X-Men: Gold #27

Issue Date: 
July 2017
Story Title: 
‘Til Death Do Us Part – part 2
Staff: 

Marc Guggenheim (writer), Geraldo Borges (artist), Arif Prianot (colorist), David Marquez (flashback artist), Matthew Wilson (flashback colorist), VC’s Cory Petit (letterer), Phil Noto (cover artist), Jay Bowen & Anthony Gambino (graphic designers), Chris Robinson (assistant editor), Darren Shan (editors), C.B. Cebulski (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: 

Years ago on a Christmas Eve, Kitty Pryde kissed Colossus for the first time (albeit jokingly) under a mistletoe. Today Storm is worried as she cannot get rid of the enchanted mallet Stormcaster and about Rachel’s growing powers. They are called to Las Vegas where Colossus was kidnapped. With her growing power, Rachel discerns the abductor was the nano-Sentinel they recently fought, who now calls himself Alpha. They manage to follow Alpha’s trace to the Savage Land and to the fortress in there. Inside, Lydia Nance and Alpha tell Colossus they are going to use the traces of the Legacy virus and Hope Cure in his blood to create a virus that will kill anyone with an X-gene. The X-Men split up and are attacked by Alpha clones, which along with Lydia Nance buy the prime Alpha time to flee on a rocket with Colossus.

Full Summary: 

Flashback:
Xavier’s school for Gifted Youngsters, years ago:
Christmas Eve:
A 13 ½ year old Kitty embarrasses Piotr Rasputin by holding a mistletoe over his head (she is standing on the stairs) and giving him a kiss on the cheek. Merry Christmas, sexy, she wishes him. Piotr predictably blushes and Kurt Wagner jokes if she had kissed him anywhere else, he would have dropped dead from shock. Piotr retorts he is regretting rescuing him just now.

More seriously, Kitty asks if that was okay. She was just trying to lighten the mood. He assures her it was. He was just –“Kak ty Skazhesh’? “Caught by surprise,” he translates. Pleasantly surprised? Kitty presses. Da, pleasantly.

Present:
Las Vegas Nevada,
Bobby Drake just followed Peter to the bathroom to make sure he was okay. He finds that side of the room in shambles with a large opening to the outside and no trace of his teammate. The others follow and Bobby explains he… it took Peter. They have a very big problem.

The Xavier Institute, Central Park:
Storm stands outside, watching the Asgardian mallet Stormcaster fly in the sky. Rachel Grey joins her and asks if she is playing with her new hammer. Ororo corrects her. She is trying to return it. Didn’t it just find its way to her? Rachel asks as the hammer returns to Storm’s hands. For reasons she has yet to discern, Storm replies. Its power is palpable. Even just holding it is like touching lightning. But the last time she wielded it, it nearly took her mind. Thor had destroyed it, but now it’s back somehow.

Ororo points out the parallels between her and Rachel’s circumstances. Rachel plays dumb and deadpans that she hasn’t got a hammer. Storm presses on that Rachel’s powers have grown since she awoke from her coma. They can all sense her in their minds. The power radiates off of her. They are worried about her.

Kurt talks too much! Rachel snaps. Storm reaches out and repeats they are concerned. Rachel brushes her off and snaps she isn’t her mother. And she sure as hell doesn’t need another one.

Rogue comes between them, apologetically pointing out they have a problem.

Soon, the three of them (as well as Kitty Pryde) are on an X-jet bound for Las Vegas. Kitty is on the comm with Iceman, who informs her Colossus was abducted.

Rachel pipes up she can feel the psychic resonance he left behind. He is calling himself Alpha. She pulls the image from Bobby’s mind and uploads it to the others’. Rogue turns around. She can read Bobby’s mind from that distance? Ororo repeats that they have all noticed her growing power.

Kitty announces she recognizes their foe despite the makeover. He is the mutated Sentinel that Rachel took out a while back. She’s puzzled though as to why Alpha would kidnap Peter and where he took him.

The answer to the second question lies in the Savage Land. In the fortress that Lydia Nance bought.

Alpha muses that Mr. Rasputin has a marvel in his blood - both remnants of Legacy and the foundation for Hope.

Lydia Nance dumbs it down for Colossus: Dr. Rao used the traces of the Legacy Virus in Colossus’ blood to create a cure for mutancy called Hope.

Colossus asks if they intend to recreate this failed cure. Not at all, Nance replies. She has no interest in curing mutants. Only in killing them. His blood is the key. With it, Alpha can fashion a smart virus that targets everyone on the planet with an X-gene. Homo sapiens will no longer have need to fear the Homo superior. Young children will no longer have to cower in terror at the thought of monsters. She thinks back on her abusive mutant father.

Colossus shouts at her that she is the monster. And her hatred and bigotry are hardly original. She isn’t the first person like this he has met. But he is, Alpha stresses, for he is no person.

