X-Men: Gold #6

Issue Date: 
May 2017
Story Title: 
Techno Superior– part 3
Staff: 

Marc Guggenheim (writer), R.B. Silva (pencils), Adriano DiBenedetto (inker) Frank Martin & Andrew Crossley (colorists), VC’s Cory Petit (letterer), Syaf, Leisten & Frank Martin (cover artists), Anthony Piper (variant cover), 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: 

The X-Men and other heroes are battling the Sentinel / nano swarm, which is targeting anyone with the tiniest mutation, meaning essentially everyone. Despite small victories, the Sentinels swarm keeps on adapting and the situation becomes harder for the heroes, to the point where Colossus in injured badly. Rachel, in the meantime, is confronted with her fears in her dreams, fears of becoming like either of her parents or like her past Hound self. However, she soon realizes it is that level of power she has to embrace. She does, wakes up and manages to take out he nanoswarm mentally. However, she isn’t sure what price she will have to pay for that. Also, the X-Men are unaware that a small part of the swarm has survived underground and that they are being stalked by a man with vengeance on his mind.

Full Summary: 

Prestige’s dreamscape:
Rachel is wearing a long dress. She is greeted by her former boyfriend, the adult Franklin Richards from her future. It’s okay to be confused, he assures her. This isn’t real. His hand passes through her. She calls herself Prestige these days. Why not? Just another name in a long line. As if a new name and costume is a substitute for actual growth. Because she’s scared!

Reality:
Rachel is lying unconscious in the infirmary of the X-Jet. Dr. Cecilia Reyes is afraid there is nothing she can do for Rachel. Nightcrawler sits at Rachel’s side, assuring her it will be alright. He turns back to Ceclila, telling her this is not an acceptable answer. She replies it is the only one she has. Medically speaking, there is nothing wrong with Rachel. What’s wrong with her is entirely in her mind. Rachel’s eyes begin to glow.

Nightcrawler calls Kitty and informs her of Rachel’s situation. How are things on the ground?

Manhattan:
In a word? Kitty asks. “Lousy.” The X-Men and other heroes are busy fighting the nanobot swarm. It is adapting to their attacks faster than they can cope. And it’s targeting anyone with a genetic anomaly or mutation. Which is basically everyone. SHIELD is considering evacuating Manhattan.

She phases downwards to the ground and fires the weapon she cobbled together at the nanobots. For a moment, they seem to be done then they reform.

What’s the plan? Logan asks. Same as before, Kitty snaps. They fight like hell. They heard the lady, Logan announces as other heroes, X-Men and non, like Deadpool and Ms. Marvel follow her into battle.

A mysterious, masked armed man in body armor watches the events from a rooftop.

Prestige’s dreamscape:
They’re in trouble, aren’t they? an adult Jean Grey dressed in her green Marvel Girl outfit demands of Rachel. Her friends. This nanoswarm infected with Sentinel A.I. It’s hurting them Maybe even killing them. Rachel can help them. The AI is vulnerable to psychic attacks. But she’s afraid of what she will have to do. Of reaching her full psychic potential.

What is she afraid of? Rachel asks her mother. Isn’t it obvious? Jean retorts and turns into Phoenix. Rachel begins to protest. She isn’t talking about the Phoenix, Jean cuts her off. She is talking about Rachel. She is afraid of her potential, so she doesn’t reach it. But she might have to, if she wants to save her friends not to mention New York city.

Reality:
7th Avenue and West 50th street:
The battle is continuing but suddenly the swarm explodes courtesy of the Stepford Cuckoos’ psychic attack. However, this wears them down and they fall unconscious. The Hulk and Captain Marvel transport the Cuckoos to the mobile ambulance the Avengers have set up nearby.

Gambit berates himself for all this. Storm tries to console him. He didn’t know the consequences. Gambit points out he was careless. Storm tells him he was trying to assess the nature of the threat. That’s not carelessness. It’s selflessness. She kisses him gently. He asks her what that was for. Either she wanted to remind him that people see him as a good man or she wanted to remind herself of something…

Prestige’s mindscape:
Dressed in a summer dress, Rachel stands in front of Jean’s headstone. She said Rachel is holding back because she is afraid of becoming her? Cyclops asks. Rachel points out the idea of becoming him doesn’t thrill her either. He admits that’s fair, but retorts none of them are their parents. He thinks that’s the point Kitty was trying to make when she convinced Rachel to take on a new costume and codename.

Rachel changes into her Prestige uniform. Kitty wanted her to move on from the past, Rachel agrees. And the future, another Rachel in her Hound outfit tells her.

Reality:
1st Avenue and East 59th street:
Pixie’s on the ground, threatened by drones. Ne t’inqiete pas! Gambit tells her as he blows them up. He got her back. Pixie thanks him. He tells her to thank Storm, who is in the sky above them. Helped him get his mojo back.

At that moment, Storm is hit, as is Kitty, causing Colossus to go ballistic, shouting o may bog. He screams in pain as the swarm turns against him.

Prestige’s mindscape:
They are dying out there, Hound Rachel tells the real one. She can feel it, can’t she? Through the psychic rapport with her teammates. Without Rachel’s help, they are all going to die. In agony. So, the question is simple.

Reality:
What are you going to do?” a Sentinel announces. “I’ve grown stronger. I’ve evolved,” it continues. Logan points out that mutations drive evolution and suggests it try not choke on the irony.

Prestige’s mindscape:
The hound asks Rachel to be honest with her. She is not afraid of becoming Mom or Dad… it’s her. The purest expression of her power, but one that requires her to sacrifice herself to access it. The question is what is she willing to do… to risk… to save her friends?

Reality:
The Sentinel brutally hits the still-standing heroes.

Rachel awakes. Nightcrawler tells her she shouldn’t get up. She complains about her migraine but, unless she does something, everyone is going to die. What can she do? he asks pointing out she has already tried. That was then, this is now, Rachel replies and concentrates.

The Sentinel shouts at her to get out of its mind and begins speaking in binary. Rachel presses on and the swarm gets destroyed all over the city.

The other X-Men are still alive but Kitty finds Colossus bleeding profusely.

Kurt asks Rachel if she is OK. Connected to the whole city, she admits she doesn’t know.

While the city is being cleared up, everyone is unaware that a small part of the nanoswarm has survived underground…

Characters Involved: 

Colossus, Kitty Pryde, Nightcrawler, Old Man Logan, Prestige, Storm (X-Men)
Cecelia Reyes, Gambit, Magma, Stepford Cuckoos (other X-Men)

Captain Marvel VIII, Daredevil, Deadpool,Squirrel Girl, Totally Awesome Hulk

1010 (Sentinel Swarm)
X-Cutioner II

In Prestige’s mindscape:
Cyclops, Phoenix II, Rachel as a Hound
Franklin Richards (adult)

Story Notes: 

Rachel hasn’t really had a long line of names, only Phoenix and Marvel Girl.

Ne t’inqiete pas: French for: “Don’t worry.”

O may bog: Russian for “Oh my God.”

Written By: