X-Men: Schism #3

Issue Date: 
September 2011
Story Title: 
Schism, part three

Jason Aaron (writer), Danie Acuna (artist & cover artist), Jared K Fletcher (Letterer), Frank Cho,& Morry Hollowell (interlocking variant cover artists) Irene Y Lee (production), Jordan D White (assistant editor), Daniel Ketchum (associate editor), Nick Lower (editor), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

Several months ago, Kade Kilgore assembled three other youngsters of considerable wealth and power to form the new Inner Circle of the Hellfire Club. Today, they lead an assault on the Museum of Mutant History, where several X-Men are attending the museum’s opening. The Hellfire Club soldiers take down the X-Men students, while the present senior X-Men battle Kade and his companions, who are well equipped, using Badoon Brain Slugs to take them down. When Cyclops loses telepathic contact with the X-Men, he dons a jet-pack and flies to San Francisco, while Wolverine makes his way from the bar to the museum, both men are soon in telepathic contact with Oya, who has not been apprehended. She explains what is going on at the museum and that she thinks there is a bomb. The Hellfire Club soldiers begin taking the X-Men out front. Wolverine tells Oya to get out, while Cyclops tells her to do what she has to do. Oya remains unsure, but confronts the Hellfire Club soldiers, using her powers to kill them, she then helps Anole and the other X-Men students take the civilians out of the building before it explodes. Cyclops and Wolverine arrive on scene, while Kade and his comrades escape unnoticed. Wolverine and Cyclops argue after learning that Oya killed several men, but before long, the bomb turns out to be something more - as it brings towards itself all of the scrap metal in the area - to form a large Sentinel!

Full Summary: 

Utopia, home of the majority of the world’s mutant population. ‘Status report?’ Scott “Cyclops” Summers orders. In the communications room, the Three-in-One a.k.a. Celeste, Irma and Phoebe the Stepford Cuckoos stand ready, while Cyclops observes monitors depicting reports of current events he is interested in. One of the Cuckoos announces that there are fourteen separate global hotspots still showing Sentinel activity. Another adds that all X-Men are currently engaged, while the third assures Cyclops that they are maintaining worldwide telepathic links. Cyclops asks the girls to keep him informed, while on screen, a reporter announces that live coverage continues from the site of San Francisco’s recently unveiled Museum of Mutant History, where security is tight and tensions are high, yet many in the crowd remain hopeful that tonight’s festivities may hope to dampen the flames of anti-mutant hysteria.

The reporter reveals that Mayor Sadie Sinclair is due to speak momentarily, when Cyclops suddenly gets a telepathic call from his lover Emma Frost the White Queen. ‘Emma. Any trouble at the museum?’ Scott asks, while Emma glances around, holding a glass of wine. ‘Loads of it, deary. Can you believe there are barely four mentions of me in this entire wretched building, and in three of them I’m referred to as a villain? If I find whoever curated this mess I’m going to sink my nails into his frontal lobe!’ Emma declares. Scott tells her that the TV coverage is all over the news, and Emma sips her wine while telling him that there are reporters everywhere, all wanting an official statement from the X-Men regarding the current global cluster*&#%. ‘If I’m here much longer, I’m liable to give them one’ Emma adds.

Cyclops tells Emma that the only message she needs to send she can send by just being there. Scott adds that he wants all X-Men back on Utopia as soon as possible. ‘Right. We’ll give them one last bit of muscle-flexing and then be on our way’ Emma assures Scott, who asks if there is any sign of Wolverine. ‘No. Not since your last little bit of manly -’ Emma begins, but Scott can no longer hear her. ‘Emma? Emma, come in’ he calls out, before telling the Cuckoos that he lost the link to Emma. The girls reply that their seems to be some sort of localized telepathic interference. The reporter announces that there appears to be some sort of disturbance outside. ‘No. EMMA!’ Cyclops booms as he rushes out of the room.

At the Museum of Mutant History, Emma screams in agony. Bobby “Iceman” Drake approaches her and asks her if she is all right, to which Emma replies that she received some sort of psychic backlash. The rest of the X-Men at the museum - Piotr “Colossus” Rasputin, the Master of Magnetism, Magneto and Namor the Sub-Mariner gather with Emma, who has dropped her glass of wine. Emma announces that her telepathy is being jammed, and that they are cut off from Utopia. ‘Either they’re under attack…or we are’ she tells her teammates. Bobby remarks that it would not be much of a mutant history museum without someone trying to kill them, while Magneto tells everyone to be alert. ‘Thank the Gods. I would rather be shot in the face with a harpoon gun than pose for another ridiculous photograph’ Namor mutters.

Nearby, several of the younger mutants from Utopia have gathered. Anole tells Trance, Oya and Transonic that Emma’s nose is bleeding, so something must be wrong. ‘Maybe we shouldn’t have come here’ Transonic suggests, while Idie Okonkwo aka Oya finds herself fixated on a photograph of the original X-Men. ‘I don’t understand…why are they smiling?’ she asks, confused, when suddenly, someone screams.

At that moment, Wolverine a.k.a. Logan is still at the bar, slumped against the counter, he is speaking on the phone to Rogue, asking her where she is and if there is anything left for him. ‘Plenty’ comes Rogue’s reply, while behind her Archangel and Pixie take on a Sentinel. Rogue informs Wolverine that they have got haywire Sentinels all over the world, and they could use all the help they can get, before asking him what the situation is back home. Logan looks up at the television as something catches his attention - the reporter announces that there appears to be some sort of disturbance. An instant later, Logan has gone and dropped the phone on the bar. ‘Logan?’ Rogue calls out.

Flashback, months ago:
Four youngsters are seated across from each other in a sparse room. In the blue chair, a young man in a school uniform introduces himself as Kade Kilgore, explaining that his father is CEO of Kilgore Arms, one of the wealthiest and most powerful men alive today. Kade boasts that his father has raised him to believe that he will someday inherit the world. ‘I don’t know anything about you, but I’m tired of waiting’ he announces, before turning to the young man dressed in a suit, seated in the red chair. Kade calls him Manuel Enduque, son of one of the richest families in the eastern hemisphere. Kade reveals that it is a wealth built on the backs of slaves, from the days of his great-great-grandfather, one of West Africa’s most notorious slave traders, to today, when his family sells humans by the bushel in a dozen different galaxies.

Manuel boasts that their latest shipment is bound as they speak for a planet of flesh-eating space trolls, and it happens to number amongst its cargo his seven older brothers. ‘Here’s to being the sole heir’ Manuel declares. Next up is Baron Maximilian von Katzenelnbogen, who sits in the green chair. Kade reveals that the Baron is the orphan prince of the Bavarian Alps, and the youngest student ever admitted to the University of Munich, as he is considered a true scientific prodigy, that was until the academics deemed his methods “most profoundly unsettling”, which Kade declares is not surprising, given his family history. ‘Von Katzenelnbogen isn’t your true name, is it? No, that would be von Franken-’ but the Baron interrupts Kade before he gets to finish his sentence, warning him that if Kade says his name in his presence he will walk.

Sitting in the yellow chair is the young girl, and Kade announces that upon the recent suicide of hotel entrepreneur Lenore Kensington, her entire estate was left to her 37 pet cats and her 11 year old daughter, Wilhelmina, a beauty pageant and martial arts enthusiast. ‘Mr Farnesworthe didn’t like to be tickled, so I made his head all squishy. Now he doesn’t mind’ the girl replies blankly. Kade tells his companions that they are here because he believes that if they pool their resources, they can surpass the accomplishments of their parents before they are even old enough to drive. He announces that before he goes any further, if there is anyone here who is uncomfortable with the thought of extortion, terrorism, or systematic mass murder, now would be the time to leave. No one gets up to go.

There is a massive explosion and the Museum of Mutant History, as Kade, the Baron, Manuel and Wilhelmina, dressed their in their Hellfire Club costumes and supported by large armed guard, stride forward. ‘Temporary telepathic transmitters we swallowed should be kicking in about now. Hello? Hello, can you hear me?’ Kade telepathically calls out to his companions. Manuel replies that he is reading him loud and clear and announces that all weapons are primed and ready, while the girl tells everyone that she farted. ‘Splendid. Lets make a show of it’ Kade declares. ‘You know the drill, people! We hate mutants, blah, blah, blah! Now bring us your X-Men!’ Kade shouts.

Suddenly, the X-Men appear before the youngsters. ‘Ask and ye shall receive, little man’ Emma declares, while Colossus points out that the leaders of the mob appear to be children. ‘Children in Hellfire gear’ Iceman adds. ‘I’ve hit children before’ Namor mutters, as Magneto orders them to be taken down. Nearby though, the Hellfire guards have surrounded Anole and Trance. Dust looks on, while Transonic calls out to Oya, telling her to run.

At that moment, Cyclops is wearing a jet-pack as he flies from Utopia towards the mainland. He communicates with Dr Nemesis, asking him to come in. Dr Nemesis can be heard replying ‘I hate when you people invade my head like this. I’m in the blasted lab, still working to develop a Sentinel-specific EMP. What is it now?’ he asks. Cyclops tells Nemesis that he has command of Utopia. ‘What?’ Dr Nemesis asks. ‘What the hell sort of hornet’s nest have you stirred up now? Summers!?’, but Scott offers no response.

Outside the bar, a man is getting into his car - ‘Move it, pal’ Wolverine declares as he grabs the man and takes his car, speeding off down the road.

At the museum, the X-Men engage the Hellfire Club guards in combat, however Colossus finds himself with a Badoon Brain Slug strapped to his face. ‘If you think I’ll refrain from thrashing you senseless simply because of you age, you don’t know me very well’ Namor tells one of the kids. The Baron ducks as Namor throws one of the soldiers at him. ‘I know you well enough Herr Mariner. I dissected my first Atlantean when I was eight!’ he boasts as he begins firing his weapon, which drops several black discs at Namor’s feet. The Baron declares that he knows that if he were to shoot 5000 Kelvins worth of concentrated chemical heat at Namor’s feet, it would render him about as dangerous as a sardine in the sun. The discs explode and heat surges through Namor, who keels over, enabling the Club soldiers to go over and attack him. ‘Seriously, boys, you’re gonna have to do better than this!’ Iceman declares as he knocks several guards back, while Magneto drops a car on his opponents.

‘I hope I die before I get as old as you’ Wilhelmina tells Emma, who has put her diamond-hard hand around her throat. ‘That can be arranged, little girl’ Emma replies, before turning to the Baron and remarking that she sees times are so tough they are affecting even the Hellfire Club. ‘So much so that they’re forced to send children to do their fighting for them’ Emma adds. The Baron informs Emma that he just took down Namor, and managed to jam her telepathy with just his little finger. ‘Literally me little finger. The jamming device is the size of a pinhead, located under my pinky-nail in a -’ he stops his sentence as Emma drops her diamond-form and grabs the boy’s pinky finger, snapping it. The Baron cries out in pain, while Emma telepathically informs Cyclops that she is back online, and asks him to respond, as she explains that the museum is under attack by a pint-sized version of the Hellfire Club. Emma tells Scott that she will thrash them thoroughly and report back ASAP, but suddenly, Wilhelmina fires a Badoon Brain Slug which latches on to Emma’s face. ‘Get her, kitty’ Wilhelmina exclaims.

‘If only my brothers could see me now!’ Manuel declares as he attacks Colossus, who is knocked backwards. ‘Okay…that’s definitely better…’ Iceman mutters, before crying out in agony as the guards attack him with laser-like swords. Kade declares that it is fitting the mutant race should suffer its most humbling defeat in the halls of a museum, since that is ultimately where they belong, with all the rest of the dusty old relics. ‘Speaking of dusty old relics…’ Kade remarks as Magneto approaches him, using his power to lift several guards up and throw them backwards. ‘Valiant showing, boy. But this ends now’ Magneto announces. ‘You’re right about that, grandpa’ Kade replies as he holds up a small gun and points it at Magneto. ‘That’s your plan? To shoot me with bullets? Did you forget I am a giant walking magnet?’ Magneto asks.