The other X-Men have arrived in Las Vegas. Kitty intends to hack the security cameras to get a trajectory to where Alpha might have taken Peter. Rachel tells her there is no need. She can track Peter from here. Seriously? Kitty bursts out. Rachel darkly reminds her that she used to hunt mutants and she was very good at it. Besides, like Ororo said, she’s leveled up.

Kitty tells her to do it fast and walks some distance away. Rogue follows her and asks if she is okay. Kitty replies when she was told they were taking Peter to a bachelor party in Las Vegas her mind ran a few scenarios. Peter getting kidnapped by a Sentinel nano robot was not one of them.

Rogue assures her they are going to get him back and suggests they start planning her bachelorette party. She can’t do that now. It’s called multitasking, Rogue points out. She knows what it’s called, is Kitty’s dejected reply. Just as she knows that Peter’s abduction is what’s called a sign. She thinks the universe is trying to tell her not to marry Peter? Rogue asks. Kitty thinks the universe is a little chatty at the moment. Rogue assures her that it’s just nerves. She is about to make a major commitment to a guy she’s been off-again on-again since she was a teenager. Some second-guessing is to be expected. Kitty fears she is beyond second guessing. Rogue grabs her by the shoulders. Does Kitty love Peter? So much it hurts, is the reply. Rogue orders her to tell the universe to shut the hell up.

Bobby joins them, announcing Rachel believes she has a lock on Peter. And they’re not gonna like where she tracked them to…

Soon they land in the Savage Land. Rachel protests Kitty landed them a mile away from Peter’s location. She didn’t want to announce their arrival, is Kitty’s deadpan reply. Call her crazy. She orders Rachel to psi-link everybody. They‘ll have to split up to take more ground. Fliers will take the non-fliers. Storm, Iceman and Pyro will take the west quadrant. Rogue and Gambit take the east while Prestige, Nightcrawler and Kitty will cover the rest.

Inside the citadel, Alpha informs his prisoner that his friends are here. Colossus asks why he is doing this. Alpha reminds him he already elucidated their “evil scheme” to him. Colossus understands Lydia Nance’s reasoning but not Alpha’s. Because he is an AI? Alpha asks. Colossus replies he is a Sentinel. Bigotry and prejudice are built into his programming. But Alpha seems to have evolved since the X-Men last encountered him. Alpha agrees. Self-sentience has given way to self-expression. He now contains multitudes.

Colossus gets to his point: If Alpha is no longer a slave to his original programming, why carry out his anti-mutant agenda? Alpha considers then praises him for trying to sow doubt. Alpha fancies himself a mutant. He has evolved. And so he knows the dangers of evolution, its untrammeled reckless power. Evolution must be eradicated along with all those evolved.

Colossus points out that would include Alpha. He agrees. Once this is over and all with an X-gene are dead, he will self-terminate. He is nothing if not consistent.

Storm, Pyro and Iceman haven entered the fortress though the sewers. Pyro wonders what this place is. Your standard bad guys hideout, Bobby jokes. Actually, Pyro means the conduits that surround them, Storm understands. This structure isn’t a part of the rest of the facility. Before they can hazard a guess, they are surrounded by Alpha style Sentinels.

Elsewhere, Kitty’s team has found nothing. Rachel is concerned about Kitty’s fear for Peter. They find a control room where Lydia Nance sarcastically greets them. Kitty slams into her. Rachel and Kurt try to hold her back but she just phases through them and demands Peter’s whereabouts. Nearby, is Nance’s closemouthed reply. Kitty wants to know where or threatens to give her a reason to hate and fear mutants. Nance replies that he is to play a key role in the coming purge. Her job is to buy time.

A moment later, Kitty is hit by another Alpha copy. Nightcrawler engages it while Prestige puts Nance to sleep.

Kitty contacts the rest of the team, who are all busy with Alpha Sentinels. Rachel announces Colossus is near Storm’s team. But there is another problem. That moment, the ground begins to rumble as a rocket with Colossus aboard is launched, and Kitty can only watch helplessly.

Characters Involved: 

Colossus, Gambit, Iceman, Kitty Pryde, Nightcrawler, Prestige, Pyro II, Rogue, Storm (all X-Men)

Lydia Nance
Alpha

In flashback to X-Men (1st series) #143:
Colossus, Nightcrawler, Sprite, Wolverine (all X-Men)

Story Notes: 

The Christmas scene is an extended flashback from X-Men (1st series) #143.

Stormcaster found Storm in issue #25.

Stormcaster overpowered Storm in X-Men: To Serve and Protect #3

Rachel took out Alpha in issue #6.

Colossus sacrificed himself to cure the Legacy virus in Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #380.

The Hope Cure played a role in Astonishing X-Men (3rd series) #1-6.

The bachelorette party occurs in X-Men: the Wedding Special

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