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Kieron Gillen (writer), Lucas Werneck (artist), David Curiel (color), VC’s Clayton Cowles (letterer), Tom Muller and Jay Bowen and Kieron Gillen (design),Mark Brooks (cover artist), Phil Noto (Quiet Council cover), Sara Pichelli & Federico Blee (Miracle man cover), VC’s Clayton Cowles (production), Laure 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
The Quiet Council awaits the Progenitor’s judgment on Earth. Soon, they learn that they all have failed, and the Progenitor begins destroying the world. Nightcrawler has a talk with Destiny, learning of a possible (if frightening) chance. Soon, he teleports to Manhattan to find Captain America and informs him of their plan. He teleports Cap to the North Pole, while getting some cell samples from him. Cap confronts the Progenitor and holds a speech until both he and Nightcrawler are killed. However, his sacrifice served its purpose uniting Earth. Heroes, mutants and Eternals together attack the Progenitor but fail. The mutants fake the destruction of Krakoa, while evacuating most mutants beforehand, leaving just enough to make it seem real. A small group enters the Progenitor’s body to attack him from inside, while the Machine that is Earth is struggling to hold it together. Kurt has a plan to get the expertise of Orchis to support the Machine. He teleports onto the Orchis Forge again and again, getting killed each time and a resurrected version tries again, until he finally reaches Moira X. He manages to convince her that they need to work together, if barely. Mr. Sinister, in the meantime, tries to destroy the timeline and start again by killing another Moira engine, but for some reason his attempts at doing so fail.
Krakoa:The Quiet Council is gathered, waiting for the Progenitor’s judgment.
Nightcrawler thinks to himself that he tries to look on the sunny side of things. To a fault, sometimes.
He announces he thinks it is going really well. Xavier points out sourly that Magneto is dead and they cannot resurrect him without disrespecting his legacy.
Okay not, really, really well, Kurt admits, but compared to where they were at breakfast? This is good. War with the Eternals? Over. Eros is a much better Prime Eternal. He’s promised reparations, and he seems sincere. And the plans for the future of the planet? They are good plans. Hell, the deals to offer Krakoan foreign aid to soften the immortality situation are inspired. Shaw thanks him wryly. Credit where credit is due, Kurt continues. It’s going to make a better world. Most of all, they’ve shown that as a planet they can make progress when given a suitable motivation. The Celestial gave the world a test. He thinks they are going to pass.
Shaw asks if he is willing to wager on that. When Kurt points out that that makes no sense, since if they lose, they die. Shaw schools him on disaster capitalism. Besides, he believes if they don’t pass, Krakoa can take it if it comes to it. Emma asks if he cares to take a wager on that. Absolutely, Shaw shoots back. Start with hundred th… Xavier interrupts them and asks for some decorum. The Progenitor’s final judgment will be any second. Eros is making his speech as they speak.
Mystique turns to her wife Destiny, noting she has been quiet. Destiny admits she is terrified.
There is a booming noise and fire rains from the skies. Shaw wryly notes this doesn’t look like a pass and tells Kurt to pay up.
Kurt thinks that he does try to look on the sunny side, but sometimes suns turn into supernovas.
It’s chaos as the Quiet Council try to discuss plans for war, evacuation, futile stands. Irene interjects sporadically, shaking her head. Sometimes just shaking. The plans grow more extreme, and it gets worse when Mr. Sinister makes his way back. He suggests churning out as many Magneto clones as they can.
Disgusted, Kurt thinks never mind the disrespect. Never mind torching their relations with the Arakkii. Never mind anything. Just Magneto as meat.
Kurt calls him out. Sinister turns to him and grins. He thought this precious Spark of his was about trying new things. What’s more a new thing than throwing a couple of American football teams worth of Magneto at a Celestial to see if it will crack?
Kurt thinks to himself that maybe the Celestial was right. Maybe they don’t deserve to live, but he can’t accept that.
He looks at Destiny, figuring there is something she isn’t telling them.
Mystique asks Destiny if she is okay, but Irene warns her what happens next will be fine. What happens next is Kurt grabbing her and teleporting them both high into the air. As they fall, he suggests: “Let’s catch up, evil stepmom!” What isn’t she telling the Council? She replies he isn’t going to kill her. Kurt points out she sees probable futures. What if she is wrong?
He teleports them a few times until they reach the ground. He tells her she is right, but he wanted her to feel it when you are hurtling at the ground with terminal velocity. To know you are dead, unless someone else uses their gift to save you. They are all hurtling toward the floor. She has the gift.
With a small voice, she replies the path is narrow and uncertain. She does not wish to walk it. Kurt offers his hand. None of them do, but he’ll take every step that is needed with her, hand in hand. What’s the first one? She tells him.
A little later, he is outside the Treehouse in New York. He is in telepathic contact with Xavier. Irene said their best chance is to kill the Celestial. It is not impossible, but their best shot is everyone together working as one. There is only one person who can unite the world like that.
He sees Captain America and Jada sitting on a fallen tree and talking, around them a pile of dead, anti-mutant protesters. Kurt notices their pamphlets on the ground and takes one up. It was created by Orchis. He is disgusted. The world is ending and Orchis is using it for their advantage. Like Sinister. Like Shaw. Maybe they do deserve to fail. The angry part of him knows that, if they fail, at least they die too. The spark of hate could consume him, but he uses it to fuel him.
He addresses the two. Captain America agrees to the plan. Kurt figures this was always the easy part. He begins a series of teleportation jumps to get the two the North Pole. He takes a blood sample from Cap a minute into the jumps. A minute after that, he passes it to Magik… because if the plan doesn’t work, they have a plan B.
Xavier sends the image of Cap confronting the Celestial across the world. His heroic sacrifice unites the world.
Nightcrawler has died too. He awakens in a resurrection egg, remembering the pain of dying. They have done what they have always avoided. Charles was backing him up live. He can’t afford to lose any seconds. He muses about the lie of Krakoa. They don’t bring a person back from the dead. They bring back an earlier self. The person who dies feels the pain of death. The person who comes back never had that memory. Now he does. He will always recall what it is like to be rent asunder on a molecular level.
The battle against the Celestial fails as hero after hero falls. So, it’s time for plan B, the path that had Destiny trembling because even more of them will have to die.
Flanked by Xavier and Nightcrawler, Hope Summers speaks to the Krakoan mutants, explaining the plan. She explains that the Celestial is going to destroy Krakoa. They can evacuate most of them, but Destiny says they need people to stay to trick the bastard. She needs volunteers. One in ten will do.
A lot more than one-in-ten volunteer. Overcome, Hope swears she will save them all if she can. She won’t rest for a second!
While she wells up, Kurt just gets angrier. How dare this parody of a god force them down this road?
Certain people have to die to make the Progenitor believe the lie including a member of the Five.
He doesn’t want to die, Egg complains as the others hug him. Why does he always have to die?
Destiny explains someone of the Five has to stay. As long as they still have some eggs, the Five can operate without him. So, it must be him.
And he knows what they say, a grinning Sinister adds. Can’t save the world without breaking a few Eggs!
Kurt attacks him, threatening to cut that smile into his face if he makes another joke like that. Sinister is momentarily startled, then gets ahold of himself and leers, he likes this different side of him!
Kurt thinks of all the people dying on Krakoa. He tries to imagine how dying would feel.
Destiny and Mystique hold each other as Destiny explains why they must be among the dying. She died on Muir Isle in the hope they would be together again. They will do the same here. She tells her wife to close her eyes as the fire reaches them.
Nightcrawler thinks of the sacrifice and Sinister’s levity and he doesn’t understand how he can still act as if none of it matters.
Secretly, Mr. Sinister enters his hidden lab, ready to kill a Moira engine and start a new timeline, as he figures that, once again, he will not make it through Judgment Day. At least he is going to get himself some pointers. He orders Professor Plod (the turtle) to upload the data, but the upload fails again and again. Sinister decides to try again blindly. He tries to shoot a Moira, but the rifle is blocked for some reason. Really? he shouts.
