X-Treme X-Men (1st series) #1

Issue Date: 
July 2001
Story Title: 
Now It Begins

Chris Claremont (writer) Salvador Larroca (artist), (uninked), Liquid (colors), Tom Orzechowski (letterer), Frank Dunkerley (assistant editor), Matt Hicks (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Bill Jemas (president)

Brief Description: 

The team are in Valencia, Spain, where they all get attacked the local guardia forces. Rogue is shot into the sea, while Storm, Bishop, Beast, Psylocke and Thunderbird are caught; only Sage manages to escape. The Deputy Minister of Justice arrives at the high tech base of the guardia where she is met by the commanding officer. He tells her about the testing and dagnostics they are performing on the X-Men team. Meanwhile Vargas and his henchmen kill some local police who are hoping of capturing Rogue when she washes ashore. The rest of the team wake up to find themselves in a maze and after a short battle fall through a hole in the floor.

Full Summary: 

The issue opens with Vargas sitting on a throne somewhere in Spain, next to him lies an open book on a cushion. He is flanked by a male (Thais) and a female (Thaiis) with swords and says, "Now, it begins."
Elsewhere in a hotel in Valencia, Beast has just received room service from a busboy, and Storm comes to join him. Thunderbird and Psylocke are enjoying a morning drive together, while Bishop has coffee at a cafe and Rogue sits on a rooftop taking in the suns rays. Suddenly, the busboy in the hotel calls out and armoured police burst in and shoot Beast and Storm. At the same time, Psylocke and Thunderbird are also shot, their car crashing and exploding. Bishop is also hit, while an air assault team attacks Rogue.

They knock Rogue around a bit and get her down to the ground, but she uses her claws to escape. She takes out some of the helicopter gun-ships and flies off, but she gets hit by gunfire, and manages to fly into the sea, however they fire missiles, which explode in the water, where Rogue had been.
Back in the hotel, the armoured Guardia Civil approaches Sage. She fights her way to a laundry chute and goes in, but the Guardia are waiting for her at the bottom. A few minutes later, Sage fakes a message from the team leader back to base, buying herself a few minutes of breathing room (apparently she took out the guardia off panel).
Outside, dressed in a tracksuit, Sage wonders how the local guardia knew they were coming, especially as they were keeping a low profile. She recalls how she and her team-mates got to Spain in the first place :

They travel by yacht to prevent being detected, with Rogue driving the whole way, as if to punish herself for some misdeed. Thunderbird wants to know more about Destiny and her prophecies, and Sage gives him a rundown of the history leading them to their current self-imposed exile from the X-Men. Thunderbird shows concern about the fact that they seem not to trust the X-Men, especially Professor X. Psylocke explains that they don't want to take the risk that a man of nearly limitless power, might one day use his power to control the Earth if he had certain knowledge of the future. This future knowledge is stored in the 13 diaries of Destiny, that the team now attempts to find, they already have one of them - Volume 3 - with them. Destiny wrote these books when her mutant power of precognition manifested. It took her one year to write them, and afterwards she had gone blind.

A sleek Ferrari drives up to the walls of Valencia's ancient towers and drives right through a stone wall, to emerge in a high tech lab. The lady driving is stopped by military men at first, but she then reveals that she is a member of the Spanish Ministry of Justice. The base's commander introduces himself, but the woman chews him out for taking his top-secret team out to do a very public round up of the X-Men. The commander shows her the testing they are doing on the X-Men and their equipment. Storm is currently being tested and some strange spectral readings are coming from the ruby in her uniform's collar. She is questions why they are regarded both as terrorists and heroes, especially since one appears to be a cop (Bishop) and another has Avengers credentials (Beast). The commander gives her a brief overview of the X-Men, and their public perception. One of the scientists there is rabidly anti-mutant and wants to kill the mutants, but the commander swears to uphold the law of "innocent until proven guilty." To that end, he is going to run the X-Men through "The Maze," which will let them evaluate both their powers and them personalities.
Elsewhere, Vargas and his two henchmen attack and take out a police patrol. The man carries one of Destiny's volumes with him, and opens it to a page with a sketch of the X-Men with skulls instead of real faces.
Bishop wakes up in a tunnel, his team-mates around him. Although he is still dressed in the same clothes and weapons are all how they should be, he knows he has been drugged, stripped and tested over the last day or so. Storm takes charge, noting that since they're all in uniform, their captors obviously know who they are. The team note that the tunnel is too small for Storm's powers to work well, and is shielded against Thunderbird's powers. They also note it is too deep for Psylocke to punch through with her telekinesis and Beast's sensors and link to Sage are being jammed. Bishop tells Thunderbird to stick close and charge him up when they see the enemy. Beast notes a junction up ahead, which looks like a perfect spot to be ambushed.
Thunderbird makes a plasma ball using skills that he had been taught by Psylocke and throws it down the corridor like a grenade. It explodes and reveals the Guardia Special Forces, whom the X-Men take out quickly, but without causing any harm to the humans. Two of the policemen grab Storm, but she fires lightning through their armour, shorting it out. They all discuss the fact that Rogue is missing, but Storm says they have to put that aside for now. Psylocke is upset that they were attacked just because they are mutants, but Bishop and Storm still feel that they have a duty to protect the future from people who would continue to perpetrate such prejudice. Suddenly the floor gives way and the X-Men fall through.

Characters Involved: 

Bishop, Thunderbird, Psylocke, Storm, Rogue, Sage (all X-Men)


Thais and Thaiis, Vargas' henchmen

Deigo Sandoval, commander of the Guardia

Ms. Cortes, Deputy minister of Justice

Story Notes: 

The diary in the X-Treme X-Men's possession is the one earlier found by Shadowcat, it's entitled Volume 3. Vargas too is seen with one of the diaries.
The ruby in Storm's costume is the cameo crystal she gained from N'rin (a queen from an alternate dimension) in the backstory of Classic X-Men #22, it was also used in X-Men Annual #12.
This is the first issue that mention's Bishops first name as Lucas, however this is not confirmed until issue 4.
This was the first issue from Marvel to not use an inker. The artists "lines" were colored instead

Issue Information: 

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