X-Men: Curse of the Mutants - X-Men vs. Vampires #1

Issue Date: 
November 2010
Story Title: 
(1st story) From Dusk Til Dawn, (2nd story) I’m Gonna Stake you, Sucka, (3rd story) Rue Blood<BR>(4th story) Survivors

(1st story) James Asmus (writer), Tom Raney (art), John Rauch (colors), Daniel Ketchum (editor)
(2nd story) Christopher Sequeira (story), Sana Takeda (art), Jeanine Schaefer (edits)
(3rd story) Peter David (writer), Mick Bertilorenzi (art), Lee Loughridge (colors), Jody Leheup (editor)
(4th story) Rob Williams (writer), Doug Braithwaite (art), June Chung (colors), Sebastian Girner (editor)
Dave Sharpe (letterer), Nick Bradshaw and Jim Charalampidis (cover), Taylor Esposito (production), Axel Alonso (group editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

(1st story)
In an attempt to find the captured Jubilee, Husk pretends to be interested in a guy in order to be led back to his vampire filled apartment. Once there, Husk turns the tables on the group by turning her body into wood and staking them. Despite his attempts to set Husk on fire and hack her with an axe, the vampire that Husk came back with fails to even slow her down. Eventually, Husk draws him in close and slays him using the axe handle. With all the vampires dead, Husk expresses discouragement in finding a hot guy that is neither a jerk nor a crazed villain out to get her friends.

(2nd story)
After a boring night at the nightclub, Dazzler finds herself bitterly reminiscing about her glory days. As she leaves, she saves a man from a vampire, whom she chases him back to a mansion. There, she discovers it is home to a vampire clan who have dedicated themselves to living in the disco days of the 1970s. Their leader, Sheba Sugarfangs, assures Dazzler that feeding on innocents is forbidden and they will deal with the vampire themselves. Unconvinced, Dazzler wants to bring him to justice on her terms. The two fight and, just as Dazzler is about to stake him, the vampire that caused the argument steps in and sacrifices himself to save his leader. Dazzler learns more about the clan and how they subtly help society by feeding on criminals. She leaves them peacefully, sympathizing with their yearning for the past.

(3rd story)
After saving an innocent from a vampire, Rogue finds herself saved from more vampires by Damen, a vampire that’s been watching her with great interest. Looking into Rogue’s eyes, Damen realizes that he’s finally found his beloved Rue’s soul. Hundreds of years ago, Damen, an Indian man, lost Rue to men who could not tolerate the notion of a biracial couple. He sought out to become a vampire and has been searching for the body that Rue’s soul reincarnated. Ernst joins them and reveals to Damen that the soul he sees actually belongs to Martha Johannson, a living brain, not Rogue. Considering the notion of being a superhero, Martha inhabited Rogue’s body at night to test her skill at fighting crime. Damen offers Martha the opportunity to become a vampire so she can live life in Rogue’s body for eternity. Martha kisses Damen so she can feel what being a vampire would be like but nothing happens. Both Damen and Martha realize that this could only mean that being a vampire is to be a soulless shell and Damen allows Martha to slay him, hoping to be reunited in the next life.

(4th story)
While battling vampires, Magneto comes across one named Leo Zimm, a young man he once knew in Poland. The last time he saw Leo, he was being dragged away into a concentration camp but Leo tells him an unexpected meeting altered his fate and he became a vampire. Though Leo considers himself lucky, Magneto considers him a monster. Still, Leo makes Magneto realize that they have much in common since both saw such cruelty and, since then, have caused much bloodshed. Their standoff ends ambiguously. Magneto refuses to tell the X-Men directly whether he killed the vampire of seeing his old friend was still present, allowed him to live.

Full Summary: 

(1st story)
Late at night, a young, blonde woman walks down an empty San Franciscan street. Noticing she is alone, a young, dark-haired man approaches her but she informs him that she is looking for a friend. However, when the man invites her into his place to hear some new songs from his band, the girl can’t refuse, claiming she was “excellent taste in music.” Thinking he succeeded in finding a girl with “excellent taste,” the boy quickly flashes his vampire fangs as he escorts his potential meal inside.

Inside his dark apartment, the two immediately begin to make out passionately. The girl begins to suspect that they are not alone but the vampire assures her that she has bigger problems to worry about as he begins to plunge his fangs into her neck.

However, instead of tasting blood, the vampire bites into something rock solid and finds his teeth stuck in her skin. The girl is not as naïve as he thought and is actually Paige Guthrie, the X-Man known as Husk, and she demands to know where her friend, Jubilee, is.

The lights come on, revealing four additional vampires in the room with them. They tell Paige that, although they won’t tell her anything, they’ll show her “a thing or two,” like her own insides.

Pushing the vampire off her neck, Paige decides to show them her insides herself. She sheds her outer layer of skin, shocking the vampires by revealing the spiky, wooden skin that she husked into. Using her own arms as stakes, she easily slays two of the vampires.

The vampire who led her to the apartment tries to tell Paige that they’re “reasonable people.” Paige doesn’t buy it and refers to them as “demons” and that they shouldn’t have taken an X-Man if they didn’t want trouble. The vampire asks her if her power is having wooden skin and Paige informs him that she can shift into any material she wants. The vampire tells her that she should turn into silver next time, since it’s just as lethal to vampires and would have prevented him from what he does next. With that, he smashes a bottle of liquor on her head and lights her on fire.

Husk tells the vampire that “tomorrow, my hair won’t even smell like smoke,” as she simply becomes more efficient with her flaming wooden body as she slays two more vampires.

Only the dark-haired vampire remains and he desperately picks up an axe and hacks at her, wedging it into Husk’s wooden stomach. The vampire tells Husk that Jubilee isn’t there but that, if she turns back into flesh, he can work out a deal for her with some vampires in high places. Husk lures him by saying he has a cute smile and, when he gets close enough, she slays him by plunging the axe’s wooden handle into him. With all the vampires dead, Husk, still lit on fire with an axe stuck in her stomach, asks herself, “Why are all the hot guys either jerks or part of a sinister plot to murder your friends?”

(2nd story)
Dazzler sits at a San Francisco nightclub, bored and irritated at a lawyer that relentlessly hits on her. She reminisces about her glory days and finally decides to leave. The lawyer decides to follow her and, when Dazzler has finally had enough of him, she tells him off, only to turn around and find him being attacked by a vampire!

Dazzler drives off the vampire with a light blast and the chases after him on her motorcycle. She follows him to a boarded-up mansion and chases him inside. There, she finds a clan of vampires, whose appearances, mannerism and music seem dedicated to the days of disco. One of the vampires welcomes Dazzler to “Studio 13.”

Sheba Sugarfangs, the clan’s leader, scolds Ivory, the vampire that Dazzler followed, for breaking their rules about attacking civilians. A fight quickly breaks out but Dazzler finds that her solar energy has no effect on the vampires, a fact which Sugarfangs claims is due to the necklaces that Lord Xarus gave them.

Sugarfangs assures Dazzler that Ivory will pay for what he did because “Ain’t no one tougher on us freaks but ourselves.” Undeterred, Dazzler wants him to be brought to justice on her terms and launches a new attack. After a brief skirmish, she bests Sugarfangs but, just as she’s about to stake her, Ivory steps in and takes the blow, sacrificing himself to save his leader.

Sugarfangs explains to Dazzler that her vampire clan chooses to hide in the shadows of the past, helping their descendents by subtly taking out murderers, pimps, and drug dealers. They live frozen in the past, something Sugarfangs doesn’t think Dazzler could understand. As Dazzler leaves them, she finds herself sympathizing and understanding this odd vampire, knowing what it’s like to yearn for better days and a better you.

(3rd story)
In San Francisco, a young woman finds herself running for her life from a vampire. The vampire finally catches up to her and mocks her reaction as he prepares to drain her blood.

Meanwhile, a man dressed in Indian garb watches from a rooftop above. The Indian-dressed man is astonished as he witnesses Rogue step in out of nowhere and stake the vampire, saving the innocent young woman. He is surprised and delighted to see her and seems to have been searching for her for quite some time.

Two more vampires appear and plan to attack Rogue, who is now without a stake. Suddenly, Damen, the man who was observing from above, intervenes and says she is not to be harmed. The two vampires recognize him as “Damen” but refuse to listen. She killed Marv and she doesn’t get to walk away from that… even if she is a dead ringer for Sook…

Resolute, Damen draws his sword and slices off the vampire’s head, prompting the other one to run away. He then turns to Rogue, asking her to let him see her more closely. “If eyes are the windows to the soul, open them now,” Damen says, as he looks into Rogue’s eyes. Damen seems happy with he sees and claims that he’s been waiting for generations to be reunited with her… his beloved Rue.

Damen explains that, over two hundred years ago, he was a major domo and fell in love with a white woman named Rue. At that time, there were men who could not accept the idea of a biracial couple and, although Damen managed to escape their wrath, Rue was killed. After the events, Damen was heartbroken and sought out to become a vampire. By being a vampire, he would be able to wait for Rue’s soul to be reincarnated into a new body, like the teachings of the Gita proclaim. At last, he has found Rue’s soul in the body of Rogue, claiming that her thoughts call out to him “like a beacon.”

At that moment, Ernst appears with Martha Johansson, the living brain, which floats nearby. Ernst tells Damen that the thoughts and mind in Rogue actually belong to Martha. Martha, in Rogue’s body, tells Damen that Ernst is right and that she’s inhabiting Rogue’s body, because she has begun to consider the notion of being a super hero. When questioned about how she found out, Ernst tells Martha that she just knew because “they’ve been in each other’s minds too long.”

Damen is shocked that Martha is trapped in there but she defends her situation by saying that every brain is technically trapped and, since reincarnation involves moving onto a purer form, he should admire the pureness that is her floating brain body.

Damen remains unconvinced and describes her living situation as “pure hell.” He offers to make her a vampire so that she can permanently possess Rogue’s body and experience all the world’s pleasures with him. Martha/Rogue turns for advice to her best friend, who asks her if she would be okay with living life a monster. Damen lashes out and exclaims, “She’s a floating brain! How is she not already a monster!”

Martha, still in Rogue’s body, unexpectedly kisses Damen, informing Ernst telepathically that she wishes to absorb his identity to see what being a vampire would be like. Ernst is shocked that Martha is considering stealing Rogues body but Martha tells her that it’s her life and she should have a chance to live.

However, Martha realizes that Rogue’s power has no effect on Damen and tells him that it means he is “no more alive than a rock of a pile of rotting meat.” Martha informs Damen that he is a soulless shell, something that Damen has long suspected. Damen allows Martha to slay him and they both express hope that they will be reunited in the next life.

(4th story)
Magneto silently reflects on himself as he prepares for battle. He considers himself a “merciless god amongst mortal men” and, therefore, he pauses in fear before battle, not for himself but for those he’s about to face. He stares at his helmet which, when put on, makes his impregnable both to attacks and feelings.

Cyclops appears and tells him that it’s time to go. In short order, Magneto, Cyclops, Archangel, Wolverine and Pixie find themselves fighting a large group of vampires in an underground setting. The battle is intense and Magneto manages to save Cyclops from a vampire approaching him from behind. Archangel finds himself unable to defeat one particular vampire, who flees from the battle into the subway tunnels.

Magneto flies after the fleeing vampire and chases him to a dead-end. He informs the vampire that his crimes have caught up to him and that he will wipe his species out for declaring war on his people. The vampire turns around and greets Magneto as a friend, even calling him by his little-known real name, Max. Magneto immediately recognizes the vampire as Leo.

Magneto returns to the battle to take care of the remaining vampires. With the crisis passed, he warns his teammates not to follow him and then returns to the tunnels. As he searches for Leo, Magneto muses that it might be a psychic trap. However, Magneto soon catches up to the very real Leo and removes his helmet to speak to his friend. Leo remarks that, although Magneto’s become a very powerful man since they last met, he is now… something better.

Magneto can’t believe that his old friend, Leo Zimm is alive. The last time they saw each other was Poland in 1942 when they were separated and Leo was taken to a concentration camp. Leo tells Magneto that he never arrived because an unexpected meeting en route changed his fate and he was lucky to become a vampire.

Magneto is shocked that Leo considers himself lucky and calls him a monster. Leo defends himself by saying that he is still Magneto’s friend and that becoming a vampire saved his life from the slaughter. Magneto says he is not Leo Zimm because, while he was saved from the slaughter, he went on to slaughter others for decades and now is out to slaughter mutants. He is not Leo Zimm.

To this, Leo states that they are a lot alike, since they both witnessed cruelty and darkness on such a scale and yet, since then, have caused much bloodshed themselves. As Magneto once again puts his helmet back on, Leo asks “Max” what will he do with him?

A few moments later, Magneto returns to the X-Men with his head lowered. Cyclops asks him if the vampire was taken care of. Magneto bitterly pushes Cyclops’ hand aside and asks, “What do you think?

Characters Involved: 

(1st story)

Vampire gang

(2nd story)

Ivory, Sheba & unnamed vampires (Studio 13 vampires)

Club patrons
San Franciscans

(3rd story)
Ernst, Martha Johansson

Damen, Marv & unnamed vampire

Blonde woman

(Damen’s flashback)
Damen & Rue
Ku Klux Klan members

(4th story)
Angel, Cyclops, Magneto, Pixie, Wolverine

Leo & unnamed vampires

Unnamed Jews

Story Notes: 

The titles of the first three stories are either references or puns to movies or TV shows. “From Dusk Til Dawn” was a 1996 Quentin Tarantino film about vampires. “I’m Gonna Stake You, Sucka” is a pun on the 1988 Keenan Ivory Wayans film “I’m Gonna Git You Sucka.” The third story, “Rue Blood,” is a pun on the HBO original series “True Blood,” which is subtly referenced in the story itself.

(1st story)
Although Husk acts as if she was captured, Jubilee willingly joined the vampires in X-Men (3rd Series) #2, after she was turned into one in X-Men (3rd Series) #1.

(3rd story)
The vampires notice that Rogue closely resembles Sookie Stackhouse, a character in True Blood, a television show about vampires. This is also a reference to Anna Panquin, who portrays Sookie and portrayed Rogue in the X-Men film series.

Martha Johansson began to consider becoming a superhero after she helped defeat Quentin Quire in Nation X #2.

While it’s unknown if this was Peter David’s intention, it is possible that Martha was unaware that Rogue recently gained control of her abilities. Thus, it is possible that Rogue’s powers do in fact work on vampires but Martha was unable to properly use them.

(4th story)
Magneto’s real name was long thought to be Erik Lehnsherr but was revealed to be actually Max Eisenhardt in X-Men: Magneto Testament. Leo Zimm is the first character to call Magneto by his real name since the limited series concluded.

This issue included a reprint of Uncanny X-Men #159.

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