Soldier-X #4

Issue Date: 
December 2002
Story Title: 

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: 

The very disgruntled Armenian Mafia are torturing information on the whereabouts of a man with a metal arm from a mail man (who Nathan stole a bike from). Actually he doesn’t know anything, but Oleg wants to end the torture and reveals where Nathan went, Arpoun, the leader, already knew. He's just allowing his brother to practice the art of torture. In Krasnaya Polyana, Nathan's is busy fighting someone called Geo, a small man with a metal arm, who is angry at Nathan, because of them the Armenians think killed their men in Moscow as he fits Nathan’s description. Nathan ties to find a way to defeat Geo without unleashing his unpredictable powers, as the Armenians arrive and intervene. Nathan uses his TK powers to kill several of them with giant splinters of wood. It's then that Arpoun realizes it was Nathan, not the “loser“ Geo, who killed his men previously. Geo is annoyed by Arpoun calling him a loser and starts a fight with the Mafia leader. Nathan uses this to his advantage and gets inside the church, where the sick people are turn on Magdalena, sucking her dry of life energies until she is dead. Nathan lifts her up, and somehow miraculously heals her. Her mother Vera is not too happy of this, dead she would have been the perfect martyr. Father Dimitri, Magdalena's uncle, helps Nathan and Magdalene escape the town in an old truck. As the drive off, Oleg and Geo jump aboard with a captive Arpoun. The remaining Armenians fire machine guns behind them, and Vera is angry that she got left behind. Dimitri knows only one safe place they can head for - Saint Lenin.

Full Summary: 

S.H.I.E.L.D. agent Dragonfly, lounging by a bar at the company vacation resort, offers a recap of what went on previously. To cut it short (so he can get back to his holiday) Nathan is in the Russian village of Krasnaya Polyana, searching for a mutant girl with healing gifts called Magdalena. Only Blaquesmith knows why. A small army of Armenian mobsters is on Nathan's trail, who after getting to Magdalena, got knocked out by a strong, mysterious guy with a metal arm.

At a train station in the middle of the Russian nowhere Peklar is teaching his younger brother Papken to shoot birds out of the sky when their boss, Arpoun, tells them to stop, as one of them, another Armenian mobster, is currently torturing a mail man by yanking teeth out of his mouth. Peklar insists he was only showing his brother how to torture properly. Tied up in the background, gagged, and with a gun pointed at his head, is Oleg, Magdalena's father. Arpoun tells his brother Kapriel to continue with the torture, telling that his victim is only a means to an end, a vessel containing the answer, and the vessel's only important while they need the answer. "Where is the man with the metal arm?" Kapriel demands. The mail man doesn't know, so has another tooth pulled out of him, and he screams in agony.

Oleg mumbles something, and Arpoun removes his gag. Oleg tells him the man with the metal arm is in Krasnaya Polyana. Arpoun replies that he knows. "Then why..." Oleg trembles. Arpoun reveals that he only wanted his brother to practice the art of torture, and also he wanted to teach Oleg a lesson for keeping his special daughter a secret and taking all the profits. Oleg tells him that the mail man doesn't know anything. Arpoun reveals that this is the lesson he wanted to show him; if he could order such horrors done to a man who has done him no harm, what would he do to a man who really did him some harm? The gag is again moved over Oleg’s mouth and they continue with the torture of the mail man.

Nathan has been knocked out by a powerful punch, executed by a small, ugly man with a metal arm, who accuses Nathan of treading on his turf. "What? Who?" Nathan mumbles, dazed, reflecting in his diary entries to Irene that his body can spit out bullets and patch up holes, yet a blow to the chin and he's knocked out cold. The small man introduces himself as Geo and throws Nathan against a bookcase, proclaiming him "Badly minced, mint-flavored dog food!" The soldier also known as Cable demands to know why, and Geo tells him it's because the Armenian Mafia are after a man with a metal arm, and the only one they know of is Geo, so they're after him instead!

Nathan considers releasing his full power, but there are too many innocents around. However, when Geo punches him with his metal arm, Nathan grabs it and increases the vibration of atoms in his arm, heating the metal. Geo falls to the floor, in pain, as Nathan increases the heat on his arm. If Geo promises not to attack him he'll stop. Geo agrees, and is let go. "Sucker!" Geo shouts, punching Nathan so he goes crashing through the front doors of the church, landing in the courtyard. Geo jumps out, shouting the war-cry "Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull!" He considers it better than saying "Geronimo" as people use that all the time. As the two continue to fight Nathan explains in his diary to Irene that maybe women don't get the kind of thrill men do from fights. For them it's primal; it gives them an enemy. They hear adrenaline beating a blood dance in their eardrums, and everything is all right with the world. Live or die, they are home.

As Nathan is about to snap off Geo's metal arm there is a gunshot. It is Arpoun, who tells Nathan that he has need of that man in the mud. Arpoun asks Geo why he didn't stick to blowing up McDonalds and Benettons instead of killing his people. "You blew that O'Reilly restaurant in Moscow?" Nathan asks him. "One?" exclaims Geo. "I blew up fifteen of them, and I'm far from through!" Geo goes on to preach that O'Reilly is the enemy; a world unified in blandness, taking the taste out of food and the zest out of travel, and they need to be destroyed! Not like the Armenian Mafia, he tells them. They are ferocious, hungry, loyal, with strong family values, and in time they'll build a better Russia the way the Mob built America. Arpoun thinks it nice to be appreciated, then demands Geo tell him what he did with the girl. "What girl?" Geo wonders, puzzled.

Inside the church the villagers realize they want Magdalena. Father Dimitri tells them that the girl will heal them, just not now; she needs rest. The obese man tries to punch Dimitri, saying there is no time, and the masses grab Magdalena from her mother Vera's hands, pulling her away. Outside Oleg hears his daughter's cries, but Arpoun trips him up into a puddle as he tries to go to her aid.

Arpoun orders his men to go in the church but they hesitate, it’s church after all. Arpoun tells his men that it’s not one of their churches and the three men proceed, until three large stakes fly into their necks and chests, killing them. Arpoun sees Nathan there, and realizes it was him who killed his men in Moscow too. Arpoun never really believed a lose like Geo could have done it, and asks Nathan what it would take for him to come and work with them! "You don't have what I need," Nathan tells him, heading for the church. Geo punches Arpoun in the face with his metal arm, saying "Who are you calling a loser?" He grabs him around the neck, threatening to snap it if anyone comes closer. "Nobody calls me a loser!" he screams.

Nathan storms into the church, firing a machine gun at the ceiling to scare the mob away from Magdalena, who lies on the floor. Her heart has stopped. The mob drained the life out of her through repeated healings. Vera sees this as her daughter being a martyr for her faith; what better faith can anyone seek? "I don't know what God you believe in," Dimitri tells her," but I certainly hope he is not the same as mine!"

Nathan picks up Magdalena in his arms, telling Irene in his diary that a soldier thinks of death as no more than a merchant of his wares. They acquire it cheaply, and sell it dearly. They have to not, under any terms, get attached to the people who cross their paths. Doing so would be fatal. In his arms Magdalena breathes, coming back to life. Dimitri is overjoyed; the girl's mother less so. The people proclaim Nathan an angel, and as he tries to escape they try to touch him, hoping they will be healed too. He tells Irene he doesn't know how this miracle happened; maybe the girl found a way to drink the life out of him? Nathan is happy that he's done some good at last; it exhilarated him, it scared him, and made him think at the same time. Dimitri opens a back door, telling them to come this way.

Outside Geo is still holding Arpoun in a neck hold, angry that the Armenian Mafia are not the progressive force he believed in his battle against complacency, and that they were just laughing at him behind his back. Unnoticed by anyone, Oleg grabs a gun from one of the fallen Mafia henchmen and holds it against Arpoun's neck. He tries to fire a shot, but the safety is still on. Oleg fumbles with the gun, wondering where the safety on it is while the Mafia wonder what to do next. Kapriel decides to blast everyone, including his brother Arpoun, with their machine gun. As he starts shouting he tells his brother to be proud of him. The bullets however miss their targets. Geo grabs both Oleg and Arpoun and runs away with them. Being dragged away, Oleg yells at his brother that he’ll only be proud of him when he learns to keep his eyes open while shooting.

Dimitri has Nathan and Magdalena in an old truck, and as they drive off Vera bands on the car door, telling them to stop. Before they manage to drive off Geo throws Oleg and Arpoun onto the back of the truck and just manages to climb on himself. The Armenians fire their guns at them, but they escape, out of Krasnaya Polyana. "Where are we going?" Nathan asks. "One safe place around," Dimitri answers," Saint Lenin!"

Characters Involved: 

Nathan Summers / Cable / Soldier X


Oleg, Magdalena's father

Vera, Magdalena's mother

Dimitri, a priest

several sick and crippled people

a mail man

several other russian natives


Arpoun, Kapriel, Papken, Peklar (all Armenian Maffia)

In recap page :


Story Notes: 

In Soldier X #3 Nathan stole the bike from the mail man being tortured now.
The O’Reilly restaurant in Moscow blew up in Soldier X #2.
Nathan killed the Armenian Mafia who were trying to kill him and Oleg in Soldier X #2.

Issue Information: 
Written By: