Uncanny X-Force (2nd series) #9

Issue Date: 
September 2013
Story Title: 

Sam Humphries (writer), Adrian Alphona & Dalibor Talajic (artists), Chris Sotomayor & Lee Loughridge (colorists), Virtual Calligraphy’s Cory Petit (letterer), Kris Anka (cover artist), Jennifer M Smith (assistant 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: 

Six months ago in Paris, Psylocke confronts Fantomex and Cluster in bed, furious at Fantomex for setting her up with the guards at the museum. She is also angry at Cluster for siding with Fantomex. Psylocke then leaves, before swearing that she will kill Fantomex for betraying her. Today, in Madripoor, Psylocke tries to keep the Demon Bear at bay while Weapon XIII continues to try and seduce her. He then takes her to the library where Fantomex is reading. Fantomex tells Psylocke that she cheated on him, to which she asks how she can cheat on him with him? Psylocke explains that when they were in Paris she just got caught up in it all, to which Fantomex tells her the same, but Psylocke tells him that he does not get off that easy. They argue for some time, before they battle. The fight causes a fire when some candles are knocked to the ground. When Weapon XIII returns, Psylocke quietly tells Fantomex to go and free Cluster. He is confused, but Psylocke engages Weapon XIII in battle, and unleashes the Demon Bear on him. In the aftermath, Cluster and Fantomex find Psylocke and discuss their relationship. Cluster even offers to go back into the White Hot Room so they can be merged back into one person again. Cluster then gives Psylocke the million dollar bottle of champagne. Psylocke returns to Paris, before contacting Storm. Psylocke leaves Paris, and throws her purple Fantomex costume out of the plane, while drinking the million dollar champagne. In Los Angeles, Storm and Puck continue to restrain Bishop, who is babbling about the Revenant Queen being here, unaware that one of her Revenants has been spying on them, and returns to the Revenant Queen, informing her that Bishop is alive and remembers her, so the Revenant Queen announces that it is time to bring forth the nightmares.

Full Summary: 


Paris, France, Cluster and Fantomex lie sprawled over one another in bed, wearing only their masks over their faces, pulled up above their mouths. Betsy “Psylocke” Braddock climbs through a window. Betsy is wearing her own purple “Fantomex” costume, and she frowns as she points her pistol at Fantomex’s face. ‘Freeze’ a voice orders. She turns, to see another gun held to her own head - by Cluster. Cluster holds the bed sheets up over her body and tells Elizabeth that they are happy she is home, but suggests she lowers her weapon. Betsy tells Cluster that this doesn’t involve her. ‘Fantomex owes me’ she adds. ‘This is… not croissants’ Fantomex declares, raising his arms over his head.

Cluster assures Betsy that she understands, and that it doesn’t have to be like this. She suggests that three of them talk it out over champagne. ‘The champagne!’ Betsy snaps, announcing that the guards at the Louvre knew she was coming, that they had the masks so she could not use her telepathy on them. ‘He betrayed me. Someone died’ she reveals.

Fantomex tells the ladies that this is not quite the menage he imagined. ‘Say, is there an extra gun I could have?’ he asks. ‘Shut up!’ both women shout, their weapons still pointed at their initial targets. Cluster asks Elizabeth why she would bring violence into their house of love. ‘Don’t you see - the three of us could be so happy together’ she suggests, asking what is more important than that? ‘After everything that’s happened between us, Cluster - I can’t believe you’re taking sides against me! Taking sides with him!’ Betsy snaps.

But Cluster tells Betsy that this is not about taking sides. ‘I love you, Elizabeth. But you know I won’t let you do this. You’ll have to put a bullet in my head, too’. Betsy pauses, before muttering ‘Damn you’. She edges back to the window and climbs out onto the balcony, still aiming her weapon at Fantomex. She tells him that this is not over, that someday, somehow, she will find him in a place where Cluster cannot protect him. ‘And on that day, I swear… I’ll kill you for betraying me’ Betsy sternly warns him.


Madripoor, Buccaneer Bay. Betsy cries out in pain as the Demon Bear inside of her roars. ‘Feel the fire, the fire becomes the flame, a flame becomes a spark - easy, Demon Bear, easy. Don’t feed into my anger’ Betsy whispers. ‘I need you to be calm for -’ she adds, before a voice calls out ‘My heart?’ Betsy turns to see Weapon XIII standing nearby. He tells Betsy that she has been through so much, that she doesn’t have to do this. ‘We can leave right now, just like that. Leave all this behind… just you and me’. Betsy goes over to him and tells him that it all sounds so irresistible. ‘But I need -’ she begins. ‘Say no more. Consider this a present to consecrate our love’ he adds. Weapon XIII pulls a lever, ‘Your one request of me. I’ve got him imprisoned in the old library. Even pirates like to read’.

A door opens. Betsy steps into the darkened library, where Fantomex sits at a table, smoking a pipe and reading a large book. The room is dimly lit by several candles. ‘Elizabeth. I should have expected you. Here to rescue me from terminal boredom?’ Fantomex asks. ‘Or are you here to sentence me to something more fatal?’ Betsy explains that she made a deal with Weapon XIII, or, rather, he made a deal with her. Fantomex gets to his feet, ‘Of course you did. Did you fall for him, too? The way you fell for Cluster?’ He takes a pistol from a pirate skeleton propped up against a bookcase. Betsy walks over to the table and stands at the side of one of the chairs, ‘I didn’t fall for either of them. I fell for you’ she declares.

‘Remember? Back when you were kind-hearted?’ Betsy asks, before telling Fantomex that he changed, and he didn’t have what made her fall in love with him in the first place - but his clone did. ‘You cheated on me’ Fantomex replies. ‘How can I cheat on you with you?’ Betsy asks him. ‘You turned your back on me’ Fantomex points out. ‘You betrayed me’ he adds. Betsy replies that she didn’t know what she was doing. ‘I killed my brother and so many others’. Betsy closes her eyes and tells Fantomex that she needed him, but that he wasn’t the same - he was greedy, obsessive and dismissive of her. ‘We were in Paris, we were running heists, we were drunk all the time… I got caught up’ Betsy points out. ‘Hmph. Well. So did I’ Fantomex responds. Betsy pulls a sword from the pirate skeleton’s belt and tells Fantomex ‘No. No. That does not cover it, Fantomex’.

Betsy continues, telling Fantomex that of all the people who could sell her out to the cops - the cops - she did not think the so-called “World’s Greatest Thief” would be the one to do it. ‘You were wrong’ Fantomex replies. ‘I was “wrong”?’ Betsy shouts, reminding Fantomex that she vowed on her brother’s life never to murder again. ‘When you set me up, you spit in my face! When everyone else wrote you off as a bastard, I saw the good in you. Why couldn’t you do the same for me?’ Betsy asks. Fantomex casually tells Elizabeth not to play so high class. “Temet nosce” he adds, while pointing out that Betsy keeps trying to quit, but she keeps killing anyway. ‘And now you’re here to kill me. Kill, kill, kill. What does that make you?’ he asks her. ‘I loved for you. How could you throw that away?’ Betsy asks.

Fantomex reminds Betsy that he has nanites in his blood, that they stop him from believing in anything bigger than himself, and unfortunately, that includes true love. He adds that Cluster believes in love, and when they split her from him, he lost that. ‘They cut out my compassion and stuck it in a clone. And then you broke my #$%&#$% heart, Elizabeth’ Fantomex hisses, declaring that she is lucky he didn’t kill her first. ‘My love - you never stood a chance!’ Betsy exclaims as she holds the sword up. ‘Wanna bet?’ Fantomex replies as he fires the pistol. Betsy leaps out of the way with ease, while a bookcase collapses. Betsy bounds against a large globe atlas, and moves towards Fantomex, cutting the stem off the platform holding the candles, the fire spills onto the floor and quickly spreads throughout the library.

Fantomex uses the broken wooden stem that held the candles up to deflect the sword that Betsy brings down on him. He uses his strength to force her off of him, and the sword is flung into the air, landing in a painting on the wall. ‘Bottle service!’ Betsy exclaims as she grabs a bottle from the table and smashes it over Fantomex’s head. She holds the jagged broken bottle top in her hand, while Fantomex tells her ‘Well? You’ve dreamed of this moment, I’m certain. Do it’. He tells her that she will wipe the slate clean, start again tomorrow. ‘I know you can’. Betsy narrows her eyes, she then lunges forward, screaming - she doesn’t shove the broken bottle into Fantomex, however. As the flames glow around her, she stands over Fantomex and tells him that she will have to live her life knowing that he got to her. ‘Have fun living your life knowing that I got to you’ she adds.

‘Elizabeth’ a voice calls out. It is Weapon XIII who stands in the doorway, asking Betsy why she hesitated. ‘Do you have doubts?’ he enquires, adding that he has given her everything she asked for, and yet she is still reticent. Betsy tells Fantomex to go and free Cluster, while she keeps Weapon XIII distracted. ‘But what about -’ Fantomex begins. ‘Go now’ Betsy orders. Weapon XIII tells Betsy that this was a test, a test of her devotion to their love. ‘Do not -’ he begins, but as Fantomex exits the library, Betsy grabs Weapon XIII and as the flames continue to whip around them, she tells him that she guesses this means she has failed. ‘You’re a good dancer, Weapon XIII, but I’m out of your league. Maybe back in the day, when I was young and impressionable’. Betsy declares that she and Cluster have what they wanted, and now they are leaving.

