X-Men 2099 #13

Issue Date: 
October 1994
Story Title: 
Dead End

John Moore (writer), Ron Lim (pencils), Harry Candelario (inks), Ken Lopez (letters), Tom Smith (colors), Joey Cavalieri (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor-in-chief)

Brief Description: 

The Driver explains his ultimate plan: he wants to store every mutant’s life inside his computer databases, where they will be safe, and later the Driver will revive them on the moment the world no longer hates and fears mutants. Junkpile is the next to go. Brimstone Love also arrives in the garage and messes with the Driver’s computer and dismantles his entire system, and thereby 237 mutant lives are lost. The Driver can’t handle this defeat and angrily leaves after a fight. The group tries to fight Brimstone Love, who destroys Junkpile’s body, which is restored by Xi’an only so that Junkpile will owe him some day. Brimstone Love offers Xi’an to join the Theatre of Pain. Xi’an accepts and leaves together with Brimstone Love. Tim and Luna are left behind and argue what to do next. Tim suggests to go back to Shakti and the others. Tim says that, if Xi’an doesn’t want to lead the X-Men, he will! Tim also promises Luna that, when the time comes, the X-Men will bring down the Theatre of Pain once and for all.

Full Summary: 

Brimstone Love arrives outside the Driver’s garage. He has watched how La Lunática and her new friends were caught and realizes that the entrance must be cloaked by solid field particle projection. Brimstone Love then transforms his hand into pure fire flames and breaks through. He doesn’t let anything stop him and is determined to discover any secret this place may hold.

Meanwhile, deeper inside the complex, Junkpile screams “Let me go!!!” The Driver doesn’t want to release Junkpile from his holding chair. The Driver explains that the ionic field surrounding Junpile has neutralized his mutant abilities, and the restraints around his arms are made of an adamantium alloy. The Driver asks Junpile to stop struggling, as this will be for his own good.

Tim is confused if the guy he is looking at is truly the Driver that Mama Hurricane told Xi’an about. With these actions, the Driver doesn’t make a great first impression. Luna panics a little bit, fearing that they are all going to end up the same way as Junkpile. Xi’an tells Luna that nobody forced her to come with them. Xi’an wants to determine the severity of their present condition.

Xi’an asks the Driver if it’s true what Mama Hurricane told him. That if the Driver truly once was a member of the mutant underground during the Purge. Xi’an wants to know if that rumor is true and, if it is, how the Driver could do a horrible thing like this now. The Driver is startled by hearing Hurricane’s name, since he hasn’t heard it in years. Not since before the accident. The Driver isn’t too surprised to hear that Hurricane is still alive, as she always had the fire in her to do that. The Driver corrects Xi’an to see his actions as hostile.

The Driver claims that they are far from it. He reveals that, years ago, he has worked with Hurricane to keep mutants out of the Zero camps. And now he continues the fight to protect the scattered human tribe. The Driver says that, in the past decades, he has sought hundreds of mutants and has given them sanctuary. Tim and Xi’an both don’t believe the story, because they don’t see any other mutants then them. The Driver explains that the genetic codes of all his passengers have been recorded in the databanks of the accelerator. He further reveals that the process of transcription destroys the physical body, but when the world outside no longer threatens mutant kind, the Driver promises to initiate the reformation. Luna believes that you can’t revive people from a computer program. Luna says that all you’ll get will be soulless Bioshop knockoffs. Xi’an doesn’t even know if mutant resurrection is possible. The Driver reveals that he knows about rebirth.

The Driver explains that, once, he was of the Mutant Underground Support Engine, nicknamed he MUSE. They were a group of mutants and humans who opposed the genetic hunt that had eliminated so many innocents. The Driver says that the woman known as Hurricane and he ferried fugitive mutants from safe house to safe house. After years of avoiding the Seekers and Nimrods, the government found the Driver. They sabotaged his vehicle, causing the engine to freeze during a chase. The Driver knows that he should have died, but he was rescued by mysterious benefactors. They repaired his body and delivered the Driver’s soul. To this end, the benefactors rewired the Driver’s nervous system so that he was connected with the car they provided him: the Nitroburn. The Driver found himself given a new purpose from his anonymous benefactors: to save mutant kind from extinction by bringing them there to the garage.

Nobody notices Brimstone Love, standing in the shadows at the back. Brimstone Love finds that the Driver puts to much faith in his technology, because Brimstone Love was already able to adjust the Driver’s accelerator to ignore his presence. The Driver continues by saying that, throughout his life, he has seen the cruelty that was laid on the genetically unique. He has watched mutants be abused, vivisected, exploited and even murdered! The Driver believes that mutants are safer there, away from the harsh outside world.

Junkpile can’t believe his ears. He tries to tell the Driver that some Megacorp has sold him a line so that they could collect data on mutants, and the Driver believed them. The Driver explains that he too was once a suspect but, since his accident, his saviors have asked nothing of him. He knows that his cause is right. The Driver reveals that, in the past two months, he has rescued four mutants from oblivion: a megamorph from Juno, a clawed predator from the Louisiana Bayous, a pyrokinetic from Houston and a cryomorph in Colorado. The Driver says that without him, all of these mutants would have died within the year. Xi’an asks what the Driver is going to do to those mutants when it turns out they can’t be saved. Tim says that the Driver would become a killer, even if he doesn’t want to. The Driver explains that he couldn’t have done this unless he believed that it was the only way. The Driver tells his captives that on the day of their reformation, they will also share his vision.

