so the “gene-traitor Bishop must die”! The Madri also say that the blood, which they are sipping from, was once tainted but now by virtue of their whispered song it is pure and clean. One of the Madri begins to pour what is left of the blood from the cup onto Bishop’s head.

Storm has different plans though and before the blood reaches Bishop’s skin the Madri are surprised to see it freeze in mid air and they wonder where the cold air is coming from. Looking up, they see Storm just in time to be blown back by a hurricane she creates, giving her enough time to try less flamboyant methods. Bishop is surprised to see Storm pull lockpicks from her side, as she notices his surprise, she asks Bishop if the Storm from his timeline ever forgot the training she was given in Cairo as an orphan. After those words, she is able to pick the lock on his chains and frees Bishop. Bishop tells her that there is not much of a difference between her and the Storm from his reality. Leaning on Storm for support, he asks her if she came alone. Storm replies that she did not, but Banshee and Quicksilver are occupied somewhere else, and if those two fail Bishop and her will probably die as well.

Elsewhere in the sanctum in Quebec two hooded figures walk up to one of the Madri who is guarding a door with Apocalypse’s picture on it. The solo Madri asks the two if something is wrong because it is not time for the changing of the guards yet. As the word “wrong” is about to come from the Madri’s mouth he collapses, taken out by a hypersonic signal. The two hooded figures are Quicksilver and Banshee in disguise. Quicksilver comments on the job well done, but Banshee replies “Tell that to the hundred or so dogs and cats for ten miles around that would like to take a bite out of me right now”. Banshee bends down and picks up the guard‘s keys. They only have little time to save themselves, Storm, and Bishop. They open the door but to the surprise of the two mutants, who thought the person behind the door would fight them, the person begs them to kill him. Leaning against a pillar, drooling from the insanity that has taken over him and playing with a ball and blocks, the one, true Jamie Madrox is relieved that help has finally arrived to save him from Apocalypse. Banshee, shocked and sad for Jamie, tells Quicksilver of how he had heard that Sinister and the Beast had mutated Jamie’s body to exceed his normal duping abilities but he had never thought they would leave Jamie helpless and crippled like this. Looking with sadness at Jamie, Banshee wonders aloud to Quicksilver if either of them have the power now to kill Jamie like they were going to do before.

Back at the remains of the Xavier estate in Westchester County, Blink teleports her team back to the grounds of the estate. As soon as they hit the ground, Rogue orders Sabretooth to sniff around and find out what has happened to her son and husband. Sabretooth smells the air and notices the sent of both Magneto and Apocalypse and he tells Rogue that the scents are cold so the fight has been over for quite some time. As Sabretooth sniffs the air again he can smell the presence of Shadowcat, Colossus, and a kid as well. Rogue, hoping it is Charles, speaks his name, but Colossus tells her “no” that it is his long lost sister Illyana. Colossus then informs the team of how great a price they had to pay for saving her in the sacrificing of all the Generation Next team. Blink, with her hands to her mouth in shock, blames herself for not being with the younger students. Morph tries to comfort her, telling her that the X-Men needed her with them and they still do. Rogue reaches out to comfort Shadowcat but she just shrugs her off and tells her that there is no use crying over the dead when they still need to worry about the living that need to be saved. Rogue asks if Shadowcat has seen Charles or Quicksilver, but Kate replies that the base was empty when they showed up, but Quicksilver left a note saying that Exodus and Dazzler went to the sewers to find Charles, and the rest of the team went to Quebec to save Bishop. With that said Rogue commands Sabretooth to follow her and they head to the Morlock tunnels to find any sign of Charles or the two X-Men.

As Sabretooth opens the hatch to the sewers Rogue asks him to try to pick up anybody’s scent. He informs her that he does not need to, because someone is heading towards them. As another doorway opens in front of them they can see Dazzler lighting the way but she notices no one has Charles, though the X-Men have found somebody else - Gambit, Lila Cheney, and Jubilee are with them. Exodus informs Rogue that they could not find the baby but the X-Ternals know where he is. As Rogue punches Gambit through the sewer walls and into the air she asks him where her son Charles is. Gambit lies on the ground not moving, and tells her that he had Charles but for Charles’ own safety he had to let him go! Rogue flies to punch Gambit, but before she does, she asks him who took her baby and where he was taken to, threatening that if he is lying or his explanations are not good enough she will kill him.

Back in Quebec, Storm and Bishop fight off the Madri but get cornered. In the enclosed environment Storm’s abilities are hampered and Bishop is getting tired. Storm wonders aloud what is taking Quicksilver and Banshee so long. Elsewhere in the tabernacle, Jamie begs the two X-Men to kill him quickly. He tells the two that they have no choice because if they kill him, his dupes will be left just empty soulless shells. Leaning over Madrox and holding his own head Quicksilver wonders how they can justify killing Madrox when he is just as much a victim in all this as they are. Banshee tries to reason with Quicksilver by telling him that one life being sacrificed to kill all of Madrox’s dupes might be worth it.

Abyss appears, squeezing himself between the bricks of the wall. He asks the two X-Men if they feel like they are sinking deeper into their own Abyss because of the moral dilemma they now face. Quicksilver grabs Jamie and pulls him behind him in order to protect him from Abyss‘ tendrils. Quicksilver tells Abyss that he has defeated the mad man once and he can do it again if he needs to. Abyss informs the two that Bishop and Quicksilver’s love Storm are about to die. Surprised that Abyss knows of his feelings for Ororo, Quicksilver asks him how he knows that they are in danger. Abyss explains that he knows everything that is in the deepest darkest part of everyone’s minds. For example, he tells Quicksilver, that he knows what is in Banshee’s mind; that Banshee is afraid of dying, living, and everything in between. In his own defense Banshee tells Abyss to show him a man without fear and that he would call that man a fool. Abyss informs the two that Bishop and Storm are about five minutes from dying and in Vegas odds that means they are dead.

Banshee flies behind Abyss and tries to hurt him by sending sonic shocks to his body. Banshee, extremely ticked off, tells Abyss that the “coward” will stop Abyss. As Banshee flies from every angle hitting Abyss with sonic waves he tells Abyss that he would sacrifice himself to save this world because he hates what it has become and he longs to see it become a better place for everyone to live. Quicksilver begs Banshee not to sacrifice himself as the X-Men and most importantly Quicksilver need him. Banshee orders Quicksilver to take Madrox and leave. “Blah, Blah, Blah!” Abyss says to Banshee, “ya gonna talk me to death, or what?“, he taunts. Banshee tells the villain that if he was not alive it would at least improve the world a little. So as he flies into Abyss’ open cavity in his chest he lets out a scream that even Quicksilver has never heard, loud enough and long enough, to rip Abyss apart from the inside out.

Banshee was right to tell Quicksilver to run because the resulting shockwave would have killed him as well, if Quicksilver was not the fastest man alive. Although the resulting shockwave knocks half of the tabernacle down and Quicksilver is able to save himself and Madrox it still can not save him from the heartache of losing a man that had been like a brother to him. Quicksilver lays Jamie on the ground and he tells Jamie that he will go back in to try to save Storm and Bishop and he will not kill him. Jamie whispers “no”; that he knows Quicksilver is to good of a person to take his life. Then, as Storm and Bishop are shown fighting for their lives, Jamie asks if Quicksilver loves Storm and if he needs Bishop. Quicksilver answers him yes to both questions. Jamie explains that he has the ability to turn off the dupes but it will take so much of his energy he will probably die. Quicksilver begs Jamie to not sacrifice himself like Banshee, as he can not lose another good man.

Meanwhile, Bishop and Storm are fighting the dupes and about to be defeated. Suddenly the Madri all stop and their eyes seem so lifeless like their bodies have become just empty shells. Storm and Bishop wonder what has happened. Outside, Quicksilver screams for Jamie too not die, but it is too late, another life is lost in the fight against Apocalypse. Minutes later, Storm and Bishop appear from the building and Storm thanks the bright lady that Quicksilver is still alive. She asks where Banshee is and Quicksilver hugs her saying how Banshee had sacrificed himself to save all of them. Bishop asks who the person dead on the ground is and Quicksilver explains to them that he is Jamie Madrox another hero who sacrificed himself to save them all. Quicksilver and the other two begin walking towards the Ark so they can go to where the other X-Men are. While they walk Quicksilver talks of how he is tired of seeing death and he swears he will make the Earth a better place where people do not have to suffer.

At the Xavier estate Rogue stands over Gambit as he rubs his sore jaw. She asks him why he would allow Guido to take Charles away from him. Remy informs Rogue that Guido was the only one who could save Charles from the mess they were in at the time. Exodus and Dazzler hold Rogue back and Dazzler tries to reason with Rogue that at least they know Charles is alive and they can try to save him. Rogue, unable to control her emotions, cries into her hands saying how Apocalypse has stolen her husband and now her son and she does not know what to do.

Right then, Nightcrawler teleports in with Destiny and he tells her that they will do what Magneto would want them to do. Colossus somberly says that it seems that oddly all of Magneto’s plans are turning out to be working and Nightcrawler asks where Bishop is. Iceman notices the Ark coming towards the estate and he tells Nightcrawler to cross what few fingers he has and hope that the answer is about to arrive. When the Ark reaches the land the three mutants walk out of the ship. Rogue tells Quicksilver that they have not gotten his father or brother back yet and Quicksilver tells her that they soon will. Sabretooth states that everyone but Gambit has done their job, no big surprise to him he says, but he asks what they should do next. Quicksilver tells him that they have to retrieve the piece of the M’Kraan crystal, and save his father and his brother. Very dramatically Quicksilver states that after they do all that, they do what they have always done - they will sacrifice all to make sure that this will be the day Apocalypse falls.

Characters Involved: 

Banshee, Blink, Dazzler, Exodus, Iceman, Morph, Rogue, Sabretooth, Storm, Quicksilver, Wildchild (all X-Men)


Colossus, Shadowcat (both Generation Next)

Illyana Rasputin

Gambit, Jubilee, Lila Cheney (all X-Ternals)

Destiny, Nightcrawler (both X-Calibre)

Jamie Madrox
The Madri


Story Notes: 

In the main Marvel Universe Jamie Madrox’s ability to create duplicates of himself was limited to ca. forty dupes.

Apparently the writers forgot about Sunfire, who was still with Rogue's team in Astonishing X-men #4, but does not return to the mansion.

The students of Colossus and Shadowcat died in Generation Next #4.

Baby Charles was captured by Guido along with the M’Kraan crystal shard in Gambit and the X-Ternals #4.

The story continues in X-Men Omega.

Issue Information: 
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