X-MEN: INSURRECTION

FULL-CIRCLE #1

 

PAGE ONE

PANEL 1

It is night time.  A thunderstorm is blowing violently across the landscape; lightning cracks across the sky, rain falls down in a torrent.

PANEL 2

The shadow of the Xavier Institute looms over the horizon, illuminated only temporarily by the glow of the lightning.

1. CAPTION: The Xavier Institute, Westchester, New York.

2. CAPTION: A haven for those whose mutant powers make dem a so-called liability to the human race.

3. CAPTION: A sanctuary where one man’s dream for peace between mutant and human was forged.

PANEL 3

A close up of the gold plaque bearing the engraved name of the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning.

4. CAPTION: To tell de truth, I never bought into it much myself

5. CAPTION: Comin’ here was what some men might call my penance.

PANEL 4

The shadow of a man walks up the pathway towards the mansion.

PANEL 5

Only the glowing of the man’s eyes and the smoke trailing from his cigarette can be seen.  It is Gambit.

6. CAPTION: My home.

PANEL 6

Slowly he takes a drag from his cigarette…

7. CAPTION: Heh.

PANEL 7

…And breaths out the smoke.

8. CAPTION: No such thing.

 

PAGE TWO

PANEL 1

As he nears the steps leading up to the mansion doorway he casually flicks the cigarette away.

1.  CAPTION: Me, I was born rootless.  Or so dey say.

PANEL 2

Slaps hand to forehead.

2.  CAPTION: I have no reason for comin’ back here.  Hell, I can’t even say why I left.  Thought I’d feel alive.  Thought I’d feel different.

3.  CAPTION: I’d had enough of repentance.  Figured I owed myself some revenge for a change.

PANEL 3

He stops outside the doors.  In the doorway stands a shadow, waiting for him.

3. CAPTION: Dey say a man’s life eventually comes full-circle.

4. CAPTION: If dat’s the case, den my life… it’s just full of circles.

PANEL 4

Lightning flashes.  Wolverine is illuminated, leaning on the doorframe. 

PANEL 5

The two share a silent glance, as though expecting explanations for one another’s appearances.

PANEL 6

A close-up of Gambit, his expression suspicious.

5. CAPTION: I finish one, only to start on another.

 

PAGE 3

PANEL 1

It is Wolverine who breaks the silence first.

1. WOLVERINE: Charlie knew you were comin’.  Me, I could smell you a mile away, gumbo.

PANEL 2

Gambit says nothing, and makes to brush past him.

PANEL 3

As Gambit walks past Wolverine stops him.

2. WOLVERINE: Just to let you know that there are a few people who aren’t too pleased with you in there.

PANEL 4

Gambit pauses, knowing what he means.  He’s referring to the Fall of Genosha, when Gambit abandoned the X-Men in their time of need.

3. WOLVERINE: You shouldn’a left on that caper the way, y’ did, cajun.

PANEL 5

Gambit walks on, ignoring his old comrade, but there is guilt in his face.  Close up on Wolverine’s face; there is an angry glint in his eye.

4. CAPTION: Shouldn’t have?  You don’t know what you’re sayin’, Logan.  ‘Dis man, the rules of ‘should’ and ‘shouldn’t’ don’t apply to him no more.

PANEL 6

Inside the mansion, Gambit spies Storm in the corridor.

5. CAPTION: So why am I back here?

 

PAGE FOUR

PANEL 1

Storm is unsurprised to see him.  She seems pleased but tries to hide it.

1. STORM: It’s been some time, Remy.

PANEL 2

Gambit is soaking wet.  Taking off his trench coat, he shakes the rainwater off it.

2. GAMBIT: ‘Dis is your kinda weather, Stormy.  Sure you weren’t givin’ an old friend a special welcome home?

PANEL 3

The cordial expression on Storm’s face drops and is replaced with a stern countenance as she confronts her old friend.

3. STORM: This is not the time for joking, Gambit.  Charles is less than happy with the way you just upped and left.

4. GAMBIT: I needed some time out.

5. STORM: From what?  Gambit, the X-Men isn’t just a team.  It’s a family.  We work together.  We needed you, and you weren’t there.  You didn’t even give us an explanation.

6. GAMBIT: C’mon Stormy, y’ know how it is.  I got itchy fingers.

PANEL 4

Storm is not impressed.  Rolling back her eyes she sighs.

 

PAGE FIVE

PANEL 1

1.  STORM: Remy, someday you’re going to have to open up to one of us.

PANEL 2

Gambit is unable to keep serious.

2.  GAMBIT: I’m as open as they come, Stormy.  Gambit, he comes when he pleases, he goes when he pleases.  Gambit, he is open, non?

PANEL 3

Rogue enters from behind, looking fierce, but dressed provocatively in denim hotpants, crop top, leather jacket and typical southern cowboy boots.

3.  ROGUE: Blasé as evah, ah see.

PANEL 4

With a small grin Gambit removes a card from his belt.

4.  CAPTION: Her expression says one thing.

PANEL 5

Gambit saunters up to her and flips a card in front of her.  All the while Rogue looks singularly unimpressed.

5.  CAPTION: The killer outfit says another.  She knew I was comin’.

 

PAGE SIX

PANEL 1

Rogue continues to look aloof as he presents her with the card.

PANEL 2

It’s a King of Hearts.

1.  GAMBIT: Long time no see, chere.  Howzabout you give me a welcome home kiss?

PANEL 3

But instead of the intended reply, Rogue simply slaps him hard across the face.

2.  CAPTION: Den again…I didn’t say goodbye to her before I left.

PANEL 4

3.  ROGUE: Ah oughta give ya one, wise guy – just so’s ah can knock you out!  This ain’t funny anymore, Remy!  You shoulda told me you were goin’ back to New Orleans!

PANEL 5

4. GAMBIT: But, I…

5. ROGUE: No more ‘buts’, mistah!  Ah’m outta here!

PANEL 6

Rogue storms off.

 

PAGE SEVEN

PANEL 1

Gambit touches his injured cheek, nursing his wounded pride.

PANEL 2

1.  STORM: She’s still hurting, Gambit.  What did you expect?

PANEL 3

Gambit walks up the stairs to his old room.

2.  CAPTION: What did I expect?  Smiles?  Embraces?  No.  Dat was just me kiddin’ myself.

PANEL 4

He lies down on bed and stares at ceiling.

3.  CAPTION: After a while, the ol’ Prof starts to rub on you.  You start hopin’, even start believin’ in de dream. 

4.  CAPTION: Kiss-an’-make-up, bygones-be-bygones, walkin’-off-into-the-sunset…They all start feelin’ less cliched and more tangible.

5.  CAPTION: T’ be honest, I don’t blame her.

 

PAGE EIGHT

PANEL 1

He puts a hand to his forehead.

1. CAPTION: After de Morlocks, after everythin’, the last t’ing I deserve is her.  Or the X-Men.

2.       CAPTION: So why am I back here?  To see her?  To rebuild old bridges?  Or to prove to myself once more dat I’m really worth somethin’?

3.       CAPTION: Dammit. I should leave

PANEL 2

Gambit falls asleep.  He dreams of being a small boy again, running through the rainy streets of New Orleans.  Having pickpocketed someone’s wallet, he is being chased by a policeman and is trying to run from him.

PANEL 3

Even though he is scared and frightened, he is aware of the passersby staring at him, noting the strangeness of his glowing red eyes. 

PANEL 4

Distracted, he only notices too late that he has been caught when a policeman grasps onto his collar from behind.

PANEL 5

Without thinking he suddenly charges the wallet in his hand and throws it into the man’s face.

PANEL 6

Freed, he runs away without even looking back.  Several passersby stop to try to help the fallen man.

 

PAGE NINE

PANEL 1

Looking back over his shoulder to see whether anyone had followed, Gambit ducks into an alley.

PANEL 2

A close up of his shaking hands as he looks at them, wondering where this strange new power has come from.

PANEL 3

With a jolt Gambit awakens to find himself in his own bed.

1. CAPTION:  Dat same dream…Of the first time I felt driven…The first time I felt led.

2. CAPTION: Dat’s why I came here.  ‘Cos dis life - whether it’s written down in some oracle’s diary or not – it always leads to one place. 

PANEL 4

3. CAPTION: The trick is in takin’ the right path to get there.

PANEL 5

Gambit is having an interview with the Professor in Charles Xavier’s office.  Xavier sits back, his fingers steepled in front his chest.

4. XAVIER: I’m not asking for an explanation, Gambit.  I think, after all this time, that I know you well enough.

5. XAVIER: At least, as well as I am able to.

 

PAGE TEN

PANEL 1

Xavier turns and looks out of the window to the grounds, a pensive expression on his face. 

1. XAVIER: I called you here to ask you something, Gambit.  And the question is not ‘why’.

PANEL 2

Gambit is silent and Xavier turns round to face him.

2. XAVIER: You know what the X-Men are, Gambit.  Not just to me, but to the others.  To some of them…in their eyes what you did was unforgivable.

3.       XAVIER: What I want to ask you is whether you still believe in our vision, Gambit.  Whether you still believe that what the rest of us share is what you share too.  Do you still want to be a part of the X-Men?

PANEL 3

Gambit remains silent, unable to give an answer, not even to himself.

4.       CAPTION: The X-Men.  My own personal form of penance.

PANEL 4

He looks up at Xavier, a half guilty, half-abashed look in his eyes as the Professor gazes knowingly at him.

5. CAPTION: Would I be able to give him a straight answer if I knew I’d stopped all my sinnin’?

PANEL 5

6.  XAVIER: I know your reasons.  Yet despite this, I still do not understand you.  You want to belong yet at the same time you want to be free.  You want Rogue to commit to you, yet you do not want to commit to her.  It is not fair on the others; and it is not fair on Rogue.

 

PAGE ELEVEN

PANEL 1

Outside of the office, Gambit walks down the corridor, reflecting on Xavier’s words, troubled.

1. XAVIER [off-panel]: Someday, Gambit, you’re going to have to decide which path you wish to walk.  Before you find that one day, you have nowhere left to go.

2. CAPTION: How touchin’.  After all this time, he still tries to understand me.

3. CAPTION: Even when I don’t know how to understand myself.

PANEL 2

The rest of the X-Men are in the Danger Room fighting holograms of Magneto’s newly formed Brotherhood, practicing for their enemies next move.

 

PAGE TWELVE

PANEL 1

Wolverine takes a slice at Mystique, who somersaults backwards and away from the sweep of his claws deftly.

PANEL 2

A close up of Mystique’s face – Wolverine has drawn first blood.  With relish she licks away the red liquid that drips from a graze on her cheek.

PANEL 3

Wolverine holds his stance, a feral grin playing across his face, showing he’s ready for more.

PANEL 4

But before Wolverine can launch himself at the shapeshifting femme fatale, Quicksilver slices past, cutting a pathway between them at high speed.

1.  QUICKSILVER: Coming through!

PANEL 5

As the dust from Quicksilver’s exit settles, Mystique looks up, a sneer upon her face as she gazes after Magento’s son.

PANEL 6

Only to look up and see Wolverine’s leaping at her with his claws drawn.

PANEL 7

As Quicksilver runs past Sabretooth he doesn’t notice Storm rising in the air behind him on a vortex of wind.

 

PAGE THIRTEEN

PANEL 1

Raising out a hand, Storm powers up, electricity crackling in the air about her.

PANEL 2

With little effort she manages to stop Quicksilver in his tracks with a well-placed lightning bolt.  Beast looks on from his place hanging from the ceiling, a wide grin on his face.

1.  BEAST: Impressive shot, Ororo!

PANEL 3

In the foreground Quicksilver is felled, unconscious from Storm’s attack.  Behind him, a momentarily distracted Sabretooth is lifted off the ground by a furious Rogue.

PANEL 4

Launching herself into the air, Rogue slams Sabretooth into the ground, knocking him out and smashing the concrete floor in the process.

PANEL 5

Close-up of Rogue’s face, the rage still plain on her face.

 

PAGE FOURTEEN

PANEL 1

Jubilee comes running down from the Master Control room.

1. COMPUTER: Danger Room sim terminated.

2.  JUBILEE: Whoa Rogue!  You like totally fried that dude!

PANEL 2

Rogue looks unimpressed; in the background Jean notices the troubled look on her face.

3.  JUBILEE: I mean, it wasn’t on the highest level, but damn!

PANEL 3

Jean steps forward.

4.  JEAN: Rogue…you okay?

PANEL 4

Rogue rounds on Jean, her face fierce.

5.  ROGUE: Never been bettah!

PANEL 5

Turning on her heel, Rogue saunters out of the Danger Room looking like a storm cloud.

PANEL 6

6. CYCLOPS: What’s up with her?

7. JEAN: Leave her, Scott.  She’s going through a tough time right now.

PANEL 7

8. CYCLOPS: That’s what I’m worried about.  You know what she’s like when she gets mad.

9. BEAST: Just as long as I’m not in her way…

10. JUBILEE: Yeah, and we all know who’s gonna get it!

 

PAGE FIFTEEN

PANEL 1

Close up of Wolverine taking his gloves off.

1. WOLVERINE: Yeah, well if there’s anyone who needs a good talkin’ to round here it’s that cajun.

PANEL 2

A flashback of the Fall of Genosha.  Rogue has attempted to stop Magneto’s rampage in its tracks, only to be caught up by the powers of the Master of Magnetism herself.

2.  CAPTION: What makes a hero?

PANEL 3

Crushed by a living piece of metal and suspended over the edge of a crumbling building, Rogue hasn’t got the strength to break free as her cage squeezes the air out of her.

3.  CAPTION: Someone who fights for justice?

PANEL 4

Suddenly a pink light blazes its way across the scene of carnage, slicing into the metal that traps Rogue and setting her free.

PANEL 5

Before a weakened Rogue can drop to the floor Gambit races forward to catch her.

4.  CAPTION: Or someone who fights for love?

5.  CAPTION: Which is the nobler?

PANEL 6

Gambit sets Rogue down somewhere safe, away from the fighting.

6. GAMBIT: Forgive me, chere.  I gotta go.

PANEL 7

7. ROGUE: Where’re yah goin’?

8. GAMBIT: Business.

 

PAGE SIXTEEN

PANEL 1

As Rogue finally blacks out, Gambit runs off without another word.

PANEL 2

The flashback ends.  Rogue sits on the front steps of the mansion, knees hunched to her chest as she remembers the events from six months ago.

1.  ROGUE [think]: Ah don’t get it.  Why’d he go, right in the middle of that scrap?  Me and the others…we all needed him.  Ah needed him.  And he just ran away.  Why?

2.  ROGUE [think]: Ah gotta stop avoiding him.

PANEL 3

Close up of Rogue’s face as she gets angrier.

3.  ROGUE [think]: But why should ah?

4.  ROGUE [think]: He shouldn’ have come back here.  He had some nerve, returnin’ after all the wounds he left us to deal with!  Damn you, Remy!

PANEL 4

Just above Rogue, Gambit is on the balcony, smoking, thinking to himself, looking out onto the mansion grounds.

 

PAGE SEVENTEEN

PANEL 1

Suddenly he sees Rogue walking out onto the driveway below him.

PANEL 2

Back view of Rogue on the driveway.

PANEL 3

Close up of Gambit’s face as he too remembers the events of the Fall of Genosha.

PANEL 4

Looking up he sees the silhouette of Rogue, captured by Magneto, dangling over the edge of the building.

PANEL 5

Suddenly Sabretooth leaps down behind Rogue, who does not see him.

1.  ROGUE: REMY!

PANEL 6

Big shot of Sabretooth as he lands on his feet, the feral look of the killer in his eyes.

2.  CAPTION: Genevieve…

PANEL 7

The memory ends.  Gambit snaps and slams his fist against the balconty, his red eyes flashing.

PANEL 8

Rogue swings round and sees him watching her. 

3.  ROGUE: ?!

PANEL 9

Quickly, Gambit slips back inside.

 

PAGE EIGHTEEN

PANEL 1

A small view of the engines of a motorbike revving up.

1.  CAPTION: Professor X is right.

PANEL 2

Wolverine is on his motorbike, leaving the grounds of the mansion.

2.  CAPTION: Some of us, dey want t’ belong. 

PANEL 3

Close up of Wolverine’s face, fierce.

3.  CAPTION: Some of us, dey want to be free.

PANEL 4

Wolverine zooms out of the gates.

4. CAPTION: And some of us, dey want both.  An’ the search leads dem nowhere.

5. CAPTION: At least…I’m not the only one.

PANEL 5

Wolverine comes back later, looking wild, as if he has just come out of a berserker rage.

6. CAPTION: Later.

7. JUBILEE: Hey Wolvie, you missed dinner.

PANEL 6

Wolverine silently goes to the fridge, pulls it open and spears some chicken onto his claws.

PANEL 7

He leaves, slamming the door shut behind him.  Jubilee stares after him, gulping hard.

 

PAGE NINETEEN

PANEL 1

1.  JUBILEE: Hey, is it just me, or is everyone round here in a bad mood today?

PANEL 2

Jean is sitting at the dinner table, next to Cyclops.  In the background Beast is sitting quietly engrossed in a book.

2. JEAN: Ever since Magneto’s attack on the airport, he’s been out looking for Sabretooth again.

3. CYCLOPS: Think that’s why he’s been disappearing so much recently?

PANEL 3

Close up of Jean, looking thoughtful.

4. JEAN: It must be.  Now that Creed’s joined Magneto’s Brotherhood, Logan’s become more and more agitated.  I’m afraid for him Scott.  I’m afraid he’ll lose control.

5. CYCLOPS: He’s had more than a lifetime to get himself under control, Jean.

6.  JEAN: He does have your self-command, Scott.  He isn’t you.

PANEL 4

Cyclops pulls a face.

7.  CYCLOPS: And don’t I know it.

PANEL 5

Wolverine is walking down a corridor, gnawing noisily on the remnants of the chicken leg.

PANEL 6

All of a sudden he stops and sniffs.  He smells the familiar scent of Gambit nearby. 

PANEL 7

Gritting his teeth he jumps out at Gambit from round a corner, popping out his claws. 

 

PAGE TWENTY

PANEL 1

Gambit only just manages to dodge the edge of his claws, which only end up stabbing the adjacent wall.

PANEL 2

Close up of Gambit, his face sweating as he realises how close he came to death.  Beside his face Wolverine’s claws are still stuck ominously in the wall.

1.  GAMBIT: An’ what was dat for, homme?

PANEL 3

With a sweep of the arm, Wolverine releases his claws from the wall, chunks of plaster raining down.

2.  WOLVERINE: For leavin’ your scent on my territory!

PANEL 4

Enraged at his previous miss, Wolverine lunches forward, slicing with his claws.

3. GAMBIT: What?!

4. WOLVERINE: Sabretooth’s arse is mine!

PANEL 5

Gambit steps out of his reach, surprised that Wolverine should know anything about it.  He puts up his hands, hoping to pacify the feral man.

5. GAMBIT: Hey, I don’t know what I done to you, Logan, but you got some beef wit’ me den you just let me know, okay?

PANEL 6

Wolverine raises his claws again – it's clear that he’s past reasoning with.

6. WOLVERINE: Don’t give me that, gumbo!  I know why you left for New Orleans the way you did!  You just couldn’t help takin’ the bait!  And you messed up!

 

PAGE TWENTY-ONE

PANEL 1

Wolverine bears down with both arms, but Gambit grasps onto his wrists before his claws can connect, and this time Gambit is truly angry.

1.  GAMBIT: What do you know about it?

PANEL 2

But Wolverine frees his fist and draws it back to strike.

2. WOLVERINE: Enough to warn you to stay the hell outta my way!

PANEL 3

But before he can finish the job, Rogue steps in from behind, threatening to peel off her gloves.

3. ROGUE: You bettah leave him alone, Logan, otherwise ah’ll drain you so dry your head’ll spin!

PANEL 4

Wolverine looks back at her, the rage still upon his face.

4. WOLVERINE: This is between me and him, Rogue, don’t you get in the way!

PANEL 5

Seeing Wolverine is further gone than she’d thought, Rogue begins to pull off her glove.

5. ROGUE: I don’t wanna touch yah, Logan, but ah will if ah have to.  Y’know how much it hurts to take on your mem’ries. 

6. ROGUE: Y’all got a problem, you take it outside.  Ah’m not havin’ ya’ll fightin’ in here.

PANEL 6

After a moment’s thought Wolverine backs off, his claws whisking back inside his hands.

PANEL 7

Looking back, he glares at Gambit.

7. WOLVERINE: We’ll finish this later, bub.

 

PAGE TWENTY-TWO

PANEL 1

Wolverine leaves, and Gambit heaves a sigh of relief.  Rogue glares at him.

1.  ROGUE: Would you mind tellin’ me what the hell that was all about?

PANEL 2

2. GAMBIT: Damned if I know.  But thanks for savin’ me, chere.

3. ROGUE: Dun call me that.  And dun you lie to me neither, Remy.  Ah heard what he said ‘bout Sabretooth.  Is there somethin’ you’re not tellin’ me?

4. GAMBIT: Rogue…

PANEL 3

Gambit falters off, and Rogue realises that he’s not going to come clean with her.

5. ROGUE: Y’know, if you don’t wanna tell me what it was you were doin’ in New Orleans, then yah might as well jus’ say so.  It’d be an improvement from you lyin’ to me all the time.

6. GAMBIT: I never lied to you, Rogue.

PANEL 4

7. ROGUE: Isn't keepin’ secrets and hidin’ the truth from me the same as lyin’?  Ah don’t find this stuff amusin’ anymore, Remy.  Whatever it was you were doin’, ah don’t want to know!

8.  GAMBIT: You sayin’ we’re finished?

PANEL 5

9.  ROGUE: Y’ don’t get it, do you?  How can we be finished, Remy…

PANEL 6

Rogue stalks off, leaving Gambit standing, watching her as she leaves.

10.     CAPTION: …When we ain’t even begun?

 

End of Full-Circle, Part I

 

Home | Next