|Ultimate Comics X-Men #14|| || |
Issue Date: September 2012
Story Title: Divided We Fall – chapter one: Road Worn
Staff: Brian Wood (writer), Paco Medina & Reilly Brown (pencilers),Juan Vlasco & Terry Pallot (Inks), Marte Gracia (colorist) VC’s Joe Sabino, (letterer), Manny Mederos (production), Dave Johnson (cover), Adi Granov (variant cover), Jon Moisan (assistant editor), Sana Amanat (acossiate editor), Mark Paniccia (editor), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (Exec. Publisher)
En route to the South-West in a stolen car, the young X-Men are stopped by a mutant-hating militia. Though the situation is tense, Kitty manages to talk their way through. Afterwards they stop at a diner. Tortured by a recurring nightmare that something happened to the kids they left behind in the Morlock Tunnels, she tries to phone Johnny Storm, but only reaches Nomi Blume, who hints something happened to Johnny. That moment, the militia they met before attacks the diner.
New York, a troop of soldiers attacks the Morlock tunnels, ambushing the mutant kids. Nomi Blume takes charge as the men threaten them. Johnny Storm tries to make peace, shouting they are just little kids. They stand their ground! Nomi orders.
Kitty awakes in the car. Jimmy stole the car after they couldn’t get any further by bus. She figures they are somewhere in Kansas by now. She leaves and tries to phone Johnny, but there is no reception.
Washington D.C was bombed, totally taken out. The government destroyed. As if things couldn’t get any worse. The further west they get, the more the anti-mutant movement makes its presence known. And the cops fall right in line. The militias fully bought into Stryker’s hate-filled philosophy.
Again she tries to reach Johnny without success. Rogue joins her. When Kitty asks how she is doing, she replies the same. Crazy girl with voices in her head, as per usual. At least hers aren’t telling her to start a war like Kitty’s. Kitty ignores the dig and suggests they wake the guys and go on driving.
She notices that Jimmy keeps claiming “shotgun.” Seems he want to be next to her all the time. Jimmy works on deciphering the maps. He protests what good is it when the local militia starts removing the highway signs. Don’t get them lost! Bobby warns from the back. Rogue seems depressed as she tells him to relax.
Jimmy touches Kitty’s hand but she is busy thinking about what they are not discussing: the horrors waiting for them in the west. Kitty tells herself she is responsible. Like Rogue said, she is starting a way, although she decides she is only fighting back, since the other side started the war long ago.
Throughout the Southwest, containment centers were built. Not the nice facilities like Camp Angel. The new ones are brutal, designed to hold mutants in kennels, to keep them out of the general population, to punish them. Rumor was that Sentinels tech was used in new ways. Micro drones, nano tech as the ultimate perimeter defense. Nimrod guards and human guards, trained militia empowered by Stryker, armed with weapons looted from National Guard bases. She figures Sentinels at least are not capable of that hatred.
Once upon a time, you could ignore them but that changed with Stryker. It was a surprisingly short road from simply being hated and feared to having your whole species face extermination. From beyond the grave, Stryker can still hurt them.
She vows that’s’ not going to happen. She decides it’s not enough to just take out the figurehead. She’s going to dismantle his whole organization, take it apart and erase his influence entirely.
Checkpoint! Jimmy calls out. Some masked men with guns are blocking the road. Kitty stops the car, figuring they have to bluff their way past. Thought she wanted to fight, Jimmy challenges. When it counts, Kitty replies. She’s not wasting it all on a few rednecks blocking the highway. Keep it together, they can pass as normals.
One of the men asks if they have I.D.s., to which Kitty replies that they are refugees. She has an aunt in California. They are trying to get there as fast as they can. He orders her out of the car. California is a long way from here. Better that staying on the east coast, she replies. Would he want to live near D.C. or New York? No thanks, he has a real nice place close by, he replies, groping her during the search. Rogue calms Jimmy, who is about to go ballistic.
Kitty tells the rednecks to take it easy. Do they think everyone’s their enemy? They come in all shapes and sizes. They don’t take chances. They get a lot of refugees passing by. They also get a lot of mutants trying to do the same. He holds his rifle to Kitty’s head. Are they mutants? Kitty replies mutants killed her family and destroyed her city.
He unfastens the safety. If he pulls the trigger, what’s gonna happen? The bullet gonna bounce off that gorgeous skin of hers? Are her friends gonna pop out of the car with all sorts of powers and take him down?
What’s going to happen is she’ll die right here and he’ll have killed an honest, God-fearing, normal, American girl! she replies. One who hates mutants as much as he does. How’s that going to help the cause?
He laughs impressed and tells her to be on the way. He suggests they pick a more northerly route. It gets hairy further south.
She drives on. When they are out of sight, she stops the car and hugs Jimmy. The others swear they got her back.
But not all the way, Kitty considers, because if what it takes to end Stryker’s poisonous influence is giving her own life, she is prepared to accept that… But she won’t take any of her friends with her.
They stop at a rest stop diner. When the others are glumly silent, Kitty points out they are ok. If it feels too hard try to think what the people in the camps are going through. It’s not okay! Jimmy snarls. Kitty reminds him she took care of it. Save the fight for the southwest! She saw a payphone outside. She’s going to try to call Johnny. As she leaves, Bobby teases Jimmy about his interest in Kitty.
Kitty uses the phone, not noticing the white van coming to a stop. The paramilitary group from before enters the diner. The one cop in the diner ignores the problem, not willing to make an enemy of those guys.
Kitty finds the connection is lousy. It’s Nomi Blume who answers, telling her Johnny is not here. Kitty can only understand somebody took him away. Then Nomi scoffs he is not even a mutant. She’s got the kids, don’t worry. Then the connection breaks.
The paramilitary group addresses the kids, asking what happened to their cute friend in white.
Kitty tells herself she has a plan and a contact waiting for her, one she can’t tell the others about yet.
That moment, she hears gunshots coming from the diner…
Jimmy Hudson, Iceman, Kitty Pryde, Rogue (all X-Men)
Guests and staff at the diner
in Kitty’s dream:
Mach Two, other mutant kids
“Divided we Stand” is a line-wide crossover along the Ultimate titles.
Nomi Blume is mistakenly referred to as “Purge” in the story, which was considered as her codename at an early stage. Actually, her codename is “Mach Two.”
Washington was destroyed by Reed Richards in Ultimate Comics Ultimates #9.
Issue Summary written by: Ruth