X-Men: Search for Cyclops #4

Issue Date: 
March 2001
Story Title: 
Book Four: Found!

Joseph Harris (writer), Tom Raney (penciler), Scott Hanna (inker), John Babcock (letters), J.C. (colors), Peter Franco (assistant editor), Mark Powers (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

With the help of a young Egyptian boy Scott makes his way to the dilapidated city of Akkaba. He is soon joined by Anais who wants to be the vessel for Apocalypse. When Scott doesn’t give it up willingly she threatens to take it by force. The timely arriving of Cable and Jean prevents that from happening. Cable battles Anais one on one while Jean tries to get into Scott’s mind. She finally manages, but Apocalypse asserts control and hits her with an optic blast before taking off. After Anais gets away, Cable tells Jean he’s going after Scott to deal with it once and for all. Meanwhile, at Cable’s New York safehouse, Blaquesmith deletes the records of Apocalypse and Gauntlet from the computer files in an attempt to hide his involvement in the attempted assassination of Cyclops. Back in Akkaba, Cable battles with Cyclopalypse and is losing badly. It isn’t until Scott regains control and returns to his human form that Cable finally realizes he can’t kill him. He doesn’t have to, though, as Jean was able to use the psychic rapport she and Scott shared to finally get into his mind and shut it down. Then, using her awesome telepathic power, she separates Apocalypse’s essence from Scott’s body, which is then skewered by Cable and his psimitar. All seems to end happily, but as Anais points out in a brief meeting with Cable and Ozymandias surmises in his temple, can anything Apocalypse touches remain pure?

Full Summary: 

Akkaba, Egypt

In Scott’s mind’s eye, he’s En Sabah Nur, crawling through the warm desert sand inching closer to the light, to his home, Akkaba. In reality, he’s sporting a blindfold and being guided by a young boy. They reach Scott’s intended destination and he asks if it’s as beautiful as he remembers. The boy uncomfortably rubs the back of his head, telling Scott if he wasn’t blind he would see that Akkaba is not beautiful (from what little can be seen there are toppled pillars and rubble scattered about).
Scott steps further into the city telling the boy to leave. The boy asks if he’s sure he wants to be left alone. Scott flips out, screaming at the boy to leave, spittle flying from his mouth. The boy takes off running and Scott continues his journey into the city. He knows people are searching for him and what they find is up to him, so he has a plan and only hopes he has enough time to carry it out.
Not far away, Cable and Jean, one of the aforementioned search parties, approaches Akkaba. Just as Jean takes off running Cable tells her to wait. She gets snippy with him, refusing to wait any longer. Cable tells her they need to be prepared in case they find Apocalypse waiting in Cyclops’ place. Jean says she can almost hear Scott in her mind, calling out in the worst kind of pain and she’s going to get her husband back. And with that she takes off running again. Cable pauses for a moment before following after. He questions if Jean might be wrong about Scott and wonders if she’s strong enough to do what must be done, or better yet, is he?
Meanwhile, Scott is hunched over on the ground, immeasurable pain coursing through his body. He fights to keep the beast within; knowing he only has to hold on just a bit longer. Anais appears, remarking on Scott’s struggling. Scott tells her to get away, that he doesn’t need her anymore.
Anais creeps out from the shadows in her feline form. She asks Scott how he can be so sure for it was her who led him this far. The only question she has for Scott is why he is fighting to keep Apocalypse inside him. She knows of his plight to control his optic blasts and points out if he would just give in he would never have to hold back again.
Anais makes her way toward Scott reverting back to human state. She is concerned that Scott still rejects Apocalypse. Scott grits his teeth and spits back that it’s not easy. He tells her it’s as if something is raking the inside of his guts and if he lets go it’s going to rip right through. Anais tells him it only hurts because he fights it. She senses the fear inside him and knows Scott thinks he’s the only one who can contain Apocalypse.
Anais tells Scott he’s wrong, though. She bows down in front of him and asks him to release Apocalypse into her and finally be free of his pain. Scott pauses a moment in reflection. The offer is tempting and he slowly reaches out his hand to place it on her head. Just before touching her, though, he pulls back. Anais looks back up at him, blind fury in her face. She leaps at him and tells him it’ll be the hard way then.
Scott backs off in defense, but blindfolded he doesn’t really stand a chance. Anais gets him to the ground straddles his waist. She gives him an ultimatum, to either give Apocalypse to her or she will slice it from him. Her claws are poised to strike, but a voice from above causes her to stop.
Cable introduces himself, standing atop a brick wall. He jumps down delivering a powerful kick to Anais’ face. Cable then takes the opportunity to introduce his psimitar, which channels his psychic power. He then takes a swing at her and tells her it can be used as an old-fashioned spear as well.
With the fight keeping Anais occupied Jean reaches out to Scott telepathically. He recognizes her voice from earlier. Jean asks if he feels their psychic rapport, their bond. Scott yells for her to get away from him. He then makes use of the psychic rapport calling her “Jean.” And with that, Jean is able to get a fix on him and starts working on getting him all the way back.
Meanwhile, Cable delivers blow after blow, taking out a lifetime’s worth of rage for Apocalypse on Anais. “No…” she cries out weakly.
Back with Scott and Jean, the former tells the latter she doesn’t understand, that he’s not completely in control. He lets out a yell of anguish and then releases an optic blast that takes Jean down. “Feel this, witch!” he yells in anger. Scott then takes off running. Jean looks up from the ground just in time to see her husband round the corner.
Not far away, Cable gives Anais a reprieve. She tries getting under his skin with insinuations about his friends and family being up to something. She asks about the assassin Gauntlet and hints that maybe he knows what she’s talking about. Anais asks Cable who would’ve have sent him in the first place. This distracts Cable for but a moment, but that’s all it takes for Anais to transform and take off like a jackrabbit.
Jean rushes over and tells Cable they have to hurry for Scott and Apocalypse are battling. Cable tells her Scott’s not the man he was, case in point the optic blast she just received as a going away present. He tells Jean in a “don’t question me” tone that he’s going after him.
Cable’s safehouse, NYC

