Astonishing X-Men: Xenogenesis #5

Issue Date: 
April 2011
Story Title: 

Warren Ellis (writer), Kaare Andrews (artist), Frank D’Armata (colorist), VC’s Joe Caramagna (letterer), Daniel Ketchum (associate editor), Axel Alonso (executive editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (Exec. Publisher)

Brief Description: 

The X-Men are between a rock and a hard place. If they let the Jaspers boy teleport away again, he will irradiate all of Karere. If they kill the Furies, more of them will come and threaten the whole world. When Jaspers tries to flee, Emma puts him to sleep and gets an idea. She orders the X-Men to save her a Fury. With Dr. Crocodile keeping the last Fury from killing her, Emma use her telepathy to convince it that Japers had fled and they can leave this universe alone. The brainwashed Fury leaves and the X-Men have won. Later, Doctor Crocodile asks to see Jaspers and kills the sleeping boy, explaining he will not have his people held hostage to an omnipotent teenager’s whim.

Full Summary: 

On the battlefield, Cyclops (protecting an unconscious Storm and Wolverine) and soldiers are fighting Furies. Emma telepathically contacts him and informs him he needs to leave one of the Furies alive. She might want to talk to these things about leaving one of them alive, Cyclops retorts.

Back in the field hospital, Jim Jaspers again begs Emma to let him leave. To jump parallel universes again? She inquires. When he agrees, she angrily reminds him that he will irradiate the area again. He does get that, yes? If she lets him jump out of there, he’s going to poison these people all over again! He apologizes but, if he goes, the Furies will follow him, he assures her. If the X-Men kill them, they’ll come back in the thousands! Panicked, he shoves Emma aside and tries to run away.

Emma wipes her mouth. She did not give him permission to touch her. Her eyes glow threateningly. If he ever disobeys her again, she’ll tear his brain open and make it so he can remember nothing of his life but screaming! She is not like the others. She is not his friend! She will feed him to whatever’s out there feet first if it suits her! She overloads his brain and he falls unconscious. Unfortunately, she has a better and far more dangerous idea. “Fall into a nice warm coma for mistress!”She contacts Cyclops.

In the meantime, Armor has knocked a Fury down and Cyclops downs a second one. Emma reminds him she needs one alive if they are to have a prayer of solving this without bringing down something so ugly that even Henry may not have a word for it.

Cyclops orders everyone to form up on him and shouts for Beast. Doc Crocodile orders his panicked men to reassemble behind the X-Men. Pull it together! he shouts. In New York City, this is a typical lunchtime experience and they are twittering like hens!

A Fury grabs one of the men and Doc Crocodile attacks it, muttering he hates having to do this. He impales the Fury and saves his soldier. Cyclops shouts at him they need one alive. Why? he asks. These are Furies. Either they live or the Furies do. Cyclops explains that if they all die or one escapes… Wait, how many were there?

One Fury is escaping through the jungle, hurrying towards the teleportation platform when Beast kicks it in the back. He doesn’t think so…

He tackles it down and destroys its eyes, poking around it until it blasts him. The Fury gets back up and points its weapon at him. Go on, do it! Beast challenges it. Even in death, he’s going to be smarter and more handsome than it can even comprehend!

Suddenly, Wolverine destroys it, telling Henry Cyclops is going to give him grief. He wants one of these things alive and unharmed. So Henry better tell Summers it slipped and fell on his claws or something, eh? What on Earth does he want one alive for? Henry asks.

Henry telepathically calls Emma, who tells him she’s a little busy just this second. She strides out of the hospital. She is about to be a proper little X-Man and do something quite remarkably stupid…

A Fury heads towards her. That’s it, Emma taunts, come to Auntie Emma... Scott orders her to change to diamond form but Emma declines, because that would mean losing her psychic abilities which would rather defeat the point of this absurd enterprise…

“No!” N’Dingi shouts as the Fury runs towards Emma who goads it to come along. She forbids them from firing at it. All white people are insane! Doctor Crocodile curses. Closer, Emma tells it. The Fury draws its gun on her.

What is she doing? Armor asks. Getting herself killed, Storm observes. And yet putting herself between the Fury and a lot of people she has never met. So perhaps they can ask for two miracles in a row and hope she survives whatever she’s scheming.

Okay, maybe not close enough to shoot her, Emma decides. Luckily, Doc Crocodile tackles the Fury, hitting it wildly. Stay down!, he orders, he said stay down and he’s the damn president. Whole and intact please, Emma reminds him and thanks him for saving her life and therefore the world. Allow her to take over…

She gets inside the Fury’s mind. In a doctor’s outfit, she begins a spot of psychic surgery, telling the Fury it’s really very lucky it doesn’t have a mouth to scream out of. Screaming amuses her so much that she may slip with the tools and then it would be sorry. Say Aaah! Here comes its new reality. Sweating, she finishes.

The other X-Men come closer and Scott catches her as she falls. Emma thanks him; he is always such a useful hunk of meat. The Fury turns around and walks away. Emma explains that it can’t perceive any of them now. Synthetic memories from a fictional future are dripping into its cortex. She tells them all to let it go. Just let it go? N’dingi asks. She’s just managed the most brilliant piece of mind surgery he’ll ever witness and if he can’t find her a nice shiny medal, at least keep his voice down, Emma snarks. It’s going home with a new set of memories regarding the last thirty minutes or so. It now believes that it emerged here and found the Jaspers boy. It thinks it witnessed the Jaspers boy, mortally wounded, jump to another parallel, taking its brethren with him. Unable to follow, it can only returns to its masters with the following report: “fellow Furies lost in the spacetime manifold. Jaspers gone and dying and nothing here worth coming back for, ever…”

The Fury leaves through the gate, observed by Beast and the injured Wolverine, who’d ask for a beer but he’s got so many holes in him it would all fall out when he poured it in.

Nevertheless, later in the village of Karere with the injured treated and bandaged, Wolverine gets his much deserved beer. He doesn’t believe he begged beer off those poor villagers, Beast scoffs. He didn’t beg for it, Logan assures him. He sold Henry to them for it. Nice blue rug.

Dr. Crocodile tells Ororo it is a peculiar honor meeting her. Technically, they are both heads of state and he should be interested to meet her on that basis alone. But he heard the stories of the wind goddess of the Serengeti just like everyone else in the countries surrounding Lake Victoria. It’s not every day one speaks to a mythical figure whose very name makes children smile. Taking her hands, he assures her it is a pleasure to make her acquaintance. Surprised, Ororo thanks him.

N’dingi turns to Cyclops. If he made secure building available outside the capital, would he extend the service of Mutantes sans Frontieres to these people? He can’t allow them to live here until he gets strong advice both on the radiation and possible sterilization processes. Scott gives his word and shakes his hand. Doc Crocodile thanks him and asks to see the alternate world Jaspers. He met “their” Jim Jaspers once. He’d be interested in getting a longer look at this one. Emma, who is tanning, tells them he is still asleep in there. Look all they like. She is going to stay here and quietly expire. Her head feels like it’s had Germans on holiday in it.

They enter the room where Jaspers is slumbering. N’dingi observes: So much pain caused, so much trouble caused… by a boy. Why is he asleep? Scott explains that Emma knocked him out. He was panicking and on the verge of jumping again. He probably had no idea his multiversal travels left a radiation footprint. Jumped around to see what there was to see, came back to his home to discover he’d irradiated his homesite. The Furies were onto him. Yes, N’dingi replies after taking a long look at Japers.

Before the two X-Men can react, he draws his gun and shoots Jaspers. They react in horror. It is his burden to weigh and rule justice, he announces. How is murdering a child in his sleep just? Storm demands. It is not, he replies neither is allowing a human dirty bomb to wander around undefused in the midst of his people. He will attempt to contain the Warpies given their promised aid, but he will not permit an adolescent to hold the health of his people at his mercy. And now he has to arrange for the villagers to be taken to the city, not knowing if they’ll ever be allowed to come home. And no one will care. It’s not Chernobyl. It’s not an oil spill or a hurricane. It’s just a village in Africa. Everyone wants to save the world, you see, but nobody really cares about M’bangawi. No one but him. Goodbye, Windrider.

He walks out, leaving behind the two shocked heroes.

Characters Involved: 

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

Joshua N’Dingi / Doctor Crocodile (ruler of M’bangawi)



Jim Jaspers from an alternate reality

People of Karere

Story Notes: 
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