X-Men Blue #35

Issue Date: 
November 2018
Story Title: 
Surviving the Experience, part 3

Cullen Bunn (writer), Marcus To (artist), Matt Milla (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Joe Caramagna (letterer), RB Silva & Rain Beredo (cover artists), Jay Bowen & Anthony Gambino (graphic designers), Chris Robinson (assistant editor), Darren Shan (editor), Jordan D White (X-Men group editor), CB Cebulski (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: 

Marvel Girl spends some time with her present-day self. She wishes they had more time to get to know each other before she has to return to her true time period. Marvel Girl explains her reasons for why the time-displaced X-Men must return to their time. She reveals that she is worried she won't become the person that she is today, though – that she will become who Jean is, instead. Meanwhile, the time-displaced Beast meets his present-day self in a laboratory, where the present-day Beast admits that he was wrong to bring his past self to the present-day, that he didn't think about how might impact others. He raises the matter of his past-self's involvement with magic and demons, and young Beast explains that he thought he needed to stay ahead the game, adapt to new abilities, but assures his present-day self that is all behind him now. He informs his present-day self that he wants him to send them all back in time, and reveals that Magneto has a time-machine, only they need to find a way to undo everything that has happened to him, adding that going back is going to be the cruelest on Bobby. Bobby is currently playing pool with his present-day self, making stupid jokes with each other. Bobby confides in his present-day self that he is worried that going back to his true time period means he won't be himself anymore. Present-day Bobby tries to tell him that it won't matter what time period he is in, he will still be who he is, but Bobby isn't convinced, and continues to worry he won't be who he is – especially considering how awesome he feels being him. In Tibet, the time-displaced Angel struggles to stay up with Archangel, who leads him towards a temple hidden in the side of a mountain. When Angel finally catches up, he tells his present-day self that he came to say goodbye, and points out that Archangel doesn't seem to care. Archangel takes Angel inside the temple, and shows him the Sleeper mutants, who used to be in Xorn's care. Archangel explains that they are in his care now, and therefore Angel's. But Angel points out that he can't care for them, as he is leaving, and adds that being a guardian has always been more of Cyclops's gig. On Muir Island, the time-displaced Cyclops is with the reality-lost Bloodstorm. He then walks towards the gravestone of his present-day self. He had hoped to find closure, but realizes he is looking at the future – a future without him. Further into the future, nineteen years from now, the time-displaced Jean Grey defends Earth from Galactus, while the time-displaced Beast fights the Darkchild in Limbo at the order of the Goblin Queen. Only approximately nineteen years from now, Bobby spends some time with his boyfriend, Cason. Nineteen years from now, the time-displaced Angel finds himself up against Archangel – and decapitates him, enabling Apocalypse to grant him the role of the new Death.


Full Summary: 

Cefalu, Italy:

Sitting at a sidewalk table at a cafe, Jean Grey a.k.a. Marvel Girl puts her hands around a cup of a tea and remarks 'We came here together once before. I'm not sure if you remember or not. Honestly, I'm not sure it was really you, not back then.' She adds 'You might have been a weird clone thing created by the Phoenix Force. And the real you might've been cocooned at the bottom of Jamaica Bay. So, maybe I was talking to a fake' the young, time-lost mutant laments. She smiles, and hangs her head as she points out 'Just like you might be talking to a fake right now. Because I was dead, taken over and destroyed by an alien symbiote. And I used telekinesis to piece myself back together from stray genetic material'. Jean explains that she looks at her hand, and it looks like it's a part of her, but it feels different – it feels false. 'You're real, Jean. And so am I. And – yes – I remember' smiles the present-day Jean Grey, sitting across the table.

The present day Jean adds that she doesn't know how, perhaps it is some sort of after-effect of the Phoenix, perhaps she remembers because of her younger self. 'Maybe you're subconsciously broadcasting the memory, beaming it straight into my head' Jean muses, while the young Jean wonders if the present day Jean is scanning her thoughts without realizing it. 'Sounds like us, huh?' the present day Jean smiles, before they both burst into laughter. Young Jean tells her present day self that she wishes she had more time. 'I'd like to get to know you a little better... to know me a little better... before I go back' she remarks. 'Home' present day Jean smiles at her, before asking if she has made her mind up.

Young Jean remarks that she guesses her mind has been made up for her, and tells Jean that the fact they are sitting here together means that they go back to their timeline so that reality can take the shape it's supposed to take. 'It means... as much as I like being here with you... I won't remember any of this' she adds, '... because I need to experience your life... our life... for myself'. She closes her eyes and announces that she has decided that they can't stay here.

19 years from now:

Civilians run in fear, as the time-displaced Jean Grey stands her ground, looking up at several Silver Surfers who dart about the skyscrapers surrounding them, as a horrid Galactus looms down over the city. 'Jean Grey – Phoenix! Our master remembers what you did! It remembers the insults you perpetrated against it! The flesh of Galactus has been destroyed! But the rage remains!' the Silver Surfer calls out, declaring that now the Earth must die. Jean grits her teeth as the Silver Surfer shouts 'And you first of all!' as all of the Silver Surfers open fire, blasting Jean with cosmic energy. Jean throws a telekinetic shield up around herself, and pushes her psychic energy outwards, knocking the Surfers backwards. 'You're not serious. Galactus has come here...come to destroy the planet... all because I punched him once?' Jean asks. Galactus' eyes glow with energy, as Jean declares that she has bad news for him, as his pride is about to take another hit. Energy then glows around Jean in the form of a Phoenix as she flies upwards.


Jean asks her younger self what the others think about that, and whether they are ready to go home. Young Jean replies that she doesn't know if any of them are truly prepared – how could they be, as it is not just about going back in time – it's about backtracking. 'We've all changed so much. We became out own people. And all of that... somehow... must be undone... so that we can become you' she points out.

Present Jean listens, and asks her younger self if that is a bad thing. 'I used to think so. I guess it depends on how you look at it' young Jean replies. 'If we forget everything that makes us who we are... if everything that's happened to us just gets... reset... how's that any different from dying?' she asks, remarking that, eventually, she and Jean will be the same person – but they won't be the person she is now. 'That person must sacrifice herself... so that I can become a person I barely recognize' young Jean declares, looking Jean straight in the eye.

'I was wrong to bring you here, Hank. I was just... sort of lost. I thought I might be able to fix things. I was afraid' Hank McCoy a.k.a. the Beast remarks to his younger time-lost self he works on some equipment in his lab. 'Yeah' the younger Hank remarks, adding that he knows the feeling. Beast turns from what he is working on to look at his past self and admits that it wsa unfair of him to do what he did, which he passes off as a character flaw, explaining that he gets these ideas in his head and he doesn't think about how they might impact others. 'No wonder you must hate me most of all' Beast adds. 'I don't -' Hank begins, turning away from his older self, who frowns. 'Yeah' young Hank admits, turning back to his older self. 'And all this business with magic... with demons?' the Beast asks. Young Hank explains that he thought he needed it to help him keep up with his present day self. 'But all that... is behind me now' he claims.

19 years from now:

'RAAAAAWWWWGH!' the Beast roars in his furry white horned demonic form, spells dart about his hands, while he faces off against Illyana Rasputin – Magik, who is in her Darkchilde form. 'Beast! What do you think you're do-' Magik calls out, Soulsword ready to strike, while red smoke wafts around them, and the Goblin Queen grins, watching from where she sits on a ledge. Demons surround Beast and Magik as they fight. Suddenly, Beast lunges at Magik and knocks her back, forcing the Soulsword out of her hands. 'You've... lost control... your demons... mine... they'll tear Limbo apart!' Magik exclaims, as the demons start to fight each other. Beast tells Illyana that he is sorry, and that he knows she can't understand, but that he is not the one who has lost control. 'My Goblin Queen has given me no choice' he explains, before roaring louder than before.




Young Hank sits on the chair with his arms folded, as his older self remarks 'I see. I know you, Hank. I know myself. And I find that hard to believe'. He then turns back to the equipment he was working on, 'And now you want me to send you back' he asks. Young Hank explains that it is a little more complicated than that, and points out that if they simply wanted to go home, they could do that themselves – after all, Magneto build a time machine. Beast cocks his head at this, intrigued. Young Hank tells him that they need to figure out a way to undo everything that has happened to them. 'ty magic... Jean's powers... Angel's... Bobby... ah, Bobby. He doesn't let on. But going back like this... is the cruelest to him' young Hank announces.

The Xavier Institute, Central Park, New York:

'So... Romeo just ghosted you?' the present day Bobby Drake a.k.a. Iceman asks his younger self as they play pool – with ice-cues and ice-balls. 'That's not cool. I liked that kid. At least, I liked what I knew about him' Bobby adds, before slamming one of the balls into another, 'But this... it's just...' Bobby begins, before they both remark in unison 'Cold'. They burst into laughter, 'He really iced me out' young Bobby points out. 'Put a freeze on the relationship' present Bobby laughs. 'He's cold-hearted' young Bobby exclaims. They look at each other, and young Bobby tells his present day self that they are stupid. 'Don't go changing' Bobby tells him. 'You know better' young Bobby replies, adding that he couldn't change if he tried. 

19 years from now, approximately:

Bobby Drake holds hands with another guy as they walk down a snow-covered path. Snow falls around them and has dusted trees, statues and park benches. 'All right. You've done it, Bobby Drake. You've officially impressed me' the other young man remarks. 'Oh, come on, Cason. Don't act so nonchalant' Bobby replies. 'You were impressed by me way before now' Bobby smiles. Cason smiles and asks Bobby if that is what passes for game among the X-Men. Bobby admits to getting pointers from Gambit, and realizes he should have rethought that. 'Don't worry. It's cute. Dumb but cute' Cason assures Bobby, before asking him about the flowers and grass and trees – what happens when the ice metls. 'You didn't just kill all the plan life with frost to win me over, did you?' Cason asks. 'Oh. I guess I did' Bobby responds. 'Did it work?' he asks. 'Flowers are overrated' Cason utters, as he and Bobby lean in to kiss each other.


'So, you're all right with this? I mean, a lot has -' Bobby asks his younger self, who prepares to hit one of the ice-balls with his ice-cue. 'Are you asking if I'm all right being someone else? The answer is no. I'm fine with going home. I mean, I don't want to break reality or anything. But I know I won't be myself, not anymore' young Bobby replies. The present day Bobby smiles and assures his younger self that no matter what, he will always be himself. 'Even if you're the only one who knows it. Time travel's not going to take that from you' he assures young Bobby, who frowns and replies 'I guess' and explains that it feels like he will be lying to everyone again – lying to himself. Bobby tells his younger self that hr is going to go about this in his own way and in his own time. 'I love Jeannie, but what she did... outing you... us... like that... well, that was a little messed up' Bobby remarks. He smiles and adds 'And – look – you know you're gonna end up awesome' but young Bobby hangs his head and remarks that the thing is, he kind of felt awesome being himself – but the option to stay isn't on the table anymore.

Meanwhile, in Tibet, Warren Worthington III a.k.a. Archangel soars across the mountains, followed by his time-displaced self, who has trouble keeping up. 'Hey! Slow down! Wait up!' he calls out. 'Where are we going?' young Warren asks, but gets no response. 'Come on, guy! Don't make me show you up' young Warren shouts as his comic-energy wings push him forward, past the stoic Archangel, he spins around and Archangel comes to a stop as Angel tells him to take a breath. 'I came here...to tell you that we're leaving. The original X-Men. We're going home. I'm saying goodbye' Angel announces. Archangel says nothing, and Angel points out that it's not as if he seems to care, before he looks to the ground and sees a temple. 'What's that? Where are we? Is this...what you wanted to show me?' Angel asks.

19 years from now:

The time-displaced Angel unleash energy feather darts from his glowing blue wings, but Archangel dodges them as they fight high in the air. One of Archangel's razor-sharp wings suddenly strikes Angel, who cries out in pain and begins to bleed. 'Archangel... I know you don't want this... I don't want to do this... but you're not giving me a choice' Angel points out as he creates an energy sword which seems to be the same energy as his wings. They fly towards each other, and seem to strike one another. Archangel drops to his knees, then falls onto his side – his head rolls from his body, decapitated by Angel's energy sword. Suddenly, Apocalypse appears behind Angel. 'And so it is done' he declares. 'Death has fled...and a new Death has been chosen!' Apocalypse announces.


'What is this? Who are all these... mutants?' Angel asks as he and Archangel drop down into the temple, where several mutants are gathered. Archangel finally speaks and explains that these are the Sleepers, that they were in Xorn's care, and now they are in his. 'Which means they are in yours' Archangel points out. 'Mine?' Angel asks, wide-eyed. He tells Archangel that he can't watch out for them, that he isn't staying, and even if he was, being some sort of mutant guardian, that has always been more of Scott's gig.

Meantime, on Muir Island, the rising of the red sun can be seen on the horizon, meeting the water that surrounds the island. 'Thanks for the lift, Bloodstorm' Scott Summers a.k.a. Cyclops calls out to his reality-displaced teammate, who tells him that now they are here, she can give him some space, if he prefers to be alone. Bloodstorm smiles, and Scott tells her not to go, as he likes the company. 'As long as it's not weirding you our or anything' he adds. 'Scott – I'm the vampire doppelganger of a Storm goddess from this reality. It will take much more than this to... “weird me out”' Bloodstorm replies. 'Must be nice' Scott mutters as he strides forward, stopping at the grave of his present-day self. He stands before the grave and tells Bloodstorm that he can't seem to get used to it, but here he is – and he knows this is supposed to be about getting some sort of closure, but that's not the way it works for him. 'I'm not saying goodbye. I'm looking at the future. And it's a future... without me'.

Characters Involved: 

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

Bloodstorm II

Archangel, Beast, Iceman, Jean Grey (all original X-Men)


Sleeper mutants

in the future:

Angel, Beast, Cyclops, Marvel Girl (all time-displaced original X-Men)

Iceman & Cason





Goblin Queen



Silver Surfers





Story Notes: 

This issue takes place before the events of Extermination #1.

Both Jeans visited the cafe in Cefalu, Italy, in Generations: Phoenix & Jean Grey #1.

Actually, according to Classic X-Men #23 and Uncanny X-Men #174 Phoenix’ Mediterranean vacation took place on Kirinos in Greece.

The time-displaced Jean Grey punched Galactus in Generations: Phoenix & Jean Grey #1.

Young Iceman's Inhuman boyfriend, Romeo, has been ghosting him since X-Men Blue #1.

The past Marvel Girl outed young Bobby in All-New X-Men (1st series) #40 and present-day Bobby began to realize his sexual identity in Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #600.

Archangel was left in charge of the sleeper mutants in Uncanny X-Men (4th series) #19.

The present-day Cyclops died in the Death of X series.

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