Civil War: X-Men #3

Issue Date: 
November 2006
Story Title: 

David Hine (Writer), Yanick Paquette with Aaron Lopresti (Penciler), Serge LaPointe with Jay Leisten (Inker), Stephane Peru (Colorist), VC’s Russ Wooton (Letterer), Sean Ryan (Assistant Editor), Nick Lowe (Associate Editor), Mike Marts (Editor), Joe Quesada (Editor in Chief), Dan Buckley (Publisher)

Brief Description: 

Cyclops, under the control of Johnny Dee, instigates a conflict between the X-Men and the O*N*E by brutally attacking Bishop. This nearly kills Bishop and rapidly escalates the conflict over the 198. Domino orders the 198 to go to the X-Men’s aid. Lorelei realizes that Johnny Dee is responsible for this situation having learned the truth of his mutant nature as the 198 fled the Xavier Institute. Johnny uses members of the 198 to attack Domino, who decides that only she and Shatterstar are to be trusted given that Johnny may be able to control any of the 198. Through his pawns, Johnny Dee learns that Caliban has discovered weapons of mass destruction in the facility and shares this info with General Lazer. Shatterstar and Domino join the battle against the O*N*E and Shatterstar nearly kills Micromax. Val Cooper’s plans to win amnesty and end the interment of mutants is threatened when Lazer threatens to go public with the battle in Nevada, ending any chance of the President approving these policy changes. Cooper’s contact in the Pentagon tips her off to Lazer’s manipulation of the mutant, Johnny Dee and his recent acquisition of Cyclops DNA. Val asks for Colonel Reyes help and together, they expose Lazer’s plans and Johnny Dee’s involvement. However, before they could intervene Lazer initiated the destruction of the WMDs in the Nevada bunker and locked the 198 inside. Val updates Bishop who declares a ceasefire and informs those present of the dire threat to the 198.

Full Summary: 

