Mutopia X #5

Issue Date: 
January 2006
Story Title: 
House of M: Mutopia X

David Hine (writer), Lan Medina (penciler), Alejandro Sicat (inker), Avalon’s Dave Kemp (colorist), Richard Starkings & Comicraft’s Jimmy Betancourt (letterers), Sean Ryan (editor), Nick Lowe (assoc. editor), Mike Marts (supervising editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

As Mutant Town reacts to the de-powering effects of M-Day, Izzy Ortega must face the culmination of his own personal choices and the consequences they have wrought on his family. His daughter Chamayra dies from the gunshot wound she received months earlier and can no longer be saved by the powers of Mr. M. His wife lashes out at him for walking out on them for another woman and making the last months of their daughter’s life so terrible. Distraught, Izzy is about to commit suicide when Bishop finds him. Bishop helps him realize that his family still needs him and that he is lucky to have them in his life, no matter how messed up things may be. Izzy returns home to try and put the pieces back together. Bishop realizes that his work in Mutant Town is done now that the population is largely human.

Full Summary: 

Ismael Ortega recounts what happened six months earlier when he forgot his gun at home as he rushed out to work. His son Esteban found the gun and accidentally shot his sister, Chamayra. Chamayra survived the gunshot wound through the quick intervention of Absolon Mercator who used his mutant power to manipulate matter to expel the bullet and seal the wound. Izzy realizes that something has gone terribly wrong in the world and this has somehow affected his daughter as well.
At the hospital, the medical teams are baffled by Chamayra’s condition. Internal bleeding and tissue damage indicates a gunshot wound but there is no pint of entry or exit wound and no foreign material. They do their best to stabilize her but are bewildered by the trauma she suffered explaining that it was as if she was shot by an invisible bullet. They share this news with her mother, Armena and her sister-in-law, Laline Ortega.

Ismael tells Gregor Smerdyakov that something is wrong with his daughter and he has to go. He remembers how Mercator saved her before and rushes off to find him. As he emerges from the subway he is shocked at the sight before him. Chaos reigns in the streets as the residents of Mutant Town react to the loss of their mutant powers and appearances. The young mutant couple known as the Juices is dumbfounded. A young woman is embedded in the asphalt having been depowered as she phased through the ground. Fliers have fallen from the sky and are dead or injured in the streets.
As Izzy digests the scene before him he is greeted by a handsome young guy who is thrilled at the change. Ortega doesn’t recognize the guy who introduces himself as Bugman, the green mutant with antennae and razor-like teeth who was part of the Tunnel Rats that Ortega and Bishop encountered a few weeks earlier. Bugman is relieved to look human and have movie star good looks and declares that he’s going to the nearest singles bar to get himself laid!

Izzy’s shock is interrupted by Nancy, his former partner who calls out to him from a patrol car. He tells her that his daughter is in the hospital and she agrees to drive him. He asks her to stop at McCarthy Avenue first and then asks what’s happening. She says they don’t know for sure but that the mutants seem to have lost their powers.

Izzy runs up to Mr. M’s apartment and asks if he still has his powers. Mercator tests them out on one of the many bugs that seem to have escaped from Hanna Levy’s apartment. He transforms one into a large monstrosity and asks what it is that Officer Ortega needs. Together, they rush to the hospital where Armena is sobbing over the lifeless body of their daughter, Chamayra. Laline turns to Izzy and tells him that he’s too late. Armena demands to know where he was while their daughter was dying. Izzy tries to explain that he went to get Absolon Mercator in the hopes that he could save Chamayra once again. Armena begs Mr. M to try. He lays his hand on Chamayra and tries but there is no effect. He says that he is sorry but last time, she was still alive and he thought he had healed her. This time, she is already gone and he cannot raise the dead. Izzy reaches out to comfort Armena but she tells him not to touch her. She says that it was a miracle they got Chamy back last time and they should have made her life perfect. Instead, he left them for another woman. She tells him to leave.

Outside, Izzy tries to talk with his sister who reiterates that he has royally screwed up this time. He asks where Esteban is and wants to go tell him what’s happened but Laline thinks he should stay away until Armena is ready to talk with him. Izzy is concerned that Esteban will think that this was his fault and that they should lie to him and claim it was a brain tumor or something. Laline gives Izzy a look that says that no one blames Esteban… they blame him. She turns and walks away. Mr. M asks Izzy if he has somewhere to go and Izzy says that he does.

He goes to Lara the Illusionist and begs her to help him see his daughter one last time using her powers. But Lara has lost her mutant powers of illusion. She tries to comfort him but tells him that even if she had her powers, she couldn’t. He turns and leaves. Izzy goes back to the subways with Gregor and places his gun in his mouth. He is interrupted by the arrival of Bishop. Bishop notes that Gregor isn’t looking too good. Izzy thinks his roots have grown into the sewers and the water is poisoning him. He tells Bishop that he can’t stop him. Bishop says he wasn’t planning to but could in a dozen different ways if he wanted to. He demonstrates by using microwaves to heat the gun up and forcing Izzy to drop it. This confirms to Izzy that Bishop is still a mutant.
Bishop lets him know that the gun will be cooled off in a matter of minutes if he still plans on using it. Bishop takes these minutes to tell Izzy how he’s lost his entire family and now spends his time with others who spend their lives fighting. He tells Izzy that he likes him and Armena and Esteban and would give anything to have a family like his. He tells Izzy that Armena sent him to find her husband and bring him back and that if he goes through with this, he’ll destroy them. He tells him to do what he has to do but that he plans on staying right there.

At home, Esteban is in shock over the news. There is a knock on the door and Armena answers. Bishop is there and tells her that he’s brought her husband home. She stares at Izzy for a moment and Esteban comes in and is excited to see him. They hug and Armena begins to cry. Bishop leaves and realizes his work in District X is done. He stands on a rooftop remembering Izzy’s final request: to get rid of his gun for him. Izzy declared that he never wanted to touch a gun again in his life. Using his mutant powers, Bishop melts the pistol to slag.

Esteban gets out of bed and looks at the picture he drew of his father. He walks down the hall and passes Chamayra’s room on the way to his parents’. He enters tentatively and his dad asks him what’s wrong. Armena tells him that he can sleep with them tonight. Esteban asks what happened to her sleep bubble and she tells him it went away. The family sleeps peacefully together for the first time with Esteban cradled between his parents. Bishop looks out over the rooftops and realizes that Mutant Town is gone. It wasn’t destroyed by a plague or mass murder, its citizens just stopped being mutants.

~ FIN ~

Characters Involved: 

Ismael “Izzy” Ortega


Armena, Chamayra, Esteban and Laline Ortega

Bugman, “The Juicers”, Lara “The Illusionist” King, Absolon Mercator, Gregor Smerdyakov and other unnamed residents of Mutant Town

Nancy and Hector (NYPD)

Doctors, staff and patients at the hospital

Story Notes: 

The events shown in this issue of MUTOPIA X happen at the same time as those shown in HOUSE OF M: DECIMATION - THE DAY AFTER.

Chamayra was accidentally shot by her brother, Esteban in DISTRICT X #5. In the following issue, Absolon Mercator removed the bullet and restored Chamayra to life. It is not exactly clear why the effects of M-Day caused the repairs done by Mercator to stop working to keep Chamayra alive.

Bugman is named for the first time in this issue. He has appeared in numerous issues of DISTRICT X and MUTOPIA X and lived with the Tunnel Rats. He was a close friend of Dzemal and also appeared as an employee of the Daily Bugle during the House of M reality shift.

“The Juicers” are a pair of young mutant junkies who appeared throughout the DISTRICT X series.

The following mutants are confirmed as de-powered in this issue: Bugman, “The Juicers”, Lara the Illusionist and Armena Ortega. Hanna Levy was shown to be powerless in HOUSE OF M: DECIMATION - THE DAY AFTER.

The only resident of Mutant Town shown to retain their mutant powers so far is Absolon Mercator.

Some of the characters from the DISTRICT X/MUTOPIA X series will appear in X-MEN: THE 198, a limited series dealing with the fallout of M-Day and written by David Hine. Among those mentioned in solicitations are Mr. M, Jazz and Lorelei.

Mutant Town is also the setting for the upcoming X-FACTOR series written by Peter David and starring Madrox, Wolfsbane, Strong Guy, Siryn, M, Rictor and Layla Miller from the HOUSE OF M Limited Series.

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