Astonishing X-Men (3rd series) #32

Issue Date: 
January 2010
Story Title: 

Warren Ellis (writer), Phil Jiminez (penciler), Andy Lanning (inker), Frank D’Armata (colorist), VC’s Joe Caramagna (letterer), Daniel Ketchum (associate editor), Axel Alonso (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (Exec. Publisher)

Brief Description: 

The biological Sentinel that grew from wallflower’s form attacks both as itself and with Brood grenades. Fortunately, the team manages to beat both. Afterwards, Brand comes clean that she has been trying to clean up a mess that should be SHIELD’ responsibility. Someone has cracked Beast’s data files and is now using his knowledge to try and exterminate the few mutants still extant.

Full Summary: 

An organic Sentinel has just grown from what seemed to be Laurie Collins aka Wallflower and begins to threaten people. She can’t find a mind there, Emma Frost announces. Cyclops orders her to change to her diamond form. But it’s Laurie… she hesitates. She wouldn’t… Seeing the Sentinel reaching for her, Emma decides just in time that she might, and changes to her diamond form.

The Sentinel swats her away and Emma lands in a store window, muttering that’s not dignified at all. That’s definitely not Laurie. She taught her manners. A tear in her eye belies her flippant attitude.

Surrounded by panicking people, Cyclops orders the team to put themselves between that thing and the people. The Sentinel reaches for him and Cyclops fires an optic blast through its hand.

Only one way to deal with a Sentinel, Wolverine reminds him. Up close and with something sharp! He tries to climb up to its head but it blasts him from its chest.

Where is he going? Abby Brand asks Beast as he begins moving. To the rescue, my little fruitbat, he replies and runs toward their plane. Brand follows.

Armor catches the still smoldering Wolverine. So how’s the whole I’ll just run up the monster and be the stabby hero thing working out for him? she asks. Shaddap, tiny, he mutters annoyed.

The Sentinel points toward the running crowd and fires missiles which turn out to be Brood warriors. They have barely landed when Storm furiously shouts “Brood” and electrocutes several of them.

Inside the jet’s cockpit, Brand orders Beast to keep the hands off the merchandise. He’s trying to reach the joystick, he explains, then admits that doesn’t sound good either. He touches a button and a harpoon is shot from the jet and embeds itself in the Sentinel’s head.

“Excellent!” Henry announces and tells Brand to brace herself. All engines to max burn! The jet flies ahead and the Sentinel is dragged along into the water.

Has he finally gone completely mad? Brand demands. Hank assures his “viridian sweetheart” he went quite insane many years ago. He assumed it was one of his more attractive features.

Cyclops fires an optic blast at a Brood that is fighting Armor. When another Brood tears at his shoulder, she returns the favor by flattening it. She thinks she’s going to hurl, she announces. Doing that while armored up would be a mistake, Cyclops offers.

In the meantime, Henry is still taking the Sentinel for walkies.

Wolverine, in a berserker state, tears through as many Brood as he can get his claws on. With the last one sliced apart, he finally calms down. What was that? Hisako asks. Sleazoid he replies curtly. Been a while since he wasted one of these.

In the bay, the Sentinel is trying to blast the jet. This isn’t good, Brand worries. They’re doing fine, Beast calms her. This vessel was designed by the most expensive Japanese sadists working in engineering today. Brand asks for the weapon systems. What weapon systems? Hank points out, it’s a rescue vessel. The Sentinel fires again and he admits this is not so good. Oh, he thinks? She asks sarcastically. With engines blowing out and no weapons? He has hair growing inside his skull, doesn’t he? They don’t need weapons, his little angel of death, he points out. They have science.

The jet fires small drones at the Sentinel’s face, then retracts the grapple. Now this is the part that should have worked instantly, Beast remarks. Nothing is happening, Brand points out. Well… a large Sentinel is thinking about eating them. That counts as something happening….

Suddenly, acid from the drones eats the Sentinel’s body until its head detonates and it falls.

There, remarkably simple, Henry gloats, if one applies a little science. And if she’s in the mood for more science, perhaps a quick experiment in the back before they return to shore and the plaudits of their peers…?

Two heliocpters with red X’es on the side bring the Sentinel’s remains to the X-Men’s headquarters in Marin. Armor asks who they are. Mutants sans frontières Henry explains. He’s borrowing some of their diagnostic teams to pick over the corpse of that thing. Warren keeps a full staff even with less than two hundred mutants extant now, so his specialists have a lot of free time.

In the medbay, Emma watches Scott dress his injuries. Is he sure there is nothing she can do, she asks, apart from leer? He’s fine, he assures her. And him? Emma asks Logan who holds a can of beer. He’s got his medicine right here, he replies. Make Summers take a painkiller though, will she? He’s fine, he said, Scott replies. See, Logan continues, he and Summers they’ve been banged up about the same since they started working together. But he’s got a healing factor. Comes with some pain reduction. Makes life easier. Scott hasn’t got either which is why he’s got scars and is why he always says “I’m fine” because he can say that through gritted teeth.

He empties the can, then crunches it. So, Emma should go on and get Scott a painkiller and don’t let him tell her it’ll take his edge off. Because when he has to sit around and heal, and Summers is toughing it out and not letting on that it hurts and he’s half dead already, he’s even more of a pain in Logan’s sack than usual. His point made, he tosses the empty can into the garbage.

Those were Brood, Cyclops states. Sure were, Wolverine agrees, never thought he’d see one of them ugly bastards again. Another invasion? Scott wonders. He thought Brand and her crew were supposed to notice things like that, Logan points out. They still don’t know what she was doing today, Scott remarks.

Brand and Beast enter. She replies she was getting a strike team and a landing boat shot out from under her in the orbit of Cruithne. She explains that Cruithne is a bit of rock that follows Earth like a drunken moon. Hard for them to continually image. Which is why someone put a base inside it. She’s getting that sinking feeling, Emma starts, Brand is involved with that… biological Sentinel, isn’t she?

The thing about spacelaunch is that it’s really hard to detect, Brand continues as Storm and Armor join them. Time was a spacelaunch would register on the Richter scale. But with all the weird technology on the loose these days things got out of hand pretty fast.

Scott gets up and demands to know what she is nottalking about or he will sic Emma on her brain.

After a moment, she admits that she is out of her jurisdiction. Way out. They know the deal. SHIELD handles everything under the atmosphere. SWORD handles everything over it. She didn’t hand over anything to SHIELD. She should have done, but she didn’t. There are people on Earth who enjoy the fact that mutants are an endangered species. This isn’t new to them. Exactly how many people enjoy it might be. She doesn’t know. Do they have any idea how many people are actively trying to exterminate them right now?

Abby… Beast begins. Look, she trying, okay? she snarls. She’s trying to explain something she’s been actively trying to contain for the past four months.

She looks down as she addresses Beast. They popped the locks on his computer network and found theoretical material that’s letting them do it. She’s been trying to contain this for months. They’ve got reanimated mutants as tools and they are engineering living missiles from alien DNA and they used his theoretical work to get there. That’s what she’s been trying not to say. They are using his work to try and exterminate them.

Characters Involved: 

Armor, Beast, Cyclops, Emma Frost, Storm, Wolverine (all X-Men)

Abigail Brand (director of SWORD)

Organic Sentinel

Brood warriors

Story Notes: 

This should be Exogenetic – part two.

The X-Men are still in Marin – this takes place before Utopia.

Issue Information: 

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