Blaquesmith is at the computer system terminals. He’s purging Apocalypse’s file. He hopes Cable can forgive him and understand, for he only wanted to spare him. He presses the ‘Backspace’ key and deletes another file, that of the Dark Rider, Gauntlet, mercenary for hire. Blaquesmith knows it was horrible of him, but he couldn’t risk Apocalypse surviving even if it meant killing Cable’s father.

Scott’s running around has led him to a little hidey hole in the side of a building. With his jaw line blue and his eyes bright red he hears someone call “Apocalypse!” “Yessssss….,” he answers. It’s Cable who tells him to release Scott and let them end it once and for all, just the two of them. He doesn’t receive an answer. Cable tells him he’s ready. Apocalypse tells Cable to show him how ready he really is. Suddenly, the walls come crashing down, the form of Cyclopalypse stands revealed.
Nearby, Jean reaches out to Scott. She can still feel the bond and knows he’s still fighting Apocalypse. Scott calls out her name. Jean says she’s got him again and not to let go. Scott tells her “no”, that if she loves him she’ll let Cable do what must be done.
The battle isn’t going well for Cable. Apocalypse goads him with comments about his dad fighting in his place. Cable tells him to shut up and isn’t ready for Apocalypse as he reaches for his leg, grabs him and flips him over, slamming him into the ground. Cable composes himself quickly, tasting the blood as he coughs it out of his mouth. With a rallying cry he charges, ready with his psimitar.
Then, Cyclopalypse reverts to human form, to that of Scott Summers. Cable stops dead in his tracks. Scott, clutching his gut, tells Cable to hurry it up already… to end it. Cable realizes he can’t, he can’t kill his father. Scott yells at him to do it while he’s still got control.
Unfortunately, that’s all he’s got and Apocalypse is back in charge. Cable is sent flying into a nearby wall, chunks of it breaking off and raining onto the ground. Apocalypse doesn’t give him time to recover and reaches out for Cable’s half-conscious form… but then he stops.
Jean has managed to get her psychic fingers into his form. She shares the pain of her defunct psychic rapport with En Sabah Nur. He tells her to release her hold and he’ll show her real pain. Jean tells him to shut up and then asks Apocalypse what he knows about love. Jean explains how she was forced to question whether she could destroy the man she loves for the greater good. She asks him if he knows what that’s like.
Jean then explains she used her psychic rapport to shut down the mind he and Scott shared and to furrow deep inside and burn it out, taint and all. Then, clenching her fists in extreme concentration, she ejects Apocalypse’s essence from Scott’s body. Scott stumbles to the ground in extreme pain.
Apocalypse also lets out a yell of agony as Cable finally achieves his mission. Using his psimitar, Cable pierces Apocalypse’s spirit and drags it to the ground. It dissipates into nothingness. Cable proudly proclaims that’s the kind of man he is, just like his father.
Scott is back to his old self and tells Jean he only wishes he could look at her. Cable says he can take care of that problem. He removes Scott’s ruby quartz visor from around his neck and hands it over to him. Scott puts it on and thanks Cable for not listening to him. Cable says he’s welcome and walks away to leave the two of them alone.
Cable sense Anais nearby and turns. Sure enough there she is. She tells Cable she can sense he’s not happy for he knows that what Apocalypse touches, he changes. Cable tells her she’s wrong. Anais takes off and Cable stares after her, once more says she’s wrong.
While not far away, Scott is still kneeling on the ground, trying to understand all that has happened. “Jean… Oh, God, Jean…” he just keeps saying. Jean tells him to shush, that she’s got him and it’s finally over.

Sanctuary beneath the Moroccan sands

Later, along Ozymandias’ wall is a depiction of Apocalypse being separated from Cyclops. Ozymandias believes the world owes Scott Summers and his family a huge debt, but questions what kind of price he will pay, for how can one come so close to darkness and remain pure?

Characters Involved: 


Cable, Phoenix IV (all X-Men)
Apocalypse’s essence


Egyptian boy
Cyclops’ vision

Blaquesmith’s monitor



Story Notes: 

This mini-series explains what happened to Cyclops after he merged with Apocalypse during the Twelve crossover.
This story occurs prior to the events in Uncanny X-Men #391.
Gauntlet and Anais have yet to be seen again.
Apocalypse did have an effect on Cyclops causing him to act differently, more ruthless and cold, and it wasn’t too long after Cyclops had his psychic affair with Emma Frost as seen in New X-Men #131 and 136.

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