Kade remarks that Magneto is a cocky old bastard and suggests that might be why when he was a the bag guy he never won a single damn fight in his life. ‘This gun doesn’t shoot bullets’ Kade announces as he fires the weapon, and energy surrounds Magneto. Kade explains that the weapon shoots miniaturized neutron stars, marble-sized magnetars, to be precise, the most powerful magnets known to man. ’How’s that feel, all jammed up inside your magnetic field, Mr Giant Walking Magnet?’ Kade asks, before Magneto falls to the floor. ’Who’s cocky now, you withered old fart?’ Kade declares, while telepathically informing his comrades that he needs a brain slug for Magneto. ’The X-Men are going down!’ he boasts. Anole, Dust, Trace and Transonic have all been taken down, and the guards stand over them.

‘This is Cyclops. Can any X-Men read me?’ Scott asks, telepathically. He calls out to Emma and Magneto, asking them to come in. On Utopia, the Stepford Cuckoos announces that Ms Frost is offline, that her attackers have sophisticated psi-shielding. ‘When I try to peek inside their heads, all I get is a blaring loop of earworms. Someone shoot me before I start humming pop songs’ one of the girls remarks, while the third announces that she is scanning for other X-Men on site. ‘X-Men emergency distress call, can anyone read me?’ she calls out.

‘Um…hello? Is there someone inside my head? Please…I don’t know what to do’ Idie thinks to herself. Cyclops picks up on her distress and asks her what is happening and where Emma and the others are. Wolverine gets in Idie’s head next, and asks what she is doing at the museum. ‘Get out of the building, now!’ he orders her as he rushes across the tops of cars who are in a traffic jam. Logan tells Cyclops that he is almost there and can handle it. Cyclops asks Idie to tell him where the others are, and peering around a corner at the Hellfire Club soldiers, Idie’s response is that she thinks they just lost.

Emma, Bobby, Colossus, Magneto and Namor all lay on the floor, Badoon Brain Slugs over their faces. The Hellfire Club soldiers stand over them, while Kade approaches them and removes his mask. ‘I haven’t had sex yet so maybe I’m wrong…but I can’t imagine it feeling better than this!’ he smiles. Manuel removes his mask and takes photos of the X-Men with a camera, asking ‘Are we officially super villains now? My dad would be so proud. If I hadn’t already strangled him in his sleep’ Manuel remarks. ‘No more kitties?’ Wilhelmina asks. ‘Who wants to be a super villain? Super villains always lose in the end. Of did I miss the news that Dr Doom now rules the world?’ Kade replies, and as Namor begins to rise, Kade shoots him in the back, declaring that he did not come here to lose. ‘Bring out the suitcase’ he orders.

‘Primed and ready’ the Baron calls out as he brings the suitcase towards Kade, who asks if there is any sign of reinforcements. ‘Not yet’ the Baron replies.3Kade declares that they will be here soon enough, and suggests they get the X-Men outside while they still have time. ‘And them?’ the Baron asks, motioning to the museum patrons and staff, cowering against a wall as Hellfire soldiers keep guard over them. ‘If they’re not X-Men…consider them expendable’ Kade replies. Idie watches from behind a cabinet as the soldiers pick up the X-Men and begin to take them away. Idie informs Cyclops and Wolverine of this, and adds that a suitcase has been brought out. ‘A bomb? Is it a bomb?’ Cyclops asks. Idie replies that she doesn’t known, and asks what a bomb looks like. ‘Scott, get her outta there!’ Wolverine exclaims.

