X-Men: Curse of the Mutants - X-Men vs. Vampires #2

Issue Date: 
December 2010
Story Title: 
(1st story) Flesh, Fangs and Burnt Rubber (2nd story) Call Me Santo (3rd story) Skin Deep<BR>(4th story) Angel in Voices

(1st story) Mike Benson (writer), Mark Texeira (penciler), Dan Brown (colorist)
Daniel Ketchum (editor)
(2nd story) Simon Spurrier (writer), Gabriel Hernandez (artist), Jeanine Schaefer (editor)
(3rd story) Howard Chaykin (writer & artist), Edgar Delgado (colorist), Jody LeHeup (editor)
(4th story) Mike W. Barr (writer), Agustin Padilla (artist), Rachelle Rosenberg (colorist), Nick Lowe (editor)
Dave Sharpe (letterer), Nick Bradshaw and Jim Charalampidis (cover artists), Dan Remollino (production), Axel Alonzo (group editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

(1st story)
Gambit finds himself fighting off a gang of vampires on a high-speed motorcycle chase. As he defeats them one by one, he compares the battle to the woes of a relationship.

(2nd story)
On their way back from a supply run, Rockslide and Armor find their boat attacked by a giant vampire whale. After fighting it, Rockslide is forced to reconstitute his body using the food supply and, upon noticing that he consists of garlic, a vampire’s kryptonite, Hisako throws her teammate into the whale. After defeating the vampire from within, Rockslide awakens from his bizarre dream to find himself relaxing on the boat with Hisako and suddenly remembers that he forgot to get an extra crate of garlic.

(3rd story)
Noticing she’s gained a few extra pounds, Karma attends a “Waist Watchers” meeting and discovers that the girls who attend are having their blood trained by a female vampire. Karma manages to defeat the vampire by pushing her out the window and exposing her to sunlight.

(4th story)
The San Francisco police call in Angel to track down a vampire who’s on a murdering spree. Angel manages to find the vampire, who defends himself by saying all of his victims are wanted killers. When Angel doesn’t buy his act of innocence, the vampire attacks him. During the battle, Angel struggles to control his Archangel persona, which takes over for a short while. Regaining control, Angel slays the vampire himself but tries to tell his other personality that he took no joy doing so.

Full Summary: 

(1st story)
It’s Ladies Night at Bedlam, a chic bar in San Francisco, and Gambit finds himself flirting with a beautiful, dark haired woman named Nuo. He becomes so distracted by Nuo that he forgets his mission: to kill the gang of female vampires that were hanging out there!

Still, Gambit quickly when Nuo pops her fangs. He whips out a stake but realizes that he’s outnumbered and hops on his motorcycle to escape. A group of female vampires follow him on motorcycles and Gambit compares the chase to the start of a relationship. “Wanna make a strong impression. Play the cards close to the vest. Reel ‘em in nice and slow,” Gambit thinks to himself as he kills two vampires by leading them into a collision with a cable car.

One vampire takes out a sword but Gambit beheads her with razor blades that extend from his bike and begins to relish the thrill of the fight just as he treasures the beginning of a relationship. “Where everything is unknown,” he thinks. “When da future is full of possibilities.”

The two remaining vampires split up. One goes airborne on her bike after leaping from a police car but falls victim to a series of Gambit’s exploding kinetically charged playing cards.

The chase continues on to the Golden Gate Bridge with only Nuo remaining, Gambit begins to become bored, liking it to becoming familiar with a lover and things becoming predictable. “The magic is gone,” Gambit thinks to himself as ditches his doomed motorcycle. On the bridge, a cart of horses is released and Gambit jumps on the back of one and resumes the chase.

Just like when a relationship goes down hill, Gambit knows what must be down about Nuo and pushes himself and the vampire off the bridge. They both resurface and Gambit charges her neck collar and, a moment and explosion later, her head flies off. As he swims away, Gambit notes that, although it hurts a little to end things, “Tomorrow will be another day. A new day with all the possibilities dat come with it. Of meeting dat special someone. ‘Cause isn’t that what we all want?”

(2nd story)
Rockslide is sent on a Utopia supply run and his mission briefing from Emma states “Sorry daling- short-straw gig. Aircraft’re ied up with Vampire Ops: you’ll have to charter a boat in S.F.” and “P.S: Take Hisako with you. She’s far too serious, Santo, and you’re still too impulsive. A little time together could be good for you both.”

Rockslide and Armor are making their way back to Utopia when a gigantic vampire whale comes ripping through the ocean, attacking their supply ship and eating various crewmembers. Rockslide jumps into action, leaping onto the whale’s back. He begins by punching the whale’s fin but is easily slapped away himself. The whale then goes after Rockslide but Santo self-destructs when the whale gets close to him.

As the whale heals from its wounds, Rockslide, now composed of water, makes his way back to the boat. At the bottom of the vessel, Rockslide begins forming his body out of the supplies, which consists of various fruits and vegetables.

Rockslide comes back on deck and begins to argue with Armor, who has fashioned a wooden stake to defeat the whale. However, the stake merely breaks apart when it hit’s the whale’s tough hide.

Suddenly, Armor notices that Rockslide is made up of vegetables, including garlic, which is a vampire’s weakness. She throws her teammate into the water and Rockslide curses as the whale swallows him whole. Moments later, Rockslide self-destructs within the whale, killing it. Hisako and the other crewmembers celebrate as the whale sinks, despite no sign of Rockslide.

Rockslide awakens from this bizarre dream and finds himself relaxing on the ship with Hisako. He fell asleep while reading Moby Dick. Rockslide reviews his mission briefing to find that Emma added, “P.P.S: The kitchen’s all out of garlic and Gambit’s been sulking. Suggest you get an extra crate-- Never know when you might need it. Don’t forget.”

(3rd story)
Karma steps on to a scale to weigh herself. All of her toes are painted with a deep red, including the ones on her new, mechanical, prosthetic leg.

Karma defends her superficial tendencies by saying that since she spends most her time in a skintight outfit; maintaining her appearance is done for self-respect purposes and consideration for those who have to look at her. The hotter Karma looks, the better she feels and her numerous “girlfriends” feel the same way, so she gets worried when she sees a few pounds.

Not wanting to become morbidly obese again, Karma visits Waist Watchers, a weight loss clinic for women. One of the women running the program introduces Xi’an to the other ladies and applauds the women for the great success that this particular location has been having. Karma silently notes that, had she known how cute the regular crowd was, she mighy not have waited until she put on a few pounds.

Sitting next to Xi’an is a plump woman named Loretta, who strikes up a conversation with Karma, whose French accent she finds sexy. Loretta becomes very pessimistic when the women line up to weigh themselves, prompting Karma to ask her how long she’s been attending meetings. Loretta claims that she’s been trying to lose weight there for a very long time but the pounds just come back. Karma confides in Loretta about her own former weight battles but begins to wonder what possesses her to talk to Loretta, rather than the more attractive women that are around, all of whom Karma notices are dazed.

Loretta stays behind to lock up and Karma approaches her to see if she noticed that the other girls are odd. Loretta tells Karma that she’s the first one to notice and informs her that all the girls are “drained,” due to the weight loss being tied to the blood stream…

Loretta reveals her true form as a vampire and tells Karma that she can’t help herself and she gets fatter as the other girls get slimmer because she’s draining them. Karma is shocked and confused, giving Loretta the upper hand as she punches and jumps on top of Karma. Karma admits to herself that Loretta’s hypnotic abilities and the other clients distracted her and kept her off her game.

Karma quickly regains herself and fights back, trying to focus hard enough to use her psychic abilities. The battle ends when Karma pushes Loretta out the window, exposing her to sunlight. Loretta takes on a slender body before she disintegrates into dust. Karma wonders if the other clients will be disappointed when they find out that they have to work to lose weight instead of it being sucked out of them by a vampire.

(4th story)
On a sunny morning in San Francisco, Angel arrives at a murder crime scene. He immediately notices the killer was a vampire due to the absence of blood on the victim’s corpse. Lieutenant Newkirk informs Warren that the victim was actually a murderer himself and trying to find out who killed him seems like a waste. However, both men agree that a vampire is a vampire and Angel sets out to find him.

Flying high above the city, Angel contacts Emma Frost, who’s linked with Cerebro, and finds herself wishing that “that filthy Canadian genius” never calibrated the machine to detect vampires because the one upside to losing 98% of mutants was spending less time with the “smelly thing” on her head. Angel informs her that he doesn’t have time to hear her life story, which Emma claims she has been offered millions for. After Emma gives Angel the vampire’s location, Angel tells her that she can return to planning her next plastic surgery.

While heading to the location of the vampire, Angel’s dark persona, Archangel begins to chime in on his thoughts and expresses his excitement in the hunt. Warren tries to ignore his other personality, dismissing it as remnants of what Apocalypse did to him.

Angel soon happens upon the vampire, as he’s giving chase to a new victim, a fleeing woman. Angel lands between the two and instructs the vampire to come along quietly.
The vampire tells Angel that the woman he is chasing is a wanted killer, like the victim he killed that morning. Angel tells the vampire that it isn’t his decision to kill her and he kills because he’s hungry not for justice.

The vampire tries to play to Warren’s sympathies by questioning the unwritten rule that makes it okay for superheroes to kill vampires. He tries to convince Angel that he didn’t choose to be a vampire so he’s trying to use his powers for good. When Angel refuses to buy his act, the vampire shows his true colors and attacks Warren, causing Archangel to take control.

Impressed with Archangel’s razor-sharp wings, the vampire questions how he could be against killing with such deadly weapons. Archangel corrects him by saying that he’s been waiting to kill all day.

Angel manages to regain control but still decides to slay the vampire, by impaling him on a nearby broken pipe. Afterwards, Warren tells himself that killing was acceptable because it was a vampire but Archangel refuses to believe that Warren didn’t truly enjoy it.

Characters Involved: 

(1st story)

Nuo’s Gang of Vampires

Club patrons

(2nd story)

Crewmembers of the Pequod II

(Rockslide’s dream)

Crewmembers of the Pequod II
Giant Vampire Whale

(3rd story)

Waist Watchers Clients
Waist Watchers Coordinator

(4th story)
Angel, Emma Frost (both X-Men)

Vampire Murderer

Lieutenant Newkirk
San Fransico Police

Story Notes: 

(3rd story)
Karma became “morbidly obese” when she was possessed by Amahl Faorouk, the Shadow King.

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