X-Force (3rd series) #13

Issue Date: 
May 2009
Story Title: 
Suicide Leper: Part Two

Craig Kyle & Christopher Yost (writers), Clayton Crain (art), VC’s Cory Petit (letterer), Joe Sabino (production), Jody LeHeup (assistant editor), John Barber (editor), Axel Alonso (executive editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

At Alcatraz, Archangel briefs Cyclops and the rest of X-Force about what happened in Jackson Hole, Wyoming and the fact that he saw the Leper Queen there. After Wolverine decides to go after Leper Queen, Cyclops provides them with devices that will transport them to the future at a moment’s notice. Meanwhile, when Donald Pierce provides Dust with information that three of her friends will be killed, she informs the Stepford Cuckoos but she is kept in the dark by Cyclops. At the same time, Agent Morales discerns that their target, X-23, is either going to the United Nations or after the Leper Queen. Over at Angel’s aerie, Rahne and Hrimhari continue to spend some quality time together. Meanwhile, in New York, the Leper Queen sends an infected Surge and Hellion to the United Nations while she keeps Boom-Boom captive at her location. Once X-Force plows their way through the Sapien League in New York, they save Boom-Boom from being infected. However, before Wolverine can kill the Leper Queen, they are transported away to the future on the orders of Cyclops. Distraught at being denied a death she sought, the Leper Queen takes out her frustrations by shooting Boom-Boom in the head, killing her.

Full Summary: 

Sitting at an outside table of Sugar Café located in San Francisco California, Julian Keller a.k.a. Hellion admits to a young attractive lady that he is indeed a mutant, one of the most powerful ones on the planet. The lady replies that she knew it, she can tell. When she asks him what he’s doing that night, Hellion goes to reply that he’s looking at her… but collapses in a heap.

As a van speeds up, the young lady tells him no, what he’s doing tonight is dying and calls him a genescum piece of $#!^. While members of the Sapien League load Hellion into the van, the lady tells the driver to contact the Leper Queen and inform her that they’ve got everyone on the list.

Wolverine remarks that one hour ago in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, Fever Pitch blew up. In the process of doing so, for the second time in two days, a mutant has just killed a whole lot of humans. Odds are, any normal day, he’d enjoy killing humans. But what happened there isn’t his idea. Luckily, Archangel was able to save himself and X-23 from being engulfed in the blast. Theory is, both him and Beautiful Dreamer were filled to the gills with a modified version of the Legacy Virus created by Sinister. The same one they supposedly destroyed.

At Alcatraz Island, Archangels informs Cyclops what happened. Hundreds of people were killed. It was… it was… As Archangel stammers to find the words, Wolverine can tell that he wants to say that he loved it, that he loved seeing all those people dead. He knows he’s twisted up inside, but Cyke thinks he can shake it. He did too, but now he’s not so sure. Archangel composes himself and finishes that it was horrible. They barely made it out, but they say her – the Leper Queen.

When Scott replies that that changes things, Wolverine thinks to himself that Summers has been so hardcore lately, he’s starting to feel inadequate. He can see the wheels turning in his head and they both know where this is going. Question is, how bloody do his hands get stopping it? They’re X-Force, their hands are supposed to get bloody but he’s the one calling the shots. Archangel adds that the Leper Queen was gone when they landed and by that time, Vanisher had gotten the rest of the team to the site. Elixir helped everyone he could before they had to get out.

As Wolverine informs Scott that the Leper Queen is one of Bastion’s, he thinks to himself that the Cyke isn’t saying the cold truth. There’s no point, they all know it. Bastion has the Legacy Virus and they’re all *%#$ed. Just then, Domino pipes up that it seems like they’re all *%#$ed. In his mind, Wolverine sarcastically says ‘thanks Dom.’ Warpath remarks that this doesn’t make sense. So the Leper Queen is out there abducting mutants, turning them into living bombs for what? To use against humans? That’s the opposite side of who she is, so why? Archangel states hate and fear. It’ll create an anti-mutant hysteria. Between this and the leak of the Cooperstown footage, it’s the old days all over again.

Wolverine decides to make the call so Cyke doesn’t have to say the words – they track her and kill her. Scott states that’s right but that something else has come up – Cable. They’re close to finding him and the baby. When they do, he’s sending them in to help him. Wolverine recognizes that Scott still can’t bring himself to say the words – kill Bishop. Tossing a bag over to Warpath, Scott tells them that inside the bag are time devices for each of them. They’ll have 33.2 hours to complete their mission. After that, they’ll be brought back automatically. When Warpath asks why, Wolverine knows the answer.

The first mutant baby since M-Day and Bishop snaps and tries to kill it. Now, he’s chasing Cable all over the future, trying to take them out. He came back for supplies and they caught him, but it was a trick. He got whatever he needed and took the X-Men down a notch doing it. Cyke’s taking it a little personal. Scott informs them that the devices are prototypes. They didn’t have much time to put them together so there are side effects. When Warpath asks like headaches, Scott replies “death.” Warpath quips that that’s a hell of a side effect.

Vanisher emphatically asks Scott if he’s serious. He then adds that he can count him right the @#$% out. No time travel for him, no freaking way. X-23 then informs him that if they don’t come back, he dies. Vanisher quiets down and then tells X-23 that he #$%@ing hates her. Cyclops then informs X-Force that everyone goes and to wear the devices and be ready. When they find him, there won’t be much time. Staring at him, Wolverine utters ‘great.’

At Graymalkin Industries in Marin, Donald Pierce asks Dust from his cell that she knows it’s inevitable, right. When Dust asks what is, Pierce informs her that killing her is like killing the dodo. You only get to do it once, so you have to relish it. Dust tells him that his taunts are not very effective from within a cell and calls him a monster. Pierce says to her that she tells him she’s dying but he already knew she was, she just happens to know it. Dust replies that for that very reason, her threats are meaningless to her. Walking up to the glass, Pierce says to her that she doesn’t need to be worried about herself. He’d be much more concerned about her little friends because three of them are going to die long before she does.

In the room containing Cerebra, the Stepford Cuckoos tell Sooraya that it’s probably nothing. Like she said, he’s gone mad. His enhancements make his mind impossible to read. He uses very inappropriate language though. Dust asks if his threat could have any basis in reality and asks if they can track all of the students. The Cuckoos inform her that one-sixth of them are in the room. It isn’t difficult though. They then announce that they see three unconscious mutant signatures outside the city, heading toward New York. Dust asks who but, just as she does, Cyclops arrives behind her and mentally orders the Cuckoos to not tell her any names. Heeding Cyclops direction, the Cuckoos tell Dust that they can’t tell as there is interference. Cyclops then mentally tells the Cuckoos to contact Wolverine so he can gather X-Force, the Leper Queen is in New York.

Over at HAMMER Division C, Agent Morales informs her fellow agent that X-23 is in the process of going to New York. She adds that X-23 has two potential targets there – the Leper Queen and the United Nations. Stephen Lang and Bolivar Trask were both in the protection program with Creed. They’re making a presentation to the U.N. for an international mutant response division. And the Leper Queen has apparently resurfaced. A known Sapien League organizer has been setting up in the city. She adds that this is it. The death toll is still coming in from Jackson Hole. If X-23 is involved…

Her fellow agent pipes in that she is. Morales continues that they can’t afford to let her escape this time. She’s gotten away with murder for too long. The other agent informs her that he will get her two HAMMER assault squads in New York immediately.

At Angel’s aerie, located in the Colorado Rocky Mountains, Hrimhari mentions to Wolfsbane that she is troubled; he can feel the pain inside her. Wolfsbane replies that so much has happened since, since they last saw each other. She’s changed so much… Passing by a window of broken glass, Hrimhari responds ‘indeed.’ With her hand over her face, Wolfsbane tells him that she is not the same. She is a monster, a demon. The things she’s done, oh god, what she’s done…

Comforting her, Hrimhari says to her that he has seen enough of her pain, he needs not her words to know her. Wolfsbane turns to him and says that nothing can be the same. Not anymore, he shouldn’t have come for her. Hrimhari tells her that she says nothing can be the same and he agrees. He asks her, Rahne Sinclair, to look at him. When she does, she sees him as a human being and not a wolf. Hrimhari says to her that as she has changed, so has he. He is no longer just the prince of wolves; he is now a part of Midgard as well. He is now part of her. Seeing him transform into his human form, Rahne does the same, replying that she doesn’t understand. Taking her in his arms, Hrimhari tells her that the gods have reunited them for a reason. And if they can forgive her, she must find it in herself to do the same.

In New York City, as X-Force arrives on top of a building, Wolverine thinks to himself that the Vanisher is a giant piece of crap but he’s pretty flamin’ convenient. Once there, Vanisher tells them that what they’re doing to him is criminal. It’s way worse than anything he’s done. Warpath points out to him that he sold mutant growth hormone to kids and calls him a jackass. Vanisher replies not directly, and they loved it. Wolverine then tells them all to shut up.

Contacting Cyclops on the communicator, Wolverine asks Slim if there are any updates. Cyclops informs him that their window is shrinking, they need to get the kids out fast, and that Cable takes priority. Turning away from the rest of the team, Wolverine asks so what happens, Cyclops’ future buzzer goes off and he just lets them die, is that it? Domino pipes up that she wishes she had a future buzzer and asks Logan to tell Cyclops to get her one. Cyclops informs Logan that this isn’t a discussion. This is everything they’ve been fighting for; this is the future of mankind. Logan informs him that they’re not going anywhere until the kids are safe, does he understand? After hearing about the “kids,” Elixir asks who the Leper Queen took.

Inside the building of the Sapien League, the Leper Queen introduces her followers to their newest captives. Julian Keller is a telekinetic who can move things with his mind. Noriko Ashida is an Asian girl who creates electricity. Tabitha Smith creates some kind of energy bombs. They’re three of the most powerful mutants left on the planet and they’re dead. After injecting both Surge and Hellion with the Legacy Virus, she orders her followers to get them to the United Nations now. They can’t afford them detonating before they reach the target. When her followers ask about Boom-Boom, the Leper Queen tells them that she stays there, she’s meant for a different target.

In solitary, Cyclops sits in his office staring out the window at Graymalkin Industries, Hank McCoy contacts him and tells him that he needs him in the lab. When Cyclops tells him to give him a minute, Hank replies that they don’t have a minute – he’s found Cable.

As X-Force begins to infiltrate the building, Wolverine mentions that the Sapien League is the bottom of the mutant-hating barrel. But, with the help of Bastion, they got it together enough to tag Surge and Hellion right under their noses. He does wonder why Pierce tipped their hand. Whatever the reason, it ain’t gonna be good. No time for questions, they’ve got ***holes to kill. Dom and Warren clear the path by taking out the guards in the hallway. After they did what they did, Jimmy, X and he go in.

As they make their way inside, Wolverine silently notes that he shouldn’t have let slip who the Leper Queen nabbed. Jimmy and Dom can handle it, but Foley’s freaking out and Laura, he could smell it on her. Her whole body lit up when he said Keller’s name. With that, Wolverine asks X if she’s going to be okay and if she needs a minute. Staring at him, X tells him that he’s delaying the mission. After receiving that response, Wolverine thinks to himself fine. She’ll either keep it together or she won’t. He tried playing the “concerned leader” but there’s only one thing he’s good at.

