X-Treme X-Men (1st series) #43

Issue Date: 
May 2004
Story Title: 
Prisoner of Fire - part 4: Shadow of the Soul

Chris Claremont (writer), Igor Kordey (artist), Adams, Pepoy, Rapmund, Florea (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: 

On the coastline of Valle Soleada, Sage and Magma figure out the best plan of attack against Bogan. A few feet away, Shadowcat and Rogue discuss their philosophy surrounding Xavier’s dream. Nearing the time of their attack, Sage calls them together and the quartet of women risk their lives in a desperate attempt to travel through the Earth’s mantle to reach Bogan’s lair. Finally arriving, the team is split from one another. Sage goes off in search of Bogan and Magma disappears, per Sage’s instructions, to an undisclosed place to be used as a last resort in stopping Bogan. Shadowcat and Rogue fight off Revenant and Manacle, only to be stopped in their tracks by the sudden appearance of a handful of their comrades under Bogan's control and fighting alongside the mysterious telepath and Bogan’s minions. Gambit only was conning Bogan, thankfully, and he uses his staff to trip most of the attackers up. Angered, the telepath vows vengeance upon them but, coming out of hiding himself, Bishop takes out the telepath. Elsewhere in the caverns, Sage nears her goal, only to be stopped by Magma, who is controlled by Bogan and intent on burning Sage to death.

Full Summary: 

On a coastline that travels near Valle Soleada, the mutant women of the X-Men prepare themselves for a tremendous fight against Elias Bogan, hopefully their last, they think. Sage and Magma peer at one of Sage’s holographic projections and Sage requests Amara’s help in filling in some of the gaps. She tells Magma that they are looking at a replica of every topographic map ever made of Valle Soleada and she needs her to use her power over the Earth’s crust to find every gap that her map may not contain. Sage tells Magma that Elias has covered his tracks so perfectly that no one has ever been able to track him, till today.

A few feet away, sitting on a pile of cut timber, Kitty Pryde and Anna Raven discuss philosophies. Kitty tells Anna that she likes the name she has chosen and is excited that Rogue now has a chance to settle down to a semi-normal life. Rogue tells Kitty that she is happy as well for Kitty, because she is finally completing college. The two women share a bottle of “Weet Water.” Anna apologizes for not knowing that Kitty’s father was one of the sixteen million people that died on Genosha. Kitty tells her that it was just a case of wrong place / wrong time. Anna reaches over to touch Kitty only to see her jerk away. Anna reminds Kitty of her power loss. Apologizing herself, Kitty tells Anna that some habits die-hard.

Kitty asks how her power loss feels? Anna tells Kitty that it’s like a roller coaster, but the best one she has ever been on. Rogue ponders towards Kitty about Sage’s secrecy, asking if she believes Sage will reveal her plan to them. Kitty tells Anna that she believes Sage will, when the time is right. Kitty goes on to say that Charley taught her, Scott and Storm, so when it comes to “management philosophy some apples don’t fall far from the tree.” Katherine explains that it makes sense, though, when a person is surrounded by telepaths it almost becomes instinct to even keep their thoughts secret. Anna asks Kitty what her thoughts on Bogan are. Kitty tells Rogue that Sage is scared of him and that’s something she thought was impossible!

Standing to her feet, Anna tells Kitty that she sees the bad in this world in very different ways, but Bogan is evil that must be stopped. Kitty tells Rogue that her philosophy of good versus evil is different. She goes on to say that she believes the fight that matters is the right of every human and mutant to live together in peace. Anna places Kitty in a playful headlock. She tells Kitty that she is such a dreamer, agreeing Kitty tells her that Charles Xavier taught her too.

Sage stands to her feet and tells Shadowcat and Rogue that they are ready to find Bogan’s lair. Anna grasps a hold of Kitty’s arm and she asks her if they can truly trust Sage. Kitty tells Rogue that, of all people, she should be able to see Sage’s point of view better. She goes on to say, as Sage and Magma draw into hearing range, that Storm brought Sage in and that’s enough for her. She tells Anna that, since they are heroes, they are required to walk blindly into faith when it comes to their enemies becoming friends, because it is the X-Men’s nature to trust. Katherine continues on, saying that Sage most feel troubled due to the fact she cannot fathom why they would be so committed to her. Shadowcat hugs Anna, as she says all this and Sage tells her that her display of emotion was unnecessary.

The women grasp hands and Shadowcat instantly uses her phasing powers to stop them in mid-spin. This means that, while the world continues spinning on its axis, thanks to Kitty’s powers, the quartet of women stop spinning. This enables the four of them to float at three hundred miles per hour into the Earth’s mantle. Kitty tells the others, as they pass by dinosaur bones and layers of rock, that they need to stay calm, because if anyone of them breaks their connection with her they will instantly materialize solid into the rock around them. The thoughts of the women are different. Magma is amazed at the beauty of her mother, the Earth. While Rogue thinks to herself how jealous Remy will be that he could not be there to see the excitement, she has been through. Shockingly, Sage is panicked by the darkness and she wonders if she is being buried alive. Her thoughts change rapidly though to success and she says aloud that they have reached the next point on their journey.

Just as Sage surmised, Magma senses the flow of lava nearing them and immediately erects cocoons around her three friends to keep them from being seared by the heat. Using the flow of lava, Magma navigates the four of them through the nearby caverns, until reaching Bogan’s lair. She solidifies the lava around her and disappears into a mountain of lava herself. Another part of their plan is also working above ground. Thanks to Magma’s lava flow, it causes a tiny earthquake in Valle Soleada, which is just sufficient enough to knock out power to the entire town.

Shadowcat phases the women through their solid cocoons. She tells Rogue that she did not enjoy that ride and she will never do it again. Standing to their feet, they instantly realize that their compatriot, Magma, is no longer with them. Rogue tells Sage that she was cold for sending Magma away. Sage explains that Magma’s liabilities outweighed those of her assets. She explains that Magma has no mental blocks against telepaths and she did not want Elias using her against them. Kitty asks Sage where they are. Sage explains that they are in a few caverns that travel directly under the Los Angeles branch of the X-Corp. Sage shows in holographic form her thought. She explains that Bogan built the Los Angeles chapter of the Hellfire Club’s mansion where the X-Corp building stands almost one hundred years ago.

Rogue is shocked that Bogan is so old. Sage explains that there is evidence that links Bogan to being a charter member of the Hellfire Club in 1780. She tells the others that Bogan built most of the caverns and rooms that are hidden under the L.A. Branch of X-Corp’s building. Rogue ponders that age would explain why Bogan works through puppets. Rogue and Sage begin to argue, but Kitty steps in and tells them that, if the three of them don’t begin to work together, they might as well put on the lingerie style outfits of the Hellfire Club and start calling Bogan master.

Just then a voice is heard (that of Manacles) and it tells them, as barbed chains fly in and grab hold of Kitty, that her words are going to come to place no matter what. He tells her, as she is being bounced off of walls, that she must be wandering how his solid chains can be affecting an un-solid form? Manacle finishes with Kitty by telling her, if she is going to play in the big leagues, she is going to have to learn how to take hits. Manacle switches his attention now to Rogue. He sends his chains after her but she is somehow able to dodge them all the way to their source where she plunges into his chest with her feet. Rogue looks around for Sage but she has already disappeared and Anna ponders to herself if Sage will be the death of them. Manacle, still standing, is downed a final time with one more well placed kick to his head. A few feet away Revenant nears the fallen Kitty Pryde and is shocked to see Manacle’s chains begin to unravel. Suddenly, Kitty awakens and kicks Revenant in the face, knocking her also to the ground. Anna throws Manacle onto the top of Revenant and tells Kitty that she is impressed that she has such a temper. Kitty asks Anna how she was able to beat Manacle. Rogue tells Kitty that if she doesn’t ask / she won’t tell.

A voice is heard from behind the women, that of the mysterious telepath. She tells the women that their moment is now over, because it is her turn now. Behind the telepath stand all of her previously fallen teammates; Skids, Sunspot, Cannonball, Gambit and Bishop. Also, the rest of Bogan’s thugs are there as well. Elias seems to have control over the entire lot of them and she demands them to capture the two women. Beginning to move, they seemed tripped up. Gambit apologizes for his mistake, as the lot of them was just too cramped. Like a stack of dominos, hero and villain begin to fall, till only Cudgel, Rolling Thunder, Bishop, Gambit and the mysterious telepath are the only ones standing. Rogue declares that Gambit was able to con Bogan.

Quickly, Gambit grasps the cudgel of Bludgeon and takes out the thug Cudgel. He races towards Rolling Thunder and, with grace, he sweeps her of her feet and begins to charm her with his eyes. Rogue can be seen grimacing but it is the telepath’s voice that can be heard in anger over his betrayal. The telepath tells Gambit that she won’t make the same mistake twice. Behind her, Bishop tells Bogan that, where the X-Men are concerned, one mistake is all it takes. He reaches forward and places his hand through the telepaths head, where she screams in pain and falls to the ground.

Elsewhere in the caverns, Sage is in search of a mysterious jewel. She thinks as she searches that Bishop and Gambit must have made their move by now and Rogue probably considers her a traitor. Nearing the jewel, she is shocked to hear Bogan’s voice. The voice is coming from the body of Magma but it is Bogan telling her that his reach far exceeds her imagination. Sage grasps the jewel as Magma glows with fire. He speaks through her, saying how he recognizes her plan of using Magma as their failsafe, in case the mission was a failure and how Magma was to flood his house with lava if they did not succeed. He tells Sage that it is fitting that he will use her plan against her now. He tells her to burn!

Characters Involved: 

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

Magma (X-Treme X-Men ally)

Shadowcat (X-Treme X-Men ally)

Skids, Sunspot (X-Corp L.A.)

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

Elias Bogan in an Unknown Telepath & in Magma

Sage’s Holograms:

Los Angeles Hellfire Club members

Story Notes: 
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