X-Men (6th series) #31

Issue Date: 
March 2024
Story Title: 
The Passenger

Gerry Duggan (writer), Phil Noto (artist), Virtual Calligraphy's Clayton Cowles (letterer & production), Tom Muller & Jay Bowen (designers), Joshua Cassara & Marte Gracia (cover artists), Russell Dauterman & Matthew Wilson (Trading Card variant cover artists), Ethan Young & Matthew Wilson (Wolverine Wolverine Wolverine variant cover artists), Justin Mason & Federico Blee (BAMF variant cover artists), Peach Momoko (ROM variant cover artist), Simone Bianchi (variant cover artist), Lauren Amaro (assistant editor), Jordan D White (editor), C.B. Cebulski (editor-in-chief)

X-Men created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby

Brief Description: 

Synch refuses to accept that Talon is dead, and speaks to her in his mind. Nightcrawler and Shadowkat keep watch over Synch, who has also developed an infection. Ms. Marvel works with Spider-Man to prepare the release of the bio-bomb retrieved from the High Evolutionary which will negate Orchis' damage to the Krakoan medicines. Nimrod is aware of what they are doing and locates them in New York. But before Nimrod can destroy their equipment, Nightcrawler teleports Nimrod away. Shadowkat joins the battle, and even some civilians speak out against Nimrod. Wolverine arrives, but Nimrod isn't impressed. Synch's mindscape begins to crumble, until he is finally forced to say goodbye to Talon, before he wakes and is able to join the battle against Nimrod, eventually teleporting himself and the others to safety. Meanwhile, the Kingpin is at the Hellfire Club when Typhoid Mary is returned to him, in a slightly disorientated state.


Full Summary: 

(in Synch's mind)

'What's the plan, Synch?' Laura Kinney a.k.a. Talon asks as she sits closely against Everett Thomas a.k.a. Synch, the two sitting on a park bench. Everett tells Laura that he doesn't have one. 'We're about to launch an invasion of Earth. You've got more important places to be' Laura remarks. 'No, I don't Talon' Everett responds. Laura looks into Everett's eyes and reminds him that they knew there would be casualties. 'Not you... I refuse' Everett responds, turning away from Laura. She tells Everett that he has to let her go. 'After the centuries together in the Vault, you would think you'd know you can't hide anything from me. I know you're not well' Laura declares, adding that her body has been destroyed, and that Everett is now using Jean Grey's gift to keep her mind in his. 'We've been in some tight spots, but... I dunno how we're getting out of this one'


'It ain't over yet... not yet' Everett utters as he lies curled up on a bed. Kurt Wagner a.k.a. Nightcrawler and Kate Pryde a.k.a. Shadowkat stand over him. Kurt pulls a blanket up over Everett as he tells Kate that he has sent word to Emma, asking her to meet them in the Morlock Tunnels, but that she is stuck helping coordinate the invasion. 'Do we know what exactly is wrong with him?' Kurt asks. 'What isn't wrong with him?' Kate mumbles. She wrings a face cloth out and states that Synch hid that he was aging rapidly while syncing from muscle memory with mutants who were not in his presence, and Talon didn't return from Counter-Earth. Kate tells Kurt that she thinks Synch popped bone claws and trashed the bunk, only he didn't have Talon's healing factor to sew himself back up, and now he is fighting an infection and his blood pressure is through the roof. She suggests that they may have to risk taking him to a hospital. 'I wish we had some good news' Kate adds.

'Then let me be of service, Shadowkat -' comes Spider-Man's voice over the communicator, as he reports that he is on the roof of the Oscorp building with Ms. Marvel, and they hoping that two weirdos in costume won't stick out up here. Ms. Marvel looks at the computer monitor set up before her and reports that it looks like the High Evolutionary's bio-bomb that Synch stole is doing the trick, and they are discreetly delivering their countermeasures for the Orchis hack of the Krakoan medicines. The bio-bomb flies at relatively low altitude so as not to look like a satellite, and after finishing up on the West Coast, it will deploy across the border into Canada. 'I know the High Evolutionary designed the sphere to turn us all sterile or make us lizards, but imagine the good we're doing with it!' Ms. Marvel remarks. 'You don't have to tell me twice' Spider-Man responds, adding that it is definitely easier than trying to get your insurance company to approve treatment. 'This is fun and easy!'

Suddenly, Nimrod appears on the monitor. 'I bet you thought Orchis wouldn't notice you until it was too late – but you'd have been wrong' Nimrod declares. 'Nimrod's onto us!' Ms. Marvel shouts, while Spider-Man sighs, fearing he jinxed everything.

(in Synch's mind)

'You're going to have to do the hard thing, darling' Laura tells Everett, who quickly replies 'No' and claims that he is just having some trouble when he syncs to a mutant who he's not close to. 'I was damaging myself, but -' he begins, before Laura realizes that Everett was healing by syncing with her, only now he can't. Everett states that he just needs to meditate and remember what Jean taught him. Laura stands up and tells Everett that he was already stressing his body, and now she is collapsing his mind. 'You can't take anymore' she declares. There is a voice, calling out to Synch, telling him 'We need you'. Laura asks him if he heard that, and glancing aside, Everett claims that it was nothing.


'It's nothing...' Synch utters as sweat pours down his face, while Kate watches down over him. Kate informs him that Nimrod has found Ms. Marvel, but that the High Evolutionary's machine still needs to finish a good chunk of North America. Kate backs away from Synch and begins to phase out of the room, while telling him not to let Talon's sacrifice be in vain. 'I know you're holding on to her, but there're going to be more dead X-Men unless we both get in the fight' Shadowkat declares. 'She's not gone. Yer wrong. I can hold on. We need a... what's that word again? We need a, you know... cradle' Synch utters through the pain.

Back on the rooftop, Spider-Man covers the computer equipment with webbing and tells Ms. Marvel that he isn't sure this will do if Nimrod is really on the way, but that  it is better than a stick in the eye. Ms. Marvel announces that she will draw Nimrod away, and tells Spider-Man to stay with the machine until it's done, when suddenly, 'End of the line for you two!' Nimrod shouts as he lands on the rooftop and punches both heroes. 'Clever. You're making M.O.D.O.K.'s kill switch in the Krakoan medicines inert' Nimrod realizes as he raises his hands above the equipment and prepares to bring them down. 'I don't know which of you cooked that up – but I don't like it' Nimrod declares. 'And I don't like you, Nimrod!' Nightcrawler exclaims as he teleports in and grabs Nimrod, teleporting him out before he smashes the equipment.

Nimrod turns to face Nightcrawler as they re-appear on a street nearby. 'You're an artificial intelligence, ja? Can we avoid the fight and have an intelligent conversation instead?' Nightcrawler asks, while warning Nimrod 'You'll never get rid of us'. 'While you slept in your paradise, we scripted your end, mutant' Nimrod responds as he reaches out to grab Nightcrawler, but is too slow, as Nightcrawler teleports away. 'Where are you, demon? You can't outrun extinction' Nimrod declares as he creates a seismic shock, knocking nearby cars backwards. 'I can make your end a mercy' Nimrod boasts, when suddenly, Shadowkat phases up through the ground and shoves her swords through Nimrod's feet. 'Got any Achilles' heels in there, ugly?' Shadowkat asks. She phases up to the surface and starts to run from Nimrod as he tells her that she is an annoyance, nothing more. 'Get ready to get trucked' Shadowkat calls out as bright lights shine down the dark street – and Spider-Man can be seen driving a truck fast towards Nimrod. 'I feel bad for whoever's truck this is' Spider-Man remarks.

As the truck collides with Nimrod, Spider-Man wonders if Jonah was right all those years. The truck begins to break up around Nimrod, who identifies Spider-Man and states that he is a mutate. 'I am a menace -' Spider-Man begins, before Nimrod reaches through the windscreen and grabs Spider-Man by his neck. Nimrod raises Spider-Man above his head and shouts 'Mutants, surrender and receive my mercy!' But before he can bring Spider-Man down, Nightcrawler teleports in and grabs Spider-Man in time. 'That's getting annoying' Nimrod complains.

'Are you okay?' Nightcrawler asks as he and Spider-Man land in a nearby dumpster. 'I'll live. Thanks for taking me straight home' Spider-Man responds, before asking Nightcrawler if there is any chance he could teleport them somewhere safer – like Mordor. But Nightcrawler explains that he is already wiped out from teleporting Nimrod. 'Okay, let's get back in there' Spider-Man suggests as he climbs out of the dumpster, only for Nimrod to appear and releases an electrical current which wraps around Spider-Man and Nightcrawler. 'You cannot hide from me. You cannot escape your fate!' Nimrod exclaims.

Civilians begin to gather around, and one of them prepares to stand on the electrical current: '%&^! you, giant robot!' he shouts, before Ms. Marvel extends a hand and grabs him, pulling him to safety. 'Oh, no you don't! I appreciate the sentiment – but he's a killer' Ms. Marvel declares. Shadowkat then phases through Nimrod and tells him that she has been thinking about different ways to kill him, and that she is looking forward to experimenting. Nimrod tells Shadowkat that her ability to disrupt technology worked on the lesser Nimrod, but he is the greater. 'I didn't shoot my shot yet...I just wanted your dead eyes on me' Shadowkat responds as she begins to phase into a car, while Nimrod watches her. 'Everyone else, fall back!' Logan a.k.a. Wolverine exclaims as he leaps towards Nimrod, claws outstretched. '- this beast is mine!' Wolverine snarls as he shoves his claws into Nimrod's head.

'Was the attempt to save Cyclops in Paris just misdirection for this mission? If so – it has failed, Weapon X' Nimrod remarks as he grabs Wolverine and shoves him to the ground. Wolverine responds by shoving his claws into Nimrod's legs: 'We're gonna run the table on you murdering psychos. We're gonna save Cyclops, destroy Orchis and we're gonna kill you, Nimrod' Wolverine announces. 'You can't even save yourself' Nimrod responds.

Meanwhile, across the city, at Manhattan's Hellfire Club, where the X-Men's unlikely ally, Wilson Fisk, the Kingpin is now in charge. His wife, Typhoid Mary, a mutant, went missing at the Hellfire Gala. Wilson is currently sitting at a table. Several Hellfire Guards are in the room, as are a number of thugs who are seated around the table. A man in a suit tells them that they are here because they have been an important ally of Mr. Fisk. 'The drums of war are growing louder. An offer of fealty is to be made' he adds. A police officer arrives and announces that he has a message for the White King's ears only. He whispers something to the Kingpin, who then orders everyone out. The Kingpin looks wide-eyed, while the police officer calls out 'Bring her in'. He then informs the Kingpin that they picked her up in the old Fisk Tower, that she had tripped an alarm and was pretending she was home.

'Hello again. You keep the fires burning?' Typhoid Mary asks as she cartwheels into the room. 'Mary' the Kingpin gasps as he takes his wife in his arms.

'The other me... did a bad thing' Mary utters, looking concerned. 'No way – don't believe her! It was Mary! It wasn't my fault!' she then exclaims. 'Typhoid?' the Kingpin asks. Typhoid flips backwards away from the Kingpin and remarks that she doesn't know how they square this circle. 'In her defense – I think she thought we were lost for good -' she is interrupted when the Kingpin steps behind her, and puts his hands on her shoulders. 'I don't want to hear any of that... I'm just glad you're back' the Kingpin remarks, before he and Mary kiss.

(in Synch's mind)

The landscape around Synch and Talon begins to break up. 'Imagine how you will feel if one of them dies up there' Talon utters. 'Dammit. You will die if I do!' Synch retorts. Talon reminds Synch that Cyclops and Jean trusted them with the leadership of the X-Men, and now, today, they pay for it. 'But if we succeed... then Orchis has no more hostages' Talon adds. She reminds Synch that that is the job – to save as many people as they can every day. 'I love you' Synch replies as he looks at Talon. 'And I loved you' Talon responds. 'Now go. That's an order' she adds, looking into Synch's eyes. They kiss as Synch sets Talon's mind adrift. The longest romance in X-Men history has finally ended.


Synch opens his eyes and gasps. He has pushed the sorrow away and let rage fill his heart. His friends will need it.

Back at the battleground, 'This X-Men try-out is going terribly' Spider-Man jokes as he fires some webbing around Nimrod's arm as Nimrod smacks Nightcrawler to one side, while holding Wolverine by his head with his other hand. 'Let go of them!' Shadowkat calls out as she rushes forward, only for Nimrod to smack her back: 'You could have left and traveled to the stars' he reminds her. He adds that they might have followed, but maybe she would have gotten away. 'I'll never truly understand you'. Synch copies Shadowkat's phasing ability and rises up through the ground: 'We didn't leave... because we belong!' he shouts as he floats in the air and begins to summon lightning – which he directs at Nimrod. 'Because we say so!' he adds as the lightning strikes Nimrod, bringing the deadly Sentinel to his knees. For a moment, Synch has become a god... but he has only slowed Nimrod.

'1011100101' Nimrod utters on his knees, before looking up at the X-Men: 'Pretty good shot... is that the best you can do?' he asks. 'No, but we have a war to win, so you get a short stay of execution' Synch responds as he stands alongside his teammates and Spide-Man, who notes that the High Evolutionary's machine has finished its work. 'Then the day is won' Synch remarks, before Nightcrawler asks Spider-Man if he can collect their straggler. Spider-Man covers Wolverine in some webbing, as portals open beneath everyone's feet, and they vanish, with Synch warning Nimrod 'The next time you see me, you die'. 'NO!' Nimrod retorts, firing a blast, but he's too late, as the blast merely strikes the ground.

The heroes re-appear in a snow-covered forest. 'Are we in the Rockies? Where are all the mutants with fire abilities?' Spider-Man asks. Synch suggests they catch their breath, then get back to it. He reports that Rogue is inbound in the jet, and reminds everyone that they need to free Cyclops. Nightcrawler tells Synch to hang on, and thanks him for saving them, before asking about Talon. Synch hangs his head, then turns to Nightcrawler and reports that Talon is gone. 'I had to let her go. I can't mourn now. I can't even think about her. Not yet'. He then asks Shadowkat to get word to Polaris that the hostages are free, and she has a green light.


Characters Involved: 

Ms. Marvel IV, Nightcrawler, Shadowkat, Synch, Talon, Wolverine (all X-Men)




Typhoid Mary




Hellfire Club guards


Police officers


Story Notes: 

Synch and Talon's ordeal on Counter-Earth was chronicled last issue.

The Kingpin and Typhoid Mary were separated during the Hellfire Gala, then Typhoid Mary found herself in Asgard alongside Dani Moonstar and Magik in Realm of X #1-4, while Fisk  worked together with Emma Frost and Iron Man in Invincible Iron Man and even his old nemesis Ben Urich in Uncanny Avengers. .

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