Issue Date: October 2012
Story Title: Blank Generation conclusion
Staff: Brian Wood (writer), David Lopez (penciler), Alvaro Lopez (inker), Rachelle Rosenberg (colors), VC’s Joe Caramagna (letterer), Jorge Molina (cover), Jordan D. White (assistant editor), Daniel Ketchum (associate editor), Jeanine Schaeffer (editor), Nick Lowe (group editor), Axel Alonso (editor in chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)
The X-Men’s security team has a location on David Michael Gray’s lab and makes an overhead jump from the X-Jet. They’re met by a bunch of proto-mutants and do their best to keep them at bay without killing them. Psylocke finally gets an exact fix on Gray and Colossus cannonballs into his lab. There, Gray kills himself, but not before punching in the kill code for all the protos. While searching around Colossus finds Ister’s deceased sister and brings her topside. Psylocke, who’s holding onto part of Ister’s essence, mourns her, and then finally lets Ister go. Later, the X-Men burn the proto mutants in a funeral pyre. They discuss their future and how to proceed, knowing whatever Gray had planned wasn’t finished. They all seem to agree with Storm’s reasons for keeping it secret; even Colossus seems to soften his stance. In the end, though, Storm puts a call in to Cyclops.
30,000 feet above the Mediterranean
The bay door slowly opens on the X-Jet. Standing near the opening are five stoic X-Men. They look down at the water below them, determination marking their faces. Storm asks her team if they’re ready and Psylocke responds with clenched fists, “So ready.”
As they plummet toward David Michael Grey’s suspected lab, its whereabouts gleaned from Ister’s dying mind, Psylocke warns them there may be proto-mutants waiting for them below. As a precaution Storm tells Pixie to ‘port down below and scout the area. Before she does, Domino reminds her to come back as some of them require her to survive the fall.
Despite the high speed freefall Colossus manages to get in another barb aimed at Storm. He points out there could be hundreds of mutants waiting for them and asks why she didn’t request backup. Storm tells him it’s their problem and this is why her team exists.
Psylocke interrupts their heated chat to report Pixie is incoming. Sure enough she reappears and immediately warns Colossus to watch out. He looks back at her dumbfounded and a second later is nailed by a large circular mass of rock. It pushes him above his falling teammates.
Storm asks Pixie what that was and she says it was a really weird proto and then warns them there are about ten of them down below. She adds that they’re located in a village so they need to watch the collateral damage. Storm ceases her descent and tells Pixie to get the others down safely while she helps Piotr. Pixie grabs hands with Domino and Psylocke and teleports away.
The giant ball of rocks unravels itself and becomes humanoid, wrapping its beefy arms around Colossus’ waist. This catches him totally off guard as Piotr is slowly getting crushed in its embrace.
Flying toward them from beneath is Storm. She tells Piotr to hold on then summons a lightning bolt that strikes the two. The force of the attack tears the “rock man” asunder and frees Colossus.
Meanwhile, Pixie and her teammates reappear just above the rooftops of the local village. Psylocke lands gracefully, but Domino hits the roof at an off angle and slides down, dropping onto the street below. She yells to her teammates to keep their eyes open as she expects incoming.
Sure enough, a freaky looking proto-mutant comes crashing through a nearby wall. Domino says she has contact and Psylocke reminds her to think of Ister and that these protos are just pawns. Domino’s bashed into a wall, but heeding Psylocke’s words takes her two pistols and shoots the creature in the shoulder with the intention to wound, not kill.
Nearby, Psylocke is caught unawares by a Siamese dog. As it barrels down on her Psylocke leaps into the air above it. She unleashes her psychic daggers as the dog’s heads arc upward, gnashing their teeth in the air below her. She drives both blades straight into their exposed necks and the Siamese dog proto goes to sleep.
Back with Domino, the lucky mutant takes a couple more shots at some nearby protos. She hears one coming up from behind and asks their “eyes in the sky” Pixie what’s coming up on her rear. Unfortunately, Pixie has her hands full with a giant crow. She’s trying to handle it without lethal force, but is having trouble.
Psylocke, on the other hand, is free from being attacked. She sends out her mind and gets a fix on David Michael Grey’s location. She fills Piotr in, a few levels underground. Storm lets him go and and Colossus curls up into a ball. He smashes into a tall building at terminal velocity and winds up inside Gray’s secret lab.
“Gray!” he yells out. The scientist struggles out from the wreckage and proudly announces his presence. Colossus grabs him by the throat and puts him up against the wall. A sick, satisfied smile creeps onto his face. Colossus asks the man why he would resurrect his ancestors and then tosses him across the room into some smashed machinery.
That sick smile still on his face Gray looks up from his hunched over position on the floor. He mockingly tells Colossus he’s a truly evolved specimen. Piotr gives him a swift, little kick, which sends the immoral genius into a nearby wall.
Colossus tells him he wants answers as to Gray’s process, research and samples. He says Gray turned something significant to him and his friends into an abomination. Despite the beating he’s taken Dr. Gray manages to sneak out a weak laugh, admitting his creatures never stood a chance, that he didn’t have time to nurture them properly.
Reaching into the inside pocket of his lab coat David Gray retrieves an electronic device with a brightly-lit touch pad. He thumbs a button with a click and concedes the battle. He then pulls out his revolver and puts the barrel squarely behind his chin. The smile never leaving his face he adds, “For now anyway…”
Colossus rushes forward saying he can’t take the easy way out. Gray says what he discovered can’t simply be put back into the ground. He then pulls the trigger and blows out his brains.
All around the island the proto-mutants cease all life functions. Storm wants Psylocke to get into contact with Colossus. Psylocke connects with him and discovers him looking over the recently deceased Dr. Gray. He lets everyone know Gray is dead. Psylocke tells him Storm wants a status.
Colossus begins walking through the heavily damaged lab and can’t find a thing worth recovering. Everything is empty, the vats and the incubation containers included. He checks for computer hard drives and finds them all removed. He’s asked if there are any genetic samples still left. Piotr notices a door marked “biological hazard” and checks inside.
There are no samples, but Colossus does discover the deceased body of Ister’s sister lying on a metal gurney. He tells Psylocke to meet him outside and to get whatever part of Ister she’s holding ready. Colossus picks up the frail, charcoal-colored body in his arms. He comments on how light she is and says she’s lucky to not have lived in this world because it is too loud and confusing and people would hate her more than she could imagine.
Colossus comes out of a tunnel and finds the rest of the X-Men waiting for him. Psylocke rushes over and takes Ister’s sister from Colossus into her own arms. Storm asks Colossus how Gray died and he replies, “Badly.” He then asks Storm if Psylocke will be ok. She says the part of her that is Ister will need to grieve and her feelings are his feelings right now.
Then, changing the subject, Colossus admits he understands why Storm chose to be so secretive about the situation. With Gray using the mutants as weapons and playthings, and with everything packed up and gone the need for discretion is obvious. Storm asks if they’ve missed something, then, and Colossus agrees they must believe that, as Gray’s final words for him were that it wasn’t over.
Later, the X-Men are on a beach watching the funeral pyre they built cremate the remains of Ister’s sister along with all the other proto-mutants. Pixie approaches Psylocke and asks if she’s ok. Psylocke says she is, saying she already let go of Ister’s spirit.
Pixie watches the flames as they dance amongst the backdrop of the sky wondering how to feel about this. Psylocke rips off a bunch of emotions before telling her she can feel whatever she wants, it’s all valid. In fact, Psylocke adds, after everything that has happened she will never feel the same way again. As she wades into the ocean Psylocke says being a mutant means something different now… and hardly anyone knows it.
Agreeing with Psy’s observation Pixie wonders what other branches of their family exist and if others should be made aware of this. She asks Domino her opinion, but she admits she’s weighed all the variables, but still has no answer. “Still processing it, I guess,” she states.
From her position in the ocean Psylocke reiterates the fact that David Michael Gray is not done, that there’s more work to be done. She says Storm’s not going to stop and asks the girls if they’re with her. Domino says Storm seems to know what she’s doing so she’s in. Pixie agrees, but suggests Colossus has a point and that Scott and his people need to be a part of this. Psylocke’s not so sure that Colossus isn’t coming around on his own.
That leaves the X-Men they’re speaking of who are standing close to the pyre. Breaking the silence with an odd admission Colossus says that he failed. Storm tells him he didn’t. Colossus argues that he could have taken him alive, that he should have seen that coming and all that valuable intel is lost. Storm says Gray was too good of a planner and that this isn’t over. Colossus agrees and asks about Cyclops and the others.
Storm doesn’t answer the question, but philosophizes on her team’s mandate and what their purpose should be. She’s still not sure what to do about Scott, but promises to talk more about it later. Instead, she suggests they focus on the dead and letting them know they are not alone in this world.
Even later, the X-Men are aboard the X-Jet, most of them sleeping. Storm cannot and makes her way to the cockpit where Domino is piloting. She’s surprised Storm’s awake and tells her Scott called about fifteen minutes prior. Storm says she’s taking over and tells Domino get some sleep. Domino asks if she’s sure and Storm says her thoughts are keeping her up. Domino tells her not to forget that Scott called. Ororo says she won’t and after Domino leaves she puts on the headset, punches in the number on the keypad and connects with Utopia. “Scott? Ororo. Got a few minutes?”
Colossus, Domino, Pixie, Psylocke, Storm (all X-Men)
Ister’s sister, various proto-mutants
David Michael Gray
One would have to assume that Madison Jeffries was remotely in control of the X-Jet after the X-Men leaped from it.
Psylocke is missing a face on the 1st panel of page 2.
Issue Summary written by: Milleniumcyke