Exiles (1st series) #40

Issue Date: 
March 2004
Story Title: 
King Hyperion - part 3

Chuck Austen (writer), Jim Calafiore (penciler) Mark McKenna with Rick Ketcham (inker), Transparency Digital (colors), Dave Sharpe (letters), Cory Sedlmeier & Stephanie Moore (assistant editors), Mike Marts (editor), Joe Quesada (editor and chief), Dan Buckley (publisher).

Brief Description: 

Gambit finally meets this reality’s Storm and is greeted by her with a kiss; she too lost the one she loved, her Gambit. They discover that Storm is keeping a bunch of humans safe in her Storm field. Storm rejects the idea of escaping Earth’s destruction aboard Asteroid M, she tells them that she can’t leave behind they people who followed her.
Hyperion appears with the remaining Brotherhood mutants, they inform the others of their plan to stop the asteroid by having Rogue absorb some of Hyperion’s power and help him blast the rock. Gambit manages to persuade Storm that he need her to come with them because he doesn’t want to go through losing her again. The group teleports to the asteroid with the exception of Rogue and Hyperion.
Rogue absorbs some of Hyperion’s power and they try to blast apart the bigger pieces of the asteroid. While doing so, Hyperion’s power begins to wear off Rogue, as she reaches for him to get a boost, he flies away from her and leaves her to die, deciding that it is hopeless.
Above the asteroid they watch the Earth blow up and Kitty takes initiative and tries to get her and Colossus away. However Hyperion catches them and does what Kitty was expecting him to do, he blows a hole in the ship and Kitty and Colossus get blown out and die. The team begins to kill the rest of the mutants so they may move on to the next reality and try to take over the world again. Gambit kills Storm at her plea, she does not want Hyperion doing it.
The Weapon X team receives Bruce Banner and Firestar to replace Colossus and Vision. They tell Hyperion that the Timebroker is not happy with them.

Full Summary: 

Storm City, Colorado

Storm greet Vanisher and the group, Vanisher reminds her that he told her that he had something that would interest her. She agrees and as Remy is trying to explain to her their role as Weapon X Storm surprises him and pulls him into a kiss. Remy begins to explain again telling her reminding her that he is not her Gambit. She smiles and tells him that she knows but she watched her Gambit die and he looks so much like him. She continues asking him to forgive her forward manner but explains that she wasn’t able to say goodbye to her beloved, her Gambit. A tear drop wells up and falls down her cheek, she gratefully tells him that kissing him helps a little.

Turning to Colossus she tells him that she heard that he along with the rest of the X-Men had all died, then adds that it’s a shame that Professor X refused her offer to join her and her followers inside of the storm field. An enraged Kitty berates Storm, telling her that she could have helped them and that the X-Men were on their way. Peter holds her back and tries to calm her down. With teeth clenched together in anger, Storm tells Kitty to calm down and that she is not to blame and it was Xavier and his foolish and idealistic ways that led them to their deaths that would have happened regardless of whether or not Storm helped.

Storm then turns her attention to Spider telling him that she doesn’t know who or what he is, he flicks his tongue at her and tells her to kiss him and find out. Gambit shoots Spider an annoyed look and gets him to leave Storm alone. Storms tells Remy that despite how much seeing him has alleviated her pain, they don’t have much time to enjoy each other’s company since Magneto and his Brotherhood have launched an asteroid at the Earth to destroy it, an extinction level event in which the Earth will become a lifeless husk. “We mutants had the power to change the world, and instead, one of us- - as the humans always feared- -destroyed it.” Kitty begins to ask if Vanisher could teleport them up to the asteroid so that some may live, and he tells her that he doesn’t know if he can since it’s pretty far and if her misses they will just have a nice view from space of the destruction of Earth before their blood boils out of their eyeballs. At Vanisher’s prompt Storm tells him that she promised the people that followed her to Storm City that they would be safe from the mutant-human war and she can’t leave them now. Remy gets concerned and tells Storm that it looks like she has done everything that she can do and in all the realities of chaos he’s seen he has learned one thing, “- -if you have a chance to survive, you take it.”

