X-Men (2nd series) #205

Issue Date: 
January 2008
Story Title: 
Messiah Complex, chapter 5

Mike Carey (Writer), Chris Bachalo (Penciler), Tim Townsend (Inker), Brian Reber (Colorist), Cory Petit (Letterer), Will Panzo (Assistant Editor), Nick Lowe (Editor), Axel Alonso (Executive Editor), Joe Quesada (Editor-in-Chief), Dan Buckley (Publisher)

Cover A by Finch, Miki, Keith

Cover B by Campbell, Avalon Studios, Delgado

Brief Description: 

Storm, Wolverine, Colossus, Angel and Nightcrawler confront Mr Sinister and his Marauders, the Acolytes, and the traitorous X-Men (Mystique, Gambit, Sunfire and Lady Mastermind), where an all-out battle follows with the psionic presence of the White Queen, in the hopes of retrieving the mutant baby and the incapacitated Rogue. Wolverine and Gambit have a little one-on-one in which Wolverine learns that Sinister and company do not have the baby - one of the X-Men does! However, Wolverine is soon seriously injured by the Malice-possessed Omega Sentinel and is teleported away by Nightcrawler who just received injuries from Scalphunter. In the meantime, the Xavier Institute Students fought Lady Deathstrike and her Reavers, and are soon aided by Rictor. Eventually, Pixie manages to teleport everyone to safety, during which the White Queen learns of their plight, and loses her astral projection with the active team, however, she also learns that the Purifiers do not have the baby either. Iceman goes to collect the students, while two of the Sentinel Squad - Slayton and Lex - inexplicably become merged with their Sentinels, and begin battling the X-Men who are still at the Xavier Institute. Elsewhere, the X-Man that has the mutant baby is revealed to be Cable, very much alive, while in the future, Multiple Man and Layla Miller discuss how to get inside the mutant concentration camp.

Full Summary: 

New York - eighty years from now. ‘Man. Nice place’ James “Jamie” Madrox a.k.a. the Multiple Man and leader of X-Factor remarks as he looks out from where he and his companion, Layla Miller are currently residing. Layla reminds Jamie that it is a mutant internment camp, so it is not meant to be a nice place. ‘Sardonic wisecracking in the face of adversity is a hero thing. I thought you knew stuff’ Jamie replies. ‘Only stuff that isn’t ridiculous’ Layla snaps back. James declares that he needs to get in there somehow, to which Layla replies should be easy - ‘Walk up to the gate and tell them you’re a mutant!’.

James thanks Layla and replies that he was looking for a way that would leave the option of getting out again afterwards. Madrox remarks that they know it was a mutant that started this race-war, but that they need a name - details. He adds that the records in that library they found had been filtered - someone had edited out everything they needed, almost as if they knew the two of them were coming. ‘Comforting thought’ Layla mumbles. ‘Not so much’ Jamie replies, before remarking that he wonders how the others are doing. ‘Well, win or lose - it’s all ancient history now!’ Layla points out.

Antarctica - now. The diabolical Mr. Sinister, surrounded by over a dozen deadly mutants all on his side, is confronted by the X-Men. He grins as he tells the outlaw mutants that their destruction had fallen quite low on his list of priorities, but that by coming here, they have made him run the risk of reconsidering. Ororo Munroe a.k.a. Storm, former long-time leader of the X-Men defiantly tells Sinister that he does not intimidate them, nor will he deter them. ‘No? Look around you, Storm’ Sinister exclaims, pointing out that she faces an army - many of whom could kill her entire team single-handed. ‘How do you expect the five of you to prevail?’ he asks.

Storm, who stands on the motionless body of the Marauder known as Harpoon, does not look around, instead, she remains firmly fixed on Sinister. Those deadly mutants are as follows - Sinister’s Marauders - Vertigo, Scalphunter, Arclight, Scrambler, Riptide and Malice, who is currently possessing the body of one-time X-Man Omega Sentinel. Exodus and his Acolytes - Frenzy, Unuscione, Tempo and Random - are also present, as are several former X-Men who have defected to Sinister’s cause - Mystique, Gambit, Sunfire and Lady Mastermind.

Warren Worthington the Third a.k.a. Archangel, another former X-Man like Storm, returned to the fold for this important mission suggests to Sinister that he reads their minds and sees for himself. Sinister attempts to do so, but finds he cannot. ‘You miscounted, monster! There are six of us!’ Storm bellows as she blasts Sinister with a powerful burst of lightning, while the telepathic Emma Frost a.k.a. the White Queen makes her astral-appearance. Wolverine a.k.a. Logan, Kurt “Nightcrawler” Wagner and Piotr “Colossus” Rasputin round out this emergency X-team as the battle begins, and all sides enter the fray!

Meanwhile, in Westchester, New York, at the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning. Two massive man-controlled Sentinels guard the haven for mutants, from inside one of the towering weapons, Slayton mumbles ‘Man, isn’t anyone gonna invade today?’. Lex radios across from the Sentinel he is in, telling his colleague to keep his mind on the job. ‘This job sucks, Lex! “Look” but don’t “touch”? Jeez!’ Slayton complains, adding that every time he tries to spy on the girls dorms, the blonde lady gives him a stress headache and a nosebleed.

Inside the Mansion, former X-Man Lucas Bishop tells Scott “Cyclops” Summers that he thinks he should have waited and to attack the Marauders head on. ‘You needed all of us!’ he remarks. Scott replies that Sinister and the Purifiers fought a private war to get this baby, and they must know why. Scott adds that waiting was a luxury they didn’t have, and tells Bishop that if he wanted to be in the team then he should have been here sooner. ‘I told you’ Bishop replies. ‘I was making some investigations of my own. Shaking down some contacts in what used to be the mutant underworld’.

Bishop motions to the unusually silent White Queen and remarks that he presumes she is doing something similar right now. Cyclops replies that actually, Emma is with the assault team. Dr. Hank McCoy a.k.a. the Beast and Bobby “Iceman” Drake are also present as Scott informs Bishop that Emma has been psychically linked to all five of the assault team from the moment they found the Marauder’s base. ‘You know how Sinister has always been able to shield his people against telepathic attack? Well, in my book, a good idea is worth stealing’ Scott remarks.

Back in Antarctica, Wolverine deals to former X-Factor ally Random while alerting his dear friend Storm to the devious Scrambler rushing up behind her. As Nightcrawler battles Riptide, Storm thanks Wolverine and casts lightning bolts about while telling her team that Scrambler and Vertigo represent the main tactical dangers here. A skilled fighter, Storm then uses her staff to grab a hold of the sultry Vertigo and fling her into Scrambler, ‘Hammer takes out anvil’ Storm remarks, before declaring that Kurt can now deal to the strategic threat. Nightcrawler takes his cue, teleporting from Riptide over to the powerful Exodus, and taking hold of the Acolytes’ leader, asks him if he knows the Sor Rondane Mountains. ‘Well, they’re worth a visit!’ Kurt declares as he quickly teleports to said mountains and drops Exodus on his face, before teleporting back to the fight.

Colossus deals to Arclight, and his former Acolyte teammates Frenzy and Unuscione while Wolverine approaches the deadly Scalphunter, and tells him that he likes his gun. ‘Back-kick’ll break your arm though’ Logan remarks as he kicks Scalphunter’s arm and takes control of the gun, firing upon Random and Tempo.

Nearby, Archangel approaches Sinister, and tells him that it is coming apart, just like it always does. ‘Give the child to us, or people are going to die’ Warren declares. ‘Give you the child?’ Sinister retorts, before telling Angel that his feeble misdirections do not impress or interest him. ‘Yes, people are going to die. You have my word on that!’ Sinister declares.

Remy LeBeau a.k.a. Gambit uses this moment to make his exit from the battle, when suddenly, a familiar Snikt sound stops him in his tracks, as Wolverine comes up behind him. ‘No stomach for a fight, Gambit?’ Logan snarls. ‘Well maybe we can just sit and talk!’ Logan exclaims as he lunges at Gambit, forcing him into the weird metal walling and holding his claws to his former teammates throat.

Meanwhile, at St. Peter’s Church in Washington DC, deep in the catacombs below, several of the Xavier Institute Students - have just come face-to-face with Lady Deathstrike and her deadly Reavers, and the villainess of questionable mental stability has just shoved her claws through the White Queen’s protégé, Hellion. Surge, Mercury, Anole, Rockslide and Pixie gather around their fallen friend, while the deadly X-23 stands in front of Lady Deathstrike.

One of Deathstrike’s uber-long finger nails - err, claws - rests against X-23’s neck as she declares that, at this time of night, all good little children are tucked up safe in their beds. ‘So it follows that these children are not good at all’ Deathstrike - whose real name is Yuriko Oyama - orders her Reavers to be severe with these children. ‘Keep away from Julian Keller! I’m warning you!’ X-23 snaps as she unleashes claws of her own, which she then uses to slice through the Reavers’ swords.

The battle begins, with the New X-Men doing everything they can to stay alive. ‘Get us out of here!’ Rockslide shouts at Pixie while smashing into the Reavers. While Surge stands by Pixie to protect the untrained student, she blasts the approaching Reavers with her powers as Pixie exclaims, in reply to Rockslide’s request, that she can’t.

Lady Deathstrike turns her attention to Rockslide now and slashes his rocky exterior with her claws. While Anole finds himself tied up by some metal appendages that one of the Reavers controls, Pixie soon finds some Reavers approaching her from behind. ‘No - please don’t!’ she exclaims, when suddenly, someone comes to her rescue - it’s Julio Richter a.k.a. X-Factor’s Rictor, one of the many mutants left depowered by the tragic M-Day, he is dressed in a Purifiers costume as he is currently infiltrating the Purifiers. Pixie sees her rescuer and asks him what he is going here, while Anole, now free, calls out to his teammate, asking her to close her eyes, shut it all out and focus.

Rictor tells Pixie that if she cannot get all of her friends out of here, then they’re all dead. As the battle rages, a pink glow begins to surround Pixie as she begins a chant in a mystical language known by few. Then, in an instant, the young heroes vanish, leaving behind a bewildered and angry Lady Deathstrike and her cronies. Meanwhile, Pixie’s teleportation spell has deposited the young heroes elsewhere. The frightened ingénue screams, which is heard psionically be the White Queen.

‘Scott - the students! Oh God!’ Emma exclaims as she rises from the sofa. Scott asks his lover what happened, to which Emma reveals that the students went to fight the purifiers and barely got away alive. Emma explains that it was Pixie’s scream in her head and that Rictor was with them and the Purifiers do not have the baby. Bobby asks where all the kids are now, to which Emma replies that they are spread out between here and Washington, that it was a blind teleport which almost killed them. Bobby offers to go and collect everyone, to which Emma thanks him, before remarking ‘That’s not the worst of it’ and reveals that she was distracted and lost contact with the assault team for a moment - and now she cannot get back in, as Sinister is locking her out.

Back in Antarctica, Wolverine and Gambit deck-it-out, and Logan tells Remy that he is only making this harder on himself, pointing out that sooner or later he will run out of things to throw, ‘And I ain’t gonna stop coming until you tell me where the kid is!’ Logan snarls. ‘The kid? You mean the baby?’ Remy asks, before Logan punches him in the face again, and then shoves his claws into Remy, ‘Where is she, LeBeau? Think hard!’ Logan exclaims, ready to pop his claws into Gambit once more, adding that he is going to have to take Remy’s first answer.

Nearby, Mr. Sinister smacks Archangel aside, and tells the X-Men that this farce is over, and that all which remains is to bring down the curtain - to scattered and embarrassed applause. Sinister then knocks Colossus on the head, toppling him, and allowing Unuscione and Frenzy to continue their assault, while Tempo, Sunfire, Arclight and Omega Sentinel gather around. Storm sees the enemy regrouping and orders Kurt to find Logan. Kurt begins to protest, to which Storm exclaims that they have to get out of here - and now. ‘But Ororo, if I leave you -’ Kurt begins, but Storm ignores him, ‘I said go!’ she orders sternly, before exclaiming that she will cover their retreat - whatever it takes, and unleashes another surge of lightning , keeping the villains at bay.

Nearby, Wolverine is lurking about, and Omega Sentinel calls out to him, ‘Hey sweetheart. Guess you’re not in the mood for bondage games!’ she exclaims, suggesting they play catch instead, and tossing the unmoving Archangel down to him. Wolverine catches Warren and places him on the ground, only for Warren’s form to vanish, replaced by Scrambler. Wolverine glares at his Malice-possessed former teammate, who is smirking, ‘Ph man. The look on your face!’ she exclaims, before unleashing an uber-powerful blast at Wolverine, engulfing all of his body, it scorches him.

Omega Sentinel and Lady Mastermind approach Wolverine, and Omega Sentinel declares that Wolverine surely knows that Scrambler has turned off his power, before remarking ‘This little bait-and-switch illusion was brought to you courtesy of -’ Malice is interrupted, as Lady Mastermind speaks for herself, ‘Regan Wyngarde. X-Man. Retired’. she says in her usual sultry tone. Malice aims another of her armory at Wolverine, asking him how he wants to go out - slow and agonizing by adamantium poisoning, or splattered across the landscape. Suddenly though, Nightcrawler bamfs onto the scene, smacking Malice into the ground, he then kicks Lady Mastermind hard in the face.

‘Elf!’ the badly wounded Wolverine exclaims. ‘Rest easy, Logan. I’ll get you out of here!’ Kurt assures his friend, but Wolverine replies ‘No! Listen to me!’ and reveals that the Marauders do not have the baby. ‘She’s with -’ Wolverine begins, until a gun is fired, and a bullet strikes Nightcrawler, who teleports himself and Wolverine, despite being wounded. ‘You imbecile!’ Sunfire exclaims, telling Scalphunter that his shot missed, and now they got away. But Scalphunter tells the one-time X-Man now to worry, ‘With 9mm fluted hollow point - getting away doesn’t make all that much of a difference!’.

Kurt’s teleportation signature shows up shortly, as he and Wolverine land in the snow nearby. Kurt cannot move, and calls out to Logan, who is trying to get in contact with the White Queen.

Back in Westchester, Emma replies that she can hear him, and asks Logan if he has the baby. ‘Negative’ Wolverine replies, before revealing that someone on their side has the baby - ‘An X-Man took her from Cooperstown’.

Back outside, in the Sentinels, Slayton contacts Lex, informing him that he is a little queasy, he asks if there is any chance he could clock off early. Lex replies that he can’t, as the roster is short already and suggests he use his cockpit diagnostics, if he is sick, the tech will let him know. ‘Wow. Thanks for the overflowing compassion, man’ Slayton replies, but as he attempts to do as Lex suggested, he notices something strange on him, ‘Lex! Lex! Something crazy’s happening!’ Slayton cries out urgently as he becomes covered in sorts of wires, linking him up cybernetically with the Sentinel. ‘Lex, can you hear me? Oh, God! Please don’t -’….

Back inside the Mansion, ‘That makes no sense!’ exclaims Scott, to which Emma replies that is what Gambit told Wolverine - and Wolverine believes him. ‘But he would have contacted us!’ Scott exclaims. ‘Would he? Only if he shared out agenda, Scott. And if he did, wouldn’t he have been in touch already? To tell us he was still alive?’ Emma remarks. Cyclops ignores Emma’s comment and asks her to tell Storm to pull out, to which Emma replies that she cannot reach Storm, but that Wolverine says he and Nightcrawler are - Emma doesn’t get to finish her sentence, as one of the Sentinels smashes its way into the room.

‘New programming accepted - incapacitate - immobilize - neutralize - destroy the X-Men!’ declare the two Sentinels as Cyclops, Bishop, Iceman, the Beast and the White Queen stand below them.

Elsewhere - a lone figure runs along snow covered grounds. It’s Nathan Summers - Cable. Holding a massive weapon in one hand and clutching the mutant baby in the other, Cable exclaims ‘One minute before dawn, kid. We’re doing fine…’.

Characters Involved: 

Beast, Colossus, Cyclops, Iceman, Nightcrawler, Wolverine, White Queen (all X-Men)

Angel, Bishop, Cable, Storm (all former X-Men)

Layla Miller, Multiple Man, Rictor (all X-Factor)
Anole, Hellion, Mercury V, Pixie III, Rockslide, Surge IV, X-23 (all New X-Men)

Mr. Sinister

Gambit, Lady Mastermind, Mystique, Sunfire (all former X-Men, allied with Sinister)

Arclight, Harpoon, Malice IV / Omega Sentinel, Riptide, Scalphunter, Scrambler, Vertigo (all Marauders)

Exodus, Frenzy, Random, Tempo, Unuscione (all Acolytes)

Lady Deathstrike


Lex, Slayton (both Sentinel Squad)

The mutant baby

Story Notes: 

This is the 5th chapter in the Messiah Complex crossover, it follows New X-Men (2nd series) #44 and is followed by Uncanny X-Men #493.

Although Armor went with the other Xavier Institute Students to fight the Purifiers in New X-Men (2nd series) #44, she is not depicted in any of the panels this issue.

Julian is incorrectly spelt Julien this issue.

The baby was taken in the X-Men: Messiah Complex one-shot.

Cable was believed deceased as of X-Men (2nd series) #200.

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