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Gerry Duggan (writer), Adam Kubert, Luciano Vecchio, Matteo Lolli, Russell Dauterman, Javier Pina, R.B. Silva, Joshua Cassara, Kris Anka, Pepe Larraz (artists), Rain Beredo, Ceci De La Cruz, Matthew Wilson, Erick Arciniega, Marte Gracia (colorists), Virtual Calligraphy (lettereing), Tom Muller (designer), Jay Bowen (designer & production), Phil Noto (cover artist), George Perez & Edgar Delgado (variant cover artists), Francesco Manna & Flavio Dispenza (X-Vote variant cover artists), Mashal Ahmed (Hellfire Gala Spoiler variant cover artist), Lucas Werneck (Stormbreakers variant cover artist), J. Scott Campbell & Sabine Rich (Anniversary variant cover artists), Gustavo Duarte (Howard the Duck variant cover artist), Lauren Amaro (assistant editor), Jordan D White (editor), CB Cebulski (editor-in-chief)
G.O.D.S. Interlude: Jonathan Hickman & Gerry Duggan (writers), Valerio Schiti (artist), Marte Gracia (colorist)
X-Men created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby
Kamala Khan has been identified as a mutant, and following her death, has been resurrected on Krakoa. Confused at first, Kamala learns that she is both a mutant and an Inhuman, and is reunited with Cyclops and Emma Frost, who thrusts her at Jumbo Carnation who is entrusted with creating Kamala's outfit for the upcoming Hellfire Gala, where Emma wants Kamala to go public with her news. Finally, after months of work, the third Hellfire Gala of the Krakoan Age is underway. As Krakoans enjoy themselves, guests like the Avengers and human dignitaries are welcomed. Forge reveals his plans for the future of mankind's cities, before Cyclops learns of potential trouble at the X-Men's Treehouse, and departs to investigate. Jean Grey talks to the Juggernaut about potential X-Men membership, while Destiny and Mystique seem to be having a disagreement about something. Iceman is at the Gala with his Inhuman boyfriend, Romeo, and reintroduces him to Kate Pryde. Xavier spends some time with Kamala Khan, where he explains why he hoped that Kamala would announce her dual heritage tonight, but when Kamala asks him what her mutant powers are, he tells her that he doesn't know. Kamala is then introduced to Rasputin IV, a chimera mutant from an alternate timeline, who confesses to Kamala being her idol. Magik confronts two mysterious interlopers at the Gala, while Sam Wilson, Captain America, admits to Prodigy and Frenzy that he isn't so sure about the Kingpin living on Krakoa, before the Avengers are called away to a crisis. Rogue also learns of a crisis at the Capitol and heads off, too. Emma Frost is beginning to grow concerned about Sebastian Shaw's absence, even more so when Lourdes Chantal confirms that Shaw is not on Krakoa. Jean Grey gathers everyone's attention, and introduces the new X-Men team, consisting of Talon, Synch, Cannonball, Dazzler, Frenzy, Prodigy, Jubilee and Juggernaut – but at that moment, Nimrod drops down on the Gala – literally. Frenzy, Dazzler, Prodigy and Cannonball are killed instantly, while Juggernaut and Jean Grey are knocked out of the Mykines Lighthouse where the Gala is held. Nimrod then stands on Jubilee's head. Psylocke, Magik and Bishop spring into action, as do several other mutants at the Gala, like Iceman – but despite his best efforts, Nimrod essentially melts Iceman before Romeo's eyes. Jean telekinetically hurls Juggernaut at the Nimrod, forcing the future Sentinel out of the lighthouse and down to the island grounds below, as several Stark Sentinels arrive – as do Doctor Stasis and Omega Sentinel, along with M.O.D.O.K., and Xavier is horrified to learn that Orchis have tampered with Krakoa's medicines, and every human civilian who has used the drug is now in grave danger. More Orchis personnel arrive, but the Krakoans continue to defend themselves and their human guests. Omega Sentinel attacks Kingpin, separating him from his wife, Typhoid Mary, while Exodus easily disposes of several Orchis operatives. Kamala and Rasputin IV work together against one of the Stark Sentinels, before Jean reaches out to Orchis, addressing them all, and unaware that Moira MacTaggert has arrived – Moira then shoves a blade laced with Blightswill into Jean, while at the same time, at the Treehouse, Cyclops lies wounded as the Treehouse burns. Several of the mutants prepare to confront Moira, but she puts her blade to Xavier's neck, and Xavier surrenders to Orchis. Doctor Stasis announces Orchis' demands – that Xavier instructs every single mutant on Earth to leave, and for every mutant found on Earth thereafter, a human sacrifice will be made. A weak Jean connects with Firestar on the Astral Plane, where Firestar agrees to a plan in which false memories are placed in everyone's mind of Firestar being a traitor working with Orchis all along. Just in time, too, as Xavier then begins to telepathically command every mutant to leave Earth, through the Krakoan portals to Arakko. But as mutants begin to pass through the gates, Mother Righteous does something to them, and then traps Krakoa in her lantern. However, as mutants around Earth move into the portals, several mutants are able to use a special skill called the Red Triangle to resist Xavier's commands. As Firestar worries she isn't up to the plan, Jean's astral form appears before Cyclops, who is being transported away from the burning Treehouse in an ambulance, where they tell each other that they love one another. Elsewhere, Wolverine resists Xavier's command and takes down several Orchis agents, as Jean reaches out to him with the last of her thoughts, and tells him that she loved him, too. Back at Mykines, Destiny passes through a portal and tells Mystique to listen to Xavier, while Exodus forces all of the Five through a portal for their own safety. Mystique can't stand Xavier being in her head and so she hurls herself out of the lighthouse to the rocks below, where she washes away, to Doctor Stasis' delight. Several mutants remain at Mykines, having resisted Xavier's command. Moira plans to use her blade to kill them all, before Emma instructs them all to link hands, and for Lourdes to teleport them all out. The plan works, although Moira traps Xavier. Emma Frost, Kate Pryde, Bishop, Psylocke, Northstar, Aurora, Daken, Gambit, Angel, Penance, Synch, Talon as well as the human Kingpin and Inhuman Romeo were the only ones who managed to escape – and with one casualty among them, as Lourdes was shot by an Orchis agent and dies from her wounds. The survivors explore the tunnels beneath the Hellfire Club, and come to an area where Emma had several Krakoan portals planted – only the mutants discover that they cannot use the portals. However, in a surprising turn of events, Kate Pryde, who was previously unable to use the portals, falls through one of them and finds herself at the Krakoan embassy in Jerusalem, Israel, where she is surrounded by Orchis agents. Back at the lighthouse, Orchis regroup, including Firestar, and Nimrod returns having defeated Juggernaut, while Moira announces that she is going to kill Charles. Doctor Stasis then instructs the Orchis soldiers to open fire on the remaining human attendees at the Gala, murdering them all. Moira prepares to make her move on Xavier, only for Rogue to return. She breaks Moira apart, grabs Charles before anyone can stop her and flies away. Charles wants to go to Krakoa, so Rogue takes him there, where Charles reveals that he cannot sense any of the mutants he sent through the portals – he thinks they are all dead. Charles is distraught, and instructs Rogue to leave him and avenge the mutants.
X weeks ago:
'I understand your reluctance, but she should know the truth about herself' Emma Frost tells Scott Summers a.k.a. Cyclops as they look at each other while sitting in vines that hang from the Treehouse headquarters of the X-Men, in New York City, New York. Cyclops responds by indicating that he agrees, before remarking 'Her life is complicated. She still lives with her family. She has a secret identity'. 'That's so cute' Emma remarks, before suggesting that she might invite her to the next Hellfire Gala. 'Let me think about it' Cyclops tells Emma. 'One way or the other, we'll find a way to let Ms. Marvel know that she is -'
'- a mutant?' Kamala Khan gasps, wide-eyed as she looks up at Professor Charles Xavier after emerging from her Krakoan egg. 'That's right, Ms. Marvel. Welcome – you have a home on Krakoa' Xavier announces. Xavier is flanked by the Five - Proteus, Tempus, Elixir, Egg and Hope Summers, who introduces herself and explains that Ms. Marvel is both an Inhuman and a mutant, something they didn't think was possible. Fabio Medina a.k.a. Egg holds a hand out to Kamala and introduces himself as he tells her that it is nice to meet her, and that he is glad she isn't dead anymore. Egg informs Kamala that she is at Arbor Magna on Krakoa, and that her resurrection was rushed to the top of their list. 'You've got some friends in high places' he remarks. 'Wait, I didn't come out of that egg, right?' Kamala asks, motioning to the broken egg nearby.
'Hello again, Ms. Marvel' a voice calls out. It's Cyclops. Wearing his classic '90s costume, he enters Arbor Magna along with Emma Frost, and tells Ms. Marvel that he understands she and the White Queen know each other already from some business with the Infinity Stones. 'Delighted, darling' Emma remarks, before Cyclops and Kamala hug, as Kamala tells Cyclops that this is weird, and that she will never get used to seeing him as this old dude – no offense. Cyclops laughs, and remarks that their time on the Champions was a long time ago for him, adding that the X-Men always seem to get tied up in time-travel shenanigans. 'My son is an old man' he explains. Kamala laughs, before asking Cyclops if he is screwing with her. Kamala turns to Emma and asks her if she is kidding, to which Emma suggests they shouldn’t bog down Kamala's coming out as a mutant with all the sordid details of the Summers family tree.
'Whoa. I'm not “coming out” as a mutant, okay?' Kamala exclaims, holding up her hands in protest, to which Emma telepathically remarks 'Mutant technology is why you're alive right now... to disappoint me'. Emma continues, telling Kamala that she hopes she will reconsider between now and the party, and introduces her to Jumbo Carnation, who rushes forward, holding out a measuring tape as Emma remarks that Jumbo will both replace Kamala's uniform and give her something fabulous to wear at the Gala. Kamala looks confused as Jumbo begins to measure Kamala, who remarks that she is not ungrateful, but she doesn't understand how this happened. 'How did I die?' she asks. Cyclops informs Kamala that Xavier backs up mutant minds as often as possible, and assures her that she won't have any memory of her actual death, which he is glad for. He reveals that Spider-Man knows more, and suggests Kamala talk to him if she wants to ask, but he suggests going slow. 'I've been standing where you are. It's not easy' Cyclops adds, before a shocked Kamala asks about her parents, and about how long she has been gone. Emma tells Kamala not to worry, and that they will call on her family later, and rewrite their last few days. 'My mutant gift is actually to bring mercy' Emma smiles.
'The Five brought you back, and now it's up to me. You will dazzle the room' Jumbo assures Kamala as the two of them, Cyclops and Emma leave Arbor Magna.
'Oh wow' Kamala utters as she looks around at Krakoa, seeing several mutants flying up in the air above her. 'See you at the party' Emma calls out, while Jumbo grins and declares that he has something special for Ms. Marvel, and that he will be back soon. Cyclops asks Kamala if she has ever walked from New York to the Moon, or to Arakko. 'No, I never have' Kamala responds. Cyclops starts to walk into a Krakoan portal as he tells Kamala not to worry, that she can take it as slow as she wants, but that being a mutant is pretty damn great. 'Wait... my embiggening is my Inhuman side – do I have a mutant power?' Kamala asks.
The untimely death of Ms. Marvel ended the debate over whether to tell Kamala that Cerebro identified her as a mutant. Emma Frost's desire that Kamala announce herself as a proud mutant was a political move. Disturbing revelations both true and false had sunk mutant-human relations to an all-time low. Still, there was reason for hope if you knew where to look.
Months of work finally done, Jumbo Carnation can finally relax. He and the Mykines Lighthouse keeper were certainly doing their part to foster interspecies relations, as guests arrive at the Gala held at the Mykines Lighthouse, Jumbo and the lighthouse keeper embrace and kiss on some rocks beneath the lighthouse.
The Gala is now underway, as the Stepford Cuckoos, wearing matching silvery-white dresses, welcome everyone once more to Mykines Island, protectorate of the nation of Krakoa, and another Hellfire Gala. They introduce themselves as the Five-In-One, the hostesses of this evening. They reveal that the theme of this year's party is Friendship and Futurism: A Dialogue. The Stepford Cuckoos welcome their human friends, ambassadors and honored guests whose lives have been made better by their Krakoan medicines. 'We hope their stories of health and happiness can dispel the disinformation that is spread about Krakoa by our enemies'. Among the attendees wearing extravagant outfits, the Scarlet Witch, Vision and Firestar can be seen hovering high up in the lighthouse, while Rogue and Captain Marvel can be seen nearby. On the ground, Jean Grey, Emma Frost and Cyclops take center stage. Kate Pryde can be seen talking to Cannonball, Mirage and Magik, while Professor X and Exodus are talking with Thor and the Black Panther. Bishop and Sam Wilson – Captain America – are talking together as Jubilee and Dazzler stand nearby. Iceman is with his Inhuman boyfriend, Romeo, while Psylocke and Forge stand near them. Multiple Man dupes pass trays of food and drink around the Gala as the Five are grouped together. Synch and Talon are together, while Rasputin IV watches them. Somnus is at the Gala, and behind him are the Kingpin and Tyhphoid Mary. To their left are Kamala, Dust, Marrow and Frenzy.
Human attendees seem to be gathered together as the Stepford Cuckoos announce that the Krakoan age of mutantdom began with the gift of fruit from mutant technology, the drugs of the mind and body, grown from the seeds of their living-island home have been life-changing medicine for millions of their human friends. The Cuckoos report that tonight they will elect another team of X-Men, but also wish to discuss a deeper partnership with humanity and the steps they are making to correct where they have stumbled. 'We surprised you at our first Gala with the terraforming of a dead world... and tonight, Forge the X-Men's technopath, will unveil their latest gifts. 'They will help solve the housing shortages and food insecurity that plague those most in need' the Cuckoos announce, as Forge stands near a display of a city of sprawling high rises and Krakoan vegetation. The Cuckoos ask the guests to take some time this evening to meet Forge and marvel at his living model of mankind's city of tomorrow. 'It's another gift from your mutant friends... please relax and drink. We'll commence the X-Men vote in just a few moments'.
Cyclops turns to Jean and informs her that the alarm just went off at the Treehouse. Jean puts her hands on Cyclops' chest and asks him if he wants to go together. Cyclops rushes towards a Krakoan portal and assures Jean that he has got this. His Gala outfit gives way to his classic '90s costume and he tells Jean that if he is not back before the vote, to give their news to everyone. 'Of course' Jean responds, before Cain Marko the Juggernaut approaches her and announces that he wanted to thank the X-Men personally for all they have done for everybody. 'That's very kind of you' Jean replies, smiling, reminding Cain that he has been on a path of redemption for a long time. She adds that she doesn't know who will serve, but that the team will be changing, and will need a powerhouse. Jean tells Cain that a spot on the roster would be well deserved – if he wished to pursue it. Cain smiles from beneath his helmet.
Nearby, Kate Pryde leans against a Krakoan portal as if it were a wall, annoyed as always that she cannot use the mutant-transit system. Her treating the portals like this, in turn, annoys her fellow mutants, including Raven Darkholme and her wife Irene Adler, the duo known as Mystique and Destiny, respectively, who knock Kate aside as they step through the portal and arrive at the Gala. 'You aren't listening to me. There is a -' Destiny, wearing a strange gold and black outfit, begins, to which Mystique, who wears a white dress similar to her default costume, but with some gold accepts and a skull mask across her eyes, turns back to Destiny and declares that she disagrees, as she thinks she has been listening too much. 'I only just followed you away from here because I didn't want to make a scene tonight, but... I'm warming up to the notion' Mystique frowns.
'Trouble in paradise for the old gals?' Bobby Drake a.k.a. Iceman asks Kate as he and Romeo approach her. 'They'd figure out a way to kill you in seconds if they heard you' Kate responds. 'I'm sure' Bobby responds, before asking Kate if she remembers Romeo. 'Pleased to see you again' Romeo tells Kate.
Xavier approaches Kamala, who wears her elaborate Hellfire Gala outfit, and tells her that he doesn't need to be a telepath to see that she is uncomfortable. 'I feel guilty, Mr. Xavier. You saved my life, and I know you and Miss Frost want me to tell the world that I'm a mutant, but -' Kamala begins, to which Xavier telepathically cuts her off, '- but your life is quite complex already' he acknowledges. 'Yes! If my parents knew I was here, they would freak out!' Kamala responds. Xavier removes his helmet and tells Kamala that he needs to clarify one thing for her: 'We didn't save you. We were able to use our resources in concert to resurrect you. Imagine how much your parents would “freak out” at never getting to hug their daughter again'. Xavier continues, explaining to Kamala that the reason they hoped that she would announce her mixed heritage is not just that they would be proud to have here among them, but also that it might change the minds of those who fear them.
Xavier puts his helmet back on and notes that Kamala has a lot to process. 'We hope you will join us. But not tonight. Be with your friends and family. Be good to yourself. Join us in your own time. And please – call me Charles'. Xavier turns and walks away, as Kamala calls out 'Wow, thanks, Charles!' Suddenly, Kamala extends her arm and grabs Xavier's shoulder, asking him to wait. 'Can you tell me what my mutant power is?' she asks. Jumbo Carnation and his lighthouse keeper boyfriend watch as Xavier glances back at Kamala and tells her that, unfortunately, he cannot. 'We have no idea what your gift is. Your encounter with the Terrigen Mist made you an Inhuman before your mutant power manifested' Xavier explains, adding that Kamala is lucky Cerebro correctly identified her at all, noting that the Mist has always had a negative effect on mutant physiology.
Xavier motions to where Rogue is talking with Captain Marvel, and notes that Rogue is one of the most powerful mutants, but that she is extremely vulnerable to the Mist, and was nearly killed by it. Xavier adds that there is no telling what would have happened to Kamala if her X-Gene had expressed itself and she became an Inhuman later. Xavier explains that the current thinking is that Kamala's mutant gift never emerged after being suppressed by her Inhuman one, but that the X-Men can help her with that, and unlock her mutant potential. He telepathically assures Kamala that on Krakoa, they believe in bodily autonomy, so Kamala must have agency in that decision. 'It's another matter for you to consider' Xavier tells Kamala, before excusing himself, as there is a diplomat from the United Nations who asked for a few moments of his time. He then tells Kamala to enjoy the party, before he continues on his way.
The chimera called Rasputin IV approaches Kamala: 'The Great X removed Cerebro and gazed upon you with his clear blue eyes' she calls out, before bowing in front of Kamala and telling her that she must be a mutant of tremendous importance. 'Uh... I hope not and don't think so' Kamala responds, before Rasputin IV introduces herself and explains that she has come from the future with gifts of the five, but not the Five. Hope, Proteus, Tempus, Egg and Elixir look on, while Kamala smiles and replies 'I'm Ms. Marvel – the first. I'm uh...' her voice trails off, before Rasputin IV shakes her hand and assures her that she knows her stories well. 'An Inhuman. A Muslim. A mutant. A human. A savior of all the tribes' Rasputin IV announces. 'Go easy – I'm kind of a secret mutant' Kamala whispers to Rasputin IV. 'Amazing' Rasputin IV gasps. She then places her hands against Kamala's and informs her that in the breeding pits, they used to say “May you be in resurrection protocols before you meet your heroes,” but that she makes a mockery of those things. 'Wait – I am your hero?' Ms. Marvel asks, shocked.
Elsewhere at the Gala, Illyana Rasputin a.k.a. Magik holds her sword up as she marches towards two people leaning against a bar. 'Okay, I don't know who you are... but I sure know your kind. I can smell it on you – magic!' Illyana declares. 'Hmmm. That sound right to you, Dimitri?' a man in a suit with a red coat, and a streak of white through his brown hair asks. 'Never touch the stuff. Barely believe in it' Dimitri, who has short blond hair and wears a white tracksuit retorts.'Well then, you must just be talking to me. I'm Wyn' the other man introduces himself. Magik looks up at him and asks him how he got in here, as this party is invite only, and he was not on the list. 'Oh, I come and go as I like. You know what I'm talking about? I can smell that on you' Wyn responds. 'Hmmmm' Magik utters, to which Wyn tells her that there is a story going around about the beginning days of this great mutant experiment – that one of them stood at the top of the world and told a gathering of humans that things were a-changing. 'I heard that he said, get this, he wanted – no, needed – them to understand that... mankind had new gods'. Wyn starts to walk away from Magik and tells her that he has to know if that is a true story. 'Damn right it was' Magik snaps. 'WOOF. That's bold talk. No denying it' Wyn remarks. 'No, there isn't' Dimitri agrees, before Magik tells the mysterious gatecrashers that it is time for them to leave. 'But before you go, I am curious... why do you care?' she asks 'Professional curiosity. We work for the old ones' Wyn smiles.
Kingpin and Typhoid Mary can be seen dancing, while, nearby, Sam Wilson looks at Joanna Cargill a.k.a. Frenzy and David Alleyne a.k.a. Prodigy and tells them that he owes it to them. 'Some of my best friends are mutants, but y'all make it hard to love this crazy commune when Kingpin gets to check into Fantasy Island' Sam declares. David tells Sam that it's his turn to be honest now, and that if they voted anonymously and telepathically, he doubts the Kingpin would crack the top hundred heels on Krakoa. Frenzy tells them that they are looking at this all backward. 'Consider the benefits of stranding old, rich, crime guys on a remote island surrounded by heroes. At least they're not running around stealing everything that's not nailed down. We don't even have money. Plus, we know where they are' Frenzy points out. 'Good points all around' Sam decides, before excusing himself as he receives a communication.
'Understood. The Avengers are inbound' Sam announces as Thor, the Black Panther, Vision, Scarlet Witch and Captain Marvel close in around him and head towards one of the Krakoan gateways. Captain Marvel reports that the Avengers are responding to the DC incident, and that they are all leaving the Hellfire Gala now. 'Duty calls' Sam calls back to Frenzy and Prodigy. Rogue watches the Avengers depart, as her Avengers ID card lights up. She looks at it and the card reports that an unknown subject is attacking America's capitol. Emma Frost approaches Rogue and tells her that their guests are nervous, and that the rumors of a civil war on Arakko are beginning to spread. 'Why are the Avengers suddenly leaving?' Emma enquires. Rogue starts to tell Emma that she isn't sure, when a communication from the ID card reports that Captain America Steve Rogers has activated is distress beacon and is unresponsive. 'That must happen a lot, right?' Emma asks. 'Not even once, Sugah' Rogue responds, before she announces that she is inbound to Rogers, and flies though a Krakoan portal, her Gala outfit transforming into her classic '90s costume.
Lourdes Chantal approaches Emma and informs her that she couldn't find Shaw anywhere, and that she just teleported in from Krakoa, but Shaw wasn't on the island. Emma thanks Lourdes for looking, and tells her that Shaw is up to something. 'And he's not alone as the Avengers will have a busy night' Emma adds, before Jean Grey telepathically addresses everyone by informing them that the moment is at hand. Jean hovers above the Gala attendees. Alison Blaire a.k.a. Dazzler is talking with Prodigy and they look up at Jean as she announces that when she left the Quiet Council to start this new team of X-Men with Cyclops, their goal was to be an example for anyone who wanted to serve, and to use their gifts for good. Jubilee watches Jean and blows bubble gum, while Jean continues, adding that they wanted to ready the next generation of heroes for the challenges of a world that, despite it all, still hates and fears them. Sam Guthrie a.k.a. Cannonball is standing with Frenzy while Jean turns to Laura Kinney a.k.a. Talon and Everett Thomas a.k.a. Synch as she declares that she and Scott were delighted to discover that that it was the two of them who were the students, as Synch and Talon are ready to lead a new team of X-Men, as she and Scott plan to step back.
'We trust them implicitly to continue to save lives every day and be an inspiration for us all' Jean continues, while Forge, Emma Frost, Bishop and Angelica Jones a.k.a. Firestar watch her carefully. The Stepford Cuckoos then telepathically inform everyone that it is time to vote. A chorus of names rises up and quickly, a consensus coalesces around a group of names. Synch and Talon are the bedrock upon which the team forms. They say the Juggernaut is unstoppable... and with Jean's endorsement, it was true at the third Hellfire Gala of the Krakoan era. 'Jean said I'd be a hell of an X-Man!' is Juggernaut's reasoning for why people should vote for him. 'Ah. Fresh blood. Here they are...' Jean smiles as the votes are calculated, and she introduces the latest team of X-Men: Talon! Synch! Prodigy! Cannonball! Frenzy! Dazzler! Jubilee! Juggernaut!
'Look up! What good luck! A falling star!' Jubilee calls out.
These candidates had the makings of an astonishing X-Men team. Unfortunately, fate has other plans.
A moment after the newest X-Men team take the spotlight, Nimrod drops down on them – literally. 'SORRY TO DROP IN!' the future-Sentinel claims as he blasts his way through Cannonball, Dazzler, Frenzy and Prodigy, tearing them apart in a gruesome display. Talon leaps to safety, dragging Synch with her, while Jubilee is knocked to one side by the force of Nimrod's impact, and Juggernaut and Jean Grey look on in absolute horror.
Nimrod avoided detection by orbiting the Earth and descending from the themosphere at terminal velocity. Everyone at the Gala would have been killed, were it not for Jean Grey blunting the shockwave with her telekinesis. But the impact sends Jean and Juggernaut careening backwards and out of the lighthouse where they begin to fall from a great height.
Blood on her face, Jubilee looks up at the Nimrod and begins to create some plasma blasts which she aims at Nimrod. '#*(% you, machine' Jubilee utters. The Nimrod responds by slamming his foot down on Jubilee's face and telling her that there is no need to be rude.
The mutants at the Gala spring into action. Dust rises up in a cloud of dust, while a blast strikes one of the Multiple Man dupes, cutting him in half. Psylocke readies her psi-blade and instructs Magik to teleport the humans – and the Five – out of here. 'Be sure to save some for me!' Magik replies before rushing over to the human guests, informing them that the party is over, and she is going to get them all home. Bishop absorbs some energy as Magik runs underneath him.
Orchis has been planning this night for years. They used every tool at their disposal. Controlling the message about Krakoa's dangers in the media – and depowering Magik by poisoning her with nanotechnology that inhibited her X-Gene.
Standing in front of the Five and the human guests, Magik raises her Soulsword above her head, but her powers don't activate. There is no escape from this ambush.
'Bobby!' Romeo cries out as he looks on, concerned for his boyfriend. Iceman moves towards the Nimrod on an ice-slide and tells Romeo to stay near Illyana. 'And Nimrod – if you're programmed to kill mutants – then you were programmed to die!' Iceman calls out as he slams into the Nimrod, encasing it in ice. The Nimrod cries out, surprised, before Bobby forms ice-spikes on his hands and slams them into the Nimrod's face. 'I TERRAFORMED AN ENTIRE PLANET!' Iceman shouts as he extends ice-tentacles which latch onto Nimrod and begin writhing through his body. 'What are you compared to that?' Iceman asks. 'Funny you should mention that. I'm going to liberate this planet – one mutant at a time' the Nimrod responds as he holds up a small tool that looks like a letter opener, it glows with energy, as Nimrod shoves it into Iceman's chest. 'One mutant at a time' Nimrod boasts, while Bobby gasps, as the energy from the device surges through him.
Orchis planned and drilled. They executed the false-flag attack in DC and the assassination attempt on Captain America. They were dividing and conquering. Success would only be measured in corpses. First, they needed to take out the Omega-level mutants.
'I have to hand it to you. Didn't think anybody could ring my bell like that' Nirmod remarks as Bobby stumbles backwards. 'If – if that was your best shot – then you're in a lot of trouble' Bobby declares defiantly, as he clenches his fists, preparing to continue to fight the Nimrod. 'Wait. What's happening to me?' Bobby asks as his body begins to glow, and then he starts to melt, announcing that he can't see. He calls out to Jean, Scott and Warren and asks them where they are. 'I'm sorry...' Bobby utters as his hand reaches towards Romeo, who reaches back, shocked. 'NOO!' Kate calls out as her friend is reduced to a puddle in front of her. 'BOBBY!' Romeo screams, while the Nimrod grins and states that Omega Two is dead. 'Now, where is Omega One?' he asks.
'I'm right here, murderer. I'm wondering if in that terrible robot brain of yours you have an answer for what... can stop the Juggernaut?' Jean Grey calls out as she telekinetically hurls the Juggernaut from outside the lighthouse straight into the Nimrod – her version of a Fastball Special. Once again, Jean caught a sonic boom, directing it right at the Sentinel. 'Aw right, ya damn dirty machine... I'm gonna enjoy taking you to the woodshed!' Juggernaut exclaims as he smacks the Nimrod off the lighthouse, then drops down after him as the Nimrod lands on the island beneath the lighthouse.
Jean Grey begins to coordinate the defense, but she doesn't have very long – the rest of Orchis' forces are inbound.
Previously, just a single Stark Sentinel had nearly succeeded in killing the X-Men. Now, they faced them all – as several more Stark Sentinels descend upon Mykines. Inside the lighthouse, humans are in a panic, frightened, while Synch announces that he is synced with Polaris, and raises a force-shield, but he is being hit hard. He asks Jean if she can reach Storm, but gets no response – and then, through the Krakoan gateway next to him, Dr. Stasis dances into the Gala, accompanied by Omega Sentinel. 'La da di. Ahoy, hello, bonjour' Dr. Stasis calls out. 'We planned for your planning for this' Dr. Stasis claims, before introducing the Omega Sentinel as Karima Shapandar. 'And this is Dr. Stasis' Karima remarks as she dips the crazed variant of Sinister, who looks over, upside down, and sees the man he is looking for – Xavier.
'Why, you look surprised, Charles. If you'd been paying attention, you would have gotten our RSVP for tonight' Dr. Stasis remarks. 'You're going to pay, you wretched madman' Xavier spits in response. Dr. Stasis grabs Xavier by his Cerebro helmet and utters 'I want you to see what I've accomplished. Look into my mind'. Xavier sees images of Dr. Stasis looking through a microscope, as Dr. Stasis tells him that while his attention was 'divided' during the previous Hellfire Gala, he was working very hard in Krakoa's pharmaceutical factories. 'It wasn't hard. I just flipped a few switches, and ever since then you've been peddling medicine with a back-door kill switch' Dr. Stasis reveals. Xavier's jaw drops, he looks shocked. 'Oh my god' he utters. 'What have you done?' Xavier calls out. 'No, no. don't you get it? What have you done?' Dr. Stasis responds, before turning to a Krakoan gateway and introducing Dr. MODOK, who emerges through the portal. 'Just, “MODOK,” please' MODOK responds. Dr. Stasis tells him that “Doctor” sounds cooler.
MODOK grins as he tells Xavier to pay attention, and to witness what they can do to the so-called “medicines.” MODOK presses a button on a remote control, which causes several humans at the Gala to clutch their heads and scream in agony, while others become violent and start punching and attacking others. Several of them run to the lighthouse windows and hurl themselves through the glass to certain death below, while the Stark Sentinels open fire on the lighthouse. Emma looks on, and announces that she can't stop them, as MODOK has caused a chemical reaction in their limbic cortex. During the chaos, Kingpin and Typhoid Mary have become separated, and the Kingpin looks around, unable to find his wife. Orchis hasn't just hacked the Krakoan medicines, but also the gateway transit systems by coercing its secrets from Hordeculture. Orchis personnel arrive at the lighthouse with their weapons, and every second passing, the noose tightens around mutantdom – but the mutants have had their backs against the wall many times before, and start to put up a hell of a fight, like Magma, who unleashes a fiery blast out of the lighthouse towards the Sentinels, while Bling deflects multiple weapons’ fire back at the Orchis personnel.
Kate leaps towards Strong Guy, 'Been a while' she tells him, before informing him that she needs a ride to the closest Sentinel. 'You bet, Kate – happy landing!' Strong Guy declares as he hurls Kate through the air, Fastball Special style – and Kate phases straight through the head of one of the Stark Sentinels, disrupting it. The Sentinel collapses to the Mykines island and crashes in fiery display. Kate has always been able to disrupt technology, which is why it was so ironic that she could never use the Krakoan gates – she had finally found a technology that disrupted her.
Back up inside the lighthouse, Typhoid Mary approaches Kingpin and tells him that she is scared, that this is insane. 'Mary!' Kingpin exclaims, relieved at finding his wife. They are about to hug, when Omega Sentinel steps between them and punches Kingpin in the face, knocking him backwards. 'Back to your corner, human' Omega Sentinel snaps. Kingpin drops to his knees, and looks up at Omega Sentinel: 'You'll pay for this' he warns her.
Nearby, Exodus unleashes his fury against several of the Orchis personnel, and, for a moment, it looks as if the mutants have managed to turn the tide. The Five are the cornerstone of the success of the Krakoan Age, and a formidable team in their own right, as they work together to battle one of the Stark Sentinels. With nothing but thought, Proteus transmutes metal into glass. Egg covers one of the Sentinel's hands in his “goldballs.” Orchis would lose tonight – if this was a fair fight.
Rasputin IV grabs Ms. Marvel as an energy blast glows behind her. The chimera is an entire team of X-Men in one body. She has been sent back with the powers of several mutants, the one that matters right now is Kate Pryde's, and Rasputin tells Ms. Marvel to hold her breath, turning her intangible, she tells Ms. Marvel to let it swim through her, and that when she lets go, she needs to hold this thing steady. 'While I go kill it!' Rasputin exclaims as Kamala extends her arms and her hands turn large, enabling her to hold a Sentinel in place, while Rasputin climbs up the Stark Sentinel, fills its head with what appears to be ice, then causes the Sentinel to collapse, it lands with a mighty BOOM. 'Whoa! Is that an earthquake?' Ms. Marvel asks. 'Of sorts' Rasputin responds, before telling Ms. Marvel that they need to finish here and go help the Juggernaut.
As at least two more Stark Sentinels attack the lighthouse, Juggernaut is on the shore of Mykines and tells Nimrod that he picked the wrong party to crash. 'I already apologized for that!' Nimrod responds. Juggernaut grits his teeth, while Nimrod raises a hand and unleashes a powerful surge of energy which slams into the Juggernaut, he screams as he is knocked into the base of the lighthouse. This tower changed not one, but two worlds, had survived the strike from above and the fire from within, but it cannot survive the strike from the unstoppable Juggernaut, and it begins to topple with a thundering BOOOOOM – until, suddenly: 'Stop' Jean Grey calls out as she catches everyone within the lighthouse with her telekinesis. You could hear a pin drop as Jean speaks quietly into their minds: 'I have you. I have you all. No one else is going to die tonight'. Jean then apologizes to the Gala guests, and tells them that she is sorry this has been such a horrible night.
Jean then addresses everyone from Orchis, warning them to listen closely to her. She tells them that tonight, they trespassed against Krakoa and chose violence. She suggests that they let those thoughts go, and then they will survive to see the dawn. Jean announces that she is going to gently place her friends down, and is then going to change Orchis' minds. About as pleasant a threat as one could expect from Jean Grey – and she means it. In a moment, there would be no flesh and blood who hate mutants. But, something happens. An attack which was kept secret even from Dr. Stasis, who calls out 'It's not or never, friend'. Because it takes a lot of careful planning to kill a telepath. The assassin must be ready to strike on Mykines or in New York, had Jean answered the alarm at the Treehouse. But the assassin is Moira MacTaggert – or, rather, Moira X, as she is now known. And she has patience, time and an artificial mind that is immune to telepathy. Moira steps through a portal, while Jean Grey, Xavier and Angelica Jones a.k.a. Firestar have their backs to her. As Jean begins to lower everyone to safety, she telepathically reaches out to Cyclops, informing him that he is needed back at the party. But suddenly, Moira steps up behind Jean and shoves a blade though her neck. ''Ello, Jean' Moira utters, while blood sprays outwards from Jean, whose eyes convey a look of shock.
At that moment, at the Treehouse in New York, Cyclops lies at the base of the X-Men's home and headquarters which is now ablaze. Cyclops' thoughts reach out to Jean, he tells her that he is sorry, that it was a trap, and he isn't going to be able to join her. He adds that he can't feel his legs, before wondering why he can't feet Jean.
Back at the ruins of the lighthouse on Mykines, Jean is slumped over on the ground before Moira, who holds the blade in her hand and screams 'LOOK AT ME, CHARLES! Look at what I have done! And see what has happened to the one you love the most.' Jean begins to stir. 'Wh-what was on that dagger?' she asks as she tries to sit up. 'A little something we found in a place called Otherworld. I believe you call it Blightswill' Moira announces, before revealing that she doesn't have enough of it concentrated for them all – but she will.
The sight of Jean struck down detonated a bomb in the Children of the Atom. Every mutant launches themselves to war in a righteous fury. Talon, Synch, Tempest IV, Ms. Marvel, Hope and Egg can be seen rushing towards Moira, while Firestar grabs Jean and flies up above the others. Victory will belong to the mutants – how can it not? The enemy is not strong enough to stop them all. But then Moira grabs Xavier and holds the Blightswill-covered blade to his neck. 'Stop them, Charles. Do it now. Or we fill airwaves around the world with MODOK's sweet music, and all those humans you helped die like squealing piggies' Moira threatens.
'STOP!' Xavier calls out, holding his hands up to keep the mutants back, before he removes his Cerebro helmet. 'God forgive me' Xavier utters. Emma, Kate, Synch, Kwannon, Tempest IV, Bishop and Egg come to a stop several feet away from Xavier, while Hope and Ms. Marvel hover above them. 'I surrender' Xavier announces, hanging his head, while the mutants before him look on, seemingly under his telepathic command.
'Deliver the terms, Doctor' Moira calls out as she turns to Dr. Stasis, who reveals that Orchis has hacked more than just Krakoa's medicines – but also their gates, and right now, they all point off-Earth. 'We will kill no more humans – if you all leave' Dr. Stasis offers. He reminds the mutants that Nightcrawler went on an assassination spree, that a mutant clone caused an inferno in New York again, and declares that Krakoa's drugs are poison. 'This is a cancer surgery, Charles, and you are the cancer'. With his head still hanging, Xavier points out that he could never get all the mutants to agree to simply walk off Earth forever. 'You made them stop, Charles. Now make them walk. Or every drop of blood that spills will be on your head Moira warns her former friend.
Dr. Stasis looks over to where the Stark Sentinels are tearing up Mykines, and suggests that they discuss consequences. He states that the first time a returned mutant is found on Earth, Orchis will kill a human, but the second time, the cost will be ten humans – and then a hundred. 'I suppose you're smart enough to know about the powers of ten?' Dr. Stasis enquires, while Xavier calls out 'Please don't make me do this'.
Suddenly: 'Firestar... wake up' a telepathic voice calls out. 'Jean? Is that you?' Firestar's thoughts are projected as she is forced out of Xavier's trance. Jean meets Angelica on the Astral Plane, and reveals to her that she is dying, and that Orchis have won. 'But Stasis is lying about it all -' Firestar starts, but Jean tells her that lies are powerful, and they will need the truth to burn it all away. Jean informs Firestar that she can embed her inside Orchis, explaining that she opened a door to Stasis' mind, and while she was going to erase it, especially after what he did to Cyclops, she has to be bigger. 'We have to be bigger' Jean adds, before telling Firestar that she can make Dr. Stasis think that he recruited her. Angelica looks shocked: 'Recruited me to what? Orchis?' she asks.
'Yes. In his mind. As hard as we've been working to save the world, they've been working just as hard to destroy ours' Jean responds. Her astral form takes Angelica's by the hand and explains to her that Orchis have poisoned Krakoa's medicines, that everyone ingesting them is Orchis' hostage and will blame mutants – and the world will believe the lies. 'They took credit for killing the Celestial... and Krakoa meant well but also made mistakes. I can't force you on this mission... you must volunteer' Jean utters. Wide-eyed, Angelica agrees to do it. 'What's our story?' she asks as she holds Jean's hands. 'Let's say you sent an overture to meet right after you were elected -' Jean begins, but Firestar interrupts her: 'No. Before' she declares.
Fake memories appear, as Firestar tells Jean that some of the mutants joked she was a narc, so they should lean into it – her election to the X-Men becomes Orchis' good luck. A fake memory of Firestar meeting with Dr. Stasis at a cafe plays out. 'So nice to receive your message, Firestar' Dr. Stasis apparently said to Angelica as he sipped his coffee, before apparently telling her that he hopes they can be great friends.
'If we need to, who do I throw under the bus?' Firestar asks Jean. 'Beast' Jean suggests. 'Tell them the truth, and you can make bad stuff up about him, and everyone will believe you'.
Back in the real world, Xavier picks up his Cerebro helmet. 'Damn you for this' he utters. 'If Hell's a real place... I'll see yeh there, Charles' Moira replies calmly, before Xavier gets to his feet and proclaims 'Go, my X-Men' as he begins to command mutantkind to step through Krakoan portals. He identifies himself to the mutants of the world as Charles Xavier, and that they must not resist – they must comply and walk through the Krakoan gate closest to them. He tells the mutants not to be afraid, and that all will be made clear, but that they need to know that in doing this, they are saving many human lives – and perhaps that of their own.
Across the world, mutants are ordered by Charles Xavier to walk toward the nearest Krakoan gateway. Some, like Nightcrawler, who sits on top of a Krakoan portal in New York City, are specifically trained to resist such telepathic coercion and employ Xavier's own “red triangle” defensive strategy. Nightcrawler watches as several dozen mutants walk through the portal.
At the same time, on Krakoa's archipelago in the Atlantic Ocean, something unexpected is happening – a user of arcane magic is playing her own game – with her own rules. 'Bon voyage, luvs' Mother Righteous utters as she touches a Krakoan portal, which sends ripples through the gateway. The mysterious woman then begins to rise upwards.
Nathaniel Essex copied himself, becoming Mr. Sinister, Dr. Stasis and a spacefaring version called Orbis Stellaris. He did so because he sought to dominate all life, and perhaps it was the love of a sick heart, but he also copied the visage of his wife – Rebecca Essex. Her seat of power lies on the Astral Plane, which is where she rises to, taking with her Krakoa's Atlantic island, trapping it in her lantern – no one knows she has done this, or why she has done this.
At Krakoa's Pacific Archipelago, mutants have formed two lines as they approach two separate portals, while Xavier's voice can be heard asking 'How much do we love mankind?' In London, mutants queue in the darkness before a portal, as Xavier's voice can be heard asking 'Is it enough to stay away for a time? Yes. As long as necessary to protect them from evil. I can feel so many of you resisting, but please trust me now. This is the right thing to do'. In Madripoor, a similar scene plays out, as mutants are lined up in front of a portal as Xavier's voice calls to them: 'If we love them enough, we'll give them the distance they need... right now'.
But back on Mykines, several mutants are using a special defense to RESIST Xavier's command – the Red Triangle Protocol. While many mutants approach the gateways, others stand their ground, like Emma Frost and Kate Pryde, while Lourdes Chantal can be seen standing with them, although she appears unable to use the Protocol.
At that moment, in the Astral Plane, Firestar informs Jean that not everyone is leaving, and Jean explains that those who trained to resist telepathic assault are harder to sway – they don't know why Charles is sending them away, and are using his own “red triangle” defense against him. 'We are mutant. We only know the fight. Resist' Jean utters.
Elsewhere on Mykines, away from the ruins of the lighthouse, Magik and Dani Moonstar a.k.a. Mirage are with Dust and Marrow, walking towards towards a portal. Magik carries the mutant called Curse over her shoulders, while Curse shouts 'Put me down! I don't wanna go!'
Jean explains that Charles will use the others to force everyone through the gates.
'I want to stay! Damn you, Charles. Curse you, you bald piece of -' Curse shrieks as she disappears through a portal. While Jean asks Firestar to find out about the poison on Moira's blade, their plans, strengths and weaknesses, she asks Firestar to get all the information she can to the resistance, to whatever remains of them on Earth – every mutant is now an X-Man. Forge is shown to resist Xavier's command, while a panicked Angelica tells Jean that she can't do this alone, and asks her how she will contact the survivors. Jean assures Angelica that it will be okay, that this is what she trained for.
'...this is the price we pay... I wanted to bring in the others, but I'm out of time. Make no mistake. The survivors will find you. Mutants have always been hated and feared... now mutants will hate and fear you. When they come for you, tell the truth and never waver. Goodbye, Firestar... be brave' Jean utters with her dying breath. At that moment, Charles appears to keel backwards, arms outstretched, he is in agony at what is transpiring, while Jean's body has already been reduced to a skeleton, only her long red hair and glamorous Gala attire making her remains recognizable.
Suddenly: 'Goodbye, Scott... I loved you...' Jean's astral form, manifesting in her Marvel Girl costume, utters as she appears before Cyclops, who is in an ambulance, being raced away from the burning Treehouse in New York. 'Jean, don't go...' Cyclops utters. '... I need you. I love you' he tells her.
Elsewhere, Logan a.k.a. Wolverine stands in front of a Krakoan portal, RESIST, fills his thoughts, which are suddenly joined by a the ghostly cries of Jean Grey, who breaks Logan's trance. 'Jeannie? Oh no. What have they done?' Wolverine asks, before dozens of Orchis agents appear before him. 'Man, this guy ain't going anywhere' one of them remarks, while another suggests that they do this the hard way. 'Let's dissect him. Everybody just focus on your assigned body part' another calls out. Wolverine pops his claws, while Jean tells him that they have almost lost it all tonight, but that the fight is not over. 'I loved you too...and I need you to do what you do best for me' Jean utters. And, as her life fades away, the berserker in Wolverine wakes. He is surrounded by the best special forces in Orchis' ranks – but they never stood a chance.
Back at Mykines, Destiny stands before a gateway, then turns back and remarks 'This was our only chance... I'm sorry' before she tells Raven to listen to Charles. 'So much death and destruction, and it all culminates with a giant X in the heavens, with the fall of the Krakoans' Destiny utters as she vanishes through the gateway. Nearby stands Exodus, who is a powerful psychic and zealot. As Charles explained the danger to the sainted Five, despite them wanting to fight on. One does not always need psychic powers to make someone do what you wish. But where they were heading, not even Charles knows, as Exodus shoves Proteus, Elixir, Hope, Tempus and Egg into a gateway, 'AWAY! AWAY!' he booms at them.
At that moment, a furious Mystique turns to Charles and snarls: 'Charles... how dare you try to command me?' A panicked Xavier urgently commands Mystique to leave, but Raven clutches her head, and blood trickles from her nose as she gasps 'My mind, stop! Puh-puhleez!' before she runs to a window, and hurls herself through it, and out of the remains of the lighthouse. 'NO MORE!' Mystique shouts, before screaming as she plummets to the rocky shore of Mykines, where she lands on a large boulder, blood pooling around her. Dr. Stasis laughs loudly as he looks out the smashed window and down at the shore. 'Oh my. The changeling looked like she had a stroke before she was dashed upon the rocks' Dr. Stasis remarks, before Mystique's body vanishes, and he notes that the sea has claimed her. 'At least something wants the wretch' Dr. Stasis decides.
Suddenly, an ecstatic MODOK announces that the Atlantic island has disappeared off the satellites. 'Send the Sentinels to set up a perimeter around the Pacific island' MODOK declares, before Dr. Stasis turns his attention to the several mutants who remain in the lighthouse ruins. 'Uh, am I crazy, or are there still some very disgusting genes around here?' he remarks, while Emma Frost, Kate Pryde, Synch, Talon, Lourdes Chantal, Kwannon, Bishop, Ms. Marvel, Rasputin IV, Monet St. Croix, Warren Worthington III a.k.a. Angel, Akihiro a.k.a. Fang, Remy LeBeau a.k.a. Gambit, the Beaubier Twins Northstar and Aurora and even the Inhuman Romeo can be seen using the red triangle protocol to RESIST. Dr. Stasis turns to Moira and comments on her costume change. 'Way to get into the spirit of the evening' he points out. Moira holds up the poisoned blade and laughs, before reminding Dr. Stasis that she told him she was in the mood for a party. She then explains that the reason these mutants aren't moving is because Xavier trained them how to defend against telepathic attacks and coercion. 'I hope there's enough left on this blade for all of them' Moira scowls.
At that moment: 'Everyone – wake up! Grab hands – Lourdes, it's now or never!' Emma Frost shouts. The others all snap out of the red triangle protocol, while Lourdes admits that she has never tried to teleport this many people before, before telling everyone to link hands. 'Hold fast!' Kate calls out as she reaches for Emma's hand. Romeo has Kate's other hand, and he turns to a bald man in a green suit who holds his hand, while Moira shouts 'Stop the teleporter! These mutants cannot escape!' she then hurls her blade forward and the blade lands in the chest of the bald man in the green suit. 'AAAH!' Romeo screams as the man falls backwards. Moira then leaps onto Xavier's back and begins yanking at the Cerebro helmet. 'I've got Xavier! Open fire – kill her now!' she shouts. 'I got her!' one of the Orchis agents claims as he aims his weapon at Lourdes – until the Kingpin appears behind him: 'I think not' the Kingpin remarks casually as he crushes the Orchis agent's neck with his bare hands. Another Orchis agent opens fire towards the mutants, who suddenly disappear with a POP, leaving Xavier, Moira, Dr. Stasis, Firestar, the Orchis agents, some humans and the man in the green suit behind. 'Aw, crap!' Dr. Stasis mutters.
Lourdes Chantal has now teleported the small group of mutants, Romeo the Inhuman and her old nemesis the Kingpin farther than she has ever teleported – and to a place she never wanted to step back into again – the basement of the New York City's old Hellfire Club.
'You may remove your hands now, Wilson' Emma snaps as the Kingpin takes his hands off her shoulders. Bishop and Kwannon stand near them. Rasputin IV, Ms. Marvel, Angel, Monet and Gambit are there, too. Northstar stands with his sister Aurora, who embraces her partner, Fang. Talon and Synch stand together, while Kate turns to Romeo.
'Where has my wife gone?' the Kingpin enquires. Emma tells him that she doesn't know yet. Kate suggests that they have to get help, then go back for Charles and the others. However, Lourdes suddenly emerges from some shadows, clutching her chest, blood pours from the wound caused by the gunshot that struck her as she teleported away. 'This was a... one-way trip, I'm afraid' Lourdes utters.
Shocked, Emma calls out to Lourdes, then grabs her as she collapses and helps lay her on the ground. 'Here we are again... at another wonderful party gone horribly wrong' Lourdes utters. 'You saved us all' Emma tells Lourdes, before remarking that she should have stayed away from her, and Krakoa. 'You had a life. You got out of all this madness' Emma reminds her. 'No... it was a good dream. Worth fighting for... worth...' Lourdes responds before she passes away in Emma's arms. The others fall silent, some hang their heads, as Emma holds onto Lourdes' body as a pool of blood forms around her.
Back on Mykines, MODOK laughs and exclaims that this is the most fun evening he has had in years, as he injects a gift from Hordeculture into the Krakoan gateway. At that moment, Nimrod lumbers into the ruins of the lighthouse, dragging the Juggernaut behind him. 'I didn't enjoy beating his brains in... but maybe I did just a little?' Nimrod asks, before wondering what Firestar is doing alive. 'Do I have to do everything?' Nimrod declares, before Dr. Stasis tells Nimrod that he is too hasty, and reveals that Firestar has been feeding Orchis information about Krakoa since before she was an X-Man, and now that they are going public, she is joining Orchis full time. 'And what about him?' Firestar asks, motioning to Xavier. 'His fate was sealed the moment Moira joined our ranks' Dr. Stasis smirks. 'He's mine!' a crazed Moira grins, eyes flashing red.
At that moment, Emma leads the way through the tunnels beneath the New York City Hellfire Club, with the others trudging behind her. Emma reports that there are several tunnels that lead into and out of the old Hellfire Club, and reveals that she planted gateways here leading around the world – including one to Mykines. Walking behind the Kingpin, Rasputin IV remarks quietly to Ms. Marvel 'The Blob is smaller than I imagined him' to which Kamala tells her 'That's no the Blob'. Emma pushes a door open to a room where half a dozen Krakoan portals are waiting. 'Jumbo's quite fond of the Lighthouse Keeper' Emma remarks, before Kate supposes that she is not making this trip, suggesting instead that she make her way to the Treehouse and grab the Thunderbird. 'Hang on. Before we go rushing headlong back to war – what about the humans on the medicines?' Synch enquires. 'They're hostages. And we just got our asses handed to us' Talon adds.
Emma stands in front of a portal and turns back to the others: 'I don't need to get very close to give everyone left on that island a lethal stroke. You fabulous X-Men can handle them machines' Emma smirks, adding that after she kills them, she will use her diamond mutation and pitch in on he robots. 'See you on the island' she remarks, but as she steps into the portal, she is blocked, and slams her nose into the portal instead. Kamala gasps, while Kate calls out to Emma, before smiling and telling her 'So that's how that looked'. 'What the hell? $#&%' Emma mutters. Talon and Synch check the other gates, and establish that they are all closed. 'We can't go back to Mykines now' Synch declares.
In the ruins of the Mykines Lighthouse, a group of humans are gathered together. 'Excuse me! I'd like to get off Mykines now!' one of them calls out. He introduces himself as the ambassador of Ireland to the United Nations, and declares that they will not tolerate being held against their will for a second longer. He adds that he has finally got a signal on his mobile phone, and that the top news story is that there were “No human survivors at the Hellfire Gala” and notes that he has a family who will not be too chuffed at that headline. 'I've got to leave and correct that mistake' he exclaims. “No human survivors” Dr. Stasis quotes. 'Can you believe this? Our public-relations department sent out the press release too early' he remarks, before laughing and announces that this is awkward. 'Kill the humans' he commands the Orchis agents. Moira smiles while Xavier shouts 'No! I did what you asked – please, I'm begging you!' But, the Orchis shock troopers have psi-blockers in their helmets, so Charles is powerless to stop them. Instead, he slips into the minds of the victims, holding each soul as they pass from this life, never feeling a moment of pain as the Orchis agents open fire.
Mykines falls dark, a dim light from one of the Stark Sentinels shines down into the ruins of the lighthouse, where Dr. Stasis, Nimrod and Firestar look on as Charles suddenly feels Moira's blade under his chin. 'I won't lie, Charles. I've been dreaming about this' Moira utters. She tells Charles that everything that's happened is his fault, and that tonight will forever be known as the “Mutant Massacre”. 'You sold laced medicines. You invited Nathaniel Essex onto the island, and he almost ended all life on Earth. X-Men Green are eco-terrorists. I could go on and on, but we have a busy day' Moira remarks. She tells Charles that his dream is dead, and that humanity will cheer for Orchis as they capture and kill all of mutantkind. 'Take solace that you won't live to see it' Moira suggests. Xavier frowns and tells Moira that she is ready. 'That's right, be brave' Moira grins as she raises her dagger, only for Xavier to remark 'Oh, I wasn't talking to you – I was just thinking out loud'.
Then, suddenly, before Moira can strike, Rogue bursts up through the rubble of the lighthouse and tears Moira's robotic form. 'STOP HER!' Moira screeches, before Rogue grabs Charles then glances back at Firestar: 'Be seeing ya, traitor!' Rogue tells her, suggesting to Angelica that she sleep with the lights on. Rogue speeds out across the ocean, carrying Charles as she flies in unpredictable patterns. She knows that the machines are in pursuit. She flies across the Atlantic before Charles musters a word: 'Thank you, Rogue...' he begins, to which Rogue tells him to hand on, as Orchis are deploying Sentinels after them. Rogue informs Charles that she is taking him to Steve Rogers, who is re-forming the Unity Squad. 'We have friends -' Rogue begins, but Xavier suddenly calls put 'My god...my god! No, no, no! NO! Take me to the island!' he pleads. 'That's suicide' Rogue tells Charles. 'Please, you don't understand. They're all gone, Rogue' an exhausted Charles utters.
'Who's gone?' Rogue asks, before changing direction, and flying towards an island, where waves crash against the shore. 'Our mutant family – everyone who walked through the gates. They were – they were meant to go to Arakko. I can't reach any of them. They're all gone... all of them... they're all dead' Charles utters as he drops his Cerebro helmet to the shore of the island. A wide-eyed Rogue reminds Charles that there was a quarter million mutants on Krakoa. 'They can't all be gone' she pleads. Xavier keels over, the ocean water lapping around him as he replies 'But they are. I made everyone walk through the gates. At the party and across the planet. Stasis told me I had to, but I didn't know – I didn't know they did something to the gates' Charles explains to Rogue. Charles declares that he pushed them into a meat grinder – that they are all. 'ALL DEAD! And I killed them!' Charles shouts, tears streaming down his face. He tells Rogue to leave him, and go avenge the others. Rogue takes off towards the setting sun, as Charles continues to sit on the shore of the island. 'Avenge Krakoa' he gasps, trembling in the waves, weeping for all he has built which is now in ruin. He anguished for the children he helped murder on this night. All good things must end, and the Fall of the House of X has begun. The island that Charles is on is the Pacific archipelago of Krakoa. Population: One.
Meanwhile, back at the Hellfire Club, Synch and Romeo examine the Krakoan portals, while Aurora and Kamal watch Emma as the Kingpin tells her 'You have good reason not to trust me, but -' to which Emma interrupts him, noting that she trusts Orchis even less. 'Yes, I agree – you've made your point. And we can't stay here. This is one of the first places that the fascists will come looking for us' Emma tells the Kingpin. Kate approaches them, and tells everyone to trust her when she says that they will all get used to not being able to use the gates. She starts to lean against one of the gates – and then suddenly she falls through it. 'Katherine?' a wide-eyed Emma gasps.
Finally, at Krakoa's embassy in Jerusalem, Israel: 'What the hell is this?' an Orchis agent exclaims as Kate Pryde falls through the gateway. Kate looks up and sees that she is surrounded by several Orchis agents. She sighs, 'You fellas aren't going to behave, are you?' she smiles.
Angel, Aurora, Bishop, Bling, Cannonball, Jumbo Carnation, Lourdes Chantal, Curse, Cyclops, Dazzler, Destiny, Dust, Exodus, Fang VI, Firestar, Forge, Frenzy, Emma Frost, Gambit, Jean Grey, Iceman, Jubilee, Juggernaut, Kwannon, Magik, Magma, Marrow, Mirage, Multiple Man, Mystique, Northstar, Prodigy VI, Kate Pryde, Penance II, Rogue, Somnus, Stepford Cuckoos, Strong Guy, Synch, Talon, Professor X (all Krakoans)
Egg, Elixir, Hope Summers, Proteus, Tempus (all The Five)
Ms Marvel VI/Kamala Khan
Kingpin & Typhoid Mary
Dr. Stasis, Moira MacTaggert, MODOK, Nimrod, Omega Sentinel (all Orchis)
Black Panther, Captain America VIII, Captain Marvel VI, Scarlet Witch, Thor, Vision (all Avengers)
U.S. Ambassador of Ireland
Human attendees at Hellfire Gala
Iron Man Sentinels
Civilians in New York, Madripoor, London
Cyclops & Emma Frost
(in false memories)
This issue takes place after X-Men (6th series) #24.
This issue acts as the lead-in to the “Fall of X” event which continues in X-Men (6th series) #25, Astonishing Iceman #1, Children of the Vault #1, Immortal X-Men #14, Alpha Flight (5th series) #1, Dark X-Men (2nd series) #1, Uncanny Avengers (4th series) #1, X-Men Red (2nd series) #14, Jean Grey (2nd series) #1, X-Force (6th series) #43, Realm of X #1, Invincible Iron Man (5th series) #9, Wolverine (7th series) #36, Uncanny Spider-Man #1 and Ms Marvel: The New Mutant #1.
Kamala Khan died in Amazing Spider-Man (6th series) #26.
Emma Frost and Kamala Khan indeed have some previous prior business together, as the two were members of Loki's makeshift team which was put together to prevent Gamora from destroying the universe, as seen in Infinity Wars #4-5.
Cyclops and Kamala Khan have a connection as Cyclops' time-displaced younger self was a member of the team of young heroes called the Champions from Champions (2nd series) #2-18.
Romeo is an Inhuman who first appeared in Spider-Woman (6th series) #10, as part of the Royal Inhuman Diplomatic Mission during the Civil War II event. Romeo and the time-displaced Bobby Drake met and began dating over the course of All-New X-Men (2nd series) #13-19 and Iceman (3rd series) #1. But by X-Men Blue #35 the two had stopped seeing each other, and the time-displaced Iceman soon returned to his true time period. Romeo returned in Marvel Voices Infinity Comic #1-4 in which he was stranded in an alternate dimension for ten years, only to return to his true Earth to discover that no time at all had passed, however he remained aged-up, and began dating Iceman once more.
Rogue dealt with exposure to the Terrigen Mists and the effects the Mist had on her throughout the third series of Uncanny Avengers.
The incident that the Avengers depart the Gala for is seen in the Uncanny Avengers Free Comic Book Day 2023 #1.
The third annual X-Men membership vote was open readers and fans of the X-Men comic from January 31 to February 3 2023. The options were Cannonball, Dazzler, Frenzy, Juggernaut, Jubilee and Prodigy. In an interview released following the X-Men Hellfire Gala 2023 issue, X-Men editor Jordan D. White confirmed that Juggernaut received the most votes of this election.
Magik was infected by Orchis' nanotech in X-Men (6th series) #23. In this same issue, the X-Men fought the Stark Sentinel.
During the montage of panels depicting mutants stepping through the Krakoan portals under Xavier's instruction, a panel depicts a Krakoan portal in London. The inclusion of this portal is somewhat interesting considering in Excalibur (4th series) #21, Ambassador Reuben Brousseau revealed that he was initiating plans to have all Krakoan portals removed from the United Kingdom. He specifically referred to Krakoans being welcome on British soil as foreign nationals but that the use of Krakoan gates was not permitted.
The Red Triangle strategy is outlined in a text-only page titled “The X-Men's Secret Weapon.” It was first used in US Avengers.
It is strange that some mutants who spent years under Xavier's tutelage, like Mirage and Magik appear unable to resist Xavier's command, while others who have spent little to no time with Xavier like Northstar, Aurora, Fang, Kwannon, Synch and particularly Ms. Marvel, are able to resist his command. Interestingly, the Inhuman Romeo is shown to specifically being able to resist the command also.
This issue includes solicitations for issues #1-3 of Ms. Marvel: The New Mutant, which had previously been billed as a “Top Secret Title.”
Wyn and Dmitri are characters from Hickman’s upcoming title G.O.D.S. Wyn refers to Magneto’s words in House of X #1.