Ultimate Comics X-Men #23

Issue Date: 
April 2012
Story Title: 

Brian Wood (writer), Carlo Barberi (pencils), Don Ho (inker), Jesus Aburtov (colorist), Greg Land & Frank Martin (cover), VC’s Joe Sabino (letters), Emily Shaw & Jon Moisan (assistant editors), Mark Paniccia (editor), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (Exec. Publisher)

Brief Description: 

Storm and Colossus flee from the Sentinel attack on Camp Angel and seek refuge in the mountains. Storm is happy there but, haunted by the murder he committed, Colossus leaves her. After a bout of depression, Storm moves on but is recognized and captured and sent to a camp in the southwest. She is depressed and non-responsive until Blackheath taunts her into action, informing her about Kitty Pryde’s rebellion. Together with a few others, they break out to join the rebellion. Later, when the Cure is passed out, Storm is relieved to find that Colossus is nowhere among those seeking the Cure. Heartened, she joins her fellow mutants on the way to Utopia.

Full Summary: 

When Camp Angel falls, Colossus and Storm flee together, chased by Nimrod Sentinels. Colossus shields Storm from their attacks with his body and she uses her lightning to destroy them.

The Rockies. Three weeks after the fall of Camp Angel. They run forever. Storm steals a truck and Colossus drives them into the mountains. They camp in the wilderness, changing their location every couple of days, avoiding the hiking trails, monitoring the park rangers and staying under heavy canopies.

Ororo knows nothing about the mountains but Piotr does. They are wanted for murder and the so-called crime of being a mutant in America. After Camp Angel that is no joke. Storm realizes she should leave Piotr. She knows he was tortured but he executed Colonel Lake. She relives it in her nightmares sometimes. Nevertheless, she loves the time in the mountains with him.

They drive on. When he wants to turn on the radio, she asks him not to. He suggests the find some news; maybe something’s changed. Nothing’s changed, Ororo is sure. There is nothing out there for them. Their friends are out there, he reminds her. They just have to hope they are safe, she replies. They won’t help them by getting picked up by the cops and tossed in jail. And the social experiment that was Camp Angel won’t happen again. It’ll be more like Gitmo. Total black bag, vanish off the face of the world thing. But the news won’t tell them any of that, so why bother to listen to the lies?

Later, they both lie in bed, neither sleeping. This can’t be their life, Piotr finally announces. They are hiding in the woods like criminals. He is a criminal! This is not a vacation! When she looks at him like that, it only hurts. He takes his jacket and backpack and leaves for good. He tells her to rebuild her life. Be happy. Find balance! Find love! He cares for her like family! With that, he leaves.

The next couple of days, Ororo stays in the trailer and is depressed. Afterwards, she packs for two weeks of walking and heads out into the mountains.

Reaching a shop, she buys some stuff before walking on, not noticing the man inside phoning someone. She is walking along the road when a car with armed militia attacks. She tries to run, not even thinking of using her powers, when she is shot. She hasn’t used them since Camp Angel.

She is black-bagged and sold to the camp administrator for three hundred dollars. After four days in the SUV, she is broken, no longer caring.

In the camp, Blackheath addresses her, remarking he had her all wrong. Sorry to hear that, Ororo shrugs. He heard she was an X-Man. He believed it too until he got a good look at her. She’s just as broken down as the rest of them. And who is he? A fan, he tells her. She better be careful, He might ask her to sign an intimate body part. Ororo smiles weakly.

Weeks later, they see the Sentinel fleet passing over the camp. Blackheath announces this is it. This is where they join Kitty Pryde. Psylocke scoffs she is a myth. The stories are bogus. No one but him believes them. He informs them that Camp 14, twenty miles southwest, has been taken over by mutants. He heard the guards talking. Kitty’s is real and she’s taking the fight to the enemy.

Storm can’t believe that. Kitty is a child, not a revolutionary. Show him he is wrong, he demands. Prove to him the X-Men can’t pull that off.

Ororo admits he has this way in under her skin. Totally schoolyard tactics. But it works. She shaves her short hair into a Mohawk and joins the group breaking out that night. In the car, she thanks Blackheath.

They join the fight for freedom. And instead of having the words of Stacy X in her head, Storm now has Kitty’s manifesto, speaking not of murder and revenge but mutant self-determination.

They win easily. Ororo feels part of a community, fighting for a common dream. Nevertheless, she misses Piotr and wishes he had stayed to fight in this righteous battle and not run for common murder.

Much later, as most mutants sign up for the Cure, Storm looks at the lines, hoping to see a familiar face. A guard tells her this is the last batch. They are pulling out this evening. Storm asks if there is a list of who took the Cure. She sneaks into the medical tent to grab the list. At first, the doctor tells her this is confidential government property, but finally he relents and asks who she is looking for. However, the name Piotr Rasputin isn’t on the list. He didn’t take the Cure. She is relieved and joins the rest of the mutants on the bus.

Characters Involved: 



Blackheath, Psylocke, Shola Inkose

Story Notes: 

‘Gitmo’ is short for Guantanamo, referring to the US military base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The story takes place between issues #11 to 18.

Issue Information: 
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