CYCLOPS: Page 20 of 20

Publication Date: 14th Nov 2019
Image Work: sixhoursoflucy and Gremlin.


Mutantkind suffered heavy losses that day, however. Nate Grey had effectively declared “No More X-Men,” as nearly the entire all-time roster of mutant heroes had vanished and were believed dead, along with Nate Grey himself. Emboldened by this power vacuum, General Callahan and the Office of National Emergency stepped up and mobilized an anti-mutant military presence in America. The remaining mutants were on the run without their most celebrated protectors, and an anti-mutant vaccine was being administered at free clinics to prevent new mutants from arising as well. [Uncanny X-Men (5th series) #10]

Left to fend for himself by Cable, Cyclops was at loose ends trying to figure out what to do next. His efforts to find any surviving stray X-Men proved fruitless. Madrox wanted out, Chamber had moved in with the Morlocks and told him to piss off, and the precognitive Blindfold killed herself, leaving behind a message in blood “This Is Forever.” At a political rally for an anti-mutant senator, Scott caused a scene and had to be talked down by Captain America. Instead of fighting further, he turned to the cameras and issued a call to arms for all remaining X-Men to meet him at the school grounds in two days. That night, Cyclops was instead confronted by the worst who were still active: the Reavers, the Purifiers and the Sapien League. He did, however, have one friendly(?) face arrive: Logan, freshly back from the dead himself. Cyclops and Wolverine spent the night fighting side-by-side against waves of anti-mutant terrorists and, when the dust had settled, they put aside their differences to begin saving a world that hates and fears them one more time. [Uncanny X-Men (5th series) #11]

Logan's sources turned up evidence that the O*N*E was keeping prisoner some X-Men who missed the final battle. Cyclops and Wolverine slam raided the detention facility, finding Havok, several Madrox duplicates and the New Mutants team. Karma, Moonstar, Wolfsbane, Magik and Strong Guy had absorbed the transmode virus through Warlock, and Callahan was using them as hosts for new techno-organic Sentinels. While they and the other mutant prisoners were freed, one of the Madri had been implanted with a bomb and exploded. This blast killed Guido, who absorbed the kinetic energy to save his teammates. Cyclops and the rest of these new X-Men were forced to run, teleporting away with Magik before they were overrun by O*N*E. [Uncanny X-Men (5th series) #12]

Cyclops and the X-Men holed up in the back of Harry's Hideaway, planning their next move. Scott made a list of potential threats, to mutants or by mutants, who he thought needed to be dealt with. If these were the last days of mutantkind, Cyclops said, then removing these threats would be their legacy. Cyclops took a vote and the united group agreed to follow up on his list of names. The X-Men went after Dark Beast first, finding the Age of Apocalypse reject had been experimenting on Madrox's duplicates as well. The real Madrox had been tracking him independently and joined the X-Men to get revenge for the torture and murder of his dupes. Dark Beast was brought down by the X-Men and incarcerated in the basement under Harry's, putting his mind to work under guard. [Uncanny X-Men (5th series) #13]

Cyclops made contact with Val Cooper, now at the State Department, to trade favors. This came at a good time, for the X-Men learned the Mutant Liberation Front was active again, now under the command of Hope Summers and Banshee. The Marauders had also made a second strike on the Morlocks, killing many of Chamber and Callisto's people. The X-Men cleared armored rebels out Chernaya at Val's request, freeing the mutant-friendly nation of a dissident faction and allowing the remaining Morlocks to relocate there. Chamber decided to rejoin the X-Men, getting Scott's promise that going after the Marauders would make his list. [Uncanny X-Men (5th series) #14]

Captain America came to the door of Harry's to confront Scott about all he was doing. He warned Cyclops to be careful and that all his friends may not be who he thought they were, but offered to help on the QT if necessary. The MLF were located at another anti-mutant political rally, and Cyclops brought out the X-Men to stop them. They failed. The MLF were captured, but not before Hope killed the bigoted senator and shot out Scott's right eye when he tried to interfere. With his head injured and his power cut in half, Cyclops was considerably limited from that point on for field duty. [Uncanny X-Men (5th series) #15]

Unfortunately, he didn't have much of a choice. Moonstar's connection to the Valkyrie brought the X-Men into conflict with the invading hordes of Svartalfheim in New York. Malekith had ceded North America to the conquering Frost Giants, putting countless civilians at risk. The X-Men established Fort Syndergaard at an abandoned stadium in Queens, making supply and rescue runs to get as many people into the safe camp as possible. Magik had paroled Banshee and Hope from Harry's cells to fight alongside the X-Men, despite Scott's reticence to work with Hope. There was one moment of light when Cyclops briefly linked up with the Champions, who were also fighting for New York. “Slim” now fondly remembered his time with the young heroes, and he had a tearful reunion with Ms. Marvel over what the Champions had meant to both of them. By the end of the War of the Reams, however, the X-Men had lost Sunspot and the team was exhausted from defending a siege for days. [War of the Realms: Uncanny X-Men #1-3, Champions (3rd series) #5]

Through his dealings with Captain America, Cyclops turned over the Mutant Liberation Front prisoners to the government, but he kept secret the fact that Hope, Banshee and Dark Beast were still working with them. When Havok questioned this and other decisions he had made since they reunited, Cyclops made the decision to step down as X-Men leader. Instead, he oversaw the group reforming into a democracy where all members got a vote on major decisions. Despite this, the hits starting coming harder and faster for the X-Men. Wolfsbane and Karma decided to leave the team and try for normal lives, only for Rahne to be murdered by civilians soon after. A new Brotherhood led by Joseph was stopped when Kwannon arrived to decapitate him, but she and Wolverine left the team to pursue Rahne's killers. Chamber met the Marauders, only for them all to kill each other in combat. Harry's was firebombed by Mister Sinister, leaving the X-Men homeless even after they defeated him. And, most curious of all, Juggernaut joined the X-Men again coming over from the Brotherhood, and asked Scott why Emma Frost of all people wasn't on his hit list? Cyclops was surprised, because he had never heard of a woman named Emma Frost before. [Uncanny X-Men (5th series) #16-18]

In fact, Emma had been manipulating them all along. Captured by General Callahan even before Nate Grey's rising, it was Emma who arranged for O*N*E to get a hold of Beast's sample of the mutant “cure,” turning it into the vaccine. Implanted with a bomb in her head and an implant that would trigger an unstable quantity of the cure in her system, Emma was given a long leash to work for Callahan in hunting down other mutants. When Scott returned, Emma kept him alive by telling Callahan he could be useful in eliminating those mutant threats that concerned him. With some telepathic prompting and erasure, she had pushed Scott and Logan into reuniting and building their list of targets. And the “Captain America” the X-Men had been turning prisoners over to was actually Mystique in disguise, working for Emma. [Uncanny X-Men (5th series) #19]

This team of X-Men's vulnerability to telepathic persuasion would haunt them. Scott had provided data on the anti-mutant vaccine to Dark Beast to work with and he seemingly came up with a solution: a bio-chemical concoction that could be released airborne to bond with the vaccine quantities worldwide, making it non-functional in mutant genes. There was considerable consternation among the X-Men about trusting McCoy, but Scott pushed for it and a vote agreed to release the solution. When Captain America and Dr. Nemesis soon approached Cyclops, he learned not only that the Cap he had been dealing with was an impostor, but that McCoy's creation was life-threatening. Back at Harry's, Dark Beast explained that a certain percentage of latent mutants exposed to the vaccine would react badly, facing systemic pain, comas and potentially death. This way, parents wouldn't dare expose their children to the vaccine again. McCoy had dreamed up this idea with Sinister when he visited Harry's, and Mister Sinister had telepathically prompted Scott and the others while they fought to make it happen. Magik furiously executed McCoy, but the damage was done. [Uncanny X-Men (5th series) #20]

Emma soon reached out to Scott and the others, restoring their memories and providing a full explanation for her actions. More than just trying to stay alive, Emma had a plan to undo everything Callahan had been doing and make mutantkind safe forever. Cyclops and the X-Men reluctantly agreed to help her, but the cost continued to rise. Getting the pieces Emma needed for her plan lost them Banshee, Juggernaut and Magik. Still, with the help of Sinister, Dr. Nemesis and Fabian Cortez, Emma was able to remove Callahan's fail-safes, radically amplify her abilities and construct a new Cerebro that allowed her to remove the very concept of mutants from the minds of humanity. [Uncanny X-Men (5th series) #21]

Cyclops struggled to accept this new reality. Mankind did not remember the idea of mutants, or their hatred of them. They couldn't even “see” mutant powers being manifested right in front of them. A soldier without a war, Scott didn't know what to do with this new, enforced peace. Moonstar questioned whether he even understood what they had lost, for where he saw fallen soldiers, she saw family members gone forever. Their debate fell aside when General Callahan surprisingly returned with his techno-organic Sentinels. Callahan's personal protection against Emma's telepathy from their time together shielded him from her worldwide spell, leaving him the only anti-mutant activist still alive. The tragedies continued as Cortez, Havok, Multiple Man and Warlock all died trying to stop Callahan and his Sentinels.

And then, a miracle happened. Just like that, the X-Men were alive again. They returned from a pocket dimension X-Man had created during their final battle, all of Scott's friends and loved ones back to issue the final blow against Callahan's remaining Sentinels. And Jean was among them. Without a word or a backwards glance at Emma, Scott Summers and Jean Grey were reunited and embraced passionately. Together, the X-Men considered whether Emma's victory really was that. Mutants were at peace, but only because they were forced into hiding. There was co-existence, to a point, but no acceptance. With the support of his friends, his family, his teammates, Cyclops destroyed Emma's Cerebro unit and restored mankind's memories of mutantkind. There would be no hiding: mutantkind would have an acknowledged place in the world, or none at all. [Uncanny X-Men (5th series) #22]