X-Men (2nd series) #26

Issue Date: 
November 1993
Story Title: 
Bloodties - part 2: Civil Disobedience

Fabian Nicieza (writer), Andy Kubert (penciler) Matt Ryan (inker), Joe Rosas (colorist), Bill Oakley (letterer), Bob Harras (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

The X-Men fly in the Blackbird, headed towards Genosha, when they receive a transmission about Cortez from Hammer Bay. Watching the same transmission hundreds of miles away on Avalon, Colossus faces a tough decision on whether to betray his new friends in order to help his old ones. Elsewhere, below Avalon, the Avengers fight to allow Wanda and Crystal the opportunity to free a Quinjet and runaway to Genosha. Captain America, Sersi, War Machine, and the Black Knight all sneak away with the two friends as they head off to face the tyrannical despot in Genosha. In Genosha already, Charles Xavier and his entourage are attacked by outside forces. Dawning their gas masks, the Beast and Xavier are able to escape the ambush. Shockingly for the Beast, Xavier knew about the ambush and takes Hank to meet his would-be allies a few yards away. Their new allies take Hank and Xavier to their convoy, where Xavier discusses Trish Tilby’s sad fate and his sadness on how he knows Hank feels. A few hours later, the X-Men arrive, only to be greeted by Cortez’s hounds, the Unforgiven. Talking about his father’s vegetative state, Quicksilver pounds on the first enemy while, unknown to them until the end, Cortez hears every word. While the X-Men face off against the Unforgiven, the Avengers have arrived in Hammer Bay, just in time to stop a riot between two Genoshan factions. Horrifyingly, just as Crystal begins to create gale force winds to stop the riot, Exodus hovers down and destroys every human around them.

Full Summary: 

The modified SR-70, that the X-Men call the Blackbird, flies over the South Atlantic, heading towards Hammer Bay to stop a madman from completing his goal of creating a civil war in Genosha. Inside the plane, Quicksilver is going berserk, due to the fact that he has just found out his daughter has been kidnapped by the very same madman. Rogue and Gambit hold Quicksilver back from destroying the monitoring console that is displaying Cortez’s speech. Rogue reasons with Pietro; if they are going to help his daughter, they have to listen to Cortez’s plan so they can come up with one themselves.

(in video)
Cortez, holding onto Luna, speaks to the mutates surrounding him about how the freedom the magistrates have given them is good now but, sadly, it is only temporary at best. The mutates stand around Cortez and cheer him on, as he talks about how they need to follow Magneto’s example and begin to rule over the humans instead of being ruled by them.

Trish Tilby, in a black suit, stands in front of two Genoshan guards and speaks to the world through her camera. She tells them that Cortez is trying to use the granddaughter of Magneto as a rallying point. Finishing her report, she tells the world that the only thing left to wonder about in Genosha is when the genetic civil war will start!

(on the Blackbird)
Recalling Xavier’s difficult decision to telepathically wipe Magneto’s mind clean, Jean notes that people are ready to fight and kill in his name, not even knowing that Magneto has been neutralized. Once again thinking of that was done to Magneto, Jean wonders aloud if they do not deserve to be rid of him. Maybe they can never escape his message. Pietro speaks up on Xavier’s behalf and he tells Jean that his father deserved what he had gotten and that what they see is his father’s dream made flesh. Storm, walking over to encourage Pietro, tells him that the X-Men will not sit by and allow Cortez to harm his child. Storm tells Pietro as well that Cortez will not harm Luna as long as he believes she is protecting him from Magneto’s wrath. Quicksilver replies to Storm that her words are absurd because Cortez is using his child as a human shield.

Cyclops sympathetically grabs a hold of Pietro and tells him that he knows, from experience, that what Storm said is true because his own son was used as a shield against him. Gambit removes his cigarette from his mouth and tells Pietro that they have the upper hand in the fight. Cortez does not know about Magneto’s recent vegetative state, so they can use that to their advantage. Pulling an ace card from his sleeve, he charges it, telling them that finally the X-Men will enter a battle with an ace of their own up their sleeve.

On Avalon, Colossus stands behind Magneto, who is strapped in a chair that will not only feed him but it monitors his body functions as well. Colossus watches the news about how Cortez is taking over Genosha in Magneto’s name and hears Trish Tilby’s report questioning why Magneto is not there to speak in his own name. Mirrored in Magnus’ eye, Cortez’s speech is played and Colossus ponders from behind him if the mutates in Genosha knew about Magneto’s condition would they stop their fighting? Coming in from behind Piotr, Exodus asks the question he was pondering aloud. He tells Colossus that he wonders if Magneto would stop the fighting if he could.

Exodus then asks Colossus why, if he feels so passive, would he still stay on Avalon and not be with Xavier’s crew? Colossus tells Exodus that he does not want to follow anyone’s dreams but his own. Colossus as well tells him that he thought, by staying here, he could use all of his aspects, both human and mutant, to help make the Acolytes a more peaceful people. Exodus tells Colossus that it will take them a long time to get Xavier’s teachings out of him but one day they will. After their conversation, Exodus asks Piotr to leave he and Magneto alone, so they can have a meeting. As Colossus leaves, he thinks to himself that Exodus lays prostrate in front of a husk of a man and, not for the first time in his life, wonders what madness he has stumbled into.

Underneath Avalon, the world has turned into a battlefield, especially around the Avenger’s mansion. War Machine cries “Avengers Assemble!” as he and his other teammates fight for their right to try and save one of their own from Cortez. Crystal tells the S.H.I.E.L.D. agents that she understands that they are just trying to do the job that the U.N. has sent them to do but she will not allow a fanatic like Cortez to kidnap her daughter and get away with it. Crystal and the Scarlet Witch stand side by side in the fight and Crystal asks Wanda if she will follow her to a Quinjet so they can escape, together Wanda tells her that Luna may be Crystal’s daughter but she is her niece as well and she will stand by her side wherever she goes. A few feet away, the Black Knight and Hercules fight side by side as well. As Dane sees his two friends heading towards the quinjet, he follows them and asks Hercules to cover him. Hercules, wondering for a moment if the Black Knight was running from the battle, realizes Dane’s plan and he laughs, saying that Dane left him more fodder to revel in.

On the view screen in the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier, Dugan is alarmed to see Hercules aiming a large chunk of metal at the ship. Screaming for the pilot to move the helicarrier hard to port, they move away from the projectile, just in time to be missed by the object Hercules had thrown. The pilot tells Dugan that Hercules missed them and Dugan reminds him that, if Hercules had wanted to hit them, he would have. He tells the pilot that he was only giving them a warning shot to move back, which they will. Dugan commands the pilot to fall back.

On the ground, Nick Fury holds a gun to the back of Captain America telling him to stop this nonsense because S.H.I.E.L.D. is only doing the UN’s orders. Steve tells Nick that the two of them should have realized that, one day, their two teams would come into conflict and each one of them needs to do whatever they think is right. Striking Nick in the back with his energy blade, the Black Knight tells Steve that he only stunned him but the two of them need to board the quinjet to help Wanda and Crystal save Luna. Steve wonders for a moment if they are doing the right thing and Dane snaps him out of his worries, thankfully making him realize they need to do the right thing.

Steve radios the Black Widow to tell her that she needs to clear them a runway for the quinjet to take off, since S.H.I.E.L.D. agents are beginning to converge on them. Natasha sarcastically thanks Steve for giving her such an easy job, as she takes out a couple of soldiers. Natasha radios War Machine telling him to stun the guards in the way of the quinjet and, afterwards, to follow the others to Genosha to be their back up. He does as he is told and thinks out loud about how the agents may never forgive him for the bruises he is causing them. Sersi, looking up to see Dane leave, follows the Quinjet telling Dane that he will not go an adventure without her. On the ground, the Vision confirms Sersi’s departure and Hercules tells them of his wish to join them on their quest as well. Hawkeye pulls back his bow and tells the others that they are needed here because they are going to fight a hard battle by going to the UN and figuring out what is going on.

Jennifer Ransome drives a jeep in Genosha. Her passengers are USAgent, Xavier, Beast, Gyrich, and Phillip Moreau. All of them are headed to stop a battle already in process, thanks to Fabian Cortez. While they drive, Xavier studies them and, without changing his expression, Xavier telepathically tells Hank McCoy to be prepared. The jeep is ambushed and all the passengers besides, Xavier and Hank, are downed by nerve gas from an outside source. While all this is going on, Xavier commands Beast to get in his kit and grab the two gas masks inside.

Jumping out of the Jeep, Xavier rides Hank’s back over the hill, where the two find seven members of the Bipartisan Rebel Battalion waiting on them. Hank tells Xavier that he is full of surprises as one of the members brings him out a modified wheelchair and Renee Majcomb comes around to greet Xavier. Xavier introduces Hank and Renee to one another, as both of them recognize each other from their each respective writings. Xavier explains that the B.R.B. is a rebel group made up of both mutates and humans, each fighting for Genoshan harmony. As Renee takes Hank and Xavier up a hill, she tells them that the others will be waking up in a couple of minutes, so they need to board their personal convoy that is awaiting them. Hopping in the back of the truck, Hank tells Xavier that the convoy is headed away from Hammer Bay and Trish is trapped in that city. Xavier tells Hank that, sadly, in war there must be sacrifices and they are needed elsewhere. While Xavier is talking, the USAgent has awakened. Running to the now moving convoy, he hides underneath the truck, awaiting whatever is coming.

One hour later and two miles North of Hammer Bay, the X-Men leave the Blackbird in search of their mentor, Xavier. As they file off of the plane, Storm talks about how even the air around them smells like gunpowder, when it used to smell so sterile. Gambit tells her that it used to smell like the antiseptic scent of “us mutant lab rats!” Cyclops, taking up for the Genoshans, tells Gambit that they had been trying to make amends for their heinous past when outside forces began to cause turmoil between the two factions. Gambit looks over to Rogue and asks her why she seems so tense lately. She tells him that the last time she was in Genosha she was with Wolverine and now that they have not heard from him in a week. she misses him. Gambit tells her that he misses Wolverine as well because without him it seems like there is no spice in their Jambalaya. Storm tells the two of them that the X-Men need to respect Logan’s wishes. Turning to Cyclops, Storm tells him, in honor of their departed friend, she thinks they should use the “subtle and sneaky approach as he might say.” Cyclops commands the Blackbird to go into stealth mode and tells Storm that she is right. They need to split up into three teams.

Interrupting their conversation, they are attacked by three mutates, who introduce themselves as the Unforgiven. The lead mutate tells the X-Men that, if they are not there to shed human blood, the Unforgiven will turn their full attention to the X-Men and they will know why Cortez has called them the Unforgiven. Gambit asks, as he tries to stand, why he always feels like he is being stuck in morally ambiguous situations? Rogue answers Remy’s question by telling him that the X-Men usually are stuck in those situations.

Cyclops, talking to the mutate, tells him that the X-Men are not there to continue the slaughter but they are there to stop it! The mutate, grimacing, tells the X-Men that they are not following Magneto’s ways if they choose not to slaughter all human scum. Pietro, having had enough, attacks the Mutate with blinding speed he wails his fists towards the mutate. Pietro tells the Mutate that his father has been turned into a vegetable and he asks the mutate if that’s how he wants his country to be? Fabian Cortez steps out from the bushes and thanks Pietro for confirming his suspicions about Magneto’s condition. Now that he knows the secret of Magneto, he will turn Genosha into a pool of bloodshed!

Two factions of Genosha stand face-to-face, ready to fight one another to the death! The place they stand on, a week ago, was called Havershaw Heights, where the elite of Genosha sipped on champagne and ate caviar. Now, the elite have become just as low as the mutate’s living in the sewers. Shockingly, for the two factions, a shield of red, white, and blue flies before them, knocking their weapons from their hands. The shield flies back to its owner, Captain America, as he cries out to them that their fighting is enough. Five Avengers surround Captain America, as he tells them that they did not travel halfway around the world to see people killing each other out of hatred. Never taking his eyes off of the crowd, Cap tells the Avengers to put an end to the two factions fighting.

Both humans and Mutates fall back from the onslaught of the Avenger’s might and, for both factions, they seem almost relieved to stop fighting one another. One of the mutates cries out to the Scarlet Witch that, since she is the daughter of Magneto, she should help the mutates win their battle. Wanda turns to the Mutate and tells them that, if they think she will follow her father’s dream, then they don’t know her at all. Crying out to get their attention, one of the Genoshan army leaders tells the Avengers if they are not for the mutates then they need to help the humans fight off the Mutates rebellion.

Crystal tells the Avengers that she cannot allow anymore delays and one of her hurricane gale force winds should…. with that said she stops in sentence to see bodies burned to their skeleton all around her. The Scarlet Witch cries out to Crystal in question to what she has done. Crystal tells her that she had nothing to do with the massacre, as she holds her mouth, keeping back her emotions at the horrific sight in front of her. Dane tells the others that it was a very selective electro-magnetic fluctuation because only the humans were incinerated. Wanda tells the others that the only one capable of such actions would be her father.

Surprisingly, in answer to her statement, Exodus floats down from the sky and tells them that he wishes her words were true about her father. As fire rises behind him, he tells them that Magneto’s greatest disciple must follow in his footsteps and save the mutates in Genosha, even if it means the death of every human around him. Finishing his speech, he tells the Avengers that the time for Exodus has arrived!

Characters Involved: 

Archangel, Beast, Bishop, Cyclops, Gambit, Iceman, Jean Grey, Rogue, Storm (all X-Men)
Black Knight, Black Widow, Captain America, Crystal, Hawkeye, Hercules, Scarlet Witch, Sersi, Spider-Woman 2, USAgent, Vision, War Machine, (all Avengers)
Quicksilver (former X-Factor member / former Avenger)
Revanche (X-Men ally)

Henry Peter Gyrich (Member of the National Security Council)
Phillip Moreau
Jennifer Ransome

Nick Fury (Directors of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
S.H.I.E.L.D. agents

Renee Majcomb and other members of the Bipartisan Rebel Battalion
Genosha Mutates
Fabian Cortez (former Acolyte)
Colossus, Exodus, Magneto (all Acolytes)
Three members of the Unforgiven

in video
Fabian Cortez
Genosha Magistrates
Genosha Mutates
Luna Maximoff
Trish Tilby

Story Notes: 

This issue is the second part of the Bloodties crossover. It is continued from Avengers (1st series) #368 and continues on in Avengers West Coast #101.

This Issue has been reprinted in:

Written By: