Marvel just gave X-Men fans the moment they’ve been waiting for in Extermination #5, bringing back one of the X-Men’s most important members.
SPOILERS for Extermination #5 by Ed Brisson, Pepe Larraz, and Marte Gracia follow.
Extermination has been all about bringing the original five X-Men’s journey to the present day to a close. Ahab, the mutant-hating cyborg from the future, has been hunting the original five. He knows that if he can kill just one of them he’ll be able to alter the timeline completely. A younger version of Cable, after murdering his older self, has been trying to kidnap the original five X-Men to send them back to their own era before Ahab can pick one of them off.
At the end of Extermination #4, it seemed like Ahab has succeeded in his mission after impaling young Cyclops on a harpoon. Extermination #5 reveals that isn’t quite what happened. It turned out that the power-copying mutant Mimic had switched places with Cyclops, sacrificing himself to preserve the timeline.
That sacrifice prevented Ahab from claiming victory but didn’t do much to help the X-Men’s current situation. They were still cornered and surrounded by more and more X-Men turned into hounds by Ahab’s henchmen, the twins Mamon and Maxime.
Young Cable finally convinces the X-Men that there’s no winning this battle. Instead, they have to win the war by bringing the original five X-Men back to their time. The original five agree. Cable uses his time travel device to bring the X-Men home (with a quick pitstop to find out how to save the other X-Men from the Hounds).
Cable leaves the original five X-Men back at the exact moment in history that Beast had pulled them away from. They change themselves back into their old clothing and prepare to have their minds wiped by Jean. Cyclops wonders if they should trust Cable, but Jean reminds him of something.
“He wouldn’t lie,” Jean says. “Not to us. He didn’t just do this to save the future. He did this for us. He did this for you. He’s just a young boy...who misses his father.”
Cable returns to his safe house. He grabs a couple of drinks and starts talking to someone off-panel. He tells that person, “It’s done. The young X-Men are back in their own time. Ahab’s mutant murder future isn’t happening. Everything is thew ay it should be. It’s finally time for you to come back...Dad.”
For the first time in years, the all-grown-up Cyclops is back among the living in the Marvel universe.
Cyclops died on Muir Island when the X-Men first discovered that the Terrigen Mists were toxic to mutants, as seen in Death of X. The issue does not explain how Cyclops has returned. Sending young Cyclops back to the past may have preserved the timeline, but there’s no reason it should suddenly undo Cyclops’ death via M-Pox.
It is interesting that Cyclops is wearing an older version of his costume, the one he wore during the Astonishing X-Men era. Could Cable have gone back in time and plucked his father out from another era? Wouldn’t that only have created more problems with the timeline? We expect we’ll find out more in the upcoming Uncanny X-Men Annual.
We know that this costume is only a temporary look. Cyclops is going even future back in time to his X-Men #1 era Jim Lee costume in Uncanny X-Men, where he’ll be leading a new team of X-Men.
What do you think of Cyclops’ return? Let us know in the comments!
Extermination #5 is on sale now.