X-Men Legacy (2nd Series) #22

Issue Date: 
March 2014
Story Title: 

Simon Spurrier (Writer), Khoi Pham (Artist), Rachelle Rosenberg (Colourist), VC’s Cory Petit (Letters), Mike Del Mundo (Cover), Xander Jarowey (Assistant Editor), Daniel Ketchum (Editor), Nick Lowe (X-Men Group Editor), Axel Alonso (Editor in Chief), Joe Quesada (Chief Creative Officer), Dan Buckley (Publisher), Alan Fine (Executive Producer)

Brief Description: 

The Xavier personality teleports David to a naval yard in Washington DC as a nuclear missile hurtles across the globe to the location. The anti-missile defenses leap into action but Xavier uses Luca Aldine’s matter manipulating power to create an enormous metal body for himself. He smashes the defenses, leaving the city helpless. However, he is caught off guard when all the X-Men, SWORD and every other one of David’s allies show up. He reveals he secretly contacted them to come help. After they easily deal with the missile and safely dismantle it, they then turn to David to see what he wants them to do. Having Cyclops and Wolverine look to him for guidance gives David an ego boost that enables him to absorb the biggest personalities in his head. He order the X-Men to attack and a huge battle begins. It’s not without its casualties, as Chamber, Abigail Brand and Karasu Tengo are killed. David stays strong and continues the attack on Xavier. Eventually, he manages to absorb the last of the big personalities and he uses his new super-powered form to obliterate the giant metal construct. At the Jean Grey School, Blindfold wakes up the moment the remaining part of Luca Aldine’s body is destroyed. After the battle, the X-Men regroup, only to find Blindfold’s astral form there to greet them. She tells them that David is now fighting the beast on the astral plane and that she regained everything she lost from her brother when Luca was finally killed. But it’s too late for David now, as he is too far gone. On the astral plane, David fights and defeats the Xavier creature, forcing him back into his mind. Xavier is severely weakened now and he is absorbed into David’s gestalt form. As he disappears, David starts to erupt with energy and reappears in the physical world. He realizes it is too late and now he is going to become the world worm, the very thing he has been desperately trying to avoid, because he knows either he will die or Blindfold will. David unleashes a burst of energy as he loses control of his body, turning into the world worm.

Full Summary: 

The beast that cares only to see the world burn and that is David’s sickness and hate, drops him from the astral to the actual Washington DC. The two appear in a flash of energy in a naval shipyard. As the nuclear missile that the Xavier personality launched roars across the planet, David is helpless to do anything other than recognize it as a RSM-56 Bulava. He knows its name without checking, one of his split personalities must have been into that sort of thing. It has a full set of countermeasures such as decoys and anti-EM. It also carries six maneuverable supersonic warheads that are rated at 150 kilotons each. The bomb at Hiroshima was 15 kilotons. 

Washington is dead and David is too broken to lift a finger. That’s not the aim though. A strike means a retaliation, which causes another and another and another until the sky is full of fire and the Earth has been rad-ravaged to the bone. The massmind is already heavy with hate and it will only take one firework to end it all. The alert goes out naturally and the anti-missile systems at the navy base spring into action with the young minds scrambling to avert Armageddon. For a second, David thinks the beast has miscalculated and underestimated them. But no, there is a reason he brought them there.

A number of anti-missile devices open up within the dockyard and aim at the sky. The Xavier personality excuses himself and uses Luca Aldine’s matter manipulating power to assemble a giant body out of metal, with his arms composed of nearby ships. He angrily yells that nobody shoots down his nuclear missiles without his permission. With that, he slams his arms down at the anti-missile devices, completely destroying them. David, stuttering, says that he suggests Xavier give them his permission otherwise he’s about to look a right “pillock.”

Xavier looks to see an army of mutants charging towards him. Amongst them are Cyclops’ X-Men, various members of Wolverine’s X-Men, Agent Brand and SWORD, Aarkus the Aetheric, Lila Cheney and Peter Wisdom. Wolverine asks David if he called and David muses to himself that he did, but he didn’t really mean to. He didn’t have the good sense to but he did it anyway and they came like trusted allies. Like *#$&* heroes.

With tears streaming down his face, he weakly points to the sky and says “missile.” The missile screeches towards them but is suddenly stopped by the combined force of the various superheroes around. As he watches Magneto deconstruct the device, David marvels at the fact that killing nukes was the first trick the X-Men ever learned.

An annoyed Xavier charges off in his metal construct body. He doesn’t have time to give a cliché about doing it the old fashioned way. The world will burn, fast or slow, it doesn’t matter. If they think they can stop it they can’t. In the psychosphere, Xavier uses his powers to negatively influence the various X-Men attacking him. Outside, David can feel the hate building up so much that he can almost taste it. All the years of knotted conflicts, romances, betrayals, grudges and differences. The X-Men never needed much of an excuse to squabble. In fact, the only thing they are any better at is managing to do some good anyway.

Xavier laughs in his metal construct and stomps off to destroy more of the city. To David’s shock, though, both Cyclops and Wolverine come up to him and ask how they stop it. He is astounded that the two of them would ask him for a plan. They don’t realize what it means to him. It’s about confidence, it’s always been about confidence. Inside his mind, the boost to his ego has made him strong enough to begin to absorb some of the largest personalities in his mind.

In the real world, David clicks his fingers and confidently repeats his father’s catchphrase “To me my X-Men.” He attacks the Xavier construct with an energy beam, signaling the rest of the X-Men to attack too. David muses again that he rules himself. They are cute words to live by but maybe it’s time he got something better. Don’t rule, push, shove or command. He needs to simply be and do. To simply guide. Suddenly, having an epiphany, he expands on the last point and decides he needs to lead. Do it by example and not control. Lead in the knowledge that you are followed by choice and not by right or birth.

All the X-Men attack the enormous construct but it begins to attack back. Sydren of SWORD senses a dramatic change in the boy’s confidence but he doesn’t notice the construct is about to blast him. Agent Brand pushes him out of the way and is obliterated by an energy beam. David sees Agent Brand die and realizes that to be a good leader you need to lead but also feel. Weep for the losses for every guide must endure them but don’t let them cripple you and don’t let them rule you. Beast and Sydren see Brand’s charred body and are overcome at her death.

In retaliation, David powers himself up and slams into the construct’s head, smashing it apart. As he watches the construct topple over, Magneto floats up to him and tells him he is impressed. He begins to tell David that even his father could succumb to the emotional loss of focus at times. David tells him to be quiet. He has decided to lead and take counsel but he needs to choose his counsel carefully and always listen to his own first. Without looking at Magneto, he says that he is not David’s teacher, role model or respected rival. Theirs is not a tragic friendship ruled by ideological differences. David is not his father. He tells Magneto to stop acting like a sensei and to get back to zapping the monster.

In David’s mind, he repeats that he isn’t his father as he continues to absorb the bigger personalities around him.

Outside, he spots Karasu Tengo flying across the battlefield with her psychic ravens around her. He tells her she shouldn’t be there as he doesn’t want children fighting for him. She looks at him and tells him he couldn’t stop her if he wanted to. Before David can object, though, the construct slams its fist down on her. He floats down to her crumpled lifeless body and keeps reminding himself he isn’t his father.

He stands up and watches the raging construct tear a path through the battlefield. He realizes that it is made of hate and it has to stop. Cyclops tells him that he isn’t making sense but David leaps into action and asks if he and Wolverine can work together. They are both full of resentment and sure they are doing his father’s work. They are so broken by the split but they are unable to admit it. The two men try and answer David but he doesn’t give them a chance and leaves them with no doubt they will work together regardless.

As David charges himself up with energy, he tells them to keep the construct busy. He looks around and sees that all the X-Men do. Like good soldiers and selfless heroes, they work together. Inside his mind, David continues his absorption of the bigger personalities. He realizes that they are stronger together but it has never been about strength. It’s about being complete. It’s about sharing the victories, burdens, pains and losses. Above all it’s about sharing the tragic, wretched, unforeseen, pointless losses. As the X-Men attack the construct, Chamber is also vaporized by the monstrosity, much to Frenzy’s dismay.

As David begins to absorb the last of the personalities in his head, he realizes it’s all about sharing as only a family can. As David lights up brightly, he flies across the battlefield, projecting his inner thoughts. He tells everyone that his father used to think of him as a mutant with a God-like ability but a child-like control. He was half right, and that’s the story of Charles Xavier in a nutshell. David slams into the construct and uses his array of powers to effortlessly destroy it into tiny particles. The two eyeballs that were all that remained of Luca Aldine are also destroyed, signifying the final end for Blindfold’s brother.

In her bed, Blindfold suddenly wakes up with a shock. On the battlefield, the various X-Men stagger around after their intense battle. As some mourn the losses, Cyclops wonders where Legion went. A bright light suddenly illuminates the battlefield and a voice tells them that David destroyed the beast’s physical form and chased him on to the astral plane. He has to face him alone, and please don’t call him Legion. The X-Men see the voice belongs to Blindfold’s astral form, who is floating above him. Pixie asks what happened to her stammering and how did she even get there. She tells Pixie that she isn’t really there, but she is on her way. Back at the school, Blindfold’s room is empty and there is a large hole cut in the wall of her room.

Blindfold explains that, when David destroyed what was left of her brother, the parts of her powers and mind he stole came back to her. It’s how she knows and why she has come. She continues and muses to them that if only that they should have trusted and helped him sooner, instead of dumping him in a coma. It’s too late now, it’s too far gone. Cyclops asks Blindfold what she is trying to tell them. She tells him not to call her Blindfold, as today she is Destiny. With that, she removes her blindfold to reveal her astral form as two functioning eyes.

In the psychosphere, David continuously punches the gold-skinned Xavier, as the errant personality begs him to stop. As Xavier cowers on the floor, he tells David he didn’t even find out what he was. David scoffs and tells him he was just an idea. With that, he punches Xavier so hard he explodes.

Xavier reappears back inside David’s mind, only now he has reverted to the small goblin-like creature he was when he first manifested. He looks around the empty mindscape and tells David he likes what he has done with the place. Xavier looks up at him and tells him he finally learned how to be whole again, mostly. David says he didn’t need them all as he beat him anyway. David bends down to the scared creature and tells him he can either get back in his cell or be destroyed for good. He knows he could do it, as he has outgrown him.

Xavier looks at him and tells him he still doesn’t get it. This isn’t a coming of age story, it never was. He asks David if he knows the best way to cure a sickness of the mind. Before David can answer, Xavier tells him you don’t, you just find ways to live with it. The creature moves closer to him and before David can stop him he begins to absorb into his gestalt form. David tries to tell him he isn’t ready let but it’s too late and Xavier is completely absorbed.

In the real world, David appears and starts glowing with energy. Blindfold looks down and says it’s too soon as her body isn’t there yet. David tries to speak out but he can’t, he can barely contain his power. He wants to tell her it’s inside him. So much greed, loneliness, bitterness and hate that only the adoration and respect of others can douse it. He wants to say that the chain reaction has begun and that he thought they would find a way to beat it, even at the end. He wants to tell her he thought they would have time. That it would be all slime, muscle and meat like that fake version he created. He wants to tell her just one last time that he loves her. But he can’t, because the world worm is born and one or both of them is about to die. All he can say at the end of it all is that he is sorry.

The X-Men watch as David erupts with energy that twists and swirls from his body, up into the sky. 

Characters Involved: 

David Haller/Legion

Cyclops, Emma Frost, Magik, Magneto (all of Cyclops’ X-Men)
Goldballs, Morph, Stepford Cuckoos, Tempus, Triage (all Cyclops’ students)

Beast, Chamber, Frenzy, Psylocke, Storm, Wolverine (all Jean Grey School X-Men)
Blindfold, Karasu Tengo, Pixie (all Jean Grey School students)

Agent Brand, Sydren (both SWORD)
Aarkus the Aetheric
Lila Cheney
Peter Wisdom

SWORD agents

Xavier personality


Story Notes: 

The Xavier personality caused a Russian soldier to launch a nuclear missile last issue.

The bomb at Hiroshima that David refers to is one of the two atomic bombs dropped on Japan at the end of WWII.

The Xavier personality took over Luca Aldine’s body in issue #18

When David says that killing nukes is the first thing the X-Men ever learned, he is talking about the events depicted in X-Men (1st series) #1 from 1963 in which the X-Men battled Magneto, who was going to release a nuclear missile. 

In UK English slang, a "pillock" is a stupid or annoying person.

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