Uncanny X-Men (2nd series) #17

Issue Date: 
October 2012
Story Title: 

Kieron Gillen (writer), Daniel Acuna & Mike Del Mundo(artists), Diego Olmos (art assist), VC’s Joe Caramagna (letterer), Mike Del Mundo (cover art), Jordan D. White (assistant editor), Daniel Ketchum (associate editor), Nick Lowe (editor), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (Exec. Publisher)

Brief Description: 

Psylocke, Danger Magneto and Storm sneak into Sinister’s city. Unit secretly advises Danger that he needs her to look at the Madelynes’ machinery. So Psylocke sneaks Danger in, while Magneto and Storm are to divert the Sinisters. Meanwhile, Sinister Prime sends one of the Phoenix-powered Madelynes against the X-Men, against whom they have little chance. Even Unit doesn’t see a way out. Emma Frost, in the meantime, addresses the Phoenix Force directly, convincing it that it cannot be happy with simply being used to prop up Sinister’s society. The Phoenix destroys the Madelynes and frees the Phoenix Five, who destroy every trace of Sinister’s society.

Full Summary: 

Standing in a cave at the entrance to Sinister London (beneath Alaska) are the non-Phoenix powered members of the Extinction Team: Danger, Psylocke, Storm and Magneto. Moments later, a bunch of Sabretooth clones attack and tear them apart. They taste fantastic, one of them snarls. Except for the robot!

All of this is a projection by Psylocke to confuse the Sabretooths. How are they going to play this? she asks the others.

Inside his castle, Sinister Prime informs the caged Phoenix Five that, unless they’ve picked up a fortuitous secondary mutation of being able to survive digestion, their friends are dead. He told them to stay away, Cyclops states defensively. Chalk up another success for his famous leadership skills, Sinister replies cheerfully.

Emma tells him if he is going to kill them, get a move on. He makes her regret ever affecting an English accent! Why would he kill them? he asks. Then he’d just be gloating to himself and that would be a terrible waste of good material.

He tells his Madelyne clones to sit. They deserve a rest after tearing the Phoenix Force from these substandard hosts. Now what to do about their pesky mutant friends…

They are not dead? Cyclops asks. Of course not! Sinister replies. He’s just playing with him. If the Braddock trollop plays mindgames, so will he. Time for Nimrod, he decides. He has Sentinels? Cyclops bursts out. Elgar’s “Nimrod,” Sinister clarifies and gestures to his chamber orchestra. Let them come! he announces. They plan to storm the gates of Heaven and assassinate God! Even if he wasn’t capable of predicting their every action, he wouldn’t fancy their chances.

Outside, the other X-Men discuss what to do. Magneto suggests reinforcements. Just more people to die, Storm replies darkly. Psylocke suggests they discover what they can and feed the information back.

Unit, who is in contact with Danger, secretly addresses her, ordering her to get a closer look at the machinery on the clones. That’s the key. So they are on the same side now? she asks, doubtful. Not particularly, he replies. He doesn’t like the idea of someone like Sinister possessing a fundamental power of the universe. No good will come of it. And besides, he wants to know how he harnessed the unharnessable.

Danger obediently informs the other X-Men that the technology on the clones is the key. She needs to get in to learn more. She can be a psychic blank but she is no stealth specialist. Psylocke tells her to turn into a suit like in Tabula Rasa. She’ll wear Danger in. As Danger complies, Magneto asks if Betsy really can sneak into that. She’s a bloody ninja! she reminds him. But a distraction would help…

In the castle, Sinister has gotten to relating the forty-third part of his plan to his prisoners. He apologizes. The gene-proles are revolting. He orders Madelyne Four to handle it.

“It” being Magneto and Storm attacking to divert the troops. Storm criticizes that Magneto is too in love with drama. This is all regrettable. But glorious at least, he decides.

Madelyne Four clad in Phoenix energy approaches Storm, who hits her with lightning. How troublesome, the clone remarks and attacks with Phoenix fire. Magneto raises some Phalanx material to protect Storm, then tosses it at Madelyne, recalling that Cyclops seemed to dislike being doused in it. Madelyne isn’t fond of it either but brushes it off, to attack Magneto telepathically.

Having read his mind, she soon discovers Psylocke and has Magneto, under her control, attack her. Psylocke order Danger to finish her job. If she can get the right poison into Magneto, Betsy figures, she can knock him out. How is she going to do that? Danger asks.

Psylocke uses the flying metal debris as stepping stones to run up toward Magneto and injects him with some poison. Does anyone pay any damn attention? she shouts. She’s a bloody ninja! Clever, Madelyne Four admits.

Danger has transmitted the results to Unit. Is there any way out? Unit stops smiling as he sees a machine of pure and beautiful reason. It is as perfect as science can be. There is nothing they can do. Run now! he orders.

Danger does so, carrying Betsy and Magneto. Sinister boasts she will still be in his universe.

Cyclops addresses Emma, telling her to do something while Sinister is distracted. Emma addresses the Phoenix Force via the Madelynes, asking it can’t want this, surely, to be trapped a slave. Madelyne replies that they live only to serve. She wasn’t talking to her, Emma snaps.

The Phoenix replies it exists. What else matters? This is just stasis, Emma points out. He’d keep it forever. It is here for a reason. Surely not just to prop up a megalomaniac’s delusion of grandeur.

The Phoenix considers, then agrees. Can it do anything? Emma asks. It is the Phoenix, it tells her. It can do anything.

Danger grabs Storm as well. Madelyne Four gets ready to destroy them but is in turn destroyed by the Phoenix.

Disturbed, Sinister examines his machines. The other Madelynes announce they feel somewhat queer. While Sinister tries to compensate with his machinery, the Madelynes die one after the other.

Oh God in Heaven!” Sinister exclaims, panicking for the first time. Evacuate! he orders. Someone has to escape!

The Five are freed, surrounded by Phoenix fire. He didn’t try to understand it, the Phoenix tells Sinister, speaking through the Five. He only tried to master it. He built his machines of things. He leashed it and observed and thought it would be sufficient. But the Phoenix is the new. It is novelty in its rawest state. The unprecedented . One cannot predict it or bind it with mere science.

Impossible! Sinister whines. No, the opposite, comes the reply. The Phoenix makes new possibilities whenever it comes. It brings the new and burns the old away. Goodbye, Nathaniel! It burns brightly!

And Sinster London is burned away. Only the X-Men are left standing. Is Sinister dead? a shocked Storm asks. Cyclops, floating above, replies he sent tunneling machines, rocket ships, spores on the wind. They burn as they speak. This war is over. Sinister’s species is done. The world is safe. And entirely theirs.

Characters Involved: 

Colossus, Cyclops, Emma Frost, Magik, Namor (all Phoenix Five)

Danger, Magneto, Psylocke, Storm (other X-Men from Utopia)


Sinister prime

Other Sinisters

Sabretooth clones

Six Madelyne Pryor clones

Story Notes: 

The title should be “This Dark Unpleasant Land – part three.”

The Savage wore Danger as a protective suit in issue #7.

Sir Edward Elgar was a British 19th century composer. “Nimrod” is part of his “Enigma variations.”

Issue Information: 
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