X-Men Forever 2 #12

Issue Date: 
January 2011
Story Title: 
Fire -- from the sky!

Chris Claremont (writer), Rodney Buchemi (penciler), Greg Adams (inker), Wil Quintana (colorist),) Tom Orzechowski (letterer ), Grummett, Hamscher & Hollowell (cover art), Damien Lucchese (production), Michael Horwitz (editor), Mark Sumerak (consulting editor), Mark Paniccia (senior editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (Exec. Publisher)

Brief Description: 

While the world worries over the crisis between Wakanda and Genosha, the Ghost Panther saves a young Genoshan mutate from angry humans and preaches cooperation to both sides. She, ‘Ro and Callisto are attacked by Queen “Perfect” Storm and her troops. Luckily, the X-Men arrive to help. Queen Storm almost manages to abduct ‘Ro but the Ghost Panther saves the child and reveals that they both are Storm, for she is another version of Storm made of energy.

Full Summary: 

Chicago, Warren Worthington III’s office. A member of the board of directors comes in, asking about the expenses. Apparently, Warren’s been diverting millions into overseas accounts and running some kind of taxi service to East Africa. With a smirk, Warren reminds Mr. Frederick, that it’s his company and money, therefore it’s his business. Frederick replies they have a right to know what they are financing. In one word, revolution! Warren replies.

In Genosha’s capital, Hammer Bay, a young mutate woman (the number 1110), pale and with feral eyes, walks the streets when two men, addressing her as genejoke, tell her they have some work for her. The glowing girl refuses and calls them flatscans. She doesn’t have to obey anymore! She is as free as them! The men become aggressive, spoiling for a fight. Angrily, the girl berates them for calling her a monster. She used to be as them, until the Genegineer changed her and took away her future! She begins to emit energy, threatening to do the same to them.

A lightning bolt separates them. From a rooftop, the Ghost Panther informs them that’s enough and tells them to look around. This was a prosperous neighborhood. Too much of Genosha looks the same now, this land is bleeding to death and all they can do is fight amongst themselves! The old days, and ways, are done. If they are to prosper, they must find a way to live and work together.

He jumps down, asking them if they are jackals or men. Do they mean to frighten children or are they willing to work together to help heal this land they all should love?

The two men run away. Apparently, they need some time to think, the Ghost Panther comments, hoping they will eventually make the right choice. He has too much faith, the mutate girl remarks. Why should she trust the flatscans after what they’ve done to her, to the country? The Ghost Panther points out those days are ended by humans and mutants who chose to work together for the common good of all. Does she want to be a part of the new future or simply let it pass her by? The girl admits she doesn’t know. She doesn’t even have a name, just a number etched across her face. She needs to find out who she is before she can think about anything more. The Ghost Panther wishes her luck.

As he flies up to the roof, he is skeptical about her making the right decision. ‘Ro, who is waiting for him, is less so and announces how awesome it was how the Ghost Panther flew down there and made his case. Except neither side seemed to listen, comes he reply. ‘Ro doesn’t believe that. She saw their faces. Those two guys may have bolted but they heard what he said. And the girl too. The Ghost Panther is still skeptical.

At the United Nations building in New York:

Everett Ross speaks as the personal representative of the president of the USA. The situation is grave. The nation of Genosha is in turmoil. The recent conflict has been devastating and now they face a threat by the queen of Wakanda to annex the island. The delegates protest. The secretary general reminds Ross that they already confronted this treat and formally declined the queen’s petition. Ross replies she has other ideas. From a strategic viewpoint, Genosha is unique. It has the world’s largest cache of super-powered mutants, all of whom are recently liberated slaves. The question is whether the queen can be trusted and what she plans to do with those mutants. Can she be stopped?

Meanwhile, the X-Men are en route to Genosha. Havok, a former Magistrate himself, establishes a comlink with Chief Magistrate Anderson, who gives them a green light for landing. Jean is suspicious. Alex tells her to give Anderson a break. She is a friend. Jean refuses to trust anyone on this rock. How about him, Alex suggests, reminding her he is a magistrate too. He assures the others the island has changed. He’s been working here for months, trying to help rebuild the country. The reality they remember is done. Everyone looks skeptical and Cyclops hopes his brother is right.

Alex suggests he have a little faith. Scott admits something else is on his mind. Alex jokes he already promised they won’t have to fight each other down there again.

Has he noticed anything strange about Robyn Hanover? Scott asks. Not a thing, Alex replies. Scott explains he remembers her from the orphanage. Alex reminds him that he was adopted early, so he wouldn’t know anyone there. But if Robyn was there, he bets she was a friend. He’s seen her with Nate. She has a natural way with kids. He thinks it’s a coincidence. Scott doubts it: the X-Men rarely do coincidence.

Nightcrawler interrupts. He is getting some ominous spikes on the scanners. Something is happening down on the island. They may have to change their plans…

Back on Genosha, ‘Ro asks the Ghost Panther who he is. He’s not really a ghost, is he? The reply is that that’s his name. And every name reveals a bit of truth. ‘Ro find this creepy. That’s the idea, comes the reply. When people are frightened, they stop thinking straight. They panic and make mistakes. But to answer her question: he is someone looking after the people entrusted to his care. The Panther leads her to a building, inside are Callisto and some other Morlocks. Not just Morlocks, the Panther explains. All mutants and humans looking to live a better life, a truly free life. The Morlocks are a perfect example and the perfect soldiers to help usher in a new dawn.

What are they doing here? ‘Ro asks and the Panther explains that a mutual ally, an X-Man named Warren Worthington aka Archangel made it possible. What’s his link with Genosha? ’Ro asks. The Panther explains that Cameron Hodge, the man who nearly destroyed Genosha, was also one of Warren’s greatest enemies, so he feels responsible for much what happened here and is trying to make things right.

‘Ro still doesn’t see where she or that creepy grown up version of her fits in. That they are trying to determine, the Ghost Panther promises.

As if on cue, the Panther is felled by a gust of wind. Queen Storm of Wakanda and her people have found them. Angrily, Queen Storm vows this storm will not pass until Genosha bows before her new queen. The Panther strikes back and topples her. Perfect Storm orders her men to open fire. They are unsure, wondering if this is the Black Panther reborn. The Ghost Panther tells the men to trust their eyes and hearts. He isn’t their enemy.

Perfect Storm fires lightning at the Panther, shouting T’Challa is dead! The king was slain before her eyes, she avenged his murder then and will not let his memory be tainted by an imposter!

Callisto jumps and shoves the Ghost Panther to safety. The Panther tells her he owes her. He owes her more than one, Cal snorts. Not that she’s keeping count. They better settle their debts! Perfect Stom warns and zaps Callisto with lightning. However, the Morlock leader bounces back, mocking that the real Ororo knew how to fight. Even more, she knew how to lead. She had courage and honor. Queen Storm may have her body but she’ll never be her!

For once, he couldn’t agree with her more! Cyclops announces. The X-Men have arrived. Cyclops orders his team to help their friends and they jump into action.

Have herself a fun adventure? Gambit asks ‘Ro, who is happy that he is here and apologizes about Japan. Queen Storm takes Gambit out with a gust of wind and grabs ‘Ro, threatening she will kill him.

Kitty alerts the others to the kidnapping. Scott wants to order Jean to go after them but the Panther announces he will take care of that. He jumps up on the roof. “Goddess,” he whispers a moment later at the sight: ’Ro has taken to the air and is using lightning to battle Perfect Storm, who shouts angrily how dare the child think herself a match for her? She’s not her equal, she’s better’Ro mouths off. However, a moment later her control over the lightning fades.

She looks like she could use a boost, the Ghost Panther remarks and hits her with lightning. Saturating her, Perfect Storm realizes. The child can’t handle the sudden overload. Reacting from instinct ‘Ro casts the energy out of her body as a primal shockwave of force scattering both the Ghost Panther and Perfect Storm who wonders how the Ghost Panther could do that and realizes that she underestimated her foes. She threatens ‘Ro that this victory is only fleeting and flies away.

The Panther tells ‘Ro to let her go. The child gasps when she sees the damage to the armor and apologizes. The Panther replies it was his choice and responsibility. He has survived worse. ‘Ro agrees. She’s caused enough trouble already. Besides, what could she do anyway? She’s just a copy, a fake. Ghost Panther replies she is neither copy nor fake. But how can she be the real Storm? ‘Ro asks. She’s just a kid. And the life she remembers is nothing like Storm’s.

The Ghost Panther assures her that he knows whereof he speaks and takes off his – or more to the point - her helmet to reveal a mohawked Storm, made only of energy. She and ‘Ro both are the true Ororo, she announces.

Characters Involved: 

Cyclops, Gambit, Jean Grey, Mystique, Nightcrawler, ‘Ro, Rogue, Sabretooth, Shadowcat (all X-Men)

Havok, Polaris (both X-Factor)

Archangel (former X-Man)

Mr. Frederick (representative of Worthington’s board of directors)

Everett Ross (personal representative of the US president)

Chief Magistrate Anderson

Mutate 1110

Her human attackers
Queen “perfect” Storm

Wakandan troops and Dora Milaje

Story Notes: 

Everett Ross was a mainstay of the third Black Panther series.

Alex and Scott fought each other on Genosha during the X-tinction Agenda crossover. During that time and for some time later, Alex as a magistrate.

Issue Information: 
Written By: