Death of X #1

Issue Date: 
December 2016
Story Title: 

Jeff Lemire & Charles Soule (writers), Aaron Kuder (artist), Morry Hollowell (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Joe Sabino (letterer), Aaron Kuder & Morry Hollowell (cover artists), Aaron Kuder & Morry Hollowell; Mike Choi & Dan Brown; Butch Guice & Rachelle Rosenberg (variant cover artists), Chris Robinson & Charles Beacham (assistant editors), Daniel Ketchum & wil Moss (editors), Mark Paniccia (X-Men group editor), Nick Lowe (executive editor), Axel Alonso (editor in chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)
X-Men & Inhumans created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby

Brief Description: 

Responding to a distress call from Multiple Man, a group of X-Men comprised of Cyclops, Emma Frost, Iceman, Magik, the Stepford Cuckoos and Goldballs arrive at Muir Island, which is covered in a blanket of strange green mist. As they explore the island and head to the Research Center, Goldballs starts to feel unwell. Magik is concerned about the green cloud, but Cyclops doesn't take much interest in her warning, even though he begins to cough. They find the Research Center brimming with the green cloud as well and locate some deceased mutant staff. The mutants head back outside when the telepaths detect someone. Walking through the mist they locate dozens of Multiple Man dupes lying dead in a ridge, all affected by the green mist. The real Multiple Man appears, near death himself, and informs Cyclops that it was the mist – the Terrigen Mist – that did this. Multiple Man then dies. Emma points out that they have all been exposed, and Cyclops orders the rest back to the Blackbird. He and Emma go into the Research Center and contact the Beast. They start to send him all the data Multiple Man had on the mist. Cyclops suddenly doesn't look so good, and he collapses. Iceman and Magik return to the Research Center, and Magik tells Cyclops that he doesn't look okay, but Cyclops assures her he is fine, and reveals that Multiple Man's research indicates that the Terrigen Mist affects mutants – kills them – meaning the Inhumans, who assured everyone the mist was fine – lied to them. He tells his team that the Inhumans are responsible for the deaths of Multiple Man and the other mutants, and that if they don't do something, this will be just the beginning – and mutants protect their own. Meanwhile, Aboard the RIV, Crystal, Gorgon, Flint, Iso, Grid and Naja arrive in Matsumoto, where the Terrigen Cloud  is about to cover the city. The Inhumans are excited about the prospect of new Inhumans emerging from the mist, and humans have gathered in the city as the mist drops down around them. It doesn't take long before one cocoon has formed, but Hydra agents are on site to destroy it, and any others that appear. Crystal leads her team to the ground to stop this from happening, and a battle commences when three Hydra warships appear. The battle is intense, but Crystal and her team fight well, until Crystal is injured in the battle. Flint puts up a wall around himself, Grid, Iso and Crystal for protection, while Naja battles Hydra agents in the air. The Hydra agents start to fire at the wall around Flint and the others, which super-heats the wall, and starts to become too difficult for Flint to maintain. Outside though, the cocoon hatches, and the new Inhuman emerges from it. There is a slight physical transformation, before the Inhuman releases his power, which causes all of the Hydra agents to become physically immobile. Crystal and the others emerge from Flint's protective wall, and start to disarm the Hydra agents. Crystal greets the new Inhuman, Daisuke, and tells him how wonderful it is to be an Inhuman, and assures him that they will keep him safe, as Inhumans look out for one another.

Full Summary: 

One year ago.
Somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean.
A Blackbird jet streaks low across the ocean, and inside, a group of X-Men listen to a recorded message: “- made a terrible mistake. We never should have stayed. Now I think it may be too late. We need help! Please! We need -” and the message ends.

'That's it? That's the entire message?' Emma Frost asks. Scott Summers a.k.a. Cyclops confirms that it is, and adds that they intercepted it an hour ago. He reveals that scans confirm the distress call came from Muir Island. Illyana Rasputin a.k.a. Magik remarks that it sounded like Madrox's voice to her. Bobby Drake a.k.a. Iceman confirms that it was Jamie Madrox's voice, but that he has never heard him so scared.

Fabio Medina a.k.a. Goldballs rubs the back of his head and asks 'Are you guys sure I should be on this mission? Sounds kind of out of my league'. The Stepford Cuckoos – Irma, Celeste and Phoebe – reply in unison: 'We couldn't agree more, Goldballs'. Cyclops tells the girls to play nice, before informing everyone that they are approaching Muir Island. But as the jet moves in closer, 'At least I think that's Muir Island' Scott adds as the island is shrouded in a strange green mist.

Meanwhile, in Matsumoto, Japan, a green cloud flows across the densely built-up city, as another jet flies over it. 'Ah... look at that. Beautiful' someone inside the jet calls out. The jet is called the RIV, and it is the aerial HQ of one of the Inhuman teams consisting of Crystal, Gorgon, Grid, Naja, Iso and Flint. Crystal smiles as she announces that the Terrigen Cloud should hit Matsumoto in about fifteen minutes. She adds that some of the residents temporarily evacuated to other parts of the prefecture, but most decided to stay – about two hundred thousand. 'So eighty percent of the original population. That's good news, Crystal. Six months ago, we were getting near-full evacuations' Gorgon points out. Grid tells Gorgon that it is better than that – and that when he changed in Mumbai, people panicked as the cloud rolled through – but according to the RIV's sensors, it is all very calm down there, and a lot of people are actually excited for the cloud to hit, and are waiting for it. Indeed, down below, a group of locals have gathered together as the Terrigen Cloud rolls closer.

'Well, of course, Grid' Crystal replies, adding that they will want to get down there soon, and that the Japanese government has asked them to offer any aid these people might require as their Inhuman abilities emerge. Clinging to the roof above the others, Naja smiles and declares 'Two hundred thousand – that means about twenty-percent should have enough Inhuman DNA to cocoon up when the T-Cloud hits'. Naja drops down and switches to a winged form, announcing 'I'll dive down there right now! I love this part. It's always amazing to watch'. 'Sure, Naja' Crystal replies, announcing that first she wants to say something. She tells her team that they have been working so hard these past few months to teach humanity to accept them, and accept that some of them are Inhumans, too, and she thanks her team, because what they are doing, it is working. 'The people in that park look at that cloud... and they see hope' she declares as the T-Cloud rolls in closer.

Muir Isle, the Blackbird descends, high-beams of light shines through the mist so the X-Men can see where they are going as they exit the jet. Cyclops leads the way, with Emma and Magik behind him. Iceman slides alongside on an ice-sled, while Goldballs and the Stepford Cuckoos bring up the rear. 'Scott, this gas – should we -' Magik begins, but Emma interrupts her and suggests that if she is scared she can always stay in the Blackbird with the other children. 'Spare me the condescension, Emma. Something's not right here and you know it! Where is everyone!?' Magik exclaims.

Goldball suddenly comes to a halt and leans against a large rock, remarking that whatever this stuff is, it is making him feel pretty gross. Scott looks down and sees some red on the path. He touches it – blood. 'Lovely' Emma remarks. Scott tells her to be ready for anything, to which she boasts that she is always ready for anything.

The group moves closer to the research center, and Emma reports that she is only reading a few minds here, other than their own. 'Was this not a fully staffed mutant research facility?' she asks. 'Oh, man. I really wish I'd stayed on the plane' Goldballs mutters. Cyclops starts to cough as he explains that the center was staffed by Madrox, mostly, and his multiple selves, along with a skeleton crew of medical and scientific staff. 'Scott?' Emma asks as he coughs again. 'I'm fine' Scott replies. They keep moving and enter the research facility. A door has blood splattered over it, and they enter a room that is blanketed in darkness.

Cyclops asks Magik to give them some light, so she holds her Soulsword up and it illuminates the room. The X-Men see the green mist swirling around their feet, and Magik tells Cyclops that she doesn't like this, and that they need to figure out what they are dealing with before someone gets hurt. 'I think it's too late for that...' a wide-eyed Iceman gasps.

The others look over and see a mutant lying on the floor nearby and rush over. Cyclops checks the blood-covered mutant and reports that he has never seen anything like this. Boils cover the mutant's body, and Cyclops remarks that he can't think of any of their enemies with powers this horrible. Cyclops closes the mutant's eyes and Cyclops tells the others that they need to find out what did this. He suggests they check through the lab, check their work and the computers and see what they can find. 'And we must locate Madrox' he adds. Emma looks over at the Stepford Cuckoos and asks them what is wrong, as their eyes glow, and they announce in unison: 'Someone is out there'.

'Looks like we've got one. Terrigen cocoon in the park' someone reports over a communications system. 'Good. We'll secure it' a voice replies. Someone orders a second squad to spread out and search, as the cloud probably got just about everyone and there are bound to be more cocoon scattered  throughout the city. A young man approaches the cocoon and touches it, while someone over the communications system reports that they want to gather up all the cocoons before they hatch, as Terrigen exposure creates some unpredictable results, and it will be easier to handle them when they are still dormant, to get them back to the labs for testing. The young man turns around as shadows loom behind him and the cocoon. 'All right. That's it. Move quickly. We probably don't have a lot of time to get this done. And above all else... hail Hydra!' exclaims an agent of Hydra as several of them move in around the cocoon.

'So. Lotta people out here. Guess they were waiting for the cloud. Lotta eyeballs. Too many. Let's fix that' the Hydra agent exclaims as he and the others raise their weapons: 'Sorry, folks. Wrong place, wrong time' the agend announces as they prepare to open fire – when suddenly large rocks burst up from the ground, knocking all of the Hydra agents into the air.

'Get away from our people!' Crystal exclaims as she, Grid and Iso are lowered to the ground on a chunk of rock by Flint, and Naja hovers over them. 'You haven't hurt anyone yet, and so I will give you once chance. It won't come again' Crystal warns the Hydra agents. 'Leave, or die' she adds. The Hydra agents start to get to their feet, 'Heh. You know, it's funny... I was just about to say the same thing to you' pone of the agents replies, as several large Hydra vessels uncloak in the sky above. 'Uh, Crystal? Any ideas? Those are gunships' Grid points out. 'Yeah, but only three. If you think about it, we've actually got them outnumbered' Crystal replies.

'Hail Hydra!' shouts an agent as dozens of them are dispatched from the ships and fly towards the ground on jetpacks. 'Outnumbered?' Flint calls out. 'Listen, Crystal, I like you... but who taught you how to count?' he asks.

Back on Muir Isle, the X-Men rush back outside, with Emma running ahead of them. Cyclops tells her to be careful. 'Please' Emma snaps back, to which Magik declares that something is very wrong here, and that she thinks they should go, as this whole island is a tomb. 'Shush! I'm thinking. Girls, do you -' Emma begins, as Celeste replies 'Yes' and Phoebe announces that someone is still alive. 'One of many. But now just one of one' Irma adds as she points over to a dip in the land, which is covered by the mist. 'Well done, girls' Emma tells the Cuckoos as she rushes ahead. Cyclops tells her to wait once again, but Emma exclaims 'No. Here, just ahead...' her voice trails off as the others reach the ridge, 'MADROX!' Cyclops gasps they see dozens of Multiple Man dupes scattered about, their bodies bloated or withered, all covered in boils. Magik recoils in horror, while Iceman throws his arms up behind his head.

Suddenly: 'Cyclops – help me...' a weak voice calls out. 'Jamie?' Cyclops shouts as he rushes down the ridge, past the bodies of the Multiple Men and reaches Madrox, who tells Scott that he is the original. 'All of my dupes, they -' he begins, his body suffering from the effects of the cloud as well. Cyclops tells Jamie that he knows, and assures him it is going to be okay, and that they are going to get him out of here. Cyclops then asks Jamie what happened, and who did this to him. 'No, you don't understand, Scott... the mist... it's the Terrigen Mist. We – we figured it out way too late. The Terrigen Mist did this' Madrox reveals. 'What? But the Terrigen Mist is what gives the Inhumans their powers. How could -' Cyclops starts to ask, when he notices Jamie stops moving. 'Jamie? Wake up!' Cyclops calls out, but Magik stands over him and announces that he is gone. Emma switches to her diamond form, and points out that if Madrox is right, if the Terrigen Mist really did cause this, then they have already been exposed.

'We need to do what we can to stop it' Emma declares. 'Do what we can? They're already all dead!' Magik snaps. But Cyclops decides that Emma is right – they don't know anything for sure yet. He points out that if they were studying the mist, and if they have data, then they need to do it. Cyclops instructs Magik and Iceman to get the kids back inside the Blackbird, as he and Emma match back towards the research center.

Inside one of the labs, also littered with the bodies of the mutant scientists, Cyclops has contacted the Beast via a computer screen. The Beast a.k.a. Dr Hank McCoy tells Scott that he is the last person he expected to call, especially from Muir. Cyclops informs Hank that Madrox, and everyone here is dead. He announces that he is sending through everything he has in the databases, and reports that Madrox said the Terrigen Mist had something to do with it. 'The Terrigen?' the Beast asks as he reads over the data that appears on the screen before him. 'My God, Scott, this data – I'm just getting a cursory glance here. I need to run my own tests, but...' his voice trails off. Scott tells Hank that they need to be one hundred percent sure. 'Before – before we...' he looks unsteady and covers his mouth. 'Scott?' Emma calls out. 'Scott, what's wrong?' the Beast asks over the monitor. 'Help...' Scott utters, before passing out and falling backwards. 'SCOTT!' Emma screams.

Back in Matsumoto, Flink raises a wall of rock around the group, while Crystal creates a wall of fire around her team as the Hydra agents open fire on them. 'How do we fight then, Crystal?' Grid asks, pointing out that Naja is their only flyer, but she can't beat them all. 'I can sure as hell try' Naja boasts. Crystal tells her team to hold on and that they will find a way. She asks Iso if she has any ideas. 'I'm trying' Iso replies as she reports that the Hydra agents' armor is protecting them from her pressure blasts, and that they are moving too fast for her to get inside their heads and knock them out. 'I'm sorry, I just... I just don't have anything' Iso responds. Frowning, Crystal instructs Naja to get up there and try to create some chaos, but to be careful. Crystal asks Flint to throw some rocks for her, as high as he can, right at the nearest rank of Hydra. 'Chaos. I can do that' Naja declares as she takes flight. 'Throw some rocks? Doesn't she have earth powers? It's taking all I've got to hold this shield!' Flint exclaims as he levitates some large rocks up into the air.

Iso tells Flint to do his best, that is all Crystal is asking. Flint pushes himself hard, and the rocks are thrown skyward, as Naja attacks one of the Hydra agents, 'Chaos! Chaos!' she exclaims, taking his weapon and wrapping her tail around his neck. Crystal releases three beams of fire towards the rocks that Flint threw into the air. The fire strikes the rocks, splintering them into dozens of smaller rocks, which strike the Hydra agents like shrapnel. 'Ha! It worked! Sun-hot meteors, on demand!' Crystal exclaims, smiling. She tells Flint to get ready to try that one again, when suddenly, Crystal is struck by a beam of energy. Grid and Iso pull Crystal into Flint's shelter. Grid tells Iso to try and wake Crystal up, as they are all dead without her. Flint struggles, but announces that he will hold the stoneshield as long as he can.

Outside the stoneshield, the cocoon starts to crack open, while the Hydra agents continue to fire at the stoneshield Flint has covered himself, Crystal, Grid and Iso in. 'Burn that Inhuman scum out!' one of them shouts. The stoneshield starts to heat up, and Flint struggles to maintain his hold. 'I'm burning' he tells his teammates, when suddenly, outside, a young man emerges from the cocoon. He struggles to walk out of it, then collapses as his black hair changes to a blue mohawk, and energy glows around his eyes – which suddenly explodes upwards and all around him, strands of the energy strike each of the Hydra agents in the air. 'New Inhuman on the field! Evasive! Right n-' one of the agents begins, before falling silent once the energy strikes him.

Inside the stoneshield: 'Did you hear that? What happened? 'Grid asks. 'They've stopped trying to melt me. I'll take it' Flint replies, while Crystal tells everyone to go outside – carefully. Up in the air, Naja exclaims 'Whoa. Thrse guys are out'. Flint breaks down the stoneshield, and Grid asks 'What happened? Are they dead?' but Iso explains that they are entranced somehow. 'Not all of them' Crystal realizes as she sees the original ground assault of Hydra agents are not affected by the new Inhuman's power. 'I gave them a chance to leave. They chose to fight. Their mistake' Crystal declares as she fires a blast of water at them. Grid and Iso start removing the weapons from all the Hydra agents, as Iso points out that the blast hit them all, but only affected the Hydra agents – the humans. Grid asks if anyone saw who triggered it, to which Naja announces that she saw it from above, some guy with blue hair. 'Honestly, it was pretty amazing' she adds. The new Inhuman with the blue hair utters something in his native language and looks over at the Inhumans.

Muir Isle, where Magik and Iceman teleport back to Emma Frost. 'The kids are back – where's Scott?' Magik asks when she realizes Scott isn't with Emma. 'I -' Emma begins, arms folded, but suddenly, 'I'm okay' Scott claims as he approaches the others. 'You don't look okay' Magik tells him. 'I said I'm fine' Scott retorts, announcing that he got a hold of Hank. Scott informs the others that Hank was able to analyze the data, and it is true – the Terrigen Mist is toxic to mutants – it killed all of them. 'Wait, hold on, if that's true, how come we aren’t all sick? Why is it only Goldballs and Madrox?' Iceman asks. Cyclops tells him that Hank doesn't know yet, adding that the mist seems to affect mutants to varying degrees, but that doesn't matter. 'What matters now is that the Inhumans lied to us' he exclaims.  Magik asks Scott if he is blaming the Inhumans for this. 'Blaming them? They put their own species before ours when they released the Terrigen clouds into the atmosphere' Scott declares.

Back in Matsumoto, Crystal speaks to the blue-haired Inhuman, matching his native tongue. He reveals that he can speak English, and introduces himself as Daisuke. 'You are... Inhumans?' he inquires. 'Yes. And so are you' Crystal tells him as she helps him up. 'Oh... thank you. Thank you. I have been alone for so long' Daisuke replies, while the controlled Hydra agents stand around, or hover in the air above.

On Muir, Cyclops announces that as far as he is concerned, the Inhumans killed everyone here, and adds that if they don't do something about it, these deaths will only be the beginning.

Daisuke looks at his hands and asks 'Did I... did I really do that? Put everyone to sleep?' he asks of the Hydra agents. Crystal informs Daisuke that he saved their lives. 'We owe you' she adds, telling him that he never has to be alone again.

Cyclops reports that the Terrigen is loose, and that it can reach every mutant on Earth – there is no safe place. 'To the Inhumans, Terrigen is life, but to us... it is death'. Cyclops announces that he will not accept that, and he will do whatever it takes to save their people. He declares that, at this moment, they are at war.

Crystal smiles and tells Daisuke that if he wants a place with them, it is his, and that they can help him understand who he has become. She adds that they can keep him safe from this, and anyone else who might way to hurt him. 'One thing you can say about the Inhumans... we protect our own' Crystal assures him.

And at the same time, Cyclops exclaims 'We are mutants... we protect our own'.

Characters Involved: 

Beast, Cyclops, Emma Frost, Goldballs, Iceman, Magik, Stepford Cuckoos (all X-Men)
Multiple Man

Crystal, Daisuke, Flint, Gorgon, Grid, Iso, Naja (all Inhumans)

Civilians in Japan
Hydra agents
Unidentified mutants

Story Notes: 

This story takes place after the 2015 Secret Wars event, after Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #600 and before Uncanny X-Men (4th series) #1, All-New X-Men (2nd series) #1 and Extraordinary X-Men #1.

Aside from a brief cameo in Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #600, Multiple Man hasn't been seen since the closure of X-Factor Investigations in X-Factor (1st series) #262.

Madrox was Moira MacTaggart's lab assistant on Muir Isle for some time, from X-Men (1st series) #104, until joining the government-sponsored X-Factor team in X-Factor (1st series) #70.

Interestingly, Emma abandoned Cyclops in Uncanny X-Men (3rd series) #32.

Black Bolt released the Terrigen Mists on Earth during the Infinity crossover.

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