X-Treme X-Men (1st series) #7

Issue Date: 
January 2002
Story Title: 
Getting Even !

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: 

Storm and Thunderbird save the Camerons’ lives by defeating assassins and Heather Cameron reveals herself as Lifeguard, a mutant with mysterious power. The Camerons learn the truth about Viceroy and their blood ties to the local criminal underworld. They decide to help the X-Men put an end to the death and destruction. While investigating another murder, Bishop meets an inspector and the two of them join forces to get to the bottom of this mess. Sebastian Shaw and Lady Mastermind imprison Sage within an impressive illusion, intending to brainwash her back into the Hellfire Club. Rogue, Gambit, and Red Lotus return from their adventure, but Shaw and Lady Mastermind surprise them. The villains capture Rogue and force Gambit and Red Lotus to flee. Along with Sage, Shaw plans to brainwash Rogue into helping him become the leader of Australian crime. Once they’ve reached safety, Gambit and Red Lotus vow to save their friends and stop Shaw.

Full Summary: 

In Surfer’s Paradise, criminal assassins called Boxers ambush Storm, Thunderbird, and the Cameron siblings. Under orders from the Chinese Triad, the Boxers intend to kill the Camerons, heirs to the Australian underworld. Storm and Thunderbird defend themselves while protecting innocent bystanders and the Camerons, who are stunned when they find out their guardians have been mutants all along. Yet one of the siblings makes a revelation of her own. During the fight, Heather is forced to protect herself and her skin transforms from flesh and blood to golden metal. Davis also gets in a few licks of his own. Together, the four of them beat the Boxers and the police take the thugs into custody. Heather doesn’t like having her mutancy made public. Previously, she only used her powers to save lives on the beach.
Later, Storm and Thunderbird tell the Camerons about their true parentage and how their biological father had them raised elsewhere to protect them from his dangerous lifestyle. Heather feels nothing for her father Viceroy since she never knew him. She and Davis find things about the X-Men odd, like their special sunglasses. Storm informs them that the glasses are a communications device. Through them, she learns that chaos ensues in Sydney. Davis wonders if being heirs to the criminal underworld gives him and his sister power to end the madness or if it just makes them targets.
In a Sydney nightclub, Bishop communicates with Storm through his glasses while he investigates the death of a Russian mafia boss. While Bishop is only posing as an official investigator, his real counterparts, Inspectors Menzies and Teri Baltimore, do their work. Menzies thinks Teri is too inexperienced for the case and tells her to leave, but Bishop thinks her help could be useful. Menzies passes Teri over to Bishop, wanting nothing to do with her. Menzies leaves the two of them to their work while he conducts his own. Bishops fills Teri in on what he knows: Viceroy’s death leaves an opening at the top of the Australian criminal empire. Other, less powerful mob bosses are eager to take his place, but now they’re ending up dead as well. The murders instigate a war, which no one wants, not even the higher tier crimelords. Bishop thinks the crimelords will have a meeting to settle this business, which will put them all in the same place at the same time, easy targets for mysterious mob killer. Teri thinks the crimelords might deserve their fate, but Bishop argues that everyone deserves protection under the law, good or bad. The two of them proceed with their investigation and take off on Teri’s motorbike.
Elsewhere, Sage is trapped in Lady Mastermind’s sophisticated illusion. While Lady Mastermind talks with Sebastian Shaw and plays with Sage’s specially designed glasses, she tears Sage’s world to pieces. In her mind, Sage “opens a never-ending series of doors, each admitting her to one crucial stage of her life after another.” Whenever Sage reaches a point in her life that involves Professor Xavier, her world becomes more menacing, but whenever she encounters the Hellfire Club, things become brighter. After one door, Sage relives being a terrified little girl being found by Professor Xavier on the street. After another, she relives being trained by him to become a spy. Sage only finds relief when she opens a door leading to the Hellfire and her old life. Through this illusion, Shaw plans to brainwash Sage back into his thrall.
In Surfer’s Paradise, Davis wonders if he’s a mutant like his sister, but Heather finds that idea foolish since Davis had never displayed any superpowers before. Davis feels useless compared to his sister and the X-Men. Storm and Thunderbird arrive and the Camerons see them wearing their X-Men uniforms for the first time. Heather tells the X-Men that she still cares nothing for her father, but she wants to stop the gang war and save lives. Heather also gives herself a codename, saying “I’m Lifeguard.” Storm and Thunderbird fly into the air, carrying Lifeguard and Davis. Thunderbird asks Lifeguard about her powers and she replies that she seems “able to do whatever’s necessary, depending on the situation.”
Meanwhile, Rogue flies toward X-Men’s hotel room, carrying Gambit and Red Lotus. Rogue tries to contact Sage through her glasses, informing that she plans to convince Red Lotus of the X-Men’s innocence. Once they reach their destination, Sebastian Shaw and Lady Mastermind are waiting for them. Shaw surprises Rogue and punches her so hard, the impact sends her rocketing through several rooms until she bursts from the other side of the building. Rogue quickly recoils from the punch and counterattacks, but her efforts are useless. Shaw’s power to absorb kinetic energy makes him stronger every time he’s hit, and he overpowers Rogue. Gambit and Red Lotus join the fight, but Shaw and Lady Mastermind force them to retreat. Red Lotus grabs Gambit and leaps from an open window, seemingly killing them both as they plunge several stories to the ground. Inside the hotel suite, Rogue becomes another victim of Lady Mastermind’s illusions. Rogue finds herself in a bed with Gambit and the two of them kiss. Just then Thunderbird stumbles in on them and collapses, bleeding severely. Then Vargas emerges with a pile of dead X-Men at his feet. He rubs Rogue’s face in how he killed Psylocke and severely injured the Beast. Vargas promises to kill Gambit and deems Rogue unworthy to hunt before he leaves her with the lifeless bodies of her teammates. Outside of the illusion, Lady Mastermind and Shaw gloat over how easy Rogue is to fool. They intend to use Rogue’s deepest fears to brainwash her into killing the remaining crimelords so Shaw can assume power over the Australian underworld. Lady Mastermind assures Shaw that she can control Rogue with her incredible illusions.
Outside, Gambit and Red Lotus continue falling to the ground. Gambit panics, but Red Lotus has no fear as he uses his considerable physical prowess to bounce and leap from surface to surface as they descend, saving them from certain doom. Once they (almost) safely reach the ground, Gambit tells Red Lotus that Sebastian Shaw and Lady Mastermind are probably the culprits behind the deaths of Gow Yang and the other crimelords. Gambit looks up and sees a small plane fly away from the X-Men’s hotel suite. Shaw and Lady Mastermind have plans and now they have both Rogue and Sage as pawns in their deadly game. To stop his enemies and save his friends, Gambit asks Red Lotus for help and Red Lotus agrees with a handshake.

Characters Involved: 

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

Gambit, former X-Man / ally

Heather Cameron / Lifeguard

Davis Cameron

Inspector Bill Menzies

Inspector Teri Baltimore

Red Lotus

The Boxers

Sebastian Shaw

Lady Mastermind

Story Notes: 

First appearance of Teri Baltimore.

Issue Information: 

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