Ultimate X-Men #49

Issue Date: 
September 2004
Story Title: 
The Tempest - part 4

Brian K. Vaughan (story), Brandon Petersen (art), Justin Ponsor (colors), Virtual Calligraphy’s Chris Eliopoulos (letters), Nick Lowe (assistant editor), Ralf Macchio (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Special thanks to Jay Leisten & C.B. Cebulski

Brief Description: 

Sinister infiltrates the school, incapacitates Xavier and intends to kill him. Iceman stops him, but is injured in the process. Kitty gets Rogue out of the way and Angel uses his wings to disarm Sinister. However, Sinister has hypnotic powers and tries to force Angel to kill himself. Dazzler uses her powers to throw him out but, getting too close, she ends up as his hostage. Grabbing Sinister’s guns, Rogue intends to kill him. In the ensuing argument with Angel, she inadvertently absorbs his wings. She flies high up with Sinister, intending to drop him, but is stopped by Storm, who, remembering what Beast wanted, appeals to Rogue’s better nature. They leave Sinister alive to be detained by SHIELD. In the Triskelion, Apocalypse appears to Sinister, ordering him to kill himself.

Full Summary: 

Camera 13:


Camera 14:

Angel informs somebody on the phone to tell his father it’s gotten so bad around here, the Professor won’t even let them leave campus.

Camera 18:

Kitty Pryde is taking care of Dazzler, who is nursing a major hangover.

Caera 23:

Camera 24:

The living room: Bobby Drake has his arms protectively draped around his girlfriend, Rogue, as he assures her that Scott and the others will catch the guy who murdered all those mutants.

Professor Xavier studies all the impressions he gets when, suddenly, a voice behind him calls him a dirty old man for spying on his underage students… Surprised, Xavier turns around, as the intruder announces that he doesn’t show up on any of his voyeur cams. He doesn’t photograph well.

Xavier recognizes the man as Sinister. The villain retorts that he knows a thing or two about Xavier as well. Lord Apocalypse told him stories. Xavier stalls as he asks who Apocalypse is. Sinister assure him he won’t be able to slip him any telepathic suggestion. He’s got a few mindtricks of his own. As the red diamond on his forehead starts to glow, he orders Xavier to be still. He then pushes the wheelchair with the helpless Professor out of the room. Where is he taking him, Xavier demands. To the one true enemy of the great Charles Xavier, the villain retorts. Stairs. He pushes him down.

In the X-jet, en route to Westchester, the mood is tense. Wolverine snarls at Scott to go faster, adding nastily that Hank would have gotten them home fifteen minutes ago. Scott stoically reminds him that Hank is dead. And, if he pushes the plane any harder, he’s going to have company. He’s going to have company if Cyclops doesn’t, Storm interrupts, reminding everybody that they left the school defenseless. They played right into that psycho’s hands. Nightcrawler tries to calm her, pointing out that the Professor can weather any storm that blows his way. Plus, Jean will already have warned him, Colossus adds. Jean replies that Xavier’s not on-mind right now. But it’s late. Maybe he fell asleep.

Xavier lies passed out at the bottom of the stair. Sinister is standing above him, announcing that Lord Apocalypse would help him complete his transformation after he brings him six more innocent mutant souls. He has his doubts about Xavier being innocent, but he figures it’s worth a shot. He points his guns at Xavier. At that moment, as voice shouts ‘freeze’ and Iceman encases the guns and Sinister’s hands in ice. Sinister, nevertheless, shoots hitting Bobby in the chest.

Alerted by the noise, Rogue runs out shouting Bobby’s name. Little girls. I like the noises you make when you bleed, Sinister leers as he fires at Rogue point-blank. Both are amazed to find she is untouched – thanks to Kitty, who has dived up from below and is phasing her teammate. She drags her down, even while Rogue is protesting asking about Bobby.

Getting his bearings, Sinister shouts at them to run and hide. The last four kids he popped were no fun at all. Suddenly, huge wings flap, hitting both his guns out of his hands. Illuminated by the moon, Angel stands before him. At a loss for words Sinister utters that he’ll be damned.

He thought he’d be scared of him, Angel announces, but he is not. Sinister is nothing without the weapons he hides behind. Choke yourself, Sinister commands, as the diamond on his forehead starts to glow red. Against his will, Angel’s hands move to his neck and he begins to follow the order. They say a man can’t strangle himself to death, Sinister announces, but he isn’t a man. Where did he come from? ‘Cause he sure as hell doesn’t believe in heaven. He’s more a reincarnation kinda guy, he rambles. Spiritual equivalent of evolution. That’s always been an obsession of his.

Behind Sinister, a voice starts singing boom boom boom, and light rays hit him, causing him to fall backwards out of the second floor window. That’s the way we live, Dazzler continues singing, as she climbs down. An old David Byrne song, she explains to Angel. Really gets her lightshow tripping. She’ll mop up the banger wannabe. Facing the lying Sinister, she explains that she’ not really part of this band. But when some bald guy says you can crash at his mansion whenever you need digs, you don’t say no. She kneels above Sinister and starts singing again as her finger glows. Sinister grabs her wrist and bends her arm behind her back. Ugly voice, pretty colors, he observes, as he takes out a knife and holds it to her throat. Let’s see what colors she has on the inside…

Let her go, a voice commands from above. Rogue stands at the window, pointing one of Sinister’s guns at him. Or don’t, she continues. Either way he’s getting one between the eyes. Angel urges her to put the gun down. He killed Bobby, she continues. The only boy who ever treated her halfway decent and for that he gets to… Kitty phases up to her, telling her to rewind. Bobby’s alive. His ice absorbs most of the impact.

Hey morons, Dazzler shouts. Hostage situation here, remember? Sinister orders Rogue to drop the piece or he’ll turn her friend into a fountain. Angel urges Rogue to comply. She was knocking tin cans off fences long before she started stealing other mutants’ mojo, she shouts. She can make the shot. Angel still protests and, as he touches her shoulder, she absorbs his powers, growing wings.

Looks like she did his job for him, Sinister gloats. Furiously, she flies downwards, grabs him by his shirt and flies him high up in the air. Give me one reason, she demands, why she shouldn’t’ drop him so fat his bones burst out of his skin when he hits the ground. The diamond on his forehead glows, as he claims that he can survive the fall, but can she? Go ahead, crash, he orders.

Rogue is mesmerized for a moment, until another voice tells her not to listen to him. Storm has arrived. She tells Rogue it’s over and asks her to put him down gently. Her feathers will soon disappear. Rogue protests. Why is she acting all soft? That piece of trash is no better than the animals who killed her Hank. He deserves to die. Storm stays calm for a moment, then tells Rogue that Hank always said that if mutants are the future, they’ve got to stop thinking like the—

Rogue interrupts her, reminding her that he murdered people. An eye for an eye! What has that ever solved in the history of mankind, Storm asks exasperated. They’re supposed to be what’s next. How about they try something new?
Sinister stutters that she is right and begs to be let go. Rogue knocks him out. Not exactly the non-violent solution she had in mind, Storm wryly comments, but it’ll do. Rogue shrugs. She probably absorbed some of Angel’s halo with his wings…

Three hours later, SHIELD has arrived to take Sinister into custody. Fury commends Xavier. He just got the initial ballistics back from SHIELD and the 45s Sinister brought there are a match for the weapons used in the other homicides.

Who is the man? Xavier asks. DNA confirms he’s one Nathaniel Essex, who used to work as a bioengineer for an Oscorp subsidiary in New Orleans. He couldn’t get permission to perform experiments using hypnotic persuasion and “urban stealth” on other humans, so he started testing on himself. Whatever he did made him crazy too. He was fired after he started interacting with the voices in his head. Then, he just disappeared.

As Fury leaves, Storm apologizes to Xavier. They should have been there. Xavier assures her he couldn’t be more proud of the way they handled themselves. He should be apologizing. Had he permitted the younger X-Men to accompany the rest, this evening’s nightmare could have been avoided. Then, he still would have been a target, Storm point out. That’s why it’s wrong to keep any of them here against their will, Xavier insists. They are no safer on school grounds than anywhere else. He realizes they will not be students forever and, if they are to survive in the real world after they graduate, perhaps they must learn to be part of that world today.

The Triskelion, SHIELD headquarters ad detaining enter.

In his cell, Sinister buries his head in his hands, complaining that his mind is breaking. He can’t tell what’s real. As he whines about his nightmares, a voice mocks him for the useless roach he is. Lord Apocalypse? he asks. This is the last time he will ever hear his voice, the voice states. Sinister’s failures exhaust him. It is time to find a new horseman to help bring forth the dawn of the final age. Sinister begs him not to leave him. He’ll do anything. He need just name his command. Very well, a very real Apocalypse replies: Choke yourself.

Characters Involved: 

Angel, Colossus, Cyclops, Dazzler, Marvel Girl, Nightcrawler, Professor X, Rogue, Shadowcat, Storm, Wolverine (all X-Men)

General Fury (director of SHIELD)

SHIELD agents

Mr. Sinister


Story Notes: 
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