X-Men Blue #23

Issue Date: 
May 2018
Story Title: 
Cry Havok, part 1

Cullen Bunn (writer), Jorge Molina (artist), Matt Milla & Jay David Ramos (colorists), Virtual Caligraphy's Joe Caramagna (letterer) Jorge Molina (cover artist), Clayton Crain (New Mutants variant cover artist), Jay Bowen & Anthony Gambino (graphic designers),  Chris Robinson (assistant editor), Darren Shan (editor), Mark Paniccia (X-Men group editor), 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: 

The Raksha meet Polaris when they break into the Madripoor X-Mansion, in need of speaking to Magneto. Magneto is in a conference with Jimmy Hudson, Bloodstorm and Briar Raleigh as they seek to uncover Emma Frost and Havok's plans that involve Mothervine. Jimmy and Bloodstorm are following a lead as they track Miss Sinister's agents. Polaris interrupts the conference as she brings the Raksha to Magneto. The Raksha encountered some Hellfire Club soldiers in Madripoor and give one of their masks to Magneto. Magneto thinks that Emma is no longer content with waiting to be found, and makes his next move, while leaving Polaris and the Raksha in Madripoor. In Columbia, Havok and Bastion break into a Prime Sentinel facility and destroy the Prime Sentinels that are there. Havok thinks it is strange to work alongside Bastion who tried to kill the X-Men, but Bastion is determined that the mutant race must live. Gazing Nightshade asks Polaris about Havok, and learns about how he changed. Gazing Nightshade realizes that Polaris thinks she can change him back to the man he once was. Magneto arrives at the London branch of the Hellfire Club, where he finds Shaw – who has been  subjected to Mothervine and has a secondary mutation. In the Mojave Desert. Jimmy has a brief flashback, but isn't able to make sense of the memory. He and Bloodstorm find the New Marauders from his world, meeting with Toad – and Shen Xorn! Havok and Bastion meet with Miss Sinister and Bastion as they continue their plans involving Mothervine. Miss Sinister assures them that when they launch Mothervine, the mutant population will quadruple. Emma and Havok know that Sinister and Bastion will betray them, and as they telepathically communicate, they agree to continue with their plan to betray Sinister and Bastion first. Back at the X-Mansion, Ferris has found something in Marvel Girls' room – an amulet, which he gives to Polaris – who is then possessed by Malice and seemingly destroys Ferris!

Full Summary: 

Madripoor, where four figures leap across the X-Mansion in the dead of night. They are the mysterious local heroes called the Raksha – Gazing Nightshade, Norio, Hexadecimal and Whisper Doll. Within the dark corridors of the Madripoor-based original X-Men's home, the local heroes suddenly come to a stop as a green glow washes over them and a voice calls out 'Really? You're gonna try break in? Here?' It's Polaris, Mistress of Magnetism, and as she hovers before the Raksha, she remarks that perhaps she doesn't understand the ninja mentality – but why wouldn't they just knock on the front door? She adds that she thought the Raksha and the X-Men were friends. From where they are suspended above the floor in Polaris' magnetic hold, Norio remarks 'Daughter of Magneto – forgive our intrusion. We feared that the X-Men had been compromised. We have not heard from them in weeks' he then adds that they have urgent business with her father.

Polaris releases the Raksha and apologizes to them, explaining that she is a little on edge, as the situation here is dicey at best. 'And – hey – instead of “Daughter of Magneto” how about call me Polaris? Or Lorna' Polaris tells them, before asking them to follow her, as Magneto is in the middle of a strategy meeting.

In a meeting room, Magneto is with Jimmy Hudson, Bloodstorm and Briar Raleigh. They stand around a glowing table, as Bloodstorm reports that they have encountered some opposition, but nothing they haven't been able to handle. She adds that Miss Sinister is mobilized, though, and they do not believe she is working alone. Magneto declares that it is as they suspected – Mothervine is the catalyst for secondary mutation. Magneto reminds the others that mutants with these abilities were in the service of the White Queen, and so it is not a stretch to believe she supports Sinister's experiments – nor is it a leap to assume Havok is still at her side. 'Can you blame them? They might have picked up the whole Strange Bedfellows schtick from you, Erik' Briar suggests, adding that he used the X-Men to strike at Emma and her partners from “Beyond the Grave”.

Magneto tells Briar that he thought Xavier's original students could set an example for the world, could operate in a way that he could not – people would see the X-Men bringing criminals to justice – he thought that the X-Men could be seen as heroes, while he would only be a seen as a monster. 'But Xavier's original students are gone. They have ventured into space and we do not know when – or even if – they will return' Magneto points out, adding that meanwhile, their enemies are at work here on Earth and must be stopped. Bloodstorm and Jimmy listen to Magneto, and as he remarks that perhaps he should have been the monster from the beginning, Briar smirks. Jimmy reports that they have a lead – Sinister's agents are tracking someone, or something, and they don't have much of a lead, so he and Bloodstorm are right behind them. Magneto tells the young mutants that the two of them are more pragmatic than the other X-Men, and he wants them to be careful when engaging their prey, but to leave nothing to chance. 'Eliminate them if you must' Magneto declares. Bloodstorm tells him that they will do what they can and will report back as soon as they find anything. With that, Bloodstorm and Jimmy vanish, revealed to just be holograms.

'Magneto – we have  visitors' Polaris announces as she enters the room with the members of the Raksha. Magneto greets Norio and asks him to forgive him for his brusqueness, but that they are quite busy at the moment. 'What can I do for you?' Magneto asks. Norio tells Magneto that it is his guess he is about to be much busier, and reveals that they encountered some worrisome individuals. 'I think, perhaps, that you will recognize the masks they wore' Norio then hands Magneto a Hellfire Club mask. Magneto looks at it, unimpressed. 'In Madripoor. It appears the White Queen is no longer content to wait for us to find her' he remarks. Briar tells Magneto that Emma is trying to distract him, and suggests that if she wanted a real fight, she wouldn't waste time dispatching masked goons – she would come for him herself, especially if she realized the original X-Men are off-world. 'She's getting ready to make a move, yeah, but you're just a nuisance she hopes to keep busy' Briar adds.

Magneto asks Briar if there is any chatter within her circles of influence, to which Briar replies 'Nothing helpful', but that her contacts know something is coming, and they think it will do a lot of damage to a lot of people. 'They're all lathered up in anticipation of the next big super villain catastrophe' Briar explains. Magneto declares that they stay the course then, and what they have set in motion will remain in motion. 'You're the boss' Briar replies as her hologram vanishes. Magneto turns back to the Raksha and excuses his haste, telling them that he must leave Madripoor in their capable hands, and that Polaris will remain here to assist them, before his hologram vanishes, too.

Meanwhile, in Colombia, at a high-tech facility, a voice is heard over an intercom, instructing Sentinel Prime Units 6 through 9 to report for diagnostics and prepare for integration into the human population. Three male and one female Prime Sentinels make their way through the facility, 'We hear, Core Commmand. And we obey' one of the male Prime Sentinels responds, before their mission parameters are downloaded. The Prime Sentinel acknowledges that they are to investigate anomalous secondary mutations, to identify the source and eradicate the mutant gene. 'And have fun doing it' he grins, when suddenly, a large door opens, 'A breach -' the Prime Sentinel exclaims, to which the female Prime Sentinel tells him that is impossible, as only a Prime Sentinel may access the portal.

'Yes... but as your creator... I think I fit the bill' Bastion announces as he appears, and releases a blast towards the four Prime Sentinels, destroying them, leaving a pile of bones and cybernetics on the ground. Alex Summers a.k.a. Haovk is with Bastion and he tells him that he is sorry Bastion had to destroy his precious little babies. 'No, Alex Summers, you are not' Bastion responds. 'If, however, I thought you truly felt concern for my plight, I would tell you not to waste the energy' Bastion adds, explaining that these Sentinels follow protocols that conflict with his utility function. 'They were human once... before they were transformed into murder engines' Havok remarks. 'Do you feel sympathy for them?' Bastion asks as he steps onto the skull of one of the Prime Sentinels. 'Hm. Did I say “human”? I meant “flatscan”' Havok replies as he follows Bastion through the complex.

Bastion and Havok enter some sort of lab, where several Prime Sentinels are floating in stasis tanks. A computer recording reports that Core Command has been compromised, betrayed, and mobilizes all Prime Sentinel units, instructing them to repel the intruders. 'Sounds like you're not really welcome here any longer' Havok points out. Bastion tells him that this facility functions at cross-purposes to his own, and that the mutant gene must survive. 'Do you know how strange it is to hear  you say that?' Havok asks. 'Of course' Bastion replies. As several Prime Sentinels rush into the lab, Bastion tells Havok that circumstances have changed. 'True... but I still get a kick out of destroying Sentinels!' Havok replies as he grins and unleashes a powerful wave of energy towards the approaching Prime Sentinels.

'Alex Summers... Havok... was once an X-Man' Polaris tells the Raksha. Gazing Nightshade replies that they know of him, as he was a friend to Patch, the one called Wolverine. Polaris touches her head and asks Gazing Nightshade if she wants to know the truth, before revealing that Havok never really cared for Wolverine, never had the soft spot for him that the rest of the X-Men had. 'Now I guess he feels that way about all of the X-Men' Lorna laments. 'You were lovers' Gazing Nightshade remarks. Lorna leans over her and remarks that the “Code of Patch” didn't really teach her about subtlety, did it. 'It taught us that nuance is a waste of time' Gazing Nightshade replies, to which Polaris tells her that she and her father are going to get along famously. Lorna declares that she and Alex have not been together in a long time – since long before he “changed”. 'But the man he's become... that's not him. His mind... his personality... has been twisted into something perverse when you compare it to the man he once was'.

Gazing Nightshade remarks that Lorna knows something about that, as her mind was once twisted against her will. 'Are you using your soul-searching powers on me?' Lorna snaps. Gazing Nightshade tells assures Lorna that she can understands how she feels without her powers. 'You are worried about him. You hurt because you think he is hurting. And deep down – you believe you can change him back to the man he was' Gazing Nightshade remarks.

Meanwhile, in London, England, at the Hellfire Club. Magneto casually makes his way through crowds of people partying in the ballroom, before one of the wait staff, carrying a tray of finger food, approaches him and tells him that they have a strict dress code. Magneto is wearing a white trenchcoat over casual trousers and a sweater. 'Uh... uh... of course, Sir. Carry on and enjoy your evening' the wide-eyed waiter gasps as Magneto magnetically launches the small metal picks pressed into the finger food at the waiter's face.

Magneto carries on through the Hellfire Club, coming to a darkened room, where he finds Sebastian Shaw, slumped over in a chair, large glass of wine in one hand. Shaw bids Magneto to come in, adding that he was half-expecting the time-displaced X-Men to come looking for him. 'I think I might have preferred that' Shaw mumbles. His voice is slurred as he tells Magneto that he appreciates he has come to tend to him. 'Don't take it as a sign of respect, Shaw. The X-Men are otherwise occupied at the moment, and I grow tired of you roaming free' Magneto explains. 'Fair enough' Shaw replies, asking Magneto to have a drink with him – for old times' sake, as he sits up in the chair, and asks how they ended up on opposite sides here – where did things go wrong. 'You threw in with Emma Frost' Magneto points out. 'So did you' Shaw replies. 'Not when she turned on her own kind for the sake of her revenge' Magneto tells Shaw. 'No. I suppose you don't like it when others try to steal your act' Shaw mutters.

'Ah well' Shaw begins, as he tries to stand up, he suddenly clenches his fists and glows with energy. 'Let's get on with it, shall we?' Magneto looks surprised: 'You... you're absorbing kinetic energy from the air around you – a secondary mutation!' Shaw's entire body glows with the energy as he reveals that it is called Mothervine, and that Magneto should feel blessed to see it in action, as it is going to save mutantkind. Shaw tells Magneto that he is not as smart as he thinks he is – because if he was, if he knew half as much as he led others to believe, then he would have left him alone – and with that, Shaw lunges towards Magneto.

In the Mojave Desert, Jimmy and Bloodstorm make their way along the outside of an old brick building under the cover of darkness. 'This place...' Jimmy begins. 'What is it, Jimmy? Do you sense something?' Bloodstorm asks. Gazing out into the desert, Jimmy tells Bloodstorm that there is something familiar, but he can't seem to catch hold of his memory. He remembers some strange buildings, but they vanish quickly.  'Your memories are returning to you' Bloodstorm tells Jimmy, who closes his eyes and hangs his head: 'I guess so... but do I want them?' he asks. Suddenly, he snaps out of his concerns, and pops his claws, as he picks up on a scent on the wind – a scent he knows, not far from her. Bloodstorm takes his hand and they fly over the desert as Bloodstorm suggests they should investigate.

'Down there!' Jimmy calls out as he sees three people from his own reality – the Guardian, Armor and Mach-II – the New Marauders. 'They come from my reality!' he tells Bloodstorm, as they drop back down to the ground. 'Some of them do, anyhow' Jimmy remarks, when he sees the Toad, perched nearby, along with a figure in a white cloak, their face obscured by the hood of the cloak. 'I found him, Mach 2, just like I said!' Toad exclaims. 'This guy, he's the real deal!' Toad claims. 'So I'm told' Mach-II replies, adding that is why they are here to extend the olive branch. 'But who the hell is that guy?' Jimmy asks. Bloodstorm tells him that she doesn't know – whoever he is, she never encountered him on her world. The hooded figure pulls back his hood, and introduces himself as Xorn. 'And you should not have followed me here!' he calls out.


'Well? Are we ready for some fun or what?' Miss Sinister asks as she, Emma Frost, Havok and Bastion gather in a darkened room, a holographic projection of planet Earth spinning before them. Miss Sinister a.k.a. Claudine Renko tells her associates that they are close now, that soon they will launch Mothervine. 'And when we do that?' Emma asks. 'When we do that, Emma...the mutant population quadruples overnight' Miss Sinister explains. Emma pauses, unimpressed as she states that she is still not convinced that it is time to execute this little scheme of hers, as they still have too many loose ends, too many enemies who might spoil everything – like Magneto. Havok tells Emma that Magneto will come around to their way of thinking, once he sees what they are doing, he will have no other choice. He adds that as far as any other threats are concerned, they have been working overtime to eliminate as many as possible.

