Immortal X-Men #2

Issue Date: 
July 2022
Story Title: 
All Mankind’s Woes

Kieron Gillen (writer), Lucas Werneck (artist), David Curiel (color), VC’s Clayton Cowles (letterer), Tom Muller (design), Mark Brooks (cover artist), VC’s Clayton Cowles (production), Lauren Amara (associate editor), Jordan D. White (editor), C.B. Cebulski (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)
X-Men created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby

Brief Description: 

After the Quiet Council’s rejection, Selene has transformed the External Gate into a giant kaiju and leaves for Great Britain, where she is welcomed by Coven Akkaba. Storm and Magneto attack the creature but Dr. Nemesis finds that, by injuring the creature, they are damaging the gates, their connection to Otherworld and even more. Hope takes command of evacuation from the danger. When Exodus wants her to leave instead of endangering herself, she reveals that his power is based on faith, meaning, if she copies it, she can do more than him due to being worshipped by so many. Together they protect the crowd with his telekinesis. In his secret lab, Mr. Sinister injects himself with different mutant DNA and plays the hero by wrestling the kaiju into the ocean, buying the others some more time. The Council decide to parley with Selene. But Destiny tells Hope where precisely Selene will be at a certain time and that she will die there, hinting that Hope is to kill her. Grabbing an assault rifle, some mysterium bullets and copying Magik’s teleportation, Hope teleports to London and shoots Selene, then returns to Arbor Magna where Selene is resurrected. Exodus reads her mind for the knowledge how to stop the creature then kills her again. Afterwards, the Council decide to leave Selene at the end of the resurrection queue for now. Destiny has a vision and goes catatonic.

Full Summary: 

Like the other members of the Quiet Council, Hope Summers stares in disbelief at the huge monster the External Gate has been transformed into courtesy of the sorceress Selene. Good news, Hope has just been voted into the Council; bad news, now she has to deal with this, Hope figures.

Xavier appeals to Selene that transforming the gate in a fit of pique is beneath her. Smugly, she informs him these are consequences. She’ll leave them to stew in them and will be in touch when they have had time to think.

She teleports to London, the HQ of Clan Akkaba, who offer her the protection of her Majesty’s Government. Can they do anything to make her comfortable? As they are in England, Selene decides, she’d like an Earl Grey. Either the tea or an actual gray-haired earl. She’s not picky.

Hope automatically takes command of the Five, ordering Proteus to get folks to safety and everyone else to fall back. Silently, she figures that is her role, not being a messiah, as Exodus wishes. Get to safety, she orders. What about her? Synch asks. She took a leadership job, she replies, so she will be out here leading. She’ll be fine. She realizes she no longer carries a weapon and chides herself for getting soft.

Some distance away, Storm and Magneto observe. While he is sure the Captains will handle this, a show of strength by the administration would be timely, he suggests, both present and outgoing. He supposes it is lucky he didn’t just leave in a huff. Storm tells him he is better than that. And he was never going to leave quietly. He’d want something for people to remember him by. Does she think him so cynical? he smiles.

They use their powers in tandem. He pierces the creature with several ferrous objects, allowing her electric charge to hit all the harder. However, they get a telepathic message from Emma Frost, who links Destiny. She is having a vision and asks them to stop.

The creature reforms. They consult Dr. Nemesis, who informs them that the creature connects multiple dimensions. Hurting it causes damage to the gateways. Their connection to Otherworld. Everything. If they destroy it, all that goes boom-boom.

Storm stops the attack and the creature rises up.

While Hope tries to evacuate people, Exodus joins her and orders her to come with him. She must not risk herself. She is the lamb of Krakoa. She doesn’t bleat and she won’t leave anyone behind, Hope snaps back. He points out sensibly that even he cannot save the whole crowd. Hope retorts that, while he cannot, she can. His gifts mean he is more powerful when people believe in him, so she can… Exodus blurts out “what?” Hope apologizes for not telling him before. When she first took his power, she saw it. She is a crappy messiah.

He replies she speaks to him, and it is a revelation. He sees himself clearer. There is nothing “crappy” about her. He addresses her as messiah. Embarrassed, she tells him people believe in her and she mimics power, so she copies his power. Together they create a massive telekinetic shield to protect the crowd from the detonation.

Hope is torn regarding Exodus. She doesn’t believe in that messiah thing, but he also told her she needed to be on the Council. She couldn’t find a reason to disagree with him. Her father raised no shirker. She guesses that makes her a believer too. Just not like Exodus. He’s #*§$ nuts. He isn’t alone in that.

From his lab, Sinister observes that one must save the day. He figures he makes one joke and people think he is a joke. Some of the thickos may even forget some of the gifts he gave himself. It is a shame he has to remind them exactly what Sinister can be. He grabs some vials from the gene closet, then steps through a gate bringing him close to the battle site.

Fight not with monsters, in case you become a monster,” he quotes Nietzsche derogatively. Nietzsche was an idiot, he decides as he injects himself with the contents of the vial. If you fight with monsters, you should become a monster. He transforms becoming more musclebound, displaying claws and spikes. The best and biggest monster you can!

What is he doing? Xavier demands. Blasting the monster with an optic blast, Sinister replies, hero stuff. He knows how it is.

Xavier asks what is it as Sinister tackles the creature. An experiment, is the reply. Early chimera prototype. It’ s a lot of mutant genes messed together with an MGH base and some Arakkii spice. He tells him not to worry and lies this is the bespoke genetic-suit end of his work. It’s completely unstable and took him weeks of work to make it even this close. Also, there’s significant teething problems and he does not just refer to the fact it is growing teeth from every orifice at a rate he can only describe as Cronenbergian. Calmly, Xavier asks if he is going to cause a disaster worse than the disaster they are facing.

While he drags the creature into the ocean, Sinister replies that he is going to get the Kaiju clear of the island. But in about six seconds he is going to need a rescue. The wonderful beastie he is embedded in is going to dissolve or possibly explode.

From some distance, Hope and Exodus see the explosion.

In the water, Sinister believes the monster is done then has to marvel at its amazing rate of regeneration, then realizes this might be problematic for him. Luckily, that moment Nightcrawler teleports in and helps him back to the beach.

Sinister asks if he shouldn’t have a hero’s moment: crowds applauding, palms cast at his feet, grateful fans…. He would, if he were a hero, is Kurt’s reply. Touché, Sinister admits, but while he cannot change his history, he is as committed to Krakoa as anyone. They at least bought it a reprieve together today. Kurt may not be grateful to Sinister, but Sinister is grateful to him. He thanks him for the rescue. Kurt is quiet for a moment, then reluctantly praises him before walking away. Sinister mutters to himself that people who think best of others are just the easiest.

That moment, Xavier calls the Quiet Council (without Hope) to a telepathic emergency meeting. He apologizes for taking the initiative but he thought speed more important than decorum. They have decisions to make. She understands perfectly, Emma snarks. “To me, my Quiet Council.” Shaw grins approvingly.

Xavier huffs he wouldn’t make jokes at a time like this. It also isn’t the time to score petty political points. It is not his Council, it is theirs.

Storm adds that Emma voted for rejecting Selene, partially blaming her for the escalation. That was a petty political point, Emma shoots back. Kate urges them to move on; what is this tantrum of Selene meant to prove? Destiny replies it proves Selene’s point: they are vulnerable to magic. Nightcrawler muses about inviting Magik to the Council as a possible solution. Colossus is against that. His sister is enjoying being a Captain too much. She is not one for such meetings.

Xavier suggests they discuss this another time, when Selene’s creature isn’t chittering toward them. He announces the Captains will slow the creature down without destroying it. The Council will reach out to Selene, see what else she wants and work out a way to satisfy her.

Colossus asks if there are Summers Protocols for something like this. Oh please, Emma huffs. It’s Scott! What does he think?

At the evacuation site, Destiny seeks out Hope and tells her she has a vision: At 19:07, Greenwich mean time, Selene will step by a window in London. She has ascertained its address. She will stand there for a second, sigh… and then she will die.

Hope reminds her she sees probable futures, not certain ones. What is the likelihood of this happening? She dares say significantly higher after this conversation, Destiny replies coyly as she walks away with her wife.

Hope wonders why Destiny asked her. She has a competitive streak you could march an army down, but she is not stupid. Destiny’s married to Mystique. She could pull this off, but not like this.

Hope gets a high-tech assault weapon and mysterium bullets, then copies Magik’s teleportation power. She ends up falling from the sky near London Bridge, falls past the window of a room where Selene has just learned that the mutants have asked for her demands. She aims. Headshot. While a normal bullet wouldn’t kill Selene, this one is made from Mysterium, which has anti-magic properties.

Hope teleports back to Krakoa and enters Arbor Magna, where a resurrected Selene has just crawled from an egg. Hope knocks her in the face and hands her to Exodus, who uses Selene’s confused post-resurrection state to go through her mind and find the means of switching the monster off. The gate monster disintegrates and Exodus breaks Selene’s neck.

Later, Hope explains and defends her actions in front of the Quiet Council. She stresses that she didn’t break any of their laws, while Selene stomped over them in her goth boots.

Kate agrees. It was a huge risk but not even in the top ten of the worst things they have done. Emma points out that Selene broke the law “respect this sacred land,” so they would have had to throw her into the Pit anyway. A bored Shaw agrees; let’s save him from another trial. That can wait until Selene works her way up the resurrection queue.

Xavier asks Hope if she would bring Selene back, if she were at the top of the resurrection queue. Hope retorts they should table that discussion for now.

With the meeting over, Hope tells Exodus she hopes he now realizes she isn’t a messiah. Jesus didn’t shoot anyone through the head. Exodus agrees, he did not. This is another reason why Hope is a far superior kind of messiah. She laughs and playfully knocks him in the arm.

Sinister stands with Destiny and Mystique and notes that power was significant. Perhaps it’s worth bringing back Selene just to find out how she did it. Destiny predicts that wouldn’t end well for him. Why the concern? he asks. She reminds him she told him before: they must be on the same side. She and Mystique leave.

Xavier walks up to Sinister. Strange times and strange bed fellows, Xavier observes. He didn’t realize he and Destiny were so close. What was Irene implying? Sinister replies, he has no idea. “We must be on the same side.” She told him no such thing!

That was almost fun, Mystique enthuses then notices something is wrong with Destiny, who admits she has been feeling queasy. That creature was a living distortion of time and space. It’s not going away… She hasn’t felt like this since…over a century, at least. She is thinking of a bed… a summer… No! she mutters, then falls. You’re a ghost… she keeps on repeating.

Characters Involved: 

Colossus, Destiny, Emma Frost, Exodus, Hope Summers II, Kate Pryde, Mr. Sinister, Mystique, Nightcrawler, Professor X, Sebastian Shaw, Storm (all Quiet Council)
Egg, Elixir, Proteus, Tempus (The Five)
Magik, Synch
Dr. Nemesis

Cy-Cat and Professor Plod (Mr. Sinister’s lab assistants)
Coven Akkaba

Story Notes: 

The issue includes Cyclops’ Kaiju delaying protocol.

Further notes:
Hope is this issue’s point of view character.

Sinister refers to film director David Cronenberg whose works are full of body horror.

Emma’s bad blood with Selene goes back all the time to their time together in the Hellfire Club, when Emma and Shaw considered Selene a threat and tried to get rid of her.

Shaw refers to another trial. He is presumably referring to the X-Men: Trial of Magneto limited series.

Destiny told Sinister in 1919 that they had to be on the same side (last issue).

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