X-Men Forever 2 #16

Issue Date: 
March 2011
Story Title: 
Shall We Rise Again?

Chris Claremont (writer), Ramon Rosanas (artist), Tom Orzechowski & Lois Buhalis (letterers), Grummett, Hamscher & Anderson (cover art), Michael Horwitz & Jordan D. White (editors), Mark Sumerak (consulting editor), Mark Paniccia (senior editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (Exec. Publisher)

Brief Description: 

Nick Fury informs the Avengers of the reasons for the X-Men’s ruse, though it is not well received. Afterward, the team attempts to continue with life. While Cyclops and Polaris grieve for the dead Havok, the real Storm and Kitty have a personal reunion. To help the comatose Nightcrawler, Dr. MacTaggert plans to call Dani Moonstar, as they will need a Valkyrie to help him. With Masque’s help, Storm takes the place of her clone to lead both Wakanda and Genosha to peace. Gambit and Kitty agree to stay and help her, while the unrepentant Storm clone is sent to Genosha in the hopes of helping her as well. Before leaving, Storm makes her peace with Sigrid Trask. Elsewhere, Sinister’s agent Robyn Hanover strikes and kidnaps Corsair and Nate Summers.

Full Summary: 

In a war room in the Wakandan royal palace stand the Avengers, X-Men Storm and Jean Grey, Callisto and Dr. Strange, all listening to a transmission by Nick Fury who is busy trying to convince the Avengers of the conspiracy the X-Men and SHIELD were victims of. He finishes that the data confirms everything revealed by Tony Stark. Who is dead, Captain America reminds him. And the X-Men are implicated in that death. Fury’s data says one thing, the data given the Avengers says another. Who do they believe? Is that a serious question, Fury scoffs. Jean telepathically asks him to keep his temper. Cap is his friend.

Captain America sighs and admits he trusts Nick, but how do they convince everyone else? Fury and the X-Men are supposed to be dead. It’ll be said if Fury can lie about that, how can anything he says be trusted? Fury will be accused of being under Ms. Grey’s mental control.

How do they know that isn’t happening? Hawkeye asks. They all know Grey’s rep. Perhaps she is playing mind games. For goodness’ sake! Jean exclaims impatiently but Ororo calms her. He has a point.

Fury asks Cap, what next, and reminds him of when they were fighting in WW II. Did they quit simply because the Nazis were winning? Not then, not now, Cap replies. The Consortium planned to exterminate every mutant in the world, he tells Hawkeye. Tony Stark sacrificed his life to stop them. They are Avengers, they don’t back murderers!

Elsewhere, Polaris and Cyclops mourn for Havok, who died protecting his brother from Queen Storm’s lethal blow. Lorna cries that is isn’t fair. Scott recalls how as children he and Alex were thrown out of a plane with one parachute while their parents fell prey to the Shi’ar. He held tight to his kid brother to protect him from the impact. He took the hard hit when they landed. He’s tried to look after him ever since. Alex felt the same, Lorna tells him. Why else did he block Storm’s blast? He knew what it was like to grow up without a father. He wouldn’t let that happen to Scott’s son. That’s one of the reasons she loved him so! Him too, Scott agrees with a small voice.

Elsewhere, the Vision examines the comatose Nightcrawler watched by Rogue, Mystique and Thor. During the battle, Kurt tried to absorb Thor’s power. Thor recovered, Nightcrawler has not. In fact, his hair turned white. Thor praises Kurt’s courage but his flesh is mortal. Vision finds his pulse is strong and his vital signs are off the charts. The answer to his condition is not strictly medical.

Suddenly, Kurt begins to speak seeming gibberish which Mystique recognizes as Runic, the ancient formal chants of the Vikings. He is calling out to the goddess of death Hela, Thor translates, for her Valkyrior to carry him to Valhalla. The strength of flesh matters not. He fears, his soul is at an end!

Mystique refuses to accept this and asks Vision to call the X-Mansion. The Vision calls Dr. McTaggert and transfers the biomedical data. Moira orders them to get Kurt to Muir Isle. She’ll meet them there, once she’s collected Dani Moonstar. Vision doesn’t understand. Thor explains that Dani is bound to the Valkyries. With her winged stallion, Brightwind, she can transport friends to the Golden Realm and there do what is necessary to save the lad. And Hela better not try to stop them, Rogue warns.

The Storm clone “Queen Storm” is manacled to the wall with manacles that cannot be picked and which neutralize her powers. She mocks both her “guards” Gambit and Sabretooth, then reminds Sabretooth she can restore mutant powers. If he kills the Cajun and cuts her loose, she will restore his healing powers. Imagine a real hand, she suggests, and real eyes. He snarls and reminds her that she took his eyes and killed his boy. How about he pay her back in kind? That’ll make them even! The real Storm enters with Callisto and some Avengers.

Captain America gives Scott and Lorna his condolences and shakes Scott’s hand.

Storm finds Kitty and happily greets her as “Kitten.” Kitty turns away and spits she hasn’t the right to call her that. She orders Storm to stay away; she wants nothing to do with her, tears belying that claim. Ororo asks what is wrong. She is kidding, right? Kitty snarls and unsheathes her claw. Did being a ghost make her dumb? Look at her! Logan may be dead, but he left a claws and part of his soul in her. Storm was her friend and she thought she’d struck him down. She felt so stupid for being betrayed. She tried to kill her!

Ororo orders her to look into her eyes to see the truth. She danced with Doom himself to bring Kitty back from the beyond. As Kitty faced down Loki to win Storm’s freedom in Asgard. They are bound by ties nothing can break. And now, more than ever, she needs Kitty by her side. Kitty finally trusts her and they hug.

Later, Storm announces to X-Men and Avengers both that she intends to take “perfect Storm’s” place as ruler of Wakanda to help both Genosha and Wakanda achieve their rightful place in the world. Shades of Dumas’ “Man in the Iron Mask,” Kitty mutters. It’s a matter of honor, Storm explains. T’challa was her friend and her doppelganger betrayed him. She must set things right.

What to do with the copy? Spider-Woman asks. If they kill her, how can they call themselves heroes? Perfect Storm asks and vows she will have her revenge, if they let her live. Dr. Strange lectures that all life contains risk The Eye of Agamotto knows the truth that revenge may cost her far more than it is worth.

Cyclops warns Storm this isn’t a causal commitment but the rest of her life. Captain America takes her side: it may be their only option. If they reveal the truth, the Consortium is probably ready and waiting to move in to take over Wakanda and Genosha. That likely means complete annihilation for the island’s mutants. He has seen one holocaust in his lifetime. He won’t be party to another.

Storm continues that, whatever Perfect Storm’s intentions were, her first act was to win the love of Wakanda’s people. That she will maintain. But instead of annexing Genosha, she will approach the island as a friend to help them build a land for humans and mutants working together. From that foundation, they can reach out as allies to Africa and the world.

She asks for Callisto’s help who admits this sounds like fun but points out it won’t work the way Storm looks right now. Ororo turns to Masque and Gambit warns him what will happen if he plays them false. He asks Storm if she is sure about this as she will have to bear a scar. Masque works on Storm, changing her hairstyle and adding the scar which Storm considers a badge of honor and a very small price to pay for what they intend.

Hawkeye is still not convinced the X-Men are legit (unlike most of his teammates). Sabretooth interrupts the arguments, announcing an approaching SHIELD assault craft. Cap orders the Scarlet Witch and Dr. Strange to scramble SHIELD’s scanners so they can’t tell who they are. He tells the X-Men they’ll buy them time to get out as they are still pretending to be dead.

Remy tells Storm he wasn’t altogether sure it was her till now. He remembers her eyes. He has saved her twice now, she tells him and promises they will meet again sooner than he thinks, him and Kitty. He promises to look after Kitty until then.

Time to go, he tells Kitty as the X-Men get ready to leave. When asked what Ororo said, he replies she promised to see them soon. He and Kitty aren’t done here. Jean transports the false Ororo who still threatens them. The Scarlet Witch promises to cover their escape and promises the next time they meet it will be as friends and allies.

In Alaska, Cosair is taking his grandson and houseguest Robyn Hanover for a long promised flight. Robyn touches Corsair’s arm and suddenly he seems to be in a trance. Robyn takes over the controls and sets a new course. She promises to keep Nate safe. The boy shakes his grandfather and asks Robyn to get them back to the Starjammer. She replies she is taking them to the best doctor she has ever known, one who has wanted to meet Nate for a very long time. He ash such plans for him….

In Wakanda, the Avengers greet a heavily armed SHIELD unit led by Sigrid Trask, who demands to know what the Avengers are doing here and why SHIELD wasn’t notified. Captain America replies the Avengers are here at the request of Wakanda’s Queen. Trask demands more information. That moment, Storm arrives, suggesting she pose her questions to her.

Trask angrily berates her for the trouble she’s caused. The Dora Milaje order her to address Wakanda’s queen more carefully. Trask calls her the fool whose actions took this part of the world to the brink of war. But the crisis has passed, Storm replies mildly, and all is well again. She has been in direct communication with chief magistrate Anderson. Their differences have been resolved. So now what? Trask asks. Now they start again, determined to build a much more solid foundation for their friendship. Sigrid admits Storm is much better at this than she thought she’d be. As is she, Storm returns the compliment. She wonders where that will lead them.

The X-Men, in the meantime, have arrived in Hammer Bay. Anderson learns that Kitty now works for Queen Ororo. Anderson tells them that the other Storm is technically a possession of state. Ideally, they want to deprogram her and give her a second chance. Callisto is doubtful that will work. Anderson points out that they should try. After all, she did help save them from Cameron Hodge. Even if they think they’ve succeeded, they can’t ever let her go, Kitty points out.

Transported away, the other Storm still makes wild threads. Callisto tells her she need fear neither Ororo nor her, but Pryde.

They join the X-Men and other mutants at Havok’s funeral service. Kitty admits to Gambit how angry she feels. He offers to make her smile. Maybe that will help the pain pass away. Despite herself, she is enchanted and takes his hand.

At his brother’s coffin, Scott wonders why he couldn’t reach his father, either by radio or telepathy. Likewise, it looks like the Starjammers have lost contact as well. Which likely means that soon they will be on the road again. Lorna tells Scott that Alex died for him, the X-Men and Genosha and asks him to make sure he didn’t die in vain.

Anderson asks Lorna if she wishes to stay in Genosha and help rebuild. Lorna replies that Alex came to love this country. She loved Alex but she doesn’t know if she loves Genosha.

Jean confides in Scott that she wishes she’d stayed dead; maybe then much of this wouldn’t have happened. He replies that in the end that’s not important. These things have happened. Life goes on. They have to find a way to cope, to live with it. Look at him, all grown up, she tells him. A leader in every sense of the word. Scott promises they are going to find a way to make this world better for the generation that succeeds them. Hugging him, she promises she will be with him every step of the way. Whatever they face, they’ll all be X-Men forever!

Characters Involved: 

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

Storm (former X-Man)

Polaris (member of X-Factor)


Captain America, Hawkeye, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Spider-Woman II, Thor, Vision (all Avengers)

Dr. Strange

Callisto, Masque (both Morlocks)


Nate Summers (Cyclops’ son)

“perfect” Storm (Storm’s evil clone)

Dr. Moira MacTaggert

Colonel Nick Fury

Dora Milaje

Wakandan soldiers

Chief Magistrate Anderson

Sigrid “Ziggy” Trask

Robyn Hanover

Story Notes: 

This is the last issue. The series was also meant to go to issue #24 and possibly be renewed for another “season,” which is why several plotlines, such as Nightcrawler’s fate or Nate’s kidnapping now stay unsolved.

The X-Men faked their death in issue #1.

Interestingly in the past (Avengers Annual #10), Rogue absorbed Thor’s powers without the trouble Nightcrawler is experiencing.

Kitty helped Storm against Loki in Uncanny X-Men Annual #8.

Storm asked Dr. Doom for help to save Kitty in Fantastic Four vs. The X-Men #1-4.

Strictly speaking, the novel Kitty refers to by Alexandre Dumas the elder was titled “Vicomte of Bragelonne.” “The Man in the Iron Mask” is a part of it. Also – unlike the film versions – the switch of the twins in the novel was never successful.

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