Years of Future Past #2

Issue Date: 
August 2015
Story Title: 

Marguerite Bennett (writer), Mike Norton (art), FCO Plascenia (colorist), VC’s Joe Caramagna (letterer), Art Adams & Peter Steigerwald (cover artists), Mike Norton & FCO Plascenia (variant cover), Christina Harrington (assistant editor), Katie Kubert (editor), Mike Marts (executive editor), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

With the exception of Rachel, the other mutants flee into the sewers which take them to Centrum, a secret place led by Angel where mutants are still safe. Cameron and Chrissie discuss how unreal the situation is for them and Colossus explains to them how easy it is to dehumanize others. They see a news report that manages to distort their recent heroic actions as mutant-on-mutant violence. Soon, Centrum is attacked by the new Doom Sentinels and Kate takes the kids to Centrum’s last safeguard, her dragon Lockheed, who has become huge. In the meantime, Rachel breaks Storm out of the Baxter Building.

Full Summary: 

Chrissie’s memories:
The first thing she remembers is her mother. She was reading to her from a book. They were already in the camp.

Cameron’s memories:
The first thing he remembers is his father Wolverine. They were outside in the cold. He was telling him a story of war.

Chrissie’s memories:
Her dad was with them, her aunts (Storm and Rachel) and her uncle (Magneto), though some of them are gone now.

Cameron’s memories:
He asked about his mother but his dad said she couldn’t be with them and that he couldn’t ask about her anymore.

Chrissie’s memories:
They taught her science and history and philosophy and art.

Cameron’s memories:
He taught him hunting and fighting and killing, and always survival.

For Chrissie home was the base. For Cameron, home was the street. She was safe but never free. He was free but never safe.

She was on a fetch mission for the military base and he was scouting for food to trade in Centrum when they first met. Logan was angry and told Cameron to forget her.

Is he real? Chrissie asked. He likes Tupac better than Biggie, if that’s what she means, he replied nervously. Chrissie didn’t get the reference. She wondered about him being only one to two years older. She’d never met another young mutant. And he hadn’t met a wide range of fifteen year olds with crossbows. Clearly, they should both get out more.

This wasn’t about love but, when they met, they thought for the first time maybe things could change.

The X-Men and Mystique flee from a Sentinel that is currently focusing on Magneto and Mystique. Logan orders them all into the sewers. And they follow. The tunnels are flooded but Centrum’s dead ahead, he announces. They’ll deal with the rest later.

Chrissie addresses Cameron about what he did to the Blob, a fellow mutant. He explains his mutation is merging. He can merge into anything and come out at any point, so long as it’s still part of the makeup of the original object. Enter a root and come out a branch. Enter a roof and come out the basement. Enter a person, Chrissie continues, and cut your way out of his stomach.

Kate joins them and explains his power doesn’t frighten Chrissie but what he chose to do with it. Mystique tells Kate not to moralize. She sold them to the humans! Fifteen years they lived in that base, fed and protected while she and Blob were their experiments! None of which means he gets to play Hannibal Lecter in a leotard, Logan snaps. And none of the X-Men had jack to do with them getting nabbed.

Chrissie gets between them. There are so few of them, this violence of mutant against mutant must end! Cameron tried to save the civilians and them. But this violence must stop! They must work together. They must not do any more harm.

The others look at each other silently. They hear a grumbling noise above and figure the Sentinels know they are below.

Upstairs, Rachel sees one Sentinel flying by. She telekinetically takes out the human mutant hunters, wondering in a world without electricity what is powering the Sentinels.

She gets her answer when she enters the Sentinels’ HQ and finds that Storm is used to create the energy. Rachel takes out the human guards and frees Ororo, who helps her destroy the equipment, after which they fly off.

The sewers:
In a boat, the fugitives are traveling to Centrum. Chrissie and Cameron are in the last row. Cameron wants to talk to her about what she said. She explains her mom said the young people would have to step up. It’s going to be their world to inherit and shape. Her mother’s generation turned the world into this, and it’s going to be up to their generation to turn it into something better.

He asks if she knows what body counts their parents attached to their names. His father alone… And he sees her going back and forth with Magneto like it’s nothing. He’s a super-villain! She’s only ever known him as her uncle who taught her science and languages, Chrissie explains.

Cameron tells her that her mom is wrong about this. They are the last mutants ever born. There isn’t going to be a new generation for them. They are all they’ve got. This is all they’ve got.

They’ve arrived at Centrum and are greeted by Angel. He welcomes Kate and Peter, and tells them the Sentinels can’t find Centrum yet. Kate introduces the kids and stumbles shortly when she introduces Cameron as Wolverine’s son. Angel replies Cameron is an old friend. There are few better hunters and he is always welcome.

Chrissie is curious about a Sentinel head. Angel explains it’s an old model. They used its genetic scanners to line the entrance tunnels. Only mutants and abnormals can come down here. He’s been sending Rachel data about what they’ve learned about their updates, hoping to put it all to good use. Kate sends the kids away as they need to make plans.

Colossus walks a bit behind them. What was that about? Cameron asks. And he was going to make a “your mom is so classless she’s a Marxist Utopia” joke he’d been saving for a month. Chrissie informs him that’s the worst pun she’s ever heard. Still she wonders why she laughs. Stress, or maybe he is funny? he suggests. Chrissie admits how dizzy she feels. She just took her collar off and came into her powers, and all the things they talked about and now they are playing for keeps. She’s scared. They all see that potential in her. She’s afraid.

Cameron trades for some jerky and shares it with her. He reminds her if they want to survive, they need a lot more than the moral high ground and a bad joke.

A joke. This all began as a joke, Colossus interjects. It always begins as a joke. One sees a parent of whom they do not approve. And their brats won’t shut up and the parents are so exhausted they let their children scream and run wild. And you say to your friends, you should have a test to breed. You should have to get licenses to have kids.

It starts as a joke. Then perhaps there is a tragedy. A postpartum mother who needed help but her insurance didn’t cover the therapy. A father who failed because he believed men are pathetic if they are the caregivers. The first tests are drafted. And you think: “Good. Those children will be safe now.”

But now anyone with mental illness, with a criminal record, is barred from becoming a parent, and you think that’s sensible. Because you’ve never known anyone like that, so who’s to tell they are not like in the stories. Sick dangerous, criminal.

Suddenly, it is anyone with diabetes or cancer because they could die and leave their children as orphans. It is deaf couples, disabled couples, interracial couples, gay couples, because don’t they know how hard they are making it for their children?

Then it is whoever they want, and one day it is you. Some gene, some history, some past behavior and suddenly you too are sick, dangerous criminal. Because the truth is human hate can adapt to anything. You think you are safe. It if someone hates you he can come up with a reason after the fact. Only then do you realize what you put into power, what you stripped away.

There is terrible power in a joke, in a story, in taking the truth and making it ugly. Do they understand?

Chrissie hugs him and tells him she does. He thought he was one for monologues, Magneto jokes. But, if they need living proof, Cameron is famous. He points to a TV screen showing Cameron killing the Blob. The news calls it a mutant terrorist attack on unarmed civilians. The report continues about mutant on mutant violence.

Magneto tells them this is their second rule of warfare: with good editing you’re the villain of any story. What was the first rule? Chrissie asks. Pick a good face for your rebellion, Magneto smiles. Are they still bent on saving Kelly after what he’s done? Cameron asks.

Mystique is working with the old Sentinel. She remembers them from before her imprisonment. The AI was more sophisticated than the current generation. Almost human. Where… are … my… the Sentinel groans. I … cannot… see.

Chrissie is shocked that it speaks. Mystique explains it was part of an experimental sequence of Sentinels, given the ability to feel far and pain. Part of a plan for Doom’s army, whether a thinking soldier was better than a machine.

Chrissie calls it torture. Yes, it’s metal, but so are she and her father. At the risk of sounding like a bitter chain-smoking old man or his father, Cameron points out this is the humanity she’s trying to save. They make machines that have more rights than their population.

Wolverine and Kate join them. Kate wants to see the data Angel and his allies found in this model. Mystique hands her the laptop. Kate remarks the virus Rachel discovered, the one set to attack Kelly; it’s very recent. Look at the code that’s used, the security it’s meant to breach. You would not have needed that a few months ago. The Sentinel was recently implanted with commands to destroy three people with a specific DNA sequence… why?

Colossus points at a program. He has seen it at the base when the soldiers didn’t know he was watching. Does she think…She thinks Kelly set them up, Kate agrees grimly. He is fabricating an attack on himself so he can blame the mutants.

All of them gather around the computer except for Cameron, who is next to the Sentinel’s head that moans to let him die. Let them come and kill them all! Cameron tries to point that out but the others don’t listen. Wolverine! he finally shouts and they listen to the Sentinel repeating, let them come and kill them all. Moments later, two of the latest Doom Sentinels tear through the ceiling. Kate grabs Cameron and Chrissie and tells Colossus to hold off the Sentinels. Magneto protects the others a forcefield and orders Mystique to not let them get the downed Sentinel. Colossus and Wolverine attack.

Kate leads the kids downward. Where is she taking them? Cameron demands. The last failsafe for Centrum, she replies. Her loan to Angel years ago. She phases them through a door into a cave and tells the huge dragon Lockheed to wake up.

Characters Involved: 

Colossus, Kate Pryde, Magneto, Rachel Grey, Storm, Wolverine (all X-Men)
Christina Pryde


Story Notes: 

Hannibal Lecter is the famous serial killer / cannibal from Thomas Harris’ novels and several films / a TV series.

“Marxist” refers to the followers of Karl Marx, the 19th century economic theorist who postulated the inevitability of a classless, communist society.

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