Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #395

Issue Date: 
August 2001
Story Title: 
Poptopia - part 1: Useless Beauty

Joe Casey (writer), Ian Churchill (penciler), Art Thibert and Norm Rapmund (inkers), Avalon Studios (colors), Richard Starkings & Comicraft’s Saida Temofonte (letters), Pete Franco (assistant editor), Mark Powers (editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Bill Jemas (president)

Brief Description: 

In a nightclub in London, Chamber rescues popsinger Sugar Kane from a crowd and is invited to talk to her in privacy. Meanwhile Archangel, Nichtcrawler and Iceman come to London too, both to investigate a spike of mutant energy detected by their new Cerebra device and to search for Chamber who never showed up at the mansion after Generation X’s disbanding. In the sewer system they encounter a mutant community similar to the Morlocks in New York. While the three X-Men discuss what to do in their hotel, Mr. Clean, equipped with a flame-thrower enters the tunnels, and torches most of the people down there.

Full Summary: 

Popstar Sugar Kane enters a nightclub in Soho, London. Her three bodyguards warn her that it’s too dangerous, but Kane want to maintain contact with the fans, however after she is announced the crowd rushes in on her and the guards can’t handle them. Before anyone is seriously injured Chamber stops the clubbers with his psionic energy. Everyone in the room is surprised to see the enrgy-leaking mutant in their midst. Kane takes the initiative and starts to talk with Jonothon, but then the people in the night club shout anti-mutant words. Sugar’s bodyguards try to get her out before a full riot starts, as she turns back Chamber has already left.
Bobby Drake is sitting in a cafe near Hyde Park. He flirts with a waitress and ordered a warm beer, which he cools himself with his ice powers. Nightcrawler is hanging below the roof above him and makes a little fun of Bobby’s tourist behaviour as a transmission from Archangel comes in. They meet at the transmitted coordinates, and find themselves at an entrance to London’s sewer system, where Cerebra, the X-Men’s new mutant tracking device, located a huge spike. The three X-Men carefully enter the tunnels with flashlights without knowing what they might find inside, even Nightcrawler, who mentions to have lived in London for a while, is clueless. After a while they discover a pipe that leads to a large hall filled with a community of ugly mutants, not unlike the Morlocks, who lived in similar circumstances below New York. Archangel attempts to do an aerial count of how many people are there, but one of the first he sees is a woman with fishlike features, who is about to give birth. Kurt, claiming to be a priest, opts to help her deliver and the baby’s father tries to calm Harmony, while she has to press the baby out. Her first concern is that the baby looks normal, but her mate points out, that they most of them all did look human at birth. With the immediate problem dealt with, all of the tunnel people realize that there are strangers in their midst. Bobby and Warren feel very uncomfortable surrounded by the many unpretty sights, and while Drake ices up, Warren lifts off. Kurt warns them to not move to sudden, but it’s too late as the mutants perceive them as a threat. One of them, called Cyclops for having only one big eye, is called to deal with the X-Men, but Nightcrawler tried to reason with them that all of them are mutants. However soon it becomes clear that Cyclops and the others have killed to protect the secrecy of their community and Kurt is shocked. Using their unique powers, the X-Men can avoid a physical fight and escape back into the pipes.
At the same time, Sugar Kane’s bodyguards have tracked down the living quarters of Chamber. They knock and ask him to accompany them, since Ms. Kane is awaiting him in a limo down at the street, eager to continue their conversation.
The three X-Men have made their way back to their hotel rooms, and Nightcrawler is doing some strechting while he talks with teammember Wolverine via video screen. He fills Logan in on the mutant comminity and agree that the best cause of action would be to relocate them, as they probably will not remain undiscovered forever. Wolverine is also interested how their search for Chamber is going, the former member of Generation X had been invited to join the X-Men, but never showed up after the disbanding of his old team. Iceman comes into the room, holding a newspaper. The front page has a story with pictures about the incident with Sugar Kane at the night club.
Below the surface Harmony is happy with her baby and shows it to other mutants. They also discuss about the X-Men as again an intrudes is spotted in the tunnels. Cyclops attempts to deal with the stranger, but before he even gets close he is burned by the stranger who uses a flame thrower. More mutants attack him, but he is able to deal with them using good combat moves. The many mutants panic and try to run away, but as everybody tries to leave the room at once, the exit tunnels get clogged. The foe, calling himself Mr. Clean, torches a good lot of them and is proud to have accomplished some genetic cleansing.

Characters Involved: 

Archangel, Chamber, Iceman, Nightcrawler (all X-Men)

Wolverine, on a video com link (X-Men)

Sugar Kane, a pop singer

Donnie, Gentrie, Mickey (Sugar Kane’s bodyguards)
Burning Puddle, Cyclops II, Harmony, Miss Saccharine and many hundreds more (mutants hiding in London’s sewer system)

Mr. Clean

Story Notes: 

The new mutant detecting device Cerebra was introduced in New X-Men #114.

Alternative Cover by Barry Windsor Smith

Issue Information: 

This Issue has been reprinted in:

Written By: