Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #539

Issue Date: 
August 2011
Story Title: 
Losing Hope

Kieron Gillen (writer), Ibraim Roberson (artist), Jim Charalampidis (color), VC’s Joe Caramagna (letterer), Simone Bianchi (cover), Jordan D. White (assistant editor), Daniel Ketchum (assoc. editor), Nick Lowe (editor), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (Exec. Publisher)

Brief Description: 

While shopping with her friends, Hope Summers is abducted by the forces of the Crimson Commando, who has lost his mutant powers on M-day and demands the mutant messiah restore him. When Wolverine hears of the kidnapping, he goes out alone to rescue Hope. He smuggles her out of the Commando’s complex but their car is firebombed. With Wolverine badly hurt, Hope hides him before she is caught again. The Commando tries to torture Wolverine’s whereabouts out of her, going so far as to mutilate her but, when Wolverine is close by, she copies his healing factor. Thereafter, Wolverine takes out the Commando and his men. Hope then wants to know why he always avoids her. He admits that he avoids getting close to Hope because there’s concern she might become bad at some point and then he would have to take her out. Hope understands and tells him, should that day ever arrive, he should make sure to kill her.

Full Summary: 

Two of her charges, Laurie Tromette aka Transonic and Idie Okonkwo aka Oya, enter Hope Summers’ room and announce that this is an intervention. She can’t spend all her time disassembling and reassembling her guns. She needs a break! Laurie suggests they go to San Francisco and buy stupid stuff.

That’s not exactly her, Hope hesitates. Laurie tells her to consider herself lucky she’s on a team with the two least girly-girls on the island. They are not going to bully her into a makeover. But she can’t work 24-7. All study schedules need planned breaks. So let’s go and laugh at impractical clothes they never wear.

Hope asks Idie what she thinks. The young girl replies Hope should see the word she wants to save. C’mon, messiah of the mutant race, Laurie jokes. Take a night off from your cross! Hope agrees.

As they leave the complex, they find their teammate Teon sparring with Wolverine outside. Teon happily runs towards them while Wolverine ignores them. Hope orders Teon to stay. Pointedly, she tells Logan it’s good to see him, too.

Later, the three girls are at a boutique in the Haights. Hope finds a green hoodie she likes and Laurie reminds her she doesn’t need another one. What’s Wolverine’s problem? she asks. Hope doesn’t know. Idie points out that one of Wolverine’s best friends died for Hope. Hope replies it’s not that. He just doesn’t like being around her. She holds up another article of clothing for Laurie to inspect. Another green hoodie, the other girl criticizes. She likes green hoodies, Hope mutters.

That moment, a flash grenade is thrown into the shop. While they are all blinded, Hope warns the other girls to get ready. Several armed men try to take the other girls out and one of them tries to chloroform Hope. She struggles loose but he hits her with the butt of his gun. They grab the unconscious Hope and put her in a car and leave.

By the time Idie and Laurie have come around, she is gone. While Laurie still complains about her nose, Idie orders her to get help. She finally gets through to the older girl and Transonic flies back to Utopia to inform Cyclops. Wolverine joins them and hears about Hope being taken. He’s on it, he announces.

Elsewhere, Hope awakes, tied to a chair. The muscular man in red (including a facemask) in front of her asks if she knows who he is. Someone who’s going to be dead real soon? she shoots back. He snorts, she is righter than she knows. He is Frank Bohannan. They called him the Crimson Commando. He’s a mutant and has been around a very long time. He fought in World War II. His abilities made him a lot like Captain America. He was perfect and he aged slowly. They were good days.

Some years back, a bomb that should have killed him left enough meat to hold together with cybernetics. The conservative estimate still gave him decades of life. Chances were he was going to live until he was 200. M-Day happened. No more mutants. No more powers. So he should be dead.

He takes off his mask and looks broken. His cybernetics were designed for his improved physiology. Now they are threatening to tear apart this living corpse every time he moves. Inch by inch, he is falling away. Then he heard about her. A mutant messiah who saves their kind with a touch. He leans over her. Is she going to save him with her magic touch? Sure, she smirks and head butts him a moment later.

