X-Men (6th series) #30

Issue Date: 
March 2024
Story Title: 
Who Says Romance is Dead?

Gerry Duggan (writer), Phil Noto (artist), Virtual Calligraphy's Clayton Cowles (letterer & production), Tom Muller & Jay Bowen (designers), Joshua Cassara & Marte Gracia (cover artists), Russell Dauterman & Matthew Wilson (Trading Card variant cover artists), Ethan Young & Matthew Wilson (Wolverine Wolverine Wolverine variant cover artists), Justin Mason & Federico Blee (BAMF variant cover artists), Peach Momoko (ROM variant cover artist), Simone Bianchi (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: 

An Orchis psychiatrist interviews Cyclops, who reports back to Dr. Stasis that Cyclops appears to think he should be exactly where he is right now. Dr. Stasis is happy with that, continuing to want to make an example of Cyclops. Synch, Talon and Ms. Marvel meet with Tony Stark, Spider-Man and the Gold Goblin, where they realize they need something to help them counter the kill-switch that Orchis planted in Krakoan medicines. Synch thinks that a weapon the High Evolutionary offered some time ago might be useful. He remembers bargaining with the High Evolutionary during which he gave the madman a drop of his blood. Synch and Talon arrive on Counter-Earth, where they retrieve the High Evolutionary's bio-bomb. After using the High Evolutionary's daughter, Luminous, against him, Synch and Talon launch a physical assault on the High Evoltionary. Meanwhile, Firestar secretly communicates with Tony Stark, who gives her one final assignment with Orchis, before suggesting she makes a break for it. Firestar leaks some information to Feilong, who tells her that she is special. Later, back on Earth, Synch presents Tony Stark with the bio-bomb which he retrieved from the High Evolutionary. Talon can't remember how they escaped the High Evolutionary – because she's dead. The High Evolutionary forced her to kill herself, but her consciousness was transported into Synch's mind. Synch looks in a mirror and promises Talon that he will fix this.

Full Summary: 

They planted. They created. They loved. Then humanity set fire to their world.

in Cyclops' dream:

Inside the X-Men's Treehouse, as Scott Summers and Jean Grey make love, Scott tells Jean that everything has gone wrong. 'Its going to be okay, Scott' Jean replies, smiling. Scott opens his eyes, which glow, but don't release any optic energy. He tells Jean that the world is burning, that it needs the X-Men, but they are both missing. 'I need to know – is this happening? Are you real?' he asks. Fire rages around Jean as she replies 'Of course I am. I know you've been tortured. You can't hide that from me' Jean responds. 'But the fire -' Scott starts to say, before Jean utters his name, and smiling, she tells him 'I am the fire'.


'And then I wake up in this Orchis black-site prison without my ruby quartz visor. I'm guessing from the sound of the accents on your guards, I'm in Paris. I suppose after Ben Urich's expose on Orchis, you had to move my sham trial out of America' Scott Summers a.k.a. Cyclops remarks as he sits on a basic bed in a sparse cell. A visor covering his eyes, although there is indeed no ruby quartz within it. He adds that he assumes he is in his first uniform because Orchis' masters have decided it is the most recognizable one for their propaganda purposes. 'Let's go back a moment' an elderly woman sitting on a chair nearby suggests. 'In your sleep, you're communicating with your deceased wife -' she begins, to which Cyclops interrupts her: 'She's not deceased. She's just not here'. 'Cyclops. It was just a dream' the woman states. Cyclops addresses her as Dr. Goldsmith and tells her that the thing is, it isn't a dream if it's real.

