X-Men (6th series) #32

Issue Date: 
May 2024
Story Title: 
From Emma, With Love

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), Mark Brooks (Headshot variant cover artist), Ario Anindito (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: 

Orchis are wanting to tie up any loose ends, and an agent arrives at the lighthouse on Mykines, where the Lighthouse Keeper somehow survived the mutant massacre. An agent is about to kill him, until Lockheed the Dragon appears and burns the agent. Emma maintains contact with the mutants on Earth and urges them to keep resisting. At the same time, she engages in some light rescue-missions herself, having her driver take her to where three mutants are about to be shot by Orchis agents, and rescues the mutants. Magik arrives at the Reverend Stryker Education Center for Disadvantaged Youth, but she is still in a weakened state. She needs to find a way to have the nanites she was infected with removed. She finds an Orchis scientist burning lots of records, but as the scientist is about to shoot her, Shadowkat arrives and is reunited with her friend. The duo make their way through the facility, taking out all of the Orchis agents until Polaris arrives, and uses her powers to remove the nanites from Magik's body. A Stark Sentinel arrives on scene and the trio work together to defeat the behemoth, while also freeing other mutants from the Orchis facility. Emma arrives and reunites Shadowkat with Lockheed, before informing Polaris that Nimrod is next on the X-Men's hit-list. Cyclops contacts Emma and reveals that he has a new ally on his side – Orchis' Dr. Gregor.

Full Summary: 

Mykines Island, the site of the most recent Mutant Massacret. Inside the lighthouse it is dim, although a beam of light shines from the lighthouse itself. The Lighthouse Keeper sits inside, drinking from a flask and watching television. He knows the truth of things that happen on this island. An Orchis agent appears and points a gun at the Lighthouse Keeper. 'Orchis is moving into the final phase of our plan, and we realized that we missed the loose end in the lighthouse' the agent declares as he kicks open the door to the room where the Lighthouse Keeper is watching television. 'We've been monitoring social media, and you have a following, old man' the agent adds. The agent looks over to a photo of the Lighthouse Keeper with Jumbo Carnation. 'You used to travel the world with Jumbo Carnation... the internet is wondering if the mutants killed you, too' he reveals.

'I'm impressed. A lesser man who was the sole survivor of the Mutant Massacre would've gone into hiding' the Orchis agent adds. The Lighthouse Keeper smiles and asks if Orchis couldn't have sent a more handsome assassin. 'And I should warn you... I ain't the only one to survive, you bastards' the Lighthouse Keeper reveals, as Lockheed the Dragon suddenly appears from the shadows. 'Meet my friend. I suspect the lad was used to livin' in lighthouses' the Keeper suggests. 'Tell that thing to stay back!' the Orchis agent shouts. But the Lighthouse Keeper laughs and remarks that the dragon hasn't listened to him once since he found him. 'I don't see him starting now' he adds. Lockheed then opens his mouth and breathes a burst of flame at the Orchis agent, who screams and collapses to the ground. Lockheed looks over at the Keeper, who tells the dragon that it is nice they are feeling better. 'Now are ye gonna start to pay rent... or will ye be off to war?' the Keeper enquires.

'Listen up, all you mutants out there... this is the White Queen again. We have operations in progress around the world. You may notice that Orchis' orbital weapons platform is... less orbital than it was this morning' Emma Frost telepathically projects to the mutants across Earth as she sips a glass of champagne. Indeed, the Bloom has been reduced to space garbage, floating near the Celestial head called Knowhere. 'We have the beautiful and talented X-Woman Polaris to thank for that' Emma states, before reporting that the Sentinel Buster armor has arrived from space for Iron Man, and that he is drawing the bulk of the Sentniels to the Australian outback. Emma then tells all of the mutants to continue to telepathically route their backup needs through her, and to assume that all other communications are compromised. 'Keep resisting' she adds, before instructing her driver to pull over at the next corner.

'Where the hell is our Sentinel backup?' an Orchis agent asks as they and another stand on the sidewalk, with three mutants kneeling before them. 'Something's wrong. I can't reach command' the other agent remarks. 'Excuse me, piglets' Emma calls out as her driver pulls up alongside them. 'Who the hell is this broad?' one of the agents asks, frowning as they turn to see Emma sitting in the back of the limo. 'Wait – it's a good thing we have psi-blockers. She's one of the telepathic X-Men' the other agent reports. 'Excuse me. I am the telepath' Emma responds as she raises her fists, knuckle-dusters on her fingers which read “Hell” and “Fire” and release an energy that seemingly vaporizes them. 'Welcome to the resistance, darlings!' Emma calls out to the mutants. She tells them that they must be nothing less than completely victorious – and fabulous. The three mutants then rush down the street and attack another Orchis agent who has another mutant prisoner. 'Hey, wait – let's talk about this' the Orchis agent exclaims. 'Yeah, let's not' one of the mutants responds.

The Reverend Stryker Education Center for Disadvantaged Youth, a shiny, happy name that Orchis hung on another of its gulags in Hershey, Pennsylvania. Emma's voice can be heard, informing the resistance that it is a pleasant surprise in these hellish days to have the return of a mutant thought lost. 'It turns out she had been lost off-Earth. Welcome home, Magik. I'll make sure you get a proper welcome' Emma announces as Illyana Rasputin a.k.a. Magik uses her sword to slide down a power line. 'Thanks, Emma' Magik frowns as she drops into the “Education Center” through a window, landing on one of the Orchis agents inside. 'Security, we have a perimeter -' another agent begins, before Emma smacks him in the face with her sword. Emma telepathically asks Illyana if she is unwell, noting that she is slower, and her breathing labored. 'These Orchis goons infected me with something – blocked my teleportation' Magik responds, before declaring that she is going to get right, or die trying.

Magik cuts her way through a door, but as she enters a corridor, she finds herself confronted by more Orchis agents. 'Aw, crud! Hey, boys, I'm exhausted from stabbing everyone back there – any chance we can maybe -' Illyana begins before she drops to the ground to avoid their weaponsfire. 'Fine, fine! Fine!' Magik calls out, before slicing the end off one of guns. Magik tells the Orchis agents that they had rules on Krakoa. 'I forget where “Kill no man” ranked, but I followed that one. I don't scare easily. Or at all' Magik adds as she raises her sword and blocks more weaponsfire, while claiming that she didn't want to risk the punishment for killing humans. 'But I don't see the Quiet Council around here, do you?' she asks, before hurling her sword towards the agent, stabbing him in his chest. Magik struggles to stand and taking the Orchis agent's gun, she remarks that she never cared for guns, but that she is good at them. She then opens fire, taking down three agents with ease, before smacking another in the face with the gun.

Magik props herself up against a wall and decides that taking out the trash sure is hard. Emma telepathically contacts Magik again and suggests she wait for her backup to arrive, but Magik tells Emma that she is good, and is going to press onward. 'I'm a Captain of Krakoa... and this is penance' she utters. Magik then enters some sort of laboratory, where an unmasked Orchis operative is tossing some papers into a file. 'Getting rid of the evidence?' Magik asks him. 'Yes, and you should be too – there are going to be trials and -' the agent begins, before turning around and realizing he is not speaking with one of his colleagues. 'Whoops, I, uh...Hi, miss, uh, mutant' he remarks, nervously. 'Don't even think about that gun' Magik warns him as she sees him look at a gun on the counter.

'Well, we're all in the same boat now, aren't we?' the agent asks as Magik puts her sword to his neck. 'Things would've turned out differently if humans had been in charge of Orchis. Our A.I. “partners” never really trusted us' he reveals. Magik informs him that she cut a lot of weak men to find him. 'So don't disappoint' she warns him. 'You look like one of mine' the scientist decides, informing Magik that he was the project manager for the nanites currently coursing through her body, and remarks that he is surprised she is still alive. Magik reports that the nanites prevented her from using her teleporting gift. 'And now they're replicating so much that they will soon kill you' the scientist tells her as he tosses some more papers into the fire. 'I want them out' Magik snaps. 'And I want to date Taylor Swift, and I wish I'd picked the right side in this war, but... we don't always get what we want' the scientist declares as he grabs the gun and points it at Magik, offering to make this quick.

Suddenly, 'Oh, $#&%!' the scientist gasps as Kate Pryde a.k.a. Shadowkat phases through the floor and knocks the gun out of the scientist's hand. 'I've been listening in' Shadowkat reports. 'Oh my god – Kitty? Is that really you?' Magik utters as she sees her dear friend. Shadowkat kicks the scientist backwards and shouts 'Yes, it's me!' They hug, and both realize they thought the other was dead. 'Jink' Shadowkat jokes, before telling Magik that she was hoping that scientist would have an antidote for her, but thinks they will have to do this the hard way. 'Ready to empty this gulag with me?' Kate asks, before telling Magik she can rest if she wants. 'No, no! If I'm going out... I'm going out swinging my sword!' Magik responds, and with that, cuts her way through a control room, leaving it drenched in blood as she takes down several Orchis agents. Magik claims that she looked everywhere for survivors. 'But not the Morlock tunnels' Kitty suggests. 'That's right...not there' Magik admits, before slamming her fist on a large red button which unlocks all of the cells in the gulag, and several mutants run from them.

Magik sits down and asks how many X-Men are left, before deciding that it doesn't matter. She then asks if her brother is okay, and tells Kate that she is glad she's not alone, and that Emma sent her. Kate takes Magik's hand and informs her that Colossus is a survivor, and is with Logan. Kate then explains that she had already infiltrated the gulag to free the mutant prisoners when Magik crashed her party. 'Well, if Emma didn't send you, then who is she sending?' Magik asks. 'A doctor' Shadowkat responds as the roof is suddenly torn off by the supreme power of Lorna Dane a.k.a. Magik. ''Sup, ladies. I can taste the iron in the air. Good work' Polaris remarks as she hovers in the air, cup of coffee in one hand. Polaris then drops down into the room and tells Magik that she can feel the machines inside her. 'I think I can remove them, but it's gonna hurt like hell' Polaris announces, before suggesting Magik might want a telepath, but Magik scowls and exclaims 'I want them out!'

'Okay, on “three.” One... three!' Polaris responds, and as she tears the nanites from Magik's body, causing Magik to scream. Blood spurts out of Magik, and Polaris apologizes to her, remarking that she isn't sure why she thought jumping the gun would help with the pain. But it works, and Polaris catches the nanites in an electromagnetic field, and begins to destroy them. Shadowkat catches Magik, while Polaris reports that they have incoming – tons of steel has appeared behind her. Indeed, a Stark Sentinel looks down into the roof-less gulag, and Polaris, still crushing the nanites, assumes that it isn't Stilt-Man behind her delivering more caffeine. 'Mutant detected – Polaris – deploying internal counter-measures to magnetic manipulation' the Stark Sentinel begins, but as it begins to open fire, Polaris hurls a magnetic field up around herself, Shadowkat and Magik.

Polaris tells the others that she wants to kill this thing, 'But the Orchis dude we stole Mars from – I always forget his name – he built countermeasures into these machines – I can't just crush them!' Polaris explains. 'Keep it looking at you' Shadowkat responds as she phases down through the floor. 'That's why I put on makeup' Polaris jokes as the Stark Sentinel slams a fist down on the magnetic field. Magik stands up and a stepping disk materializes beneath her as she announces 'Awright. Let's kill this ugly thing!' She and Polaris step through the portal and re-materialize on the Stark Sentinel's head. 'How'd you survive the gala?' Polaris asks. Magik explains that the gate she entered fritzed out, and asks Polaris what happened to her. 'I left the gala because I have depression. I've been feeling so guilty. If I'd stayed -' Polaris begins. 'Sam' Magik tells her as she slams her sword into the Sentinel's head. 'No use beating yourself up. If you'd been there, you'd be dead too' Magik points out.

'Nice therapy session, guys, but I could use a little help over here!' Shadowkat calls out as she shoves her swords into the Stark Sentinel's feet. Polaris instructs Magik to make her an opening, before calling out 'To me, my power lines!' as she controls several powerlines and shoves them into the Stark Sentinel's head. Magik disappears through a small portal and joins Shadowkat near a fire hydrant. 'Let's not take any chances' Shadowkat suggests, and a moment later, hydrant is opened, and the water disappears through the portal, and returns on top of the Stark Sentinel, where, once it connects with the live powerlines, causes the Stark Sentinel to explode from within. The mutants from the gulag can be seen running away, while Emma's limo pulls up alongside Magik and Shadowkat. 'Well done, all' she tells them, before suggesting they get into her limo, as they are killing all the fascists. 'Illyana, darling, it's delightful to see you upright' Emma adds, before informing Katherine that she has a surprise for her. 'Roo!' Lockheed utters as the small dragon flies from the limo and leaps into Kate's arms. Magik and Shadowkat hug each other and Lockheed and both smile.

Emma goes over to where Polaris is standing on the Stark Sentinel's head. 'Nimrod. Whereis he?' Polaris asks. 'He's next on our list' Emma reports, while holding up a glass of champagne. Suddenly, Scott Summers a.k.a. Cyclops can be heard in Emma's mind, announcing that he may have a line on what Nimrod is doing. 'Nice of you to join us' Emma tells Cyclops, who is with Dr. Alia Gregor. Cyclops remarks that it is nice to touch all of their minds again, and reports that he has secured an ally from Orchis, Dr. Gregor. Cyclops announces that he doesn't think their problems are over – in fact, they're just beginning. He asks Magik if she is up to joining him, and as she drops through a stepping disk, Magik replies 'Of course. I'm a War Captain. I was born ready'.

Characters Involved: 

Cyclops, Emma Frost, Magik, Polaris, Shadowkat (all X-Men)
Lighthouse Kepper

Dr. Alia Gregor

Orchis agents
Stark Sentinels
Unnamed mutants

(in photograph)
Jumbo Carnation & Lighthouse Keeper

Story Notes: 

Magik has been in Vanaheim, as chronicled in Realm of X #1-4.

Magik was infected with nanites in X-Men (6th series) #23.

Emma’s knuckleduster were a wedding gift from Tony Stark in Invincible Iron Man #15.

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