Uncanny X-Force (2nd series) #6

Issue Date: 
August 2013
Story Title: 

Sam Humphries (writer), Adrian Alphona & Dexter Soy (artists), Chris Sotomayor & David Curiel (colorists), Virtual Calligraphy’s Cory Petit (letterer), Marcos Martin (cover artist), Carlo Pagulayan, Jason Paz & Chris Soto mayor (variant cover artists), Jennifer M Smith (associate editor), Daniel Ketchum (editor), Nick Lowe (X-Men group editor), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

Psylocke wakes from her psychic slumber when Cluster crashes the car she is driving. Cluster explains that she came to find her, as Weapon XIII has captured Fantomex and they have to find him. But Psylocke, after everything that has happened between them, is not willing to help. Complicating matters, Spiral teleports to them, and starts fighting Psylocke. They battle for a lengthy period of time, hated rivals, until Spiral desperately pleads with Psylocke. Psylocke knows that Spiral has been weakened, and she stands over her when Spiral clings to the edge of a rooftop. Psylocke helps her up, and lets Spiral teleport away. Psylocke meets with an unimpressed Wolverine inside a “psychic snow globe”, where Psylocke herds sheep. Wolverine reminds Psylocke that her mission was to take care of Spiral, and now things seem out of hand, with a new mutant missing, and Bishop back in this reality. Wolverine tells Psylocke that he wants her back at school, but they carry on herding sheep, while the Demon Bear stalks them. They have a lengthy discussion about recent events, and Wolverine tells Psylocke that he isn’t going to put himself out on the line for her if she isn’t going to follow orders, but Psylocke reminds him that not all mutants fit into his or Cyclops’s ideal world. The Demon Bear then appears, now protective of Psylocke after she helped him, he now resides inside Psylocke’s psyche. The psychic connection ends, and Psylocke finds herself in a room with Puck, Storm, Cluster and the unconscious Bishop. Storm reports that Bishop is catatonic, before Psylocke tells Cluster that she will help her rescue Fantomex.

Full Summary: 

Snow covers the terrain. There is a rumbling in the distance. It gets closer, as a flock of sheep races down a gully, chased by a dog. Wolverine a.k.a. Logan suddenly appears, as the sheep run past him. ‘Baaa!’ one sheep calls out, smiling at Wolverine with wide eyes. Logan sneers, ‘What the #$%& is this?’ as Betsy “Psylocke” Braddock appears riding on a horse, another behind her. ‘In reality, you’re at the school in New York, plugged into Cerebra. I’m in California. But we’re here together in this psychic snow globe. Hullo ,Logan’ Betsy greets him. Logan tells Betsy that when he asked for a psychic conference, he was expecting something along the lines of Skype. ‘Well, you said it was urgent, and I’m in the middle of something’ Betsy replies, adding that sometimes as a psychic her mind can get muddled. ‘This is a meditation, a mental simulation I work though when I need to sort things out’ Betsy explains.

‘Okay, fine, but - sheep herding?’ Logan asks. Betsy tells him that when she was fourteen, her parents shipped her off to a sheep farm in New Zealand to teach her a lesson in responsibility. ‘You were rebellious back then too, huh?’ Logan remarks, before Betsy uses her power to psychically transform Wolverine’s costume into farm gear, a trench coat and wide-brimmed hat. ‘There - now do you feel less grumpy?’ Betsy asks, pointing out that since Logan is here, he may as well help out. Logan surveys the flock of sheep and sees some of them lying motionless, covered in blood, and he asks Betsy what kind of animal tears sheep apart like that. ‘A big one’ Betsy replies. ‘Obviously’ Logan remarks, before telling her that he heard about her shenanigans in Los Angeles - on a gossip blog. ‘I am not entertained’ he warns Betsy, who turns away and replies that she didn’t realize his amusement was part of the mission.

‘I’d settle for stealth’ Logan tells Betsy, reminding her that he sent her to take care of Spiral, and points out that within 24 hours they have got explosions in subways, battle on the streets and all sorts of unneeded attention. ‘You found a new mutant, great. But then you lost her’. Betsy frowns and remarks that Puck must have been playing tattletale. Logan ignores her comment and declares that somehow Bishop, one of the most notorious mutant hunters of all time, is back from the future and tearing up the present. ‘I ain’t here to babysit livestock, darling. I’m here to tell you I’m pulling the plug. Time to come back to the school’ he announces. They get onto the horses and shepherd the flock onwards, while Logan points out that Betsy’s mission would have been a complete disaster, if she didn’t have Spiral in custody, the two unaware that something is behind them, something that growls.

Earlier, in the real world:

‘Look out!’ Cluster calls out as she crashes a high-tech hovercraft into a take-away food caravan. ‘My grilled cheese!’ someone exclaims as they run for cover. Cluster pulls Psylocke’s motionless body from the wreckage and remarks that she never did get the hang of stick-shift, before asking Elizabeth if she can hear her, and if she is okay. ‘Uh… Storm… Bishop…’ Betsy utters, rubbing her head. ‘The Demon Bear is -’ she begins, before seeing Cluster standing before her, and asking if they are in Paris. ‘Elizabeth! Thank God you’re okay!’ Cluster exclaims, before informing her that they are in Los Angeles. ‘We came to find you but -’ Cluster begins, before Betsy punches her in the face.

‘How dare you abduct me like I’m some common -’ Betsy begins, angrily, before Cluster, fallen to her knees, tells Betsy that it is Fantomex, that Weapon XIII captured him. ‘Please - I know what he did to you, but you must help me save Fantomex!’ Cluster pleads. ‘Fantomex is what..?’ Betsy asks. ‘Cluster - after everything that’s happened - how can you ask me that?’ She turns from Cluster and starts to walk away, announcing that the answer is no, when, suddenly, a portal opens behind Betsy, and the six-armed Spiral emerges, slamming herself into Cluster, who is knocked backwards.
‘Spiral!’ Betsy exclaims as she sees her hated foe. Their swords clash, and Cluster opens fire on Spiral, ‘Elizabeth!’ she gasps, but Spiral kicks backwards, slamming a foot into Cluster’s face. Spiral suddenly grabs Betsy, ‘Got you!’ she tells her, and wrapping four arms around Betsy and holding her close, Spiral raises her other two arms and opens a portal. ‘And done’ Spiral declares, while Betsy calls out to Cluster, asking her to find Storm - before she and Spiral vanish.

Now, on the astral plane, Logan and Betsy shepherd the sheep along a beach, water lapping around their feet, while Logan sniffs and tells Betsy that this psychic snow globe, or whatever they are in, is playing havoc with his tracking senses and asks her if something is following them. He adds that it isn’t like Betsy to let someone get the drop on her like that, and now is it like her to play on tilt, either. He asks Betsy to shoot him straight, and inquires as to what happened with her and the Fantomexes in Paris. Betsy tells Logan to never go to Paris, especially if you are in love. She tells him that she has been going through a lot, as she vowed to leave killing behind - but it has only created more problems. ‘And… it’s been difficult’. Logan tells Betsy that it is a dangerous time to be off her game, as they have new mutants popping up, Cyclops kicking up dust with his rebels and humans just looking for a reason to come after them. ‘It’d a dangerous time to be out there raising a ruckus, too’ he adds.

Betsy asks Logan if he remembers when they ran X-Force, they ran around in secret, independent of any power struggles. ‘Psylocke, the deadly psychic ninja. The murderous Wolverine, “the best there is at what he does”?’ she asks. ‘Yeeeeah, well - I’m a headmaster now. I’m trying to make a better world for these kids’ Logan points out. He tells Betsy that he can’t have loose cannons, as the stakes are too high, and when stragglers separate, they put the whole flock at risk. ‘They become targets for predators. And those predators, like Spiral, need to be dealt with. Period’ he explains. Betsy asks Logan what methods he advocates for “dealing” with the likes of Spiral. Logan replies that just because he quit slicing away all his problems, doesn’t mean he stopped seeing the value in it. ‘Speaking of which, you know we’re down four sheep, right?’ he asks.

