X-Men / Fantastic Four #3

Issue Date: 
March 2005
Story Title: 
Chapter Three – Untitled

Akira Yoshida (Writer), Pat Lee (Pencils), Edwin Garcia (Backgrounds), Rob Armstrong (Inks), Rob Ruffolo (Colorist), Dave Sharpe (Letters), John Barber (Assistant Editors), Mike Marts (Editor), Joe Quesada (Editor in Chief), Dan Buckley (Publisher)

Brief Description: 

The X-Men and Fantastic Four still on Earth rush to the crash site of the X-Jet, fearing the worst for their teammates aboard. Once there, the group is attacked by the four X-Men aboard, who have been transformed by the cosmic storm and given the powers of the Fantastic Four, though they seem to be lashing out in an insane rage. The Human Torch confronts Gambit, who seems to have inherited his fire powers, though with a variation of kinetic energy. Johnny takes him down and helps Reed and Cyclops take out Nightcrawler, who has gained the ability of invisibility. Sue and Thing emerge from the wreckage of the X-Jet and help the group take down the rock-hard-skinned Emma, who is the only attacking X-Man that is slightly coherent. Wolverine, who now has elastic powers, escapes into the forest. Reed and Beast take the three captured X-Men to the Baxter Building to examine. There, Reed learns about secondary mutations from Beast, and also notices that Emma, the only X-Man bombarded by cosmic energy, has a secondary mutation, but was also the only one who wasn’t totally enraged. Before Reed and Beast can work further on this revelation, they are called by Storm, who informs them that the Brood eggs Sue left behind in the Simulacra have hatched and the Brood aboard are heading to New York City aboard the space shuttle, Titan.

Full Summary: 

In upstate New York, the Fantastic Four’s Fantasticar zooms through the air at top speed. Aboard the ship are Reed Richards, Beast, and Cyclops, while the Human Torch and Storm fly through the air under their own power. Reed looks ahead and down into the woods, informing his companions that the X-Jet that their loved ones and teammates were aboard crashed just ahead. A little emotional, the Torch asks Reed if he could stop using the word crash site. Thing is one of the best pilots there is and he probably landed the jet just fine.

Cyclops agrees, but points out to the Torch that there has been no word from their teammates since they reentered the atmosphere. Beast continues, and tells Johnny that the landing may not have been as smooth as they think. Storm remains optimistic and points out that they have all survived worse. With their combined abilities, the passengers surely protected themselves. Cyclops, however, is still hesitant to agree, as the screams he heard from their last transmission sounded contradictory to what Storm thinks.

Reed turns around and agrees with Cyclops. It seems that their teammates were unable to avoid the cosmic storm, which might have unpredictable results for the X-Men. Obviously painful, too, replies Cyclops. Reed tells Scott not to jump to conclusions just yet, which shocks Cyclops, who recalls Reed mentioning earlier how the cosmic rays may not mix well with the mutant gene structure. Reed confirms that in theory this is true, but there are too many variables to think about. Angered, Cyclops tells Reed that he doesn’t care about variables. He refuses to bury another X-Man. Beast assures Scott that they won’t have to, when suddenly three adamantium rods slam through the Fantasticar.

As the heroes wonder who is ambushing them, balls of kinetic energy come flying into the air. Storm uses her winds to catch the crashing Fantasticar, while she sends the Human Torch to find the attackers. Three more kinetic energy balls come flying at Johnny, who uses a wall of fire to block the attack. Storm lands the Fantasticar but is shocked at another site, which she can’t believe. The Torch stops in his tracks and tells Storm that unfortunately it is true. Reed looks forward and discovers that the attackers are actually the X-Men!

The heroes are in shock to see their transformed teammates: Wolverine, Nightcrawler, Emma Frost and Gambit. Scott sees Emma, who stands stoically alone, but with cracking rock-hard diamond skin, much like the Thing. Scott is confused at first and asks Emma if that is really her. Beast yells at Scott to look out as he tackles the man out of the reach of Wolverine’s elongated arms. The Torch sends out a blast of fire to cover the X-Men’s backs, but Storm uses her rain to douse it, as she does not want her attacking teammates to be hurt.

Angry, Johnny asks Storm why she stopped him. The X-Men attacked them and they are not her teammates anymore. They are monsters. Reed calms Johnny down and tells him that Storm is right. Those are the X-Men and the heroes cannot hurt them, no matter what the heroes have transformed into. Johnny points out that the X-Men are still hostile, and also adds that he doesn’t see Sue or Ben anywhere. Before Reed can respond, the four X-Men charge them.

Cyclops orders the heroes to take down the X-Men without hurting them. However, he is cut off mid-sentence when Nightcrawler’s tail seemingly comes out of nowhere and wraps itself around Cyclops’ neck. A half-visible Nightcrawler then whips Scott away with one powerful motion. Reed quickly catches Cyclops, but observes that Nightcrawler now has Sue’s invisibility powers. In the air, the Torch sees that Gambit has inherited his powers. Gambit flies up into the air after Johnny, radiating with kinetic fire. Johnny is shocked to see that Gambit has mastered his new powers so quickly.

Down below, Emma punches Reed in the face, much to the dismay of Cyclops. He calls out to his love and asks her if she can hear him, then asks her what happened. Emma stops in her tracks and in a delirium she calls out Scott’s name. However, she swings around and backslaps Cyclops in the face. The powerful hit sends Cyclops flying back into a tree. Emma begins to charge, which leaves Cyclops with no other option. He apologizes to his girlfriend, and then tells her that this will hurt him more than her. He then lets loose with an optic blast, which stuns the woman.

While she is distracted, Beast leaps from the forest and knocks the woman down with his feet. He then grabs Scott and drags the injured man away, comforting Scott by telling him that Emma is much better looking than the Thing.

Up in the air, the Human Torch tries a new tactic. After having his own flames extinguished numerous times, he has learned how to do it himself. Johnny then creates a cyclone of fire, which blows away all the kinetic fire from Gambit. Before Gambit can recharge, Johnny knocks him out with one good punch.

Johnny grabs the unconscious Gambit and brings him to Reed. He then asks his brother-in-law for an explanation of how the X-Men have the powers of the Fantastic Four. Reed suggests that the cosmic storm altered the genetic structure of the X-Men, giving them powers similar to those of the Fantastic Four. However, this troubles Reed, as it implies that the powers are not random variation at all. Not caring for the science behind it, Johnny asks Reed what happened to Sue and Ben. As Johnny powers down, Reed tells him that since Sue and Ben have already been altered by the cosmic storm they should have been spared from the effects of it.

Johnny is relieved to hear that, though he is still concerned as to where his sister and friend are. Behind him, an invisible Nightcrawler tries to wrap his tail around Johnny’s neck. However, Johnny senses the mutant and flames up before Nightcrawler can do so. Reed jumps at the chance to wrap up Nightcrawler with his body. With Nightcrawler trapped in him, Reed tells Cyclops to shoot an optic blast at the furry X-Man. Scott is hesitant at first out of concern for Reed, but Reed assures him that since Scott’s blasts are concussive it won’t harm his elastic body. At most, it would hurt him. He then tells Scott to shoot before Nightcrawler teleports away.

Cyclops lets loose an optic blast right at Reed, which knocks out Nightcrawler. Dizzy, Reed loosens up his hold and returns back to normal shape. Cyclops asks Reed if he is okay. Reed feels a bit tingly, but is all right. Cyclops is relieved, as his blasts usually do more than tingle. Beast takes a tally real quick and sees that Gambit and Nightcrawler are down, Emma is temporarily indisposed… so that just leaves…

There is a loud boom of thunder. In the air, Storm screams at Wolverine and asks him why he won’t fall. The stretching Wolverine sends his arms into the sky and almost stabs Storm with his adamantium claws. Fortunately, he misses and rips her outfit instead. However, Storm is stuck to the claws and is thrown to the ground when Wolverine pulls her down. The Human Torch comes to Storm’s aid, but finds that Wolverine is too flexible and is evading all the attacks with his new body. Wolverine is about to stab Storm in the head when a voice asks Wolverine if he can dance with his date.

The Thing screams that it’s clobberin’ time and then proceeds to smash his fists into Wolverine. Johnny is happy to see his friend and welcomes him to the party. Sue arrives and tells Johnny that, if this is a party, she is sorry she only brought a present for Emma. She then uses a force field to contain the wild former White Queen. Reed is also relieved to see his wife and friend and asks Sue what happened in the shuttle. Sue tells Reed that they need to deal with their priorities first. Can she get help dealing with the wicked witch of the west?

Reed grabs Cyclops and asks him for his assistance. He takes the man to the field in which Emma is encased. A concentrated blast to the forehead should work. Cyclops understands and positions himself at the base of the field bubble, which is in the air. He then shoots a blast, which nails Emma in the forehead and knocks her out.

