Hunt for Wolverine: Mystery in Madripoor #2

Issue Date: 
August 2018
Story Title: 

Jim Zub (writer), Thony Silas (artists), Felipe Sobreiro (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Joe Sabino (letterer), Greg Land, Jay Leisten & Jason Keith (cover artists), Chris Bachalo & Tim Townsend (variant cover artists), Chris Robinson & Christina Harrington (assistant editors), Mike Paniccia & Jordan D White (editors), C B Cebulski (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (president), Alan Fine (executive producer)
Special thanks to Mike O'Sullivan

Brief Description: 

Kitty Pryde remembers being in Japan with Wolverine and her encounter with Ogun as she, Domino and Jubilee drop into the sewers beneath Madripoor after escaping the Femme Fatales. Domino has been injured, so Kitty and Jubilee help her walk through the tunnel, determined to rescued their captured teammates. Above ground, on another part of the island, the Femme Fatales and Viper have the unconscious Storm and Rogue in their possession and are confident they will capture Kitty Pryde, Jubilee and Domino. Mindblast and Knockout take Storm and Rogue into a lab and place them in restraints, before Mindblast taunts Magneto who is held in a groggy stasis thanks to the technology of the Femme Fatales' new benefactor. Viper speaks with a representative from Soteira, informing him that several X-Men have been captured, but when she expresses concern about Sapphire Styx, she is ordered to let Sapphire Styx do whatever she wants with Psylocke. Very pleased with herself, Sapphire Styx is revelling in the energy she has drained from Psylocke – but soon discovers that Psylocke is dead! In Wolverine's secrey bunker, Kitty tends to Domino's wounds as they and Jubilee discuss how to rescue their friends. They can't trust Tyger Tiger, and don't want to risk bringing more X-Men to Madripoor, so they take a leaf out of Patch's book and start visiting alleys, dive bars and vendors in an attempt to find information that will help them. Their quest takes them to a casino where they notice Bloodlust gaurding someone, so Jubilee creates a distraction and Domino fights Bloodlust, enabling Kitty to phase through the floor with the man. A short time later, Domino and Jubilee have met up with Kitty and as rain pours down on them they interrogate the man and learn that was hired to plot flight trajectories for a satellite. In Viper's base, Rogue finally wakes and finds herself in powerful restraints – before noticing that Storm is awake, too, and angry, creating a furious, raging storm across Madripoor. Sapphire Styx is enjoying the storm from her balcony, and briefly laments Psylocke's death, before turning to Psylocke's body, and seeing Patch holding her!

Full Summary: 

'He saw me at my best... and my worst. But through it all... he knew who I was' Kitty Pryde thinks to herself as her mind wanders back to a time long ago.

in Kitty Pryde's memories:
Shadowcat stands over Ogun, a blade raised above the warlord's head. Wolverine stands behind Shadowcat, his claws popped and ready. Shadowcat lowers the blade – then drops it, before turning away from Ogun, and rushing into Wolverine's arms.

Kitty remembers that Logan was strong, but not cruel – a hero, not a killer – and he never gave up on her, even when she was ready to give up on herself – during her terrifying and enlightening trip to Japan – that was when she truly understood him. He would risk his life, his soul, for the people he cared about. Kitty has tried to live up to that same ideal – even when everything seems lost.

'Hold on!' Kitty shouts as she, Domino and Jubilee phase down into the sewer system beneath Madripoor. Kitty looks over at Domino and sees that she is bleeding, so tells her not to move. 'I'm quite aware of that, thank you' Domino mutters, while checking her wound. 'This place smells worse than Shogo's diapers' Jubilee remarks, referring to her son, before asking where they are.

Kitty announces that they are in the sewers under Madripoor's Lowtown, that this was the quickest place she could pull  them away from Viper and her super-powered mercenaries. Kitty tears part of her trouser leg and uses the material to bandage up Domino's wound, asking her if she can walk. 'I think so' Domino replies.

Kitty and Jubilee trudge through the sewers, propping Domino up between them, while Jubilee creates some plasma blasts to light their way. 'Not to put too fine a point on it, but those chicks...they kicked our asses' Jubilee remarks, adding that Storm, Rogue and Psylocke have all been knocked out. 'They beat our heavy hitters in thirty seconds flat!' Jubilee exclaims. 'We know... we were there' Domino mutters. Jubilee glances at Kitty and asks her what they are going to do. 'What we always do, Jubilee... just keep fighting' Kitty responds as they continue down the tunnel.

On another part of the island: 'The fight's over, Viper! The Femme Fatales decimated the X-Men in a matter of moments. Put a bounty out on Kitty Pryde, Domino and Jubilee. Dozens of hired guns in Lowtown will have them rounded up in no time' Mindblast exclaims as she holds Storm in a psychic field. Viper sits on a large chair and tells the Femme Fatales not to be so cocky. She adds that they did exemplary work, but that doesn't mean their mission is complete. Snake Whip stands near Viper, while Knockout holds an unconscious Rogue over her shoulders and tells Viper that her plan worked good, and asks her what is next. Viper reports that she will speak to their client and see how they wish to proceed. She then instructs the Femme Fatales to deposit the X-Men with their other special guest.

Mindblast and Knockout carry Rogue and Storm through the facility, and Mindblast remarks that Viper is being paranoid. 'Let her. She'll do her job and we'll do ours' Knockout replies. Doors open to some sort of laboratory, as Mindblast tells Knockout that she thinks they should be allowed to celebrate a bit. They come to a stop at a chair where an unconscious Magneto is being restrained. 'After all, it's not every day I get to pretend to be the Master of Magnetism while the real one is my plaything' Mindblast points out. 'You really messed him up' Knockout remarks. Mindblast runs her hands across Magneto's face and tellls him that she read online that experts on the mutant condition argue about his power level. 'Are you an “Omega-Level Mutant”?' Mindblast asks, deciding that it doesn't really matter, as once Sapphire and she had their fun, his mmind and body were as pliable and pitiful as anyone else's.

Mindblast throws Storm into a contraption that holds her against the wall, while Knockout places Rogue into a similar restraining contraption. Mindblast reveals that their new benefactors outfitted her with glorious technology that unlocked psychic abilities greater than she ever imagined – more than enough power to bend Magneto to her will. 'I'm sure your friends will find out hospitality just as charming as you did, my little magnet man...' Mindblast jokes.

Back in her throne room, Viper is still seating on her large chair, while Snake Whip stands at her side and pours her a glass of some alcoholic drink. A hologram of a bald man appears before them. 'Speak' he declares. 'Tell your boss that plans are continuing on schedule' Viper responds. 'Good' the man tells her, before asking if there has been any push back on the island. Viper tells him that there hasn't been from the locals, as a bit of financial influence pushed into the proper hands makes them turn a blind eye, as expected. The official asks about the X-Men, to which Viper reports that Magneto has been taken and his students are gone, while a strike team of other mutants were ambushed and captured.

The official asks after Sapphire, to which Viper informs him that is one of the reasons she called, and reveals that Sapphire Styx's hunger is becoming an issue – that she nearly sucked Magneto's soul dry before they could stop her – and now she is fawning over Psylocke. 'Mutant souls are potent fuel for the mistress and her kind' the official responds, pointing out that it is better that Styx takes power from them than piling up corpses from the island. He instructs Viper to focus on finalizing the delivery. 'All that we are serves the will of Soteira' he adds. ' you wish' Viper tells him, before the communication ends. 'So we just ignore Sapphire's increasing appetite?' Snake Whip asks. 'You heard him... let the &!%$# feed' Viper replies.

Elsewhere, Sapphire Styxlooks pleased with herself as she walks towards a mirror, declaring that Madripoor is more than just a place for the rich and the poor – it is a mirror, reflecting what they fear and what they desire. She smiles at herself, and an unconscious Betsy Braddock can be seen on a couch behind her. Sapphire turns and walks over to Betsy, remarking that when she touched her, she fellt a surge of energy unlike anything she had ever tasted before – a maelstrom of psychic fire that warmed her from head to toe. 'Betsy Braddock...your soul is magnificent!' Sapphire kneels down beside Betsy and tells her that a spirit like hers could keep her young and vital for months-  maybe even years – but as she begins to take more of Betsy's life force, Sapphire is shocked to discover that there is nothing left – no heartbeat – no breath. 'She's already dead!' Sapphire gasps as she places her head on Betsy's chest.

Meanwhile, Kitty, Jubilee and Domino have made it to Wolverine's hidden storeroom inside the Princess Bar. 'You're not dead yet' Kitty tells Domino as she bandages up her wound. 'Well, that's an uplifting prognosis, Dr Pryde' Domino replies. Kitty tells her that she is serious, and that Domino is lucky the cut isn't deeper. 'That's my trick... lucky when it counts' Domino adds, while Jubilee fins a gun in a box and asks Kitty what the plan is – are they going to lie low here in Logan's safe house until they can get an SOS back to the Xavier Institute, but Kitty announces that that is not an option, as any calls they make off the island will be monitored, pinpointing their location. Kitty declares that she is not waiting around to find out what Viper ingends to do with Storm, Rogue and Betsy – they have to act now.

Domino suggets that they contact Tyger Tiger, as she runs the biggest crime syndicate on the island, and she and Viper are viscious rivals. Kitty explains that Tyger is a loose cannon, and although she used to be Logan's friend and lover, she recently tried to kill him, so she can't be trusted. Kitty points out that they aren't on their turf anymore, so they need to change tactics. Jubilee passes the handgun to Domino, who tells Kitty that if she has a plan, she is listening. 'Oh, no' Jubilee exclaims as Kitty turns to her, wearing a patch over one eye. 'Oh, yes' Kitty replies, telling Jubilee and Domino that they will do what “Patch” would do – this is his city and if they are going to survive, they need to play by his rules. 'You can't be serious...' Domino remarks. Kitty lifts the eye patch and tells her that she is one hundred percent sure. Kitty reminds them that Madripoor is not a place of law and order or proper protocol, and Logan understood that. 'It's all about hiding in plain sight and getting what you want with a swagger and a smile' Kitty tells her companions.

Shortly, Kitty, Jubilee and Domino are dressed again in civilian clothing. 'This is nuts' Jubilee remarks, but Domino reveals that she kinda likes it. Kitty is wearing sunglasses and tells the others to stay focused, and reminds them that they have work to do. They sweep the shadow alleys, annd visit dive bars and noodle stands. Their presence is noted by two men as they visit vendors selling their wares. Domino demonstrates her knife skills in a bar, where salty air is punctuated with tobacco. Kitty decides that if this weren't such a dire situation with friends in peril and Logan's body missing, this would almost be fun.

They continue on their quest, going from Lowtown to Hightown, through neon-drenched streets and top-shelf liquor, with rich people flashing influence and a dozen different perfumes fighting for attention. One clue leads them to another – Logan taught Kitty how to look past the surface and figure out who wants to fight and who is willing to fold. They head into a casino. Kitty knows that Viper won't be here, but her minions have been sighted at this casino over the past few weeks, so it is good enough for a look. They walk through the casino, lights are blinking and coins are jangling – nothing out of the ordinary – but suddenly, Kitty notices a man in a white suit being guarded by the final of Viper's mercs, the former mutant called Bloodlust who is now a weapon-wielding assassin. Kitty instructs Jubilee to make a scene. 'On it' Jubilee smiles.

'Ommigod, I love your hair so much!' Jubilee exclaims as she approaches Bloodlust, who has grayish hair, a similar color to her skin. 'I'd love to do the same thing, I mean, I've always wanted to, but never had the courage and you're just so awesome!' Jubilee adds.

Bloodlust turns to Jubilee, a little surprised, before Jubilee shouts 'Let's celebrate!' as she creates some fireworks, knocking Bloodlust back and surprising the man she is guarding, and others around them. 'What the -' the man in the white suit begins, before Kitty grabs him, 'Hey, pal!' she remarks. 'Who are -' the man begins, before screaming as Kitty tells him to get ready for a ride, as she phases him away through the floor.

'Oops! Looks like my phasing powers don't work as well as Kitty's do...' Domino jokes as she slams Bloodlust into a table. 'Can't tell you how much I missed being able to do this' Jubilee grins as she casts more fireworks about the casino. The plasma fireworks set the sprinkler system off, and water falls from the sprinklers above. 'Still no phasing' Domino points out as she continues to slam Bloodlust's head into the table, again and again. 'Nope...I don't think I have phasing powers at all! Isn't that weird?' Domino asks.

Seventeen minutes later, on a rooftop, Kitty, Domino and Jubilee have the mystery man backed up against a wall as the rain pours down on them. 'Who are you?' Kitty demands. The man in the white suit holds his hands up and introduces himself as Stenya Ubacowits. He assures them that he is not a high roller, that he is good for the chips and will pay what he owes. 'We don't care about your gambling debts, you moron' Domino tells him, before asking him what he is doing for Viper. 'Oh, that...' Stenya replies. 'Yes, that' Domino declares, before pointing a gun at his head and demanding that he talk. Stenya quickly claims that he is not a bad guy, that he is a mathematician. 'Really?' Kitty asks. Stenya reveals that he was hired to plot flight trajectories for a satellite.

'...and racking up the IOUs at the casino?' Domino enquires. Stenya explains that tonight's launch was called off because of bad weather, and that he just wanted  to have some fun. 'I'm not a crook!' he adds. Kitty steps between Domino and Syenya and asks him what the satellite is for. Stenya claims that he doesn't know, that he wasn't told. Kitty then asks him where the launch pad is, to which Stenya tells her that he shouldn't say. 'I could just ghost you into the wall and let you go...' Kitty suggests as she wraps a hand around Stenya's neck. 'No, no!' Stenya quickly replies, offering to show Kitty. 'Good' Kitty declares.

Back in the laboratory, Rogue regains consciousness. 'Anyone get the plate on the truck that ran me over?' she mumbles as she wakes, before realizing that she is being held in incredible restraints that she can't break free from. She supposes that the reinforced cuffs are from a material she hasn't sene before. 'Looks like these jerks got us pegged pretty well, eh, Storm?' Rogue frowns as she continues to try and pulls herself free. When Storm doesn't respond, Rogue looks over, 'Uh... Ororo?' she asks as Storm stares straight ahead, her hair blowing around thanks to the howling wind she has created. 'Ah know that look, lady...' Rogue remarks, realizing that Ororo is trying to keep it together, but being in this prison is bringing out her phobia and fears about being trapped. 'Which means the weather is going fierce ta match your rage...and heaven help anyone caught outside' Rogue declares as the rain pours down harder than before, and lightning crackles across the Madripoor sky.

Sapphire Styx smiles as she stands on her balcony, looking up to the sky as the rain drenches her. After some time, she turns and goes back inside her apartment, 'How delightful. I haven't felt rain that primal in decades' she remarks, before picking up a martini glass and telling Betsy that it is too bad she died so soon, otherwise she could have enjoyed it as well. She pours some alcohol into the glass and wonders if she will pop down to the dungeon and get a little soul snack to tide her over until the morning. 'Wouldn't that be -' Sapphire begins, going wide-eyed as she turns to Betsy's body and is so shocked at what she sees, she drops her glass and the bottle of alcohol. Lightning crackles outside, as Betsy's body is being held by Patch, who is sitting on the sofa! Patch smirks as he tells Sapphire that she has been a bad girl. 'Know what that means, don'cha?' he asks her, announcing that he is going to have to dish out some appropriate punishment!

Characters Involved: 

Domino, Juiblee, Psylocke, Kitty Pryde, Rogue, Storm (all X-Men)

Bloodlust, Knockout, Mindblast, Snake Whip (all Femme Fatales)
Viper II
Sapphire Styx


Stenya Ubacowits
Soteira representative
Various people in Madripoor

in Kitty Pryde's memory:
Shadowcat & Wolverine

as hallucination:

Story Notes: 

Jubilee has been without her fireworks powers since she was depowered following the Decimation. She briefly used tech-based powers from New Warriors (1st series) #1-20, before she was transformed into a vampire in X-Men (3rd series) #1-2. She was restored to her former glory and given her fireworks powers back in Generation X (1st series) #86-87.

Kitty’s memories are from the Kitty Pryde and Wolverine limited series.

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