X-Men Forever (2nd series) #20

Issue Date: 
June 2010
Story Title: 
…Can Also Set Us Free! – part 2

Chris Claremont (writer), Graham Nolan & Scott Koblish (artists), Guillem Mari (colorist), Tom Orzechowski (letterer), Grummett, Hamscher & Baumann (cover), Charlie Beckerman & Michael Horwitz (assistant editors), Mark Paniccia (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (Exec. Publisher)

Brief Description: 

Fury, Daisy, Sabretooth and Gambit are facing Consortium soldiers over the imprisoned Fabian Cortez. During the battle, Cortez is injured. When the other X-Men learn of their friends’ plight, they come to help. During the battle, Sabretooth loses a hand helping Daisy. The X-Men make their getaway. Beast announces Sabretooth might be suffering from Burnout and likely won’t get his hand or his sight back. Before his death, Cortez warns them the Consortium is worse than they can imagine and hints at a mysterious top man. A man who seems to be none other than Tony Stark aka Iron Man…

Full Summary: 

Nick Fury and his team, consisting of Daisy Dugan, Sabretooth and Gambit, have infiltrated the underground headquarters of the Consortium beneath the United Nations. They found a clandestine hideaway and a prisoner: Fabian Cortez. That moment, Consortium soldiers come rushing in.

What now? Daisy asks. Sabretooth suggests they kill them. Works for him, Gambit agrees.

One of the guards orders them to drop their weapons. Sabretooth criticizes this as a mistake. They should have just started shooting. He asks Daisy if she has targets. Most of the bad guys are on their level, she informs the blind Sabretooth. She counts four on the level overhead. Leave them to her. He likes her style, Sabes admits.

They get a last warning, but Gambit and Fury assume the moment they drop their weapons they’ll be shot. The first guard fires… surprisingly at Cortez, hitting him in their chest. Fury orders Gambit to take out the shooter, then get Cortez clear.

Gambit sends an energized playing card at three agents while at the same time Daisy opens fire on her targets and Sabretooth hurls himself into the soldiers’ midst. Fury and Daisy fire at the others. Once Gambit has freed Cortez, Sabretooth takes the lead, following the scent of clean air.

At the Xavier School’s command center, the X-Men try to learn what happened via computers. Kitty announces that Fury’s group is still underground, making their way towards the 7–line subway tunnel. Cut west within 5 blocks, they are at Grand Central. Cyclops assumes the opposition will be there to block them and announces they will give their friends a hand.

In the underground:
Sabretooth slams shut a door behind them. Daisy believes they are not following, but Sabretooth reminds her that those “mooks” have a knack for popping right out of nowhere. They reach train tracks. Sabes figures it’s a subway tunnel. He hears a train coming. He mockingly asks Fury which way to go. Across the river or uphill onto the island? They press against the wall as the train comes and passes them by.

Moments later, the Consortium soldiers have found them. Gambit hands Cortez to Fury and attacks, followed by Sabretooth and Daisy. One of the soldiers is about to shoot Sabretooth in the back, but Daisy gets him first. Sabretooth senses another train coming on the track Daisy is standing on. He tackles her to get her to safety. A Consortium soldier throws him back on the track. Sabretooth’s right hand is destroyed by the train, even as Daisy shoots the Consortium soldier.

Worried, she addresses him. Yes, it hurts, Creed cuts her off. Daisy apologizes and thanks him. Is there anything she can do? Lots, he grumbles, so be careful what she offers. Lucky for her, this ain’t the time or place. He reminds her he heals. She should be so lucky.

At the X-mansion, Rogue and Nightcrawler have trouble adjusting to their physical changes. Kurt misses his tail, feeling uncomfortable. For Rogue, it’s the other way round. She wants to crouch. Cyclops and Shadowcat join them and they take off in stealth mode.

In the meantime, the away team has made their way through the sewers into a Manhattan alley. Daisy is the last up to cover their backs. As the Consortium troops catch up, Daisy tells the others to hit the road. She’ll hold the line. She realizes she’s stuck and has to make ever shot count.

Suddenly, the fire stops. Rogue joins her and explains Jean is holding the bullets off. She pulls Daisy up to the Blackbird.

Later, the blind Sabretooth demands answers from Beast, who tells him there seems to be a critical difference between Sabretooth’s healing factor and Logan’s. Sabretooth’s is more mature but also seems to have its limits. He thinks Burnout is starting to have an effect on him. He doesn’t think his eyes are going to grow back and his hand is likely gone for good.

Has he lost his healing factor? Cyclops asks. It’s still better than theirs, Hank replies, just no longer so miraculous. Creed vows he won’t go down without a fight, and not until he’s made his boy’s killers pay for his life. Beast asks him if he knows what he’s saying. Sabretooth tells him not to be a fool. The way he is right now, he could still take Beast. He has other senses and, as for his hand, a smart fella like McCoy oughta be able to come up with a functional alternative.

Jean tells everyone Cortez is awake. He’s stabilized but has little time left. He wants to see Cyclops. Cortez weakly remarks that Cyclops probably thinks it’s funny the way things have turned out. Not much, he wanted to kill him himself, Scott replies, but he’ll spit on his grave. Cortez laughs weakly and explains SHIELD delivered him to the Consortium, who experimented on him. Are they supposed to feel sorry? Cyclops asks. Is this any worse than what Cortez did to Magneto? He trusted him! Jean said he had something to tell him. Cortez warns them they think they know what they are up against with the Consortium but they are wrong. It’s bigger and deadlier than they imagine. He met the man responsible for what was done to him. Their top guy.


The Consortium:
A man talks to Amelia Trask, remarking Fury’s New York incursion was annoyingly effective. They secured significant data and liberated Cortez. She warned him. And he thought he could handle it as she could handle her daughter. Apparently they were both wrong. Amelia explains she has received a communication from her. Sigrid says she’s made a discovery that will prove of inestimable value to the Consortium. She wants a meeting. Does she trust her? the man asks. About as much as she does him, she retorts. He tells her to make the meet but take appropriate back-up and keep them posted about the results. What about Fury and the X-Men? She asks. Don’t worry about them, Tony Stark replies. He’s sure they’ll find some way to iron out the problem…

Characters Involved: 

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


Dr. Moira MacTaggert

Colonel Nick Fury,  Lt. Daisy Dugan

Fabian Cortez

Amelia Trask

Iron Man

Consortium troops

Story Notes: 

Cortez led Magneto to his death in X-Men (2nd series) #1-3.

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