Astonishing X-Men (3rd series) #45

Issue Date: 
February 2012
Story Title: 
Exalted, part two

Greg Pak (writer), Mike McKone (art), Rachelle Rosenberg (color art), VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters), Mike McKone and Rachelle Rosenberg (cover art), Daniel Ketchum (associate editor), Nick Lowe (editor), Axel Alonso (editor in chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

Cyclops has been taken to an alternate dimension. As he sleeps, the Savior projects images into his mind, explaining what has happened on his world. Scott wakes up but soon remembers the capsule he was in when he first arrived. He lashes out at the Savior and runs, but soon discovers all this was in his head and he is still inside the capsule after all. He blasts the tube in frustration, but Emma Frost explains that he’s just doing what the Savior wants. He sees another capsule with the dead body of Prince Namor inside and becomes angry as he realizes the Savior is using mutants as batteries. He uses tools stolen from Storm to cut a hole in the capsule and blast his way out. He then frees Emma (Emmaline Frost), Wolverine (who informs Scott that he is called General James Howlett) and Kitty Pryde, better known as Shadow. Scott wishes to discover how they all got there and shut it down. The mutants run through the building and come across an artifacts room. Scott discovers thousands of visors from countless other Scotts who had come before him. The Savior contacts him telepathically and Scott asks how many other mutants has he done this to? The Savior replies that, if it makes him feel better, he started with himself.

Full Summary: 


In an alternate dimension, the Savior recounts the details of recent events to the newly arrived Cyclops. He explains that, once upon a time, after decades of persecution, mutants finally said no. The greatest among them, led by Magneto, unleashed their mightiest powers and conquered the nations of men.

(images in Scott’s dream)

Magneto is shown standing victorious amidst the smoking ruins of Washington D.C. Around him are several other mutants including Wolverine, Colossus, Iceman and Dark Phoenix.


The Savior continues to say it could have been a golden age for all, but the humans were soon enslaved, monitored by great mechanical Sentinels. They were condemned to live and die in filth and squalor.

(images in Scott’s dream)

Moving forward in time a little and these mutants battled against the new X-Men led by the Savior. During the battle, Cyclops battles Magneto, Storm faces Dark Phoenix, Armor trade punches with Colossus and Iceman fights the Angel. Northstar gives as good as he gets from X-23.


The Savior explains that the X-Men intervened. They were brave heroes who valued every life whether sapiens or superior. They were willing to give everything to make that dream come true. They said no to tyranny. They rejected the primacy of the fittest and embraced the brotherhood of man. This was Scott’s life. “Now wake up and claim it again!”

Scott Summers wakes up. The room is light and spacious and he finds the Savior standing by the window. Scott asks who he is. The man wanders over to the bed and replies that the people call him Savior, but they know he’s just a messenger. When Scott asks if he put those images in his head, the Savior smiles and replies that he needs Scott to understand this world and his place in it. Scott interjects and says there was something else. A prison… people in capsules. He groans as he sits up and the Savior says he knows it hurts. He’s given so much and will need time to recover. But first… the people should see their God.

He ushers Scott to the window. He looks out and sees a massive statue of himself. It’s been there some time as flora has had time to meander its way up the statue’s legs. Scott says this isn’t his world, but Storm appears and tells him that’s true, but he saved it. Scott immediately turns back to the Savior and blasts him with his optic beam. “Lies!” he shouts. “Lies!”

He runs out of the bedroom and zaps two guards who approach him. The Savior apologizes to Ororo, but he did try. Scott runs as fast as he can, but he finds he is back in uniform and back once again inside the prison capsule in the generator room. He bangs his fists against the clear capsule before blasting it again with his optic beam.

The capsule channels the power into the cables attached and take the energy directly to the people. They cheer as their street lights flicker back into life but the Savior watches from his ivory tower and looks disappointed.

Emma Frost tells Scott that she doesn’t mean to diminish his enjoyment of this manly outburst, but he’s doing a wonderful job of fulfilling all of their enemy’s greatest dreams. He replies that he’s getting her out of there, but she asks him to calm himself unless he wants to end up like Mr. McKenzie. Scott looks over and sees another capsule with Prince Namor lying dead. His body is slightly desiccated and drained. Scott asks what the hell’s going on, to which Emma explains that each capsule is calibrated to absorb and store the energy of its prisoner’s specific talent. “Mutants… as batteries!” replies Scott, furious at the thought of it.

The old version of Wolverine reminds him that the lady asked him to calm down. He’d prefer that the boy didn’t see another would-be hero die today. The young Nightcrawler, hanging upside down in his capsule, says that not seeing that would be pretty awesome. “Logan, dammit! How long have you been here?” asks Scott. He replies that he isn’t Logan. He is former Governor General James Howlett of the dominion of Canada and viceroy of her majesty’s expedition to Shangri-La. He adds that it’s good to see Scott again.

Scott turns back to Emma and says that’s not their Wolverine. Emma replies that she’s not his Emma. She introduces herself as Emmaline Summers-Frost of the New Albion X-Society. Scott says it’s okay. He’s been around the block a few times to the multiverse and parallel worlds. He started to suspect things when Storm kissed him. She’d never do that in his world. But, he adds, she did have something in common with the Ororo he knows. She was a thief. He reaches into his pocket and pulls out some lock picking tools. Scott smiles. He tells them that mutants are in danger and they are all X-Men. “X-Society,” replies Emma. “X-What?” says Howlett. “I took a year of Tae Kwon Do,” adds Nightcrawler.

Scott uses one of the tools as a kind of glass cutter and cuts an X shape in the capsule and blasts his way out. The Savior notes what’s happening from afar and asks him to wait but Emma contacts him telepathically and asks him to shut his hole, calling him a repulsive monster. Some Sanctifiers appear carrying weapons and the Savior orders them to send more to the generator room. They can help him to his chamber.

Scott and Emma free Howlett and Nightcrawler and they spot one more live mutant in a capsule above them. Scott blasts her capsule which shatters and as she falls, Howlett rushes over to catch her. “Katherine,” he shouts. “I’ve got you girl.” As she lands in his arms she asks him to call her Shadow. He asks how she is and she responds with sarcasm but also a smile. How is she? They froze her in mid-phase and tortured her for three weeks straight!

Four Sanctifiers appear to arrest them but Shadow grabs one of the blades sticking out of Howlett’s back and hurls it at one of them. “I feel better now,” she adds as it hits him in the shoulder. Cyclops blasts the others which Nightcrawler finds pretty cool. Emma tells them that there are more coming, but for now she’s shielding them from the Savior’s probes. However, they should get a move on. Scott takes command and tells Howlett and Shadow to go on point. Howlett, though, tells him he’ll catch up and grabs one of the blades before moving towards the downed Sanctifiers.

Scott realizes he’s going to kill them and orders him to stand down. Howlett says he’s just giving the blades back to those who stuck him with them, but Scott can’t have that. He blasts at Howlett, but the guy turns and snikts his claws. They are gold in color and he snarls as he asks if he’s gonna try those beams on him. “Welcome to the Multiverse.” He slashes at the optic blast and the blades somehow dissipate the energy. “Whoa,” gasps Cyclops.

“Adamantine. The metal of the Gods,” Howlett informs him. “My entire skeleton’s laced with it.” Scott prepares for a fight and replies that he guesses he’ll just have to shoot him through the eyes and pulverize his brain. Howlett laughs. That’s the Summers he knows. Emma and Shadow stand watching and Emma asks if these two are as… male as this in her world. Howlett asks Scott what the plan is. He reckons that first they need to save any other mutants who are being tortured down there and he’s counting on him and Emma to sniff them out.

Howlett immediately leads them away and soon spots three small spherical drones. He asks Shadow to knock them out with her phasing but she’s already on it. Howlett asks Scott to continue. Scott adds that second, they need to figure out how to get everyone home. He asks Kurt if he happens to be able to teleport between dimensions. Kurt admits that he can’t, but he got an A minus in Mrs. Stimson’s class of quantum mechanics and practical uses of infinity. Scott explains that they brought him there in the X-Jet. They could have flown through an externally generated portal. Kurt replies that, if they’re lucky, there’s a jumping device on that ship. It could be some kind of modified ghost box. Scott asks if he could operate it if they found it.

Before he answers, Howlett uses his claws to slice through a wall. Emma points out that Shadow could have just phased through it, but Howlett asks where the fun in that is. Scott looks through the hole and asks what it is. Howlett grabs his hat from a peg and explains that it’s a storeroom of artifacts… like his hat. Shadow spots her knives which stand next to a range of heavy armory.

Kurt discovers his Spider-Man lunchbox and the sadness shows on his face. Scott asks what happened, but Kurt doesn’t wish to walk about it. Scott looks around and sees Emma on her knees. She’s holding one of Scott’s visors in her hand and she sighs, “Scotty… my darling boy.” Scott looks inside the next room and sees thousands of visors piled up - the discarded remains of many Scotts who came before him.

Scott then hears the Savior’s voice in his mind. He tells Scott that it’s hard to understand but there’s a reason for all this. Scott asks how he dares even trying to explain this. How many other mutants has he done this to? The Savior replies that if it makes him feel better, he started with himself. The Savior sits in a Cerebra unit surrounded by over twenty floating heads inside small spherical capsules attached to his machine.

Characters Involved: 


(from alternate dimensions)


The Savior’s guards - the Sanctifiers

Emmaline, General James Howlett, Namor, Nightcrawler and Shadow

(in flashback)

Mutants including Colossus, Dark Phoenix, Iceman, Magneto, Wolverine and X-23

Angel, Armor, Cyclops, Northstar, the Savior, X-23 and others (all X-Men)




Story Notes: 
Issue Information: 
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