Beast rounds up the other two unconscious X-Men, but warns Reed that they may not stay out for long. Reed informs Beast that a transport is already zeroing in on their position. Reed’s labs will probably be the best place to examine the X-Men. Beast agrees with Reed and volunteers to go along, as two heads are better than one.

Nearby, Thing warns the others that they may need a spatula to pick up Logan, as he is going to get a beating. Wolverine slashes Thing’s chest, but luckily does not damage. The other heroes group up and Sue pleads to Wolverine not to do this. Thing taunts Wolverine instead, but the feral mutant instead uses his stretching limbs to escape and retreat into the forest. Storm loses track of Wolverine, while the Torch is amazed that Logan knew that he should retreat even in his crazed state.

Sue states that the X-Men were out of control as soon as they transformed. Cyclops asks Reed if violence is a side effect of exposure to the cosmic rays. No, replies, Reed, but pain is. The pain may have caused the X-Men to lash out. The genetic alterations of the mutant chromosomes must be excruciating. This concerns Cyclops, who is afraid that Wolverine might lash out at the next person he sees. He sends Storm and the Torch to find Logan from above. The rest of them will head back to Xavier’s to track him via Cerebro. Beast adds that he and Reed will do their best to reverse the effects of the radiation. Ben mumbles that he has heard that line before.

Later on at the Baxter Building, the three captured X-Men are placed in stasis tanks until further notice in Reed’s lab. Beast is perplexed, however, and asks Reed how it is possible that the X-Men were mutated further, especially with the same powers as the Fantastic Four. Reed admits that he has always wondered if the powers granted by the cosmic rays were random, or rather if there was some elemental connection. However, he could not draw any real conclusions.

Beast ponders this and states that Johnny is fire then. Sue must be air and Thing Earth. Does that make Reed water? Reed confirms this and reminds Beast that elasticity is a form of fluidity. However, there is no scientific fact to explain this phenomenon, not the first time, nor the second.

The two scientists begin to correlate their information. Reed points out that Gambit’s power would make him more fire based. Beast adds that Nightcrawler’s teleportation displaces the air around him. Reed then remembers that adamantium is classified as a liquid metal. Could that be the connection in Wolverine’s case? He knows that he is stretching the link, though, if Beast will pardon the pun. Reed admits, however, that he cannot understand Emma’s situation.

Beast tells Reed that it is simple as Gambit’s situation. Diamonds come from Earth. Reed is confused and asks what diamonds have to do with anything. Emma is a telepath. Beast informs Reed that the ability to take on a diamond form is Emma’s secondary mutation. Once again, Reed is confused, this time about what a secondary mutation is. Beast explains that there has been a recent phenomenon in recent years. Mutants have been gaining new secondary abilities.

Reed is interested and asks if Nightcrawler, Wolverine or Gambit have displayed secondary mutations. Beast informs Reed that, to his knowledge, no, they have not. This excitedsReed, who feels that Emma may be the key to solving this situation, as she was the only coherent one during the battle. He goes back to his microscope and asks where Emma’s chromosomal coding was again. Beast tells him that he will have to have one of the X-Men send them her sample from the mansion.

Suddenly, a message arrives from Storm and Sue. Beast greets his teammate and tells her that they may have gotten onto something good there, but then asks about Wolverine. Storm tells Beast that they have found Wolverine, but something more pressing has occurred. Reed asks Storm what could be more important.

Storm switches to an N.A.S.A. video feed, which displays the space shuttle, Titan, the shuttle of the dead crew of the Simulacra. Storm informs Reed and Beast that the shuttle is heading to Earth with an adjusted flight plan. Reed asks where the shuttle is landing, to which Storm informs him that it is headed towards New York City.

Reed asks Storm if there were any survivors on the Simulacra. Storm switches the feed to an up close feed from the shuttle. As Reed and Beast see a group of Brood piloting the shuttle, Storm replies that, in a manner of speaking, yes, there were survivors.

Characters Involved: 

Beast, Cyclops, Emma Frost, Gambit, Nightcrawler, Storm, Wolverine (X-Men)
Human Torch II, Invisible Woman, Mr. Fantastic, Thing (Fantastic Four)

Various Brood

Story Notes: 

The idea of the Fantastic Four’s powers being elemental based and not random is a bit odd, as others have been bombarded by cosmic rays in the past, without displaying similar powers to the Fantastic Four.

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