Uncanny X-Force (1st series) #20

Issue Date: 
March 2012
Story Title: 
Otherworld Chapter One

Rick Remender (writer), Greg Tocchini (penciler, inker), Dean White (colors), Leinil Francis Yu with Dean White (cover), VC’s Cory Petit (letterer), Jared K. Fletcher (design), Sebastian Girner (assistant editor), Jody Leheup and Nick Lowe (editors), Axel Alonso (editor in chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

Psylocke awakens to find herself in her brother’s room at the Omniversal Palace. She’s not happy about being kidnapped, but Brian urges her to remain and help them in a major war against demonic and necromantic forces. He then leads her to another part of the palace to meet with their brother, Jamie, who, much to Psylocke’s surprise, is alive. A little later, Fantomex, the other kidnap victim, is brought to the Omniversal courtroom to be tried for murdering the child who would become Apocalypse. Jamie is the prosecutor and after a theatrical showing Fantomex is found guilty and sentenced to death. Back in the 616 universe, Wolverine and Deadpool try to get AoA Nightcrawler situated to their reality via a Danger Room program. After Nightcrawler trounces his opponents, the trio of X-Force members is alerted to their teammates’ kidnapping. They meet up with Gateway to be transported to Otherworld. Their arrival is not what they were expecting. They arrive smack dab in the middle of a major battle. Deadpool is immediately decapitated and Nightcrawler knocked unconscious. Only Wolverine remains standing after the first few minutes of fighting.

Full Summary: 


The Omniversal Palace

A sleeping Psylocke can be found in the opulent bedroom of her brother, Captain Britain. Brian stands there patiently, staring out one of the grand windows of his suite. Not turning his gaze, Brian finally tells his sister to wake up. “Brian…?” she responds groggily.
Asking her not to overreact Brian explains he had to take her in the middle of the night to avoid creating a conflict. Betsy gets up from the bed wondering aloud if he really believes kidnapping her was a good idea. She then asks how he knew about their secret headquarters, Cavern-X.
Brian tells her that since the conflict with Warren when Jean expanded her psyche their psychic bond reconnected. He says he’s been privy to her memories over the past few months. “I know everything.”
Psylocke dodges the innuendo and approaches a large painting of their father in his Corps gear, which is hung on the opposite side of the room. She states it’s hard for her to believe their father was ever so young. Brian, still staring out the window, questions how their dad would feel about his daughter and what she’s become. Betsy defends herself saying she was fighting to protect her family. Brian argues her real family is up against a greater threat than Xavier’s people and their endless dramas.
Now staring at a group picture of herself, her two brothers and Meggan, Psylocke tells her brother that most of Xavier’s “clan” think of him as a friend. She also points out that since Merlyn re-formed the Corps none of their members have come to their aid. Betsy asks if they hold little significance to those who claim to protect the universe.
Brian argues they have one corpsman for every ten realities, and while he feels the 200 remaining mutants back home are important he is busy stopping threats to the entire Omniverse. Betsy asks what the point is if it stops him from helping his friends and family. Brian calls her naïve, saying he doesn’t even recognize her anymore. “That makes two of us”, she jabs back.
Bickering aside, Betsy wants to know the reasons behind her kidnapping. For the battle of Otherworld, Brian responds. He then has her stand next to him and look out the same window he’s been staring at the whole time.
When Betsy looks upon the grounds of the estate she witnesses a complete slaughterhouse. Ungodly creatures and Corpsmen alike litter the area, some bloody and broken, others missing limbs and torsos. It appears the surviving Corpsmen are trying to clear the grounds of the deceased, including an enormous troll-like creature that is collapsed over a tall Omniversal structure.
Betsy can’t believe what she’s seeing. Brian leaves her side and begins heading for the door. He tells her they lose thousands more every day. When she replies she didn’t know, he reminds her she’s the one who cut their psychic link and he didn’t know how to contact her. He then tells Betsy to follow him as there’s more.
Betsy does as asked and follows her brother down a hallway. Brian tells her this is her home, where she is needed. She asks who’s behind the attacks and Brian admits they have no idea, but he does know their goal, access to the Tower Omniverse.
They enter the Tower and are greeted by a hooded man in white robes. He tells them whoever they’re fighting knows the Corps too well as they’ve anticipated their every move. That’s why they needed her to return, as a piece the enemy would not be able to anticipate.
As he says this he removes his hood. Betsy is shocked to see it’s her brother, Jamie. She walks a bit hesitantly toward him and gives him a hug. He tells her not to be so surprised, jokingly asking how many times he must save the universe and resurrect her from death before his past misdeeds are forgotten.
Betsy apologizes, trying to explain her actions, but he cuts her off saying he knows it must be difficult to forget what he did. He then pulls back a curtain and says he hopes this will help. Behind the curtain is a floating array of books and a cauldron leaking its contents into the air and forming other creations. Hovering in the background are her old Corps uniforms.
“How?! How did you do this?” she asks unbelievingly. Jamie says it was the same way he brought her back from the dead. He pulled the quantum strings that define causality, a slight manipulation, and put things in their right place. “Return to your family,” he implores his sister. “Together we will guard the gates of reality… how father intended,” Brian adds.
616 Universe

Cavern-X, Danger Room

The Danger Room is set to reflect a small bar filled with various X-Men enemies. Sitting at a nearby table is Sabretooth and Mystique whom Wolverine tells AoA Nightcrawler are two individuals who are a lot of trouble. He jokes that he often kills them on sight only for them to reappear months later. Nightcrawler takes a sip of his beer held within the grasp of his powerful tail. He tells Wolverine those two individuals are dear to him back home. He thinks it would be difficult to watch them die.
Wolverine tips back his head and chugs his beer, some of it trickling down his cheek. Once he’s done he points out Lady Deathstrike and her Reavers to his newest teammate. Once she’s recognized she charges Wolvie and slices his mug with her razor sharp claws.
Nightcrawler moves into immediate action and teleports behind her and grabs her head. He bamfs away with it, cocky about his victory, but her head has a robotic claw that exits from the mouth and stabs Nightcrawler’s shoulder. “Mein Gott!” he cries in shock.
As Kurt pulls the claw from his body Wolverine tells the “Elf” to be careful as Lady Deathstrike’s robotics are evolved beyond anything they’ve ever seen. Nightcrawler says he’ll take note and then teleports away asking Wolverine to stop calling him “Elf,” that it’s effeminate. He then goes about trashing the place and all its occupants. When he’s done he tells Wolverine and Deadpool, who are sitting at the bar, that he’s proven himself worthy of a better moniker. Deadpool thinks they both miss Warren.
Standing atop the incapacitated bodies, sword in hand, Nightcrawler asks if the Danger Room is set to “slow and lumbering rookie.” He hopes the villains in their reality are a more meaningful threat. He also complains about the uniform he’s being forced to wear.
Deadpool interjects at this point and tells him to stop complaining. After seeing where he came from ‘Pool says he should be happy. Their uniform, he even explains, is an external representation of the stains they’ve absorbed for the good of the common man. “It looks tough, too. Unlike that terrible face tattoo,” he finishes.
Then, getting uncomfortably close to Nightcrawler’s face, Deadpool tells him to go home if he doesn’t like it. “Go. For the love of God.” At the mere mention of “God” Kurt’s face turns into a grimace. He holds up his hand and says he’s seen too much to believe in any love of God.
Now, Wolverine steps back in and tells Kurt he knows where he’s coming from and what it’s taken for him to keep on with his life. Like it or not, Logan continues, he does know the man Kurt is, but not because he knew someone else who looked like him, but because he helped save their world from what happened to his own, and stayed to help them with nothing to gain from it.
Nightcrawler takes the last swig of his beer and then slams it top down on the counter. He argues Logan’s last point. He’s there for revenge, not to fill the role of his dead friend. He tells Wolvie and Deadpool they’re just odd reflections of people from back home, and not people he likes very much. Plain and simple, he says he means to kill those who’ve traveled to their dimension, who’ve done him and his people wrong, and he’ll help them as long as they’ll help him.
Unexpectedly, the door to the Danger Room opens. It’s Ultimaton who has come with dire news. He tells the team there’s been a breach of security and that Psylocke and Fantomex were abducted.

The Omniversal Palace

The Braddock siblings admire the Lady Britain garb that Jamie cooked up. Both brothers try to impress upon her the need to cleanse herself of the past few years with X-Force, that there are consequences for being an accomplice to Fantomex’s heinous crime.
At the mention of “consequences” Betsy perks up. She asks what Brian is talking about. He tells Psylocke she has a chance to redeem herself unlike her child-killing companion who will face no such clemency.
court room

Fantomex, shackled at the wrists and neck, is being escorted to his trial by his appointed lawyer, Captain England. Behind them marches a contingent of Corpsmen. When mentioning that his English citizenship should keep him out of the Corps’ imprisonment, Captain England jokes back that they’re not looking to keep him locked up, but put to death. Fantomex pauses, then looks up at the contingent of people presiding over the proceedings and comments meekly, “…that’s much worse.”
A nearby bailiff calls the supreme Omniversal tribune into session and tells the assembly to rise. Fantomex takes his seat at the defendant’s table. He looks up and sees Saturnyne standing at a lectern. He is grateful for an attractive prosecutor as opposed to some old man. Unfortunately, Captain England tells him his prosecution is being led by Jamie Braddock.
Looking over his shoulder at the imposing, white-robed Braddock as he enters the chambers Fantomex asks if his defense is being given by Dr. Doom. Captain England ignores his “client” and asks Saturnyne, who is acting as judge, if the proceedings may begin. Saturnyne agrees and asks the defense to call its first witness. Captain England calls Fantomex, and then whispers that he better not try any monkey business.
Fantomex takes his spot at the witness stand and Saturnyne begins to recount the events leading up to his crime. “Stop. Stop talking,” Fantomex interrupts rather loudly. He says he wants to give his own account of what happened. He then proceeds to explain how he infiltrated an Akkaba stronghold to kill Apocalypse, but found him as a boy who had been programmed and was beyond rehabilitation. He defiantly says he killed him to prevent his world from a horrible war.
Jamie Braddock objects, citing conjecture. He points out that Fantomex made this determination on his own and went against the will of his teammates and carried out the execution. The objection is sustained.
Nearby, in the stands, Betsy complains to Brian that Jamie is using her memories to prosecute. Brian points out Fantomex is a dangerous anomaly who doesn’t exist in any other dimension. He shouldn’t even exist there, he argues, and should be put down.
Back at the main attraction, Saturnyne gives the prosecution the floor. Jamie begins a grandiose display, explaining the difference of taking the life of a madman to save lives verses killing children who may one day potentially do something with no evidence to back it up. He calls it an act of a monster and waves his hand in Fantomex’s direction. Jamie further proposes if they followed this line of logic it would tell them no children could be salvaged and would be voting against the elasticity of the human spirit.
Fantomex has heard enough. He leaps from his chair and charges toward Jamie. Captain England snatches him up before he can do anything. Fantomex vehemently argues the boy was programmed to his core to wipe out humanity. Questioning himself out loud if it was a gamble, he agrees, but then says he would do it all over again. He says he was confident there was nothing they could to do salvage the boy following the Akkaba mind scrubs.
“Order!” Saturnyne yells. She tells Fantomex if he makes one more outburst he’ll be restrained by the court. Captain England forces him back into his chair and promises his client will behave. Not one to just take it, Fantomex bites back, saying he’ll sit quietly while they debate the thorny, yet necessary, pragmatism that saved his world.
Jamie hones in on what Fantomex says and argues there is no evidence that he saved anything, only that he shot a child. He then places a placating hand upon his chest and reminds the court that he is a rehabilitated criminal, himself, and that it took endless love and confidence for him to rebuild himself after countless years of damage and tampering.
An image of the assassinated En Sabah Nur floats over the entire courtroom floor. Jamie asks if this dead child could have been saved in a similar fashion. The answer is they’ll never know, and neither will the boy, he adds.
Saturnyne calls for silence and says she’s heard enough. Captain England argues he wasn’t finished, but she tells him Fantomex has already confessed to his crime. She then announces he is found guilty of premeditated homicide and will be eradicated from existence by retroactive molecular deconstruction. Captain England pleads with the judge, saying the punishment is unusually severe. She ignores the Captain’s pleas and orders the bailiffs to carry out the sentence immediately.
Elsewhere, and a bit later, Captain Britain tries consoling his sister as she stares out a window in a seeming fog of depression. He reminds her she tried to stop Fantomex, that she knew it was a villainous act. He tells her if she looks into her heart she’ll agree with the Omniversal majestrix. “You have to trust me, Elizabeth” Brian implores her, “reality is better off with Fantomex dead.”
outside Cavern-X

The remaining members of X-Force are topside along with Gateway and Ultimaton. Deadpool asks their resident robot if it’s sure the information it gave to Gateway will get them to Otherworld in one piece. Ultimaton says it was simply a matter of mental transference, a simple function for him.
This doesn’t assuage Wade who asks Logan if he’s sure this is where they went. Wolverine said the security footage showed Captain Britain and some of his Corpsmen snatching their teammates and Otherworld is where they all work so it makes sense.
Gateway begins creating the portal. Nightcrawler is the first to step through sarcastically glad to be risking his life for a “hunch.” Deadpool asks what to expect. Ultimaton answers, saying Otherworld is the source of magic, and exists as a dimension outside of dimensions, its denizens guarding the intersection between all realities. Wade perks up, saying he’s a sixteenth level ranger in Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, chaotic neutral.
As the last of them steps through Wolverine argues it’s not like that, saying it’s a striking place with fairies, pixies and kindly old wizards. He doesn’t think they’ll be encountering any trouble.

Logan couldn’t be more wrong. As soon as Wade’s head pops out of the portal he finds it separated cleanly from his neck courtesy of a large battle axe being swung by a large humanoid with a skeletal ram’s head. “Kindly old wizards!” yells the head of Deadpool as it goes flying through the air.
Instead of lush rolling hills they find themselves in the middle of a gruesome battle between Corpsmen and demonic-looking creatures. Nightcrawler bamfs over to the nearest demon and tries his own decapitation method, but it backfires. His head rocks back. Greenish energy explodes from his eyes and open mouth as he screams in agony.
Wolverine begins hacking and slashing at the offending creature. When he opens his belly a trio of snake-like organs seeps out and tries latching onto his body. Logan slices off two of them and a nearby Corpsmen chops the other. He explains the creatures have demonically enchanted organs so they need to crush their spines and not open their bodies.
A humanoid goat in robes appears nearby hovering on a magical construct. Logan asks his newfound friend, the Corpsman, how they deal with the goat. The Corpsman says to run or they die. Their only problem, both Nightcrawler and Deadpool are incapacitated at the moment.
Omniversal Palace

Elsewhere, Fantomex is being led to a machine which will enact his punishment. Further elsewhere, Betsy finally dons the Lady Britain costume.

Characters Involved: 

AoA Nightcrawler, Deadpool, Fantomex, Psylocke, Wolverine (all Uncanny X-Force)


Jamie Braddock

Captain Britain, Captain England, many unnamed Corps members both alive and deceased (Captain Britain Corps)

in Danger Room simulation

Lady Deathstrike and the Reavers


in painting

Sir James Braddock

Captain Britain, Jamie Braddock, Meggan, Psylocke
via holographic projection

Apocalypse VIII

Story Notes: 

Psylocke was kidnapped from X-Force’s base, Cavern-X, at the end of the previous issue.
Meggan is the wife of Captain Britain, as if you didn’t know.
Jamie Braddock came to build a life around crime (slave trading, murder), but while being tortured his psyche fractured and his mutant power manifested [revealed in Excalibur (1st series) #15. He soon started using his powers to mess with Excalibur, in essence believing none of it was actually real. He was eventually defeated and ended up in a coma.
He later appeared during the House of M and helped defeat the cosmic menace known as the Foursaken by sacrificing his life. Prior to this he admitted to resurrecting Psylocke following her death at the hands of Vargas. [Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #462-465]
Betsy briefly joined the Corps back even before her X-Men days. [Captain Britain (2nd series) #13]
In the AoA universe Sabretooth is a long-time X-Man, and though Mystique is Nightcrawler’s mother in both realities, he is especially close to her in the AoA.
Sean Connery and Roger Moore were two actors who played the role of James Bond early on in the film series.
The 616 Nightcrawler we all knew and loved died not long ago (at least in Marvel time). It was a noble sacrifice, one in which he saved the supposed mutant Messiah, Hope, from Bastion by teleporting in between them, getting impaled.
Back in Uncanny X-Force (1st series) #4, Fantomex shot and killed a boy who was being groomed to be the next Apocalypse. It seemed the boy was beyond redemption and he did what he felt had to do, despite Wolverine’s orders.
In case this is the first comic you’ve ever read Dr. Doom is the supreme dictator of the country Latveria. He has often come into conflict with the Fantastic Four and his genius rivals that of Reed Richards. Recently, as of this comic, he has been working on the side of good and helping with Richards’ Future Foundation.
According to Saturnyne, the boy Fantomex killed was the eighth Apocalypse of Earth 616.
In the Marvel: Avengers Alliance game it’s possible for the Deadpool character to gain the buff “Level 16 Ranger.”

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