Mekanix #5

Issue Date: 
April 2003
Story Title: 
Bad Moon Rising

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

Brief Description: 

Kitty and Shan find that their fight against the Sentinel scout is not over, as the creature keeps on adapting to whatever they throw at it. Even collapsing a warehouse on it doesn’t stop it. Help arrives in the form of the telekinetic Shola who manages to destroy the creature for good. The next day, at her shrink session, Kitty angrily reveals to Maureen that she is a mutant. Later, her classmates ask her to speak at a student meeting that decides whether Purity will be banned from campus and Kitty reluctantly accepts. While Kitty argues her case with Alice Tremaine, Shan and Shola realize with horror that the other Sentinels are coming for them all.

Full Summary: 

Kitty tosses what’s left of the Prime Sentinel into the garbage, convinced the fight is over. As the girls get ready to leave, Shan complains that it will never be over for mutants. Besides, Kitty said the creature was only a scout. She’d prefer to take her younger siblings somewhere safe before the rest of the Sentinels come for them.

For now, though, they still have the scout to worry about, as the creature adapts, rebuilding itself with any piece of junk around it. The scout grabs Shan’s gun and then comes for the girls again. Kitty orders Shan out – her power is no good against a robot. Shan refuses and collapses a scaffold, while the creature grabs for Kitty. Shadowcat phases through both the falling scaffold and the Sentinel causing damage to its sensors in the process. The girls use the time to run up the stairs of an abandoned warehouse. Kitty figures the Sentinel will follow – it will need a high point to transmit to the rest of its pack, without the warehouses causing interference. The Sentinel bursts through the wall and gives chase.

The girls barricade themselves in the attic and Kitty figures that the Sentinel isn’t just self-repairing, it is actually improving itself, adapting. She again asks Shan to leave. She has a family who needs her. Shan doesn’t let Kitty finish her sentence and grabs her hand: they are in this together, she states. They have to stick together to make a better world. As the girls are on the lookout, Kitty explains that the Sentinel is a smaller version of the Mega-Sentinel that wiped out Genosha and murdered 16 million mutants, as well as Kitty’s father. If they’re here… she trails off. Shan realizes her meaning. Does that mean Chicago’s next?

The creature burst through the floor, going for Kitty first whom it considers the primary threat. Kitty stays solid long enough to push Shan out of the way; enough time for the Sentinel to strike her. Shan jumps at it and hits it with the iron pipe she took from the scaffolding. The creature isn’t fazed and, instead, shoots barbed tentacles at her, straight through her shoulders, trapping her. Even while it intends to kill the immobilized Shan with its taser, Kitty phases her out of harm’s way, as well as phasing the joist that supports the roof along with them The building collapses around the phased girls and the robot.

The girls become solid again on top of the ruins. As Shan laughs with relief, Kitty gazes into her eyes and for a moment forgets the trouble they’re still in. The Sentinel attacks from below and chokes Shan, also managing to grab Kitty, despite being phased. Suddenly, the creature is violently yanked into the air and then smashed into the ground again, courtesy of Shola Inkosi’s telekinesis. The cavalry has arrived.

Shola explains that Shan’s siblings told him and Tom More what was going on and pointed them in the right direction. Even as Tom marvels at what Shola did to the Sentinel, it recovers and lunges for Shola and Kitty. Shola quickly traps it in a telekinetic force-bubble. Tom helps Shan up and asks her whether they do this sort of thing all the time. Bitterly, she replies that “this sort of thing” was designed by humans to kill mutants, so, yes, they do it all the time. Kitty asks Shola to compress the sphere until the Sentinel within disintegrates. She urges him that creatures like that one murdered his whole family: this is his chance to let his anger go. Shola succeeds and Kitty tells the others that they won’t have much time before the rest of the pack comes looking for their scout, as indeed they are already doing.

The next morning, Kitty is at another session with her psychiatrist, Maureen Lyszinski. Kitty brushes her shrink off again, as Maureen wants to know what she meant last session when she talked about “risk.” Maureen pointedly reminds her that it was her choice to accept therapy. Either she works with her or leaves. Kitty replies that the therapy is mandatory for her, if she doesn’t want to get expelled. With her grades she would be accepted at any school, Maureen replies. Kitty wants to stay though and doesn’t give a straight answer when Maureen asks why she is so afraid. Kitty evades her question by stating that she thought Maureen considered her angry, not scared. Maureen replies that both emotions feed each other and they all come from shame.

After giving her a rude brush-off, Kitty sarcastically states that as a Jew she should be used to being hated. Angered at Maureen’s neutral reply, she snarls that she was condemned at birth. Her friends and her father got killed just for existing. She doesn’t want to be different, she cries, she just wants to be herself. Why can’t people leave it at that? How is she supposed to build a life and a family in the face of that? Getting more and more worked up, Kitty asks in tears if the doctor really wants to know what she feels? She phases straight through the woman and walks to the door, admitting that she is a mutant and that there will be no end to her war.

Later, at Shan’s apartment, while the twins sit at the window, armed with a baseball bat, Kitty, Shan and Shola discuss last night’s events. Kitty complains that they couldn’t raise any X-Men and the authorities, even if they believed them, couldn’t do much. She marvels at the Sentinel’s design, calling it a “bumblebee,” meaning, scientifically speaking, it’s impossible, yet it works. Ironically, it’s a Sentinel capable of evolution; a mutant, if you will.

They are interrupted as someone knocks at the door. It’s several of Kitty’s classmates who were worried about her. They tell her that the feds also gave them trouble. The important thing is, though, that there is a student meeting this evening concerning a proposal to label Purity a terrorist hate group and have it banned from campus. Alice Tremaine, from law school, is speaking on Purity’s behalf and she demands mutants be banned instead. The others ask Kitty to speak for their side. She’s stood up to Purity before. And got put on probation for it, Shola reminds them. Kitty agrees with him. Her probation devalues her stance, plus something’s come up. The others leave, clearly disappointed in what they consider her lack of guts.

Kitty changes her mind. She knows how deadly the Sentinels are, but she is aware that it is the belief that mutants are monsters that spawned them and that has to be fought. So, she goes to the meeting, unaware that the Sentinels are closing in, killing everyone the meet on the way, as “potential mutants.”

The discussion is opened with the question on whether the proposed ban on Purity infringes on any First Amendment rights to free speech. Alice is the first to get the word. As far as she is concerned that proposal is slander, since Purity has neither advocated nor committed any crime. They are being condemned simply for what they say. That’s because what they say is racist, states Kitty, joining the discussion. Alice sarcastically greets her and asks her if she intends to punch them out like she did last time. Refusing to let the other girl goad her, Kitty replies that she’s embracing the better half of her nature that night. Alice should try it some time. Alice uses that cue to point out that mutants are dangerous. So are some men, Kitty shoots back. But human beings can’t shoot beams from their eyes, Alice retorts and insists that mutants are not human. Kitty reminds her that people used to say the same about Blacks, Jews, Gypsies and other minorities.

While they keep on arguing, Shola notices Tom standing apart from the others and tells him that he knows Tom visited Alice the other day. Tom admits that Alice used to be his girlfriend, but they are done now. He wants nothing to do with her anymore. In the meantime, the Sentinels have found what’s left of their scout and track residual traces of mutants. They scan and find their targets on campus.

Kitty gets angrier and angrier, but finds herself capable of staying reasonable and calm, possibly because of her shrink sessions. She argues that Purity’s rhetoric inspires violence or murder. Tom Paine’s “Declaration of Man” inspired two violent revolutions, Alice retorts, implying that this obviously cannot be such a bad thing. Shan, in the meantime, has joined Tom and Shola in the crowd, telling them that she checked for inbound freighters on her notebook and found out that the Amazon Belle docked shortly before the disappearances began. Tom argues that, as a non-mutant, he wouldn’t be a target and decides to check it out.

Alice, in the meantime, argues that a university is supposed to be a sanctuary, which is why they don’t allow guns on campus, but muties like Shola – as she points at him – are their living equivalent. Shola is about to go ballistic, but Kitty asks him to calm down and not let Alice goad him. Take a walk, she’ll handle her. Kitty points out that a sanctuary means that diversity is encouraged. Shola, for instance, has so far proven to be an exemplary student and guest of the country. But because of a difference in his genes his family’s been killed, he’s been burned out of his home, he’s been insulted and now Purity would like to see him banned. If people haven’t the human decency to realize how wrong the entire discussion is, maybe they don’t belong.

Shan and Shola grab a coffee and head outside, strongly impressed by the way Kitty argues their case. As Shola mentions that, for some, hate comes naturally, Shan admits she would have counted him among them, considering they killed his family. Shola is taken aback: nothing justifies prejudices, he’s better than that. His parents taught him that life is about choices and he honors their memory by walking a path to peace and tolerance. Shan muses she wishes it weren’t so hard. How many people in there would listen to Kitty if they knew she was a mutant and former X-Man?

Shola suddenly wonders what the incoming lights are. It’s the Sentinels coming to kill them all and Shan frantically shouts for Kitty that a fight is about to start.

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)

Dr. Maureen Lyszinski (Kitty’s psychiatrist)

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

Aalliyah Hardin, Brandy Hardin, Martin Hanover, Louis Magee, Georges Raymond, Pauline Shimizu (Kitty’s classmates)

Alice Tremaine (Tom’s ex-girlfriend and web-mistress of the anti-mutant group “Purity”) and other Purity members

Prime Sentinels

Story Notes: 

According to this issue’s cover, Kitty is an undergraduate student. In issue #2, however, she was identified as a grad student.

Kitty beat up several Purity members in X-Men Unlimited #36.

Thomas Paine, a British political scientist, is best known for his “Declaration of Man” and “the Age of Reason.” The former work expressed the ideas of equality for all men and demanded a government created by the people. His ideas led directly to he philosophies of the American Revolution.

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