Uncanny X-Force (1st series) #2

Issue Date: 
January 2011
Story Title: 
The Apocalypse Solution, chapter two

Rick Remender (writer), Jerome Opena (artist), Dean White (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy’s Cory Petit (Letterer), Esad Ribic (cover artist), Clayton Crain, Rob Liefled, J Scott Campbell, Marko Djurdjevic (variant cover artists), Jody Leheup (assistant editor), Axel Alonso (editor), Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

Wolverine, Psylocke, Fantomex and Deadpool train in the new Danger Room - a scenario in which they battle Apocalypse’s Horsemen, and resulting in Psylocke having to kill Archangel, who has succumbed to his darker side. The Danger Room scenario ends, and Angel is surprised that the others were training without him, despite Wolverine’s explanation as to why. At the Akkaba stronghold ship, the elderly woman gives the young boy with red eyes and blue lips a lesson in evolution, encouraging him to declare that he is the savior. An elderly man watches, seemingly knowing that this boy will bring about the Age of Apocalypse. At Cavern-X, Wolverine admires Angel’s new safe haven - a base of operations outside of Utopia, in case the island is very compromised. Fantomex and Deadpool use the scanners to search for the ship which they escaped from earlier, and eventually find it on the moon. During the search, both reveal they are on this team for the money. Angel and Psylocke share a tender moment as they discuss keeping Archangel in check. Soon, the team is en route to the Blue Area of the moon - and near landing, they are attacked by the newest Horseman called War, who takes down Fantomex. Archangel encounters the newest Famine, while Deadpool finds himself at the mercy of the newest Pestilence. Fantomex recovers - just in time for he, Wolverine and Psylocke to be taken out by the latest Death - the fourth of the Final Horsemen. Elsewhere inside the ship, Ozymandius and the red-eyed, blue-lipped boy watch the proceedings, and Ozymandius asks his master how he would like them killed.

Full Summary: 

Danger Room scenario:

‘Get ‘im off!’ Wolverine snarls while the villain Holocaust presses him to the ground. Archangel soars by, knocking Holocaust aside, while Deadpool kicks the villain for good measure. ‘What, like give him a lap dance? Show him a dirty movie? Best friend style massage?’ Deadpool suggests. Standing nearby, over two motionless warriors, while countless skeletons line the corridor, Fantomex suggests that if Deadpool is through ingratiating himself via repartee, they should get moving. Down the other end of the corridor is Psylocke, who stands watching something. Wolverine tells her that they have gotta keep moving, as time is short.

Psylocke thinks to herself that she has seen bad things. Things the weight of which never left. She uses them to coax herself out of bed each day - to ensure she never sees their like again. Standing in front of a cage filled with weakened, starved prisoners, Psylocke tells herself that the smell is unbearable - but she forces herself to stay and look and to etch in her mind what will happen should they fail. ‘Bets?’ Wolverine calls out. ‘How could anyone do this?’ Psylocke asks, looking straight ahead still. ‘Humans are pests eroding the foundation of homo superior. He wants ‘em exterminated. Flash Darwinism’ Wolverine replies. ‘What say we go stop ‘im?’ Wolverine suggests as he turns and walks back down the corridor. Psylocke tells herself to remember this, and use it to reinforce what will happen - if they fail to kill Apocalypse.

‘Master, Lord of All, our defenses are -’ a voice remarks as a warrior attempts to contact Apocalypse, who sits on his throne. ‘As expected’ the uber-mutant remarks. ‘I appreciate your prompt arrival’ he tells X-Force as they burst into his chamber, knocking his door down. ‘Punctuality is the politeness of kings’ Fantomex remarks, aiming a gun at Apocalypse. ‘No talk. Put the cur down!’ Wolverine orders, while Psylocke thinks to herself that there are so few of the now - and the threats continue to grow. ‘All according to script’ Apocalypse remarks, raising his hand - and Archangel swoops forward - decapitating Fantomex and cutting Deadpool in two with his razor sharp wings.

