X-Treme X-Men (1st series) #4

Issue Date: 
October 2001
Story Title: 
Dreamtime Serenade

Chris Claremont (writer), Salvador Larroca (penciler), (uninked), Liquid! (colors), Tom Orzechowski (letters), Frank Dunkerley and Andrew Lis (assistant editor), Matt Hicks and mark Powers (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Bill Jemas (president)

Brief Description: 

From one of Gateway’s dreamtime visions, the X-Treme X-Men learn that Bishop is a descendant of Gateway. Also they see a vision of the future involving a „needle“, a special elevator that transports cargo from earth’s surface into the orbit. They look at a diary page, which pictures Gambit crucified with six pieces of jewelry and something growing out of his chest. Later the X-Men break into Destiny’s house only to find a crate with goodies prepared for them. One box looks like holding a diary, but it has been stolen by Vargas. At the same time Gambit breaks into Vargas‘ castle, but is captured and defeated. Yet he charms his way out of the situation and is allowed to leave, on the way out he steals a big diamond, which Vargas notices, but pretends not to. Later Gambit checks on the X-Treme team and finding them to be alright, leaves before being spotted.

Full Summary: 

Gambit invades Vargas’ home in Spain in search of loot. He disperses the twins with ease thanks to his agility and his mutant powers, but when Vargas shows up, Remy recognises he is out of his league.
At the same time, the X-Men are enjoying an evening by the beach, sitting around a campfire. Rogue plays a blues on her guitar. Neal thinks that cheering isn’t right with their teammate having being murdered, but the other tell him that they are celebrating her life and the times they shared with her. Bishop stands a little bit apart, taking in the landscape. In his future timeline he never knew such sights and smells, which reminds hi that in his future the X-Men were legends. Yet side by side with them, they don’t seem like these iconic heroes, instead they are real people with feelings and emotions like everybody else. Suddenly he is transported to “dreamtime”, another plane of existence, accesible by the mutant shaman Gateway.
He isn’t the only one. Psylocke’s ghost is present in dreamtime too, as guest of Gateway, to help explain things to Bishop. They find themselves on Ayers Rock, and Bishop recognizes the place from the tales that his mother told him when he was growing up. Images appear that revealed Bishop as Gateway’s grandson (or great-grandson as revealed by Chris Claremont in his online forum boards at X-Fan). Psylocke aks Bishop to look in the opposite direction, and they see the future all the way to the end of time. Looking to the left, Bishop sees many alternate versions of himself. Recognizing a pattern (behind - past, ahead - future, side - alternate possibilites) Bishop expects more alternate realities when he turns to the right, yet finds something deifferent : a huge tower reachinfg dor the stars, in not one, but all different worlds. Psylocke continues her tour, reminding Bishop of endless night where the X-Men wondered about their purpose she points to the ground, where the start of an answer might be found. They are standing on the page of huge open book. It shows a picture of Gambit, crucified to a globe. Six jewels hold him in place, four on the wrists and ankles, one at the throat and one plucked in his heart. A tree branches out from the chest wound and heads into space.
Bishop and Psylocke agree that this has to be one of Destiny‘s visions, and Betsy elaborates that the scope of Destiny’s prophecies is even broader than Storm and the X-Men suspect, yet there is a chance that the X-Treme team might shape the future. Bishop asks how, but Psylocke has no answer, it’s Bishop who is a policeman and detective, so it’s his job to figure out, and unfortunately her time is up anyway. She prepares to leave for the afterlife, but right as she wants to give Bishop one last message for Neal, a glowing portal opens behind her and a skulled figure pulls her through.
Bishop demands answers from Gateway, but he is as mute as ever. The rest of the X-Men show up with Rogue now manifesting Gateway’s powers, after having touched him in the Australian days (Uncanny X-Men #269). She now looks partially like the aborigine, having dark skin (coloring error, the issue shows her pale) and dreadlocks. Apparently being near Bishop when he was pulled into the dreamtime activated Rogue’s manifestation, and she took the rest of the team with her. Sage takes a look around and recognizes the tower as a “needle“, a giant elevator to move cargo from earth’s surface into the geosynchronous orbit, which is about 22.000 miles. The team gets back to reality and they discuss what they saw. Bishop had no knowledge about being related to Gateway, and now wishes he had listened when his father wanted to teach him the “songlines“, the great mysteries and ancestral stories of his people, that were passed down from one generation to the next.
Back to the castle, where Gambit and Vargas face each other. Remy checks his options, and instead of fighting he decides to make a run for the door, but Vargas is faster and captures him. Held up against a wall, Gambit offers a game, high card wins. Vargas starts and pulls an ace. Remy then suggests two out of three, and alters the rules once more into three out of five, when Vargas pulls again an ace. After Vargas’s third ace he asks to expands the game to seven rounds and Vargas starts laughing. He likes Gambit’s style, despite the facts that he is losing game after game and against an unbeatable opponent, Gambit shows no fear.
The X-Treme X-Men head for Destiny’s house in spain, which was the reason for the whole trip there. Storm has troubles picking the locks and Bishop gives her a bit of preaching, that it is illegal and he, as a cop, shouldn’t allow this. While waiting, Bishop gives Neal a training session, he has Neal burn a hole through a puck made of steel and Thunderbird easily complies; yet when having to do the same with an adamantium puck he fails. This is meant to show how far he has progressed, but also that he has still a long way to go in the use of his ability. There is also a sublime moment between Tessa and Rogue. When Rogue flies them to the house, she tells Sage of her worries concerning her powers and asks her if she could help her control them, as she does with the rest of them. Finally Ororo has managed to open the door and they enter the house. Bishop immediately takes to the kitchen, and starts preparing a meal for all, while the others check out a crate addressed to them, containing all sorts of goodies: new clothes, fake identities, and destiny’s will, which leaves Rogue a the sole heiress, and gives the team the economic comfort to roam the world for the diaries.
Inside the Castle, Vargas and the twins have taken Gambit to another room. The cajun makes another smart remark, that alsthough being not as superior as Vargas, he could make the lady (Thaiis) smile. Vargas states that he should kill Gambit right here and now, but won’t, while he uncovers a statue (or is it the body ?) of Psylocke. Gambit states that she laughed to waltz, that she kissed even batter than she fought, which are all things that Vargas will now never experience since he killed her. Vargas says that he thought Gambit came to steal Destiny’s diary from his possession (it shows the same page from the dreamtime vision), but Remy explains that he is no longer with the X-Men, he is a thief and tehy are heroes. Vargas thenlets him go, while leaving Gambit thinks how lucky he was to have talked his way out of this situation. He heads to Destiny’s house, takes a look at the X-Treme team through the windoiws and leaves before being spotted. In his bag he carries the big diamond, that was earlier seen in vargas‘ castle.
Inside the house, Ororo has put on a revealing dress, that Destiny had prepared for her, she looks excellent in it, but is a little bit uncomfortable with the males staring. In the bottom of the crate, Rogue spots a wooden book-shaped package, sealed with destiny’s insignia. When the team opens it, instead of finding one of the diaries, they discover it’s empty, except for a single rose, that Thunderbird immediately recognises as the one he put in Psylocke’s casket and the team in unison agree that the book was snatched by Vargas.
Back at his castle, Vargas sits and reads the diary, he knows that Gambit stole the diamond, but also where it will lead him ...

Characters Involved: 

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

Psylocke’s spirit / ghost

Gambit, former X-Man

Gateway (X-Men ally)


Thais and Thaiis, Vargas’ servants

Story Notes: 

Of the six gems on Gambit’s body in Destiny’s sketch, two can be identified as the big diamond Gambit stole from Vargas and the cameo Crystal that Storm wear’s on her costume (see X-Treme X-Men #1), the other four stones, actually two twin sets, are yet unknown.
When Lucas Bishop was mentioned in #1, it seemed like a fake ID, but Psylocke calling Bishop that name, kind of establishes it as his real name.
Vargas must have broken twice into Destiny’s house; before issue #1 to gain the book, and between #3 and 4 to place the rose.
Chronologically the team next appears in the Savage Land limited series #1-4, before continuing in #5 of X-Treme X-Men.

Issue Information: 

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