X-Men (2nd series) #83

Issue Date: 
January 1999
Story Title: 
The Hunt for Xavier! - part 4

Joe Kelly (writer), Adam Kubert (penciler), Livesay, Wiacek & Llamas (inks), Richard Isanove (colors), RS & Comicraft (letters), Powers (editor), Harras (chief)

Brief Description: 

Cerebrite Alpha merges with the body of Colossus, and continues attacking the X-Men in the ice monastery of Russia as the young psychic girl Nina and her guardian Renée, watch. The X-Men are beaten down one by one, as it uses the X-Men's own weaknesses against them; Storm's claustrophobia and her belief to have overcome it; Rogue's love for Gambit. But Nina uses her powers to revive Rogue, who in turn helps her team-mates.
Meanwhile, across the globe in the Liberty Electric Authority, Cerebro is planning his ultimate goal; the cataloguing of all humans.
Back in Russia the X-Men are taken down yet again, leaving Nina unprotected. Storm is apparently killed. Cerebrite Alpha takes Nina and heads off to be with Cerebro, where humanity awaits their final program...

Full Summary: 

Tajikistan, Russia:
Cerebro is trashing the X-Men completely, as the little girl Nina and her guardian, Renée, watch in horror. Rogue and Gambit are already on the floor, out of it. Storm blasts lightening at the thing as it holds a battered and torn Colossus in the air. It absorbs the energy from it into its mouth as it analyses all that is going on around it and estimates it will secure its mission objective in fifteen seconds. Nina cowers, hugged by Renée. She wants to help the X-Men. She closes her eyes and concentrates, somehow reviving Rogue.

Cerebro tells her-"Your defiance is counterproductive, mutants! I am conversant in both the extents of your mutant powers and your combat abilities--I can execute any of three thousand scenarios which will result in your defeat, and the procurement of the Xavier-Manifest, "Nina"! Cease restraint now, so that you can be catalogued and processed undamaged at a later time..."

Rogue immediately rescues Colossus from its clutches, ripping off both its hands in the process. She gets him to safety, as Storm wonders why the little girl has a bio-signature identical to Charles Xavier, and how their former mutant tracking computer system has turned into this monstrosity. As they ponder this Cerebro sends out nanotech repair units to heal itself, and updates its strategy; to immediately scan and catalogue the X-Men to expedite the collection of the Xavier-Manifest. Nina wont have this, and concentrates and revives Gambit. He tries to kinetically charge the floor, but can't escape as Cerebro stands over him. Storm yells at him to duck and roll as the floor explodes, sending both him and his enemy flying in all directions. Storm berates Gambit for such a foolhardy move. Gambit asks Nina why Cerebro thinks she is Xavier. Suddenly Cerebro starts to get back up after the explosion, reconfiguring itself due to its injuries, and the X-Men escape from the vicinity as quickly as possible.

Liberty Electric Authority, USA
A terrified worker at the power plant asks Cerebro, who has commandeered the place, why he's doing this. Cerebro tells him it's part of the program; scan, identify, and catalogue. He sends out nanotechs to kill the human and secure the power grid, ordering Cerebrites Beta and Alpha to hurry in their capture of Xavier. "Together, we will make the world safe for mutants. One human at a time," he muses.

Tajikistan, Russia:
The X-Men hole themselves up in a part of the monastery they hope that the creature after them cannot penetrate. Nina tells Storm she remembers her from Charlie's mind, and wonders if being deep underground might be upsetting for her. Storm says that her bravery will help her survive. Renée goes on to explain what has happened to them so far. Nina and Charles Xavier met while imprisoned under Bastion's care at the Hulkbuster base. Charles noted the girl's immense powers, and snuck her out of the place, where she herself met them. Nina somehow brought them to this monastery. Apparently Charles had been here himself when younger, and the monks were happy to take them in. Renée feels guilt about the monk's massacre by Cerebro. When the monster first attacked Nina created a reality altering logic trap; a barrier that shifted subtly with each passing analysis by Cerebro so it couldn't adapt. Then they mistook them, the X-Men, for Cerebro, and holding up the illusions have made Nina almost powerless now. There's a lot they don't know about the girl's powers. At a guess, the reason that the X-Men's portable Cerebro registers her as Xavier is because she somehow imprinted her mind after Charles' template.