There is a growl behind them, and Wolverine asks Betsy why she doesn’t tell him what is hunting them. ‘Don’t worry about it’ Betsy replies. ‘Betts - I’ve asked about nine different ways, but you still ain’t said what happened to Spiral. Is there a reason for that?’ Logan inquires.

Earlier, in reality:

Spiral and Betsy materialize on a rooftop. ‘Kidnapping me again? This won’t end like last time, Spiral’ Betsy warns her foe. ‘Stop! I just want to talk -’ Spiral calls out, but Betsy rushes forward, ‘You should have run when you had the chance!’ she points out. Their swords clang together and Spiral announces that she is sick of running. They stare at each other and Spiral snaps that she is sick of Betsy and her self-righteous friends, but that she knew they would never stop hunting her, so here they are.
‘Tell me what you want with the mutant girl!’ Betsy demands. Spiral punches her in the face, ‘Ginny saved my life. She’s the one person who thinks’ I’m more than a monster’ Spiral replies, adding that Ginny is probably out there now, getting beaten and killed. ‘And it’s my fault. I just want to find her and save her’ Spiral explains.

Betsy breaks Spiral’s hold and kicks her hated foe’s sword away. ‘You think I’m just going to let you go? Without you, I’d have my own eyes!’ Betsy reminds Spiral. ‘My own body! My own life!’ she screams, shoving her elbow into the back of Spiral’s neck, Spiral falls to the rooftop and Betsy raises her sword overhead, ready to strike. ‘You’re not the only one who lost something!’ Spiral retorts as she pushes herself back up and knocks Betsy across the rooftop. ‘I used to have a normal life, you know. I made movies with my friends. I loved… I loved pizza. I had a dog. I named him Saxophone’ Spiral reveals. ‘I don’t’ care about your dog!’ Betsy snarls as she gathers herself. ‘Mojo, that fat #$%&, he twisted you but he destroyed me! Turned me into his slave! Forced me to kill for him. We’re not that different!’ Spiral tells Betsy, who leaps forward and screams ‘SHUT UP!’

Spiral lashes out with her sword, but Betsy flips over her, and screams again, ‘JUST SHUT UP!’ as she kicks Spiral to the edge of the rooftop, so hard that Spiral falls off, but manages to hang onto the edge with her two top hands. ‘Elizabeth… I’m just trying to rebuild my life… don’t you know how that feels?’ Spiral pleads, while Betsy just looks down and scowls.

Now, in the snow globe:

‘What happened after that?’ Logan asks as he and Betsy sit around a small fire. ‘Shh, quiet! You hear that noise?’ Betsy asks. Logan tells her that he doesn’t, and concedes that she does not have to tell him what happened next. Silence falls between the two of them, before Betsy asks ‘Logan. When you sent me after Spiral… did you expect me to kill for you?’ ‘Well… there’s a lot of bad blood there, and… I didn’t know what you would do’ Logan replies. Betsy tells Logan that he is full of #$%&, so he suggests she read his mind if she doesn’t believe him. ‘What a great example you set for your students’ Betsy remarks. ‘You give up dirty work and manipulate your friends into doing it for you. We’re supposed to trust each other!’

Annoyed, Wolverine tells Betsy that he doesn’t know who she is any more. ‘I’m putting my neck on the line for our future. And you wanna just #$%& around in Los Angeles and screw it up for the rest of us!’ he points out. Betsy tells Logan that not all of them are going to go with him or Cyclops. ‘We’re not all that convenient’ she declares, pointing out that Logan marginalizes the mutants that don’t fit into his simple worldview, and that is when they get isolated and desperate - like Spiral.
‘Darling, you ain’t Spiral. This ain’t even about Spiral. This is about the greater good’ Logan points out, adding that he needs Betsy to fall into line - period. Betsy gets to her feet, ‘And what if I don’t, “darling”? You going to send someone to kill me, too?’ she asks, her costume replacing her snow globe attire. Logan’s costume returns as he pops his claws, ‘I don’t wanna do this, but I will’ he warns Betsy.

Betsy reminds Logan that he is free to log out of Cerebra at any time, before asking him if he ever wondered who would win in a fight between the two of them. ‘Not even once’ Logan frowns. There is a growling sound again, and a bloodied sheep falls to the ground from above, before a huge bear reveals itself, peering out from around the side of a cliff, it roars at Logan and Betsy. ‘Holy #$%&. Is that the psychic demon that almost killed Dani Moonstar?’ Wolverine shouts.
Betsy goes over to the Demon Bear and puts a hand to its mouth, ‘Shhh. Easy now’ she tells it, before introducing Wolverine to the Demon Bear, explaining that she and Storm found him destroying Bishop’s psyche. Betsy tells Logan that she pulled a figurative thorn from the Bear’s metaphysical paw, and as a result, he has become quite attached to her.

Psylocke continues, informing Logan that when they escaped Bishop’s psyche, the Demon Bear stowed away with her, hiding deep in her mind, she thought he would never come out. ‘That’s what I’ve been doing with the sheep. I’ve been luring him out…hunting him’ she reveals. Standing beside the Demon Bear, Betsy informs Wolverine that she is not coming back to the school, as that is his home, not hers. ‘I’m neither the herd, nor the shepherd. I’m something else, entirely. Deal with it’ she announces. ‘This ain’t over, Psylocke - just cuz Demon Bear showed up to save your ass -’ he begins, and seeing Logan get aggressive towards Betsy, the Demon Bear starts grumbling. ‘You’re wrong, Wolverine. The Demon Bear saved you. Goodbye’ Betsy tells him.

Wolverine vanishes, his physical form in Cerebra. ‘Wait!’ he calls out, before getting to his feet. ‘Damn you, Betts’ Logan mutters.

And, in a warehouse in Los Angeles, Betsy returns to the physical realm as well. ‘Welcome back to paradise’ Eugene Milton Judd remarks as he stands before her. ‘Oh, great. It’s Puck. How thrilling’ Betsy remarks when she sees the former diminutive Alphan. Storm a.k.a. Ororo Munroe stands over a bed where Bishop lies unconscious, while Puck asks Betsy how much it hurts. ‘How much does what hurt?’ Betsy replies. ‘How much does it hurt where Logan chewed you out for what happened with Spiral?’ Puck grins.


Spiral clings to the edge of the rooftop, and asks Betsy ‘Don’t you know how that feels?’ Betsy just stares down at her, before extending a hand to pull her foe up. ‘Just… go. Hey out of here. Now’ Betsy tells Spiral. Spiral opens a portal and as she disappears tells Psylocke that she won’t forget this. Betsy just hangs her head.


Betsy tells Puck that it didn’t come up, before going over to Storm and asking her how Bishop is doing. Storm reports that he is stabilized, but still catatonic. ‘As he should be’ Psylocke remarks, explaining that his brain is recovering from a mental hijacking and the most cack-handed psychic rescue in her career.
Betsy sees that Cluster is still here, and Cluster replies that she is only here long enough to say goodbye. ‘I know you have your reasons, but I’m going without you. I’m going -’ Cluster begins, before Betsy interrupts, telling Cluster to stop, she admits that she may have been rash earlier and has reconsidered her decision. ‘I’ll help you rescue Fantomex’….

Characters Involved: 

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






Demon Bear

Story Notes: 

Spiral replaced Psylocke’s eyes in the classic New Mutants Annual #2, and her body was swapped with that of Kwannon’s in Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #256-258, further explained in X-Men (1st series) #32. See the Psylocke Spotlight for full details.

Psylocke and Storm encountered the Demon Bear over the last couple of issues.

DanI Moonstar’s previous dealings with the Demon Bear are chronicled in New Mutants (1st series) #18-20 and X-Force (1st series) #99-100.

Fantomex was last seen fighting Weapon XIII in Uncanny X-Force (2nd series) #4.

Issue Information: 
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