‘How dare you!’ Weapon XIII snarks. He kicks up, knocking Betsy backwards. ‘After all I’ve done for you, you choose them? The scumbag and the smotherer?’ he asks, before pulling two guns out, reminding Betsy that he promised her the world, that he treated her like a queen, and now she rejects him? ‘I’m the noble one! And you chose them?’ he exclaims. Betsy asks Weapon XIII if it ever occurred to him that being kidnapped is not the way to a woman’s heart? ‘Like I’m waiting around for some jerk to sweep me off my feet! Story of my life! Throw some roses in my face and all’s forgotten? Right? I’ll just melt away in your arms!’ Betsy snaps. She calls Weapon XIII a manipulative, possessive and trashy. “The noble one”? she quotes him. ‘You wish. You’re the creepy one!’ she declares, the Demon Bear rising inside of her. ‘I’m sick of all of you! LEAVE ME ALONE!’ Betsy screams, while the Demon Bear roars, and Weapon XIII starts firing blindly, flames still darting around him.

Flames flicker outside of the building, ‘Waste of a good hideout, if you ask me’ Fantomex remarks as he and Cluster approach Betsy, who has turned away from the building and looks out over the ocean. Fantomex tells the ladies that this has to be one hell of a rescue. ‘Quiet, you’ Cluster tells Fantomex, before asking ‘Elizabeth…is Weapon XIII…?’ to which Psylocke hangs her head and announces that he is gone, that the Demon Bear came out. ‘I’m not really sure how it works. He’s out there somewhere I guess’. Cluster tells Betsy that she and Fantomex know being with them has been difficult, and confusing. ‘Get on with it’ Betsy declares. ‘It’s been hard for us, too’ Cluster admits.

Cluster continues, stating that they used to be one person, compensating for each other’s deficits. But now they are like three stools, each with one leg, each spinning and broken and falling all over themselves. She reaches out to take Betsy’s hand and tells her that I ruined their relationship with her. ‘We want to go back’ she adds. ‘Back to Paris? I don’t think -’ Betsy begins, before Cluster corrects her, ‘No. Back to the White Hot Rom. To merge us back together. We want to be one full person again, capable of being with you’ Cluster reveals. ‘You… you would do that for me?’ Betsy asks. ‘Why would you tie up your freedom, go back in the same skull again?’ she inquires. Cluster tells her that love is the most important thing - what other reason could there be? Cluster then reveals the bottle of champagne. ‘We snatched this on the way out. Shall we toast to a new future together?’ she asks.

Later, Betsy is still wearing her purple Fantomex costume as she walks through the streets of Paris. She checks her mobile phone, and messages Ororo, asking her where she is. Storm’s response is that she is at the school, and asks Betsy where she has been. The reply is that she has been in Paris, but it was a total disaster, and asks Ororo to send the GPS coordinates. She looks up and her message adds that she is leaving it all behind.

Later still, a jet flies away from the city, Betsy pilots the small jet and looks at her Fantomex costume, before tossing it out the window, over the ocean. She frowns, before looking down at the bottle of King Champagne. “Drink it with someone and fall in love forever…” she quotes. ‘Billion dollar bottle, huh? #$%& it, I deserve it’ she tells herself, before popping the cork, she starts to drink it directly from the bottle while calling out to the autopilot. The computer responds, and Betsy sets a course for Los Angeles. ‘I’m going to get royally plastered’ she adds as the jet soars across the starlit sky beneath the moon.

Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, ‘She’s here!’ shouts Bishop. ‘I’ve done something terrible! I brought the Revenant Queen here!’ he exclaims. Ororo “Storm” Munroe and Eugene Milton Judd a.k.a. Puck try to hold Bishop down as he shouts ‘She’s the Owl Queen!’, as Storm urges Puck to hold Bishop down. ‘It’s like tangling with CM Punk!’ Judd replies, while telling Bishop to chill out and go back to sleep. ‘She’ll turn us all into Revenants!’ Bishop booms. ‘Yeah, yeah, Queen, Revenant, we get it’ Puck mutters. Outside the warehouse where Storm and Puck try to keep Bishop under control a dishevelled man leaps from some trash piled up against a wall and runs down past a fence. ‘The Revenant Queen is here!’ Bishop cries out.

The man runs down a street, and quotes “Sit on the bed in the dark, changing places with the ghost that was there before you came” as he knocks on a door. ‘You may enter’ a strange voice calls out. The man walks low as he enters a room, ‘Well, my little Revenant?’ the strange voice asks. ‘My Queen. I saw him. Lucas Bishop is alive. And he remembers you’ the Revenant announces. A figure is shrouded in robes, hood over the face, as a white owl is perched on their head as the Revenant Queen replies ‘Grim. Bishop is the only one that can stop the night from dawning. We must summons allies from beyond the veil. It I time to bring forth the nightmares…!’

Characters Involved: 

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




Weapon XIII

Demon Bear

Revenant Queen


Story Notes: 

Fantomex was captured by Weapon XIII in Uncanny X-Force (2nd series) #9.

Psylocke killed her brother Jamie Braddock in Uncanny X-Force (1st series) #23.
“Temet nosce” is Latin for “know yourself”.
The story mistakenly refers to the “White Hot Room”. However Fantomex was revived and split in three in the Sky White Room.

Issue Information: 
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