Mystique #24

Issue Date: 
April 2005
Story Title: 
Quiet - Finale

Sean McKeever (writer), Manuel Garcia (penciler), Raul Fernandez (inker), Virtual Calligraphy’s Rus Wooton (lettering), Matt Milla (colors), Mike Mayhew (cover artist), Stephanie Moore & Sean Ryan (assistant editors), Mike Marts (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

While the Quiet Man aka Prudence, trapped in Steinbeck’s body, begins to threaten Shortpack, Mystique and her silent partner, Fantomex, trap Shepard in a hospital. Fantomex informs Mystique that Shepard is Prudence’s brother. When Shepard opens the teleportation portal, Mystique uses the portal to cut off his hand and enters it in his form. She tries to talk Steinbeck/Prudence into letting Shortpack go and giving her the interference transmitter. As the device is a fake, Prudence now understands this is Mystique. They fight and, when the Quiet man is fatally injured, he/she begins to emit energy. Mystique grabs Shortpack and they run. Prudence explodes and Mystique and Shortpack land in the rapids of the Niagara Falls. Shortpack awakes ashore, believing Mystique to be dead. Some days later, Forge catches Mystique trying to steal the interference transmitter. After some angry words, he smashes it and tells her he never wants to see her again. Nevertheless, they share a good-bye kiss. Only belatedly does Forge realize that Mystique already switched the transmitter for a fake.

Full Summary: 

Hunched over his scrying globe, the Quiet Man hisses, Kill her, Shepard. Kill Mystique!, while the imprisoned Shortpack pleads that it doesn’t have to be that way. He appeals to the Quiet Man’s reason, arguing that Professor Xavier might be able to fix him. The Quiet Man sinks down, shouting Quiet! before muttering let me go let me out let me so tired so tired inside so hungry inside--. Suddenly, he turns to Shortpack. Hungry…

A hospital in Brooklyn, NYC. Shepard enters a room, gun drawn. Addressing whom he believes to be Raven Darkholme, he announces that she screwed up and it is over. He adds that he never had any feelings for her, outside of disgust. Getting a good look at the figure on the bed, who has his back turned to him, he scoffs. Why would she pretend to be Fantomex, a dead man? Who is pretending, Fantomex asks, as he dangles the tracer necklace in front of Shepard. Moments later, a bruised Mystique hits Shepard from behind.

As Fantomex begins to overpower Shepard, Mystique warns him of his watch, which he uses to control the teleportation portal. Shepard shouts in disbelief that he saw Fantomex die!

Fantomex asks if he hasn’t been paying attention. He dies. He gets better. That’s the thing he does. He tells Mystique that he hunted up some info on Shepard, as she asked. His real name is Francis Leighton who was CIA until he was discharged for mental defects. But more entertainingly he is the brother of Prudence Leighton, Xavier’s late agent.

Mystique smirks, recalling how Shepard called the Quiet Man aka Prudence “beloved.” They are sick, she grins. An enraged Shepard breaks free. Oh, don’t be like that, Francis, Mystique mocks before she and Fantomex overpower him. Gimme a hand, she cruelly orders.

The Quiet Man’s lair, Shepard falls through the teleportation portal, pulling at something and shouting to let go. He looks around to see the Quiet Man aka Prudence about to fry Shortpack. He interrupts as he hides something behind his back. Impatiently, he demands she give him the scrambler. Prudence doesn’t understand. Shepard explains that they still need Mystique and, to get Homeland Security of her back, she needs the scrambler. But he knows it doesn’t work, Prudence protests before finally understanding.

Shepard’s eyes begin to glow golden. Hey Prudence. She shows her a severed hand. Francis says Hi. Prudence drops Shortpack and, tearing her robe aside to reveal an evening gown, she shouts, “no,” and lashes out at Mystique, with Steinbeck’s pyrokinesis. Mystique evades the fiery blast.

Calling the Quiet Man “Prudence,” Shortpack begs her let them take her to Xavier. Hitting Mystique, Prudence shouts that it is Xavier’s fault she is stuck like this. Xavier’s fault and his! Mystique hits back, goading her by calling he RuPaul. If she was stuck in the mind of a guy, she’d be a raving loonie as well. Shorty still tries to reason telling her she is confused, as Steinbeck is pushing at her, but she must know that Charles and he would never do anything to hurt her. Charles can fix her. Fix her? Prudence shouts. Can he give her her life back? Her body?

With Mystique on the ground, Prudence turns to Shortpack. How could he let that happen, she cries. She trusted him. Shortpack begs, telling her he loved her. Prudence’s eyes begin to glow with Steinbeck’s power, as she announces that love hurts!

Before she can harm Shortpack, Mystique grabs her by the hair and follows this up by stabbing her in the gut. Prudence /Steinbeck begins to emit a white glow from the wound and from her ears and mouth, as she begins to mutter that now Mystique has done it. Now they can all die together. Mystique grabs Shortpack and suggest they go find an exit.

In a hospital, Fantomex bandages the arm stump of Shepard who is tied down to a bed. Shepard vows he will kill Fantomex. Unimpressed, the self-styled super-thief chides him not be ungrateful. At least he had the decency to lure him to a hospital. Fantomex cheerfully explains how he and Mystique were able to plan all this, even while Shepard and Prudence were watching Mystique’s every move. He explains that Mystique can resize her vocal chords to speak at such frequencies that only certain animals and factory built mutant super-soldiers can hear. And when Shepard couldn’t trace his little pendant for a while that was because of his partner E.V.A.

He tells Shepard that he is fortunate, as the portal seems to have cauterized his wound. Now, Professor Xavier would very much like to see him.

Suddenly, black energy shoots out of Shepard’s right eye and hits Fantomex in the chest, slamming him through the wall. Shepard then uses the ray to sever his ties. Stupid Eurotrash, he mutters, as he gets dressed and leaves. That was not part of his Intel, Fantomex moans.

Elsewhere, Mystique and Shortpack make their way through a dark tunnel, suddenly seeing light. But then Steinbeck’s voice calls Shortpack’s name. Bleeding energy and now grossly obese, he/she is following them. He/she cracks open and they are engulfed by light.

The explosion is seen from outside. They are close to the Niagara Falls. Mystique and Shortpack are tossed into the water and begin to float.

Shortpack regains consciousness at the shore. Nearby, he sees the Falls and realizes what the probably means for Mystique. He buries his head in his hands.

Three days later in Baltimore, Maryland, a man tries to stealthily open a drawer in Forge’s apartment-cum-workshop. Pressing a gun into the “man’s,” back Forge is entirely unimpressed, as he states nice try, Mystique. Changing back to her true form, Mystique asks if he is going to turn her in or shoot her. He’d like to do both, he replies coldly. He adds that Logan told him about how she got away from him. He didn’t know she could do the Mr. Fantastic thing. She’s still recovering from that, Mystique admits. She doesn’t think she’d be able to do it again. Anyway, she just came to leave something for—

Forge cuts her off, demanding she not insult him. He opens the drawer and pulls out the interference transmitter. This is what she came for, isn’t it? She grins sheepishly, admitting he knows her.

Forge states that he was only able to save Xavier from her because Fantomex warned him at the last possible second. Perfect timing. But she wouldn’t know anything about that, would she? Mystique doesn’t reply.

Forge forcefully throws the transmitter to the ground, smashing it. No more protection, he announces. She is on her own now. He doesn’t ever want to see her again. He looks away angrily. Mystique touches his arm and reaches out to him. They share a kiss. After that, Forge tells her to get out.

Mystique leaves the apartment, turning to a normal from. With her gone, Forge silently wishes her good luck. Suddenly, he realizes something was wrong. He takes a closer look at the smashed transmitter box. It’s a fake. He should have known. Outside, getting lost in the crowd is Mystique wearing a triumphant smile, as she holds the real interference transmitter in her hand.

Characters Involved: 





Prudence Leighton /Steinbeck / The Quiet Man

Francis Leighton /Shepard

Story Notes: 

This being the last issue of the title, parts of the story are rushed. We are never told how Mystique realizes that the Quiet Man was Prudence. Also there is an artistic mistake. After Shepard frees himself from Fantomex, he is suddenly drawn with two hands again.

Originally, writer Mc Keever had future plans for the title, such as Mystique forming a new kind of Brotherhood of Mutants, among the members some of the young mutants introduced in issues #14-18. Also she was to get a new, female lover.

Mystique is scheduled to appear in future issues of X-Men and apparently also in “House of M.” Forge is strongly rumored to also appear in “House of M.”

Issue Information: 
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