The Crimson Commando remarks that, if he was still the man he should be, he’d have dodged that. If she doesn’t help him voluntarily, he’s got a whole fleet of scientists lined up for a chance to vivisect this very special specimen. One way or another, she’s going to tell him everything he needs to know, he warns as he leaves the room.

Alone, Hope mutters she is never going to go shopping again. A little later, the crate of an airshaft is opened. Wolverine makes a shush sign and unties her. Together they climb back into the airshaft and look for their way out.

They reach Wolverine’s car. Where is everyone else? Hope asks. As they get into the car, he explains he followed her scent here and tried to call for help, but the Commando’s ex-military. Must have called in a whole bunch of favors to get this place. There’s all kinds of dampening fields. Can’t get a signal out. He even tried thinking hard at Emma. Even really filthy thoughts aren’t getting her attention.

Hope criticizes him for not getting back-up. She’d have held out. What kind of soldier is he? Then she realizes he came for her by himself. He tells her not to make this a big deal. “Hell!” he swears a moment later as a chopper follows them and fires at them.

Wolverine tosses Hope out into the shrubbery and tries to draw the fire. In the helicopter, the Commando sees Hope is clear and orders the pilot to unload everything. The car is fired at and explodes. A burning Wolverine falls out. “Hey Logan,” Hope snarks as she draws him into the forest, “nice rescue!” She finds a ditch and hides him in there.

The soldiers are on her trail again and she tries to lead them away from Logan. One threatens her with a gun and she kicks him in the face. The Crimson Commando shoots her in the knees and she falls down in agony. Stubborn girls don’t get to keep their legs, he remarks. Now, where is he?

One of his men suggests they get her back to base. The Commando retorts they need to finish the Canadian before he heals. Even in his prime, he’d have problems with Wolverine. And so, they need to find whatever hole she left him in and fill it with Napalm. Where is he? he repeats. Dunno, Hope replies stubbornly. Drawing his knife, he threatens that “dunno” will hurt. Hope points out he needs her alive to save his life. True, but she doesn’t need her nose to save his life, he replies and begins cutting. Or both eyes either.

Horrified, one of his men remarks that she isn’t going to take much more of this. He shouts, it’s life or death. Her or him! And that’s no choice at all! He’s not going to kill her but, if she doesn’t talk, she’s going to wish she had died for the rest of her life!

He turns back to Hope. Does she understand that? Does she have an answer for him? Sure, she mumbles. Second word’s “of”. He grabs her by her hair and notices her bleeding has stopped. Is she some kind of healer? No, she replies, she mimics powers from mutants. They’ve just got to be near enough.

That moment, a still very raw Wolverine attacks the commando with a cry of rage, then kills the guards. He is horrified to see Hope’s injuries, but she assures him she is healing quickly. Told him she’d hold out, she adds triumphantly. Don’t make it a thing, little girl he tells her.

Hope demands he fill her in. He acts like she’s a leper and then comes into the woods and does all this for her. She’s important, he replies. That explains the latter, she admits. What about the former? They get cut to pieces for each other and he won’t even talk!

Reluctantly, he admits that Hope reminds him of an old road. The idea of going down it again has him worried going scared. It’d be better, if they weren’t close.

Is that whatever scares Frost and Cyclops? she asks. Logan agrees. Cyclops told him what they’d seen. Gotta at least consider the worst case scenario. It’s that bad? Hope asks. Everyone just skirted around it. What she could become scares him that much?

He isn’t scared by what she could become but by what happens then. Someone would have to step in. Guess whose temperament and talents tend to make him that one? A man can get awfully tired of wiping friends of his knuckles…

If it does go that way, Hope begins, if he has to do it… Don’t worry, he assures her. He’ll make it quick. She doesn’t care about quick, Hope replies. If it’s that bad, just make it sure.

Characters Involved: 

Cyclops, Wolverine (both X-Men)


Oya, Primal, Transonic (five Lights)

Crimson Commando

His scientists and soldiers

Story Notes: 

Nightcrawler died for Hope in the “Second Coming” crossover.

Wolverine’s dislike of Hope has been shown in several issues since, e.g. Generation Hope #5.

The Crimson Commando was turned into a cyborg after his horrible injuries he sustained during the “Killing Stroke” crossover. He lost his powers, like most other mutants, on M-Day.

Hope has shown hints of the power of the Phoenix, hence many are afraid of her.

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