The same complaint from the last issue continues in this one. I'm really sick of seeing characters killed in every issue. And we have at least one death in this one, one that will likely upset the fans of the character. And if the second death turns out to be real, and not X-23 disguised as Dust, then I'll really be annoyed. However I do think it's X-23. I really wish they'd get to the point with whatever Forge is doing though. Hopefully the pay off is as good as the build-up has been. And hopefully the last issue wraps things up good.
The issue kicks off with a recap, that finally addresses GLMK II. However, it messes up the timeline even more, because it says it was several years ago that it took place. It appears that an earthquake brings Stryker out of suspended animation early, and 'Paul' seems to digitize and 'die'. Stryker loses any of his positive character development, now believeing that Kitty manipulated him. And for his faith in god being shaken, god punished him.
Then we see Dallas, TX two years before M-Day. Stryker, having lost everything goes to his boarded up church and prepares to blow his brains out. Suddenly Nimrod appears before him floating infront of the cross, before collapsing at his feet. Stryker took it as a sign and gift from god. By examining it's data records, he saw where history was headed. A future where humanity had won it's holy war, and mutants were hunted down and destroyed. He also saw that that 'perfect vision' of the future was changing, being erased. He finally discovered the key moment where he could set the future back on track, M-Day. But he needed help to ensure the future.
So he used Nimrod's datafiles, combing through obituaries and locating people that were supposed to die. Saving their lives and bringing them into God's Army. He also learned at this time what mutants were preventing Nimrod's future from coming to pass. The reason the depowered kids had to die, was because they were the tainted and would infiltrate society and create the greatest sympathy for mutants. That they would hand the world over to Satan. But since Nimrod had no records on the 'Demons in Human Skins', he used Jay. We see a flashback of Jay calling Stryker, telling him about the kids leaving on the bus, begging him to save them as he promised. Jay's pissed, because Stryker promised to save his friends if he gave up his wings, and returned them to god. Stryker tells him that those without souls cannot be saved. When Jay argues that Nimrod is just a Sentinel, not a messanger of God, Stryker tells him that God works in mysterious ways.
Meanwhile back at the school, Dust is preparing to go out and praying to Allah. Laura asks her why she prays. Dust explains that she gives praise to Allah and asks for guidance, as he's the creator of all things. Confused, Laura comments that Dr. Sarah Kinney is her creator. Sooraya explains that Allah created Dr. Kinney, so had a hand in shaping her life and her destiney. Laura catches on, but questions why god would make her a murderer, make her kill her own mother. Dust tries to explain that sometimes Allah's wisdom is beyond our comprehension, and we shouldn't question or judge him. Laura again asks why, but Dust promises to help her understand later that she needs to go find Jay. X-23 offers to go with her, but Dust tells her no. Laura tells her it's a trap, and it's the exact same tactic she would use to draw her out. Laura tries to argue against her going alone, but Dust is firm in her stance. She doesn't believe Allah intends for her to die, but if she does... it was meant to be.
David's in Scott's office, where he's informed that in the best interest of everyone, he's going to remain at the school. That it's too dangerous to ship him home, given the attacks on the 'human' students, as well as the Sapien League and copycat serial killers (from Generation M) going after former mutants. It's already been discussed with his family, and they've agreed. David feels rather useless at the school, but does note that Xavier had planned to open it to human students, he's just surprised he's the first. Beast bursts in on the meeting and informs Scott there's been another attack. That both Scott and David need to come with him immediatly.
Wolverine's holding Josh back, who's covered with blood and looking rather crazed while he screams Laurie's name. Several of the X-Men and students are rushing out to the scene, where Noriko is cradling Laurie's body in her arms. Bishop orders everyone back inside as Scott comes rushing out with David and sees the carnage, who drops to his knees by Laurie's body. Logan's trying to calm Josh down, who shocks Wolvie making him let him go. Logan's hands turn gangrenous with massive boils all over them. That's right, it seems Josh actually has some offensive power now as well. Scott orders that they need to get the kids inside out of the open.
Again we get a page showcasing Eagle Plaza in Dallas, TX. Forge is listening to the news about Xavier's. Apperantly there's a media blackout around the school, and even a no-fly zone around the mansion. They also say that there's been no official comment from the Xavier Institute ever since the O*N*E were put in place as a protection measure. And that more and more mutants are arriving daily. We see a humanoid form under a sheet in Forge's workshop, which is being uploaded with Sentinel O*N*E data, but still no clue what it is. The reporter on the news suddenly notes something is happening at Xavier's, and they're seeing heavy Sentinel movement.
Stryker shows Jay the future, via Nimrod's datafiles. We see the X-Mansion in flames, and each one of the New X-Men kids dead or dying. While Stryker's men are standing on the steps of the blazing mansion, Dust shows up and uses her powers to strip the flesh from their bones. She remanifests in human form and starts to cry over the dead body of X-23. Stryker freezes the datafile and turns to Jay, explaining what he's doing in detail.
Stryker showed Jay the files, so he would understand what part he played in the 'Lord's Endgame'. The original version of that future showed Wallflower being the one who defeated his men. And when she was killed, Dust took her place. And now he belives by killing her, that will remove the final obstacle in his way. Stryker orders the main monitors brought up, and Jay sees Dust approaching the Church. Stryker issues an order and Dust is riddled with machine gun fire and falls over seemingly dead.
Styker orders them to bring up the 'Vision' from Nimrod again. However it hasn't changed, Dust is still standing over X-23 and cryinger. One of Stryker's men is confused, as the vision should have disappeared immediatly and been replaced by the new version, just like when they killed Laurie Collins. Stryker tells him to be patient, and not to doubt the lord. Slowly Dust does eventually fade from the image.
Stryker's man is still confused, but Stryker tells him that's enough. Pulling a gun, Styker approaches Jay and tells him he's about to answer his prayers. That he's about to be reunited with Julie Cabot as he promised. In hell, where she belongs for loving a mutant. And to add insult to injury, Stryker also tells Jay that her death was no accident. He was the one who led her father and the others to the machines that killed her. Again, making the timeline even more messy. Jay calls him a monster, just before Stryker shoots Jay in the head and remarks on the arrogance of Satan to create a deom in the form of an Angel. He also announces that it's time.
The X-Men and 2 of the Sentinels depart the X-Mansion to try to locate Jay as well as try to discover who is behind the slaughtering of the students. This leaves Emma, Bishop, and Cannonball and 3 Sentinels left at the mansion, as well as the remaining students. Speaking of the students, David's down in the infirmary with Josh. David's doing his best to try to help Josh get over what happened. Meanwhile up above, Santo and Cessily are going to check on Sooraya as nobody has seen her all day. Santo keeps trashing on 'The Clone', and saying he hates her. Cessily actually sticks up for X-23, telling him her name is Laura and that she doesn't hate her. Santo shows he may have feeling for Cessily, as he swears that he's not going to let anything happen to her.
The moment is broken however by three loud 'BOOMS' from outside. Reverend Stryker and his followers have arrived, and the Sentinels are warning them to drop their weapons and surrender. We finally see why Nimrod's limbs were removed, as Stryker is wearing one of it's arms and blasts the three Sentinels, completely locking down their systems. The issue ends with Stryker proclaiming that tonight they win the war between heaven and hell. All in all not a bad issue, but the continuity issues and Stryker being reverted to a 2-dimension villian sort of hurt it for me. Hopefully the final issue next month will be worth the massive culling of students.