Soldier-X #2

Issue Date: 
October 2002
Story Title: 
Podmoskóvnie Vecherá (Moscow Nights)

Darko Macan (writer), Igor Kordey (artist), Chris Chuckry (colors), Randy Gentile (letters), Lynne Yoshii (assistant editor), Andrew Lis (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Bill Jemas (president)

Brief Description: 

Nathan Summers is given a new mission by his old mentor Blaquesmith; find a missing girl. As Nathan investigates Blaquesmith finds himself a girlfriend. Nathan comes upon the girl’s father, being terrorised by the Armenian Mafia. The man, Oleg, identifies his daughter as Magdelena, and a very powerful healer, who was used by her mother in helping the sick in exchange for money, and who eventually took her away to her home village of Krasnaya Polyana. Nathan tells Blaquesmith of this, and goes to find her. Blaquesmith’s new lover, however, grew up in Krasnaya Polyana, and feels sorry for anyone who goes there.

Full Summary: 

A tired Irene Merryweather, up all night reading the diary of Nathan Summers, gives us a quick recap of what’s gone on previously. She sums it up very quickly as the following: “Nathan’s TK powers are out of control, his body armour is dissolving, and he has trouble finding a purpose in life, at Abu Simbel he met his old mentor, the irritating Yoda-wannabe, Blaquesmith.” She goes on to say that those two S.H.I.E.L.D. agents Jordan and Dragonfly would love to get their hands on the diary, then asks the reader to keep schtum.
At S.H.I.E.L.D.’s underground archives in Bethesda their two most inept agents enter; Jordan and Dragonfly. Dragonfly wonders if the stooges they arrested at the basho tournament where they met Irene knows where Summers is. Jordan has phoned Tommy the Torturer though, who has told him they’re just stooges. Dragonfly tells him off for cheating, but Jordan just tells him they have to use the old fashioned methods. Then they enter the Crypt, the S.H.I.E.L.D. archives, and Dragonfly is despondent, as all the dust is bad for his bronchi. He wants to know where the paperless office everyone talks about has gone to, but Jordan tells him that with mutants like Magneto around computer files could be easily wiped. Later, as Dragonfly hefts a huge pile of Cable’s files back to the office, he offers a suggestion; why not rename the Summers files; leave all the Cable stuff to rot; give the new stuff a new name, something cool, like with an X in the title. Jordan wants his partner to be serious, as they are trying to find out where Cable has been for the past two years; but then Dragonfly comes up with the perfect file name. Soldier X!
In Moscow, Nathan explains in his diary that his joy at meeting Blaquesmith again was short lived, as he’s just remembered how annoying he was. As the two time travellers eat Caviar in a posh restaurant Nathan isn’t too happy, and his mentor wonders whether he would rather eat at O’ Reilly’s burgers across the street instead. O’ Reilly’s burgers explodes across the street behind them as Blaquesmith tells Nathan to enjoy the finer things in life. Nathan asks if that was why he was here, to stop a terrorist attack. Blaquesmith berates him for thinking that everything has to be about a mission for him. A busty Russian woman approaches Nathan, telling him she loves American men. He tells her he’s from the future; she wants to know where Future is. “It is in America?” she asks stupidly. Nathan demands to know why Blaquesmith wanted to meet him. The irritating Yoda-wannabe (as Irene puts it) shows him a picture of a blonde haired young girl with a red cross on the right side of her face. He needs Nathan to find her. The Russian woman thinks Nathan must like his women young. When Nathan asks why he has to find her Blaquesmith complains that he wants burgers when he has caviar, and now he gets a mission he wants to know why. “Just find her. The last known address is on the back,” he tells Nathan. Nathan wants to know whether they should keep in contact through their psi-link. Blaquesmith, fearing the way his powers have been playing up, hands him a cell phone to use instead. Suddenly the blonde woman’s jealous boyfriend, Anatoly, storms up, but Nathan punches him unconscious and walks off, very annoyed with his comrade from the future. The woman stands over her fallen boyfriend when Blaquesmith announces that he’s from America too. “I love American men,” she tells him, as he takes some money out of his wallet with a smirk.
Nathan has traced the girl’s street, but not the apartment. He wonders where to look next; but suddenly his prayers are answered. He spots a man being dangled over a high balcony, screaming. The man, Oleg, has been running a “lucrative business” and hasn’t been giving the two men threatening him a cut of it. Oleg claims it was his wife doing the selling; that she has all the money. Arto and Karo, the men holding him, decide to drop him when Nathan pushes the two over and grabs hold of their legs, giving them an ultimatum. “Drop him. I’ll drop you.”
Of course they agree, and as they scuttle off, the rescued Oleg starts to kiss Nathan’s feet, thanking him, and goes to pour them both a drink. Oleg thinks Heaven sent him to save him from the Armenian Mafia. Nathan shows him a picture of the girl; Oleg recognises her as his daughter, Magdelena. Oleg wants to know why they can’t leave them alone, and will Nathan dangle him from the window if he refuses to cooperate too? She is not there, however, Oleg explains sadly. Her mother has taken her to her village, Krasnaya Polyana. He sighs, figuring he should have known this would happen, especially when it all started. “What started?” Nathan asks. Cable hears a story of when Magdelena’s dog, Zoya, was knocked down and was on the verge of death, but the girl somehow brought her back to life, and the crowds watching proclaimed it a miracle. After that everyone from the terminally ill to people hardly even sick came to be cured by Magdelena. Oleg isn’t too pleased, as the only reason he did it was to was to bring in money to buy food and vodka, which he seems to be quite fond of. They hear an explosion from somewhere close by, and it knocks the vodka glass from Oleg’s hand. They run to the balcony to see the woman next door, who was out beating her dusty rug in the fresh air. The rug is on fire, due to the incompetent efforts of the two Armenian gangsters and their associate, Durak. Cable tries to drag Oleg away from his precious bottle of vodka; and just in time too, as Durak gets the right apartment this time, blowing it up. As the two rush down the stairs Nathan guns down gangsters that try to stop them escaping. He kills some more as they emerge from the lift. As they exit the building Durak fires his rocket launcher directly at Nathan, knowing he can’t possibly miss; but Nathan uses his TK powers to deflect the missile back at the gangster’s car, blowing it up and killing them in the process.
Meanwhile, Blaquesmith is in bed with the lovely Russian woman he met at the restaurant when Nathan phones, telling him that the girl is in Krasnaya Polyana. Nathan suggests he follow her there; Blaquesmith agrees, and will explain everything when he gets back. When he turns off the phone his female companion tells him that she grew up in Krasnaya Polyana, and feels sorry for anyone who goes there.

Characters Involved: 

Nathan Summers / Cable / Soldier X


Irene Merryweather

Dragonfly, Gilbert Jordan (both S.H.I.E.L.D.)
Oleg, Magdalena's father

Arto, Durak, Karo (all Armenian mafia)

unnamed blonde Russian woman

her boyfriend Anatoly
in flashbacks :

young Magdelena

Zoya, her dog

Story Notes: 

On page 3 Jordan is carrying a huge pile of Cable’s files. One of them is issue #100 of the Cable comic, the silent issue, aka “Nuff’ Said.”
The renaming of the S.H.I.E.L.D. file to Soldier X is the first explanation for the title change from Cable

Issue Information: 
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