X-Men (6th series) #12

Issue Date: 
August 2022
Story Title: 
Controlled Demolition

Gerry Duggan (writer), Pepe Larraz (artist), Marte Gracia (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Clayton Cowles (letterer & production), Tom Muller & Jay Bowen (designers), Pepe Larraz & Marte Gracia (cover artists), Russell Dauterman (Trading card variant cover artist); Arthur Adams & Federico Blee; InHyuk Lee (Hellfire Gala variant cover artist), Luciano Vecchio (Pride variant cover artist),  Lauren Amaro (assistant editor), Jordan D White (editor), CB Cebulski (editor-in-chief)

X-Men created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby

Brief Description: 

In Dr Stasis' hidden laboratory, Cyclops is surprised to discover Dr Stasis is actually Mr Sinister, or some version of him. Cyclops isn't happy to find the clothes he was wearing when he was killed on  display, and starts to unleash his optic blasts to destroy the lab. Dr Stasis claims to be the original Mr Sinister, when Synch arrives on scene. Dr Stasis warns Cyclops, who has Stasis in a headlock, that he will detonate explosives located around the town if he doesn't let him go, and claims that he has been here since he arrived from England, and helped found the town above them. An explosion causes the tunnel rooftop to begin to cave in on them. Cyclops pushes Synch to safety, but in the process they are separated from Dr Stasis, who escapes, with Sinister warning Essex – all of them – to watch their backs. Dr Stasis arrives in his suburban home in the town and sets it ablaze, taking only a photo of a small child with him. In Gameworld, Wolverine attacks Jean Grey, and Polaris traps Rogue in a magnetic bubble – at least, that's what Cordyceps thinks is happening, thanks to Jean breaching his psi-defenses. In truth, Jean has Cordyceps, his guards and the possessed Wolverine trapped, and when Rogue absorbs some of Jean's powers, they are both able to use phenomenal telekinetic abilities to purge the spores keeping Wolverine under Cordyceps' control from her, and Polaris begins to contain the spores and Cordyceps' strange body in a magnetic field. She then traps Cordyceps and the spores inside one of the cyborg game machines, transforming it into a sphere with a large X on it. Rogue congratulates Jean on saving more than just Earth, remembering what she said at the Hellfire Gala, how she wanted to save more lives than the Phoenix destroyed – well she did it this time. Jean Grey then addresses everyone at Gameworld, telling them that are free, and that those who remain here have no master now, and can call the X-Men of Earth their friends. Back on Earth, at a diner, Cyclops and Synch meet with Ben Urich, and admit to him that they wiped his memories, as he was close to exposing them in his research regarding mutant resurrection. Synch explained how he erased Ben's memories, and Ben tells them that he needs to work out what to do with this information now. Days later, Ben's article, “Immortal X-Men” hits the front page of the Daily Bugle, and the world is made aware that mutants have the power to resurrect themselves. While some of the X-Men decide they have done their time on the team and are ready to move onto other things, they get together for one last mission, taking down the Mole Man who is attacking Madrid. Meanwhile, Dr Stasis arrives on Phobos, where Feilong and MODOK are waiting for him – and he is excited about the upcoming fall of the mutants.

Full Summary: 

Inside Dr Stasis' laboratory, 'You know what never gets old?' Scott Summers a.k.a. Cyclops asks as he raises a fist towards Dr Stasis – who looks like Mr Sinister, only with a black club symbol on his forehead instead of a red diamond – to which Stasis responds 'My handsome face?' 'Beating Sinister!' Cyclops retorts as he slams his fist into Stasis' face. Scott looks up to a glass tank, where the clothing he was wearing when Dr Stasis killed him are being held on display. 'Grotesque' Scott utters. 'Well, I didn't have time to take your head' Stasis remarks. Cyclops then releases an optic blast, destroying the display, and tells Stasis that after he is done with him, he is going to enjoy a nice meal with his family, and then walk him to Krakoa and dunk his puppet master into the volcano. 'You – you think I'm the puppet?' Stasis asks, before suddenly getting to his feet and attempting to punch Cyclops, who dodges him. 'That strutting monstrosity is just a failed experiment that polluted themselves with your vile genes!' Stasis exclaims, before asking 'He swiped Thunderbird's genes, right?'

Cyclops grabs Dr Stasis in a headlock, and chokes Dr Stasis. 'Interesting. So you think you're the original Sinister?' Cyclops asks. 'I am the original. I am Nathaniel Essex' Dr Stasis snaps, annoyed. Optic energy flickers around Cyclops' visor, as Cyclops tells his enemy 'Whatever you call yourself, your hypocrisy on reincarnation is breathtaking'. Stasis tells Cyclops that he has had many names over time, but that he can rest assured that there is only one Dr Nathaniel Essex – and he stands before him. At that moment, Everett Thomas a.k.a. Synch enters the lab. 'Holy $#%&' he gasps. Dr Stasis claims that he has been right here since he arrived from England and helped found this place. 'Let me go or I'll detonate the explosives I've hidden around the town above' Dr Stasis threatens. Cyclops looks over to his teammate, Synch, and asks him if Stasis is bluffing. 'NO!' Synch calls out as the ceiling above them explodes. 'You lunatic!' Cyclops exclaims as he is knocked backwards by the explosion.

Cyclops then rushes over and pushes Synch to safety through the entrance way to the lab. 'Look out!' he shouts as the roof begins to collapse around them, and Cyclops and Synch find themselves sealed off from Stasis, who remains in the laboratory. 'Cyclops? Can you hear me? You're gallivanting off to save people who despise you' Dr Stasis calls out. 'We don't do it for the adulation' Cyclops replies, adding that he should thank Stasis for the opportunity to change people's hearts and minds. 'Ha. Okay then. We're going to use what you love most to destroy you' Stasis announces as he looks through a gap in the rubble. He then tells Cyclops 'I hope you're taking what I'm saying to heart. I'm not some genocidal monster. I'm a doctor, and the only planet I have has been made very ill by your mutants. If you want some advice: You took one world. Keep going'. Stasis declares that if mutants have any destiny at all, it is out there – Earth belongs to humanity. 'You – you're “not genocidal”... but this planet isn't big enough for us both? Watch your backs, Essex... all of them' Cyclops exclaims, while Stasis walks down another corridor leading out of his laboratory.

Shortly, Cyclops has climbed out of an access hole into the tunnels beneath the town, and he pulls Synch up behind him. A sign indicates that they are in Essex County. 'Well, I guess we should have seen that coming' Cyclops mutters, before asking Synch if he can use Wolverine's senses to find those bombs. 'Way ahead of you' Synch replies.

At that moment, Dr Stasis enters his suburban home through a trapdoor. 'Home?' he calls out. 'Yes, Dr Stasis' the computerized voice responds. 'Burn' Dr Stasis instructs the computer. Flames begin to flicker inside the house, and the computer responds 'Yes, Dr Stasis. Goodbye'. Dr Stasis sighs, and removes a framed photograph from the wall. 'My dear boy' he utters, looking at the child in the photo. 'I'll fix what's broken in you...after I cut the cancer out of this world' Dr Stasis vows as he walks away from the burning home behind him.

Meantime, on Gameworld, where the X-Men had carefully planned out how to knock over Cordyceps Jones' casino. The attack had begun the moment they arrived, and it centered on Jean Grey being able to move the most objects she'd ever moved at once. Cordyceps Jones was a gangster made of fungus. His spores were inside the aliens who ran Gameworld – meaning if the X-Men missed even a single spore, they would fail.

Right now, Jean Grey is knocked backwards when Laura Kinney a.k.a. Wolverine, under the control of Cordyceps Jones, leaps at her and shoves her claws into her. Cordyceps laughs and raises a glass: 'HAW! We should put her in the decagon!' he calls out as he watches on. 'Wolverine! Stop!' Rogue calls out as she gets Wolverine's attention. Jean needed time, and that meant a distraction. Wolverine leaps forward towards Rogue, who screams as Wolverine shoves her claws through Rogue's hands. Jean Grey has slipped into a lot of disgusting minds in her time...and Cordyceps' is truly a sewer. Jean lets him think that he has them all. Lorna Dane a.k.a. Polaris suddenly surrounds Rogue in a magnetic bubble. Rogue is one of the most durable mutants who has ever lived – but not even she would last against a Polaris who wanted her dead.

Cordyceps laughs again and asks if someone will finally kill their planet, as the water alone is worth a fortune. 'And...uh...aw, crud. That redheaded dame is just showing me what I wanna see, ain't she. Yeah, flark me... I can hear the psi-alarms now' Cordyceps realizes. 'Cordyceps is awake a little earlier than I'd like' Jean Grey remarks as she hovers above the grotesque alien, psychic energy radiating around her, she adds that she will has work to do. 'Want a hand, Red?' Rogue asks as she flies towards Jean. Aliens look on as they see Cordyceps, his two guards and Wolverine trapped in the psychic energy. Jean tells Rogue that she can help ensure they get every last spore. 'You know what they say... two Omegas are better than one' Rogue smiles as she kisses Jean on her cheek, absorbing her unfathomable psychic energies.

The X-Men originally had different plans to scuttle Gameworld, but after Polaris discovered that thousands of crew members were hostages, the plan was refined. 'Damn, Jean. I didn't know your TK could grab something as small as spores' Rogue calls out. At that moment, Wolverine coughs, as the spores are expelled from her body. 'I'm so pissed' she snarls. 'No object is too big or heavy to lift, nor too small to grasp. You just have to feel it' Jean explains as she and Rogue send the wave of psychic energy, with Cordyceps, Wolverine and the guards, towards Polaris. 'You're up!' Rogue calls out. 'I got you' Polaris, wearing her new dress she purchased here on Gameworld, responds as she puts up a massive magnetic barrier to catch all of the spores. Polaris announces that she has had to put up with the grossest $#%& since she became an X-Man. 'First, it was those awful bugs in Kansas, then I almost got run over by the High Evolutionary's Teslelephant, and now I'm fighting this alien colostomy bag. Emma said being an X-Man would be the best days of my life, but I haven't so much as kissed or slapped a single handsome man!' Polaris exclaims.

'What are you doing to me? That's literally my body. You dames can't do this!' Cordyceps calls out. 'Let them do their thing or I get to do mine and your day will get even worse' Wolverine warns Cordyceps as she puts her claws to his fungus face. Wolverine then hurls Cordyceps away from herself and suggests to her teammates that they throw him into one of the black holes and hit the buffet. Cordyceps tells Wolverine to relax, and that there is no need for that kind of rough talk. 'Plus, maybe I can squeeze through your fancy bubble, and -' but he is interrupted: 'Dr Polaris says: Only thing that can escape my bubble is light, and your spores are much bigger than that' Polaris explains, as she holds Cordyceps in her magnetic bubble. 'Prison?' Rogue asks. 'Prison' Jean Grey agrees. 'You deserve worse' Wolverine snarls. Cordyceps looks at her and asks her what Mojo is paying her for this, as he can make her a better offer. 'The best offer you're getting today is to sit tight and shut up' Polaris tells Cordyceps as she blasts his robotic slot-machines nearby.

'It was only business, ya crazy broads!' Cordyceps protests as the scrap metal from the slot machine robots is used to create a metal prison around him. 'And it was only personal for us' Wolverine replies. 'If you see us again, it'll be your end' Polaris announces, while Cordyceps asks if they can make a deal, before he is completely trapped inside the metal bubble. 'Now shush. You can sit and think about all the lives you ended on all the worlds that didn't survive your disgusting games' Polaris suggests to him. Rogue puts her arms around Wolverine and Jean Grey and announces that they didn’t just save Earth, but that every table over there is a different world that was a game. 'There are billions of souls on each of those worlds' Rogue tells Jean that she remembers what she said at the Gala – that she wanted to be an X-Man until she saved as many lives as the Phoenix claimed. 'Well, you just saved trillions' Rogue declares. 'We did... and back at the Gala, you said... “Nobody's saving nothing without me”!' Jean reminds Rogue, and tells her that she was right.

Jean then addresses all of the aliens on Gameworld, standing before them with Rogue, Lorna and Wolverine at her side: 'To the high rollers of Gameworld without Galactic Council address warrants: you are free to leave – so long as you convoy every captive who wants off Gameworld...the rest of you are free!' Dozens of ships begin to flee Gameworld, while the aliens before Jean Grey begin to clap and cheer as she tells them that those who remain have no master – this place belongs to them now, and as long as they seek no harm to defenseless worlds, they can call the X-Men of Earth their friends.  'I'm not ready to leave yet. I see a man I kind of want to slap' Polaris utters. 'Invite him to the Gala' Wolverine suggests.

Back on Earth, at Schafer's Diner, across from the Little Theater. Wearing civilian clothing, Cyclops and Synch sit with investigative journalist Ben Urich of the Daily Bugle. 'Since we're suddenly being honest with each other... it's not often I'm at a loss for words' Ben utters. 'I bet. But I'm willing to go on record. You had the story and then you lost it, Mr Urich. You were right. Mutantdom has solved death. I can't talk about the technology, and unfortunately it only works for mutants. I can't stress that enough' Cyclops announces. Ben is confused: 'You took the story from me... why return it to me now?' he asks. Cyclops explains that if they don't stand for the truth, then they are just another council – and the world has enough of those. Synch reveals that he heard Mr Urich come around, looking for a quote on the story that he had – and then Cyclops fell, so he took the memory of the story to protect his people, as he was afraid. 'My friend was dead, and I was scared of what else I could lose' Synch explains.

Ben hangs his head and admits that the truth is, this is not the first time he has forgotten a story. He explains that he was afraid of the truth, but he came to do the right thing, and so has he. Synch explains that he is still connected to Jean Grey's telepathy, and that he wants to give Ben back the memories he took – but Ben asks him not to. 'I had a story, I had it taken from me, but now I have the story again'. He adds that he has to keep his perspective on this moment, so it can't be Synch's interpretation of his. 'I know what I need to know now' he adds. 'The truth is worth fighting for' Cyclops tells Ben. 'And dying for. It still sucks, by the way' Synch tells Ben, who stands up and puts his coat on. I'm gonna quote you on that' Ben responds. He thanks them for breakfast, and for his notebook, as he was looking everywhere for it. Ben then tells the X-Men that it might be hard on all of them for a while. 'Yeah, it will' Cyclops smiles as he raises his coffee mug to his mouth. 'But what else is new?' Synch agrees, smiling.

The Sunday morning edition of the Daily Bugle is released with the headline “Immortal X-Men” and an opinion piece by Ben Urich, detailing an x-clusive interview with the X-Men, explaining how, with unexplained technology, the X-Men have conquered death.

'My name is Ben Urich. I'm a reporter. Mankind has been after immortality forever. We've pursued it with science... and we've had faith that life everlasting is a reward to be earned. Mutants have discovered their holy grail, and humanity may not drink from it. Suddenly, the “haves” and “have nots” have a whole new arms race. If the gods are listening – may they help us all. If mutantdom follows the example of the X-Men, then I think we're going to be all right. They were hated and feared, then loved and adored, and after this... who knows? I'm sure they will keep fighting for you... whatever your genes say that you are. The X-Men don't just stop to ask what species you are when they're pulling your ass out of a fire. Just ask the folks in Madrid. You can read all about it in tomorrow's Bugle'.

In Madrid, the X-Men team have reunited – Cyclops, Jean Grey, Polaris, Rogue, Sunfire, Wolverine and Synch. Cyclops tells his teammates that his talking to Urich might cost him his spot on the team, but if anyone would like to stay on – 'We don't have to change out every roster spot' Jean smiles as they race forward to fight Mole Man, who has appeared with several of his Moloids. Polaris announces that she is letting chance take her where she should go, and that she is learning to go with the flow. Rogue slams her fist into a large monster that Mole Man stands on and tells her teammates that she would love to stay on this team forever, but that as they know, her destiny lies elsewhere. 'Irene's in a fit, saying that only I can prevent “mutants walking through a gate and never returning” or some nonsense' Rogue explains what Destiny cryptically told her.

Sunfire creates a massive surge of flame as he tells everyone that he had hoped the X-Men was to be his final home, but that it something even more impotrant – it showed him where he was needed the most. 'There is something I must do in service of Arakko, but if you need me, just ask' he announces. 'I'll let you know before the vote is called, but if I do bounce, all you have to say are the magic words... “to me, my X-Men”!' Wolverine calls out as she slices her claws through a large tank controlled by the Moloids. 'And then there were three' Cyclops remarks as he fires an optic blast while standing near Jean Grey, who releases psychic energy, and Synch, who is using both Sunfire's flames and Polaris' magnetism. 'Unless Synch has had enough of all of this' Jean remarks. But Synch reports that he would like to stay until he absolutely crushes it. He then asks Cyclops if he is really worried about his spot in the upcoming election. The Moloids begin fleeing back to the gaping hole in the ground from which they came, while Cyclops tells the others that the Quiet Council will be furious, but that he hopes their people will take a breath, and upon reflection, say “Cyclops was right” as the X-Men hover above an adoring crowd while the sun glows down on them.

Finally, on Phobos, a moon of Arakko, where Orchis has set up a facility. A poral opens and Dr Stasis steps into a room where Feilong and MODOK are sitting. 'Ugh. What a day' Dr Stasis complains. 'You look terrible' Feilong remarks. 'Mutants again?' MODOK enquires. 'Mutants again. The X-Men. The worst of them all' Stasis responds. Feilong reports that he has some good news and informs stasis that the science checked out on the samples. 'Heh. Wonderful' Stasis replies, adding that it is unfortunate they did not get a chance to hang the mutants with a lie. He smiles wickedly as he suggests that humanity will beg them to kill all of the mutants. 'I trust our friend is ready for her debut at the Mutie Gala?' he asks. 'Let the fall of the mutants commence!'

Characters Involved: 

Cyclops, Jean Grey, Polaris, Rogue, Sunfire, Synch, Wolverine III (all X-Men)


Feilong, MODOK, Doctor Stasis (all Orchis)


Ben Urich


Cordyceps Jones


Mole Man



Aliens on Gameworld



(in photograph)



(in flashback image)

Gambit, Jean Grey, Rogue

Captain America


Story Notes: 

This issue is followed by X-Men: Hellfire Gala #1, before continuing with X-Men (6th series) #13.

Written By: