X-Men (2nd series) #179

Issue Date: 
February 2006
Story Title: 
House Arrest, part 3, conclusion: Togetherness

Peter Milligan (Writer), Salvador Larroca (Penciler), Danny Miki & Allen Martinez & Avalon Studios (Inkers), Avalon Studios (Colorist), Virtual Calligraphy’s Cory Petit (Letterer), Sean Ryan (Assistant Editor), Nick Lowe (Associate Editor), Mike Marts (Editor), Joe Quesada (Editor-in-Chief), Dan Buckley (Publisher)

Brief Description: 

Iceman once more has his powers, which surprises his teammates, while Polaris is still without hers, but is still doing her best to fight the Sapien League. The Sentinels who are now protecting the X-Men come to their aid during the battle against the Sapien League, and Cyclops expresses his dislike of this to Valerie Cooper. Val explains to Cyclops that it is for the protection of the few mutants who remain. Outlaw and Peepers arrive at the Institute, seeking refuge, and are attacked by the mysterious Leper Queen, though they manage to survive. When the Sapien League retreat, the X-Men gather to discuss the return of Iceman’s powers, and the White Queen explains that Bobby never lost his powers, he merely willed them away, so to speak. Polaris asks if Emma can help her get her powers back, but the White Queen explains that it isn’t that simple. Bobby was seemingly unaware that his girlfriend lost her powers, though the others had already figured it out. Lorna realizes that without her powers she has no place at the Institute and reminds everyone of her ordeal in space, and reveals she feels whatever she saw in space is heading for Earth, and that she is going to be there when it lands. Iceman tries to talk her out of it, until Havok tells Bobby to stay away, and announces that he will leave with Lorna. Meanwhile, Mystique and her friend Augustus a.k.a. Pulse do a little thieving, and Raven reveals to Pulse that he of all the men she checked out has the best chance of making her daughter Rogue happy, while in Egypt, the archaeologist who fell through the ground discovers Apocalypse lying in his tomb.

Full Summary: 

The Xavier Institute, Salem Center, Westchester, New York. Wandering across the sprawling grounds, through the eerie forest are two very unique mutants. The “mutant cowgirl” Outlaw a.k.a. Crazy Inez remarks that they come all this way looking for a safe haven, and it sounds like World War Three is breaking out. The odd mutant known as Peepers suggests to Outlaw that they turn straight back and go. ‘Go where exactly?’ Outlaw asks Peepers, reminding him that he saw how nasty it is for mutants, before telling him that, with all due respect, he is never going to pass for anything but a mutant.

Suddenly, the unlikely duo are startled by a movement in the bushes. ‘Hello?’ asks Peepers. As a mysterious masked woman steps into view, Outlaw asks her if she is okay. ‘My arm…hurts. Cold, frozen…’ replies the woman. Peepers remarks that it is pretty damp out in the woods, and extends a hand to her as he begins to ask her a question - only he doesn’t get to say much, as the woman known only as the Leper Queen declares ‘Filthy…inhuman…’ and grabbing Peepers she tosses him high in the air, but causes her mask to fall off also.

Outlaw calls out to Peepers, when the Leper Queen then attacks her, ‘…murdering…mutants’ she continues as she kicks Outlaw to the ground, then shoves her elbow into Inez’s back, before running off. Outlaw is relatively unharmed thanks to her super human strength and goes over to Peepers, before looking at the mask on the ground and asking who that masked woman was.

‘OWOWOW!’ shouts Bobby Drake a.k.a. Iceman of the Uncanny X-Men, while Scott “Cyclops” Summers, Rogue and Alex Summers a.k.a. Havok stand by him, confused as his body is now once more covered in ice. Rouge asks Bobby what is happening to him, to which an excited Bobby asks Scott if getting his powers back is good - for it makes him a proper X-Man once more. Frowning, Cyclops tells Bobby that this is outstanding, before telling him not to touch anyone until Emma can run some tests on him. Alex ignores his brothers order and places a hand on Bobby’s shoulder, announcing that he is really cold. Bobby looks up at Alex and asks him where he said Lorna was. ‘I didn’t,’ replies Havok.

Lorna Dane a.k.a. the beautiful Polaris is currently running from several tanks manned by members of the hateful Sapien League. Suddenly, her friend and teammate Wolverine a.k.a. Logan leaps out from nowhere, grabs Lorna and pulls them both to safety. ‘Lorna, you’re a little out of your mind,’ Logan exclaims. ‘Logan, you’re a little out of breath,’ Lorna replies. Suddenly, there is a powerful optic blast which destroys the tanks.

Wolverine tells Cyclops that it is about time, as Scott declares that this ends now. While dodging some more tank fire, Logan asks Lorna why she just didn’t take out those Sapien Leaguers, pointing out that he has seen her take down bigger things without even trying. Lorna claims that they took her by surprise and that she didn’t have time.

Suddenly, Iceman and the others return, and Lorna is surprised to see her boyfriend once more in his ice form. Bobby covers the Sapien League tanks in ice, before a Sentinel casts a shadow over them all, and Bobby remarks that he is confused. Rogue asks what is going on, and everyone looks up at the Sentinel. Alex turns to his brother Scott, who also watches as the Sentinel stands over the Sapien League and the driver of the Sentinel, Briggs, addresses the Sapien League as terrorist and tells them to stand down so things don’t get nasty.

Havok remarks that it is some kind of stealth Sentinel, adding that you have to admit it is impressive. ‘I suppose so’ mutters Scott, ‘I just wish it would go and impress someone else’. As Briggs uses the Sentinel to destroy the Sapien League tanks, he asks his Sentinel Squad comrades if they are getting this, ‘See how I look out for our poor put-upon new buddies?’ he mocks. Scott blasts another tank, shouting that this needs to be stopped, when Briggs’ Sentinel kicks him over.

Meanwhile, in Akkaba, Egypt. An archaeologist named Foster who recently fell through the ground holds up a torch upon some sort of tomb that he has discovered. Flabbergasted, he notes that the coffin is organic, but technological too, though he is certain it isn’t Egyptian. He tells himself to stop shaking, and reminds himself that he is a product of the English Public school system - the system that bred Nelson, Wellington and Churchill. Looking into the coffin, he sees a strange body and gasps. ‘Oh, Foster! Shame on you!’ he exclaims as he lays eyes upon one of the most deadliest mutants to walk the Earth - Apocalypse!

While Colossus and Psylocke battle members of the Sapien League, Scott and Doctor Valerie Cooper, a long-time mutant supporter, friend to some members of the X-Men and high-ranking government official, run side-by-side across the Institute grounds, with Val exclaiming that this is a special day - Sentinel and X-Man fighting side by side. ‘One of your Sentinels used me as a football’ Scott informs Val, who tells Scott it must have been an accident. Blasting some more Sapien League, Scott tells Valerie that he thinks whoever it was tried to kill him.

Cyclops informs Valerie that he got off lightly, and suggests she go and see the X-Men and students in the med bays. Valerie tells Scott that he cannot blame the Sentinels for all of that, before they arrive at the Sentinel which crashed into X-Mansion. Scott motions to the Sentinel-sized hole in the roof of his home and suggests to Valerie that she might speak to one of her buddies in Washington about compensation.

As members of the Sapien League approach Scott and Val, the good Doctor asks Scott what it will take to make him happy. As Scott fires an optic blast at the Sapien Leaguers, Valerie points out that together that have just fought off a determined attack by the Sapien League, to which Scott asks what the X-Men have lost in the process.

Scott asks Valerie what it was that she called the Institute now - “A Reservation for Mutants”. Valerie tells him that it is security, adding that maybe it costs a little freedom. ‘That’s how it begins, isn’t it? Give up a little freedom in the name of Security…then you’re asked to give up just a little more in the name of freedom’, Scott says.

Meanwhile, in the woods, the Leper Queen returns to collect her mask.

