X-Men: Red (1st series) #10

Issue Date: 
January 2019
Story Title: 
The Hate Machine – part 10: Mutant Nation War

Tom Taylor (writer), Roge Antonio (artist), Rain Beredo (colorist), VC’s Cory Petit (letterer), Jenny Frison (cover artist), Jay Bowen, Anthony Gambino & Carlos Lad (graphic designers), Annalise Bissa (assistant editor), Jordan D. White (editor), 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: 

Cassandra Nova takes several planes and a heli-carrier hostage on Genosha while making it seem that Jean Grey is the villain behind it all. After Gabby gives her an idea, Jean asks Iron Man to create anti-telepathy helmets based on Magneto’s design for all of them. Soon after, equipped with the helmets, the X-Men (as well as Avengers, other heroes and Atlanteans) confront Cassandra on Genosha.

Full Summary: 

#&%$ you, humanity! Jean Grey screams into what seems to be a camera. Their time is over, now is the time of Homo superior, she rants. Humans have poisoned the planet, she continues. They squabble over race and religion and land and fail to realize they are all the same. They are all completely equal in their utter insignificance. Their petty rivalries have divided the world. Soon their bones will be displayed in museums, along with all the other creatures destroyed by their greed. A race too self-destructive, too selfish and too stupid to survive. Their time has come!

The South Korean national intelligence service helicarrier:
A high official nods to an invisible voice giving him orders. When a soldier questions him, he shoots him. On the bridge, he announces they have new orders. All communications are to cease. All personal coms are to be seized. Closed channel radio communications only. What’s their mission? his assistant asks. They are to protect civilians from a mutant threat. Where? she asks. Genosha.

Several commercial jets are flying towards the island. What appears to be Jean Grey continues speaking. She announces she has taken Genosha for the mutant nation and she has hijacked the minds of the pilot of several commercial planes. Their passengers are now her hostages. And they are guarded by helicarrier and the army aboard. Mutants are done hiding! They attempted peace and humans spat in their faces. She invited them to evolve. She withdraws that invitation. Now it’s time for their extinction!

In X-lantis, Jean’s team watches “Jean’s” announcement to humanity, causing Honey Badger to ask if Jean has an evil twin. Storm wonders if Cassandra Nova has a shapeshifter. Trinary interrupts that this is technology. It’s a digital fake generated by a deep learning artificial neural network. It’s very good but not perfect. They can disprove this. Storm fears there will still be people who want this to be reality so much that they will reject any proof to the contrary. This supports their narrative. No amount of truth will sway them. Casandra wants them to come.

Jean agrees. Laura points out that, with the planes, Casandra has innocent hostages from several nations: they go in and if even one of them is harmed, the international fallout will be… Is she suggesting they don’t rescue them? Jean asks. Of course not, Laura demurs.

King Namor suggests another option. The X-Men saved many Atlantean lives. Let Atlantis fight this war! Jean fears Cassandra could turn the Atlantean soldiers against them, and she wanted to show the world they can change minds without violence.

What would stop her? Gabby asks. Jean is as powerful a telepath as Cassandra is, right? So, if Jean were crazy, evil and had a whole lot of minds in her thrall, what would stop her? Jean thinks hard, then announces she has to make a call.

A news report summarizes that one week has passed since the planes have been abducted and brought to Genosha. Opinion is split on who is responsible. While a video seemed to show Jean Grey take responsibility and declare war on the human race, there are now convincing claims that video is a fake. But already tense human and mutant relations have been further strained over this. And it is unclear how the situation can be resolved without putting lives in danger.

The X-Men receive a visit by the person Jean called – Tony Stark. Jean thanks him for doing this. He assures her that it’s nothing. He was able to do the whole job for a few million. Small price to pay for world peace. Seriously, he’s got spreadsheets. He’s run the numbers. He knows when the price of world peace gets on the high end. Of course, it was a lot easier with someone who can manipulate code with her mind. Seeing Trinary, he offers her a job, telling her they could change the world. Jean suggests that, before they change the world, they need to save it.

Soon, the team sit in the cockpit of the Sentinel. Jean asks Trinary how sure she is this is going to work. When it turns out Trinary isn’t, Jean gives her a pep talk. She turns to the team – Kurt, Laura and Gabby – and asks if they have practiced enough. Kurt wryly agrees: when the time comes, he will fight every sensible instinct he has and do this incredibly stupid thing. Laura adds they just have to piss off Cassandra Nova enough to get her out in the open. But that shouldn’t be a problem.

The Sentinel lands on Genosha. Trinary warns the team that she can sense cameras everywhere. This is being streamed. Gambit asks if she can cut the feed. Jean tells her not to. They want the world to see this. They have nothing to hide.

Cassandra senses their arrival and is eager for the confrontation.

Several soldiers have their weapons trained on the X-sentinel. Cassandra gloats that those people believe their planes were targeted by mutant terrorists led by Jean, and that Cassandra is saving them. They believe Jean is here to kill them. It’s a little rude to show up late to a war, she opines, as the soldiers open fire. This isn’t a war, Jean replies as she telekinetically stops the bullet.

Cassandra gives the order to fire and the Korean helicarrier sends a missile at the X-Sentinel.

Jean hurls Gentle at the missile and he smashes it. She telepathically sends: this is a rescue. She doesn’t want to hurt anyone. Cassandra retorts it doesn’t matter what she wants. She is in her victims’ heads. They want to fight Jean.

They think they can change their minds, Jean replies and telekinetically grabs something she brought, a helmet based on Magneto’s design. She’s never been a fan of Magneto’s notions, she tells Cassandra, but it turns out he had one good idea. A helmet impenetrable to a telepath.

In fact, all the other X-Men are equipped with helmets as well. As are the Atlantean army and the Avengers.

Jean shakes Captain America’s hand and thanks him for being here. He replies that they should have been with them right from the start.

Jean sends to Cassandra that she is glad she has cameras rolling. Because now everyone can see they are not the enemy and they are not alone. They are changing the rules. Cassandra wanted war. That’s not going to happen. They are going to force her out of everyone’s heads. They are going to stomp peace into her black heart!

Characters Involved: 

Gambit, Gentle, Jean Grey, Honey Badger, Namor, Nightcrawler, Storm, Trinary, Wolverine II (Jean’s X-Men team)

Captain America, Captain Marvel VI, Iron Man, She-Hulk, Thor (Avengers)

Atlantean army

Cassandra Nova

South Korean military

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