X-Men (3rd series) #4

Issue Date: 
December 2010
Story Title: 
Curse of the Mutants part four

Victor Gischler (writer), Paco Medina (penciler), Juan Vlasco (inker), Marte Gracia (colorist), VC’s Joe Caramagna (letterer) Adi Granov (cover), Jake Thomas (assistant editor), Daniel Ketchum (associate editor), Axel Alonso (executive editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

Vampires are filling up San Francisco by the hour and they’re not being quiet about it. People all across the city are being attacked and fed upon by the bloodthirsty predators. Cyclops is furious and decides it’s time for the X-Men to hit back. He orders teams of two to head out and help defend the citizens of San Fran. In one particular instance Blade and Angel fight off some vampires at a nightclub. They let one get away who leads them to a staging area with hundreds of vampires waiting around inside a warehouse. When they report back to Cyclops they learn there are more of these staging areas within the city. It’s apparent to Scott the vampires are about to attack so he does the only thing he can think of and calls Xarus. Xarus says he wants the X-Men to join their ranks, but Scott, of course, refuses. After much discussion, and a cameo from Wolverine and Jubilee saying how great being a vampire is Scott threatens Xarus with the decimation of his vampire ranks. Unfortunately, Xarus seems undeterred as he tells Wolverine he wants Cyclops’ head.

Full Summary: 


As if Jubilee ditching the X-Men wasn’t bad enough Madison Jeffries has more news for the X-Men’s versatile leader. Using a holographic keyboard he pulls up a map of the immediate area. Populating the map are small dots colored red, blue or purple. Jeffries tells Cyclops he’s filtering through 9-1-1 calls for ones that appear vampire-related. These, he explains, are the blue marks on the map. The red ones, he continues, reflect Cerebro-detected vampires. This leaves the purple ones, a combination of located vampires matching up with vamp-related emergency calls.
Jeffries then reports vampire calls are up 46 percent in the last 24 hours. Cyke looks unpleased. He states that every time the sun goes down it’s like ringing the dinner bell for the bloodsuckers. Jeffries says Cerebro counts 9,000 vampires in the bay area with 1,000 within city limits and more coming in by the hour.
This is too much for Scott. He refuses to sit idly by while the vampires pick the city apart, dining on whoever, whenever. The idea of the bastards partying it up in his town is pissing him off. Emma tells him to do something about it. He agrees with her and removing his cowl orders her to get the word out, teams of two, they hit back. He wants intel, any information on their big move. Emma asks if there’s anything else. Cyclops says he wants Blade, their resident vampire expert, out on the front lines.
various sections of San Fran

The X-Men perform as ordered, fighting the good fight throughout the city. Pixie tends to an attacked woman outside a place called Torchy’s while Colossus takes care of the two Nosferatu who assaulted her. Rogue and Storm take to the skies, Rogue “borrowing” Angel’s wings. There, they deal with the ferocious Charniputra. Gambit and X-23 hit a graveyard and take down some lowly vampire punk.
a city nightclub

A dark and brooding band named Savage Night pumps up their youthful crowd by performing their titular song. On a catwalk above their stage stalks Blade, a large knife in each hand. Watching the lead singer crank out the vocals he radios to Warren how much the band sucks. Angel, who’s hovering outside above the club, tells him Lady Gaga’s playing back at the Cow Palace if that’s more his speed. Blade declines, and when asked if he needs backup responds with a negative, telling Warren his chicken wings wouldn’t fit where he’s operating.
The smarmy conversation is interrupted by three fangers, one male and two females dressed in school girl clothes. Blade realizes what’s happening a little too late and lets loose with an expletive. The male vamp is on him and knocks him over the catwalk banister and onto the stage. The band continues to play unaware of the action happening right behind them.
Though Blade falls to his back with the vampire on top he quickly wriggles free and kicks the undead bloodsucker halfway across stage. The ladies drop onto the battlefield and are practically salivating at the thought of bringing Blade’s head to Xarus.
Blade is not worried in the least. He can smell their new vampire smell and promises them the same gift he gives to all the other newbies. With one knife knocked free from his forced landing he only has one to throw. He makes it count, nailing the redhead square in the throat.
Meanwhile, one guy in the crowd can’t believe the awesome fight sequences, but the dude next to him sporting a spiked collar thinks the fight choreography sucks. Nobody seems aware that there’s some real vampire killing going on.
Back on the stage, the male vampire charges again, but this time Blade is ready. He draws his sword from the scabbard strapped to his back and slices the punk across the face at the jawline. The top portion of the vampire’s head lands a few feet from the rest of his body.
That leaves the blonde and she decides to bolt for the exit. Blade tells Warren there’s one coming out and to watch where she runs to. Warren copies and readies to track her. At the same time, Savage Night finishes up their song to much applause, the vampire corpses behind them bleeding out onto the stage.
Warren follows the vampire runaway heading west toward the docks. Blade radios that he’s on his way. He figures these newbie vamps are stupid and maybe they’ll get lucky if she leads them to her hidey hole.
The girl finally stops at a warehouse and pulls apart the heavy steel doors. Warren drops in low nearby as Blade rushes over to some nearby freight containers. Blade says they’ll do the same thing, he’ll head in while Warren waits outside in case any come running out. Angel tells him it’s not going to happen that way. He wants to bust some heads too. Blade isn’t one to stand in anyone’s way if they want to kill vampires so the two of them make their way to the steel doors and pry them open.
When they step inside they find the warehouse fully stocked of all types of vampires, over a hundred milling about waiting for orders. “I changed my mind. You can have all the fun,” Warren jokes after taking in the sights. Blade and Angel realize this is now a suicide mission and make a hasty retreat. As they clear the doors Blade skewers a Nosferatu and suggests they take the high road on out.
A half dozen or so vampires follow them out the door. These gun-toting vampires begin firing away at the fleeing pair. Blade jokes he’s not getting paid enough for this gig. Warren suggests it could be worse, after all they haven’t heard back from Logan. Blade says he’d trade places with him in an instant, wherever he is.
Xarus’ lair

Speaking of, Logan is currently lounging in a high back chair being attended to by three scantily clad vampire women, looking happy as can be. Jubilee approaches her former mentor and points out she was right about him thanking her in the end. Logan agrees, saying he’s never felt this alive. He says he’s considering taking up smoking again.
Continuing the accolades of being a vampire Jubilee adds that they can do whatever they want whenever they want and as long as they listen to Xarus they’re headed to the Promised Land. Wolverine brings his glass of blood up to his lips and says he’ll drink to that.
Nearby, Xarus consorts with one of his top scientists about Logan’s current condition. The bald-headed vampire tells him Logan is unequivocally a vampire, that there is zero trace of his healing factor in his bloodstream. Brad, Xarus’ right-hand man, smiles as this is the best scenario they could have hoped for. Xarus agrees, adding that if it was that easy to turn Wolverine the rest of them will be a piece of damn cake. The two then leave the scientist’s lab and Xarus tells Brad to assemble everyone in the war room for a report on their progress.

Angel and Blade are back with the X-Men explaining the vampire staging area they stumbled upon during their mission. Angel punches the location up on the holographic map. Cyke follows this up with some intel Gambit gleaned during his mission and posts some more possible staging areas. When Angel asks why the map never shows them anything good Jeffries offers to highlight the locations of every In-N-Out Burger on the west coast.
Blade brings up their bringing Dracula back from the dead, sarcastically reminding them how well that worked out. Cyclops tells him his objection has been noted, repeatedly. Emma interjects to put a halt to the testosterone-driven dialogue and suggests they come up with a way to control the situation for when Xarus’ forces do attack. Scott rubs his chin between his fingers as he mulls it over. He decides it’s time to crank it up.
Xarus’ lair

The war room session Xarus called for earlier is already underway. Legate is in the middle of explaining that within 24 hours they’ll have complete optics on the X-Men headquarters, which will allow for a quick, surgical strike. Aqueos argues his people are ready now. Wolverine adds his two cents, saying he wants to feed, and now.
Legate argues that if their objective is to capture and turn they need another day to keep collateral damage to a minimum. Xarus tells him his objections are noted. Before the conversation can continue Brad interrupts and tells Xarus there’s a call for him on the secure line.
Everyone stops and turns to look at Brad. The second-in-command hands the cell phone over to Xarus. When he realizes who’s on the other end he tells Brad to put the call through to the big screen.
Cyclops’ face appears on the large monitor attached to the wall. Dispensing with the niceties he asks if Xarus is the one filling up his city with vampires. Xarus responds coyly saying he’s merely there for the great schools and pleasant weather. Scott tells him to no longer use his city as their feeding ground. Spare me the “this town isn’t big enough for the both of us” speech, Xarus replies. He assures Cyclops they’re on the same side, going on to suggest that if united they can finally stand up to those humans who oppose them. “All you need to do is accept my kiss,” he finishes.
A grim Cyclops asks why Xarus brought an entire army to his doorstep if they’re supposedly “brothers.” He of all people should know about dealing from a position of strength, Xarus replies. He tells Cyclops this is a historic opportunity, that together they can change the world. He goes on to suggest their children will look back on this moment as the birth of the new world order. He then points his finger at Cyke’s image saying it will only happen if he has the courage and vision to make it happen.
Cyclops stares at him silently and the assembled vampires stare back. He then tells Xarus to pay attention as he’s only saying it once. They’re not brothers, not friends, not neighbors, he states, and threatens Xarus to stay away from his people or he’ll wish he’d gone anywhere else besides San Francisco. “I’ll choke the bay with vampire bodies,” Cyclops promises.
A smile crept on Xarus’ face when Cyke first started his rant. When it finishes with Scott saying Xarus’ historic moment will be presiding over the greatest slaughter of vampires ever known, the smile fades. Since the conversation is taking a turn for the worse Xarus suggests Cyclops listen to someone else.
That someone else is Wolverine who sidles up alongside his new ally. A lot of the X-Men in attendance are taken aback to see their longtime teammate turned vampire. Logan suggests rather strongly that Cyclops take Xarus up on his offer. Scott says he doesn’t see the upside. Wolverine gushes about the power he feels coursing through his veins, how alive he feels.
Jubilee enters the camera’s view and tells Scott it’s all true. She says she was nothing and now she’s powerful. Cyclops compliments Wolverine on his sales pitch, but tells him he should know better, and that he’s not letting any of them near his people on Utopia. Logan takes a knock at Cyclops’ leadership and asks what his people think of him after sending their greatest weapon into the waiting arms of the vampire nation. The anger starts to show as Logan blames Scott for what happened to him. He tells Cyclops he is the architect of his own destruction.
Wolverine finishes by thanking Scott for allowing this to happen to him. He tells Cyclops he’s coming for him, coming to dethrone him and to say hi to all his old teammates. On that last note he pops his claws, a savage grin crossing his face. Then the transmission is disconnected.


“My God,” Storm remarks. Emma wraps her arms around Scott and asks about Dracula, questioning whether they raised him for nothing. Scott reminds her that hasn’t played out yet. Gambit, comforting a distraught Pixie, asks Cyclops what’s next. “Now… we brace ourselves,” he replies.
Xarus’ lair

Xarus and Wolverine walk together, the former reminding Wolverine they want to turn as many mutants as possible, which means keeping casualties low. Logan says he understands and adds he knows Utopia like the back of his hand. Xarus adds there is one exception, Cyclops. He wants his head and he wants it to hurt. He asks Logan if he’s clear. “Crystal,” he replies without skipping a beat, “I never liked that self-righteous son of a bitch.”
staging area

At one of the several staging areas dozens of assorted vampires are assembled and armed waiting for the word to strike.

Characters Involved: 

Angel, Colossus, Cyclops, Gambit, Emma Frost, Madison Jeffries, Pixie, Rogue, Storm, Wolverine, X-23 (all X-Men)

Jubilee (former X-Man)


Alyssa (Siren sect leader)

Brad (Mystikos sect leader)

Highlord (Aqueos sect leader)

Klaw sect leader

Legate (Krieger sect leader)

Nosferatu sect leader

various vampires of the Claw, Krieger, Nosferatu and Charniputra sects

Story Notes: 

The Cow Palace is a real location, and according to Wikipedia is an indoor arena located in Daly City, California.
Wolverine used to smoke, usually cigars, which was shown in various stories. When Joe Quesada took over as editor-in-chief at Marvel he nixed all smoking in Marvel comics. When Wolverine says he’s thinking about smoking again this is probably an inside joke at Quesada’s policy.
Blade was totally against resurrecting Dracula, but Cyclops went ahead with it anyway. When they told Dracula what his son was doing he left Utopia without any indication of what he was going to do about it.

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