X-Men: The Exterminated #1

Issue Date: 
February 2019
Story Title: 
(1st story) A Hope Summers & Jean Grey Story, (2nd series) A Cyclops & Corsair Story

1st story: Zac Thompson & Lonnie Nadler (writers), Neil Edwards (artist), Jay David Ramos (color artist), VC’s Joe Sabino (letterer)
2nd story: Chris Claremont (writer), Ramon Rosanas (artist), Nolan Woodard (colorist) VC’s Joe Sabino (letterer),
Geoff Shaw & Anotnio Fabela (cover artists), Kaare Andrews (cariant cover),  Jay Bowen & Anthony Gambino (graphic designers), Danny Krazem (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: 

1st story:
Hope Summers gives a training session to some of the X-kids. Afterwards, Bishop wants to give his condolences regarding the death of her father, Cable, but Hope isn’t having it, considering how long Bishop spent trying to kill her and Cable. Afterwards, Jean Grey offers to help her clean up Cable’s safehouses. Hope doesn’t want her around at first, but Jean tells her they are family, so she relents. Together they start doing the job. They find Deadpool in one of Cable’s safehouses. Hope angrily fights him, believing he is there to salvage things. However, after Jean makes her calm down, he reveals that he and Cable had a pact that, if one of them died, the survivor would take care of his things. He strongly hints to Hope that she won’t find what she is looking for. In the safehouse outside Cooperstown, Alaska, where Hope was born, she finally finds what she was looking for, a functioning time machine. Hope intends to travel back in time and prevent Cable’s death, but Jeans stops her telling her they have to accept this. After Hope spends her rage on her, she relents. Jean telepathically helps her remember Cable’s eyes.

2nd story:
Scott Summers and Madelyne Pryor take their newborn son Nathan to meet his grandparents, but it becomes clear to the family that matters between the couple are extremely strained. Corsair takes Scott for a walk in the evening and they discuss matters such as fatherhood, with Corsair telling him about his life. When Scott begins to open up about his fears, there is an earthquake. They are informed by the Starjammers that Madelyne was walking outside with the baby. They find her trapped under a tree with a ravine opening beneath them. Scott’s feelings are suddenly clear: he jumps and uses his powers to free her. As they tumble into the ravine, the Starjammer is able to pick them up and teleport them aboard. All have survived and Scott’s and Madelyne’s problems seem to be over for the time-being.

Full Summary: 

1st story:
Hope Summers is leading a Danger Room sessions for several students, including Glob Herman, Nature Girl, Anole, Armor and Primal.

Hope informs them that, in dire situations, her dad understood the importance of being present. Suffering from the techno-organic virus forced Cable to be hyper-aware ever moment. If he let his mind slip for a moment to the past of future, the virus would have consumed him.

Jean Grey, Bishop and Nightcrawler watch the session.

He lived one battle at a time, Hope continues. No matter how many battles he won in the past, all that matters is the opponent facing you right his moment. As if on cue, Apocalypse – several of them – burst from the ground.

Hope announces that her dad always said all you need to operate is what’s at hand. Some of the kids panic, others are clueless. Hope urges them to work with what’s at hand. Nature Girl realizes how to get plants in and Hope gives some hints to the others how to proceed.

Later, Hope sits outside in Central Park. Bishop joins her announcing it shouldn’t surprise him, but the Danger Room session made it clear she knew her father better than anyone. Nathan would have been proud of her. Old man taught her well. Hope clearly bristles at his presence and asks what gives him the right. Taken aback, he explains he is trying to pay his respects. Hope reminds him how he chased her and Cable through time to kill her. Bishop admits he did a lot of things he isn’t proud of. Her father and he had that in common. Easy to speak on behalf of someone who isn’t here to defend himself, Hope scoffs. Can’t change what’s done, Bishop retorts. Cable knew that.

He reminds Hope that, without her, he wouldn’t be standing here. He figures that, since they both saved each other from Stryfe, they could at least have a conversation. He owes her family his life. Hope shoots back whatever his point is it is too little, too late.

Jean joins them and suggests he give Hope some space. Looking away, Bishop announces he is sorry… for Nathan… for everything. He leaves.

Jean tells Hope the students loved her lesson. They’d like to see her at the Institute more. They all would. Maybe, Hope replies evasively. When Jean tries to break through to her, Hope cuts her off. Is Jean going to tell her everything happens for a reason or how proud Nathan would be of her? She’s so sick of everyone saying that… of everyone treating her like a little girl!

Jean looks down hurt and reminds Hope she lost him, too. She lost her son. Hope apologizes then admits she can’t even picture his face. How sad is that?

Jean apologizes as well then sees the key Hope is holding. Does she want to clean out his safehouses? Hope agrees but wants to do it alone. Jean urges they should do it together. Hope insists she needs to do this alone and asks for Jean to respect that. Jean asks her if she is mimicking her powers, because her thoughts are closed off. Hope states Cable taught her to never trust a telepath. Jean points out she doesn’t need to read Hope’s mind to know she is hiding something.

Shouldn’t she be allowed some privacy? Hope spits back. Jean tells her she has seen more death than Hope can imagine. The one thing she has learned is that one should never let that tear them apart. It should bring people together. They are family. They are his family. Hope opens her arms and Jean hugs her.

A little later, they arrive in Cable’s first safehouse in Hell’s Kitchen. Cable really went overboard with the cyberpunk stuff, Jean jokes. Hope sends back at her to be quiet. Someone’s here. She follows the source of the noise, ignoring Jean who suggests they should formulate a plan.

They find Deadpool with a bag of cookies. Calling him scum, Hope attacks him with her psimitar. Deadpool lamely jokes he was really Hope-ing she wouldn’t show up.

How did he even get in here? she shouts. Dodging her attack, he asks where does she think he and daddy Dayspring bro’d down all these years? They were the Askani Boys, this was their special place.

Hope expresses her disgust at him and attacks again. She accuses him of bringing out the worst in Cable.

Jean shouts at them both to stop. They are acting like children! Ignoring her, Hope accuses Deadpool of stealing from a dead man. He retorts that he is scummy, but not that scummy. Unimpressed, Hope cuts off his arm, to Jean’s horror, while Deadpool just jokes that luckily he has two of those. Blocking her psimitar with his sword, he jokes someone reached stage two of the Kuebler-Ross Grief Model. Hope skewers him. Yep, that’s anger, he states.

Jean orders them to stop at once and paralyzes them telekinetically. So it’s enough when he is impaled? Deadpool asks. Thanks a lot, Jeanie!

Hope shouts at Deadpool, calling him a filthy merc who tried to pull her father into his stupid schemes. She insists to Jean that he has no right to be here. Deadpool rejoins that he’s known Cable longer than she has been alive. Bad news for her. Her dad wanted him here.

Hope wants to retort but Jean insists they let Deadpool say his piece. Thanks, Red, or is that Grandma Red? he quips. He takes off his mask, showing his disfigured face. He knows he is a joke to most of them, but Cable always treated him like a human. They had a real bond. Cable told him never to tell them, but they had a death pact. When one of them dies, the other one is to erase his data, his browser history, his weapon cache. To ensure there is nothing left behind for their enemies to use against the ones they love. He isn’t in the business of robbing the dead. At least not the ones he cares about.

Hope snaps she is clearing out the safehouses, so he is absolved. Whatever, he shrugs. He cleaned out this house, she can do the others. He already got what he wanted anyway. Jean asks what he is holding. He explains, part of the pact was they get a souvenir. Cable’s personal cup keeps coffee hot even when jumping through time. Shocker, he knows, but unless you bring it with you, there is no coffee in the Age of Apocalypse. He warns them to destroy Cable’s stuff and offers to go with them. Family only, Hope replies coolly. He was probably better family to him than the two of them, Deadpool replies and stage-whispers in Hope’s ear he knows exactly what she is looking for. It ain’t here and it won’t work. Hope looks caught out.

Hope and Jean continue searching and cleaning the other safehouses, one in the Adirondacks, one on Muir Isle and one outside Cooperstown, Alaska, where he found Hope as a newborn.

Hope hesitates, not sure if she can go inside. Jean tells her she is with her and she can take all the time she needs, but it is freezing outside. They finally enter. Hope admits seeing all his stuff is cathartic, but she still cannot imagine his face when she closes her eyes and she worries she will never be able to again. She’s been putting this off for so long, hoping he’d come back like last time.

Jean opines, as someone who’s been recently revived, it doesn’t take away the pain. When she came back, she felt all the others’ pain. She muses, they are two of the strongest mutants in the world and still have to go through this, but twice? That’s just cruel.

Going through Cable’s stuff, Hope admits she feels like she failed him. Taking the hat Cable wore as a child, Jean asks how that is the case. Hope explains he told her she was the mutant messiah, but now she feels just aimless She just came back to where she was born.

Jean wonders what Hope is looking for. She replies it’s not gear or guns. Jean muses he wasn’t always obsessed with this stuff. He was such a sweet little boy. All he wanted was to play outside, hang out with his friends, help people. He was actually a pretty scared kid. His father and she were probably overprotective, because of the virus.

Hope has finally found a small device, something Jean has been expecting. As Nathan’s daughter, of course Hope was looking for a time machine. Hope angrily announces Jean knows what she has to do. Jean shoots back she isn’t considering the consequences. Hope claims, Nathan would have wanted it. Jean doubts it. He knew better than anyone; if you go back in time to change one thing, you change everything. He doesn’t need to be dead! Hope insists. He would do it for her. Jean telekinetically takes away the time machine.

Hope copies her power and tries to fight back but Jean states Hope cannot beat her with her own powers and wins the tug of war easily. Hope tries to hit her but Jean easily shields herself and waits until Hope exhausts herself. She sinks down sobbing she is so sad. She apologizes for using Jean as a punching bag. Dropping her shield, Jean tells her that’s what family is for. What’s happened happened. Doesn’t mean they have to like it. It’s time to let go and focus on the present.

Hope destroys the machine. Jean hugs her as Hope admits she didn’t want to admit he was gone. Jean agrees it’s easy to hold onto the past when you’ve been through so much with someone.

Jean wipes away Hope’s tears and muses that she sees so much of Nathan in her. It’s no wonder he called her Hope. As they step outside, Hope admits she still cannot picture him in her mind. She asks Jean for help. Jean uses her telepathy to help Hope with her memories.

2nd story:
Scott Summers and his wife Madelyne Pryor are visiting Scott’s grandparents presenting their newborn son Nathan Christopher.

As Scott’s grandparents, Philip and Deborah, Scott’s father Chris (aka Corsair) and Scott’s brother Alex and his girlfriend Lorna Dane coo over the baby, Scott and Madelyne avoid each other. The others can’t help but notice the tension. When Alex wants to speak to Scott, Lorna holds him back, telling him Madelyne needs them right now. Phil tells Chris to talk to Scott before things get off track.

In the night, Chris finds Madelyne lying alone in bed with Nathan after crying herself to sleep while Scott sleeps downstairs on the couch.

He orders Scott to get dressed, they are going for a walk. Scott demurs but Chris isn’t having it. He points out he hasn’t walked these hills in twenty years. He’d like to do so with his son at his side. With a ‘yessir,’ Scott gets dressed.

They walk through the forest and Scott muses he feels like he’s been here before. Chris replies he has been here lots of times. Scott has a memory flash from his childhood, walking here with both parents shortly after Alex was born. Scott screams ‘no’ as the memory shatters. Chris asks if he is okay. Scott replies his memories are like shy ghosts. Soon as they are noticed, they spook and vanish. That’s why he stopped looking for them.

They sit down on some rocks and Chris asks how long it has been like this. For as long as Scott can remember, though some images are solid. But most of his life before the X-Men slips through his fingers. Even Professor Xavier’s telepathy can’t sort out the mess.

Best theory Xavier has is that panic and a desperate need to save Alex’s life catalyzed Scott’s power way ahead of schedule. Scott’s optic blast broke their fall. They survived the landing – barely, in Scott’s case. He was in a coma for a year and got passed to a foundling home. When he woke up, his memories were a shambles and Alex was adopted right away whereas he was forgotten. Why did he throw them away? Scott asks his father.

Chris tells him, they were trying to save them. Scott insists. Why didn’t he ever come back for Alex and him?

Chris tells him they saw the boys’ parachute was burning and they were five miles high. They thought their boys had died. After the Shi’ar abducted them and Scott’s mother died, he became a slave. He founded the Starjammers to take revenge on the Shi’ar but, at the same time, they also become his new family and salvation.

Scott muses, the X-Men were his salvation. They were the bedrock of his world. Now, though, he feels like he is drowning in quicksand… with him, with Madelyne, with Nate.

Chris assures, him he is not. He has a family who loves him. All he thought lost is in his hands. They both have the chance for a new beginning and to heal. Scott admits he is scared. What if he’s made a mistake?

That moment, there is an earthquake and something hits Scott’s head.

A hologram of Hepzibah appears informing them that Madelyne and the boy are in danger. Chris demands they beam them up to the Starjammer. Unfortunately, they can’t establish a proper signal lock. Chris asks her to guide them to Madelyne, and they start running. Hepzibah warns them though that was just the preshock – the real quake is due in a minute. Corsair orders her to tell Waldo to focus on him and be ready to teleport them up any moment.

Madelyne, who is carrying Nate, is trapped beneath a tree that fell on her leg, with a ravine beginning to open beneath her.

Hepzibah announces they still can’t get a solid lock on Madelyne with the tree in the way.

Madelyne looks up and begs Scott to save their son. Instead, as the chasm opens, Scott jumps over to her. Madelyne urges him to save Nate and leave her. Not in a heartbeat! he replies. A growing boy needs his mom, he jokes. He knows. He’s been there. She calls him crazy. He retorts, she is the woman he loves, as he smiles. He promises that they will always be a family.

The chasm opens and they fall. Scott orders her to hold tight to him and Nate, as he uses his optic blast to slow their fall. Before they hit the ground, though, the Starjammer teleports them aboard.

Scott and Madelyne kiss and baby Nate laughs, because as Corsair figures, this is the happiest day of his life.

They spend a few days aboard the Starjammer to heal and later return to their home. The other Starjammers and Summers extended family are in the living room while Scott and Madelyne are in bed with a happy Nate between them.

Characters Involved: 

1st story
Hope Summers II
Bishop, Jean Grey, Nightcrawler (X-Men)
Anole, Armor, Glob Herman, Nature Girl, Surge (students)

2nd story:
Madelyne Pryor
Nathan Summers
Havok, Polaris
Ch’od, Corsair, Hepzibah, Raza, Waldo (Starjammers)
Deborah and Phil Summers

Story Notes: 

1st story:
The story acts as an epilogue of sorts to X-Termination.

Bishop tried to kill Hope for most of her life believing she would doom the mutant species. [Messiah Complex / Cable (3rd series)]

Hope and Bishop saved each other in Uncanny X-force# 17. [part of the Vendetta crossover]

Cable and Deadpool developed an unlikely friendship in the Cable & Deadpool series.

The Kuebler-Ross grief model postulates that grieving people go through five emotional stages.

Jean was revived in Phoenix Resurrection.

2nd story:

The story takes place between Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #201 and X-Factor #1 (1st series).

It is narrated by baby Cable, as unlikely as that may seem.

There is a glaring continuity mistake, namely the Starjammers’ presence. At the time, the Starjammers were fleeing from the Shi’ar Empire and only quickly visited Earth to get and save the dying Professor X. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #200] From then on, they and Xavier had no contact with the X-Men until Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #275. Corsair only learned of his grandson, when the New Mutants met them in space. New Mutants (1st series) #50]

Another mistake: Cyclops’ grandfather is mistakenly called Nate. Actually, his name is Phil and baby Nathan was (subconsciously) named after Nathaniel Essex – Mr. Sinister.

Scott’s memory problems are probably also due to Sinister’s manipulations [Inferno], but he doesn’t know that at the time.

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