X-Treme X-Men (1st series) #41

Issue Date: 
April 2004
Story Title: 
Prisoner of Fire - part 2: Past Lies

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

Brief Description: 

In a dungeon hidden from prying eyes, save that of Bogan and his pets, the X-Man named Lucas Bishop is hung upside down and fed a drug called Rave. The drug makes Bishop go mad and also makes him susceptible to the mind manipulations of Elias’ pet telepath. She is easily able to sedate Bishop and remove Lucas’ psi-blocks that he has placed over his mind, due to years of training. Elsewhere, Anna and Remy discover the battle marks left on the sand by Bishop and Elias’ pets and they rush back to Anna’s home to inform the others. Once there, they are met by a hostile Sage, but the situation is quickly resolved, though the inside of the house is in total disarray. Just then, Sam and Amara arrive and are informed of the situation. Sam admits that Bishop’s plan to get himself captured was bad because it was kept a secret to everyone save Sage, but it was still a great plan. He goes on to inform the others that their new plan should be to split up the team into two groups, so that one could focus on stopping Bishop’s rampage and the other can take care of Elias’ pet telepath. Shockingly, Storm’s hologram interrupts them and she demands to know what is transpiring in California. After a brief rundown of the events, Sage tells the others about her past with Bogan and how Storm saved her from his cruel clutches. Later that evening, Storm and Sage have a moment alone to discuss their past and some of Sage’s worries about her time in the Hellfire Club, especially around the time of Mastermind’s creation of the Dark Phoenix.

Full Summary: 

Inside a dungeon, Bishop hangs upside down, tethered to the wall by barbed chains. These chains have been wrapped around his body by one of his captor’s thugs, named Manacle. Manacle peers through the opening of the dungeons door and watches his master taunt their prey. Whoever the shadowed figure is, she is being controlled by Elias Bogan.

Bogan has been a thorn in the X-Treme team’s side for quite some time now. Bogan stands above Bishop and gloats about his recent promise of making Lucas his pet. Holding Bishop’s nose, he pours a green fluid down his throat known as Rave. Instantly, Bishop’s eyes feel with rage and he breaks free of the manacles holding him prisoner. Dropping to the ground, Bishop watches as the debris from the chains burst with so much power they puncture through the twelve-inch cinderblocks that make up his prison. Gleefully, Bogan claps as Bishop continues on with his display.

Outside the cell, Manacle tries to shield his privates against the stray debris and breathes a sigh of relief when he finds that they have come to no harm. Just then Rolling Thunder enters the cell and plasma blasts from her hands immediately follow, trying to deter Bishop’s rampage. Knocked back for a few seconds, Lucas easily absorbs the blasts and sends them ten-fold back at Rolling Thunder. Luckily for her, Manacle has the presence of mind to grab her and cover her with his body before the wall that stands between them and Bishop is toppled on the two of them by Lucas’ furious discharges of energy. Next Bludgeon and Cudgel decide to attack Lucas. Each one enters the cell but Bishop easily takes care of the two of them with just one blow, sending the two of them literally plastered to the walls. Turning his attention to Elias Bogan, he runs after him with his full force, intending to tackle him to the ground. His plan doesn’t work and, as Elias looks after his fingernails, Bishop sails through his intangible body with disastrous results. Convulsing in pain, Bishop falls to the ground, mindless.

Holding in his hands the brain of Bishop, Elias kisses the top of it and comments on how sophisticated Lucas’ brain actually is. Elias watches, as six different astral projections float from Bishop’s mind, all in succession of age. The top astral form is the youngest, while the one half-hidden in Lucas’ mind is the head of his present age. Bogan comments to himself how Lucas’ mind is chalk full of defenses, but the Rave has destroyed them all. He goes on to say that, if he takes Bishop back to his childhood when those defenses were not put up, it will be easy child’s play turning him into another one of his pets. Lucas’ eyes roll from the back of his head and straighten, as Bogan begins to remove the defenses till drool is predominate on the X-Man’s face and his eyes are replaced with the look of confusion.

Meanwhile, on the sands of the beach in Valle Soleada, California, the two lovers, Anna and Remy, search for their missing friend. Remy complains to Anna that, if the two of them walk any further, they may wind up in Malibu before their search for Lucas is over. She tells him that she is positive Lucas came this way. Nearing a pool of water in the sand, she sees what looks to be a place where a skirmish recently took place. Leaping into the air and somersaulting to the ground, she tells Remy that the first contact was here. She tromps to the beach shore once more and quickly kicks the air. She tells Remy that the tides have washed the evidence away, but it is safe to assume he fought his way back to dry land. Remy sneaks up behind Rogue and, placing two fingers to Anna’s head, pretending them to be a gun, he tells her that the battle then ends and bang Rogue your dead.

Gambit walks over to a nearby gash in the sand and asks Anna if she can tell all this information just by the impressions in the sand. She tells him that she is just doing like she was taught by him and she leans towards the ground and points towards the spot she believes Lucas to have fallen. Remy tells her that there are no other footprints, but those of the thugs that dragged him away, which tells them nothing about the character that finished off their friend. Rogue looks into the distance and asks Remy if Lucas could have been taken by surprise? Remy looks up and tells Anna that anything might be possible. Putting both her fist to her sides, she announces that it seems Bishop deliberately moved the fight to the beach to tell the X-Men what happened. The two X-Men rise and begin to walk back to their beach house, as Rogue curses Bishop for trying to protect them and intentionally making himself a target.

In Anna’s house, Sage sits with her visors on, pondering about the amount of telepaths on Earth. She also is having a conversation with Storm, who is still in Tokyo, about the reports of Xavier and the other X-Men becoming missing. Ororo stands in a half-blouse and sweats, she tells Sage to keep monitoring the situation in New York and be sure to immediately inform her if their assistance might be needed. Sage sits back in her astronomy-themed sofa and asks Storm how things are going in Tokyo.

In Tokyo, Yukio is cleaning up debris from her recent battle with Guido, as Storm talks to Sage via their link with their glasses. Storm tells Sage that she will keep her posted, but she wants to know more about Elias Bogan. Sage then displays holograms for Storm, describing their recent battle with Elias inside the X-Men’s own Danger Room. She goes on to show different events; she shows how Emma Frost used Cerebra to create a scenario inside the Danger Room and a mysterious shadowed female was able to sneak in behind her and change the scenario without alerting anyone of her presence. Storm questions Sage about her knowledge of a suspect but, before Sage can answer, their com-link is aborted and Storm screams after her friends shocking disappearance.

In front of Sage stands an irate Rogue, as she holds Sage’s glasses in her hands and demands an explanation about her and Bishops covert plans. Instinctively, Sage reacts before thinking and knocks Rogue to the floor, while grabbing for her hidden gun. Pulling the pistol from her blouse, she is only stopped from making the killing shot by the arrival of Remy. Remy quickly jumps towards Sage and she counters his attack with ease. Tables are knocked over and wine is spilt during the chaos, as bodies tumble over one another each one of the lovers realize that Sage’s ferocity may even match that of their teammate, Wolverine’s. Sage hits Rogue in the nose and the blood immediately ensues. The two women grapple for seconds more, with Rogue finally gaining the upper hand by stealing Sage’s hidden dagger from her body and placing it to her neck. Instantly, Remy moves into position with Sage’s dropped pistol in tow. Placing the pistol to her head, Remy tells Sage to calm down before she does something all of them will regret.

Minutes later, Sam arrives with Amara holding tightly to his neck. Sam tells Amara about his appreciation for her coming with him. She tells him that they are all X-Men and, if she is needed, she will be there. Coming into the Anna’s house, she holds her hand to her mouth in astonishment and tells Sam that it seems they have come too late. Gambit stands between a peeved Rogue and a stoic looking Sage. Anna tells Remy that it isn’t fair; she explains that the team counts on Sage to hold them together emotionally and she shouldn’t be allowed to trash her house. Remy explains to Sam that Sage and Bishop created a plan, in secret, that would allow Lucas to get captured and lead the rest of them to Bogan. Sam goes over and sits next to Sage, scratching his head he tells the others that the plan seems to make sense. In astonishment the others turn to look at Sam; minus Sage, the others in unison question Sam’s thinking.

Sam grabs a dustpan and pail and follows Rogue to their kitchen. As he cleans up the mess on the floor, he tells Anna that she must think of their plan not as a friend, but like a boss. He goes on to say that Bishop knew they couldn’t trust X-Corp L.A. Due to their ties with him in the past, he also knows about Elias’ pet telepath and their use of the drug Rave in controlling their pawns. Sam goes on to say that Elias is a voyeur and doesn’t like to soil his own hands, so he likes to use those pawns to do his dirty work. Sam puts a finger to his lips, as if pondering for a moment, and then tells the others that Elias cannot use them, so his next move will be to try and eliminate them. The others pile into the room and sit at the kitchen table as they continue to listen to Sam’s words.

Remy hands them all drinks and Sam sits at the table along side of his friends. Sam tells the others that, if Bishop is now being used as a pawn, Bogan will use him as the point man against them. Remy offers Anna a drink, as Sam still continues on with his evaluation of Bishop’s plan. He tells them that he proposes they split their forces, with half of them keeping Bishop busy and the other half attacking Bogan’s pet telepath. Amara stands to her feet and walks over to the trashcan that everyone was placing the broken debris from Anna and Sage’s earlier tussle; she sets it on fire to reduce the trash. Sam ends with saying that, if they can take the telepath out, Bishop will be saved and the good guys will win. Jarring from her trance, Sage finally utters her words; she announces that Sam’s proposal is “fascinating.”

Just then, Ororo’s hologram appears before them, demanding that Sage tell her if she is okay. Sage places her glasses on and tells Storm that there was only a small confusion, but everything was fixed and they are all right now. Sam leans over to Sage and asks why they can all see the hologram of Ororo? She informs Sam that her glasses are able to project holograms. Sam explains to Ororo that they have some trouble. Storm crosses her arms and tells Sam that she understands they are having troubles, but she believes they can handle it without her. Sam glares and Sage and tells Storm that, while he appreciates her confidence in them, it would be better if they all were on the same page. Sage places her hands down on the kitchen table and tells the others that, if she wills herself to, she can totally block her mind from the influence of a telepath, but it totally removes her psionic abilities while she hasher defenses up. She goes on to say that it is a small price to pay for her freedom, because Bogan is the cause of her troubles these days.

Sam leans on the table, as Storm’s hologram tries to comfort Sage nearby. He tells her that he knows that it will pain her to do so, but her teammates need to know what her connection is with Elias Bogan. Holograms flash before everyone’s eyes, as she explains each one in detail. She tells them that, before Emma and she had joined the X-Men, the two of them played a role in the Hellfire Club’s Inner Circle. She tells them that a man named Oliver Ryland, at that time, was the pet of Elias Bogan. She says that Shaw challenged Bogan to a poker game where, if Shaw won, he gained Elias’ fortune but, if Ryland won, Elias would gain the possession of Emma Frost. Bogan had never lost and that was the only reason he chose to accept the wager, but he didn’t count on Sebastian’s servant, Tessa, to be Shaw’s hidden upper hand. Thanks to Sage, Bogan lost. For years, Bogan waited to exact his revenge and one day he kidnapped Tessa and took her to his hidden hideaway. He tried to ransom Sage to Shaw by asking for his entire wealth for her return, Sebastian declined. One person did not fail Sage and that was Storm. While Elias began to torture Sage for her master’s refusal, Ororo flew in and stole Tessa away from Bogan and his gang. Ororo comforts Sage, as she finishes by saying that there is evil in the world and she bares its mark, evil’s name is Elias Bogan.

Later that night, Sam walks out onto the patio where Sage sits going over news events, trying to uncover the many mysteries that haunt her mind. Sam holds onto Amara’s shoulders and allows her to explain to Sage that, with her ability over the land, she also can trace fault lines, so, if there is a hidden passageway underneath the X-Corp branch in L.A., she can find it. Sam turns to the others and tells them that they need to get to work, because their time is short.

Sam and the others go back into the house. Ororo’s voice can be heard, as she comments on how Sam is a fine piece of work. Sage exclaims to Ororo that she thought she had hung up a long time ago. Ororo appears in holographic form to Sage and tells her that she just wanted to make sure she was all right. Sage tells Ororo that she is as fine as Ororo is. Storm tells Sage that she knows what is troubling her. Holograms fill the air of Jean Grey in all her incarnations; the Black Queen and the Phoenix. She tells Sage that she wonders what would have happened if Sage had been able to save Jean from being manipulated by Mastermind, turning her into the Dark Phoenix? Sage tells Ororo that the past is done, but Ororo tells her that she is haunted by her own past every night. Sage tells Ororo that she should have found a way to save Jean and she is still trying, because the dead can be avenged. Sage places her hand onto the hologram of the Phoenix’s face and tells Ororo that the best way to make amends is by banishing the hauntings; the way you do that is by fighting with all your strength to save the living.

Elsewhere, in a room hidden from everyone, save the puppets of Elias Bogan, Manacle, Cudgel, Bludgeon, Rolling Thunder and Revenant watch as the pet-telepath gropes the body of Lucas Bishop. Behind Bishop, who is armed to the teeth with guns of every array, hovers the red eyes of Elias Bogan, as he announces that Bishop is ready to kill the X-Men.

Characters Involved: 

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

Magma (X-Treme X-Men ally)

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

Elias Bogan in an Unknown Telepath

Sage’s Holograms 1:

Cable, Charles Xavier, Emma Frost, Jean Grey-Summers, Psylocke, Stepford Cuckoos, & Unknown telepaths

Sage’s Holograms 2:

Bishop, Emma Frost, Sage, Storm (as prisoners of Elias Bogan)
Elias Bogan

Sage’s Holograms 3:

Emma Frost, Sage, Storm

Elias Bogan/ Oliver Ryland

Sebastian Shaw

Sage’s Holograms 4:

Jean Grey/ Jean Grey as the black queen of the Hellfire Club/ the Dark Phoenix

Story Notes: 

Rave is a drug that causes mutants to want to expend their full force of power, because the more powerful their expenditure of power, the more bliss they feel.

Mastermind was able to control Phoenix II by causing her to see illusions and disorienting her reality. These events took place in X-Men (1st Series) #122-134.

Phoenix II turned into the Dark Phoenix, thanks to Mastermind’s tampering and, only after sacrificing herself in issue #137 of X-Men (1st Series), did her bloodlust end.

Sage’s first appearance as Tessa, the servant to Sebastian Shaw was in X-Men (1st Series) #132.

Tessa became Sage in X-Men (2nd Series) #109.

Issue Information: 

This Issue has been reprinted in:

Written By: