X-Men Noir #3

Issue Date: 
April 2009
Story Title: 
X-Men Noir

Fred van Lente (writer), Dennis Calero (artist & colorist), Blambot’s Nate Piekos (letterer), Lucchese & Sabino (production), Mark Paniccia & Ralph Macchio (consulting), Nathan Cosby (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

Angel keeps Cyclops from killing Captain Logan, Jean’s other lover, and becomes quickly convinced that Logan isn’t the killer either. They decide to save Unus the Untouchable from the police and use him to stop Magnus. Peter Magnus, in the meantime, goes to LeBeau’s club and shoots Remy in a room full of witnesses. His father offers him a deal: Shaw’s help to get out of the country, if he kills Unus.

Full Summary: 

Cyclops flies at Logan, hitting his shoulder while Logan slashes Scott’s face with his claw-like knives. He slaps the gun out of Cyke’s hands but he has another one hidden up his sleeve. Again, the two have a standoff.

That moment, Angel breaks through the skylight. He kicks Logan in the face. He thought he told them X’s to stay put, he tells Cyclops sharply. Did he? comes the reply. He don’t hear orders so good. He points his weapon at the helpless Logan. Angel decks him.

Much obliged, bub, Logan thanks him as he gets up, holding his smarting face. Guess he’s lucky the circus is in town. Angel studies his weapon. Though, Logan continues, if he says he was responsible for Jean Grey getting dead too, it’s a shame they can’t be friends no more.

No, Angel decides. He finds it hard to believe a man with any nautical experience would dump a body just north of Welfare Island, knowing that, in the Hell Gate where the East and Harlem Rivers meet, it would just get spit right out again. He’s done a little bootlegging himself, maybe? Logan asks.

Another man joins them to treat Logan’s injuries. He’s multi-talented, the Angel replies. And those Japanese neko de – referring to Logan’s weapons – can be bought in a dozen curio shops upstairs on Mott Street. What he came here to ask Captain Logan was: Anyone else know about his relationship with Jean Grey? Anyone who would know enough to set him up like that? Other than his first mate Eugene here? Logan asks No. Great so he’s a suspect now, eh? Eugene remarks.

He’s not the cops, Angel clarifies. He doesn’t have suspects. Every crime is just the visible corner of a much larger picture. Once all the parts get filled in, there are no suspects. Just the guilty.

What about junior here? Logan suggests about Scott. He strikes him as the “crime of passion” type. Unlikely, Angel decides. He just found out tonight that Jean was more than selling Logan swag to smuggle. Will he be alright? Eh, the captain’s suffered worse from better, Eugene states. True that, Logan agrees and downs a drink. But thanks all the same, mystery man. He owes him one.

In front of Remy LeBeau’s club:

It’s raining. A drenched, disheveled Peter Magnus enters. Ah, Monsieur Magnus Le Petit. Bon Soir, Remy LeBeau greets him. His sincerest apologies he had to get rough with his sister. But he must know better than he that’s the only language that putain understands, oui? He suggests Peter tell his father comes up with all the money, all is forgiven. They all have to answer to Unus the Untouchable in the end, don’t they?

Peter draws his gun and shoots him point-blank. A panic starts as Peter is overwhelmed. Standing pensively in the background is Tom Halloway.

A little later, the Chief of Detectives visits his son in a cell. Jesus, Peter, he exclaims angrily. If he was going to shoot Remy, did he have to do it in front of three hundred witnesses? If Peter had shot the mayor, he might have been able to get him off on probation. But Remy &%$§ LeBeau? He strikes him. How could he be so stupid?!

Peter replies that’s just what he thought when he saw his father beating on that mick gangster in the basement of Fagan’s. “How could I be so stupid?” For studying for his criminology finals instead of attending the Olympics qualifier. For giving the valedictory address at the academy when all the other cadets already thought he was a brownnose. For accepting his detective’s shield a full three years before anyone else and getting no respect ‘cause every flatfoot knew who got it for him. That’s when he should have been thinking it. “Why am I being so &%$§ stupid for trying so hard to be just like the old man? How can I be like a guy when I don’t even know who he is?

That’s it, Magnus replies, let it all out. Feel better now? Peter knows how he got his shield? He pounded a beat for almost a decade and had to take the sergeant’s exam four times because he couldn’t recite the counties in Ireland his grandparents came from. Then he gets pulled into a raid the Commissioner of Correction is making on Welfare Island.

Magnus’ story:

Seems the spineless milksop who ran the joint… Christ, what was his name? Hallow? Hathaway? He let Sean Cassidy – Blackie’s cousin – run it like a resort hotel. Cassidy controlled the heroin trade in this pen and, through his profits, controlled the guard and warden. The commissioner had tried surprise raids before but, as they learned later, Sean had riddled headquarters with tipsters who kept him updated on the Department’s movements through messenger pigeons of all things. Cassidy kept coops up on the prison roof. But the commissioner kept trying raids, hoping to get lucky.

Finally on the one, Magnus goes on, it looked like they had. He immediately spotted his chance to shine. When he spotted Cassidy, he went after him. He wasn’t trying to escape. He wanted to know why his early warning system had failed. They weren’t lucky catching him red-handed. Turns out hey had an Angel on their side.

The pigeons were dead, poisoned. Holding a bottle of rat poison was a young boy. Calling him “Tommy,” Cassidy blurted out he had just left him downstairs. How did he do that?

Magnus shot Cassidy from behind while the boy watched. Taking out Sean Cassidy meant the mick brass couldn’t deny him his promotion. But what really go him that day was that poor bastard warden. The geniuses who took him into custody decided to lock him in the infirmary during the raid with all those sharp, shiny scalpels. He killed himself. He remembers looking at his file and thinking he’s a widower like him with twins. Just like him. Twins who are now orphans because their father let himself get played by system he couldn’t control.


He swore he would never let that happen to Peter and Wanda. He would be the one doing the playing. After that he made himself useful to the right people.

So he did it all for his children, huh? Peter asks mockingly. God, he couldn’t think of a bigger cliché?

For a moment, he says nothing. Then, Magnus continues he can probably get Peter out of jail. The Chief of Detectives can do that much for his son. But on the streets or in Sing Sing, it’s pretty much the same to Remy’s friends. He knows, Peter replies. There is one man who can help him, Erik continues. Sebastian Shaw. But he won’t do it for free, Peter states. No, comes the reply. He’ll want Unus the Untouchable. Quick, clean, then Peter is out. Out of the country, so it can never be traced back to either of them.

Peter decides he wants to go to Transia. He wants to see Mount Wundagore. He wants to be someplace real. Magnus laughs. Why does Peter think he left? But no matter. Wundagore it is. And in exchange, what Peter has to do is simple. Wyngarde’s already worked it out. Unus is booked on the Friday 5:00 pm airship to Central City out of Empire State. And he’s seen Peter’s marksmanship scores from the academy. He hands him a gun.

The Angel’s apartment. They got him, he enthuses to Marie. The city may not be able to touch him, but FBI Director Duncan owes him some favors. They’ll have the leverage they need to force him to tell them what he did to Jean. This will all be over soon. Not too soon, she hopes, Marie replies. She’s grown to rather like his house. She had no idea vigilantism paid so well.

The Angel changes out of his costume as he tells her he received a sizable inheritance from his adoptive parents. And what would they say seeing him leaping across rooftops dressed like that, she wonders. The costume. She thinks it’s odd? he asks. Doesn’t he? He thinks it’s a focus. He points at a pulp magazine lying on the nightstand. When they were younger, his brother got him hooked on those pulp stories. Futuristic tales of a time when people would be better. They did better things. And Robert… he said… the future won’t become unless we become it. When he puts this on… he feels like he’s what comes next. He’s something better than what he is. Does that make any sense?

No, she replies. But she wants it to. He wants it, so she wants it. Make me better, she pleads, and they kiss and embrace.

Later that night, a man opens a grave on Potter’s Field.

The next day at the top of the Empire State Building is Unus, surrounded by two bodyguards. Another man wants to enter the elevator and is shoved aside by them. Mr. Unuscione likes his privacy he is told.

In a car downstairs, a cop informs Magnus that Unuscione and his muscle went inside. Any luck with the nut with the cape? he asks. He wishes, Dukes replies, and quickly adds he ran down that other thing. The reporter who talked to Professor X. They got his name off the Riker’s visitor list, but the Daily Bugle says they never had a scribbler named Thomas Halloway. What did he say? Magnus asks agitated. He wonders. Could it be?

Unus enters the elevator. Unbeknownst to them, Beast jumps onto the cabin while Iceman makes sure the elevator power is “iced.”

The light goes off within the cabin, there are screams of pain as the muscles are taken out. Beast addresses Unus, telling him he is with the X-Men. If he wishes to remain respiratory, he’d best come with him.

The dirigible (of Pryor Airlines) is approaching deck D. Suddenly, a shot (courtesy of Cyclops) is fired at the camera a woman is holding. There’s a panic and the people clear the deck.

Below in the car, Magnus hears the news that multiple gunshots are reported on the Empire State Building airship platform. Multiple shots? he wonders.

Above, Peter looks down from the dirigible through a pair of binoculars, wondering what is going on down there.

A small plane flies above the dirigible and Angel jumps down from it. He kicks in the dirigible’s window and decks Peter. He informs him that Unus is being smuggled safely out of the building and he’s placing him under citizen’s arrest. Peter fires his gun. The Angel jumps and, moments later, the airship explodes.

Characters Involved: 

Thomas “Tommy” Halloway / Angel

Bobby Drake, Hank McCoy, Scott Summers (all X-Men)

Captain Logan

Eugene (Logan’s first mate)

Peter Magnus

Fred Dukes, Kelly, other cops

Erik Magnus (chief commissioner)

Marie Rankin

Remy LeBeau

Unus the Untouchable

Unus’ guards

in Magnus’ memories:


Sean Cassidy

Tommy and Robert Halloway

Story Notes: 

The story includes the pulp story the Sentinels by Bolivar Trask: Chapter three: The Age of Apocalypse:

From the mutie Queen Callisto and Rachel learn that the muties still have the emotions and passion the Sentinel society lacks. Callisto introduces them to Doctor Steven Lang, creator of the Sentinels, believed to be slain by the muties. Lang reveals that the Breeder Council tried to kill him and blame the murder on Callisto’s people. Instead, Callisto saved him. Lang explains that he was protesting against the direction the experimental evolution program was taking as the Breeder council planned to eradicate every part of humanity that is spontaneous and unpredictable. That moment, they are attacked by Sentinels led by Bastion.

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