The Driver commands his computer to start the breakdown on Junkpile. The computer does so, but then stops! The Driver turns around to see the person who could have shifted his words: it’s Brimstone Love! Brimstone Love proudly introduces himself to the crowd, explaining that nanotech parasites fed into the Driver’s CPU gave him access to the accelerator. Brimstone Love says that he saw no reason to render these mutants incorporeal, not when they can worth in the present! Luna freaks out when she sees Brimstone Love. Luna hides behind Tim and begs him to protect her. Brimstone Love says that Luna has every reason to fear him but, right now, he is more interested in Xi’an.

The Driver wants to make Brimstone Love pay for entering his garage uninvited and attacks him. But Brimstone Love easily defeats him. As the Driver bangs against a control panel, the holding field around Tim and the others fades away. Brimstone Love tells Xi’an that he has an offer to him. Xi’an is willing to listen. Junkpile gets up from his chair and wants to kill the Driver. Xi’an wants to stop him because there is still so much he doesn’t know about the Driver and his garage. The Driver uses his powers to active the Nitroburn. The fast car drives right through Junkpile and party, destroying his body.

Suddenly, all kinds of metal things float through the air. Xi’an explains that, when Junkpile’s body gets destroyed, his body automatically tries to repair itself by telekinetically grabbing every lose piece of metal nearby. The Driver notices that Junkpile’s healing process dismantles the accelerator and wants to stop him. Xi’an orders the Driver that, if he wants to save the mutants that are stored in his accelerator’s memory, he would best act fast before Junkpile starts to tear apart his computer memory chip by memory chip. The Driver punches Xi’an away and orders everyone to stay away from his accelerator.

The Driver runs towards his computer, who defines system errors. The Driver commands his computer to download files into secondary storage. But the computer has too little power to do that. The Driver tries to make a backup, but even that fails. Now, two hundred thirty seven lives are lost. The Driver can’t handle his defeat and slams his computer.

Xi’an calls for the Driver’s attention and claims that he can stop this, but first he needs information about Avalon. The Driver refuses to give Xi’an the information, because the Driver doesn’t find Xi’an worthy of Xavier’s legacy. Not after the way Xi’an acted like he was a mutant savior. Xi’an tells the Driver that he isn’t so holy himself. The Driver believes that so many lives have been killed today, but they were destroyed the minute the Driver brought them there. The Driver doesn’t believe this and defends himself that those mutants were supposed to be revived. Xi’an calls the Driver a deluded fool. The Driver summons his car to him and steps in. Before the Driver takes off, he gives Xi’an one final warning: Xi’an best reads the signpost carefully, because some roads lead straight to hell itself!

The Driver takes off and leaves the former X-Men behind. Luna says that they had best follow the Driver and is grabbed by Brimstone Love, who wants to bring her back to the Theatre of Pain. Luna desperately cries out to Tim for help. Tim uses the generators of the complex to activate his powers and transforms into Skullfire and attacks Brimstone Love. Brimstone Love notices how much Tim cares for Luna, but doesn’t let that stop him.

Meanwhile, Xi’an walks over to the hurting Junkpile. Xi’an sadistically bows over Junkpile, and says that he hates to see Junkpile so much in pain, even after he sold him out to Lytton Synge. Junkpile begs Xi’an that, if he wants to kill him, he better does it fast. Xi’an says that he won’t: he’ll restore Junkpile’s life, just so that Junkpile will owe him.

The plan works, but Junkpile will need time to fully recover. Meanwhile, Tim loses his powers but doesn’t give up yet. That goes without Xi’an, who knocks Tim down and accepts Brimstone Love’s offer to join the Theatre of Pain. Luna fears the worst. But Brimstone Love tells Luna to relax, because he senses great potential in Xi’an that needs to be explored first. Xi’an agrees and they both teleport away, leaving Tim, Luna and Junkpile behind.

Tim can’t believe that Xi’an actually betrayed him. Luna realizes that Xi’an is a dangerous man, and that the Theatre will make him lethal. Luna worries what to do about Junkpile, now that Xi’an has saved him. Tim says to leave him be, because he has no interest in wasting more mutant blood after so much has been spilled today. Luna asks what Tim plans to do next. Tim says that they best make their way back to Shakti and the others. Tim says that if Xi’an doesn’t want to lead the X-Men, he will! Tim says that they will move along and, when the time comes, they will bring down the Theatre of Pain once and for all.


The Driver drives sadly in his car. The Driver concludes: My roadsong has become a dirge. All that I once believed lies mangled like a wreck on the side of the road. I am without destination or purpose. Even when I push the Nitroburn to its limits, seeking solace in speed, I cannot ignore the emptiness I feel… or the gnawing surety that the road I have chosen… leads nowhere.

Characters Involved: 

Desert Ghost, Junkpile, Skullfire (former X-Men 2099)

La Lunática

Brimstone Love

The Driver

In the Driver’s flash-back:

The Driver & Hurricane (as members of the Muse)

Other members of the Muse (unnamed)

On the Driver’s computer files:

Frostbite (member of Zhao’s X-Men/The Chosen)

Joseph Bernard Gersh

Two other mutants he has contained in his database (unnamed)

Story Notes: 

Actually, Xi’an indeed once was a mutant savior. But, when Zhao attacked Xi’an and he found himself not powerful enough to stop him, Xi’an had to manifest with his evil-self personality. Xi’an defeated Zhao, but his behavior was afterwards seemingly changed in a bad way. [X-Men 2099 #9]

Junkpile betrayed Xi’an to the Synge’s in X-Men 2099 #1.

Issue Information: 
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