X-Treme X-Men (1st series) #40

Issue Date: 
March 2004
Story Title: 
Prisoner of Fire - part 1: Ambush

Chris Claremont (writer), Igor Kordey (artist), Greg Adams (inked), Liquid! (colors), Rus Wooton (letterer), Stephanie Moore & Cory Sedlmeier (assistant editor), Mike Marts (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (president)

Brief Description: 

Gambit and Rogue walk down the beach to meet Sam and Lila at a clambake they are having. Rudely, Bishop runs by them interrupting a passionate kiss, but the lovers quickly get over their anger and continue. Inside the beach house of Rogue’s, Evangeline Whedon remarks about her concerns to Marie. Her worries are that both she and Sage will never find the puppet master that was controlling Jarod Malloy’s strings. Vange decides to fly off into the night sky to clear her head and Marie talks a while to Sage about her recent murder attempt. Amidst talking to Marie, Sage finds out a startling revelation about the demise of the Xavier Institute. Sage calls Storm over their high tech glasses to discuss their next move. Later that evening, Evangeline Whedon arrives at the clambake in her dragon form, carrying two passengers, Sunspot and Magma. Sam explains that he invited them, because he wanted the X-Men to continue as a family. Missing one of their members, thoughts travel to where Bishop could be? Bishop has run into some trouble along his jog and that trouble consists of Revenant and her cronies. Bishop fights hard and eventually takes them all out. Reveling in his victory, he is unaware of Elias Bogan behind him and he/she easily defeats Bishop.

Full Summary: 

The two lovers, Gambit and Rogue, walk down the beach near their house holding hands and lovingly teasing one another with their eyes. Silently, they walk hand in hand until their emotions take control and the two soul mates embrace one another and passionately kiss. In the water, their reflection is shown, as if their lives could not get any better than this one moment in time. Rogue whispers a song to Gambit and sings part of the chorus to Wild Thing. Rogue asks Remy if the two of them can stay in their embrace forever? Remy answers that he would love to, but he is sure the fates will not allow it.

Just then, as if planned, Bishop runs right by them, in nothing but his shorts and a pair of sneakers. Rogue growls a menacing noise and asks why Bishop has to run on this beach, of all the ones in the world. Gambit answers that it seems Bishop is on a mission and did not even see them. Rogue tells Remy that Bishop is just like Sage, he sees and knows everything about his surroundings. Rogue grasps Remy’s hands and places them on her butt, as Remy tells her that he lives his life and they are going to love theirs. Off in the distance, Remy spots an ally waving to them, trying to draw their attention. Remy asks Rogue if she would like to invite themselves to a clambake and Rogue seems to become excited at the prospect. She raises her arms high in the sky to cheer the suggestion and tells Remy that she has never been to a clambake before.

At Rogue’s beach house, Evangeline Whedon screams out in disgust about lawyers. Marie, who is sitting near her, asks Evangeline if she hates herself since she is a lawyer also. Evangeline holds her head, as she stands above boxes of papers spread throughout the living room, and tells Marie to not start patronizing her. She tells Marie that they know there is someone behind Jarod Malloy, but every avenue they take in trying to find the perpetrator they end up at another dead end. Kicking a nearby box, she exclaims that Malloy will not spill the beans on who was controlling him. Marie asks what they are going to do now? Whedon tells her that they are going to quit for the night so she can stretch her wings outside. Whedon tells Marie that, since it is getting darker, the beach goers probably will not see a flying dragon along the water line.

Marie asks Whedon why she hired her even after her recent attack on the mutants of Valle Soleada. She tells Marie that she is on probation and she needs to be supervised by a court appointed employee and that would be her. She also says that she needs an assistant, but the real question is why Marie said yes? Marie tells her that she is not sure, but it seemed like the right thing at the time. Evangeline explains that, when her office found out that she was a mutant, she was fired on the spot. The next day, she was evicted from her apartment and her fiancé broke off the engagement through e-mail. She goes on to say that her folks disowned her, because their only child had become a “monster.” Evangeline tells Marie that she knows what it is like to lose everything she ever valued. She also knows that she has the power at her disposal to go “Godzilla” on the world, but she chooses to build and not to destroy. Placing her hand onto Marie’s shoulder, she tells her that she wants the same chance for her.

Minutes later, Marie walks into Sage’s room and she tells her that Vange thought Sage would want some coffee. Sage sits on a nearby couch and works through her tech-glasses on searching for any hint about the identity of the person pulling Jarod Malloy’s strings. Marie sits down on the couch opposite to Sage and tries to apologize for her murder attempt days earlier. Sage tells her that her apology is not needed and it was not just she whom she tried to kill, but about seventy others as well. Marie asks Sage not to remind her of the mistakes she made. Marie tells Sage that Vange mentioned they all were at a dead end, when it came to finding the person pulling the strings of Jarod Malloy.

Sage sips a shot of wine from her glass and tells Marie that they have hit a dead end for the moment. Marie tells Sage that she thought she knew everything. Sage explains that most people would call her a cyberpath, which means she can process information faster than any known computer and retain said information forever. She goes on to say that, thanks to today’s technology, she can access any network on the planet, but even that has its limitations, as all documents haven’t been saved digitally yet. She stands to her feet and looks at Jarod Malloy’s picture. She explains that, in Malloy, they have their scapegoat, but not any of the answers on why Valle Soleada is so important to this unknown villain. She asks if it was coincidence that more mutants have been moving to Valle Soleada, because relationships between baseline humans and mutants around here have been good for years. She wonders aloud about who may profit from the turmoil that has been caused? Looking at another set of pictures, she traces the history of the X-Corp building in Los Angeles back to 1921, when there was another majestic building built on the property.

Sage, for some unknown reason, decides to check in on the Xavier Institute and is horrified by what she finds. The gates of the Institute are ripped apart and graffiti stains the walls surrounding the building. Most shocking of all, Charles Xavier, Emma Frost, Scott Summers, Jean Grey-Summers, Beast and Wolverine are nowhere to be found. Immediately changing direction, Sage requests Storm’s attention via their communication links in their high tech glasses. Storm appears in Sage’s mind in a yellow blouse and gray running shorts. Sage tells Storm that it would seem they have more than just Bogan to deal with.

Later that night, Sam lies on Lila’s lap, as she plays her guitar. The two lovers are not alone on the Valle Soleada Beach, because Remy and Rogue have joined them in their clambake. Remy and Rogue dance to Lila’s tunes and Sam questions if anyone thought they would have seen the day when Remy and Rogue could touch? Remy jokes that it only took a person named Vargas skewering the two of them together for their opportunity to be together to happen. Rogue leans on Remy’s shoulder and tells him that it also took her dragging him from the Gates of Heaven. Dipping his lover in their dance, Remy tells the others that it seems Rogue made a better offer.

Sam lays bare-chested on Lila’s lap and talks to the others about the recent events with Lorna, Alex and their wedding. He mentions that they were once in love. Rogue teasingly dips Gambit in their dance, tells Sam that they were in love once upon a time and asks what is the mountain boy’s point is. Lila tells Rogue to not mind Sam’s ramblings so much; they are due to country music messing with his mind. Rogue gets nearer to the fire to grab her glass of wine and asks what Sam means, because she can tell it has nothing to do with Lorna or Alex. Sam tells Rogue that it is about her sister wanting to be with Warren Worthington. Rogue tells Sam that Paige is nineteen and should be able to make her own decisions.

Sam then changes the subject to Paige’s clothing and his bewilderment on why Xavier would allow her to wear such a scandalizing outfit? Rogue spits the wine from her mouth and tells him that right now his Momma and Poppa would be so proud of him. Lila grasps her legs around Sam’s waist and tells him that Paige never even gave Xavier a chance to deny her choice in clothing. Rogue laughs at Lila’s maneuvering to capture Sam. Rogue laughs so hard, tears form on her eyes, and Gambit tells Sam that everyone hopes they’ll get lucky and find the right one, even little sisters hope for the same.

Suddenly, their fire begins to rise as a wind gust comes up. Sam warns the others to shield their eyes and Gambit recognizes the visitors as Evangeline, in her Dragon form, with Magma and Sunspot. The two ex-new mutants get off the back of Vange and ask if they have come to late for the clambake? Behind them, Vange transforms back into human form and Rogue offers her the skirt she was wearing to hide Vange’s now naked body. Rogue asks why Vange is there and Sam tells her that it was his doing. He goes on to say that, as of late, the X-Men have become splintered and it was his idea to bring them together tonight. Amara asks why Sage is not there and Vange explains that she refused to come, due to some other private business. Rogue then asks why Bishop is not there and Sam explains that he was invited, but told them that he would show up later.

Bishop runs down the beach and thinks to himself about the different ways, if he was ever forced to, he could stop or kill the X-Men. First, he thinks that the Master of Magnetism would be useless with a broken neck. He then considers that a high-powered plasma blast to the chest could incapacitate the mutant named Cable. Killing Storm, he thinks, would give him the power to control lightning, which would make the capture of Jean Grey easy, as well as a lightning strike would kill even Wolverine.

Suddenly, lights flash across the sky, blinding Bishop momentarily. Suddenly, Bishop hears a whirling sound as Manacle appears from nowhere to attack him. While occupied with Manacle, Bishop is not ready for the Jeep that bounds nearby and knocks him into the ocean. Coming up from the water, he recognizes another attacker by the name of Rolling Thunder. He thinks to himself that he knew her as an adult and he feels unlucky to be the one that she began her career against. As Bishop stands amidst the waters of the ocean, he is attacked by two more villains that wield giant maces, their names are Cudgel and Bludgeon. Knocking him into the waters with their giant maces, the two behemoths work as one to knock Bishop into the awaiting Manacles of their ally.

With Bishop wrapped in his chains, their leader, Revenant, walks onto the beach and placing a boot upon the X-Man’s head. She tells him that he is hers now. Bishop looks up with an evil grin and tells her that he would have it no other way. Bishop uses all the energy he gained from Rolling Thunder’s plasma blasts to break free of his prison and makes easy work of the fleeing thugs. Blowing the smoke from his fingers, in a pistol-like way, he prepares to put his high tech glasses to his face and call the other X-Men. A voice from behind him tells him that she thinks not. Suddenly, black fingers phase through Bishop’s head turning him into a drooling vegetable.

Elias Bogan in the unknown telepath’s body asks Bishop what good are pawns for, except to take out a bishop? Grabbing the tech-glasses from Bishop’s hands, the telepath places them on her face and tells the unconscious Bishop that she can’t have his teammates worrying about him. Standing to her feet, she points towards the Bishop, lying on the ground, and she tells him that, once he embraces “hellfire,” he can never escape.

Characters Involved: 

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

Lila Cheney (X-Treme X-Men ally)

Magma (X-Treme X-Men ally)

Sunspot (X-Corp L.A. Leader)

Evangeline Whedon

Marie Jennifer D’Ancanto

Bludgeon, Cudgel, Manacle, Revenant, Rolling Thunder (all Bogan’s thugs)

Elias Bogan in an Unknown Telepath

Sage’s holograms:

Jarod Malloy

Charles Xavier, Emma Frost, Jean Grey-Summers, Ororo Munroe, Scott Summers (all X-Men)

Bishop’s thoughts:





Jean Grey-Summers


Story Notes: 

An interesting note: In another forum conversation with Igor Kordey, a poster asked why only the women were drawn “sexually explicit?” Thanks to that question, Bishop was drawn in a sexy style to help Igor’s image of only drawing sexy women.

Parts of the lyrics to Wild Thing are:

Wild thing...you make my heart sing...you make everything


I said wild thing...

Wild thing, I think I love you

But I wanna know for sure

Come on, hold me tight

I love you

Rogue mentions that Sam’s mother and father would be so proud of him. Sadly, Sam’s father passed away a long time ago.

An interesting side note is the fact that, in Bishop’s memories, Claremont was going to use Sabretooth, instead of Wolverine, but opted at the last minute to change his plans. The reasoning behind this was said to be the fact that no one truly knew what his appearance should be like, since it is portrayed differently in nearly every appearance.

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