“CRUSADE” Part 1 (of 4)
If you thought issues #20-23 were intense, buckle up. The dire consequences of issue #23 have put the students of the Xavier Institute in their most dangerous situation yet. Reverend Stryker has replaced his crucifixes and prayers with bullets and hand grenades. Can the kids survive his brand of conversion?
The remaining staff and students at the Xavier Institute gather to mourn those who died in the attack against a busload of former, de-powered students. They bury fifteen of the students themselves. Of the forty-two who died, these are the students whose parents would not take them back even to lay them to rest.
Among the dead is Brian Cruz AKA Tag. As the funeral progresses, each member of the New X-Men team recalls the explosion and the loss of life they witnessed days earlier and deals with their grief. Sadness, anger, guilt and disbelief are felt by all to varying degrees as they recall the tragedy.
The X-Men question ONE’s lack of response but Val Cooper places the blame on Emma Frost. Emma deals with her grief by pushing the New X-Men to train and be prepared for the next attack which she feels is inevitable. Meanwhile, Icarus continues to refuse treatment for his wounds and Rev. Stryker plots his next attack and identifies an Omega threat among the remaining students.