X-Men (6th series) #28

Issue Date: 
January 2024
Story Title: 
Jail Break!

Gerry Duggan (writer), Joshua Cassara (artist), Marte Gracia  (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Clayton Cowles (letterer & production), Tom Muller & Jay Bowen (designers), Joshua Cassara & guru-eFX (cover artists), Ivan Tao (Knight's End variant cover artist), Philip Tan & Bryan Valenza (Wraparound X-Men 60th variant cover artists), Russell Dauterman & Matthew Wilson (Trading Card variant cover artists), Miguel Mercado (variant cover artist), Lauren Amaro (assistant editor), Jordan D White (editor), C.B. Cebulski (editor-in-chief)

X-Men created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby

Brief Description: 

Aboard the Bloom, Feilong and Dr. Stasis discuss how Doom is ignoring them after five mutant signatures were discovered in Latveria. Firestar copies some information about the Latverian mutants onto a USB stick. She then disguises herself as a standard Orchis agent as she enters the gulag prison on Randall's Island, where she uses a burst of flame to stop the operation to attempt to extract the Gem of Cyttorak from the Juggernaut. She then visits Cyclops and attempts to convince him to take the plea deal, and uses morse code to tell Cyclops that she can't rescue him today. The Juggernaut wakes from the surgery and Firestar races to try and calm him down. The Juggernaut only knows that Firestar is a traitor and attacks her, but she drops the memory stick in his mouth. She quietly tells him not to swallow it and to get it tro the X-Men. Juggernaut slams her to the ground before escaping the gulag. He finds the X-Men in the Morlock Tunnels and gives the information to Synch. The X-Men are surprised to learn of the existence of the Latverian mutants. Aboard the Bloom, Firestar faces questions from Moira MacTaggert, Nimrod and Omega Sentinel, who are suspicious about the Juggernaut's escape. Firestar faces them down and attempts to convince them that Mystique must have been posing as her, before swatting the blade in Moira's hand away from her. Moira wishes they confirmed Mystique's kill back at the Hellfire Gala, but nevertheless, thinks Stasis' pet mutant is beginning to outlive her usefulness. Shadowkat and Ms. Marvel are dropped off in the Latverian forest, where they are reunited with Wolverine, who was sent there by Talon, who was concerned about Shadowkat. The unhappy reunion is quickly interrupted by the arrival of Dr. Doom! Meanwhile, Sunfire's quest to rescue Redroot takes an interesting turn when they are discovered by Apocalypse!

Full Summary: 

Mutants are at war across the universe. Resistance is strong, but casualties are mounting. During a tournament in Otherworld, Arakko lost its voice, and so Sunfire left the X-Men to rescue Redroot the Forest. She was at death's door after being away from the soil of Arakko, and in order to save her life, Sunfire had sunk her roots into his own veins. But, weeks later, both of them started to die. But, he promised to bring Redroot home, no matter the cost. The Krakoan gates are now closed for reasons Sunfire doesn't understand, and doesn't want to think about. As his body grows weaker, he gambles on a way home, and appears before a strange being called Sxixm, who motions to a gateway surrounded by what appear to be teeth, and tells Sunfire that this is the path he paid him to lead him to. 'I can smell a trap' Sunfire tells Sxixim. 'No doubt your way forward is perilous. I'm sorry... I only wished to be of service' Sxixim claims.

Sunfire reminds himself that he was elected to the X-Men when he told his fellow mutants that he was ready to serve someone other than himself. As he walks away from Sxixim, he suddenly turns and narrows his eyes, deciding that he should see if it is his destiny to serve. 'The truth is, I know not where your path leads' Sxixim responds. Sunfire climbs up into the teeth-covered pathway, and Sxixim tells him that they will not meet again. Sunfire holds the tiny Redroot close to his chest as he, the mutant with the heart of a nuclear engine, descends into the frigid void around him.

Sunfire walks for days with his responsibilities staked close to his heart. Lost and alone, all the strength has left his bones as he trudges through a blizzard. 'I'm sorry, Redroot' Sunfire utters as he drops to his knees. Sunfire then screams as he tears Redroot from his body, and collapses in a pool of blood. 'I've failed you, my Arakkii sister. This is the end of  all things' Sunfire remarks, as a shadow falls over him. 'What is an end, my child... if not a beginning?' A mysterious figure looms over Sunfire, and holds a red seed in his hand, announcing that it is the last seed of Okkara, and needs but  one thing to grow – mutant blood. The figure places the seed in Sunfire's blood, as the weakened Sunfire looks over, 'Y-you...' he utters, as the mysterious figure states that the magic has led him to his side once more. The mysterious figure is none other than Apocalypse, and as the last seed of Okkara begins to grow in the snow, the daemon called Orc can be seen behind Apocalypse, who pulls Sunfire onto his knee, and holding a hand above Sunfire, energy begins to glow.

Meantime, in the Orchis Control Center, Feilong stands next to a table where Dr. Stasis is seated. Angelica Jones a.k.a. Firestar stands nearby. Feilong tells Stasis that Doom is clearly thumbing his nose at them. 'Who cares if Doom keeps a few pet mutants? Uh, present company excepted, Firestar' Dr. Stasis responds. Feilong turns to a map displayed on a monitor in the control center and states that, according to their satellites, Doom has been flaunting the same five mutant signatures in public since the mutant massacre. 'He's taunting us' Feilong declares. Stasis grins and agrees that that sounds like Doom. 'Perhaps I'll be more inclined to take this up with him after I've received my blood transfusion from the Juggernut'. Firestar raises her hand and reports that from her time undercover on the X-Men, she knows that the X-Men were not worried about the mutants of Latveria. Standing in front of a console, Firestar inserts a USB into the console and informs Dr. Stasis and Feilong that the numbers and powers of the mutants of Latveria were inconsequential, and that they lacked training.

Dr. Stasis agrees with Firestar and notes that Doom is like the hermit king in North Valnon, simply rattling his saber, he wants something. 'Can we get back to what I want?' he asks as an image of the Juggernut appears on the monitor. Stasis reports that the Juggernaut tried to escape again, and Nimrod beat his head in once more. 'Let's not give him a third shot at freedom' Dr. Stasis suggests. As Firestar pulls the USB from the computer, she tells Dr. Stasis that if he goes through with the transfusion, she will see him down at the Gyrich Detention Center. 'Oh?' Dr. Stasis asks. As Firestar leaves the control center she reports that she has anothr appointment to try and convince Cyclops to stand trial and plead for leniency. She turns back to Stasis and Feilong and tells them that if Cyclops will be the face that they need to end the Krakoan era, then it will save lives – every prosecution needs someone to tell the story. 'I think I can sell him on a plea deal' she adds.

Firestar flies to the gulag on Randall's Island, which has been dressed up with a handsome name – the Henry Gyrich Re-Education Center. This facility has been detaining mutants since the Hellfire Gala massacre. The rain beats down under a  dark sky. For weeks, Firestar has been playing along with the monsters who are trying to exterminate her people, all while tying to slow them down and slip information to the X-Men. She resisted. Firestar passes an operating room where Cain Marko the Juggernaut is strapped to a table. Firestar makes her way into a locker room, where she finds a female Orchis agent changing -and whacks her from behind with a gun. Changing into the woman's Orchis uniform, Firestar's identity is obscured by the helmet and glasses she wears with the uniform. She knows that she will slip up one day, and that will be the end of her – the Five are no longer around to catch her. But still, she persists.

Firestar arrives at the door of the operating room, where one of the Orchis agents operating on the Juggernaut tells a colleague that he operated on a rhinoceros once, and that it made him less nervous than this guy. 'Don't worry about it. As long as this I.V. bag is dripping into him...he ain't waking up. This could keep a Celestial down' one of the colleagues responds. With that, Firestar uses her powers to make the I.V. bag burst into blames. She hasn't figured out what today's big lie will be, but she'll get there, or die trying. She then turns and runs down the corridor and a moment later changes from her stolen uniform as she prepares for another show – this time, with Cyclops.

Scott Summers a.k.a. Cyclops is strapped to a large X in a cell, his eyes have been stapled shut. 'Look at you, Cyclops. Actually, I guess introspection was never your thing. Especially now' Firestar states. 'Welcome back, traitor' Cyclops snarls. 'You're making what's left of your life a living hell' Firestar tells Cyclops. Her words are harsh, but her touch is gentle. One thing Firestar and Cyclops have in common is at that they are both in the Scouts. 'Listen, pig!' Firestar begins, as she shoves her fingers against Cyclops' body. Using morse code, she apologizes for not having freed Cyclops yet, and implores him not to lose hope. She had hoped to break  him out today, but the Juggernaut needs her more. 'Just take the deal' Firestar snaps at Cyclops, who makes it look good, too. Gritting his teeth as he tells Firestar to go to hell, and calling her a disgrace. Suddenly, there is a loud rumbling, 'Oh god! The Juggernaut!' Firestar exclaims before flying out of Cyclops' cell, a streak of microwave energy trailing behind her. 'Give 'em hell, Cain' Cyclops smiles.

One thing that Firestar does not have to fake is losing a fight to the Juggernaut. She flies past several Orchis agents, knocking them aside as she does so. Firestar screams as Juggernaut smashes his way through a wall, punching Firestar in the process. 'Well, well – I wuz about to cherck out of this gulag, but now that the traitor is here, I might stick around and have some fun' Juggernaut smarls. Firestar drops to the ground and the Juggernaut looms over her, warning her 'They're gonna do you when they're done wit ya!' He then raises a large foot above Firestar and suggests she consider this his mercy. 'Stay back!' Firestar calls back as she unleashes a surge of microwave energy, burning the base of the Juggernaut's foot. 'Ow! Ow!' the Juggernaut calls out, before several Orchis operatives arrive on scene, 'Freeze!' one of them calls out as they raise their weapons at the Juggernaut – who responds by smashing the three of them down with ease.

'Time to die!' Juggernaut declares as he grabs Firestar and holds her overhead. 'Honestly? I'm okay with that. Now eat this!' Firestar responds as she drops the USB into the surprised Juggernaut's mouth. Firestar leans towards the Juggernaut and quietly tells him not to swallow it, as the X-Men need it, and that she is still on the team. 'No time to explain' she adds as she instructs Juggernaut to get away from here and go to the alley behind the old Hellfire Club, where he will be directed to where the X-Men are hiding. She announces that she will get Cyclops out, or die trying. 'Now throw me down, and make it look good!' she exclaims, as the Juggernaut lifts her up higher, then slams her to the ground, causing her to scream once more.

Firestar watches as Juggernaut runs out of the prison, knocking more Orchis agents aside as he goes. Angelica's body is wracked in pain, but see Juggernaut escape has lifted her spirits for the first time in weeks. 'WAHOOO!' the Juggernaut shouts as he breaks through the outer fence of the gulag and makes a run for freedom, as the rain continues to beat down.

Some time later, at the Morlock tunnels, current secret headquarters of the remnants of the X-Men. 'So, that's my story' the Juggernaut concludes as he stands before Kate Pryde a.k.a. Shaowkat, Laura Kinney a.k.a. Talon, Everett Thomas a.k.a. Synch and Kamala Khan a.k.a. Ms. Marvel. 'We're just glad to have you in the resistance, Juggernaut' Synch responds, before taking the USB and announcing that he will see what's on it. Synch plugs the flashdrive into a laptop and remarks that it is no doubt Firestar saved Juggernaut's life. 'Let's see what's so important' he adds, and as he and Talon look at the laptop, Talon announces that there are files on how to disarm gthe bomb under Cyclops. 'And this is a surprise' she adds, as Synch realizes that there appears to be information on a group of mutants who resisted the push into the gates by Xavier. 'Looks like a road trip is in order' he adds. 'I'll go' Shadowkat calls out. 'Great. Take Ms. Marvel' Synch instructs her. Shadowkat pauses, before agreeing. 'So...where are we going?' Kamala smiles.

Meanwhile, aboard the Bloom, Orchis' orbital defense platform, where Firestar, wearing a neck brace and sling following her battle with the Juggernaut, stands before Dr. Moria MacTaggert, Nimrod and the Omega Sentinel. 'So, we're to ignore that the Juggernaut escapes from the gulag on the day you visit, while you're present?' Moira asks. 'That's right, Moira' Firestar responds. 'Looks bad, I like you, I think. But – looks bad' Nimrod remarks, while Omega Sentinel asks Firestar if she really expects them to believe that timing is a coincidence. 'Not only are you all lazy...stupid too' Firestar tells them, informing them that if they check the logs, they will see she entered twice that day. Balancing a dagger on one of her fingers, Moira asks Firestar how she accounts for that. 'I'd have thought it obvious: Mystique is alive' Firestar announces, suggesting that Mystique used Pym Particles to get Juggernaut out of his collar in his first escape attempt, and then impersonated a member of the surgical team to sabotage the anesthesia.

'Now get that blade out of my face unless you intend to use it!' Firstar snaps as she swats the blade balancing on Moira's fingers. 'Ow' Firestar complain as she uses her good hand to rub her arm in the sling, which is the arm she used to swat the knife away from Moira. 'If you change your mind about killing me, I'll be popping pain pills in my bunk' Firestar remarks as she walks away. 'Yeah, I do like her' Nimrod decides. 'She is right about one thing...' Omega Sentinel begins. 'We should've confirmed that kill at the gala...but I also think Dr. Stasis' little pet mutant has outlived her usefulness' Moira declares, while Firestar walks away, tears streaming down her face.

Elsewhere, the X-Men have never been pushed so low as to fly commercial – well, almost commercial. Shadowkat and Ms. Marvel stow away on a private jet and then phase out of the cargo hold over the jump coordinates. The plane continues across the sky, while the two heroes plummet towards the ground. Shadowkat has grown accustomed to landing without a parachute, and swimming back up from the ground. 'Show off!' Ms. Marvel calls out as Shadowkat phases into a pond, while her own parachute gets stuck in the top of some trees. 'Aw, c'mon!' Kamala complains, before muttering 'Whatever' as she frees herself from the parachute, and extends her legs down to the ground, where a voice tells her to next time try and land silently. 'Logan!' Kamala gasps as she sees Wolverine perched on a rock nearby. 'No sense alerting anybody, but otherwise – nice entrance, kiddo' Wolverine remarks.

Shadowkat phases back up through the pond, and is greeted by Wolverine, who tells her that he can't say he cares for her running around looking like Ogun. 'Can't say I care that you don't care' Kate responds casually, before asking Logan what he is doing here. 'Aren't you guys, like, best buds?' Kamala asks. Wolverine looks at Kate and tells her that Laura thought she could use a friend. 'I had a lot of friends, Logan. They're all dead. I don't need a therapist' Kate replies without pulling her mask down. Wolverine then notices that Kate's swords are Ogun's blades. Kamala steps between them and suggests that they could talk later. 'Let's go find out mutant friends' she remarks, before asking where they are. 'Germany? Austria?' This causes Wolverine to ask Shadowkat 'You didn't tell her?' and Shadowkat remarks that she didn't even want Kamala here, but their dear leaders insisted. 'You know, I find it hard to believe you were ever a teacher. Do you hate kids? Or just me? Okay, so am I way off? Is this Austria? Switzerland?' Kamala asks, when suddenly, she, Wolverine and Shadowkat turn as a voice calls out 'Some news, child... you're not in Europe at all'. They see Doctor Doom standing before them, with three others at his side, as Doom announces that they are in Latveria!


Characters Involved: 

Juggernaut, Ms. Marvel IV, Shadowkat, Synch, Talon, Wolverine (all X-Men)





Feilong, Firestar, Dr. Moira MacTaggert, Nimrod, Omega Sentinel, Dr. Stasis (all Orchis)


Orchis agents









Doctor Doom

Nerium, Slag, Volta (all Seven Daggers of Latveria) (unnamed)


Story Notes: 

Sunfire's story continues from X-Men Unlimited Infinity Comic #111 and continues in X-Men Red (2nd series) #16.

This issue includes a memorandum from Dr. Stasis to all senior leadership of Orchis. In the memo he refers to the Avengers Unity Squad and Ben Urich continuing to cause problems for Orchis, and to Cyclops' trial being transferred tob Europe. He also refers to parental genetic testing for the X-gene being mandatory, and suggests that Firestar be allowed to remain on Earth if she consents to the removal of her X-gene.

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