Bastion looks at the holographic projection of the Earth and tells the others that a four-time increase in the mutant population is a good start – but it is just a start. He asks Miss Sinister if she has projections for additional increases to the mutant population. 'I'm glad you asked' Miss Sinister replies, before claiming that in less than one year, mutants will be the dominant species on Earth – and by a wide margin. As lights appear on the projection of Earth, 'Look. Just look at them all' Bastion exclaims. Emma telepathically asks Alex if he is certain about this, and whether he realizes Bastion only wants the mutant population to rise so he can slaughter  them. Emma adds that she is certain Miss Sinister has designs to control any new mutant she helps to create. Havok looks at Emma out of the corner of her eyes, and his thoughts ask her if she is getting cold feet.

'We talked about this. We need Bastion's technology and Miss Sinister's science. We know the plan now we just need to stick to it' Havok reminds Emma, to tells Havok that Bastion and Miss Sinister will betray them. 'Of course. That's what I would do. That's what you would do' Havok replies. 'And that's what were going to do...once the time is right'. He looks at the globe and his thoughts tell Emma that once Mothervine is up and running they won't need Bastion or Sinister any longer. 'We'll take care of them... just as we'll take care of anyone else who gets in our way!'

Back at the mansion, 'What is it, Ferris? What's so important?' Polaris asks as she follows Magneto's strange robotic servant down a corridor. Ferris informs Polaris that he found something quite distressing. 'And it couldn't wait? I'm... uh... babysitting a bunch of ninjas' Polaris tells Ferris, glancing back at Gazing Nightshade, who blows a bubble with some gum, and pops it. Ferris reveals that he was searching through Jean Grey's belongings and stumbled onto a strange object, which registers an energy signature he was not familiar with.

'Hold on. Does Magneto have you searching through drawers? I am so thankful I didn't grow up in his household' Polaris remarks as they enter Marvel Girl's quarters. Ferris holds up his hands, and claims that he is not proud of his actions, but that Magneto hoped to help uncover some clue to the whereabouts of Mss Grey and the others. 'Instead, I found... this' Ferris remarks, handing Polaris a pendant.

Polaris stares at it in shock, 'Ma'am? Are you all right?' Ferris asks as Lorna appears hypnotized by the pendant. She sees her image in the pendant – the image of how she used to look when possessed by the being known as Malice. Lorna's current appearance flashes in the pendant and she puts the pendant on, 'I did my best to get little Miss Grey to try me on. But I just couldn't punch through her psychic defenses. But this vessel... it looks like she's already susceptible to my kind of influence' “Polaris” remarks to which Ferris replies 'Polaris? I don't -' when suddenly, “Polaris” blasts Ferris with an energy surge, 'Don't call me that!' she exclaims, grinning wickedly and narrowing her eyes, she declares 'My name is Malice!'

Characters Involved: 



Bloodstorm, Jimmy Hudson

Briar Raleigh

Xorn II



Gazing Nightshade, Hexadecimal, Norio, Whisper Doll (all Raksha)



Emma Frost


Miss Sinister

Sebastian Shaw



Armor, The Guardian, Mach-II (all New Marauders (Ultimate Universe))

Malice (Ultimate Universe)


Prime Sentinels

Hellfire Club staff and guests

Story Notes: 

The time-displaced original X-Men have been missing since X-Men Blue Annual #1.

Toad, Mondo and Wolfsbane were shown working for Emma Frost in X-Men Blue #7-9, during the “Secret Empire” event, and they clearly had modifications to their powers. Marrow and Firestar were also depicted with the team, but it was not clear whether they had been mutated by Mothervine. 

Havok and Polaris separated in X-Factor (1st series) #245 and had not had any meaningful interaction until the met in New Tian in X-Men Blue #9.

Havok was 'inverted” – having basic aspects of his personality changed - during Avengers vs X-Men.

Polaris was possessed by Malice in Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #219, and was freed of Malice in Uncanny X-Men #250.

Magneto and Shaw had an uneasy alliance in Uncanny X-Men (4th series).

Havok, Bastion, Miss Sinister and Emma Frost were revealed to be working together on the Mothervine in X-Men Blue #9.

Sebastian Shaw, Shen Xorn and Briar Raleigh were all last seen in X-Men Blue #9, during the New Tian debacle.

The Ultimate reality's New Marauders were last seen in X-Men Blue #5.

Jean Grey found the Malice brooch, unaware of what it was, back in X-Men Blue #5.

Earth 616's Malice was seemingly destroyed after possessing Omega Sentinel during the “Messiah Complex” crossover, although Cyclops was shown to be in possession of Malice, trapped in a containment unit in A+X #11.

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