X-Men: Red (1st series) #8

Issue Date: 
November 2018
Story Title: 
The Hate Machine – part 8: Global Hatred

Tom Taylor (writer), Carmen Carnero (artist), Rain Beredo (colorist), VC’s Cory Petit (letterer), Jenny Frisson (main cover artist), Travis Charest and Tamra Bonvillain (headshot variant artists), Jamal Campbell (Cosmic Ghost Rider versus 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 has Forge send out the clouds of Sentinites all over the world to have people massacre mutants. In Atlantis, X Trinary activates the Sentinite they got from Storm to contact the others with the help of Searebro and control them. They do that by channeling the energy through Honey Badger, who doesn’t feel pain. When Cassandra learns the Sentinites are being attacked, she in turn attacks Jean telepathically. Trinary has learned that Cassandra is in Genosha, which Storm attacks, distracting Cassandra while Trinary with the help of the others finishes off the Sentinite clouds. Cassandra orders Forge to immediately build new ones, while she activates her secret weapon against Jean – her daughter Rachel Summers.

Full Summary: 

Somewhere underground, Cassandra Nova’s hidden facility:
Forge, under her control, stares upward at a glowing cloud – the sentinites that cause people to hate mutants. Cassandra Nova joins him and asks if they are ready. He replies in the affirmative. Finally, she can stop poisoning the edges and deliver a fatal dose, she enthuses. She gives the order to release them. Forge is about to press a button but tries not to. Amused, she notes his attempt to resist and warns him that, while he has a useful brain, she will destroy it if he pisses her off. She repeats her order.

A news broadcast:
While the newsreel below shows several pro-mutant news items, the two anchorpeople are discussing the state of affairs. The anchorwoman narrates that there are calls from the international community to halt all acts of anti-mutant aggression, all in light of the audio evidence released by Jean Grey, implicating one “Cassandra Nova” in the death of the British ambassador.

Her male colleague, Mason, is not impressed. Scratchy audio conveniently appearing a month after the incident, is hardly evidence, he opines. This could all be a mutant plot to… His colleague interrupts to point out that suggestion is irresponsible. Ms. Grey clearly stated the same person behind Ambassador Marbury’s death was manipulating public opinion. The media has an obligation to report the news and not suggest a conspiracy that could further incite… Mason interrupts, demanding if she thinks he is being manipulated. With a smile, she replies that it’s hard to tell. He’s always been an ignorant hateful +%&$§. The show is suddenly replaced by a standby signal.

Atlantis X:
Honey Badger has been watching the show on her tablet and remarks to Jean and Storm they just broke a TV network.

Trinary and Gentle join them and Trinary announces that she brought the Sentinite they pulled from Storm’s head back online. She has it in a small vial. Gabby asks the obvious question why they want Storm’s brain parasite online and Storm agrees. Gentle points out, so Trinary can study it and see if she can program it.

Trinary reports it revealed a command, a location. She thinks they are on the move. Can she sense the other Sentinites? Jean asks. Not all at once, is the reply. These things are spread through the entire planet.

They enter the Searebro chamber. Jean wants her to put on the Cerebro helmet. If she tunes her mind to the sentinites, she should be able to reach out to the others. It can be overwhelming but Jean will stay with her to limit her exposure.

Trinary sees golden sentinite swarms that are heading to every major city on every continent. There are millions. She can’t stop them! She shouts. Jean agrees: her mind would be torn apart. They need— She looks at Gabby.

Soon they have her sitting in the Cerebro unit. Jean explains they need a mind that can take the strain. Gabby’s brain can continually repair itself. Laura joins them and protests. Jean retorts they need Gabby because, unlike Laura, she doesn’t feel pain and this would be agony! Her point made, Jean links minds with Gabby and Trinary.

A surprised Forge tells Cassandra Nova that the Sentinite swarm heading for Istanbul has somehow received another signal. Cassandra realizes it must be Jean. But, she figures, if Jean is working against the sentinites, her defenses will be down. As good a time as any to take her on directly. She scans and manages to contact Jean directly. Cassandra smirks: Jean has extended herself beyond her capacity. She has left herself wide open.

Jean warns Gabby and Trinary to brace themselves. Gabby runs to the other dome and alerts Gambit, Storm and Nightcrawler of the attack. Storm orders Kurt to get Trinary. He teleports in, grabs her and gets out.

Trinary protests she needs to get back there. The Sentinites… The others reply she cannot fight Nova and the Sentinites at the same time. Could she sense where Cassandra’s signal is coming from? They want to help but Jean can’t know or otherwise Cassandra will know. Trinary sends the location to Gambit’s phone. Cassandra Nova is in Genosha.

Storm turns to Nightcrawler and tells him to get her into the sky. He teleports both of them high up into the air over the ocean. Nightcrawler reminds her that Cassandra has been in her head once already, so don’t get too close to her. Storm points out she doesn’t need to get close to hit her.

Inside Searebro, Gabby falls unconscious. Laura offers to take her place. Jean warns her it will tear her mind apart. And the world will be torn apart otherwise, Laura retorts. She assures Jean she can handle it. Gentle suggest he join Laura to help. Gambit and Nightcrawler offer their help as well. Jean replies that, even with all of them, she cannot hold off Cassandra Nova and keep this together. She may not have to, Kurt replies.

Cassandra Nova gloats to Forge that his race will be done soon, and it’s largely thanks to his warped mind. She thinks she will keep his brain in a jar when this is all done.

Suddenly, an explosion outside shakes them. Cassandra swears as she sees the storm flood coming for the island, courtesy of Storm.

Nova is gone, Jean realizes. The others have formed a circle, lending her strength. Trinary announces that it is not enough to turn the sentinites off. They have to be destroyed! Jean tells her to do it now. Trinary apologizes to the suffering Laura whom they are using as a conduit. She explains her mutation activated when she was twelve. She was instantly connected to the entire online world. And while she found good there, she also found fear and ignorance wrapped in anger. She tried to protect the world from the worst that she encountered. She removed as much ugliness as she could. She absorbed it. The trolling, the intolerance, the bile. She is now uploading all that hate. All the hateful angry comments overwhelming the sentinites.

Gabby wakes up. Why are they all holding hands? she asks. Did they win? Gambit and Jean tell her they did and she sulks at missing out. She asks Jean for a psychic video replay of it.

In Genosha, Forge has to tell Cassandra Nova all the Sentinties are gone. She orders him to instantly build more. He will not eat or sleep. He will simply function and build! She’ll set up some kind of feeding tube. She admits to underestimating Jean. It’s time to get personal…

At the Xavier Institute, Rachel Summers takes out a student then flies into the sky following the voice of her master – Cassandra Nova…

Characters Involved: 

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

Cassandra Nova

Story Notes: 

Cassandra brainwashed Rachel in X-Men Red Annual #1.

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