Chamber #4

Issue Date: 
January 2003
Story Title: 
The Hollow Man - conclusion

Brian K. Vaughn (writer), Lee Ferguson (penciler), Norm Rapmund (inker), Jose Villarrubia (colorist), Dave Sharpe (letterer), Nova Ren Suma (assistant editor), Mike Raicht (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Bill Jemas (president)

Brief Description: 

Chamber discovers the attack on the mutant/ human peace group was caused from within the group. Alex, Gigi’s recently deceased boyfriend had the exact same power as Chamber, but less control. He finds out that when his power manifested, it blew up the entire group, except for Gigi who covered the accident up by claiming it was a bomb attack on mutants. Coming to this conclusion a little too late, Chamber finds Gigi holding Amber at gunpoint, as she had uncovered the truth herself and approached Gigi about it. After it dons on Chamber that Amber is a shape-shifter, he communicates to her to shift into Alex’s form to throw Gigi off. It works just for a second, which is all Chamber needs to use his kinetic blast on her. They turn Gigi in, and Chamber and Amber have a falling out, caused by the fact that he trusted Gigi because she was beautiful but never recognized Amber’s inner beauty. One month later, Gigi is sentenced to therapy, while ESU closes it’s mutant program. However they sign up for a special exchange program with Xavier’s school, Chamber’s roommate Walter agrees to be the first human student at Xavier’s. In return Amber is allowed to continue her classes at Empire State. Cyclops is proud of the good work Chamber did on his solo mission, and offers a higher place on the team. However Chamber declines, and decides to take a leave of absence from the team. He wants to devote his time more to the school than the battlefield. The mission showed him that he still has a lot to learn.

Full Summary: 

At Empire University, Chamber blasts his way through Amber’s dorm door. He screams out her name in search for her. Noticing the room is empty, he calls out once more, quieter, and apologizes for the damage to the door. From behind him a voice demands to know what the hell he’s doing. He turns around a woman in her night clothes, who is taken aback, and stares at the energy signature erupting from his face.

He calms her, telling her it is okay, like Amber, he is a mutant. Chamber informs her of his search, and how she was supposed to be here, studying with a friend. Still slightly shaken, the woman reports she hasn’t seen Amber all night. Jono suggests perhaps her roommate might know where she could be, however the woman hasn’t a clue what he’s talking about, as Amber doesn’t have a roommate.

Not believing her, he questions what she is even talking about. Amber’s roommate is an attractive human girl, he has seen her. She informs him of her position as Amber’s RA, and almost ashamed to say it, she tells him they couldn’t find a human girl who would want to room with, well you know. Challengingly calling her mad, he makes his way to the door where her roommate stays, opens it, and to his surprise finds a closet instead. Thrown off a little, he starts out the door. She tries to stop him to find out what this is all about, but he’s already on his way back to his own dorm room.

His roommate Walter, who is used to seeing him in bandages covering his energy signature, asks what has happened to him. Not answering his question, Chamber asks a favor of calling for help, as he is in an emergency situation. Ever holding a grudge with everything, Walter cockily tells him to do it himself, pointing towards the phone. Chamber telepathically screams he doesn’t have a “bloody mouth!” He lunges towards him, with his bio-kinetic energy spewing out towards Walter blinding him slightly. Walter looks in awe, and replies “oh”.

Standing away from his roommate, Jono admits he’s sorry. He explains his communication is telepathy. As he is a very weak telepath, his projection distance is very limited. Acknowledging this, Walter asks who he wants to call. Chamber tells him Xavier’s School in Westchester. Walter looks at him in disbelief, claiming the school is some sort of terrorist training camp. Chamber tells him the X-Men are not terrorists, but of course that leaves another question, how does he know. Jono tells Walter he is one of the X-Men, known to his teammates as Chamber. Looking slightly disgusted, Walter asks if he is serious.

Chamber informs him of his true purpose at ESU, to come in undercover, discover the killer of the Students For Tolerance group. He admits he might already know who the killer is. Walter, of course, asks who it is. But Chamber tells him it is complicated. He needs him to get in touch with someone called Cyclops to activate something called Cerebra and locate Amber. Walter knows Amber, and he had just seen her awhile ago. She was on the third floor of the new student center with that Asian chick whose boyfriend died in the explosion. Gigi, Chamber notes, thanking him and running out the door. Walter tells him to be careful.

The office for The Students For Tolerance has a sign that reads all are welcome. It is guarded by Gigi’s two very built bodyguards. Chamber tells them he needs to see Gigi. They tell him they’ve been over this before, nobody gets past the Kovalski twins without an appointment. Pointing up at one of the twins, Chamber gives them one warning, a girl’s life is in danger inside there. They tell him the last time security was weak, their office was bombed. Before he can finish his sentence about taking chances, Chamber tells him they had their warning. With a huge bio kinetic blast firing from him, the guards are knocked out. He apologizes in advance for their future headaches. He wishes they could have done all this like Gandhi, but “time’s of the bleedin’ essence”.

