X-Men: Emperor Vulcan #5

Issue Date: 
March 2008
Story Title: 

Christopher Yost (writer), Paco Diaz Luque (pencils), Vincente Cifuentes (inks), Chris Sotomayor (colors), VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters), Will Panzo (assistant editor), Nick Lowe (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

As the Starjammers continue fighting the Imperial Guard’s ships, inside the Finality station, Vulcan and Havok square off. Mentor unleashes a trace missile towards the stargate above the planet of the M’Kraan Crystal, intending to open a portal that will the Scy’ar. However, the Starjammers spy the weapon and, knowing that it might destroy the planet in the process, Lorna sends out Rachel and Korvus to destroy the probe. To counteract, Vulcan sends Gladiator to stop them, as well as ordering the entire Guard to attack the Starjammers. Once alone, Vulcan is attacked by Havok, who quickly seems to get the upper hand. Outside, while Rachel fights Gladiator to a standstill, Korvus is approaching the probe, until Lilandra’s uncle, Ka’ardum, gets a change of heart and decides to join Vulcan’s side. He fires at Korvus’ craft, allowing the missile to continue. The tide continues to turn against the Starjammers, as they are overpowered by the Imperial Guard, who then arrive on Finality, just before the enraged Havok is about to kill his brother. On Vulcan’s order, the stargate is opened, destroying the Scy’ar fleet. Though defeated, Havok succeeds in a final blow, using his powers to destroy the Finality station. Later, on the Shi’ar throneworld, Ka’ardum explains to Lilandra that he is taking Vulcan’s side, as he believes the Shi’ar Empire shall flourish under his rule. As a final act of loyalty, however, he does allow Lilandra to flee. In the following days, Vulcan’s popularity grows among the Shi’ar, who cheer out his name. Addressing them with the Starjammers as his prisoners, Vulcan promises he shall expand the Shi’ar Empire and destroy those who get in their way – including the one called Charles Xavier.

Full Summary: 

The Starjammer, outside the Ka’leb Molecular Cloud…

Polaris is in shock. “This can’t be happening again,” she utters in panic. The other Starjammers try to snap her out of it and give her updates on their current status. Korvus reports that three Shi’ar warbirds have just jumped in, and that their lead ship is firing. Raza adds that the Imperial Guard is approaching, and that Electron is leading them. On a sidenote, Raza reminisces he has felt Electron’s sting before…

Rachel can’t concentrate due to Oracle’s ongoing interferences, but she can confirm that there are more of the Guard coming for them. Ch’od asks for Lorna’s command, hoping she won’t plan to decide posthumously. Rachel starts to worry as well because she can’t sense Havok. She fears that Vulcan has kill...

“No,” Lorna interrupts Rachel. “That’s not going to happen.” Green magnetic sparks start flowing out of Lorna’s eyes. She hurls them around the Starjammer ship, and fires another magnetic attack against an attacking Shi’ar ship, destroying it. Lorna’s entire body now glows in a full magnetic wave, causing worrying among the other Starjammers. Lorna finally gives her order: they shall destroy Finality. They’ll destroy it even if they have to kill every single member of the Imperial Guard to do it. And, she declares, if Vulcan has even touched Alex... Vulcan belongs to her.

Meanwhile, at the Finality station...

Vulcan orders his Guard to get the station working. Complying, Mentor confirms the mechanism is based on Shi’ar technology, but the Scy’ar upgrades are far more advanced than anything they have. He has learned that the entire station is an engine, which powers the warpgates. However, he fears it would take him decades to reproduce Finality.

To this, Vulcan mocks it’s lucky for him he only needs one. He picks up a skull of a dead Scy’ar Tal, and examines it. He thinks he’ll put a star right in the middle of the Scy’ar fleet. Mentor informs his king that the Scy’ar Tal fleet is approaching the M’Kraan world. They don’t know the ramifications to... Vulcan interrupts Mentor with a simple wish: he wants every one of their enemies dead. “Fire the damn weapon.”

Back on the Starjammer ship
“We are being boarded!” Raza announces. Prepare for… As Korvus charges up his blade, Plutonia phases through the ship’s hulls and sticks her hand through the metal plate on Raza’s body, taking him out mid-sentence. Likewise, the other members of the Imperial Guard phrase through the hull and start fighting.

Electron fires an attack on Polaris, who blocks it with her powers. Lorna orders Rachel and Korvus to take the Guard out but, before she can do anything, Rachel is blinded by Manta, who opens up her cape right in front of her, revealing an intense bright light. Ch’od tries to take out Electron with a punch and warns Korvus, who is fighting next to him, to avoid any sudden explosions. Korvus simply keeps on fighting Flashfire and is more worried about Rachel than anything else.

Outside in space, Finality fires a missile. Ch’od sees it and recognizes the missile as a tracer, the same as Feather’s Edge. And the tracer is opening a warpgate, which he detects is heading to the M’Kraan world… which seems unfortunate to him. Locked in battle, Lorna orders the recovered Rachel and Korvus to go after the tracer and prevent it from reaching the world. Rachel refuses to leave Lorna and the others to the Guard like this, but Lorna is confidant. Ray and Korvus have to go. She reminds them they saw what Finality did to Feather’s Edge. They just can’t let that happen to the M’Kraan Crystal!