Storm uses her portable Cerebro again; it can't tell the difference between Nina and the real Xavier. Nina gets upset and telepathically vaporizes the miniature Cerebro. Renée tries to assure Nina that everything will be alright; but Colossus notices something on the ceiling. Cerebro pours in like water from the ceiling and lands on Colossus, bonding with him, then pronouncing the Russian mutant eliminated. Storm is shocked as the Cerebro/Colossus unit orders them to release the Xavier manifest immediately. "We know everything about you...Everything," it intones coldly. "Please do not make us destroy you."

Rogue tries to take Nina and Renée to safety as Gambit charges up a card to throw. Via communications link Cerebro Prime is puzzled that the X-Men would deny him so violently. He sends the unit in Russia, actually designate Cerebrite Alpha, oders to initiate tertiary command set. Suddenly Cerebrite Alpha blows off an explosion of microwaves that trigger Gambit's charged card in hand. It diverts nanotechnology to create a box around Storm as she charges in for the attack. Storm feels smug at first, knowing she has conquered her fear of claustrophobia...but then the space inside the box begins to shrink, and she gets anxious and very, very angry. Her powers explode in a storm of electricity that takes out Gambit. Just as Cerebrite Alpha intended.

Meanwhile, as Rogue, Nina and Renée run for safety Nina is telepathically scanning the fight. She tells Rogue that Gambit has been hurt badly; that he was thinking about her. Then she cries "Storm." Cerebrite Alpha then eyes the frazzled remains of Gambit as Storm attacks him recklessly and without plan. He fires a beam of blue energy at her, and she is vaporized. Nina tells Rogue that Storm is gone, just like the monks. Rogue rushes off to help. Nina sighs, telling Renée that she's not coming back. Renée is adamant that the X-Men can stop Cerebro. "That's just it, Renée...Nothing can stop him till he gets what he wants," Nina explains. "Me and Charley...'Cause Charley is the thing that makes Cerebro whole...an' I can make Charley whole." Renée sighs, wondering what Charles has gotten them all into.

Alcatraz Island, San Francisco:
Across the globe the other X-Men (Shadowcat, Wolverine, Marrow and Nightcrawler) have found the real Xavier, under the care of the new Brotherhood of Mutants (Blob, Post, Mimic and Toad). They are currently defending him against another unit of Cerebro Prime, called Cerebrite Beta. Wolverine wont let bad blood between the two gangs get in the way, and together they battle! As Nightcrawler pulls Professor Xavier to safety he wonders what the other group of X-Men have found.

Rogue rushes in in horror as the man she loves, Gambit, is about to be vaporized by Cerebrite Alpha. She flies past, grabbing Gambit, and is happy to hear him breathe in her arms. Then she sees her gloves are ripped, and is horrified as she starts to absorb the mind and powers of Gambit. Something in his memory disturbs her though; a green, female entity that hovers around Gambit, refusing to let him die. Cerebrite Alpha hovers over them, his plan to have Rogue come to her love's rescue easily executed. He prepares to execute them.

Nina and Renée are running up a flight of steps to safety. Nina tells her that Rogue has fallen; it is all over now. Cerebrite Alpha purges Colossus from his body and grabs Nina. Gambit and Rogue lie, fallen, uncatalogued.

Cerebrite Alpha flies out of the monastery, uploading his report to Cerebro Prime..
"And please...hurry," Cerebro Prime orders. "We have a world to process...humanity awaits our final program."

Characters Involved: 

Colossus, Gambit, Marrow, Nightcrawler, Professor Charles Xavier, Rogue, Shadowcat, Storm, Wolverine (all X-Men)
Blob, Mimic, Post, Toad (all Brotherhood of Mutants)

Renée Majcomb

Cerebrite Alpha
Cerebrite Beta
Cerebro Prime

Mary Purcell (green ghost woman seen very briefly)

Story Notes: 

The Hunt for Xavier is continued in Uncanny X-Men #364.

The story behind Gambit’s „green ghost-woman" is explained in Gambit Annual ’99.

Although uncredited, page.18 (depicting the adventures of the team in San Francisco) seems to have been drawn by Mike Miller rather than Kubert.

Written By: