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Runaways



X-Treme X-Men (2nd series) # 9

Issue Date: February 2013

Story Title: untitled

Staff: Greg Pak (Writer), Paco Diaz (Art), Jessica Kholinne, Ifansyah Noor and Sotocolor (Colors), VC’s Joe Sabino (Letters), Kalman Andrasofoszky (Cover), Jeannie Schaefer (Editor), Jennifer M. Smith (Assistant Editor), Nick Lowe (Group Editor), Axel Alonso (Editor in Chief), Joe Quesada (Chief Creative Officer), Dan Buckley (Publisher), Alan Fine (Executive Producer)

Brief Description:
The team travel to a new world but their ship is immediately disable by the Witch King, that world’s evil Xavier. After coming round from unconsciousness, Dazzler finds the rest of her team in the middle of a big fight. They are battling a bunch of orc-like minions of the Witch King. Against Sage’s advice, Dazzler leaps into the action and stops Kurt from killing one of the enemies. She also tells off Howlett when he slices off one or their heads. She then again comes to blows with her counterpart, Captain Blaire. Losing her temper, she decides to end the fight and blasts all the enemies with her powers. Afterwards, she gets information from some friendly natives about where the Witch King is. She forms a plan and sends Howlett and Hercules undercover amongst the legion of orcs. She then gets Kurt to teleport her, Blaire and Cyclops to the castle. They use their powers and get the Witch Kings attention and a fight ensues. Cyclops is knocked out and the Witch King psychically takes over Dazzler. He finds out all about her and her team and then proceeds to strangle her. Blaire uses her powers to engage the Witch King and ultimately cuts loose to such a degree she vaporizes him. However, she can’t turn her powers off and she starts to vaporize herself. Dazzler begs for her to hold on and the two finally bury the hatchet as Blaire fade away altogether. Later on back at the ship, Dazzler has taken Blaire’s uniform and is wearing it in honor. As they depart to continue their mission of killing the ten evil Xaviers, they don’t realize the Witch King has had some kind of effect on their own Xavier.

Full Synopsis:
On a red-skied world, a huge castle stands upon a rocky outcrop over the ocean. Hoards of demonic-looking creatures litter the shores and the surrounding landscape. As the reality-hopping team’s ship teleports to the world, a voice beckons out and enquires as to what it is. Seeing the giant robot floating above them, the owner of the voice sees they have machines and assumes they are invaders. Not wanting any trouble from them, he sends a green bolt of lightning-like energy hurtling towards them. The bolt strikes the ship, sending it reeling backwards with a big explosion. Inside the castle, the demonic creatures become restless and their master bids them to go hunt down the invaders and bring them back to him… Lord Xavier, Witch King Gha-No-Shah. Lord Xavier, clad in ornate, fantasy armor, looks into a green crystal ball at the fallen ship.

Dazzler comes to and immediately sits bolt upright and asks where they are. She is lying in some overgrown ruins, surrounded by indigo-skinned people who look remarkably like Kid Nightcrawler. In the distance, the damage ship sits on the ground. One of the locals shows her the unconscious disembodied Xavier in a bottle and asks why she carries her dead with her. She assumes the worst but Sage chirps in and tells her not to worry, as he isn’t dead. Dazzler asks her what’s going on and Sage says they’ve hit a new world but nothing electronic works since they got hit. Her attention is suddenly caught by a growling sound and she realizes that there’s fighting going on. Sage starts to tell her she shouldn’t get up as she’s injured, but Dazzler ignores her and goes to see what’s up. She has bandages wrapped around her chest from where her alternate-reality counterpart stabbed her on the previous world.

Sage follows her and Dazzler tells her that she’s team leader. Sage replies that that’s not what she says… pointing to Captain Alison Blaire in the midst of a vicious battle. Captain Blaire, Howlett, Hercules, Cyclops and Kurt are fight against a legion of demonic creatures, some of which look like giant versions of Beast.

Dazzler rushes to Kurt and tells him to teleport away, but he ignores her as he is engrossed in fighting. He is squaring off against one of the creatures and, when he leaps into it, ready to stab it in the head, Dazzler blasts it away. She tells him to remember what Howlett said about no killing before he’s 18. She starts to tell him off but she’s suddenly grabbed from behind by another creature. Howlett suddenly leaps in to save her and slices the creature’s head clean off. He tells her there’s extenuating circumstances. Lying on the floor, she tells him he isn’t helping. They are on a mission to kill the evil Xaviers, not every thing that crosses their path. Howlett completely ignores her and rushes into the fray of the battle with a growl. Hercules, Howlett’s recently returned boyfriend, smiles at him and tells him that’s the Howlett he loves.

Becoming angry, Dazzler says she’s had enough and orders everyone to get behind her. Captain Blaire calls her a stupid woman and asks if she’s trying to get everyone killed. As Blaire grabs her hand, Dazzler tells her to let it go before she slaps the star off her face. Cyclops, aka Corporal Scott Summers of the Union Army, interrupts and says that things are getting ugly. With that, Dazzler moves forward and charges up her powers. She reminds them to get behind her and to close their eyes. She unleashes a huge burst of light at the enemies, with enough intensity to incinerate many of them. The team shields their eyes from the brightness. On the battlefield, a slightly singed Hercules says a little warning would have been nice but Howlett simply chuckles. Stunned by the display of power, Blaire asks Dazzler how she did that.

Sitting down, Dazzler tells her that she could have done it before it got to this. But she wanted to get in their faces and fight fight fight. She hasn’t learned her true potential. Cyclops steps forward and asks who the hell she is to judge her. Dazzler has no idea what she had to do in her time, or what any of them have had to do for that matter. They see monsters, they kill them. Dazzler retorts and asks what he thinks she just did. She tells him it didn’t have to come to that and says that there’s a smarter way. Cyclops addresses Captain Blaire and says that she’s in charge and they don’t have to listen to her. However, Blaire cuts him off and tells him to listen to her as she wants to hear what Dazzler has to say.

Back in the ruins, one of the natives brings a map and points out where the Witch King’s castle is. He tells her it’s a night’s march north. She perks up at the name “Witch King” and asks if he is bald, has creepy eyebrows and is psychic. The natives don’t know what psychic means but they say he eats crawlers. One of the crawlers pulls out a scroll with a crudely drawn image of Lord Xavier impaling a bunch of crawlers on it.

Dazzler turns to Howlett and tells him he’s going undercover. Hercules immediately buts in and says that it sounds like fun and he’s going too. She tells him no, because Howlett is immune to psychic probing. Before she can finish, though, he points out that he is a demi-god and asks if she thinks a mortal magician can probe his skull. Howlett quips that there wouldn’t be much to find in there if he did. They pick up some of the demon creature’s armor which is laying around and Hercules smirks at Howlett, telling him he always said he should wear more leather.

Dazzler tells Kurt that she doesn’t want the Witch King sniffing out his thoughts, so he is to teleport back immediately. Kurt jokes that he isn’t dressed for the cosplay party anyway. A little way off, Hercules and Howlett have dressed in the armor of the Witch King’s minions but Howlett finds it uncomfortable. As Dazzler tightens the straps on it, she quietly asks him what was going on back in the fight. He’s usually the grown-up in the room. He tells her that a few times in his life he has lost control. It hasn’t happened in a while but this place seems to encourage it. She tells him to keep it together because it seems that Herc isn’t the clearest thinker. Howlett laughs and agrees with her. He turns to her and tells her to watch herself. After telling them off, she turned around and fried the goblins herself. This world is getting to all of them.

As the two men stand in their new costumes Howlett asks if he looks like an orc. Hercules jokes that he smells like one and Howlett tells him to shut up. Kurt, who is perched on both men’s shoulders, teleports them away and immediately returns with his thumbs up. Cyclops sarcastically says that she has successfully divided the forces and asks what’s next. Dazzler turns to him and says that he is going to love this part.

(the Castle of the Witch King)
Kurt teleports Dazzler, Captain Blaire and Cyclops to the bridge leading up to the Witch King’s castle. Kurt teleports away again, leaving the three on the bridge. Cyclops tells Dazzler that she’s insane but she tells him they all are. She tells him they are going to apply some aggression somewhere it might do some good. They use their powers together to blast apart the huge wooden doors to the castle. The explosion alerts the creatures within, as well as the Witch King himself. Hercules and Howlett sit amongst the hoards of enemies and follow the creatures as they rush towards the team. Howlett calls Dazzler crazy but Hercules says he’s starting to like her.

In the courtyard, Cyclops blasts some masonry onto a squad of advancing enemies. The Witch King suddenly appears and zaps Cyclops with his magic. Dazzler immediately fires of some daggers of light at him but he stops them and touches her mind with his. As he takes control of her, he decides to see why she is there. He plucks her name from her head and, as he goes deeper, he sees Sage and the disembodied Xavier. He sends a psychic bolt at Sage, causing her to fall off the ship she was trying to repair. He also touches Xavier’s mind, which causes him to suddenly regain consciousness. Alarmed, he yells for the Witch King to get out of his brain.

As the creatures around him bow down to him, he laughs and crackles with green electricity. Hercules suddenly comes from behind him and slams his head into the floor. Taken aback, he shunts both Hercules and Howlett through the nearest wall with his powers. Getting back to Dazzler, he starts to strangle her with his powers. He thanks her for her assistance and tells her not to be sad as her head will have a place of honor on his trophy hall.

As Dazzler starts to choke, she calls out to Captain Blaire, who just watches from a distance. After a few moments, she unleashes a light blast, which causes the Witch King to drop Dazzler and concentrate on protecting himself. Captain Blaire is taken back by how strong the Witch King is and she intensifies her power. Dazzler yells to her that she’s going too far but she doesn’t listen. The Witch King gets closer to her but she powers up to such a degree her whole body burns with light. He tells her that she hasn’t trained for this and she has no idea what she’s doing. She tells him that it feels pretty good so far and continues to burn brighter and brighter to the point where the Witch King can’t protect himself and is incinerated.

The team’s Xavier uses his powers to confirm that the Witch King is dead. Sage notes that the mechanics of the ship have suddenly come back online.

Captain Blaire is now glowing orange and floating above the rubble on the castle. She tells Dazzler a thank you would be nice. Dazzler responds by saying that Blaire hesitated before she helped but she’s going to pretend that it was the bad vibe on this planet getting to her. Captain Blaire corrects her and says it was just her… or them. Dazzler asks what she’s talking about. Blaire tells her that Cyclops was right; she had no idea what she did on her world. She had to try really hard to forget what it was like being her. But then she showed up so fresh and bright and she couldn’t help but remember. She tells Dazzler that maybe she should thank her for that.

Dazzler suddenly notices that Blaire is fading. She tells her to stop channeling her power. As she continues to fade, Dazzler grabs Blaire’s wrist. Blaire smiles points out that now she’s grabbing her hand. Blaire tells her that she did what she had to do, and she’s pretty sure that’s what Dazzler will do too. She was in the dark for so long. As her form fades away into nothingness, she tells Dazzler not to stay there for too long. As tears roll down her face, Dazzler looks down to see Captain Blaire’s uniform lying on the floor.

Later on, the team regroups back at the ship. Dazzler is now dressed like Captain Blaire was. Kurt comments that she looks fierce and Dazzler dryly tells him that ain’t the half of it. She turns to her team and asks who’s with her. Cyclops asks what that plan is and she says that they’re going to kill some Xaviers. The disembodied Xavier tells her it’s a great idea. However, what no-one notices is the spark of green electricity that flashes across one of his eyes.

Characters:
Dazzler, Sage, Howlett, Kid Nightcrawler, Captain Alison Blaire, Cyclops, Hercules, Xavier (all X-Men/X-Force)

Lord Xavier
Demonic minions

Crawlers

Notes:
Dazzler was injured when her alternate reality counterpart, Captain Alison Blaire of X-Force, stabbed her through the chest with a spear of light in X-Treme X-Men (2nd series) #8.

Gha-no-shah is an obvious analogy to Genosha, the mutant run island from the 616 universe.

The natives of this world look remarkably like Nightcrawler (minus the tail) and even have the name, “Crawlers.” Some of the minions of the evil Xavier look like giant versions of Hank McCoy aka Beast.

Issue Summary written by: Gremlin


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