Astonishing X-Men (3rd series) #49

Issue Date: 
June 2012
Story Title: 

Marjorie Liu (writer), Mike Perkins (artist), Andy Troy (colorist), VC’s Joe Caramagna (letterer), Dustin Weaver & Rachelle Rosenberg (cover), Daniel Ketchum (associate editor), Jeanine Schaefer (editor), Nick Lowe (X-Men group editor), Axel Alonso (editor in chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

Sometime soon, Northstar is making his way through some sewage tunnels when he comes across Karma. She is badly injured, having been speared by a harpoon. She tells him that someone is waiting for him down the tunnels and then apologizes before falling unconscious. Northstar looks up to see his boyfriend, Kyle, aiming a pistol at him. He asks Northstar if he wants to race, before raising the pistol to his temple. Northstar cries out his name as the gun goes off. In the present, Chimera and the Marauders attack the X-Men, who have Cecelia Reyes by their side. She tries to aid an innocent bystander but is attacked by the mercenaries who are in collusion with the Marauders. When one fires at her, the bullet ricochets off her forcefield and kills him, leaving his colleagues who decide to run for it. The Marauders fight well against the X-Men but, when Karma manages to mentally zap Chimera out of her mind-control, the tide turns and the Vanisher teleports the Marauders, minus Chimera, away from the scene. Karma then tries to determine who has placed the Marauders under their command but, when she enters Chimera’s mind, the only things she finds are some disgusting mental guards in place. The only clue they have now to who is behind this attack is a GPS tracker discovered by Gambit. With the fighting over, Northstar and Kyle discuss their relationship, the upshot being that, despite the differences in their lives, they love each other and wish to be together. Unseen by them, they are being watched by Susan Hatchi’s assistant. She has further plans for the loving couple and the X-Men. Later that night, Karma goes to bed but wakes up when she senses something amiss. She walks into her lounge and finds Susan Hatchi, the person behind the Marauder’s attack, sitting there. She tells Karma that she did quite well breaking her hold over Chimera, so she’s curious to see how she’ll handle the X-Men.

Full Summary: 


Northstar is running through a sewage tunnel. Tears fill his eyes. He rounds a corner and sees Karma, leaning against the wall with a harpoon through her stomach, silhouetted against the light. She is weak and bleeding profusely. When she sees him, she looks down the tunnel and says, “Down the… tunnel. Waiting for you. So sorry. So…” She slumps to the floor and Northstar sits beside her, telling her they’ll get help. She replies that there’s no time for that. She apologizes once again but then closes her eyes and passes out.

A voice behind Jean-Paul tells him he’s too late. He’s always too late. He turns to see Kyle, standing there aiming a pistol at him. He asks Jean-Paul if he’s scared him. Was he worried? Northstar asks him to stop and put down the gun, but Kyle asks if he wants to race. Northstar doesn’t know what he means, but Kyle puts the gun to his temple. “You want to race me?” he asks. Northstar cries out his name in fear and the gun goes off.


Chimera and her Marauders confront Northstar and Iceman. She sends some of her dragons towards them. Two of them wrap themselves around Jean-Paul whilst one smashes through Iceman’s chest. She tells Northstar that he’s fast, but no one is faster than the speed of thought. Wolverine says that he thought most of the Marauders were dead, but Prism lights up and replies, “Not anymore.” He dazzles them so they can’t see what’s coming, and Scalphunter fires a harpoon gun into Wolverine’s stomach. Once down, Vanisher approaches him. Logan asks what he’s doing. He replies that the heart is the prime piece of muscle and he’s always felt that his ability to teleport has never been used creatively. He wonders how long it will take his heart to grow again once he relocates it. Warbird asks him how long it will take to regrow his head. She raises her sword over him and tells him that he can teleport as he desires, but she will always find a way to cut his body into pieces.

Cecelia Reyes can’t stand all the fighting. She just wants a normal life. She discovers a man lying injured in the street and asks him to hold on. She’s a doctor so he’s safe with her. Unfortunately, a pistol is aimed at her head by one of the mercenaries. She asks them to back off, as she’s trying to save the guy.

One of them asks the others if they saw the muties. Imagine if they had those powers. One of the others tells him to keep his mind on his orders. They need to stay out of this until the end. He should keep the sensors and cameras rolling. A third mercenary asks if they’re supposed to take Cecelia in. The reply is no, so he shoots her at point blank range. Cecelia’s force field kicks in instinctively and the bullet ricochets right back at him. The bullet hits him in the face. “Damn it, damn it, damn it,” she sighs. “Dead for nothing.” As she continues to treat the injured man the other two mercs decide to cut their losses and make a run for it.

Back at the fight, Chimera informs Northstar that she has orders to bring him in alive, but first she wants to hear him scream. Jean-Paul tells her to go to hell. Kyle then emerges from a narrow alleyway with Karma. Jean-Paul spots him, but Karma orders him to stay back. Kyle asks her to help Jean-Paul. Karma replies that she’s trying to, but it hurts when she uses her mental abilities. Chimera warns her to stay out of her head. She sends a dragon Karma’s way but Karma manages to break through her mental defenses. Chimera screams and then looks around, wondering where the hell she is.

Meanwhile, Wolverine takes on Blockbuster, asking why he is there. “To make you my girlfriend,” he replies. “Wrong answer,” says Wolverine. Iceman wraps things up quickly by icing up the entire area. It stops Scalphunter and the others in their tracks. Angrily, Bobby asks if they’re done. Remy congratulates him. He’s managed to seal them off from the mercs and the public. Warbird finds his ice creation magnificent. She could be standing in the Crystal Caves of Glaurung.

Arclight clenches her fists and asks if she thinks a little bit of ice is going to stop them. Chimera, now no longer under anyone’s mental control, tells Arclight to stop and for everyone to get out of there. She explains that they were under someone’s control all along. It’s just that they don’t realize it yet. Vanisher wonders if maybe Chimera is the one being controlled by Karma. Chimera uses a dragon to knock down her teammates and says that’s all the more reason to get the hell out of there. Vanisher complies and whisks his team away leaving the X-Men and Chimera behind.

Ceclia wonders what the hell just happened. Iceman, seeing Warbird eyeing him up, asks her what she’s looking at. Scarily, she replies that she wants to perform a mating ritual with him right now. Karma tells Chimera that she needs to let her back inside her mind so she might identify the person who was influencing her actions. Northstar rushes over to Chimera and wraps his fingers around her throat. Karma assures him that she didn’t know what she was doing, but Northstar says it doesn’t seem that way to him. And it’s not like she’s had any qualms about hurting people in the past. Kyle is shocked to see Jean-Paul like this. He tells him it’s not like him. He releases his grip and says fine. Chimera warns him that no one touches her like that. She will lobotomize him. Kyle tells her not to hurt him. He reckons they are all insane. Jean-Paul tells him that he doesn’t understand and should stay out of it.

Logan tells Chimera that she attacked the X-Men before. Does she mean to tell them tonight’s fight wasn’t her idea? She replies that she is actually trying to have a life, which means she doesn’t spend her Friday’s coming up with ways to kick his ass. She rubs her forehead and admits that she doesn’t know what happened. She remembers everything but it feels like she was living a dream. She was in her apartment when suddenly… she just had to be elsewhere. She was given orders to cooperate with the Marauders and she accepted it without question.

Logan reminds her that people died here tonight. He wants to know who sent her. “I don’t know,” she snaps back at him. Karma says she’s telling the truth. She doesn’t know who did this to her or the others. Someone very skilled got into her head. He looks at Karma and tells her she looks like she’s going to faint. Karma tells Chimera that she needs to get back inside her head, but Chimera won’t allow anyone to violate her again. Karma replies that she knows what violation feels like. Call it payback if it makes it easier to swallow. Chimera looks at her and tells her to make it fast.

Karma asks Chimera to relax, but she replies that she can’t because Karma looks like she’s going to vomit on her. Once inside her mind, Karma is rocked as she sees herself become invaded by maggots which crawl out of her mouth. She screams and immediately pulls out of Chimera’s mind. Chimera throws up and Karma tries to recover, telling the others that she didn’t see anything at all in there.

Fortunately, the night isn’t a complete waste. Gambit finds something on the dead merc; a GPS tracer with a record of all the places he’s been in the past three days. It points to just one location; some weapons research facility in upstate New York. Northstar says he, Gambit and Iceman will go check it out. He heads skywards and tells Kyle that he could have been killed. What was he thinking? Kyle replies that he came looking for Jean-Paul. He just wanted to be near him, even if it was on the outside looking in. It was stupid and he admits that Jean-Paul was right. He doesn’t understand anything about his life. Jean-Paul tells him that’s not true, but Kyle asks really? Isn’t that what he said to him? He wishes he was in a cab right now. Being flown by his boyfriend is so humiliating.

He asks Jean-Paul if he knows what it’s like for him. When they’re together, he cannot forget that he’s not like him. The truth is… he’s useless. Northstar says no, but Kyle replies yes. He loves Jean-Paul and he can’t help him when he most needs it. That breaks his heart. He lowers his eyes. “And it never stops.” Jean-Paul asks what he’s saying to him. Kyle says he doesn’t know. He’s just tired of being this person who is left behind. Northstar tells Kyle that he needs him, but Kyle asks for what? To manage his business? His brand? That’s all he’s good for in this life. Jean-Paul tells him that’s not true, but Kyle asks about tonight. What about every night. He should find himself someone who can read his thoughts or shoot moonbeams from his eyes. Someone who can fly so they don’t have to be carried around like some darn weakling! Does Jean-Paul even realize how embarrassing that is?

Northstar tells him to stop. He says he loves Kyle. He’s never loved anyone as much as he loves him. He admits that he’s nuts. He’s in a mess. If he was in therapy every day for the rest of his life, he still wouldn’t feel normal. Kyle thinks he’s an outsider? He is too, looking at all the normal sane lives around him. However, when he’s with Kyle, he makes him feel like there’s nothing wrong with him. He knows that this is no life for Kyle. It’s hard and impossible and, if he were a better man, he’d let him go. But, he is horrible and selfish which is why he’ll do anything to keep Kyle with him and make him happy. He can’t make this a perfect life for them, but he’ll try to make up for what isn’t right. He’ll try… because he loves him. Northstar lands on a rooftop and they kiss. Kyle tells him that’s all he needs. If he loves him, then that’s all he needs. Also, he adds, for him to do the laundry and all the cleaning. But mostly, just his love.

Watching them through a telescope is Susan Hatchi’s assistant. He reckons it went well. Susan thinks it’s too soon to tell. Much too soon. She asks him to have Marcus bring the car around and tell Lilian to order the new collection from Versace. She’s available for a fitting at 3 PM tomorrow. The rest of her day is booked.


Karma arrives back at her apartment. She tells Cecelia and Remy that they don’t have to come up, but Cecelia reminds her that she was bleeding from her ear. That’s not fine. Karma tells her that she is a telepath. Sometimes what they do hurts. She heads inside, brushes her teeth and gets ready for bed. However, as she lies there she realizes that she isn’t alone. She sits up in bed and walks into her lounge. There, she finds Susan Hatchi sitting in her chair. She tells Karma that she did well breaking her hold over Chimera, but they’ll now discover what she can do to her. She is curious to see how she handles the X-Men.

Characters Involved: 

Gambit, Iceman, Northstar, Wolverine (all X-Men)

Dr. Cecelia Reyes



Kyle Jinadu


Arclight, Blockbuster, Harpoon, Prism and Vanisher (all Marauders)


Innocent injured bystander

Susan Hatchi and her assistant

(in flashforward)



Kyle Jinadu

Story Notes: 

Chimera attacked the X-Men in the previous issue.

The flashforwards are explained in Astonishing X-Men (3rd series) #50 - 51.

In the past, Chimera has attacked not only the X-Men as a member of the Sisterhood of Mutants, but also Generation X along with Dirtnap and Emplate.

This is Susan Hatchi’s first appearance.

Issue Information: 
Written By: