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Al Ewing (writer), Valerio Schiti, Ray Anthony Height, Bernard Chang & Nico Leon (artists), Marte Gracia (colors), VC’s Ariana Maher (letterer), Tom Muller (Design), Valerio Schiti & Marte Gracia (cover artists), Takeshi Myazama & Ian Herring (alternate cover), Jay Bowen (production), Jonathan Hickman (Head of X), Annalise Bissa (assistant editor), Jordan D. White (senior editor), C.B. Cebulski (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), C.B. Cebulski (editor-in chief)
On Krakoa, Manifold faces Knull, who shows off his power by murdering Sunfire and Cortez. Manifold uses his power to distract Knull, until Frenzy fights her way to awareness and distracts Knull, allowing Manifold to teleport in a piece of the sun and get rid of the Knull aspect, leaving only Kid Cable. The Five, in the meantime, have refused Brand’s offer of evacuation and have been joined by Wiz Kid, who helps them protect the eggs. Magneto orders to first resurrect mutants with powers adept at battling Knull and, after this is over, it is Cortez’ turn.
Frenzy feels she is falling somewhere in the cold and dark. She tries to calm herself reminding herself she can’t be hurt. She just needs to latch onto something. She believes she hears voices….
In reality, she and others are hanging from the ceiling in a kind of cave created by Knull, while Manifold confronts Knull, who leers whether he likes his anti-Krakoa. Manifold asks how he did this. Knull replies he used their private entrance. A Krakoan gate. Everyone was so scandalized and focused on him, but his dead dragon still had so much raw symbiote material for him to work with. So, he reached out and gave it a push. A flood of beautiful black ichor overturned the board, and now all the pieces are his. So, he is sorting through them at his leisure deciding what he wants to keep. And what he doesn’t.
He orders one of his symbiote creatures to bring him Sunfire and his immaculate friend and wake them both up. The “Krakoan sun” Sunfire was called, he recalls, as Sunfire and Cortez are awakened. He doesn’t like suns. The symbiote kills both men. Now what do they do with him? He turns to Manifold.
On the PEAK, Wiz Kid tells Brand he solved the comm problem. They used the Krakoan Gate as comm, having one piece of Krakoa talk to another, but… She finishes his thought. He did it and heard nothing from Krakoa. He wants to take a closer look at Krakoa. She forbids it! She needs him here. Time to use her ace in the hole…
Krakoa:Said ace Mentallo has holed up in the Arbor Magna with the Five. When he is contacted, he immediately insists it is not his fault. His attempt to explain the protocol to the Five didn’t go well.
Hope Summers angrily demands he put her on and asks if this kidnap attempt is on Brand. Brand corrects her it isn’t kidnapping. It’s an attempt to ensure the survival of humankind. Or mutantkind. They are all Earthers to her.
Hope asks for details. Brand tells her that Mentallo will escort them to the Summer House on the moon, where they are to take their Cerebro Cradle to Shi’ar space. DNA samples will be brought to them. Not all of them, but enough to prevent inbreeding and other risks. Then if human life is wiped out, the Five do what they do and bring it back. Mentallo can perform the necessary telepathic surgery. Hope scoffs. Brand retorts that he is good enough to being back Xavier at least. That’s like using a carwash to restore the Mona Lisa, Hope replies disgusted.
He’s right here, Mentallo mutters. Hope points out that Shi’ar colonies have also fallen to the goo dragons. Four and counting, Brand admits. And using only part of Sinister’s DNA bank, that’s grotesque! Hope rages. The Five’s reason for being is to bring every mutant back! They are all still reeling from losing Gorgon and Rockslide, and now she wants them to lose millions more? Fine, she gets it, they don’t want to run from the fight, Brand backs down. Hope accuses her of projecting. Establishing back-up hatcheries in secure locations is actually a good idea, but doing it on the fly during a universal crisis is just stupid.
Things don’t always happen on their schedule, Brand points out. Hope cuts her off, that she planned all this but didn’t run it past anyone on Krakoa. Brand says they are all Earthers to her. Like, she is so enlightened, but all she sees from her is old human thinking. Spycraft and machinations, secrets and mysteries – whom does it serve? Tightlipped, Brand replies that she doesn’t serve Krakoa and some things are need to know. She has her reasons. Hope accuses her of just liking games the way Mentallo likes toys. Who needs a giant tank for an extraction mission?
He does! comes a new voice, as there is a blinding light and suddenly Wiz Kid is among them. He can teleport? Egg asks. Wiz Kid explains he built a translocator into his chair and a receiver into the Think Tank. Human tech has its uses. He’d have come via Krakoan gate but he suspects Krakoa’s been compromised.
As if on cue, shadow snakes attack them. Elixir gives the order to protect the pods. No reason to endanger themselves, Taki remarks calmly as he floats his chair to the top of the tank, where he begins using the controls, much to Mentallo’s displeasure. He presses a button and the tank transforms into a giant robot whose eyes fire deadly beams at the snakes.
Not far away, Knull considers what to do with Manifold. He muses about his power: the everywhere man, one-of-a-kind space manipulator and universal teleporter. And yet, not an omega. Doesn’t that worry him… that somewhere there is someone more. Not really thought about it, Eden mutters, as he tries to open teleportation gates near Knull. To no avail. Looks like a stalemate, Knull mocks. Eden opens a huge teleportation gate, telling him to say ‘hello’ to the center of the sun. But Knull bodyslides himself to get away, revealing that he is Cable possessed by Knull. Then he tells Eden he has an island full of hostages and, unlike him, Eden will tire.
Eventually, Knull is faster and kicks Eden in the face. Finally, he nails him down.
In the meantime, Frenzy struggles for awareness. Knull decides to kill Manifold, only to be jumped at by Frenzy, who tears off Cable’s metallic arm which also removes his access to the bodysliding tech. Knull swears at her, threatening to make her kill everyone she loves. Unimpressed, Frenzy reveals she only loved one person and, if he’d felt the same, Cable would be her stepson. So, this feels like a win! She hits him.
Manifold uses his power to gather a small piece of the sun, wrapped in a bubble of folded space so it doesn’t hurt anyone. He attacks Knull / Cabe with it and the Knull aspect is destroyed, leaving only an unconscious Cable. Manifold remarks that he is not even an omega mutant. Somewhere there is someone more. So, Knull shouldn’t come back!
Elsewhere, during the techno party, Wiz Kid is holding Hope points out she can see the sun.
Outside, they take care of the wounded. Cable whines that he is never good enough. When will he be good enough? Magneto points out that creature took his father. It took all of them here. If there is one commonality, it is not a lack of talent. He suggests they not blame themselves for the acts of their oppressors.
Frenzy asks what they will do next. Magneto announces Krakoa has fought off alien invasions before. In the end, this will be no different. Contact the Five. Move Sunfire to the front of the resurrection queue with immediate effect. Then mutants with proven anti-symbiote abilities: fire, electricity, light. Manifold will guard the gate until then.
He picks up Cortez’s skull. After this is over, tell the Five to resurrect Cortez. They have matters to discuss…
Commander BrandCortez, Frenzy, Kid Cable, Manifold, Mentallo, Random, Wiz Kid
Magneto, Sunfire,Egg, Elixir, Hope, Proteus, Tempus (The Five)
A meeting of the Quiet Council requested by Magneto regarding the Second Law.
This is part of the company-wide King in Black crossover.