X-Men (4th series) #21

Issue Date: 
January 2015
Story Title: 
Exogenus part 4

Marc Guggenheim (writer), Harvey Tolibao and Dexter Soy (penciler), Ed Tadeo, Dexter Soy, Scott Hanna (inkers), VC’s Joe Caramagna (letterer), Paul Mounts (colorist), Terry Dodgson and Rachel Dodgson (cover), Frankie Johnson (assistant editor), Daniel Ketchum (editor), Mike Marts (X-Men group editor), Axel Alonso (editor in chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

After receiving orders from Sharada, Manifold Tyger attacks Cecilia and slashes her across the chest. He then makes his way to the bridge of the Peak and attacks Jubilee and Brand. In the Providian Order’s lab, the rest of the X-Men and D’Keth spot Manifold Tyger in the back of the holographic recordings. They watch as Deathbird attacks him after waking from her coma and then chases him as far as she can. The recording ends with Tyger escaping with Sharada and Deathbird vowing revenge. Realizing that Tyger is a mole for the Order, they race back to the Peak before Deathbird can exact her revenge. On the space station, Deathbird wakes up and catches Tyger off guard as he assaults Brand and Jubilee. As Tyger and Deathbird fight, Jubilee races off to find Cecilia trying to resuscitate Storm. Unfortunately, the only defibrillator is on the X-Men’s spaceship that was blasted away from the Peak when the Sidri attacked. In their fight, Deathbird gains the upper hand and viciously slashes at Tyger, demanding he tell her where Sharada is. The other X-Men arrive and Rachel stops Deathbird with her powers. Tyger is taken into custody but he tells the group that Sharada will send a contingency plan. As if on cue, the Peak is surrounded by hybrid Broodskrulls created by Sharada. 

Full Summary: 

As Manifold Tyger pins Cecilia Reyes against the wall, he vows to make her death quick and says that when the vertebrae are crushed they make a satisfying popping sound. When Cecilia mutters something, Tyger asks her to speak up, as he couldn’t hear with his hand crushing her windpipe. Cecilia tells him to go to Hell, as she unleashes a force field, pushing Tyger away. Elsewhere on the Peak, Brand wonders where Cecilia and Storm have gotten to, as she hasn’t heard from them for a while. One of the SWORD agents informs Brand that the life signs of Storm and Cecilia are both in med bay but they just flat lined. In med bay, despite Cecilia’s best efforts, Manifold Tyger managed to slash her across the torso with his claws. As she lies bleeding out on the floor, Storm lies on a nearby table, unconscious.

On board her ship, Sharada Darthri of the Providian Order announces she is an artist of genetics. Her work is that of deities, combining new species to create new ones. In front of an army of Broodskrulls, horrific creatures made from Skrulls and Brood, she tells them they are her most beautiful creations.

In the Acanti Skywhale, the Providian Order’s secret laboratory, the X-Men and D’Keth discuss the organization. D’Keth tells the women that the Order apparently counts a geneticist amongst its ranks, someone who is adept at splicing and combining alien genomes. One of the Shi’ar soldiers who was assessing the holographic recordings in the lab tells D’Keth that he has isolated another segment of recording. As they watch a hologram of Deathbird killing the scientists they notice someone with Sharada in the background. They instantly recognize him as Manifold Tyger, who is on board the Peak.

On the Peak, Tyger has killed more SWORD agents and has now armed himself with a number of guns. Jubilee tells Brand that she will go down to the med bay to check on her teammates, as they can’t be dead. She is the only one on the team who’s supposed to be dead, so she won’t allow the others to be too. As she reaches the door of the bridge, though, she comes face to face with Tyger, who blasts her across the room with one of his guns. Brand attacks him but he shrugs off her assault and tells her he was being deceptive as to where his true allegiance lay. Jubilee quickly recovers and attacks him from behind, biting into his neck and drawing blood.

On the Acanti, the X-Men watch the hologram as Deathbird attacks Tyger and vows to kill him ten times over. Sharada blasts her with a gun but it barely has an effect and Deathbird lunges at her, slashing her stomach. In a rage, Deathbird screams that she will kill the cat first, so she can bathe in his blood. Tyger grabs hold of Sharada and makes his escape through a tunnel that closes up behind him. Deathbird hits her fists on the wall before falling unconscious through exhaustion. As she passes out, she vows to hunt them both across the universe and to the edge of space. The recording ends and M says that it doesn’t take Sherlock Holmes to figure out what happened next. Psylocke says that Deathbird would have had Tyger’s scent and obviously tracked him down. Rachel adds that she wasn’t fleeing to Earth, she was headed for the Peak for revenge.

On the Peak, Deathbird wakes up again and utters Manifold Tyger’s name. Cecilia, crawls across the floor towards Storm, holding her bleeding stomach. She checks Storm’s pulse and mutters that she has fifty-six micro-force fields holding herself together and she refuses to be the only one of them to make it through this.

As the Shi’ar ship races towards the Peak station at full speed, one of the soldiers on board tells Rachel they still cannot get any response from the space station. Psylocke tells her to remain calm but Rachel says that Tyger will kill everyone on board and, if he doesn’t, then Deathbird will. Psylocke telepathically tells her to calm down and notes that interacting with the Shi’ar has agitated her. Rachel tells her she’s fine but then threatens one of the soldiers to make the ship go faster.

Back on the Peak, Manifold Tyger throws Jubilee off him as Brand attacks him with her mutant power. He tells her that he is only following orders but, regardless of that, he will still take pleasure in snapping her neck. As he grabs Brand around the neck and lifts her up, she tells him to look behind him. He sneers at her and asks if she thinks he’s stupid enough to fall for that, but he is caught off guard when Deathbird lunges at him. As Deathbird and Tyger fight, Brand helps Jubilee up and the two women wonder whether to break the two up. Before they can act, Cecilia radios through and tells them that Storm is dying. Brand seems pleased as the monitors had them both listed as dead, so dying is a significant upgrade from that. As Cecilia continues to give Storm CPR, she tells Brand that she is internally bleeding and Storm has gone into cardiac arrest. Upon hearing this, Jubilee immediately rushes off towards the med bay and Brand turns her attention back to the fighting Tyger and Deathbird.

Jubilee makes it to the med bay and is shocked to see Storm’s state. Cecilia tells her what happened and that she is worried Storm may have already sustained brain damage. Jubilee wonders whether to turn her into a vampire, as un-dead is better than dead. Cecilia reminds her that Storm had been turned into one years before and did not care for the experience. Jubilee looks for a defibrillator but Cecilia tells her Storm shorted it out with her lightning when she restarted the ship’s engines. There is a defibrillator on the Dove, though, but when the Sidri attacked the ship was jettisoned into space and is now floated some distance away from the Peak.

Brand jumps into the fight and tells Tyger that, even though Deathbird wants to kill him, it will be her that will whoop his tuchus. With a swipe of his paw, he flings her across the room but doesn’t notice Deathbird behind him, who slashes him across the back, drawing blood. Deathbird wastes no time and pins him down, slashing at his chest and demanding to know where his master is. He asks what makes her think he is less afraid of her than he is of his master.

She continues her assault, preparing to give him a reason but her hand is stopped telekinetically by Rachel. The rest of the X-Men, along with the Shi’ar, race into the room and Deathbird yells that she has a bloodright under Shi’ar law and she is owed vengeance. She says an attack on one’s family is an attack one one’s self, a sentiment that rings familiar with Rachel. Still holding Deathbird’s hand up, Rachel says that they still need answers out of Manifold Tyger and asks if she will behave. Deathbird looks at Rachel and says that if there was anyone who understands her plight then it would be her. Deathbird relents and gets up, allowing Tyger to be apprehended by M and a Shi’ar soldier.

As Tyger is escorted away to be interrogated, he tells Brand his master won’t give her time to do it, as there will already be a contingency plan in place. He tells her he isn’t the only minion she employs, causing Brand to wonder if there is another mole on the station. Tyger corrects her and says he said minions. Outside the Peak, thousands upon thousands of Broodskrulls swarm around the station, preparing to attack.

Characters Involved: 

Rachel Grey, Jubilee, M, Psylocke, Storm (all X-Men)
Cecilia Reyes


Agent Brand
Manifold Tyger
SWORD agents

Shi’ar soldiers

Sharada Darthri

(as holograms)
Sharada Darthri
Manifold Tyger

Story Notes: 

M’s comments about Deathbird tracking Tyger’s scent through space are valid. There is no way she could have smelled anything in open space, so she must have used other means to follow him to the Peak.

Storm was briefly turned into a vampire by Dracula in Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #159.

Brand’s nickname of “Frosted Flakes” to Manifold Tyger is an obvious reference to Tony the Tiger, the anthropomorphized tiger mascot from Frosted Flakes, the breakfast cereal as well as other very similar cereal mascots. 

Written By: