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Appearing in "Heaven's Shadow"

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Synopsis for "Heaven's Shadow"

This story is continued from Uncanny X-Men #379 and X-Men (Vol. 2) #99.

Having recently returned to the mansion, Hank begins to explain about the current state of the mutates on Genosha.

Hank explains that, thanks to the satellites responsible for their power loss, evolution is going much faster than it should, with billions of different paths for it are being explored in just one generation.

In attendance to his presentation is Kitty, Colossus, Storm, Nightcrawler, Rogue, Gambit, Marrow and Bobby.

Storm and Colossus then both discuss High Evolutionary and how he changed the fact that evolution at one point did move slowly but, as Peter points out, High Evolutionary only wanted to help both mutants and humanity, and yet, something's going wrong.

After going over the brief bit of history Hank managed to pull on High Evolutionary, the X-Men work out Sinister's identity as Essex, who High Evolutionary briefly worked with while at a university in his original identity of Herbert Edgar Wyndham.

Realizing the satellites and their depowering is really Sinister's doing, the X-Men wonder what to do next. Though Storm briefly suggests calling in the Avengers and/or Fantastic Four, Beast replies said teams are likely dealing with other affairs at the moment and so, they should handle this themselves.

Kurt agrees, pointing out they have a stockpile of alien weaponry to aid them, and the others agree.

In space, High Evolutionary is being held in a stasis tube by Sinister, who remarks his old 'friend' has only himself to blame, to which High Evolutionary admits he always suspected something was off with Essex and warns that, once Sinister's plans go into play, the Avengers, Fantastic Four and even S.H.I.E.L.D. will come to stop him, to which Sinister decides to create an army of the New Men to counter them.

On Earth, Rogue tries to contact Mystique before going on the mission, only for Darklome to yell at her for everything, to Rogue's dismay.

As the team prepares for their mission, Kitty expresses some hesitancy about it, for if they succeed in regaining their powers, humanity will hate them again, though she agrees with Kurt, Ororo and Peter that being a mutant is their birthright and no 'cure' can change this.

Wolverine then arrives and decides that, despite his rapidly failing health due to his adamantium poisoning, he's gonna go out fighting, thus joining the others.

On Genosha, Magneto, Polaris and the Acolytes are still fighting against the humans the best they can. Despite Cortez claiming the X-Men would probably be happy to have him die, Magneto remarks the X-Men are hardly powerless and they'll find a way to stop the situation or die trying.

Meanwhile, the X-Men blast off and, once passing the satellites, all briefly feel a wave of nausea. Hank puts it down as G-Force, which their mutant powers had protected them from before while Kitty thinks it's because of the satellites.

However, Sinister has already predicted the team's arrival and is watching them, to High Evolutionary's horror. While Sinister admits he had lost the team in the depowering, he will put them through their ultimate test.

Upon reaching the station and cutting their way in, the X-Men are told by Hank that they need to find the controls for the satellites by finding Sinister and High Evolutionary.

As they make their way through the halls, Gambit realizes that the path is leading one direction the X-Men must follow, which all but marks this as a trap.

This is proven correct as the team comes under fire from several of the New Men (an owl, ameba, lizard, monkey and others). As the group begins fighting back the best they can, Wolverine takes Kitty and Storm directly to Sinister, stating he can detect Sinister's scent, to Kitty's surprise.

As they reach Sinister while he gloats to High Evolutionary, Logan comes under attack by an evolved rat. As Kitty demands Sinister to call off the New Men, another evolved ameba quickly and easily engulfs her and Ororo.

Logan manages to fend off his rat opponent and slice Sinister's chest, prompting him to blast Logan away. To Sinister's surprise, while Logan's injured, he's still standing.

This naturally prompts Sinister to keep blasting him as Kitty watches in horror. As she remarks to herself that nobody human could survive, Kitty mentally puts two and two together and realizes Logan's healing factor is slowly returning.

With only a little struggle, Kitty phases herself free from the amoeba and deduces, as she tells Storm, that the nausea the team felt when entering space wasn't due to G-Force, but their powers kicking back in once they were away from the satellites.

Hearing this, the alarmed Sinister realizes his error in not making the satellites affect them on the station as well but remarks it can be easily fixed.

However, Logan manages to strike the computer console, causing a giant explosion that sends them flying and rocking the station. The others arrive and Storm informs them that the satellites are down.

While Hank begins treating Logan, High Evolutionary arrives, having been freed from his prison and reveals Sinister managed to escape via their vessel. He thus offers them a lift home, only for Storm and Kitty to both confront him, the former stating this wouldn't have happened if not for him and the latter remarking he can't exactly expect them to trust him after everything he did to punish them and that it'd still be going on if Logan hadn't destroyed the console.

However, High Evolutionary reveals Logan merely freed him by destroying the console and he did the rest of the damage himself. With the team looking out in space, High Evolutionary admits he merely wanted to help them, not 'punish' them, like Kitty claimed.

He also adds that the global genetic order is being restored on Earth even as they speak. Sure enough, Blob, Omega Red and Jean are shown regaining their abilities, as does Mystique, who successfully escapes prison by disguising herself as a guard.

On Genosha, Magneto and the Acolytes, powers restored, successfully beat the humans back before Magneto meets with Lorna and remarks the possibilities are endless now.

Back at the mansion, the X-Men, including a healed Logan, stand proud, happy to have their powers again.

Solicit Synopsis

  • The High Evolutionary's plan is running horribly amok, striking at humans and mutants alike! The repercussions are being felt across the globe. And if that wasn't enough, the man who the Evolutionary trusted has betrayed him! And the price for the Children of the Atom - and the world - will be one that can never be erased!

Notes

  • This story is reprinted in the trade paperback X-Men: Powerless!.

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