Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #495

Issue Date: 
April 2008
Story Title: 
X-Men: Divided, Part One

Ed Brubaker (writer), Mike Choi (artist), Sonia Oback (color art), VC’s Joe Caramagna (letterer), Will Panzo (assistant editor), Nick Lowe (editor), Axel Alonso (executive editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)

Brief Description: 

Iron Man visits the mansion, intent on convincing the X-Men to register for the Initiative, in the aftermath of the Alaska massacre and the destruction of the O*N*E Sentinels. Cyclops refuses to register and informs Iron Man that the X-Men are no more. In reality, though, the team has gone into a temporary hiatus until they can figure out what to do next. Wolverine, Colossus and Nightcrawler seize the opportunity and travel to Germany and then to Russia, all the while making pranks to each other – including Wolverine messing with Kurt’s image inducer and making him look like Angelina Jolie. Simultaneously, Scott and Emma spend some time vacationing in the Savage Land and even meet up with Ka-Zar and Shanna until they receive a strange message from Angel, who was sent to San Francisco to rendezvous with Hepzibah and the others but now pleads them to come to his aid. Apparently, an entire neighborhood of the city has inexplicably reverted to its late ‘60s hippie version… and Angel is one of many to have fallen under the spell.

Full Summary: 

Walking amidst the ruins of the Institute and the remains of a Sentinel, Cyclops wonders whether he did the right thing. This place – the mansion – has been the heart of them for as long as he can remember.

Engaged in swashbuckling with a triad of Shi’ar warriors, Cyclops’ father, Corsair, reminds his son that home is where you find yourself. “And when your home becomes this much of a target, it’s best to find yourself elsewhere,” he adds. Cyclops assures him he knows that but to leave it all – to turn away – when they’re not even sure if the Professor is alive or dead…

In full form, manifesting her Phoenix aura and wearing the dark red Phoenix outfit, Jean lands down to the ground, swiftly slaying the Shi’ar warriors and telling Cyclops that he would know if Charles was dead – that’s why he sent Hank to search for him. She asks him what he wants to do: just wait around and brood? Is that the kind of man he wants to be? Scott nervously mumbles she’s right…

Corsair points at the graveyard in the Institute’s grounds and reminds him that the only people who live there anymore are the dead – he won’t find a lot of hope in a graveyard. “And our people need hope now, Scott…” Jean adds – there may finally be reason for it. Scott wonders if that’s what it is. Jean believes he’s just afraid of change… and Emma Frost suddenly appears in Jean’s place, arguing that change is good and snapping her fingers.

Scott and Emma suddenly find themselves in a beautiful night, standing in the balcony of a luxurious penthouse, overseeing the Statue of Liberty and the bustle of New York City. “See? Changed,” Emma says. Scott pleads her to stop manipulating his dream. Emma asks him not to be such a control freak. She can’t believe he’s second-guessing himself in here… and she’s not even going to mention her, implying Jean’s presence in his dream. Scott grabs her wrist and reminds her that it’s called “subconscious” for a reason. “Is it now?” Emma wonders. Scott assumes it’s all the same to a telepath, an assumption happily confirmed by Emma. The couple locks lips as they wake up and the dream sequence is wafted away.

Stretching himself as he gets up from the bed, Scott insists he’s not really second-guessing; it’s just that a lot has changed and he’s processing it. Wrapped up in the satin sheets, Emma gets up and simply utters “If you say so.” But she thinks he made the right choice every step of the way here… even if here isn’t exactly where she imagined they’d be right now.

The two mutants stand in the balcony of their temporary accommodation, a cabin built on top of a huge tree that overlooks a beautiful landscape of volcanoes and dinosaurs and lush vegetation. Scott believes that Emma is having the time of her life and she knows it. Emma admits that maybe she is. She admits that a vacation in the Savage Land is a lot more peaceful than what they left behind.

Two weeks ago

A gloomy, rainy evening. In the grounds of the Xavier estate, outside the mansion, Cyclops stands still while being telepathically informed by Emma that he’s there… or he will be by the time she finishes this thought. Scott thanks her: he can see him.

Indeed, Iron Man lands down and asks Scott why he didn’t come to him for help. Scott argues that mutant problems tend to get worse when the government is involved: a lesson they learned long before the heroes’ Civil War. Tony realizes that Scott knows why he’s there. The slaughter in Alaska, the destruction here, the attack on the O*N*E Sentinels… Tony wants to know how the X-Men are planning to keep the government out of their lives in light of that.

Angrily clenching his teeth, Cyclops wonders when Iron Man stopped blaming the bad guys. He stresses that if the X-Men hadn’t gone to Alaska, all that death and chaos would have still happened – they just wouldn’t have been there to help the survivors.

Iron Man explains that they’re pushing him to officially register all of them… to get the X-Men into the system. He asks Scott to understand him: he doesn’t blame them. For any of this, he thinks they’re heroes. “Shocking,” Scott wryly remarks. Tony assures him he knows what they’ve been through but to do the things they do… Cyclops interrupts him and stresses that’s the thing: the difference. He explains to Tony that being a mutant isn’t what they do… it’s not a choice. He asks him if they want them to register for being born. He asks him if that’s really who he is now.

Tony retorts that’s not fair and again repeats that they’re pushing him to officially register al of them and get the X-Men into the system. Scott realizes that Tony doesn’t seem to get why he’s the only one here. He clarifies that he was waiting for Tony in order to tell him that they’re not joining his Initiative. They’re not working for the government and, as of right now, there is no X-Men: Charles Xavier’s dream died in that Institute. He tells Tony they’re all mutants now and they don’t have secret identities. How Iron Man wants to deal with that is his problem.

Now – Scott and Emma’s Savage Land Adventure Vacation

Scott and Emma are having the time of their lives in Savage Land. The couple spends their days diving in beautiful lakes, having picnics, riding dinosaurs, promenading around gargantuan carcasses of local creatures, even cheerfully being on the run from a giant boar!

Later that evening, with the carniboar slain and roast, Emma wants to tell Scott what she loves about this place. “That it’s clothing-optional?” Scott wittily remarks. Emma replies it’s the long days. They just go on and on… Gazing at the moon, Scott agrees. As much trouble as they’ve gotten into here, he’s always found it amazing. He believes that one can almost forget the rest of the world is out there. Concerned over what he said, Emma asks him if his isn’t still… Apparently having realized the answer, she cuts off her phrase, saying “Never mind.”

Scott tells her to feel free to dig around his head anytime. However, as he told her, he’s not second-guessing: he’s looking ahead. He knows there’s going to be a lot to do once they get back and his lie to Tony bought them some time but… what if it wasn’t really a lie? Emma believes that’s ridiculous: the X-Men are not over. Aren’t we? Scott wonders. What exactly are the X-Men without Professor Xavier? What purpose do they serve?

Emma reminds Scott that’s what this break is about: figuring that out. Scott admits he’s just so used to fighting Xavier’s cause, doing everything his way, he’s not even sure who his own way is. Emma assures him she’d help her find out but Ka-Zar and Shanna are almost here… so she urges him to kiss her quick. After all, she doesn’t like the way their elephant looks at her when they make out! “That thing?” Scott exclaims – he can take him! As they passionately kiss, Emma telepathically informs him she’s sure he can.

Ka-Zar and Shanna finally arrive, riding their elephant. Ka-Zar greets them with a “ho” and asks whether this is a roasting carniboar he smells. He applauds Scott for being a mighty hunter. Scott assures him it was nothing really: it sort of found them. He also advises Ka-Zar to not go shouting “ho” when he visits the States.

Germany – Wolverine, Nightcrawler and Colossus On The Road

Piotr and Kurt are walking in the streets of a picturesque German town – the latter in the guise of a handsome man – the Errol Flynn type – and supported by a gilded staff. Kurt tells Colossus that he really should have seen it when he was a child; the spires seemed to reach right up into the stars. Piotr thanks Kurt for braving all those steps in his condition. As he said, he would’ve been happy to carry him. With a smile, Nightcrawler assures him he can get by just fine on this – pointing at his staff – until he finishes healing. In fact, Kurt needs Piotr carrying him even less than he needs Logan hacking his image inducer, making him look like Angelina Jolie.

Colossus admits that maybe he should have said something. Nightcrawler hopes that Colossus enjoys his picture in the tabloids; at least, Kurt himself is in disguise! As they stand outside a bar, Piotr wonders if this is the bar Logan said to meet at. Kurt invites him to look inside: Logan is indeed here, amidst several unconscious, beaten guys. Sporting a devilish grin, Logan tells them it’s about time: he was getting bored.

A little bit later, the trio is taking a train. Logan asks them if they have finished looking at churches and sketching the grandeur of old world architecture. Colossus affirms that and tells Logan that he’s welcome to look through his sketchbook on the way. Wolverine thinks he’ll pass… unless there’s no bar on the train.

He then asks Kurt how it went with the paparazzi. Kurt reminds him it’s a long life and he shall have his revenge! We’ll see, Logan provocatively replies. Nightcrawler insists that one should never “punk” a teleporter. As the guys settle themselves down in one of the compartments, Colossus pleads his companions not to let this war of pranks get them ejected from this train. It’s been too long since he’s been to his homeland and he’d rather not walk to Russia from there.

In the Savage Land, Cyclops, Emma, Ka-Zar and Shanna are watching a duel between two raging triceratopses. Shanna tells the two mutants that they’re lucky to witness this; it’s a rare occurrence, even here. Scott remarks it’s so brutal. It seems cruel, even though they are what they are. Ka-Zar tells him it’s nature: nothing is crueler. He believes that, in the cities, even they – mutants – forget how much of life is a battle for survival. But in the Savage Land, you never forget.

Standing a bit aside with Shanna, Emma telepathically informs her that’s the look of Scott she’s talking about. Shanna realizes that Scott’s not watching the triceratopses fight – he’s studying them. Emma wishes Shanna could see it from inside Scott’s head: he’s analyzing their power and attack strength while calculating how he’d personally take both of them down. She boasts that there’s a whole side of the man no one can see but her. Shanna admits that she can see why Emma fancies him but wonders how she can stand not seeing his eyes. Emma reminds her that she can turn to diamond: she can see his eyes whenever she wants to. Another thing no one else can do. Shanna realizes that even though Emma hides it well, she’s soft inside. “Only for him,” Emma replies just as one of the triceratopses finally slays his opponent.

Later that night, Scott and Emma are lying in bed, in each other’s arms. Scott asks her what she’s thinking. “Wouldn’t you like to know…” Emma replies. Scott assures her he would. With a radiant smile, Emma admits that she’s thinking she’s very happy right now and she’s hoping she can stay that way when they go back to the real world. She’s so tired of letting everything control their lives… Cyclops assures her it’s all going to be different; it’s going to change. Emma wonders how he knows that. “Because I’m going to change it” he properly responds.

The next day – San Francisco

Angel sends an email message to Cyclops to inform him that he’s arrived in the city this morning and has found what they’re looking for. Unfortunately, he also found other items of note: this day’s tabloids show that boys haven’t been keeping heads down overseas – alluding at the cover of The Inside Scoop showing Colossus next to “Angelina Jolie,” with the headline “Who Is Angelina’s Mystery Man?” Angel is aware that Wolverine is always bad influence: this is not news.

However, reason for this message is what he found near Golden Gate Park. He was looking for the address where Hepzibah and the others were supposed to meet – and landed in something strange. The entire neighborhood seems to be living in the ‘60s again, plus, Warren can’t find the others. He pleads Scott and Emma to come now: he needs them. Warren concludes his email by claiming he can’t tell if this is his head or real; he’s started not to care. After reading Angel’s message in his digi-pad, Cyclops rises from the bed and tells Emma it’s Warren: something’s wrong. Emma starts putting her clothes on, assuring Scott she knows.

In San Francisco, Warren suddenly finds himself wearing ‘60s clothes, his hair all long, people dressed as hippies all around. “Hey man… cool wings,” a hippie girl remarks. As she approaches closer, she asks him if he wants to come to a party with them. “Uh… sure…” Warren mumbles. He wasn’t doing anything else. “Let’s party,” he exclaims, his eyes all hazy.

Characters Involved: 

Angel, Colossus, Cyclops, Nightcrawler, White Queen, Wolverine (all X-Men)


Shanna the She-Devil

Hippies in San Francisco

Townspeople in Germany

Two weeks ago:



In Cyclops’ dream:

Cyclops, Phoenix IV/Jean Grey, White Queen (all X-Men)

Corsair (Starjammers)

Sh’iar warriors

In mental image:


On magazine cover:

Colossus, Nightcrawler (in the guise of Angelina Jolie)

Story Notes: 

Xavier was apparently shot dead by Bishop in X-Men (2nd series) #207, although his body was missing from the final panel of the issue. The truth behind his disappearance is revealed in X-Men: Legacy #208.

The Alaska massacre occurred in X-Men: Messiah Complex #1. The destruction of part of the mansion and of the O*N*E Sentinels took place in Uncanny X-Men #493.

This issue had a 2nd printing, with a new cover featuring art taken from the story.

Most of the magazines seen in the newsstand are real-life magazines, such as Wizard, Complex, Mass Appeal, Comic Foundry and Missbehave. A box in the upper right corner of The Inside Scoop cover reads: “3rd time’s a charm… Mike Choi nude!!!”

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