X-Treme X-Men (1st series) #2

Issue Date: 
August 2001
Story Title: 

Chris Claremont (writer), Salvador Larroca (penciler), (uninked), Liquid! (colors), Tom Orzechowski (letters), Matt Hicks (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Bill Jemas (president)

Brief Description: 

The five captured X-Men deal with everything that the Civil Guardia throws at them in their examining Maze, but they get separated. Rogue and Sage locate the base, and Rogue forcefully enters the ancient towers, only to find the scientists killed. She is then attacked by Vargas, who defeats her. Beast and Psylocke come to the scene, and again Vargas easily beats Hank, breaking many of his bones; only Psylocke is left standing. In the following battle Vargas kills her by running his sword though her gut. Vargas claims that she was only the first and leaves to let the rest of the team find their beaten comrades and a word written with Betsy’s blood : “PRONTO“.

Full Summary: 

The Guardia Civil watch on a video screen as the five captured X-Men fall through the floor within their Maze. Maria Pilar Cortes is still not sure about their actions, yet Diego Sandoval states that the mutants are a possible danger to the country and so they need to know the extent of their powers. After having them examined in their labs, they now need to run them through the Maze to get the full picture. However Cortes points out that they failed to capture the whole team.
Rogue swims to a beach, she escaped the army that was chassing her by diving deep into the ocean and letting the current take her to swim back to the surface at a safer place. Now exhausted, hurting and hungry, she cries out in anger and pops her claws. It makes her remember a scene not so long ago :

Rogue is about to clear a road in the Rocky Mountains that has been blocked by an avalanche. Apparently she ran away from the team, as Storm, Beast and Betsy shows up to make her come back. Rogue and Storm get into an arguement and in the heat her anger takes over and she pops her claws. Storm reacts by casting a lighting bolt in between them. Rogue realizes that she almost injured her teammate and apologizes. Storm hugs her and promises that the team will help her handle the out-of-control powers. Still Rogue questions the purpose of the mission in itself, everyone who is connected to the diaries has received nothing but grief (Destiny is dead, Mystique not really sane), and it’s starting with the X-Men too as they already had to isolate from friends and family. Beast and Psylocke say that at least they have each other, that the X-Men as a family might succeed where Destiny and Mystique alone failed.

Shortly after Rogue left, Vargas and his crew come to the place and after killing an officer of the Guardia Civil, they discover her trail.
In the Maze, Storm, Bishop, Psylopcke, Thunderbird and Neal fall into a big body of water. Bishop and Beast take some breathers from their equipment, while Storm generates an electrolysis field that povides herself, Betsy and Neal with some oxygen. Suddenly torpedos are fired on them and few attackers on aquasleds arrive. Quickly Psylocke telekinetically pushes one of them of his sled and claims it for herself, while Bishop keeps the others busy with some gunfire. Betsy realizes that the attackers must have come from somewhere and thinks that this might be a possible exit. She grabs the Beast, needing both back-up and a breather to share, and navigates the aquasled in the direction where the attackers came from. They find a locked hatch, but it’s no problem, Hank anchors Psylocke to the wall and she uses her telekinetic katana to cut the hatch out of the wall. Immediatly the water flushes out, and Hank and Betsy hug each other. Despite the danger of their situation, Betsy enjoys this kind of action.
Elsewhere in the Maze, Neal blasts a way out of the huge water tank, and it seems that everything is clear. Yet Storm senses movement in the air and right on cue an ambush team comes around the corner. She confuses them with big banks of fog while Bishop and Thunderbird shoot them with all they got. Yet after a while the troops cornered Storm, now having adapted to her weather effect, but Ororo surprises them once more by firing a gun that Bishop slipped her earlier.
Meanwhile Rogue does an arial scan of the city, backed up by Sage who down on the streets is in contact with her, while monitoring the police emergency channel. She picks up a great deal of activity near the “Los Torres de Serranos“, the ancient gateway to the city, and as Rogue checks, her sunglasses‘ sensors reveal that there is a huge complex below the towers. She simply crashes into them and reaches the labratories, but the scientists have all been killed. She wonders who could have done that and is attacked by Vargas from behind. He knocks her into a wall, and as she gets up again, he hits a certain nerve cluster that makes it hard for her to move. She still struggles, but Vergas slashes her with a sword and finally she does not get up.
Beast and Psylocke arrive and are amazed that somebody can so easily take out Rogue. Vargas welcomes them, stating that he has only come for one of the X-Men today and a second fight starts. Betsy telekinatically blasts Vargas, but he manages to evade the brunt of her attack. Beast then attacks the mysterious opponent, while Psylocke deals with Thais and Thaiis, yet Hank too is easily beaten by Vargas. The Beast takes blow after blow from Vargas, who claims that mutants are just an aberration of humanity, but now the true and pure homo sapiens superior start their era (obviously he is talking about himself). Bleeding and with several bones broken, Hank is helpless and only Betsy remains to fight. She pulls her telekinetic katana, and Vargas is handed his sword by his servants. They fight and Hank can only watch as Vargas runs his sword through Betsy’s gut. Vargas comments with : “You are the first, you will not be the last.“ When the rest of the team arrives they find Psylocke’s body arranged in Beast‘s arms (it looks like “pieta“ pictures of Maria holding the dead body of Jesus) . With Psylocke’s blood a word is written on the wall over them : “PRONTO“ (= soon / fast )

Characters Involved: 

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

Diego Sandival, commander of the Guardia Civil’s action force

Maria Pilar Cortes, Deputy Minister of State for Justice


Thais and Thaiis, Vargas’ servants

Story Notes: 
Issue Information: 

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