X-Men (3rd series) #12

Issue Date: 
August 2011
Story Title: 
“First to Last” part 2

Christopher Yost (writer), Paco Medina (penciler-now), Dalabor Talajic (penciler/inker-then), Juan Vlasco (inker-now), Marte Gracia (colorist-now), Wil Quintana (colorist-then), VC’s Joe Caramagna (letterer), Jordan D. White (assistant editor), Daniel Ketchum (associate editor), Axel Alonso, Nick Lowe (editors), Axel Alonso (editor in chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

Over two million years ago the less-evolved Australopithecus are being watched by the Eternals. Though their chances of survival look dire, the Eternals are not going to intervene, as it’s not their mission. However, when the group teleports away the weaponsmith, Phastos, lingers behind. In the not-so-distant past the X-Men’s encounter with the Evolutionaries is at a standstill. Though the Evolutionaries plan on wiping out humankind and want the X-Men to prepare for it, Xavier argues that’s not what they want. The Evolutionaries continue on about the destruction of the human race until Iceman finally snaps and attacks them. The whole team eventually joins in and don’t stop until Xavier freezes them in place. The Evolutionaries, none the worse for wear, decide Xavier is not the leader of mutantkind after all and teleport away. In the present, the head Evolutionary lists the atrocities the mutants have faced since their last meeting and blames Cyclops for failing their species. They try destroying Cyclops, but use less lethal methods against the other intervening X-Men. Scott is eventually teleported away to safety by Pixie, though it’s against his will. Before leaving he tries to warn Emma to keep the Evolutionaries away from someone else, but doesn’t have time to tell her who.

Full Summary: 

2.7 million years ago

A group of savage Australopithecus fight amongst each other out on the open plain. While their alpha male theatrics keep them occupied a trio of large, beastly wolves charges them down. The bipeds are defenseless and easily pinned by the hairy predators. They scream as razor sharp teeth tear into their flesh.
On a nearby peak overlooking the plains, six Eternals watch the slaughter. One of them asks if they should intervene, but their leader, Zuras, reminds them it is the Celestials’ plan for these creatures to evolve and be judged. Their directive, he concludes, is to keep the Deviant threat in check.
Makkari questions whether the creatures are going to survive long enough to evolve, seeing as it’s doubtful they’ll last through the night. Zuras declares their destiny to be their own and says if they’re strong, they’ll survive.
With that said the Eternals teleport away, though one remains just a bit longer. It’s Phastos, who takes one last concerned look at the Australopithecus below.
Then: Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters, Professor X’s den

The X-Men remain transfixed with their new guests, the Evolutionaries. Xavier runs a quick telepathic check on his students to see where their heads are. They’re all ready to fight, though Bobby is trying to come up with a joke that involves the word “Evolutionary.”
Professor X informs Scott of all of this via mindlink, saying he’ll take the lead on this one. Charles tells the Evolutionaries he has created a school to train Homo superior in the use of their powers so they can protect both humankind and mutantkind. Charles explains he wants to coexist with, not cause the extinction of, the human race.
The lead Evolutionary doesn’t find the Professor’s statements logical. “This is counter to your survival,” he bellows and then asks if Xavier speaks for all of mutantkind.
There’s a brief pause, and then avoiding the question altogether Professor X asks the Evolutionaries who they are and where they came from. The lead Evolutionary explains they’ve watched over mutantkind since its first initial mutation, just as they watched over Homo sapiens before them. And as if the human demise was already certain he cautions Xavier and his team that the extinction of the human race will endanger the planet so their species must be ready.
Angel and Beast share an aside about the very likelihood of wiping out an entire species. When Hank explains he knows of several ways to accomplish this Warren tells him to stop, that he’s being creepy.
Meanwhile, the Evolutionary keeps talking about life after, and how nuclear power plants will be left unattended, that water supplies may become tainted, and that food supplies will be affected, not to mention the human remains left littering the planet and spreading disease. The Evolutionary once again cautions the X-Men they need to be prepared.
There is a moment of silence at this point in which Bobby begins whispering to Jean to see if she can help him with a rhyme, but she cuts him off, telling him to be serious, that the Evolutionaries are talking about wiping out all of humanity, their friends, neighbors and families.
When Xavier questions their moral right to do this the Evolutionaries point out that humanity will try to kill them off. Cluing in on what Jean just said Bobby suddenly realizes his parents’ lives are at stake.
Despite Charles’ telepathic urging Bobby transforms and unleashes a quick barrage of ice, encasing the three Evolutionaries. Xavier orders Scott and Jean to restrain Iceman while he tries making telepathic contact with their guests. When he does he receives some sort of alien feedback and lets out a moan of pain. The effect knocks him into near unconsciousness and he tips over in his wheelchair and onto the floor.
Iceman takes off on an ice slide in the small confines of the den, avoiding the reach of Cyclops. He charges toward the encased Evolutionaries telling them the X-Men are not going to let them destroy everyone they love.
With seamless effort the ice wall surrounding the Evolutionaries explodes outward. Surprisingly, the lead Evolutionary isn’t angry. He tells Iceman he’s being irrational and acting with emotion, and when Bobby gets in close the Evolutionary fights back, blasting him with a blue energy spiral that knocks Iceman backward and reverts him back to flesh. “Do not interfere,” the Evolutionary scolds.
Seeing their teammate get a beatdown shakes Hank and Warren into action. The ever intelligent McCoy suggests they attack their exosuits where the plates meet, which should be where they’re most vulnerable. Cyclops says he’s got the leader and orders Marvel Girl to cushion Bobby’s impact, but she’s already on it.
Warren moves in on his Evolutionary and boots him in the helmet. He suggests they take the battle outside where he has more room to maneuver, but the leading Evolutionary implores them to stop, that they’re there to protect them. He deflects Cyclops’ optic beam and Iceman’s ice blast with a protective force field emanating from his hands.
Ignoring the calls for a truce Beast leaps atop the head Evolutionary and grasps the top of his dome. Upon closer inspection Henry notes the Evolutionaries’ energy shields share some characteristics with cosmic energy, and suggests their guests are not from Earth.
As Xavier gathers himself he lets out a weakened cry for Cyclops to stop attacking. Scott doesn’t hear him and continues to pour on the attack. His blasts are still ineffectual as the Evolutionary continues to deflect the optic beam. “Everything we are doing is to ensure your survival,” the Evolutionary continues to proclaim.
Nearby, Warren is knocked to the ground, crashing into a table on the way down. Jean wraps up one of the Evolutionaries into a telekinetic whirlpool of air allowing Beast and his gargantuan fists to do some talking. A powerful over hand right, delivered while leaping through the air, shatters the front of the Evolutionary’s blue helmet.
Beast is taken aback at what he sees, the face belonging to humankind’s evolutionary ancestor. The Evolutionary regains his composure and sends an electric blast that courses through Beast’s body.
“X-Men! Enough!” Xavier cries out while simultaneously freezing the X-Men where they stand. Cyclops tells the Professor to let them go, that he’s in danger, but Xavier says it was Scott who created the danger. He then offers his sincerest apologies to the Evolutionaries and says his students were only acting in the defense of humanity. He begins talking of his dream of human/mutant peaceful coexistence again, but is cut off by the lead Evolutionary who tells him his dream is impossible.
Citing humankind’s survival instinct the Evolutionary tells Charles they will go to any length to secure the eradication of mutants. Nevertheless, the blue-domed being tells Xavier he is obviously not the leader of mutantkind as his own students do not listen to him.
Professor X tries to keep them from teleporting away, but the Evolutionaries disappear in a swirly vortex of energies. “God help us all,” Charles utters as he hangs his head in despair. He then releases his hold on the X-Men who begin to question his motives. Cyclops silences them, saying the Professor was correct; they messed up.
With Cyclops’ full attention Professor Xavier tells him the Evolutionaries alarming confidence that they had the right and ability to kill every human on the planet forces them to assume they can do just that and they must find a way to stop them. Jean asks how, to which the Professor says they must find the leader of mutantkind.
Now: Utopia, outside

With Cyclops standing face to face with the lead Evolutionary the events so far that have debilitated mutantkind are related to him. The Evolutionary reminds him of the creation of the Sentinels, the destruction of Genosha, the extermination of mutants at Neverland, the creation of the Legacy Virus and the Scarlet Witch’s “No More Mutants” proclamation. He tells Cyclops he failed to prevent any of it. “I kept my promise! We’re alive,” Cyclops says, defending himself.
Emma telepathically asks Scott what is going on, and offers to read the minds of the Evolutionaries. Scott vehemently denies her request, and puts that directive out to all telepaths. He then asks Emma to put him into contact with Bobby, Warren and Logan.
The Evolutionary is surprised Cyclops remembers them. He asks where Marvel Girl is if he’s managed to keep them alive like he claims. Dead, by a mutant’s hand, the Evolutionary points out. Scott defends Jean’s death as a sacrifice for humanity, a defense of Xavier’s dream. “Nothing has changed,” he forcefully states.
The telepathic hookup is complete. The three X-Men are angry. Warren wants these things dead, but Cyclops tells him not to do anything, that what they just did to the Neo they could do to the whole world. Wolverine asks what they are, as they seem to know Cyke pretty well. Scott replies that it’s complicated, and then orders Emma to send Nemesis to the lab to meet up with Madison.
Iceman asks if they’re some sort of new Sentinels. Cyclops replies in the negative, saying they’re alive. Bobby, not one for sitting around, urges Scott to do something. Cyclops says they’re doing just that… buying time.
Emma reminds Scott how he told her “No more secrets, ever.” Scott tells her it’s something he didn’t remember, until now, something Jean did to help him remember. With a dash of sarcasm, Emma replies “Of course she did.”
Scott tells her to shut up and asks if Storm and Magneto are still in the sky. Yes, Emma replies, and so Scott tells her to keep them there and to regroup with Psylocke and the Cuckoos as he wants no single telepath in on this. Cyclops then refocuses his attention on the Evolutionary and offers up an explanation on everything.

Irma Cuckoo puts the call out to Cannonball to alert him to the situation.b

Storm and Magneto receive their “stay put” orders from Psylocke. Nearby, Emma tells Northstar and Namor the same. Jean Paul asks if she’s joking and the ever-sarcastic Emma reminds him how much Cyclops enjoys pulling one over on them. Getting serious, she tells them the Evolutionaries can do to the humans what they just did to the Neo. “And what a loss that would be,” Namor replies.
the lab

Madison Jeffries receives a download of Cyclops’ memories on the Evolutionaries. After he’s finished processing them he rubs the back of his neck and says he needs Nemesis. “He’s on his way,” Madison is told.
elsewhere inside

A few of Utopia’s residents watch through a glass window as the events unfold outside. Bliss asks if anyone know what’s happening. Toad, hand resting on the glass, admits he doesn’t know, but suggests they find out.

The lead Evolutionary tells Cyclops he can sense his mind speaking with others and tells him to stop. Scott admits mutantkind has suffered horrible losses, but they’re alive and that means there’s hope.
Wolverine, who’s been standing behind Slim, whispers they should just take these guys. No, Scott whispers back, and then sends out another telepathic summons to Nemesis and Jeffries. However, the Evolutionary senses Scott’s mind trying to speak and tells him to silence it. This agitates Iceman and Archangel and both take up combat poses, ready to strike. Cyclops tells them again to not attack, no matter what, otherwise they lose.
With a fiery squint in his eyes the blue Evolutionary says, “Mutantkind must be prepared. For this to happen… the species will require new leadership.” He then lets loose with a powerful energy blast from the center of his hand. Logan’s reflexes are quick and he manages to tackle Cyclops before the blast can hit him. Instead, it hits the ground where he was standing, kicking up rocks and debris.
Iceman takes off running and throws up a hasty ice wall to protect Cyclops from another attack. The Evolutionary sets his sights on Bobby instead and nails him in the back. The other Evolutionaries, the yellow ones, begin firing their own salvos at Scott.
Emma suggests Scott change his battle strategy as Archangel has to spread his wings in an attempt to shield their leader from the attack. NYEARGHH!! Warren cries out as he’s hit with the barrage.

Nemesis is racing down a corridor with Dr.Rao following close behind. She asks him to at least explain what’s so urgent, but Nemesis tells her if he explained she’d just want him to go faster.

Logan also takes a blast intended for Cyclops, and when a concerned Scott calls out to him, Wolverine tells him to just run already. “Calvary’s here, boss-man,” Cannonball yells as he rounds the corner and slams into a nearby Evolutionary. The Evolutionary quickly regains composure and teleports the both of them away, much to Bobby’s dismay.
Emma, noticing the Evolutionaries are using non-lethal methods against them, orders everyone to take the bastards down. Archangel, who’s flying through the air with Cyclops in tow, tells Scott that Emma just gave the order to attack. Cyclops curses and tells Warren to get him to her. Archangel yells over to Iceman that they need more time.
Bobby puts up a defensive array of ice and tells them to hurry. Warren drops Cyclops off next to Emma. Cyke tells Celeste to put him through to everyone, but Emma belays that order. “Emma, dammit. You have to listen to me,” Scott pleads, but Emma gives Pixie the order to take him.
From out of nowhere Pixie appears behind Scott and wraps her arms around his chest. Cyclops tells her to stop, but she says they’re just trying to keep him alive. Scott tells Emma they have to get him out of here, that the Evolutionaries can’t get near him. Emma is taken aback and asks whom he’s referring to.
Then: New York City

Deep, in an underground hideout, the three Evolutionaries teleport within. “We could feel your power. Tell me. Do you speak for mutantkind?” the leader asks. The person in question, Magneto, restates the question and answers “Yes.”

Characters Involved: 


Archangel, Armor, Cannonball, Celeste/Irma/Phoebe Cuckoo, Cyclops, Emma Frost, Iceman, Magneto, Mercury, Namor, Northstar, Pixie, Psylocke, Storm, Wolverine (all X-Men)

Madison Jeffries, Dr. Nemesis, Dr. Rao (all X-Club)

Bliss, Dragoness, Litterbug, Masque, Toad (all Utopia residents)

Angel, Beast, Cyclops, Iceman, Marvel Girl, Professor X (all X-Men)
Magneto, Mastermind, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Toad (all Brotherhood of Evil Mutants)
2.7 Million years ago:


Ikaris, Makkari, Phastos, Sersi, Thena, Zuras (all Eternals)


Scarlet Witch


Story Notes: 

The story is continued from Giant-size X-Men.
For those of you who are straight X-ophiles the Eternals are a primitive group of humans who were experimented on by the Celestials, transforming them into powerful beings with special abilities and powers. They made their first appearance in Eternals #1 back in 1976.
Celestials you ask? Well, they were once a human-like race that evolved quickly and had an insatiable thirst for knowledge. Constructing giant robotic suits they traveled the universe and at one point stopped by Earth and did some experiments on the primitive human species creating the Eternals and Deviant offshoots of humanity, also adding the X-gene to the human genome, which would allow for mutations to occur with humans in the far future. Their first appearance was in Eternals #2.
The events depicted by the Evolutionary as the “harbinger of doom to the mutant race” were:

Sentinels- large robots created by humans to eliminate the mutant race. Many upgrades have been made to these mutant hunters over the years and they’ve grown very sophisticated. At one point they were actually used by the government agency O*N*E to protect the last remnants of mutants at Xavier’s Institute. [1st appearance X-Men (1st series) #14]
Destruction of Genosha- Cassandra Nova, Charles Xavier’s evil twin, took control over a group of wild Sentinels and sent them to Genosha to destroy everything. There were approximately 16 million people living there at the time (humans, mutants and mutates) and only a few survived the attack. (New X-Men #115-116)
Neverland- a concentration camp run by the Weapon X group where experiments were performed on those mutants who were found “worthy.” Those not worthy were killed almost immediately. Some of the worthy joined the ranks of Weapon X while the others died, were killed, or if lucky enough, escaped. Neverland’s first appearance (as a model) came in the first issue of Weapon X (2nd series). The first glimpse of its operational status came three issues later in #4. Readers were shown the full horror of Neverland in issue #5 where Maggott was seemingly executed.
Legacy Virus- a madman from the future, Stryfe, engineered the Legacy Virus, which would target the mutant gene and eventually kill its host, but not before a prolonged sickness. It was unknowingly released into the atmosphere by Mr. Sinister. Eventually the efforts of Moira MacTaggert and the Beast paid off and a cure was found. It’s first “appearance” is in X-Force (1st series) #18. Eight years later, real world time, the cure was discovered in Uncanny X-Men #390.
No More Mutants- a phrase spoken by the mentally fractured Scarlet Witch that eliminated the mutant gene in almost all cases. It was estimated that only 198 mutants remained after those three words were spoken. This took place in the House of M mini-series, issue #7.
Although not initially thrown in Cyclops’ face the Evolutionary does bring up Jean Grey’s death. Though she “died” once before, the Evolutionary is referring to her death at the hands of Xorn. (New X-Men [1st series] #150)
When Emma refers to her and Scott’s “No more secrets” discussion she’s talking about the time she and Scott aired all of their dirty laundry to each other; Scott and his X-Force, Emma and a whole lot more. This took place in the one-shot Dark X-Men: the Confession.

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