X-Treme X-Men (1st series) #5

Issue Date: 
November 2001
Story Title: 
Deadline !

Chris Claremont (writer), Salvador Larroca (artist), (uninked), Liquid! (colors), Tom Orzechowski (letterer), Andrew Lis (assistant editor), Matt Hicks and Mark Powers (editors), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Bill Jemas (president)

Brief Description: 

The X-Men have a team pow-wow to decipher one of Destiny’s diaries. Through one of Sage’s fantastic inventions they learn what little they can about the book’s contents, including predictions of current catastrophic events. The X-Men also discover that Gambit’s wanted for the murder of crime lord called Viceroy. Bishop does some undercover work and the team investigates the scene of the crime. They find clues to the murder and learn that Viceroy has two children, heirs to his criminal empire. Storm decides to locate them. Even though most of the evidence points to Gambit’s guilt, Rogue believes in his innocence. Since her teammates believe that Gambit could indeed be guilty, Rogue leaves them in anger to find clues on her own. She heads to Chinatown, where men are planning to kill Viceroy’s children and eliminate heirs to the criminal throne. Rogue finds Gambit in a restaurant. Julius Gow, the restaurant’s owner, has his thugs attack the two of them and their powers are negated during the fight, so they seek shelter. When someone kills Gow and frames Gambit, Gow’s grandson the Red Lotus mistakes Rogue and Gambit for murderers. He defeats them both, leaving them in dire straits.

Full Summary: 

In Valencia, Spain, the X-Men meet in Rogue’s penthouse to interpret one of Destiny’s thirteen diaries. They already have one volume and they intend to track down each of the others. Believing the diaries contain the future history of the world, the X-Men want to find them so they can learn about and prevent impending disasters before they occur. Through a special network designed by Sage, the X-Men wear virtual reality glasses that place them inside of the images they see. Instead of merely viewing sophisticated environments, it seems to the X-Men as if the images surround them. The X-Men bear witness to graphic representations of riddles and passages, as well as current events. They see Professor Xavier publicly expose himself as a mutant and Trish Tilby’s newscast of the ethnic cleansing in Genosha. Once the team finishes viewing, Sage says that they need the other twelve books to fully understand the messages inside. Professor Xavier already has at least four of them. Rogue worries about how his recent behavior will affect the X-Men as a whole. She thinks that the X-Treme team should go back to the mansion to provide team support and keep things from falling apart. Sage and Storm disagree, thinking that Xavier can’t be trusted and that leaving the mansion was the right thing to do under the circumstances. In the middle of the argument, Sage’s virtual reality network informs the X-Men that Gambit is wanted for the murder of Australian crime boss Miles Warbeck, a.k.a. Viceroy.
Subsequently, Bishop enters an Australian police office, carrying a fake I.D. labeling him as a federal investigator. He also dresses the part, being noticed by the officers for his suave appearance. Bishops learns from Inspector Menzies that Gambit was videotaped at Viceroy’s home, the scene of the crime. Along with the tape, several witnesses and Gambit’s criminal background, make him look as guilty as sin. Inspector Menzies mentions that Gambit will be lucky if the police find him before Viceroy’s people do.
Later that night in Sydney, Storm, Rogue, Sage, and Thunderbird fly towards Viceroy’s home to investigate the scene of the crime. During the flight they notice buildings damaged from sentinel attacks, which remind them of the carnage in Genosha. Rogue wants a shot at the person ordering the sentinels. Storm tells her that’s why the team needs the diaries, to learn of other catastrophes so they can stop them before they happen. Storm wonders if Gambit would even want the X-Men to help him, but Rogue’s instincts tell her that the X-Men are right to help whether Gambit approves or not.
Soon the X-Men arrive at Viceroy’s home where Bishop is waiting for them. Bishop says he acquired the complete case file so the team can reenact the crime. He tells Storm he likes having a badge and being a cop again, even if he’s only pretending. The X-Men get down to business and Rogue and Bishop find ample time to argue and antagonize each other, mainly over whether or not they believe Gambit’s guilty. Bishop openly entertains the idea that Gambit may indeed have committed the crime. This doesn’t sit well with Rogue, and she and Bishop snipe at each while Storm plays the devil’s advocate. Unlike Bishop, Storm’s not any more leery of Gambit than the next X-Man, but she admits that he has killed in the past, and it’s possible he may have done so this time. That’s still not enough for Rogue, who believes wholeheartedly in Gambit’s innocence. During the investigation, Thunderbird gets a crash course in Storm’s past as a thief, courtesy of his teammates. Once the X-Men examine the place, they learn that Gambit fought someone and forced him through a window. Whoever he was, he fell to the swimming pool below, but the X-Men still have no idea why Gambit came to the house and who killed Viceroy.
The X-Men make their way into Viceroy’s private vault, where police think Gambit tripped the alarm, broke the safe, and killed Viceroy. When the police arrived they found Gambit standing over Viceroy’s dead body. Bishop notices the bullet impressions in one of the walls. Storm uses her powers to see her environment in terms of energy and discovers a mysterious cable. She follows it and finds a secret compartment containing pictures of Viceroy’s two children, a boy and a girl. The X-Men figure he must have kept his heirs a secret to protect them from his dangerous lifestyle. After further probing, the X-Men deduce that Viceroy fired at someone other than Gambit, putting three people in the room before the police arrived after the crime occurred: Gambit, Viceroy, and Viceroy’s killer. This leads to more bickering and Gambit-trashing. Bishop angers Rogue and she flies off, leaving everyone else behind. Bishops tries to apologize to the team for upsetting Rogue. Storm says that Rogue just needs to cool off and orders the team to continue investigating in spite of her absence. Storm sends Bishop to conduct more police work while she and Thunderbird track down Viceroy’s children. Sage will monitor everyone’s status.
In Sydney’s Chinatown, Gambit eavesdrops on a meeting between an old man called the Examiner and Julius Gow, a shady businessman. The two of them plot the death of Viceroy’s children. With the children out of the way, the door is wide open for Gow to replace Viceroy as leader of the Triad criminal organization and the dominant underworld force in Australia.
Meanwhile, Rogue starts her own investigation and infiltrates the Golden Harbor restaurant, owned by Julius Gow. The place is frequented by many local movers and shakers who travel in the same circles Viceroy did. Among them, Rogue finds Gambit by the bar being his usual charming and nonchalant self. They have a hasty reunion before being attacked by a gang of Gow’s thugs, with his orders to kill. Lucky for the bad guys, they have a device that shuts down mutant powers and use it to render Rogue and Gambit powerless. The two heroes soon find themselves under fire and out of options and they shut themselves in Gow’s office for temporary safety, mindful of the horde of gun-wielding hoodlums right behind them. That’s when they find Gow slumped over his desk, dead, when he was very much alive moments before. He has Gambit’s trademark card, the joker, stuck in his back, which would make it seem like Gambit was his killer. Since he had to have been killed while Gambit and Rogue fought outside of the office, this confirms that someone is trying to frame Gambit. Then Gow’s grandson, the Red Lotus, enters the office and attacks. He mistakes Rogue and Gambit for his grandfather’s killers. Even though the two of them put up their best defense, the Red Lotus incapacitates Rogue and Gambit in punishing martial arts fashion, knocking them both out cold. The Examiner emerges behind Red Lotus and promises to make Rogue and Gambit suffer.

Characters Involved: 

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

Gambit, former X-Man / ally

Red Lotus

The Examiner

Julius Gow

Inspector Menzies

Story Notes: 

According to this issue, Storm anticipated that Professor Xavier was going to out himself or do something else strange; and that’s why she had a portion of the team leave the mansion in New York. However, due to recent events in New X-Men, Cassandra Nova, masquerading as Professor Xavier, may have been the one who “came out” instead.
Sydney was attacked by Sentinels in New X-Men #114.
One of the images in the diary shows Storm and Vargas fighting each other with swords.
Prof X has the volumes formerly in possession of Mystique. She said to have given all the volumes in her possession to Xavier in Uncanny X-Men #389. In X-Men #105 her books were seen, they were entitled :

Volume 2 – February

Volume 5 – May

Volume 7 – July

Volume 10 – October

Volume 11 – November

The X-Treme team too has one book, namely the one that was found by Shadowcat in X-Men #93-94. It was wrongly refered to as Volume 7 (in Uncanny X-Men 389), but in X-Treme X-Men #1 it is entitled Volume 3 - March.
First appearance of Julius Gow, Red Lotus, The Examiner, and Inspector Menzies.

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