Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Gambit and the X-ternals Issue #4 (Age of Apocalypse Part 33)

Age of Apocalypse Part 33
Gambit & The X-ternals Issue #4


Written by Fabian Nicieza   
Art by Salvador Larocca
Inks by  Al Milgrom
Lettered by  Chris Eliopoulos

Open With:
The Morlock Tunnels, Now.  Two figures are walking through the tunnels looking for something and someone; when they happen to come across the remains of a robot. The two recognize it as “Nanny” the robotic caregiver for Charles Leschener. The two figures are also revealed to be Dazzler and Exodus;  the X-men teammates from the Amazing X-men. Dazzler asks her teammate where is Charles; Magneto's son.

Cut To:
In a dark isolated room, the mutant Rictor is sitting in a chair.  Confused at first as to where he is and what is going on, when suddenly he hears the voice of Apocalypse. The Mutant dictator asks Rictor to explain his action over the last few hours.
Cut To:
Earlier in the evening Gambit and Lila Cheney are on the run from Richtor in the same tunnels we saw at the open of the story. Through their discussion we learn why they are being chased and how they got to the tunnels.  Basic exposition of the prior three issues.
Gambit uses his powers to seal off a part of the tunnels to stop Rictor from getting to them; giving them a little reprieve. Gambit and Lila use this time to share a kiss and we learn that there is a bit of a romance between these two mutants.  Then they walk off together down the tunnel holding hands.
The rubble behind Gambit and Lila begins to shift and fall; and Rictor makes his appearance from the cleared debris.  Rictor then runs his mouth like most arrogant baddies, and boasts that no matter where they run he can track them. "Gambit will be arrested in no time."

Cut To:
A few hours in the future, Rictor is sitting in the interrogation room with Apocalypse standing behind the young mutant.  Apocalypse holds a young blond boy in his arms, and asks Rictor about the next series of events that occured. Rictor begins to sweat profusely as he is questioned about Gambit’s teammate Jubilee.
Cut Back to a few hours ago:
Another section of the Morlock tunnels; Jubilee is running from someone with the same blonde boy that was with Apocalypse in the future, and a brown carpet bag in hand.  Within the bag is a shard of the M'krann crystal that the X-ternals went to get from the Shi'ar empire.
Then we find out that the person chasing her is Strong Guy; aka Guido.  Guido gives an implied threat to Jubilee, and to hand over the crystal shard and the kid.  Jubilee asks him why he has betrayed them .  Guido tells her that it’s his hate for Gambit and that he was caught a few weeks back and was implanted with a bug and forced to spy on them. Jubilee falls to the ground as her entire world just got pulled out from under her.
 
Shift Forward in time:
Back in the interrogation room, Apocalypse asks Rictor another leading question about Guido and the situation that Rictor had created. Rictor gives a generic lackey answer and the story picks back up with Gambit and Lila at a grate in the tunnel system. 
Gambit blasts open the grate to get access to a tunnel that should take them back to where they started. Hopefully doubling back will allow them to stop Guido and Jubilee, to stop them from being captured by Rictor and whatever boasts he made about tracking them all.
The two mutants crawl through the pipe, and discovers that it leads to a large junction chamber vault that looks more like the inside of a church than a storm sewer system. Lot’s of arches and levels of stairs or terraces.
Gambit’s hope is to get to the X-men before Jubilee and Guido, stop Rictor and hopefully find out the truth about Rictor’s boasts.  Suddenly, Gambit runs into a wall of muscle and flesh.  Guido steps out of a tunnel with the bag and Charles in hand.
Seeing this, Gambit begins to workout the result that Guido has betrayed him and his team. Which is confirmed a few minutes later when Rictor comes into the chamber from a different location.  The four mutants all have a expositional discussion and Rictor looses his cool, and sets off an earthquake. The blast of energy he releases causes a support column to fall.
Guido catches it at the same time he sees Lila knocked out just out of reach from him. Still holding the Crystal, Charles and the pillar; Guido tells Gambit to get Lila out of here. Once he lets go of the support the whole chamber is going to fall in.  Guido also tells our hero that he can keep Charles safe and will be separated from the rest of them.
Once Lila and Gambit are clear, Guido lets go of the beam and the whole structure falls in.

 
Cut To :
The interrogation room, where Apocalypse receives the last of Rictor’s story. However; the Despot tells Rictor the rest of the story from Guido’s point of view and shows Rictor the child he holds in his hands.  Apocalypse then shows Rictor the Shard of Crystal he has as well. Apocalypse then kills Rictor with his bare hands.

 
Apocalypse then turns around to see Guido in the shadows and tells the former X-ternal that he is free to go and that Lila will not be hurt in the coming battle based on their bargain.
Back at the Morlock tunnels:
Exodus and Dazzler find Gambit and Lila in the rubble of the tunnels.  The two X-men ask the two X-ternals what happen and if they have seen Charles. Gambit replies “long story” . The four mutants make their way back out of the sewers.




 
To be continued in …. Amazing X-men 4 and then X-Men Omega.

THOUGHTS ON THE STORY:  Fabian Nicieza, knows the X-men. He was writing several x-men books at the time this was written; and he knows the character’s voices.  I really enjoyed this story, I like how it was set up with flashbacks and story points to ask the questions as to how certain characters got to there final locations to the next chapter.
ART:  - Salvador’s line work is great. His Figures and composition is very organic, very realistic looking in style, but with just a pinch of comic feel so you get a little exaggeration as superhero anatomy.
All in all I give this book a:
Score 8.5 out of 10