All-New X-Men (2nd series) #7

Issue Date: 
May 2016
Story Title: 

Dennis Hopeless (writer), Mark Bagley (penciler), Andrew Hennessy (inker), Nolan Woodard (colorist), VC’s Cory Petit (letterer), Bagley, Hennessy, Woodard (cover artists), Christina Harrington(assistant editor), Daniel Ketchum (editor), Mark Paniccia (X-Men group editor), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)
X-Men created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby

Brief Description: 

The X-Men try to figure out why Toad has kidnapped Cyclops and how to find them. They find Toad’s internet diary, which shows his mental deterioration and fixation on young Scott Summers – he believes that killing him will undo everything adult Cyclops did. Scott, in the meantime, finds himself a prisoner of Toad in the Paris catacombs. When Toad mercilessly hits him with a mallet, Scott soon realizes Toad means to kill him and instinctively uses his optic blast, causing a small cave-in. He loses his visor, meaning he has to crawl through the catacombs blind, fleeing from the murderous Toad. Though Cyclops’ optic blast allows the other X-Men to pinpoint his rough whereabouts via Cerebro, unfortunately they have no idea that he is literally below them. When Toad catches up and is about to set Scott on fire, he takes the risk and again fires his optic blast, causing another cave-in and enabling his friends to locate him, though Beast doubts himself. Why didn’t he deduce where Scott was?

Full Summary: 

Paris, France:
After the battle with the Blob, the X-Men present – Beast, Genesis, Iceman and Oya – sit in their mobile home and try to figure out what happened to their missing teammate, Cyclops. Toad is still the little guy with the tongue, right? Iceman asks. That guy kidnapped Scott by himself? He suggests Wolverine track him. Beast grimly replies she isn’t answering her phone. Sitting at the computer, Oya suggests he try Angel. They looked like they were heading for a loud talk after the battle. Beast already tried. Angel’s phone goes straight to voicemail.

Don’t they think Scott can handle Toad alone? Bobby asks. Two days ago, he’d have said the same about the Blob, Beast replies glumly. But that guy always was a hardcase, Bobby points out. Wasn’t Toad school janitor last year? Genesis explains he is different how. They should have seen the look in his eyes.

Idie announces Toad has a Youvideo channel.

On the first video, Toad from a happier time announces he has a pretty okay job, cool place to live. Nice folks to live around for the most part. And Paige… Paige is great. Seems like a jinx to say it but he’s got a good thing going for once.

A later scene. A shocked Toad begins to say something about Cyclops but cannot pronounce it. Cyclops is supposed to be… and then he goes and…. He has no words.

A later scene shows him packing. School isn’t safe anymore. He’s trying to keep his head up. Gotta land on his feet.

Later: A disheveled Toad siting at his table, a bottle of whiskey in his hand. He’s clearly injured. It’s weird. He’s taken a lot of beatings. Bad ones sometimes. But mostly he deserved them. Been a long time since it felt… unfair. He was walking, just minding his own business, then a bunch of them jumped out and…

The last vid: an angry Toad, now wearing his old villain costume: He holds a newspaper into the camera and is clearly drunk. He was sitting at the bar, having a drink and look who pops up on TV: Skinny Scotty Summers. Babyfresh back from the dead. Maybe that kid’s not him. Not really. Not yet. Probably hasn’t done anything wrong. But he has seen all the movies. He gets how it works. If a guy wants to change the future, he’s gotta change something from the past. He turns away from a candle on a skull. He doesn’t want to be the monster who kills a baby in its crib. Who would? It’s no kind of fun down here in the dark. But if that’s what it takes to turn everything back… “I’m your monster, man.

The Catacombs of Paris, now:
Scott Summers is tied to a slab, still pretending to be unconscious. He realizes the Toad is hammered. Toad downs more alcohol muttering about the Terminator. “No fate but what you make.” He glares at Scott. All his fault anyway. He’s gotta do it.

Scott figures Toad is usually no big threat, but he has him at a disadvantage. Hit him with a car; now they are underground somewhere. One stray optic blast and the ceiling will come down. He starts to carefully work on the ropes and figures he will get an opening eventually.

That’s when Toad smashes him in the face with the whiskey bottle again and again as he slurs that he’s gotta fix it all.

Meanwhile, the X-Men try to figure this out. Apparently, Toad waited to attack Scott when everybody was focusing on the others’ battle with the Blob. Iceman wonder how they found Scott last time. Doesn’t Hank have a Cerebro unit? Hank reminds him he has no telepath, so the tracker unit can only track Scott when he uses his power. Bobby suggests Pickles get them a telepath. Hank explains that, even if Pickles jumps to Metro University to get Jean, that is a transatlantic jump and he will not be juiced enough to return until the next day. Why hasn’t Scott used his power yet? Bobby asks and Hank admits he doesn’t know.

The catacombs:
Scott tries to groan something. Toad babbles, it was horrible. Down here, what did he think it would look like? Doesn’t matter, he tells himself. No excuses. Came down here to be the monster. Change the world!

Cyclops tries to understand his ranting. He begins to realize Toad brought him down here where he can’t use his blasts, to murder him.

Toad continues all he has to do is push this through and everything will go back to the way it was. This is what it takes. Scott Summers broke the world…

Scott shouts at him to wait. That isn’t him. Toad is convinced if he does this, it will change the timeline and Scott Summers will never doom mutantkind. It doesn’t work like that! Scott shouts. He doesn’t get to kill him. He has to, Toad replies. In despair, Scott unleashes his optic blast upwards.

Cerebro chimes and gives the X-Men a location. Immediately, they head out.

In the catacombs, Cyclops has freed himself from the ropes. However, he has to keep his eyes closed as his visor got lost when Toad hit him. He gropes blindly in the rubble, not daring to open his eyes. Toad is unconscious. Mortar drops from the ceiling, almost hitting Scott. He reaches for something and believes for a moment he has found it... but it’s the jaw of a skull. More stones tumble on Cyclops, who screams in pain. He finds his leg sticking out at a weird angle, probably broken. And Toad begins to regain consciousness.

Cyclops crawls away blindly leaving a trail of blood. Toad follows the trail.

The X-Men have been led to the neighborhood where Toad’s ruined car stands. No Scott, though. Beast wonders how everyone in the neighborhood could sleep through the noise of Scott’s optic blast. Something is wrong here. Why does it feel like they are running out of time? What is he missing?

Scott blindly drags himself through a tunnel, only to reach a dead end. He’s about to panic then calms himself and crawls backward then tries another path.

Toad has almost caught up. He finds the entry and pours the kerosene he’s been carrying. He pours it down, ready to burn it all away.

Scott is trapped. He realizes he is dead either way. He blasts upwards and his friends see the blast close by. Everything caves in. Toad saves himself and figures that Scott died, but nothing has changed. What did he do? he asks himself.

Recalling Toad’s video, Beast realizes Scott is in the catacombs. Why didn’t he see it?

Characters Involved: 

Angel (from the past), Beast (from the past), Cyclops (from the past), Genesis II, Iceman (from the past), Oya, Wolverine III (all X-Men)


Story Notes: 

Youvideo apparently stands for Youtube or Myvideo.

They found Scott last time in Chicago at the end of issue #1.

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