Two X-Men fall as the first chapter of Extermination from writer Ed Brisson and artists Pepe Larrazz and Marte Gracia lives up to its name – and the identity of the hooded figure shown in previews and upcoming issues' covers is revealed.
Spoilers ahead for Extermination #1.
Extermination #1 opens with a glimpse at what appears to be a possible future where the X-Men (including an adult Cyclops) are all dead. The mysterious hooded figure seen in future covers for the series stands over the wreckage and says "The old bastard screwed this all up, leaving me to clean up his mess" before teleporting away.
Back in the present, the X-Men rescue a pair of young French mutants whose minds have been wiped, who were under attack by an anti-mutant mob in Chicago. While the X-Men wonder at the kids’ identities, the teen Cyclops and Bloodstorm (the Mutant X reality Storm who came to the main continuity months prior) adjourn to a restaurant.
Just as Bloodstorm and Cyclops are confessing their romantic feelings for each other, Ahab and his hounds arrive trying to kill Cyclops. Bloodstorm intervenes – but Ahab kills her with a silver-tipped harpoon. Cyclops unleashes a full-power optic blast and Ahab retreats, saying the young Cyclops is stronger than he anticipated.
Calling for help, Cyclops carries Bloodstorm’s body back to the mansion. Before the team can even react, they realize Bobby Drake is also missing. Turns out, he’s under attack by unseen assailants.
Just as it seems they’ve closed in on him, Cable shows up to protect him – but as it turns out, Bobby’s pursuer is the hooded figure from the opening sequence. He subdues Bobby, teleporting him away.
Having located Bobby using Cerebro, young Jean’s psychic connection to him is severed when he’s teleported away. She switches to remote viewing Cable, since the hooded figure’s mind is completely shielded. Suddenly however, the hooded villain overtakes Cable.
Saying Cable has gotten “old,” “soft,” and “weak,” the figure picks up Cable’s guns and blasts him - apparently killing him.
Young Jean relays news of Cable’s death to the X-Men. The older Jean declares she’s going to find out who killed her son, and the team departs to their last known whereabouts. There, Rachel Grey, whose Hound marks have returned thanks to recent Ahab’s presence fighting Bloodstorm, declares that Bobby was not taken by her former villainous master.
Cutting to an unknown location, young Iceman is seen in a stasis tank of some kind, while the hooded figure looks on. “One down, four to go,” he says, with a screen showing the five original X-Men behind him, Bobby’s face covered in a red "X."
He removes his hood, revealing himself as a teen version of Cable.
And no, it's definitely not his doppelganger Stryfe - Marvel denotes him as Cable specifically in this final, shocking page.
Remember, none of the original five teen X-Men, nor Cable appeared in that 54-character Uncanny X-Men teaser image .
The story continues in August 29’s Extermination #2.