X-Men (3rd series) #23

Issue Date: 
March 2012
Story Title: 

Victor Gischler (writer), Will Conrad (penciler & inker) Chris Sotomayor (colorist), VC’s Joe Caramagna (letterer), Adi Granov (cover), Jordan D. White (assistant editor), Daniel Ketchum (associate editor), Nick Lowe (editor), Axel Alonso (editor in chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

The battle against the Symkarian-bound Sentinels continues. The three heroes do their best, but can’t hold them off much longer. As the breaking point nears Governor Strelonivich is pleased, but Nobakov tries arresting her and gets handcuffed for his troubles. Soon, the rest of the X-Men find their way to the War Room and take care of the security forces. After connecting with Madison Jeffries they figure Dr. Kamarofski can shut down the Sentinels, but Strelonivich guns him down. With no other options Madison runs through everything with Psylocke and the Sentinels are deactivated. Just in time, too, as Storm was about to be fried. With the threat ended, repairs and clean-up are soon made, General Nobokov is installed as the new leader of Puternicstan and the former governor is put behind bars. The only question remaining is what happened to Jubilee. The X-Men don’t know it, but she was met by Raizo Kodo and the Forgiven who want to help teach her about the path she’s taken as a vampire.

Full Summary: 

The stress on her powers of creating and maintaining the powerful hurricane are finally getting to Storm. Dripping with sarcasm, she tells War Machine and Colossus they can jump in any time.
It’s not like they weren’t going to just hang out and watch. They were actually in the middle of a plan of their own. War Machine just wants to make sure Colossus is ok with it; they’re dealing with a Cat 5 hurricane and 171 mph winds after all. Just do it, the Russian-born behemoth tells him.
And with permission given, War Machine throws Colossus into the center of the fury. As he sails toward the Sentinel armada the Juggernaut armor coalesces around him. He connects with the neck of one of the metal giants and begins tearing away at the panels. Once he has access, he enters through the back of the head and comes bursting out through the face. With that Sentinel trashed, Colossus leaps onto another one.
War Room

The Sentinels’ progress has been halted just shy of the Symkarian border. This infuriates the governor and she demands a solution. She wants the X-Men destroyed and the Sentinels back on their way to Symkaria.
A solution is going to have to wait as Nobakov has finally had enough of his country’s blood-thirsty leader. He bursts into the room with a few of his troops at his back. He says he won’t allow the madness to continue and orders Strelonivich arrested. Unfortunately, she had planned for just such an occasion and her own special troops are ready and willing to put Nobakov’s men down.
His men dead, Nobakov slumps to his knees and accuses the governor of not doing what’s good for the nation. He calls her actions a sick revenge. Strelonivich doesn’t respond to his accusations. She just tells him to put his hands behind his head, threatening to have her men put a bullet in him too.
Doing as he’s told, Nobakov places his hands behind his head. He asks Strenolivich where it all went wrong. Once again, she doesn’t answer him, but says he’s going to sit there and watch it all go down. Maybe, she opines, he’ll believe in Puternicstan again. The scowl on his face as he’s handcuffed says otherwise.
“I have always believed in Puternicstan. It’s the endless cycle of blood in which I have no belief,” he retorts from his position on the floor. I’m too old, he continues, to take part in any more wars. In her defense, Strelonivich says she’s going to stop the wars… with one swift stroke.

The ground-bound X-Men have Goran in the middle of their little pow-wow. With a gun pointed at his head, courtesy of Domino, he’s told to start spilling his guts. He begs and pleads, saying he’s a low-level tech. Warpath interjects and asks what they’re going to do about Jubilee who’s out Sentinel surfing. She’s on her own, Psylocke replies, besides, they have a different job to do.
Since the interrogation is taking too long Psylocke cuts to the chase and slides her psychic knife into Goran’s head. It doesn’t take long for her to discover the existence and location of the War Room, the Sentinel control center. The team departs immediately, keeping poor Goran with them.
near the Symkarian border

War Machine and Colossus continue their fight against the Sentinels. Though they realize their efforts are having a minimal impact, they continue to fight the good fight in the hopes Psylocke can get things done on her end.
Colossus is going to town one such Sentinel when one flies in behind him and bashes him with an overhand right. The metal mutant is sent flying, and unable to fly himself, descends rapidly toward the ground. War Machine, who was providing cover from above, dives straight for him. So focused is Rhodey on his rescue attempt that he’s nailed by another Sentinel’s repulsor fire.
War Room

With the battle taking a drastic turn for the X-Men the morale is high in the War Room. Kamarofski tells the governor he will immediately reprogram the Sentinels to attack Symkaria after the X-Men are dead.
Nobakov begs for them to listen to him one more time. He wonders aloud who will come next after they defeat the X-Men, listing the Avengers, the Defenders and NATO as candidates. He believes this course of action will only lead to disaster. The governor brushes him off saying NATO will accept the peace, the stability, this will provide.
Gunfire erupts from outside of the room. Panic sweeps its occupants as the governor sounds the alarm. Nearby, Domino, Psylocke and Warpath are greeted by gunfire courtesy of Strenolivich’s special troops.
Kamarofski makes a break for it running at a dead heat. Nobakov isn’t about to let him go. With one quick sweep of the general’s leg Kamarofski falls flat on his face.
The X-Men make their way into the War Room and find Nobakov standing with his foot on Kamarofski’s back. He quickly fills the X-Men in on Dr. Kamarofski’s role in the Sentinel program. He even offers to help with “extracting” information from him, but Psylocke simply invades his mind.
The Sentinel system proving too complicated for Psylocke she connects with Madison in Utopia to help her understand the schematics. She asks if they can smash the control system, but Jeffries warns her bad things would happen.
near the Symkarian border

Both War Machine and Colossus are coming upon the ground very fast. Though Colossus is fully conscious, War Machine is a bit groggy from the Sentinel blast he received. Piotr yells for Rhodey to get it together as only he will survive the impact. War Machine is able to gather himself just in time. A mere ten feet above the ground he makes a miraculous 90 degree turn and jets out of there. Colossus, on the other hand, smashes into the earth with a WHA-POOM.
Up above, Jubilee is still riding one of her bucking Sentinels. She offers a prayer for Colossus’ sake, hoping it doesn’t burn her vampire-self in the process, and then pries open another panel. She finds some machinery inside and messes with what she believes is the thruster. One of the Sentinel’s boot jets sputters out. It causes the Sentinel to veer left and crash into one of his buddies.
Jubilee has no choice but to ride this one out. Her Sentinel’s head is now on fire and headed straight for a small hilltop. The robot crashes and explodes, but Jubilee safely leaps off in time, barely hurt in the process. However, she’s not alone. Four shadowy figures are standing there waiting for her. Their leader, Raizo Kodo, tells her they’ve been watching her and want to help. “We want to show you a whole new world,” he says smiling.
War Room

Define bad, Psylocke asks of the X-Men’s resident techno-wizard. Basically, Madison answers, if they destroyed the programming console the Sentinels would go back to being mutant hunting machines. It wouldn’t do anything to help stop them. Instead, they need to send a coded shutdown command the Sentinels will accept.
Psylocke ends the signal and turns to face Dr. Kamarofski. She orders him to send a shutdown command, threatening to hurt him if he doesn’t comply. Though he cockily points out heroes don’t resort to torture, he claims to be no patriot and asks them to remember this if he’s ever put in front of a tribunal.
Up until this point nobody’s suggested the X-Men find the leader of the whole Sentinel conspiracy, Governor Strelonivich. Upon hearing her top scientist’s traitorous words the cold-blooded woman rushes out of her hiding spot and puts three slugs in his back. Kamarofski cracks his head on the floor as his body collapses to the ground. It’s too late, but Domino subdues the governor with a pistol whip to the back of her head. Psylocke quickly connects with Madison again and tells him he’s got to figure out another way fast.
near the Symkarian border

The Sentinel army is still caught in the hurricane, but Storm isn’t sure how much longer she can keep things up. As a Sentinel closes in on her position she gets a timely assist from Colossus who happens to be back in the fight and doing what he does best, causing damage.
Soon, though, the three of them find themselves overwhelmed and surrounded. One of the Sentinels swoops in and snatches Storm out of the sky. She cries out to Betsy to hurry and do whatever she can.
War Room

Psylocke responds that Madison’s in her head and they’re sending the code now.
near the Symkarian border

Just as the Sentinel’s eyes light up, ready to fry Ororo to a crisp, its hand suddenly relaxes and releases her. Then, all of the Sentinels drop out of the sky, their functions ceasing to operate. Psylocke asks for a status report and Storm happily reports that it worked.
Storm and crew drop down to the ground to survey the Sentinel damage. They’re trashed and not going to be a problem anymore. She tells Psylocke all of this, but then realizes Jubilee is missing.
Days later, military construction vehicles dot the landscape. NATO soldiers are about as well, overseeing the Sentinel clean-up process.
U.N. building

General Nobakov, the newly installed leader of Puternicstan, takes the stand.
Puternicstan jail
Strelonivich stands near the bars to her cell, a look of defiance and hate on her face.

Cyclops and Storm are back in the same room as her original debriefing. She fills Scott in on all the developments in Puternicstan and tells him War Machine and the U.N. will continue to monitor the region.
Arms crossed, sitting in his chair, Scott asks after the one loose end she has left, Jubilee. She looks disgusted with herself, but tells Scott they searched for hours with no sign or clue of what happened to her. He asks if her team is ready and she says they’re leaving immediately. Getting up from his seat, Scott asks when they’ll be back. However long it takes to find her, ‘Ro replies. And with that said, she walks out.

Characters Involved: 

Colossus, Cyclops, Domino, Madison Jeffries, Jubilee, Psylocke, Storm, Warpath (all X-Men)

War Machine
Raizo Kodo, Nighteyes, Quickshot, Visigoth (all Forgiven)
Dr. Kamarofski

General Nobakov

Governor Strelonivich

Goran (coroner)


Story Notes: 

How does General Nobakov know about the secret team of Defenders? The only publicly known Defenders team was the New Jersey Initiative team, and I doubt Nobakov is referring to them. He must have seen Dollar Bill’s Defenders documentary, which was broadcast to the public way back in Defenders (1st series) #62.

Issue Information: 
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