Hope and Cable return from the future and Bastion rallies anti mutant forces to kill the Mutant Messiah and destroy mutants once and for all.
- Hope Summers II
- Colossus, Cyclops, Dazzler, Gambit, Magneto, Nightcrawler, Northstar, Psylocke, Rogue, Storm, White Queen (all X-Men)
- Danger, Madison Jeffries, Dr. Nemesis, Kavita Rao (X-Club)
- Cannonball, Cypher, Karma, Magik, Magma, Moonstar, Sunspot, Warlock (New Mutants)
- Archangel, Domino, Vanisher, Wolverine, X-23 (X-Force)
- Anole, Bling, Gentle, Pixie III, Prodigy, Rockslide, Stepford Cuckoos, Surge, Trance (X-Men students)
- Beast (former X-Man)
- Ariel II, Boom-Boom, Husk, Namor (X-Men allies)
- Banshee II, Butterfly, Darwin, Longshot, M, Multiple Man, Rictor, Shatterstar, Strong Guy (all X-Factor)
- Graydon Creed, Cameron Hodge, Steven Lang, Donald Pierce, William Stryker, Bolivar Trask (Human Council)
- The Right soldiers
- Sapien League
- Nimrod Units
- Captain America VII, Hawkeye, Iron Man, Spider-Woman, Thor (all Avengers)
- Human Torch II, Invisible Woman, Mister Fantastic, Thing (all Fantastic Four)
- N’astirh, S’ym
X-Men: Second Coming #1-2, X-Men: Second Coming: Prepare, Uncanny X-Men #523-525, New Mutants (3rd series) #12-14, X-Men: Legacy #235-237, X-Force (2nd series) #26-28, X-Factor (1st series) 204-206, X-Men: Second coming – revelations: Blind Science #1, Hellbound #1-3
Part 01 - X-Men: Second Coming #1
Part 02 - Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #523
Part 03 - New Mutants (3rd series) #12
Part 04 - X-Men Legacy (1st series) #235
Part 05 - X-Force (3rd series) #26
Part 06 - Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #524
Part 07 - New Mutants (3rd series) #13
- Interlude X-Men: Blind Science #1
Part 08 - X-Men Legacy (1st series) #236
Part 09 - X-Force (3rd series) #27
Part 10 - Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #525
Part 11 - New Mutants (3rd series) #14
Part 12 - X-Men Legacy (1st series) #237
Part 13 - X-Force (3rd series) #28
Part 14 - X-Men: Second Coming #2
- Hellbound #1-3 takes place parallel to the main plot, starting AFTER Uncanny X-Men #524.
- X-Factor (1st series) #204-206 take place parallel to the main plot
- Second Coming: Prepare takes place two days after Hope and Cable returned from the future and is set after X-Force (3rd series) #26.
- Thanks to the Scarlet Witch’s spell, mutantkind has been reduced to a few hundred and no new mutants are born since [House of M crossover]
- A new mutant born in Cooperstown, Alaska leads to a wild chase of anti-mutant forces against X-Men for the fate of the child [Messiah Complex crossover]
- Cable takes the baby to the future to be raised there, only to be pursued by Bishop, who believes the girl will cause events leading to his dystopic timeline [Cable (2nd series)]
- Hope grows up in the future, being trained by Cable and always on the run from Bishop[Cable (2nd series)]
- In the present, most of the surviving mutants relocate to Utopia [Utopia crossover]
- The villain Bastion gathers and revives mutantkind’s enemies to destroy mutants once and for all [X-Force (3rd series)]
- Cyclops and Wolverine create a secret kill-squad named X-Force [Messiah Complex crossover, X-Force (3rd series)]
- Cable and 17-year old Hope vanquish Bishop and decide to return to the present [Cable (2nd series)]
While the X-Men face the grim reality of mutant population decline and inevitable extinction, hope appears literally when Cerebra reports that Cable has returned to the present. Until they are found by the X-Men, Cyclops can only wonder if the mutant detected with Cable is the infant mutant whom Cyclops entrusted to his care. Scott believes that the child, the only mutant birth since M-Day, will prove to be mutantkind's salvation.
Having finally gotten rid of their nemesis and pursuer, Bishop, Cable and Hope have traveled back from the future after Hope felt she was ready to face her destiny. Cable’s broken time machine transports them to the present of the Xavier Institute, where they are surprised to find only ruins.
However, the X-Men haven’t been the only ones waiting for the return of Hope. So have several mutant hate groups, all marshaled under the banner of Bastion.
While Cable and Hope still wonder how to find the X-Men, they are attacked in quick succession, first by some armored “Smiley Faces” of Cameron Hodge’s the RIGHT and then by a group of Sapien League members. After they dispense of them, Cable and Hope steal a car and hit the road to gain some time to get their bearings.
In the meantime on Utopia, Cyclops’ plan is to get Hope to Utopia whatever the cost, fully aware that there will be heavy opposition. He assembles several teams: While the B-team (the New Mutants) has a mission of their own, the A-team (a senior X-Men roster plus three teleporters: Magik, Nightcrawler and Pixie) follows Cable’s Cerebra signature. The signal disappears at the Xavier Institute, where they find the dead RIGHT members, but Wolverine’s senses confirm that Hope is with Cable. As Wolverine begins tracking them, Hope and Cable are on the road and still being chased by the Sapien League. The X-Men soon catch up and take out the duo’s pursuers, but the suspicious Cable drives on.
Left behind and the crisis passed, Nightcrawler takes stock of having witnessed X-23 killing one of the Sapien League members in cold blood and demands to know what is going on. Though he does not mention X-Force by name, Wolverine explains that they are at war and implies at lethal missions. Some of the others X-Men are horrified to hear that Cyclops sanctioned this but Colossus prevents a schism by pointing out that Hope needs them.
That night, while Bastion sends Reverend Stryker’s Purifiers against the X-Men Alpha team, he assigns the Sapien League to attack Cable and Hope, who are unaware that they are being tracked through Cable’s T-O virus. Though the League locates the motel where the two have gone to ground, they also find them ready and fighting back. Reinforcements for both sides arrive in the form of the X-Men Alpha team and the Purifiers, who find them at the same time.
When Wolverine sends Magik to transport Hope out and to Utopia, the teleporter is shot by the Purifiers with a special weapon which drags her back to Limbo and takes her out of the fight. Nightcrawler too is prevented from teleporting with perception concussors. Pixie is recalled to Utopia and joins a rescue team to limbo to find Magik. Amidst the chaos, Cable again flees with Hope, fearing the X-Men aren’t safe and intent on figuring out how Bastion gets at them so quickly.
After Angel finally ends the fight by killing the Purifiers as the lethal Archangel, Cyclops sends Ariel as the Alpha team’s new teleporter to transport Hope. Rogue asks to join the team too, feeling a sort of link to Hope that might help them find her. They split into two teams: Rogue and Nightcrawler who follow Rogue’s hunch, while Ariel, X-23 and Wolverine take a car, Psylocke and Colossus another. A jet remote piloted by Bastion firebombs the first car, killing Ariel though Wolverine and X-23 survive, badly burned.
Later, an a trailer park in Nebraska, the Sapien League and the Purifiers have caught up again with Cable and Hope but so have the X-Men, who try to run interference. During a lull in the fight, the X-Men come up with a plan to finally get Hope to Utopia. Nightcrawler is to teleport Hope to Utopia, accompanied and protected by Rogue, who has absorbed the powers of Colossus, Angel, Wolverine and Psylocke. Meanwhile, Cable stays behind with the others as decoys. The good-bye between Hope and Cable is icy as he tells her she is not a soldier in their war… but a strategic asset.
Nightcrawler teleports the trio out in as big jumps as he can manage. However, when they take a short break in Nevada, they are attacked by Bastion himself. Rogue and Nightcrawler try to defend Hope but stand no chance. Bastion then turns his attention to Hope but, just as he tries to kill her, Nightcrawler jumps between them and is impaled. With his last strength, he teleports Hope to Utopia, where he dies.
Wolverine and the others return home to learn of his death.
In the meantime, a second team, the New Mutants (without Magik) have been sent to a facility in St. Louis belonging to Cameron Hodge, where Cypher is to find out about Bastion’s plans while the rest are to destroy anti mutant weaponry. The mutants infiltrate the factory and witness an assembly of Cameron Hodge and his troops, hundreds of them.
While Cypher and Warlock gather intel the others New Mutants attack the Smileyfaces. Entering the battle personally, Hodge shifts to his monstrous, techno-organic form. Already struggling with the Hodge’s troops, the New Mutants are even more hard-pressed by Hodge, who greatly injures Karma, piercing and horribly damaging her left leg. Ultimately, Cypher manages to talk Warlock into attacking, even though that would mean killing. Reluctantly, Warlock kills the soldiers and then attacks and kills Hodge. Their assignment completed, the New Mutants return to Utopia.
2nd phase: Siege
While they bury Nightcrawler, the X-Men react in different ways to Hope’s presence. Emotions run the gamut, with some demanding she solve their problems to openly resenting her. Moonstar, however, directs her anger at Cable, which raises the protective instincts of Hope. Cyclops attempts to intervene in the ensuing fistfight, but Cable orders him to let her fight her own battles and warns him that he still has one timejump left to take Hope away.
Unfortunately, they are unaware that the next step of Bastion’s plan is already underway. Under their noses, Bastion frees Donald Pierce, the fanatic, anti-mutant prisoner of the X-Men, with their warden, Danger, being none the wiser. Now free, Pierce sneaks around Utopia, sabotaging Cerebra and security systems. He is finally caught and dispatched, but not before he also sabotaged all the jets on the island. With Vanisher slain by Graydon Creed’s troops and Pixie on a mission to save Magik from Limbo, Cyclops realizes that there are no teleporters left, making the X-Men sitting ducks.
Distraught at how things are turning out, Hope confides to Cable that she’s lied when she told him she was ready. She simply was sick of running and can’t handle being thrown into the center of this. Still, when he offers to timejump her out to safety, she declines, stating that she has to stay.
In the meantime strange towers have sprung up on offshore oil platforms in proximity to Utopia. The X-Club examines one of them and are led into a mindgame where Graydon Creed attempts to trick Kavita Rao into creating a sample of the Cure (the serum that takes away mutant powers). However, Rao sees through the ruse and the X-Club succeeds. However, they are forced to witness from the outside how the towers generate an impenetrable forcefield which traps Utopia and part of San Francisco within.
Despite the X-Club and other heroes working tirelessly to find a solution, the field proves impenetrable and the X-Men are trapped inside, leading to the most insidious aspect of Bastion’s plan. The X-Men find a much smaller sphere on the Golden Gate Bridge which serves as a connection to Bastion’s future. Through this portal, waves of Nimrod unit Sentinels emerge to exterminate all mutants.
3rd Phase: The Final Stand
The X-Men, their students and most mutants on Utopia fight to save both mutants and humans.
The X-Men decide on a crazy plan: for Cable to use his remaining timejump to take Cypher, along with X-Force for protection, into Bastion’s future. There, Cypher is to sabotage the Master Mold that is creating the thousands of Nimrods that are still to come. Cable tells Hope goodbye and the team leaves, only for Hope to inadvertently learn it’s a suicide mission as there is no way for them to get back. Angrily, she berates Cyclops and, in her rage, seems to mimic Cyclops’ powers.
As more and more waves of Nimrods arrive inside the dome, Cyclops deploys Rogue to protect Hope, and Xavier to prepare his insanely powerful (but mentally unstable) son Legion as a secret weapon. He then orders all mutants on Utopia to fight and even the still weakened Magneto eventually joins the battle. They are soon joined by Legion, whose ability to switch between the arsenal of powers that his different personalities possess is the perfect choice to fight them, neutralizing the Nimrod units’ to adapt quickly to mutant powers.
Meanwhile, instead of allowing Rogue to take her to safety, Hope utilizes some of the weapons she and Cable brought back from the future and decides to join the fight. Rogue agrees with her decision, despite Cyclops’ orders.
The X-Men defend Utopia and San Francisco as well as they can from an army of Nimrod units which receive reinforcements every five minutes. The continuous waves of robots are too much and there are casualties, such as Sack, while others are badly injured, like Hellion, who loses both hands to a Nimrod.
In the future, X-Force arrives in the dystopic era of Sentinel rule, where the X-Men have all been slain. There, they infiltrate the Master Mold plant to find two Master Mold units, one producing Nimrods and the other one seemingly out of service. Surprisingly, when they target the working one, the other one attacks them. Still, Cable and Cypher manage to infiltrate the Master Mold processing core center and, though it nearly kills him, Cypher rewrites its programming, taking out all Nimrods, including those in the present.
However, the problem remains that they have no way back, as nothing organic can survive stepping through the time membrane which the Nimrods used and which is beginning to shrink.
Shortly thereafter in the present, Hope is berating Cyclops for sacrificing Cable, when Cable suddenly steps though the membrane. He lets his techno organic virus consume him, keeping the portal open and allowing the others to come though unharmed. With a last, loving look at Hope, he dies and explodes, leaving only his arm.
Despite the X-Men’s apparent victory, the sphere still stands and Bastion decides to finish the job himself. Aided by Creed and Lang, also techno-organically transformed, he attacks the bridge and orders them to kill every mutant, while he kills Hope.
Infuriated by what he’s done, Hope stands her ground and manifests her own powers, which include copying the powers of mutants around her at maximum level. Using super strength, electricity, optic blast, ice generation and even more, Hope obliterates Bastion, also displaying an energy effect that could be interpreted as a fiery bird.
At that moment, the dome disappears and Hope falls unconscious, cradling Cable’s arm.
4th phase: the Aftermath
Later, the heroes hold Cable’s funeral. When Cyclops is too moved to eulogize his son, Hope takes over, explaining that, as a soldier, Nathan died the way he would have wanted to: saving others. Afterwards, Cyclops has several decisions to make: One is taking Rogue off the active roster for allowing Hope to endanger herself. A more far reaching decision is to dissolve X-Force. Though Wolverine seemingly agrees with this, secretly he and Angel continue the project with Pslyocke, Deadpool and Fantomex. However, Wolverine fires X-23 from X-Force, feeling she should make an attempt to learn what life is about.
Many of the other students do not know what to make of Hope. They are not the only ones. At a bonfire, Emma sees what was only glimpsed before - the Phoenix effect surrounding Hope. She rushes to tell Cyclops, who doesn't really want to hear. He finally stands vindicated: Cerebra announces the emergence of five new mutants…
Annex 1: Meanwhile - Hellbound
After Magik is captured, Cyclops orders Cannonball to put together a team to retrieve Magik from Limbo. Cannonball chooses Gambit, Northstar, Dazzler, Anole, Trance and an unwilling Pixie to transport them. The idea is to get there, find Magik and get out. However, immediately upon arrival, the group is surrounded by demons, thanks to the scheming demons N’astirh and S’ym, who are plotting to have Pixie kill Magik. To make matters worse, the evil of Limbo causes Gambit to be overwhelmed by his Death persona and he starts subverting the team, possessing Dazzler and Northstar as well. Nevertheless, Cannonball shows leadership qualities in fighting Gambit and his crew to a standstill.
N’astirh offers Pixie the missing piece of her soul back for killing the imprisoned Magik. However, Pixie’s heroic side wins out and she sides with Magik. Surprisingly, Magik suggests that Pixie her kill her to end all this. Though seemingly tempted, Pixie frees Magik and together the girls free Gambit from his Death persona and the group returns to Utopia.
Annex 2: Meanwhile - X-Factor
Bastion’s people not only target the X-Men on Utopia but also the independent mutant group X-Factor. Bolivar Trask, under Bastion’s control, is in charge of a military unit to take out X-Factor. They send the Absorbing Man as client, who hires X-Factor to find out if his wife Titania is cheating on him. Meanwhile, other units are sent after Strong Guy and M, who are currently in South America, and a third group at Banshee in Ireland.
When Madrox’s team stalks Titania, they are led into a trap and apparently all shot. However, X-Factor has planned for this, having had the benefit of Longshot’s ability to read the Absorbing Man’s intentions, so they trick the military with holograms and Darwin’s powers.
In Ireland, Banshee is about to be taken into custody at Dublin airport. When she fights back, she is shot with tranquilizer darts. However, before they can kill her, she is saved by Shatterstar and Layla Miller, the team’s absent members, who have been in Latveria. Together, they flee and Shatterstar teleports them back to X-Factor’s home.
In South America, Trask’ troops are about to bomb a cornered Strong Guy, M and her father. However, after M strikes a deal with Baron Mordo, they are also safely teleported to X-Factor HQ, just as the rest of the team is attacked by Trask’s troops.
Following Lalya’s suggestions, M telepathically confronts Trask, freeing him from Bastion’s influence. Trask uses that period of grace to order the troops to stand down, after which he commits suicide before Bastion can reinstate control. Angry, the troops leave and X-Factor is united once more.
- Hope collects and saves the newly detected mutants, who need her touch to be stabilized. Together, they form a mutant rescue team. [Uncanny X-Men # & Generation Hope]
- X-Force is officially disbanded, yet secretly continued. [Uncanny X-Force]
- Nightcrawler, Cable, Sack and the Vanisher are dead.
- Ariel is believed to be dead but will eventually be found alive in X-Men Legacy.
- X-23 leaves Utopia to make her own life. [X-23 (2nd series)]
- The loss of his hands makes Hellion angry and mentally unstable. [X-Men Legacy]
- Omega Sentinel is a belated collateral damage of the Sentinel reprogramming and is beaten into a coma by Hellion. [X-Men Legacy #242-243]
- Karma has to adjust to life with a prosthetic leg [New Mutants (3rd series)]
- Warlock feels guilty after being forced to kill Hodge and the RIGHT. [New Mutants (3rd series)]
- Magik and Pixie have begun to reach an understanding. [New Mutants (3rd series)]