Under the mental thrall of Johnny Dee, Cyclops continues to unleash his optic blast against Bishop. Archangel shouts to Scott that Bishop will merely absorb the energy and “Scott” coldly replies “Not this time.” The Beast sees that this attack is actually hurting Bishop and urges Scott to ease off on the attack. To everyone’s surprise, “Cyclops” turns his beam on the Beast! He then turns to resume his attack on Bishop whose entire nervous system is aglow with energy making it visible through his tissue, skin and even his costume. He warns those around him to take cover as he has to release the energy he’s absorbed. He directs the massive energy discharge up, slicing through the arm of the nearest Sentinel.
The Sentinel pilot is dumbfounded at the damage as their data on the Sentinel’s armor capabilities indicated that it could sustain up to seven seconds of assault by Cyclops at full power. Hearing this, Colonel Reyes directs the officer in charge of the O*N*E, Sergeant Foley to subdue Cyclops but not to kill him as the last thing they need is a martyr.
Foley relays the order and Sabra moves in to help Bishop and asks Micromax to take out Cyclops. As he prepares to move out, Micromax triggers something in his palm. Sabra asks about this and he tells her he has an internal sound system that provides music; in this case Primal Scream’s album “Exterminator”. As he charges in, he adds that action scenes should always have a soundtrack.
As the battle gets started, Beast tells Iceman that Cyclops must be under some kind of psychic attack. He adds that they need to cool things down before things get out of control.
Micromax punches Cyclops as Sabra confronts Archangel in the air. She tells him she has no desire to fight them and they have no chance at winning. He retorts that she is “just following orders”. Micromax turns his attack on the Beast just as Cyclops begins to come around. Beast is surprised by Micromax’s strength and recalls that he can increase his density as well as his size. Iceman is holding off a handful of soldiers with an ice shield and calls on the Beast for help.
Meanwhile, Micromax carries Bishop from the field of battle. Bishop is appalled that Cyclops was actually trying to kill him. Beast checks on Cyclops and asks if he is with them or still a threat. Still groggy, Cyclops reveals that someone has been inside his head.
Inside the bunker, Domino and the rest of the 198 watch as Cyclops’ ragtag team of X-Men are being overpowered by the O*N*E forces. She tells them they have to go out to help. Scalphunter tells her they don’t and suggests they fly out of there while they have the chance. He adds that they should split up as they are too vulnerable as a group. Mammomax tells him to go ahead then. Domino steps in and tells them that they are not leaving the X-Men in the lurch since they are only there in the first place because they wanted to help the 198. Scalphunter points out that Cyclops started the fight and has clearly flipped out. She simplifies it and says that the people who came to their aid are getting slaughtered and asks who is with her.
Lorelei stops and asks that they zoom in on Cyclops. She sees how disoriented he is and tells the others that she knows what’s happened to him. She tells them that he’s being controlled by Johnny Dee. She recounts how Johnny mysteriously appeared in the camp and seemed okay at first. She tells them how Magma killed Absolon Mercator but had no recollection of it afterwards and how several other residents of the camps had similar experiences. But on the night they escaped the camp, she saw Johnny Dee drop his suitcase and saw the strange capsules inside it and the “voodoo pawn” of Magma. She tells them that he knew she had seen this and touched her hair. She believes that he can control anyone he’s touched.
Arclight chides Lorelei for not mentioning this earlier and Lorelei responds that she didn’t want to sow any unnecessary suspicion among the 198 since she could be wrong. At that moment, Outlaw steps forward and points her pistol at Domino. She tells Lorelei that she’s dead right but that “she” prefers that they not aid the X-Men. Realizing that this isn’t Outlaw she’s dealing with, Domino tells Johnny Dee that Outlaw’s weapon is pretty primitive and sooner or later will misfire. She tells him that she feels the odds are in her favor given her luck powers and urges him to pull the trigger since she’s feeling lucky. Johnny does so and nothing happens. Toad moves in and takes Outlaw down. When Outlaw gains her senses, she tells Toad he better have a real good reason to be squatting on her.
Domino begins to warn the others that Johnny Dee may assume control of someone else. Before she can finish the sentence, Lorelei attacks her with her hair, taunting her with the catchphrase “He-e-e-e-ere’s Johnny!” Shatterstar jumps in and slices through Lorelei’s hair with his sword. She gathers her wits as she is released from his control. Domino confirms that Lorelei is once again in control of her body and she tells Domino that Johnny is really, really sick.
Domino announces to the others that only she and Shatterstar will go to help the X-Men since anyone among the 198 could have been duped by Johnny Dee. She tells them to lock themselves in and to watch each other closely. She guesses that Johnny Dee can only control one target at a time but it could be any one of them. Shatterstar notes that Caliban could be among those controlled just as he returns and shares the news that he found weapons of mass destruction within the bunker. This is overheard by Erg, the mutant Johnny Dee is currently controlling. Dee relays this new info to General Lazer.
At O*N*E’s mobile HQ, Val Cooper tells Colonel Reyes that the President is well on his way to amending the current laws to eliminate the call for mutant internment and to provide amnesty to any criminal acts that occurred during the exodus from the Xavier Institute. Coupled with the Superhuman Registration Act, Dr. Cooper sees this as a perfect opportunity for mutants to find official legitimization as they will have equal opportunities as any superhuman to become a sanctioned government agent through registration. She just needs to convince the X-Men to stand down until these changes can take effect. Col. Reyes tells her this may be too late and shows her the footage of Shatterstar and Domino joining the fray.
At that moment, General Lazer contacts them to convey his intent to report the battle in Nevada to the President and release a statement to the press. Valerie tells him that this will kill the plans to offer amnesty and Lazer smirks and replies “You thinks so?” before ending his transmission.
Valerie is fuming with hatred for the general when her phone rings. It’s her contact inside the Pentagon’s O*N*E, Martin who reports what is going on with Lazer. After hanging up the phone, Valerie turns to Colonel Reyes and asks him how important his career is to him. She tells him what she’s learned from Martin: Lazer has been locked up all day with a mutant named John Dee who he had transferred there from the Xavier Institute. He’s also requested DNA samples the government acquired from the Xavier Institute during Operation Zero Tolerance, among them DNA from Cyclops. She tells Reyes that she knows Cyclops would never attack Bishop the way he did and suspects that Lazer is somehow behind all this.
She reminds Reyes that their original charge was to protect mutants and she asks him if that has changed. He says “Not to my knowledge.” She tells him she’s going to go with her instincts on this and wants his support. Again she asks how much he cares about his career. He replies that he cares about two things in life; the army and… he begins to say his sister. Val interrupts and notes that he still has no idea where she is or if she’s still a mutant after M-Day. He replies that he doesn’t even know if she’s alive…but he does know he’d be a sad person if all he cared for was his career.
Valerie and Col. Reyes make their way to the Pentagon where they are met by Val’s inside contact, Martin. He gives them an update and escorts them to Lazer’s private office. Val thanks him and once he’s gone, explains to Reyes that he’s a former boyfriend.
The O*N*E guard at the door tries to prevent Cooper and Reyes from entering and Val boldly asks him if he’s prepared to shoot her in order to stop her. Reyes coldly tells him that “no” would be the right answer. He says good-bye to his career as he kicks in the door.
Lazer demands to know what he’s doing and Reyes sees Johnny Dee holding his miniature of Cyclops, along with “voodoo pawns” of Lorelei, Leech, Erg, Magma and Outlaw. Reyes tells Lazer that he’s there to ruin his day and how happy he is to see Johnny doing just what they suspected. Johnny smiles at Lazer and tells them they’ve been caught red-handed. He asks the general if he plans on telling the about the WMDs. Lazer tells him to shut up but Johnny simply smiles and tells the general that he doesn’t think he gets to tell him what to do anymore. Val places a call directly to the Secretary of Defense.
In Nevada, the battle rages as Domino and Shatterstar join Cyclops’ embattled team. Micromax grabs Archangel’s ankle and pounds him into the ground. Sabra notes her surprise that Micromax could get that large and he makes a flirtatious remark about everything being in proportion. Shatterstar approaches and tells Micromax that size doesn’t impress him. Micromax makes a move to squash Shatterstar who drives his double-bladed sword into Micromax’s stomach. Micromax falls, hard and immediately begins to shrink down to normal size. Sabra cries out and calls Shatterstar a “murdering animal”. He simply replies that he is sorry but the concept of murder does not apply here because this is a war.
From the bluff above, Bishop watches as the X-Men and their allies fight valiantly despite being outnumbered. A soldier runs up to him as he realizes that this could become far worse than the future that he comes from if it continues to escalate. He takes aim at Cyclops and apologizes for what he is about to do. He is intent on ending things here. The O*N*E soldier insists that Bishop take the call from Dr. Cooper before he acts. After hearing Val’s update, Bishop shouts out for a cease fire, which is echoed by one of the Sentinels. He tells the assembled forces that they have a new situation. General Lazer has been arrested and Val Cooper is now in charge of O*N*E. He reveals that Lazer had his own agenda and was using a mutant to control various players in this battle including Cyclops.
Iceman and Beast note that they had Lazer and the mind control thing pegged from the start. Iceman asks what’s really changed and if this means they’re letting the 198 go. Bishop tells him that what has changed is their priorities. Sabra says that they have a wounded man here and he should be the priority as medics scrambled to staunch his wound.
Bishop says they’ll take care of Micromax but there’s a bigger problem. He shares with those present that the bunker contains experimental weapons. Domino reports that Caliban found them and that they have no idea how to use them if that’s his new concern. Bishop continues and says that these weapons were unstable and the bunker was modified to contain their uncontrollable forces as a failsafe. Lazer has locked down the bunker and initiated these failsafe protocols, effectively trapping the 198 within the facility. He reports that Dr. Cooper is in contact with Stark Industries who built the facility. Stark Industries reports that with the firepower at their disposal it would take eight hours minimum to breach the bunker’s defenses and free the 198. However, the weapons are on auto-destruct and will detonate in less than an hour. He announces that they are about to lose half of the remaining mutants on the planet.

Characters Involved: 

Archangel, Beast, Bishop, Cyclops, Iceman (X-Men)
Domino, Shatterstar (X-Force)
Arclight, Caliban, Johnny Dee, Erg, Mammomax, Outlaw, Scalphunter, Toad and other unnamed members of the “198”
Valerie Cooper, General Lazer, Colonel Miguel Reyes, Sergeant Foley, Martin, Brodie and various unnamed O*N*E* soldiers and personnel

Micromax, Sabra (International allies of O*N*E)
In Flashback:

Johnny Dee, Lorelei, Magma, Absolon Mercator

Story Notes: 

The O*N*E* arrived to protect and monitor the world’s remaining mutants in Decimation: House of M - The Day After, Sentinel Squad O*N*E* #5, and X-Men (2nd Series) #177.
Xavier’s estate was open as a refugee camp in Decimation: House of M – The Day After. The mutants arriving soon realized that wouldn’t be able to leave for their own protection. The mutants quickly became disgruntled, especially after it was discovered that they had electronic tags implanted in them and two of their own died, as seen in X-Men: 198 #1-5. Tensions again rose high when Apocalypse offered them salvation in X-Men (2nd Series) #182-186. In that instance, the Sentinel Squad proved useless in defense, as well as in New X-Men (2nd Series) #23, 25, 27, and X-Men: Deadly Genesis #1-6, in which one Squad member actually perished.
Primal Scream is a Scottish rock band that has been around since the 1980s. It’s gone through several incarnations and a wide range of musical styles. “XTRMNTR” is their sixth album and was released in 2000.
Archangel accuses Sabra of “Just following orders” the infamous Nuremberg Defense. This defense was most famously used by Nazi war criminals during the Nuremberg Trials in an effort to excuse themselves for the moral and legal responsibility of their actions while following the orders of the Third Reich. This is a particularly ironic and loaded comment for Archangel to make considering Sabra’s Israeli origins.
Johnny Dee has been manipulating events surrounding the 198 for some time as revealed in the X-MEN: 198 Limited Series.
The famous line ““He-e-e-e-ere’s Johnny!” was uttered by Jack Nicholson in the classic thriller “The Shining.” This line, in turn, was taken from the famous introduction of John Carson by Ed McMahon on every episodes of "the Tonight Show."
During Operation: Zero Tolerance, the US government seized control of the Xavier Institute and stripped it of all its equipment, databases and alien technologies. It was during this time that they must have seized medical files and DNA samples of the X-Men, including Cyclops. Operation: Zero Tolerance began with X-Men (2nd series) #65 and crossed over into most of the core X-Men titles published in the summer of 1997.

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