X-Treme X-Men (1st series) #11

Issue Date: 
May 2002
Story Title: 
Beachhead !

Chris Claremont (writer), Salvador Larroca (artist), (uninked), Liquid! (colors), Tom Orzechowski (letterer), Lynne Yoshii (assistant editor), Andrew Lis (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Bill Jemas (president)

Brief Description: 

Shaitan wants to find Khan, his missing leader, and asks Gambit, who is used to empower the strange tower to tell him about the X-Men. Yet Gambit refuses to talk. Meanwhile in the U.S. the President’s National Staff and the Avengers analyze the tower and the forcefield. It goes up 22,600 miles into the atmosphere and can be used as an elevator to transports cargo and men. Within the next fifty hours it will become fully solid. Madripoor‘s Air Force is being attacked by the invaders aircraft’s and the X-men try to help them best as they can with Rogue, Thunderbird and Bishop shooting aircrafts out of the sky, and Lifeguard catching both human soldiers and alien invaders as prisoners alike, though minutes later, the Viper executes the Alien Invaders that the X-Men had just captured, except for Khan, who Storm jumps on to protect him from the bullets. Rogue disarms the Viper and the X-Men escape when an alien aircraft is spotted trying to find their missing soldiers. Storm convinces Khan that not all of them think like the Viper and that she has the power to force him along, but wouldn’t want to use it. Shaitan and the alien troops find their executed men and they angrily kill many of Madripoor’s army in revenge. Meanwhile the X-men have made it to one of Viper’s hideouts where they analyze their situation. Shaitan finds the X-Men just as Khan thanks Storm for saving him. Recognizing that he is only after Khan, Storm decides that it’s better to split up. She places Bishop in charge and wants to take Khan elsewhere, but Viper attacks Storm from behind while the rest of the X-Men escape. Viper wants to finish her earlier execution and attacks Khan, but is defeated by him. Khan orders Shaitan to call a medivac for Storm because he wants to save her to become his Queen.

Full Summary: 

Shaitan screams Khan’s name as he is being bandaged up by one of his militia’s doctors. The doctor tells him to rest but Shaitan says he can not rest till he has found Khan. As Shaitan looks over the hundreds of soldiers preparing for battle he comments on how he is not the only one on the planet that needs to worry about dying. Shaitan runs into a room where Gambit is still starpped to the altar that empowers the tower and it’s teleportation portals. Shaitan orders him to tell him about the rest of the X-Men, but Gambit says that if he takes on the X-Men Shaitan will lose. Shaitan informs Gambit that his race has defeated whole dimensions, and his race will never lose.
In Washington DC, in the White House the President is being escorted to the situation room where his National Security Staff is waiting for him. They explain to the President the situation of Madripoor being surrounded in a forcefield and a pulse beam going up 22,600 miles into the atmosphere, where it takes on a distinct form. Just then Iron Man interrupts and the Avengers talk to the President over their video screens. Iron Man explains that the “needle” is some kind of transport beam acting like an elevator bringing the invaders down in Madripoor. The Vision explains that the tower will become completely tangible in fifty hours. The President tells the Avengers to act quickly and Iron Man tells him they will do their best but the tower is protected by a forcefield and may be impossible to destroy. Just then on a satellite link allowing the Avengers to see Madripoor they watch a helicopter and listen to its broadcast.
Shanna Cho, one of Madripoor’s news broadcasters, is flying in a helicopter reporting on the Madripoor’s Air Force attack on one of the Pylons that have been popping up along their shorelines since the invaders have arrived. Laser blasts destroy two Air Force Jets and causes Shanna’s helicopter to lose control sending her falling out the hatch door. One of the pilots, Tommy, reaches out to save her as the Helicopter crashes into the Pylon.
Bishop is standing on a rooftop of a building holding his sniper rifle aimed at the invaders aircrafts. Storm is on a radio transmission with Bishop and orders him to destroy the enemy’s aircrafts. Which he does along with Thunderbird and Rogue; the three of them take out the enemy aircraft. Despite her metal armor and her wings, Lifeguard manifests two extra sets of arms to catch the many people from the helicopter and the alien invaders as their falling to the ground.
Now as everyone is on the rooftop of a building in Madripoor, Shanna asks the X-Men if they are the super hero team the Avengers, but Rogue explains who they are and that they are there to help. Tessa witnesses one of the alien prisoners recognizing Khan, who tells him to be quiet, as they don’t want the X-Men to know of what importance their captive is. Thunderbird worries that on the rooftop they are open to more attacks, and Bishop comments that the problem is being taken care of as they speak. Shanna exclaims “a minute ago, the sky was crystal clear. Now the whole city’s covered in fog.” Khan watches Storm who is causing all the fog float to the rooftop with the rest of the X-Men. He is fascinated and exclaims that this world they are about to invade is full of surprises.
The X-Men hear shots and everyone prepares for another fight. Bishop sees that it is Viper shooting at the captured invaders, as Rogue flies to disarm Viper, Storm jumps on Khan, pushing him out of the line of fire although not being able to save the other aliens from dying. Viper tells the X-Men that in Madripoor she is the law and she judges that they should take no prisoners. Storm knocks Viper to the ground and Viper pulls her gun out as Storm disarms her. Shanna gets between Storm and Viper and begs Storm to use their powers to fight the real enemies and worry about their differences later. Slipstream and Rogue warn the team of an invaders craft looking for them and the X-Men decide to run and hide. Storm tells Khan that she is sorry and that Viper will be made to pay for her crimes. Khan grabs a pipe and threatens to hit Storm with it; he asks Storm why he should believe her and Storm says that Khan has seen her power and that he should know that she does not even have to ask for his cooperation. Sage watches all of this as she had picked up Viper’s pistol, yet as she sees Khan dropping his weapon and coming along peacefully, she places it in her belt behind her back.
Minutes later, the alien invaders have the secured the rooftop and examine the bodies that Viper just killed. Their men were tied up, apparently theyhave been executed. The captain of the crew is trying to make a scanner device work, but the bad weather is screwing up ist electonics. Suddenly his ship is destroyed and an army of Madripoor’s soldiers fires on the captain wounding him. The invaders think they are dead, but Shaitan comes in and deals with Madripoor’s soldiers. The alien invaders try to call a medic for their Captain, but he refuses saying that they must find Khan first.
Under a casino in one of Viper’s many hideouts Storm asks Sage to analyze their situation. Sage explains that “Thus far, we seem to be facing specialized assault units the equivalent of Rangers and Paratroops whose role is to secure the beachhead for the main force to follow.” Viper says that the Avengers or the Fantastic Four will find a way to break through the forcefield. They decide though that they can not just sit around and wait because eventually sheer numbers would do them in. Red Lotus tells Storm that the prisoner (Khan) would like a word with her. Khan thanks Storm for saving his life and she says that she wished she could have saved the rest of “his crew”. Khan, who has not revealed who he is or even his name up to this point is shocked that Storm recognizes him as the Alien Invader’s leader. Storm asks if he can stop the invasion and Khan says that Storm might persuade but not to compel him. Just then Shaitan crashes through the wall and Rogue attacks him sending him back through the wall, eager for a “rematch“. Shaitan tells Rogue that while she talks as if it were just a game he means this as war and he fights like it, hitting her, sending Rogue flying backwards. Bishop blasts Shaitan with his pistols and Red Lotus tries to attack Shaitan, but is surprised when his kick misses not hitting Shaitan. Shaitan though kicks Red Lotus taking him out. Thunderbird then comes in and tries to take Shaitan out, but Shaitan sends both Bishop and Thunderbird falling. Lifeguard catches both Bishop and Thunderbird while Storm decides ist better to split up.
Shaitan apparently wants none other than Khan so she will take him away, and leaves Bishop in charge till they meet again. Suddenly Viper attacks Storm from the back with poisoned claws. None of the escaping X-Men notice, leaving Viper and Khan to face each other. Viper thinks she is attacking a weak soldier, but as Khan breaks the handcuffs he was in, and easily takes Viper out, she will surely change her mind on him (once she regains consciousness). Shaitan asks Khan if he is okay, and he says he is fine and that Shaitan needs to find Storm. Shaitan brings Storm to Khan saying that she is almost dead, her vital signs are very weak. Khan tells Shaitan to summon a medivac for Storm, and they better respond as if it were him in need of the medical attention. Shaitan asks Khan why he wants to save her, because she is the enemy and he should just let her die. Khan says “ Not now Shaitan not ever. She will live and she will be my QUEEN ! "

Characters Involved: 

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

Gambit, former X-Man / ally


Slipstream / Davis Cameron

Red Lotus
Captain America, Firebird, Iron Man, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Thor, Warbird, Wasp, Wonder Man, Yellow Jacket, Vision (all Avengers)

The President and his National Security Staff

Shanna Cho, newqoman for the Madripoor Broadcasting Company

Tommy, pilot for Madripoor’s Air Force



Story Notes: 

The Avengers line-up doesn’t fit. Hank Pym only went back to being Yellowjacket after Iron Man left the team.
The involvement of Red Lotus, who was not in the last issue, is an error. Chris Claremont confirmed that when the plot was in planning stages, Red Lotus was supposed to have joined the team, but this decision was reversed with editorial changes. However he forgot to remove Red Lotus from the cast, not that he was needed in this issue in any way.

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