Immortal X-Men #12

Issue Date: 
August 2023
Story Title: 
The Idiot

Kieron Gillen (writer), Lucas Werneck (artist), David Curiel (color), VC’s Clayton Cowles (letterer), Tom Muller and Jay Bowen (design),Mark Brooks (cover artist), Phil Noto, Federico Vincentini, Leinil Francis Yu (variant covers), VC’s Clayton Cowles (production), Laure Amaro (associate editor), Jordan D. White (editor), C.B. Cebulski (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)
X-Men created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby

Brief Description: 

Sebastian Shaw and Colossus (who is secretly controlled by a mutant writer working for his brother Mikhail) scheme before the next Quiet Council session. During the session, the four compromised members are sent out and Shaw starts a motion to fill Mr. Sinister’s empty council seat. Kate Pryde first doesn’t take him seriously, which changes when it turns out that Colossus backs Shaw and, with Storm and Nightcrawler not present, he currently has three votes. They introduce Shaw’s candidate – a resurrected Selene - and vote her onto the council against the wishes of the other three. Destiny’s claim that Shaw is working for Orchis is not supported, when Rasputin IV reads his mind. The next motion is to move Nightcrawler’s proxy vote permanently from Storm to Colossus. After that is done, Colossus announces that the council is corrupt and votes the whole world should learn of their crimes during the Sinister timeline. In the Green Room, Hope copies the telepaths’ power and snoops on the Council. When she learns what Colossus is doing, she storms out to stop them but is prevented from entering by Rasputin who – controlled by Mother Righteous – isn’t willing to listen. Hope telepathically tells Exodus he can get back in her good graces by helping her. Exodus has the most sensible idea. He teleports to Arakko, gets Storm and takes her to the Council. A short break follows before the vote. During the break, in their quarters, Mystique confronts Destiny with the message from the Sinister timeline. Controlled by Mother Righteous, she kills Destiny. When Destinyis resurrected, she too no longer has a vote, meaning the group backing the disclosure of the Sinister timeline wins. When Storm asks Colossus why, he hopes she will understand something is wrong with him. Unfortunately, for all, nobody does.

Full Summary: 

The night before the council session, Colossus meets with Shaw. They are drinking vodka and making deals. This is not Piotr’s choice, as his life is being written by a scrivener in a Russian cell working for his brother Mikhail. Shaw expresses his surprise and is impressed. Piotr just hopes that one of his friends will see how unlike himself he is acting. They finalize the plan. Shaw knows that Storm will be absent the next day…

The next day at the meeting, Shaw calls for a closed meeting, meaning the compromised members have to leave… leaving only Shaw, Colossus, Kate Pryde, Destiny and Mystique. After Xavier, Emma, Hope and Exodus are gone, a bored Kate Pryde asks what is on Shaw’s mind. It had better not be some political game…

Shaw begins he feels they’ve left Sinister’s seat empty for too long and demands it be filled with immediate effect. Annoyed, Kate sighs, this is a political game and suggests he at least try.

Shaw continues and calls for a motion to immediately proceed to the selection of a new member. He votes “aye.” Colossus agrees. With a grin, Shaw reminds everybody that Storm is Nightcrawler’s proxy and Colossus is Storm’s, meaning he represents three votes. By his math, that’s four votes pro and only three – Kate, Destiny and Mystique – who could vote against. Kate jumps up, eyes wide. Pete? she asks horrified.

Shaw moves on to introducing his candidate. She’s someone who has had lots of experience. He’s worked with her before and he thinks she’d do a bang-up job in their little fraternity… He points to the stairs. Selene walks down and asks if she needs to repeat her pitch. She’d rather skip to having a throne.

For #*%& sake, what is he doing? a horrified Kate demands of Colossus who smiles inside, hoping she will realize that something is wrong with him before he destroys them all.

She was dead, Kate addresses Selene confused. The ancient sorceress just replies, and now she is alive. Their feisty redhead isn’t the only resurrection game in town. Magic is a wonderful thing. They should all know it takes something a little less tawdry than a bullet to get rid of the goddess Selene.

Colossus doesn’t know how Selene was resurrected or why Shaw came to him with the proposition. Those whose pen guide him were as confused as he, but think the reward worth the risk.

Selene preens that, were she to die permanently, it would not be next to a tawdry river like the Thames. She would die like Cleopatra but with a Lady Bathory twist. Cheerfully, she recalls she gave Bathory that whole bathing in blood idea. It doesn’t do anything but the touch of blood is just divine. She puts  one foot on an empty seat and asks if it is hers. Has it been hosed down? Yes and yes, Shaw replies with a grin and a flourish.

No, Destiny simply states. What does she mean? Shaw demands. They have the votes. She surely saw this coming. She did, she replies and reveals that Shaw is working for Orchis.

Piotr frowns, thinking this would explain much. He is a pawn of his brother in Russia. Whose piece is Shaw?

Insulted, Shaw denies the accusation and offers to submit to a psychic scan to prove that. Quicky, he adds, they have a lack of psychics. The possibly wicked four are out. Rachel and Jean aren’t exactly unbiased against him, for perfectly understandable reasons. He suggests that Selene could do the job. He’s sure she’ll vouch for his good character. She would never do such a thing, Selene informs him cheerfully.

Mystique angrily replies that they have their security. Rasputin IV enters and tells Mystique she didn’t need to think so loud. Shaw blusters a warning: he is used to guarding his thoughts. He has opened doors for her to peer through. He will know if she noses where she shouldn’t. Rasputin freezes him with a gesture and informs him she could plunder his mind like his future self plundered the afterlives of a thousand worlds… and he would never know… but he has no connection to Orchis, she informs the others.

Colossus wonders whether Shaw is just being his usual, villainous self instead of being a pawn.

Destiny protests that she saw it. She sees it! Rasputin offers to look into her mind. Destiny forbids it.

Fixing his tie, Shaw bitches if there is a future where he does end up with Orchis, perhaps the lack of trust of his peers is the reason why.

The classic twist in a story of prophecy, Piotr thinks, but loudly admonishes Shaw to stop his posturing and proceed with business. Kate tells him he can’t do that. How far does that coup go? If she’s gone, do they vote in her absence? They do, he replies coldly, and just a little further. Kurt has left Ororo his proxy vote. Colossus moves that Kurt’s proxy is moved to him, until he returns or his replacement is chosen. Aye, Selene and Shaw agree, meaning four (or five) votes with Colossus (against Kate, Destiny and Mystique). He sold them out for an extra vote? Kate shouts in disbelief.

The Scrivener dictates Colossus’s reply as he gets up and claims he has sold no one out. He is only thinking of Krakoa. This council is corrupt. He became liaison for X-Force to prevent further misuses of their power. Do they think his anger is limited to them? Iceland could be dead thanks to Destiny. Kate is now closer to Emma than to him! The good are gone, and only sinners remain! They are heavy with secrets and should be better than that! He moves that they release the full details of the Sinister timeline to the world!

Piotr shudders at his writer’s smugness. To propose a plan to hurt Krakoa that can be justified as “doing the right thing…” and Piotr hopes that someone will do the wrong thing.

In the Green Room, the other four members of the Council are waiting. Hope is bristling, angry that none of the three telepaths are ready to peek into what is going on. Exodus, who is looking over the balcony, remarks he waited in a cave for nearly a millennia. He has patience. It is a virtue. Annoyed, Hope shoots back that he was snoozing during that time. Xavier lectures that to do as she demands would be a breach of trust. Actions like this led to the Sinister timeline. To act like that now would only show that they are likely compromised. They can’t, no matter how much they wish to. Emma scoffs that they may be compromised, but Shaw doesn’t need to be compromised. He is an arse! Every second they stay out of that room, the more likely they will find some human tourists on their beach in a luxury hotel.

Hope has had it and borrows some telepathy. A second later, she swears and runs toward the Grove, which unfortunately is guarded by Rasputin IV.

When they were planning this, Piotr was sure something would prevent the plan, but Shaw told him he had made some moves.

Hope orders Rasputin out of the way. Rasputin tells her the meeting is closed and orders her to calm herself.

That moment, Mother Righteous is burning one of Rasputin’s “thank yous” to influence her and, a moment later, Rasputin calls Hope a monster and attacks her, sword swinging.

In the Green Room, Xavier chides Emma not to do it. She replies she is reading Hope’s mind, not the others’ so she is sticking to the rules. She informs them Selene is back on the council. When she sees what is going on, she tries to put Colossus to sleep before the vote, but Xavier telepathically prevents her from doing so.

While fending off Rasputin’s attack, Hope telepathically calls Exodus and tells him that, if he wants to make it up to her, he can get down here and help her kick that girl’s teeth in. Interested?

Exodus doesn’t obey instantly, thinking hard instead. He cannot stop this, he figures. Who can? He has an idea and teleports away.

In the Grove, Kate notices the sound of fighting outside. Piotr recognizes the sound of the impossible against steel skin, a sound familiar to him, as Hope has copied Rasputin’s soulsword and hits her with it. Colossus calmly insists they must continue. Angrily, Kate shouts they cannot spring this on the council. It has to be debated first. It is complicated! “Do the right thing, Kate.” “Be honest,” he replies. It is not complicated.

The clock ticks and Piotr fights himself to not call the vote. He realizes the thing the writer most loves which he can use to string this out for a few more seconds – drama. Kitty would have understood, he tells Kate. Does she?

He hopes she will forgive him one day for the ugly words and hopes his hands will find themselves around the writer’s throat, but the delay has done its work. Exodus has brought Storm here from Arakko, playing by the rules while saving the day. Stop! she orders.

Piotr is exhausted and the writer is free to write whatever he wishes.

What is he doing? Storm demands of him. He replies she made him her proxy to do the right thing in her absence. He has been. He understands she may not see this immediately, but tensions are clearly high and he moves for a break while they consider this, calm down and return to debate this. His position is just. He is happy to convince them of that.

In the meantime, Exodus teleports to Hope’s side.

Piotr thinks he has won, that what the writer wants will not come to pass, but he thinks back to Shaw’s words that he had a few plans in place…

In their quarters, Destiny angrily berates her wife Mystique for not coming to her aid and even bringing in Rasputin. Raven reminds her she said she had a vision. She wanted to prove it. Irene should have told her if she was going to lie. Or was it a lie? Was she just wrong? Irene takes off her mask and admits she does not know. When the Moira engine was destroyed, all the futures were reborn. It’s much bigger again… and a whole new map. She only knows the old map. She hasn’t fallen into a vision coma again, so she lacks the larger perspective of the days yet to come. Plus, there is something strange out there. She does not understand it. An end of vision… a gap. She is good short-term but she needs to find a new nexus she can manipulate for the mid-term and long-term decisions… Oh God! she suddenly screams frightened. She sees it! Raven is going to kill her!

Angrily, Raven tells her she would never do that, however she wants to show her Irene’s message to Sinister, in which future Irene admits to manipulating the timeline to give Raven the longest life.

Is this from the Sinister timeline? Irene asks. Where did she find it? Raven orders her to listen. Enough, Irene begs. She reminds Raven she would have burned this island for her. Irene would keep her hellworld alive, so she would be breathing and, when she breathed her last, Irene would light the match that would set fire to a universe for her. That is the nature of their love. What has changed?

Raven accuses her of patronizing her. She thought only to save her, as if that is all that matters. She is Mystique! She is a tiger! You do not keep her in a cage. Irene tries to explain. She is trying to find a way to save her. But it means she sees all the ways she doesn’t save Raven. Raven doesn’t know what it’s like seeing her die over and over.

Raven takes her hands and assures her that their love is immortal. But they are not. And if Irene cannot accept that to love Mystique means to one day lose Mystique, their love is not what she thought it was. She looks at her calmly then gently touches Irene’s cheeks. But it is still their love, she continues and asks Irene not to fail her. She hugs Irene and asks if her visions are really visions or just fears. She would never kill her!

Somewhere else, Mother Righteous burns the “thank you” she got from Mystique and, against her own will, Mystique shapes her right arm into a blade and impales Destiny on it. A moment later, she screams in horror as her wife lies dead in her arms.

Somewhat later at Arbor Magna, still covered in Irene’s blood, she stands next to her egg as Irene is resurrected. She hugs Irene, who asks what happened. Mystique tells her she doesn’t know what came over her. She was suddenly angry. She killed her. She…

Standing some distance away, a smirking Sebastian Shaw interrupts, pointing out there is a problem. Hope brought Destiny back. Hope is possibly compromised by Sinister, meaning anyone she brings back is possibly compromised. He believes a precedent has been set for that. She gets to sit on the council but no longer has any vote. He adds, he knows nothing about this. They can have Rasputin scan him again if they like. Maybe he is working for Orchis now.

Mystique points a gun at him. Destiny begs her not to. Defeated she adds, it won’t make any difference.

A little later the Council has decided on Colossus’ motion: four votes (Colossus own vote, Nightcrawler’s proxy vote, Shaw and Selene) for the motion, three against (Mystique, Storm and Kate) and five cannot vote.

It is decided, Colossus announces. The world will know about the sins of Krakoa. This is hard but necessary. It will make them stronger.

As the others leave, Storm holds him back. Why? is all she asks calmly. Piotr wishes he could tell her the truth, that he is being controlled, but he cannot. Instead, he spits justifications. She trusted him, he tells her, but he doesn’t trust her. It was arrogant to assume he would agree with her in all things.

Piotr sees a chance there: the writer may let this hint through. “I am not your playing piece,” he states with dignity.

While the writer believes she will not notice, Piotr prays she will see past this justification and know the simple awful truth: “I am trapped in a Russian novel, and all the demons of Dostoyevsky possess me. I am tormented as Raskolnikov, and my escape is just as impossible. Be suspicious! I am not a holy fool like Prince Myshkin. Do no think me a simple, naïve, idealistic idiot! You are my only hope.”

Storm turns away. They will live with what he has done today. She hopes he is right.

Piotr should have known better. He is trapped in a Russian novel. It is not the place for hope.

Characters Involved: 

Colossus, Destiny, Emma Frost, Exodus, Kate Pryde, Mystique, Nightcrawler, Professor X, Sebastian Shaw, Selene, Storm (Quiet Council)
Rasputin IV

Mother Righteous

Story Notes: 

The issue’s POV character is Colossus.

Colossus is being controlled by the Scrivener courtesy of his brother Mikhail, which is a long-running plotline in X-force (6th series).

The title refers to Dostoyevsky’s novel “The Idiot,” as does Colossus comparing himself with Prince Myshkin. Raskolnikov is from Dostoyevsky’s novel “Crime and Punishment.”

Storm gave Piotr her proxy role last issue.

Due to several traumatic experiences in Legion of X and X-Men: Before the Fall - Sons of X, Nightcrawler left Krakoa and gave Storm his proxy vote.

Selene was killed by Hope, then resurrected and killed by Exodus in #2.

Selene was resurrected by Mother Righteous working for Orchis in X-Men: Before the Fall – The Sinister Four.

Shaw and Selene have worked together before in the original Hellfire Club, though they despised each other.

Cleopatra is said to have killed herself in the bath with a snake.

The “Lady Bathory twist” refers to Hungarian Countess Erzebeth Bathory who was rumored to bathe in the blood of young girls (though this may very well have been an invention of her enemies).

Colossus blames Destiny for talking the Council into sacrificing Iceland during Judgment Day.

Exodus uses “Millennia” as a singular word, when actually it should be “millennium.”

Mystique thanked Mother Righteous last issue.

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