X-Men: Blue #8

Issue Date: 
September 2017
Story Title: 

Cullen Bunn (writer), Cory Smith & Joey Vasquez (artists), Terry Pallot (inker), Matt Milla (colorist), Virtual Caligraphy's Joe Caramagna (letterer), Arthur Adams & Peter Steigerwald (cover artists), Jay Bowen & Anthony Gambino (graphic designers), Christina Harrington (assistant editor), Mark Paniccia (editor), Axel Alonso (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: 

In New Tian, the time-displaced Marvel Girl and the reality-lost Jimmy Hudson emerge from rubble to discover that their teammates and Briar Raleigh have been captured. Jimmy heals from his wounds, while they wonder how they are going to get to Utopia – when the Blackbird arrives overhead and talks to them, confusing the two young mutants. In a cell within Utopia, the capital of New Tian, the time-displaced Cyclops is met by Emma Frost. He demands to know where his teammates are, and Emma assures him that they are fine. She tries to tell him that mutants are safe here in New Tian, while Cyclops tells Emma that she is more insane than he thought. Emma asks him to stop, as she hates in when they fight, and Cyclops wonders who Emma thinks he is. Emma attacks him with a psychic assault, but the young mutant is determined not to be used the way Emma used the present-day Cyclops. Emma assures him that he will come to see things her way, and then he will be free. Cyclops' teammates Angel, Beast and Iceman are in another cell. Angel and Iceman are contemplating their situation, while the Beast is unusually quiet. Angel thinks Magneto will come looking for him, but Iceman isn't so sure – he has other priorities and they don't rank on his list. The Beast reveals that he can't even cast any of the spells he has learnt, as they are blocked – but when they get out, he is casting every spell he knows at those who put them here. Havok shows Briar Raleigh to her guest accommodation, which is much nicer than the young mutants'. Havok explains that Sebastian Shaw thought she should have good accommodation as she was a former member of the Hellfire Club, but Briar believes that Emma wants something from her. Havok asks Briar about Magneto, but Briar tells him that she heard Magneto was dead. Havok tells Briar that they both know he is working with the X-Men in Madripoor. Briar flirts with Havok and points out that if Magneto was alive, surely they would be hearing from him. Magneto and his robot servant Ferris are currently in Vietnam, monitoring the X-Men's situation in New Tian. Ferris tells Magneto that he appears concerned, but Magneto explains that he is considering options. Magneto looks at the Red Skull's head which he has in a box, and tells Ferris he cannot assist the X-Men, but that doesn't mean he hasn't arranged for help for them. In the Blackbird, Marvel Girl and Jimmy soon arrive in Utopia, where they are confronted by Firestar, Wolfsbane, Marrow and several Hellfire soldiers. They engage them, before they are assisted by the Blackbird – who is revealed to be Danger. Danger sends Marvel Girl and Jimmy on with their mission while she keeps the others occupied. Marvel Girl and Jimmy find Havok within the halls of New Tian. He and Jimmy are about to battle, before a wall is blown inwards – Havok looks up and is shocked to see Polaris hovering over him. She tells him that this is going to be a painful reunion.

Full Summary: 

New Tian, where rubble scattered through a forest starts to move, courtesy of the time-displaced Marvel Girl a.k.a. Jean Grey, who uses her telekinesis to lift the rubble off of herself and Jimmy Hudson. Jimmy's body is very battered and bruised, while Jean leans against a nearby tree and asks Jimmy if he is okay, as he took the brunt of Havok's attack, perhaps  even more than her telekinetic shields. 'Is your healing -' Jean begins. Jimmy glances back at Jean and tells her to give him a minute. Shortly, his body has completely healed, and he stands, shirtless, and tells Jean that he is sorry, and that he is good.

Jean and Jimmy look around the clearing and Jean announces that they took everyone else, and probably would have gotten them, too, if she hadn't telepathically masked their presence. Jimmy pops his claws and suggests 'Good. So maybe they won't be expecting us when we come knocking'. 'Let's hope not' Jean agrees, pointing out that surprise is the only thing they have got going for them now. She remarks that firstly, they need to figure out where the other X-Men were taken, and how they are going to get there. 'Your transportation has already been arranged, Marvel Girl' a robotic voice announces from above. Jimmy and Jean look up and see the Blackbird, lowering itself into the clearing. The Blackbird states that it has been tracking the X-Men since they were abducted. 'Let's go get them back' the Blackbird suggests. Jean and Jimmy continue to look up in silence, before they both ask in unison 'Did our plane just talk to us?'

Meanwhile, at Utopia, the capital of New Tian, in amongst the futuristic looking buildings, the time-displaced Scott Summers a.k.a. Cyclops stands in a cell, touching his optic visor, he shouts 'Where are the X-Men?' He suddenly realises that no optic beam has blasted from his eyes, he appears confused. Emma Frost stands nearby: 'Oooh, you're a feisty one, aren't you? I like that' she tells him, before revealing that she had to shut his powers down. Emma reaches out and touches Scott's face and tells him that she can't have him blasting away at the home she has made. 'After all, this could be your home, too. If you let it' Emma adds. 'The X-Men -' Scott begins. Exasperated, Emma snaps 'Oh, for pity's sake! Your little friends are just fine. Most of them, anyway'.

'Most of them?' Scott asks, backing away from Emma, who asks him what he expected, and points out that he is so busy playing rebel versus empire that he forgets that sometimes, the rebels die. 'Sometimes... even the best of them' Emma adds. Folding her arms, Emma tells Scott that sometimes, the empire is in the right. 'Mutants have a place in the world now. Mutants are safe here' she adds.

'First of all, I don't believe my teammates are dead' Cyclops declares, adding that if Emma expects him to believe she is looking out for the best interests of anyone other than herself, then she is more insane than he thought. 'Scott, love, don't say that. It hurts. And you know I hate it when we fight' Emma utters, looking away from Scott, who appears confused, and asks 'Wait... uh... who do you think I am?' Emma's eyes flash, and she spins around in a fury, snapping 'When I'm through... you'll be whoever I want you to be!'

Cyclops screams in pain as Emma attacks him psychically, telling him that she knows it is painful, and that she is sorry for that. Cyclops collapses to the ground and Emma stands over him, telling him that she would prefer if he didn't struggle, as that will only make this hurt. 'Get out of my head – I won't let you use me... not like you used him!' Cyclops utters. Emma frowns and tells him that it is temporary, a stopgap measure, and that in time, he will come to see things her way on his own. 'And then you'll be free' Emma adds, while Cyclops hangs his head and grits his teeth.

'You think the others are all right?' the time-displaced Bobby Drake a.k.a. Iceman asks as he sits in a cell with his teammates Hank McCoy a.k.a. Beast and Warren Worthington a.k.a. Angel. 'Scott and Jean and Jimmy... even Briar. What do you think happened to them?' Bobby asks. The Beast sits opposite Bobby and tells him that he isn't sure. Angel leans against the cell door and reminds the others that Hank is a junior sorcerer. 'Can't you work some spell to get us out of here?' Angel asks. The Beast reveals that the power dampeners around their necks prohibit spellcraft, too. 'Well, aren't we just  the most worthless X-Men ever?' Bobby asks, rolling his eyes. Angel tells Bobby not to say that, and reminds him that they were taken by surprise, and that some of those mutants had unexpected powers – secondary mutations.

'Yeah, what was that all about?' Iceman asks. He turns to the Beast and asks him if he has any theories about these weird mutant powers. 'Toad had a flame tongue!' he exclaims. Hank replies that he doesn't know. Angel assures the others that they will be okay, that someone is going to come looking for them. 'Magneto will come looking for us' Angel adds, but Bobby tells him 'You don't really believe that, do you, Warren?' Bobby gets to his feet and declares that Magneto is not going to stick his head out of the sand for them. 'If that was a possibility, don't you think he would have done something by now? 'Bobby asks, suggesting that Magneto is just letting Hydra and the White Queen and whoever else take over the world.

Bobby folds his arms, leans against the wall and hangs his head, telling Warren to face it: 'Everybody has priorities... and that means sometimes they prioritize relationships, too. And sometimes, you just don't rank'. Warren turns to Hank and asks him if he wants to help out here. When he gets no response and sees that Hank is staring at the ground, Warren asks him what he is doing, what he is looking out. Without looking up, Hank replies that he is thinking – mentally cataloguing the meanest spells he knows – because when they get loose, he is casting every one of them on the people who put them here.

Elsewhere within New Tian:
'I trust you find the accommodations comfortable?' Alex Summers a.k.a. Havok asks Briar Raleigh, who is drying her hair with a towel after having a shower. Havok tells her that if there is anything else she needs, to just ask. 'Water pressure in the shower could be turned up a notch or ten' Briar remarks, adding that she wouldn't mind something to eat – maybe a bottle of Hakushu single malt. 'And... I'd love to know what angle you think you're playing' Briar asks. 'Angle? I don't know what you're talking about' Havok claims as he stands in the guest quarters, and Briar throws her towel on the bed and asks Alex if he is going to tell her that the X-Men were also placed in such lavish quarters. 'Do you think I believe that your other human prisoners are treated so well?' Briar adds. Havok tells her that Sebastian Shaw said she was a member of the Hellfire Club, and as such, they thought she deserved preferential treatment.

'Oh, please. Shaw couldn't care less about my comfort. Neither could you' Briar grins. She points at her head and tells Havok that he wants something, and her guess is that the White Queen is too busy to come and take it from her – either that, or she suspects – and rightly so – that she has enough black market Shi'ar wetware installed in her gray matter that it might even fry Frost's synapses. 'Subtlety and subterfuge aren't your strong suits, Havok. Just spit it out' Briar tells Havok, who falls silent, before announcing 'Magneto'. 'What about him? Last I heard, he was dead' Briar replies, glancing sideways. 'We both know that's not true. We both know he's been running with the young X-Men... that he's set up shop in Madripoor. But now he's gone into hiding. And I'm guessing you're the only person who knows where he is' Alex declares.

Briar smirks and asks Havok if he thinks a few amenities will make her flip on Magneto, then he really knows nothing about her. 'Want to skip ahead to torture? Because that'll be fun' Briar adds. She runs a finger around the glowing circle on Havok's muscular chest and tells him 'Anyway...if Magneto is alive...don't you think you'll be hearing from him soon enough?'

Meanwhile, in the Annamite Mountains in Vietnam, a thatched hut on a hilltop hides a high-tech facility within. A bottle of alcohol is on a counter, and Magneto sips a drink from a small glass as he looks at several screens on the wall. The robotic Ferris floats behind Magneto and reports that they have lost contact with Ms Raleigh, and that the safe house she was using has been compromised and everyone other than Ms Grey and Mr Hudson have been apprehended. 'Hmm' Magneto replies. Ferris points out that Magneto appears unconcerned. Magneto puts the glass on the counter and tells Ferris 'Quite the contrary' and that he was just considering his options. Ferris asks Magneto if he wants his uniform and helmet prepared, but Magneto opens a box that has been placed on the counter and informs Ferris that will not be necessary, as he made a promise that he would stay out of the affairs of Hydra's America and New Tian.

Sitting in the box is the head of the Red Skull. It stares up at Magneto, who then closes the box, while Ferris asks 'And the X-Men?' Magneto points out that the X-Men are young, but they are resourceful and powerful, and he chose them for just this sort of engagement. 'Once again, Sir, I should point out that you are reacting in a much more laissez-faire attitude than is normal. It is a bit unsettling' Ferris replies, asking Magneto if he has perhaps been sampling some of the anti-anxiety medications from their medical bay. Magneto puts a hand on Ferris and tells the robot not to worry, as he hasn't changed as much as it would seem. He explains that even though his promises prevent him from helping the X-Men personally, he has arranged for them to have more-than-adequate support when the time comes.

In the skies over New Tian, the Blackbird soars through some clouds. Jean is seated in one of the seats and calls out 'Hello? Are you there? Hey, Blackbird?' while Jimmy puts a shirt on and goes to the seat next to Jean as the Blackbird responds: 'I am not personal assistance software. Treat me as such and I'll eject you'. Jean apologizes and tells the Blackbird that perhaps it might like to tell them where it is taking them. 'I'd say it's obvious. We're going on a rescue mission' Jimmy remarks. 'Just the two of us?' Jean asks. 'Once we have liberated the X-Men, there will be six of you. And me, of course' the Blackbird replies. 'Well, all right, then. Let's go get our boys back' Jean smiles. 'Excellent. We have arrive' the Blackbird announces as they soar past several floating structures in Utopia.

