Issue Date: December 2012
Story Title: She’s the End of the World
Staff: James Asmus (writer), Clay Mann (penciler), Seth Mann with Leonard Kirk (inkers), Rachelle Rosenberg (colorist), VC’s Cory Petit (letterer), Mann & Rosenberg (cover), Jennifer M. Smith (assistant editor), Daniel Ketchum, (editor), Nick Lowe (X-Men group editor), Axel Alonso (editor in chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)
The two mysterious parasites, one of which was once embedded in Remy’s chest, lock together and open a portal to another dimension. With the ’power of the gods’ somehow not forthcoming, Remy’s mysterious companion realizes that this isn’t what she expected. A giant multi-headed creature comes through the portal and attacks them, forcing the pair of them to run for their lives. They make their way to a small cave, but the creature’s prehensile tongue grabs the woman and drags her away. Remy gives chase and he ends up inside the creature, exploding it from the inside using his energy powers. Another monster grabs her and pulls her through the portal so Remy gives chase once again, though it’s hard going as he finds it difficult to breathe in this new dimension. Nevertheless, he manages to rescue her from its clutches and they make their escape. They get back through the portal but one of the creatures follows. Remy decides to try and close the portal by charging a card. He sticks it into the twin parasites which created the portal and, when it explodes, this does the job. Grateful for the save, the mystery woman informs him that her name is Joelle, but before he can get any more information she knocks him out cold. He wakes up alone and returns to New York City, where he finds a chauffeur waiting for him at the airport. When he gets into his limo, he finds Borya Cich and two more bodyguards. Cich wants some answers.
Gambit looks at his companion and sees that she is confused. “I… I don’t understand,” she sighs, not quite sure what’s going on. Remy has seen the look before on the faces of many people he’s disappointed in the past. He hates to think that another disappointed girl might be the last thing he ever sees, even if she did play him like a washboard. He’s got to admit that this is at least partly his fault.
He tells her that he’s starting to think her damned parchment might have had something lost in translation. She stares at a large glowing white orb and says it promised the power of the gods. Remy grabs her and leads her away from danger. Energy strikes flicker all around them as they run away from a massive hydra-like creature. He asks her to correct him if he’s wrong, but they’re in Guatemala. Didn’t they used to worship something like that?
The giant creature with teeth as long as Remy’s arm circles them, chasing them through the cave. She asks what the hell it is. Remy admits he doesn’t know but he does know that they shouldn’t get acquainted. He shoves her shoves her into a small dark opening nearby and they land uncomfortably as one of the creatures’ heads tries to follow. Luckily it’s too large to follow. As they land, he asks if the portal that the relic opened had closed. She asks what difference it makes. Remy informs him that if the portal shut down after their friend here crashed the party, then he’s their only trouble. If not…
She admits that it was still open. But, he should forget it. They must run. As she speaks, a long, prehensile tongue wraps itself around her and pulls her away from Gambit. He assures her that he’ll take care of it, but she must promise to keep calm and hang on tight. He runs up the tongue quickly and heads for the large mouth. She asks how he plans on getting by this thing. As he stands in between its jaws, he replies that, if he can’t get by it, maybe he can go through it. She wonders if he’s insane, but he feels his power flowing through his hand and leaps inside.
The creature releases the woman and its mouth closes around him with a ‘grrmp.’ It then gasps as Remy’s power begins to charge its insides and, a moment later, the whole head explodes in a massive burst of energy. Gambit lands heavily and admits that it wasn’t his favorite plan, but he can’t leave this running. If putting the little bits of the twin parasites together opens up a portal, what does she say they…
He turns to see that she’s been captured by another creature. She screams as she is whisked upwards and away from him and through the portal. Remy starts to think that either the damn thing is cursed, or he is. He pops his head into the portal and sees what’s on the other side. He sees the creature moving away from him into a world where the sky is pink and the air feels like fire. He reckons there’s no way somebody lasts more than a few minutes out there, so he tears a strip of what’s left of his shirt and wraps it around his mouth.
He wonders if the girl is worth it. She’s done nothing but manipulate him and keep secrets from him… all on some sort of power trip. Does she really think he’s gonna risk his own neck when she’s got exactly what’s coming to her? He prepares to enter the portal, guessing that he’s just a thousand times a sucker for a pretty face. He leaps into the beyond in pursuit of the creature, soon catching up with it. He already feels sick and disoriented, but it’s too late to turn back. And besides, he may as well die as he lived.
He uses his agility to evade the creature’s long whipping tongue, finding himself trying to impress a girl who doesn’t seem to care. One of the creature’s heads looks right at him and he sees her in the distance, hanging from the mouth of another of its heads. “Gambit,” he can just hear her cry. As he approaches her, he asks her to get herself loose. She wonders what the hell he’s doing, but he’s on her in an instant. He grabs her, ripping her out of the giant’s teeth and he tries to ask how she is. “I’ll live,” she replies. Struggling to speak due to breathing in the acrid air, Remy replies, “Not if they c-cgh got somethin’ to say about it!”
They head off running once again but, before long, Remy begins to really struggle. She helps him along, prompting him to stay with her. She’d rather not have the X-Men blame her for getting him killed. They come to a stop at the other side of the portal and Remy lies down. She asks him to breathe. They made it. Remy isn’t so sure, and she admits that there are still a few giant alien gods coming to tear him apart. Remy makes an effort to stand and says they should do something about that. “Great,” she replies, “But do something faster.”
Remy removes a card from his boot and reckons he should go with the classics. Charging it up, he sees one of the creature’s heads peering through the portal into their dimension. As she asks if this is his plan, he tosses the card at the creature and sticks it in the twin parasites. The creature begins to come through the portal so Remy and his companion leap from their position and don’t look back as the parasites explodes, taking the monster’s head with it. They get clear of the creature’s teeth as the portal closes and finally… they can relax.
She thanks Remy for coming to her rescue. Remy likes the sound of that. She leans in to his ear and whisper, “Now… don’t do it again.” He tells her that she needs to stop giving off such mixed signals. She tells him that she appreciates his chivalry, but the last thing she wants is someone getting hurt because of him. She’d have been fine. Remy replies that she’s not kidding, either. He was choking out there in seconds but it didn’t throw her one bit. He knows that she isn’t a regular girl, but just what hasn’t she told him? He’s serious, he adds. Who is she? What is she? What was she hoping for in all this? After the hell she brought him he reckons she owes him some answers. “Fine,” she replies. She gets one. He wants some deep, dark secret? She’ll give him one.
Remy asks her what her name is and she tells him that it’s Joelle. Remy guesses he’ll have to save her again to get a last name. She says no, and then kisses him passionately. She then tells him that next time he should let her die. She then turns and punches his lights out.
(New York City)
Before he knows it, Remy is back home, sans Joelle. He’s had the chance to break his routine but he’s still got that gnawing inside. He was less afraid of dying in some alien world than going back to his own life. He catches himself almost hoping for something terrible. As he walks through the airport, he notices a chauffeur holding a sign with his name on it. He knows that he should be wary, but he’s too dame tired to pass up a ride. As the chauffeur takes his bag, Remy tells the guy he can take that himself but the chauffeur insists. Remy then enters a sleek black limousine and sits in the back seat, only to find himself seated opposite Borya Cich and two bodyguards. They and the chauffeur each aim large futuristic-looking weapons at him. Remy thanks Cich for the ride. Cich informs him that his glibness won’t help him. Remy stole from him and cost him a great deal in the process and they’re going to settle his debt… right now.
People at airport
Borya Cich and his goons
The mystery woman is finally named as Joelle, though her origins remain mysterious.
Issue Summary written by: Fantomex