Ultimate Comics X-Men #9

Issue Date: 
May 2012
Story Title: 

Nick Spencer (writer), Paco Medina (pencils), Juan Vlasco (inks), Marte Gracia (colorist), Kaare Andrews (cover), VC’s Joe Sabino (letters & production), Jon Moisan (assistant editor), Sana Amanat (associate editor), Mark Paniccia (editor), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (Exec. Publisher)

Brief Description: 

Camp Angel is one of the mutant detention camps in the United States. Though several mutants are secretly kept prisoner and questioned and tortured like Colossus, this is secret and most are actually treated quite well, something Colonel Lake makes sure of. Some mutants like Storm try cooperation, while others like Stacy X protest. The situation changes when the detainees learn that the United States government created mutants. Sick of being lied to, Storm attacks the Sentinel guards and starts a riot.

Full Summary: 

Days ago, Camp Angel, one of the mutant relocation camps, guarded by Sentinels:

Somewhere inside, in its bowels, the imprisoned Colossus is tortured with energy batons. Two men in black suits tell him this can stop. Just as soon as he tells them what he knows. Colossus replies he doesn’t know what they are talking about. The men give orders to start the torture again. They explain their hourly rate is very high and the government’s budget is limited. They’ll only ask one more time and then they’ll move to the next stage. What does he know about the last time the world ended?

Elsewhere in the camp, some amused guards watch the display on the screen. Shame they can’t get audio, one of them remarks. They ask one Major Walker if he can help them out there. ‘Fraid not, he replies. Company took out the speakers. That’s the problem with these public- private partnerships, isn’t it? Colonel Lake, who just enters, announces. They always end up getting the short end of the stick.

The men are clearly embarrassed at being caught and salute. At ease, he orders, and turn it off! He asks John Walker to come outside with him.

Walker begins that he knows what Colonel Lake is gonna say. He always does, Lake interrupts. But seeing as how he can’t put his things on Lake’s desk just yet, he’d probably best listen anyway. Walker agrees, but the men… ever since what happened to Gale and West— Lake agrees that was a tragedy and what they do here is dangerous. That doesn’t excuse making a spectacle of another man’s suffering.

Of course, Walker agrees, but the fact remains every day these men are asked to guard prisoners who are vastly more powerful than they are. They’ve seen two of their own die and seeing this, unsavory as it may be, might help them feel more in control, remind them who’s in charge here.

Lake points out Walker called them prisoners, but that’s not what they are. Camp Angel was set up to keep mutants safe from humans as much as the other way round. Never forget that! It’s a temporary inelegant solution to the most certain problem of their age: How do they co-exist with their evolutionary replacement? Because he is certain of one thing: The future won’t wait much longer.

They enter a room where Ororo Munroe is waiting. Colonel Lake introduces Storm and Walker and asks Ororo how things are going. She explains there is a flu going around in the camp. Lake replies they can get some vaccinations in. Can Ororo convince them to actually let them inject the mutants? Ororo muses that some inmates have medical training. She suggests a buddy system, one human nurse, one mutant nurse, they might go for it, but, she points outside to a young woman holding a speech in the yard… she’s not going to make it easy.

Said young woman in the prison courtyard, announces that their oppressors call her Miranda Leewald but they all know her by her rightful mutant name, Stacy X. She is a political prisoner of war, like all of them.

She holds up a picture of another mutant, one Andres Merino. They claim he killed two of the guards here, that they were justified in shooting, him, riddling his body with sixty bullets. When is that kind of violence ever justified? And they all know they were the ones who provoked him, who attacked him in the middle of the night. They all know what’s really going on here: the torture rooms down in their basement, the random attacks in the workrooms and showers—none of this will end until they decide to fight back!

Lake tells Ororo they all have their opposing arguments to deal with and thanks her. Anything she needs from him? Piotr, Ororo replies. He’s working on that, he claims without meeting her eyes. He and Walker leave.

Walker suggests this Stacy X thing could be a problem. Should he get some guards and shut it down? Lake refuses. This will only help her get where she wants to go. Better they follow Ororo’s suggestions and try to foster some good will.

He tries to make Walker see this is the only way and he needs him to understand this if he is going to replace Lake. If anything good is to come out of this, it starts with them talking to each other. His hope is, when this whole mess blows over, what they do here can be a model, one the entire world can follow…

An agitated soldier comes with a message. Lake is horrified when he reads the news. When did this come out? he asks. Just a few minutes ago, the soldier, Jansen, replies. Lake gives the order to kill the TVs.

Ororo has joined the others in the courtyard listening to Stacy, who announces some of them believe they can appease their tormentors. That Xavier’s old ideas still apply even here as they press the heels of their boots against mutants’ necks. How much longer will they tell them to bow to their inferiors, their aggressors?!

Ororo begins to walk away when two excited kids stop her. Did she hear the news? they ask. They head her inside where several startled mutants are listening to Val Cooper’s press conference where it is revealed to the public that mutants are the result of a series of experiments in bio-engineering that were conducted and funded by the United States government.

Suddenly, the TV is switched off, the signal killed. The other mutants are confused, some turning to Ororo who clenches her fists.

Soon, Colonel Lake holds a speech. Nervously, he begins while Stacy whispers to some of her followers that this is her moment. Some mutants ask why they killed the internet and TV connections. What doesn’t he want them to know?

Lake apologizes for that but there is a lot of speculation out there and his feeling was they’d get through this without the chatter. He reminds them he’s here to keep them safe and admits he doesn’t know if this is true.

In her room, Ororo looks at herself in the mirror, then begins cutting off her long hair.

Lake continues he does know they’ve all been deceived and that’s bound to make people angry. And where there’s anger, sometimes things get violent. It’s easy to understand. He can’t imagine what’s going through their minds right now, where their hearts are. But he can tell them this: The only way they get through this without any innocent people getting hurt, is if they keep cool and stick together. He’s not telling them not to be outraged. He’s not telling them not to blame this government and all the people who did this. But he and his men are right here with them. No matter what comes next, they are side by side now. No one here chose this. No one here wanted this. If that’s what has to hold them together then he can live with that because it’s together. Still it beats a lot of people on both sides of the fence dying because of another man’s careless ways. So who’s with him here? Who can get behind standing together on this?

Ororo, her hair shaved to a buzzcut and now wearing a leather suit, shouts “no!” and uses her lightning to overload the Sentinel guards. The riot starts. “No more lies!” Ororo announces.

Characters Involved: 

Colossus, Storm (X-Men)

Colonel Lake

Major John Walker

Other military personnel at Camp Angel

Men in black

Stacy X

Other mutant internees at Camp Angel

Story Notes: 

The story takes place parallel to issues #1-6.

The press conference took place in issue #1.

Issue Information: 
Written By: