Uncanny X-Men (3rd series) #5

Issue Date: 
June 2013
Story Title: 

Brian Michael Bendis (writer), Frazer Irving (artist), Frank D’Armata (colorist), VC’s Joe Caramagna (letterer), Frazer Irving (cover), Ed McGuiness & Morry Hollowell (variant cover), Jordan D. White (associate editor), Nick Lowe (editor), Axel Alonso (editor in chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

Director Maria Hill of S.H.I.E.L.D. has been brought up to speed on the X-Men’s rather easy takedown of the Avengers. She is worried about how things are progressing with the mutant community, especially Cyclops’ renegade band, and plans on doing something about it. Meanwhile, at the New Xavier School for the Gifted, Magik is in her room recovering from her forced teleportation to Limbo. She was brought there by Dormammu who wanted to kill her for the damage her broken powers were doing to Limbo. However, Illyana reverted to the Darkchilde persona and was able to beat him back. After explaining all of this to Scott they decide to seek out Dr. Strange for help. When they join up with the rest of the staff and students to explain what happened yellow teleportational discs appear underneath everyone and this time they’re all taken against their will to Limbo.

Full Summary: 

S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier, located 1000 ft. over Reno, NV

A group of S.H.I.E.L.D. personnel are assembled at a long executive table, each member holding a tablet in their hands, watching a replay of the message Scott Summers delivered after his showdown with the Avengers. The message lets every mutant out there know they have a safe place to go, while warning anyone else not to get in his way.
Agent Coulson tells those assembled the message came from Gold Coast Australia only a few hours ago. Director Maria Hill is sitting at the head of the table. She appears frustrated and tells Coulson to turn it off. She awkwardly thanks him and asks if it’s true; did the X-Men take down the Avengers without lifting a finger.
Turning toward her, Coulson explains the X-Men have a new recruit who can stop time. This takes her aback. Stop time, she asks unbelievingly. “She trapped the Avengers in a--,” but Coulson is cut off by Hill, who once again has a hard time processing that someone could actually stop time. Coulson finishes by saying this girl trapped the Avengers in a time bubble and the X-Men then took off.
This all sounds so impossible to the director. Nick Fury Jr. thinks the mole they had with the X-Men was playing them. Maria asks if the Avengers are ok and Phil says they are. She asks to speak with them, but Coulson says as far as he understands they do not want to talk about it.
Maria places her hands together, fingers up, palms touching, her elbows on the table. She rests her head against them as if she were praying. This whole mutant thing has her stressed out. With new mutants popping up all over the world and “Scott Summers dropping the mic on the Avengers like it’s 8-Mile…” Director Hill states the X-Men are going to force her hand and they’re not going to like it.
The New Xavier School for the Gifted

The lights are off and her sword is lying a foot away from her on the floor. Illyana Rasputin is crouched down next to her bed, her arms folded across her legs. She looks depressed, and the entrance of Scott Summers doesn’t seem to lighten the mood.
The renegade X-leaders asks Illyana how she’s doing. When she responds that she’s fine he asks how he can help. She doesn’t know what he could do, but he offers to listen to her. Illyana asks if they’re friends and Scott replies, “I think so.” He then asks what happened to her, where did she go.
Never looking at him as he sits on the corner of her bed, Illyana tells Scott it’s hard to explain. He asks if they’re in trouble. When she doesn’t understand the question, he asks if she’s in trouble and if they are also in trouble being in close geographical proximity to her. It came out of nowhere, she starts…
an hour ago

A Danger Room session has just ended. Illyana doubles over onto the ground in agony. She is surrounded by cascading light and starts yelling out in agony. Scott rushes toward her, calling out her name, but then she just disappears.
This is all new to her. Never before had she been pulled into the Limbo dimension against her will. The identity of the culprit behind this attack is revealed as the dread Dormammu who gazes down upon her with his giant flaming head.
Magik claims he must be crazy for attempting this kind of stunt. “Who are you to touch me?!” she cries out. Dormammu ignores her questions and welcomes her back to her abandoned kingdom. He asks rather angrily if she likes what’s she’s done to the place.
With her sword in her right hand, Magik points an accusing finger at Dormammu and tells him he needs to learn his place. Dormammu asks if she realizes what madness she brought to Limbo. However, Magik doesn’t really care, having no idea what he’s talking about. Instead, she charges forward and swings her sword behind her back to deliver a devastating overhead blow to the head.
Unfortunately, Dormammu is able to send her flying back before she can touch him. Illyana writhes on the ground, her body temporarily on fire. A couple of Mindless Ones scoop her up and it is now Dormammu’s turn to point the accusing finger.
The dread one goes on to say he has waited for his chance in Limbo, waited for the Phoenix Force to destroy Magik or leave her. However, he now sees her as a broken thing, her damaged powers over this dimension ripping the place apart. He tells her she must be punished for it.
The tip of Dormammu’s finger presses up against Illyana’s stomach. It is so large it’s about the size of Magik’s entire midsection. The fingertip presses through her abdomen and she lets out a scream. Dormammu calls her a threat to his existence, which he will not allow to exist. He will not cease to be because she is an untrained, undisciplined little child in a grown woman’s body.
Dormammu presses further inside Magik. He says though Belasco may have found it funny to mess with her these powers are not meant for her to have. “I damn you to death! I damn you with all that I have!” he declares.
However, just before the cold embrace can take her a transformation takes place. Dormammu is knocked back in a swirl of energy. He nearly falls into a crevasse, grasping for the rocky edges to maintain topside. “No,” he cries out in defeat as the girl named Illyana has reverted to her Darkchilde form. “How… dare… you?!” the Darkchilde utters in contempt.
Under the Darkchilde persona Illyana loses control. She strikes with her sword at two Mindless Ones approaching her, putting them down. Then she leaps toward Dormammu and finally gets her sword to smash into his head. She allows him to live, but warns that if he ever touches her again, if he ever speaks to her again, there will be no end to his punishment.
Then the Darkchilde looks at the Mindless Ones and the lesser demons of Limbo hiding in the shadows and tells them they only live by her generosity. They stare at her unmoving. She raises her sword and they all turn tail and flee. It reminds her why she hates the place so much.
Dormammu hasn’t stopped his verbal tirade. He tells Magik she doesn’t know where her abilities come from, the price she will pay. When he brings up the Phoenix breaking her powers she cuts him off and yells for him to be quiet.
The defeated Dormammu slithers off, leaving Illyana to question how to actually kill the demon. The oft enemy of Dr. Strange says she is just a mortal girl and will be dead very soon. Illyana realizes he is right, she is broken, just like everyone else who touched the Phoenix Force. The only difference with her is her powers are connected to magic, to Limbo, to things she still doesn’t fully understand.
Illyana suddenly returns to the school right where she left it in the Danger Room, except now she is scared and confused and has no idea what to do.
Illyana’s room


With her story ended, Magik laments that she thought, for the first time in forever, that things were going really good for her. She really thought everything was going to be ok. Scott suggests they go see Dr. Strange to see if he can help her, but she doesn’t believe he would want anything to do with Scott’s X-Men.
That’s when things get weird again. Illyana crumples to the ground, the pain excruciating. Her screams can be heard in the main area where everyone else is gathered. Emma telepathically asks her Cuckoos if they can read what’s going on. They only respond that her powers are broken. Emma asks if they should evacuate, but they don’t answer, only saying she’s hurting badly.
Back in her room, Scott asks Illyana to tell him what exactly is happening to her. She gets up from the ground and says she’s ok. Scott doesn’t exactly agree with her.
In the common area, Warren, the displaced X-Man from the past and new student, can’t believe this is a school. Magneto asks if he doesn’t like the place. Warren likens it to a dump full of crazy people. Erik isn’t bothered by the comment, instead smiles and congratulates Angel for breaking ranks with his fellow X-Men and joining them. Warren says he’s just realized he’s going to a school partially run by Magneto and says he may not have thought the entire thing out completely.
Nearby, the Cuckoos tell Ms. Frost that Illyana has it back under control, at least for the time being. Emma asks if they should be worried and the nearest Cuckoo just stares at her.
Back in Illyana’s room, Magik is telling Scott that she doesn’t want to mess things up for everyone. She knows they need to make the school work, that they need it. “This has to be our last second chance,” she reasons.
Scott crouches down next to Magik so that they’re face to face. With a goofy, reassuring grin on his face he tells her they will fix themselves, retrain themselves and get the students on their feet. Following that, he continues, the mutant revolution will get started.
Over in the common area, Angel and Magneto continue their earlier conversation. Angel seems a bit reluctant to admit that based on the last time he saw Magneto he seems less… Magneto offers the term “crazy” and Angel agrees with the description. Erik smiles and says he is. In order for this school to work Angel says he would have to be.
Hanging out in the back are some of the newly discovered mutants. Triage is admiring the Cuckoos, “triplets” he says amazed. They latch onto his dirty thoughts and ask him his name. Suddenly, he can’t remember, and they tell him it’s because they made him forget. One of them warns that if he ever thinks thoughts like that about them again they will make him forget what gender he is. The boys gathered nearby all look nervous, but Emma cautions the girls to learn to take a compliment.
Enter Cyclops and Magik. Scott is happy to see everyone getting to know each other. Magneto quickly asks if everything is all right. Scott says they’re working on it. Warren jumps in and asks what this place is they call a school.
Tempus watches as the two begin to talk. She looks over at Miss Frost and comments on what a beautiful man he is. Angel, Emma assumes, and tells her to watch out as his wings have a bit of a funk to them. Tempus corrects her. She meant Cyclops. That wipes the smirk off Emma’s mouth.
After his conversation with Warren is over, Scott gets everyone’s attention. He explains Illyana is having some trouble and that they’re going to go ahead and visit Dr. Strange to see if he can figure it out. Just then, Magik’s body starts to glow and she warns them she’s not in control of herself.
Just as suddenly, yellow disks appear underneath everyone’s feet. Emma tells Scott to knock Illyana out, but it’s too late. They are all transported to Limbo. Scott asks her what’s going on, but she doesn’t have an answer.

Characters Involved: 

Cyclops, Emma Frost, Magik, Magneto (X-Men and faculty members)

Angel, Celeste, Irma “Mindee” & Phoebe Cuckoo, Benjamin Deeds, Fabio Medina, Tempus, Triage (X-Men students)
Maria Hill

Nick Fury Jr.

Agent Coulson

various unnamed S.H.I.E.L.D. agents

Mindless Ones

assorted demons

Story Notes: 

Toward the end of the last issue Illyana was sucked into the Limbo dimension against her will.
If you get into a discussion, debate or confrontation and make a powerful point to end it you just might be “dropping the mic” on someone. Although Bendis references the movie “8 Mile” Eminem merely handed the microphone to his opponent after putting him to shame. For more on the history of mic-dropping:
Dormammu is ruler of the Dark Dimension. He has tangled many times with Dr. Strange over the years.
Dr. Strange is currently an Avenger and would see Cyclops’ X-Men as outlaws. Despite his understanding nature, he may not be inclined to help them.
For those of you who are X-Men newbies, Magneto was an original and longtime nemesis of the X-Men who believed it was time for mutants to rise and rule the world. He has done horrible things in his life, yet has fought on the side of good at times. He’s been with the X-Men long enough at this point to consider his way of thinking changed for the better.

Issue Information: 
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