X-Men Forever (2nd series) #14

Issue Date: 
February 2010
Story Title: 
Darkness at Dawn! - Black Magik – part 4

Chris Claremont (writer), Tom Grummett (penciler), Cory Hamscher (inker), Wilfredo Quintana & SotoColor (colorists),) Tom Orzechowski (letterer ), Grummett, Austin & Holowell (cover ), Anthony Dial (production), Charlie Beckerman & Michael Horwitz (assistant editors), Mark Paniccia ( editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (Exec. Publisher)

Brief Description: 

Cossack and Magik have released Kitty’s inner darkness, turning her into Firecat. She resists briefly but then gives in, helping the villains to attack the Winter Guard members and Gambit, who have come to save them. Cossack attempts to turn ‘Ro as well, but she fights him with her unstable weather powers and resists. When Gambit taunts Firecat why she can’t resist as well, Kitty holds on to her true self and turns against Cossack, intent on killing him, even though that would condemn her forever. Luckily, the Black Widow prevents that by shooting Cossack. Though Kitty becomes herself again, Illyana stays Magik and boasts that this is her true self and vows revenge before teleporting away. Colossus promises he and the Winter Guard will take care of her. Back at Xavier’s, Daisy Dugan and Sabretooth have informed Fury about the traitors in SHIELD. He orders them to ferret out the rest of the conspiracy. Nightcrawler gets a call for help from Amanda Sefton from Jackson, Mississippi. Rogue offers to accompany him. On a date, Jean and the Beast kiss. In Alaska, Scott’s son Nate worries that the X-Men will take his father away from him again…

Full Summary: 

Magik and Cossack’s spell have changed Shadowcat into a dark, fiery version of herself. Her soul made flesh, Illyana claims. Fierce and beautiful and full of passion. Not a Shadowcat, but her Firecat!

In Russian, Cossack reminds Magik that for the transformation to be permanent, the girl must shed blood. Illyana warns him that her friend speaks perfect Russian.

Why is she doing this? Kitty asks. Magik claims that their lives, souls and fates are bound together and she wants her best friend at her side. It’s wrong! Kitty protests. Oh please, Magik scoffs.

‘Ro wishes she could help, but is tied and gagged. Magik reminds Kitty that they are both outsiders but, now that Kitty has that claw, even her supposed friends are becoming afraid of her. And Logan’s dead. Storm betrayed her. Piotr loves the Widow now. Kitty’s world is in ruins; she’s all alone except for her. Illyana touches Kitty’s face, urging her to make a choice. Embrace who she is. Above all else, a cat is a predator…

Outside, the Karinivoski industrial facility, the Black Widow, Colossus and Gambit are expected by Winter Guard soldiers. The Widow tells her men that they need everyone with all the weapon and ammunitions they have. She climbs into the chopper.

An impressive woman, Gambit admits. She’s like this when it’s time for action, Colossus agrees. He knows they are going after his sister but, if the battle comes down to his blood or his heart, he has already made his choice…

Inside the chopper, Natasha tries to contact the rest of the Winter Guard but only reaches Darkstar and the Red Guardian as the others are on missions. Natasha tells them she isn’t waiting. They are to alert the rest of the Winter Guard and get here as quickly as they can.

She steps out and asks Arkadi where Colossus and Gambit and the rest of the team are. Arkadi explains they are gone. The American was anxious about the girl and wouldn’t wait. Piotr went to help. Simyon took his squad after them both. Natasha sighs muttering what it is about men, then tells the others to come and show these villains that all of the Winter Guard are a force to be reckoned with.

Meanwhile at Xavier’s School, alongside with Sabretooth, Daisy Dugan informs Nick Fury about what they’ve learned. The traitor in SHIELD totally strip-mined Cerebro. Fury agrees. He would have like to have a prisoner to interrogate. At the time, that wasn’t an option, Sabretooth blusters. Fury shoots back Logan would have found a way. Maybe that’s why he’s dead! Sabretooth shoots back. Fact is, his house stinks to heaven. And he killed their only lead, is the reply. If SHIELD’s been compromised, he doesn’t know whom to trust. There’s them, Daisy states.

Sabretooth tells Fury he knows what he’s thinking, so answer him this: Why should Sabretooth trust him? Why is he here at all? Fury asks. As a favor to her, Daisy reveals. She asked him. Finally, Fury begrudgingly admits Daisy is like her grandfather. Consider him sold. What worries him is, he handpicked the team here. These are people he’s known for years, agents he trusts. Daisy points out that Mike passed every security scan imaginable, including telepaths, with flying colors.

Didn’t get past his nose, Sabretooth boasts; he scented something wrong from the beginning. Then they’ll follow his lead, Fury decides and tells him to work his way through the mansion staff, then the support staff. But from here on he wants prisoners! He needs answers, not a bodycount. Is that understood? He’ll let him know, Sabretooth retorts.

Back in Russia, led by Colossus, the Winter Guard soldiers attack the complex from another side. Immediately, the werewolves are upon them and, no matter how often they are shot, they keep coming back for more.

Before they are overwhelmed, the Widow and the rest of the soldiers come as the cavalry. Natasha remarks now they know why she prefers her Widow’s Bite to bullets, as it seems to be more successful against the werewolves. She orders Arkadi to fan out and use only the shockfire ammunition for their weapons. Arkadi obeys but warns her to be careful. Colossus notes he sounds worried. Natasha tells him Arkadi’s grandfather Ivan was her first guardian. Covering her back has become a family tradition.

The battle rages and the tartar werewolves quickly adapt to the Winter Guard’s weapons. The outlook becomes increasingly bleak. Gambit defends Simyon with his power and jokes next time he can save him. Whatever makes him think there’ll be anything left to save? the possessed Kitty, now Firecat, mocks, flanked by Magik and Cossack. The tied up ‘Ro shouts for Remy to help them. Magik mocks he should give it his best shot.

Gambit warns Cossack to let the girls go or he’ll kill them. Cossack is not afraid and boasts that, like the two other girls, ‘Ro will be transformed. Gambit and Colossus attack but Magik’s spells stops Piotr, whereas Kitty phases though Gambit’s explosive cards, then jumps at him and knocks him down. Illyana orders Colossus to yield if he wants to live, or better yet join her!

Magik is struck by a beam of black energy courtesy of Darkstar, who has arrived with the Red Guardian. A little girl naughty as her deserves a spanking, Darkstar quips. Magik snarls she will pay for that.

Cossack focuses on ‘Ro, intent on catalyzing the darkness in her soul and start her transformation. ‘Ro resists, wild weather engulfs her and behind her appears the ghostly image of a grown-up version of her.

Magik snarls at Cossack to get the brat under control. The X-Men are safe in the eye of the hurricane, whereas the tartars are being hammered by the winds and rain alongside the Winter Guard.

Firecat gets ready to kill Gambit. He challenges her that ‘Ro is resisting, why isn’t she? Is this what she really wants? Kitty can hear Wolverine’s voice in her head, telling her she is a victim now. He thought she was tougher and stronger than that. She remembers that she fought Ogun, she fought the Shadow King, she’ll fight Cossack and win!

For a moment, she returns to her true form once more. Just taking a breath to say goodbye, she tells Gambit, before changing back into Firecat. But now she is in control, she tells Gambit and attacks Cossack, vowing to bring this to an end. She won’t let her friends suffer or die! What he’s done to her… he took her somewhere she should never have gone! If that costs her her soul, she can live with that!

Before she can kill him, the Black Widow shoots Cossack. She tells Kitty, who has returned to normal that a long time ago Logan saved her from this kind of evil He’s gone, but Kitty is the child of his soul. So she figures this is a way to repay the debt.

While Kitty has returned to normal, Illyana is still Magik. This is her true form, she boasts. She creates a teleportation disc and vows the war between them goes on. The X-Men taught her well, next time they will find out how well! With that, threat she disappears.

The Winter Guard soldiers tell Natasha that the Tartars transformed to their wolf forms and ran for the hills. Natasha orders to send the red Guardian and Darkstar after them and make sure they are eradicated.

Colossus announces Illyana could be anywhere. Kitty tells him she is not even going to try and follow her. That’s what she wants. Colossus tells her that Illyana is his responsibility. He will do what he must to save her. Is she all right? he asks. No, she admits smiling. Latest in a line of heavy hits. But she is a survivor, like the Widow and him. Natasha promises that, when Illyana comes back, the Winter Guard will be ready for her. They will find a way to mend this. Kitty tells them she knows they will.

At Xavier’s, Nightcrawler gets a phone call from an agitated Amanda Sefton. He asks her to calm down and learns she is in Jackson, Mississippi and in serious trouble. Suddenly, she screams and the phone goes dead.

Rogue has walked by and asks what’s wrong. He reminds her that he and Amanda have always been best friends, once even lovers; he has to help. Mississippi is her home turf, Rogue reminds him and offers to come along.

In Manhattan, very late, Beast and Jean leave a jazz club in a good mood. Beast even got to play a set. He was great, she tells him. He was inspired by a lady, he retorts. Ever wonder, if they made a wrong turn somewhere? Exchange the lab coat for a piano. Him and Scott as Jeff and Beau Bridges, her as Michelle Pfeiffer, the Fabulous Baker Boys? Jean suggests. Something like that, Hank supposes. Jean reminds him their story didn’t have a happy ending. And this isn’t a story, but their lives. Surprisingly, she kisses him and tells him she’s always known. She’s just never been free before to say yes…

In Alaska, Scott Summers is working on his grandfather’s motorbike with the help of his son, Nathan. Afterwards, Scott goes for a ride. Nate fears he is leaving but Scott explains the bike needs to mow out the pistons; he is just going out for a spin. When Nate asks to come along, Scott promises him the next day and leaves.

Nate announces to his grandfather and great-grandmother that he hates the X-Men. They are going to take his daddy away. His great-grandmother comforts him that they are Scott’s family. He will always return to them.

Meanwhile, in Wakanda, the great panther statue is toppled and broken, hinting at a great change…

Characters Involved: 

Beast, Cyclops, Gambit, Jean Grey, L’il ‘Ro, Nightcrawler, Rogue Shadowcat (all X-Men)

Professor X


Colonel Nick Fury

Lt. Daisy Dugan

Nate Summers


Deborah Summers

Arkadi, Black Widow, Colossus, Darkstar, Red Guardian, Simyon (both Winter Guard)



Cossack’s werebeasts

Story Notes: 

Kitty and Illyana being bound has been a subplot since Kitty seemed to share Illyana’s Soulsword.

Kitty faced Ogun in the Kitty Pryde and Wolverine limited series.

Kitty faced the Shadow King in the X-Men: True friends limited series.

Wolverine saved the Black Widow in Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #257.

The Fabulous Baker Boys: a 1989 movie about two brothers struggling to make a living as lounge jazz pianists in Seattle. In desperation, they take on a female singer, Michelle Pfeiffer, who revitalizes their careers, causing the brothers to re-examine their relationship with each other and with their music.

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