At that moment, Wolverine rushes across a park, towards the museum, telling Idie to get out as fast as she can. ‘Scott, tell her!’ Wolverine shouts, but gets no response, while Cyclops continues to make his way to the museum, and Idie tells him that she doesn’t know what to do. ‘Should I…should I try to stop them?’ she asks. ‘No! Run! Scott!’ Wolverine calls out. Idie reports that there are some sort of numbers on the suitcase, counting down. ‘I think…I think it is a bomb’ she exclaims, adding that there are people still trapped inside. ‘Damn it, Summers!’ Wolverine snaps. ‘She’s just a kid! Get her out ! I can make it! I got this!’ wolverine declares, while Cyclops tells Idie to listen very carefully, before revealing that they are not going to make it in time. ‘You do what you feel you have to’ Cyclops tells her.

‘NO!’ Wolverine calls out, but Oya gets to her feet and announces that she can do this. She moves towards the Hellfire soldiers, one of whom asks ‘What the hell…?’ while another shouts ‘Mutant!’. They begin to fire at her, but Oya raises her arms, releasing fire from one and ice from the other, which stop the bullets.

Outside the museum, Anole and the others have helped as many civilians escape as possible, while Wolverine and Cyclops both arrive at the same time. ‘It’s okay, I did it’ Idie announces. ‘I saved the day. I think…’ she remarks as she collapses in Cyclops’s arms. Scott picks her up and shouts ‘Everyone, get back! There’s a bomb inside!’ as they all run for safety. The fire caused by Idie’s power begins to rage inside the museum, where several Hellfire guards are still on the floor. The bomb suddenly goes off, and the resulting explosion is massive. Police officers have gathered nearby, while people run from the danger. Kade, Wilhelmina, the Baron and Manuel have ditched their Hellfire Club gear and run from the explosion, smiling, pleased with themselves.

Cyclops finds the other X-Men, still with the Badoon Brain Slugs on their faces, and he contacts Dr Nemesis, telling him prepare the infirmary, as they have multiple casualties coming in. ‘You son of a bitch’ Wolverine declares as he stands over Cyclops. ‘She killed a dozen men in there. That’s on you’ Logan tells Scott, who asks if there was any civilian casualties. ‘Lucky for you, no’ Logan replies. Scott points out that Oya saved a hundred lives, to which Wolverine remarks that she should never have been in that position. ‘You’re right. You should’ve been there yourself instead of off in some bar’ Cyclops tells Logan, who pops his claws and raises them to Wolverine’s face. ‘You’re gonna pop your claws on me now, is that it?’ Cyclops asks.

‘I didn’t do that’ Wolverine replies, turning to the remains of the museum, where a blue light shines. ‘That was more than just a bomb’ Logan remarks, and sees that it is pulling anything that is metal towards itself. Cyclops announces that they have to cordon off the area and get the wounded to safety. He contacts Dr Nemesis, asking him to belay the last order. ‘I need you here, immediately’ Scott tells him. ‘Damn it, man, make up your mind’ Dr Nemesis replies, annoyed. Suddenly, Wolverine frowns. ‘Scott…’ he begins. ‘I see it’ Scott replies as a massive Sentinel begins to form from all the nearby metal….

Characters Involved: 

Archangel, Colossus, Cyclops, Iceman, Magneto, Rogue, Sub-Mariner, White Queen, Wolverine (all X-Men)

Anole, Dust, Pixie III, Stepford Cuckoos, Trance (all X-Men students)
Oya, Transonic (two of the Five Lights)

Dr Nemesis (unseen, voice only)

Manuel Enduque, Baron Maximilian von Katzenelnbogen, Wilhelmina Kengsington, Kade Kilgore (all Hellfire Club Inner Circle)

Civilians attending the museum opening
Bartender and patrons
Hellfire Club soldiers
Police officers

In Flashback
Manuel Enduque, Baron Maximilian von Katzenelnbogen, Wilhelmina Kengsington, Kade Kilgore

In Photograph:
Angel, Beast, Cyclops, Iceman, Marvel Girl, Professor (all original X-Men)

Story Notes: 

Generation Hope 10 acts as a companion piece to this story, revealing Idie’s side.
“Katzenelnbogen” is German for “Cat’s Elbow”. His real name is of course Frankenstein. (According to the novel by Mary Shelley the Frankensteins live in Switzerland, but Victor Frankenstein at least studied in Bavaria)

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