|X-treme X-Men (2nd series) # 7.1|| || |
Issue Date: Jan 2013
Story Title: untitled
Staff: Greg Pak (Writer), Andre Araujo and Raul Valdes (Pencils), Andre Araujo, Lorenzo Ruggiero and Walden Wong (Inks), Rachelle Rosenberg (Colorists), VC’s Joe Sabino (Letters), Stephanie Hans (Cover), Jeannie Schaefer (Editor), Jennifer M. Smith (Assistant Editor), Nick Lowe (Group Editor), Axel Alonso (Editor in Chief), Joe Qeusada (Chief Creative Officer), Dan Buckley (Publisher), Alan Fine (Executive Producer)
The team use Sage’s power to try and find their way back to their Xavier. Instead, however, they jump to a dimension with a much more powerful one. The Xavier in question is an Acanti skywhale who has been possessed by the Brood. The Brood queen on board detects a world with no Xavier and jumps realities to get to it. Meanwhile, Cyclops is woken from his sleep by a vision of Xavier. He heads off to the sinking Utopia to hopefully find a way to get his powers back under control. Instead, he is met by a vision of Xavier which turns out to be the Brood casting illusions. Dazzler and co. arrive just in time to save him. After questioning Cyclops, they are suddenly distracted by the appearance of the Xavier skywhale. The Brood on board launch an attack on a local park and the team goes to help defend it. They beat back the Brood until they use Johnny Ito as a bargaining chip against Dazzler. However, Dazzler ignores them and continues saving people. Johnny and the civilians in the park are ultimately saved and the team takes the fight to the skywhale. They use the team’s ship to get Howlett inside the whale, where he promptly kills the queen controlling it. The skywhale crashes down to the ground and reveals it’s an immensely powerful being. It can feel other evil Xaviers seeking it out and he asks the team to kill him. After realizing it’s their only option, Dazzler mercifully kills the Xavier skywhale. Afterwards, Cyclops tells Dazzler that this is her world but she decides not to stay as she has work to do in the multiverse.
On board the robot-shaped spaceship they acquired from S.W.O.R.D. when Sage joined them, the team brings Sage up-to-date on their mission. Sage has an air of disbelief about her when Dazzler mentions the evil Xaviers. She tells Sage that there are ten of them from alternate universe and, if they are not taken out, then they will screw up the multiverse in an as-yet unknown way. Whilst steering the ship, Sage asks Dazzler who told her this. Dazzler replies that it was one of the Xaviers and Sage says that it presumably wasn’t one of the evil ones. From further back in the ship Howlett comments that it remains to be seen. Kurt reasons with him that, for a disembodied head in a bottle, he’s okay.
Stunned by this revelation, Sage turns around and sarcastically says he has to be kidding her. Dazzler changes the subject and brings up the subject of Sage’s psychic powers. Sage tells her she has some, to which Dazzler tells her that some will have to do as they need to find their Xavier, whom they left behind on a Savage Land world. Sage looks up at Dazzler and asks if she expects her to just reach across dimensions and pluck him out from an infinite universe. Dazzler tells her that everything that has ever existed could be at stake… so yes.
(seventeen minutes later)
The team’s ship suddenly appears with a flash above a rocky, barren landscape. Dazzler asks what happened and Sage tells her the impossible. Sage points at one of her computer screens and tells Dazzler that there are cracks all over the universe and portals are appearing where they shouldn’t be. Kurt tells her that’s what Xavier was talking about… something’s gone wrong.
Sage tells them she was apparently able to navigate through one of the breaches to the nearest Xavier. Dazzler suddenly interrupts at hearing the nearest Xavier and not their Xavier. Sage tells her that this Xavier radiates as the most powerful, but before she can finish her attention is caught by a Brood drone flying up to the ship. When Kurt indicates he has never heard of them before, Dazzler summarizes them as evil aliens who lay eggs in you and take over your body. As the team stare out of the ship’s windows at a swarm of Brood invading the ship, Dazzler asks Sage if they are up against a Brood Xavier. Sage says they aren’t… just a supremely powerful, death-dealing, Brood possessed, Acanti skywhale Xavier. They turn to see a colossal, pink Acanti skywhale with the face of Xavier on it. Dazzler tells her it’s pretty specific for some psychic powers. As Sage stares up in disbelief at what she’s seeing, she tells Dazzler that, if it’s any consolation, she is starting to believe her about her ten evil Xaviers story.
Inside the skywhale, a Brood drone tells its queen that the planetoid is dead and only a few interlopers survive. As it eats one of the planet’s natives, it tells her they have eaten all they can but there wasn’t much. It approaches the queen and tells her the hive still hungers. The queen, which is larger than the drones, has partially merged with the brain of the skywhale. She tells the drone to prepare to leave. Through the dimensional breach, she can feel a fat, stupid world with no defenses... a world with no Xavier.
Elsewhere, surrounded by light, Xavier tells Scott they should talk. From inside a tent, a scream rings out and a red beam blasts up through the roof. Scott sits upright and rubs his head realizing it was a dream. Realizing it’s bad that he fired his optic blast in his sleep, he wills himself to get control. He looks out over San Francisco bay at the sinking island of Utopia and asks himself that’s why he’s here isn’t he?
He puts on his costume and swims down to the, now underwater, ruins. He muses to himself that, when he left Utopia, he was the most powerful living thing on the planet but now his optic blasts are so compromised and unpredictable he is using a knife to jimmy open a door. He comes to the surface and walks out into the half-submerged medical bay, hoping that some of the data banks and genetic analysis equipment survived. As he finds a storage device, he puts it in a bag and thinks to himself that miracles do happen.
A voice gets his attention and agrees with him and says that’s the only one. He looks up to see Xavier standing in front of him and dressed in a suit. He tells Scott he is so glad he is came, much to Scott’s surprise. He tells Scott that he knows it’s confusing but not to fight it. Cyclops is suddenly surrounded by Brood drones and he starts firing his optic beam, slicing one in half. He falls to the ground as more drones advance on him. Xavier tells him he’s broken and he can’t get away. The Brood drones wrap their tails around his arms and neck and point his head upwards so the optic beam doesn’t hit them. Xavier approaches Cyclops and puts his hands on his head. He tells Cyclops that he promises to help him as soon as he lets him into his head. He needs to know if he ready did what he did; he needs to know if this world is safe.
Suddenly, Xavier disappears as the area is lit up brightly and daggers of light impale the Brood through the head. As Cyclops’s head is released by the Brood, he calls out Xavier’s name and fires his optic blast. Standing before him is Dazzler, who has quickly created a light shield on her arm and deflects the optic beam. Smiling, she tells him no and then asks if Xavier is a strawberry blonde on this world too. Cyclops passes out and Dazzler rushes over to him.
Later on amongst the wreckage of Utopia, Dazzler asks Sage if there is any trace of the skywhale. Sage says there is no trace of any Xavier of any kind. Dazzler looks over to Cyclops, who is lying on one of the medical bay beds and being monitored by Howlett. She asks how he is and Howlett replies that he’s still out but he’s strong. She says something is wrong because, in her reality, Cyclops would have blasted apart the Brood in seconds.
She looks around her and says the whole world gives her the creeps, and then wonders what happened here. Accessing one of the computers, Kurt tells her that this world apparently had a big battle between the X-Men and the Avengers. He brings up a holographic screen and shows Dazzler the five X-Men who channeled the Phoenix Force and threatened to remake the planet. Dazzler is a little surprised by the mention of the Phoenix Force and then bets that worked out well for them.
Cyclops starts stirring and she goes over to him. Howlett tells him not to sit up but he does anyway, causing Howlett to mutter he’s stubborn in every dimension. Dazzler tells Cyclops that they are in emergency mode and asks where his Xavier is. Dazzler tries to job his memory but Cyclops says he killed him.
Dazzler seems cool with this and sums up that it means that three are dead now. Kurt tells her that it’s four, causing Dazzler to start counting on her fingers the Xaviers they have dealt with. Confused by the whole thing, Cyclops asks what’s going on. Dazzler introduces herself to Cyclops and says that maybe he has heard of her on this world. Cyclops says her name as if to try and get her attention but she ignores him and says she is one a team of X-Men from other realities and they are after ten evil Xaviers. She says they have taken care of four so far including him. She then asks if his was evil but, before he can properly reply, Sage suddenly screams in pain and grasps her head. She tells them that Xavier is here and he’s hungry. The Xavier skywhale is floating high above them with countless Brood drones flying around it.
