X-Men (3rd series) #29

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: 

Monstrous robots are attacking the city while the Skrull behind it all, Nazum, escapes on a ship with a young hostage. It’s up to Pixie to save the day. Going by instinct and guts she grabs Spider-Man and the other three Skrulls and teleports onto the ship. While the X-Men and Fantastic Four deal with the robots and other nasty surprises on the ground, Pixie formulates a plan on the ship. First, she sends the two nameless Skrulls to a jumpshuttle. Then she has Skrak take them to the pilot area, but Nazum is nowhere to be found, plus they discover the controls are locked. Pixie has Skrak waiting in reserve while she and Spider-Man see about Nazum. After confronting him in the weapons room Pixie manages to save the boy and secure the control device. She lets Spider-Man fight Nazum solo and hurriedly goes about getting the Skrulls ready to go. At the last second the ship is unlocked and is directed toward the New York Harbor. Pixie, Spider-Man and Billy all teleport to Ellis Island while the Skrulls, Nazum tied to a chair, blast free of the ship in their jump shuttle. On the ground, Storm congratulates Pixie on a job well done, while outside Earth’s orbit the Skrulls try to figure out on which uninhabitated planet they’re going to leave Nazum.

Full Summary: 

New York City

A trio of large Skrull-designed robots begin laying waste to the city. Terrified citizens run amok as lasers fired from the attacking machines damage nearby buildings causing falling debris.
Nazum, the Skrull behind this nefarious plot, takes off in the confusion with his hostage, a small child named Billy, wrapped up in his arms. His screams for mommy are lost in the cacophony of the attack.
Nearby, the Skrulls who were duped by Nazum are completely taken aback by the turn of events. This wasn’t part of the plan, one of the Skrulls cries out. Pixie tells the Skrulls to get their move on if they want to help fix it.
It’s too late. Nazum reaches the platform of the ship and engages the closing mechanism. He holds the barrel of his carbine to the boy’s temple and gloats at how he used his fellow Skrulls to retrieve the ship. Calling them “yellow deserters” Nazum says they are of no more use to him. He declares his Queen will have one last moment of revenge and he will return to his homeworld a hero.
The hatch shuts leaving the Skrulls, Pixie and Spider-Man to ponder their next move. Turning to the web-crawler, Pixie tells “Mr. Spider-Man” there’s no time to explain, but he has to follow her lead. Spider-Man doesn’t object, except to being called “Mr. Spider-Man.”
The Skrull ship performs a vertical takeoff and slowly begins to rise above the city streets. As the kicked up dust bathes the heroes, Spider-Man suggests Pixie get making with the plan. A quick teleportation spell and they, along with the three Skrulls, disappear.
The rest of the X-Men and Fantastic Four witness Pixie’s dramatic exit, Storm hoping Pixie knows what she’s doing. Mr. Fantastic figures whatever she’s got planned they’re the ones who have to deal with the “overgrown tinker toys.”
One of those tinker toys has set its sights on the heroes, but the Invisible Woman erects a shield protecting them from the blast. Warpath rushes to the right side of the shield and comes around near the robot’s foot. Taking one of his machetes he looks for some hoses to cut and gets with the slicing.
This, combined with a lightning attack from Storm, topples the giant automated machine, which crashes into its twin on its way down. Reed grabs three boy scouts and stretches them out to safety while Thing lifts a taxi cab in the air to protect Domino and another random citizen from the purple robot’s blast.
Skrull ship

As Pixie and her crackshot team rematerialize inside the escaping ship she wonders how leaders like Storm and Cyclops know when to deliberate and when to act, and how often they realize too late whether they’ve made the right choice. As for Pixie, she’s stuck with hers.
A bit woozy from the teleportation, Spider-Man asks about her next move. Pixie freezes momentarily, but gathers herself and takes control. She points at one of the Skrulls and asks if he can get one of the escape pod thingies working. A jump-shuttle, he asks, saying he probably could. Do it, Pixie responds.
When Skrak, the trench-coated one, turns to leave with his friends Pixie holds him back much to his dismay. She wants him to take them to where they drive the ship. Skrak takes off running saying they could be in orbit by now.
When they reach the control area there’s no sign of Nazum. Also, on the monitor, they can see they haven’t left Earth, and are in fact heading straight for the Statue of Liberty. Pixie tells him to pull the ship up, but he can’t. Skrak says the controls are locked out.
The ship barely misses the historic landmark, but that still leaves the question as to who is steering the ship. Skrak mentions they have a reserve combat bridge, but the only reason they would use that… he stops short when he realizes the horror that Nazum must be planning.
elsewhere on the ship

Holding on to Billy by the scruff of his shirt Nazum drags the boy inside the weapons room. Despite threatening the kid, Billy continues to insult the Skrull, calling him a big, smelly stupid head with a dumb chin. However, Nazum’s focus is on the missiles and bringing them online. Then his Queen will have a modicum of revenge.
New York City

The two remaining robots are quickly put down. Storm fries the head of the remaining green one while Thing punches the head off the purple one. As the robots lie in smoking heaps Storm suggests they focus on finding that ship and helping Pixie.
If it were only that easy. A panel on the purple ‘bot opens with a bzzzzzz. Aw, what now, Thing asks. Then, almost as quickly, dozens of little mechanoid spiders begin pouring out of the opening. Thing quickly assesses these aren’t Spider-Man’s helpers to which Reed adds they need to keep them contained.
Skrull ship, reserve combat bridge

Pixie teleports onto the reserve combat bridge with her new entourage in tow. She asks Skrak if he can fly the ship with the controls unlocked. Hesitantly, he replies with a “maybe.” That’s good enough for her and she teleports away with Spider-Man leaving Skrak to pilot.
They reappear in the weapons room where Spider-Man kindly asks to be given a heads up before she does that again. Luckily, they’ve caught Nazum unawares, but it doesn’t take long for him to take aim with his weapon and fire off three energy blasts. So focused is he on the new combatants he doesn’t notice Billy reaching for his computerized control pad.
Dodging the energy blasts, Spider-Man fires a web at the ceiling and swings toward Nazum, kicking him square in the face, thus fulfilling his promise earlier of more kicking. From the ground a huffing Nazum reaches for his control pad, but it’s not there. In complete unison both Spidey and Nazum yell after the fleeing Billy, computer in hand.
Billy stops and starts pushing buttons on the touch screen. Nazum yells for him to stop, that it’s preprogrammed. Pixie, still feeling responsible, runs her hand across her forehead wondering what to do with her plan now, remembering it was Cyclops who once told her “No battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy.”
New York City

The mechanoid insects have been rounded up nicely in a bubble created by the Invisible Woman. The few remaining scragglers were tracked down by the teams’ resident bruisers, who dispatched them with their bare hands.
Storm once again tries to get a plan of action together for dealing with the Skrull ship, saying it could be a million miles away by now. A rumbling through the air tells her different. Everyone looks up and sees the large, green ship flying overhead, barely avoiding the tops of the buildings.
Skrull ship

It’s Pixie who catches up to Billy first. She tells him to stop pushing the buttons, but he holds the computer away from her reach saying he’s the boss of the controller. Like a babysitter with an unruly child, she asks him to give her a break, but all Billy does is push another button. Give it, Pixie yells, before snatching it from his hands and then teleporting them both out of there.
They reappear in the reserve combat bridge. Pixie tosses the device to Skrak and tells him he has five seconds to unlock the controls and steer the ship toward water. She teleports away just as quickly and reappears in the weapons room to find Nazum webbed up in a cocoon, Spider-Man putting on the final touches.
Just as quickly Pixie grabs Spider-Man’s free arm and teleports the four of them to Skrak who’s just unlocked the controls. She grabs him and teleports them all to the jump shuttle where the other two Skrulls are waiting. Pixie tells them they have three seconds to launch the jump shuttle.
Leaving the Skrulls to the shuttle, Pixie does one last teleport and reappears with Spider-Man and Billy on Ellis Island. Just as they appear the Skrull ship crashes into the New York Harbor.
Spider-Man welcomes Billy back to the ground and holds out his hand as if to shake. Instead of taking his gloved hand, Billy points an accusing finger at Spidey. He says the mayor calls him a menace. You’re welcome, Spider-Man dryly responds.
A flying Storm comes in for a landing right behind Pixie. She asks if the young X-Man is ok. I’m good, Pixie responds, joking it’s her average day of Skrull wrangling and spaceship crashing. Looking at the wreckage in the water Storm asks what happened to the Skrulls. Turning her gaze toward the sky Pixie assures her they don’t have to worry about them again as they’re headed back to where they belong.

Though it will take a long time the jumpshuttle is going to be able to make the trek home. Nazum, strapped to a chair in the back of the ship, tells them they won’t be so happy when they get back home and he tells them of their traitorous actions. Skrak mulls that over and brings up a holographic display of the sector. Stroking his chin he begins searching for an uninhabited planet to drop Nazum off. He tells Nazum if he plays nice for the next 14 hours he’ll find one with a breathable atmosphere.
Ellis Island

Storm congratulates Pixie on a job well done. She chalks it up to everything the X-Men have taught her. With a smile Storm asks if Pixie is angling for her job. No way, she replies emphatically, then backtracks, adding “at least not yet.”

Characters Involved: 

Domino, Pixie III, Storm, Warpath (all X-Men)

Invisible Woman, Mr. Fantastic, Thing (all Fantastic Four)


Nazum, Skrak (all named Skrulls)

Story Notes: 

The cover, while not representative of this issue, is a compendium of the entire series so far, this issue being Gischler’s last tale to tell.
The Skrull Invasion was lead by Queen Veranke who posed as Spider-Woman and was instrumental in taking Earth’s heroes by surprise. She was killed after being shot by Norman Osborne. (Secret Invasion #1-8)
In addition to being a Henry V fan (see my notes from earlier summaries) Gischler must also like the words of Sun Tzu. He’s had two different characters in recent issues reference the same phrase (“No battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy”) credited to the Chinese philosopher. In this issue it was Pixie (quoting Cyclops) and in issue #26 it was Raizo Kodo, who told Jubilee he was the one who originally gave Sun Tzu the expression.
The mayor of New York City in Marvel-land is J. Jonah Jameson, a longtime Spider-Man hater.

Issue Information: 
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