‘No!’ Wolverine shouts, while Psylocke thinks to herself ‘The threats infect us. The infiltrate the best among us’ and she leaps towards Archangel. ‘It was always going to be this way’ Archangel states, before unleashing a barrage of razor-sharp feather-knives at Wolverine. ‘We must be prepared to deal with them. No matter the cost’ Psylocke tells herself as she shoves a dagger into his chest. ‘It hurts the same every time’ Psylocke tells herself as Archangel falls to her feet. ‘I’m impressed, Psylocke’ Apocalypse remarks from his throne. ‘No amount of repetition dulls the pain of killing someone. Especially someone you love’.


‘What’s this? What’s going on?’ Warren Worthington III a.k.a. Angel a.k.a. Archangel asks as he sees the Danger Room scenario play out. ’Betsy killed you’ Wolverine a.k.a. Logan explains as the scenario around them fades away. ‘Did a pretty sharp job of it, too. Stabbed you right in the heart’ Wade “Deadpool” Wilson points out. Hands on hips, the handsome Warren asks Betsy “Psylocke” Braddock why she was training to kill him. ‘Warren…’ Betsy begins, her hair covering her eyes so she doesn’t have to look at him. ‘That’s on me, goldenrod’ Wolverine announces, getting up.

‘Set your fancy new Danger Room to see what happens should those razor sharp wings Apocalypse gave you turn unfriendly’ Wolverine explains. ‘Instilling in the team I can’t be trusted’ Angel replies. Logan tells Warren that it is nothing personal. ‘Getting Betsy cozy doing the necessary business to any of us. She’s got the power to flick our switches. Repetition should make the actual act easier…should it come down to it. Just a test’ Wolverine explains. ‘Glad to see she passed’ Warren mutters as he turns from the others. Wolverine tells everyone that recess is over, that they need to do it again. Betsy watches Warren walk away.

Meanwhile, at the Caln Akkaba stronghold ship, an old woman stands over the young boy with blue lips and red eyes. ‘Repeat the lesson’ she tells him. ‘There is a natural point in all evolution when an environment’s prevailing species will encroach upon all other, weaker, beings. Total dominance is a reasonable reward for a species’ ascension. Xavier’s toads have twisted this natural order. They have sequestered those most deserving, locked them away, and convinced them it is for they protection. Tyrants’. He adds that their alliance is to the world of homo sapiens.

‘Good’ the old woman tells him, before asking him ‘Who are you?’ ‘I…I am…’ the boy replies, rubbing his head, confused. The old woman tells him to take his time, as he knows this. ‘I am the savior!’ the boy exclaims suddenly. ‘The first mutant resurrected to turn my people onto the true path. As I liberated my people from pharaohs, I must unshackle and rebuild the mutant race’ he declares. Motioning to a recording of X-Force, the old woman tells the boy that the worshippers of X will come to kill him. ‘I threaten their grip on power’ the boy boasts.

The old woman asks him ‘For what do you prepare? What is your birthright?’ and tells him not to be ashamed, to speak the truth. ‘I - I will usher in…the salvation of homo superior…I will being about the Age of Apocalypse’ the boy replies, while watching from a room overhead, a figure remarks ‘Yes. Yes you will’.

Meanwhile, at Cavern-X, in Sedona, Arizona, deep inside the cave within a mountain, Warren and Logan walk down a corridor. ‘Some digs you put together here, Warren’ Wolverine remarks. They pass photographs of various X-Men line-ups as Angel explains that it is a time capsule, really. ‘In case we’re ever wiped out, there’d be a reminder to the future of our struggles, who we were…’ Angel’s voice trails off. ‘And that we had some awfully rich friends’ Wolverine remarks.

Warren asks Logan why he excluded him from today’s Danger Room session. ‘You know why’ Logan tells him. ‘You don’t trust me?’ Warren asks. ‘I trust one of you’ Logan tells him. Logan pauses as they pass a photograph of he and Nightcrawler dressed in baseball gear. Warren tells him that if they are going to run this together, they cannot have secrets. ‘I’ll file my reports in triplicate’ Logan replies, before they continue walking again. ‘I’ve been thinking -’ Logan begins, ‘Never too late to try new things’ Warren tells him. Logan explains that, going over their plan of attack, a lot could go wrong swinging at Apocalypse with no back up.

‘No back up’ Angel tells him, pointing out that Cyclops carried the weight of X-Force for too long, and now it is their turn. ‘These jobs need doing, and we’re going to shoulder them so the others don’t have to’ Angel tells Logan, who jokes ‘Listen to you, lieutenant mean-mouth von badass. Very authoritative’. They move into another part of the complex, where a large Sentinel head decorates the ceiling, and various costumes and headgear line the room, while a statue of a Brood creature stands nearby.

Warren remarks that Cavern-X should also remain a secret - a base of operations outside of Utopia. ‘In case the city is ever compromised’ Wolverine points out. Warren adds that he likes the privacy. ‘Look out Betsy, I’m falling in love with your flyboy’ Wolverine jokes, to which Angel suggests they don’t pick floral patterns until after they save the world. Logan asks if they are any closer to a location, to which Angel replies that the ship jumped and didn’t leave a trail, just a huge crater. He adds that Fantomex has been using Cable’s blood samples to track the ship’s celestial technology, so it is only a matter of time now.

Nearby, ‘This show sucks’ Deadpool mutters, his mask raised above his mouth as he eats some candy and drinks something from a can. ‘Not a show. Research’ Fantomex replies. ‘This research sucks’ Deadpool declares. Fantomex sighs, before asking Wade what he is doing here. ‘I dunno. Watching research’ Fantomex replies. ‘No, why are you here? With this outfit, working on the side of the angels - money?’ Fantomex asks. ‘Yep. That’s it. The money. What about you?’ Deadpool replies. ‘The money. Naturally’ Fantomex explains.

Logan and Angel enter the monitor room. ‘You ding-dongs find anything?’ Logan asks. ‘Yes. Pop Rocks and coke - not a real hazard’ Deadpool replies, while Fantomex announces that he has found where they moved to. ‘Well, we found it. I’ve been helping’ Wade boasts. Motioning to some space suits, Wolverine asks them what they are for. Fantomex explains that he had EVA prepare them for their mission. ‘Our mission?’ Logan asks. ‘We’re going to the moon, Alice!’ Deadpool exclaims, motioning at a monitor depicting the moon.

Soon, Warren finds Betsy kneeling on a mat, looking out the window, a sword at her side. Warren tells her to gear up, as Apocalypse has been found. ‘Yes, I know. We should speak first’ Betsy replies, telling Warren that he is still upset. Warren turns away from Betsy and declares that there is no time for upset, not with what they are about to face. Betsy asks Angel if he knows why she came here, to which Warren replies ‘To help me keep Archangel in check’. Betsy tells Warren that is one reason. ‘After we lost Kurt…I was so absolutely numb. I didn’t have anything left to give it. Such deep hopelessness. An unending avalanche and us at the bottom of it, digging - forever’.

Angel tells Betsy that it takes a toll. ‘I sat for days, searching for the last time I felt human. The last time anything felt real’ Betsy declares as she approaches Angel. ‘Only you came to mind’ she announces, touching Angel’s face. They clasp hands as Betsy remarks that Warren struggles incessantly against the demon Apocalypse planted in his soul. ‘But I have a profound knowledge of you - Archangel is not you’ Betsy declares. She smiles as she assures Warren that Apocalypse will not manipulate him again. ‘We will turn his own devil against him’ she remarks.

Betsy tells Angel that he is going to use Archangel to make sure this monster never gets a chance to hurt another person. ‘I’m with you…’ she begins as they kiss passionately. ‘To the very end’ Betsy concludes, telepathically. Warren smiles and Betsy turns from him, telling him not to just stand there awestruck by his terrific luck in women. ‘Let’s go kill this son of a bitch’ she exclaims.

EVA takes off for space, as Betsy tells herself that, for years, Warren has helped hold the X-Men together, quietly serving in whatever capacity asked, and when the time came to kill for his family - he did not hesitate, knocking full well it would offer Archangel opportunity to take him. ‘Shouldn’t need to tell any of you what we’re walking into is as heavy as it gets’ Wolverine remarks. ‘Do it anyway - for dramatic effect’ Deadpool exclaims. Betsy finishes putting her space suit on, Archangel stands nearby and Fantomex pilots EVA as Logan declares that their target is well guarded and down deep, squirreled away under the moon’s Blue Area. Logan declares that the best scenario is that they get Betsy in there and she destroys Apocalypse’s mind. ‘But each of us knows how to effectively exterminate this target’ Logan reminds his teammates.

‘Should the opportunity present itself and you not falter’ Archangel exclaims. ‘Ain’t no one faltering, Tony Robbins’ Wolverine replies. Betsy informs everyone that she will keep them telepathically linked, except for Fantomex, who refuses to remove his dampening plates, lest she witnesses the perversion within. ‘The Blue Area has its own atmosphere’ Betsy points out, to which Wolverine remarks that the atmosphere might be poisoned, so the helmets are a precaution. Betsy tells herself that they now face a most terrible threat, but she knows that for Warren this mission is much more - it is a test - the results of which will define ownership of his soul. ‘Ugly bit of business here. Just keep in mind what happens if we fail’ Wolverine remarks, before looking at the Blue Area of the moon below them and announcing that they are on site.

Suddenly, Betsy clutches her head and screams. ‘He’s here…’ she whispers. ‘Who?’ Warren asks. ‘War’ Betsy reveals as a large minotaur-like behemoth lunges towards EVA - and rips EVA open with his large axe. ‘His mind reeks. A vile embodiment of all manmade suffering. Something different this time -’ Betsy thinks to herself as everyone lunges from War. ‘GHRAHH - EVA - seal that breach! Re-pressurize!’ Fantomex exclaims urgently. ‘All war is made through life to serve the universe - war is life - fire is the only solution’ EVA replies, causing Fantomex to clutch his head and scream.

EVA crashes down towards the Blue Area of the moon. ‘Slow motion. Fantomex screams in agony. Logan scrambles. No manual controls. We’re out of options’ Betsy thinks to herself, before EVA crashes into one of the complexes below. ‘Fire is the only solution’ EVA repeats over and over. ‘Quickly. Disconnect Fantomex before he’s infected!’ Betsy calls out. Wolverine moves towards Fantomex, who is slumped over in his chair, remarking that EVA is screaming in his head, that he can’t get through the other side of it.

Deadpool suggests that, given the situation, he can hold back his criticism on the in-flight entertainment, but that he wants to issue an official complaint about that landing. ‘Logan!’ Warren shouts. Logan tells Warren to get the others out of here, while War looms over them, ready to strike his axe once more. ‘No hope…no way out…’ Fantomex utters. Archangel grabs Betsy and Deadpool and flies them to safety, while Betsy remarks that EVA’s pain is reverberating in her head. As War strikes down, Archangel tells Betsy to sever EVA’s connection to Fantomex, otherwise he will be useless to them.

Logan manages to get Fantomex to safety, but Fantomex exclaims ‘She’s gone…can’t hear her anymore…she’s just gone…’. Wolverine tells Fantomex to hold tight, that he will get him out of here. Deadpool rushes towards War, as Wolverine shouts ‘Hold him back, Wade!’ Deadpool jokes that he was once held back. ‘First grade. Terrible trauma’. Warren and Betsy notice a figure standing on a cliff nearby - an old man carrying a drum. ‘What the hell is that?’ Warren asks. ‘His mind - such anger, such disgust’ Betsy replies, before telepathically informing Warren that the man is a Horseman and that there are others surrounding them.

