Chamber #3

Issue Date: 
December 2002
Story Title: 
The Hollow Man - chapter three

Brian K. Vaughn (writer), Lee Ferguson (penciler), Norm Rapmund (inker), Jose Villarrubia (colorist), Dave Sharpe (letterer), Nova Ren Suma (assistant editor), Mike Raicht (editor) assisted Joe Quesada (editor), Bill Jemas (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

After learning that the death of the students for Tolerance possibly were caused by another mutant, Chamber pays his new friend Amber a night visit, though instead ends up scaring her beautiful roommate. When he finally gets to talk to Amber she tells him to come back in the morning. Returning to his own dorm, Jono finally gets through to his roommate Walter, and they end up finding some similarities. The next day, Jono and Amber investigate the crime scene, finding similar marks on the walls that resemble Chamber’s power signature. They decide to re-question Gigi Martin, the only survivor and human member of the students for Tolerance, and end up stirring up some painful memories. Chamber agrees not to falsely make accusations unless he has stronger proof than just hunches. After a misunderstanding Amber believes Chamber has feeling for her and kisses him. She finds out painfully that his interest is not the same as she had though and leaves depressed, intending to meet with Gigi later on. Chamber learns of a mixed club CBGB, and he goes to question the Magnetic North of any knowledge of a mutant with powers like his. This leads to huge fight with Chamber against the entire mutant population of the bar. After taking down every single one, he earns the respect of Neutrino Annihilator. Now willing to answer Chamber’s questions, he tells him that he knows one only mutant with similar powers like him. Chamber realizes who he is talking about and thinks to himself, “Oh God, Amber”

Full Summary: 

It’s night at Empire State University. The sign for Empire State University is covered with spray-paint reading “Mutie Go Home”. Jonothon Starsmore climbs through a window to wake his friend, Amber. He announces himself, as he warns things are worse than he had thought. He tries to wake her, as he apologizes for breaking in, he just didn’t want to wake her roommate. Actually her roommate sits up in the bed he thought was Amber’s, not fully awake. He tries to convince her that it is okay, but she screams very loudly anyway. Amber’s roommate runs quickly for the door calling out to Amber for help. Sighing, Jono realizes nothing is ever easy. Amber comes out of the other room, as he asks her what is going on here. She asks him the same, and he replies he had thought this was her room. She explains that one of their bedrooms is bigger than the other, so they decide to switch every semester. She just hasn’t finished moving her stuff out of there yet. He tells her he needs her to get dressed, now.

Amber asks why, and she learns he paid a visit to the bigot behind the local Purity Website. He had also learned the Students for Tolerance were not killed by a bomb, but by another mutant. She asks if he actually believed the bigot. He isn’t sure, which is exactly why he needs to examine the crime scene himself. He asks if she could take him to the old student center. She tells him she could, only at this hour every building on Campus in locked down like Fort Knox. She tells him to go back to his room, and get some sleep, they can find this ‘dork’ the first thing in the morning. Admitting she is probably right, he tells her to apologize to her roommate for him. He warns her that if this really is a mutant on mutant crime, she should... she cuts him off telling him she won’t allow any other mutants to break into her room. He gives he her the two fingers in the air as he makes his way back. She tells him peace out to you too.

(one hour later)

Arriving at Brittany Hall, Jono meets his roommate at the elevator. “Are you going up”, he asks, as Walter tells him he wishes, but the elevator is busted. When he asks if the lift repair boys are on their way, Walter tell him supposedly, but the last time they took six hours. Claiming ‘Bloody Hell”, Jono offers to help him up the stairs. Walter tells him teleportation better be included in his mutant power, as the stairs are too narrow for his chair. When he offers to carry him, Walter refuses with the jab of ‘like newly weds, I don’t think so.’ Fair enough, Jono claims, asking if Walter minds if he sat down until somebody shows. Last time he tried to go the their room, he was almost... He stops in mid sentence not telling Walter he was shot. He could really just use the company. “Whatever”, Walter remarks, “it’s your life”, as Jono takes a seat across from him.

Walter asks if he could ask a question, asking if his face hurts. When Jono tells him no, he asks what it feels like. Jono tells him he’s not quite sure, when his powers manifested he blew up most of his vital organs, painting them all over London. He admits he doesn’t feel much of anything anymore, then in return asks Walter a question. He asks of his last roommate, one of the affirmative action mutants killed in explosion. Getting defensive, Walter replies ‘yeah so’ . Jono continues asking Walter if he was particularly sad about his death. When Walter answers he barely knew him, Jono asks if would have felt more sad if he would have been human. Walter tells him he doesn’t know, with people falling out of his life for as long as he can remember, he doesn’t feel much of anything anymore.

(six hours later)

Amber and Jono stand outside the Old Student Center, Amber tells him he’s lucky no one schedules classes this early on Friday. They should have the building pretty much to themselves for the at least the next couple of hours. Yawning, Jono admits his appreciation for Amber’s help. Asking if he had a long night, she asking if he was up late fighting aliens with the X-men as “Chamber Pot”. Telling her his code-name is just Chamber, he tells he was instead playing twenty thousand questions with his roommate Walter. She apologizes admitting that Walter makes Andy Rooney seem loveable. She asks if Jono assumes he had anything to with all of this, jokingly adding Walter not Rooney. Admitting he used to but not anymore, Jono hopes to find something more concrete inside. He lowers the covering over his mouth, using his bio-kinetic energy to force the door open.

Amber notes about the only thing left in there is concrete. The room is entirely bare, the walls have spiral like burn marks. The ceiling and wall in the corner are completely lost from the explosion, letting in the morning light. After Jono claims the room is a nightmare, Amber tells him if these walls could talk. Studying the walls closer he tells her, the walls actually just might do that. Asking what he means, Jono notes his belief that the burns on the wall are caused by a mutant. When she ask how he could have known that, he tells her because it looks exactly like things that he has hit with his blasts. Amber admits maybe the anti-mutant geek was on to something, the blast wasn’t a bomb at all, but another mutant. Jono tells her not they need to ask the only person who lived through it.

(ten minutes later)

Inside the ESU athletic center, the sound of fencing swords clank, as one woman knocks the other’s sword from her hand. She takes of her mask telling her friend it was a good match. It is Gigi. Jono says hello, and she asks how they knew she was there. Amber admits they sweet talked the two bruisers she has guarding her club’s office. Then she tells Jono actually just sulked, leaving Amber to do the talking. Gigi asks if everything is okay. Jono informs her not exactly, as they have reason to believe the attack was caused by another mutant. Gigi is shocked claiming the FBI already said what caused the destruction. He tells her their government’s track record isn’t exactly spotless when it comes to solving crimes against mutants. He needs her to tell them everything she remembers from that day.

While she doesn’t recall much, Gigi notes seeing a blinding flash come from on of their storage closets, and the next thing she knew she was in a hospital bed, with six of her friends dead. Amber asks so she never actually saw a bomb. After admitting no, Jono asks her about the possibility that it could be another mutant. Looking down, she confesses anything is possible, but it doesn’t seem likely. Gigi asks why a homo superior student would want to blow up a club that promotes genetic tolerance and peaceful coexistence? Jono offers maybe not, but what of an extremist group like the Magnetic North? Amber agrees, these mutants are not exactly fans of hers, and their club has only gained popularity by the explosion. Jono wonders if any of them are powerful enough to do it, but Gigi tells most of the mutant students at ESU chose to hide their special abilities, then challengingly asks “Isn’t that right, Amber?”

Chamber realizes he never asked what Amber can do anyway, but she tells him it’s none of his business. She chooses to be defined by her actions not her stupid powers. Gigi adds that a lot mutants are afraid they will be drafted in a war when discovered they could be used as weapons. She tells them they have a right to keep their powers secret, and she respects that. Jono admits he respects it also, but in the meantime he is still trying to solve a murder. Gigi confesses some nights she can still hear the telepathic screams of her boyfriend dying as he used his body as a shield to save her life. She doesn’t need to be reminded that someone needs to brought to justice for this crime. Stumbling on his words, Jono makes out an apology. Gigi admits she’s glad he’s considering every possibility but she reminds him this is a sensitive subject they are talking about. If he has really wants to explore a certain angle of the case, he should be more certain before he goes of leveling accusations. She puts her arm on him as he promises not to. Amber disapprovingly moans in the background. She asks Gigi if she wants to come over later to work on their projects for life drawing class. She admits she would like that, but in the mean time they need to stay ‘en garde’. With this she lifts her fencing sword and lowers her protective helmet to continue her work-out.

Once outside, under a beautiful blue sky, amber quotes Gigi’s ‘en garde’ comment, asking if people actually do talk like that. Chamber asks her what she has against Gigi. Amber confesses she doesn’t know, while she is truly sorry about what happened to her friends, part of her holds Gigi responsible. Why did she have to get involved with their situation? At best, she continues, Gigi suffers from ‘homo sapiens’ burden, trying to solve their problems for them. But at worst, she’s just another hypocrite padding her way through law school. Jono asks why on Earth would she even invite her over later if she felt that way. Amber admits she wants to ask her a few questions while her ‘en garde’ is down. Calling him Sherlock, she admits her fear that Gigi is still hiding something from them. Jono appreciates her help, and calling her Watson, he still believes the only thing she is guilty of is caring too much. Amber jabs the only reason he thinks that is because he has fallen in love with her.

Shocked, Jono denies his love for Gigi, calling Amber mad. Amber mumbles under her breath ‘oh, good’. Trying to change the subject, she asks what he is doing with his Friday night, anyway. He wants to talk powers with Magnetic North, but hasn’t a clue which rock to find them under. Tonight, she informs, he will probably find them at CBGB’s, the only mixed club in Manhattan. Confused about the mixed part, she informs him a mixed club is for humans and mutants. It’s where the Magnetic North kids hang out and, she doesn’t know, mosh to Dazzler records or something. He says goodbye with a cheers, and tells her to wish him luck. She replies, ‘happily’ and leans over to kiss him on the wrappings which cover where his mouth should be.

