Here Comes Tomorrow

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This article is about the New X-Men story arc. For the album by Ursula 1000, see Here Comes Tomorrow (album).
"Here Comes Tomorrow"
Cover of New X-Men: Here Comics Tomorrow  (2004).Art by Marc Silvestri.
Publisher Marvel Comics
Publication date March – May 2004
Genre
Title(s) New X-Men #151-154
Main character(s) List of X-Men members
Creative team
Writer(s) Grant Morrison
Penciller(s) Marc Silvestri
Inker(s) Matt Banning
Eric Basaldua
Billy Tan
Joe Weems V
Tim Townsend
Brian Buccelato
Beth Sotelo
John Starr
Letterer(s) Rus Wooton
Chris Eliopoulos
Colorist(s) Steve Firchow
Matt Milla
John Starr
Frank G. D'Armata
Collected editions
Here Comes Tomorrow ISBN 0-7851-1345-2

"Here Comes Tomorrow" is the eighth and final story arc in Grant Morrison's run on the Marvel Comics series New X-Men, which ran from issues #151-154 (2005). The storyline featured many controversial elements, such as Cyclops moving forward with his relationship with Emma Frost (prompted by his dead wife), the Stepford Cuckoos being revealed as a development in the Weapon Plus Program, John Sublime being a sentient bacterium bent on bringing evolution to a halt and hints that the Xavier Institute student Ernst and Cassandra Nova are the same person.

The Official Handbook to the Marvel Universe: Alternate Universes has given the numerical designation of Earth-15104 to the Here Comes Tomorrow timeline.

Plot[edit]

In the far future, human X-Man Tom Skylark evades a pack of Crawlers (foot soldiers genetically engineered from Kurt Wagner's DNA, along with the powers of other X-Men, namely Madrox, Scott Summers, and others) amongst the ruins of the X-Mansion. His Sentinel partner, Rover, dispatches the Crawlers. Tom is met by E.V.A., a representative of the Xavier Institute, now an interspecies organization. Together, they transport the Phoenix Egg, found on the moon, to the X-Men's secure headquarters in the Manhattan Crater. But a Crawler has hitched a ride inside the compound, replicating itself with Multiple Man DNA and attacking with the force of an army with Cyclops' DNA. E.V.A. and Tom are rescued by the efforts of a bird-man named Tito (descended from Beak), but the Phoenix Egg is teleported back to the Crawlers' master and creator: The Beast, a white-haired Henry McCoy.

The "Three-in-One" Stepford Cuckoos relate the downfall of human civilization throughout history to Wolverine, to which Cassandra Nova adds recent bad omens. She says that something in the past went wrong to give the Earth such a dystopic future, but no one knows what exactly. One hundred-fifty years in the past, at the grave site of Jean Grey, Cyclops gives up on superheroics and changing humanity, turning down Emma Frost's offer to re-open the Xavier Institute as well as her offer to begin a real relationship with her.

Back in the future, Tom Skylark relates how the Proud People of the Starlight City, the last free outpost in Europe, fell to Apollyon the Destroyer, hinted to be Fantomex, herald of the Beast. Their sacrifice allowed him to escape with the Phoenix Egg, but Tom laments his losing it. E.V.A asks him to join the X-Men for one last direct assault against the Beast. The Cuckoos speak before Wolverine and Cassandra Nova of the consequences of defeat: genetic enslavement by the Beast, loss of all natural evolution and species propagation. When asked to look hard and unblinking at the future, the Cuckoos see judgment by the Phoenix. As Beast hatches Jean Grey, a living fire-goddess, from the Phoenix Egg, she recognizes him as Henry, but he says he is much older than that, that now his name is Sublime.

The Phoenix annihilates the Terminds, an insect species, in Panafrika, but an encounter with X-Men liaison Bumbleboy spurs old memories in Jean's mind, calling Beast's plans of destruction into question. At the edges of Beast's Transatlantis territory, the X-Men engage the Crawler army, but despite a minor victory, Wolverine sees Jean Grey amidst the reinforcements, clad in a revealing black variant of her Dark Phoenix outfit. Cassandra, working in the X-Jet with No-Girl, instructs her to remove the Phoenix Crown, which gives Jean back her memories and returns her to a human form. Logan shows Jean the truth of Beast's history: John Sublime was a host for the Sublime bacteria, a sentient lifeform billions of years old that infected countless species and sowed aggression and conflict to ensure its genetic dominance, so that no one species would ever be hardy enough to outlast it. U-Men, super-Sentinels, nano-viruses, etc. all created by an underlying disease. When Scott Summers left the Institute, Hank McCoy tried to manage things, but things fell apart, and when he tried the drug Kick to cope with the stress, he was infected by Sublime (the true nature of the "drug").

Cassandra, pleased with her work, exchanges one more conversation with Martha before the Beast, possessed by Sublime and with the power of the Phoenix, kills her. The other X-Men all perish at the hands of the Beast, who declares himself supreme, ready to 'Remake God in [his] Image!' - only for Jean to reveal that they were not an attack force, just a distraction. Smiling, she removes Sublime from Beast's body, briefly returning him to normal. Seconds after apologizing, putting on his glasses and wondering how he ever survived that long with his asthma, he is decapitated by Apollyon, who promptly unmasks, and finds the world not as perfect as hoped. In an extra-dimensional plane within the ancient M'Kraan Crystal called the White Hot Room, numerous other hosts of the Phoenix (most notably Quentin Quire) instruct Jean, now dressed in a white and gold version of her Phoenix costume (thus establishing her as the White Phoenix of the Crown), to repair the broken timeline. Reaching back in time, Jean pushes Scott "to live". Cyclops agrees to re-open the Institute, and stand side by side with Emma Frost for the future.

Major consequences and revelations[edit]

  • At the end of the story, Cyclops accepts to become the new Headmaster of the Xavier Institute.
  • It is revealed that Sublime is a sentient bacteria and that the drug Kick, consumed by Kid Omega and Xorn, was Sublime's means to infect mutants.
  • Wolverine reveals to Jean that "Magneto killed you on orders he never understood", presumably referring to him being infected by Sublime after taking Kick.
  • It is hinted that Ernst and Cassandra Nova are one and the same, although Martha Johannson (No-Girl) is stated to have Alzheimer's just before Nova tells her "you can still call me Ernst".
  • The Stepford Cuckoos are revealed as Weapon XIV.
  • The so-called Judgment of the Phoenix, to burn away what does not work, was to destroy Sublime for being an evolutionary dead end.
  • This is the first time that No-Girl has ever said anything; as Wolverine lies dying, he appeals to her, but she mentally comforts him by claiming they were going to 'The White Hot Room'.
  • Quentin Quire turns out to be one of the many incarnations of the Phoenix, and warns Grey to turn back the future - though in his opinion, it would be better off dead.

Modern characters referenced[edit]

Many characters from the modern X-Men/Marvel timeline were shown to be alive or have someone carrying on their legacy in this possible future timeline, whether as direct references, red herrings, or plot twists:

  • An older Wolverine.
  • Hank McCoy and John Sublime as The Beast.
  • Cassandra Nova Xavier, paired with Martha Johansson, also known as No-Girl.
  • Juston Seyfert and his Sentinel as Tom Skylark and Rover (note, however, that one of the Sentinel Squad O*N*E pilots is named Tracy Skylark, and is thus a possible ancestor to Tom Skylark).
  • Nightcrawler as the Beast's teleporting "Crawler" henchmen, additionally equipped with the powers of Archangel, Cyclops, and Multiple Man.
  • E.V.A., Fantomex's independent nervous system as an A.I. humanoid. It is also hinted that Apollyon the Destroyer is in fact Fantomex, as when he unmasks, a dying E.V.A says "Ffzzzzzannnttommzzzk???? Izzi That u?", which could be interpreted as "Fantomex, is that you?".
  • Beak's grandson Tito serves in the X-Men. The version of Beak may still one day exist, as the original Beak's son of the same name still possesses his Mutant Powers after M-Day.

In other media[edit]

Rover the Sentinel appears in an eponymous episode of Wolverine and the X-Men. Rover is a Sentinel reprogrammed by Polaris who befriends future X-Man Marrow.

Here Comes Tomorrow's plot and story is a homage to The Wizard of Oz movie, with the Beast as the Wicked Witch, Tom Skylark and Rover as Dorothy and Toto, Flying Nightcrawlers as the Flying Monkeys, Tito as the Cowardly Lion who wishes to be brave, No-Girl as the Scarecrow who wishes she had her brain, and Wolverine as the Tin Man who wishes he had his heart (Jean Grey). The Phoenix in the end acts as another Dorothy surrogate who wishes something to be true (for Scott and Emma to come together) and it becomes true when she goes to the wizard for help (Quentin Quire).

Collected editions[edit]

The series has been collected into a trade paperback:

As well as:

References[edit]