X-Men Forever (1st series) #4

Issue Date: 
April 2001
Story Title: 
Chapter Four: The Age Of Innocence

Fabian Nicieza (writer, storyteller), Kevin Maguire (penciler, storyteller), Andrew Pepoy (inker), Richard Starkings & Comicraft’s Saida (lettering), Paul Mounts (color art), Pete Franco and Brian Smith (assistant editors), Mark Powers and Ralph Macchio (editors), Joe Quesada (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

Toad has just been recruited by Magneto for the Brotherhood. At Magneto’s headquarters Astra arrives with some alien machinery. After she says she won’t do anything else for Magneto, he pushes Toad back with his powers. In Korea, Juggernaut makes his way out of the rubble, knowing that he’s just heading to a lifetime of dumb mistakes. Phoenix tampers with the harnesses so everyone can contact each other. Prosh says they are almost done with their timetravels. The next jump leaves Juggernaut sixteen years old and at a genetics lab. He and Mystique, disguised as a security guard, they discover some secrets of the lab, which belongs to the Black Womb project. There are hundreds of mutant babies at the lab, some of them have genetic flaws that could be fixed, but Amanda Mueller, the head of the project, wants to see how they will turn out. The Toad is one of these flawed babies. The group is transported again and they see the history of human evolution the. They end up in the future, where Toad and strange looking Mystique are immediately killed by a Sentinel. Another Sentinel then begins to melt Iceman.

Full Summary: 

(Timejump 7)

Toad has been taken in by Magneto and he thinks how he was so scared of Magneto’s power when he first took him in. Astra returns to Magneto and brings him a magnetic polarity dissimilator. Astra gets mad at Magneto because he’s had her gathering alien technology for months and he hasn’t done anything with it except find other mutants. While Toad looks at a familiar device, Astra demands that she see some money, and Magneto can give her that. She says she won’t work for him anymore. Toad remembers seeing something like the device on the Stranger’s ship, but it was part of something bigger. An enraged Magneto pushes Toad away from him.
Juggernaut is still digging his way out of the collapsed Korean temple, knowing that he has squandered his power. Finally Juggernaut makes his way out of the wreckage, knowing that he’s going towards a lifetime of dumb mistakes.
In Long Island, Iceman meets Phoenix at a train station. Iceman can’t control his powers at this point, but Phoenix had already started training with Professor Xavier. Phoenix wonders what will happen if the next jump will leave them not yet born. Using her telekinetic powers, she hacks into the harnesses, allowing her to see what the others are up to.
Mystique wakes up on a truck in Germany driving on the Autobahn (german word for highway) after fighting Hydra soldiers. She always thought that she escaped from them in a state of near hysteria, but now knows that it was herself taking over the past body who escaped.
(Conference through Prosh’s link)

Prosh then activates a direct link so everyone can talk to each other. Juggernaut asks him why he’s jerking them around and Prosh says that the group are almost halfway done with their necessary tasks. Mystique argues that they’ve been running haphazardly through time, but Prosh disagrees. Phoenix says that Prosh needs to share his plan with them.
Prosh says that each journey has been intended to allow them to see more clearly than they ever have before. He says they need to look at the big picture, and their journey is almost over. Iceman and Phoenix won’t exist after the next jump, so it’s up to the other three.
(Timejump 8)

Juggernaut finds himself sixteen years old at a strange laboratory. He sees a baby in a test tube and somehow knows that it’s Toad. His father worked here and he would bring him all the time to keep him from beating up Charles. When Xavier’s father died, his Cain’s father Kurt Marko felt responsible and ended up marrying his mother. Cain was jealous of Charles’ brains and confidence, so he constantly abused him. His father brought him to this facility in Nevada for a three-week consultation. A security guard puts a gun to his head and tells him to put his hands in the air. The guard leads Juggernaut into a room and turns back into Mystique. She says she was there to see what Destiny was doing there.
Irene Adler (Destiny) and Alex Ryking are showing Kurt Marko the studies they have done at this laboratory. However, Destiny says that these babies are only the rejects whose genetic templates were inherently flawed. They could be fixed through minor genetic modifications, but the project leader is intrested on how they will turn out. In a room full of security screens, a wretched looking woman, Amanda Mueller, is monitoring the conversation between Destiny, Dr. Ryking, and Dr. Marko. They say that they have never seen her face-to-face, but she provides unlimited funding. Mystique knows why Destiny was here now, but she doesn’t remember any of the things she learned here. Mystique says they were only supposed to learn on this jump. She wonders what would happen if for the next jump they weren’t born yet as they begin to jump.
(journey along human evolution)

The five time travelers see the course of human evolution. They see the first atomic bomb, and the widespread beginnings of genetic mutation as a result of radiation. They see Mr. Sinister in the late 1800’s, beginning his genetic experimentation. They see the Externals, immortal mutants; they see Prosh when he was the massive exploratory spacecraft of the Celestials, visiting Earth to document the advancement of the human race. They see the Kree and Skrull fighting over the control of humanity. They see the manipulation of the Celestials, determining the course of evolution by creating offshoot races and sparking the recessive genetic potential for greatness in the human DNA code. They wonder why they have given the human race the potential to supersede their masters only to try and quell that potential now that it is finally being expressed. They see the formation of the planet, the galaxy, and the universe itself.
(Timejump 9)

Mystique finds herself in Nevada, and it is raining; she is very different looking. She is almost shot by energy when Toad warns her. She asks where they are and Toad says they are in the future. Sentinels are attacking them. The Sentinel kills Mystique and Toad, and the Iceman uses his new incredible powers to defeat the sentinel. Another Sentinel identifies Iceman and begins to melt him.

Characters Involved: 

Phoenix IV





Timejump 7 :

Astra, Magneto (both Brotherhood of Evil Mutant I)
Timejump 8 :

Kurt Marko

Alex Ryking


Amanda Mueller
Timejump 9 :

Flashback :

Kurt Marko

Cain Marko

Brian Xavier

Charles Xavier
Images shown along the course of human evolution:

Mr. Sinister

Gideon, Saul (both Externals)






Black Bolt, Gorgon, Karnak, Medusa, Triton (all Inhumans)

Ikaris, Karkas, Kro, Thena (all Eternals)

Story Notes: 

Timejump 7 :

Hydra is an organization intent on a subversive and systematic overthrow of the world’s political and social order.
Astra was retconned as a Brotherhood member in X-Men (2nd series) #86. She quit the team before they first battled the X-Men in Uncanny X-Men #4.
Timejump 8 :

The teenage years of Charles Xavier and Cain Marko were depicted in Uncanny X-Men #12-13. It was in those issues, via flashback, that Brian Xavier and Kurt Marko were first introduced.
Alexander Ryking was first introduced in flashbacks of X-Men (2nd series) #12-13. He too worked at Alamogordo with Brian Xavier. Ryking’s son, Carter, unsuccessfully tried to get his childhood friend Charles to investigate the work their fathers had done at Alamogordo.
History of human evolution :

The actions of the mad geneticist, Mr. Sinister, during the mid to late 1800’s have been depicted in the Further Adventures of Cyclops and Phoenix #1-4 and in Gambit (3rd series) #12-14.
The Externals were first seen in the pages of X-Force #10. Apocalypse was always hinted to be one of them too, as shown in X-Force #37.
The past activities of alien races (Kree, Skrull, Cotati) throughout the Marvel Universe have been shown in countless comics from the Avengers, Fantastic Four, Captain Marvel and many more.
The Celestials’ actions to divide life on Earth into three new races - human, eternal, and deviant - were first depicted in the Eternals (1st series) #1-19, by Jack Kirby.

Issue Information: 
Written By: