X-Men (6th series) #5

Issue Date: 
January 2022
Story Title: 
Fearless, chapter five: Don't Piss off Polaris

Gerry Duggan (writer), Javier Pina & Ze Carlos (artists), Erick Arciniega (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Clayton Cowles (letterer & production), Tom Muller (designer), Pepe Larraz & Marte Gracia (cover artists), Iban Coello & Alejandro Sanchez (Stormbreaker variant cover artists); Jamie McKelvie (variant cover artist), Jonathan Hickman (Head of X), Lauren Amaro (assistant editor),  Jordan D White (editor), CB Cebulski (editor-in-chief)

X-Men created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby

Brief Description: 

Earlier in the week, Polaris uses her skills – but mutant and doctoral – to prevent a nuclear meltdown at a power plant, by carrying excess radiation into space. She works alongside her X-Men teammates to battle mutated animals – New Men – in Central Park. She begins to suspect that someone is watching the X-Men through cameras on the animals, but when she starts to investigate, the person watching – the mysterious Dr Stasis – ends the transmission. Polaris stands over a dead seal-dog, a tiny creature, which Wolverine accuses her of killing, and tells her she is harsh. Today, the X-Men have been attacked by several Reavers, who are in Mexico, tasked with disrupting local elections. Polaris wakes after being knocked unconscious, and is furious that her shades have been broken and coffee has been spilled. She thinks back to the Hellfire Gala, and how when it came time for the X-Men Vote, Jean Grey telepathically changed what Polaris told all of mutantkind – she never wanted to join the new X-Men team, but Jean changed what Polaris told everyone, and so she was elected to the team. Polaris turns her attention to the Reavers, and uses her power to lift up Wolverine, and magnetically controls her, using her as a weapon against the Reavers, slashing at them with Wolverine's claws. One of the Reavers uses an ability which blinds Polaris. Without her shades, she is momentarily taken out of action, before she demonstrates that she doesn't need her eyes to “see” and uses the electromagnetic spectrum to see the filings in the Reavers' teeth – and yanks them out of their mouths with a magnetic surge. Wolverine wakes and see what Polaris has done. She makes reference to Polaris killing that seal dog, and starts attacking the Reavers. Polaris then takes the sunglasses off of the Reaver who blinded her. Polaris finds Synch and helps him up, to which Wolverine acknowledges that she and Synch have to talk soon. Cyclops rallies the locals to come and cast their votes, while Polaris confronts Jean about what happened at the Hellfire Gala, and Jean tells her that she heard what Polaris was originally planning to say, before she talked herself out of it, so she changed her thoughts back to their original ones. Polaris realizes that Jean is right, and Jean tells Polaris that the X-Men need her as much as she needs the X-Men. Later, the X-Men hold a banquet for the homeless beneath their treehouse home in New York City. Ben Urich comes to talk to Cyclops, and tells him that he knows that he and others died in space, and yet, here he stands before him. They are being watched by a mysterious figure, and Cyclops remains silent as Ben tells him what he has uncovered, before giving him a day to respond with any comments.

Full Summary: 


The X-Men's old foes, the Reavers, have been made anew in the Krakoan era. They were mercenaries and soldiers who had been injured while trying to kill mutants, recruited by the Verendi government in Madripoor and enhanced with the latest close quarter combat technology. Today, the Reavers have been hired by autocratic forces in Mexico to disrupt elections, and minutes ago the X-Men have arrived to disrupt them. Unfortunately for the mutants of Krakoa, the Reavers have come prepared for them, armed with nonlethal, fast acting tranquilizer darts that interfere with the X-gene. It looks like it's going to be one of those days.

Several Reavers move towards Shiro Yosida a.k.a. Sunfire, a train has crashed behind them. 'Don't come any closer, or you will discover the hard way...that the pain of burns never really abates!' Sunfire warms the Reavers as flames burst up around him. His teammates, Scott Summers a.k.a. Sunfire and Everett Thomas a.k.a. Synch lay motionless at his feet. But, before Sunfire can release the flame at the unknown Reavers, he is shot in the back of his neck, and drops to his knees. 'You X-Men are so arrogant' one of the Reavers calls out. 'We knew you would show up if we made enough trouble' another exclaims, before Sunfire passes out.

Nearby, on some grass, Lorna Dane a.k.a. Polaris wakes, 'What hit me?' she asks as she rubs her head. 'And where's...? No... oh, no... this is awful' Lorna utters as she turns and sees Jean Grey lying unconscious nearby – but then she crawls over, and reaches past Jean Grey – for her a takeaway coffee cup with “Lorna” scrawled on it. 'Dammit' mutters as she discovers her coffee has been spilled, and next to that, her sunglasses have been smashed. Annoyed, Lorna puts the smashed glasses over her eyes and frowns. 'Okay, boys. You may have taken out the rest of my team, dumped my flat white and busted my glasses, but...ya also really pissed me off'. Lorna then magnetically lifts another of her teammates, Laura Kinney a.k.a. Wolverine, up in the air.

(Flashback to the Hellfire Gala)

Mutantdom's most extravagant party is underway, and come to a crucial point in the evening. Dr Strange is a guest at the Hellfire Gala, and notes that this is quite interesting, as all of the mutants are voting telepathically to see who will serve on the new team of X-Men. 'Your turn, Polaris' Jean Grey remarks. 'Oh, whatever... just not me' Polaris responds. 'Tsk' Jean tells her friend as she telepathically changes what Polaris said to “Just pick me”. 'Wait? What?' Polaris exclaims, shocked. 'And there we are' Jean Grey announces. 'Oh, God' Lorna mutters, blushing, as she, Sunfire, Synch, Rogue, Laura Kinney and Cyclops gather around Jean Grey who presents the X-Men to Krakoa and the world.


'I promise you I don't need this hard hat' Polaris remarks via a radio communicator as she stands inside some power plant facility. 'You might be able to generate a force-field that can block radiation, but we're governed by OSHA. We have safety rules' one of the power plant's scientists responds via the communicator. 'Yeah, but evidently not enough though, right?' Lorna remarks as she inspects some rods which appear to have fallen into a vat. 'What was that, Dr Dane?' one of the scientists asks. 'Nothing' Lorna tells him, surrounded by a magnetic force field to keep herself safe. The doctor appears nervous as he explains to Polaris that they need all of the control rods into the pile. 'Wait. Our? Or in? Out? This wasn't covered in my doctorate' Lorna exclaims. Suddenly, another scientist reports that they are approaching meltdown. 'Uh. To hell with it. Don't worry. I got this' Polaris responds as she encases the rods in a magnetic bubble. 'It's beautiful. Like a lightning bug in a jar' she smiles. 'A lightning bug that could kill us all in seconds. I wish I could see it' one of the scientists laments.

'Can do. I'll swing by on my way out' Polaris tells him. She leaves the plant with the rods contained in her magnetic bubble, but the scientists follow her outside, and one of them shouts 'You can't have that slag around here!' to which Polaris tells him that it is not staying. 'It is beautiful. This will need to be stored for thousands of years. A poison pill buried under our feet' one of the scientists remarks. Lorna adjusts her sunglasses as she replies 'Yeah, well – Dr Dane has a better idea than that', before she contacts her teammate, Rogue.

Shortly, the X-Men's jet, the Proudstar, streaks towards Earth's sun, carrying the stricken power plant reactor and its poisonous fuel. Polaris may have saved countless lives by containing the accident – but some days, nothing can pull her from melancholy's grip. Lorna glances out the window and stares at the radiation within the magnetic bubble, while Rogue, piloting the jet, informs Polaris that she is going to bank hard then let her rip. 'Okay, Polaris?' Rogue asks. 'Yep' Lorna smiles, putting her glasses on. Rogue asks Lorna if there is anything she wants to talk about, but Lorna replies 'Nope. I'm good'.


In Central Park, Cyclops, Synch and Rogue are fighting several of the evolved New Men. 'So... what's with all the monsters lately?' Rogue asks as she punches a large grasshopper creature. 'It's less about the monsters -' Cyclops begins as he fires an optic blast. ' - and more about the monster makers' Synch explains, as he copies Cyclops' power. Synch tells Rogue that the High Evolutionary said they weren't prepared for the scale of this conflict, and wonders if this is what the High Evolutionary meant.

Nearby,:'Oh my god. Somebody made a seal terrier. It's okay, I don't really want to fight you' Lorna remarks as she approaches the small dog-seal hybrid creature, when she notices a small camera hanging from the seal-dog's collar. 'Who's watching us?' Lorna asks, looking into the camera.

At an undisclosed location, someone is indeed watching the X-Men through the camera. His face is obscured, but he wears a costume with a cape and large collar. 'Smart cookie, Polaris. Correction: Dr Polaris. She did the work and earned the title' he declares, before pressing a large red button on the console in front of him. 'As for you, Sealmeranian... everyone fights for Dr Stasis, or you shall face the consequences!' the scientist declares.

At that moment, the creature – Sealimeranian – drops dead. 'That's cold, Dane' Wolverine remarks as she looks over, with blood dripping from her claws. 'No, it wasn't me! I didn't do anything!' Lorna calls back.


'We bagged the X-Men, boys!' one of the Reavers boasts. One of them suggests that they might be able to get a better deal than the one they were offered. 'Maybe Legacy House would pay us more!' he proposes, while another wonders what the X-Men are really worth. Suddenly, the Reavers all turn when they hear a SNIKT noise, and see Polaris hovering before them, magnetically manipulating the unconscious Wolverine, and having popped Wolverine's claws, while ditching her broken sunglasses. 'Your lives' Polaris tells the Reavers. 'I don't want to fight hyou, and Wolverine doesn't either because she's unconscious. But I need answers' Polaris warns them, adding that they will tell her who put them up to this, while her friend here cuts the weapons right off of them.

Polaris then hurls Wolverine towards the Reavers, and controls her claws, cutting her way through the surprised Reavers, one of whom screams as one of their limbs is hacked off. 'We ain't talking and our minds are shielded – we know yer tricks!' one of the Reavers boasts. The Reaver begins to remove their sunglasses, and adds that they thought the X-Men would be tougher. 'You $#%&^!* around, now find out!' Polaris replies, before that Reaver tells her they will see whether she can puppet her friend when she herself can't see, and releases a powerful blinding flare from their eyes.

'Aah! I... underestimated you' Polaris admits, rubbing her eyes. 'You actually have a brain in that head... but so do I!' Polaris declares, her eyes closed, she begins to release a magnetic wave, and tells the Reavers that she doesn't just see the world with her eyes – she sees it on the electromagnetic spectrum. She sees the iron in their blood, and the metal fillings in their teeth. 'To me, my fillings!' Polaris jokes as she magnetically yanks the fillings from the Reavers' mouths, causing some of them to cry out in pain, and clutch their mouths which fill with blood.

'Ugh, what am I -?' Wolverine asks as she wakes. 'Geez, first you kill that weird dog, and now this.. .remind me not to piss you off' Wolverine tells Polaris, before she grabs a street sign and smashes it into the Reavers. Calling them “CHUDs” she tells them that they've had their fun, now they need to shoo. 'My mouf!' one of the Reavers cries out.

Polaris flies over to the Reaver who blinded her. 'And you, the rude one... your transgressions will cost you something more' Polaris declares, as she takes the Reaver's shades and puts them on over her own eyes. Wolverine kneels on one of the Reavers and notes that they came prepared for the X-Men, before asking Polaris how long she swung her around. 'I needed a hand, and you were handy' Polaris replies, before telling Wolverine that she is sorry, while helping Synch to his feet. Wolverine rubs her head and tells Polaris that it is okay, she just wants to know what happened when she was out. Wolverine looks over at Synch and tells him that she knows they need to talk soon. 'Yeah... I'm around' Synch responds.

