Immortal X-Men #3

Issue Date: 
August 2022
Story Title: 
Part three: The New Testament of Irene Adler

Kieron Gillen (writer), Lucas Werneck (artist), Dijjö Lima (color), VC’s Clayton Cowles (letterer), Tom Muller (design), Mark Brooks (cover artist), Phil Noto, Meghan Hetrick, Betsy Cola (variant covers), 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: 

Overcome by her powers after her resurrection, Destiny fell into a catatonic state. She relives her memories of how she gained her powers, met Raven and planned, then start seeing possible futures. She notes that there is less future than there should be; they are all cut off at one point. She examines one future in which Exodus is a godlike being, powered by faith and capturing Mr. Sinister. As he prepares to send him to hell, Sinister lets slip that the whole timeline will die with him. Destiny realizes that Sinister is using clones of Moira X to manipulate and destroy timelines if things don’t go his way. She wakes up. In the meantime, the Quiet Council are bringing their newest member Hope up to speed on their secrets. She mentions Xavier gifting her a Cerebro helmet. This reveals that Mystique was pretending to be Xavier and Sinister tattles that she also came to him as Magneto to get Destiny’s DNA. Xavier wants to call for a vote on throwing Mystique off the Council but they are interrupted by Destiny, who reveals that war will be coming very soon. Later in their home, Destiny writes a new testament but her heart is breaking because in no future has she seen Mystique.

Full Summary: 

Irene Adler was thirteen years old when the future opened up to her. She was riding on a horse when the visions came upon her. She saw both the temporal world and all the worlds to come. And she knew this dual state wouldn’t last longer. She would lose her human sight in months, her mutant sight would dim after its first flush of power.

She used her time to write. Thirteen volumes in thirteen months. They described all she had seen, in a mix of truth and lie, in order to conceal the future from others. The last thing she ever saw with her mortal eyes was the last line of the final volume. Her work was done. Her work had barely begun.

Krakoa, now:
Destiny just collapsed at the Quiet Council. She now seems to be in a catatonic state. Mystique has brought her back to their home and orders Emma Frost to scan her mind. Surface only! She warns Emma not to go any further. Emma suggests they pretend she is suitably cowed by her and reminds Mystique she is on her side. She senses that Destiny is overwhelmed by a flood of visions.

Raven muses it was like that for her the first time she had her visions, when she wrote her testaments. And smartly hid them behind lies, Emma muses. She wishes she had been that smart at that age. Instead, she was a callow youth with an unfortunate nose. Still, she grew out of both. Gently, she tells Raven there is a problem. The Council will meet. Charles promises, no major votes. Storm is off at another Arakkii challenge, so she is inclined to believe him. She can stay with Irene. Raven reminds her that they do not trust Charles. Emma agrees, but promises to ensure he will stick to his word. Raven nevertheless decides to accompany Emma. Irene would not leave her like that. This time she would have told her. Raven made it clear: never die again without warning her! They both leave.

Irene thinks that wife rhymes with life. She always wanted one. She would ensure there would be a world where she could have one.

Somewhere in the West of the USA:

Irene, as a young woman, nervously stands outside a saloon.

She was, in the language of her time, a sexual invert. The future she saw made it clear and showed where not admitting it would lead her. These futures weren’t worth living. And she saw the alternative…

Hesitating, she steps into the saloon, where she will meet Raven dressed in men’s clothes for the first time. Irene steps into that room, knowing she’ll fall in love with her.

Irene thinks of what a friend claimed Queen Victora asked upon discovering her lovers were woman. What do you do? She knows what she would answer: Whatever we want! Forever!

Raven was her first crucial nexus. Nexuses are key to understanding her gift. She sees potential futures. In the short term, she predicts things uncannily but that doesn’t save the future. In the long-term, chaos theory puts things into a flux. Nexuses are the landmarks that let her navigate either away from or toward. For example, climate change: Any choice that does not stop the world from cooking is irrelevant in the long game. A nexus is an event that pulls things toward it. Which means timelines are more predictable afterwards, for better or worse. Mystique and her being together made her compete. There is nowhere without Raven. She’d have burned the universe for them to be together. She was the best nexus. She knew the next one would be harder.

For the future to happen, Irene had to die. Krakoa was the limit of her vision. It could be a utopia. It could make them immortal; it could save the world from all the dark nexuses around it. She could not know why, but there would be no Krakoa as long as she existed. She now knows why: Moira. She’d have killed Moira and prevented this utopia form ever happening. She chose the nexus that best skewed toward it. She chose to die on Muir Isle, hoping she would be saved. She regrets not being able to tell Raven. She told her to burn Krakoa down if they wouldn’t resurrect her. She died and her last thought was sorrow for the sorrow she was causing. She left Raven alone then and she leaves her alone now.

The Quiet Council:
Xavier has just informed their latest member, Hope Summers, of all the Council’s secrets, including Moira’s secret. Hope doesn’t understand why they keep it a secret. They should tell all Krakoa. Xavier chides that is a horrible idea. Nightcrawler chimes in that it is an ethical idea. As Homo superior, they should try to be better.

Why the pushback? Hope demands of Xavier. He knew what he was getting. If he didn’t want her to get involved, why did he give her a Cerebro helmet? Irritated, he replies that he did no such thing. Angrily, Hope insists that he did. She thought it was a reward for work well done! Xavier stiffly informs her the parts of the resurrection process need to stay separated.

With a broad grin, Mr. Sinister tattles he also had a strange visitor. Magneto came to him, asking for all the Destiny DNA. He was entirely convinced it was him. But now that Hope has revealed the shocking truth, there are other candidates. And if the shapeshifter in question wasn’t him - he takes on Mystique’s face - he wonders who it could be.

Mystique jumps up and screams, she will murder him if he takes her form one more time!

Still laughing, he changes back and corrects her: it would be attempted murder at best. She would have to bring down all of Krakoa for it to stick.

Mystique addresses the Council, informing them that burning all this down was the other option. Lying to a few of them to get Destiny back was the better option. Xavier and Mystique scream at each other.

Destiny muses it is like the first time her power manifested in a rush. She is in a body that is mere weeks old when the future opens up to her once more.

She has a vision of Genosha, of X-Men with red diamonds on their foreheads, of fighting the Eternals, of Exodus standing alone and being worshipped by a crowd, of the Darkchilde standing on the bodies of her fallen friends.

She concentrates on several nexus events following each other. The Nimrod Extinction Event pops up often. For some reason, though, there is less future. Some timelines end sharply. A dramatic nexus, then blackness. It turns out they don’t have to worry about climate change anymore or Orchis annihilation. Any victory is slight before… nothing. Or is she wrong and some power is blocking her vision? All the timelines end in wars and horror.

She tries to find a common thread, clues. She reaches out and has a vision of deep space. A word: Expanse. The distant reach of a mutant church empire. She sees a fiery starship, the Phoenix effect around, it cornering a different ship. The second vessel is enveloped in cloned meat – Shaw batteries. Massive amounts of kinetic energy stored in the muscle of a long dead man. She knows who thinks like that. Nathaniel Essex. A toddler who turns up at a party and assumes all the gifts are his.

Mr. Sinister is indeed in the ship. A voice calling him gene-corsair announces they have him. It is Exodus as a giant energy form. He pronounces they have created a hell where Sinister will suffer for his crimes. The souls of those he desecrated are waiting. They have long psychic knives and eternity to pass. Calling Sinister “Judas-Prime,” Exodus judges that at long last he who burned paradise will finally suffer for his sins.

Irene desperately searches for a clue and, thankfully, some people never change. Sinister calls Exodus unbearable. He taunts that Exodus has lost - it doesn’t matter how many trillions are bloating him up with belief. He is just another loser, again and again and again! He won’t be in Exodus’ hell for more than half a day and, frankly, whatever hell he has cooked up can’t be more purgatorial than his tepid company!

As a giant, Exodus is about to swallow him but Sinister continues ranting that he is the only thing that exists. Remove him, and they are all gone! Does he really think Sinister didn’t think of a failsafe to burn this dumb timeline? Been interesting. Learned a whole lot, holy chump, be seeing you!

And he screams and is stretched on for a subjective eternity. And then only darkness. As if his death triggered the destruction of the timeline. But only Moira can do that. No, Irene corrects herself, Moira’s gift could do that.

She awakes, realizing Nathaniel has cloned Moira.

At the Quiet Council, Mystique and Xavier are still arguing. Mystique shouts he promised to bring her back but he never intended to. What did he expect her to do? He retorts, she is an ends-justifies-the-means-terrorist. It’s a little late for her to play the romantic idealist.

Kate states that’s some real Professor-Xavier-is-a-jerk-energy he is throwing around here. Xavier bristles he is tired of them all complaining about the steps he, Magneto and Moira took to take them all to paradise. They get to take it wherever they want now. He may be the architect, but he is not a dictator. He hopes that is clear to them, but however they presently feel about him, don’t get distracted about what’s going on here. What Mystique has done is beyond the limits of simple politics. This is an active subversion of their government undermining its system simply because of her needs. Can they seriously accept her presence on this council?

Silence for a moment, until a voice announces that war is coming. Desitny steps among them and warns it is coming in weeks. They must be ready! She tells Xavier that, if his schemed-for utopia matters to him at all, he should thank her lover for bringing her back, and everyone else should curse those who kept her dead for their own petty needs.

The Hellfire contingent is skeptical and suggests she let the vision be checked out by a telepath. Destiny refuses. She doesn’t trust any of them in her head. But she is committed to the cause of mutants more than anyone. After everything they must have a future.

This is a lot of faith to put in anyone, Exodus muses aloud. Irene thought a man of mutant faith would have more trust in a literal mutant prophet. He agrees.

As Destiny thought, he is the first to fall and, slowly, so do the others. She does not reveal the fact that she knows what she has done can be undone. She cannot give away to Sinister that she knows, or he will kill a Moira and they are back to step one.

Later in their quarters, Raven tells Irene she was magnificent and tells her to come to bed. Irene refuses. The muse is upon her. She needs to write. Is she writing prophecy again? Raven asks. What does it say? Does she trust her? Irene asks. Raven hugs her and asks if she needs her to say it. She does. Raven tells her if every part of this world succumbed to dust, what would remain would be her trust in Irene. What they have is immortal. Irene takes off her mask and decides writing can wait. They kiss passionately.

Afterwards, Irene returns to her desk. She instructs Raven to keep her book safe but not to read it. She writes her book in denial of her visions. She cries silently as she begins writing, because Raven isn’t in any of those futures. There is no future in any way that counts.

Characters Involved: 

Colossus, Destiny, Emma Frost, Exodus, Hope Summers II, Kate Pryde, Mr. Sinister, Mystique, Nightcrawler, Professor X, Sebastian Shaw, Storm (all Quiet Council)

In Destiny’s vision:
Mr. Sinister

Story Notes: 

Destiny was killed by one of Legion’s evil personalities in Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #255.

Posing as Magneto, Mystique asked for Destiny’s DNA (and Sinister totally knew it was her) in Inferno (2nd series) # 2.

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