He enters the room and screams “Gigi, No !” Gigi has Amber at gunpoint. She quickly grabs Amber, pointing the gun at him, demanding he stays back. Chamber tries to calm her, telling they are all friends here. He asks Amber how she is. As Amber admits she’s been better, her completely red eyes look at the gun pointed at her head. Gigi tries to assure him it’s not what it looks like. Chamber asks really, telling her it looks exactly like the gun she used to shoot him, unless that was someone else as well. Gigi confesses to being the one who shot him, but she admits her intent was to scare him, not to kill him. Chamber offers the idea for her to scare him off before he stumbled on to the truth. He recalls Amber and him discovering the “bombing” was caused by a mutant with powers similar to his own. According to the Magnetic North, the description of power only fits one other person, her dearly departed boyfriend, Alex.

Chamber continues his accusation, when Gigi first met Chamber, she let it slip that her boyfriend communicated just like he did, telepathically. While he admits, he should have figured it all out sooner, the gang down at CBGB’s told him Alex used to go down to the club and show off his bio-kinetic powers he was developing. It turned out telepathy wasn’t the only power he and Chamber had in common, as Alex was discovering he could discharge bio-kinetic energy as well. Though, while Chamber uses his power to help people, Alex used his to kill five others before offing himself. Amber sighs upset as Gigi screams he doesn’t understand. He admits she’s right, he doesn’t understand why Alex would murder innocent people, and why she would try so hard to cover it up. Looking saddened at the ground, she confesses Alex didn’t murder those people, at least not intentionally.


Alex’s new powers manifested right after they had formed The Students for Tolerance. It was exciting as well as scary, since they seemed to be growing. Alex feared his power might accidentally hurt someone, and none of his mutant friends had experience with power of that magnitude. He could only turn to The Magnetic North, but even they couldn’t give him all the answers he needed. As his powers grew worse, they called for an emergency meeting of the senior members of SFT, and Gigi was the only human there that night. At one point Alex’s powers grew so out of control he made Gigi hide, while the others tried to control the energy emerging from his body. Alex’s powers weren’t just kind of like Jono’s.... They were exactly like his. But instead of tearing a hole in himself the way Chamber did, he let his power simmer for years. In the end, he did blown up an entire room full of his friends.


This was all an accident, Chamber sums up, asking why Gigi told the authorities that a bomb caused the explosion? Still holding the gun to Amber’s head, Gigi tells if the public ever found out the truth, it would only reinforce the stereo-type that mutants are dangerous. ESU’s affirmative action program, the progress they had made, would all be over. Gigi figured she could make the accident look like murder, Amber adds. Placing the blame on mutant haters, and let her dead boyfriend and friends further the cause as martyrs.

Gigi admits it and continues that she knew Amber was on to her, so she brought her here, to tell her everything. She’d thought Amber would support her, and maybe convince Chamber to quit trying to dig up answers. Amber adds as soon as she told her she was going straight to the administration, Gigi went all Robert Blake on her. Gigi claims she wasn’t going to shoot her, just keep her here long enough to convince her that she was only trying to do the best thing for mutant-kind. Amber tells her she better be ready for a long night, because she will never believe that her lies are right for anyone. “Amber”, Jono calls out telepathically. Grabbing Amber closer, Gigi warns that’s she’s been left with no choice then. The gun clicks and a look of fear comes over Amber’s face.

Chamber tries to stop Gigi, but she threatens a bullet to the chest might not kill him, but a bullet to the brain should. She’s had a gun since receiving all of her death threats, and she’s become an excellent shot. If he tells the police what happened, then schools will close their doors on mutants forever. He tells her she may be right, but secretly he also communicates with Amber. He tries to distract Gigi while he splits his telepathy in two conversations at once, something he never tried before. He needs Amber’s powers to help him. Jono tells her to focus on the picture on the wall behind him and leave the talking to him.

Gigi tells him all Alex and her wanted was higher education for mutants. A voice talks to her from inside her mind, and when she looks at where Amber was, her deceased boyfriend is there. He tells her to put the gun down. Gigi relaxes her grip, and asks why isn’t he dead. Alex answers her he came back to stop her from becoming everything they hated. He caresses her face, and tells her they cannot achieve their goals through violence. A tear falls down Gigi’s face, but when she starts to talk, she notices a change in Alex’s face.

Amber starts to loose concentration on her shape-shift Alex form. Gigi realizes it was all a trick and it was only Chamber’s voice she heard inside her mind. She points the gun at him, but not before he blasts her with his kinetic blast, now that Amber is out of harm’s way. Gigi screams out and falls to the ground. Concerned Amber asks if she’s dead. Chamber tells her she’s just unconscious, she’s be fine, so to speak. Jono tells her she was brilliant, but she wonders how he knew she was a shape-shifter. He confesses her “room-mate” gave it away. He figured they were never in the same place at the same time, always in each other’s bed, and wearing the same clothes. He figured she was just her girlfriend, the shape-shifting thought didn’t come to him until tonight.

Amber reveals her parents told her she mostly shape-shifts in her sleep. She guesses she dreams about looking like that and once more shifts to the beautiful blonde human girl. When awake, she needs to be super-relaxed to take form, and she’s never tried it under such pressure. He asks why she never told him what she could do, that she was so magnificent. Amber slaps him hard across the face. That is why she never told him. She had given him plenty of opportunities to see and like the real her, not this figment. She thought of all people, he could see the inner beauty of people. He tries to calm her, but she continues. He trusts people who are beautiful - while he fell for Gigi, he only pushed Amber away. He tells her it’s not true, but she notices his voice doesn’t sound so sure. She tells him she knows he’s a good guy and that she’s grateful for him risking his life for her, but she never wants to see him again.

(one month later)

At the Xavier Institute, Chamber stares out his window. He sees Cain Marko playing football with younger students Carter, Sammy and Nicholas. A voice from behind him asks if he can come in. Jono says hello to Scott Summers, aka Cyclops of the X-Men. Scott tells him Gigi was sentenced today, but as long as she gets therapy, she will not serve any time. Chamber replies of course not. Obstruction of Justice, kidnapping, and assault only count if you’re a mutant. Scott had thought he would be relieved as his report said she was a good person who only made bad decisions after a terrible tragedy. Chamber admits it’s not really her, he’s upset at himself.

While he knows his mission was a good one, ESU used Alex’s accident to “temporarily” stop accepting openly mutant students. Cyclops admits he’s not sure that is such a bad decision. Upset Chamber wants to know how he could say that. Does he want segregation? Looking down, Cyclops answers no, but there’s no denying some mutants are dangerous. If Alex had been trained at Xavier’s, those students might all be alive today. While the University tried to accomplish too much too quickly, they need to take baby steps first. Chamber adds if they make their steps any smaller, they’ll be crawling. A voice entering the room adds, or rolling. He turns around to find Walter being pushed into the room by Molly, a mutant with tentacles.

Shocked to find his old ESU roommate here, Chamber asks what he’s doing here? Walter tells him he has just enrolled at Xavier’s. While he is human, Walter agreed to be part of the new pilot program with Empire state. He’s the very first exchange student. Still in shock, Chamber thought he was the one who thought of this school as a terrorist cell. Walter admits that any school that can produce Chamber can’t be that bad, besides how could he pass down studying chemistry under Hank McCoy? Cyclops admits maybe Walter will provide a new outlook on their classrooms, and leave here with a new outlook on mutants. With that, Molly takes Walter on a tour of the faculties. On their way out, Walter asks how wheelchair access is in this school. Molly jokingly asks if he knows who founded the school?

Once thy are out of sight, Chamber asks about the exchange program, and if that means that ESU will still enroll a few mutants. Cyclops explains that for now they are letting one complete her studies, showing him a picture. Amber, Jono recognizes her and admits they were once friends. She is an exemplary student, and their people vetted that she will not pose a threat with her power. Chamber tells him she wouldn’t hurt anyone, and you couldn’t ask for a better ambassador to humanity. Cyclops offers she seems like a lovely woman, and Chamber agrees that she sure is.

Putting his hand on his shoulder Cyclops tells Chamber he has proved his worth in field, and for his next mission, they’ve decided to let him lead. Chamber cuts him off before he finishes. With Scott’s permission, Jono wants to take a leave from the team, to devote his time here at the school. Cyclops recalls the conversation where he said he didn’t want to be “teacher’s assistant”. However, with this past assignment, Chamber has come to the decision that he belongs in the classroom, not the trenches. More importantly, he says, looking into a mirror, “ I still have a lot to learn.”

Characters Involved: 

Chamber, Cyclops (both X-Men)


Carter Ghazikhanian, Nicholas Gleason, Molly, Squidboy (all students at Xavier’s School)


Walter, Chamber’s roommate

Gigi Martin (Students for Tolerance)

Kovalski twins, Gigi’s bodyguards

other students

in flashback:

Gigi Martin, Alex and other mutants (all Students for Tolerance)

Neutrino Annihilator, other mutants (all Magnetic North)

Story Notes: 

Chamber was shot by an unknown attacker in Chamber #1, who this issues turns out to have been Gigi.

For years Professor Xavier was confined to a wheelchair so Walter shouldn’t have any problems getting around in the mansion.

Nicolas Gleason next appears in Exiles #28-29.

Issue Information: 
Written By: