X-Men (6th series) #7

Issue Date: 
March 2022
Story Title: 
The Secret Origin of Captain Krakoa

Gerry Duggan (writer), Pepe Larraz (artist), Marte Gracia (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Clayton Cowles (letterer & production), Tom Muller (designer), Pepe Larraz & Marte Gracia (cover artists), Russell Dauterman & Matthew Wilson (Trading card variant cover artists); Jim Cheung (sketch 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: 

Not long ago, Dr Stasis gave a dozen or so of his chimeras a potion which turned them blood-thirsty. He set them loose on New York City, where they started to wreck havoc. Cyclops, Synch, Wolverine and Sunfire arrive to put a stop to the situation. Cyclops demonstrates his powers in a spectacular way, while Dr Stasis observes the battle from an ambulance nearby. Sunfire unwittingly blows up a building with his powers when he lightly blasts one of the chimera – but the potion that Dr Stasis gave them is unstable, causing the explosion. Sunfire and Synch team up to put the fire out and rescue civilians trapped inside. In doing this, Synch uses his powers in a way he hasn't before, by syncing with Jean Grey's telekinetic abilities, even though she is not present. Dr Stasis sends his assistant, the chimera called Bornan, into the fray. Bornan steals a baby from a stroller, and when Cyclops attempts to rescue the baby, Bornan slices his throat. The baby is safe, but Cyclops collapses to the ground. Dr Stasis finishes him off with a scalpel, and whispers his location to Cyclops, curious as to whether he will remember that when he is resurrected. A crowd of civilians begins to gather around as Wolverine finds Cyclops' dead body. In the aftermath, Cyclops is resurrected. Emma Frost is there to greet him, but refuses to tell him how he died. Cyclops wants to get back out there with the X-Men, but is informed that he can't – because his death was very public. Cyclops and Jean later meet with the Quiet Council as Forge and Jumbo Carnation reveal the Captain Krakoa costume. Cyclops tells Jean that Ben Urich no longer remembers anything about the mutant resurrection story he was working on, and warns Jean that he thinks the X-Men are about to go to war – with the Quiet Council and with their mysterious enemy, who seems to be one step ahead of them. And, in his laboratory, Dr Stasis looks at a glass tank where a pair of jeans, a jacket and a baseball cap are on display.

Full Summary: 

(Not long ago)
Under a particularly evil part of New Jersey, where a dozen or so mutated animals are gathered on a platform in a strange laboratory. A man can be seen standing near several computer monitors. 'Welcome, my friends' he calls. 'Everyone hold! Three... two... one – cheese!' another mutated animal, standing separate from the others, remarks as he takes a photograph of the others. 'What is “cheese”?' a strange pig-bird hybrid asks. 'A power word, obviously' a mutated reptile responds. A  tray of glasses filled with champagne hovers in the air as the mysterious figure near the computer monitors starts to walk down some stairs to the platform with the animals. He wears a purple and red costume, with a cape draped to one side, and a helmet over his head. He thanks the animals and tells them that he wanted to get a photograph to remember them all by. 'Today is the day we spoke about. The great war will begin before the sun sets. Earth will long remember the blow that you brave chimeras strike against mutantdom today' he tells them, before instructing the tiger-ape hybrid, Bornan, to print that photograph. 'Of course' Bornan responds, addressing the man as Dr Stasis.

'A toast, my friends' Dr Stasis calls out as he takes one of the champagne glasses from the floating tray. He lifts the glass up above his head as he makes his toast: 'To humanity...and the genomes under its dominion'. The chimeras are given the champagne, too, as Dr Stasis tells them that this is just a little something to put a pep in their paw's step – and to get their blood boiling. The glasses all begin to shatter as the animal hybrids drop them to the ground. Their eyes are red with rage, and their calm nature has been replaced with aggression as they screech and howl. 'Go, my friends – make war! I must have his body on a slab by dusk!' Dr Stasis exclaims. The chimeras begin to run and fly down a sewer tunnel, as Dr Stasis tells them to make him proud. He instructs Bornan to bring the van around. 'And if I don't return to New Jersey tonight, you know what to do' he  adds. 'I do, Dr Stasis' Bornan responds. 

(The aftermath)
'Welcome back' Emma Frost remarks as she sits in the Hatchery on Krakoa, sunlight gleaming down through the branches of the sprawling tree that sits in the center of this important location. Scott Summers a.k.a. Cyclops sits naked on the ground and covers his eyes with one of his hands. He pauses, before thanking Emma. Emma hands Scott a visor, and Scott climbs up onto the branch Emma sits on, a blanket partially wrapped around him, he puts his back against hers and asks 'Was... was it a good death?' 'Are any of them?' Emma responds. Scott places his head on Emma's shoulder and tells her that he doesn't know how he wakes up already tired, but that he should suit up and get back, as the X-Men need him. Emma informs Scott that he cannot possibly just return to the Treehouse. 'What happened?' Scott asks as he pulls away and turns to look at Emma. Emma faces Scott as she tells him that it was very public. 'Show me' Scott asks. But Emma turns away from him and tells him that she can't. 'I've avoided it, but the news hit like a bomb' she utters. 'I need to know...and I need to get back to the X-Men' Scott declares as he walks out of the hatchery, pulling the blanket around his waist. Emma watches Scott go, and telepathically contacts Jumbo Carnation, asking him to meet her in Forge's laboratory. 'Our nation has yet another emergency' she reports.

'RUN!' someone shouts as a subway train pulls up to a stop. Passengers run from the train as the chimeras can be seen aboard the train, attacking the civilians. One of them roars, while, up on above ground, an aquatic chimera hisses as it climbs the stairs to the surface. 'Bring us the mutant filth!' another of the chimera calls out.

At that moment, 'All right, X-Men. We're a little shorthanded with Polaris, Jean and Rogue on Arakko – but hopefully, you're all in the mood to fight monsters!' Cyclops calls out to his teammates – Laura Kinney a.k.a. Wolverine, Everett Thomas a.k.a. Synch and Shiro Yoshida a.k.a. Sunfire as they drop from the Treehouse, their home and headquarters. Sunfire boasts that they will make short work of whatever this is. 'Honestly, it's a nice change of pace from spaceships' Wolverine points out, before Cyclops asks Sunfire to lay down a firebreak. 'With pleasure' Sunfire replies as he flies around the chimeras, surrounding them with a ring of fire. 'Good. None of them got beyond us, got it? Now, because we're shorthanded... I'm gonna swing with the big stick!' Cyclops smiles as his optic visor begins to glow.

A powerful optic blast is then emitted from Cyclops' visor, and strikes one of the chimera. The blast rebounds up to a traffic light, and is then beamed out from each individual light in spectacular display. Two of the new beams of optic energy strike two other chimera, while the third blast strikes the wall of a building and is split into three new blasts. Two of them strike two chimera, while the third lands against another building, and splits into two, striking two more of the chimera. When the chips are down, every super hero team has that one person who steps up to turn the tide. Sometimes, that person is hefting a magic hammer, or throwing an unbreakable shield, but today, Scott Summers, the man who would become Cyclops, need only open his eyes to the problem. And in the blink of an eye, the day doesn't seem so lost anymore.

'When I see you go off like that, it takes me back to what you said back at the Hellfire Gala' Synch remarks as he drops down from above. 'Oh?' Cyclops asks as he punches a large chimera. 'Being honest, I thought you were a little full of it when you campaigned for the election...' Synch explains. He remembers what Cyclops said at the X-Men vote at the Hellfire Gala: “I am the X-Men”, and as he copies Cyclops' power and unleashes a powerful optic blast at the same time Cyclops does, Synch asks '... but where was the lie?'

'Don't make me stick you!' Wolverine warns a chimera who lurches towards a civilian. The chimera begins to howl, so Wolverine exclaims 'Bad! Bad monster! Liches get stitches! Don't make me do it!' The chimera then calms down and looks sheepish, turns and runs away, afraid. 'That was the ugliest damn...whatever I've seen' Wolverine remarks. The civilian tells her that she should have killed it, to which Wolverine suggests that the man do his own killing.

Nearby, an ambulance is parked down an alley. Dr Stasis is inside, monitoring his chimeras. 'Dammit... we're not getting what we need' he remarks as he looks at several monitors. Dr Stasis opens a curtain to the front of the van and tells Bornan that he needs him to get in the game. 'As you wish, Dr Stasis' Bornan replies as he lumbers out of the ambulance. Dr Stasis has worked hard to make sure the dominoes fell correctly today. Combining his own resources with the considerable might of Orchis opened up new possibilities for his animal-human hybrids.

Two of the chimera break into a building where civilians are on an escalator. Sunfire flies in and fires a blast at one of them. He didn't hit it hard – he didn't have to. The extremely flammable serum pumping through the hearts of these beasts was a trap for Sunfire – and an instant later, the building explodes, and Sunfire is knocked back out onto the street. 'I didn't hit it that hard. Oh god' Sunfire utters. Suddenly, 'HELP US!' Two women scream from a window up above where the fire rages. Synch sees them, 'Need to sync with...' he begins as telekinetic energy begins to flow around him. 'Shiro, I'll take the fire!' Synch calls out as he begins to trap the fire within a telekinetic bubble. 'I'll get the humans!' Sunfire calls back to Synch. Divide and conquer – a tried and true tactic to win almost any battle. 'With me, quickly!' Sunfire tells the women as he pulls them from the burning building, dropping down to the ground, where Synch has burned the fire out within the telekinetic bubble. 'Let it burn...eat the oxygen' he utters. Sunfire approaches Synch and asks him how he was able to sync up with Jean even though she is in space. 'Wild, right?' Synch grins, before he collapses to the pavement.

Suddenly, 'OUT OF MY WAY, ONE-EYE!' Bornan shrieks as he rushes past a woman pushing a stroller, and yanks the baby out of the stroller. 'Never. Now gently hand that baby over, and -' Cyclops begins, before Bornan shouts 'WANT THE PUP?' and throws the baby into the air. 'Catch!' Bornan exclaims. Cyclops rushes forward and leaps into the air, where he cagtches the baby. Bornan lashes out and rakes his claws across Cyclops as he makes the leap. Save the world every day. That's the job of the X-Men. And Cyclops will not fail... no matter the cost. Bornan scurries away as Cyclops lands on the ground. The woman runs over and takes the baby as Cyclops passes the baby to her. Scott suddenly sees blood dripping down his body – from his neck. Bornan sliced him across his neck. Cyclops gasps as he falls into some trash cans on the street.

Bornan watches from an alley nearby, as an ambulance drives towards Cyclops. 'Ooh. That looks bad' the ambulance officer remarks as he steps out onto the pavement, and sees Cyclops laying in the trash, blood pooling around him. This isn't any regular ambulance driver – it's Dr Stasis. He puts his hands on Cyclops and tells him that there is good news and bad news – the good is that it wasn't a complete cut of his carotid artery...then he pulls out a scalpel and announces the bad news as he slices the scalpel across Scott's neck: '...the bad news is... now your carotid's finished!' Blood sprays into the air, and Dr Stasis leans in and tells Cyclops that he wants to try a little experiment. 'I'm going to tell you exactly where to find me, and let's see if you can remember when you come back'. He then leans in closer and whispers his location to Cyclops. Dr Stasis quickly returns to his ambulance as Wolverine rushes towards Cyclops. 'I'm sorry. There was nothing I could do for him' Dr Stasis lies as Wolverine runs past him. Civilians begin to gather around as Wolverine drops to her knees and covers her face as she cries.

And that's the story of how, in front of the world, the best X-Man fell... and paved the way for the arrival of Captain Krakoa.

'Honestly? Every X-Man should be rocking my new gear' Forge remarks as he holds up the helmet for the Captain Krakoa costume. 'I wish it was a little more “form” and a little less “function”!' Jumbo Carnation exclaims as he and Forge stand in the middle of the Quiet Council. Cyclops and Jean Grey stand behind Emma Frost and a bored looking Sebastian Shaw. Magneto can be seen, listening. Cyclops projects his thoughts to Jean, telling her that he doesn't remember anything about the day. 'Not surprising, but -' Jean begins, to which Scott reveals that Urich knew about resurrection, until he didn't. He asks Jean to look back on his chat with Ben the other night. 'Oh. You don't think I erased Ben's memories, do -' Jean starts to ask. 'No. Just making sure, because... because we may be in for a two-front war. One with the Quiet Council, and of course, we have a much bigger problem... somebody is playing a dangerous game with us. And they're ahead. And I'm really pissed off' Cyclops declares.

And, in his laboratory, Dr Stasis looks up at a glass tank containing a pair of jeans, a jacket and a baseball cap....

Characters Involved: 

Captain Krakoa/Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Sunfire, Synch, Wolverine III (all X-Men)|
Emma Frost, Magneto, Sebastian Shaw (all Quiet Council)
Jumbo Carnation

Dr Stasis


Story Notes: 

Polaris and Rogue appear on the regular cover to this issue, but not in the issue itself.

Captain Krakoa debuted in X-Men (6th series) #6.

Cyclops phoned Ben Urich last issue to talk about mutant resurrection, only for Ben to tell him that he had no idea idea what he was talking about, despite Ben having worked on this story since X-Men (6th series) #1.

This issue includes a text-only medical report from Ceceila Reyes in which she talks about Synch's powers. This report follows the one she issued in X-Men (5th series) #5, before Synch entered the Vault.

This issue also includes a text-only briefing on the Earth-Arakko-Relay (EAR) which is a satellite system known only to the Quiet Council, the X-Men, Krakoa's telepaths and Forge.

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