X-Men: Blue #20

Issue Date: 
March 2018
Story Title: 
Cross Time Capers, part 5

Cullen Bunn (writer), RB Silva (penciler), Adriano Di Benedetto (artist), Rain Beredo (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Joe Caramagna (letterer), Arthur Adams & Peter Steigerwald (cover artists), Jay Bowen & Anthony Gambino (graphic designers), Christina Harrington & Chris Robinson (assistant editors), Mark Paniccia & Darren Shan (editors), 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: 

In their original time period, the X-Men find themselves up against the alternate reality Brotherhood, who had been impersonating them in this time and causing disruptions throughout the rest of history. Charles Xavier the Second plans to reshape reality to suit him and his team. Bloodstorm breaks free from Xorn's telekinetic hold, and frees the other X-Men, enabling Marvel Girl to go in search of Professor X, while this time period's Magneto works alongside the X-Men to battle the Brotherhood. Jean locates the Professor, who is amazed to see her, as he wondered whether the X-Men would ever come back to their true time period. The Beast uses his future tech to call in reinforcements – Generation X and the X-Men from the year 2099, both teams they encountered during this time-travel adventure. The united mutant teams are able to hold back the Brotherhood, who then escape into the Time-Stream. The other mutants soon disappear to their true time periods, too. The Professor and Jean arrive, and the Professor confirms that his telepathic cries were sent through the Time-Stream to Magneto. The X-Men discuss how their actions may have impacted the future, and the Professor tells them that they are not the same as they were when they first left, that they need to return to this time period at the exact moment when they first left, as if they were never gone in the first place. The X-Men then vanish back through the Time-Stream. Back in the present day, the X-Men relate their adventure to Magneto. They discuss their impact on the future and the present day, and almost seem upset that they need to return to their original time at some point. Magneto then uses his time platform to venture into the Time-Stream, where he confronts the Brotherhood, who were attempting to return to the past.

Full Summary: 

'When you think about it... this is really all your fault!' Charles Xavier II utters. Remembering his Brotherhood's earlier encounter with the X-Men, he tells the time-displaced original X-Men that they fight so hard to ruin his father's legacy, every time his Brotherhood visits the past to make things right, the X-Men repel them. He reveals that he almost gave up, after all, how many times can they come so close to the finish line only to see their triumph yanked from their grasp at the last moment? 'Losing sucks... especially when we're losing to the X-Men' Raze smirks, before Charles Xavier II explains that something dawned on him – the original X-Men turned their back on his father's dream to go sightseeing in the future – and that means they left a void in the past. Flanked by Raze and the other members of his team – Xorn, Old Man Deadpool, Ice-Thing, Bruiser and Beast, Charles Xavier reveals that they just hopped back into the X-Men's original time period in time to their more neglectful days and took their place, so from here, they will reshape reality to their liking. He admits that he suspected the X-Men would show up and try and stop them, but tells them they have already lost home field advantage. 'We're the X-Men now!' he shouts.

The time-displaced original X-Men – Hank McCoy a.k.a. Beast, Jean Grey a.k.a. Marvel Girl, Bobby Drake a.k.a. Iceman, Scott Summers a.k.a. Cyclops and Warren Worthington a.k.a. Angel, along with their reality-lost allies Jimmy Hudson and Bloodstorm find themselves floating through the air inside the X-Men's Mansion. 'Who -?' Bloodstorm asks. Marvel Girl explains that they call themselves the Brotherhood, that Charles the Second is the Professor's evil son from the future – they are the time-hoping mutant troublemakers!

Suddenly, Marvel Girl looks worried, and asks about the Professor. Charles the Second frowns and reveals that his father is fine, subdued at the moment, but fine. 'You don't think I'd actually harm my father, do you?' he asks, announcing that he wouldn't. 'That's what you have done over and over again' Charles the Second declares.

Charles the Second remarks that he would like to think his father will come to see things his way, too, and he actually looks forward to that – looks forward to knowing his dad. 'You might want to rethink that. Professor X won't be able to hate you... but he is going to hate what you've become' Angel calls out. Charles the Second scowls and tells Angel to shut up. 'You don't have the right to speak for Charles Xavier! You gave up that privilege when you abandoned him!' Charles shouts.

Bloodstorm bares her teeth and exclaims that she never abandoned Professor X on her world – she killed him. Bloodstorm adds that it is a regret that will haunt her for the rest of her life – and she is immortal – but now she will gladly kill the Brotherhood in order to protect his dream! Bloodstorm switches to her mist form, breaking free of the telekinetic hold that Xorn had the X-Men trapped in. Raze tells Xorn to adjust her telekinetic hold. 'Catch her before she -' Raze exclaims, before Bloodstorm re-materializes in front of Xorn, hisses and knocks Xorn backwards – causing Xorn to release the X-Men from her telekinetic hold, they fall to the floor.

With the Magneto from this time period at their side, the X-Men stand united, and Marvel Girl tells the Brotherhood that it is time for them to leave now. 'We're gonna show you the door' she warns them. Charles Xavier II tells her that he hopes she realizes how foolish she seems, threatening them, and declares that he wants that to be her final realization before he turns all of their minds to jelly. Jean telepathically informs her team that Charles the Second is all talk, and that she is amping up their psychic buffers. She explains that they will feel a weird tickling in the center of their brain, but it will keep baby Xavier out – at least for a bit. 'Make the most of it!' Jean announces, before the X-Men and Magneto lunge towards their foes.

Magneto uses his power to knock Ice-Thing and Bruiser into the air and remarks that all this time he believed he was battling Xavier's students, it is a shame to discover they are impostors. 'Your pitiless tactics... your viciousness... I was starting to think you'd learned something useful' he exclaims.

Charles the Second concentrates his psychic power, but realizes that Marvel Girl's shields are stronger than expected, he can't punch through and worry about Magneto. 'Someone -' he calls out, as Xorn gathers herself and tells Charles not to worry about Magneto, she will handle him. Nearby, Raze leaps towards Cyclops, dodging his optic blasts, he snarls 'Wonder if those blasts of yours will work... after I claw your eyes out!'

The Beast tells Jean to find the Professor, because if his evil little spawn gets through her shields, they will need the Professor. 'Don't worry about us!' the Beast calls out as Jean rushes from the room where the battle is underway, and into a long corridor. 'Professor' she calls out telepathically. 'If you can hear me...I'd breathe a little easier if you'd respond...anything would do...' Jean calls out. Her eyes dart sideways as she hears a faint telepathic cry, calling out her name. 'I can barely hear you...but if you're listening...just hang tight' Jean responds. 'I'm on my way!' Jean calls out as she comes to a door further down the corridor, and uses her telekinetic power to tear it open – where she goes wide-eyed, and finds Professor X strapped to Cerebro. 'Oh, no! Professor!' Jean gasps, rushing into the room, she lifts the Cerebro helmet off of the Professor's head, 'Talk to me, Professor! Please! Please be all right!' Jean utters, asking him what they did to him. 'Professor?' Jean asks when she gets no response. Jean hangs her head and begins to cry, 'J-Jean? Is that you?' a voice utters. Shocked, Jean looks up and sees the Professor reaching out to her, he tells her that he didn't think he would ever see her again, that he wasn't sure if she would ever come back.

Back at the battle, Cyclops fires another optic blast at Raze, who dodges it, while the Beast kicks Old Man Deadpool backwards, and Magneto continues to keep Bruiser at bay, while Iceman has shifted into a large ice-creature to battle Ice-Thing. 'You shouldn't bring – oof! Feet to a gun fight!' Deadpool utters, before raising his gun to the Beast. 'You're right, of course. I shouldn't be here' the Beast replies, touching the future-tech earpiece, he suddenly vanishes. 'Hey! You can't 'port away just as I'm about to shoot you! That's my gimmick!' Old Man Deadpool complains. The Beast reappears and announces that he wasn't running scared – he was bringing reinforcements. The X-Mansion is suddenly filled with even more mutants from two previous time-periods the original X-Men visited recently – M, Jubilee, Husk, Chamber, Synch, Skin, Penance and Mondo – collectively known as Generation X, along with their teachers the White Queen and Banshee, and the X-Men from the year 2099 – Skullfire, Meanstreak, La Lunatica, Bloodhawk and Cerebra.

The new arrivals join the battle, engaging the Brotherhood in combat, while the Beast looks after Cerebra who seems uneasy, and looking at his tech-pad that he has been carrying around, he declares that they found plenty of new friends during their travels through time, so he figured they would like to have a word with the people who have been fouling everything up! The White Queen uses her power against Charles the Second, while Penance attacks Old Man Deadpool, Banshee uses his sonic scream to tear through Ice-Thing, Skullfire attacks Xorn with a blast of energy, Mondo holds back part of Ice-Thing and La Lunatica and Jimmy Hudson lunge at Raze.

The heroes change battle partners, as Skullfire and Cyclops open fire at Xorn. Cyclops tells Skullfire to hit Xorn with everything that he has, and explains that Xorn is just some sort of psychic construct – Xorn's head then falls off. Penance holds Raze down, and Jimmy leans in, his adamantium claws pointed at Raze's face, he tells him to not even try it. 'I'm told you're Xavier's son. Darling, you absolutely should have been spanked as a child' the White Queen remarks as Charles the Second cries out in agony under the White Queen's psychic attack. 'I only wanted to do right by my father's dream. Even if he would not, I wanted to' Charles explains, gritting his teeth, he boasts that he will get another chance, as Meanstreak, Bloodhawk, Synch and Iceman gather around. 'There's always next time' Charles the Second declares as he and his Brotherhood suddenly vanish in a green energy.

'They're gone... back into the Time-Stream... almost as if they were never here.' Cyclops calls out. 'But they were. We were, too. We helped you. Remember that... even if we don't' the White Queen tells Cyclops as she, Banshee, Generation X and the future X-Men disappear, too. 'An uncomplicated enemy... that would be nice' Cyclops remarks to himself as he watches Emma fade away.

Angel turns to Magneto and Iceman and asks 'We stopped them, right? All the changes they've made... we undid them' he remarks. 'Not all the changes... the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants... they're dead... and that's different from what happened in our -' Iceman starts to reply. Xavier interrupts 'Yes, Robert. Different' as he moves closer to the X-Men, in his wheelchair, with Jean at his side. Xavier notices Bobby's monstrous form and tell him that he sees he has changed a bit himself, but he is sure that Bobby has surmised that not all changes are irrevocable.

'Professor!' Cyclops calls out as he rushes over and hugs the Professor, who tells him that it is good to see him. The Beast, Angel and Iceman move in closer as well. 'Look at all of you. Look at how much you've grown. Your time away has left its mark' the Professor points out

The Beast explains to the Professor that they believed they were from another world, but they saw the X-Men here, it was the Brotherhood impersonating them. 'Yes, Henry. This is your world. This is your time' the Professor assures him, explaining that he seeded his telepathic summons through time, and when this Brotherhood struck, he reached out, letting his thoughts pass from one person to the next, from one mind to the next, until it brought them all back to him. 'This is where you belong' the Professor tells his X-Men. 'You want us to stay. And we should' Jean remarks as Jimmy and Bloodstorm stand with the other X-Men. 'We should stay so that something like this never happens again' Jean declares.

The Professor announces that he is afraid that is not possible, for if they were to return now, there is no telling how the future might be altered – they are not the same as they once were, and from what he knows they have said, even now there has been damage to reality that must be repaired. 'I would dearly love you to stay. When you return, though, it must be at the exact moment you left. It must be... as if you were never gone in the first place' the Professor announces, as the seven young mutants suddenly vanish, without a word.

Magneto tells Charles that he must really get a handle on his students. 'Yes, Erik. I know. But there are still tasks before them... out there in the future' Charles replies, adding that no matter how much times change, no matter how reality works to repair itself – there are still tasks for each of them.

The Present:
'Magneto!' Jean exclaims as she rushes into the room where Magneto is drinking. Jean calls out to her teammates, telling them to come in, and that she thinks everything is back to normal – or as normal as it gets for them. 'Normal? What are you up to? Or do I want to know?' Magneto frowns. 'It was a whole time-travel deal!' Bobby exclaims, pushing forward. 'Bobby -' Jean begins, but Bobby continues, explaining that Professor X's evil kid, the new Brotherhood, tried to replace them in the past, that they fouled everything up. 'But I guess we set things straight' Bobby adds. Angel reports that Professor Xavier somehow planted some sort of post-temporal suggestion through time, and that it was Magneto who passed his message on, which is why they think he created that time platform in the first place. 'Oh, yeah. We know you created a time platform' Angel adds. 'No. No, I didn't want to know' Magneto scowls.

Jimmy asks if they fixed the past, then how come they can still remember what happened. 'I mean, if time was repaired... if we got shunted back to the present... wouldn't that mean we never went back in the first place?' Jimmy wonders. 'Do not question the ways of wizards or tachyons' the Beast jokes, pointing out that most of them are anomalies in this world themselves, which is perhaps why they remember? Touching the earpiece he was given in the future, the Beast points out that it seems their journey had lasting ramifications, as he still possesses the future tech. Cyclops wonders if it is because they didn't set things straight – not everything. Bloodstorm suggests that Bobby pointed it out already – the history of this world has been changed. Cyclops looks at Magneto and asks if the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants – his old Brotherhood – Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver – are they still alive. 'What are you talking about? Of course they are' Magneto retorts.

Marvel Girl tells the others that it is like the Professor said – eventually, they must return to the exact moment they left – if they do that, then everything is going to be all right. 'Then that means… we definitely go back' Bobby utters, hanging his head. He points out that time is fixed, so they don't even have a choice about it. 'I guess we don't' Cyclops agrees. He remarks that the world is not turned upside down, so at some point – whether they want to or not, they have to go home. 'You'd think we'd all sound a little happier about that' Jean remarks. Magneto narrows his eyes, 'And this Brotherhood you mentioned... what became of them?' he asks.

Shortly, Magneto looks into the Time-Stream – he sees his original Brotherhood of Evil Mutants dead. He sees the original X-Men fighting him, Sentinels and Nazi concentration camps. 'Never forget' Magneto tells himself, looking at a younger, child version of himself.

'Are you looking for us?' a voice calls out. Magneto turns to see Charles Xavier the Second appear before him. 'You're using that little time machine of yours to track us, aren't you?' he asks, before wondering if Magneto is perhaps looking for someone else – perhaps a reminder of his true purpose. 'I can help you with that' Charles the Second offers. 'No... you play at guiding others... at fighting for your father's dream. You're not Charles' Magneto replies as the rest of the Brotherhood materialize around Charles the Second.

'No, I suppose not. I'm not my father. No matter how hard I try to be. And neither are you' Charles the Second responds. He frowns and reveals that he knows what Magneto has been trying to do, he knows that Magneto has been trying to guide his father's original students. 'Would you like to know how that works out for you?' Charles frowns again.

Magneto tells him that he can speculate that for himself, and remarks that he did not seek Charles the Second out as a divination of the future. 'I found you... before you return to the past... so that I might do what the X-men would not' Magneto reveals. He tells the Brotherhood that what they are doing, traveling to the past again, replacing the X-Men again – well, he commends them for their tenacity, but his must also condemn them for it. Energy radiates around Magneto's eyes as he announces that he would like to think that Charles would forgive him for what he is about to do – because he knows God will not!

Characters Involved: 

Angel, Beast, Cyclops, Iceman, Marvel Girl (all time-displaced original X-Men)
Jimmy Hudson
Bloodstorm II

Beast, Bruiser, Ice-Thing, Old Man Deadpool, Raze, Xorn III, Charles Xavier II (all Brotherhood)

In alternate reality:
Professor X
Chamber, Husk, Jubilee, M II, Mondo, Penance, Skin, Synch (all Generation X)
Banshee & White Queen
Bloodhawk, Cerebra, La Lunatica, Meanstreak, Skullfire (all X-Men 2099)

in flashback image:
Cyclops & Kitty Pryde (both X-Men)
Storm & Wolverine (both x-Men)
Bruiser, Ice-Thing, Xorn, Charles Xavier II (all Brotherhood)

in photograph:
Angel, Beast, Cyclops, Iceman, Marvel Girl, Charles Xavier (all original X-Men)

in Timestream:
Magneto at various stages
Mastermind, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Toad (all Brotherhood of Evil Mutants)
Angel, Beast, Cyclops, Iceman, Marvel Girl (all original X-Men)


Story Notes: 

The title of this story is based on the Cross Time Caper, a reality-hopping adventure that the original Excalibur team had in Excalibur (1st series) #12-19, 21-24.

This alternate-reality Brotherhood debuted in the “Battle of the Atom” crossover.

The original time-period's Brotherhood of Evil Mutants were seen dead last issue.

Written By: