Gambit and the X-Ternals #4

Issue Date: 
June 1995
Story Title: 
The Maze

Fabian Nicieza (writer), Salvador Larroca (penciler), Al Milgrom (inker), Chris Eliopoulos (letterer), Marie Javins (colorist), Bob Harras (editor, editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

The X-Ternals have returned from Shi’Ar space, but Rictor is still on their trails. Gambit orders his team to split up and predicting that Rictor will go after him and Lila, he gives the crystal shard to Jubilee and Guido to bring it to Magneto. On their way towards the mansion through the Morlock tunnels, they run into Nanny and baby Charles, and surprisingly Guido destroys the robot that could have led the way. Turns out that Guido turned traitor after being caught a few months earlier and had a bug implanted in him, that would kill him if he removed it or told anyone about it. Guido takes both the crystal and the baby, leaving Jubilee behind in tears. Meanwhile, Gambit and Lila are luring Rictor away, but when he lets out that he has a means to track Guido and Jubilee, Gambit decides they should turn around and keep them from getting to the X-Men mansion. In the main access tunnel, they run into Guido, and Rictor and chaos ensues. As the tunnels cave in, Gambit can either rescue Lila, or the crystal and baby Charles. Gambit chooses his love, and they both end up being toppled by debris. Rictor makes it out alive and goes directly to Apocalypse, hoping for a promotion when he learns of the X-Ternals fate. Yet Apocalypse is angry and kills Rictor for not realizing the importance of both the child, Magneto‘s son, and the crystal. However Guido brings Apocalypse both prizes and in return is promised freedom with Lila. When the X-Men Dazzler and Exodus search the tunnels for the child, they dig out Lila and Gambit and head off with them for the mansion.

Full Summary: 


Sixty feet beneath the island which used to be called Manhattan, Dazzler and Exodus are searching through the Morlock tunnels. They come upon a heap of metal, gears and circuits and are shocked when they realize it’s Nanny. Exodus kneels down to examine the wreck; something incredibly powerful destroyed Nanny. Dazzler brings up the more important part… where is Magneto’s son Charles ?


Rictor awakens to find himself in a darkened room. He wonders aloud where he is. An ominous voice answers him and Rictor becomes nervous. The lights come on and it’s time for Rictor to start answering some questions, for it is Apocalypse who is asking ! He is not happy with how Rictor handled himself earlier in the day. Apocalypse goes on to tell him that he almost destroyed “a hundred lifetimes worth of carefully crafted work”. In Apocalypse’s arms rests baby Charles.


Lila and Gambit are running through the Morlock tunnels, with Rictor hot on their tail. One of Rictor’s shockwaves causes Lila to stumble, but Gambit helps her up. She is sad that the team had to leave Sunspot behind, and Gambit says that he sacrificed himself so that the others could bring the crystal shard back to earth. Well aware that Rictor would go after him, Gambit had ordered the team to split up, and while the couple is currently chased by Rictor, Jubilee and Guido are taking the crystal to Magneto. Remy charges up some blades and creates a new path through the tunnels. Lila is too tired to teleport them away so they must stay underground. They embrace in a kiss before moving on, knowing full well that their current run may end in their deaths.

Not too far behind them Rictor is all hyped up. He yells that he does not care that Lila saved him when that weird crystal exploded, and that he will bring the X-Ternals to justice. Also he cries that wherever Guido and Jubilee go, he will be able to track them down – none of them will get away. Once more he assures him that he will arrest him and hand him over to Apocalypse, that he, himself, will finally get what he deserves.


Apocalypse continues questioning Rictor, demanding to know why he didn’t go after Jubilee and the M’Kraan shard. Rictor tells him he thought the capture of the leader of the X-Ternals was more important to him. Apocalypse replies he was wrong and that Jubilee was the important one, as she had something with her that could alter the entire universe.


Jubilee is running through the tunnels as well. Only, the M’Kraan crystal isn’t the only thing she carries - nestled in her left arm is the infant Charles. She’s running away from someone and she’s pretty shook up. She doesn’t know which way to go and the baby’s crying doesn’t help. She wants to find her way to where the X-Men live, but she doesn’t know the way. Guido was supposed to lead the way, but he won’t gonna be much help now, she thinks. A shockwave hits nearby and she wonders if Rictor is close by. Then she realizes that it must be the person chasing her crashing down hard on the water pipes. She wonders why he would do that when a flood of water answers her question. She’s carried away with Charles and when she finds steady ground with the tyke, she’s face to face with her assailant… Guido !

Guido apologizes to Jubilee, but he can’t allow her to get to Magneto with that shard. He never wanted Jubilee to get hurt, only Gambit. He takes the shard away from her along with Charles. Jubilee tells him that betraying the team isn’t going to make Lila love him. However Guido explains that he has no choice. Two months ago he was caught by the Infinites and they planted a bug inside of him. They weren’t going to do anything, only keeping tabs on them. Yet if he tried to tell the team or cut it out, it would explode. They promised nobody would get hurt and it was only Gambit they really wanted. Guido covers his face in shame as he concludes his explanation, by saying that they wanted to use Gambit to get to Rogue, which would get them to Magneto.

Jubilee realizes now why he smashed Nanny, as soon as they had run into her and baby Charles - Nanny would have led them back to the mansion, which he could not allow. Guido tells Jubilee he loves her and wishes her luck. He runs off to complete his personal mission, leaving Jubilee behind in tears.


Following Apocalypse’s accusation, Rictor claims ignorance towards Guido and Jubilee. He had no idea what they were doing… until later. Apocalypse wants to know what happened when they all ran into each other. Rictor tells him that he thought he got lucky, but he again was wrong.


Having heard Rictor’s threats, Gambit changes his mind, and he and Lila start doubling back. If Rictor really got a means to keep track of them, they can’t allow him to discover the location of the X-Men and possibly invade their base with a full army of Infinites. As the couple ends up in the main tunnel access-way, Gambit comes up with a plan and runs up a set of stone stairs. He stops short and is knocked backwards. It turns out he’s run into Guido.

Guido wants to know why Gambit and Lila aren’t leading Rictor in the opposite direction. Gambit has a few questions of his own, like what is he doing with Charles and where’s Jubilee ? Rictor answers for him. He lets Gambit in on a little secret, Guido’s been working for him. Lila can’t believe it. She asks Guido if it’s true. He bows his head and tells her he had no choice. Gambit is upset to say the least. He asks Guido if everything they’ve done has been in vain, including losing ‘Berto. Rictor answers him again and tells him no. The deal was that only Gambit was captured. The rest of the X-Ternals get to go on their merry way.

Rictor has more up his sleeve, though. He decides they can all die “accidentally”. Rictor shakes the area with his power and sends stuff crashing down around everywhere. Guido stops the main support beam before it breaks free, Charles still cradled in his arm. Lila has been knocked out by some falling debris, and Guido tells Gambit to get her out, as he can’t hold up the ceiling much longer. Gambit’s left with two choices: Get Lila or get the crystal and Charles. He chooses love and drags the unconscious Lila away. Guido tells him the best way to Magneto’s and lets the support beam fall. Absorbing the kinetic energy, Guido is able to make it out safely, though the cave-in separates him from the couple. Lila wakes up from the noise of the tunnel crashing in behind them, and she wonders why Gambit saved her instead of getting the crystal and the baby. He tells her that she was more important to him. The ceiling above them too starts to crumble and as debris swallows them both, Gambit realizes that his choice might have been futile, but he still thinks it was the right one.


Rictor now explains to Apocalypse that he got out in time through a small access tunnel that was nearby. He then came straight to Apocalypse’s stronghold, wanting to inform him personally of the X-Ternals death. Yet Apocalypse is well aware that Rictor his supervisors to look good for the main man and get a promotion. Apocalypse tells him he would normally admire his zeal, but not this time. He shows baby Charles to Rictor for the first time. Rictor is surprised and wonder how the child too could have gotten out of the cave-in and Apocalypse tells him that someone who knew how to please him brought the child. The deaths of the X-Ternals are nothing compared to the child of Magneto. Unfortunately for Rictor, he had no idea who the child was. And so it was Guido who handed over the baby and the crystal shard to Apocalypse. Now, for Apocalypse, the threat of the X-Men will be diminished.

Rictor starts pleading with En Sabah. His life, after all, has been spent in his service. Apocalypse silences him by smashing his fist into the back of his head, killing him. Apocalypse turns and addresses someone in the shadows. The life of himself and Lila are spared in return for the child and the M’Kraan shard. The only thing he lost was his soul. The shrouded figure, of course, is Guido.


Blackness, streaks of light, suddenly Gambit and Lila can see again. Someone has removed the rubble that lay on top of them. It’s Dazzler and Exodus coming to the rescue. Exodus wants to know if he found and brought back the crystal. Gambit tells him he did, but there were problems. Dazzler wants to take them both back to the mansion for questioning. However, the real question is whether Gambit’s choice to save his lover will result in the end of the universe.

Characters Involved: 

Lila Cheney, Gambit, Guido, Jubilee (all X-Ternals)

Dazzler, Exodus (both X-Men)

Charles Lehnsherr, the child of Rogue and Magneto



Story Notes: 

Nanny took baby Charles into the tunnels when the mansion was attacked in Amazing X-Men #3. Once the X-Men returned from their mission, Dazzler and Exodus started searching for them.

Issue Information: 
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