X-Men (3rd series) #17

Issue Date: 
November 2011
Story Title: 
“Betrayal in the Bermuda Triangle” part two

Victor Gischler (writer), Jorge Molina (penciler), Jorge Molina w/ Normal Lee (inkers), Guru EFX (colorist), VC’s Joe Caramagna (letterer), Jorge Molina (cover), Jordan D. White (assistant editor), Daniel Ketchum (associate editor), Nick Lowe (editor), Axel Alonso (editor in chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

The search team led by Cyclops stumbles upon a technologically advanced city in the middle of nowhere. When they investigate further they meet George Stanislaus who introduces them to the emperor of the Scorpius. Not knowing the Scorpius are bad guys they’re caught unawares and quickly defeated. Elsewhere, Scully recruits Thing, Wolverine and Pixie to help him locate Lee Forrester who went off to forge a peace treaty with the race known as the Kaddack, but has yet to return. Once they enter Kaddack territory the heroes are attacked. The psi-powered Kaddack easily defeat them and sentence them to death, but Lee arrives and clears up the confusion. Back at the submersible, the team has figured out how to make the portal stable so there are no more accidents, but the power needed to make it work would be impossible to generate given the lack of technology in the dimension. In the end, Scott, Emma and Sue are visited in their prison cell by the Scorpius’ new ally, Dr. Doom.

Full Summary: 

As the trio of Scott Summers, Emma Frost and Sue Storm trek through the wild jungle they encounter a few threats along the way. One of them comes in the form of three purple, long-toothed tigers that attack the human intruders to their territory.
The leader of the pack charges Cyclops and then leaps at him. The seasoned veteran has no problem BZZZZAPing it before it can sink its teeth into him. The tiger goes flying backward and bowls over its fellow predators.
Sue remarks how it seems every ten minutes something’s trying to eat them, but adds they’re not easy prey. “Optic blasts tend to play hell with an ecosystem,” Scott jokes back. The only thing bothering Emma is why they have to walk through the jungle in the first place. She thinks Erik should have flown them, especially with what the humidity is doing to her hair.
Scott takes the lead and gets the group moving again. As he clears away a vine he tells Emma, Magneto is more valuable back at the ship where he can keep the dinosaurs at bay while the repairs are being made. Besides, he continues, the jungle is so thick they wouldn’t be able to see anything from the air.
At this point they come across a small stream and cross over it on a log. Emma asks what it is he expects to find. Cyclops says they’re on a path so there should be something at the end. Probably tired of hearing her complain, Sue asks Emma if she’d feel better back at the submarine. “And miss the grateful reunion as Scott rescues his old girlfriend? Perish the thought,” she sarcastically retorts, and then tells Sue she’s lucky other women aren’t interested in her husband. The expression on Sue’s face shows she doesn’t appreciate that comment.
The catfight doesn’t go any further because, after two miles of trekking, they come out on a clearing near a high, steep cliff. At the bottom of the cliff sits a huge, technologically advanced city. It sticks out like a sore thumb along the primitive landscape.
the temples

The battle is over and old friends are reacquainting themselves. Thing explains they just got the buoy the other day, and can’t believe they’ve been trapped in this world for three years. Scully guesses time must move differently, and admits he gave up on any rescue. Wolverine butts in and asks to be brought up to speed on everything.

Scully acquiesces and explains that billionaire industrialist, George Stanislaus, contacted him about returning to this dimension as his guide, a job which he accepted. Stanislaus was obsessed with the idea of a new world to exploit of its natural resources, especially the potential for crude oil. However, the gateway to this world proved unstable and the ship was almost torn apart. Luckily they had Forrester as captain, who guided them through well enough.
Almost everyone had perished, he continues, shortly after coming ashore. When it was down to just the three of them they constructed the buoy from ship parts and sent it off. Eventually, Scully earned a leadership role with the natives and made a life there. However, Stanislaus took off and hasn’t been heard from him in over a year.

end flashback
Pixie can’t believe someone would go off into the jungle alone, but Scully doesn’t care about Stanislaus, just Forrester. He tells them she left a week earlier to try and recruit some allies against the Scorpius and should have been back yesterday. He then asks his new powerful allies to join him as he goes deep into the jungle.
Scorpius city entrance

Scott, Emma and Sue make their way down to the entrance of the city and find themselves standing in front of an extremely tall door. Sue asks if they should just knock to which Scott replies it’s not such a bad idea. Then the doors open on their own and they’re greeted by green aliens with guns. There is one human among them and he tells the X-Men and Sue not to be alarmed.
He introduces himself as George Stanislaus and assumes they’ve heard of him. They haven’t, so Stanislaus explains he was the 7th richest American before getting stranded in this place. Emma whispers to Scott she can’t read Stanislaus, that something is blocking her psi-powers. Scott asks if she’s strong enough to break through. Emma says she is, but it would be noticed.
Stanislaus offers to take them on a tour and to meet the alien in charge of the Scorpius. They ride on top of one of the mechanical spider vehicles, which can fly, as Stanislaus tells them the Scorpius arrived to bring civilization to this planet. He holds his arms open wide as he marvels at the city they built out of untamed wilderness. Despite Stanislaus’ marveling, Scott tells him they’re only interested in finding Lee Forrester and any other survivors.
George appears upset as he recounts his getting separated from her. He fears the worst in this dangerous environment. Scott doesn’t care either way. He is determined to find Lee or her dead body. Either way, he says sternly, he’s not heading back empty-handed. Stanislaus admires Scott’s determination and promises the emperor whom they’re going to meet will be able to offer help, as he pretty much rules the planet.
Scorpius’ throne room

Having arrived at the throne room of the emperor Stanislaus leads the three heroes down the carpeted path toward him. Throngs of soldiers armed to the teeth stand on either side. Stanislaus introduces his guests to his imperial majesty, a gargantuan alien, with heavy armor and what looks like a tree limb for his right arm. George refers to them as heroes and the emperor states his confusion at the term. He’s determined the word implies strength, but does not mean the same as “conqueror” or “warrior.” He then asks the heroes what brings them to his domain.
Cyclops tells him of the distress signal and says they want to take their people home. The Scorpius emperor asks how he plans on getting home since his vessel is damaged, and his scientists are struggling to pinpoint the coordinates for the dimensional gateway. “The eyes and ears of the throne miss nothing. Especially not an opportunity. TAKE THEM!” he growls.
The guards are quick to action and a blast of knockout gas takes Sue Storm out of the equation. Then another set of guards take on Emma, one grabbing her by the neck with a staff and the other shoving an electrically charged prod into her side.
Only Cyclops is left, but the action is so quick he’s also caught off-guard. One of the guards fires a blob of black tar at his face. His visor is covered and he’s unable to fire an optic blast. Instead, he goes into hand-to-hand mode and takes down a couple of guards before the emperor himself leaps off the thrown and delivers a punishing overhand left to the side of his face. Scott slumps to the floor.
The emperor grabs Scott by the back of the uniform and lifts him partially off the ground. He asks Stanislaus if this is the best his dimension has to offer, because if so, conquering it will be child’s play.

The Skull-led crew has teleported to a long, rickety bridge. It’s so high off the ground that to fall off would mean certain death. Wolvie asks Pixie why she didn’t just bring them to the other side, but she tells him there’s a strange energy around the mountain that won’t allow her.
Just then, Ben’s communication device beeps to life. He puts the radio up to his ear and asks Reed what’s going on. The reason Reed is calling is because Magneto can longer reach Miss Frost, which is how they keep in contact with each other. He asks if anyone has had contact with her from Ben’s team.
Thing looks sideways at Wolverine and tells Richards, Logan tried thinking some dirty thoughts at her not long ago, but didn’t get a response. Before Reed can respond he quickly mentions how they ran into Skull the Slayer and that he’s leading them to Lee Forrrester. Ben says the whole rescue operation could be over before he can say “Aunt Matilda’s apple pie.” “…small universe,” Reed replies, but then asks to be contacted if they hear from Emma.

With the conversation ended Nemesis asks if “Aunt Matilda’s apple pie” is a real expression. Ignoring Nemesis’ barb, he asks the good doctor if he wants something. Nemesis says he’s isolated the coordinates for the dimensional gateway. This piques Reed’s interest so he stretches his neck over to Dr. Nemesis who fills him in on the rest.
They move over to the holographic readouts and Magneto joins them. It turns out there was nothing to keep the gateway stable, so they’ll have to construct a physical portal, which should focus and anchor the gateway and allow for a smooth transition between dimensions. It’s something they can create by cannibalizing some ship parts, but there is another problem, a major one.
Nemesis explains it will take an extraordinary amount of power to get the thing working, comparing it to the amount of energy it would take to power the city of Orlando, Florida for a year. He’s been trying to come up with ways they could generate that type of power, but it’s been tough.
Magneto asks if it’s a matter of not having the right tools, but Nemesis tells him he doesn’t understand. That’s when the other genius in the room simplifies it for Erik. “…given the current level of technology in this primitive setting… powering a dimensional gateway is completely impossible,” Reed explains.
the bridge

Skull takes the lead as they cross the long bridge. Pixie flies overhead, keeping watch. Scully explains the creatures they’re going to meet, the Kaddak, are strange. He says you’ll never know what they’re going to do, but are tough and would make great allies, which is why Lee left to parlay with them.
To explain further what he meant, Scully says they’re just as likely to offer them a drink and a meal as to hack them to pieces and toss them into the river far below. He didn’t want Lee to go it alone, but she wouldn’t have it any other way.
“Sounds like a risky kind of--“ Logan gets out before a pterodactyl-like creature, with a rider on top, comes swiftly toward him. It strikes the Canuckle-Head with such force the rope he was holding on to snaps and he flips off the bridge. Thing backhands the rider when he makes another pass at them.
Meanwhile, Wolverine is plummeting toward his doom, but Pixie teleports right above him and snatches him in mid-air. She then teleports above the flying dinosaur and lets Wolverine loose. He lands on the beast’s back and knocks the rider off. “My turn to drive, handsome,” Wolverine boasts before sending the pterodactyl into the ground.
A horde of the Kaddak are waiting for them on the other side. Wolverine lands and snikts his claws. He asks if they want to just line up or if they want to do it all at once. Their response is all at once as the dust kicks up from their many feet charging at the X-Man.
The rest of the group arrives just in time to get in on the action. The heroes are making mince meat out of the opposition, that is, until, a purple electric energy surrounds their bodies and lifts them into the air, back arced, arms and legs spread.
Three grey creatures with large, bulbous heads come floating onto the scene. The one in front calls the four of them intruders and tells them what they’re doing is forbidden. Thing asks Scully who these guys are. He tells them they’re the other species of Kaddak and their powers are mental. “Now you tell us,” Wolvie grunts.
The leader tells them the penalty for trespassing is death and that they’ll be fed to the harrax worms. “Wait! Don’t hurt them!” a voice cries from behind. It’s Lee Forrester and she rushes in between them. She curses Scully for messing with the peace treaty she had almost signed with them. She tells them they’re lucky she’s there to save them from their own testosterone.
Scorpius’ detention center

Cyclops is suspended at an angle, face down. He finally awakens from unconsciousness and asks if anyone got the number of that truck. He says he’s awake, but he can’t see anything.
Across the room is Emma, who tells him they put some kind of collar on her to contain her powers. He asks after Sue and Emma tells him she’s in some kind of stasis. Sure enough, Sue is not far away suspended in a long tube filled with greenish liquid.
Emma thinks they knew just how powerful Sue is. She asks what the odds are they were prepared to counteract all of their powers. Scott agrees, saying he was thinking the same thing. “It’s like they knew we were coming,” he complains.
That’s when Stanislaus and the emperor enter the detention cell. With them is their new friend, Doom. He tells Summers he’s very astute, and admits to telling the emperor exactly how to stop them. He says the Scorpius have designs for Earth, and more importantly, “…Doom has designs of his own.”

Characters Involved: 

Cyclops, Emma Frost, Magneto, Pixie, Wolverine (all X-Men)

Dr. Nemesis (X-Club member)
Lee Forrester (X-Men ally)
Dr. Doom, Invisible Woman, Mr. Fantastic, Thing (all Future Foundation)
Skull the Slayer

The Kaddack
George Stanislaus

Scorpius Emperor

The Scorpius
Indigenous people

The Kaddack
The Scorpius

Story Notes: 
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