Decimation: House of M - The Day After

Issue Date: 
January 2006
Story Title: 
The Day After

Chris Claremont (Writer), Randy Green and Aaron Lopresti (Pencilers), Rob Hunter, Norm Rapmund and Don Hillsman (Inkers), Lare Molinar with Avalon (Colorists), Virtual Calligraphy (Letterer), Sean Ryan (Assistant Editors), Nick Lower (Associate Editor), Mike Marts (Editor), Joe Quesada (Editor in Chief), Dan Buckley (Publisher)

Brief Description: 

Mutants all over the world wake up and find themselves now de-powered. Among the casualties include Blob, Jubilee, Mirage, Feral, Thornn and, apparently, Iceman. Trish Tilby reports from Mutant Town on the massive power loss. She later calls Beast to reconnect with him, but Hank is still bitter over her betrayal and refuses to pick up. Bishop teams up with Sergeant Charlotte Jones to start helping out those in Mutant Town, which is a direr situation than originally expected. Terrorists destroy the X-Corporation Europe office, forcing Cyclops to close down all X-Corporations around the world. Feral and Thornn take it especially hard, as they know this de-powering is no accident and are bitter at the X-Men for simply dumping them in the streets during their time of need. Thornn swears revenge as she sneaks off with her seemingly injured sister, Feral. As Husk and Karma call parents to update the status of their children, Iceman deals with parents who are not happy that their children still have powers. He is confronted by Polaris about his power loss, but partially sees this as an opportunity to reconnect with her. As Cyclops has Sunspot clear out the X-Corporations, Sage volunteers to examine the crisis, but Scott does not tell her the truth about the House of M. In fact, most of the X-Men don’t know the truth. Cyclops then orders all human students home, much to their chagrin, and then opens the school open to any mutant in need. Worried about recent dreams Marvel Girl and Nocturne have been having, Nightcrawler puts together a team to find Captain Britain and deal with a related power spike there, not knowing that Peter Wisdom has also been ordered to find Captain Britain. Meanwhile, the Courtney Ross imposter finds that one of her contacts is in dire need of help. In the States, the president orders the initiation of the O*N*E*, a national emergency counter-measure that utilizes a new breed of manually piloted Sentinels. Emma finds herself unable to deal well with the crisis and feels like an outsider more than ever, but Cyclops comforts her and realizes that both of them need to stop bottling up their emotions. As Storm decides to leave the team over disagreements with Cyclops and Emma, Wolverine and Colossus fight the Sapien League on the mansion grounds, who are trying to kill mutants trying to make it to Xavier’s. Before Wolverine can chase after the escaping Sapien League, Sentinel Squad O*N*E* arrives and surrounds the mansion.

Full Summary: 

It is nighttime at the Starlite Casino in Atlantic City. When Fred J. Dukes, a.k.a. the Blob, went to bed, all was right with the world. However, much has changed since he has gone to bed. Blob wakes up in his hotel room, which is trashed with food and alcohol bottles. He stumbles through the room to the bathroom, commenting on what a night he had. He drank too much, but now he has to go. Blob, however, finds that he has trouble walking to the bathroom, as he feels the bed sheets tangled up all over him. He knocks over a few dishes in the dark, but finally reaches the bathroom, where he realizes that something isn’t quite right. He struggles to find the light switch, but then finds it and flicks on the lights. No, those were not bed sheets he was wrapped up in…it was his skin!

Fred looks in the mirror in horror and screams at the sight of him. Once where there was massive amounts of fat due to him mutation there is nothing… he is the size of a normal human. What the true horror, though, is that his skin, which has been stretched for so long due to his unique mutant powers, now hangs loosely from his body, making him look disgusting and like a freak.

Yesterday the world was normal. However, today is not yesterday. It is the day after. It is Mutant Day. It is M-Day.

Soon, hotel security and management are alerted to a commotion in Blob’s hotel room by the cleaner, Marisol. She tells her bosses that she heard a terrible scream and then sobbing, but now she hears nothing inside. The hotel manager asks if they really are talking about the Blob here. He turns to an employee named Phil and asks if he was mad to rent out a suite to a known mutant terrorist. Phil defends himself and reminds the manager that, if he turned Blob away, they’d be confronted by mutie-rights lawsuits. Plus, the Blob could do much damage if Phil had said no. Phil knocks on the door to the Blob’s suite, but there is no response.

Annoyed, the manager takes the room key from Phil, who complies, but tells the manager that he is going in first. The manager opens the door and steps into the dark room, calling out to Mr. Dukes and asks him if everything is all right.

Sitting on the bed is the man who once called himself the Blob. Now, he is a mess of massive skin with a knife to his throat in an attempt to kill himself. Pathetically, Blob tells the group of men before him that the skin won’t cut. There is too much of it… it just won’t cut. He beckons the security guard with a gun to show him some kindness. Will he please shoot him?

Elsewhere that morning, in the town known as Mutant Town, sometimes called District X, news reporter Trish Tilby reports live about the mutant epidemic, which has left most of the mutant population de-powered. Trish begins her report and speaks to her viewers about the mutant tenement around her, once filled with many mutants, but now is full of fear and confusion. No one is sure what happened, but reports have been coming in all morning of mutants who have lost their powers.

In the initial surge of panic there was looting and arson, but authorities have gotten the situation under control. Now they are working with FEMA and the Red Cross to determine how many people are affected by this worldwide de-powering and how they can help them. Right now many are in shock and no one knows why or how this happened. Most importantly, though, is the question of whether this is permanent or not.

As the Red Cross help the injured and sick in the background, the X-Man known as Bishop stands to the side with Police Chief Randolph Esposito, who tells Bishop that the truth is that he is the first mutant he has seen today that still has powers. Bishop replies that they will have to canvas the neighborhood then and try to determine how widespread all of this is. Concerned, Esposito asks Bishop if the X-Men cannot do that task themselves. Aren’t they all ok?

No, replies Bishop, we are not. They have suffered casualties as well, and they have no answers as of now. An officer with the men asks if this is some sort of terrorist attack. Is something worse going to happen to the humans? Bishop apologizes to the officer and walks away, stating that he just does not know. As he leaves, Bishop is called over by Trish, who desperately asks him how Hank McCoy is. Bishop tells Trish that Beast still has his powers. Concerned and worried, Trish tells Bishop to tell Hank to call her.

Soon, Trish returns back to her broadcast and this time she is outside Wannabee’s, the unofficial gateway to New York’s burgeoning mutant subculture. She then decides to speak to a few passerbies to get the local reaction as the story unfolds. The first person Trish speaks to dismisses her, as he is in a rush. Next, Trish interviews two boys that joke around about how one was a mutant… who had the power to kick the other boy’s butt. Next, Trish finds a saddened mother, whose little girl could turn music into light. Why would anyone steal that gift from her?

A cab driver tells Trish that he thinks terrorists have done this, or at least Martians. Another woman claims that they must rally behind the president for he will know what to do. A doctor is happy to see mutants lose their powers, though, as it is what they deserve. A religious fanatic tells Trish that the Lord has spoken. Lastly, Trish interviews a very pale man with a red diamond shaped mark on his forward. The most sinister man tells Trish that survival always goes to the fittest.

Trish and her camera man Toby finish up, and Trish finds that she is ready and in need of a drink. Suddenly, another employee runs up to Trish and informs her to come over, as something is happening in Paris.

In Paris, Michelle D’Arcy reports from outside the European headquarters of the X-Corporation, the non-governmental aid organization created by mutant rights campaigner Charles Xavier. From across the continent, word has come that mutants have lost their powers. Repeated calls to X-Corp have proved to be fruitless, though it is believed that the building serves as a haven not only for its staff but for their families as well. The building has always been a center of conflict between pro and anti-mutant advocated. Today is no different, though officers of the Gendarmerie have been working to keep the peace.

Suddenly, the protestors all hear a commotion and people begin to run. All are horrified, as a van crashes through the crowd and smashes into the lobby of the building. Dear Lord, mutters a female officer, as she realizes that death is on their doorstep.

The van then explodes in a mighty explosion, causing the X-Corporation tower to collapse, killing everyone in the area.

At the Xavier Institute, Emma Frost, Cyclops and Havok watch the news report from France and see the X-Corporation building crumble. The reporter informs all that many building in the area are buried under the rubble and the casualties will be numerous. Angry, Havok points at the television and asks Emma and Scott if they want to bet that the humans blame that on them too. This is only the beginning. The depressed Emma, who has already had a few drinks, tells Havok that the question is what this is a beginning of. Cyclops takes Emma’s hand and tells her that it will be all right. How, asks Emma. Every time she thinks that things are as bad as they can get, fate proves her wrong.

Cyclops turns Havok and gets his attention. Then, he pulls up a video monitor of the X-Corporation building, as well as direct live feeds to Sunspot and Sage. Given what just happened in France, he wants all X-Corp offices closed and evacuated immediately. The school will not offer refuge to any mutant looking for safe haven. They can come here. He hopes Sunspot can help with the logistics. Sunspot tells Cyclops that he has his full support. Sage speaks up and tells Cyclops that she is compiling all the data related to the phenomenon. Once her analysis determines the cause, the X-Men can formulate a proper response. Cyclops, who already knows the truth behind the House of M, simply tells Sage to do what she can. He does not say anything more to her.

At that moment, Karma walks into the room and asks Cyclops for some help. Cyclops asks her what she needs, and learns that phones are ringing off the hook and they need bodies to handle the load. Cyclops follows her to another room, where he sees Iceman and Husk answering phone calls. Karma explains that they have received some cranks and many media calls, but they are talking to mostly parents frantic to learn the fates of their children.

Nearby, Husk speaks to Mrs. Sabayon and introduces herself. She tells the woman that they are still trying to figure out things themselves too, but she is afraid her daughter, Aurelie, has lost her powers. She is fine, but she just can’t breathe water anymore. Next to her, Iceman speaks to the parents of Noriko, a.k.a. Surge, and tells them that Surge is one of those rare exceptions and still has her powers. Upon hearing this, Surge’s parents hang up. Angered, Bobby tells Scott that the parents hung up. They don’t even care! Apparently not, replies Scott. He then asks Iceman how he is holding up. Iceman replies that working and dealing with other people’s grief is the only thing that is keeping him sane considering he has also lost his powers!

Scott is then contacted by Emma telepathically, and learns that she has finished a psi-scan of the school. The number of active mutants on campus, excluding faculty, has dropped from 182 to perhaps 27.

Cyclops gathers all available X-Men in the War Room, whose monitors show all their allies and a few enemies, with labels stating if they are powered or no. Among the de-powered people that are known include Blob, Jubilee, Feral, Thornn, Iceman and Dani Moonstar a.k.a. Mirage! Gathered in the room are Cyclops, Emma, Havok, Shadowcat, Lockheed, Polaris, Colossus, Nightcrawler, Beast, Iceman, Marvel Girl, Psylocke, Wolverine, Rogue and Gambit.

Cyclops tells everyone to settle down, as they have their biggest challenge ahead of them. As co-heads of the school, Emma and he have decided to make a few fundamental changes to how things will be. For their own safety, they are recommending all non-powered students return home, for at least the duration of the emergency. By that same token, they are opening the school to any mutant looking for haven. To facilitate this process, they must open lines of communication worldwide, both official and back channel. The X-Men must understand that everyone is scared. They have to find a way to restore the peace and if they are lucky, hope too.

Rogue jokes that they haven’t heard boo from Mystique yet. Gambit comments that a bad penny like Mystique will find a way to survive. Gambit’s comment disturbs Nightcrawler, but he ignores it and walks over to Kitty, who is trembling. Kitty blames it on the world being turned upside down, but she is remembering her Old Testament. The two then embrace one another and recall a part of the Old Testament, where the Lord killed all the firstborn in Egypt and there was not one house without a dead person.

Nearby, Psylocke notices that Marvel Girl is thinking hard to herself. Rachel, who is clearly worried, tells Betsy that the details of history might change, but no matter how much of a difference they make the ultimate outcome is the same. Havok is right. This is just the beginning.

Meanwhile, at the Pentagon, specifically the Office of National Emergency, Valerie Cooper is stopped from entering a room, on the grounds that it is a restricted area. Cooper shows her authorization, showing that she is Deputy Presidential National Security Advisor for Para-Human Affairs. One of the soldiers verifies her clearance and then tells her that access has been approved. Welcome to the O*N*E.

Valerie enters a large room filled with many officers, technicians, and agents. She finds General Lazer at his desk and asks the shady man under whose authorization did the O*N*E go active. General Lazer tells Cooper that the president phoned his boss, the secretary of defense and authorized it. Didn’t she get the memo?

Angry, Valerie tells Lazer that this is her project and she shouldn’t have been kept out of the loop. Tauntingly, Lazer tells her that the president is a man of action. When he is concerned about the face of the nation, he tends to forget the bureaucratic niceties. Valerie asks Lazer if he will drop the hammer. Lazer tells her that shock and awe may be forbidden in liberal circles, but it still has its use. Valerie warns Lazer that if he challenges the X-Men, then he should be prepared to deal with the consequences.

What X-Men, asks the director. Hasn’t she seen the latest Intel? For all intents and purposes, mutants are no more. They do not know who is responsible or why, or if it will get worse or how the survivors will react, but the one thing the O*N*E can do is keep the peace.

The president declared a national emergency. That means the O*N*E is in business. Valerie can either be a part of the solution… or she can quit.

In Mutant Town, Bishop and Sergeant Charlotte Jones walk up a grimy staircase in an apartment complex. Charlotte tells Bishop that the call to 9-1-1 reported gunshots. Bishop asks Sergeant Jones how long she has been on duty. She replies that she has been on since the epidemic began, and adds that he can call her Charlotte. As the two hear more gunshots outside an apartment, they get ready to bust in. Before they do, Charlotte tells Bishop that, if he speaks to Forge or Archangel, tell them that they are in her prayers. She then asks who lives in the apartment. A woman named Hannah Levy, replies Bishop.

Bishop kicks open the door to Levy’s apartment and tells her that the police are there. Charlotte is immediately chocked at what she sees. In the dark, dirty one room apartment is Hannah Levy, sitting in the corner with a gun, babbling hysterically while hundreds of insects crawl all over her and the room. Hannah babbles that the buggies are tasty and she loves to eat them, but she can’t anymore. So now all her buggies want to eat her!

Bishop walks forward, reminding Hannah that it is he, but he steps on many bugs. Charlotte covers her nose and mouth and tells Bishop that the whole floor is moving. Bishop explains to Charlotte that part of what made Hannah a mutant was her ability to only metabolize bugs. Charlotte should call in the Alphabets, since they will have to condemn the building. He then adds for Charlotte to keep it together. They are only bugs.

Hannah continues to babble that she keeps shooting at the bugs, but there are always more. She then picks up a cockroach, thinking it is a bullet, and tells the silly bullet to stop wriggling. It has work to do. Bishop takes the gun from Hannah and tells her that help has arrived. She is safe now and with friends. They will take care of her. Bishop picks up Hannah, who tells him that when she went to bed her world was normal. She woke up in Hell. Why did this happen? What did she do that was so wrong? Not a thing replies Bishop, as he carries her out. He doesn’t know if he can make things right for her, but she has his word that he will make things better.

Charlotte radios Central-K and reports another casualty.

Back at the school, Cyclops calls Jamie Madrox, the Multiple Man, and tells him that the yare pretty shorthanded. They could use his multiples around the mansion.

At his X-Factor Investigations office in Mutant Town, Jamie tells Cyclops not to take offense, but this disaster is way bigger than the X-Men. Besides, he has never been a team player, especially when he can form his own with his own powers. He is used to calling his shots now and frankly he thinks Strong Guy and Wolfsbane are better off here in Mutant Town. This crisis isn’t just about the small handful of them still with powers, but it is about those who lost them as well. A lot of them feel as if they lost everything.

Around the office, many dupes of Madrox clean the office, while Rahne perches on his desk. Strong Guy uses his mighty muscles to lift the desk and this causes Rahne to fall off. He tells her to move her butt, as some of them have furniture to move. Angry, Rahne morphs into her wolf form and asks if his misbegotten parents ever taught him manners. Jokingly, Strong Guy asks if it was not her who was sitting on a table.

Cyclops questions the noise in the background and Jamie tells him that it is Guido and Rahne. They are still powered. He then tells Scott that they will keep in touch and wishes him the best of luck.

Back at the mansion, Cyclops rejoins the other X-Men in the War Room. Nightcrawler approaches him and tells him that Rachel mentioned something about a dream about a powerful “Chaos Wave.” He then asks Scott what they are dealing with. He feels as if this is way bigger than the standard X-Men mission. Frustrated and tired, Scott rubs his face and mumbles about Wanda and asks what else she has done to them. Nightcrawler, who did not hear Scott clearly, asks the leader to repeat his words. Cyclops covers it up by telling Kurt that he was just thinking out loud. He then goes on and surmises that this Chaos Wave has something to do with the power spike seen in London. Nightcrawler then informs Cyclops that Nocturne has had the similar dreams and it seems to be all connected.

Cyclops then tells Nightcrawler to put together a squad to investigate London. He should get in touch with Captain Britain. Nightcrawler decides to take Betsy with him too, as with all that has been happening lately she still hasn’t told her brother that she is alive. Before he leaves, Nightcrawler asks Cyclops if there is any word on Xavier. No, replies Cyclops. They just cannot find him. Emma is scanning for him with Cerebra, though.

In the Cerebra chamber, Emma Frost screams at the top of her lungs with anguish. She then storms out to her office and begins to drink alcohol. Angry, she throws her glass against the wall, damaging a few pictures. Scott walks in on her and seeing her pain, asks if it is that bad. Emma informs him that their initial estimates of 90% de-powering were conservative. Before the Scarlet Witch, they numbered in millions. They were the rightful inheritors of the planet. Now, they barely number hundreds. They don’t qualify as an endangered species. They are hovering on the brink of extinction. Scott tells Emma that they are not dead yet, with a slight smile on his face. Annoyed, Emma asks him if he is laughing at her. For that, asks Scott, wouldn’t he need a sense of humor?

Scott holds Emma and tells her that life is about change and evolution. Look how far she has come since her days as the White Queen of the Hellfire Club. Emma walks away to a window, but Scott tells her that they are a lot alike. They are too private for their own good. The hardest thing is to trust. Moments like this, their first impulse is to deal with the loss alone. They forget the X-Men are plural. They are part of a team. Emma looks out the window and stares sorrowfully at the Phoenix Memorial. She finally opens up and tells Scott that she will always be an outsider among the X-Men.

Scott turns Emma to face him and he tells her that she will never be an outsider with him. Emma turns into her diamond form and tells Scott that, if they hit them hard enough, even diamonds shatter. Queens conquer, adds Scott. “Emma Grace Frost…” says Scott as he leans in for a kiss, “you gonna let a Scarlet Witch beat you?”

“Never,” replies Emma, as she reverts to flesh and kisses Scott.

Back at the call center, Bobby pulls up the holographic of another student, this one still powered with his wings. An angry parent yells at Bobby and asks him what is going on there. The radio says every mutie is back to normal. How can Maxwell still be a freak?! Tired and annoyed, Bobby yells at the man and tells him that Maxwell is not a freak. None of them are! Does he even have the slightest clue what Maxwell and his best friends are going through? He should try to spare his son some empathy instead of complaining about how much trouble this causes him.

The father of Maxwell is offended and demands to know Bobby’s name and to speak with his supervisor. Bobby tells the man that his name is Robert Drake and if he could wait a minute while he gets Miss Frost for him. She will be more than happy to hear his complaints. Bobby then rips off his headpiece and throws it down.

Polaris stands in the doorway and tells him that he was pretty rough on that parent… even though he had it coming. Surprised, Bobby tells Lorna that he didn’t see her at the doorway. Lorna then asks how Popsicle is doing… but then realizes her error and apologizes for being mean. I’m cool, replies Bobby. Lorna smiles and tells Bobby that he is always with the jokes. Bobby replies that, if he keeps on trying, they might be funny one day. Polaris puts her hand on Bobby’s shoulder and asks him if it’s hard not having his powers. Bobby jokes that it is a pain to get cold drinks from the fridge. As the two hug, he tells her that on the other hand he gets to enjoy hot pizza… among other things.

In London, at the secret headquarters of MI-13, the mutant known as Peter Wisdom practices training against a few dummies of Wolverine, Elektra and Nick Fury. He destroys all three as his assistant Constance walks in, who tells him that she loves his targets. Peter tells her that it is wish fulfillment. He then asks about her evaluation. Constance tells him that he will be pleased that his “hot knives” remain as formidable as ever. That makes him one of the few enhanced agents left.

Another woman, Farisa, enters the room and tells Peter that he is very much in demand since he still has his powers. Peter asks Farisa what she means, and she presents him with orders to brief the director, the prime minister, and finally Buckingham Palace. Thank goodness he wore a clean tie, jokes Peter. Farisa then pulls out a device, which shows a hologram of Captain Britain. Peter is to contact him. Captain Britain’s country needs him.

Elsewhere in London, at the master house of the Hellfire Club, the current White Queen, Courtney Ross, answers her phone in her office. The man calling her is Roger MacEwan and he needs to see her right away! Courtney tells Roger that he is the first appointment tomorrow and they are to meet at Fraser’s Bank. At the moment, she has more pressing matters. MacEwan tells Courtney to please listen.

At a phone booth somewhere in London, MacEwan listens to Courtney tells him that she remembers that something is seriously wrong with her account. They will make sure it won’t happen. He shouldn’t worry. Frustrated, MacEwan tells her to listen. Concerned, Courtney asks him what is wrong. MacEwan tells her that they have made threats to his family and his life. They don’t want him to make it to Fraser’s. They are not human. He doesn’t want to die. Suddenly, MacEwan begins to run for his life, leaving the phone hanging and Courtney Ross calling out to him.

At a secret and secure O*N*E* location, General Lazer speaks to his troops, telling them that they have orders straight from the president, who is watching right now. Effective immediately the military component of the Office of National Emergency is active. They all will be deployed accordingly. This is a moment of truth in U.S. history. As Valerie Cooper watches on, Lazer explains that they must deal with genetic devastation worldwide. People are scared; many feel like they lost everything. They don’t know if this is an attack of nature or an attack of war and they don’t know what the future holds. They fear that this is a prelude to something worse.

They are the last defense in the United States and probably the world. The yare trained and equipped to deal with such an emergency. He knows what they heard about mutants, but they should know that they are a match for them and more. The fate of the nation and their very species hangs in the balance. Their actions will make a difference. They will make America proud.

The O*N*E* troopers then run off to uncover their vehicles… their very familiar… humanoid shaped… mutant hunting… vehicles…

At the Xavier Institute, Sage contacts Beast in his lab and tells him that she is correlating every medical record accessible in her data-net. She is also cross-referencing files from the general populace with those of known mutants. Thus far, her samplings confirm Emma’s initial analysis. Powers haven’t simply been inhibited. The critical genes themselves have been erased. Even the potential to become a mutant has been excised from the human genome. As of yet, she still has no definitive indications to the cause. Beast tells Sage that it is a mystery to them as well. They will just have to keep on looking.

Suddenly, the phone rings, but Hank lets the answering machine go off. It is Trish. She tells him that she knows it is a hard time… but she hopes that they are still friends. She would like to talk and help. If he is there can he please pick up? If not, he has her cell number. Hank does not pick up, prompting Sage to ask why he did not. Beast walks away from the phone and tells Sage that he has work to do.

In his office, Cyclops speaks to a hologram of Storm, who is in Africa. He asks her how soon she can come back. Storm tells Scott that she was actually going to request that her team joins her in Africa. Scott is confused, and reminds Storm that she is an X-Man and her place is there in the mansion. Since when have their concerns been so parochial, asks Storm. This event is global and the need is just as great in her native country and the proper resources are almost non-existent.

Storm apologizes, but she may come off as selfish. Her own life has been in turmoil lately and she needs time to gain perspective. Also, wouldn’t it be wise to divide their assets? Isn’t collecting all the active X-Men in one place inviting disaster? A calculated risk, replies Cyclops. Storm disagrees, for if there truly are a handful of X-Men left then they cannot hunker down in Westchester and wait for the crises to come to them. They have to be proactive. Cyclops emphasizes that it is his call to make.

Storm tells Scott that this is the reason she thinks it is best for her to stay away. The team needs confidence in its leaders. Right now, about many things she, he and Emma disagree. Cyclops hangs his head and tells Storm that they will miss her. Storm, with sadness in her eyes, tells Scott that he knows how to reach her if he needs to. She then tells her friend to take care.

In Manhattan near the Delancey Streets, many New Yorkers go about their daily lives. However, on one corner appears to be a homeless man who sits near a cup and mumbles that he only wanted the best. A sympathetic passerby gives him some change, but another man steals his dollars and runs away. The man keeps on mumbling that he wanted the best. A child tells his mother that the man smells bad, but she shushes him and they rush away. Suddenly, she notices something worse nearby.

Walking down the streets are two young women wearing skintight clothing and clinging to another. The uniforms they wear are X-Men uniforms and the women are Maria and Lucia Callasantos, better known as Feral and Thornn of X-Corporation Mumbai. However, the two normally furry feline like women are no longer that… they are de-powered and human!

Thornn, who helps her sister, Maria, walk, asks some strangers what they are staring at. Are the gene jokes enjoying the show? They think it’s funny? They are all looking at the freaks who used to be mutants. They used to be something. They used to be X-Corporation. Isn’t it just great how those high and mighty heroes look after their own, says Thornn sarcastically. Feral asks Lucia where they are going and Lucia tells her that they are going far from here. Mutant Town isn’t safe anymore even though it used to be their turf.

Thornn then slashes at a pedestrian, but finds that she does no damage to him, as even her claws are gone. Annoyed, the man tells her that he doesn’t know what her problem is. The child from earlier hugs his mom as he is scared of Feral and Thornn, but Thornn tells all that this was no accident. Someone is responsible for what happened. When they find out what happened, there will be blood!

Nearby, the police spot Feral and Thornn and report back to Central-K. As the bum who mutters that he wanted what was best for all walks away, a pedestrian tells the cops that the two women attacked a man and ran down Irvington.

The bum then reaches the hotel he was renting, still muttering how he only wanted the best. He walks into his bathroom and talks off his hat. Quicksilver looks in the mirror and mutters one last time that he only wanted what was best.

In Los Angeles is the Galleria Mall. It is not condemned and bankrupt. However, there is somebody inside. She is the only, the only, the unbelievably larger-than-life Jubilation Lee, oft known as Jubilee! She used to ride her board like it was a part of her. Rent-a-cops fell flat on their faces trying to catch her. The crowds cheered her as he put on firework displays that put the fourth of July to shame. Yes… those were the days.

Now it is the present and the distraught Jubilee sits in the dirty dank mall and mutters that those were the days she thought would never end. Then poof… it was the end of the story. Jubilee pulls out her cell phone and pulls up Wolverine’s name. She knows she should call, but what would she say. Jubilee then begins to cry and tells herself to grow up. She then pulls her legs up to her chest as she lies on her side and cries herself to sleep.

Back at the mansion, the human students all say their goodbyes as their parents come home to pick them up. Some hate Emma Frost, others are happy to go home. Some have had no time to pack all their stuff, while others don’t want to leave. One student asks if they heard the rumor that Emma fired Moonstar. As one student sits in a pick up truck with his mom while his father packs, he bitterly tells his mother that the X-Men couldn’t wait to get rid of them. His mother reasons that they are doing what they think best, but he doesn’t believe it. Teachers are supposed to care. Now that they don’t have powers they don’t matter.

On a nearby hill watches Wolverine, who says that this may be the right decision, but it’s a mistake. He is joined by Colossus, who carries his art supplies, and asks Logan how many students are left. Thirty, maybe, replies Wolverine. He then tells Peter that Magneto, Apocalypse, Sinister, Sublime and even Cassandra Nova never hurt the X-Men as much as they are hurt now.

Colossus asks Wolverine what is wrong, but Logan tells him that he is just feeling his age. It used to be that his life was a mystery. He wanted to know what he missed. Be careful what u wish for, jokes Colossus. Yep, says Wolverine as he pops his claws back in. Colossus tells Logan that it has been ages since he sketched him. Wolverine is not in the mood to be drawn, but Colossus says he brought beer. Wolverine is sold.

Colossus begins to sketch him and tells him that so much has changed since he has been gone. He feels like he has been standing still. Wolverine notices that Colossus and Psylocke came back from the dead almost at the same time. Have they traded notes? Colossus tells Wolverine that for Psylocke the transition was instantaneous. For him, it was day after day of torture. You look like your coping, points out Wolverine. Colossus then asks why he is alive, but not his sister Illyana. Why does he have powers, but others do not. How should I know, asks Wolverine.

Colossus stands and powers up. He tells Wolverine that their cause seemed so simple when Xavier explained it. It felt so just. Who can argue when the reasoning is good guys and bad guys? He remembers fighting Proteus, who could warp the world around him and he found a way to destroy him. What’s your point, asks Wolverine. Colossus tells Wolverine that he wants to hit something. He wants to fight. How can he fight something like this? Wolverine tells Colossus that some things must be taken in faith. When faith is lost, questions Colossus. Still working on that, replies Wolverine.

Suddenly, there is the sound of a gunshot. Colossus looks off in the distance and spots smoke from the woods. Wolverine tells him that he just got his wish.

In the woods, the mutants known as Mammomax, Erg and Peeper run for their lives, clearly terrified. Mammomax spots Xavier’s school up ahead and Peepers tells his friends to run quick. Elsewhere, Colossus spots the unfamiliar figures and asks if they are friend or foe. Wolverine is not sure, but charges anyway. The three mutants reach the home stretch, but Peepers points out that the X-Men hate them don’t they? Mammomax reminds Peepers that the X-Men opened their school to all mutants. They are heroes. The three mutants are then separated by a laser blast.

Mammomax tries to get up, but is blasted down again. A group of five humans rush out, one a woman wearing a hockey mask. Grady tells the boss, the Leper Lady, that the taser took out the mutants. The Leper Lady orders the death of the mutants and they quickly mount three x-shaped wooden structures, tying the mutants to them. Grady asks if this is a good idea doing this on the doorstep of Xavier’s school. The Leper Lady tells him that the Sapien League is serving notices that humanity has had it with these abominations. They are not sharing this world.

A man then dumps gas on all the mutants and lights a match. Suddenly, Wolverine and Colossus arrive, telling the terrorists that there is a not trespassing sign. The Sapien League opens fire, but the bullets don’t hurt Colossus. The terrorist with the match tells the X-Men that they might not be able to stop them, but they can’t stop them from doing their jobs. He then sets the wooden structures on fire, causing the conscious Erg to scream in pain.

Wolverine tells the humans that one of those mutants is his friend and he doesn’t take kindly to their actions. He is then hit by a taser, which hurts more than it should. It must be enhanced. Wolverine then cuts loose and knocks the man away. Colossus attacks the Leper Lady and breaks her guns, stating that he hates guns. He then frees Peepers and Mammomax, while Wolverine saves Erg. The Sapien League runs back into the forest.

As Wolverine chases after the humans, Colossus calls to him, as they should take the victims to the infirmary. Wolverine, however, wants to learn more about the Sapien League. Suddenly, an ominous voice tells the X-Men to stand down. Wolverine tells Colossus to get clear as a large purple mechanical foot smashes the burning wooden structures.

The rest of the X-Men rush out of the mansion. Cyclops, Wolverine, Colossus, Iceman, Havok, Dani Moonstar, Gambit, Emma, Beast and Rogue look up see the school, surrounded by a new breed of sleeker-looking Sentinels who look like they mean business. The O*N*E* initiative has begun!

Characters Involved: 

Beast, Bishop, Colossus, Cyclops, Emma Frost, Gambit, Havok, Husk, Iceman, Marvel Girl III, Nightcrawler, Polaris, Psylocke, Rogue, Shadowcat, Wolverine (X-Men)

Karma (teacher at Xavier’s)
Dani Moonstar (former teacher at Xavier’s)

Valerie Cooper
General Lazer
Various O*N*E personnel
Various O*N*E Sentinels and pilots

President of the United States

Sunspot (X-Corporation L.A. and Hellfire Club)

Multiple Man, Strong Guy, Wolfsbane (X-Factor Investigations)

Constance, Farisa, Peter Wisdom (MI-13)

Mr. Sinister

Trish Tilby, Toby
Michelle D’Arcy, various other reporters and camera men
Various pedestrians

Sergeant Charlotte Jones
11th Precinct Police Chief Randolph Esposito
Various police officers
Various Red Cross workers

Hannah Levy
Various de-powered mutants in Mutant Town

Roger MacEwan
Sat-yr-nin posing as Courtney Ross (Hellfire Club)

Feral, Thornn II (formerly X-Corporation Mumbai)


Jubilee II

Erg, Peepers, Mammomax (mutants looking for sanctuary)

Grady, Leper Lady, various other members of the Sapien League

Surge IV

Captain Britain I


On phone:
Maxwell’s father

Story Notes: 

This story is an epilogue of sorts to House of M #1-8, but mostly serves as a prologue and lead-in to the Decimation event, spanning various X-Men titles and deals with the fallout of shocking conclusion to the House of M storyline.

While serving as an Avenger, Wanda’s reality warping powers slowly deteriorated her mind and she lost all grip on reality. Desperately wanting children again, she reconjured them back and went mad, thinking the Avengers as her enemies and killing Ant-Man II, Hawkeye, and Vision during the Avengers Disassembled event in Avengers (1st Series) #500-503. In the end, the heroes could do nothing, but let Dr. Strange turn off her mind temporarily. Wanda was then taken by her father, Magneto, to Genosha where she has been from Excalibur (2nd Series) #8-14.

Trish and Beast fell out of contact in New X-Men (1st Series) #117, when she broke up with him due to his mutation into a feline like mutant. When Trish tried to apologize, he brushed her off and pretended he was gay to hurt her. Feeling angry, Trish aired the story of his homosexuality in the news, much to Hank’s surprise. Hank, however, played the part and pretended to be gay just to anger Trish, but eventually the media lost interest in his charade, as seen in New X-Men (1st Series) #123 and 134.

Bishop and Chief Esposito’s adventures in Mutant Town are chronicled in District X #1-14.

Rogue’s joke about Mystique refers to the woman’s recent attempt to gain refuge in the mansion in X-Men (2nd Series) #171-174.

The stories of Blob, Jubilee and other de-powered mutants continue in Generation M #1-5.

Though not stated, the last man Trish interviews who states that survival is for the fittest is clearly Sinister.

The fates of X-Corporation Europe members such as M II, Siryn, and Rictor can be seen in the pages of X-Factor (3rd Series), which also continues the adventures of Madrox, Strong Guy, and Wolfsbane.

Cyclops, Emma, Kitty, and Wolverine know the truth of the House of M, but as seen in the scenes with Nightcrawler and Sage, Cyclops seems to have chosen not to tell the other X-Men the truth.

The story of Surge and the remaining students continues in New X-Men (2nd Series) #20.

Rachel’s troubles continue in Uncanny X-Men #466.

Nightcrawler will take Nocturne, Juggernaut, Psylocke, Shadowcat and Marvel Girl to meet Captain Britain in New Excalibur #1-3, before returning to the mansion in Uncanny X-Men #466. Peter Wisdom and Courtney Ross’ storylines continue there as well.

For more on Iceman’s de-powering and the presence of the O*N*E* Sentinels, see X-Men (2nd Series) #177.

Storm chose to stay in Africa at the end of the Wild Kingdom crossover in Black Panther (4th Series) #9.

Quicksilver’s story continues in Son of M #1-6.

The origin of Sentinel Squad O*N*E* can be seen in Sentinel Squad O*N*E* #1-5.

Erg was thought to have died in the Mutant Massacre, as he hasn’t been seen since.

Dani was fired in New X-Men (2nd Series) #20.

Wolverine’s journey, now that he remembers everything about his past (both truth and memory implants), continues in Wolverine (3rd Series) #36.

This issue continues directly into X-Men (2nd Series) #177. Nightcrawler and his group have already left before the Sentinels arrive.

For further developments on the mutants who take up the offer of using the mansion as a safe haven, see X-Men: The 198 #1-5.

For the fate of Professor Xavier, see X-Men: Deadly Genesis #1-6.

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