Suddenly Hyperion shows up with Rogue and Ms. Marvel flies Iceman in from behind, he informs them that all of them will survive and he will stop the asteroid and then rule the planet. Spider gets excited and tells Hyperion that if he says he can stop the sun from rising, he would believe him. Hyperion informs Vanisher and the others that his plan is to have Rogue absorb some of his powers and they will stop the asteroid together. Iceman looks aside in uncertainty and sarcastically ask if he is supposed to grow wings and fly to Jupiter. Rogue tries to assure her man that everything is going to be fine and then they will rule the world. Iceman reminds her that Hyperion never said “we.” Remy consults with Hyperion asking him if the rest of them is supposed to sit there and pray, Hyperion tells him to take the teleporter and the others and go to Asteroid M until they have finished then they will gather and organize the individual governments under his rule.
Storm tells them that she is not leaving her people. Vanisher tries to persuade her to go but she insists that since they are supposed to save them anyway then why should she leave her home and her people. Hyperion grabs Storm by the shoulder and informs her that she must survive to which she inquires why he cares. He informs her that if all the mutants in this reality die, then the team will be sent to another reality with a new mission and he doesn’t plan for that to happen. Storms walks off and tells him to never touch her again. Gambit runs after her and tells her that he has seen what Hyperion can do and he can save them. Storms questions him about what will happen if Hyperion can’t, she tells him to imagine what would happen and lets him know that she does not intent to serve Hyperion for the rest of her life. Gambit begins to tell her that in his reality they were married and he loved her more than his own life but lost her and he can’t leave her behind to die all over again. He begs her not to make him go through it all again. With his head bent in concern and sorrow, Storm gazes at him, her sad expression softens and she agrees to go with him.
The group teleports off to the asteroid, Gambit and Storm are holding each other’s arms, Rogue places a hand on Iceman. After they leave Hyperion asks Rogue if absorbing his powers will hurt him. She replies that it will hurt a little as she pulls off her inhibitor collar. Hyperion cringes a little as Rogue revels in his power, he pushes her hand away after a while telling her it’s enough; she continues reveling in the feeling of his power and asks him if her feels like that all the time, “I feel like I could crack the world!”

Asteroid M.

Forge tells Quicksilver that the asteroid will strike in less than five minutes just as Vanisher teleports the group in. Quicksilver runs over to them and Forge tells him that the teleportation signature tells him that it is Vanisher along with six other meta-humans. Quicksilver questions what is happening and asks where Magneto is. Iceman approaches him and tells him that Magneto is dead, Pietro’s jaw drops, he question how it happened. Iceman ignores the question and tells Pietro that his father was crazy and this time he got more than himself killed, he also got Wolverine and Mystique killed. Pietro threatens to kill whoever killed his father, Iceman tells him to chill and calls Magneto crazy, reminding him that he was going to destroy the planet regardless of whether they came with him or not. Iceman adds that Pietro once planned to stop Magneto and they all thought it but never said it, but killing Magneto was the only way. Pietro cringes in anger and grief, he consents that it was the only way and his father was crazy to destroy the Earth even with the Sentinels gone and them being able to go back. Forge tells them that it’s too late now since the asteroid is unstoppable, he then asks where Rogue is. Standing by the window watching the asteroid, Ms. Marvel tells him that she is with Hyperion and that it is not too late, she then tells them to shut up so she can watch the show.

Rogue and Hyperion continue blasting apart the bigger chunks of the asteroid before the hit the Earth to prevent too much damage. Suddenly, Rogue falters and reaches for Hyperion, she tells him that she need a quick recharge since his powers are wearing off her. She turns his back to her and tells her it’s pointless. As he flies away Rogue screams for him to come back because she can’t do it alone, she screams his name as she is burned alive.

FWOOOOOOOOOOM! The Earth is engulfed in flame and debris as the mutants aboard Asteroid M watch on. Gambit holds Storm in sorrow. Iceman worries about Rogue. Kitty pulls Peter away and phases them to the lower deck. Colossus asks Kitty where she is taking him, she tells him that they have to leave before Hyperion gets back. He tells her that they don’t even know if he is still alive, she tells him that he is alive and plans to kill the ones the Timebroker told them to kill. Colossus tries to calm her down. Kitty continues to pull him away telling him that Hyperion won’t want to stay on a planet that is ruined, not if he can move on to another one; he will kill whoever is necessary to get a fresh new world to conquer. Peter agrees with her but assumes that there is nowhere to go. Kitty suggest that maybe the Savage Land or the Morlock Tunnels somehow survived and they have to go now.

Suddenly the door opens with a beep and a burned looking Hyperion comes stomping in, and asks Kitty whom she would rather take her chances down there against. Colossus holds Kitty and tries to remain calm, a false smile plastered on his face, he asks Hyperion what the plan is now. Grinning menacingly, Hyperion asks if Peter is really that naive. Colossus attempts to attack Hyperion and tells him to leave Kitty alone. Kitty tells him to stop since he will be killed. Hyperion falls to the ground, Peter takes Kitty’s arm and tells her that they will take their chances on Earth, and asks her to phase them to the escape pod, she freaks out as Hyperion gets up. Peter smiles assuringly at her at promises her that they will be alright.

