X-Men: Gold #10

Issue Date: 
May 2017
Story Title: 
En’kane – part one
Staff: 

Marc Guggenheim (writer), Lan Medina (penciler), Jay Leisten (inker), Frank Martin (colorist), VC’s Cory Petit (letterer), Ken Lashley & David Curiel (cover artists), Jay Bowen & Anthony Gambino (graphic designers), Chris Robinson (assistant editor), Daniel Ketchum (editor), Mark Paniccia (X-Men group editor), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)
X-Men created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby

Brief Description: 

During a poker game at the institute, the other X-Men notice that Kitty and Piotr have grown closer again. They are interrupted by a call for Colossus from an uncle he had never heard about. Anatoly Rasputin explains he was cast out by his family since he joined the Russian mafia. However, now his boss Komolov has resurrected the villain Omega Red. Distrustful, the X-Men fly to Russia, where Colossus and Illyana agree to meet Anatoly in an abandoned railyard. Very quickly, the reunion with their uncle is interrupted by Komolov’s men, who like their leader have magic power. Colossus and the X-Men fight them but find this was all a ruse, since llyana has been abducted.

Full Summary: 

Belashika, Russia:
A young woman runs for her life. She stumbles and falls to the ground, Nyet, nyet ,nyet! she pleads as she looks up. Da, another voice replies as metal tentacles pierce her throat. Omega Red stands tall as he takes her lifeforce.

In the background, another man asks how he feels. Better, for the moment, Omega Red admits. But not for long. His resurrection is only temporary. The other man promises wheels are in motion. When complete, Russia will tremble again for the name Omega Red.

At the Xavier Institute, some X-Men – Nightcrawler, Logan, Dani Moonstar, Rogue and Magik are gathered for a round of poker. Kurt threatens the others with a full house, though they are unimpressed. Logan has a higher one. Third win in a round, how does he do it? Rogue sighs. Predictably, Logan reminds them he is the best at what he does… but he ain’t too shabby at poker either.

Kitty and Piotr join them with snacks and beverages. Kitty points out it doesn’t hurt that he can smell when someone bluffs. She apologizes for her cooking. He loves her cooking, Piotr assures her and the two gaze at each other, till they notice the others are staring.

That moment, Blindfold interrupts them. There is a phone call for Colossus. Piotr picks it up and asks who it is, only to be told the other man is Anatoly Rasputin, his paternal uncle. Piotr accuses him of lying. His father never spoke of a brother. Because he was dead to him, Anatoly admits. He’s a criminal. When Piotr was just a little boy, he joined the Solntsevskavya bratva. His brother did not approve. They never spoke again. But he kept up with his nephew’s adventures in America. He has made his family very proud.

Suspicious, Piotr ask why he has reached out to him now after all this time. Because their home is in grave danger. His Pakhan is a man named Viktor Komolov and he has done something terrible. He has returned to life a dangerous man. His name is Arkady Rossovitch. But most know him as Omega Red.

He hates that guy! Logan announces after Piotr has informed the others and they are on an X-jet en route to Russia, along with the rest of the team and Colossus’s sister Magik.

Kitty reminds them she never had the pleasure. What can he tell her? That one of the best things he ever did in his life was kill him, is the reply. Rossovitch was a serial killer whom the government tried to execute for his crimes. Some Soviets had other ideas, so they put him in their super soldier program. Naturally, Rachel deadpans. Logan adds that he has a healing factor and a mutant power that lets him vampire out people’s life forces. Bottom line: He is a one man global terrorist / crime organization. With everything facing Russia these days, Rossovitch’s return might just push them over the brink.

That’s assuming they can believe what he said? Rachel points out, referring to Anatoly. Which part? Illyana asks coolly: the part about bringing Rossovitch back to life or the part about being their uncle? Piotr understands her skepticism but has faint memories of their father mentioning a brother. He asked him once and their father claimed he had no sibling but in a way that showed the question pained him. He never asked again. Illyana suggests maybe he should listen to him now. He retorts their father is dead. Along with their mother. Criminal or not, this Anatoly is the last of their family.

Nightcrawler announces they’ve entered Russian airspace and he has activated the plane’s cloak. They are en route to the location Mr. Rasputin specified.

A little later at an abandoned Soviet railyard:
Piotr and a still wary Illyana enter it seemingly alone, but watched by Kitty and Logan who are hiding in the building. Storm is in the air and Rachel in another part of the building senses nothing psychically. Nightcrawler, who is with her, warns them of movement – one man.

Anatoly welcomes the siblings happily. He is surprised when he gets a good look at Illyana, though, as she should be a small girl. Long story, she replies tight-lipped. He remarks she has her mother’s skepticism. Good for her. She just questions the timing of this reunion, Piotr chimes in. Anatoly explains it was their father’s wish they remain apart. And he would honor it, were the danger to their home not so great. Illyana remarks he claimed Omega Red has been brought back to life. How?

Magiks, he explains. Komolov has proficiency in the black arts. He’s taught what he know to his bratva. And with their help, he brought Rossovitch back to life. With his help? Illyana asks pointedly. Anatoly replies Komolov is pakvan. To defy him means to die horribly. But he knew he had to do something. Which is why he called them.

Where can they find him? Colossus asks. Anatoly continues that Komolov’s command of magic is meager. That’s why the resurrection is only temporary. He’s kept himself alive with his power of sucking life energy from others, but even that will fail him eventually. Which makes Rossovitch vulnerable, Colossus continues the thought. Antoly agrees. If they strike now, they can end this. That moment, they find themselves surrounded by a group of bald men with glowing hands and eyes.

Who’s this now? Logan hisses. Komolov’s men, Anatoly warns them. Be careful. He’s taught them… She knows, Illyana continues while manifesting her Soulsword. Magik.

Logan swears. He knew this situation was rotten.

Anatoly apologizes to Piotr, as they are attacked by the men. They must have followed him here.

Nightcrawler teleports in and begins attacking the monsters. Storm joins him and is unimpressed. Magic or not, they are still only mobsters. Thugs and vulnerable to lightning. Which she instantly proves by taking them all out.

Kitty, however, immediately notices Illyana is missing. Logan instantly threatens Anatoly, who claims he doesn’t know where they have taken her.

The semi-conscious Illyana is taken to Komolov, who announces he has need of her. Her magiks, he then corrects himself. Not he has need of her power but his friend Arkady. Omega Red leers at Illyana…

Characters Involved: 

Colossus, Kitty Pryde, Nightcrawler, Old Man Logan, Prestige, Storm (main X-Men team)
Magik, Dani Moonstar, Rogue (more X-Men)
Blindfold (student)

Omega Red
Viktor Komolov
Anatoly Rasputin
Komolov’s men

Story Notes: 

Continuity mistake: Colossus’ claim that his father had no siblings is wrong. According to the Colossus: Bloodline limited series, there were at least a brother and a sister. See the Rasputin family tree.

Solntsevskavya bratva: the largest and most powerful Russian crime syndicate.

Illyana’s age is difficult due to aging faster in Limbo and ten again – probably – losing years again before she was resurrected. However, she should be far older that a “tiny girl.”

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