Uncanny X-Force (2nd series) #4

Issue Date: 
July 2013
Story Title: 
Street Fighting Man

Sam Humphries (writer), Ron Garney (penciler), Scott Hanna (inker), Adrian Alphona & Christina Strain (mindscape pages), Marte Gracia with Israel Gonzalez (colorists), Virtual Calligraphy’s Cory Petit (letterer), Kris Anka (cover artist), Salvador Larroca & Frank D’Armata (variant cover artists), Jordan D White (associate editor), Nick Lowe (editor), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Special Thanks to Steven Chism, Daniel Henriques & Allen Martinez

Brief Description: 

Spiral continues on her quest to protect Ginny, but Bishop tracks them down. In Bishop’s mind, Psylocke finds herself attacked by a large bear and confronted by a strange white owl. The owl tells her they want a difference psychic, and expel Psylocke from Bishop’s psyche. Storm, Psylocke and Puck race to find Bishop, and Psylocke reveals that there is trouble in Bishop’s mind. Spiral battles Bishop, while Fantomex and Cluster watch from a nearby rooftop. They want to find Psylocke, but Dark Fantomex attacks Fantomex and they plummet off the rooftop. Spiral falls before Bishop, and Ginny confronts him with her psychic power. Bishop tells Ginny that they have come a long way to find her, and with an owl-shaped energy raptor, attacks her. Psylocke, Storm and Puck arrive, and battle Bishop, but Ginny is gone. Bishop, after being electrocuted, seems to come to his senses and asks where the Revenant is, before Puck takes him out. Psylocke confronts Spiral and tells her to mourn for Ginny later. She throws Spiral her sword, but Spiral doesn’t want to fight. Psylocke remembers her time as Spiral’s captive, but doesn’t harm her. Storm and Psylocke share some comforting words, however Wolverine sees a news article about mutants in downtown Los Angeles - which is where Psylocke and Storm are, and he is not impressed. Later, at a hotel, Ginny arrives and asks the bartender for a martini. He refuses, before Ginny uses her psychic power to compel him to make the drink - only this time, her power manifests with the image of an owl, and she has others under her control, too.

Full Summary: 

Pershing Square Subway Station, Downtown Los Angeles, ‘Don’t run. Keep your head down’ the six-armed Time-Witch known as Spiral instructs her young companion, Ginny, as they make their way through a crowd of people. Spiral tells Ginny that the mutants will keep Bishop occupied while they get out of here. Ginny tells Spiral that she is scared, and Spiral replies that she knows, but that she needs some rest, then she can teleport them - but suddenly, Bishop appears, and releases a surge of energy through the crowd. ‘Give me the girl! I want Ginny now!’ Bishop shouts, before he starts to roar.

And, that roar is echoed in his mind, where Betsy “Psylocke” Braddock currently finds herself, confronted by a huge bear. Picked up by the bear, Betsy readies her sword, ‘Fair warning. I’m no damsel in distress’ she calls out. The bear brings it other paw down towards Betsy, as if to crush her.
Ah - I see how it is’ she remarks, as she lunges up with her sword, and the bear howls in agony, before retracting his other paw, and sending energy coursing out its mouth, towards Betsy, who narrowly dodges the darts of orange light.

Betsy leaps up to the bear’s face, ‘I’ll say this only one time - get the hell out of Bishop’s head!’ she screams, as she slices off bear’s large spiked teeth. ‘Sorted’ Betsy declares, before dropping down to the ground, while the bear roars some more - then slams a paw onto her. The bear looks surprised as a white ghost owl flies before it, and sings. The bear starts to vanish, swirling away, while the ghost owl psychically calls out ‘Sorry to interrupt your inglorious defeat, Elizabeth. But it’s a different psychic we’re after’. Blackness surrounds Betsy, and she starts to freefall. ‘No! Get back here, I’ll - I’ll -’ she cries.

‘I’ll - I’ll kick your - uh - what is?’ Betsy calls out as she finds herself flying along through the underground subway tunnels, alongside Ororo “Storm” Munroe and Eugene Judd a.k.a. Puck. ‘Good morning, cowgirl’ the former Alphan calls out to Betsy, who is still confused as to what is going on. Puck tells her that after she brain-blasted Bishop, he took off after Spiral and Ginny, and now, thanks to Storm, they are in hot pursuit. Betsy gathers herself as she and Puck are propelled along by hurricane winds thanks to Storm, who announces that Bishop must be on the surface, and they have to stop him. Betsy reveals to her friend that it is not just Bishop, as she was in Bishop’s mind - and he isn’t alone in there.

Nearby, there is another explosion thanks to Bishop firing blasts of energy about. Spiral teleports to the surface with Ginny and remarks ‘Bastard won’t leave us alone. He won’t give up’. Spiral is exhausted and can’t run anymore. She realizes that she has no choice but to make a stand. She tells Ginny to run home, as she is going to take the fight to him. Spiral then teleports away again, leaving Ginny alone, and the girl screams out for her. An instant later, Spiral appears over Bishop, ‘Your skull is mine!’ she screams at him. Bishop fires a blast of energy towards his six-armed foe, and roars at her.

Nearby, atop a building: ‘There. I’d recognize that brand of chaos anywhere’ Fantomex remarks as he and Cluster observe the energy blasts radiating around Bishop. Fantomex tells Cluster that Betsy is close, while Cluster points out that the woman with all the arms is a ninja like their Betsy, and asks Fantomex if they should get involved. Fantomex tells Cluster that they best not, until they know the score. His eyes dart to the right when he realizes someone has dropped down onto the rooftop behind them. ‘If we’re too late, if Dark Fantomex has gotten to her first, I’ll never forgive -’ Cluster begins, before realizing that Fantomex is gone. ‘My love? Fantomex?’ she calls out. ‘Where are you?’ she asks, while Fantomex has been pushed off the rooftop by Dark Fantomex, both free-falling to the ground. ‘You! But I sent EVA to -’ Fantomex begins as he fires a weapon, which misses Dark Fantomex. ‘Never forget, brother - I am always one step ahead’ Dark Fantomex replies.

Near a water fountain, Spiral has been knocked to the ground, and Bishop tells her that this time, she will stay down. ‘Nngh - never!’ Spiral replies as she struggles to get up, her sword has been knocked some feet away from her. Suddenly, ‘NO!’ screams Ginny, who has found them. She stands in the water fountain, and declares that she will never let Bishop hurt Spiral. ‘Leave her alone!’ she warns him, adding that he will do as she says. ‘Wuh…wuh…do what you say’ Bishop utters, falling under Ginny’s psychic influence. Spiral tells Ginny to run, that Bishop is too dangerous, so she needs to get out of here. Her angel avatar appears overhead, as Ginny assures Spiral that she has got him, that she is in control. ‘Yes. I wish to serve… all I’ve ever wanted was to belong…’ Bishop utters.

Suddenly, Bishop’s voice changes, and he shouts ‘Little Ginny. You think your immature power can control me? You’re out of your league. We’ve come a long way to find you’. He moves forward, and grabs Ginny, lifting her up, and the image of the owl from his mind appears overhead, bright red in color now, ‘Finally we are together!’ Bishop exclaims, while Ginny cries out in fear. ‘Ginny! No!’ a wide-eyed Spiral calls out. ‘Is Ghost Owl another old X-Man or is this bad?’ Puck asks as he and the X-Women arrive on scene. ‘No’ Storm tells him, while Psylocke declares that they are too late. Bishop turns and growls, the Ghost Owl imprint gone, as has Ginny. ‘No. This isn’t happening. She’s gone! Ginny is gone!’ a distraught Spiral calls out. Psylocke informs Storm that Bishop is open, and Storm readies a lightning blast, while asking Bishop to forgive her, ‘But you leave us no choice’ she points out, as the powerful surge of lightning strikes him as he stands in the water.

Bishop collapses. ‘Amber? Amber, did you -?’ he calls out, before getting to his feet, ‘Ororo?’ he asks, surprised, before asking where he is and where the Revenant is. Bishop turns and sees Puck on the edge of the fountain. ‘You started out raising hell. Now you’re cold and full of regret. But this ain’t over - til I say it’s over!’ Judd exclaims as he leaps forward and punches Bishop in the face. ‘Spiral. Turn around. This is between you and me’ Betsy calls out to Spiral, who is standing, but slumped, she looks up and explains that she can’t hear Ginny anymore, that their psychic connection is gone. Betsy suggests to Spiral that she mourn for Ginny later, as right now, she has bigger problems. Spiral starts to cry, and hangs her head again. ‘You don’t understand. I failed. She trusted me. All we had was each other’.

‘Enough crying!’ Psylocke exclaims as she throws Spiral’s sword towards her. It lands tip to the ground. Spiral just looks at it. ‘Pick up your sword and face me!’ Psylocke snaps - but Spiral drops to the ground, and hangs her head again. ‘It’s over. I have nothing left’ she utters. ‘Pathetic excuse for a ninja!’ Betsy exclaims as she stands over Spiral. Betsy remembers being held as Spiral’s prisoner, before telling Spiral that she is a demon. ‘And you deserve to… deserve to…’ her voice trails off, she stares down at Spiral, whose hair hides her eyes, she just crouches on the ground, saying nothing before Betsy. Betsy remembers fighting Spiral, her sword tightly gripped in her hand - when Storm comes over, ‘It doesn’t take a telepath to know what you’re thinking’ Storm tells her friend.

‘Storm! I - I wasn’t -’ Betsy begins, but Storm tells her that she doesn’t have to explain. Storm points out that in the lives they have chosen, the temptation is everywhere. They don’t have the luxury of living without it. They embrace, as Betsy tells her that she has done some bad things. ‘I know’ Storm replies. ‘Still love me?’ Betsy asks. ‘I still love you’ Storm assures her. Betsy thanks her friend, before Puck calls out to them, ‘All right, ladies! I’m ten-feet of ass-kicking in a four foot body! I’ve got whiskey for blood and veins in my teeth!’ he boasts as he stands on Bishop’s fallen body. ‘Big guy never stood a chance against one-punch Puck!’ the diminutive hero boasts. ‘We could have left him in the bar’ Betsy frowns. ‘He grows on you’ Storm smiles. ‘Gross. I blame Logan’ Betsy replies, before Storm exclaims ‘Oh Goddess - what about Logan?’

And, at that moment, Logan a.k.a. Wolverine is at the Jean Grey School for Higher Learning in Upstate New York, sitting in his office, ‘What the -?’ he exclaims when he discovers a newspaper article on hand-held computer, with the headline “Mutants in downtown Los Angeles…”. ‘Oh hell no!’ Logan mutters.

Meanwhile, at the Biltmore Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles, sun shines into the lobby, where a girl walks through. No one else is present, except for a man behind the bar. ‘Greetings’ the girl calls out in a strange voice. ‘We’re closed’ the bar tender replies without looking up. ‘I was hoping you could make an exception’ the girl replies, asking for one Gibson Martini, very cold, very dry and very dirty. ‘I have been craving one for a long time’ the girl with the strange voice claims. ‘Very funny. What are you, twelve?’ the bar tender replies, before suddenly, he falls under the girl’s psychic control. It is Ginny, only now, her angel avatar has been replaced by the avatar of the Ghost Owl. ‘Uh. Yes, ma’am. One Gibson. Very cold, very dry, very dirty’ he announces. He makes the drink and hands it to Ginny, who grins. ‘Thank you, kind Sir’ she tells him, before remarking that she has been craving a good martini for over four thousand years, and that she is quite thirsty. Suddenly, others including a conductor, a police man and a homeless man appear behind Ginny, all under her control, and they all utter ‘Thirsty’, while Ginny grins wickedly….

Characters Involved: 

Psylocke, Puck, Storm (all Uncanny X-Force)



Cluster, Dark Fantomex, Fantomex



Demon Bear (unidentified)

Ghost Owl / the Revenant


Bar tender

In Psylocke’s memory:



Story Notes: 

"Street Fighting Man" is a song by the Rolling Stones featured on their 1968 album Beggars Banquet.
The newspaper article that Wolverine reads which says “Mutants in Downtown Los Angeles” is accompanied by a photograph of Puck. Rather interesting choice of photo considering Puck is not a mutant.
Psylocke has a long-running hatred for Spiral. First Spiral and Mojo brainwashed her and replaced her eyes (New Mutants annual #2) and later Spiral helped the Hand merge Psylocke’s mind and body with that of Kwannon (see the Psylocke spotlight).

Issue Information: 
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