‘Then he will die’ Archangel declares as he soars towards the Horseman, telling Betsy to keep everyone linked, and to aid the others with War, while he deals to this one. Betsy warns Warren to be careful, as the Horseman is standing outside the Blue Area’s atmosphere. The Horseman begins tapping his drum - and suddenly, Warren clutches his stomach - before plummeting to the ground behind the Horseman dressed in Civil War attire. ‘Argh…ahh…kaa..’ Warren utters, clutching his stomach still, as he begins to wither away. ‘Warren! Warren, are you there?’ Betsy calls out telepathically, while the Horseman - Famine - walks towards Archangel.

‘War - hood - good God ya’ll - what is it good for?’ Deadpool sings as he darts around War, dodging the behemoth’s axe. ‘Absolutely nothing - say it again’ he continues singing, while firing energy weapons at War, only for War to kicks Fantomex far across the Blue Area. Deadpool bounces along the moon surface: ‘Ouch-crap-damn-ass-ass-damn-crap-ass-huh?’ he utters, before coming to a stop at the feet of a Japanese geisha. ‘Hello, pretty moon lady’ Deadpool utters, gazing up at the woman.

Deadpool leaps to his feet, and raises a sword: ‘I’m going to be up-front here. I find you extremely attractive’ Deadpool declares. ‘How about we forgo the hostility and go on a date? Little getting to know ya? Love. House. Kids…’ suddenly, the Geisha’s mouth opens extraordinarily wide - and from it pour dozens of beetles, which swarm out of Pestilence - and onto Deadpool, ‘You totally misunderstood my proposal - Hey! Get ‘em off! Get ‘em off!’ Deadpool cries out as he tries to swat the beetles away.

At that moment, Wolverine raises War over his head. ‘Got a plan. Low gravity’ Logan tells Fantomex, who exclaims ‘Understood’ and throws a grenade, which causes an explosion, knocking War away from them. ‘One down’ Logan remarks. ‘Maybe not’ Betsy tells him. ‘You gotta be kidding me…’ Fantomex exclaims. ‘…he’s got a magic carpet!’ The heroes turn and look at War, who is rushing towards them, following the fourth Horseman - Death - who sits on a flying carpet.

‘Fools! Did you think you could simply walk in an kill Apocalypse? You have no concept of what you now face!’ Death calls out. He raises a hand and declares ‘Bubonic consumption. Black Death. Pox’ - and the heroes begin to groan and scream, before falling to the ground. The Horsemen gather around, as Death exclaims ‘Effortless. Know your executioners, whores of Xavier! Know that you die at the hands of the…FINAL HORSEMEN!’

Inside the fortress, the man called Ozymandias stands beside the boy with blue lips and exclaims ‘Your Horsemen have subdued these weak and most unworthy assassins…how would you like them killed, master?’

Characters Involved: 

Archangel, Deadpool, Fantomex, Psylocke, Wolverine (all X-Force)



Clan Akkaba


Death VII, Famine V, Pestilence VI, War VI (The Final Horsemen)

In Danger Room scenario:

Archangel, Deadpool, Fantomex, Psylocke, Wolverine (all X-Force)




In Photographs:

Angel, Beast, Cyclops, Iceman, Marvel Girl, Professor X

Banshee, Colossus, Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Phoenix II, Storm, Thunderbird, Wolverine

Nightcrawler & Wolverine

Colossus, Cyclops, Magneto, Phoenix III, Shadowcat, Storm, Wolverine

Beast, Cyclops, Emma Frost, Phoenix IV, Wolverine

Story Notes: 

Nightcrawler - Kurt - died during “Second Coming”.

Though War VI and Famine V both appeared, unnamed, last issue, this is the first appearance of the Final Horsemen as a group.

The previous Horsemen of Apocalypse consisted of X-Men and allies - Polaris, Gambit, Sunfire and Gazer - transformed by Apocalypse, during the “Blood of Apocalypse” storyline.

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