X-Men / Fantastic Four #4

Issue Date: 
May 2005
Story Title: 
Chapter Four – 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: 

Storm, Human Torch and Invisible Woman use their collective powers to cool off the heat from the approaching shuttle, Titan, as well as to slow it down. They are then able to guide the shuttle to the evacuated Times Square, where they await the Brood to make their next move. Elsewhere, Beast and Mr. Fantastic come up with a cure for the X-Men’s transformation, though it may be risky and unsafe. In Canada, Thing and Cyclops track down the wild Wolverine, where they are finally able to take down the man. The two take him back to New York, where Reed and Beast are ready to attempt the procedure, which they only have one shot in doing. Suddenly, they receive a call from the Human Torch and are rushed to Times Square before they can start the procedure. There, they find hundreds of Acanti in the sky, all carrying Brood warriors. The doors to the Titan then open as the Brood waiting inside emerge into Times Square.

Full Summary: 

High above Times Square in New York City, the space shuttle, Titan, heads towards the area at perilous speeds. Standing atop a skyscraper, watching the shuttle arrive, are Storm of the X-Men and the Invisible Woman of the Fantastic Four. As the shuttle comes ever closer, Storm asks Sue if she is sure that she wants to do this. Sue replies that no one available can handle this besides her. It was her mistake to allow the Brood-infected crew to live, so she must deal with the repercussions.

Storm turns to Sue and tells the woman that she made no mistake. She was only trying to help the Simulacra’s survivors. Storm comforts Sue and assures her that she would have done the same as well had she been there. Touched for a moment, Sue pauses to think. She then turns back to Storm and tells the weather goddess that she had hoped that a cure could have been found and the heroes could have returned to help the crew. Storm tells Sue that there is a chance that they still can. She was once cured and so have others. First, though, they need to save the city. Sue agrees and, via her communicator, she asks her brother, the Human Torch, if he is ready.

The Torch streaks overhead and confirms that he is ready for action. Sue informs him that the friction from re-entry is creating an enormous amount of heat around the shuttle. Fortunately, the Titan is staying intact, but unfortunately it is white hot. Storm joins the Torch in the air as he tells his sister that he knows the plan, which is to have him absorb the heat from the shuttle so it can cool down. Storm adds that at the speed at which the shuttle is going it will be as if a bomb hit Manhattan. Therefore, their job is to cool and slow down the shuttle. Torch asks Storm about the Brood inside the shuttle. Storm assures Johnny that the Brood are trapped in the shuttle, thanks to the heat and velocity, and cannot do anything until the shuttle has crashed.

Sue wishes the pair good luck, as they reach the streaking Titan. Johnny tells Sue not to worry, as they will slow down the ship. She, however, should get ready to land it. As Storm flies above the Titan, the Torch flies beneath it and presses his body against its bottom, as he begins to absorb its heat. Johnny tells Storm that he is in position. Storm has also gotten into position and calls forth rain. For the next few moments, the two are able to decrease the temperature of the ship. After a moment, the Torch tells Storm that he has the heat under control. Now they need to slow down the ship. Storm flies ahead of the shuttle and uses a massive force of wind to begin the deceleration of the Titan. As it begins to slow, Johnny contacts Sue and tells her that they are going up Broadway so she better be ready.

Sue spots the Titan and creates a giant invisible slide leading down into Times Square. Johnny is concerned at first for not being able to see anything, but Sue assures him that she has set up the slide. A few seconds later, the shuttle hits the slide and travels down. Declaring that the shuttle is hers, Sue concentrates to hold the slide together as the shuttle reaches the bottom and comes to a halt in the middle of the earlier evacuated Time Square. Sue falls to the ground from exhaustion, as Storm and the Human Torch regroup with her.

From the Fantastic Four headquarters, Mr. Fantastic and the Beast watch the video feed of their teammate’s actions. Reed announces to Beast that the shuttle has been stopped. Though happy, Beast reminds Reed that stopping the shuttle was only the first step. The Brood have to be contained now that they are on the ground. Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. were able to evacuate midtown, but with the recent circumstances concerning the Avengers, it is up to the X-Men and Fantastic Four to stop the Brood from spreading. Reed adds that to do that they need to be at full strength, which isn’t the case at the moment, with four of Hank’s X-Men down. Beast agrees, but announces that they should be ready soon.

Reed puts his hand on Beast’s shoulder and tells him that his idea is very risky. Beast agrees, but at the same time it is viable. Reed, this time, agrees, but adds that there are so many variables in the mutant genome, and that is before factoring in the unknown variables of adding in radiation. Beast firmly tells Reed that it is a risk he is willing to take. Reed again asks Hank if he is sure. In response, Beast asks Reed what he would do in this situation. Reed answers that he would do it in a heartbeat.

Having heard all he needs to hear, Beast starts sequencing the chromosomal codes based on the X-Men’s pre-transformation genetic makeup. He then asks Reed to start matching the radiation patters he calculated earlier. One last time, Reed informs Beast that this may be their only chance to cure the X-Men. Beast acknowledges that he knows, which is why he prays that Thing and Cyclops find Wolverine in time and get him back.

Simultaneously over Canada, Thing pilots the Fantasti-car and shows Cyclops a hut where they seem to have tracked Wolverine down to. Cyclops asks if they should land, but Thing advises against it as Wolverine might hear or smell them coming. He suggests that he goes first. Thing then jumps out of the vehicle and falls through the sky and crashed through the roof of the cabin.

For a moment, nothing stirs in the wreckage of the cabin. Suddenly, the Thing comes flying out, as Wolverine attacks in a feral rage. Thing is thrown into a series of trees, as Cyclops lands the Fantasti-car. Thing recovers, as he mutters how Wolverine used his elastic body to shoot him back out. It seems that Logan still has brains somewhere in his messy body. Wolverine then stretches his arms to attack with his claws, but misses. He then picks up boulders and begins to chuck them at the two heroes, again missing.

Thing picks up a tree and chucks it at Logan, who stretches his body into a series of loops to avoid being hit. Shocked, Ben is surprised that Wolverine has already learned the Loopdy-Loop maneuver that Reed often uses. Cyclops tells Thing that it is no use to attack from a distance. They have to get in up close and personal.

The Thing volunteers to go, as he charges Wolverine head on. Wolverine, however, wraps his body around Thing. Thing grabs Wolverine, and jokes for the feral man not to think that Thing likes him just because they are all touchy-feely now. Thing holds the man in position and orders Cyclops to cut loose. Cyclops does and blasts Wolverine out with his optic blast. “Wuss,” comments Thing, as Wolverine’s unconscious body hits the ground.

Cyclops and Thing return to Four Freedom Plaza, where they rendezvous with the Human Torch on the roof. Cyclops asks if the Brood have emerged from the shuttle, to which Johnny replies that there is no sign of the aliens. They could be dead. Cyclops, however, believes that the aliens might be waiting for something. Thing tells Cyclops that both of them don’t have to take Wolverine to the lab, so why doesn’t he join the Torch at the site of the crash? Cyclops at first refuses, stating he wants to see Emma, but Thing tells him that maybe it would be best if he didn’t see the woman till after she is cured. Cyclops pauses, and then agrees. The Torch then flies Cyclops to the site.

In the Baxter Building, Reed tells the approaching Thing to quickly place Wolverine into the tube next to Gambit, Emma and Nightcrawler. The tube has already been preprogrammed with his genetic code. “Nice to see you too,” replies Thing, as he complies. Wolverine is sealed into the tube but, before anyone can proceed, Thing’s attention is drawn to the window. The three men look out to see two symbols in the sky made out of fire: one an X, the other a 4. Realizing that it is a call to them, the three decide that something bad is happening at the crash site.

The three heroes rush to the crash site in time to see hundreds of Acanti, the living ships of the Brood, in the air all around Manhattan. That is when the doors to the Titan open, and the Brood pour out.

Characters Involved: 

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

Various Brood
Various Acanti

Story Notes: 

The Avengers disbanded in Avengers Finale.

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