X-Men: Red (1st series) #5

Issue Date: 
August 2018
Story Title: 
The Hate Machine – part 5: The Truth

Tom Taylor (writer), Mahmud Asrar (artist), Rain Beredo (colorist), VC’s Cory Petit (letterer), Travis Charest (main cover artist), Dan Mora & Marci Menyz (New Mutants variant cover), Travis Charest and Tamra Bonvillain (headshot variant artists), Brent Schonoover (Deadpool variant), Jay Bowen, Anthony Gambino & Carlos Lad (graphic designers), Chrstina Harrington & Annalise Bissa (assistant editors), Mark Paniccia & Jordan D. White (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: 

Cassandra Nova is busy manipulating heads of state to outlaw mutants, e.g. in Poland. Gambit sneaks into the hospital as an orderly to confront the man who killed a mutant woman at the rally. He runs into Jean, Nightcrawler and Trinary, who free the man from the Sentinite’s control. They take Gambit along as they fly to Poland, where they stop the Polish Army from attacking a group of mutant refugees and offer them asylum with Namor’s help.

Full Summary: 

Warsaw, Poland, inside the Presidential Palace:
Cassandra Nova assures the president that he is doing the right thing, for his citizens and for his country. She urges him to sign the orders, and he does.

Nearby, a policeman visits a friend, Antonij, a visibly green-skinned mutant. He informs him the law goes into effect at midnight. He has to flee. Antonij refuses. He has a life here. His friend begs him to call whomever he can, warn them, take his son and go.

Outside the Louisiana hospital, where the shooter from the rally is under observation, anti-mutant protesters are picketing.

The news anchorwoman reports that opinions are divided, with some claiming that the shooter David Bushnell acted in self-defense. The videos clearly show Bushnell, father of two, shooting the mutant woman in cold blood. 

Her male colleague interrupts that the surveillance shows him defending himself against a dangerous mutant, who attacked a peaceful rally. The mutant Gambit had just caused several explosions. Bushnell had no idea what the mutant he was facing could do. Was he supposed to wait until he got a face full of acid?

In the meantime, there are reports of attacks on mutants in Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland as well as several African countries. Poland has signed a law for the detainment of all mutants.

In the hospital, David Bushnell is cuffed to the bed, ranting that there are mutants everywhere. Two cops are standing guard outside.

Gambit, disguised as a male nurse, gets inside. When one cop insists on accompanying him, Gambit takes him out inside the room. Bushnell continues ranting. Why did he kill her? Gambit asks. Suddenly, he hears a voice telling him he is not alone here.

It’s Jean Grey, who has been telepathically shielding herself, Nightcrawler and Trinary. Gambit asks what’s going on and Jean explains they are here for the same reason he is, to work out why a young girl was killed. But it’s not what it seems. She turns to Trinary and explains she and Trinary have linked minds to find a way to safely disable a Sentinel inside this man’s head.

Trinary announces she has found the Sentinite and can turn it off. She does, and suddenly David Bushnell stops spewing hatred and asks instead what’s going on. Jean apologizes and tells him he has been used. He recalls killing someone and begins to cry. Jean assures him he was not in control, then tells Nightcrawler that David’s father is in the parking lot. They won’t let him see his son.

Kurt teleports outside and returns with the older man. David tells him what he remembers. Kurt urges that they have to go now. Jean tells Mr. Bushnell that he has to leave. It would be bad to find him in here and an unconscious cop. He promises to return for his son. Jean vows they will find out who is behind this and return to defend him, then Nightcrawler teleports them away.

Outside, Gambit sees the Sentinel (now adorned with rainbows and flowers) and intends to use his power then is surprised to see Honey Badger. Jean is astonished they know each other. Gambit once exploded her to pieces in Madripoor, Gabby explains. For strategic reasons, Gambit quickly adds. Laura interject this is the Sentinel-X. It belongs to Trinary and they just got done repainting her, so please don’t blow her up. Gambit is curious how they know the Sentinel is a ‘her.’ Gabby replies they can explain sexing Sentinels on the way. The way to where? Remy asks.

Storm and Gentle are atop the Sentinel and explain that a large group of Polish mutants are on the run and headed for the Baltic Sea. They are going to have their back, Jean adds and transports the others to the trop. They enter the inside of the Sentinel and Trinary orders it to fly.

Hours later, Poland, the coast of the Baltic Sea:
The mutant refugees have reached the edge. They are about to enter the waiting boats when the Polish army arrives ordering them to detention.

Antonij orders his son Fillip behind him. They are joined by the Sentinel X, hovering in the air and ordering the army to stand down. Gentle nervously tells Jean he doesn’t want to hurt people and she promises him he won’t have to.

Gambit asks if her perfect vision always included taking on armies and invading sovereign nations. Jean hopes she has a way around that.

They leave the Sentinel and Jean orders her team to protect the mutants. No one gets hurt on either side. They do this right and peacefully. She tells Storm, who is standing by her side, that the soldiers are nervous. Storm points out that they are children with guns and orders they don’t understand. Of course they are nervous.

Jean realizes they are going to fire and warns her team to protect the refugees. Trinary commands the Sentinel to shield them. Next Jean orders Nightcrawler, Honey Badger and Wolverine to take out their big guns. Gentle protects some kids while the Kinney sisters make short work of the tanks.

Jean addresses the army, telling them that she needs them to see. She telepathically connects the soldiers and the refugees. Most soldiers drop their weapons as a result. One general shouts at them to pick them up again. He screams at the X-Men that they have invaded Polish soil and have no right!

Actually, they do, comes the voice of a newcomer, King Namor, who arises from the sea a glob-like ship behind him. Their little army stands at the edge of the Baltic Sea. If their president would like to continue safely trading and flying over Namor’s waters, he suggests they pull back from his borders.

Jean announces the mutant nation is offering asylum to these people. The mutants begin entering the ship. The general stammers he can’t allow this. Those people are a traitors to their nation! Storm lectures him that no true leader sees his own people as threat. Jean adds he has been lied to. That doubt he is feeling, that shame, those are his true feelings. Addressing him as Jakub, she chides that his parents raised him better than this.

When they are all aboard, Nightcrawler tensely asks if Jean changed the soldiers’ minds. Jean explains she simply merged the minds of the soldiers and refugees for a moment.

Gabby remarks she likes how Jean says this like it’s no big deal. Jean explains they saw the real people and so the soldiers no longer believed their country’s narrative and chose to do the right thing. Jean continues that she’s been in enough heads to know most people aren’t evil - they are protective, misinformed and scared. Whoever is trying to breed hate, that’s how they stand against them. That’s how they fight this. They are going to crush the lies and weaponize the truth!

Characters Involved: 

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

Cassandra Nova

David Bushnell and his father

Polish president
General Jakub


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