Inside Finality, Gladiator has used his powers to learn that Rachel and Korvus have broken off from the Starjammers and are entering the warpgate. Vulcan orders Gladiator to go after them, and to kill them both. He further orders the entire Imperial Guard sent after the Starjammer. Gladiator obeys, and he and the other troops leave.

Now left alone in the station, Vulcan stares outside a massive window and remains. Bitteryly, he thinks about if Xavier could see him now. Vulcan smiles that the Shi’ar made him a slave, and now he rules them. Xavier had sent Vulcan to die and, soon he promises, he’ll come to kill Xavier. He’ll show the entire universe what power is.

On that moment, Vulcan gets hit by a blast fired by none other than... Havok! Vulcan can’t believe his eyes. Havok, floating in mid-air surrounded by an intense aura of his powers, asks his brother if he really wants to know what true power is. In that case, Alex is more than happy to demonstrate it!

Elsewhere in space...

The ship of Lilandra and her uncle manages to destroy another Scy’ar ship. Lilandra notices the aliens are retreating, to which Ka’ardum explains the Scy’ar Tal are in chaos. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t dangerous. He thinks the Scy’ar are going to be at the edge of the system hoping to regroup.

Suddenly, one of the captains warns that a stargate has just opened and that something came through! The captain confirms it’s a tracer from Finality. Lilandra understands: it’s Vulcan’s scheme to exterminate them all. Ka’ardum isn’t certain. He asks where the tracer is going. The captain indicates that the tracer is headed towards the center of the Scy’ar fleet.

At the same time, Rachel and Korvus are in hot pursuit of the tracer. Rachel flies using her telekinesis powers and Korvus is sitting in a small aircraft. Rachel calls Vulcan insane for actually trying to destroy the crystal. Korvus reminds her Vulcan is filled with hate rather than insanity. Rachel tries to grab the tracer with her powers but, just as she almost has it, she is punched by Gladiator!

Rachel faces Gladiator and asks how he can do this: serve Vulcan while he knows the throne belongs to Lilandra. Gladiator defends himself by saying the throne belongs to the Shi’ar and not just any one person, and that the throne has ordered Rachel’s death. Rachel realizes it’s pointless arguing with Gladiator. She orders Korvus to take care of the tracer, while she’ll fight the leader of the Imperial Guard.

Back at Finality, his power locked against that of his brother in a fiery exchange, Vulcan tells his Havok that the Professor once told him that he may never know the upper limit of his power, and that Charles never thought of throwing him into a star. Vulcan is certain Alex can’t defeat him, because he is a god. “A god?” Havok replies. “You’re just… a man.” With that and a final strain, Havok pours on the power and knocks Vulcan off balance and reeling backwards.

As Vulcan reels in pain from his right arm, which glows bright blue, Havok rushes towards him, explaining he has absorbed enough energy to make Gabriel burn! Now resorting to fists, Havok delivers a right cross to Vulcan’s chin, calling him a pathetic, little child, with too much power. Incensed, Gabriel strikes back, firing a blast of flame, but Alex dodges. Clearly unable to concentrate, Vulcan vows to kills his brother, to which Havok ask if me means like their father? Or Banshee? “No,” Alex shouts out angrily at Gabriel. “You’ve done enough. Now you pay.”

Back to the Starjammer, where...

An explosion rocks the ship, after which Raza reports that they’ve lost the starboard engine. No sooner has he reported this than he is attacked by Plutonia, who phases her hand back through Raza’s metal plate on his chest, causing great pain. However, Lorna defends her teammate and strikes Plutonia with a magnetic blast before she can do any lasting harm.

Nearby, as Ch’od smacks Flashfire’s face on the control panels, reporting “correcting for engine loss,” Lorna orders the big guy to take them to the Finality station. They have to destroy it, no matter what. Ch’od sighs, because he feels there is a teleportation in progress. Lorna wants to know if it’s more Guard members. “No,” Ch’od corrects. It’s all of the Imperial Guard. When Lorna then asks, “Any thoughts?” Ch’od can only respond with an obscenity.

In space, Rachel’s rage manifests in the space of a telekinetic, fiery Phoenix raptor, whose wing knocks the might Gladiator backwards. Watching the battle, Lilandra is amazed that the girl is actually fighting Gladiator to a standstill. In addition to this good news, Araki reports that Korvus will reach the tracer in time. Lilandra thanks the gods Vulcan’s madness will be stopped. They can route the remaining Scy’ar Tal and then give backup to the Starjammers… Lilandra’s uncle forgives his interruption, but has to order his captain to fire. Without delay, the order is carried out and Korvus’ space-bike is destroyed, leaving him floating in space.

The explosion causes Rachel and Gladiator to pause their fight! “By Shaara...” Lilandra utters speechless. She demands to know what Ka’ardum has done. Now, Finality will reach its mark, and now he has not only condemned the Scy’ar Tal, but all of reality. She fears for the M’Kraan Crystal. Ka’ardum reminds Lilandra that the Crystal was a gift from the gods, and he has faith that it will weather this storm. The Scy’ar Tal will not.

Now ignoring Gladiator, Rachel takes after the tracer, propelled by a fiery, blue Phoenix raptor of telekinetic energy.

Inside Finality, the computer warns that the stargate coordinates have been locked. A badly injured Mentor calls out to his Emperor, who is being badly beaten by Havok. Lifting his brother by the neck, Alex says now this ends. Though scared from his brother’s energy, Vulcan smiles, laughing that Alex doesn’t have the stone... X-Men… don’t… kill. To thism Havok mockingly asks his brother if he didn’t hear: he quit the X-Men.

Just as Alex is about to fulfill his threat, a teleportation portal brings more to the station. It’s Deathbird and the rest of the Imperial Guard, at whose feet lay the unconscious or chained Starjammers. Deathbird shouts at Alex to release her husband, or else she will begin disemboweling his friends. As Alex cries out to Lorna, Vulcan takes advantage of his brother’s distraction and yells, “Mentor, now!” Immediately, Mentor obeys, pressing a button which opens the stargate.

In his ship, Ka’ardum orders the commencement of the jump. Lilandra’s pleadings go unheeded.

In space, Rachel has picked up Korvus’ unconscious body, fleeing the area to safety. She begs for forgiveness.

Behind her, the stargate opens, through which the energy of a sun explodes, annihilating the Scy’ar fleet. As a side effect, fiery energy is propelled, which impacts the planet below. Despite the onslaught, however, the M’Kraan Crystal survives.

In Finality, Alex is still holding Vulcan, who informs Alex that, if he kills him, he’ll watch his lover die. Or, Gabriel smiles, Alex can kneel before him and beg for mercy. Before Havok can decide, Ch’od tells Alex Lorna wanted him to give Alex a message: “This can only end one way.” Replying that he knows, Havok fires his powers through Finality, destroying most of it.

Mentor informs his emperor that the weapon has been destroyed. Further, he adds, the entire station is going to explode! Calling him an unbelievable bastard, Gabriel asks Havok if he knows what this cost him. He thinks he should kill Alex right there… Held fast by Warstar, Alex agrees. Gabriel should kill him, because if he doesn’t Alex promises he’ll never stop coming after him. He will never stop.

Almost ignoring his brother, Vulcan orders Deathbird to teleport them all out of the station. All of them.

Back among the Shi’ar fleet, Ka’ardum orders his niece to run. When Lilandra doesn’t understand, Ka’ardum explains that she must take an escape pod. Marvel Girl and Korvus are nearby and Lilandra should rendezvous with them. The Shi’ar civil war is over, and he’s taking Vulcan’s side. He thinks Vulcan’s actions have now revealed his true nature: that of a Shi’ar. He was willing to do whatever it took to protect the empire. Ka’ardum is certain that, under Vulcan’s rule, the empire shall flourish. But she must run. Moments later, Lilandra flies way in a small craft, in tears as she departs.

Chandilar, days later...

Vulcan gives a speech to his people, who now all proudly cheer out his name. Vulcan explains to them that the Scy’ar Tal have been defeated and that the Shi’ar armada has been reunited. He is proud that the Empire’s enemies lie at their feet, and he promises that this is only the beginning. Behind the proud emperor stand Araki, Ka’ardum and all the Imperial Guard. The Starjammer all sit below him in chains. Vulcan declares that the Shi’ar Empire’s destiny shall be fulfilled. They shall destroy those who will stand in their way, including the one the Shi’ar call Mummudrai, the man also known as Professor Charles Xavier. As a fleet of starships soar above him, Vulcan shouts that, together, they shall expand their universe, and they will conquer. The Shi’ar Empire shall rise again!

13,000 years ago...

A Scy’ar Tal pilot informs his Eldest he thinks they have found something. It’s a lone planet, lying in darkness. And according to their scriptures... The Eldest interrupts, saying that the god in the Crystal will cast them out and then hide the brothers’ home. Regarding the lone, orange colored planet, he informs his brothers that they are home.

However, the pilot reads that there are lifesigns on the planet, which means someone else is there. Baring his teeth, the Eldest angrily declares that those people are in M’Kraan holy lands. They will leave, or else they will die. The Scy’ar Tal fly towards the planet, ready to invade.

Characters Involved: 

Ch’od, Havok, Marvel Girl, Polaris, Raza (all Starjammers)



Electron, Flashfire, Plutonia, Manta, Mentor, Nightshade, Oracle, Starbolt, Titan, Warstar (all Imperial Guard)

Lilandra Neramani

Major-General Ka’ardum


13,000 years ago:

Eldest and others of the Scy’ar Tal (unnamed)

Story Notes: 
Issue Information: 
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