A+X #3

Issue Date: 
December 2012
Story Title: 
(1st Story) Black Panther + Storm - (2nd Story) Hawkeye + Gambit

(1st Story) Jason Aaron (writer), Pasqual Ferry (artist), Brian Reber (color artist), VC’s Clayton Cowles (letterer)
(2nd Story) James Asmus (writer), Billy Tan (artist), Jim Charalampidis (color artist), VC’s Clayton Cowles (letterer)
Jordan D. White (assistant editor), Nick Lowe (editor), Axel Alonso (editor in chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

(1st Story)
Despite their marriage being annulled, Storm can’t help but interfere in Black Panther’s day-to-day life. She secretly helps him fight off A.I.M. agents and clears away rainy skies for a school camping trip but goes too far when she unleashes a thunderstorm during a presentation of potential brides for T’Challa. Black Panther finds his ex-wife and they argue over who’s to blame for the failed marriage. They seem to reach an understanding: although they still love each other, both are where they belong. For old times’ sake, they celebrate their amending relationship with a race to Kilimanjaro.

(2nd Story)
While Gambit is watching a Central Park stage show, a hideous beast erupts from the ground and takes off with the lead actress. He immediately goes after the monster and is joined by Hawkeye. They bicker over who’s more qualified to handle the situation but eventually Gambit takes the monster down with one of Hawkeye’s arrows. As the two heroes argue over who should take credit, the rescued actress gives Hawkeye her number. Hawkeye admits that he may have been wrong about thinking Gambit was untrustworthy and they shake hands. Hawkeye leaves while Gambit smiles. Having pick-pocketed the Avenger’s wallet, he has the actress’ number instead.

Full Summary: 

(1st Story)
In Wakanda, a small band of A.I.M. agents attempt to flee after a failed attempt to loot Wakanda. Bickering amongst themselves for assuming that Wakanda would be an easy target since they’re rebuilding, they realize their crucial mistake: they forgot about the Black Panther.

Black Panther single-handedly takes down most of the A.I.M. Agents while the two ringleaders continue to argue over how powerful Black Panther really is. One figures that, although he doesn’t have powers, they shouldn’t have underestimated a guy with a religion named after him. Finally, one A.I.M. Agent shoots the other in the leg and attempts to escape on his own.

Before making it to his ship, the A.I.M. Agent is mysteriously struck by lightning and knocked unconscious. Black Panther examines the agent’s body and looks to the sky.

Another day, Black Panther informs the students of Central Wakanda Elementary School that their annual camping trip will have to be postponed due to the rainy weather. One student even blames mutants for the latest in a series of bad luck for the country of Wakanda.

Suddenly, the sun comes out and the stormy weather is cleared. As the teacher praises the panther god for watching over them, T’Challa replies, “Yes. Someone certainly is.”

Yet another day, a bored and irritated T’Challa is being presented multiple princesses who wish to be his next bride, including Princess Chinaza of Zanzibar, Princess Jayde of Madagascar and Princess Olufunmilayo of Mozambique. T’Challa questions the need to do this as he’s not looking for a new wife yet but his priest claims that news of his annulment has spread quickly and every country in Africa wishes to present him with a bride.

A sudden thunderstorm sends the wannabe brides fleeing and covering their hair and gowns. T’Challa’s priest suggests they retire to the castle but T’Challa looks to the sky and requests his bike.

Black Panther takes to the skies, shouting, “I know you’re here! No more hiding!” Storm appears, admitting that while she understands she’s not welcome in his country, surely he does not own the skies as well.

T’Challa demands that Storm stops her interferences but Storm says that just because he no longer cares for her does not mean she’s stopped caring for the people of her former country. T’Challa denies her claim that he no longer cares and insists that he was left with no choice but to annul their marriage after Namor attacked Wakanda.

Their argument continues as the two easily do away with a few elephant poachers on the savannah. Storm says that all their marriage troubles could not be blamed on Namor, which T’Challa takes as an accusation that he did not fight hard enough for her. Storm admits that they had their fair share of fighting but, for people like them, the real issue is realizing when the fight is lost.

The two settle down to the ground and Storm tells T’Challa to give her apologies to the princesses and promises not to interfere with any further attempts at finding a new wife. T’Challa admits that his last wife, a goddess, will be difficult to top. Storm agrees, as her ex-husband was a king. The two share a moment, lost in each other’s eyes.

Black Panther breaks the silence and asks if Storm is back at the school. She confirms it and says that with his life here, they are both back where they belong. Just before T’Challa is able to profess that his love for Storm will never fade, Storm interrupts him wanting to do “it” one last time, for old times’ sake. Storm wants to give T’Challa one last chance to beat her in a race to Kilimanjaro.

They promise not to cheat and agree that the winner gets to keep the private island in Bora-Bora, a place T’Challa loves. Storm tells him then he’d better have learned to fly as Black Panther starts up the engines on his bike. “I learned from the best my love,” he says as they start the race.

(2nd Story)
At The Delacorte Theater in Central park, Gambit watches a performance of The Tempest with his friend, Fence. Thinking that Fence had a score to tell him about, Gambit relents to learn that his thieving ally simply wanted company to enjoy the show with. Looking on the bright side, Gambit admires the beauty of the lead actress.

Suddenly, the ground starts to shake, sending the audience in a panic. A hideous, multi-eyed red beast erupts from the ground and grabs the actress. “THIS is my kinda entertainment!” Gambit says as he takes off to rescue her.

Gambit chases the monster through Central Park, dodging horse-drawn carriages and cabs. Gambit jokes that, if the kidnapped girl wasn’t so beautiful, he would’ve left this job to the professionals.

Gambit picks up an onion from a grocery stand and uses his power to charge it with kinetic energy. Before he tosses it, an arrow comes from behind, flies straight through the onion and caries it into the monster’s back for explosive results!

Hawkeye arrives on the scene, assuring the lady not to worry because a real live Avenger is here to rescue her. Gambit scolds him for almost blowing his hand off with his stunt and tells him to let somebody with actual powers handle this. Hawkeye says that he doesn’t trust Gambit’s accuracy. Insulted, Gambit asks the Avenger how often he gets punched in the face by one of the good guys, to which Hawkeye replies that no one really considers Gambit a “good guy.”

As the two bicker, the actress screams for some “%^#&# help” as the monster takes off again. The two heroes quickly follow, Gambit admiring the actress’ saltiness and Hawkeye questioning why she would get “hot-and-heavy” with an unwashed mutant thief when America’s most handsome and sixth-favorite Avenger gets her first.

Hawkeye uses a grappling hook on the monster but Gambit tosses out multiple charged playing cards at the monster’s back, leading Hawkeyes to fall back, scattering his arrows everywhere.

Hawkeye gathers himself and tells Gambit they need to get the girl free so he could take the monster down with a special arrow. Hawkeye shoots the beast directly in the leg while Gambit grabs the actress from his grasp.

Gambit shares a moment with the actress, claiming he’d go to the theatre more often if it always ended like this. The actress, still in panic, asks Gambit to fly her out of there and is surprised to learn that all superheroes don’t fly.

With the monster charging toward them, Hawkeye tells Gambit to get down and reaches for his special arrow, only to find it missing.

“This what you’re looking for, Hawkeye?” Gambit says as he tosses the arrow into the monster’s mouth, bringing it down for good.

Gambit comforts the actress, who thanks him for finally bringing down the beast, much to the annoyance of Hawkeye, who’s shocked that Gambit is taking credit for HIS arrow. Telling the actress that Gambit is part of a horribly failing rehab program for super-powered degenerates, the actress gives Hawkeye her number so she could thank him privately and rushes back to finish her show.

Gambit and Hawkeye shake hands and Hawkeye admits that it was good to see him helping out and that maybe he’s not the “thieving self-interested guy” everyone thinks he is. Hawkeye excuses himself, gloating that a hot actress is about to have the night of her life, courtesy of Clint Barton.

“I believe she will, mon ami. An’ we appreciate you picking up the tab,” Gambit says, smirking as he holds Hawkeye’s wallet, actress’ number included.

Characters Involved: 

(1st Story)
Black Panther

Todd (A.I.M. Agent)
Various A.I.M. Agents

Students of Central Wakanda Elementary School
Teacher at Central Wakanda Elementary School
Wakandan Priest
Princess Chinaza of Zanzibar
Princess Jayde of Madagascar
Princess Olufunmilayo of Mozambique
Various African Princesses

(2nd Story)

Various Civilians

Underground Monster

Story Notes: 

(1st Story)
Namor and an Atlantean Army attacked Wakanda during the Avengers vs. X-Men crossover. Because Namor is a mutant and was currently a member of the same X-Men team as Storm, their marriage was annulled.

This story leaves Storm and Black Panther’s relationship on good terms and is followed up on in Wolverine and the X-Men #24, also written by Jason Aaron.

(2nd Story)
Fence is an ally of Gambit, introduced in Gambit (5th series), also written by James Asmus.

Hawkeye refers to the monster in the story as “Sweetums,” although the monster bears very little resemblance to the large, hairy ogre from the Muppets.

Gambit calls Hawkeye “Katniss,” the lead character from the very popular book and film franchise, the Hunger Games, who is also known for her archery skill.

Hawkeye’s claim to be the “sixth-favorite Avenger” is probably a reference to the fact that the character received last billing out of the six Avengers featured in the 2012 film.

It would seem that although the X-Men is quick to forgive Gambit’s shady history and recent betrayals, the superhero community is wary of him.

No information is given about the monster in this issue but it can be assumed that it is one of Mole Man’s creatures.