Astonishing X-Men (4th series) #11

Issue Date: 
July 2018
Story Title: 
A Man Called X – part 5

Charles Soule (writer), Ron Garney (artist), Matt Milla (color artist), VC’s Clayton Cowles (letterer), Greg Land & Frank D’armata (cover artists), Jay Bowen & Anthony Gambino (graphic designers), Christina Harrington (assistant editor), Mark Paniccia (editor), CB Cebulski (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: 

Proteus has seeded new reality gardens over the world. As Psylocke and X link to destroy him, the others are to stop Proteus. Mystique pretends to be his mother Moira, allowing the others to weaken Proteus and Bishop to absorb his energy. In order to destroy the other reality gardens, X suggests Psylocke link them up to the net of psychics that she discovered the Shadow King trying to access before. She complies and they find they have enough power now. However, at that moment, X suddenly falls apart and the Shadow King crawls out of him.

Full Summary: 

The garden of Proteus. Growing in what was once the village of Fetters Hill…
The minds of the 350 people who lived there its soil…
Its fruit… reality.

Where the garden grows, nothing is fixed. What you think is. What you hope is. What you wish is. What you fear… is. Fetters Hill is no more. Only the garden remains. A gestalt of the villagers’ mindscapes, twisted and strange. This will be the fate of the world. Proteus has torn down the walls and urges his garden to grow. It will. For like any garden, it is full of seeds. And the seeds land in Edinburgh, Dublin, Copenhagen, Cairo, Philadelphia, Tokyo…

What has he done? X demands of Proteus. Isn’t it obvious? is the reply. He’s won! Take him! X orders telepathically and the X-Men free themselves and attack. Psylocke takes command, as the others asked her to. She tells them to do as they planned. Archangel fires his razor-sharp feathers at Proteus, making use of his one weakness – metal. Logan follows up with his claws.

X reminds Psylocke this is not their only battle. Betsy agrees. She can sense the reality sprouts growing all over the planet. She telepathically orders the rest to follow the battle plan and not to let up on Proteus. X and she are going to save the world.

Proteus shakes off Logan.

Psylocke and X link telepathically. The plan is to enforce one reality on the spots Proteus has seeded. The new gardens are still small. X surmises, they can use the surface tension of the world around them to push them back. Psylocke corrects X that they need to burn them out. X wants to say something but she reminds him to follow her lead. She needs his strength. She’ll decide how to use it. X acquiesces.

Logan takes Mystique into Proteus’ sphere as they chase him.

Inside his reality, Mystique points out that this is a town full of people. Not that she cares but normally he’d be moving Heaven and Earth to save them. There’s no Heaven, he replies, and he doesn’t know how often he has to tell them… he isn’t their Logan!

Proteus is hit by Archangel’s knives from the sky. Time for him to fall, Proteus announces. Proteus blasts him and Archangel watches in horror how his wings fall apart. He lands hard.

Psylocke shouts his name. X chides her, she can’t help him. They have to fight their own battle. They find, however, they can barely handle the reality seed causing havoc in Tokyo, let alone more than that. X has an idea: He reminds Betsy that, back when the Shadow King first attacked her, she could sense the network of psychics he was trying to access to leave the Astral Plane. If she could tap into that… use it here. Betsy agrees and tries.

An injured Proteus runs groaning this isn’t right, not fair!

Suddenly his mother, Moira MacTaggert, appears before him and agrees. It isn’t fair at all. He automatically assumes his human form. Cautiously, he states he saw her die. She reminds him she saw him die as well. But here they are. Angrily, he shouts Moira is dead and he is glad of it! She is Mystique or some other illusion! With a smile, she reminds him he created that garden so that dreams can come true. She walks closer. He’s trying to give that gift to the world. Who’s saying he can’t give it to himself?

He stammers that she put him in a cage. Treated him lie an animal! Didn‘t let him live. Made him feel like a monster. What did she think would happen to him? She hugs him and apologizes. He deserved better. He was just a child. Nothing he did was his fault. It was everyone else, never him. The hug becomes painful as she assures him he deserves this-- and so much more. Proteus screams in pain, then blasts her away, shouting she lied.

On the Astral Plane, X and Psylocke combine their powers and find their plan working. With this much power, they could do anything, X muses.

On the ground, Mystique (formerly Moira) looks on in horror as Proteus blasts Logan.

On the Astral Plane, Psylocke realizes something is wrong as X begins to smile evilly.

Gambit tells the crawling Proteus he looks hungry as he charges up a trace of oil next to him. Rogue tackles him to keep him away from Gambit. Proteus tries to drain her instead while she tries to absorb his powers in turn.

When she begins to be overwhelmed Bishop joins her, converting Proteus’ energy. Why won’t they ever let him live? Proteus cries. Rogue urges Bishop to do it, and he converts all of Proteus’ energy and lets it go.

No! Psylocke shouts as she sees what is happening to X. His head literally cracks apart and out of it crawls the Shadow King. Surveying the web they created, he grins that this will do nicely...

Characters Involved: 

Angel, Bishop, Gambit, Old Man Logan, Psylocke, X (X-Men)

Shadow King

Written By: