Ultimate X-Men #12

Issue Date: 
January 2002
Story Title: 
Return to Weapon X - part 6: End Game

Mark Millar (writer), Adam Kubert & Tom Derenick (pencils), Miki, Hanna & Stucker (inks), Richard Isanove (colors), Richard Starkings & Comicraft's WA (letters), Pete Franco (assistant editor), Mark Powers (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Bill Jemas (president)

Brief Description: 

Somewhere in the Finnish woods, near the Weapon X HQ, Sabretooth intends to kill Wolverine. Logan, however, manages to goad him into cutting through his shackles and the two men brutally fight until Wolverine tackles Sabretooth, with both of them falling off a cliff. Inside the building, the Brotherhood of Mutants, the X-Men and the other mutants fight the Weapon X soldiers. John Wraith panics, shoots the unconscious Xavier and intends to flee. Beast searches for Dr. Cornelius, wanting his revenge on him but, when he finds Cornelius trying to save Xavier's life, he instead opts to help. The other mutants are more brutal. Goaded by the Scarlet Witch and Juggernaut, Colossus intends to collapse a building on several humans but is stopped by a telepathic command from Marvel Girl. She reminds them that they are supposed to be better and that they'll have to kill her first. Several other X-Men side with her. Storm, however, is not among them. Still furious over what was done to Beast, she fires a lightning bolt at Wraith in his escape helicopter but Nightcrawler teleports him out in the last split-second. Weapon X ruined enough lives. He doesn't want Wraith to turn her into a murderer as well. Wraith intends to kill Nightcrawler but is shot himself by Nick Fury, who has just arrived with hundreds of SHIELD agents. As they were after Wraith, not the mutants, Fury tells them the are free to go. Back at the Institute, Xavier commends Jean and Henry on their exemplary conduct. He only regrets that Nightcrawler didn't join them but, eventually, he will... along with Magneto. Jean can't believe that: Didn't he kill Magneto? He doesn't believe in killing, Xavier explains, leaving Jean confused.

Full Summary: 

(Finland, somewhere in the woods:)

Sabretooth stands before Wolverine, who lays the snow, and displays his new adamantium claws - four on each hand. He really put a lot of thought into that redesign, didn't he? Wolverine mocks. That should shake his rep as the made-in-Hong-Kong version of him. He also had his teeth done, Sabretooth snarls. With the Brotherhood of Mutants attacking, Weapon X has sent a condition red to every SHIELD agent on the continent. There's never been a better time to just off Wolverine and get away with it. So what is he waiting for, Wolverine, whose hands are handcuffed on his back, snarls as the other man attacks.

Meanwhile, at the Weapon X HQ, it's pandemonium as the X-Men, the other captive mutants and the Brotherhood strike out against the soldiers. One of the soldiers shouts to hit the back-up generators. He needn't waste his breath, Quicksilver points out, the Blob already ate them.

Wraith is panicking. Can't Dr. Cornelius somehow use Xavier against the mutants? Not while electricity is down, Cornelius explains. And since there's nothing keeping him in check, their biggest problem is going to be Xavier waking up. Suddenly, one of the advancing soldiers points his gun at the X-Men and shouts "freeze, you freaks!" He really shouldn't give Iceman openings like this, Cyclops remarks as Iceman buries them under a snow avalanche.

Wraith wants to know, why Cornelius thinks Xavier is going to wake up. Because they were only controlling him via the neural clamps. And with those no longer working, they probably have five to ten minutes to get out of there. Unacceptable, Wraith replies and shoots Xavier several times in the chest. Oh, smart move, Cornelius sighs. Xavier probably was their only chance of convincing those kids not to tear their heads off. Who turns the other cheek these days, Wraith asks rhetorically and turns away. They should get to the search and rescue choppers before it's too late.

Outside, Wolverine, lying in the snow, keeps on goading Sabretooth, making fun of his claws and the fur coat he used to wear. Sabretooth yells at him to shut up about the coat and tears through the handcuffs. Which is what Wolverine's been waiting for. Furiously, he strikes back and the two men tear at each other with abandon.

(Weapon X HQ:)

The Beast races through the building searching for Dr. Cornelius, the man who operated on him and turned him into this inhuman furry creature. He hopes that Cornelius can appreciate the irony, Hank rants. If not for those operations, Hank's sense wouldn't be acute enough to sniff him out. Cornelius surprisingly tells him to shut up and help him to get the bullets out of Xavier's chest before he bleeds to death. Hank is taken aback.

Outside, Sabretooth and Wolverine tumble down a slope and Wolverine keeps on mocking. Everybody laughed at Sabretooth behind his back, even the guards. They just couldn't get why he volunteered for those missions others had to be blackmailed or brainwashed into. Was he born stupid or did he just like the killing?

No, he loves the killing Sabretooth replies as he throws Wolverine against a tree. Unlike the others, Sabretooth continues, he was smart enough to realize what mutants are. Monsters, plain and simple. Men were born crueller than apes and mutants are born crueller than men; that's the natural order. He takes a look at Wolverine who seems to be unconscious and drags him away. He refuses to live a lie like Xavier or the Brotherhood, he continues. At least Weapon X recognizes them for the trash they are.

Inside the building, the mutants are still busy fighting the Weapon X personnel. Wraith intends to take off with a helicopter but Blob grabs onto it, threatening to eat the hysterical Wraith. Scarlet Witch, in the meantime, ecstatically announces that this was the way it was meant to be: mutants fighting side-by-side against human oppression. They and the X-Men should put aside the quarrel between Xavier and Magneto and declare this the year zero for the species that will inherit the Earth. She tells Colossus that the "cattle" has been herded into the main block. Would he do the honors? He doesn't have the nerve, Juggernaut mocks. "Want to bet," the Russian replies, intent on collapsing the building around the humans.

Outside, Sabretooth stands in a river; beneath him is Wolverine. He holds his foe's head under water intending to drown him. Here they are, the next step in human evolution and they are still fighting each other. See, what he means about them being trash? And he's sick of all this "Itchy and Scratchy" garbage between the two of them, always slashing each other and healing: Drowning might actually finish Wolverine off or at least turn him into a vegetable. Wolverine awakes and does something unexpected - popping his claws into his foe's unmentionables With a scream Sabretooth lets go, Wolverine tackles him and they both tumble way, way down over a cliff.

Inside, Quicksilver demands why Colossus isn't finishing the humans off. What is he waiting for? For some reason his arms won't obey him, Colossus announces incredulously. That's because she is interrupting the signal, Marvel Girl states. She doesn't know how long she can fight them but she refuses to stand by and just let them murder people. They'll have to kill her first. Wraith shouts for Marvel Girl to ignore the idiots in the canteen and help him instead. His shouts are summarily ignored.

Cyclops asks Jean how she can say that after what those animals made her do in India. They're not animals, they're humans, Jean replies. They kill because they don't know any better. But mutant are supposed to be better. Homo Superior, remember? She killed that scientist in India, because she didn't have any choice. That doesn't apply to the current situation. If they can rise above base emotions like revenge they are on the road to truly becoming X-Men; otherwise Xavier taught them nothing.

Elsewhere in the building, Beast has come to a similar conclusion as he frantically assists Cornelius in the necessary surgery on Xavier.

As Jean still urges the others to make the right decision, Rogue reaches out to her and intends to shut her up but Iceman freezes her hand in a block of ice before she can touch Jean. He agrees with Marvel Girl, as does Cyclops, who asks the Brotherhood to stand down and do things the X-Men's way. Storm angrily shouts why they should let that go just because Cyclops is too scared to disagree with "little Miss Empathic?" Has he forgotten what those monsters did to Henry? Murdering five hundred people is not going to make him look human again, Cyclops retorts. Wrong answer as he instantly realizes.

Storm turns towards Wraith, who's finally managed to get his helicopter free from Blob's grip. While he already believes himself to be home-free, Storm sends a killer of a lightning bolt his way. But as the bolt hits the chopper, Nightcrawler teleports in and gets Wraith out - a split second before it explodes. Back on the ground, the exhausted boy shouts that Weapon X already ruined enough lives. He won't let Wraith turn Storm into a killer. Beautiful last words, Wraith agrees and aims a gun towards Nightcrawler's head. Somebody shoots - at Wraith - hitting him several times in the chest. The mutants turn around to see the shooter: Nick Fury, agent of SHIELD, dressed in an immaculate white suit as usual and backed up by several hundreds heavily armed SHIELD agents.

Ok, Quicksilver decides. They can handle this, if the X-Men take down the two hundred agents on the left and the Brotherhood attacks the four hundred on the right. Fury asks them to cool down. They were after Wraith; everyone else is free to go. Scarlet Witch expresses their doubt. Why would they give them a general amnesty? She tends to be suspicious of international spy networks and their well-paid stooges. Well, she shouldn't be when they are with him a familiar voice replies, as Wolverine, the source of the voice, joins them. It was Fury who helped him to escape from Weapon X two years ago.

Jean anxiously asks what happened to him. Last they heard, Sabretooth and some guards had taken him into he woods... The guards took off when the Brotherhood attacked and Sabes and him duked it out in the snow for a couple of hours. Eventually, Wolverine football-tackled Sabes off a three hundred foot cliff. And then? Colossus asks. Well, Wolverine replies, let's just say he woke up first.

(back at the Xavier Institute:)

Jean is checking up on the recovering Xavier, who tells her that, while they all did well, he is especially proud of the way she and Henry conducted themselves The X-Men are supposed to be a catalyst between warring species. The moment they resort to murder, their credibility disappears. He'd better not tell Wolverine, Jean jokes, or he'll be on the first bus back to Canada. But he must be somewhat disappointed that most of the other prisoners went over to the Brotherhood. Tired, Xavier sinks back into the pillow. Actually, he's rather pleased with how phase two went. Wraith and Weapon X gone, Fury about to become the head of SHIELD. The only surprise was Nightcrawler opting to go home, but it's only a matter of time before he joins them here with Magneto and the others, he adds drowsily. It will be so magnificent with all of them living under one roof at last.

Jean can't believe her ears. Is he still under the influence of the anaesthetic? Xavier killed Magneto. No, he replies. As they just discussed, he doesn't believe in murder. Jean still can't believe it and asks him to please tell her that he was joking.

Characters Involved: 

Beast, Colossus, Cyclops, Iceman, Marvel Girl, Professor X, Storm, Wolverine (all X-Men)

Colonel Nick Fury (SHIELD's deputy commander)

Several hundred SHIELD agents

Colonel John Wraith (head of Weapon X)

Dr. Cornelius

Juggernaut, Nightcrawler, Rogue, Sabretooth and unnamed mutants(prisoners / agents of Weapon X)

Blob, Mastermind, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Toad (all Brotherhood of Mutants)

Story Notes: 

"Itchy and Scratchy" refers to a children's cartoon within the fictional world of the popular "Simpsons" cartoon. It's a sort of psychotic riff on "Tom and Jerry" with the mouse, Itchy, always murdering the cat, Scratchy, in a number of inventive and gruesome ways.

Wraith forced Marvel Girl to murder a scientist in issue #10.

Xavier killed Magneto - or did he? - in issue #6.

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