X-Men (3rd series) #28

Issue Date: 
July 2012
Story Title: 

Victor Gischler (writer), Will Conrad (penciler, inker), Guru EFX (colorist), VC’s Joe Caramagna (letterer), Will Conrad & Guru EFX (cover), Jordan D. White (assistant editor), Daniel Ketchum (associate editor), Jeanine Schaeffer (editor), Nick Lowe (group editor), Axel Alonso (editor in chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

With Franklin Richards’ life at stake it’s up to Pixie to invade the Baxter Building with one of his captors at her side. Once inside, it’s discovered the villain is actually a Skrull and that Franklin is safe and sound. With the villain, Skrak, subdued, Pixie leaves with the newly arrived X-Men. They take a trip to Horizon Labs where her teammates begin acting very uncharacteristically. Pixie realizes she’s been duped again by more Skrulls and is soon captured. Luckily, Peter Parker happens to be working and pops-in as Spider-Man. He helps free Pixie and fight off the Skrulls. Unfortunately, one of the Skrulls, Nazum, had more planned then he let on. He releases a War Bringer and a trio of robots to deal with any would-be heroes, then takes a little boy named Billy hostage and makes his escape, leaving his fellow Skrulls behind.

Full Summary: 

Manhattan, New York City

It’s a bright, shiny day in New York City and Pixie has, for the first time in her life, set her eyes on the beautiful Baxter Building. She mentally crosses it off her super hero wonders of the world bucket list, but her being there is not by choice.
A large, brutish man in a trenchcoat is standing behind her with a gun at her back. He has a photograph in his other hand and he warns Pixie he can put three slugs in her back before she can get the words out if she thinks she’s teleporting in there without him.
The threat of bullets doesn’t scare Pixie; she’s an X-Man. She’s only helping the thug for one reason, the photograph. Its primary subject is Franklin Richards, who also has a gun pointed at his back. The doltish villain snidely says the little kid will get it if she stops cooperating. Tiring of the threats “Sihal Novarum Chonith” is uttered and the pair is instantly transported into the FF headquarters.
Baxter Building

Sue Storm, coffee in hand, watches as her husband unnaturally stretches his finger to help with his ship in a bottle project. She accuses him of cheating, but he shushes her, saying he’s at a delicate juncture.
If he thought her talking was distracting then he certainly doesn’t like the alarm that starts blearing with an incessant BREEP, BREEP, BREEP. Sue looks over at the security monitors and says they have a breach. Reed punches in some commands and discovers they have a Skrull in the building. “You have got to be kidding me,” he exclaims.
Meanwhile, the “thug” is rummaging through a bunch of items kept in a storage room, looking for something specific. With the alarm just as loud in the vault Pixie tells him to give it up, that it’s over. The “thug” points his pistol in her face and says it’s over when he says it’s over, thinking he has another minute before they arrive.
No sooner do the words escape his mouth than Reed, Sue and Ben enter. Reed says he’s not pleased with uninvited guests, especially Skrulls. Pixie gladly pipes in with a “told ya” before the Skrull grabs her by the shoulder and begins shooting at the FF. Sue erects an invisible shield while Ben and Reed move to disarm him. However, Pixie proves herself very capable, reversing her elbow into the Skrull’s face and knocking him out.
Grimm grabs the Skrull by the trenchcoat and lifts him off the ground. Pixie says it’s good to see him again, and Thing agrees saying they’re a long way from the Scorpius dimension this time.
Just then, Storm, Domino and Warpath of the X-Men enter the room and Thing jokes it’s like they’re Grand Central Station. Storm takes Reed’s hand and apologizes for everything that’s happened. It’s no problem, Reed assures her, and offers his help if they’re having Skrull problems.
Pixie interjects, saying the Skrulls have taken his son hostage, but it’s Storm who points out that Skrulls can impersonate anyone, that they never actually had Franklin in the first place. Pixie smacks the side of her head, embarrassed in front of both her team and the FF.
Storm takes Sue’s hand and says they have to leave. Warpath heaves the Skrull over his shoulder and begins to walk out. Reed once again offers his help, but it’s Sue who stops him, assuring him the X-Men can handle it. She wishes Storm good luck and the X-Men leave. Despite not being tasked with helping, Reed plans to do an inventory of the storage room so he can ascertain what the Skrull was after.
Five minutes later, and the FF are out of the vault. Reed can’t believe how much of that stuff still isn’t tagged, catalogued and sent to Horizon Labs, but can’t shake the feeling something was taken. Sue isn’t so sure, reminding him the Skrull was only in there for a minute.
Their discussion is cut short by the arrival of… Storm, Domino and Warpath. Storm apologizes for interrupting their talk, but says they’ve tracked their missing teammate, Pixie, to this location.
The look on the FF’s faces gives Storm pause. She hesitantly asks if something’s wrong. With a flabbergasted expression Reed admits Pixie was there and has an idea on where she’s headed next.
Horizon Labs

The “X-Men” are rifling through storage bins at Horizon Lab headquarters. Pixie questions exactly what it is they’re doing there, but Storm tells her to stop harassing them with dumb questions. Storm’s demeanor and Domino’s change in vernacular makes Pixie come to the realization she’s even dumber than she thought. “Oh… hell. You’re…,” Pixie gets out before “Storm” cuts her off and orders the rest of the troops to drop their disguises.
The Skrulls move to grab her. Pixie tries teleporting away, but can only get out “Sihal” before her mouth is covered by a gloved, Skrull hand. Frustrated for being suckered Pixie takes it out on her opponents. She kicks one in the face, and the original “thug”, Skrak, in the crotch, but four against one proves too much and Pixie’s eventually subdued.
One of the Skrulls wraps her mouth up to prevent any nasty spell surprises, to which she thinks there will definitely be some… once she can think of one. Then the Skrulls get back to searching. With Skrak “awake” and the need for subtlety gone he hands over the device he pilfered from the Baxter Building. He tells their leader, Nazum, his plan to trigger the alarms so they could enter unnoticed was brilliant.
Nazum stares at the device, a small metal cylinder. He proudly boasts they have the power source and just need to locate the handheld remote access unit. One of the other Skrulls verifies they’ll be heading home after that.
Skrak questions whether they should be talking this openly in front of their prisoner. Nazum says they’re in the home stretch and they can tell as much of their sob story as they want. And with that, Pixie receives an apology for their treatment of her and a story.

It’s the Skrull Invasion and the Skrulls are on the run. The Queen’s plans were dashed, but instead of fighting back against Earth’s mightiest some of them turned tail and ran and have been looking for a way off this planet ever since.

end flashback
It was Nazum who said they could get out of there if they found one of the hidden, dormant ships, one of the Skrulls holding Pixie says. The other Skrull on her left pipes in saying they needed some of their captured equipment, and even cowards like they will take chances.
Nazum takes offense at the term “coward” and explains he was in the middle of a fierce battle when his unit bugged out. Pixie realizes these guys aren’t on the same page and believes the information may prove useful.
Skrak wants assurances they still have a deal, that Nazum won’t tell they were deserters when they get back home. Yeah, yeah, Nazul responds, brushing him off. Then he finds the device, and excitedly inserts the fusion battery and boots the computer up.
Peter Parker’s office

All of this is being recorded by a camera in the Horizon Labs storage area. The feed is being broadcast on a computer monitor in Peter Parker’s office. On the monitor Nazum can be heard saying he’s scrolling through the startup sequence and then he’ll fire up the engines, and give the Earthlings a wake-up call. However, the chair to the office is empty, clothes scattered amongst the room, the door to the office left hastily open.
Horizon Labs

Skrak wants to know what Nazum is talking about. They were supposed to get on a transport and get the hell of this rock. They don’t care about Earthlings. Nazum stands from his crouching position and grabs Skrak by the collar. He says if he gives a crap about the Earthlings, they give a crap about the Earthlings. Skrak stammers back sayings he’s hearing Nazum loud and clear.
Continuing to draw her conclusions Pixie realizes she really only has to worry about one Skrull, the others are harmless followers. In fact, the two Skrulls holding her are beginning to regret ever hooking up with Nazum.
Still holding onto Skrak’s collar, Nazum calls him deserter scum and says he has every right to execute all three of them where they stand. A quick succession of raps on the door gives Nazum pause and everybody turns to stare in the direction of their uninvited guest.
Releasing his grip on Skrak, Nazum shoves him toward the door and tells him to silence whoever’s on the other side. Skrak is a bit taken back by the assignment, not one for killing, but does as told and heads for the door. Pixie realizes an innocent person’s life is at stake and hurriedly tries to come up with an idea to help. The Ka-Chak of Nazum’s gun being cocked and shoved in her face belays any bright ideas. He tells Pixie to stand down. He knows what she’s thinking.
Slowly, ever so slowly, Skrak pulls the door open. It lets out a long creak. When he pokes his head outside there’s nobody there. He tells everyone it looks clear, but then Spider-Man drops down from above and kicks him square in the mouth. Bloody spittle goes flying as Spidey wisecracks about his “face full of feet” delivery service.
It’s mass chaos in the little room. Skrak falls backwards into his hapless comrades and all three go barreling into the outside window and through it as it explodes outward under the force of their combined weight. Nazum opens fire on Spider-Man, which gives Pixie the distraction she needs to rip the bandaging off her face. Then she proceeds to leap out the window after the three Skrulls. Once she has them within her grasp she teleports them to the ground below, shocking a nearby mother and son.
As the Skrulls lick their wounds Pixie tells them to listen up, that she has a plan to help them, but they must do exactly as she says. Then an increasingly growing shadow from above appears around her. It’s Nazum’s falling body and Pixie manages to leap out the way in time.
Nazum lands on his upper back with a very hard WHAMM. From up above, Spider-Man tells him to hold on so he can come down and punch and kick him some more. The fall apparently didn’t faze him much as Nazum whips out his recovered device and punches in some commands, telling Spider-Man to kiss his backside.
A series of rumbles shakes the entire street. Then, bursting from the asphalt like an undead zombie, a Skrull War-Bringer appears. Two of the Skrulls on the ground are shocked, as Nazum never said anything about activating a War-Bringer, just a transport ship.
The War-Bringer smashes right into the Horizon Labs building, sending large debris falling to the streets. Those looky-loos who were watching the events unfold are forced to run for their lives. Some of them are certainly doomed, but then the debris is deflected before it can crush them. This is courtesy of the Invisible Woman who’s brought the FF and X-Men with her, also shielding them from the chunks of falling building.
Storm states the obvious, that Mr. Fantastic was right about where the Skrulls were headed next. He explains that after the invasion the Skrull tech was divided amongst a few secure locations, but he had no idea they left behind something that big.
Nearby, Nazum decides it’s time for his exit plan. He grabs the nearby boy, Billy, as a hostage and threatens to splatter his brains if anyone tries anything funny. Pixie can only stand and watch in horror as the boy’s life is put into danger. She blames herself for this mess, for the continuous mistakes she made throughout the day.
However, before her self-blame can continue, Nazum punches in a few more commands, which causes a bay door to open. He cockily says these guys will also help prevent anyone from following him. When the door completely opens Pixie sees several, large and deadly looking robots light up, looking ready to fight. She wonders to herself what she’s going to do about setting things right.

Characters Involved: 

Domino, Pixie, Storm, Warpath (all X-Men)
Invisible Woman, Mr. Fantastic, Thing (all Fantastic Four)


Nazum, Skrak (all named Skrulls)
Billy and his mother (citizen bystanders)

Captain America, Cyclops, Ms. Marvel, Thing

Story Notes: 

The X-Men teamed up with the FF back in X-Men (3rd series) #16-19 on a mission to find Lee Forrester. They also teamed up with Spider-Man in X-Men (3rd series) #7-10 to take down the Dark Beast.
Grand Central Station is a large train station in New York City, and is actually one of the largest in the world. It’s a very busy place with people coming and going, which is why Thing referenced it when they had so many uninvited guests pop in.
Horizon Labs is responsible for creating new and innovative technology. Unfortunately for the Skrulls Peter Parker is also an employee there.
The Skrull Invasion also known as the “Secret Invasion” was a major Marvel event, which included a main mini-series, in which the Skrull armada invaded Earth, with some of Earth’s heroes having been secretly replaced by Skrull agents.
In the prior story arc the X-Men were trying to use Cerebra to track Jubilee, and one would assume that’s how they tracked Pixie to the Baxter Building. Even though Richards was correct in her whereabouts, one would think the X-Men could have just used Cerebra again.

Issue Information: 
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