Cyclops stands on top of the train wreckage and calls out to the locals, telling them that it is safe for them to come out and cast their ballots, while Jean Grey makes the same announcement telepathically. Polaris goes over to Jean and asks her if they can talk. 'Of course' Jean tells her telepathically. 'No, talk' Lorna remarks. They walk side-by-side across some grass, with Jean telekinetically gathering up one of the unconscious Reavers, and Lorna remarks that something has really been bothering her. Jean deposits the Reaver in a nearby dumpster, while Lorna asks 'Why did you do this to me? Why did you change what I said back at the Hellfire Gala? This is hard for me. I dunno if I'm right for this or right for this right now'. Lorna asks Jean why she lied for her, and reminds her that she was thinking “just not me”.

'I didn't lie' Jean Grey replies. 'It's true you said that telepathically, but I heard what you told yourself before that: “Just pick me” became “Just not me”. I went with your first impulse. Not the one where you talked yourself out of succeeding' Jean smiles. 'Ugh. It's so annoying when you're right, and changing what I said is so you' Lorna replies. 'You're welcome. You need the X-Men as much as the X-Men need you, Polaris' Jean tells her friend, touching her on her nose.

Later, the festivities at Seneca Gardens are underway, with Sunfire, Polaris and Synch serving food to the hungry. The X-Men have many traditions, and now a new one – because Krakoa provides, and its abundance is shared with human friends who are not so fortunate. This generosity is noted by Ben Urich of the Daily Bugle, who arrives at the Gardens. Cyclops greets Ben and asks him if he has come to help feed their neighbors. Ben tells Cyclops that this is a good thing they are doing, but he actually has a matter to discuss with him, and asks if he can take a walk with him. 'It's cute that the reporter thinks a little distance could give him any privacy from us' Emma Frost remarks to Jean Grey as they help serve food to the needy. 'That man is trouble' Jean replies. 'Indeed... but which gentleman are you referring to?' Emma asks, frowning.

Cyclops and Ben walk down a street away from the Gardens, and Ben tells Cyclops that he is sorry to take him away from his friends. 'My family' Cyclops corrects Ben. 'Noted' Ben replies. Ben then tells Cyclops that he has a story to tell, but not to get too excited, as he already knows this one. 'Mr Urich -' Cyclops begins. 'Hang on. Humor me. Not long ago, you travel to space. A fight breaks out. You go up... but you don't come back, do you? You die up there...but here you stand' Ben Urich declares, and Cyclops falls silent. 'Only – it's not just you, is it? It's Jumbo. It's somebody named “Nathan Summers” who I'm guessing is related to you. His grave in Westchester is empty' Ben exclaims.

Cyclops and Ben are seemingly unaware that in an apartment nearby, someone is watching them, recording them through a camera. 'Oh my, look at him squirm' they remark to themselves, a helmet sitting on a table next to them.

Ben informs Cyclops that he had the story already, and the cards on the table – and he thinks Scott's enemies do, too. 'I'll be honest with you, Scott. It's maybe the biggest story in, well... over two thousand years, right?' Ben asks. He admits that he doesn't know the “how” yet, but declares that mutantdom has solved for death. 'Isn't that right?' he asks. Cyclops doesn't answer, and Ben claims that he doesn't waste ink on personal stuff, but that this is monumental. 'You understand. It doesn't just give you a nation...it gives you a dominion' Ben points out. Ben then turns and walks away, informing Scott that he isn't done writing the piece, and that he will give him a day to think about what, if any, comment he wants to make. Cyclops says nothing.

Characters Involved: 

Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Polaris, Rogue, Sunfire, Synch, Wolverine III (all X-Men)

Emma Frost




Dr Stasis


Unnamed Reavers


Sealmeranian and other unnamed New Men


(in flashback)

Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Polaris, Rogue, Sunfire, Synch, Wolverine III (all X-Men)

Banshee, Bishop, Cannonball, Emma Frost, Iceman, Penance, Psylocke II

Dr Strange


Story Notes: 

Polaris has been frequently depicted carrying a takeaway coffee cup throughout X-Men (6th series).

The new team of X-Men was announced during the “Hellfire Gala” event. 

Polaris recently completed her doctorate in geophysics, so she does indeed hold the title of doctor.

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