Uncanny X-Force (1st series) #7

Issue Date: 
May 2011
Story Title: 
Deathlok Nation, part 3, conclusion

Rick Remender (writer), Esad Ribic (penciler), John Lucas (inker), Matthew 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: 

X-Force and Deathlok enter the World and after taking in the strange surroundings set out to find the “Father”, unaware that he is watching their every move. Fantomex and Deadpool have an argument after Fantomex tries to psycho-analyze Deadpool, so they split up. Wolverine and Deathlok area attacked by Deathloks resembling Wolverine and Deadpool, while Archangel and Psylocke are attacked by their own doppelgangers. Eventually, Deadpool manages to find the “Father”, who assures him that he is proud of him, and that Deadpool is his favourite son. Fantomex and Deathlok meet up and make their way to Fantomex’s laboratory, only for Fantomex to realize that he fell under the power of misdirection - courtesy of the Deathlok Fantomex. Fantomex’s robot assistant, Ultimaton destroys the Fantomex Deathlok, before Fantomex is attacked by the Wolverine and Deadpool Deathloks who seem to do a lot of damage, which the “Father” enjoys watching. But eventually, the “Father” creeps Deadpool out to much, so Deadpool decapitates him. Deadpool takes the head of the “Father” to X-Force, who have reunited, and they depart. Deathlok seems like he wants to go into the laboratory, but Fantomex tells him to come along as it is too dangerous to remain. However, inside the lab, Ultimaton is keeping watch over a boy in a tank - En Sabah Nur, age 847 days!

Full Summary: 

The Sahara Desert, where X-Force and their sort-of ally Deathlok have stopped for respite, while the enigmatic Fantomex prepares to unleash the World. Logan a.k.a. Wolverine, Betsy “Psylocke” Braddock, Warren Worthington III a.k.a. Angel, Wade “Deadpool” Wilson and the Deathlok stand nearby. Fantomex reminds himself that years ago he brought Wolverine to visit the World, as it felt important to show Wolverine what happened to him - to illustrate the degree of manipulation his mind had suffered. Fantomex sets the small dome on a rock, then goes back to his teammates, where he fires a weapon at it, and the dome expands. Deadpool asks if that gun can shrink and enlarge anything, to which Fantomex replies that it only works on inanimate objects, while recalling that in taking Wolverine to the World, he earned Logan’s trust.

A door on the dome opens, and Fantomex reminds himself that with Logan’s trust came the invitation to join X-Force, an arrangement that has drastically decreased time formerly reserved for intrigue, thievery, fine wine and casual sex. Fantomex fires a weapon at a console, and decides that, in hindsight, he made a terrible mistake.

Inside the World, the heroes gaze around at the strange, colorful surroundings. Betsy asks Fantomex why he shot the controls. ‘You don’t really think that’s going to keep the door closed tighter, do you?’ she asks. Fantomex replies that works in all of the movies. ‘What is this place?’ Warren asks. Wolverine explains that the World is the Weapon Plus Program, home laboratory of the folks who launched Weapon X in Canada. ‘Same folks who cooked my noodle, covered my bones in all this fancy metal’ Logan adds. Standing on a ledge, Deathlok announces that they want to protect this place, as it is the well of Weapon Infinity. Betsy asks what Weapon Infinity is, to which Deathlok replies ‘All Deathloks are Weapon Infinity’.

Deathlok explains that they are perpetually traveling in time, protecting the events that ensure a future where all super beings are controlled. ‘If we fail to kill Father, this sentient infinity will be so ingrained, it will be impossible to stop’ he adds. As they begin to walk through the strange surroundings, Deadpool remarks that it is like 12th grade art class, very Escher, while Betsy asks the Deathlok if he is part Deathlok why he is helping them. Deathlok explains that he is free of the collective consciousness, that his human host is a psychopathic killer, and to accomplish his last mission, he was forced to overtake his host. Deathlok continues, revealing that he began to process philosophical concepts such as morality, and choosing morality brought him free will, which subsequently illuminated the inherent evil of enslaving others.

‘Yes, yes, you’re full of benevolence and brotherly love for all. Bottom-line, to kill this future we must find and kill Father’ Fantomex declares. He tells his teammates that, as they can see, the world is very, very big, and Father could be anywhere. Fantomex proposes that they split up and cover more ground. ‘Come on, Wade…I’ll keep you out of trouble’ Fantomex announces.

However, the heroes are unaware that the “Father” is watching them and declares that they are all performing as expected, which makes him so proud.

Deadpool follows Fantomex across floating stepping stones, and Deadpool asks ‘So you get a lot of…“private time”?’ ‘Private time?’ Fantomex asks. ‘You know, time with yourself…that’s private’ Deadpool explains. ‘I’m going to stop talking to you now’ Fantomex declares. Deadpool ignores his teammate and asks him if he ever gets creeped out by the idea of the Watcher. ‘Really encroaches on lil’ Wade’s private time. I get into it then - POW! The Watcher’s face pops up. His big, fat, voyeuristic mug…’ Deadpool exclaims, before Fantomex turns around and remarks that Deadpool must get exhausted living his life in the war of manipulating other people’s perceptions of himself.

‘You can’t win my friendship with your quivering stream of desperation-banter’ Fantomex tells Deadpool, who asks ‘You think I’m worried about winning your approval?’ before remarking that he knows how people see him. ‘I know what you all think - but guess what? I choose to be who I am anyway’ Deadpool declares, before asking Fantomex if he can say the same. ‘Perhaps not…but I’m not the most despised member on this squad!’ Fantomex replies, grabbing Deadpool’s arm. ‘You sure about this?’ Wade retorts, before exclaiming ‘To hell with this team-up business. I work better alone’ Deadpool declares as he walks away. ‘As do I. Good day, sir - and happy hunting!’ Fantomex exclaims, while the “Father” continues to watch them.

Elsewhere within the World, Deathlok follows Wolverine and exclaims ’These buildings…though inorganic, I detect…awareness. Molecular sentinels building all around us’. Wolverine explains that it is a living, breathing house of secrets, with a lot of history buried in this place. He begins to say something else, before picking up a scent and announcing that they are being tracked. ‘By whom?’ Deathlok asks. ‘The best there is’ Wolverine replies as a Deathlok Wolverine drops down on them. Logan thinks to himself that he should have picked up the Deathlok earlier. ‘Protect Father’ the Wolverine Deathlok exclaims. ‘Secure the future’. Logan decides that there is only one way his doppelganger could have gotten this close - the World is helping them, before both Wolverine and the Deathlok Wolverine fall through what appears to be a large church window.

‘Terminate anomaly’ a Deadpool Deathlok declares as it drops down behind the heroic Deathlok, who replies that he is Deathlok prime, while his opponent slices his weapon in half with a sword. ‘I am prepared for you’ Deathlok declares as he unsheathes three energy-like claws as he prepares to face off against the Deathlok Deadpool.

Elsewhere, Angel soars across the ever-changing landscape, carrying Betsy, who remarks that she has no idea what they are looking for. Warren tells his lover to keep scanning for any foreign thoughts, while Betsy tells Warren that she senses distress in his voice, and asks whether he has another migraine, before pointing out that he has had the more frequently since the Apocalypse assassination. ‘Allow me entrance to your mind -’ Betsy begins, but Warren tells her that he doesn’t need her mothering him and that he is fine. Warren adds that it is his war to fight, but some days he prefers to fight it on his own. Betsy asks Warren if this is why he has not come to her for sessions. ‘Warren, if you’re frightened -’ Betsy begins, but Warren interrupts, ‘Frightened? Is that what you think?’ he shouts, turning his head away, while Betsy screams ‘Warren - look out!’ as a missile speeds towards them. Thankfully, Warren uses his razor-sharp wings as a shield, with the explosion detonating behind them.

