X-Men: Ronin #2

Issue Date: 
May 2003
Story Title: 
Bunraku (Translated: The Puppet Show)

J. Torres (writer), Makoto Nakatsuka (pencils), Guru eFX (colors), Dave Sharpe (letters), Stephanie Moore (assistant editor), C.B. Cebulski (editor), Tommy Ohtsuka & Guru eFX (cover), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Bill Jemas (publisher)


Brief Description: 

Emma Frost still holds control over the minds of Drake, Pyro and their friend. She has them attack X-Mansion in the hopes they can bring Jean Grey to her. Unfortunately, the three evil mutants are soon afterward defeated by the X-Men. They lock the villains up for interrogation and, during this short period, Wolverine learns the name of their adversary and that the Hellfire Club is behind this. Determined to take them out, Logan-san leaves to find some tracks. As Jean gets dangerously more control over her powers, she and Scott stay both behind to control worker robots that help them repair the damages at their home. Storm leaves on a date with Forge, and learns he’s involved in a secret project with the police department. After visiting the Dazzler’s nightclub, Logan catches Emma’s scent and informs his team about this discovery. They quickly regroup and locate Emma. However, this was her plan all along. She pretends to run away scared, and cries out for help. As the X-Men push her against a wall, Emma creates a psychic illusion in the heads of some officers that she’s just a schoolgirl under attack by some monsters.

Full Summary: 

The Hellfire Club…

Emma sits in a dark room in a chair, with a cup of coffee ready next to her, which stands on a small table. Emma’s eyes are wide and glowing again, meaning she’s controlling Drake and his friends.

The X-Mansion...

Drake, Pyro and their friend have reached the X-Mansion during the night. Inside the mansion, Jean Grey is sleeping in her bedroom.

The Hellfire Club...

Telepathically, Emma orders her new recruits to find Jean for her.

The X-Mansion...

Jean starts to act oddly, and writhes uncontrollably on her bed.

The Hellfire Club...

Again telepathically, Emma spreads out the question: “Where is Jean Grey?”

The X-Mansion...

The question reaches the mind of the big mutant in Drake’s company, who repeats Emma’s question. They burst open the door of the mansion, and Jean can even feel the shakes of it up to her room! Pyro sets the place partly on fire and Iceman holds his ice-powers ready to go. The three start searching the big house, when suddenly Wolverine stands in front of him, still in his boxers. He jokes that they “don’t want any.”

Pyro asks Logan-san where they can find Jean. Iceman stretches his arm out, and with the aid of his ice-powers makes his fist bigger in size. He fires it at Wolverine, who tries to block it. Luckily, thanks to his special gauntlet, he is able to destroy the ice-attack. Cyclops walks down the stairs, and smilingly tells the three mutants that Jean is currently indisposed at the moment, but he can be of assistance if necessary. Storm flies into the room as well, agreeing with Scott.

Wolverine kicks Pyro out of his way, and snikts his glowing claws out from his gauntlet. He tells Storm to play fire extinguisher, and he’ll make like an ice pick! Cyclops, a bit doubtful, mocks that he’ll take the big guy. The big mutant, unimpressed, stares at Cyclops and punches him away!

When Pyro asks Storm where Jean is, Ororo asks what they want with her. Pyro just tells Storm to bring Jean to her. Her flames create the illusion of a dragon, and Pyro has it attack Storm. Meanwhile, Drak tries to freeze Wolverine’s arm up, but he reminds Drake he already tried this trick, but he can have it his way. Logan-san punches Drake out with the arm he had put on ice.

The big guy tries to trap Scott in stone, and he jokingly tells him Jean is standing behind him. The mutant loses his control, which is just what Scott hoped for. He reminds the mutant to never take his eyes off him. Scott takes his visor off, and the full power of his optic blasts blast the mutant out of the house! Storm uses her powers to create both wind and rain in the mansion, which actually extinguish Pyro’s flames. Defeated, she falls on the floor. Storm taps on Pyro’s shoulder, and as the girl looks up, Ororo punches her out!

Standing over his fallen opponent, Scott asks his teammates if they should turn them over to the police right away, or if they should detain them by themselves and see if they can get some answers out of them.

The Hellfire Club...

Emma has telepathically watched over the lost battle, and is displeased.

The X-Mansion...

Storm, staring at the defeated Pyro, guesses that, where there’s smoke, there’s hellfire. Logan, dragging Drake by his jacket along with him, tells his teammates to forget about the police. He believes those crooked cops will just find a way to make them look like the bad guys in this situation. They need to shut down the Hellfire Club before they’re fully operational. Jean walks downstairs and, looking at the defeated enemies, guesses she’s already too late to help out.

Some time later...

Wolverine has Drake tied-up on a chair, ready to interrogate him. Drake claims it’s like he told Logan-san before: he can’t help him. All the info he has is a name... Frost. He doesn’t have anything else. Wolverine, not buying it, snikts one white claw open, right next to Drake’s face! Drake freaks out and reveals that Frost was a telepath who controlled their minds and made them attack the X-Men. He swears it’s all fuzzy, and doesn’t remember anything else.

Logan-san snikts out another claw, who hits Drake’s face and causes it to bleed a little. Wolverine grins that perhaps the middle claw will help jog Drake’s memory. Drake starts to sweat. A while later, Wolverine leaves interrogation cell 1, and ignores the fact that in cell 2 they’ve apprehended Pyro. He finds Jean in another room, who is busy trying to focus her telepathic powers to repair something. She apologizes to Logan, realizing she should have acted faster. She guesses she’s still recuperating from the Shadowcat attack. She promises to do better next time. Logan starts to take off, telling Jean’s she’s on the injured list for now.

Shortly after Logan-san has left, Jean finishes repairing the metal ball. But, without warning, sets the ball on fire and completely destroys it!

Outside, Cyclops is busy controlling the robot workers, who help the X-Men repair the damages on their mansion. He can’t help but love these robots. He sees Wolverine coming out of the mansion and asks where he’s going. With a serious look on his face, Logan tells Scott he’s going to add up the bill for repairs... he’s going to find the person who’s going to pay for this.

Just as Logan is gone, Storm walks out and tells Scott she’s going out for a while. Scott, looking at the beautiful dress Ororo is wearing, asks where she is going. Storm knows Scott has everything under control here, and the prisoners are secure. And since there’s nothing to do until Logan-san returns, she’ll just be out. She promises to be back soon. Jean comes out next, and angrily tells Scott that since she’s grounded, she isn’t going anywhere. Scott blushes.

Japan Town...

Walking past a river and a temple, Ororo tells Forge it’s good to see him again. Hesitant, Forge thanks Ororo for agreeing to meet him. Storm sees a tree and suggests they go sit under it. They walk over to the tree and Forge gives Ororo a drink he bought for her earlier. Moving close to him, Storm, with a big smile, asks Forge if he’s really finishing up his rookie year as a police officer. Forge admits that, claiming he’s actually with a special project. It’s pretty intense and they won’t let him out much.

When Storm asks what kind of assignment it is, Forge hesitates and then tells Ororo he’s just (she knows) trying to do his duty and fit in as best as he can, and apply his special skills to the job. He apologizes but he can’t talk about it too much. Storm thinks that means Forge is some kind of “secret agent.” Starting to sweat, Forge says they’ve talked enough about him and asks what Ororo does. Storm jokes she can’t talk about her work either. Forge thinks Ororo is mocking him, but she smiles that some people might call it flirting.

Later that night, the Dazzler disco...

Two door guards have already been taken out and lie unconscious on the floor, where everyone can see them. Wolverine, having taken out another guard, now has Emma’s scent and sarcastically thanks the guy for it. As people run away scared, Wolverine takes out his cell phone and contacts Cyclops. He tells him to gather the troops... he has found their target.

Again some time later, outside the Hellfire Club...

Standing in front of the gate of the Club’s house, Emma looks as if she’s waiting for something. After looking at her watch, Emma walks down the streets. She goes to stand in front of a dark alley. Wolverine appears in the shadows behind her, and asks Emma if she’s the girl he’s looking for. He explains the fine folks over at Dazzler’s tell him she might know something about the Ronin who thrashed his house last night. They were looking to hurt a friend of his.

Emma smirks that it looks like Wolverine needs to choose his friends better. Logan smells that Emma is new in town, and asks if she’s looking for new friends. Emma claims they could never be friends. She doesn’t associate herself with evolutionary missteps like Wolverine. And, she also believes, neither should Jean Grey. Jean shouldn’t be with “aberrant mutates” like the X-Men. Wolverine announces that Emma just spoke fighting words.

Frost grins at Wolverine that she hopes the guy better had brought help with him, if he wants to cross swords with her. Wolverine smiles he sure did, and Storm and Cyclops appear behind him. Emma runs away, and the X-Men follow her. Emma telekinetically lifts up some cars and throws them at the mutant heroes. Dodging the cars, the X-Men run over some other cars, so they can follow their new foe faster. The X-Men don’t notice they also ran over some police cars, who report to their base they’ve got a situation.

Emma continues to run away, but Storm flies up and lands right in front of her. Emma fakes she’s getting scared, and cries out for help. Armored police officers arrive, believing that “monsters are attacking that schoolgirl.” While calling for back-up, the police officers really see a young version of Emma, looking like a schoolgirl, who has made the officers believe she’s actually being attacked by monsters instead of the X-Men.

Characters Involved: 

Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Storm, Wolverine (all X-Men)

Emma Frost (all Hellfire Club)

Iceman, Pyro and their friend (all Ronin)


Robot workers helping with the repair of the X-Mansion (all unnamed)

Various people at the Dazzler’s dance club (all unnamed)

Various police officers (all unnamed)

Story Notes: 

This issue clears up the limited series name: Ronin apparently stands for every mutant who isn’t associated with the X-Men, but are also evil and attack them. In real life, a Ronin is a samurai without a master, wandering the streets all by himself.

Jean was attacked by the Shadowcat ninja clan last issue. First appearance of the worker robots who help repair a broken X-Mansion.

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