X-Men Unlimited (2nd series) #13

Issue Date: 
April 2006
Story Title: 
Blind Love (1st story), A Wonderful Life (2nd story)

(1st Story) Hugh Sterbakov (writer), Sean Scoffield (artist), Dave Sharpe (letterer)

(2nd Story) Damon Hurd (writer), Clay Mann (artist), Chris Sotomayor (colors), Mark Pennington (inks), Dave Sharpe (letterer)
Michael O’Connor (asst. editor), Warren Simons (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

(First Story)
Vincent, formerly the villain Mesmero, struggles to live without his mutant powers. The only bright light in his world is a prostitute named Glory. As they head off to eat breakfast, they are confronted by Glory’s pimp, Rudolph. When the pimp asks if this is the guy with all the money she told him about, Vincent is heartbroken by her seeming deception. Rudolph proceeds to beat Vincent viciously with his cane, until Glory shoots her pimp dead. Glory tells Vincent that she loves him and he promises to take care of her.

(Second Story)
Mark Hawkins awakens in the aftermath of M-Day to discover his wonderful life has been taken from him. His wife is gone, his identity and powers as the hero the Marvel have disappeared and Mark fears his nemesis, Dr. Zialus, has taken it all from him. The police arrive to find Mark trying to dig his way into his underground lair. He is arrested when he assaults one of the detectives with the shovel. When he tells his story to the police, they believe Mark is delusional. There are no records of his marriage or his wife, his house is in a state of abandonment and Mark doesn’t even know who Captain America is. Mark is committed to a mental institution, where he starts living his life again, this time as delusions in his head.

Full Summary: 

First Story:

From his fire escape, Vincent watches the building across the street, where two silhouettes embrace and disappear from view.

He hadn’t spoken the name Vincent to anyone in years. Since then, he’d been called by another name - Mesmero. He had long forgotten pathetic Vincent, who couldn’t trust anyone, believe anyone and was basically pathetic.

But now Mesmero is gone, like one of those dreams where you can fly and nothing can ever hurt you again, and Vincent is back.

Vincent is struggling to stay one link above the bottom of the food chain, stealing blankets, begging for food and scuffling with other homeless people.

Mesmero walked among the gods as homo superior. He fought alongside titans like Magneto and ruled kings and queens. Mesmero even enslaved world-eaters, as he forced the mighty Phoenix to her knees.

Vincent couldn’t enslave anyone, never mattered to anyone. He couldn’t make his father go straight or keep his mother alive.

Vincent climbs down the ladder from the fire escape and waits in the hallway in the building across the street. A man and a prostitute complete their transaction as Vincent watches.

The man leaves and the hooker turns around, seeing Vincent. Her face lights up and she rushes into his arms. Her name is Glory and Vincent has fallen in love with her. She makes him feel alive again and hopefully she loves him too.

Glory offers to buy Vincent breakfast, but Vincent says she should save it so they can get out of here. Glory reminds him that is not going to happen for a bit and she wants to take her guy to breakfast.

As they walk through the park, the X-Man Rogue flies by overhead, bathed in flames. Glory is amazed and thinks Rogue is so neat. Vincent pulls Glory close and tells her there was a time when he ruled them all, that with a glance he could mesmerize them and make them his puppets.

Glory says she knows he was the best, but is interrupted as Vincent is slammed to the ground from behind.

Vincent’s assailant is Glory’s pimp, who asks if this is the guy she was telling him about who has a lot of money. Glory cries out a denial, but Vincent is heartbroken by her betrayal.

Nobody has ever loved Vincent, not unless he made them. Now he’ll never be able to make anyone do anything ever again.

The pimp stomps on Vincent’s head and demands his money. As Glory looks on, the pimp beats Vincent mercilessly with his cane. He accuses Vincent of trying to steal his girl, but Glory insists Vincent is just a friend and has no money.

Feeling tricked and betrayed, Vincent recalls that even as Mesmero he never won. He always found someway to lose, no matter who he is, and he deserves this death.
He was betrayed by a robot, defeated by a goddess, and so falls Mesmero.

A loud bang interrupts his memories and he sees Glory standing over her dead pimp, a smoking gun in her hands. She asks Vincent if he’s okay and helps him to his feet. Glory cries that she told her pimp that Vincent had money, but then she found he was broke and didn’t care because she loved him.

Vincent can’t believe that she saved him and that he is loved. He tells Glory they have to get out of here and promises to take care of her and get back on top of the world. Glory hesitates, worried they don’t have enough money, but Vincent says she has to trust him.

Vincent never had to ask anyone for their trust as Mesmero-he just took it. But Glory takes his hand and gives her trust, and her heart, willingly and it’s all Vincent will ever need.

Second Story:
Matt Hawkins will never forget the day he met Vicki.
A young woman is held hostage by the evil Dr. Zialus. Suddenly the side of the building is torn open and the Marvel flies in.

Dr. Zialus tells him that it is too late, as he has already activated the super magnet and the meteor is being drawn in. The Marvel orders him to unhand the young lady and Dr. Zialus cackles, as there is only time to save the city from the meteor or save the girl.

The Marvel scoops up the woman and tells her to hold on tight. He flies up and smashes the meteor with his great strength, managing to save them both.

It turned out to be the most important day of his life. All his life, all he had ever wanted was to be a hero, be important. Then Vicki came along and showed him something more important than simple ambition.

They married a year later and Vicki was the only one he ever entrusted his secret to. He maintained his secret identity as Mark Hawkins, reporter for the Daily Globe, for almost forty years.

With that job, he could always be in the right place and the right time and quickly transform into the Marvel, fighting evil whenever he was needed. Some days he still regrets giving it all up, but Vicki was right.
After his last scrape with Dr. Zialus and his robot army, he knew he was getting too old. It was time for both the Marvel and reporter Mark Hawkins to retire.

Then a bright, white light swept over the world and when Mark Hawkins woke up, everything was gone. His house was empty, the lights wouldn’t work and most importantly, Vicki was gone.

Mark raced to the secret entrance to the Marvel’s lair in the basement, but it was gone. As he slammed his fist into the ground, he realized his powers had vanished as well. Fearing that Dr. Zialus had finally found them, Mark had to find another way into the basement.

While digging frantically outside the house, Mark is confronted by Detectives Curtis and Ezell, who received reports of screaming at the address. They ask Mark to put the shovel down and come speak with them.

Mark cries that he is almost finished and they don’t understand, but as the detectives move to take the shovel away, he smacks Ezell across the head.

Later at the police station, the detectives have a hard time believing Mark’s story of being the Marvel. Ezell jokes that he must be really tight with Captain America. Mark realizes how his story sounds, but baiting him by making up a ridiculous-sounding super hero like that is not going to trip him up.

Mark insists that he is not crazy and needs their help finding his wife, as she is in grave danger if Dr. Zialus has discovered his secret.

The detectives find “grave danger” an interesting choice of words, considering they found Mark digging a deep hole. They ask who, besides Mark, was the last person to see his wife.

Mark hangs his head in grief. Vicki was his wife of 43 years and he would never hurt her. Their neighbor, Tom Bohan, was just over at the house yesterday and they should talk to him if they don’t believe Mark.

Detective Ezell presses Mark again as to why he was digging the hole and Mark replies that he was trying to get to his secret lair under the house. Ezell snidely remarks that hasn’t Mark ever heard of a door-that is what Ezell has going into his basement.

Mark pounds the table in frustration, insisting that it was a secret entrance that only he could activate. Ezell tells him the basement is empty, as is the rest of the house. There is no sign of a break-in and dust levels are consistent in every room, with no signs of furniture having ever been in the house.

As for his neighbor, the detective tells Mark the house next door has been empty for ten years. Mark’s own house was deemed abandoned by the town and has been in arrears for decades.

Holding his head in his hands, Mark cannot understand any of this. He was just there a few hours ago and they were getting ready to sit down for dinner. Everything was perfect…

Ezell tells Mark that he is a sick man and they are going to get him the help he needs. Mark stammers that he’s not crazy, but Curtis tells him his wife doesn’t exist. She’s just part of his “power” fantasy, a beautiful damsel he rescued that was merely another part of his delusion.

Mark has had a psychotic break, Curtis tells him, and none of this was ever real. Mark can’t believe that, and he explains that he and Vicki got married on July 14th and they still visit the old town where they met every year on their anniversary. Why can’t they understand that she is missing?

Curtis says there are no records of his marriage and there are no records for Vicki of any kind. Not a birth certificate, social security number, bank account…nothing. Curtis apologizes that Mark had to find out this way.

Two uniformed offices grab Mark to escort him away. Mark yells that they are all agents of Dr. Zialus and demands to know the whereabouts of his wife. As Mark is taken from the room, Ezell feels sorry for him as he has lost everything…his whole life was in his head.

Detective Ezell drops the assault charge against Mark and the detectives return to their desks. Everyone is crowded around the television and they head over to see what the news is about.

The report says that it appears that the mutant population has been decimated, that many individuals have lost their “x” gene and the special abilities that go along with it.

Curtis looks at Ezell and wonders if it was possible that Mark was a mutant, but Ezell says he was just a crazy old man. After all, Mark didn’t even know who Captain America was.

Months later, orderlies do their rounds at the local mental hospital. When checking on Mark in his room, the young orderly asks what his condition is. The other orderly says when Mark arrived, he was healthy but now he barely eats and never speaks to anyone, merely stares out the window day and night.

When asked if he is delusional, the older orderly says it’s hard to say. At first all Mark talked about was his wife, but after a few days he just shut down. The doctors think he made her up, that she was part of his delusion of being a super hero.

The young orderly comments that the poor man looks like he’s lost in his own little world. Meanwhile, as he stares out the window, Mark’s life is playing out inside his head, as he grabs green beans to have for dinner. Vicki calls him upstairs and he tells his sweetheart that he’s coming…

Characters Involved: 

First Story:
Vincent (formerly Mesmero)

Glory (prostitute)
Rudolph (Glory’s pimp)


in Vincent’s memories

Banshee, Colossus, Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Phoenix II, Storm, Wolverine (all X-Men)
Captain Britain
Magneto robot

Second Story:
Mark Hawkins (The Marvel)

Detectives Ezell & Curtis

in flashbacks
Vicki Hawkins
Dr. Zialus

Story Notes: 

First Story:
The artwork in this story was done in an interesting manner. The parts of the story set during the present were painted in a somber, sepia tone while Vincent’s flashbacks to his days as Mesmero were painted in brilliant color.

Mesmero discovered the Magneto he had fought beside was actually a robot impersonator (X-Men (1st series) #58).
Mesmero hypnotized Phoenix and through her brainwashed the X-Men in X-Men (1st series) #111.

Second Story:
The implication in this story is that Mark Hawkins’ mutant abilities created the fantastic world around him, hence why everything disappeared after M-Day.

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