Inside the skywhale, the Brood queen says she has looked into the killer’s mind and this world’s Xavier is dead. She has cloaked them all; the humans won’t see them until it’s too late. As the drones descend on a park full of unaware people, she tells them to feed first and afterwards they will spread.
Just as the drones near their prey, Kurt and Howlett teleport amongst them. Howlett leaps onto one of the drones and impales it through the back of the head with his claws. The drones alert their queen that they are under attack. Sage brings the ship down closer and Cyclops and Dazzler stand on its bulkhead firing beams at incoming Brood. The queen is aware that Sage is psychically shielding them and that Dazzler, the light-bringer, is disturbingly determined. It’s time to seize their bargaining chip.
Down in the park, a cloaked drone flies down and grabs a man from a crowd of people. The drone asks if he is Johhny Ito. Shocked as to what’s going on, he just yells until the drone shouts at him to answer. He confirms he is and the drone asks he is Dazzler’s lover. He turns to the drone and says that’s kind of personal.
A little way off, Cyclops yells to Dazzler that they need to take out the whale but she says that, if they kill it, then it will fall on the city. Jumping off the ship, Cyclops tells her they have a nice big landing strip in the park. Dazzler agrees and yells back for him to save the civilians. One of the drones flies down and says they will do nothing of the kind. She turns to see Johnny being carried by the drone and another drone demands she leave the place. Her attention is suddenly caught by another couple of drones picking up some children and starting to fly off with them. One of the drones says she can’t help them and then tells her to take her mate.
Dazzler apologizes to Johnny and then blasts the drones that took the children. The drone holding Johnny tells her it was her choice and then starts to strangle Johnny. Dazzler starts cursing as she continues to stop drones from taking children. Suddenly, Howlett dives onto the drone holding Johnny and stabs it through the head. They fall to the ground and Dazzler thanks Howlett as she blasts a drone behind him.
Cyclops comes forward and says that that was the last of them. Dazzler tells Cyclops and Howlett to get on the robot and for Kurt to continue to get the civilians out of the park. She turns to Johnny and asks if he is okay. He replies yes and then quotes her “sorry Johnny” line. She tells him they made her choose him or the kids. Johnny says he knows but it was just a little cold in the moment. He thought they had something going on but then she disappears. And then when she reappears, it’s with monsters. The hand of the robot-ship is lowered to the ground and Dazzler jumps on. She tells him she’s not the Alison he knows and he’s not the Johnny she knows. There’s this whole alternate reality thing going on but she doesn’t have time to explain. As she climbs aboard the ship he tells her it’s alright… if she wants to break up just say so.
As the team cling to the side of the ship, they get close to the skywhale. Dazzler yells to get ready for a second wave as she sees more drones home in on them. Dazzler shouts to Sage to psychically link them, which she promptly does. She yells to the team that they are taking the skywhale down and then asks if there are any vulnerable points. Cyclops says the last time they fought one it was being controlled by a Brood Queen.
On board the ship, Sage scans the skywhale and finds a Brood Queen attached to the brainstem. She tells them the best entrance is the dome over the right eyeball. Dazzler replies that Howlett has the best psychic resistance but, before she can continue, Howlett is suddenly grabbed round the waist by a drone. As the drone flies off with Howlett in its jaws, Dazzler shouts to Sage, but Sage tells her she’s read her mind and with that gets the ship to grab the drone with one of its hands. She then throws the drone and Howlett at the skywhale. They enter the skywhale through one of the holes that scatter the whale’s body.
Dazzler mentally contacts Howlett that it’s all up to him now. Dozens of Brood drones appear but Howlett rips them to shreds and makes his way to the brainstem. The queen can only scream “no” as Howlett embeds his fists in its forehead.
With the queen dead, the skywhale crashes down to the empty park below. Looking down at the carnage from their ship, Dazzler is amazed it actually worked. Sage says she doesn’t get it; the queen should have exploded their brains the second they attacked. The Xavier it was controlling was insanely powerful. Before she can continue, the Acanti-Xavier tells her it was a fact he tried very hard to hide from her. He tells the team that the queen controlled him but it didn’t have any psychic power of its own. She never knew how much damage she could have done… but he knows. He then asks for the team’s help. Cyclops says that the world has many healers and says they’ll get him back on the air.
Xavier asks them to kill him. When Cyclops starts to object, Xavier says that the multiverse is starting to pull apart and Xaviers are the fulcrum. He can feel the rest waking up and sensing something larger in him. No matter what their healers do he will die after many painful hours. In the meantime, though, he will be a magnet and he isn’t strong enough to resists them when they arrive. If two Xaviers join forces, this world dies… if three do then everything they know… Xavier starts to splutter before he can finish. He starts to beg them. Dazzler says that Sage confirms what he’s saying. Cyclops tells her to let him think but she replies that he’s in terrible pain and he’s made his choice. With that, she crouches down next to him and thanks him. He tells her “blessings and forgiveness” as she lets out a beam of bright light into him… ending his life.
Cyclops and Dazzler are standing next to his bike, overlooking the bay to Utopia. He tells her she should stay, things are different round here. They have heroes on their side and resources. Dazzler declines and says that Sage has another Xavier a couple of dimensions over and they don’t want to miss him. He asks her if she realizes that this is her world. She tells him she isn’t dumb. He tells her he always knew she was a hero but now she’s a leader. She says she has a good team but he tells her he wasn’t talking about that. He was talking about her. There might have been another way for the skywhale. In fact, there’s always another way, but they didn’t have time and too much was at stake. He just hopes she’s better equipped to deal with the consequences because he wasn’t. She’s ready to save the multiverse because she knows sometimes she needs to do the wrong thing.
Dazzler is quiet as she boards the ship. Sage closes the hatch and says they are leaving in five. Howlett asks her what’s wrong. As they fly off, she replies that she’s not a particular fan of this reality.
Dazzler, Howlett, Kid Nightcrawler, Sage (all X-Men)
Xavier Acanti skywhale
Numerous Brood drones
Civilians in park
(in Brood illusion)
On computer monitor
Cyclops, Emma Frost, Namor, Magik, Colossus (all Phoenix Five)
This story takes place between X-treme X-Men (2nd series) #7 and #8.
Sage and her ship joined the team in issue #7
The team left their “head-in-a-bottle” Xavier on a Savage Land-like world to go look for Kurt, who had been split up from them when they were jumping between realities. X-Treme X-men (2nd series) #6
After being possessed and then losing the Phoenix Force, Cyclops, along with the others who were possessed, has been suffering from weakened powers. Hence Dazzler’s comment that Cyclops should have blown apart the Brood in seconds and Cyclops firing his blast in his sleep.
Cyclops and his then team of X-Men first came across an Acanti way back in Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #166.
After the events of the Avengers vs. X-Men event, the X-Men’s island base of Utopia was heavily damaged and was abandoned as it started to sink.
Dazzler and Johnny Ito were on a date when she got the call to come to Utopia to help Cyclops out with something. This would ultimately lead her to join the reality-hopping X-Men. X-Treme X-Men (2nd series) #1. She never got a chance to explain to Johnny where she went.
There are some slight continuity errors in this issue. Dazzler is apparently surprised to learn that five of the X-Men channeled the Phoenix Force. However, she is seen in Avengers vs. X-Men #4, which was the main series from the event of the same name. In it, she was seen fighting Avengers over the split decisions as to what to do with the Phoenix Force. She would have known that the Phoenix Force was headed to Earth. She doesn’t appear again during the event, so she might have started her reality hopping adventures soon after that issue but before Cyclops and co became possessed in #5. However, even so, she shouldn’t be surprised by this revelation.
After the events of Avenger vs. X-Men, Cyclops was taken to prison after he killed Xavier. [Avengers vs. X-Men: Consequence] At the end of the miniseries, Magneto, Magik and Danger break him out of prison. Considering this, it’s odd that he should show up here alone and sleeping in a tent.
Issue Summary written by: Gremlin