X-Men (4th series) #22

Issue Date: 
February 2015
Story Title: 
Exogenus part 5

Marc Guggenheim (writer), Harvey Tolibao and Dexter Soy (penciler), Harvey Tolibao, Dexter Soy, Norman Lee (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: 

Rachel, Psylocke and M go outside to fight the Broodskrulls that are surrounding the Peak space station. M notices Jubilee flying towards the Dove and so she follows her to see what she is doing. She discovers Jubilee is retrieving a defibrillator as Storm is dying and so M decides to help. Brand is taking Manifold Tyger into custody but Deathbird kills him before he can reveal anything about his master. It doesn’t matter, though, because Sharada arrives at the Peak on the Acanti Skywhale she uses for a lab. The sheer number of Broodskrulls overwhelms the X-Men and the Peak and almost everyone is taken into custody on the Skywhale. Sharada addresses them and says that Deathbird will be killed after her baby is taken from her. Before anyone can die, though, M, Jubilee, Storm and Cecilia burst through the ceiling and free the others. A fight ensues and Sharada tries to get away. Jubilee and D’Keth chase after her but, when they are confronted by a Super-Broodskrull, things look bad. Rachel ends up saving D’Keth’s life and Sharada is later apprehended by Storm and Cecilia. Afterwards, Deathbird stays on board the Peak, instead of going into Shi’ar custody. Rachel meets with D’Keth and, after a heated debate, gives him her memories of her family’s murder. Later on, she goes to the graves of her family and wonders if she did the right thing letting him live. 

Full Summary: 

On the Peak space station, Rachel sends out a telepathic message in the hopes of contacting Beast, who is back on Earth. She tells him the comms are down and they are in a bit of trouble and could do with some help. As the three women put on space suits, M comments that Manifold Tyger said the word minions and that can’t be good. Psylocke tries to contact Cecilia and Storm but cannot get through. Rachel continues her distress message to Beast and tells him they are under attack from the Providian Order, who are the ones the pregnant Deathbird escaped from. Apparently the Order likes to experiment on aliens with gene splicing.

As they climb out of the airlock and into space, M wonders Tyger meant by minion, as she seriously doubts they will be getting attacked by the little yellow dudes from Despicable Me. Her question is answered when they spot and army of Broodskrulls descending upon them. As the women quickly go to work and attack the aliens, they note that they appear to be a strange mixture of Brood and Skrulls. As they hack and slash at the aliens, they suddenly notice Jubilee fly by in her own spacesuit. Surprised to see their teammate in space, Psylocke notes that she seems to be headed towards the Dove, the X-Men’s ship, and M promptly follows her.

On the space station, Manifold Tyger is placed in shackles and Brand tells the crew that every available body is needed to help the X-Men. The station cannot stand another hull breach. Brand turns her attention to Tyger and tells him she is going to be snowed under with paperwork, which will force her to explain why one of her crew was a mole for the Providian Order. Whilst she doesn’t know what the organization is, she thankfully has six X-Men on board, three of whom are telepaths. When all of the drama is over, she will let them take his brain out for a spin so that they can learn as much as possible about the Order.

Tyger taunts Brand by saying she will learn soon enough as “she’ll” be coming right here. Brand demands to know who the women is he is referring to but, before he can answer, Deathbird suddenly leaps into the middle of them and slashes Tyger’s throat. He drops down dead on the floor in a pool of blood as the nearby Shi’ar soldiers point their weapons at Deathbird. Brand gestures for the men to lower the weapons as Deathbird explains that Tyger would have been left to live as long as he had information. Brand replies that he would have because they don’t eviscerate people, to which Deathbird coldly retorts that she does. She continues and tells Brand that she knows everything that the X-Men would have learned from him anyway. Brand asks for Deathbird to tell everything quickly before Tyger’s master arrives, but one of the SWORD agents informs them both that it may be too late. Outside, the enormous Acanti Skywhale that acted as the Providian Order’s laboratory looms over the Peak.

On the Dove, M catches up with Jubilee and asks what she is doing. Jubilee starts to explain that Storm was attacked by Manifold Tyger but M reads her mind and finishes off the rest of the story. Outside, Rachel and Psylocke are in the thick of battle but they are alarmed by the appearance of the Skywhale. Thankfully, D’Keth’s ship turns around and starts blasting the monstrous creation with its weapons, diverting its attention from the Peak. The appearance of the Skywhale gives the Broodskrulls and burst of confidence and they fight harder, soon overpowering the two women.

Jubilee and M return to the Peak with a defibrillator just in time, as Cecilia had resorted to using micro-force fields to keep Storm’s lungs and heart functioning. They give Cecilia the device and stand back as she uses it to try and restart Storm’s heart. 

Despite their valiant efforts, the crew aboard the Peak, as well as Rachel and Psylocke, are all overcome by the sheer number of Broodskrulls and they are captured. When D’Keth learns that his ship has also been disabled, he realizes their only option now is to surrender to the enemy. The various individuals are gathered together and escorted onto the Skywhale to meet with Sharada. The leader of the Providian Order tells Deathbird that she has been the cause of considerable inconvenience. Deathbird calls her a Brood wench and threatens to claw her eyes out. Unphased by the threat, Sharada says that even she has forgotten her genetic heritage now, as she is a glorious tangle of all the varieties in the universe. D’Keth tells Sharada that her actions here and those of the Providian Order’s are an act of war against the Shi’ar Empire. Sharada replies that his threats are meaningless, given that none of them will be leaving the ship alive.

Sharada addresses Deathbird and tells her that she, along with her Shi’ar brothers, will be the first to die. She has enough genetic samples to work with and afterwards she will return to the work she was doing before Deathbird escaped. The mutants will remain alive for as long as it serves her though. Deathbird is infuriated by Sharada’s words and she breaks free of her restraints and lunges at the woman. Before she can strike Sharada, though, one of the Broodskrulls hits her with a blast of energy and she falls to the floor. Rachel and Psylocke are powerless to help as there is a device somewhere on the ship that blocks their telekinesis. Sharada stands over Deathbird and tells the woman that if she insists on acting out then she will have to extract the baby from her sooner than scheduled.

Just then, Storm, M, Jubilee and Cecilia burst through the ceiling and dive towards the group. Rachel tells them there is a TK blocker somewhere, at which point M shows them the very device and crushes it with her fists. With their powers restored, Rachel and Psylocke break free and leap into action. The Broodskrulls start attacking and the women do as much as they can to fend them off. Rachel makes it to Deathbird, who is in bad shape and worrying about her baby. Psylocke tells Brand to help Rachel, which earns a surprised and annoyed response from the SWORD agent at being given an order. Brand says if there were reinforcements still on the Peak then they would have gotten over to them by now.

Jubilee notices that Sharada is making an escape and so she leaps out of the fight and chases after her. Before she can catch up, though, Sharada sets some Super-Broodskrulls on her and Jubilee is suddenly faced with a fist full of flames. D’Keth suddenly appears behind her and dices at the Super-Broodskrull, just as Jubilee is knocked away. The alien pins D’Keth down and is about to kill him when Rachel finds the group. For a few seconds, she remembers D’Keth admitting his role in the deaths of her family and wonders if she should save him. Her morality prevails and she blasts the alien off him, killing it and surprising D’Keth. Sharada slipped away in the chaos but, as she runs down the corridors, she is met by Storm and Cecilia and finally comes to a halt.

Afterwards, once SWORD have taken control of the Skywhale, Brand talks to Storm. She says there are a lot of Broodskrulls to take into custody, as well as the numerous of genetic creations that are being kept on there. Storm asks what will happen to them and Brand sarcastically replies she has no idea what her top-secret science agency would want with them. Brand then informs her that the Shi’ar have made a formal request to take Deathbird into custody. Storm replies that Cecilia has determined that she would need to stay on the Peak, given the nature of her pregnancy as well as the numerous injuries she recently sustained. Cecilia herself had to have surgery to deal with her own wounds and ended up walking Jubilee through it, as she could not operate on herself.

D'Keth finds Rachel and offers her the Order of K’thari, an amulet, because she saved the life of a weather council member. Angrily, Rachel slaps the amulet out of his hand and tells him that he is deluded if he thought she wanted anything off him. He tells her she spared his life rather than take it to fulfill her vengeance and, as such, he is in her debt. She comments that she finds it funny that he could care less about the slaughter of her family but her saving his life counts as honor. When he asks how he can repay her, Rachel grabs his head an implants the memories of the moment her whole family was murdered by the Death Commandos. Stunned by the emotions it evokes, he asks how she can go on with the memories of it all.

A few days later, Rachel stands before the graves of her family and tells them she doesn’t know if she did the right thing saving his life. She tried to be the person she thinks they wanted her to be and she hopes that is enough. 

Characters Involved: 

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


Agent Brand
Manifold Tyger
SWORD agents

Shi’ar soldiers

Sharada Darthri

Story Notes: 

Despicable Me is a children’s film about a supervillain and it is notable for the appearance of a horde of small, yellow creatures known as minions.

The Grey family was killed in Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #466-467. 

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