X-Termination #2

Issue Date: 
June 2013
Story Title: 
Final Reckoning

David Lapham, Marjorie Liu and Greg Pak (Story), David Lapham (Writer), David Lopez (Pencils), Alvaro Lopez and Allen Martinez (Inkers), Andres Mossa (Colours), Chris Eliopoulos (Letterer), Ed McGuiness and Morry Hollowell (Cover Artists), Jeannie Schaefer (Editor), Jennifer M. Smith (Assistant Editor), Nick Lowe (Group Editor), Axel Alonso (Editor in Chief), Joe Qeusada (Chief Creative Officer), Dan Buckley (Publisher), Alan Fine (Executive Producer)

Brief Description: 

As Jean continues to fight the monsters in New Apocalypse, Prophet orders everyone to evacuate to the 616 reality. Dazzler objects to leaving, but Prophet tells her sacrificing the AoA reality is the only way. Nightcrawler begins to teleport everyone back, first taking Harper Simmons and then Sage. However, when he goes to take Iceman, the Dark Beast breaks free of his shackles and goes with them. He is quickly knocked out by Gambit on the other side, but not before jamming a nugget of the Apocalypse seed within Iceman to keep it safe. As Nightcrawler next takes Howlett and Cyclops, Dazzler begs Prophet to come with her but he refuses, saying a captain goes down with the ship. However, the decision is made for him when Jean Grey knocks him out and instructs Dazzler to take him back to her world. Jean goes off to continue her fight as Nightcrawler teleports Dazzler and Prophet away. In the 616 reality, Nightcrawler realizes that if he grabs onto the black swirls in the portal, he can teleport the opening back in on itself. Sage confirms he could close the portal and, before anyone can stop him, he goes. He manages to close it at the cost of his own life. Afterwards, Howlett and Cyclops decide to travel to Greece to collect Hercules from the underworld. Wolverine offers Dazzler a job at the school but she declines, as she needs a bit of time to herself. A few weeks later, Harper meets Prophet on a beach, where they have a drink to remember their old team. Elsewhere, Dazzler creates a holographic image to make sure everyone remembers her fallen teammates.

Full Summary: 

(Chapter Twelve)

As Jean Grey wields the power of Apocalypse to fight the monsters, the city of New Apocalypse is caught in the crossfire. High above them, the portal has opened wider and hundreds of monster pour from it and descend on the city.

Nightcrawler watches the carnage from a distance. In his mind, he speaks to his deceased wife, Linda. He tells her he has been such a fool as his quest to avenge her has led to this. Creatures built to destroy creation have been released upon their home. They say it was not his doing and the barriers between the worlds were breaking down already. But it was his folly that opened the portal that led them there. Now Jean Grey has sold her soul for the power to fight the monsters. When they wear her down, they will consume all that it. Then they will go back into the portal and go marching on to the next universe and the next and the next. Until there is no more of anything. Perhaps if heaven is real, they will reach her too and turn her eternal rest into a nightmare.

As Prophet and his group gather on a building roof, Dazzler tells him she is not leaving. They save the world; they don’t abandon it because the going gets rough. Prophet tells her that if they fail… which is the mostly likely event… then her world is next. She must return there and figure out how to close the portal. Iceman tells her he has a point. She tells him to shut up and reminds him they went through hell to get that power for Jean and she’s fighting them. Prophet says that she is right in that Jean is their only hope at this point. When Dark Beast tried to steal the power, it rejected him and nearly killed him in the process. Only Jean can wield the power, which makes it all the more critical that Dazzler and her friends move now. They have a very short window to ensure all the other actions are taken to stop the monsters destroying all of creation. Those actions now fall on her and her team.

As Dark Beast lies on the floor, no one notices that the ice around his hands begins to crack.

Prophet tells Dazzler that if she wants to simplify it then he can. This is his world and he wants her off it. A samurai sentinel arrives and brings Harper Simmons to the group. He goes up to Prophet and reports that Bolivar said he needed to see him. Prophet tells him it’s time for him to return home. The portal leads back to his world and he must go. Harper tells him this is his home now and he wants to stay. Prophet whispers to him that someone must remember. He tells Nightcrawler that Harper is ready to go. Harper says that it was an honor to stand with him, and with that Nightcrawler teleports them into the portal. Inside the portal, they see hundreds of monsters flying past them. Nightcrawler says to Linda that he has dishonored her but no more. For as long as he has left, he will fight for life.

In the Golden Gate Park, Nightcrawler and Harper appear before the other X-Men. Nightcrawler is exhausted but Wolverine asks him what’s going on, as they cannot get into the portal. Nightcrawler tells him there’s no time to explain but he is truly sorry for betraying the team. Before Wolverine can say anything else, Nightcrawler teleports away again.

After Nightcrawler appears back in New Apocalypse, Dazzler tells Sage she’s next as she needs to work out how to close the portal from the other side. Dazzler tells her to contact Cyclops and to rally the troops. They will come back here after they have it all figured out so they can help Jean. Sage tells her that if the creatures could be killed, the Celestials would have done it. They need a prison. Realistically, the best they can do is to trap them here. The odds of finding a way to destroy them are… Dazzler cuts her off before she can finish, though. She says not to tell her the odds and then orders Nightcrawler to get her out of there, which he does.

Howlett goes up to Dazzler and she tells him that she’s sending Nightcrawler next followed by Cyclops and him. She’s going last, if at all, and she doesn’t want to her anything about it. He tells her she’s done all she can. They are only spectators there and their energy only feeds the monsters. She tells him she won’t watch another world be destroyed. He asks her if she means at the expense of everything. She tells him they will find a way. He says he’s sure they will and he has total confidence in her ability to make the hard choices. Whatever she decides, he’ll follow. She turns to him and tells him she hates him.

Nightcrawler reappears again and seems visibly exhausted. Dazzler tells Iceman he’s next, as his ice has some effect against the monsters. If any get through the portal, she’s depending on him to hold them back. He tells her she can count on it. He goes up to Nightcrawler and says he looks terrible. Nightcrawler says he will be fine he just needs a moment. Suddenly, Dark Beast breaks out of his restraints and jumps at the two men, just as they teleport.

As they enter the portal, Nightcrawler screams in pain. Iceman tells Dark Beast that two people are too much. He says they were going to leave him in that universe so don’t expect him to feel bad. Dark Beast holds a nugget of the Apocalypse seed in his hand and says now that it is out of the ice it is burning through his hand. He needs to get it back in the ice where it belongs. He slams his hand into Iceman’s back and a massive blast of energy is released. Iceman partially melts and Dark Beast says he will be back for it later. He turns his attention to Nightcrawler and tells him to pull it together and make one more jump.

Nightcrawler does so and they materialize in the Golden Gate Park. Dark Beast says he could kiss Nightcrawler but he is suddenly struck on the back of the head by Gambit’s staff. Dark Beast falls to the ground and Gambit tells him to kiss the grass instead. Wolverine tells Gambit to hit him again and Northstar asks if Iceman is alright. Iceman is kneeling on the ground and looks weary. He tells Northstar he feels like he has been hit by a truck but he guesses that’s good under the circumstances. Wolverine tells him there’s no time for rest. Get his people back and they’re square. Nightcrawler teleports away and remarks how Wolverine called him Elf.

(Chapter Thirteen)

In New Apocalypse, the portal in the sky it huge and monsters pour out of it. Huge explosions litter the area as Jean attacks them. Recalling how Wolverine called him Elf, Nightcrawler says that strength has filled him. He doesn’t know why it means so much but it does. Perhaps the world is not the shadow he thought. Perhaps he is not a shadow anymore.

Prophet radios through to Bolivar Trask, asking if there is any way to replicate Apocalypse’s power. Bolivar tells him that Dr. Moreau is working on it. Whether it’s nobility or self-preservation, he has never seen him so committed. Prophet says Jean can only hold out so long and they must create weapons to fight. Bolivar asks if Prophet has heard from his daughter. Prophet says Goodnight has gone in search of her.

Dazzler comes up to Prophet and tells him Nightcrawler has taken Howlett and Cyclops and that he will be back for her next. He removes his mask and wishes her good luck. He tells her she must close the portal and seal the creatures here or it will all be for nothing. He says it was an honor to fight alongside her. She tells him it may be the right choice but it still sucks. It makes her sick, thinking of him waiting to be blown to kingdom come. She begs him to come back with her. He tells her he fought Apocalypse and Weapon Omega for most of his life, with nothing but his wits and an unreasonable sense of hope. Half a life later, his comrades and him prevailed and he believes he will do so again. But if not, the captain does not abandon his ship.

He is suddenly struck from behind by an energy blast. Surrounded by pink energy, Jean floats down to them. As Dazzler holds the unconscious Prophet, Jean tells her that he groomed her to take his place one day. She asks Dazzler to tell him there was a mutiny and she is leader now. She says to tell him he is a better man than he knows and says Dazzler’s world will be better with him in it.

Dazzler says she is sorry this has all fallen on Jean and asks how she is coping. She replies that she’s coping strangely well. Maybe it was possessing the Phoenix Force for so long but other than feeling intensely arrogant she is still pretty much her. When Dazzler asks if she thinks she has a chance, Jean replies that she thinks, therefore she has a chance. She says the Prophet taught her well and with that she flies off to battle the monsters. Nightcrawler appears, grabs Prophet and Dazzler and then immediately teleports away. As he leaves, Jean continues to battle the monsters as the city of New Apocalypse suffers the consequences.

They appear in San Francisco as everyone is figuring out what to do. Sage says it’s all well and good trying to close the portal but they can’t get to it. Dark Beast agrees and says the bigger problem is trying to find a counter-force to close it. The escaping energies of a universe are pressing out of the opening.

Nightcrawler asks Sage if the black swirls within the portal are the stuff from the barrier. He then asks if they have physical form. She confirms it and says they are what’s stopping them from entering the portal. Like the creatures, they drain everything they touch. Nightcrawler asks what would happen if he used them as handholds to teleport this end of the portal back to his world. She simply tells him he would die. However, Dark Beast interjects and says that it would also close the portal, like tying off an umbilical cord. It would also hurt like hell too. Nightcrawler looks to Sage and she confirms that, if he were to accomplish it, the portal would be gone and it would disengage the Apocalypse universe from the rest of the multiverse.

Nightcrawler says that’s all he needed to know and immediately teleports away. Speaking to his wife again, he tells her somehow on his quest for vengeance he lost his way. But he saw a boy, another universe’s version of himself, overcome the impossible to save a world. He did it with the belief and the strength of will that this must be done. He showed him what was possible with the mutant gifts he was given. For him to say he could do less would be a lie. Nightcrawler teleports up to the portal and is immediately overcome by the black swirls within the portal. As he screams in pain, the life is quickly drained out of his body. He thinks that now is the time for him to reclaim himself and once again be a man worthy of her. With that, he uses his last remaining strength to teleport away, taking the portal with him. Below, the other X-Men watch as the portal disappears and the sky goes calm.

Afterwards, the authorities are on site, dealing with the fallout. Dark Beast is in handcuffs in the back of a black van. Dazzler asks Howlett and Cyclops if they can’t stick around longer. Howlett says he would love to but the sooner they get going the sooner they fight a three-headed dog, swim in a river of dead-souls and hear Hercules’s braggadocio once again. She tells them to have a nice flight to Greece and she will miss them.

A voice yells Dazzler’s name from behind and she turns to see Wolverine. He says he will cut to the chase and tells her she impressed him. He didn’t think she had it in her. He offers her a job at his school and says she has a lot to offer the kids. When she asks if he really meant it, Wolverine asks her if he looks like a comedian. She turns him down and says she just spent a year hopping across the multiverse watching her friends die. She’d like to answer him but she needs a moment. As he walks away , he tells her the offer is there and once she has figured things out she should come see him.


(Two weeks later )

Dazzler relaxes on a sunny, crowded Venice Beach. On Coney Island, someone calls out Prophet’s name. Prophet, now dressed in a shirt and shorts, turns to see Harper Simmons running towards him smiling. Harper corrects himself and calls him William. Prophet seems surprised that Harper came. Harper says of course he came; he called. He tells him he brought what he asked for but it’s not exactly kosher so he poured it into some soda cans.

Back on Venice Beach, someone turns on a portable stereo as Dazzler relaxes in her deckchair. On Coney Island, Prophet asks how Harper is settling into his old life. Harper seems surprised at the question and tells him he should be asking him that. He’s from here and he didn’t…

Prophet cuts him off and finishes his sentence. He says Harper didn’t lose all his friends and loved ones. He replies to himself and says that he grew up in a world of change and charity, as awful as it sounds he’s used to it. Harper says he admired them all so much, he loved them. Good and evil had no meaning. They did what they had to in spite of anything and everything. He jokingly asks how nuts Dr. Moreau was. Prophet says he was quite insane, far more than anyone knew. Harper says he was a hero too; they all were and they will never forget them. They raise a drink to their fallen teammates from the X-terminators.

On Venice Beach, Dazzler uses the sound from the stereo and creates a gigantic holographic image of Hercules, Xavier and Kid Nightcrawler above the beach, much to the surprise of the beach-goers.

Characters Involved: 

Gambit, Iceman, Karma, Northstar, Wolverine (all Astonishing X-Men)

Cyclops, Dazzler, Howlett, Sage (all X-treme X-Men)

Deadeye, Goodnight, Jean Grey, Prophet (all X-terminated)

Nightcrawler (AoA)

Dark Beast


Harper Simmons

Beach goers

Story Notes: 

This is the sixth and final issue of the X-termination event.

The read order goes…

X-Termination #1

Astonishing X-Men (3rd series) #60

Age of Apocalypse #14

X-treme X-Men (2nd series) #13

Astonishing X-Men (3rd series) #61

X-Termination #2

AoA Nightcrawler narrates this as if he is speaking to his wife, Linda.

Xavier from the X-treme X-Men was killed in X-termination #1. Sabretooth and Horror Show were killed in Astonishing X-Men (3rd series) #60. Hercules and Fiend were killed in Age of Apocalypse #14 and Kid Nightcrawler was killed in X-treme X-Men (2nd series) #13.

Deadeye is shown in the sky at the end, indicating she also died. This is most likely an error, as Deadeye travelled to the 616 universe in Age of Apocalypse #14 and remained there after the portal was closed. Sabretooth, however, is not seen in the sky, even though he sacrificed himself along with Horror Show.

The death seed nugget that Dark Beast put in Iceman is brought up in Astonishing X-Men (3rd series) #62-65.

Dazzler becomes an agent of SHIELD in Uncanny X-Men (3rd series) #10.

Prophet, Harper Simmons, Deadeye, Sage, Howlett and Cyclops have yet to appear anywhere else.

Dark Beast appears in prison in Astonishing X-Men (3rd series) #64.

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