X-Men '92 (2nd series) #5

Issue Date: 
September 2016
Story Title: 
The Adventures of Cyclops & Phoenix: The Last X-Man

Chris Sims & Chad Bowers (writers), Cory Hamscher (artist), Matt Milla (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Travis Lanham (letterer), David Nakayama (cover artist), Nicholas Russell (title page design), Heather Antos (assistant editor), Jordan D White (editor), Axel Alonso (editor in chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)


Brief Description: 

Cyclops and Jean Grey are on vacation in Anchorage, Alaska. They are enjoying a board game, before Jean tells Cyclops that she knows he doesn't want to go back to the X-Men, but reveals that she does. They walk through a door, and wake up, in their costumes, and certainly not in Anchorage. They are surrounded by cloaked figures, and one of them steps forward, the Phoenix a.k.a. Mother Askani. The old woman reveals that she has used the last of her power to bring Cyclops and Jean to the future. Leading them through the Askani hideout, Cyclops notices carvings of Apocalypse depicted on the wall. Mother Askani reveals what has happened in this timeline, before introducing Cyclops and Jean to Blaquesmith, and announces that the four of them are going on a mission. Cyclops isn't sure, and tells Jean he has a plan to get them home, but Jean wants to go with Mother Askani. Doors out of the hideout open, revealing their destination – the Citadel Sinister which is in the heart of the Savage Land. The quartet make their way there, encountering all sorts of foes on trhe way. When they get some respite, Cyclops and Mother Askani rest, while Jean and Blaquesmith talk about how Blaquesmith encountered Mother Askani. When they reach the Citadel Sinister, Cyclops and Jean fight various clones of themselves, fighting their way to a chamber, where they confront Sinister, who is watching over a capsule, where, inside, is a child. Sinister reveals some of his history with Apocalypse, and how he has used the DNA of Cyclops and Jean to create the mutant messiah. The child is pulled from the capsule, and Cyclops and Jean recognize him as Cable. Sinister suggests to the elderly Mother Askani that the boy is best left with him. Mother Askani uses the last of the Phoenix force to destroy Sinister, and without her power, Mother Askani is unable to anchor Cyclops and Jean in this time, they fade away, and Mother Askani dies, leaving young Nathan in the care of Blaquesmith. Cyclops and Jean find themselves transported to another time, where they are accused of being assassins of Alchemax by five strange beings calling themselves the X-Men!

Full Summary: 

Anchorage, Alaska, inside a house within some woods, where the ground is covered in snow. 'Stop, Jean – you're out of control!' exclaims Scott “Cyclops” Summers to Jean Grey as they sit beside an open fire place, playing a board game. 'Sorry, Bub, but I'm the best there is at what I do – and what I do is win every time!' Jean replies. Both are wearing warm sweaters as they play the game, which consists of figurines of Wolverine and Colossus. 'Again? Tell the truth – you're manipulating the dice with your telekinesis, aren't you?' Scott asks. 'I am now!' Jean declares as she uses her telekinesis to throw the board game into the air. Scott laughs and tells her that he surrenders. Jean leans into Scott, “I surrender?” she quotes him. 'The one thing I never thought I'd hear Scott Summers say' Jean points out. Scott pauses, before announcing that he is sitting on Wolverine. 'Spoke too soon' Jean decides, before Scott picks up the figurine of Wolverine and tells Jean 'Believe it or not, I actually miss this guy. Not the smell. Or the snoring. Or the smell' Scott exclaims.

Jean puts a hand on Scott's arm and tells him that they can always go back. 'Bet they'd even let us have our old room' she adds. 'No. Two weeks ago, I walked out of that mansion without so much as a clue as to where I'd end up. And now... I can't imagine being anywhere else but here' Scott tells Jean. 'With you' he adds. 'Oh, Scott...' Jean begins. Scott asks her what is wrong – if it was something he said. Jean turns away from him and tells him that no one deserves happiness more than he. 'All you've done for the team, the world, all the sacrifices you've made... it's more than anyone will ever know'. Jean folds her arms, 'You're finished with the X-Men. I accept that, I do... but what if I'm not?' Jean asks. Scott puts a hand on Jean's shoulder and tells her that he wants to spend the rest of his of his life with her. 'If that means I'm in love with a super hero, well... I can't think of a better one than Jean Grey'.

'Well, maybe Spider-Man' Scott jokes as he takes Jean's hand and starts to lead her towards the bedroom. 'Scott, I'm serious' Jean exclaims. Scott reminds Jean that everyone knows he is the serious one. 'But after all we've seen and done... c'mon, we can get through anything' Scott tells her. Jean tells Scott that she loves him, and that they have a beautiful life in front of them. 'Lord willing, Ms Grey' Scott tells her. The door closes behind them, and Scott suggests that, for once, they do not think about the future.

'They are awake!' a voice calls out, as Scott and Jean wake on golden slabs. Scott calls out to Jean, who moans. 'Our uniforms – Scott, where are we?' Jean asks, sitting up, they are wearing their uniforms, and surrounded by dozens of people on robes. 'Pretty sure it's not Anchorage' Scott points out, before asking 'What's going on here? Who are you people?'

Scott and Jean stand up and hold defensive poses. 'They are eager to fight' one of the figures in robes points out. 'You bet we are, mister. Now start talking – and fast' Scott exclaims, before Jean informs him that their minds are so different than anything she has felt before – they are so peaceful. The robed figure tells Cyclops and Jean that they mean them no harm. 'Do not lie to them!' a forceful voice cries out. Jean approaches the source of this voice – a person hidden under a hooded robe. 'They are in grave danger – as are we all! But we're working on changing that' the mysterious figure announces. 'Jean?' Scott calls out. Jean tells him that it is all right, before asking the mysterious figure 'I know you, don't I?' to which the figure replies 'Part of me, yes'. 'Um, Jean... introductions?' Cyclops asks. 'No need, Scott. You already know her...' Jean announces, as the woman removes her hood, revealing the withered, old face of Rachel Summers. 'The Phoenix' Jean declares.

'Please. Call me Rachel. Welcome to the year 3992' Rachel greets them. 'The future? How -' Cyclops shouts. Rachel explains that the power of the Phoenix is limitless. She coughs, and adds that it used to be, at least. Scott and Jean help the old woman to stand, and she tells them that pulling them forward through time has taken a lot out of her – neither she nor the Phoenix Force plan on being around much longer. 'But your spirit – it's so bright! You're not afraid...' Jean asks. 'Of dying? Not anymore' Rachel replies.

They walk through some sort of temple, with carvings along the wall. Jean helps Rachel down a flight of stairs, while Cyclops tells the old woman that she has his sympathies, but tells her that if she has brought them here to help save the Phoenix or something like that, then she is going to be disappointed. 'The universe is better off without' Scott declares. 'You are exactly as the legends describe' Rachel tells him, before she explains that the Phoenix's time has come to an end. 'Follow me. They're waiting for us below' she tells them. “They?” Jean asks.

Cyclops follows Jean and Rachel down the steps and looks at the drawings on the wall. He realizes that they are Apocalypse's life story. 'What is this, some kind of history lesson?' he asks. 'For some' Rachel replies. 'For others, like yourselves, a glimpse of what is yet to be' 'But... the X-Men destroyed him!' Jean points out. Rachel remarks that many have “destroyed” Apocalypse, but never permanently. She reveals that even now, in their present, he gathers new Horsemen and will soon usher in a period of unparalleled genocide. 'The X-Men would never let that happen' Cyclops states, to which Rachel points out that they stand in a world that proves they did. 'Magneto, too? Does anyone stay dead in the future?' Jean asks as she sees an image of Magneto amongst the drawings. Scott calls Jean over to look at anothrer drawing, and Rachel explains that when Apocalypse took his conquest to the stars, it was Mister Sinister who took his place, and his first act as “emperor” was to wipe out half the planet's population. An image of the Phoenix behind her, Rachel reveals that she saved those she could, but that they are on the precipice of extinction, and in desperation, she asked the Phoenix to guide her, to help her save what little world they had left.

'And what, it gave you us?' Scott asks. 'It did' Rachel tells him. 'That chanting I hear. What are they saying - “Ask can he”?' Jean enquires. They reach the bottom of the stairs, where others are waiting for them. 'Askani!' someone exclaims 'She has done it!' another shouts. 'Askani!' others cry out. 'The Slim and the Red!' another declares. 'Locked and loaded, Mother Askani. We're ready' a strange being calls out as Rachel removes her cloak, revealing a red spiked costume underneath.

Rachel introduces the strange being as Blaquesmith and informs Scott and Jean that he will be accompanying them. 'Hold on! We never agreed to -' Scott begins, but Jean interrupts him, asking for a word. 'Jean, I've got a plan to get us home -' Scott tells Jean, while some of the Askani Clan help Mother Askani into a golden suit of armor. Jean tells Scott that she is going with Mother Askani. 'I know you can't feel it in the same way I can, but... this entire world was razed by Apocalypse, and now Mister Sinister. They need the X-Men, Scott, and right now, I'm the only one they've got' Jean declares. 'Unless you know of another' she adds. Scott sighs, and tells Jean that she wins. 'Every time' Jean smiles.

Jean, Scott, Rachel and Blaquesmith stand before a large set of doors which start to open. The Askani Clan members stand around them. 'All right. We're in. But...is this everybody? Aren't we a little light on supplies?' Jean asks. Rachel explains that Blaquesmith is a master builder – it is his mutant power. 'Anything we don't have, he can make' she adds. Blaquesmith announces that the good news is the trip won't take long. But the bad news is – everything else. 'And where exactly is it we're headed?' Cyclops enquires. 'There' Mother Askani declares as the doors open, and motions up at a large statue of Mister Sinister. She calls it Citadel Sinister, and reveals that it is in the heart of the Savage Land. 'That is where our destiny lies' she announces. 'And you know this how?' a rather anxious Cyclops asks. 'The Phoenix told me' the old woman reveals. She announces that in the Askani Scrolls, it is written that a journey across the Savage Land one took mere moments, and at the height of its decadence, there were underground trains and mysterious beings called Taxik'aabs that would carry those they swallowed to their destination. 'But those days are gone! In this, the Sinister Century, you're more likely to run into...' Askani begins, before the quartet are surrounded by: '...Mauraders!' she shouts as deformed versions of heroes and villains appear.

'There's a void where their minds should be -' Jean calls out, to which Blaquesmith tells her to quit thinking at them and fight, as this is only gonna get worse. Shirtless, Cyclops punches a Deadpool Marauder in the face. 'Break his jaw, baby!' Jean calls out, while the Deadpool Marauder asks if this count as a cameo.

'Gimme a break!' Jean mutters as several Marauders resembling a strange being appear in a tunnel. The heroes continue on, as large tripods loom over them. 'Small brains. Still yummy' the tripods call down at the heroes, while further on, the heroes encounter a dinosaur that fires beams from its eyes. 'We have to be getting close!' Jean calls out as they dodge the creature's eye blast.

Closer to the citadel, Cyclops and Askani take some time to sleep, while Jean sits with Blaquesmith and asks him what he is working on. Blaquesmith tells her that is is something he found in the tunnels. Jean enquires as to how long he has known Rachel, and Blaquesmith reveals that he has since he was young. He explains that his parents used to steal food and medicine from the Askani, and one day they got caught – but they never cared much for how he looked, so they offered him in exchange for their freedom. Blaquesmith reveals that he repaired stoves and generators around the cloister, which got him noticed by Mother Askani herself, and since then he has been her right hand. 'I'm sorry, Blaquesmith, bringing us here – using the Phoenix to anchor us in your time. It's killing her, and I don't -' Jean begins, but Blaquesmith informs her that it is the very thing that is keeping her alive. Suddenly, 'Finished!' he shouts as he holds up the device he was tinkering with – a polaroid camera, which flashes as he takes a photo of Jean, who laughs.

The Citadel Sinister, Cyclops, Jean, Blaquesmith and Mother Askani enter the citadel with relative ease. 'For all the trouble we had getting here...I expected some kind of defenses at the building itself, this seems almost too -' Cyclops begins, but Jean interrupts him and tells him not to say it. Blaquesmith remarks that there is no need to worry about defenses, as no one has ever made it this far before. 'No...others have. And they're still here!' Mother Askani calls out. Jean announces that she feels it, too. A cluster of life – or something close to it – stimulated by their very presence here, just beyond the door up ahead. 'What are we up against, people?' Cyclops asks. 'We're about to find out...' Rachel remarks, as the door opens, and suddenly, various versions of Cyclops and Jean Grey appear. 'We are THE ESSEX MEN!' one version of Cyclops with a large face that covers most of his body announces. 'And you're not better than us!' an early version of Jean, in her green mini-dress costume exclaims.

Jean blocks and attack with a telekinetic field and asks 'What are they?' Cyclops fires an optic blast as Rachel reports that they are aberrations – by-products of Sinister's cloning experiments. 'Failed or not, they're still quite impressive' Blaquesmith states as he shoots one of the Cyclops clones. 'I'll – take that as a compliment, Blaquesmith!' Cyclops calls out as one of his clones knocks him to the ground and pins him down. 'Scott!' Jean shouts as she rushes over to Cyclops, who looks up and sees an X-Factor era Marvel Girl with what appear to be brains attached to her hands behind the real Jean. 'Don't worry about me, Jean – watch your back!' Cyclops calls out to his locer as he blasts the clone with a close-range optic beam. 'This way!' Blaquesmith calls out to everyone as he blasts a Jean clone away. 'Come on, Scott! I'll clear a path!' Jean calls out as Scott helps Rachel walk towards the door Blaquesmith has opened.

Rachel coughs, and Cyclops tells her to hang in there. Blaquesmith presses a button on a console, which seals the door behind them. He tells the others that it won't hold forever, but that it should buy them some time. 'Help me understand this – those things out there -' Scott begins, as Rachel explains that they are imperfect clones of he and Jean, grown from tainted genetic material. Jean remarks that Sinister has always been fixated on them, but points out that they are two thousand years in the future, and asks why he still cares, not to mention what it is he is doing here. 'It had to be you' Rachel utters. 'Are you all right?' Jean asks, while Cyclops frowns, and asks 'We're not here to destroy Sinister, are we, Rachel?' 'No' Rachel replies, turning from Scott and Jean, when suddenly, 'Oh, don't look so shocked!' a voice calls out, and Jean and Scott look up to see: 'Mister Sinister!' Cyclops shouts.

The bearded Sinister stands before Cyclops and Jean and greets them, telling them that they look just as he remember – flawless, unpolluted, a spotless canvas of genetic perfection. 'Yes, you'll do nicely' he declares, before turning away from everyone and telling Rachel that she did well. 'Rachel – you're working with him?' Cyclops shouts. Rachel replies 'No!' and explains that they have a shared goal. 'That is all. It was the only way'. Jean informs Scott that she tells the truth, that she senses no deception in either of them. Standing before some monitors, Sinister remarks 'Of course not. Who has the time for deception anymore?' and announces that Apocalypse is returning. 'And we've prepared quite the homecoming' Sinister remarks, motioning to a large egg-like pod, with an “X” on it. 'Are we supposed to be impressed?' Jean asks. Sinister reminds them that Apocalypse made him, and explains that after centuries in service, he longged for revenge. 'So when he charged me with tending his flock, naturally I tried to kill the sheep' Sinister then tells Jean and Cyclops that he found inspiration in those who survived, especially their descendant. 'Rachel?' Cyclops asks.


Sinister replies that Rachel's resilience proved even the end times were no match for the Summers-Grey bloodline, so when she came to him with a plan to defeat En Sabah Nur, he couldn't refuse. 'Please, have a look' Sinister asks Scott and Jean, who peer into the eff. 'Oh' Jean utters, while Cyclops tells Sinister that he is a monster. 'Perhaps' Sinister replies, clasping his hands together. 'But I think even you would agree, a force like Apocalypse needs a balance. And when one does not exist...nyou get creative'. Sinister remarks that when the subject's biology wouldn't stabilize, and he even tried techno-orgnaic bonding, Rachel suggested that they stop playing God and start playing Cupid. 'And that's where you come in'. But Cyclops tells Sinister to forget it. 'We won't be part of this!' he shouts, as a computer recording states that genetic harvest is complete. 'Stand by for recombination'. The computer then reports that subject CAB-1-L is stabilized.

Tears pour from an eye, as Sinister tells Jean and Cyclops that they already have – the moment they set foot inside the citadel, his nanomites began harvesting their DNA and feeding it into the birth matrix. 'A child crafted from the original DNA of Jean Grey and Scott Summers. The mutant messiah is born!' Sinister announces, before asking 'Care to meet our son?'

The egg glows. 'Jean, I -' Scott begins, while Jean tells Sinister to get him out of there. 'I've been calling him Nathan' Sinister remarks as a teenage boy emerges from the egg. His left arm and part of his chest are some sort of metal. 'Oh, Scott. He's...' Jean utters. 'Cable? Cable's our... son?' Scott asks. 'He's beautiful. He has your eyes' Jean smiles as she and Cyclops hold Nathan.

Blaquesmith suggests to Mother Askani that they should be leaving now, to which the old woman tells him to tend to the boy, and that she won't be long. 'You did your part, Sinister, and for that, I am grateful. But our truce is at an end. I will take the boy with me, and we are to speak of this day never again, understood?' Mother Askani declares. 'Of course, Mother Askani. But before you go – a proposition' Sinister replies. He tells Mother Askani to look around, and asks if the boy would not be better suited for his future here, with him. 'What's he saying? Rachel -' Jean begins, but Blaquesmith tells Jean that this is between Rachel and Sinister. Sinister points out that Rachel is old, and admits that he has seen better days himself, but that he stands a greater chance of molding Nathan into the enemy of Apocalypse that he is meant to be. 'Your life is at an end, Rachel. When you go, Scott and Jean's connection to this era will be broken, and they will return to their own time period'. Sinister points out that on that day, the boy will be his anyway.

'The Phoenix has long offered you great wisdom, Rachel. Let it do so again. Listen to what it's telling you... it knows I'm right' Sinister calls out to her. Rachel closes her eyes, as energy roars up around her. 'YES' she admits, before releasing the Phoenix, which destroys Sinister, reducing his body to nothing in spectacular display. 'Rachel!' Jean calls out, while Cyclops turns Nathan away from the scene of terror. 'Don't look' Cyclops tells his son. 'But I disagree' Rachel utters as she collapses. Suddenly, 'We're fading!' Scott calls out as he and Jean begin to disappear. 'That was the last of the Phoenix Force. She can't keep us here any longer. Nathan, I -' Jean begins, while Cyclops tells Nathan that they will find him again – he swears it. With that, the polaroid photo of Jean falls to Nathan's feet, and Blaquesmith holds the old Rachel in his arms. 'She's gone. Nothing left of her of the Phoenix' he announces. Blaquesmith looks up at Nathan and tells him that he is to be his teacher. 'Do you know what that is? You must have so many questions' Blaquesmith remarks. 'Just one. When do I get a gun?' Nathan asks, looking up at a monitor which states that Apocalypse will return in 6 years, 6 months and 6 days... 666.


'Ugggh... what -' Cyclops utters as he and Jean examine their new surroundings, where someone calls out 'Tell Alchemax to send a better class of assassin next time!' They find themselves surrounded by a large white-skinned being, a red creature with wings, a woman in pink and white, a man with glowing fists, and another man. 'It'll take a lot more than you two to stop... the X-Men!' the winged man declares. 'Scott?' 'Jean?' the heroes call out to each other, unaware that those who surround them are known as Metalhead, Bloodhawk, Krystallin, Skullfire and Meanstreak, the X-Men of the year 2099!

Characters Involved: 

Cyclops & Jean Grey

Nathan Summers

Mother Askani / Rachel Summers



Mr Sinister


Bloodhawk, Krystallin, Meanstreak, Metalhead, Skullfire (all X-Men 2099)


Clan Askani members


The Essex-Men

Story Notes: 

Cyclops and Jean Grey took a leave of absence from the X-Men in X-Men '92 (1st series) #4.

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