Mekanix #3

Issue Date: 
February 2003
Story Title: 

Chris Claremont (writer), Juan Bobilla & Marceto Sosa (art), Tom Orzechowski (letterer), Avalon Studios’ Edgar Tadeo (colors), Andrew Lis (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Bill Jemas (president), Celia Calle (cover)

Brief Description: 

Returning to her apartment, Kitty finds that it is being searched by the FBI and that, despite her protests, she isn’t permitted to enter. She leaves, easily shakes off her FBI “tail” in the subway and pays a visit to her lawyer. Afterwards, she attends another of her mandatory counselling sessions, where her psychiatrist tries to understand why Kitty feels so responsible for everything bad that has happened in her life. Later, working at the bar, Kitty is met by Shan and her siblings – their apartment was also searched by the FBI. As a result, Shan was thrown out. Kitty’s boss, Dylan, helps by offering the two girls a new apartment. While Dylan plays babysitter, Kitty and Shan want to make sure that Shola, the Genoshan mutant who saved their lives, is all right. Unfortunately, they find his apartment ransacked and several mutant-haters throw Molotov cocktails at the building, not caring that Shola has upstairs neighbours, whom kitty and Shan have to save from the fire. The two girls confront the armed fanatics but, unfortunately, due to a can of pepper spray, they cannot use their powers on them. Help comes from Tom More, who’s learned that his girlfriend, Alice, used the computer virus he created to cause the accident at Bessemer Station and had made sure that Shola was outed as a mutant. They are joined by the angry Shoal, who is about to kill the mutant-haters, until Kitty convinces him that there has to be a better way. The fanatics are arrested and Kitty asks Tom to help them move. In the meantime, the freighter, Amazon Belle, closes in on Chicago. Its mysterious passengers scan several mutant targets and intend to follow their prime directive – find them and destroy them.

Full Summary: 

Returning to her apartment, Kitty finds that she has been presented with a search warrant, issued by the federal magistrate for the Homeland Anti-Terrorist Task-Force. FBI agents are busily searching through her flat and refuse to allow her entrance.

Kitty is first dumbfounded, then furious - how dare they? She protests that she’s already answered their questions. That was the Chicago PD, the agents corrects her. They are the FBI and have primary jurisdiction in this case. Kitty complains that she has a doctor’s appointment and has to attend. Are clean clothes and a shower too much to ask? A bureaucratic-looking agent joins them and asks if there is a problem. What’s their problem, Kitty shoots back. She’s helped to save lives at Bessemer Station. Now she’s being treated like a criminal instead of a victim. The second agent coolly explains that the answers she and her classmates gave during the interrogation were less than satisfactory.

Watching the agents rummaging through her belongings, Kitty thinks of the lyrics to “My Country ‘tis of Thee,” which stand in ironic contrast to what she is experiencing and is on the verge of tears. The first agent brutally asks her, why is she so upset? She should be used to this from the time they took down her father. Kitty runs away, angrily thinking to herself that, while her dad made his share of mistakes, he died the way he lived – a hero.

The agents watch her leave and inform surveillance to keep an eye on her. The other agent, Angela, is unsure about this. There’s no evidence leading to her, after all, but she does as she’s told. Entering a subway train, Kitty is very much aware of being tailed. Quickly, she phases herself into place while the train runs through her at full speed. It happens so quickly, nobody notices. Then, she pays a visit to her lawyer – an old friend of the X-Men’s: Jeryn Hogart.

Later that morning, she once more attends her psychiatrist, Dr. Maureen Lyszinski.
Maureen starts where they left off last session, namely with Kitty’s claim that it was her job to “fix things,” especially pertaining to her parents’ failing marriage. Why does she blame herself? Because she’s responsible, Kitty replies automatically. But she was a child back then. The adults were responsible, not her, Maureen points out. Kitty angrily shouts that she doesn’t understand. Then she should explain, Maureen demands or would she rather run? Kitty angrily shouts at her to leave her alone. What she wants, doesn’t matter anyway.

Later, she grumpily accuses Maureen of all this being her fault. She didn’t start the fight on campus that led to Kitty having to attend mandatory counselling, Maureen replies. The “Nazi,” Jeff Holloway, jumped right into her face with his Purity crap, Kitty defends herself. Why didn’t she ignore him, Maureen demands. Kitty shoots back, asking whether she’s ever read their website. Those people celebrate the annihilation of an entire country.
More fuel for Kitty’s rage, Maureen states. Leaving, Kitty tells her that she simply doesn’t understand. When Maureen offers her help, Kitty exclaims that she should be alone and leaves.

In the meantime, at the University Heights precinct, Detectives Ramos and Lukaszh are interrogating Tom More (and are giving him a lot less grief than Kitty and her classmates). After the interview, they refer to him as a “stand-up guy.” Lukaszh asks his colleague what he thinks of the feds giving Kitty grief. His colleague tells him to leave well enough alone –they’ll make this case on their own.

Entering his dorm, Tom is in for a surprise: his girlfriend, Alice, awaits him in a slinky nightie, with champagne – she’s clearly in a romantic mood. After the “celebration,” Tom asks about the occasion. Their plans succeeded, Alice explains while getting dressed. They flushed out the mutie in Benes’ class and have photos of him.

Tom realizes that Alice and Jeff were able to manipulate the protocols, because he’d hacked into their computers. The students could have all died! “Collateral damage,” Alice shrugs this possibility off. Every war has casualties. Tom angrily wants to call the police, but Alice calmly points out that he was the one to hack into the physics network and create the virus. No trace leads to her – every trace leads to him. As she leaves, she tells Tom he’d better decide whether he wants to be among the righteous or be buried with the species traitors. Tom stays behind, finally realizing what he has caused.

At the Belles of Hell, Kitty is pulling a double shift. She’s not in the mood for school and she can’t go home, obviously. Besides, working bar takes her mind off her troubles. More trouble is coming, however, as Shan and her younger siblings enter the bar. Their home too was taken apart by federal agents after she gave her statement to the police. As a result, her landlord evicted her and she hasn’t got the money to sue him.

Kitty offers that they move in with her, once her lawyer succeeds with an injunction, so that she can return to her flat. This night, she had planned to stay in the bar. Dylan, Kitty’s boss and landlord, interjects, offering them a place to stay. There’s another empty apartment in his building. He’ll rent it to them, if they do the necessary work on the place.

Taking a walk outside with the sleeping kids in their arms, Kitty and Shan discuss how much Dylan knows about them. Kitty asks Shan to trust him – he’s a good guy. Shan admits that these days she’s finding it hard to trust anyone. It’s like Xavier’s dream of coexistence has been forgotten. She wonders if her family wouldn’t be safer back at the X-Mansion. Kitty replies that, as a Jew, she’s not interested in living in a ghetto, even in one that’s been erected for their own protection. Besides, if someone can destroy a whole island of mutants like Genosha, a mansion of mutants like Xavier’s place can be destroyed as well. Kitty wants to be on the outside, be her own person, and build her own life. Nevertheless, they should look after their own. She wants to see how’s Shola’s doing after saving their lives and suggests that they look for him after settling Shan and the kids in.

Some time later, the two girls have left the kids with Dylan as a babysitter and are now rifling through Shola’s apartment - or what’s let of it. The place is a mess, completely torn apart. They see a picture of Shola after his high school graduation, framed by his proud parents – parents who must have died when Genosha was destroyed, they realize.

Lights go on outside and someone throws a Molotov Cocktail through the window. The masked attackers outside have no compunctions about shooting at the building, even though there are people in the apartment above Shola’s as well. Shan and Kitty jump outside the burning building. In their arms, they have the woman and child that lived in the other apartment. Kitty angrily asks the attackers what their problem is – this was someone’s home! “Live with muties – die with muties,” one of the attackers replies and intends to shoot Kitty, but Shan possesses him and the others first.

Unfortunately, she doesn’t notice that one of the fanatics hand goes slack and he drops a can of pepper spray. Kitty and Shan are momentarily distracted, as they catch their breath. The fanatics gather their wits and one of them intends to shoot Kitty. Help comes from an unexpected quarter as, suddenly, Tom More jumps at the gunman and, at the same time, disables another one with a swift kick. Tom bravely struggles, although he’s clearly outnumbered and outmatched. As one of the fanatics intends to shoot the “race traitor,” his rifle is suddenly disassembled. The same thing happens to their car. The telekinetic Shola has returned and he’s mad as hell.

Frightened, the Purity members decide that discretion is the better part of valor, but they cannot flee - Shola telekinetically catches them and presses them against the wall of the destroyed building. Kitty interferes and tells him, he’s won. He should be better than they. After what they were about to do? Shola retorts angrily. They’ll be safer if the Purity members are dead. Kitty reminds him that they have laws for that. Shola has no illusions – they’ll keep on trying to kill mutants, unless they get killed first. Kitty assures them that this way they’ll win. Shoal eventually listens to Kitty’s words and doesn’t kill them. The police arrive and Shola’s upstairs neighbors give statements, indicting the Purity members – they’ll have to face charges of arson and attempted murder.

Kitty, Shan, Shola and Tom stay behind. Kitty gives Tom the first degree. What was he doing here? Tom explains that, after the incident at Bessemer station, the Purity website outed Shola as a mutant. He was afraid something would happen. While Shan comforts Shola, Kitty remarks that, if it hadn’t been for Tom and Shola, Shan and Kitty would have been killed. Tom admits that he felt he had to make amends. Kitty grabs his hand and tells him that her friend has to move. Would he like to help? At the same time, she figures that seeing something like that, a decent guy doing the right thing, gives her cause enough to hope.

In the meantime, on Lake Michigan, the freighter Amazon Belle has almost reached Chicago. Its mysterious passengers scan several mutant targets and intend to follow their prime directive –find them and destroy them.

Characters Involved: 

Kitty Pryde / Shadowcat (former X-Man)

Xi’An “Shan” Coy Manh / Karma (former New Mutant)

Shola Inkosi (a Genoshan mutant exchange student)

Tom More (former fire fighter, student and Purity member)

Dylan MacGuire (Kitty’s landlord and boss at the bar)

Dr. Maureen Lyszinski (Kitty’s psychiatrist)

Leong and Nga Coy Manh (Karma’s younger siblings)

Detectives Ramos and Lukaszh

“Louis”, “Angela” and several other FBI agents

Alice (Tom’s girlfriend and member of the anti-mutant group “Purity)

Several unidentified mutant-hating students

Story Notes: 

According to Chris Claremont, Kitty’s “shrink sessions” were originally meant to run parallel to the main plot and not be integrated into it. This decision was switched at the last moment, hence the awkwardness of Kitty apparently having two sessions (last issue and this one) in one day.

Jeryn Hogart, attorney-at-law, is a former associate of the X-Men’s friends, Power Man & Iron Fist, Misty Knight and Colleen Wing and has also helped out the X-Men on occasion (Classic X-Men #26).

Dr. Maureen Lyszinski is mistakenly referred to as “Katherine” in this issue.

It’s unclear why Alice believes that they’ve flushed out the mutant in Professor Benes’ class with Shola. Considering that Purity has the names and pictures of all the students in the class, they should have realized that Shola wasn’t part of that group.

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