Exiles (1st series) #41

Issue Date: 
March 2004
Story Title: 
A Nocturne’s Tale - part 1

Jim Califiore (writer), Jim Califiore (penciler) Eric Cannon (inker), Transparency Digital (colors), Dave Sharpe (letters), Cory Sedlmeier & Stephanie Moore (assistant editor), Mike Marts (editor), Joe Quesada (editor and chief), Dan Buckley (president).

Brief Description: 

Nocturne’s reality: During a fight between the X-Men and Apocalypse, Kate Pryde gets caught in Apocalypse’s chronal device and as it explodes, she disappears and a younger version of Kitty Pryde replaces her.
Back at the mansion, T.J. shows the young Kitty around the mansion and they bump into James Proudstar whom they both agree has a nice butt. Young Kitty is upset over her displacement in time and T.J. comforts her. The next day Nocturne is showing off in the Danger Room and having fun, she gets caught off guard but manages to get away, Nightcrawler, however, is not pleased and reprimands her, telling her she needs to take things more seriously and it’s for her own good. She storms off in a huff and bumps into Kitty in the hall, they decided to get away for a while.
A crippled Wolverine discusses where Kate could have go with Kurt. A news report then announces that the Avengers have had another successful mission ins South America, Kurt proudly smiles at the image of his wife the Scarlet Witch. A second news report shows Cyclops and a bunch of mutants escaping from somewhere. They wonder what Scott is up to.. The next day after a training segment with Nocturne and her storming off, Kurt is talking with Logan about if he is pushing Nocturne too hard, Logan tells him that he is when a sudden explosion rocks through the wall. Cyclops stands against the hole and announces that he’s home.
Blob, Hyve, Rogue, White Dwarf, X-Punk’s Beast, and Radioactive Man stand behind Cyclops.

Full Summary: 

Tuesday, Nocturne’s reality, sometime before she became an Exile.

Nocturne, Thunderbird, Shadowcat, Phoenix, Nightcrawler, and Armageddon are fighting with Apocalypse; a rather common event since Apocalypse seems to enjoy attacking the city every Tuesday, like clock work. Apocalypse had demolished a few buildings downtown and set up a big machine called the Chronal Disrupter. With it he wants to conquer the world and as always it was left to the X-Men to stop him. Luckily, Apocalypse’s son Armageddon had recently decided to change sides and help stop his father. During the fight, Phoenix was trapped in a power dampener and Armageddon’s power was much appreciated since Shadowcat, Nightcrawler, Nocturne, and Thunderbird aren’t the most fearstriking names out there.

As Armageddon fights Apocalypse, Nocturne jumps into the fight with Nightcrawler yelling after her to stop. Apocalypse comments to Armageddon how the telekinetics inherited from his mother are impressive, yet never enough then throws him to the ground. Just as Armageddon hits the ground Nocturne makes her presence known but letting a few hex bolts out at Apocalypse. She leaps around him making light of the situation. Apocalypse gets annoyed with her and slams her down, Nightcrawler bamfs to help her and Thunderbird hits Apocalypse with a beam from the debris, “Hey! That’s a teammate of mine!” As Thunderbird and Armageddon are fighting Apocalypse, Nightcrawler is tearing into Nocturne for rushing into the fight and risking her life. “Aunt” Kate Pryde comforts an annoyed Nocturne and compliments her on her “pretty somersaults.” She always knows the right thing to say.

Logan interrupts them telepathically from the mansion; he lets them know that they have a job to do: they have to distract Apocalypse while Kate takes out the machine. As they all jump onto Apocalypse and cling onto him, he calls them idiots. Shadowcat tells Logan that she is unsure if she can phase through the field around the machine, she struggles through as Logan instructs her to hurry. Apocalypse blast away all those surrounding him and informs Kate that he senses her within the machine. Phoenix, having burnt out Apocalypses dampener shows up next to him and lets him know that now that she’s free it really doesn’t matter what he feels. The Phoenix force had come back and set up house in the empty shell of Colossus who had sacrificed his life trying to save his sister when something happened to her realm Limbo. The rest of the X-Men have TK-chips in their heads to communicate with Logan back in the mansion but a TK-chip wouldn’t have made Phoenix listen or obey anyway.

As Kate Pryde struggles to take out the machine Phoenix lights up and blows Apocalypse and his machine up. A huge explosion follows and everyone is blown over, Thunderbird worries about T.J. and tries to help her up as she asks where Apocalypse is. Logan interrupts them again and informs them that Kate was with the machine when Apocalypse’s machine went up and he’s lost contact. Nightcrawler is distressed, everyone begins to throw aside debris from the explosion. As Armageddon lifts aside a giant piece of rock, he tells them that he is happy to help but he doesn’t know what they are looking for. They soon uncover Kate but she is not their Kate, she looks like she did when she was a child and just joined the X-Men. Logan instructs them that Apocalypse is gone and all his shields are down which means the cops will be showing up soon. He tells them to pick up Kate and get out of the location and they will figure everything out at home.

The mansion

Thunderbird watches a news report telling the viewers that the X-Men were involved in an incident that demolished half a city block. Nightcrawler tells Logan that Apocalypse is not showing up anywhere in a three-mile perimeter scan. He offers to expand the scan but Logan says no and that Apocalypse is gone and they don’t know where but their Kate is gone too. Logan assumes that it had something to do with the time machine, Nightcrawler interrupts with the actual name of the machine, Chronal Disrupter. Logan brushes him off and suggests that when the time machine went up, it sent their Kate back in time and somehow swapped her with her younger self. Nightcrawler adds that young Kitty says that she just arrived at the school maybe three weeks ago. Nightcrawler wonders if it is just a matter of time displacement then where did their Kate go, why she isn’t at the school right now older, why they have no memory of Kate appearing twenty-five years ago and Kitty disappearing. He suggests that Kate might have not just been sent back in time but to another reality. Logan informs Kurt that the scent is right and that it would be best to have Moira do a complete set of test on her to make sure if she is their Kate or not.

Another story is broadcast in the news, this one concerns a successful mission the Avengers had in South America, Nightcrawler smiles proudly when he hears that the Scarlet Witch was instrumental in repelling the alien invasion. Logan reminds Kurt to have T.J. put Kitty up in the student dorms for the night in hopes of maybe calming the poor kid down, since she has been through a lot.

A news flash catches their attention: the former X-Man, Cyclops, is leading a band of unidentified mutants in a daring escape, possibly signaling the emergence of a new Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Kurt comments on how the media is not being kind to Scott, Logan tells Kurt that he doesn’t care about Scott’s PR but is concerned about his intentions. Thunderbird starts to leave for a shower, turning around, he tells them that it’s no news that he never liked Cyke much but they stayed and he left, so they should forget about him.

T.J. is giving Kitty the grand tour and some background information on the members of the X-Men. They discuss how Wolverine killed Professor Xavier but how it really wasn’t his fault since he was being mind controlled by the Shadow King at the time. Nocturne adds that the Shadow King is Egyptian, fat, wears a fez, and has a serious old-nemesis syndrome. She tells Kitty how Logan was almost paralyzed by the murder and how everyone forgave him except Cyclops who left after Jean Grey died. She adds that Logan now runs the school but she thinks it’s mostly out of guilt since “Uncle Logan” never really forgave himself and is really somber now. Kitty sarcastically compares somber Logan to the happy-go-lucky, laugh-a-minute, champion-of-optimism Wolverine she knows. T.J. tells her that he is different, he’s sadder now.

A young boy in a radiation chamber calls out to T.J., they go over to Lucien and take a look at his new jet model he put together. He tells her it took him the whole day. Nocturne assures him that he did a beautiful job. Through the glass of the radiation chamber Lucien asks T.J. to help him with the decals but Moira MacTaggert tells him that T.J. needs to help her.

Moira is a brilliant scientist but, according to Nocturne, she can only concentrate on one thing at a time, with Kitty’s new problem, poor Lucien got forgotten. Kitty asks if Moira can send her home, Moira tells Kitty all the right things to keep her hopes up but they end up to be empty promises; as far as Nocturne knows Kitty wasn’t ever able to go home and Aunt Kate was never seen again.

Armageddon stands in his room starring at his bed which is all too small for him, he is feeling out of place. Kurt walks in and finds him like that, he realizes that he should have put more thought into “Geddy’s” temporary quarters, he couldn’t even lie down in his tiny bed. Kurt ask Armageddon how he is doing. He asks Nightcrawler how is he supposed to feel since he betrayed his father to help his mortal enemies possibly kill him, which he doesn’t think can really happen. Kurt tells him that he did the right thing and Armageddon replies that he knows he did the right thing but it doesn’t change the fact that he feels like he is nowhere at the moment. Kurt tells him that he is somewhere, he is here which is a big step considering where he came from, he urges him to join them. He adds that no one that ever came to the mansion didn’t feel lost at some time but it is the Professor’s dream to give everyone a home and a family. He wishes him a goodnight and leaves.

Kitty tells T.J. that she never saw anyone like Lucien. T.J. replies that Lucien used to be a normal kid, kind of, he used to be able to take away people’s pain, injuries, diseases, defects and absorb them into himselfm then purge them out of his system. Because of his ability, Lucien, using a bunch of telepaths and Cerebro absorbed the Legacy Virus from the world. The sad part is that he couldn’t get rid of it and now he looks like that (a skeleton glowing yellow-green with unstable glowing blue energy around it). T.J. adds that looking like that is driving Lucien crazy and his see-through room isn’t helping either.

Suddenly, James Proudstar walks out in front of them, he’s clinging a small towel wrapped around his waist and is wiping his wet hair with another towel. He greets them casually and apologizes for scaring them. He tells them that his shower is out and he decided to use the dorm locker room. He asks Kitty if she is adjusting. Kitty looks up at him in awe, and tells him that she is fine and T.J. is showing her around. As Nocturne avoids starring at him, he adds that she would be his choice for a guide too and tells them to have fun. As he is walking away, Kitty tells Nocturne that he’s cute and tells her to look at his butt, A suddenly serious-faced T.J. tries to pull her away and they get into a little debate over if T.J. had ever checked out James’ butt. At the time, T.J. and James weren’t dating yet but she had the biggest crust on him and acted like such a girl around him. Despite him getting scary sometimes, he used to get angry so quickly, lots of rage; T.J. was attracted to him because of the attraction of danger, not because of the deep brown eyes and the washboard abs.

As they enter the kids’ quarters, they hear a commotion and see Warlock looping around the room, Charlie erecting a force field to keep away Kiko’s blast and Iceman’s snowballs, a green dragon thing making “gek!” noises, and boy trying to read and turn the pages telekinetically while his sister messes with his hair telekinetically. Warlock asks if Talia Josephine Wagner agrees that this is not productive. She agrees and asks if some of them aren’t supposed to be asleep. Kiko asks for ten more minutes. T.J. agrees but tells her not to singe the furniture. Trudy tells her that she is so not a part of this to which Nocturne tells her good, she begins to try and introduce Kitty but ends up yelling for all the kids to quit it. She tells Kitty that she will meet them all in the morning, Kitty tells her that she was the only kid when she joined the X-Men. Talia tells her that there have been kids here for as long as she can remember and a few of them are ready to join the field unit. She takes Kitty into a room which she calls homey yet ugly then adds that if she were an adult she would be telling her that she needs her rest. Nocturne begins to leave and tells Kitty that she will see her in the morning, Kitty makes her promise, then starts to cry and tells her she wants to go home. T.J. holds her and tries to comfort her.