Jean telekinetically lowers herself and Jimmy from the Blackbird, while Jean telepathically announces that she is trying to scan for Scott and the others, but that this whole place is sort of a dead zone. She supposes that the White Queen has thrown some sort of psychic interference over the whole place. Jimmy assures Jean that he will do what he can to sniff them out, and if nothing else, he should be able to pick up on Angel's expensive hair gel. Jean and Jimmy land on a rooftop, where several Hellfire Soldiers are waiting for them. Jimmy declares that they are going to have to fight their way through these Hellfire flunkies. 'Try not to kill anyone, all right?' Jen asks as she knocks several soldiers aside with a telekinetic wave, and Jimmy uses his claws to slice one soldier's weapon into pieces. 'Do me a favor, will ya? Stop comparing me to the guy you think of as my dad. I don't remember him' Jimmy asks Jean, adding that he is doing his best to be his own man.

Suddenly: 'Jean and... Wolverine? Daken? Whoever you are... this isn't going to end well. Stop this attack and we can all talk this out!' Angelica Jones a.k.a. Firestar calls out as she swoops in from above, microwave energies trailing behind her. Jean deflects soldiers fired by Hellfire soldiers, before Rahne Sinclair a.k.a. Wolfsbane leaps towards her and slices the ends of Jean's hair off. 'Listen to her! If ye insist on fighting, we'll be forced to hurt you!' Wolfsbane warns Jean. Sarah a.k.a. Marrow lunges at Jimmy and tells Rahne to save her breath, as X-Men are notoriously hardheaded. 'I know' Wolfsbane replies as she uses her new ability to turn herself into a pack of wolves, and then surrounds Jean. Marrow attacks Jimmy with her bone blades and tells him to surrender now, as he is outclassed and outnumbered. 'I wouldn't be too sure of that!' Firestar gasps as she hovers mid-air when several X-Men – Banshee, Gambit, Wolverine, Storm, Warpath, Cable, Sabretooth, Colossus, Sunfire and Rogue – seemingly appear, going up against Wolfsbane, Marrow and the Hellfire soldiers.

'It's... it's the X-Men' the shocked Marvel Girl exclaims, while Jimmy wonders where they came from, before reporting that they do not have a scent. Jean tries to read their minds and announces that they have no thoughts, so they can't be real – they are illusions. 'Yes, yes. Perhaps instead of standing around slack-jawed, you should use this moment to slip past the guards' the Blackbird suggests as Jean and Jimmy look up at it, as its form starts to change – and Danger emerges from the Blackbird! 'Go now. Save your friends' Danger tells the young mutants. As the holographic X-Men continue to battle the Hellfire soldiers, Danger tells Jean and Jimmy that, if it helps, to consider this a training exercise. 'Your plane just turned into a woman and started beating people up' Jimmy remarks as he stares at Danger, who attacks two of the Hellfire soldiers. 'I hate to say it, but that's probably not the weirdest thing we'll see today' Jean remarks as she leads Jimmy on, and tells him to start sniffing out their teammates.

As Marvel Girl and Jimmy enter a chamber, they find Havok waiting for them. 'I'm sorry, Jeannie. I don't think I can allow you to do that' Havok calls out, telling the young mutants that he needs them to stand down, and if they don't, he will make sure he finishes them off this time. Jimmy tells Jean to find the others, as he has this. 'I'' hold him off' Jimmy announces as he pops his claws. Before anyone can make a move, the wall near where Havok is standing is blown inwards, sending Havok falling to the floor amongst rubble and dust. 'I -' Havok utters, looking up at the hole in the wall with utter shock across his face – for hovering over him is Lorna Dane a.k.a. Polaris, the daughter of Magneto, and Havok's former long-term partner. 'Hey, Alex. Long time no see' the glamorous Polaris remarks, adding that she hates to say it, but this is going to be a painful reunion!

Characters Involved: 

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

Emma Frost, Havok
Firestar, Marrow, Wolfsbane
Hellfire Soldiers

Story Notes: 

This issue ties into the Secret Empire event.

The Blackbird previously acted, seemingly with a mind of its own, in X-Men: Blue #3.

Briar Raleigh was a member of the Hellfire Club seen in Uncanny X-Men (4th series).

Magneto is believed dead as of Uncanny X-Men (4th series) #19.

Magneto was given the Red Skull's head in Captain America: Steve Rogers #17.

Polaris' most recent significant appearances took place in Magneto (2nd series) #18-21.

This issue comes with a two-page Jim Lee X-Men Trading Card variant cover gallery.

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