Dr. Goldsmith leaves the room and steps into a corridor, where Dr. Stasis is waiting. 'The man is -' Dr. Goldsmith begins, to which Dr. Stasis interrupts her: 'Mutant. He's a mutant. Not a man'. Dr. Goldsmith ignores that remark and tells Dr. Stasis that he needs to understand that Cyclops shows telltale signs of torture and has suffered a psychotic break. She adds that Cyclops promises to make no defense in Orchis' sham trial, and certainly would not meet the standards to be considered for the death penalty. 'But you won't dare put any of that in your report. Otherwise, the little black-sheep mutie in your family will find themselves on a surprise “camping trip” - that will last the rest of its short, pitiful life' Dr. Stasis snaps, before turning and walking away. Dr. Goldsmith doesn't respond and simply tells Dr. Stasis that she thinks Cyclops is exactly where he needs to be right now. 'Good. Let's make him happy, then. Clear him for trial. I have a show to put on in front of the entire human world' Dr. Stasis declares.

in flash-forward:

The Vault. A close society experiencing the flow of time at a highly accelerated rate. Synch, Laura Kinney and Darwin were deployed into the Vault on an urgent reconnaissance mission. Darwin became lost, but Synch and Laura soldiered on. They grew closer over their first two hundred years inside, and by their third century in the Vault, love flourished between them, and after close to half a millennium, they were keeping each other alive – body and soul.


Today, Everett Thomas a.k.a. Synch and Laura Kinney a.k.a. Talon lead the fugitive X-Men. They are forced to hide in the Morlock Tunnels. These are dire times – but that is what every day in the Vault was for them. They are not alone, though, as their teammate Kamala Khan a.k.a. Ms. Marvel is with them, as are Tony Stark, the Gold Goblin, and Spider-Man, who are all pitching in on the mutants' most pressing problem. 'I'm uncomfortable with skipping human trials before we put this science into the population' the Gold Goblin declares. 'That's a first from Norman Osborn' Spider-Man mutters, as he clings to the side of the tunnel, overlooking a device that the others stand around. Synch tells the Gold Goblin that he understands the hesitancy, but now that they have a way to counteract the kill switch in Orchis' laced drugs, they have to deploy it into everyone as fast as possible. 'How do we administer this “patch” to all these hostages, and how do we do it without raising alarms at Orchis?' Talon asks. 'Can we even launch our counterattack before we fix this mess?' Ms. Marvel enquires.

Tony Stark tells her that they can't, and that it is going to take a monumental effort worthy of the Manhattan Project, and they only have a few days to accomplish it. He then announces that he needs to be excused to suit up for his regularly scheduled rendezvous with Firestar. 'Well, maybe we can get one of our enemies to do it for us?' Spider-Man suggests. 'Don't ask me how I know this, but Sauron wants to turn everyone into dinosaurs – maybe the tech already exists?' he remarks. 'Spider-Man, that is -' Synch begins, 'Dumb, I know. The spider that bit me didn't even have his G.ED.' Spider-Man jokes. But Synch tells Spider-Man that it is a brilliant idea, and remarks that the X-Men faced the High Evolutionary, who wanted to give them a gift – a bioweapon that would sterilize all of humanity. 'Bummer' Talon utters. Synch looks at Talon and tells her that the answer to their problem is on Counter-Earth. 'I think that was the year I slept in' Talon smiles.

Synch informs Talon that it was – as he was with her younger self on the X-Men, and he negotiated an end to hostilities by gifting a single drop of her blood to the High Evolutionary. Synch states that the High Evolutionary is a genocidal maniac and, looking at his own hand, announces that he hopes there won't be any blood on his hands over it. Spider-Man tells the X-Men that this one is personal for him, so he is glad they are close to putting it to bed. He turns and bids them good luck on Counter-Earth. 'And if you need help after – you know where to find me' he adds. 'The unemployment office?' Ms. Marvel asks. 'Direct hit, Ms. Marvel...direct hit' Spider-Man replies as he and the Green Goblin depart. 'What's the quickest way to Counter-Earth?' Talon asks. 'I just remembered I have a ton of homework' Ms. Marvel exclaims, to which Synch tells her it is all good, and that he and Talon have this one.

Meanwhile, over the Atlantic Ocean, Angelica Jones a.k.a. Firestar streaks across the open water in a fiery blaze, and informs Tony Stark that she can see the water displacement from his boot jets. 'You can only sneak up on my once' Firestar remarks. Iron Man materializes from his stealth mode and greets Firestar, before asking her if she has any news for him. Firestar reports that the A.I. contingent of Orchis threatened her, but she managed to bull$#%& her way out of it – for now. Iron Man suggests that Firestar has been undercover for long enough, and tells her that it is time to set the trap and get her out. 'After you report that my landing force is touching down in the Australian outback, you leave Orchis and never go back' he instructs his former Avengers teammate. 'They have the whole world in a vice. Is this going to work?' Firestar asks. Tony's helmet pulls back and his face appears ass he tells Angelica that it has to, otherwise they are all dead, and whatever is left of humanity will live under Orchis' heel. 'What about the hostages on the Krakoan medicine?' Firestar asks, to which Tony informs her that they have a solution, and now it is on Synch and Talon who are off to Counter-Earth in a ship provided by the Titanian Eternal (and sometime Avenger) Starfox.

'I guess it was too much to hope for that we could touch down unnoticed' Talon remarks as she and Synch find themselves under attack by several Ani-Men, strange mutated animals. 'The High Evolutionary runs this place like Doom rules Latveria. The trick will be to see if any of them are sick of his rule' Synch calls out. The High Evolutionary had committed genocide many times over on his planet, and it left him vulnerable to defections, like the powerful Teslelephant who along with several other Ani-Men agree to take the X-Men to the High Evolutionary's weapons bunker. They suffer through a sandstorm on the way. Therse are hard days, but that is nothing new for Synch and Talon.

'So, this High Evolutionary used to be a human narcissist?' Talon asks as she and Synch walk through the weapons bunker, and see a large statue of the High Evolutionary. 'What gives him away?' Synch asks, before they locate their prize – the High Evolutionary's ship. On it, they find the bio-bomb. 'Betrayed by one of the High Evolutionary's Ani-Men?' Talon asks. 'Possibly' Synch agrees, when suddenly, they find themselves confronted by the High Evolutionary. 'Did you think you could escape my notice?' he asks them, before motioning to the woman with white hair standing beside him: 'You remember my daughter, Luminous' he states, before noticing that the X-Men have his bio-hacking device, and asks if they have reconsidered is gift to mutantdom. 'I hear rumors that you waited too long and have have lost your dominance on Earth' he adds.

'That was never what we wanted' Synch declares, before reminding the High Evolutionary that it was freely offered once, and they have great need of it now. 'Consider it payment for Synch's blood' Talon frowns. 'I already paid for that by letting humanity live' the High Evolutionary responds, before asking how that path has treated mutantdom. 'You really want to fight us?' Talon asks. The High Evolutionary states that he hasn't decided yet. 'Let me face them both. To  the death. If they defeat me, they can have their bauble' Luminous exclaims, gritting her teeth. 'Fine. Karma's a bitch' Synch declares as he borrows Karma's power and gets into Luminous' mind, causing Luminous to drop to her knees and clutch her head: 'Stop it – get out of my head. Father, stop!' Luminous pleads as she sees a vision of her father using a saw-like tool to cut into her.

Synch turns to Talon and tells her that he hates using Karma's power. 'It usually shortens my “claw time”' Talon notes. 'I need help -' Luminous calls out, reaching up to her father, who scowls and looks down at her: 'How disappointing. However, I did not agree to the terms that Luminous set forth' the High Evolutionary remarks, before telling the X-Men that they may keep their prize, if they survive him. 'Once more, darling?' Synch asks, turning to Talon. 'On Counter-Earth, which way does the Coriolis effect go?' Talon asks, smiling. 'Do I bet clockwise or counter-clockwise?' Talon exclaims as she and Synch lunge towards the High Evolutionary, Synch has copied Talon's claws, both of them claws outstretched, and Synch's claws even strikes the High Evolutionary's face, drawing what appears to be blood. As was often the case for Synch and Talon, this is a short fight.

Aboard the Bloom, Orchis' space station, Firestar stands next to Feilong in a room where Orchis operatives scurry about in front of various monitors and control panels. Firestar tells Feilong that the X-Men are expecting that they will see their ships and any landing will be hot, so they picked the Australian outback. 'To minimize civilian casualties' Feilong declares. 'How chivalrous' he smirks, before announcing that when Mars attacks the Earth, they will spring a trap that will end this war once and for all, and every single Sentinel will be waiting for them. 'Some of them are good people – who can be saved' the wide-eyed Firestar responds quietly. 'You're special, Firestar. Not them' Feilong responds as he places a hand on Firestar's shoulder.

'Stark, I got it. We got it' Synch calls out as he holds the bio bomb up towards Tony Stark. 'That's amazing! Congrats' Stark responds. He takes the bomb and states that he will start to load up their fix. Synch doesn't respond, and turns and starts to walk away. 'Hey, bud. You okay?' Stark asks. 'We'll live' Synch mutters, before heading out into another tunnel. 'Everett, why can't I remember how we escaped Counter-Earth?' Talon asks. Synch informs her that she was badly hurt on the way to the shuttle, once again, almost killed and captured covering his escape. 'Hey, Synch – who you talking to' Ms. Marvel asks as she approaches her teammate. Synch hangs his head, then looks up and tells Kamala that it has been a long couple of days.

Synch walks off into his quarters, where Talon is sitting on the bed. 'Everett?' she asks him. 'I can explain' Synch responds. 'Oh my god' Talon utters, and Synch hangs his head again as he remembers what happened on Counter-Earth – it was a short fight, and this time, the lovers lost.


'Behold, Synch' the High Evolutionary exclaims, with one hand around Synch's throat, and the other controlling Talon, who has shoved her claws through neck. She then screams as the High Evolutionary seemingly vaporizes her. 'NO!' Synch cries out, before the High Evolutionary tells him that he has paid for the fire he has stolen. 'Begone, Synch of Krakoa... we will meet again at a time of my choosing' the High Evolutionary declares, as Synch is transported away.


Synch looks into a cracked mirror – he sees part of Talon's face staring back at him as he tells Talon that she is still alive, that he used Jean's power to pull her mind into his own. 'I'm like a Cerebro. I'll hold you as long as I can. We'll fix it. I'll find a way to fix it. I promise...' Synch utters.

Characters Involved: 

Cyclops, Ms. Marvel IV, Synch, Talon, (all X-Men)

Iron Man


Gold Goblin


Dr. Goldsmith, Feilong, Firestar, Dr. Stasis (Orchis)


High Evolutionary


Bi-son, Teslelephant & various other Ani-Men


in Cyclops' dream:

Cyclops & Jean Grey

in flash-forward:

Synch, Wolverine III

in flashback:

Synch, Wolverine III (both X-Men)


in vision:


High Evolutionary

Story Notes: 

Synch and Wolverine III (Talon) entered the Vault in X-Men (5th series) #5. Their time in the Vault was chronicled in X-Men (5th series) #19, during which Wolverine was believed dead, and as such, she was resurrected back on Krakoa following Synch's escape from the Vault. But in X-Men (6th series) #16, Wolverine III was found alive in the Vault and returned to Krakoa, whereupon she started calling herself Talon.

The High Evolutionary fought the X-Men and offered them the Nihility Sphere in X-Men (6th series) #3.

Despite X-Men (6th series) #29 indicating that Fall of the House of X #1 takes place before this issue, it must take place after it as the Bloom is still intact, and the Bloom is in fact destroyed in Fall of the House of X #2.

Iron Man is working alongside the X-Men in Invincible Iron Man (5th series). He  recruited Starfox to help in Invincible Iron Man #13.

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