Elsewhere, the deadly mutant Mystique and her associate Augustus are stealing from yet another house. Raven Darkholme asks her friend what he does with all the money and stuff he purloins, to which Augustus replies that he invests it. ‘In what?’ asks Mystique, surprised. Augustus explains that he invests it mostly in stocks and shares that he knows will crash, for he gets a perverse pleasure of losing other people’s money. ‘Time you were safely married, Augustus,’ Mystique tells him.

Taking off his balaclava, the handsome mutant’s eyes flash, and he tells Mystique that when he is working he likes to be known by his professional name - Pulse. ’Okay, Pulesy, Mystique jokes as Pulse puts his balaclava back on, while she tells him that they are going to head for the Institute, then she will finally get Rogue to dump Gambit.

As Pulse removes a painting from its frame, Mystique explains that she will then tell Rogue about the special attributes that make him such a perfect husband for her. ‘And meanwhile, Gambit’s dancing on my windpipe?’ Pulse asks. Putting the painting into a container, Raven tells Pulse to leave Gambit to her, ‘The French have no stomach for a dirty fight’ she says.

Putting a phoney painting into the frame, Pulse tells Mystique that she made a rather crude, and in this instance, dangerous racial stereotype, before asking if Gambit isn’t Cajun. ‘Come on, it isn’t like he’s Wolverine’ Raven remarks before Pulse asks her if she would really set up her daughter like this - because she hates Gambit so much. ‘No, honey. Because I love Rogue so much,’ Raven replies, before telling Augustus that of all the men she has checked out, he has the best chance of making Rogue happy.

Back in the Institute, in the med bays, Rogue tells Gambit that she is so happy he isn’t hurt too bad. Remy LeBeau smiles and remarks that he must have a thick skull. ‘Wish I could kiss it better!’ Rogue exclaims. Glancing out the window, Remy asks if the Sentinels are still prowling around, to which Rogue informs him that Cyclops said they should get used to having strangers in their midst.

In another part of the med lab, Outlaw and Peepers have found two of the Xavier Institute students, Bling and Rockslide. Peepers exclaims that when they say mutants being attacked by all those baseliners - ‘The Sapien League, that’s their name’ Rockslide informs him -, Peepers continues, exclaiming that he and Outlaw joined in the battle. ‘Since when do the X-Men need help from giant robots?’ is all Outlaw says.

And in yet another part of the med lab, Iceman lies down as Emma “the White Queen” Frost runs tests on him. Emma tells her fellow X-Men that Bobby’s thought patterns didn’t feel quite the same as other mutants who were depowered, so she suspected there was something self-imposed about Bobby’s condition. ‘Hey, I never wanted to lose my powers!’ Bobby exclaims as he gets up.

Emma tells him that consciously he didn’t, before motioning to scans of his brain and explaining that she entered his brain just as a Sapien League was about to destroy it, as she was looking for what “blockage”, for lack of a better term. Emma adds that she and Bobby had once shared minds, so she knew her way around. Emma declares that the cerebral hemispheres were a mess, and reminds everyone that Bobby actually thought he was going to die, so his consciousness was in turmoil. ‘It was like the last days of the Third Reich in there - without the Wagnerian soundtrack’.

‘I thought, under the circumstances, I was pretty chilly’ Bobby exclaims. Emma tells him that this is not meant as a criticism, and explains that she couldn’t find what she was looking for in the corpus callosum, so she went for the hypothalamus, and there was a tiny abnormality behind the pituitary body - a resistance. Angrily, Bobby exclaims that he gets it, ‘You turned me back on again! Like there’s a trigger in my brain or something’. ‘Bang bang, you’re not dead,’ Wolverine remarks.

Emma declares if only it were that simple, explaining that there is no magic trigger, and she didn’t “turn on” his powers, for that is beyond even her. Emma explains that she simply helped to reconnect him to the powers he had all the time. Emma tells Iceman that his mind suffered a sever shock from the events of M-Day, that he was so scared of losing his powers that he cut himself off from them.

Lorna asks Emma if she can help Bobby, then perhaps she can do the same for other mutants who have been depowered. Emma turns to Lorna and asks her to pay attention, explaining that Bobby was never depowered, he just depowered himself. Putting a hand on Lorna’s shoulder, Bobby smiles and exclaims ‘In other words. I’m unique, baby!’ Lorna gets a fright and screams, causing Havok to tell Iceman to get away from her, and takes Lorna aside, telling Bobby to learn to control himself a little. Bobby concentrates hard and switches out of his ice form back into his human self. Scott is surprised that Bobby can change back, to which Bobby asks how he is supposed to compete with Alex for Lorna’s affections when he looks like the Abominable Snowman.

Cyclops orders Iceman to change back right now, as they cannot risk him being stuck in his human form as they need all the powered mutants they can get. Lorna tells Bobby that he doesn’t need to worry about competing with anyone, before informing everyone that there is something she should have said earlier but was too scared. Wolverine asks her if this is about her losing her powers, to which Emma remarks that she wondered when Lorna was going to tell them. Scott adds that he was ninety-nine percent sure.

Bobby puts his hands on Lorna’s shoulders and asks what is this about her powers. Lorna tells him that she has lost her powers like the majority of mutants. ‘The Bride Stripped Bare’. Lorna tells everyone that she loves them all, but that everyone knows what this means. Hanging her head, Polaris leaves the med lab, announcing that she will pack her bags and leave right away.

The Summers brothers follow her out and Havok tells her that she doesn’t have to do this. Scott agrees, telling Lorna that this is unnecessary and that she will always have a home here, that she will always be one of them. ‘Though strictly speaking, you won’t be of much use to us anymore,’ Emma declares.

Polaris turns back to the X-Men, telling them that Emma is right, pointlessly cruel, but right. She declares she wants her powers back and she thinks she knows where she can find them. Lorna reminds everyone that nothing has been the same for her since she saw that “thing” out in space, and now she senses that whatever was up there is coming down to Earth. Starting to walk away once more, Lorna proclaims that she is going to be there when it lands. ‘When what lands?’ asks Bobby. Lorna replies that she doesn’t know, but she is going to find out, not even turning to face Bobby.

Bobby informs his teammates that he will talk Lorna out of it, when Alex pushes him aside, telling him that it is too late and that he will only hurt her again. Alex tells everyone that they know it is too dangerous for Lorna out there on her own, ‘And anyway, who needs a Havok when you’ve got a Cyclops?’ he adds. Scott tells his brother to start making sense, to which Alex announces that he is going with Lorna - wherever she goes, he will go too. ‘I’m leaving the X-Men,’ he declares, and with that, he races up to his former lover, puts an arm around her and walks away with her.

Characters Involved: 

Colossus, Cyclops, Gambit, Havok, Iceman, Polaris, Psylocke, Rogue, White Queen, Wolverine (all X-Men)

Bling, Rockslide (both Xavier Institute Students)

Dr. Valerie Cooper

Briggs (Member of the Sentinel Squad)




Leper Queen

Members of the Sapien League



Pulse / Augustus

Foster (Archaeologist)

Story Notes: 

Outlaw a.k.a. Crazy Inez is a supporting character from the recent “Agent X” series.

A continuity error occurs this issue, as Peepers was already previlously shown arriving at the Institute alongisde Mammomax and Erg in House of M: The Day After.

Iceman’s powers returned at the end of X-Men (2nd series) #178.

Foster, the archaeologist, fell through the ground and into the tomb in X-Men (2nd series) #178.

Apocalypse was seemingly killed by Jean Grey and Cable in X-Men: The Search for Cyclops #4.

Mystique’s friend Augustus a.k.a. Pulse was first seen in X-Men (2nd series) #173.

The White Queen and Iceman had previously shared minds in Uncanny X-Men #311-314.

Polaris saw the mysterious “thing” in space that has been plaguing her ever since, in X-Men (2nd series) #170.

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