The X-Men and various other mutants attend the funeral of a young mutant boy named Landru who has been killed in a road traffic accident and muse on what this means for mutantkind.
Beast plans to find a way to reverse M-Day. After he was unable to attain a solution with the help of Reed Richards, Henry Pym, and Tony Stark, he offers to "sell his soul" to nine of the world's most dangerous villains (Pandemic, M.O.D.O.K., Kavita Rao, Spiral, Sugar Man, Mister Sinister, the High Evolutionary, Arnim Zola, and Doctor Doom) in exchange for their assistance. Rebuffed by most, Hank travels to Transia in search of the High Evolutionary, whose cryptic comments aroused Beast's curiosity. Scaling Mount Wundagore, he and his group of travelers are confronted by the Knights of Wundagore. The High Evolutionary briefly entertains Hank's pleas and discusses the possibility that science cannot undo something that magic ultimately caused, but seems ultimately uninterested in helping and turns out to not even be there in person. He does, however, hint that Hank is not the first person to travel to Wundagore looking for a solution to the M-Day problem, nor the first to be dissatisfied with his answers.
Looking for help, he receives an offer from Kavita Rao: with mutants as an endangered species, her research into depowering mutants has become pointless. Tissue samples from all the mutants that she depowered turned to dust on M-Day. After a debate about her ethics, she gives Hank her notes and lab and announces her plan to return to India. Working in her notes, Beast sees a file he recognizes: "Neverland". After a debate with the X-Men about the Neverland facility, he goes there to search for information. He is shocked by the inhumanity of the notes and the graffiti, and panics when he sees notes about a mass grave in the yard. It is revealed in a flashback that the remaining prisoners were killed in a mass purge after the facility was shut down by Weapon X. Going through the yard, Hank discovers that the bodies have been moved, and he is ambushed by the Dark Beast. Dark Beast seems to be there to "offer his services" so to speak to Hank, who reluctantly accepts his help under the condition that the Dark Beast follows Hank's orders.
Traveling away from Neverland, the Dark Beast convinces Hank to take a serum of his own "liquid memory", wherein Hank experiences several of the Dark Beast’s memories, such as coaxing a mutant named Emily and her mother into his lab; performing a separation of the conjoined Power siblings; moving deceased clones of Jamie Madrox to a mortuary; and degrading Jesse Bedlam about proper terms for test subjects; and torturing Jean Grey with Prelate Summers observing. In the last memory the Dark Beast realizes that Nate Grey is a "vat-grown hybrid" of Jean Grey and another mutant. When the Dark Beast inquires about Nate and Jean Grey, Beast tells him of their deaths, and Dark Beast suggests a way to resurrect Nate by reversing the manner of his death, to which a shocked Hank replies that he is insane. They then arrive at a nuclear power plant in Alamagordo, New Mexico that once served as a research facility for the "study" of mutations by an organization known as Project: Black Womb, which was devoted to the vivisection of newborn mutants with evident signs of mutancy.
After realizing how the disappearance of the X-gene rendered such research null and void, Dark Beast suggests going in Genosha, scavenging dead mutant corpses. After extensive examination, Hank realizes that even if the X-gene was expunged from the world mutant population (even the ones dead before M-Day), many of them retained some of their altered body features. He proposes to Dark Beast that an artificial X-gene may be created through donation from the remaining living mutants and the dead mutants who still remained powered as indicated via their DNA samples. They then embark on a comparative analysis of depowered mutants, before and after the M-Day, to be able to comprehend the very nature of mutation itself, which Hank plans to do by first discovering how to keep old samples viable by examining the contraband drug Mutant Growth Hormone. With the aid of Bishop, Beast meets with an MGH dealer, only to discover that if a donor mutant has been depowered, then any MGH distilled from that mutant was also depowered. Frustrated once again, Hank storms off in anger.
Hank then goes to see Forge, who reveals that he scanned alternate timelines known to have mutants with his equipment and has found that no more mutants exist in any of them, suggesting that those timelines have either been erased or altered. Hank looses his temper and insults Forge, knocking him into his equipment and turns down Forge's offer of help. Hank then leaves through a closed window.
Hank returns to the Dark Beast and says that the future is shaped by what is done in the present. Hank considers looking into the parents of several mutants in the hopes of isolating chromosomes in order to create an artificial X-gene. The Dark Beast says that it would be hard to find the right humans since mutation is a rarely occurring event, but Hank claims to know where to look.
Hank and the Dark Beast then travel to the Guthrie home in Kentucky. Hank is unable to procure a blood sample from Mrs. Guthrie due to her fear of her remaining children becoming mutants and dying like their older siblings. At the same time, the Dark Beast talks to one of the youngest Guthrie children, Lewis, and coerces him into taking an untested antidote to activate his latent X-gene. The Dark Beast then brings Lewis, now in a coma with hives covering his arms, to Hank and states they should try the sample on one of the girls.
The two Beasts start to fight after Hank discovers what the Dark Beast did to Lewis and both of them argue about the significance of one life over an entire species. Suddenly, Mrs. Guthrie shoots the Dark Beast with a shotgun to subdue him. Hank then takes Lewis inside his house and instructs the Guthries on how to save his life.
Some time afterwards, Spiral teleports to Hank and claims that Mojo is displeased with the fact that mutants are now an endangered species, which will affect his television ratings. Spiral comments that science is blinding him on the real answer of how to save mutantkind and that her Body Shoppe can't solve the problem. Before she teleports away, Spiral claims that magic can only fix the problem, as Scarlet Witch's magic is what caused it in the first place. Hank goes to see Doctor Strange, who shows him the true depth of the Scarlet Witch's spell. It has woven itself through billions of people and countless other worlds and dimensions. Hank asks if the spell can be reversed, and Strange replies that with enough preparation and assistance, it is possible. But as the spell is now, he claimed even trying to break it could implode reality itself.
Hank and Doctor Strange then go to see Black Bolt on the Moon. Medusa says that the Inhumans cannot help them in their search for a cure. Dotor Strange then shows Hank several alternate realities where alternate versions of himself have also searched for a cure and didn't succeed. Strange then insists that nothing else can be done. Hank replies to Strange that he doesn't know what his next step will be and leaves without any answers.
Beast travels to Transia where he meets Wanda Maximoff on the streets. Similar to Clint Barton's meeting with Wanda, she still does not remember anything of her life as the Scarlet Witch. Beast and Wanda sit down for tea where he speaks to her about his research, and Wanda ironically states she "dosen't believe in Magic." Beast tries to tell Wanda who she was and what she has done, but she simply dismisses the topic and leaves. Beast, having made no progress on his search, returns to Neverland and gives all the corpses a separate burial.
- This series serves as a prelude to the Messiah CompleX.
- This one-shot sequels itself into 17 other back-up stories in several X-Men related titles. The first one begins in X-Men Vol 2 #200, runs through issues of New X-Men Vol 2, X-Factor Vol 3, Uncanny X-Men and concludes in X-Men Vol 2 #204.
- No trivia.
- Media "Endangered Species" was Mentioned in
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- Event Gallery: Endangered Species