Astonishing X-Men (3rd series) #39

Issue Date: 
August 2011
Story Title: 
Untitled (Monstrous part 3)

Daniel Way (writer). Nick Bradshaw (pencils), Nick Bradshaw, Norman Lee, Jay Leisten and Craig Cheung (inks), Rochelle Rosenberg (colors), VC’s Joe Caramagna & Cowles(letters), John Pearson (cover art), Daniel Ketchum (associate editor), Nick Lower (editor), Axel Alonso (editor in chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

In her gigantic, psionic armored form, Armor helps out her colleagues by taking down Fin Fang Foom all by herself. However, as they watch, the others realize that she is fighting her emotions, as well as the dragon. Still, Armor stops the monster without killing it and appears to remain in control of the situation. Once this crisis has passed, the team heads to Monster Island, only for the Blackbird to be taken down hard by winged creatures. As the jet seems about to crash into a gigantic winged monster, Armor protects the craft with her armored form, the cost of which results in her going into a kind of psychic coma. With Cyclops injured, he stays behind to look after Armor whilst Emma and Wolverine go after Mentallo. The villain receives a call from Roxxon’s Director Brewer, informing him that his bearer bonds have been collected. He then has one of his creatures herd Emma and Logan into a cave where he awaits them with more of his mind-controlled monsters.

Full Summary: 

Clad in a psionic armor the size of a giant building, Armor has joined Cyclops, Emma Frost and Wolverine in their battle against Fin Fang Foom. Seeing the odds turning, Cyke decides upon a new plan and asks Armor to take the lead while they move to the rear flank. Their new goal is to take Foom out with a minimum of collateral damage. “Comparatively speaking,” adds Emma. “An’ if possible, without killin’ him,” Wolverine reminds them. Cyclops asks if she can handle that and Hisako replies that she’s confident that she can and she strikes the giant creature with a right hook which shakes him. As she pummels him, he responds with a fearsome wall of flame but Hisako continues her ferocious attack.

As the gigantic Armor continues to trade blows with the equally gigantic Fin Fang Foom, Wolverine asks if anyone else is wondering why she’s with them instead of at her mother and brother’s wake. Scott replies that it’s because she’s an X-Man, and that’s what they do. Wolverine counters that it might be true, but they don’t run away. Scott start to say she’s not running away, but he soon changes his mind when he sees tears streaming down her cheeks.

Logan tells him she wouldn’t be the first to run headlong into war just because staying at home is just too damn painful. Cyclops is sure she’ll make it through. She’s a survivor. “Exactly,” replies Logan. Her mother and brother are dead and she’s there, surviving. What he means is, they need to keep an eye on her to make sure she knows she’s not alone. She needs to know that they’ve all stood over a grave and wished it was them instead.

Emma doesn’t think that Armor has a death wish. She can tell that by what she’s seeing. The others look up and see Fin Fang Foom entangled in a prison of metal girders looking the worse for wear. Scott asks if that’s Tokyo Tower. “It used to be,” replies Emma. Armor asks if she did good and her fellow X-Men smile. Next stop is Monster Island.


The Blackbird approaches Monster Island. A smoking volcano dominates the area. Scott asks Emma if she has a location on Mentallo. She concentrates but explains that his natural mental abilities are quite limited. He must be using an amplifier of some description, and a very powerful one at that. Scott asks if he’s on the island, to which Emma replies most definitely. The island is absolutely saturated with the signal that he’s broadcasting. That’s why she can’t pinpoint him. What he’s doing is quite rudimentary, but it’s amped to such a numbingly brutal level she can’t disrupt it. Psionically, it’s impenetrable.

Wolverine stands and reckons in that case, they’ll have to do it manually which is fine with him. Scott looks over a map of the island and says that the bad news is that Mentallo controls every monster on the island. Worse is that the island is nothing but monsters. Wolverine asks what the good news is. Cyke replies that the good news is that Mentallo’s control over them is limited to simple commands.

Down below, Mentallo sees the Blackbird roar overhead and grins. “Attack!”

A flock of giant bird-like creatures heads their way and attacks the ship. Wolverine identifies them as Screemies. He wants to get out there but, before he can, the ship rocks as their landing gear is crippled. Logan reckons their landing is pretty much gonna suck and warns Cyclops to watch out for a mountain straight ahead. Emma diamonds up once more and tells Scott that, since he is the only member of the team without a mutant ability to protect him from permanent and massive bodily injury, to give the controls to Wolverine and assume crash position…. because that’s not a mountain.

Down below, a monster rears up, spreading two enormous wings as it stands on its hind legs. It roars at the Blackbird as Cyclops asks Armor to assume crash position, but she has other plans. She lies on the floor and extends her armor to giant size, covering the entire Blackbird exterior. They then slam into the creature‘s torso, crash-landing on top of it. Once they stop, Armor reverts to her normal form as the others recover from being tossed around like rag dolls.

Logan asks Scott how he’s doing back there. He and Emma find him on the floor, bleeding from his mouth. “Not… unhh!… good,” he groans. Emma asks him to stop trying to move. He has several broken ribs. She asks how Armor’s doing. Wolverine checks her over and replies that her heart and pulse are good, but her breathing’s slow. He wonders if she’s in a coma or something. He asks Emma if she can get inside her head. Emma loses the diamond and says she’ll try, but as soon as she reverts she screams in agony. She sits down and explains that the psionic feedback from Mentallo was like her skull being beaten in with a hammer. Until they can find and destroy whatever is amplifying his power, she’ll have to remain in diamond form.

Logan realizes this means they can’t discover what’s happened to Armor, but Cyclops reckons she’s just been knocked for a loop. They’ve all made it through and there’s no reason she won’t do the same. Emma agrees. “Based on what?” asks Wolverine. “Experience,” Emma replies. She explains that though her mutant powers wouldn’t traditionally be classified as ‘psychic,’ there is a psychic component to it; the connection to her deceased relatives - the well from which her power is drawn. She adds that, when her mother and brother died, Armor received a sudden and very large influx of that power. As they’ve seen, that increase in power has allowed her to do things they’ve never seen before. But, that doesn’t mean her body’s physical ability to channel that power or her mind’s ability to safely control it has increased at the same rate. She believes that Armor has simply pushed herself too far in order to save them.

Scott asks Logan what his take on it is. He resigns himself to agreeing with Emma. What she says makes sense. He asks Logan to step outside. He wants to ask him a question. Once outside, Scott wraps a bandage round his torso to help support his ribcage. He asks Logan if he believes Hisako was trying to kill herself. Logan admits he doesn’t know. He asks Scott if he’s thinking about Jean. Scott tells him he’s thinking of Armor. “That so?” replies Logan. “Then why’re we talking outside?

They then hear loud booming noises, like footsteps. Logan reckons they’ve got to go and Cyke agrees. Wolverine, though, tells him he just means himself and Emma. Scott isn’t fit to travel anywhere. Cyclops hates it when Logan’s right. He tells Logan that he’ll use the Blackbird’s cloaking device. It should still be operational. From what Emma’s said, Mentallo seems to be focusing all of his amplified power outward. He’s not bringing anything in. “Like our thoughts, you mean?” asks Logan. “Exactly,” replies Scott. He doesn’t know what they’re thinking. More importantly, he doesn’t know how many of them there are. They should be safe in hiding. He asks Logan to keep him in the loop via traditional comms and then tells Emma there’s a new plan.


Emma and Wolverine run through the jungle. She asks him what they were talking about and Logan quips that Scott was just reminding him to be a gentleman and keep his hands to himself. “You’re lying,” she replies. He asks what makes her say that. He thought she couldn’t read minds in her diamond form. “Experience,” she scowls.

They come to a natural stop and she asks what their plan is to take out Mentallo’s ability to broadcast once they track him down. He ponders a moment before slashing a tree with his claws. He reckons he’ll just cut his head off. That oughtta do it.

Inside a cave, Mentallo receives a call from Director Brewer. He informs him that his courier has arrived - a large dragon-like creature. Mentallo asks if the bearer bonds are prepped for travel. Brewer replies they’re in a heavy shipping container, but Mentallo replies that his creature is a big boy. He can handle it. He warns Brewer that if he opens the container and there’s anything other than eight hundred million in bearer bonds inside, he does realize what he will do, right? Brewer is pretty sure he does. “Good,” replies Mentallo, “Then I won’t have to waste time warning you not to do anything stupid? Like sending the X-Men after me!” Brewer tries to say he doesn’t know what he’s talking about, but Mentallo replies that there’s a lot he doesn’t know, but the X-Men… they don’t have a clue.

(back on Monster Island)

Emma complains that they’ve been going back and forth through the jungle for hours. Where is he? Logan replies that he’s working on it. He suddenly pauses and informs her that he has something. She asks if it’s Mentallo’s scent. “Nope,” he replies as they look up to see an enormous two-headed monster bearing down on them quickly. Emma tells Logan that she’s read about the monster. He should be careful as it can alter its size. Logan hears this mid-leap, which is too late to stop, as it shrinks quickly. He lands in a heap, only for Emma to grab him and start running.

They come across a cave and they run inside where Logan soon picks up a scent; a human one. It’s got to be Mentallo. Unfortunately, Logan then realizes that the creature could have shrunk down and followed them inside. It didn’t, which means it wasn’t chasing them. It was herding them. They look into the cave and see Mentallo grinning at the surround by creatures. “Hi,” he smiles.

Characters Involved: 

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

Fin Fang Foom

Director Brewer and an assistant

Roxxon employees


Monsters of Monster Island (Kaibutsu Jima)

Story Notes: 

Tokyo Tower, built in 1958, is situated in Shiba Park, Tokyo and is used for observation and communications.

Screemies are mutated birds, once used by the villainous Yellow Claw to attack the United States until a scientist thwarted his plans.

Issue Information: 
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