Logan is having a nightmare, he is reliving Xavier’s murder. He wakes to see Phoenix in his room, he tells her to get out. She tells him that it’s odd that the dreams they have cause them such emotions and feelings that are sometimes stronger than the ones they have while they are awake. She tells him that she is drawn to the dreams since they are what she is missing as she does not share a conscious human host. Logan tells her to get out again. She tells him that he know that she can repair him and make him whole again yet he won’t ask; she asks when his penance will end. He repeats his demand for her to get out. She looks hurt and leaves, they didn’t see her for a while after that night but when they did see her again, it was a whole other story.

The next morning

Nocturne is running a Danger Room routine at the request of her father, she is having fun too, too much fun, Nightcrawler is annoyed. Kitty is watching from above. Nocturne is suddenly caught off guard by a metal tentacle, it grabs her wrist and she gets thrown into the wall and sharp hatchets are flying at her; she bends low and the tentacles get cut off by the hatchets, leaping backwards, she avoids the rest of the flying blades. She poses ready to fight as a robot appears, Nightcrawler yells for the program to end. He begins to lecture her on not taking anything seriously, even in the Danger Room. He reminds her that it’s for her own good and asks why she can’t listen to him or follow instructions. She turns to him in a rage and tells him that she is not him and never will be him and that he should stop trying to make her into him. Constant reprimanding won’t change her into him and it only hurts. She huffs off and asks when she gets to be herself.

T.J. changes and begins to leave the mansion to cool off, Kitty runs up to her and asks where she is going. Still pissed, she tells her that she is going out and opens the door, Kitty asks if she can come too, T.J.’s expression softens and they leave together.
Kurt is telling Logan about the incident with Talia and how she left. He tells him that he’s never seen her so angry before and questions if she is right. He reasons with himself, saying that he was only trying to prepare her to give her the necessary skill to survive, Kurt then wonders if he was demanding too much and being too harsh. Logan tells him yup, he then adds that she is his kid and he can raise her as he see fit but if he was asking him that he wasn’t going to lie to him. Logan tells Kurt that he has been pushing T.J. too hard without noticing that she has only been trying to please him. He adds that she is even wearing his old costume and it looks a lot better on her. Kurt starts to say something but an explosion interrupts them, SHAKOOOMM! Kurt tries to help Logan up as Cyclops stands in the hole he blasted in the wall. With his visor smoking, he tells them that he’s home, behind him he has a force of angry mutants: Blob, Hyve, Radioactive Man, Rogue, White Dwarf, and X-Punk’s Beast.

Characters Involved: 

Nocturne's native reality:

Armageddon, Nightcrawler, Nocturne, PhoenixII, Shadowcat, Thunderbird II, Wolverine (X-Men)

Charlie, Iceman, Kiko, Lucien, Moira MacTagert, Trudy, Warlock, (X-kids and X-Men staff)

Apocalypse, Blob, Cyclops, Hyve, Radioactive Man, Rogue, White Dwarf, X-Punk’s Beast

Story Notes: 

Most of the team that appears attacking the mansion at the end of the issue appeared in X-Men Millennial Visions 2001 under the Exiles section done by Jim Califiore:

Cyclops-unable to forgive Wolverine for “murdering” Xavier and his indirect involvement in Jean’s death.
Hyve-an amorphous form is comprised of ravenous black insects that can strip man or beast to bone. Totally non-communicative, having no single dominant consciousness, Hyve simply follows, reacting instinctively.
Rogue-much changed from an encounter when she permanently absorbed the Super Skrull’s powers. Disconcertingly, Rogue’s personality has taken on traits more akin to that villain. She has permanently absorbed the Fantastic Four’s powers.
White Dwarf - a project of Cerebro-X, is a pre-adolescent powerhouse; super-dense and super strong. Despite being above average intelligence, his youth is a disadvantage in this group with no one willing to be his mentor.
X-Punk’s Beast-tough rude and often sullen. His only pleasure comes from being as difficult as possible and creating dissention within the group.

The story is told from Nocturne’s point of view. It takes place some time before she was time-displaced and ended up among the Exiles.

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