Astonishing X-Men (3rd series) #61

Issue Date: 
June 2013
Story Title: 
A Final Goodbye

David Lapham, Marjorie Liu and Greg Pak (Story), Marjorie Liu (Writer), Matteo Buffagni, Klebs DeMoura, Raul Valdes, Carlos Cuevas and Renato Arlem (Artists), Christopher Sotomayor, Andres Mossa and Lee Loughridge (Colour Artists), VC’s Joe Caramagna with Clayton Cowles (Letterer), Giuseppe Camuncoli, Cam Smith and Rain Beredo (Cover Artists), Phil Noto (Varient Cover), Jeannie Schaefer (Editor), Jennifer M. Smith (Assistant Editor), Nick Lowe (Group Editor), Axel Alonso (Editor in Chief), Joe Qeusada (Chief Creative Officer), Dan Buckley (Publisher), Alan Fine (Executive Producer)

Brief Description: 

Jean Grey has taken in the power of Apocalypse and has been transformed into an immensely powerful being. Though she still holds on to her personality, the death powers are already corrupting her. As the monsters feed off the energy from the portal, Jean engages them in combat, blasting them away and drawing their attention. Howlett mourns the death of Kid Nightcrawler, causing AoA Nightcrawler to face up to what he has done. Prophet tells him to stop pitying himself and says they need Sage and the Celestial black box from the other universe. Nightcrawler teleports through the portal and on his way he sees billions of other monsters descends upon the portal. In the 616 universe, Wolverine and Northstar are arguing about what to do. Sage manages to connect her mind to the black box and sees the origin of the monsters. The Celestials created life because they were lonely. They decided to create death as well, so they formed the monsters. However, the monsters turned on them and so the universe was copied many times and the monsters were imprisoned in one of them. The constant traveling between universes weakened the walls and allowed the monsters to escape again. Suddenly, Nightcrawler appears and take Sage back with him. In New Apocalypse, Jean is fighting the monsters but more continue to come through the portal. Slowly, the death seed starts to take her over more and she begins to lose herself. As the carnage spreads, Sage and Nightcrawler appear and Sage tells Prophet she knows what to do. He already knows, though. The monsters need a prison and this universe is the best choice. Dazzler tries to tell him there must be another way but he says there isn’t. They need to get everyone they can back to her world and then close off the portal. Nightcrawler says he can do both.

Full Summary: 

(Chapter Nine)

Power corrupts they say. Armed with the Celestial death seed, the mutant Apocalypse enslaved the world, killed billions and destroyed the X-Men. Upon his defeat the power passed to Weapon Omega, who also fell victim to its corrupting influence. He attempted to finish what Apocalypse had started and brought humanity to the brink of extinction. Luckily, he was also defeated. Though the vessels were both destroyed, the power of the death seed survived and it returned to corrupt and kill. Now the power of death passes to another and this time it is the last hope of life. Life, not only for this world, but the entire multiverse.

(New Apocalypse)

Jean Grey has taken in the power of the death seed and has been transformed into something new. Clad in silver and blue armor and sporting the familiar lips of Apocalypse, the other members of her group seem wary of her. Howlett cradles the lifeless body of Kid Nightcrawler as Prophet calls for Jean to talk to him. Jean asks what he would have her say. Does he want her to tell him she’s still Jean Grey? She is her for now. Prophet reminds her it isn’t the first time she has held god-like powers. She wielded the Phoenix Force and she is stronger than the death seed.

As Howlett holds Kid Nightcrawler, he tells him he never knew anyone braver or kinder than him and he was a hero. The older Nightcrawler overhears and agrees with Howlett. He says he didn’t let bitterness rule him and he didn’t lose him compassion. Howlett says he was young and he still had ideals. He had a way of looking at the world the way it should be. Old people like them forget how to do that sometimes. It takes something like this to remind them of what they’ve lost. Nightcrawler says he doesn’t want to forget it again.

Prophet tells Jean that the death seed is an anti-power. It does exactly what the creatures do. It takes life and it will take theirs. Jean tells him the power is alive and it has a voice. That purpose is eating into her mind like a cancer. It wants her to do terrible things. In the distance, the three monsters are feeding off the energy from the portal. Winds swirl around them as the building nearby start to crumble. Dazzler looks at them feeding and tells everyone that they are going to eat the world.

(Chapter Ten)

Jean yells out “NO” and then blasts the monsters, seriously wounding them and drawing their attention to her. One of them goes to fire some energy at her but she repeats herself and blasts it instead. The rest of the group watches her fight back.

Watching this nearby, Nightcrawler tells Prophet that it isn’t a true solution, as the power will eventually corrupt her. He admits it’s his fault and he created this whole mess because of his anger. Prophet tells him that it’s war and they all make mistakes. They can worry about Jean later. Right now the portal is their biggest threat. If the monsters don’t destroy their world then that will.

Prophet tells Nightcrawler to direct his guilt towards a solution and not self-pity. Prophet tells him to find Sage, as her mind and the black box from the Celestial are the last two things they need from the other side of the portal. He says he knows how difficult it was for the other Nightcrawler to travel through the portal. Nightcrawler says he will do it and immediately teleports away.

(Inside the portal)

As Nightcrawler reappears within the portal, the dark energies swirl around him. He has trouble seeing through it, as well as navigating. Suddenly, he spots something that fills him with terror. He looks out to see a huge swarm of monsters heading his way. Millions of them are flying towards the portal.

(Golden Gate Park)

In the 616 universe, the portal is causing high winds to rip through the area as well as starting to tear up nearby trees. Northstar tells Wolverine if they try to go through the portal again they won’t make it to the other side. Wolverine tells him all he knows is that he isn’t willing to try. Northstar tells him he’s right as he has a family here. He apologizes to Deadeye but her world isn’t his priority. She agrees but adds that his world might not have much time left, given how quickly the portal is expanding.

Meanwhile, Sage is messing around trying to figure out how the black box of the Dreaming Celestial works. She suddenly makes a breakthrough and says, if she’s correct, it will link her mind to the Celestial’s. She uses it and her mind in inundated with information. She says that the Celestials were there at the beginning of the universe. They were so full of pride but also so lonely. So they shaped creation and made life from the darkness. They were stupid, though, playing gods. They thought that life was a game or a poem to be arranged. They thought that with life must come death. So they created the monsters to be the destruction and to erase their mistakes. But instead the creations turned on them.

The Celestials couldn’t destroy them, so the best they could do was imprison them. They split the universe into the multiverse with nothing but their will. They trapped the monsters inside one of the universes and sealed it off. But instead of learning from their mistakes, the Celestials did something stupid again and created the death seed. A force with the same purpose as the monsters, but more manageable. The Celestials couldn’t hide their mistake forever though. The evil Xaviers the X-treme X-Men were hunting down weakened the walls between the universes. This weakened the barrier to the monster’s prison and they escaped. From there, they can travel the multiverse and consume everything like they were supposed to.

Nightcrawler makes it through the portal and appears in front of Wolverine. Nightcrawler tells Wolverine that he will let him kill him after he takes Sage back through the portal where she’s needed. Sage tells him he’s right. She needs to speak to Prophet as she knows how to save them, but it means a lot more people are going to die before they are through.

(Chapter Eleven)

In New Apocalypse, Jean is still fighting the monsters. She asks if that’s all they can do and tells them she can taste their lives. All the power coursing through their bodies makes her shiver… as does their fear. She blasts the monsters again but one of them punches her. She falls to the ground but starts laughing sinisterly. She launches herself into the air and cockily asks if they think they can challenger her. She slams into one of the monsters, creating a huge explosion. The rest of Jean’s group can only watch in awe as they fight.

Dazzler yells to everyone else to get over to the portal as more of the monsters are coming. As they look at the portal, six more monsters emerge from it. Howlett tells her it’s been a pleasure but she tells him to shut up as they’re not dead yet. More and more monsters emerge and descend on the group. Jean suddenly lands between them and creates a force field around everyone.

Prophet warily approaches Jean but she tells him it’s still her. She says the power is changing her and she doesn’t know how much longer she can last. She can feel everything that ever mattered slipping away. She keeps looking for it but it’s gone. She’s emptying out and becoming a shell and death is replacing her. She didn’t know death could be so beautiful and a thing of joy. Death is a new beginning and it clears the way for something wonderful to emerge. Death is nothing to fear and they should all embrace its promise and light. Prophet tells her that’s not her and that’s not what she believes. She replies that it will be soon and she’s going to die like a monster.

Dazzler tells her there’s still a chance and asks how long she can last against the monsters. She replies that she does not know. She is anathema to the creatures just as they were an abomination to the Celestials. One side will break before the other. The planet may not survive, nor the galaxy. But she promises the ending to be sublime. Jean turns to Prophet and asks if he agrees. This was his plan and surely he knows the endgame.

The monsters start breaking through the force field so Jean goes to confront them. She tries to remember she is still Jean Grey as the monsters begin to fight her. A little way off, the group watches the fight. Howlett asks why the monsters are ignoring them, to which prophet tells him they are not the real threat. As Jean and the monsters clash, huge explosions rip through the area. Dazzler looks on in shock and wonders how anyone can survive that.

The portal has now grown to the size of a building and the remaining citizens of New Apocalypse flee in terror. Prophet looks on and thinks of all the things they accomplished and fought for. Nightcrawler suddenly teleports in with Sage. Howlett goes to Sage as an exhausted Nightcrawler kneels on the floor. Sage tells Prophet she connected with the black box and she knows how to stop the monsters. He thanks her and says she doesn’t need to say anything. She can fill in the gaps but he already knows the truth. The monsters broke free from one prison and must be imprisoned again. If they don’t, they’ll escape through the barrier they broke from and destroy the entire multiverse. Worse still, they’ll destroy the whole structure of the multiverse, just like a mold that rots the walls of a house. Everything will cease to exist.

They watch as dozens of monsters crowd around Jean and attack her. Dazzler asks how they building the prison but Prophet says it’s already built. It took a universe to imprison them and nothing but a universe can contain them. Howlett says they already travelled the multiverse, surely they can find a place that’s dead or dying. Prophet says there’s no time. Jean was right in that eventually one side will break. And it will be her, they will tear her down. He says the army of monsters is coming here. As long as they aren’t flooding Dazzler’s universe, then the prison has been chosen.

Jean continues to fight the monsters. She unleashes more and more energy and bigger explosions rip through the city. With tears running down her face, Dazzler tells Prophet he fought so long to free his world. They will find another way. He tells her he won’t give up the fight but this isn’t her world and it isn’t her battle. Before it’s too late, they must get them back to where they belong. Howlett says it won’t be easy, as the portal is a mess with a billion monsters coming through. Sage adds that, assuming they make it, they need to find a way to seal the portal. Nightcrawler adds that he can do both.

Characters Involved: 

Gambit, Iceman, Karma, Northstar, Wolverine (all Astonishing X-Men)

Cyclops, Dazzler, Howlett, Kid Nightcrawler, Sage (all X-treme X-Men)

Deadeye, Goodnight, Jean Grey, Prophet (all X-terminated)

Nightcrawler (AoA)

Dark Beast


(in flashback)


Weapon Omega

(in Celestial’s black box)

Numerous Celestials



Nazi Xavier

Witch King Xavier

Bodiless Xavier

Story Notes: 

This is the fifth issue of the X-termination event.

The read order goes…

X-Termination #1

Astonishing X-Men (3rd series) #60

Age of Apocalypse #14

X-treme X-Men (2nd series) #13

Astonishing X-Men (3rd series) #61

X-Termination #2

Xavier from the X-treme X-Men was killed in X-termination #1. Sabretooth and Horror Show were killed in Astonishing X-Men (3rd series) #60. Hercules and Fiend were killed in Age of Apocalypse #14 and Kid Nightcrawler was killed in X-treme X-Men (2nd series) #13.

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