X-Tinction Agenda #3

Issue Date: 
October 2014
Story Title: 

Marc Guggenheim (writer), Carmine Di Giandomenico (artist), Nolan Woodard (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Cory Petit (letterer), David Nakayama (cover artist), Bengal (variant cover artist), Christina Harrington (assistant editor), Mark Paniccia (group editor), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)
X-Men created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby

Brief Description: 

Cameron Hodge wakes to find himself alive – sort of, as his form has been resurrected thanks to the Techno Organic-Virus found in the remains of the alien Warlock. Hodge's body now merged with the Techno-Organic Virus to give him a new form – and the Genegineer tells him that he wants Hodge to purge the mutant / mutate plague from the shores of Genosha. In X-City, Rachel Grey has assembled the team which she will take into Genosha to rescue their captive teammates – Storm, Longshot, Thunderbird, Rockslide and Ink. Back on Genosha, Rictor visits one of the captives, Bombshell, who reminds him how years ago they were captured by the Genoshans, after Rictor explains that they had no choice but to take her. Havok and Wolfsbane are supervising Triage and Rogue, who has absorbed Triage's power, to cure the mutates. Shortly though, Rachel Grey, Storm, Longshot, Thunderbird, Rockslide and Ink arrive to rescue their teammates. A battle ensues, while Longshot has snuck into the prison to rescue the captives while the others keep the Press Gang busy. As this goes on, the Genegineer has been able to graft a new skeleton for Hodge. But his plans are interrupted when Bulletproof and Wolfsbane crash into his lab. Wolfsbane is furious when she learns that it was the Genegineer who created the mutant plague. Ink attacks Bulletproof and sends his body crashing into the Techno-Organic Virus, melding Bulletproof with the wires and cables and encasing him in a new form. Wolverine, Longshot and Bombshell arrive at the lab as Bulletproof kills the Genegineer – and they are soon greeted by a giant Cameron Hodge!

Full Summary: 

Years ago

As they destroyed Cameron Hodge, Cyclops and Havok were cursed. 'Even your death will not protect you. In my hatred I will pursue you... even beyond the grave'. But Cyclops told Hodge not to count on it. 'You may be our own private nightmare... but it's time to wake up!'

'Where -? What -?' Cameron Hodge's head asks as it opens its eyes. 'It's okay. Everything is going to be okay' a voice calms Hodge. 'You're among friends. I'm Aldus Kluge, Genegineer of Genosha' the scientist introduces himself. 'Genegineer -! But that's-- you're not him' Hodge remarks. Kludge assures Hodge that he is the Genegineer.

Hodge's head is connected to cables and wires and he asks 'What's going on here? Where am I? Tell me or I'll -' he threatens the Genegineer, who interrupts him: 'You'll what? You're little more than a disembodied head. For the moment'. The Genegineer informs Hodge that his reanimation came courtesy of a mutant by the name of Triage – one with so-called healing powers, who was brought here to stem the tide of a plague he created to solve Genosha's mutant problem. 'But I manipulated him into restoring you... and this, the remains of Warlock, the New Mutant killed by your minions all those years ago' the Genegineer declares as he reaches for a yellow vial containing stands of the Transmode Virus, an alien virus that Warlock was a carrier of. Hodge remarks that he doesn't understand any of this. 'Don't worry, you will' the Genegineer assures Hodge, telling him that he will understand, will walk, and will live. 'And you'll purge the mutant / mutate plague from the shores of this once-great nation'.

Meanwhile, X-City, one hour after the Genoshan attack:
Rachel Grey, Baroness of X-City and leader of the X-Men stands before some gathered X-Men. She thanks them all for volunteering: Storm, Thunderbird, Longshot, Ink and Storm. Several others – Gambit, Wolf Cub and Maggott observe the meeting. Rachel informs them that 4107 calculated that the five of them stand the greatest chance of success for rescuing their abducted friends. 'That said, the Extinction Plague is still virulent and there is no cure' Rachel adds. 'And, yet again, I'm thankful I'm not a mutant. Longshot neither' Ink points out. 'Which is why you two are on the team' Rachel remarks, adding that the rest are risking exposure to a disease with a one hundred percent fatality rate. 'Y'know what also has a one hundred percent fatality rate? Being an X-Man' Rockslide mutters. 'Think what Santo is trying to say is, “Let's get going”' Ink suggests.

Back on Genosha, at the Magistrate Containment Center, Rictor walks down a corridor lined with cells guarded by Magistrates. 'Yo, Rictor' calls out Wolverine from one of the cells. Rictor turns to the X-Man, who warns him that when he gets out of here. 'And I will – I'm gonna show you what your intestines taste like. Warn you, though, they're chewy' Rictor ignores Wolverine and walks over to the cell where Bombshell is being held captive. 'Hey, Tabby' he tells his old friend. 'Hey' Bombshell replies. Rictor tells her that he is sorry about this, and Bombshell tells him that she can understand why he would feel bad – his friends accidentally abducted her. 'Hate when that happens' she mutters. Rictor tells Rictor reminds Bombshell that they needed Triage, they needed Rogue. 'You were... collateral... and I'm sorry'. Bombshell hangs her head and touches the force field that keeps her captive. 'That's all right. Not the first time I've been kidnapped by Genoshans' she reminds Rictor. 'Remember? The Genoshans abducted us both. Years ago. Deja vu all over again. Except you're the abductor this time'.

Outside, at Hammer Bay, the Extinction Plague treatment has begun. Triage and Rogue are dressed  standing on a stage, with Havok and Wolfsbane at their side. Mutates approach them in an orderly fashion, as Rogue siphons off some of Triage's power so that she can also heal the infected. Havok thanks Rogue and Triage for doing this. 'You're welcome. Though Ah don't recall having a lot of say in the matter' Rogue responds. 'You see now what we're dealing with, Rogue. You know we had no choice' Havok remarks. 'Doesn't make it right' Rogue points out. Wolfsbane tells Triage that the sooner he and Rogue can cure the populace, the sooner the can all go home and everyone can put this behind them. 'Heh' Rogue laughs. Havok asks her if there is something funny about that. Rogue smirks and tells him that there is a whole lot, actually – starting with the notion that he thinks Rachel will be able to put this “behind” her. 'See?' Rogue adds as a jet appears above them. Havok looks worried. He radios the Press Gang, announcing that they have a security compromise right now at Hammer Bay. 'How'd they get past the air perimeter?' Wolfsbane asks. Havok tells her that it doesn't matter, for they are here now. With that, Rachel, Storm, Rockslide, Thunderbird and Ink drop down from the jet, Rockslide breaks up the ground upon impact.

Havok fires a plasma blast towards Rockslide and Thunderbird, and tells Rahne to get Triage and Rogue out of here, for keeping them safe is top priority. Karma looks down from the cliff overhanging the treatment area, while Wolfsbane tells Triage and Rogue that they can see what has been happening here, how bad the plague is. 'Will ye help us?' she asks them. 'You Genoshans sure have a funny way of asking' Triage replies. 'Ah think what Triage means is, you can all go to -' Rogue begins, before Karma suddenly takes possession of rogue. 'I was afraid ye'd feel that way. That's why Xi'an is here. To keep you on our side. Sorry' Wolfsbane tells Rogue, before asking Triage how he feels. 'Let me talk to Rachel' Triage asks nervously. 'No need, Christopher' Rachel announces telepathically as she appears overhead and fires a blast of energy from her Phoenix raptor. Havok leaps for safety as smoke rises from the explosion, and the possessed Rogue flies towards Rockslide. Rachel and Storm look up to the approaching jet, and Rachel telepathically tells Triage that there is genuinely nothing for them to discuss. Rogue punches Rockslide backwards as Triage tells Rachel that he disagrees, and announces that the Extinction Plague is worse than they thought. He adds that Genosha has enough worse without them levelling it. Rachel blasts the jet to pieces, but Bulletproof and Wicked leap from it just in time. 'They attacked us. They abducted our own' Rachel reminds Triage, before boasting that she aims to get Wolverine, Rogue, Triage and Tabby back by whatever means necessary.

Rachel then telepathically contacts Longshot and enquires as to his status. 'I'm close to the cells... I'll have our guys out in five minutes' Longshot responds as he takes out two magistrates, kicking their helmets in and knocking them to the ground. But suddenly, Rictor appears in the corridor and tells Longshot that it might take a little longer than that. 'This doesn't have to get messy' Longshot replies. 'Sure it does, Four-Fingers' Rictor responds as he tears up the floor with a seismic shock. Longshot leaps into the air and quotes “Four Fingers”, asking Rictor why he is calling him that, as he ducks and dives between large pieces of rubble from the floor that Rictor manipulates to try and hit him. But as Longshot tosses several throwing blades towards Rictor, he realizes why Rictor called him “Four Fingers”. 'Oh, well, that's actually almost clever'.

Rictor falls to the ground and lies motionless at Longshot's feet, while Wolverine and Bombshell appear at the force fields containing them in their cells. 'That was stone cold, Blondie' Wolverine remarks, adding that he likes it. Longshot tells Wolverine not to worry, as Rictor isn't dead, for the blades are just laced with a mild paralytic. 'I take it back then' Wolverine mutters. Longshot turns to Bombshell and asks her if she is all right. 'Fine. How many X-Men did you bring with you?' Tabby replies. 'Oh... enough' Longshot assures her.

Back outside, Bulletproof kicks Thunderbird over, while Rockslide slams his fist into the ground. Karma controls Rogue to engage Storm and Ink in combat, as Rachel unleashes some energy against Havok. 'Wicked? I could use a hand here, darlin' Bulletproof calls out to his teammate. Wicked appears and projects a large monstrous ghost towards Rockslide and asks Bulletproof what she has told him about calling her “darlin'”. 'Sorry. I mean to her, not you, Thunderbird' Bulletproof declares as he lunges at Thunderbird, pushing him backwards so that they both run off the edge of the a building and fall into the air. 'You I could punch all day long' Bulletproof tells the X-Man as they free-fall towards the ground.

'We're at a very critical stage here, Mr Hodge... the reanimation of the Transmode Virus into a usable form... and the grafting of it to the adamantium exoskeleton I constructed for you' the Genegineer announces as he taps at some panels that manipulate the strand of the Transmode Virus, and Hodge's head has been placed onto the exoskeleton. The Genegineer's eyes go wild as he tells Mr Hodge not to be concerned, as everything is proceeding as he has designed.

At Hammer Bay, Wolfsbane lashes out at Storm, who responds by blasting her with a surge of lightning. Down below, Thunderbird and Bulletproof emerge from the rubble of the road that broke up when they impacted with it. 'You hit hard, Thunderbird. I'll give you that much' Bulletproof remarks to Thunderbird, before noticing Wolfsbane plummeting towards him. 'Dammit, Rahne... I was really enjoying that particular scrap' Bulletproof declares as he leaps into the air and grabs Wolfsbane. 'Hang on...this is gonna hurt a bit' he tells her as they both plummet through the skylight of a building – which just happens to be the Genegineer's laboratory.

The Genegineer turns from the strands of Transmode Virus that he is working on, while Ink flies through the hole in the skylight. 'Ouch' he tells Bulletproof and Wolfsbane. 'Damn. It's that tattooed one...' Bulletproof mutters. Wolfsbane looks over and sees the Genegineer and tells him that it is not safe here. 'Oh my Lord' Wolfsbane then gasps as she looks up to see the exoskeleton and Hodge's head. 'Doctor. What've ye been doing here?' she asks, wide-eyed, while Bulletproof leaps up to take on Ink. 'Looking for the means to finish what my Extinction Plague started. The end of “Homo Superior”!' the Genegineer announces with gritted teeth.

'Ye CREATED the plague?' Wolfsbane screams. 'I'll kill ye for this...' Wolfsbane warns the Genegineer. 'About that, Rahne? Priorities?' Bulletproof calls out from above where he and Ink fight each other mid-air. 'Something I gotta tell you, buddy... I'm only throwing hands with you for the workout. I don't need to throw punches. See this tat? Wanna guess what it does?' Ink declares as he holds the palm of his hand to Bulletproof's face, the tattoo is of a nuclear symbol. He puts his hand to Bulletproof's head, 'They call you “Bulletproof” right? Would that include, I dunno, a nuke?' he asks as energy fills the room, and Wolfsbane and the Genegineer sheild their eyes. 'Simon!' Wolfsbane calls out as Bulletproof falls to the ground and crashes into the exoskeleton. 'Nooo! My work!' the Genegineer shouts. 'What the hell is this crap?' Bulletproof asks as the cables and wires are tangled around him. He gasps for air as the wires enter his mouth, 'Simon!' Wolfsbane screams as she rushes over to him, but Bulletproof is becoming completely covered in the the Transmode connected to the exoskeleton.

'What's happening tae him?' Wolfsbane asks the Genegineer. 'The Transmode Virus. The remains of your mutie sympathizer friend, Warlock. It's consuming him' the Genegineer explains. 'Get it to stop!' Wolfsbane exclaims. The Genegineer replies that he can't, and tells Wolfsbane that in any case, she seems to have other concerns, as someone smacks her over the head. Ink drops down to the ground as Wolverine, Bombshell and Longshot enter the lab. 'All right then...anybody wanna tell me what the hell's going on here?' Wolverine snarls. Ink pushes the Genegineer up against a wall and readies his fist for a punch, 'Sounds a whole lot like he's the Dr Mengele behind the Extinction Plague' Ink announces. 'Oh, goodie...someone to kill' Wolverine replies, readying his claws. 'Me first!' a voice calls out. 'Simon...?' Wolfsbane utters as she sees Bulletproof in the exoskeleton lunge at the Genegineer. 'This is for Genosha, you $#%&!' Bulletproof calls out from within the armor, tendrils extending from his arm around the Genegineer. 'Puh... please... don't...' the Genegineer stammers, before spiked tendrils are shoved into his body, splattering blood everywhere. 'Damn, that's cold. I like this guy' Wolverine remarks, unaware that a large figure suddenly rises behind he, Bombshell, Longshot, Wolfsbane and Ink. 'Um...guys...I think we've got a new problem' Bombshell announces as she notices the shadow looming over them.

Everyone turns to see the large form of Cameron Hodge looming over them. 'Well, Wolverine. You wanted someone to kill' Longshot points out. 'Cameron Hodge...alive' Wolfsbane gasps. 'Kinda had someone in mind who wasn't already dead' Wolverine mutters as Hodge's spindly fingers reach out for the mutants....

Characters Involved: 

Bulletproof, Havok, Karma, Rictor, Wicked, Wolfsbane (all Press Gang)

Bombshell, Gambit, Baron Rachel Grey, Ink, Longshot, Maggott, Nightcrawler, Rockslide, Rogue, Storm, Thunderbird, Triage, Wolf Cub, Wolverine (all X-Men)

Cameron Hodge
Gengineer / Dr Aldus Kluge

In Hodge's memory
Cyclops & Havok

Written By: