Dark X-Men: The Confession

Issue Date: 
November 2009
Story Title: 

Craig Kyle & Chris Yost (writers), Bing Cansino (penciler), Roland Paris (inker), Edgar Delgado & Brian Reber (colorists), Rob Steen (letterer), Yanick Paquette, Michael Lacombe & Nathan Fairburn (cover artists), Paul Acerios & Damien Lucchese (production), Daniel Ketchum (associate editor), Nick Lowe (editor), Axel Alonso (executive editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

Cyclops and the White Queen are having troubles in their relationship. Scott wants to talk about the secrets they are keeping, but Emma doesn’t. Their argument results in Scott sleeping on a sofa in one of the Graymalkin living areas, which is noticed by several students. Scott learns that Emma has missed a class and finds a note from her in which she tells him she is going to kill a man, and that she doesn’t expect to return. Scott races through the complex to find her but, as it turns out, she has returned Emma tells Scott she couldn’t leave without telling him what is going on. They go into Cerebro and Emma opens up Scott’s mind. He takes her to the sealed “room” in his mind and opens the black box, as he reveals to Emma that he formed X-Force with the purpose of killing the enemy before the enemy kills the X-Men – going against everything the X-Men stand for. Emma reminds about her time with the Hellfire Club and reveals her own secrets: her liaisons with Tony Stark and the Sub-Mariner, about her Hellions, about trying to force X-23 away to protect the other students and succeeding in driving Wither away, not to mention murdering her sister, before joining Osborn’s Cabal. Neither blames each other, simply believing they did what was best for the protection of the X-Men and mutantkind. Scott and Emma make up, and agree never to keep secrets from each other again.

Full Summary: 

Graymalkin, 2AM. In the private quarters of Scott “Cyclops” Summers and Emma Frost a.k.a. the White Queen. Both lie in their bed, away from each other, staring into the night; Emma with eyes wide open, Scott with a big frown on his face. Suddenly, Emma sits up in bed, before getting out and going over to the window, where she stands and stares. Scott sits up and watches her. His thoughts dart back to a conversation with their teammate, Hank McCoy a.k.a. the Beast: ‘Lots of secrets filling these halls nowadays, Scott. More than normal for people like us. Logan leading a gang off to god-knows-where. Blood-stained clothes in the laundry. To say nothing of what you’ve been up to, Miss Frost. When I get back we’re having it all out. Do you hear me? These secrets will kill us!’

Scott walks over to Emma and puts his arms around her. Emma touches his hand. ‘Emma, I -’ Scott begins, before Emma quickly exclaims ‘Don’t.’ Scott tells Emma that Hank was right. ‘Scott, please stop…’ Emma replies. ‘No, Emma, we need to talk. And not just for the sake of the others. We need to do this for us. Because -’ Scott begins, before Emma pushes him back: ‘I said stop!’ she exclaims. ‘I’m not going to do this now, Scott. Not for you. Not for anyone!’ Emma declares. ‘So if you want to have your little heart-to-heart with Henry, then by all means do. Just leave me out of it!’

Scott hangs his head, while Emma narrows her eyes: ‘Are we clear?’ she snaps. Scott looks at Emma, before clenching a fist and turning around and leaving their room – slamming the door behind him as he goes. Emma hangs her head. ‘I’m sorry…’ she whispers, tears falling from her eyes.

Sun rises over Marin County, where inside one of the living areas, three of the X-Men students have gathered. ‘That couch looks really uncomfortable. You should come stuff with us!’ Pixie exclaims. ‘Subtle’ Armor tells her, before asking Cyclops if everything is okay. ‘You’ve um, been sleeping on the couch a lot,’ she remarks. Cyclops looks up at Armor, Prodigy and Pixie and tells them that everything is fine, before asking if there is something he can help them with. Prodigy informs Cyclops that they are looking for Miss Frost, as she missed her morning training session with the students. ‘She never misses class,’ he exclaims, to which Cyclops asks ‘Did you try her room?’ ‘Don’t you mean your room?’ Armor asks him, while Pixie explains that nobody answered. Cyclops calls out to Emma through his mind, but gets no response.

‘Emma? Are you -?’ Scott calls out as he enters their room. But Emma isn’t there. He finds a note on the bedside table and reads it quickly. ‘No!’ he gasps, before dropping the note and running from the room. HE calls out to the Cuckoos, using his thoughts to order them to Cerebro immediately. As the note lands on the floor, part of it can be made out: Emma has gone to kill a man and does not imagine surviving the encounter.

Scott storms through Graymalkin, past two of the Cuckoos, telling them to contact Psylocke, as he wants all of the scanning for Emma. ‘Mister Summers -’ Phoebe begins, but Scott tells her to do it. He soon approaches Loa and Trance. ‘Move!’ he shouts. ‘Mister Summers - what?’ Loa asks. ‘Where’s Miss Frost?’ Scott demands. ‘I saw her go out the front door,’ Trance tells him. Scott grabs the door handle, while his thoughts reach out to Emma: ‘Emma…Emma, answer me, dammit!’ However, as Scott opens the door, he finds Emma standing there on the porch, a suitcase at her feet.

‘I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t leave without telling you face-to-face’ Emma announces. ‘Scott… I’ve done something exceedingly horrible, and you deserve to know -’ she begins, but Scott tells her to stop. ‘I have to tell you something first, but not here.’

Soon, they are in Cerebra. ‘How intimate,’ Emma mutters. ‘It’s psi-shielded,’ Scott reminds her, before asking her to read his mind. ‘Will you just listen to me?’ Emma asks him. ‘After we’re inside. Emma, please,’ Scott replies. With that, they find themselves inside Scott‘s mind, Scott now in uniform. Emma tells her lover that he is being incredibly frustrating. ‘I am trying to be open with you. Do you realize how hard that is for me?’ she asks him. ‘Come on,’ Scott tells her as he leads her through his mind.

‘I have tried so hard to not be who I was. Who it is second nature for me to be’ Emma exclaims. ‘Emma, I know. But you have to understand… I’m not who I was anymore either,’ Scott declares. They stand outside a door with a large red X on it. ‘How is this about you again? You didn’t even read my letter, did you?’ Emma asks. ‘I read enough of it to know you didn’t think you were coming back. That’s all I needed to know,’ Scott tells her, before opening the door, telling Emma that he could not let this end hiding things from her. ‘I don’t want there to be secrets between us anymore’ Scott declares.

‘You know I can’t open it’ Emma reminds Scott. ‘I know. That’s why I’m going to open it for you,’ Scott replies, crouching beside the small black box. ‘Honestly, Scott… I don’t care what’s inside. Whatever secret’s you’re keeping about Jean, they don’t matter to me anymore,’ Emma replies. ‘Something is happening, and you have to know the truth. What I’ve done… I’m going to show you everything. But please know, no matter what, I -’ Emma begins. ‘I know you do, Emma. I know,’ Scott replies as he slowly opens the black box. ‘You never have to tell me that. This is about what I have to tell you,’ Scott replies as images and thoughts begin to spiral around them.

(Shown with flashback images, narrated by Cyclops and the White Queen)

Scott tells Emma that after Cable left with the baby, and after Charles was shot, he knew what he had to do. ‘I went against everything I believed in. Everything I was taught. Everything I know about right and wrong. But I did it anyway,’ Scott declares. Cyclops explains that Wolverine knew what he was asking, and knew what had to be done. ‘He thought he was helping me stay clean. Keeping the blood off my hands. But he knew we were crossing a line, both of us. That there was no going back.’ Scott explains that he had to keep the X-Men alive until hope came back. ‘And strategically, this was the only way I knew how. So I formed X-Force. And I told Wolverine to take his team and to kill. To kill the enemy before they could kill us!’

Emma tells Cyclops that when he first met her with the Hellfire Club, he saw her true colors. ‘White, ironically,’ Scott and Emma watch Emma’s past self torture Storm. The Black King stands and watches smugly, while two naked men are imprisoned in cages hanging from the ceiling. ‘This is where I first hurt you. I helped push Jean Grey into becoming the Dark Phoenix,’ Emma declares. Emma tells Cyclops that everyone thinks she shares his bed because she is manipulating him somehow. ‘They believe that I couldn’t possibly feel genuine emotion for you. And they pity you because they know you’re being used. Played with, like a toy for my amusement.’ Emma adds that she has given people many reasons to believe this. ‘Part of Toy Stark doesn’t respect you because of me. He is not the only one’ Emma announces, referring to the Sub-Mariner.

Cyclops reveals to the White Queen that X-Force’s missions spiraled out of control. ‘What was once simple, because complicated. Our targets multiplied. X-Men – our friends – were hurt. Damaged deeply in ways I couldn’t have predicted. But it was too late to help them. Because as hurt as they were… I needed them. We all need them to keep fighting.’ Scott tells Emma that he told himself it was for the greater good. ‘Because of X-Force, I think of things like genocide. I think of how I can use the worst of what we’ve faced as a weapon against our enemies.’ Cyclops declares that this is who he is now. ‘And when three of our kind were kidnapped’ Scott begins, referring to the capture of Hellion, Boom-Boom and Surge, ‘I kept it secret because their lives had to be risked to ensure Hope was protected.’

‘No…’ Emma tells him. ‘I claim to be a teacher. I say I would die for my students… but this is what I have done to them!’ she exclaims, referring firstly to her first students, her prized students, the Hellions. ‘Then, after I say I’ve changed, I torture a girl who more than any, needed my help,’ Emma reminds Scott. She explains that in an effort to protect the other children, she tried to drive X-23 away by using her most painful memories against her. ‘But even though Laura stayed… Wither did not. And what’s worse, I allowed him to go… to disappear without a trace because I felt that he too was a danger to the others.’ Emma tells Scott that this is how she treats her students, and why she murdered her sister. ‘I tell myself I’m doing it for the children. But I know the real reason. It’s who I am. It’s who I always have been. It’s who I always will be. The children are just an excuse. A reason I say aloud to keep myself believing that there is more to me than there really is.’

Cyclops tells Emma that after looking for Cable and Hope for months, the Beast finds them. ‘I don’t ask him to bring them back. I tell X-Force to go after them… to go after Bishop.’ Cyclops declares that once more he makes X-Force go to war for him, even with the lives of their students on the line. ‘Logan tells me to wait. To send someone else. But I can’t. I can’t ask the X-Men to commit murder!’ Cyclops exclaims that if the X-Men cross the lines X-Force has, if they do what he has forced X-Force to do, there will be nothing left to save when this war is over. ‘The dream will truly be dead.’

Emma stares at Cyclops as she tells him that the dream is dead because she killed it. ‘I haven’t changed. I know this because Norman Osborn came to me. Not Magneto. Not Shaw. Not Sinister. Me.’ Emma tells Cyclops that Osborn wanted her to join his Cabal. ‘He knew I would fit right in. And he was right. Osborn had taken over the world, and I knew it. I knew it and I didn’t tell you. I sold all of mutantkind for my place at his table.’

(Reality / Present)

Cyclops and the White Queen return to reality. They hold hands and press their heads together. ‘I’m sorr-’ Emma begins, while Cyclops tells her that he loves her. ‘But you saw what I -’ Emma exclaims. I don’t care about Stark, or Namor. Those men don’t know you, Emma… They never did, not like I do,’ Cyclops exclaims. ‘But Osborn’s Cabal…’ Emma exclaims. ‘Do you really think I’d believe you would join them willingly?’ Scott asks, exclaiming that Emma joined them to save the X-Men. ‘You’re willing to do anything to save mutantkind, just like you’d do anything to save your students.’

Cyclops tells Emma that is who she is, whereas he betrayed everything he was. ‘No. You’re wrong. You may think you’re a murderer, or a criminal… but you’re not’ Emma exclaims, as Scott pulls her towards him. ‘The things I’ve done… Charles would -’ Scott begins, before Emma announces that she doesn’t care about Charles Xavier, or Magneto, or even Hope. ‘I am looking at the savoir of mutantkind, right here, right now.’ Emma tells Scott that he is the only one keeping mutantkind alive. ‘You are the one that will lead us into the future. Every mutant on the planet is going to owe Scott Summers their lives’ Emma exclaims. ‘Emma…’ Scott begins, but Emma tells Scott that he is wrong about her reasons. ‘Through all of this… everything I’ve done… my biggest fear was losing you’ she declares.

With that, Emma reveals that she was going to kill Osborn. ‘That’s what my note said. That I would be killed trying’. Emma touches Scott’s face as she tells him that she preferred death to having Scott believing she betrayed him. ‘I’ve been holding this in for so long…’ she exclaims. Scott tells Emma that he trusts her - with his life - with all of their lives. ‘I told myself that I was keeping everything from you to give you plausible deniability. But that was a lie. I kept the truth from you because I thought I’d lose you over it,’ Scott exclaims.

‘Hardly. Never once have I doubted you. Never once has my trust in you been less than absolute,’ Emma replies. Scott tells her that he knows that when all this is said and done, they will be cast out. ‘By the X-Men, by the Avengers… by everyone!’ Emma replies that she doesn’t care. ‘Are you sure?’ Scott asks her. ‘Just shut up and kiss me!’ Emma exclaims. Scott leans down and kisses Emma passionately. ‘I guess I should have told you sooner,’ Scott whispers as they pause. ‘And I, you’ Emma replies. ‘No more secrets?’ Scott asks. ‘No more secrets’ Emma agrees. ‘Do you trust me?’ Scott asks. ‘Forever’ Emma replies.

Characters Involved: 

Cyclops, White Queen (both X-Men)

Armor, Loa, Pixie III, Prodigy IV, Stepford Cuckoos, Trance (all X-Men students)

In Flashback


In Cyclops’ Thoughts

Cyclops at various stages

Domino, Warpath, Wolfsbane, Wolverine, X-23 (all X-Force)

Hellion & Surge V (both X-Men students)






Members of the Facility

In the White Queen’s Thoughts

White Queen at various stages

Black King


Caged men

Tony Stark


Unidentifiable Hellions (most likely Bevatron, Beef, Jetstream & Tarot)



Adrienne Frost

Dr. Doom, The Hood, Loki, Norman Osborn, Sub-Mariner, White Queen (all the Cabal)

Story Notes: 

This story takes place prior to Dark Avengers / Uncanny X-Men: Utopia.

The sliver of the Void was locked in Cyclops’ mind in Uncanny X-Men #519.

Cable left with the baby, Xavier was shot, and Cyclops formed X-Force during the “Messiah Complex” crossover.

The White Queen’s first encounter with the X-Men occurred in Uncanny X-Men #129-131.

The White Queen killed her sister, Adrienne, in Generation X #70.

X-Force’s missions as mentioned by Cyclops can be seen in X-Force (3rd series) #1-20.

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