Uncanny X-Men (5th series) #12

Issue Date: 
April 2019
Story Title: 
This is Forever, part 2

Matthew Rosenberg (writer), Salvador Larroca (artist), Rachelle Rosenberg (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Joe Caramagna (letterer), Salvador Larroca & Rachelle Rosenberg (cover artists), Superlog (variant cover artist), Jeff Powell (title page designer), Chris Robinson (assistant editor), Jordan D White (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: 

Wolverine removes some bullets from Cyclops' body as they discuss the fact that there are no X-Men anymore, until Wolverine hints that there might be some left alive. Wolverine arrives at a bar where some off-duty O*N*E soldiers are relaxing, and takes one of their uniforms. With another soldier, he drives to a secret O*N*E facility which has apparently been rounding up any mutants they can find. The guard doesn't want to let them in because he didn't know about this delivery, when the soldier with Wolverine blows Wolverine's cover. The guard opens fire at him, so Wolverine drives the truck they are in into the O*N*E  facility. Other guards surround it, before Cyclops bursts from it, taking down the guards. Wolverine joins the fight, when some strange Sentinels confront them. The Sentinels tell Wolverine and Cyclops to stop, and barely put up a fight when attacked. Wolverine discovers blood on his claws – from one of the Sentinels, so he opens the Sentinel up to discover Strong Guy inside it. In others they rescue Moonstar and Karma, all three infected with the Transmode Virus. Moonstar explains that O*N*E are weaponizing mutants for their own goals, using mutants against each other. The five find the holding cells where a dozen or so other mutants are being held. They find several Multiple Man dupes, along with Magik and Wolfsbane, who are no longer infected with the Transmode Virus. Wolfsbane explains this away as something to do with their shapeshifting nature being able to fight off the virus. Cyclops is ready to leave, before Magik takes him to where one more mutant is being kept – Havok. Cyclops rescues his brother, who is strung up, the facility somehow using his plasma powers. As the mutants begin their escape, they are attacked by several soldiers, who are quickly taken out. Some of the mutants make a run for it, before one of the Madrox dupes begins to feel strange – then explodes, creating a massive explosion – which Strong Guy is able to absorb. Strong Guy then dies in Magik's arms. More soldiers arrive, so Magik creates a portal, which she, Wolverine, Cyclops, Moonstar, Karma, Wolfsbane and one other mutant escape through – Havok wants to stay and fight, he releases a lot of plasma energy which destroys the facility, before being pulled through the portal. General Gallahan arrives to find his facility desotroyed, and Strong Guy's body among the ruins, he realizes that it appears the X-Men are back.

Full Summary: 

Every ending has a beginning....
'Dammit' Scott Summers a.k.a. Cyclops complains as Logan a.k.a. Wolverine uses surgical instruments to remove bullets lodged in Scott's back. 'It hurts 'cause you're squirming' Logan remarks. 'I'm squirming because it hurts' Scott responds as he sits straddling a chair, while Logan continues to remove bullets. Scott then thanks Logan, who tells him to save it, that an X-Man was in danger, he helped – it doesn't need to be made bigger than that. Scott tells Logan that there is no “X-Men” anymore, and asks him if he gets that, as everything they have worked for, everything Charles built is all gone. 'And for what?' Scott asks. 'Well, it was nice to believe for a while' Logan remarks. Scott rubs his back, while Logan pours two drinks of alcohol. 'I did this. I ended the dream. I can see all my mistakes so clearly now. I never should have led the X-Men' Scott declares. 'Is this where I'm supposed to argue with you? Because I wasn't your biggest cheerleader before and that hasn't changed, but you did okay' Logan replies. Scott tells Logan that it doesn't matter, as they are all that are left. 'About that... what if I told you there were others?' Logan asks.

Later in a bar somewhere, off-duty officers of the O*N*E – the Office of National Emergency – are relaxing. 'And this blue kid is just crying and crying, and I can't stop laughing because her wings won't stop flapping' one of the officers tells the other. 'I never see the good stuff. Callahan has me -' the second officer begins to reply, before Wolverine appears before them. 'Nice to see the Office of National Emergency is still finding new ways to use our tax dollars to torture kids' Wolverine snarls. 'This is a private conversation, man' one of the officer replies, before Wolverine asks them which of the two are closer to his size. 'Listen, we're just trying to relax after work, man. So why don't you go -' one of the officers, a man with a beard, starts to say, to which Wolverine interrupts him, and slowly releases his claws, as he tells the officer that he would watch what he says next – because he only needs one of them.

A short time later, an armored vehicle arrives at an undisclosed location, stopping at a barrier. 'Uncoming shipment for the labs' the bearded O*N*E officer tells the guard at the barrier. 'It's not on my list' the guard replies. Wolverine, disguised in the other officer's armor, announces that it is a special delivery for Callahan, and suggests to the guard that he waves them through before Callahan gets pissed at him for keeping him waiting. The guard is defiant though, and declares that he has gotta call this in. He instructs the bearded officer to open up the back of the truck for him. 'It's a trick! They're trying to sneak in!' the bearded O*N*E officer suddenly shouts, so Wolverine pops his claws, while several O*N*E soldiers gather around the truck, 'Light them up!' one of them shouts, as they open fire, bullets spray into and through the truck, striking the bearded officer, while Wolverine mutters 'The one time I make a plan...and you have to try and be the hero. Jackass' as he puts his foot to the accelerator, driving the truck through the barrier, knocking several guards over as he crashes the truck into the side of the building up ahead.

'Truck's down! We breach that door in three... two... one...' an officer calls out as several of them approach the truck, only for a powerful blast of optic energy breaks the back of the truck away, and knocks the O*N*E officers backwards. 'Hell of a plan, Wolverine' Cyclops remarks 'You are attacking a United States government facility! Surrender at -' a O*N*E officer calls out, but Cyclops just knocks them back with an optic blast. Wolverine leaps from the truck, growling and claws at the ready, he slams into an officer and slices his claws into them as he asks Cyclops if they are inside the compound yet. Cyclops blasts another officer, while Wolverine asks him what is next. 'We go inside and save the day...after we deal with this' Cyclops replies as a strange Sentinel lumbers towards them.

'This is new' Scott remarks, looking up at the strange black and yellow colored Sentinel. 'Feels old to me' Wolverine mutters, claws at the ready as another Sentinel appears. The Sentinels open fire, so Scott ducks to avoid the blast. 'Stop. Please' one of the Sentinels states as Logan slashes his claws across the Sentinel's chest, opening the Sentinel up, before another Sentinel slams Logan into a wall. 'Compared to the old models, these ones barely put up a fight' Scott points out as he fires an optic blast at the Sentinel, blowing its arm off. 'Says the guy they didn't put through the concrete' Wolverine mutters as he moves away from the wall. 'Maybe I've just gotten better since I came back' Cyclops suggests. 'That doesn't sound right, either' Logan replies. Scott tells him not to worry about it, that he can end this himself if Logan wants to take a nap. 'Cute...' Logan replies, while Scott fires another blast towards the strange Sentinels.

Logan then sniffs what appears to be blood on his adamantium claws, and tells Cyclops to wait. Cyclops stands in front of a Sentinel, as Logan points out that the Sentinel is bleeding. 'You're getting soft, Logan. Sentinels don't bleed' Scott replies as he looks the odd Sentinel straight in the eye. 'Stop. Please' the Sentinel states. 'That was my point' Logan declares as he uses a claw to pry open the front of the strange Sentinel – and he and Cyclops are shocked to find Strong Guy inside the Sentinel. 'Looks like they've been up to a few things while we were gone' Wolverine suggests, while Strong Guy, who has been infected with the Transmode Virus, remarks 'Thank you, friends'. Cyclops addresses Strong Guy by his real name, Guido, and asks him what is going on. After climbing out of the Sentinel, Strong Guy replies 'We became sick. Self's whole team became infected with the Transmode Virus. At first Self thought the O*N*E was here to help us. They weren't. They wanted to experiment on us' Guido reveals.

'Good ta see ya again, Dani' Wolverine calls out as he helps Danielle Moonstar out of another Sentinel, while Strong Guy informs Cyclops that they were put into these machines to power and control them, but they couldn't override their orders – not fully, at least. Wolverine and Moonstar begin opening another of the fallen Sentinels, and inside this one is Karma. 'They're trying to weaponize mutants for their own goals. They want to find a way to use us against each other' Moonstar explains, while Wolverine welcomes Karma back. 'They created horrors in here you can't imagine' Karma utters. Wolverine tells her that he is sorry, but that she is free now. 'Good... now let's go get the rest' Karma replies.

Wolverine stops at a sign which the O*N*E has put on a wall, giving explicit instructions about how prisoners here should act – and responds by slicing his claws through the sign, and through a wall, where a young green-skinned mutant with several eyes on her face asks 'Who are you?' 'We're the X-Men. Everything's going to be okay' Cyclops tells the girl, as Logan, Dani, Karma and Strong Guy stand with him. They move on to another cell, where several men with large M's on their face are sitting around a table playing cards. One of them wears a patch over one eye, and the other is missing a hand. 'Jamie, what happened to you? I just saw you -' Cyclops begins, but one of the Madroxes tells him 'No, you didn't' while another explains that they are not Madrox Prime. 'Hello' the one with the patch over one eye smiles.

As Dani, Karma and Strong Guy help free mutants from other cells, Wolverine and Cyclops come to the end of a corridor. 'Last two' Cyclops points out as he fires an optic blast that smashes open the door to one of the cells. 'Took you long enough' Illyana Rasputin a.k.a. Magik mutters as she emerges from the cell, wearing a power-dampening collar around her neck. 'Magik, you look...' Cyclops begins. 'You were expecting more Warlock?' Magik asks. 'Kind of' Cyclops admits, while Rahne Sinclair a.k.a. Wolfsbane emerges from the other cell and smiles as she hugs Wolverine. Magik explains that she and Rahne were both sick with the virus, they still are, but somehow, they mostly fought it off. Wolverine uses a claw to snap the collar around Rahne's neck, as Rahne shifts into a lupine form and explains that her theory is that she and Illyana are both shape-shifters of a kind, so their bodies can handle the infection more than the others, but either way, it meant that the O*N*E didn't know what to do with them. 'I do. Let's go' Cyclops exclaims.

Magik reports that she still won't be able to teleport them all out of here, as there is some sort of field around this place that blocks her. Cyclops points out that they got everyone, so they will just leave the same way they came in. As Wolverine breaks Magik's collar open, Magik tells Scott that he has to come with her – as there is one more.

'Alex...' Scott utters soon after as he looks up at his brother, Havok, who is suspended in some sort of contraption that seems to be using his mutant abilities to power this facility. Cyclops climbs up a ladder, and starts to fire optic beams at the cables connected to his brother. 'It's okay, Alex' Scott calls out, grabbing Alex before he falls to the ground. 'I've got you. It's okay' Scott tells his brother, climbing down the ladder with his brother, as energy crackles around them. 'Scott... is that you… you came for me?' Alex utters. 'Of course I did. Not going to let my little brother be the big marytr' Scott remarks. 'Am I dead now too?' Alex asks, to which Scott tells him that he is okay. 'I'm sorry, Scott. I wanted to tell you that...' Alex begins, to which Scott tells him that he has no reason to apologize. 'It should have been me. It should have been me who died' Alex utters, before they regroup with Logan and the others, who are now battling some O*N*E soldiers. 'Slim, we found others, but it's getting ugly out here' Logan calls out to Scott.

Cyclops grits his teeth and tells the X-Men to form up and cover the other mutants. He instructs Wolverine and Wolfsbane to get on point and push towards the entrance, while he covers them from behind. 'Stick to cover and move in groups of three' Cyclops calls out as he fires an optic blast at a O*N*E soldier, and Havok releases a plasma blast towards another. Some of the mutants race towards the exit, while one of the Marox dupes suddenly clutches his stomach and announces that he doesn't feel so good. 'It hurts...' he begins, while another dupe reaches out to him, 'What are...oh no! They put a bomb in us!' he exclaims, before the Madrox dupes are torn apart by an explosion which appears to engulf the entire group of mutants – but when the dust and smoke clear, Magik looks up, and sees Guido's body has been torn apart. 'Get up!' she calls out, crawling over to Strong Guy's body, 'Stand up. We need you!' she tells him, shaking his face. 'Not...this time...I think...' Guido replies. Magik takes his hand and tells him to get up, as Strong Guy reveals that he absorbed the explosion, and asks if he saved everyone – before he passes away. 'No no no...' Illyana utters, before Logan goes over to her and announces that they have to go – now.

'No' Magik replies, but Logan explains that the blast knocked the power out, so whatever was stopping her from opening her portal is now down. 'Good' Magik decalres as she starts to open a portal. Logan assures her that there will be time for swords and revenge later, that Guido is done and it is time for them to leave. 'He was my teammate' Magik frowns, hanging her head. 'And more of your teammates will follow him if you charge off and leave them behind right now' Logan points out. Cyclops fires and optic blast at another O*N*E agent and tells Illyana that there will be time to mourn everyone later, but now she has to get them out of here. 'Where are we going?' Illyana asks. 'Anywhere but here' Scott tells her. Illyana extends her portal around Dani, Wolfsbane, Karma, the girl with the green skin, Cyclops and Wolverine, while Cyclops calls out to Havok, telling him that it is time to go. 'I'm not going...' Alex replies as he releases a powerful surge of energy into the facility. 'ALEX!' Cyclops calls out as Magik's portal begins to wash over them. 'Let me finish! Let me -' Havok exclaims, before Cyclops pulls him into the portal at the last second, then, they vanish.

From the rubble of part of the facility, a O*N*E officer calls out 'Attention!' and approaches General Callahan, who stands over Guido's remains. The officer reports that they are evacuating the building now, that Havok's blast looks like they have lost this facility. The agent apologizes to General Callahan and tells him that he doesn't know how this happened. Callahan frowns as he replies 'It would appear the X-Men are back'....

Characters Involved: 

Cyclops, Wolverine
Magik, Strong Guy, Wolfsbane (all Corporate New Mutants)
Multiple Man dupes

General Callahan

O*N*E soldiers
Unidentified mutants

Story Notes: 

This issue has the Legacy numbering of Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #631.

Moonstar, Magik, Wolfsbane, Karma and Strong Guy were last seen in New Mutants Dead Souls #6, which saw the Transmode Virus spread out of control and take over their bodies. A call was placed to General Callahan at the end of the issue, and their appearance here indicates that Callahan took them into his custody in between the two issues.

Magik and Wolfsbane were clearly infected with the Transmode Virus in New Mutants Dead Souls #6.

Havok was taken into custody by General Callahan at the conclusion of Astonishing X-Men (4th series) #17.

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