X-Treme X-Men (1st series) #8

Issue Date: 
February 2002
Story Title: 
Boomerang ! (What Goes Around, Comes Around)

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

Brief Description: 

Various plot threads start tying together as the X-Treme X-Men unravel Sebastian Shaw’s plan to become king of the Australian underworld. Gambit searches for Rogue, but he still manages to make time for other damsels in distress on his way. Bishop and Teri Baltimore round up a large band of criminals. Rogue continues to serve as a manipulated weapon of destruction while Lady Mastermind uses her to savagely attack the rest of the X-Men. After nearly killing Storm, Rogue tries to destroy the rest of her teammates believing them to be the team’s enemy Vargas. Once Thunderbird defeats Lady Mastermind, her illusion weakens and Rogue regains her sense of reality just in time to stop herself from killing the people she cares about. Red Lotus fights Sebastian Shaw to a standstill in a valiant effort to rescue Sage, but it may take a miracle to save Sage’s mind, as she trapped in Lady Mastermind’s illusionary world.

Full Summary: 

In a hurry, Gambit emerges from a dark alley and finds himself amidst the crowded hustle and bustle of the Sydney nightlife. He calms down a bit and casually walks down the street as people go about their business. A young woman stumbles into him and Gambit strokes her face, seeing a red welt on her cheek. Then a burly man, probably her abusive boyfriend, emerges from the crowd, glowering angrily at Gambit. The man tries to punch him, but Gambit evades and trips him with his staff. Then Gambit uses his staff to pin the man to the ground where he fell. A bus full of Boxers approaches, prompting Gambit to toss a small deck of charged playing cards in their direction. The cards strike the bus and detonate with incredible explosive energy. While he continues to pin the burly man with his staff, Gambit kisses the young woman, who’s grateful he came along when he did. Gambit races off into the night as police arrive to pick up the pieces.
Elsewhere, Bishop and Teri Baltimore conduct police business inside a downtown Victorian gentlemen’s club. With stone cold professionalism, the two of them flash their badges, much to the chagrin of the crowd of gangsters surrounding them.
Meanwhile, a teary-eyed Rogue soars through the night sky carrying Lady Mastermind, whom she thinks is Gambit. Lady Mastermind has taken hold of Rogue’s mind, causing her to suffer from a sophisticated illusion. Rogue thinks she’s wearing her X-Men uniform and her X-Treme sunglasses. In reality, Rogue is still dressed as a geisha girl (she obtained the dress in #5) and Lady Mastermind is the one wearing the X-Treme sunglasses. Due to her illusions, Rogue still thinks that Vargas slaughtered her teammates.
In the X-Men’s hotel suite, Red Lotus tries to rescue Sage from Sebastian Shaw’s clutches. Shaw has stolen Sage’s X-Treme sunglasses, which he wears while he holds her. Sage stares blankly into nothingness. After last issue, Sage is lost in a sea of confusion trapped in Lady Mastermind’s illusory world of psychological deception. Red Lotus uses his blinding speed and martial arts skill to attack Shaw, knocking the X-Treme sunglasses from his face and forcing Shaw to release Sage. Sage falls to the floor and Shaw fights Red Lotus.
Meanwhile, Storm, Thunderbird, and their companions fly toward their hotel suite. Storm carries Davis Cameron and Thunderbird carries Heather Cameron, a.k.a. Lifeguard. Rogue soars by and spots the group. Because of Lady Mastermind’s illusion, instead of her friends, Rogue thinks she sees Vargas and his henchmen. Rogue drops Lady Mastermind, whom she still thinks is Gambit, off on a building rooftop. Then she rockets toward her teammates, ready to bring down the Wrath of God upon them. She slams into her targets and the impact forces the X-Men to release the Camerons, who fall to the ground. Thunderbird swoops down and catches Davis while Heather’s mutant powers activate: her skin transforms into gold and wings sprout from her back, allowing her to fly on her own. Storm fires a lightning bolt at Rogue in defense. Unfazed by the energy, Rogue heads toward her like a human bullet. Lifeguard flies between them to save Storm and takes the brunt of the impact when Rogue hits them. Storm and Lifeguard crash into a building.
Rogue flies back to the rooftop where she thinks she left Gambit, unknown that she still perceives the world through an illusion. She lands and sees Gambit lying in a pool of blood. Rogue takes him into her arms and spots Vargas standing in a balcony in a nearby building. Rogue instantly believes that Vargas was behind the attack on Gambit and leaps toward him. Everything Rogue has just seen and experienced has been completely false, an illusion. Bishop stands on a balcony of the Victorian gentlemen’s club. He’s startled to see Rogue heading toward him like an airborne torpedo. Rogue thinks Bishop is Vargas, and she intends to punish him. Downstairs, Teri Baltimore escorts a group of mobsters through a hallway, conducting her police business. A deadly squadron of Boxers awaits Teri and the criminals she’s arrested. She hears gunshots as Bishop fires repeatedly at Rogue, who zooms toward him with deadly intent.
Red Lotus continues to fight Sebastian Shaw in the X-Men’s hotel suite. He tries to go for Shaw’s pressure points and weak spots.
In the gentlemen’s club, the real Gambit crashes through a window just as the Boxers engage in a fire fight with the mobsters they intended to kill. Upstairs, Rogue rams into Bishop and the two of them crash into a wall. Teri fires her gun at Rogue, which does no good. Rogue looks around and, instead of Boxers and mobsters, she sees several incarnations of Vargas.
On the rooftop of the nearby building, Lady Mastermind watches the whole scene, still masquerading as Gambit. Davis Cameron tries to sneak up behind her, but Lady Mastermind traps him in her illusion. Soon Davis thinks he’s been shackled. Thunderbird arrives to save the day, firing a beam of solar plasma at Lady Mastermind, which hits the rooftop floor in front of her and detonates.
Rogue continues her rampage through the Victorian gentlemen’s club, punishing all who stand before her. She holds Teri by the throat, believing the woman is Vargas. Gambit taps Rogue on the shoulder, shifting her attention to him. She releases Teri and attacks Gambit. As Rogue hammers away, Lady Mastermind’s illusion fades and loses power. Soon Rogue realizes that Gambit is the person she’s trying to kill, not Vargas. Rogue ceases her attack and hugs Gambit while Bishop tends to Teri.
From the balcony of the X-Men’s hotel suite, Red Lotus gazes through a pair of X-Treme sunglasses. Near him is a giant hole in the wall and Shaw is nowhere to be found, so apparenty Red Lotus has defeated him and thrown him through the wall. Inside the suite, Sage stands like a lobotomized mental patient, staring into space, still trapped in Lady Mastermind’s illusion.

Characters Involved: 

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

Gambit, former X-Man / ally


Davis Cameron

Inspector Teri Baltimore

Red Lotus

The Boxers

Sebastian Shaw

Lady Mastermind

Story Notes: 

The issue is part of Marvel’s ‘Nuff Said silent month. There is no dialogue or thought bubble in the entire story.
In the fifth panel on the very last page of this issue, it appears that Gambit and Rogue are kissing. They shouldn’t be able to do that without Rogue knocking Gambit unconscious and absorbing his powers and memories.

Issue Information: 

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