Avengers Mansion, New York City:Kurt figures he would not get this plan past the Council, but he needs only Xavier and Hope. And Hope is on team hope. The freshly resurrected Exodus bristles at this blasphemy - it is a mutant miracle! he stresses. Hope orders him not to question her. This is the plan. He says she is his messiah? Have some damn faith in her! Exodus gives in and then the remaining four members of the Five resurrect Captain America. What now? he asks.
The plan as it stands is for a small group to enter the Celestial’s body and activate the fail-safe and destroy it.
Mission 2 is to save as many people as possible. Mission 3: the Progenitor is using the Machine that is Earth to destroy the world. The AI is fighting back. They have to find a way to support its resistance. The AI part gives Kurt an idea. He thinks of Churchill’s saying “If Hitler invaded hell, he would at least give a favorable reference to the devil…”
Kurt’s plan is underway. It has been fifteen hellish minutes already, as he crawls from another egg. Hope has new shells of him already prepared for download. Xavier updates his mind live. He dampens the pain a little, but there is still a scream and panic, as he claws free. He remembers what he needs to know. Proteus uses his reality-altering power to give him clothes. He reminds Kurt that change is possible. Kurt grabs a sword. Exodus looks at him in awe. Earlier, he said this was a waste of eggs. Now he’s scared, humbled. He mutters, a martyr needs to die just once to follow the holy path!
Kurt can’t think about that. He walks to a Krakoan gate which takes him to the Marauders’ ship in space where Magik is waiting for him. He tells her to open the spread 37 meters forward from the last. Orbiting at a distance means her gift is better for an insertion.
And, a moment later, he is back on the Orchis Forge near the sun. Several of his corpses lie on the ground. Nimrod stands nearby. Moira notices Kurt, shouting here he is again and gives the order to kill him.
Today he is the Spark, he figures. They don’t snuff him out that easily. He teleports several times to dodge their attacks. He has been killed several times and by now they know he wants Moira. He touches Nimrod’s head and teleports away a small part of it. Then he grabs Moira and presses something on her head. He claims it is an invention by Forge. A personalized ECM hunter-kill virus combo – it’ll wipe her clean. Talk or die!
He is lying. It is part of a microwave, but he believes that she is more scared of true death than anyone he has ever met.
What does he want? Moira asks. He explains he comes with words from Destiny from beyond the grave. The Celestial will destroy this station in twenty minutes. Well, in three minutes now, thanks to their wasting time by repeatedly killing him.
They flee in an escape pod (including the damaged Nimrod). Angrily, Moira demands why he didn’t just message her. He retorts that he had to get her to believe. They need to pretend they are still on the same side for just one day, because really? Today there are only two sides. Life versus death.
She only believes him when the station explodes. He starts to explain there is an AI on Earth that’s in trouble. With them all being the experts he figured… Moira interrupts that Orchis and the X-Men on one side will never last. With a grin, he tells her they have hours to live. Don’t be such a grump!
Colossus, Destiny, Emma Frost, Exodus, Hope Summers II, Kate Pryde, Mr. Sinister, Mystique, Nightcrawler, Professor Xavier, Sebastian Shaw, Storm (Quiet Council)
Egg, Elixir, Proteus, Tempus (The Five)Cyclops, MagikCaptain America, Captain Marvel
ProgenitorMoira X, NimrodProfessor PlodJada
The issue is part of the Judgment Day crossover, crossing over with A.XE. Judgment Day #4 and 5.
Nightcrawler is the POV character.
Magneto died in A.X.E. Judgment Day #4 stopping Uranos the Undying.
Magneto and Storm have made a deal with the Arakkii Great Ring not to be resurrected (X-Men: Red (2nd series) #4).
The story of the Machine’s struggle is told in A.X.E. Death to the Mutants #3.
The Spark is the basis of Nightcrawler’s philosophy as shown in Way of X and Legion of X.
Egg died before in issue #5
Destiny died on Muir Isle in Uncanny X-Men #255.
Emma Frost has a spaceship, as explained in Marauders (1st series) #24-25.