Once inside the building, Wolverine, X, Archangel, Domino, and Warpath plow through the members of the Sapien League. Once Vanisher and Elixir teleport in, Elixir exclaims that they have to get to Nori and Julian. Continuing to tear through his foes, Wolverine yells at him to stay back. Just then, X informs Wolverine that she has their scent and that Surge and Hellion have been moved off-site but Boom-Boom is still there. Kicking down a door, Warpath reveals the Leper Queen, sans her mask, standing behind Boom-Boom with a needle pointed at her neck.

Upon seeing X-Force, the Leper Queen tells them that she was worried Pierce didn’t give them their message. Pointing her gun at her, Domino tells her to let her go. The Leper Queen replies that if they take one more step, the girl lives up to her codename. Domino says to the Leper Queen that she knows she’s dead, right. The Leper Queen says at least she dies killing them and not her own kind. When Domino tells Logan to just say the word, Cyclops informs him that they found Cable. Logan tells him to wait, they’re still down two. Cyclops replies that he’ll take care of the others but they have to do this now.

Hearing Logan talking, Warpath asks him what the hell he is doing. Logan tells Cyclops that they finish this mission. Holding the needle next to Boom-Boom’s neck, the Leper Queen wonders what’s going on and whispers come on, come on… Cyclops emphatically tells Logan no. The mission is to save mutantkind, nothing else can take priority. Not even this! Logan tells him that he’s not going to just walk away from them. Cyclops informs him that’s exactly why it’s not his call.

Frustrated, Logan orders Vanisher to take her. Teleporting over towards the Leper Queen, Vanisher knocks the needle out of her hand and in doing so tells her that she should have stuck with the mask. Leaping on top of the Leper Queen, Logan holds his bloody claws at the ready and tells her to hand over the kids or she’s dead. Not fighting back, the Leper Queen tells him to do it, kill her! Logan yells at her again to tell her where the kids are. The Leper Queen informs him that they’re dead. They’ll find their ashes at the United Nations. She then tells him to kill her! At Graymalkin Industries, Cyclops tells Hank to push the button. When Beast hesitates for a second, Cyclops does it himself. Once he does, the members of X-Force begin to disappear.

Realizing what is happening, Logan yells out NO and tells Domino to shoot. Before she can, X-Force is gone.

Standing there, the Leper Queen utters “no...” They were… they were supposed to kill her. He won’t let her kill herself – Bastion won’t let her die. Laughing, she calls out to God to please help her. Pointing her pistol at Boom-Boom’s head, she tells her that they were supposed to kill her to save her. As she pulls the trigger, shooting Boom-Boom in the head, the Leper Queen laments that they failed them both.

Characters Involved: 

Archangel, Domino, Elixir, Vanisher, Warpath, Wolfsbane, Wolverine, and X-23 (all X-Force)

Cyclops, Beast, and Stepford Cuckoos (all X-Men)





Leper Queen

Various members of the Leper Queen’s Sapien League (all unnamed)

Donald Pierce

Hrimhari, the Wolf Prince of Asgard

Fever Pitch

Various HAMMER agents (Agent Morales is the only one named)

Story Notes: 

Bishop came back to the present in Cable (2nd series) #7-10 for supplies. In those issues, X-Force and some of the X-Men confronted him, including Cyclops and Emma Frost, but Bishop was able to escape.

Agent Morales begin tracking X-23 back in X-Force (3rd series) #2.

Vanisher was given a tumor by Elixir back in X-Force (3rd series) #8.

X-Force destroyed the Legacy Virus samples and one of Sinister’s labs in X-Force (3rd series) #9-10.

Wolfsbane met up with Hrimhari, the Wolf Prince from Asgard, in X-Force (3rd series) #10 and has been spending time with him since. She had first met him in New Mutants Special Edition when they battled Loki.

Wolfsbane crashed through the glass window after attacking Angel and severing one of his wings back in X-Force (3rd series) #4.

This story continues in the X-Force/Cable Messiah War one-shot. X-Force resumes their normal activities in the present in X-Force 3rd series #17.

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