X-Men (6th series) #33

Issue Date: 
June 2024
Story Title: 
As the World Burns

Gerry Duggan (writer), Joshua Cassara (artist), Romulo Fajardo Jr. (color artist), Virtual Calligraphy's Clayton Cowles (letterer & production), Tom Muller & Jay Bowen (designers), Joshua Cassara & GURU-eFX (cover artists), Russell Dauterman & Matthew Wilson (Trading Card variant cover artists), Taurin Clarke (Micronauts variant cover artist), Greg & Tim Hilderbrandt (White Queen Marvel Masterpieces III variant cover artists), Lee Garbett & Yen Nitro (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: 

Not long ago, in Madripoor, Sebastian Shaw made plans to stand with either mutantkind or Orchis depending on the outcome of the coming battle, and his son, Shinobi, agreed to play his part. Today in Madripoor, a team of Reavers launches an assault on Lowtown. Callisto is in the Princess Bar when it is attacked. Elsewhere, Emma Frost keeps the remaining mutants telepathically connected, while at the X-Men's destroyed Treehouse, the hateful Flag-Smasher alerts civilians to the rubble from Orchis' destroyed space-station falling to Earth. The X-Men's temporary hide-out in the Morlock Tunnels has been invaded by Orchis agents – but their intrusion is fruitless because Wolverine is waiting and makes short work of them. Back in Madripoor, Callisto has been captured and put on a cross by the Reavers, when Shadowkat arrives. She starts cutting her way through the Reavers and frees Callisto when Shinobi Shaw arrives and offers some information about his father wanting to throw in with Orchis, and the location of one of Orchis' leaders, Director Devo. Aboard a large cargo ship, Director Devo is soon confronted by a team of X-Men – Wolverine, Forge, Emma Frost, Synch, Magik and Ms. Marvel. But Devo is prepared for them and opens a portal to the Negative Zone, and forces them into it. Emma Frost connects with Doctor Doom, where Ms. Marvel asks him for help – and Doom sends his own X-Men, Slag, Volta and Nerium, to assist. The trio of powerful Latverian swiftly take out Devo, and rescue the X-Men from the Negative Zone. Finally, at the Summer House on the Blue Area of the Moon, Dr. Gregor has been killed by Nimrod who decides not to kill Cyclops, instead warning him that the Sentinels are going to become something bigger and more powerful – part of god. Nimrod then leaves through a portal to Sentinel City, and Cyclops contacts Emma to warn her of the deadly new threat.

Full Summary: 

(Not long ago)

Sebastian Shaw, the Black King of the Hellfire Club looks out a window of a tall building, rain pouring down outside. Two women dress him, as Sebastian tells his son that there is a war raging, and that it is not yet clear who will win. 'Orchis? Mutandom? In any event, the Shaws will stand shoulder to shoulder with the victors... whomever they be' Sebastian announces as he pours a glass of alcohol. Sebastian suggests that they should prepare a refuge should something asymmetrical occur, and reveals that he has secured the deeds to waterfront property in Madripoor, but is afraid there are squatters. 'Do you think you're up to clearing our lands so that a stronghold can be built?' he enquires. Several guards stand in the back of the room, while a man puts a jacket on Shinobi Shaw, the Black Bishop. 'If it needs doing...nthen, of course, I'll be of service' Shinobi smiles, adding that he knows just the louts to help. 'Excellent' Sebastian responds as he sips his drink.


Lowtown, Madripoor, a place that used to stretch for miles from the docks. In recent years, soulless towers have encroached on the neon casinos, sex clubs and drug dens that make the slum so beloved across the world. Right now, several choppers are descending towards Lowtown. Inside the choppers are armed soldiers, one of them who reports that they have a green light for operation “slate”. 'They ain't paying us to dwadle' the soldier declares as a number of them leap from the choppers and land in the dirty streets of Lowtown. 'Let's clear out the rabble and go home!' another of the soldiers exclaims as they surround the famous Princess Bar.

'Aw, crap... it's everybody's least favorite mercs – the Reavers' Callisto remarks as she peers out through some blinds in the Princess Bar. Callisto announces that she can smell cordite and warns everyone to get back – but it's too late, as there is an explosion, and the Reavers enters the Princess Bar. 'Hiya, Callisto' one of the Reavers calls out. He tells Callisto that he knows she can't walk through the magic plant gates anymore, but points out she could get in a boat and leave. 'It's not too late for you' He aims a gun at Callisto, who is on the ground and the Morlock leader tells the Reaver 'Right back at you and your half men. You can walk away or turn your legs into tank treads and wheel out of town'. The Reaver responds by kicking Callisto hard in the face.

Elsewhere, Emma Frost is applying some silver lipstick and telepathically reaches out to the remnants of mutant kind. 'Okay, muties, listen up. It always seems like the world is ending...but gtoday, maybe the world really is'. As she uses the side mirror of a bombed car to examine her reflection, Emma tells the mutants that only they can listen and that she is still helping direct mutant foot to Orchis ass. As civilians gather around the now burnt X-Men treehouse in New York City, Emma reports that Orchis' space station is now Earth rubble, and that many of their high-value targets have been neutralized, including Doctor Stasis. 'The dark reflection of Steve Rogers that masqueraded as Captain Krakoa has been exonerated by a jury of like-minded humans and is now “playing the hits” so to speak' Emma states.

Indeed, elsewhere, now known as Flagsmasher, the alternate Steve Rogers is rallying supporters, pointing to the sky as remains of the Orchis space station falls towards Earth, he shouts 'Look at what the enemies of mankind are doing to the world! The sky is falling!' he declares in rage.

Emma tells the mutants that they will deal with this threat later, at a time and place of their choosing, and that the mutant stronghold in the Morlock Tunnels has been discovered, as was their intention when they vacated at the start of their counterattack. At that moment, Orchis agents trudge through the tunnels, and one of them reports that the tributary tunnels are empty. 'This is a waste of time' one of them declares. 'No...this is a trap' another utters as they shine their torch on a wall and find Logan a.k.a. Wolverine grinning back at them. 'I think that's my line, bub' Wolverine snarls. 'The Wolverine!' one of the operatives shouts as Logan leaps towards the Orchis agents and begins slicing his way through them with his claws. Bullets are fired, guns are sliced in half and much blood is drawn. Limbs are severed, heads are decapitated, until eventually, all of the Orchis agents lay in a heap at Wolverine's feet.

'Our enemies are desperate for mutant massacres. Let us oblige and see how they care for it. They can face the Wolverine. Glad we are, in these dark days, for his talents. I'm hearing our friends in Madripoor need help...they shall have it' Emma telepathically announces.

Back in Lowtown, Madripoor, Callisto has been strung up on a cross, and one of the Reavers warns the locals that anybody hiding muties is gonna get treated like one. Suddenly, Kate Pryde a.k.a. Shadowkat appears. 'My friend's not your decoration, Free Callisto. Or die. Or maybe free her and die...I haven't decided yet' Shadowkat declares, narrowing her eyes. 'Careful boys, this one is the ghost!' one of the Reavers warns his teammates as Shadowkat races towards the group – and quickly cuts her one of them in half. 'Boo!' she jokes. As Shadowkat starts to free Callisto, Callisto asks how the war is going. 'This all seems pretty terrible' she adds. 'Great. So great. Only thing left is to plan a ticker-tape paradae' Shadowkat replies sarcastically. 'Just tell me when we're gonna win this thing – and save some of 'em for me!' Callisto grins, before she shoves a knife into the face of one of the Reavers, who screams. The two women fight alongside each other, and Shadowkat wonders why the Reavers are clearing out their beachhead in Madripoor, and why now. 'I can shed some light on that' a voice calls out.

'Hello, Kate. I should've known you would be the one to come running when the post was stirred in Madripoor' Shinobi Shaw declares as he strides towards the battleground. 'Shinobi $#%&!^& Shaw!' Callisto snarls, raising her dagger to him, she warns him that he is about to be blinder than she is. But Kate phases Shinobi, and Callisto falls through him, as Kate decides to hear Shinobi out. 'Allow me' Shinobi remarks, helping Callisto to stand up, he informs her that there is a vessel on its way to Madripoor, and that his father has shed his snakeskin once again. 'Thought old Sebastian had got rid of his X-Gene and become human' Callisto replies. 'Indeed. But he's hedging his bets' Shinobi responds. Shinobi boasts that his father is a survivor, and reveals that he is currently helping a former V.I.P. from orchis hide from the war with enough toys to rebuild the organization. 'If the mutants lose, this man can help rebuild Orchis. If the mutants win, my father would bring this man in and be a hero' Shinobi explains, before revealing that he is throwing his lot in with the mutants, and playing his father's card for him. 'You see, it's Dr. Killian Devo, the founder of Orchis, whom Sebastain is attempting to hide in Madripoor' Shinobi announces.

On a large container ship, amongst the many colored containers stacked high, the crazed Dr. Killian Devo sniffs the air, and detects mutants. 'This will not do at all' he decides, and is about to press the button on some sort of weapon – when suddenly, a portal opens and several of the X-Men appear before him. 'I see I have been betrayed' Dr. Devo realizes. Emma Frost is among the X-Men present, and she telepathically contacts Shadowkat, informing her that her intel was right on the money. With Emma are Wolverine, Forge, Illyana Rasputin a.k.a. Magik, Everett Thomas a.k.a. Synch and Kamala Khan a.k.a. Ms. Marvel. 'Not completely unexpected' Dr. Devo decides, before he presses the button on the weapon, and several containers around the X-Men open up. 'Aw, crud' Logan snarls as the six X-Men find themselves pulled into an energy field that is being housed in the containers.

'It is imperative that I survive so that Orchis can be reconstituted. These are projectors to the Negative Zone!' Dr. Devo declares, to which Wolverine asks Forge if he has something for this. 'Uh, not at the moment' Forge responds. Dr. Devo smiles and reveals that when the mutate Reed Richards was missing, his intellectual property fell into the hands of Damage Control, and was then confiscated by Orchis. 'I had wanted to see mutants wiped off the face of the Earth, but I will settle for ostracizing you lot in another dimension' Devo boasts. Wide-eyed, Emma asks Magik if she can do something, but as she is thrown about in the energy field, Magik shouts 'I'm trying!' Emma discovers that Devo no longer has a human mind she can control, as his brain was completely scooped out and rewritten by Omega Sentinel. Ms. Marvel extends an arm and grabs Emma, urgently telling her that she has to make a long-distance call. 'Ah, I see. Well, Ms. Marvel... your plan can't make matters worse' Emma responds.

A moment later, psychic projections of Emma and Ms. Marvel appear in Castle Doom, Latveria, where Dr. Doom is standing over a large battle-ground chess board as Ms. Marvel exclaims 'Excuse me, Mr. Lord Chancellor Doom, sir!' without looking at the psychic manifestations that have invaded his space, 'This had best be important, young woman' Doom remarks, before stating that he assumes this is regarding the X-Men's incompetent attempt to destroy Orchis and return to Earth. 'We need the New Mutants!' Ms. Marvel utters. 'I don't think that is what anyone is calling them, darling' Emma points out, before asking Doom to allow her to show him the predicament they are in. Doom narrows his eyes as he learn what faces the X-Men. 'Devo did say he intends to cleanse the Earth. Which is my purview. And I despise him using Richards' feeble accomplishments' Doom decides, before raising a fist: 'Deploy the X-Men – of Doom!' he bellows. 'Slag, Volta and Nerium, go and show the world what it means to be... the tip of Latveria's spear' Doom instructs his team.

A moment later, the trio of Latverian mutants emerge through a portal straight onto the container ship, and Volta shoves ann energy spear straight through Devo's chest, killing him in spectacular display, as he screams and strange energy is emitted from his mouth. Slag begins breaking up the containers housing the Negative Zone energy field off the container ship, and asks Nerium if she has any idea where they are. 'Somewhere in Asia, I think... from the pollen in the air' the nature-infused mutant responds as she uses her enhanced strength to tip over some of the containers, and as a result, the X-Men fall from the containers down onto the ship. 'Ms. Marvel. My mutant friend' Slag calls out as he and Ms. Marvel high-five each other. 'Slag, nice save!' Ms. Marvel exclaims, before looking at her hand which burns after touching Slag's.

Devo appears to still alive, propped up in a standing position by the spear, he utters 'This can't be the end...Orchis must survive. I mmust survive'. 'Well. You simply didn't' Volta snaps as she yanks her spear from Devo's body and reduces him to a pile of ashes. The mutants gather together, and Wolverine and Volta shake hands, and Wolverine starts to tell Volta that he and a few mutants once pulled the original X-Men out of a fire on Krakoa, but Volta tells him to save his breath, as she has no interest in joining the X-Men. 'Yeah, that's what all the best ones say' Wolverine smiles, before suggesting that there is a lot more scrapping to do, so they need to go and save the world. 'And to that end, I'm patching us all in with Cyclops' Emma announces.

'It's nice to hear your voice in my head again, darling' Emma tells Cyclops, before informing him that he is on the resistance radio. On Earth's moon, inside the Summer House, Scott Summers a.k.a. Cyclops reports that Dr. Alia Gregor is dead. 'Well done. Chalk up another high-value target' Emma responds. But Cyclops reveals that it was not him, and that it is a long story. 'I see' Emma responds. Cyclops is backed up against a wall by Nimrod, who asks 'You're telepathically telling the X-Men about me, aren't you?' while the remains of Dr. Alia Gregor can be seen at his feet. 'If I killed you now, would they feel it?' Nimrod asks, before slamming Cyclops to the ground and telling him that his death does not matter. 'We are going to become something bigger and more powerful than you can imagine. We will be part of god' Nimrod boasts, before walking towards a portal, and telling Cyclops to come and see if he dares.

Clutching his throat, Cyclops reports that there is a problem: 'The entirety of Orchis was a Trojan horse... of machine death'. Cyclops reveals that the goal was to pit mutants against humans in a war so that none of them looked up – and now, their greatest threat is in the stars above their heads. 'The artificial intelligence never wanted to save humanity, Emma' Scott utters, as he declares that Nimrod, Omega Sentinel and Moira were all biding their time and building a great machine, and now...Sentinel City is rising!'

Characters Involved: 

Cyclops, Forge, Emma Frost, Magik, Ms. Marvel VI, Shadowkat, Synch, Wolverine (all X-Men)


Shinobi Shaw


Dr. Killian Devo, Dr. Alia Gregor, Nimrod (all Orchis)


Nerium, Slag, Volta (all Agents of Doom)

Dr. Doom


Flag-Smasher V


Unnamed Reavers


Orchis agents

Stark Sentinels


(in flashback)

Sebastian Shaw/Black King, Shinobi Shaw/Black Bishop (both Hellfire Club)

Hellfire Club guards and attendants

Story Notes: 

Doom's X-Men previously appeared in X-Men (6th series) #28-29.

Dr. Alia Gregor was killed by Nimrod in Fall of the House of X #3.

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