Uncanny X-Force (1st series) #6

Issue Date: 
May 2011
Story Title: 
Deathlok Nation, part 2

Rick Remender (writer), Esad Ribic (penciler), John Lucas (inker), Matt Wilson (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy’s Cory Petit (Letterer), Esad Ribic (cover artist), Jared K Fletcher (design), Jody Leheup (assistant editor), Nick Lower (group editor), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

Psylocke has a Danger Room conversation with a holographic Captain Britain, trying to reconcile her place with X-Force, the Captain Britain construct is disapproving of Psylocke’s place with X-Force. Fantomex is being attacked by more of the Deathloks that resemble heroes, though he is aided by the being known as Deathlok. X-Force soon arrive to aid him, and after capturing the Deathlok that resembles Captain America, Fantomex finally has the World once more in his possession. Everyone soon learns that these Deathloks are in fact from the future, where heroes were assimilated, all becoming Deathlok, and in the aftermath, a utopia was created. The Captain America Deathlok reveals that they were sent back in time to stop the one who will undo it all - Apocalypse. This confuses X-Force, as they know Apocalypse is dead. The Captain America Deathlok then commits suicide, while X-Force find themselves under attack. Fantomex announces that he is going to expand the World, and kill the father - thus killing the future.

Full Summary: 

The Alps, where a group of Deathloks resembling the heroes Captain America, Cyclops, Hawkeye, Elektra and Spider-Man stand over the remains of Fantomex’s mother’s home. ‘Mission achievement - fifty percent. I have possession of the World. Fantomex remains alive. Find and kill him’ the Captain America Deathlok announces. All of the Deathloks look upwards as they see EVA flying away from the scene of the action. ‘Go’ the Captain America Deathlok orders, so the Spider-Man Deathlok unleashes some webbing, which latches onto EVA. But as the Deathlok is pulled upwards into the air, EVA’s self-defense mechanisms are released and the Deathlok falls into the snow - where Fantomex is waiting.

The mercenary kicks the Deathlok to the snow, and then fires at it - but the Spider-Man Deathlok is too fast for bullets and dodges the attack. ‘Fisticuffs it is’ Fantomex remarks, while the Deathlok states its objective - to kill Fantomex. ‘C’mon then’ the mercenary exclaims. They engage in physical combat, with Fantomex seemingly gaining the upper hand. ‘Which of you holds the World?’ he asks. The Deathlok looks up at Fantomex, who holds his weapon close to the creature’s face. ‘Don’t deserve to die like this…we fought…my God…it wasn’t’ the Deathlok exclaims, before announcing ‘Wasn’t our fault!’ Fantomex replies that ‘I believe you’, before blowing the Deathlok’s head off.

Suddenly, the individual known as Deathlok steps towards Fantomex, dragging the Cyclops Deathlok behind it. ‘Captain America has the World’ Deathlok announces. Fantomex replies that they must get it back, to which Deathlok tells him that if they do not, he believes something terrible will happen. ‘Naturally…why else would we bother?’ Fantomex mutters.

Meanwhile, in an exotic garden, with a pond. Two people sit under a gazebo, and drink tea - it is Betsy and Brian Braddock, a.k.a. Psylocke and Captain Britain, respectively. Betsy tells her twin that there was a time not so long ago when she questioned if she belonged in a band of warriors like the X-Men. Brian tells her that he remembers her agonizing, while Betsy muses that she is now counted among the X-Men’s most ferocious. ‘Ridiculous’ Brian scoffs. ‘Compared to the company you keep?’ Brian lists Logan and Magneto and adds ‘Whatever Worthington has become - relatively speaking, you’re an angel, Elizabeth’.

Betsy sips her tea, before informing Brian that she aided in the assassination of a child. Brian frowns and goes wide-eyed, he stares at his sister, before turning away from her, while Betsy explains that they did it to ensure that the boy would not grow to become the monster Apocalypse. ‘We are desperate, Brian. Alone. Nearly extinct, we are forced to…compromise lest we be eradicated’. Brian slams a fist on the table and tells Betsy that killing children to pre-emptively halt potential evil is beyond a compromise of Xavier’s dream - that it is an abomination. ‘Where has Xavier’s lofty ideology brought us?’ Betsy asks.

Captain Britain reminds Psylocke that she once believed that Xavier’s dreams were worth dying for. ‘The dream was much easier when my friends were all alive’ Psylocke replies. ‘When we lived in a school as opposed to a protective reservation awaiting extinction. No, these are different times for mutants. I don’t need the ethics lesson. I’ll deal with the morality…just tell me you understand’. But Brian continues to stare at his sister, before reaching out to her. He takes her hand and tells her that he cannot absolve her of this, nor can he condone it, but that he does understand it, and no matter what, he will always love her unconditionally.

Betsy looks up at Brian and thanks him, before getting up to leave - ‘You have no idea how much it means’ Betsy tells him as she leaves the Danger Room inside Cavern-X. Warren Worthington III a.k.a. Angel is in the corridor and asks Betsy what is going on, what she is doing in the Danger Room alone. ‘Talking to myself’ Betsy replies, hanging her head. Angel tells his lover to get ready, as they need to go, for Fantomex is in trouble. ‘Fantomex? Is that right? He can take care of himself’ Betsy replies as she walks away.

Back at the Alps, the Deathloks resembling Captain America, Hawkeye and Elektra as they search for their associates, but get no response from the other units. The Captain America Deathlok announces that he is detecting a foreign Deathlok accessing the hyper-mind, before severing their connection. ‘Orders?’ the Hawkeye Deathlok asks. The Captain America Deathlok replies that they are to protect the World and acquire threat-specific reinforcements. ‘Connecting to Father’ the Hawkeye Deathlok announces, informing the mysterious “Father” that an aberrant Deathlok trooper has been detected, and that it accessed the primary mission before he severed its connection.

From an unknown location, in a strange monitor room, the “Father” replies ‘No. HOW? I sent no other Deathloks’, before supposing that it must be the slimy residuals from another timeline. ‘Kill it. Make certain’ the “Father” orders. The trio of Deathlok continue on their trek across the snow, with the Captain America Deathlok announcing that the aberrant Deathlok is aiding the primary target. ‘Tachyoncast probability generator - chances of future of origin…56.12 percent chance of occurrence’ the Elektra Deathlok announces. The Hawkeye Deathlok declares that they require target-specific reinforcements to increase their success rate, while their “Father” announces that reinforcements are en route, before asking ‘Do you hold it? Is it safe?’

‘Yes, Father, I have the World -’ the Captain America Deathlok replies as it and the Elektra Deathlok leap off a snow-ledge - only to be ambushed by Fantomex and Deathlok. ‘Had. You had the world’ Fantomex corrects the Captain America Deathlok, who falls to the snow below along with the Elektra Deathlok. The Hawkeye Deathlok manages to remain on the snow ledge, before falling off, it fires an arrow, which strikes Fantomex in the chest. ‘Damn!’ Fantomex calls out as the arrow releases a sticky matter which traps him against a tree. ‘all agents of the future must be killed!’ Deathlok exclaims as he fires at the Captain America Deathlok, who holds its shiled up to protect itself. ‘Awaiting reinforcements protect possessor. Secure the world’ the Hawkeye Deathlok calls out as it aids the Captain America Deathlok, while the Elektra Deathlok lies motionless in the snow.

Deathlok looks furious as he unleashes weapons fire on the two remaining units. The Hawkeye unit is in agony as bullets pierce its body, ‘Protect the World’ the Captain America Deathlok calls out as he makes a run for it into the woods. ‘Flee. Gather the reinforcements’ he announces. Suddenly, Deathlok is struck through the middle with an arrow. ‘Protect the World. Protect the -’ the Hawkeye Deathlok begins, before Deathlok pulls the arrow out of his chest and shoves it into the Hawkeye Deathlok’s head, causing the unit to explode as Deathlok races over to check that the Cyclops Deathlok is not active.

‘Not bad…’ Fantomex remarks as he races after him. ‘Free will illuminates the inherent evil of enslaving others’ Deathlok replies. ‘So you say’ Fantomex mutters, before picking up the phoney Captain America shield and asking ‘Are you going to keep this? I need to start up a new museum and it would -’, but Deathlok interrupts, announcing that he will keep it. Suddenly, EVA hovers overhead, and Fantomex announces that their reinforcements have arrived. ‘Just in time to be of absolutely no aid!’ Fantomex exclaims as he approaches EVA. ‘Almost as if you waited till we’d cleaned up…the robot mess’. Fantomex stops in his tracks as EVA opens, and out steps his X-Force teammates - or rather Deathlok versions of them.

‘Acquire the World. ‘Destroy contents of laboratory. Protect Father’ they exclaim. ‘Terminate Fantomex’ the Archangel Deathlok states as it unleashes razor-sharp wing-knives. ‘These are not my friends!’ Fantomex exclaims as he dodges the knives, and begins firing at the Deathloks when he and Deathlok run for their lives. ‘Handy thee way they keep repeating their plans’ Fantomex jokes as he continues to fire behind him. ‘Yes’ Deathlok agrees.

As they come to another cliff, Fantomex asks Deathlok if he can reply. Deathlok replies that he cannot, to which Fantomex mutters ‘Me either’. As the X-Force Deathloks begin to close in on them, Deathlok tells Fantomex to grab onto his neck. ‘A bit intimate, no?’ Fantomex asks, but does so anyway, as Deathlok leaps from the ledge. ‘Prefect thinking! This is much better!’ he remarks as they begin to free fall towards the snow-covered ground some distance below them. Deathlok puts the shield out in front of them to break their fall. ‘Oh, good. That sliver of metal should cushion our fall nicely’ Fantomex mutters.

An instant later, they crash through what was in fact ice covering a small lake below. Fantomex clings to Deathlok’s neck in the freezing water, and soon, Deathlok makes it to the surface, breaking through the ice, enabling Fantomex to come up for air. Fantomex gasps, and Deathlok pulls him out of the water, as it happens, near where they left the motionless Captain America is Deathlok. ‘Made it…we have some kind of luck…the bad kind…’ Fantomex mutters, as EVA lands nearby. X-Force - the real ones this time - Betsy, Wolverine a.k.a. Logan, Angel and Wade “Deadpool” Wilson emerge, and approach Fantomex, ‘You have no idea how close the vote was’ Deadpool remarks. ‘Vote?’ Fantomex asks. ‘If we were going to leave you to die or not’ Deadpool replies.

‘Pack it in, Wade’ Wolverine remarks, before asking Fantomex what the story is. ‘Meet my friend, Mr Robot-Guy’ Fantomex announces, referring to Deathlok. ‘Over his shoulder is sleepy and evil Captain America’ Fantomex explains, adding that they hold the fate of the future in their hands. Betsy announces that she is picking up an echo reverberating back to her, and that someone is delving into her at the same time. Angel helps Fantomex up, and Fantomex announces that weirdness is afoot. He suggests they get out of here and he can fill them in on what has been happening en route. ‘En route where?’ Warren asks. ‘Anywhere else’ Fantomex replies, while Betsy stands on the edge of the cliff.

Soon, inside EVA, X-Foce and Deathlok gather, with Betsy declaring that Fantomex brings nothing but trouble. Head in his hands, Fantomex relies ‘Forgive me if this has inconvenienced your plans for afternoon tea, Miss Braddock. Cyborgs killed my mother and stole from me!’ Deadpool raises a sword to Deathlok and asks why they are bringing one of them along, but Fantomex tells him that Deathlok saved him, and he thinks this one is good. Wolverine explains that his name is Deathlok, that he runs noble, but his human host is a nasty creep. ‘Deathlok troopers from a divergent timeline arrived’ Deathlok explains.

Deathlok lies the Captain America Deathlok down on a bench explains that these units are no longer built from simple human hosts, that the new Deathlok troopers are made from Earth’s mightiest beings. ‘And they want…?’ Logan asks. ‘To kill me’ Fantomex explains, before holding up the World, ‘And acquire this’ he adds. Wide-eyed, Wolverine asks if that is what he thinks it is. ‘Yes. I’ve got the whole World in my hand’ Fantomex replies, to which Wolverine asks him why he has not destroyed it. ‘Are you mad? Humanity needs it. The trouble it may cause pales in comparison to its potential of good’ Fantomex replies, adding that one does not destroy a tool for its potential misuse. Deathlok replies that the World will be misused, it is just a question of when.

Fantomex motions to the Captain America Deathlok and points out that as tyhjey have a guest from the future, they should find out. ‘EVA, are you connected to the Great Patriot of Capitalism’s brains?’ Fantomex asks. EVA replies that they are bio-welded to her secondary nervous system. ‘Steve? Steve? You in there?’ Wolverine asks as he shakes the Captain America Deathlok, who rouses, ‘Logan? W-where, where are we…?’ he asks. Logan tells him that he is in the past, and that it looks like he has been through a rough time. ‘Need you to tell me what happened. Everything that you can remember. Can you do that?’ Logan asks. The Captain America Deathlok replies that he can try, to which Wolverine suggests he starts at the beginning.

Images flash onto a monitor connected to the Captain America Deathlok’s brain, and he explains that, using the World, their Father instigated Operation: Deathlok. Their mission was to kill and reanimate - convert - all superhumans into controllable Deathlok troopers. He explains that the first wave of Deathlokk’s targeted and killed off specific heroes - X-Men, Avengers and Defenders, and that once killed, their bodies were sent to the World for acclimation, and the re-emerged as Deathlok. ‘No one opposed this?’ Wolverine asks. The Captain America Deathlok replies that the majority supported it, but they had gone too far.

The Captain America Deathlok continues, explaining that they had all had enough, and they became arrogant super humans - self-appointed judge, jury and executioner. But the Deathlok program was condoned and made law - there was no hope, for every soldier they heroes lost, the Deathloks’ numbers grew. Even unified, the remaining population of super-humans had no hope. ‘In the end, we were all converted. In the end…we were all Deathlok’. Wolverine points out that it has not happened yet, and asks Captain America to tell them how to stop it and they will. ‘You don’t understand! You can’t stop it - Father was right - without us - humanity flourishes!’ Captain America exclaims, grabbing Wolverine. ‘They turn us into an army of controllable police with no free will and in doing so…they usher in utopia’.

An image of this utopia flashes on the screen, to which Wolverine asks why these Deathlok were sent back. ‘A remaining fly in the ointment begins to undo it all’ the Captain America Deathlok replies. ‘Who?’ Logan asks. ‘Apocalypse’ comes the reply, and an image of the uber-mutant appears on the monitor. ‘That’s impossible. He’s dead. Why send back an army of Deathloks to kill Fantomex? He’s the one who executed Apocalypse’ Angel exclaims, before declaring that it doesn’t matter, that the Captain America Deathlok has his facts jumbled up. ‘Utopia or not - we’re going to stop it. Just tell us where it all begins so we can’ he exclaims. The Captain America Deathlok announces that the Deathlok strain has been seeded in all timelines, in all dimensions, so as the present changes, they adapt, evolving via the interdimensional information share. ‘There is no stopping precognitive evolution’ he adds. Fantomex accuses the Captain America Deathlok of being purposely deceptive, and suggests that if they kill “Father” they can stop this. ‘Where is he?’ Fantomex shouts. ‘Where he always is…deep in the World’ the Captain America Deathlok replies.

Suddenly, everyone is knocked side-ways as EVA falls under attack. EVA announces that a doppelganger has engaged them, but merged with the Deathlok tech she cannot communicate with her counterpart. ‘Wade - look out!’ Wolverine exclaims as he sees the Captain America Deathlok reach for one of Deadpool’s guns. ‘The memories…God have mercy…’ the Captain America Deathlok exclaims as he opens his mouth and fires. ‘No -’ Deadpool calls out, but he is too late to stop the bullet, and blood splatters over him. The rest of X-Force look on in horror.

Fantomex takes control of EVA and announces that he is taking them down. ‘Where? We’re in the middle of the damned Sahara Desert!’ Betsy points out. Fantomex replies that is a perfect place to expand. ‘Expand what?’ Betsy ask. ‘The World’ Fantomex announces. ‘We’re going to kill the Father. We’re going to kill the Future…!’

Characters Involved: 

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



Various Deathloks
Danger Room Construct:

Captain Britain

Extracts from the Captain America Deathlok’s Mind:

Various Deathloks

Various heroes


Story Notes: 

The assassination of a child that Psylocke refers to is of course the Apocalypse child as seen in Uncanny X-Force #1-4.

Issue Information: 

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