Nearby, Deathloks resembling both Archangel and Psylocke hover, with the Archangel Deathlok stating that their side objective is to terminate associates / supporters, and the Psylocke Deathlok remarks that their prime objective is to protect Father and secure tomorrow. Betsy informs Warren that his wings are damaged, but Warren assure her that he is fine, while Betsy asks him if he control them at this speed. ‘I said I’m fine - I guess you’ll just have to trust me’ Warren exclaims.

At that moment, Deathlok is still facing off against the Deadpool Deathlok, who lunges towards him, announcing ‘Terminate anomalous Deathlok’, while Deathlok tells him that he lacks the proficiency to execute the directive. ‘Your tomorrow is doomed’ he exclaims as he uses his energy claws to gut the Deadpool Deathlok, who collapses before him.

In some sort of tomb, Wolverine faces off against the Deathlok Wolverine, remarking that he could do this all night, as shadow boxing is good training. ‘This will not take all night’ the doppelganger states. ‘Cocky. Maybe we ain’t so different’ Logan remarks. But suddenly, the Deathlok Wolverine trips Logan up, then looms down over him, holding an elbow blade to Logan’s face, the Wolverine Deathlok boasts that the primary difference is Deathlok superiority.

Elsewhere, Deadpool makes his way along a narrow walkway in some sort of cylinder shaped building, with nothing to prevent him from falling off. Strange insects buzz around him. ‘Fantom-Fudge-Puddle-X. Grade A jerk!’ Deadpool thinks to himself. ‘Figured he and Wolverine’d have a love connection. Shoots a kid in the head and somehow I’m the pariah’ Wade tells himself, before realizing that of course they like Fantomex better, after all, what is not to like? ‘A mysterious child-killing elitist who pretends to be French and stinks like old cheese…mix, pour, serve - instant favorite for the family’.

Deadpool’s constant thoughts continue, deciding that he is just the guy killing the target, saving the world. ‘Don’t mind me. Not that I care what they think. Sure as hell don’t need their approval’ he decides as he enters a small tunnel, into a room, filled with tubes and cables, Wade approaches a chair, where a man sits, and declares ‘Of course you need their approval, son’. The chair spins around, and the man, sitting partly in the shadows, remarks that shame belongs to those who hide such a basic human need behind a wall of arrogance and false indifference. Wade realizes that he knows the voice - it is the Father.

Wade holds his sword ready, while the “Father” tells him that he is true to himself, even after all he has endured. ‘He knows - knows how good I am - I deserve -’ Wade thinks to himself, while the “Father” finishes off his thoughts: ‘- to be loved. You do deserve to be loved, son. Because you are a good man - a hero’ The “Father” steps into the light, his eyes glow blue, and remarks that Deadpool was once discarded from this program as bio-waste from a failed experiment, yet he now stands as one of the world’s greatest heroes. ‘Having overcome so many odds, you can’t know how proud of you I am, Wade…my favorite son’ the “Father” exclaims as he pats Deadpool on the head after Wade sits down at his feet. The “Father” holds Deadpool by his chin and asks ‘Help me, be the hero I know you are’ and tells Deadpool that his friends are bad seeds who don’t care about him, that they care only that he kills who they need killed. ‘Yes. No matter what I do…they’ll never respect me’ Deadpool agrees.

At that moment, Archangel and Betsy speed through the aid in another attempt to dodge their doppelgangers who release more missiles at them. Betsy asks Warren to hurl her backwards and she will attack head on, but Warren tells her that it is too dangerous at this speed. Suddenly, ‘Protect Father. Terminate all threats’ Warren states as Betsy realizes that her doppelganger has taken over Warren’s mind. She decides that she cannot risk a psi-war in Warren’s head, as she doesn’t know if his psyche could survive it. Betsy grabs a sword and declares ‘I don’t have time to match mind games with you, cyborg dog’ Betsy exclaims as the sword is thrown backwards - landing right in the Psylocke Deathlok’s head.

‘Associate lifespan completed. Discard. Continue chase’ the Archangel Deathlok states as it drops its “associate” and continues to chase Warren and Betsy. Free of the Psylocke Deathlok’s control, Warren realizes he is about to crash into a wall - so swiftly changes direction, enabling safety for he and Betsy. However the Archangel Deathlok is not so lucky, and moments later, crashes into the side of the building, exploding. ‘We need to go back!’ Betsy exclaims. Warren asks why, to which Betsy explains that she needs to get her sword. Warren asks her if she doesn’t have another one, to which Betsy replies that she does, but she wants that one.

Back in the tomb, ‘Erase past self. Save Fath -’ the Wolverine Deathlok begins, before suddenly receiving new directives. It leaps off Wolverine and announces that it is en route to terminate a future insurgent. Wolverine coughs as he gets his bearings, wondering what bought him that break, before deciding that whatever it was, he will take it.

Elsewhere, Fantomex and Deathlok stand before a console in a lab, and Fantomex realizes that the lab appears unmolested, so the “Father” is still a step behind him. ‘I need to make sure the project is safe’ Fantomex thinks to himself, while Deathlok asks him what is inside that is so important. ‘Better if you don’t know’ Fantomex replies, when suddenly, a single line of code catches his eye - a single message that reads: I know what you’re growing and now I know where. Fantomex realizes that he has been tracked, and wonders how. ‘Unless I’ve been - misdirected’ he thinks to himself, spinning around, he aims a weapon at Deathlok, who suddenly reveals to be the future Fantomex Deathlok. ‘Protect the future’ the Fantomex Deathlok declares, while the present Fantomex is surprised, and his arm pushed away, while telling himself that he has never been misdirected before, and it is highly off putting.

‘Terminate future insurgent’ the Fantomex Deathlok exclaims as they engage in battle. Fantomex draws fighting techniques from his multiple brains, so his moves should be impossible to anticipate - but the Fantomex Deathlok does. Fantomex does not have time for this, luckily, his trump card arrives to move things along - Ultimaton, Weapon XV, his loyal laboratory guard dog. ‘He’s the bad one’ Fantomex tells Ultimaton, motioning at the Fantomex Deathlok. Ultimaton then unleashes a massive stream of energy towards the doppelganger, seemingly destroying him. Fantomex turns to the robot and reminds him that his orders are to protect the laboratory and its contents, that he is not to step outside. Ultimaton replies that he sensed Fantomex was in danger, but Fantomex shouts ‘No excuses’ and orders the robot back inside before the others arrive.

Fantomex looks up, and at that moment, the Wolverine Deathlok drops down upon him. Fantomex tells himself that it is easy to become desensitized to the claws of Wolverine - but it is not until the Wolverine Deathlok cleaves a four-inch incision through Fantomex’s midsection that the mercenary fully appreciates how well earned Wolverine’s reputation is. ‘Protect the future’ the Wolverine Deathlok declares. ‘Terminate the insurgent’ the Deadpool Deathlok exclaims, while the injured Fantomex calls out to his robot, ordering him to seal the laboratory. ‘Protect the future’ the Deathlook Deadpool states, while the Wolverine Deathlok checks the door that just sealed off, and announces that the insurgent resides within. ‘Bypass barricade. Terminate target’ it states. ‘No-no-no…simply can’t have it’ Fantomex exclaims as he slowly gets to his feet, before suggesting that they might allow him to fight them one at a time, for fairness’ sake.

Inside the laboratory, the “”Father” and Deadpool watch Fantomex’s struggle, and the “Father” exclaims that Fantomex was spoiled, that he was given so much, while Wade ascended from nothing - climbed tooth and nail to where he is today. Deadpool replies that Fantomex is contemptuous of what he, Wade, has accomplished, so he deserves this.

At that moment, both the Deathloks attack Fantomex at the same time, and the mercenary keels over, telling himself that rarely has he absorved this much physical damage. ‘Terminate Fantomex’ the Deadpool Deathlok states, while the Wolverine Deathlok holds Fantomex around the neck. ‘I will carry this agony to my grave’ Fantomex thinks to himself, as the Deadpool Deathlok shoves a sword through Fantomex’s stomach. The attack continues, and, in the lab, Deadpool exclaims ‘They’re killing him’. ‘As he deserves’ the “Father” replies.

The Deadpool Deathlok attempts to slice the door to the laboratory open, while Fantomex lies on the ground, and now, at the end, reality strikes him - this band of time-jumping assassins proves he is right - ‘He will rise. Only now, I am forced to watch it be undone before it happens - what an exquisite failure’ Fantomex tells himself.

‘Watch him die’ the “Father” tells Deadpool. ‘Watch us save the future. How nice’ the “Father” adds before telling Deadpool that the bully Fantomex will not pick on him again. ‘You see what your father does for you? How much he loves you?’ the “Father” asks. ‘Love…no one’s ever loved me’ Deadpool replies.

An instant later, the Deathlok Deadpool breaches the laboratory by opening the door. ‘Protect tomorrow. Destroy all within’ he states, while the “Father” watches Fantomex on the monitor, as the Wolverine Deathlok looms down over him, ready to strike. ‘Look at him squirm. Such pain he suffers’ the “Father” remarks, before telling Deadpool that he is so proud, and that he will get cake for this. ‘Cake and a kiss on your forehead as I tuck you in’ the “Father tells him. Deadpool goes wide-eyed, and thinks to himself that is going to be awesome - ‘Wait - did that old dude say he was planning on kissing me? Tucking me in? No...that doesn’t sound right’ Wade thinks to himself, before announcing ‘Sounds pretty bad, actually’.

‘What sounds bad, my boy?’ the “Father” asks. Deadpool tells him that the “fatherly adoration” power he has been oozing had a hold on him until that last bit. Deadpool explains that there really is a fine line between “loving father” and “creepy uncle” - and an instant later, uses his sword to decapitate the “Father”.

Outside the laboratory, Fantomex is desperate - but he is saved when the Deathloks all vanish. ‘Nick of time. God smiles down, and all of that’ he tells himself.

Nearby, Wolverine, Deathlok, Betsy and Archangel arrive. ‘Trail ends here. Then is just disappears’ Wolverine remarks as they stand on a platform. Betsy announcers that she no longer detects the Deathlok troopers, before Fantomex appears from behind some rubble. Wolverine asks him what is going on in there, to which Fantomex replies that his medical unit is back there, and he was stitching himself up as he took some nasty cuts. Logan asks where the cyborgs went, to which Fantomex replies that he assumed one of them killed “Father”, thus erasing this particular Deathlok strain, but Betsy tells him that they never found “Father”.

Suddenly, ‘Not everyone is here though, right?’ Deadpool asks as he climbs over a ledge and joins his teammates. ‘Why was the little shoe unhappy?’ Deadpool asks. ‘I’m not sure. How?’ Fantomex asks him. ‘His father was a loafer’ Deadpool replies as he holds up the head of “Father” impaled on his sword, he then drops the head in front of Fantomex, before turning and walking away. Fantomex hangs his head, and Logan, Betsy and Archangel follow Deadpool. The Deathlok turns and looks towards the laboratory, but Fantomex tells him to come, as it is too dangerous to linger here, and they follow the others down some stairs. ‘Nothing left to see. The caper is solved. Good guys win’ Fantomex declares.

However, deep within his laboratory, Ultimaton stands watch over the various tanks containing strange forms of life. One tank holds something very strange indeed - a boy with some sort of virtual display unit placed over his head, his umbilical cord attached to presumably a food source. And the name written on this tank? En Sabah Nur. Age 847 days….

Characters Involved: 

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


Various Deathloks



En Sabah Nur, age 847 days

Story Notes: 

Fantomex and Wolverine’s previous sojourn to the World took place New X-Men (1st series) #142-145.

The assassination of the Apocalypse boy took place in Uncanny X-Force #4.
M.C Escher is an artist known for his often mathematically inspired works that feature impossible constructions and explorations of infinity and architecture.

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