X-Men Legacy (2nd series) #23

Issue Date: 
April 2014
Story Title: 
Slouching Towards Bethlehem

Simon Spurrier (writer), Tan Eng Huat (artist), Craig Yeung (inker), Jose Villarrubia (colorist), 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: 

After absorbing his errant personality, David loses control of his mind and body, causing an eruption of energy. As it swirls around his body, it starts to drag the minds of all the mutants around him into it. He’s become the thing he was trying to avoid all along, and world’s heroes are powerless to stop him. As the energy grows enough to cover the country, the Avengers try to attack but their actions are useless. As all the mutants across the world are absorbed into David’s body, Blindfold arrives and seems immune to the effects. Her new upgraded body slashes at the form but it has no effect. Inside his mind, David struggles with the realization that he is powerless in the face of his destiny. Ruth begs for him to let her inside his mind and he eventually relents. Inside, she tells him she wanted to see him one last time. As David talks to her, he remembers he absorbed a time-manipulating personality and uses it to stop time for a few moments. The two use that time to kiss, which leads on to them merging their astral forms together and making love.

Full Summary: 

David convulses as yellow energy swirls all around him and shoots up into the sky. He muses that they all knew it was coming but, instead of a thing of matter, it is of mind instead… the world worm that is his soul.

All the heroes gathered around him collapse to the floor and hold their heads in pain. Blindfold’s astral projection is unaffected and she can only watch as the heroes suddenly look to David. In a trance-like state, they say that David only wants to unite mutantkind, whilst Blindfold urges them to fight the feeling. It’s useless, though, as their souls leave their bodies and drift upwards towards David’s ever-growing yellow energy. The energy itself is now taking shape and has limbs and a head, and it starts to destroy any building its tendrils touch.

David wonders if it was loneliness that caused him to draw them in or whether it was a subconscious obligation to his father. As the souls are absorbed into the growing mass, he can only think that he was a bit too literal for his own good. Deep down, he really thought he would find a way to avoid all this and this shouldn’t be how the story ends. Around the world, other mutants also collapse as their souls are torn from their bodies and make their way to David. 

As nearby civilians run from the destruction, David realizes he has become some kind of mind cancer that won’t stop lashing out in a blind rage at the world. The world has its own defenses and it mostly comprises of men shouting, shooting and driving the stakes up at each step. David thinks to himself that his mother was right and the world really is difficult to believe in. The Avengers are called in but David subdues them without much effort. Before he is taken down, Captain America orders a missile strike but the resulting explosion barely touches David, whose energy form now reaches high into space.

Around the world, more mutants fall but, on the battlefield, Blindfold hears a voice she can’t quite understand. She looks around to see where it is coming from but she still can’t hear what it is saying. She informs it that it’s too late, as her body has now arrived. Using her upgraded powers, Blindfold’s body flies to the center of the destruction and she glides up to David, saying that it’s time they talk. David laments to himself that he wants more time and that there is still enough of him left to wish he had done things differently.

As his mindscape melts around him, his gestalt form can only clutch his head and struggle to keep control. He regrets all the trickery and manipulation he subjected her to but he meant it when he said that he would shatter any future that would keep them apart. He thought he could find a way but his enemies and obligations were too many and heavy to bear. Every story has an end but he thought he could beat his and nobody would dictate his future except for himself. The surprise twist is the world isn’t that cute. He can already feel the numerous mutant minds buckling under their own weight and his gestalt form fracturing. The super organism will collapse and die, with mutantkind along with it. David complains that the other heroes seem find a way to escape their dark destiny as there is always a loophole for beautiful people. But not for him.

As he realizes the story is stronger than him, he wonders if there is a god behind it all and if they are listening. If they are, then he wants them to know he hates them for building a world he can’t escape from. He hates them for cursing him with his birth and the impossible truth that he cannot possibly overcome… his destiny.

As David continues to suffer, Ruth’s new form uses a sword to slash at the swirling mass of energy. Numerous faces appear in the mass and she can hear David beg for her to kill him. The energy attacks her and she hacks away at it in vain but it has little effect. She then splits her astral form from her body once more and willingly tries to merge with the energy. David pleads with her to stop but she is adamant that this is what she wants. David relents and Ruth enters his collapsing mindscape to see her boyfriend one last time.

Ruth can feel the battle waging on outside and asks if she has a chance to beat him. David replies that he hopes so but he doesn’t sound very positive about it. She tells him she came inside because she wanted to see him at peace, just once. David tells her that, for the first time in his life, he is almost whole again and all his personalities are part of him now except the Weaver and a few like it.

David suddenly remembers he absorbed the time manipulator, the Chronidon, and he quickly summons the powers of it.

The effects already begin to slip away from David but, for a short while, the universe gives him a consolation prize and time stops in its tracks. For Ruth and David, it is all they need and they begin to kiss. As they let passion take hold, they strip down until they are nothing but shining forms of energy. At the end of the world, before time restarts again, the two merge forms and make love. 

Characters Involved: 

David Haller/Legion

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

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

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

Captain America, Captain Marvel, Iron Man, Spider-Woman, Thor (all Avengers)

Eden Fesi
Molly Hayes

SWORD agents

Xavier personality 

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