X-Men: Blue #18

Issue Date: 
February 2018
Story Title: 
Cross Time Capers, part 3

Cullen Bunn (writer), RB Silva (penciler), Adriano De Benedetto (artist), Rain Beredo (colorist), Virtual Caligraphy's Joe Caramagna (letterer), Arthur Adams & Federico Blee (cover artists), Jay Bowen & Anthony Gambino (graphic designers), Christina Harrington & Chris Robinson (assistant editors), Mark Paniccia & Darren Shan (editors), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)
X-Men created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby

Brief Description: 

At the Massachusetts Academy, Banshee and the White Queen are discussing a situation facing them and other schools, when the time-displaced Iceman is thrown through their window. The rest of the time-displaced X-Men are facing off against the members of Generation X. They all fight valiantly, until all of Generation X, except for M, are defeated. Banshee and the White Queen appear and end the battle. Banshee and the White Queen take Cyclops and Marvel Girl into a living room and listen to their story about how they are trying to get back to their true time period, before the White Queen reveals that the original X-Men killed Magneto. The rest of the X-Men spend time with Generation X. Jubilee tells Bloodstorm that she hates vampires, while Angel tries to flirt with Husk and the Beast deals with fixing his pad so that he can teleport the X-Men away again. As he fixes his tech, he discovers that they aren't really in a school or mansion – but in a cave, disguised by technology. Banshee and the White Queen explain that they are doing the best with what they have, before the White Queen allows Marvel Girl into her mind – where she sees adult versions of the original X-Men fighting Banshee, White Queen and a few others, while many mutants lie dead around them – the original X-Men turned against the others. Jean is horrified, but before the White Queen can explain any further, the Beast activates the teleportation device and the original team vanishes to another time – where they discover themselves fighting Magneto!

Full Summary: 

The Massachusetts Academy, in the dead of night, where Sean “Banshee” Cassidy and Emma Frost the White Queen are in a living room, where Banshee tells Emma that they should contact the other schools, and if they pool their resources – but Emma interrupts him, 'What resources are you talking about?' she enquires, pointing out that they are tapped out. She adds the others – the Braddock Academy, the Hellfire Conservatory and Fitzroy's School – are finding themselves in similar dire straits. Emma smiles at Sean and tells him that she admires him for clinging to the ideals they established for themselves, however unrealistic those ideals might be. 'But it might help if you stop thinking of what we're doing as education. We're not a school so much as a refugee -' Emma begins, when suddenly, the time-displaced (and currently reality-displaced) Bobby “Iceman” Drake is flung through the living room window, courtesty of Generation X's Monet St Croix.

'What -' Banshee begins. 'It's what we've feared. Sooner than expected, but perhaps – the X-Men are here' Emma suggests. However, outside, Bobby's teammates Jean “Marvel Girl” Grey, Scott “Cyclops” Summers, Warren “Angel” Worthington, Henry “Beast” McCoy, Jimmy Hudson and Bloodstorm find themselves up against the rest of Monet's teammates – Jubilee, Angelo “Skin” Espinosa, Everett “Synch” Thomas, Paige “Husk” Guthrie, Penance, Mondo and Jonothon “Chamber” Starsmore. 'You don't understand! We're not your -' the Beast calls out, but Skin wraps his fingers around the Beast, over and over again, restraining him and pulling him back, Skin declares that he has heard it all before, and warns the Beast to stop struggling, otherwise he might hurt him. Penance and Jimmy leap into the air and lash out at each other with their claws, while Marvel Girl blocks a psi-attack that Chamber unleashes upon her.

Husk leaps into the air as Cyclops' optic blast rebounds off of her, Bloodstorm flies away from Jubilee, who blasts some of her light powers towards her, Angel flits around Mondo, who has grown into a massive form, while Synch waits on the sidelines, and Monet flies up towards Angel. 'It would be an accident, of course, but I'd feel terrible about it!' Skin adds. 'Who the hell are these -' Jimmy begins as finds he cannot penetrate Penance's form with his claws. 'They were students just like us! They're kids!' Cyclops calls out as he fires another blast towards Husk, who has shifted to a ruby-quartz form and exclaims 'Who're you calling kid?' Mondo roars 'YEEEOOW!' as Angel burns his hand with his cosmic wings, and Angel tells his teammates that if these guys are Xavier's students, they have been skipping the Professor's long, dry classes on etiquette. 'And suddenly I'm a little jealous' Angel adds.

Marvel Girl points out that they have landed in the wrong time period – again, and announces that she needs backup. Bloodstorm smiles and tells Jean to hang on, as she creates some lightning, then flies up and grabs Chamber. 'What's all this then? Put me down pretty lady... or I'll fry you right out of the sky!' Chamber boasts. Bloodstorm tells Chamber that she is not impressed by idle threats, when suddnely, she is struck by energy, and drops Chamber. 'Nothing “idle” about this! And since I've duplicated your friend's telekinesis, I can play offense and defense for the team' Synch exclaims as he then uses the telekinesis that he has copied to catch the falling Chamber. 'You might want to focus on the latter, pal' Angel suggests as he comes up behind Synch and blasts him with energy from his cosmic wings.

Husk moves closer to Cyclops and punches him in the face, pointing out that it looks like those eyebeams of his are useless against her ruby quartz form, before she slams her fist into his face. 'SCOTT!' Bloodstorm calls out, concerned – and responds by creating a powerful lightning bolt which she slams into Husk. 'Nice show of force. Sadly for you, it means I mmust take you straight off the table' Monet calls out as she flies towards Bloodstorm – who suddenly vanishes in her mist form, causing Monet to crash into the ground. 'Mist. How cute' Monet snarls as she sits up, and Bloodstorm hisses as she re-materializes behind her. 'Don't you hiss at me, you feral little gargoyle!' Monet exclaims, dodging Bloodstorm's attack.

Marvel Girl then uses her telepathy to send a message to all of Generation X, reaching into their minds, she tells them to take a time out, and that she and her teammates didn't come here to fight them. 'All of you – just chill!' she adds, before Jubilee throws some of her “fireworks” at Jean, 'We know why you're here! After everything you've done – you knobs deserve a beatdown!' Jubilee exclaims. Marvel Girl screams, before she kicks Jubilee in the stomach, telling her 'Whoever you think we are, you have no idea who you're messing with!'

Cyclops goes over to Husk and asks her if she is all right. 'What do you care?' Husk replies, raising a fist, but Cyclops blocks her punch. 'I'm right as rain and ready for round -' Husk begins, before Jean knocks her out with a psi-blast. 'I figured I'd help you out before she cleaned your clock again' Jean tells Scott telepathically. 'I wasnt worried about -' Scott begins, but Jean tells him that their psychic rapport says different. Scott then thanks Jean, who reports that she has managed to stun everyone except for Monet and the armored one fighting Jimmy. 'Got her'  Scott declares as he fires a powerful optic blast at Penance, knocking her back. 'Hey! I didn't need the assist!' Jimmy calls out.

Suddenly, there is a powerful sonic scream, which sends Scott and Jean falling backwards, as Banshee and the White Queen appear. Banshee warns them that they might want to choose their net move carefully, as his next sonic scream won't be so cordial. 'Jean! That's -' Scott gasps, while the White Queen suggests that it looks like they have gotten off on the wrong foot, and that theyu should try to right the ship, so to speak. 'Why don't you stand your friends down...so I don't feel compelled to melt your brains to slag. Hmm?' Emma remarks, while nearby, Monet has gotten hold of Bloodstorm, arms wrapped around her neck, she tells Marvel Girl that she does hope they decide to keep fighting.

Scott asks Jean what the call is, and Jean tells him that perhaps they should cooperate. 'That's the White Queen. Y'know, the woman who tried to twist my brain all around' Scott remarks, but Jean points out that she hasn't yet. Jimmy points at Scott and Jean and tells them that they are doing their psychic whisper thing again. The Beast tells Jimmy not to worry, as it when it comes to Jean and Scott, he will get used to bring left out. Looking at his tablet that he has been carrying around, the Beast tells Scott and Jean that if they want his two cents, he thinks they are going to need some time to recalibrate the time panel controls – and he would rather not spend that time fighting if they don't have to.

Jean informs the White Queen that they didn't come for a battle, and in fact didn't mean to come here at all. 'We'll play it your way' she announces. 'Excellent' Emma declares, before snapping her fingers and waking her students from Jean's telepathic attack, she tells them to come along, there is no time to dawdle, as they have guests. 'Well...that's disappointing' Monet mutters as she follows the White Queen. 'You should consider yourself lucky' Bloodstorm calls out. 'My dear – you have no idea' Monet responds. Banshee quietly tells Emma 'Those kids! They look just like -' to which Emma telepathically tells him that she knows, and that he is as curious as he is, but that they should both prepare themselves, because everything they have built here might have reached its ending.

Soon, Banshee and the White Queen sit in a living room with Scott and Jean. Emma tells them to make themselves at home, and that they can try to figure out exactly what is going on here. Banshee suggests to Scott that he has a seat, and assures him that they mean no harm. 'In fact, I'd guess we're a sight more confused about all this than ye are' Banshee adds. Jean telepathically tells Scott that at some point the time platform was programmed to take someone, perhaps them, to this point in history, so maybe they can learn something. Scott tells Jean that he is not quite ready to play nice with the White Queen. Sipping tea, Emma tells the young mutants that they must share some sort of psychic rapport, as she can just hear the faintest hint of it, and she can sense that they don't trust her.

Jean hangs her head, 'Okay' she mutters, before revealing that they are not from aaround here – they are from the future, in fact – actually, the future and the past – but the Timestream is all messed up – badly. 'Jean!' Scott shouts. Jean turns to Scott and asks him what it matters if they tell Banshee and Emma everything. 'If we manage to make things right, this little meeting will probably never happen' she points out. 'Ach! Time travel!' Banshee remarks. Jean continues, explaining that in the future, a few years from now, their friends and teammates started vanishing right before their eyes, almost as if they had been erased, and she thinks they are the only ones who can see it because they are sort of outside of time anyway. Jean then adds that it was Professor Xavier who called them back, he had Magneto build a time platform for them. 'Magneto, you say? Well, that is interesting...seeing as how you killed him' Emma reveals.

Meanwhile, the other X-Men and the members of Generation X are in a large recreation room. 'So...you're, like, a vampire, huh?' Jubilee asks Bloodstorm, blowing a bubble with her gum at the same time. 'That's right' Bloodstorm replies. 'Gross. I hate vampires' Jubilee exclaims, before telling Bloodstorm that she seemed awfully protective of that young hunk of a Cyclops. 'Is he your boyfriend or something?' Jubilee asks, adding that she always thought he and Jean Grey were a thing. 'So good for you, I guess' Jubilee adds. 'I do not wish to discuss this' Bloodstorm mutters, covering her face.

Chamber and Synch are standing away from the others, and Chamber tells his friend that he doesn't like this. 'All our lives, we've been taught that the original X-Men were -' he begins, as Synch interrupts him, telling Chamber that he knows.

'Remember, you weren't the only one to spend time in a mutant training facility before Ms Frost staged her little coup' Synch declares. At the same time, Jimmy and Penance are staring each other down, while Angel goes over to Husk and smiles at her, boasting that he got his flame wings in space. 'But enough about me. Let's talk about that adorable little accent of yours' he suggests, and Paige just smiles back at him. Iceman turns to Monet and asks 'You do realize you kind of sucker punched me, don't you?' to which Monet casually replies that she remembers, and that it was fun.

Skin looks at the pad that the Beast is carrying around and asks 'So, that doohickey can send you through time?' The Beast tells him that it can, although that it seems to be a bit buggy at best. Skin asks him if he can fix it, and glancing at the technology in his ear that he was given in the 2099 time period, the Beast boasts that he believes he can. Suddenly, the Beast looks around the room and remarks that there is something strange about the mansion. 'Well, duh. It's full of kids with nuclear reactors for faces or stretchy flesh or tear-away skin. Of course it's strange. Weird even' Jubilee points out. But the Beast tells her that isn't what he meant, and that when he activated his cerebral implant, he could sense it – there is some kinda of masking technology here. 'It's not real' the Beast adds, and suddenly, the room around them shifts. 'Hey, braih. What do you think you're doing?' Mondo asks, and Iceman scowls at the Beast: 'You just can't help yourself, can you, Hank?'

'Uh... what just happened...?' Jean asks as the room she and the others are in transforms into a cave. 'Did we just jump through time again?' she asks, but Cyclops tells her that he doesn't think so, and remarks that this isn't a mansion, it isn't a school at all. 'Top marks. That's what I've been trying to tell me colleague for some time' the White Queen announces. Banshee looks around the bleak cave and explains that when the last of the X-Resistance fell, they salvaged what they could, and took bits and pieces from the Danger Room, they used what they could. 'To make the best of what we have' Emma smiles, putting her arms around Banshee, whol holds Emma closer. 'Everything you're saying...all this about us killing Magneto... about X-Resistance, whatever that is...' Jean begins. Emma tells her to go ahead, take a peek in her mind. 'I know you want to... although you might regret that decision!'

Emma's mind shows a horrrific battle, where adult versions of the original X-Men are battling the X-Resistance. Polaris, Storm, Shadowcat, Cannonball, Strong Guy, Warpath and others have already fallen, leaving Banshee, the White Queen, Nightcrawler, Colossus, Fitzroy and Captain Britain to continue the fight in a battle-damaged city.

'This is a trick... it's not...' Jean begins. 'It's real. You turned against us. You tried to enslave us' Emma explains, adding that most of them never knew Charles Xavier, but he reached out to some of them, encouraged them to fight. Suddenly, the older Jean within Emma's mind shouts 'Intruders! We have – psychic intruders!' which surprises Jean, wondering how her older self sees them, as this is a memory.

'Jean -' Cyclops begins. Jean looks at Scott and tells him that she thinks she knows what happened, and that they have to get to Hank and get back home. Jean turns to Emma: 'We have to go. I wish...' she begins, before hanging her head, and telling the White Queen and Banshee that she wishes they could stay the same as they are right now. They look back at Jean and Emma points out that nothing ever stays the same, as it is the very nature of mutation, before she and Banshee fade from existence.

At the same time, the Generation X members vanish, too. 'Where did they -' Angel begins. 'It's another paradox. Time is correcting itself around us' Iceman exclaims, while Jimmy declares that this is all wrong. Cyclops and Marvel Girl join their teammates, and Jean calls out to Hank, who tells her that he is way ahead of her. 'One more jump should do the trick' Hank tells his teammates, and as reality warps around them, the young X-Men survey their new surroundings. 'Where are we? Did we make it back to our school? Marvel Girl asks, and as they see themselves battling Magneto, while the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants members lay strewn about the ground, the Beast gasps 'Oh my stars and garters – I think so!'

Characters Involved: 

Angel, Beast, Cyclops, Iceman, Marvel Girl (all time-displaced original X-Men)
Jimmy Hudson
Bloodstorm II

In alternate reality:
Chamber, Husk, Jubilee, M II, Mondo, Penance, Skin, Synch (all Generation X)
Banshee & White Queen

Image in White Queen's head:
Angel, Beast, Cyclops, Iceman, Marvel Girl (all original X-Men)
Banshee, Cannonball, Captin Britain, Colossus, Fitzroy, Nightcrawler, Polaris, Shadowcat, Storm, Strong Guy, Warpath, White Queen (all X-Resistance)

In alternate reality:
Angel, Beast, Cyclops, Iceman, Marvel Girl (all original X-Men)
Magneto, Mastermind, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Toad (all Brotherhood of Evil Mutants)

Story Notes: 

The title of this story is based on the Cross Time Caper, a reality-hopping adventure that the original Excalibur team had in Excalibur (1st series) #12-19, 21-24.

Jubilee's comment to Bloodstorm about hating vampires is amusing considering in the true 6161 timeline Jubilee is transformed into a vampire in X-Men (3rd series) #1-2.

Angel's flirtation with Husk is a nod to the relationship that the 616 couple had which began in Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #420.

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