Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #520

Issue Date: 
March 2010
Story Title: 

Matt Fraction (writer), Greg Land (penciler), Jay Leisten (inker), Justin Ponsor (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Joe Caramagna (letterer), Daniel Ketchum (associate editor), Nick Lowe (editor), Axel Alonso (executive editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Cover by Terry Dodson, Rachel Dodson & Justin Ponsor

Brief Description: 

Wolverine, Psylocke and Colossus are sent to New York to find out who sent the Predator X creatures which released the nanobots on Utopia. The trail leads them into the sewer, where they encounter Fantomex, who has killed the Predator X that the boy recently encountered. Words are exchanged between Wolverine and Fantomex, who declines the offer to assist the X-Men on their mission. The three X-Men make their way across the city, and find the building they have been looking for. Inside, Lobe and his companions - Verve, Thug, Bouncing Betty and Burst are waiting around - when suddenly the X-Men enter, and Wolverine seemingly skewers Lobe. Fantomex meets up with the boy who requested his aid in dealing with the Predator X, and the boy tells Fantomex that he should be with the X-Men. Beneath Utopia, Magneto visits the Sub-Mariner, who is overseeing the construction of the pillar which will hold Utopia afloat and act as a home to the Atlantean people. Cyclops, the White Queen, Professor X and Doctor Nemesis are discussing various matters at their meeting, including Doctor Nemesis' report on the status of their sinking island home - which is when Magneto arrives, and explains the pillar which he has organised to be built. Cyclops is furious, and orders Magneto into the corridor, where they argue about Magneto's actions. Magneto tells Cyclops that all he wants is his trust, but Cyclops tells him he hasn't got it. Magneto flies away from Utopia, and makes his way to the top of Mount Tamalpais, telling himself that it is time to do something good with his life.

Full Summary: 

Utopia, off the coast of San Francisco. It is home to the Uncanny X-Men and an assortment of other mutant allies and foes. "You're going to New York" Scott "Cyclops" Summers tells several X-Men standing before him. He announces that the Predator X invasion was a ruse, and that killing them released swarms of nanites that recorded data about all of them - who they are and what they can do, and sent the data back to somewhere in New York. Scott tells the X-Men in front of him that he wants them to go to the city and track down where the Predators came from. "The Cuckoos said there were six Predators. We only accounted for five". He warns the X-Men to keep in mind that there could be one more out there waiting for them while they track down the source of the nanites and shut them down.

Later, in New York, the X-jet is docked in a hangar, as Logan a.k.a. Wolverine, Betsy "Psylocke" Braddock and Piotr "Colossus" Rasputin set their feet on the ground. "What's the plan?" Colossus asks. "Get into the city. Maybe catch a show. Hit Carnegie Deli" Logan suggests, asking "Why, you got something else going on?" Betsy hands Logan a small device and asks if it was attached to the Predators. "Still smells like the things, too" Logan replies, telling his friends that they have to get up high, somewhere in the breeze, and get hunting Predators first, and then their source.

"Got 'em" Wolverine announces shortly, sitting on a spotlight overlooking the city.

Soon, the trio stand over an open manhole leading to the sewer. "You smelled something hiding down here from up there?" Psylocke asks. "What can I say? I'm gifted" Logan replies, before telling Betsy "Ladies first". Moments later, the trio of long-time X-Men are down in the sewer. Psylocke leads the way, using her psychic-knife to illuminate the dim sewer. Logan announces that they are close - that the Predator is close to them. "I take lead" Colossus declares, stepping to the front. "Be my guest. Let the big bastard eat you for a change" Wolverine jokes, referring to his previous encounters with the Predator X creatures. "Fine. You must promise to coach me in tough guy talk, though" Piotr replies.

As they makes their way further down the tunnel, Wolverine tells his teammates to wait, and asks Betsy to give him some light. Psylocke moves her glowing hand back to Wolverine, who motions to some claw marks on the wall. "Like I said - we're close. Real close" Logan declares, telling his teammates to stay sharp. Suddenly, Logan sniffs the air, and leads his teammates around a corner: "Ah. Yeah, okay. How's it going?" he asks as they come across the enigmatic Fantomex, standing over the body of a Predator X. "Well, zut alors, Logan. How did you know it was me? I know for a fact I no longer carry a scent" Fantomex exclaims, holding two very big guns in the air.

Wolverine informs Fantomex that there are nanites inside the Predator's, but Fantomex exclaims "Not anymore. EVA got 'em". EVA is stationary near Fantomex and announces "Instant obliteration. It looked like ten thousand tiny stars achieved simultaneous supernova". "Ah,okay" Wolverine replies, before Psylocke announces that they are tracking down where it came from, and asks Fantomex if he can help them ascertain a point of origin or determine where the nanites were heading. "We could -" EVA begins, but Fantomex interrupts, declaring "EVA. No. It's not our job".

Wolverine tells Fantomex that someone sent five Predator X's to kill everyone on Utopia, while Fantomex replies that he was hired to hunt and kill one of them, which is what he has done. He declares that he has no interest in sticking his neck out to save the X-Men from whatever band of highly-financed science fiction lunatics want them dead this month. "We're going to find them. We're going to hunt them down and make sure they don't pull crap like this ever again. And you can help out or -" Wolverine exclaims as he stares Fantomex down, but Fantomex interrupts: "Not my job, Logan. Sorry". Logan tells Fantomex that he is useless, but Fantomex and EVA depart that part of the tunnel, with Fantomex calling back "I'm a mercenary". There's a difference".

Meanwhile, beneath Utopia, various marine life swims about, while several Atlanteans work on a massive construct attached to the base of the island. A vessel approaches the construct, and inside the vessel is Magneto a.k.a. Erik Lehnsherr, who calls out to the Sub-Mariner: "Namor, never let it be said you're a man that doesn't know how to get things done". Namor frowns. "Man!" he mutters, before informing Magneto that they are ahead of schedule, announcing that they will have the pillar complete before his ridiculous engines fail and mutant kind sinks like stones. He adds that Cyclops should be able to power the engines down by the end of the week. Magneto pauses, before replying "Excellent".

Namor noticed this pause, and asks Magneto why he paused. "Is there not an advantage in finishing such a massive project ahead of schedule?" Magneto reveals that he may have avoided mentioning the subject to Cyclops. "Or that ridiculous horde of scientists" he adds. "Well, well, well" Namor smirks. "Looks like someone needs to talk to the boss" he remarks, asking Magneto to let him know how it goes. "And let Summers know I don't 'do' meetings" he adds.

Soon, on Utopia proper, in the communications meeting, a "senior staff" meeting is taking place, consisting of Cyclops, Emma Frost a.k.a. the White Queen, Professor Charles Xavier and James "Doctor Nemesis" Bradley. "Nice to see almost everyone made it on time" Scott remarks, before asking "Where are we at today?" Emma tells her lover that food, water and quality of life runs to San Francisco are going without a hitch, to which Scott asks her how the reception has been on dry land. Emma replies that it has been great by all accounts, explaining that every civilian encounter the land-teams have had has been positive and welcoming. "The Bay area misses us, Scott" Emma declares.

"No, Emma" Scott replies. "I didn't even -" Emma exclaims, to which Scott interrupts: "You were going to ask if we can go back" he points out. "Not while Norman Osborn is calling the shots. Not while that thug can disappear anybody he pleases. And not until we're 100% secure. We're just not there yet" he exclaims. "Well, the people want us back..." Emma mutters. Professor X remarks that the mood on the island could best be called homesick, too. "That's about the worst of things" he adds, pointing out that Magneto's presence clearly has people agitated, "Witness my own embarrassing tirade - and Namor is proving somewhat of a question mark" Xavier adds.

"Yeah, well, it's because everybody knows that when this damn rock sinks to the sea from whence it came, he'll be the only one not drowning. Which is my way of saying, yes, we're still sinking as the engines fail and, yes, we're still working on it" Doctor Nemesis exclaims, adding that the best, closest and most attainable solution they have got would be to bankrupt Angel, basically, and set up production facilities all over the world. "We'd build engine after engine on three-week cycles, install 'em, use 'em until they died, and start all over again. Hopefully he's rich enough to outlast Osborn".

"If not, well, learn to swim" Doctor Nemesis suggests, when, suddenly, Magneto enters, apologizing for his lateness. "Don't mind me. I was just letting everyone know how and when we were going to sink" Doctor Nemesis tells him. "Right, that - I took care of that" Magneto announces casually as he takes a seat. "I, ah, knew there was a lot going on lately and worked something out with Namor - who sends his apologies for not attending by the way-" Magneto begins, before turning on a monitor, which reveals the massive pillar being constructed beneath Utopia.

Magneto explains that it is a massive support pillar, in essence, designed and constructed by the Atlanteans, who are building it, and then a city, of sorts, beneath it. "New Atlantis, I suppose" he adds, explaining that the pillar will be protected, the mutants will be supported, and Namor's people and the mutants will have a little more in common. "You seemed--busy, Scott. Since no other solution was presenting itself, I took the initiative" Magneto explains. Scott says nothing, simply stares at Magneto, while Emma looks back and forth between them both. The silence is deafening, until Cyclops stands up: "Magneto - Erik. Come with me, please" he declares, before walking out of the room. Xavier watches as Magneto follows Cyclops, before standing in the doorway, and turning back to the others. "I just - I want to be of use" he explains.

Magneto follows Scott down a corridor, "You were busy, Scott, fighting off whatever demon it was Ms Frost had trapped in her head and I -" Magneto exclaims, but Cyclops tells him to "shut up", turning around to face him, Scott declares that he doesn�t want to scream or fight, explaining that there is a chain of command in play here - not because they are all getting off on playing army, but because it keeps things from falling apart. "You clearly prefer saying sorry to obeying the -" Cyclops begins, but Magneto interrupts, pointing out that if the Beast came up with the pillar and executed it while Scott's back was turned, he would be given an award. "I'm not trying to undermine you, Scott. But you can't micromanage the survival of a species!" Magneto declares.

"What are we doing, Erik? What are you doing? What do you want?" Scott asks, stern-faced. "Trust. Your trust" Magneto replies, hanging his head. Scott pauses, before replying "No". Magneto stares back at him, before Cyclops turns and walks away. Magneto remains in the hallway for some time, before turning and walking the other way. "All right, Scott. All right" he declares.

Back in New York, "I love this city" Wolverine exclaims as he bounds over cars stuck in a traffic jam, while Colossus and Psylocke run slightly behind him. "That one" Logan exclaims, claws outstretched as he motions to a nearby building. "You're sure?" Colossus asks. "The Predators came from there" Logan tells him. "All these boxes look alike and I'm about to do millions of dollars of damage to one of them" Piotr remarks, before Logan assures him that is the right one. Betsy asks if there is a battle plan, to which Logan declares that there is no way people stockpiling bio-WMDs call the cops when the X-Men come after them. "So we make a big entrance and scare the hell out of 'em". Logan adds that he will track the Predators' point of origin once they are inside. Inside the building, a woman speaks into a microphone: "No, they're just walking through the front -" she begins to tell someone, before Colossus throws something very large into the glass doors, creating their entrance.

Back on Utopia, Magneto enters an open area, where Xavier sees him, and calls out to him, asking him to wait. "Charles" Magneto replies. "I don't know what was said between you and Scott, but if I can infer -" Xavier begins, but Magneto interrupts: "Quite. One doesn't need to be a psychic, eh, Charles?", adding that it is the same thing that led him to attack he on his arrival. "And I am dearly sorry for that -" Xavier begins, to which Magneto assures him he appreciates that, adding that he doesn't blame his oldest friend. "Or Scott, or any of you. How could I? I owe you all so much more than just an apology" Magneto declares. Xavier looks a little confused, before Magneto extends his hand and "I owe you...well, at least an article of faith, I suppose" Magneto exclaims, before taking flight. "Erik - humph" Xavier mutters as Magneto calmly levitates across the ocean, towards a mountain.

Back in New York, "It's the X-Men? You're sure?" asks the mysterious Lobe. "How are you sure? I'm not sensing - ah, there it is" he exclaims, before telling his associates - Verve, Thug, Burst and Bouncing Betty, that he has experienced a hyper prescience flash, combined with a call from the woman in reception reporting a giant metal man just threw a sculpture through their front door, which has led him to believe an encounter with the X-Men is imminent. His associates just look at him as they go about their business in the flash apartment room. Lobe begins to load the X-Men's vitals and fighting styles into his companions virtual cortexes, and tells them to upgrade themselves to Wolverine-class warriors and "Get ready to break their bloody necks".

"Ain't much of a surprise, seeing how that last Predator went offline" Bouncy Betty remarks. "Oui" Verve agrees. "Close, but coincidental" Lobe tells them, explaining that they had a nanite recapture of zero-point-zero from Predator 3 they recaptured 90-plus percent from the four that made it to Utopia. "Whatever killed the rogue Predator isn't here to kill us" Lobe adds. "But they are here to kill us, yeah?" Thug mutters, while Burst speeds around the room, showing off his king fu moves as he exclaims "Who cares let's fight -". before Lobe enters the room, "Good news, my darlings. The X-Men are here" he exclaims as Logan, Betsy and Piotr appear behind him - only for Logan to shove his claws seemingly through Lobe's chest.

Elsewhere in New York, Fantomex meets with the boy who hired him. "I named it 'Melvin'", Fantomex reveals, showing the boy an image of the Predator X. Fantomex explains that he finds personalizing jobs like this really ups the emotional intensity for him and makes the exercise mildly more interesting that way. "Now, this next one is what Melvin looked like when I tore his jaw off..." Fantomex begins as he shows another image. "Oh God. That's...that's horrible" the boy with no pupils exclaims, covering his mouth. Fantomex tells the kid to scroll ahead and he will see the images where he blew Melvin's chest apart from the inside out, or stubbed a gitane out on his heart before it stopped beating. "Oh my God. Did you--like--have to clean it up? The body and stuff?" the boy asks.

"Oh, hell now. Let it rot down there. Surely it's not the worst thing in the sewers of Manhattan. Besides, maybe the X-Men have a use for it" Fantomex replies, sipping his drink. "Whoa, the X-Men? Are you an X-Man?" the boy asks, smiling. "No, but I know those guys. I ran into some of them down there" Fantomex replies. "In town to beat up some lunatic, or the other, I don't know". The now gape-jawed boy asks "And you didn't - like - you didn't go with them? You didn't help? I mean who cares what they're doing or why - you didn't go with them?" he exclaims urgently. "'Cause, like, the X-Men are kind of the coolest thing going, dude" the boy declares. With part of his mask pulled up, Fantomex replies "Oh, I don't know about that. I'm pretty cool." The boy looks at him, "Eh" he mutters unimpressed. Fantomex just smirks.

Meanwhile, in Marin County, atop Mount Tamalpais, Magneto walks to the summit. "Come on, just - just a bit further" he tells himself, before finally reaching the top. "Yes. Here. This will do nicely" he exclaims, reminding himself that there is a lot of blood on his hands. "A lot of mistakes in this life of yours" he adds, before assuming a meditation position, declaring that it is time to do something good with it.

Characters Involved: 

Colossus, Cyclops, Psylocke, Sub-Mariner, White Queen, Wolverine (all X-Men)

Doctor Nemesis (member of X-Club)

Professor X




Burst, Bouncing Betty, Lobe, Thug, Verve

Unnamed boy


Predator X bodies



Story Notes: 

The Predator X attack on Utopia was revealed to be a ruse in Uncanny X-Men #519.

Namor has previously been seen attending meetings of so-called senior staff - such as in Nation X #1 (third story).

Issue Information: 

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