X-Treme X-Men (1st series) #37

Issue Date: 
February 2004
Story Title: 
Storm: the Arena - part 2: Champion

Chris Claremont (writer), Igor Kordey (artist), Scott Hanna (inked), Transparency Digital (colors), Rus Wooton (letterer), Stephanie Moore & Cory Sedlmeir (assistant editor), Mike Marts (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (president)

Brief Description: 

In the midst of the Arena, Storm stands triumphant over her two foes. Koga, her new acquaintance, walks to the center stage and announces Storm as their new Champion. Storm, feeling awestruck, does not know how to react, so she flies off into the sky with Yukio in tow. Once back at Yukio’s apartment, Storm faces a tough decision on what to do next with her life. Yukio and Storm talk back and forth until the two allies fall asleep from the day’s exhaustion. Using this opportunity, a shadowy assailant enters the room, intent on hurting Ororo. This assailant does not have the ability to follow through with his plan, however, as Storm shows him why she is known as the weather witch. As lightning courses around the assailant, Ororo is shocked to see her ally, Guido, was the enemy. After a long talk at Guido’s new house, Storm still decides to take the role as Champion of the Arena, even after repeated urging not to by both Yuriko and Guido. At the crowning ceremony, Storm is given the shock of her life, as her old colleague, Callisto, enters the Arena, challenging Storm for the title as the champion of the Tokyo, Arena.

Full Summary: 

Koga stands amidst the crowd watching the Arena match and presents their newest and greatest Champion of the Tokyo Arena: Storm. Yukio stands near Storm in the stands above and screams down to Ororo that Koga tricked them. Koga places his hand to his chest and declares that Yukio is exaggerating, because he simply used their situation to make an opportunity for the Arena. Storm seems confused, as she removes her headpiece and looks longingly into space. Koga continues to talk on about how rough life is on the outside for mutants but how, once they are in the Arena, there is greatness along with rules. A clear outcome – no matter how many enters, only one leaves victorious. Samurai-dressed employees of the Arena enter the battlefield, as Koga continues to talk. These silent workers drag gurneys behind them and they remove Silk and Musclehead from the area. Koga stands next to Storm, as he gazes up at the crowd. With arms stretched out, he tells Storm that their audience may be small but their money and power cannot be rivaled and, today, she has won their hearts.

Storm does not hear any words spoken, but thoughts rush through her mind upon hearing the cheers of her audience. She thinks to herself about the goose bumps she is experiencing and grits her teeth as the cage around her spirit break and her emotions are released. Without a word, she sails into the sky, using her powers over the winds to carry her. She grasps a hold of Yukio and steals her away from the samurai that surround her. Yukio grins ear-to-ear, as the two of them burst through the ceiling and fly away to a safer place.

In Yukio’s apartment, the Ronin assassin steps from a hot shower and wraps a nearby towel around her wet hair. Yukio walks into her living area in nothing but a sports bra and her underwear. Across Yukio’s back appears to be a dragon climbing her spine. She passes pictures of her, Logan and Storm, as they listen to the bleak weather report on the news. The weather report states that rain has fallen almost six centimeters an hour for the later part of the night and they offer their sincere apologies for their misinterpretation of the night’s forecast. Storm stands out in the rain, as Yukio nears her friend’s side to see what’s the matter. Yukio leans out the window and informs Storm that she is drowning the city of Tokyo. Storm, startled, turns around and asks what Yukio means by her comments? Yukio states that she is deep in thought and worries that the weather will only get worse if she does not start to control her mood. Storm seems to agree and walks back into the apartment, briefly stopping to use her powers over the wind to dry the two of them off.

Inside, Storm takes her clothes off and Yukio goes to a nearby room to get her a clean outfit. While Yukio is away, Storm watches the news report on Marie D’Ancanto, the human who tried to kill a group of mutants in Valle Soleada, California. Yukio comes back into the room, throws pajamas at the feet of Ororo and asks her what the news was about on the television? Storm does not answer her friend’s question, but states one of her own: she asks why mutants must be the enemies among all minorities? Yukio states that some of her friends are Jews, gay, chink, and gaijin, though the rest cannot be trusted. She goes on to say that those thoughts are what the world thinks about minorities.

The two friends sit down on the nearby couches and Storm opens her laptop to show Yukio a new website that sponsors attacks on mutants. The website is www.voiceofhumanity.com and it shows three pictures: Charles Xavier (Known Mutant), Marie D’Ancanto (Species Traitor) and Serafina Montoya (Mutant removed from the Gene Pool on December 17, 2003. Storm explains how the website turns humans everyday to their side of hatred against mutants. She explains the story of Marie D’Ancanto and how mutants accidentally led to the death of her family.

Outside the apartment, a strange figure is seen climbing the wall outside and nearing the window of Yukio and Ororo’s.

Ororo focuses on the picture of Charles Xavier and she questions the laptop if he knew about what was coming? Ororo stops drinking her red wine and hurls the liquid onto the computer screen. The wine drains down the screen and Xavier’s picture can still be seen. Ororo stands to her feet and continues to question his picture. She states that it was easy to police the world when it was only a handful of mutants facing a handful of villains, but now the mutant numbers have grown and the threat is even greater. Storm walks back towards the sliding glass door and stands on the balcony once more. Yukio comes to join her friend and she listens as Storm questions how she can find the answer of policing the ever-growing mutants community. Yukio tells Storm that she will not be able to save everyone. Storm tells Yukio that Charles Xavier trained her and she is at heart an X-Man, which means she only knows how to try.

Later that night, the two friends sleep soundly on the two small couches in the living area. Suddenly, the sliding glass door silently opens and a mammoth figure steps into the shadowed room with his body dripping from the torrent of rain outside. Silently, the figure crosses the room and pulls back his left hand, preparing to strike a powerful blow to Ororo’s head. All those years of training come into play quickly, as Strom opens her eyes in enough time to fall to the floor and warn Yukio of an attack. The mammoth figure’s hand barely misses Ororo’s skull and powerfully punctures the pillow upon which it laid. Violently, the fight begins and Yukio begs Ororo not to destroy all her belongings. The mammoth attacker is engulfed in a Tornado that would suck the life out of any ordinary man but, speaking in a heavy-mobster accent, the attacker tells Yukio that her belongings are going to be the least of their worries.

The attacker places his hand around Ororo’s neck and hurls the weather witch into the nearby wall. Yukio gets into the action and hurls three throwing stars towards the attacker in hopes that they will deter Ororo’s assailant. They do not, as the attacker grasps the throwing stars in mid flight. He then turns his attention once more to the woman in his grasp. Suddenly, around the attacker appear balls of lightning and Storm warns her assailant to release her before her lightning fries him. Shockingly, the light reveals her assailant as none other than Guido Carrosella, her one time ally and friend.

Yukio questions Guido’s attack but, before he can answer, he throws the same throwing stars from earlier above the women’s heads. They strike two spycams behind the women and he informs them that Koga uses them in his arena. Quickly, he demands them to follow him and they travel through Yukio’s apartment building and out a side door.

Suddenly as they enter a nearby door, the three allies are met by a voice greeting them to Guido’s home. Inside Guido’s house, a water fountain spews water from the mouth of a three headed dragon made of concrete. Mostly neutral colors, the house is accented strangely by a pink rug, with orange pillows everywhere a guest may find to sit. The computer voice explains that it is under the service of Lila Cheney and with Guido as Lila’s “Major-Domo,” it also belongs to him. Another shocking revelation is the fact that Lila has programmed the sentient-residence to accept Storm as an owner of the house, as well. Glaring suspiciously, Yukio questions Storm on why she was never informed of her ownership. Storm explains that she never knew, because Lila never informed her.

Changing the subject, Ororo turns to Guido to question him why he attacked them earlier. He tells her that, after X-Factor disbanded, he needed a place to go and, since he did not want to become a super-hero again, it was hard for him to find a job. Guido goes over to a nearby refrigerator, with his shirt opened, showing his tattoos that were placed on him when the Arena claimed ownership of him. He grasps a red liquid and begins to drink it. Guido goes on to say that he found the Arena and was fooled by the promotions that stated it was a life of luxury and ease. Guido begins to get upset and crushes the glass bottle in his hand. Storm grabs a nearby washcloth and helps to clean Guido’s hand off, as tiny vacuums race from the walls to clean the mess on the floor. Yukio calls Guido a “big guy” and tells him that he should not fear for Ororo or her safety. Guido corrects Yukio by stating the term she should have said was “Strong Guy.”

He continues on, as the sentient computer program of Lila’s projects Guido’s statements into real-life pictures. He tells them that the Arena employs all people, from human to mutant. He explains the rules of the Arena. He tells them that each Arena has it’s own champion and everyone in that Arena is subject to the Champion. He tells them that Koga is what is considered their manager and he is the one that books all the fights. To get ahead, you must fight the mutants above you and, once they are defeated, they become your property. The only way to buy your freedom is to challenge the fighter that became your master. He explains that the only way a person can challenge the Champion is for them to become a Champion themselves. He tells Storm that she is lucky; she blind-sided Musclehead (who was the Champion) so she gets a free pass, and she can leave if she wants.

Storm questions Guido what would happen to them if she did leave? He tells her that there would be mass battles and that some competitors would not make it out alive, until finally a player is crowned the victor. Storm ponders for a moment, as Guido continues to talk about how, if she takes the job as their Champion, she can never leave the Arena. Storm’s expression changes from contemplation to anger, as she hears Guido’s final words about how the Arena’s bouts can sometimes end in DEATH!

Koga stands among his mutants and announces to them that Storm is their new Champion, as long as she agrees to forgo all freedom in service of the Arena. Storm, wearing her red Arena battle suit, stands amongst the competitors with neon blue tattoos adorning her naval. She tells Koga that she accepts and turns to her new servants and tells them that, if any of them want to challenge her and try to claim the throne, they can. Ororo hears a voice of a friend from behind her; the friend tells her, “Well since you asked!” Shocked, Ororo turns around to see Callisto with snake-like tentacles dancing from what used to be her arms. Callisto tells Storm that she has issued a challenge from one champion to the other and, if she wants to stay the Champion, she must fight her. Callisto finishes by telling Ororo that she has to win or, otherwise, she will belong to her!

Characters Involved: 


Guido Carosella


Arena attendants and employees


Masato Koga


Samurai Bodyguards


Pictures and media productions

Charles Xavier

Marie Jennifer D’Ancanto

Serafina Montoya



Story Notes: 

When Storm cries out to Guido as she recognizes him during his attack, the letterer spells Guido’s last name as Carrosella. This is an error as, in all other cases, Guido’s last name is spelled minus the second “r”.

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