Cyberforce X-Men 1B Crossover NM vs Sentinels Pat Lee Art Ron Marz 1st print


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Cyberforce X-Men (2006) #1B
Published Jan 2007 by Top Cow

Wraparound cover by Pat Lee

The X-Men and Cyberforce meet head on! While on a trip to Japan, Cyberforce members Ripclaw and Cyblade come face to face with a threat that even their enhanced abilities can’t handle: the Sentinels! It’s a case of deadly mistaken identity, as Ripclaw and Cyblade’s only hope for survival turns out to be the very targets the Sentinels were searching for — Wolverine and Psylocke of the X-Men. Writer Ron Marz and artist Pat Lee, the team who relaunched and reinvigorated Cyberforce, get together for an unforgettable clash of heroes against rampaging robots! Cover price $3.99.

“The X-Men have a school. Think we got a couple extra bedrooms. Assumin’ it wouldn’t be overly confusing having two guys with claws and two ladies with energy blades. Interested?” —Wolverine

Featured Characters:

Cyberforce (Main story and recap)
Ripclaw (Robert Berresford)
Cyblade (Dominique Thibaut)
X-Men (Main story and recap)
Wolverine (Logan)
Psylocke (Betsy Braddock)
The Hand
Heatwave (Dylan Cruise)
Ballistic (Cassandra Taylor)
Velocity (Carin Taylor)
Impact (Boomer O’Shea)
Cyclops (Scott Summers) (Recap)
Professor X (Charles Xavier) (Recap)
Beast (Hank McCoy) (Recap)
Jean Grey (Recap)
Rogue (Anna Marie) (Recap)
Colossus (Piotr Rasputin) (Recap)
Storm (Ororo Munroe) (Recap)

Ripclaw arrives at a Hand temple in Japan to which he has tracked Cyblade own. He battles some ninjas and rescues her from a mystic who was about to perform a ritual on her. Cyblade is pleased to be reunited with Ripclaw, when they are attacked by a giant purple robot and abducted. Shortly, Wolverine and Psylocke who were visiting Japan on separate business, arrive at the temple. They have detected the Sentinel and worry a mutant is in danger. Wolverine uses his heightened sense of smell to track the Sentinel, and they make their way through the sewers, where they find a strange laboratory where two Sentinels are hooked up to various equipment. They see Ripclaw and Cyblade held in stasis tanks, and break them out. After the introductions, Ripclaw and Cyblade explain that, to their knowledge, they aren’t mutants, so they don’t know why the Sentinels took them. Psylocke supposes that they could have been malfunctioning, when the Sentinels wake and burst through the underground complex, endangering the civilians above. Wolverine and Psylocke team up with Ripclaw and Cyblade to take the dangerous robots down. Wolverine offers Ripclaw and Cyblade a room at the Xavier Institute, but they turn down the offer. The two groups part as friends, with Wolverine suggesting that maybe they will meet again.

Outside Tokyo, Japan, blood is splattered across the grounds of a large temple. Ninjas lay motionless, their bodies smoldering. ‘HAAAGH! Where is she?’ a voice roars, throwing another ninja out of the house into the grounds. He is a gray-skinned man with very sharp claws. He tears his way through more ninjas, ‘She’s here’ he declares, boasting that if he has to take apart this entire place, and all of them with it, he will. More ninjas are thrown to the floor, blood dripping from all of them.

As the clawed man enters another chamber, he sees a hooded man standing over the body of a woman who is laid out on a table. ‘Master…’ an armored ninja ventures. ‘Kill him’ the hooded man orders, announcing that the ritual must not be interrupted, not now. ‘She will be ours. Of the Hand for the Hand’. The clawed man looks at the ninja who holds up his sword. ‘One blade? That’s all you brought to the fight? Not me… I brought plenty’ he declares as he shoves his claws into the ninja’s chest, spraying blood everywhere.

‘It will be finished!’ the hooded man cries, raising his hands over the woman, but the gray-skinned man rushes forward and shoves the hooded man aside. ‘You’re done now’ he tells him, while touching the woman on her head, ‘Cyblade?’ he calls out. ‘Come on, Dom, I didn’t track you down halfway around the world just to end up with you on a slab. Dominique?’

Some blood drips from the man’s claws onto her face, but she does not wake, until, suddenly, ‘Ahh… Ripclaw? Robert? You came for me?’ Cyblade asks as she sits up. ‘Always, Dom’ Ripclaw replies as he helps he off the table, ‘Easy. Looks like you’ve been through hell and back’ Ripclaw comments. ‘Where are we? This place…’ Cyblade begins, as Ripclaw reveals they are in an old temple outside Tokyo, or at least that is what it looks like on the outside.

‘It must be a safe house for the Hand’ Cyblade supposes, adding that she sees Ripclaw has met some of them already. She explains that they are assassins and mystics, and were trying to strip her mind from her, make her into a pawn to do their bidding. ‘From what I’ve heard, not the first time they’ve attempted such a thing’ Cyblade explains, while the hooded man, the mystic, gets to his feet, and Ripclaw declares: ‘Look like a bunch of guys in their pajamas to me’.

Cyblade reveals that she crossed paths with them years ago, before she joined Cyberforce. ‘But that was the past…’ she mutters as she raises a fist to the mystic’s face. He tells her that this doesn’t matter. ‘The will of the Hand won’t be -’ he begins, as Cyblade concludes what she was saying ‘…when I was no better than they are’. She then unleashes electromagnetic energy from her hand, which strikes the mystic in his face and he falls to the floor.

Cyblade asks Ripclaw if anyone else came with him, to which he tells her that he didn’t need anyone else. ‘When you went off the grid, I picked up your trail, took the Jump Jet and followed’ he explains, when suddenly, the roof above them is torn apart – as giant purple and pink robots burst through.

‘Ninjas and giant robots. Hell of a party you throw, Dom’ Ripclaw remarks. Cyblade looks up at the robots and suggests that these might be the friendly kind, as this is Japan. ‘I wouldn’t count on -’ Ripclaw begins, before he screams as one of the robots releases a powerful surge of energy from its hand at him, spreading more blood over the floor.

Later, the blood-stained floor suddenly gets an adamantium claw shoved into it as Wolverine a.k.a. Logan stands in the temple and uses his claw to pick up some cloth that was torn from Ripclaw‘s trousers. He sniffs it, and smells blood, the Hands and cybernetic implants. ‘But once you get past all that, there’s something else’ he tells Betsy “Psylocke” Braddock, who asks ‘What?’ ‘Sentinel’ Wolverine frowns, sheathing his claw as they stand in the room littered with weapons. Betsy asks Logan if he is sure, as she hasn’t heard of Sentinels being active in Japan. ‘Last I knew, they didn’t send out bulletins to announce themselves’ Wolverine remarks. ‘All right’ Betsy replies, picking up something on the floor she asks ‘Why the Hand? Believe me, I’m not shedding any tears for them. But why would a Sentinel tear apart a Hand stronghold?’

Wolverine explains that the Sentinel was not here for the Hand, they were just collateral damage. He suspects that most of them were smoke before the Sentinel ever showed. ‘That Sentinel was here to grab up somebody, Betsy. More’n likely, a mutant’. Betsy ask if they call in the rest of the X-Men, or maybe Sunfire, but Wolverine tells her that they haven’t got time. ‘We each had our own reasons for being in Japan, but this was showy enough to bring both of us down here’ Wolverine remarks, figuring that the two of them are enough to track down a three-story mutant-killing robot and see if there is an unwilling guest or two. ‘Then where do we start? Sentinels don’t send out bulletins to announce themselves. Or so I hear’ Betsy jokes. Wolverine touches his nose and replies that he has a map right here.

‘You take all your dates into the sewers?’ Betsy asks as she follows Wolverine through the dank tunnel. ‘Just the ones I think I might get lucky with’ Wolverine jokes, before reporting that they are getting closer. ‘How can you tell with the stench down here?’ Betsy asks. Logan explains that it jumps out at him like a landing strip in the dark. ‘Speaking of, I don’t need ‘em, but feel free to turn on the lights when you do, Bets’ Wolverine adds.

Betsy creates her psi-knife, which lights up the tunnel, and reveals that they have changed into their X-Men costumes. ‘I really liked it better when I couldn’t see what I was wading through’ Betsy mutters. ‘Down this way’ Wolverine calls out as he leads the way. Through the tunnel. Betsy tells her friend that she accepts the nose knows, but nevertheless asks if he is sure about this. ‘Sentinels under Tokyo seems like a bit of a stretch, even for the world we live in’ Betsy points out.

‘Here’ Wolverine announces as they come to a panel in the side of the tunnel. He pulls it open. ‘Forget what I said’ Betsy tells Logan, who wonders if the Tokyo Department of Public Works knows about this. ‘Looks like they’re shut down. Maybe hibernating. Be nice if they stayed that way’ Wolverine declares, adding that this must be an access tunnel big enough for them to come and go.

There are two Sentinels in the room through the panel. It is filled with high-tech monitors and equipment, which the Sentinels seem to be linked up to. Pointing at another part of the room, Logan announces that they have found their missing mutants, too.

Indeed, Ripclaw and Cyblade are unconscious in some tanks. Wolverine and Betsy crawl through the access panel, and Betsy asks Logan if either of them look familiar. ‘Nope. But I ain’t about to leave them… or any mutants… in the hands of Sentinels’ Wolverine announces. Wolverine then pops his claws, a familiar SNIKT sound filling the room as he slashes both of the tanks open.

Betsy and he help Cyblade and Ripclaw from the tanks, as Betsy asks Logan if they can get out of here, as hanging around a couple of Sentinels, even if they are taking a nap, is not exactly comforting. Ripclaw and Cyblade start to come to: ‘Where are we… and who the hell are you?’ Ripclaw asks. ‘Wolverine. Or Logan. Take your pick. She’s Psylocke. We’re X-Men’ Wolverine replies. Cyblade introduces herself as does Ripclaw, adding that they are both part of Cyberforce. ‘Thanks for being the Cavalry’ he adds.

Logan explains that he has been on the receiving end of the Sentinels’ tender mercies, and that it ain’t much fun. ‘They’re called Sentinels? That’s more than we knew before. We were… having a disagreement… with a group called the Hand… then one of those showed up and took the roof right off the place. Didn’t seem like the sort of thing the Hand would employ’ Ripclaw explains. Psylocke tells him that it is not, adding that both she and Logan have had their dealings with the Hand – other stories for other times, though. ‘Sentinels are programmed to track down and capture or kill mutants like us’ Psylocke adds. ‘“Like us” – what’s that mean? We’re not mutants. Robert and I had cybernetic implants, but as far as I know…neither of us is a mutant’ Cyblade explains.

Wolverine tells everyone that this doesn’t make sense, for if the two of them ain’t mutants, there is no reason for the Sentinels to grab them. ‘What if they’re a sleeper cell? Trask could’ve put these things here years ago, in case he ever needed them. They could be functioning on outdated programming…or malfunctioning’. Betsy points out that Cyblade and Ripclaw might not have mutant genes, but their genetic sequence might be close enough for them to – ‘Son of a bitch’ Betsy utters when the two Sentinels suddenly wake. ‘Go after the other one, Bets…see if you can knock it down to size!’ Wolverine calls out as one of the Sentinels bursts through the ceiling of the tunnel, breaking out into the public, causing civilians to flee in panic. ‘Excellent idea. Thanks, Wouldn’t have thought of that myself’ Betsy replies sarcastically as she attacks the other Sentinel.

‘Everybody’s a smart-ass these days’ Wolverine mutters, before the Sentinel picks him up. ‘Damn this is gonna hurt’ he realizes, as the Sentinel releases energy from the hand, blasting Wolverine back to the ground. ‘Your friend’s going to need a hospital. Or a morgue’ Ripclaw tells Betsy, who unleashes her psi-knife and tells him not to worry about Logan ,as he tends to be a quick healer.

The impact of the blast knocked Wolverine into a store, and runs from it towards the Sentinel, ‘Here’s the thing, I have had a bellyful of fighting damn robots!’ Wolverine roars as he lunges at the Sentinel, shoving his claws into each of the Sentinel’s eye sockets, causing the mighty robot, not on fire, to fall to the ground.

The other Sentinel fires a blast at Betsy, but she leaps out of harm’s way. ‘One down and this one coming down. Ladies. Do what you do’ Ripclaw calls out as he slashes the Sentinel causing it to topple backwards towards Betsy and Cyblade, who both shove their respective powered fists into the robot’s face.

As the fires rage around the heroes, Wolverine approaches the others asking them if they are all in one piece. He tells Cyblade and Ripclaw that he is sorry they got dragged into an X-Men problem, but that they handled themselves pretty well. ‘We’ve had some practice’ Ripclaw replies. ‘Seems like’ Wolverine agrees, adding that if they want a little more practice, he knows a place. ‘You might not be mutants, but close enough’ he remarks, explaining that the X-Men have a school, and he thinks there is a couple of extra bedrooms. ‘Assuming it wouldn’t be overly confusing having two guys with claws and two ladies with energy blades. Interested?’ he asks.

‘Thanks…’ Cyblade begins. ‘But no’ Ripclaw announces. Cyblade explains that they have their own affairs to look after. ‘Can’t say we didn’t offer’ Wolverine points out, adding that it looks like this one is short and sweet then. He and Ripclaw then shake hands and Wolverine smiles: ‘But maybe there’s a next time’.

Near mint, 1st print. Bagged & Boarded.