X-Men Blue #22

Issue Date: 
April 2018
Story Title: 
Poison-X, part 4

Cullen Bunn (writer), Jacopo Camagni (artist), Matt Milla (colorist), Virtual Caligraphy's Joe Caramagna (letterer) Nick Bradshaw & Federico Blee (cover artists), David Nakayama (variant cover artist), Christina Harrington & Chris Robinson (assistant editors), Mark Paniccia & Darren Shan (editors), Nick Lowe, Devin Lewis & Tom Groneman (consulting editors), CB Cebulski (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

X-Men created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby


Brief Description: 

Killer Thrill and her crew are en route to sell the Starjammers when their ship is struck by a large block of ice, which contains the X-Men and Venom inside. The X-Men's emotions are heightened by the Symbiotes that they have bonded to, particularly Cyclops who is worried about his father, and Marvel Girl, who is worried about Cyclops. The team makes short work of some crew members, before Cyclops heads off to find the Starjammers, and Venom and the X-Men find Killer Thrill on the bridge with her crew. A fight ensues, during which Jean uses an intense psychic scream to take down Killer Thrill and her crew. Cyclops finds the Starjammers and is happily reunited with his father, Corsair. Another, much larger spaceship arrives and Killer Thrill rushes off to make sure her customers are happy. Marvel Girl goes to find her, while the Beast tries to communicate with the other ship. Jean finds Killer Thrill, but both of them are approached by a mysterious being known as a Poison, who transforms Killer Thrill and Marvel Girl into Poisons as well. The others realize something has happened to Jean, and Venom soon finds out what – as Poison-Marvel Girl and Poison-Killer Thill make their presence known, and warn Venom that he won't escape them this time!

Full Summary: 

Deep space, inside a small space ship that  blasts forward, the alien called Killer Thrill asks 'How much farther, Uviex?' to which a reptilian-like green-skinned alien reports 'We should be approaching Broodspace soon, Captain'. Killer Thrill reminds Uviex that she has told him a thousand times, she is not military and should be called Killer Thrill, before remarking that she is getting antsy – and when she gets antsy, she has the irresistible urge to play with her prisoners – and if she starts playing with her prisoners, she might not get full price. Suddenly, a computer reports that there is a proximity alert, and collision is imminent. The space craft slams into something, and Killer Thrill shifts her appearance, letting her Symbiote take over as she asks 'What the drek was that?' Uviex informs her that they hit something – or, more accurately, something hit them – something big, and they have sustained significant damage in setions four and five. 'Hello, my lovelies. This is your nasty little queen speaking. Would any of you worthless maggots in sections four or five be able to give me some insight into what just struck my ship?' Killer Thrill asks over the intercom.

'Yes, Ma'am. I see it. It's – ice' one of Killer Thrills crew replies from some sort of hangar bay area, where a large spiked ice-boulder has lodged itself into the side of the ship. One of the other crew members suggests that it must have broken free from a planetary ring, been tumbling though spce, just waiting to scuttle a passing vessel. He adds that if their ship was smaller, they would be dead. Another of the crew examines the ice boulder closely: 'Lookit that! Any of you ever see anything like that? The ice is building up around the fissure – keeping us pressurized!' he explains, before noticing something inside the ice. 'There's something moving in there!' he calls out, before an optic blast is fired through the ice, knocking the crew member over, and the ice breaks open, revealing Venom and the time-displaced X-Men, each armed with their very own Symbiote.

'Knock knock' Jean Grey a.k.a. Marvel Girl calls out, while thinking to herself that this is weird, even by her standards. She tells herself that they know they will return to their own timeline at some point, but they haven't had time to process that properly – that is just how it has to be – the fact that they are here, that reality isn't crumbling around them, proves the point. Jean telepathically informs the others that she is shutting down the vocal cords and most of the higher motor functions of the crew members. She reports that they can't call for help, but that probably only buys them a minute or two. Killer Thrill's voice can be heard over the intercom once again, 'What's going on, maggot? You're never gonna grow into a nice strong ugly unless you learn to be more snappy with the sitreps!' Killer Thrill exlcaims, as Jean uses her psychic control to force one of the crew members to assure Killer Thrill that everything is fine here, that it looks like they hit some ice but that the damage is minimal. Marvel Girl thinks that this sort of knowledge should give her comfort, she knows they are going to get through this – unless they don't.

'Make that five minutes. Maybe' Jean tells her teammates. Bobby Drake a.k.a. Iceman turns to Eddie Brock a.k.a. Venom and asks him what he thinks: 'Operation Titanic, was a success, right?' to which Venom replies 'Great, kid. Real impressive. We live through this... you get a space cookie'. Warren Worthington a.k.a. Angel swoops down and grabs some of the crew members, pointing out that these are just grunts, while the ones wearing Symbiotes won't be so easy to overwhelm. Jean knows that she is still on edge, though, still nervous, but she doesn't know whether those feelings are hers, or if they are coming from the alien she is bonding with. Venom tells the X-Men that the pirates don't know what they've got, and that to them the Symbiotes are just tools, weapons. He points out that in a lot of ways, the Symbiotes are a lot like the X-Men, and they can use that against them. Hank McCoy a.k.a. Beast then tells Venom that they are not simply using the Symbiotes, that they are working together. 'Maybe we don't understand them the way you understand your partner, but we've got the basics' the Beast declares.

Marvel Girl tells Venom that the Symbiotes want to help them save the others like them, and that when they are done,  they will part ways. 'With them...and with you' she adds. 'Whatever you say, Red' Venom replies, while Jean looks over to where Scott Summers a.k.a. Cyclops has restrained one of the crew me using the Symbiote. It's Scott that Jean is worried about, as these Symbiotes enhance emotional states as much as they enhance powers. Scott is angry and scared, worried about his father, and is thinking about revenge before he knows for sure whether Corsair is all right or not. 'Let this one talk, Jean' Scott calls out as he looks up at the crew member suspended before him. 'Where are the Starjammers?' Cyclops asks the crew member, blasts ready to burst forth from his fingertips. Jean supposes this is one of the benefits – or perhaps the drawbacks – of a permanent psychic rapport – you know exactly how many steps your best frend is from stepping off the ledge and diving into the abyss.

'Cyclops. There's an easier way' Jean tells Scott as she goes over to him, and uses her telepathy on the crew member, where she learns that the Starjammers are okay, and that they are being kept alive because the pirates wanted to collect a bounty. Jean reveals that she knows where they are being held. 'And now...so do you' she tells Scott, who suggests that they split into two groups, one goes after the Starjammers, the other strikes the pirates. The Beast tells his teammates that it might be prudent to subdue these lackeys so that they no longer pose a threat. 'I've got a simple solution for that. But – oh, yeah – you guys are all about turning the other cheek' Venom remarks. 'Do what you want, but we need to get moving' Cyclops replies. Angel suggests that they don't need to go to such drastic measures, and tosses all of the crew members into the ice boulder, which Iceman quickly seals up, and suggests to the crew members that they shouldn't move around a lot, as they might dislodge the iceberg. 'Do that, and you're in for a long, cold ride' Bobby jokes. Bobby turns to his teammates and tells them that they really should be proud – he didn't make one joke about putting these guys on ice.

The X-Men and Venom make their way out of the hangar bay as Marvel Girl tells the others that they need to find the bridge, try to seize control of the ship. She turns to Scott and tells him that she already knows that he is not going with them. 'I need to find my Dad' Scott declares. Jean tells him that she knows, and that she will make sre they are in constant communication. 'Just promise me you'll be careful' Jean asks. 'I will. You too' Scott replies as he heads off in another direction. As Jean follows the others down the corridor, she lets the Symbiote relax, and her appearance returns to normal as she wonders what if what they think they know about time travel, about being out of sync with their own timeline is wrong? But those aren't her doubts, it is the Symbiote pushing all the wrong buttons. Jean can't help shake the feeling that she will never see Scott again, can't help think that she never said goodbye. She keeps these thoughts to herself, shielding them from Scott, and wonders if she might share them with him when they are on the other side. Venom tells the X-Men to be ready. 'You know how tough these guys can be. You hesitate, and it's your butt'.

'But probably not' Jean thinks to herself as she, the Beast and Iceman knock down a door, revealing the bridge. Archangel and Venom speed into the bridge and start battling Uviex and the other aliens wearing the Symbiotes. 'Oooooh! Even more Klyntar!' Killer Thrill exclaims as she lunges towards the Beast, declaring that she and her Symbiotes havebeen aching for an encounter like this for a while now. The orange-skinned alien slams into Beast, while Venom grabs the red alien and pushes him into Uviex: 'We... we know her! She's dangerous! Take her out before -' Venom calls out, 'Before you take me home? Good advice, but I'll have to take a rain check. A date sounds far too pedestrian for me' Killer Thrill exclaims as she releases some energy towards Archangel.

Marvel Girl telekinetically slams the red alien against the ceiling and reports that Killer Thrill is some kind of psychic, whose mental abilities are boosted by adrenaline surges. 'Your friend's got my number, huh? Well, guess what kind of activity really gets my nethers thrumming?' Killer Thrill asks Iceman as she grabs him. 'I'd rather... not!' Bobby replies. Jean goes over to Killer Thrill and warns her to let Iceman go. 'Oooh. You're feisty. Me and your corpse are gonna be best friends' Killer Thrill grins. 

Elsewhere aboard the ship, Cyclops stands near a corridor corner where several more crew members are standing guard by a large door. One of them remarks that something isn't right – they shouldn't have been struck by anything, not without a warning from the navigator computers.  He adds that whatever hit them, it was cloaked somehow, and it was thrown at them. 'Don't fret so much' one of the others tells him. 'Anyone stupid enough to attack us is in for -' another begins, before Cyclops calls out 'Hey! We're due for a rematch, aren't we?' as he appears and fires several optic beams at the crew members, including the green alien who wounded him earlier, knocking them all out. Cyclops opens the door, finds the captured Starjammers – Raza, Hepzibah, Ch'od and his father, Corsair – inside. 'What new trickery -' Raza begins. 'I'll not let them torture us again. I'll die before I so, says I' Ch'od exclaims. But, recognizing his son, even though he is bonded with a Symbiote, Corsair tells his crew that it is not trickery or torture, it is a rescue. 'It's all right, gang. It's me. It's -' Cyclops begins as he reverts to his true appearance, closing his eyes. 'Scott!' Corsair calls out, hugging his son. 'My boy! You are a sight!' Corsair exclaims. 'You too, Dad. I mean... I can't see you with my eyes squeezed shut, but... you too'.

Back on the bridge, Killer Thrill tells Jean that she can't win this fight, and boasts that she was enhanced way before she hooked up with this Symbiote. 'I'm stronger... faster...' she begins, while Jean declares that she can read telekinetic waves to anticipate Killer Thrill's every move. 'Also, if you mean “hook up” the way I think you mean “hook up”... gross' Jean adds. 'Seriously, dude... stay down!' Iceman tells one of the aliens as he blasts the alien with freezing cold. Uviex leaps towards Angel, who is clutching his head, wondering what hit him. Venom leaps towards an orange alien, while the Beast lies motionless nearby. 'Flyboy! Angel! Behind you!' Venom calls out, as Angel doesn't see the alien leaping towards him. 'WARREN!' Marvel Girl screams as she blocks Killer Thrill with a telekinetic wave, then the aliens suddenly hear an intense screeching noise, causing them all to clutch their heads. 'The...the sound!' one of them utters. 'Um...what sound? We don't hear anything' Venom remarks. 'Well, they sure do' Bobby points out as his foe falls to the ground. The Beast has come to and explains that Jean is tricking the minds of the aliens' Symbiotes to think they are hearing a cacophony of sonic pain. 'Well done, Jeannie' Hank calls out, as Killer Thrill shouts 'Oh, oh, you little trickster! I'm gonna skin you so good!' while clutching her own head.

Suddenly, a computer reports that there is an unidentified vessel uncloaking – and a massive space craft appears near this much smaller one. 'We've got company' Venom remarks. 'Who -' Jean begins, to which Killer Thrill suggests that maybe theit buyers have come to collect the Starjammers – maybe they are early. Killer Thrill then rushes forward, pushing Jen out of the way, telling her that her little TK field trick didn't help that time, as she rushes off the bridge, announcing that she is going to make sure their customers get what they came for. 'Gonna jettison the Starjammers right out the airlock!' she shouts.

The Beast goes over to Jean and asks her if she is all right. Jean assures Hank that she is fine, and asks him to try communicating with the ship, find out what they want. 'If they're here for Corsair and the others, tell them to get lost' Jean suggests, before announcing that she will take care of their errant space pirate. The Beast tells Jean that he will see what he can do. 'Let's hope this works the way it does on “Trek”!' the Beast jokes, before calling out 'Hailing frequencies open' and asks the approaching ship to identify themselves. 'This vessel is under the protection of the X-Men of Earth. Heard of us?' the Beast asks, but gets no response. Venom tells Marvel Girl to be careful out there, as Killer Thrill is treacherous enough, and they don't know what they are facing with the other ship. Marvel Girl asks Venom to look after the others. 'Look after Scott' she adds as she heads out into the corridor.

As she makes her way through the ship, Jean realizes that her Symbiote is scared, and not like before, either – this is something primal, prey sensing a predator. Jean knows that Scott has found his dad, she wants to interrupt him, to talk to him, but she can't take this moment from him. Emotions are heightened, fear also. 'But there'll be time to tell him' Jean decides as she enters a cargo hold, where she finds Killer Thrill. 'Finally, we get a little alone time' Killer Thrill remarks, warning Jean that she wouldn't try that little sound effect hoax again, as she has beefed up her psychic defenses against such dirty tricks. 'Once this is over, he'll know exactly how I feel. God willing' Jean thinks to herself, when suddenly, a voice from the shadows of the cargo hold calls out 'How unfortunate. I loathe to see Symbiotes at each other's throats in such a way. Sister against sister, so to speak. But don't worry. I offer another way, a more unifying way' the large figure remarks. 'Uh' Jean replies, 'Is this the guy you were collecting your Starjammers bounty from?' to which Killer Thrill reveals that this is another uninvited guest. 'Someone else just dying to... well... die'.

The mysterious figure tells Jean and Killer Thrill that he offers them a peaceful chance to join them, but warns them that he is not patient when others resist his generosity. 'And what you will not willingly give... we will take by force' he warns them, as several strange creatures that are almost entirely made up of large teeth appear from the shadows.

Cyclops suddenly screams and clutches his head. 'Scott! Son! What is it? What's wrong?' Corsair asks. 'It...it was Jean' Scott replies, while the rest of the Starjammers grab their weapons. Scott explains that Jean was screaming, she was in pain – and then she was just gone. He tells his father that he doesn't hear Jean anymore, doesn't feel her presence – that something has happened to her.

On the bridge, Venom turns to the X-Men and tells them that Marvel Girl's psychic link just went silent. 'You think that crazy S&M pirate got the drop on her?' Bobby asks. Warren remarks that he doesn't know who else would have severed the connection, adding that he really wished he had not said “severed” just then. The Beast looks out a window and tells the others that it might have something to do with this new ship. He adds that the ship is not communicating, which leads him to wonder if this ship are the buyers the pirates were expecting at all. 'Who else could they be? Space is a pretty big place for some random ship to just -' Venom begins, when suddenly, a voice calls out 'Not Random at all, Venom. They were tracking us. They want the Symbiotes... and you with them of course'.

Venom and the X-Men turn to where Marvel Girl and Killer Thrill have entered, their appearances changed further, wearing colored armor, and with pale while faces. 'What the – Posions!' Venom exclaims, as Marvel Girl tells him that they really dislike that name. 'You'll come to dislike it, too. You can call me Red... or Marvel Girl... or Jean Grey'. She then tells him that this time, there is no escape for him – this time he will join them, and so will the rest of his miserable lineage!

Characters Involved: 

Angel, Beast, Cyclops, Iceman, Marvel Girl (all time-displaced original X-Men)

Venom / Eddie Brock

Ch'od, Corsair, Hepzibah, Raza (all Starjammers)


Hexxer, Killer Thrill, Tord, Uviex and others

Crew members


Poison Kraven




Story Notes: 

This issue follows Venom (1st series) #162 and the “Poison-X” storyline concludes in Venom (1st series) #163.


Written By: