Astonishing X-Men (3rd series) #46

Issue Date: 
March 2012
Story Title: 
Exalted, part three

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: 

Using his telepathy, Savior informs Cyclops how Magneto left their planet one last gift before he was killed. He reached into the Earth’s outer core and split the Earth in two, thereby disrupting the magnetic field which protected their atmosphere. Millions of people died and it put their future at great risk. The greatest minds on the planet then got together and created a machine in Santo Marco which converts the power of their heroes into energy which soon restored the magnetosphere. Unfortunately, when they died, the heroes needed replacing and they quickly ran out them. They needed to get them from elsewhere and, fortunately, they found the multiverse was full of them. Cyclops isn’t impressed with Savior’s explanation and, when Nightcrawler gets him and the crew one each of deceased Magneto’s helmets, Scott concocts a plan of action. He splits the team into two, sending Emmaline, Nightcrawler and Shadow to the X-Jet, whilst he and James Howlett go looking for Savior. When Emmaline attacks Savior telepathically, he resists and reads her mind to learn Scott’s plan to get the X-Jet. He sends Storm to intercept, unaware that it is actually a ruse by Cyclops. Shadow gets the jump on Storm allowing, Nightcrawler to reach the jet. However, he is shot at by Sanctifiers and seemingly dies in a large explosion. Ororo manages to defeat Shadow and she takes her back to Savior. When she arrives, she is blasted by Cyclops and Savior is stabbed by Howlett. Storm then recovers and takes them both out. To prove their point, Storm asks Savior to allow Scott to read her mind. As images flood his mind, she explains how they are doing this for the people as they will not allow them to die. Scott blasts her anyway and Savior too, before grabbing Magneto’s helmet off the floor. “We’ll see about that!” he snarls.

Full Summary: 

Savior, an alternate dimension’s Charles Xavier, speaks to Scott Summers telepathically. He explains that he spent his whole life reading other people’s minds, but on the day his X-Men overthrew the mutant monarchy and he killed Magneto, he let the whole world read his. He shared his dream with every soul on the planet, and the world wept with joy. They gazed into his heart and knew the days of human versus mutant were over. But, Magnus left them one last gift. Before he died, he reached into the molten iron of the Earth’s outer core and he split the Earth. He broke the magnetic field protecting their atmosphere and millions died in a single day. The rest of them were certain to go within the year.

The most brilliant minds on the planet, both human and mutant, including Bruce Banner, Hank McCoy and T‘Challa, came together and discovered a way through the darkness. They built a machine in Santo Marco, a massive structure that could convert the power of their heroes into the raw energy needed to save the planet. The strongest and the bravest, like Storm’s lover Cyclops, stepped forward. They healed the Earth using their enormous power and managed to restore the magnetosphere. They saved the world but died in the process. The planet would mourn and celebrate them forever. However, the struggle had just begun. The structural integrity of their planet required constant maintenance but they’d run out of heroes. So, they went looking for more and discovered the multiverse is full of them, including plenty more Charles Xavier’s.

One mile below in Savior’s hold, Cyclops warns him to get out of his head, but Savior says he understands his anger. Cyclops says he killed a few of his own doubles too, is that supposed to make them feel better? He blasts open a door and asks how many more there will be. He steps inside the next room and sees a pile of helmets, meaning dozens of alternate versions of his brother died for the planet. He blasts again and again asks how many. Savior replies that there will be more than he can imagine. This is why he keeps bringing him back there. They are and always will be… heroes. He assaults Scott psychically causing him to scream in pain.

James Howlett asks Emmaline to cut the line but she is weak and tells him that Savior is too strong. She asks how he is managing to resist him. Howlett explains that it’s down to his adamantine-laced skull. The metal of the gods keeps some of mankind’s abominations at bay. Unfortunately, that’s not going to help their fearless leader. He looks at Cyclops on the floor, clearly in some distress. Help comes in the form of Nightcrawler who has one of the deceased Magneto’s helmets in his hand. “Hey Mister Summers,” he says. “Maybe this’ll help?”

Moments later, Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Emmaline and Shadow are wearing versions of Magneto’s helmet and Scott points out the drawback. They protect them from Savior’s mental powers but they prevent Emmaline from helping them communicate. So, they must stay close to their mission partners and keep their eye and ears open. “Mission partners?” asks Nightcrawler. Scott splits them into two teams. Crawler, Shadow and Emmaline are going to find the X-Jet and figure out how to hop back to their different dimensions. He and Howlett will team up together. ‘Crawler asks where they’re going and Emma informs him that they’re going to find Savior and kill him. “Oh, you mean the fun stuff,” he replies.

As Howlett and Cyclops head along a corridor, they come across some of Savior’s Sanctifiers. One of them uses some kind of flame thrower on Cyclops, which burns some of his uniform. Howlett catches him as he falls and Scott blasts the Sanctifiers He keeps firing until Howlett says enough. Cyclops turns on him and asks after what they’ve been through, does he really think so? Howlett says he’ll handle this whilst Scott goes back to the others. When Scott asks him what he’s talking about, Howlett tells him that, in his world, Scott is only nineteen years old. The only person he ever threatens to kill is him. Since that’s pretty much impossible, he doesn’t have too much to worry about. Scott replies that in his world he is a little different. “I’m sorry to hear that,” replies Howlett. Scott turns away and says that’s what the other him said… no offense. But, instead of fighting him in every damn dimension, how about they focus on the bad guys! Scott uses his optic blast to blow a hole in the wall.

Meanwhile, Nightcrawler teleports to a high position and Shadow hides away in preparation for their next move. Emmaline removes her helmet and asks them to be quiet a moment. She needs to concentrate. She attacks Savior mentally, causing his nose to bleed. He reacts by telling her she is foolhardy in letting her new friends infect her. He is a hundred times stronger than she is. He wants to see what she has planned. He reads her mind, and not in a subtle way. Emmaline screams as he does a cursory scan to get what he needs. He then removes Cerebra from his head and says “of course.” He then contacts Storm telepathically and asks her to defend the X-Jet. As she heads over there, Nightcrawler spots her and teleports back to Emmaline and Shadow’s position, informing them that she’s taken the bait and headed for the bunker on the edge of town.

He and Shadow then head off to intercept her. Nightcrawler appears in front of her and she warns him not to try and stop her. She then looks up to see Shadow appear right next to her. Kitty punches her in the face and reminds the impressed Nightcrawler to get to the bunker. He teleports to the X-Jet but faces gunfire from the assembled Sanctifiers. A moment later, the X-Jet explodes and Shadow, watching from nearby, calls out Kurt’s name. The distraction allows Storm to blast her with a focused lightning strike. A tear quickly forms and rolls down her cheek for her fallen opponent. She collects Shadow and flies away with her. Savior’s squadron two reports that the Wolverine and Cyclops have evaded capture, but Ororo asks them not to worry. They will come to them.

Storm flies back to Savior, who says he’s sorry. “So am I,” replies Cyclops, who appears nearby. As he blasts Storm, Howlett stabs Savior in the right shoulder with his claws. Storm looks up at Scott and says his name, but he warns her, “Stand down you monster.” She replies that he has no idea who she is. She creates a blast of electricity that appears to arc around the room, taking Howlett and Cyclops with it. Savior thanks her but she asks him to shut up and just show Cyclops what’s inside her head. Savior places his hand on Scott’s head and floods his mind with images.

As the faces of people around the planet appear inside his mind, Ororo explains that, when Savior gave her this gift, her heart nearly exploded. Billions of people across the planet. She could feel every one of their smiles and tears. She aches with their hopes and furies and dreams and now… so does he. The people have no idea what they do for them today or any day, but they will never let them die. Cyclops responds by blasting her in the face and then blasting Savior. Scott picks up Magneto’s helmet and tells him, “We’ll see about that.”

Characters Involved: 


(from alternate dimensions)

Savior, Storm (all X-Men)

Emmaline Frost, General James Howlett, Namor, Nightcrawler and Shadow

Savior’s sanctifiers

Savior’s people

(in flashback, from alternate dimension)

Cyclops, Savior, Storm

Mutants including Archangel, Magneto, Northstar Sabretooth

Beast, Black Panther, Bruce Banner, Dr. Doom, Mr. Fantastic

Savior’s people

Story Notes: 
Issue Information: 
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