Jono’s eyes are full of disbelieve as he pulls away asking her to wait, not knowing exactly why she is acting this way. She confesses she had thought he liked her. He admits he does, but as a ..., she cuts him off asking him to do her a favor and not finish this sentence. Amber turns, hurt, and starts to walk away. He calls out to her. As she continues, she has a sour look on her face, she understands and it’s alright. She tells him to go have fun at his little mixed club. Maybe he’ll find a nice human girl there. As he’s left all alone, with only birds flying high above him, he wonders what the hell just happened?


A small crowd surrounds Chamber as he waits in line for admission into CBGB’s. Behind him are a few normal looking club goers, and an individual with a human head and arms, and the lower body a snake. In the street humans gather in protest of the club, one carries a sign that reads: Keep rock Clean. The door man tells Jono it’ll be nine dollars, and he have to see Chamber’s hand. When he asks what for, the door man tells him he’s been working there since The Shirts played here, and no matter if he’s a mutant or a muppet, he’s still has to know who’s under twenty -one. The door man marks on his hand with a black marker. Entering the club, Chamber looks down at the back of his hand, and claims he’ll be damned, no matter where he goes he ends up wearing this bloody letter. The letter X.

Inside the club, a band called M-Word plays in front of a hugely diverse human and mutant crowd. The guitarist’s head is flames, and amongst the diverse crowd, Chamber spots Kirk, the man he was looking for. He pokes his back and says hello Kirk. Before he turns around he brags, the name is Neutrino Annihilator, because he’s phatter than the Blob and cooler than Avalon. Realizing who it is, Kirk asks if Chamber has a death warrant. As they are not on campus anymore, nothing will stop Kirk from obliterating him. Chamber tells him he’s not looking for a fight, only to find out if Kirk had known of any mutants who could fire bio kinetic blasts like himself. He offers to buy him a drink when a friend of Kirk’s interrupts. He informs Kirk that he is talking to the mutie that was dating that lame Britney -clone and he was all over the tabloids a couple months back.

Sugar Kane, Kirk asks, so Jono is not only a gene traitor, but he’s got lousy taste in music as well. Trying to defend himself, Kirk cuts him off threatening if it’s powers he wants to know about, then him and his crew would be happy to demonstrate. He fires a powerful bolt of fire knocking Jono back. A member of the crowd screams that he killed him, and a few run out of the club. Jono jokes, pyro-kinesis is close, but not what he’s looking for. Another member of the Magnetic North approaches, she is a winged woman with long talon fingers. She offers maybe he’s looking for a couple of these, referring to her talons, she’d be happy to rip out his kidneys with them. He apologizes while he doesn’t have any kidneys, he bets they’d hurt like hell when they are kicked. Kicking her, she falls back with a moan of pain.

Ripping off his coat and coverings, his energy cackling around him, Chamber challengingly asks who’s next, anyone with night vision, he boosts his powers to brightness . As someone screams that their eyes hurt, Jono replies he had thought so. Another member of the Magnetic North challenges him, asking if he could break through a force ten psionic shield. Chamber asks why should he bother, blasting the light fixture above him, leaving it to fall crashing on his challenger, knocking him out. Neutrino screams out he’s had enough. asking if they are all trying out for a kung fu flick. He orders them all to bum rush the freak. They circle around him all with deadly mutant powers, and all ready to attack him at once. Chamber decides to get this over blasting his bio-kinetic so powerfully it knocks all of them over.

Jono asks if they are quite through with the alpha male aggro rock bullocks? Kirk tells him not quite, he still has a few friends he should meet. Chamber tells him to suit himself, he hopes his little group can pay for damages. He extends his field once again, this time in individual energy blasts tossing his challengers in varied directions. With all of his attackers down except for Neutrino, Chamber asks if he is finally ready to talk like adults. Eyes glowing sinisterly in the dark, Neutrino tells him there is still one thing he has to do, and it’s to shake his damn hand. He compliments Chamber on not even breaking a sweat taking these fools down. He now has Neutrino’s maximum respect, as Kirk has never met a mutant like Chamber before. Asking if he is serious, Chamber tells him he has to be straight with him, there are lives at stake. He asks once more if Kirk is sure he has never met a mutant with powers similar to his. Kirk informs him there was, just one.... Chamber thinks “Oh God, Amber”

Characters Involved: 



Walter, Chamber’s roommate

Gigi Martin (Students for Tolerance)

Neutrino Annihilator and other mutant students (all Magnetic North)

other members of Magnetic North

various other humans and mutants

Story Notes: 

Dazzler is a mutant who also had music career over the years.

Sugar Kane is a young pop artist who Chamber was dating in Uncanny X-Men #395-398, she resembles Britney Spears, a real life, young blonde pop artist.

Sherlock Holmes is fictional detective who solved many cases with his partner Dr. Watson.

Blob is a mutant who has an immovable body mass. He is fat, the word phat is a slang word for cool.

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