An explosion rumbles through the ship, Forge tells them that they are losing pressure and he is sealing off all access ways. Gambit asks if something hit them then looks out the window and sees Peter and Kitty floating around in space dead with their hands still reaching for each other as the drift. Gambit realizes that Hyperion is on the ship and ready to finish the mission, he charges up a knife. Storm questions Remy on what they will do, Gambit looks down in failure and Spider eagerly approaches and asks if they get to kill the other mutants now. Suddenly another hole is ripped through the ship on the deck the group is on, Forge yells for Iceman to seal up the hole but Hyperion manages to pull Forge away from his console and fling him into space.

Hyperion, with his hair burned shorter and tears all over his costume proclaims to Weapon X that the world is a lost cause. Iceman prefers to differ and attempts to freeze Hyperion as Hyperion yells for the team to kill the others so that they can move on. Ms. Marvel calls the world lame and Spider begins to chant merrily about death and destruction. Quicksilver attempts to punch Hyperion out and yells for Iceman to ice Hyperion but he proves to slow for Hyperion who tells him that he annoys him then proceeds to snap his neck.
Vanisher tells Storm that they must go and Gambit agrees telling her that Hyperion plans to kill them all, Storm looks away hopelessly telling them that there is no place to go because the Earth is now a lifeless husk. Suddenly Vanisher feels a prick on his back and sees dark blood appear on his chest, Spider pops out from behind and apologizes for accidentally putting his blade through his heart. Gambit stabs Spider in the shoulder and tells him that they could have had a life here, he then asks what Spider has to go home to.

Remy then tries to help Storm and carry the dying Vanisher somewhere else, Vanisher tells that he can’t get them off the ship but he manages to teleport them out of the room just as Spider blast them. “Stupid teleporters!”

Iceman is running away from Hyperion as he insults him about running away while his girlfriend at least went out with courage. He then asks Spider and Ms. Marvel where Storm and Vanisher went, Carol tells him that she’s unsure but Gambit is gone too. Spider decided to show off and tells Hyperion that he stuck the bald guy good before they left and that they shouldn’t be able to get far since the trip to the ship had pretty much worn him out.

An all too familiar blinking sound rips through the air and two new members appear. A pony-tail sporting, purple Mr. T jumpsuit wearing, green Hulked-up intelligent Bruce Banner informs them that they have been sent to finish the mission. Firestar tells Hyperion that Timebroker is not pleased with his actions but he ignores her and is pleased that Vision finally died with the explosion of the Earth. Bruce tells Hyperion that his deviation from the mission is no joke, then crushes Iceman into a million pieces while Firestar burns him. Banner then tells Hyperion that he shouldn’t be smiling since Timebroker sent them to deal with him and Timebroker is extremely mad.

Hyperion tells them that he doubts that they can deal with him and that there are only a few lose ends to tie up before that can get on their way, Firestar, arms still crossed, tells him that they will just discuss his disobedience there.
Storm and Gambit hold each other in a cold corridor as Vanisher’s body sits near them, Remy apologizes, she tells him that Vanisher was such a good man. Remy then tells her that they will be here soon and they will have nowhere left to run to. Storm tells him it’s alright though she rather be dying with her Earth and she feels disconnected outside of the atmosphere. Remy tries to tells her how they thought that they might have been able to find a way to be together and apologizes again. Storm kneels by Vanisher’s body and tells Remy that this is how it should end and tries to comfort him by telling him that he’ll find his way home someday and he should make sure to take care of his Storm once he gets there. She pulls out a knife then hands it to him and asks if he can do it for her since she doesn’t want Hyperion touching her, he cringes in shock and tries to say no, they begin to sob, she tells him to make it quick, then adds that it wasn’t meant to be. He honors her wishes, “It was meant to be.…”

As tears well up and fall from Remy’s eyes, the re-formed Weapon X team shows up and Hyperion smugly tells Gambit that he knew he was too sensible and would come around eventually. Spider tells Hyperion that he has a pain that says otherwise, and calls Gambit a Back-stabber/ shoulder-stabber. Gambit does not look st his team, he hold Storm in his arms and tells them that the Tallus says that they can move on now. Hyperion begins to walk away, he tells then not to worry since this was only the first opportunity to rule and there will be other worlds, he ten adds that this world was after all rather amusing. The Earth is a lifeless ball of dust, Storm and Vanisher lie dead on the ship as the corpses of Colossus, Kitty, and Forge float around lifeless in space.

Characters Involved: 

Bruce Banner, Colossus, Firestar, Gambit, Hyperion, Ms. Marvel, The Spider (all Weapon X)
Alternate reality Weapon X visit in #38-40:

Forge, Iceman, Quicksilver, Rogue, Shadowcat, Storm, Vanisher (the last mutants of that reality)

Story Notes: 

In issue #38, Vision was blasted by Hyperion after dissenting with his idea to take over the world. Vision was left barely alive so that Timebroker would not be able to send a replacement to interfere with his plan.

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