X-Men Legacy (2nd Series) #12

Issue Date: 
August 2013
Story Title: 
Invasive Exotic (Part Three)

Simon Spurrier (Writer), Paul Davidson (Breakdowns), Jay Leisten (Finishes), Cris Peter (Colourist), VC’s Cory Petit (Letters), Mike Del Mundo (Cover), Jennifer M. Smith (Assistant Editor), Daniel Ketchum (Editor), Nick Lowe (X-Men Group Editor), Axel Alonso (Editor in Chief), Joe Quesada (Chief Creative Officer), Dan Buckley (Publisher), Alan Fine (Executive Producer)

Brief Description: 

With the Red Skull watching over him, David prepares to take the cure on live TV. He introduces himself to the world and goes to take the pill but is stopped by Blindfold and her group of X-Men. The Red Skull has set a trap, though, and uses his powers to make the X-Men think Marcus has a knife. Chamber kills Marcus in front of the world and then immediately wonders why he did it. Everyone at the IBSS and watching on TV starts spouting anti-mutant sentiments. However, David teleports Santi Sardina in there, so he can read something to the cameras. Using his glory-hogging powers, Santi convinces everyone that he is the leader of Darwin’s Martyrs and that he is a mutant. Everyone immediately starts praising Santi but then becomes confused by a number of contradictions. Eventually, everyone either leaves or turns over their TVs. Incensed, the Red Skull launches an attack on everyone. Even though David planned this whole thing, he is taken aback by the Skull’s powers. The Xavier personality in David’s head decides to use that exact time to call in his debt and control David’s body for sixty seconds. With more power than David, the Xavier personality uses multiple powers to knock the Red Skull unconscious. Blindfold enters David’s mind and sees what’s going on. She attacks Xavier psychically whilst the X-Men attack David’s body, which is being wielded by Xavier. Their efforts are in vain and Xavier beats them down. However, Karasu Tengo enters David’s mind at the last minute and uses her psychic raven powers to attack Xavier. Once the sixty seconds are up, Xavier is thrown off and David regains his body. The Red Skull escapes in the carnage and Blindfold thanks Karasu. Later on, David and Ruth are at a diner. They see a news report about the collapse of the IBSS. David and Ruth talk and she thinks he is going to break up with her to stop the awful future from happening. Instead, he says he has no such plans and will do everything he can to stop the future and be with her. With that, he leaves and meets with the Xavier personality in his mind. Xavier is now imprisoned and weaker again. David talks to him and then leaves with a new sense of purpose, the world is his oyster.

Full Summary: 

A hipster in a hat, just off camera, wishes David luck, which he thinks it kind of sweet. Or it would be if he wasn’t secretly an A-list Nazi superbastard who is psychically disguising the baboon’s bum that he calls a face. David is at the Institute for Bio-Social Studies and he is preparing to take a pill that will stop him using his mutant powers and also reduce his mind to a child-like state. David sits on a stool with a camera pointed at him and a tray with a pill on it in front of him.

He looks at the hipster, Matteo, who is in fact a disguised Red Skull, or a clone of him maybe. Right now, he is secretly pulling the strings of an organization that is launching a popular uprising against mutants. There’s probably a world conquering scheme behind it all, as there always is. He is animating a bunch of braindead bodies using the stolen cerebellum of the world’s most powerful psychic. Who just so happened to be David’s father. He is simply the last person in the world he should be playing nice with.

The Red Skull tells David to take the pill when he’s ready and so he looks into the camera and introduces himself. He says he is horrifyingly powerful and, whilst it’s never been his intent, he acknowledges that there is a significant chance of him inflicting sever violence on the Earth one day. He is a mutant be he doesn’t want to be one anymore. Dr. Marcus Glove comes on screen and says that, if the folks at home didn’t know, David is the son of the late Charles Xavier, one of the most famous mutants on the planet. David looks at Marcus and thinks to himself that whilst he is a friendly and reasonable figurehead of local government he is nothing but the Red Skull’s marionette. Marcus continues and says that David’s courage today shows them that even the most dignified and respected mutant dynasties acknowledges the simple truth that something has to be done. At home, a family watches the broadcast and agrees that something has to be done.

David thinks that he is right and he is all the propaganda that the Red Skull ever needed. Plus the world is watching. In her office at the Israeli embassy, David’s mother, Gabrielle Haller, watches the TV and sees her son. She watches as he says he is ready and asks for the pill. At the Jean Grey School, Wolverine also watches the broadcast. With a beer in his hand, he tells Beast he can’t tell if he’s angry that the jackass has turned coat or grateful that he is taking himself off the board. Beast looks over and asks if it is just him or is it quiet around there today.

Back at the IBSS, David tosses the pill in the air, ready to swallow it. However, before it reaches his mouth, a stream of fire incinerates it. David looks round to see Blindfold and her team of X-Men. Pixie has teleported them into the room and Chamber managed to burn the pill with his power, before David could cure himself. As armed men enter the room, Blindfold says they don’t want to fight anyone. Chamber says that the pineapple head is with them and nobody is going to hurt him. Frenzy chips in nobody except her. Pixie also adds on her too.

As the armed men call for backup, Marcus tries to get everyone to calm down as they are all reasonable people. On the corner, the Red Skull uses his newfound telepathic powers to make the X-Men believe Marcus has a knife. Chamber yells out and David tries to stop him but it’s too late. Chamber blasts Marcus through the wall of the building, killing him and leaving a charred corpse.

Chamber is confused as to why he suddenly did that, as people around them calls them murderers. David hears laughter in his mind; it’s the Red Skull and his psychic cackle infests their thoughts. At home, the views can hardly believe what has happened and become hateful towards mutants. David says that the Red Skull must have guessed someone would come for him. He was been waiting for someone to bump off his sacrificial lamb. “Matteo” kneels down over Marcus’s body and confirms he is dead. He then tells the crowd gathered around him that they won’t forget him and let his message die.

The Red Skull can’t help himself and put puts a slideshow into the X-Men’s brains, showing them a preview of what they helped harvest. Nothing brings people together like being told who to hate. Nothing makes people more pliable than a shared enemy. In the visions, the X-Men see Matteo standing at a podium in front of a crowd, who are holding banners saying “something must be done.” Then he shows them the people wearing IBSS logos on their arms, beating up mutants. Something must be done is the rally cry along with “for Marcus.” It will start with mutants but there’s always another group, another minority, another enemy. And each crusade and shared atrocity he oversees they will love and obey him that much more. The vision finally ends with the Red Skull in front of a crowd, all raising their hands in the Nazi salute.

The crowd at the IBSS turns towards the X-Men and yell that something must be done. Blindfold says they played into the Red Skull’s hands and, with a smile on his face, David agrees. Frenzy asks why he is smirking and he says because the scabby faced #&*% played into his. With that, he raises his finger and a green spark of energy comes out. In a flash of green light, Santi Sardina appears before everyone.

At home, the viewers are still up in arms at Marcus’s death by mutants. As they watch, though, Santi stands in front of the cameras and politely asks for everyone’s attention. He introduces himself and says he is leader of the Darwin’s Martyrs. Everyone is initially confused but then Santi’s powers of gloryhogging kick in. Everyone suddenly accepts this as the truth and they start chanting Santi’s name and praising him. As Santi continues to read from a card, he says that he is a mutant. Everyone at home starts praising Santi as well and supporting mutants.

Blindfold quietly asks David if he prepared all of this but he simply tells her to wait for the magic. One of the people in the crowd around Santi says that he died for them all. Another guy points out that Santi is still alive as he is right there in front of them. At home, one person asks how they are supposed to hate mutants when the great martyr is one of them. As the X-Men watch, everyone in the crowd tries to assimilate the information that Santi supposedly died but he is also alive as well. Out of frustration, everyone gives up. The crowd around Santi walk away and the TV viewers switch channels. David reminds the X-Men that nothing brings people together like being told who to hate. But nothing breaks them apart like being told to think about it for themselves. With that, David waves his hand and blows up the TV camera.

Pixie asks what they should do now and David tells her they should probably go now. Frenzy asks why but the answer comes from the Red Skull. He shouts in German at David and calls him a bastard. He lets out a telepathic blast, knocking back everyone around him. David tries to shield himself but is taken aback by how strong he is.

Blindfold picks up on something David said and asks if he knew this would happen. David says that Darwin’s Martyrs were a threat to mutantkind. It doesn’t matter that they were reasonably friendly; they still had to be destroyed. Blindfold realizes that David came there because of Luca’s prediction of their future. The vile vision that destiny would swallow one or the other of them. A terror David has played on to give truth to his lie. David makes a confession to himself and says he never went to the IBSS for the cure. If he is going to avoid the #%*&$*# up future, he is going to use the things that make him who he is, not deny them. He reiterates that he rules himself.

Chamber tries to get it straight and asks David if this was all a trick to scam the manky-faced freak. David tries to answer yes but he can barely do it through trying to shield everyone. Chamber continues and asks if he lured them there to help him. Still, David cannot answer but Chamber points out that they are getting their ass handed to them anyway. He states for the record that he is definitely going to kill David. Clenching her head, Blindfold says she couldn’t even see ahead today. Maybe it was the Red Skull and his power confusing things but how could David see ahead when she couldn’t. David says he had help. He made a deal with a monster in his mind. It thought he wanted to see the far future but really he was sniffing at today.

(The Qortex Complex Inside David’s Mind)

The David Haller personality crouches on the ground with Tyrannix the Abominoid strapped to his back. He thinks to himself that it makes no difference as he promised one minute of control over his body. He vowed he wouldn’t fight it and in here such a contract is as unbreakable as any hypnotic block. And so of course now it chooses to call in the debt. As David kneels on the floor, the Xavier personality comes up behind him and bites into his neck.

In the real world, David is possessed by the Xavier personality, and erupts with energy. He yells out “mine” as he levitates off the floor. He displays a level of control David can only dream of. Inside his mind, Xavier attacks numerous personalities at the same time and absorbs their powers. Back in the real world, he rushes at the Red Skull and starts punching him, as the X-Men attack the armed guards around them. The Skull is bitterness and fury and he stands alone in his strength and simplicity of focused authority. His is the seductive charm of unilateral personal power. His is the way of the dictator: loved and feared. Whereas the gold-skinned fiend is a legion.

Blindfold enters David’s mind to find the Xavier personality pinned on top of the David Haller one. David speaks and says David isn’t there right now and tells her it’s been twenty-two seconds.

Pixie looks at David and is shocked when she sees his glowing eyes. Chamber asks who he is and what he wants. Xavier says he thought it was obvious; he wants a shell. A flesh of his own. He wants to pour himself into the slumbering sadist behind them. He looks at the unconscious Red Skull, who is lying on the floor. He wants to eject the spirit of Johann Schmidt like the trash it is. He wants to possess what lies in the Red Skull’s skull. He wants the brain of Charles Xavier; he wants what’s his by rights.

Inside the mindscape, David weakly tells Blindfold thirty-two seconds have now passed. He says he knew she would come and she tells him that he saw it in the future. He says he doesn’t mean that, as there are now too many variables and options. He has no idea how this ends and then says thirty-six seconds. He tells her that what he does know is, allies or enemies, they are linked. What he knows is that he can’t rule him, not on his own anyway.

In the real world, Blindfold suddenly glows with energy and yells for the X-Men to kick David’s ass. Inside his mind, David says you have to hand it to his dad’s well trained muscle. They know their strengths and optimal roles and each one dives in without hesitation. A predetermined battle plan without a single word spoken. Draw enemy firepower, hinder enemy mobility and destroy enemy powerbase.

Frenzy, Pixie and Chamber rush at David, as Blindfold attacks Xavier on the psychic plane. David says he has laughed at them before and called them well trained monkeys, but there isn’t any laughter now. In David’s mind, Blindfold points out she can hear his thoughts as Xavier grabs her around the neck. David says that it has been fifty seconds.

It’s not just because all their efforts are for him or because he is a little bit jealous of their co-operation shtick. It’s because for all their training, bravery and brilliance it’s still not enough. With that, Xavier throws Blindfold away in the mindscape and then does the same to the X-Men in the real world. David/Xavier laughs but in the mindscape he is suddenly struck by something moving extremely quickly. It’s Karasu Tengo and her psychic raven. It attacks Xavier and he tries to fight it off. David then yells out that the minute is up and then calls for the monster types in his mind to hold Xavier down.

Blindfold asks Karasu what made her change her mind. She replies that it amuses her David owes his life to the members of the institution that he has tried so hard to distance himself from. Plus, hating him is all she has. As Karasu leaves his mind, David asks Blindfold what she said. Blindfold tells him she is learning to forgive.

In the real world, the X-Men are still attacking David. Blindfold tells them David is back and it’s really him. They don’t want to believe it though and continue punching him. David points across the room and yells at the Nazi with the jetpack. Everyone stops to see the Red Skull blasting up into the sky, thanks to a jet pack strapped to his back.

David says he has never been one for the spandex stuff but he understands there are regulations you have to observe. This is the bit where the super villain cackles madly, shows he is not truly beaten and swears a dreadful revenge and all that #*$&. Something grand and bombastic to satisfy whatever pit of insecurity or attention addition drove him there in the first place. As the Red Skull flies off, he makes the Nazi salute and disappears into the sky, leaving a trail of smoke.

Santi walks up to the X-Men and, rubbing his head, asks what he missed. David says that the Red Skull was thinking of the word “kaboom” when he left. Frenzy asks if he thinks if the place is wired and David replies that it is what he would do. Blindfold nervously asks if he can stop it.

Later on, a news report on TV discusses the recent events. The reporter says the situation in San Francisco remains confused. The IBSS has now shut down after the disgrace and disappearance of its founder. Rumors also speak of heroism, bomb disposal and disaster prevention rightly credited to the young man-of-the-moment, Santi Sardina.

David and Blindfold sit in a diner and she tells him to get it over with. He tells her the gulf between them is deep and dark and if they pursue this thing then fate will crush one of them to dust. Plus they disagree on so much that they circle around each other but they never meet in the middle. Disappointed, Blindfold says it’s fine and then starts to excuse herself to leave. David stops her and says she doesn’t understand. He will circle around her until the stars die and the world has forgotten what makes them different. He will shatter any future that dares divide them. Before Blindfold can say anything, David dematerializes and leaves.

(The Qortex Complex)

Inside his mind, a sense of peace has been restored to the previously chaotic prison environment. Monstrous personalities still walk free but many of the prison cells are now in operation again. David sits outside one such cell, which has increased security on it. A voice inside tells David they never had him down as the schmaltzy type. David points out they never had him down as the kick-ass type either and that was their mistake. The voice says they are now back inside his brain again like a bonafide nasty. David overcame his inner demon and he maybe even picked up a teensy taste for team-ups. The world is David’s oyster.

Peering out of the darkness, the Xavier personality asks him what he has planned next. However, the Xavier personality has now regressed back to the yellow-skinned rat-like creature it was when it was first formed. It is chained up behind tightly behind a force field in the prison cell. David walks away from it and says it’s about time he cracked the oyster open.

Characters Involved: 

David Haller/Legion

Red Skull/ “Matteo”

Dr. Marcus Glove

Beast, Chamber, Frenzy, Pixie, Wolverine (all X-Men)

Blindfold, Karasu Tengo (all students)

Santi Sardina

IBSS staff and patients

Gabrielle Haller

Families at home

Newsreader (on TV)

Inside David’s Mindscape

David Haller

Charles Xavier

Tyrannix the Abominoid

Numerous other personalities

Story Notes: 

The Red Skull was resurrected in Uncanny Avengers and he stole the brain from the deceased Professor Xavier.

Santi Sardina’s story can be read in issue #8.

David acquired the diary of Blindfold’s precognitive brother Luca in #9.

“Smarter than the average bear” is a tagline for the cartoon Yogi Bear.

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