Uncanny X-Men (4th series) #10

Issue Date: 
September 2016
Story Title: 

Cullen Bunn (writer), Ken Lashley (artist), Nolan Woodard (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Joe Caramagna (letterer), Greg Land & Nolan Woodard (cover artists), Christian Ward (variant cover artist), Chris Robinson (assistant editors), Daniel Ketchum (editor), Mark Paniccia (X-Men group editor), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

X-Men created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby

Brief Description: 

Beneath New York City, M has offered to let her brother, Emplate, feed on her for the rest of his life, provided he leaves all other mutants alone. But as Emplate reaches out to feed, Monet tells him she is ashamed of him, and dodges him. A battle follows, with Monet suggesting to Emplate that he finally just let go. She prevents him from draining her life-energy, and Emplate seemingly dissolves into himself – but the vapors that remain are absorbed into the unwilling Monet, who collapses. Sabretooth finds her, and wonders where Emplate is. The Death-Flight arrives over the town of Green Ridge, while Magneto battles Genocide, Mystique holds Warren Worthington captive and Fantomex stalks Psylocke, who is allowed to join minds with Archangel, and witnesses all the fragmented thoughts that run through his mind. Psylocke tries to get him to talk to her, but he is too afraid of the darkness. Wings sprout from Warren Worthington, to the delight of Genocide – who is then taken out by Magneto. Fantomex puts a gun to the back of Psylocke's head, while she is still connected to Archangel. But he doesn't pull the trigger, and instead joins Magneto and Mystique in the battle against the Death-Flight. The many drones attack in a fury, before Archangel appears. Magneto asks Psylocke if she can reach him, to which she explains that with Archangel and Warren now two different beings, they are lost without each other. Warren looks up at Archangel, and lets Archangel wrap his metal wings around him. There is a blinding light, and the two are merged as one. Psylocke calls out to Warren, but he tells her that he is Archangel. During this revelation, Mystique and Fantomex skulk away. Back in the Savage Land, Archangel flies outside, while Magneto and Psylocke discuss his transformation, during which Psylocke reveals that Archangel has sworn off violence. She then asks Magneto if he ever planned on telling her about Fantomex and Mystique being his hush-hush squad, to which he explains that if he is going to help mutantkind, he would count secrets among their saving graces. Monet is in her quarters, struggling with the vampiric tendencies that now reside within her. Sabretooth goes to her, tells her he knows what has happened and offers to let her feed on him. Inside Archangel's mind, Psylocke observes many different personas or eras of Warren and Archangel all sitting in a church, as preacher-Warren talks to them, announcing that no one can tell them what to be anymore – the decision is now theirs alone.

Full Summary: 

Green Ridge, Colorado, where civilians look up at the sky, as the Death-Flight has risen. Archangel drones soar over the city. They are a host of twisted angels, come to herald in the new world. A world where the unfit are exterminated at the moment they draw first breath – a world where the blood of the pitiful weak will rain from the sky in a torrent, and murder-priests will make sacrifice of the unworthy. So speaks Genocide. While Betsy “Psylocke” Braddock is stalked by Fantomex through a forest, she pauses for breath, unaware that he is several trees behind her. Raven Darkholme a.k.a. Mystique has Warren Worthington III as her prisoner, while Magneto battles Genocide. 'I would have thought you'd love this, Magneto. I'll scrape the feeble off the surface of the world...scrub them away like a bad rash...and the mutants – the strong – will rule again. Unless... you don't think the mutants are strong enough to survive anymore' Genocide remarks. Magneto offers no response. 'Can you hear it? They're singing! Their choirmaster has arrived and the Death-Flight is howling their evensong!' Genocide declares, as outside, a strange noise is emitted from the Archangel drones.

'The sermons! They can't be true! Not this!' a woman shrieks as she throws her arms into the air. 'Oh, Lord! Please!' another civilian gasps, dropping to the ground, while others cover their ears. 'No! No! Make it stop!' someone pleads.

Betsy looks out from the edge of the forest, 'That screeching... so full of pain and anger... cuts to the root of my teeth' she remarks to herself. Fantomex watches her, as Betsy makes psychic contact with Warren. 'What have you... what have I... brought down upon these people?' Betsy asks telepathically.

'Let me in. Let me -' Betsy calls out to Warren, then she finds herself within his mind, in front of a devastated church. '...in his holy temple... iniquity is an aberration...cut the sickened flesh away...earthy thoughts, be silent now' a voice calls out. 'Bloody hell' Betsy utters as she walks amongst the destruction. '...pluck it out and throw it away! Our soils, in pure devotion...must be purged... cleared off... your flesh to feed the flock...' the voice calls out, as Betsy switches to her Lady Mandarin armor, and walks towards the church seats, where rotting corpses lie. '...temples for thy worship be... ensure... he is with us now and ever...when we call upon his name... he will welcome us into his embrace!'

Betsy gasps as she sees a large statue of Apocalypse on the church altar, dripping in blood. She hangs her head, 'Where are you, Warren? These are thought fragments. There's something going on inside your head' Betsy calls out. She knows he is here somewhere, and asks him not to hide from her. 'Please... talk to me' Betsy cries.

Her plea is heard by Warren Worthington, who is still being held by Mystique. 'I... hear you. I hear you... but I'm afraid. So afraid of the darkness...' Warren utters. '...of the death I heard into the world' Warren declares, while Magneto blasts Genocide, knocking the villain backwards. Mystique calls out to Magneto, informing him that Angel is talking crazy again. 'What do you want me to do hear? Can I just shut him up once and -' Mystique begins, before she moves backwards, releasing her hold on Warren, she tells Magneto that something is happening: 'His wings – they're growing again!' Mystique announces as indeed, new feathered wings sprout from Angel's back, while Angel screams in agony. 'Yes! His wings grow again and again! He births the ravagers of worlds! Strong flesh from the weak! More harbingers to reap!' Genocide declares.

'Perhaps you have succeeded, Genocide. Perhaps your angels will scour the Earth. But you will not be here to see it' Magneto tells Genocide, lifting the son of Apocalypse into the air with his magnetic power, Magneto deems Genocide weak, and unworthy. Genocide tells Magneto that he should stand by his side, that they want the same things. 'Maybe I want to wipe the slte clean...but at least I'm not a hypocrite -' Genocide begins, before he screams, as Magneto tears his body into pieces of scrap. Magneto and Mystique stand over Genocide, and Mystique remarks thar he is bleeding radioactivity – that she can feel her cells instinctively changing to heal from it. 'There's no telling... what prolonged exposure might do' Mystique points out as they look around the lab at the fallen Clan Akkaba scientists. Magneto announces that they are not staying. He points out that Genocide and Akkaba have fallen, but that the real fight has never been with them.

'They promised to stop the maddening wings from spawning my flesh... to keep me from becoming the Apocalypse. And – like a fool – I believed them. They've used my own flesh to create these... things... to destroy the world' Angel utters. Magneto surrounds himself, Mystique and Angel in a magnetic force field. 'Yes. Let's go set that straight' Magneto decides. 'Whatever you say' Mystique replies, before pointing out that, all things considered, they might be better off staying below ground.

But, beneath New York City, Monet St Croix is just inches away from, the tongue that lashes out at her from Emplate's hand. 'You're not lying, are you, sister? You're telling the truth when you say you'll stay with me?' Emplate asks. 'That's right, Marius. Leave the Morlocks alone... leave all other mutants alone... and you'll never have to worry about going hungry again' Monet assures her brother. 'Prove it' Emplate tells her, claiming that he can already feel nothingness pulling at him. He tells Monet that if he doesn't feed soon, he will be pulled out of synch with this world. Wide-eyed, Monet asks 'I – now?' She looks nervous as Emplate asks her what is wrong. 'You promised me!' he declares. Monet extends her hand to his, and tells Marius that after all this time, after every horrible thing he has done to her and to others, she still pities him, and feels ashamed when she looks at him. Instead of Monet connecting with Emplate's hand, she grabs his wrist and flips him over. He lands on his back, and Monet tells Emplate that there is a reason why he can't stay connected with this reality – because there is no place for him here. 'You're too horrible...too pathetic for this world!'

Emplate leaps to his feet: 'Witch! Liar! You lure me away from my minions... from my food... to betray me?' He lunges at Monet, he backs away from him: 'And you believed me. Poor little Marius, so desperate to be loved. Like I said – pathetic!

Emplate explains that he absorbed enough of Monet's feral friend's powers to manifest his claws, and warns Monet that he will gut her before he fades from this world. He lunges at Monet again, but misses. 'Sooner or later, Sabretooth would do it himself -' Emplate starts to tell his sister, until she grabs him from behind, 'That's kind of sweet, looking down your trunk-like nose at the boys your little sister hangs around with' Monet tells Emplate, adding that now he is done wiith his brotherly duties, he can just let go. 'Maybe the reason it hurts so much being torn from our world is because you fight against it. Just let it happen, Marius' Monet utters. 'For once, be at peace' she tells him, when, suddenly, a gas pours from the mouth on Emplate's hand.

'You... you'd just let me vanish... you'd let me fade away... like nothing' Emplate utters. 'I'd relish it!' Monet declares, when suddenly, her eyes glow red, and Emplate tells his sister that he has such bad news for her. 'Whether you like it or not, I'm not going any -' Emplate begins, before Monet screams, as the green gas consumes her, and Emplate fades away. Monet falls to the ground and hugs herself, before sitting up, as Sabretooth a.k.a. Victor Creed rushes towards her. 'You've got a lot of nerve, frail...running off like that. You're lucky you -' Creed begins, before holding Monet, and asking where Emplate is. Monet hangs her head and doesn't respond.

'There has to be some part of you out there... some part of you that can hear me. Warren – it was you who told me how to find this place – you helped me then... please... help me now' Betsy telepathically calls out to Warren, as Fantomex places his gun inches from the back of her head.

The Death-Flight continue to fly over Green Ridge, their infernal screeching loud over the town. 'No need to be afraid... here for you... to free you... here to cut away the rotten flesh...' a voice calls out as the civilians look up at the Death-Flight. Suddenly, Fantomex turns away from Betsy. 'Ah – what's the point? Why bother with petty vengeance...here at the end of the world?' Fantomex asks himself, when suddenly, the Death-Flight begin to dive down amongst the civilians, and grab some of them, while other civilians try to run in fear. 'Get off the street! Get inside!' Psylocke calls out to the civilians as she leaps into the chaos and attacks the Death-Flight. 'They'll slaughter you if you don't take cover!' Betsy warns the civilians. As one of the Archangel Drones that she attacked looks up at her from where it sits on the ground, Betsy tells everyone to hide, that she will stay behind and hold them back.

'Let them come for me' Betsy tells the townspeople, when suddenly a voice calls out, 'They can come for us, Elizabeth'. Betsy looks up and sees Magneto, Mystique and Fantomex have joined the battle. 'They can come for all of us' Magneto declares as he takes one of the Archangel Drones out.

'Actually, Magneto... I think that's exactly their plan' Mystique remarks. Betsy tells Magneto that if they survive this, then she wants him know, that he has a lot to answer for.

Nearby, Warren, whose wings are still emerging from his back, watches the battle. Fantomex fires his gun at the Death-Flight, while Betsy adds 'A great deal, in fact' as she and Magneto fight back-to-back. 'We all do, Elizabeth. And now might be as good a time as any. After all – this appears to be the moment of judgment' Magneto remarks, as one Archangel, with six, large, deadly-sharp wings looms over them. Magneto asks Betsy if she can reach him, but she tells Magneto that she isn't sure. 'All this time, I've been searching within Archangel to reach Warren...but Warren and Archangel... they're two separate beings now... and they're lost without each other' Betsy explains, looking between Archangel and Warren.

Betsy continues, announcing that without Warren's influence, without the anchor of humanity, Archangel is just a shell carrying out a vestigial mission. The Archangel remains emotionless as he looks down at Betsy, while Warren looks to the sky: 'God help me' he utters. 'The flesh... the unclean flesh... I wanted to cut it away... to be done with it' Warren explains. Betsy looks at Warren and asks him what he is doing. 'I'm stopping him' Warren replies as he confronts Archangel. 'Lord, help me, I don't want to... but I'm stopping him. He needs me to be... human. This is my... our... cross to bear' Warren announces as Archangel wraps his metal wings around the human Warren. There is a blinding flash of light that engulfs Warren and Archangel. Betsy and Magneto stare at it, and from the light emerges one being – blue-skinned, with metal wings. 'Warren? Is that you?' Betsy asks. 'I am... Archangel' comes the response. 'Whatever I was before... this is all I am now' Archangel replies.

Nearby, Fantomex and Mystique start to make their getaway. 'Best bolt, Raven... before the dust clears' Fantomex suggests. 'Yes. We just helped save the world. Let's run and cower' Mystique replies.

'Savior... killer... harbinger of hope and destruction... I am unsure who – or what – I am' Archangel declares, but states that he would like to find out.

War Room X, within the Savage Land:
Betsy and Magneto stand at a large window and watch as Archangel flies outside. 'How is he doing?' Betsy asks. Magneto reports that Archangel is adjusting to his transformation. 'Why are you beating around the bush, Erik? Just ask me what you want to know. Directly' Betsy replies. Magneto looks at her and asks Betsy if she has detected any traces of the Dark Angel persona, to which Betsy reveals that it is quite the opposite – Archangel has sworn off violence. Magneto points out that this makes his usefulness in field operations limited. Betsy remarks that at the very least, Magneto is not going to be able to use Archangel as his personal predator drone any longer – and adds that she wonders if he really needs any of them. 'You've got Mystique... Fantomex... running around, being your hush-hush group of X-Men. Did you plan on ever telling me that?' Betsy asks. Magneto explains to Betsy that if he is going to help their people, it will not be through brute strength alone. 'I'll count secrets among our saving graces' he adds.

In her quarters, Monet sits on the end of her bed and looks at her hands, the strange tongues lashing out of them. '...you can keep us hidden... but only if we let you... and if you want us to cooperate... then we must feed!' a voice from the hand calls out to her.

'Monet?' Sabretooth asks as he enters her room. She doesn't acknowledge him, so he walks over to her: 'I wanted to make sure...are you doing all right?' he asks. 'I'm fine, Creed. I don't need you looking after me. I just need -' Monet begins. Creed interrupts her: 'I know what you need, frail. I was there, remember? Your brother... he might be gone... but he sank his claws into you... left you with his hunger' Creed points out. He kneels in front of Monet and touches her face. He tells her that if she isn't ready to tell the others, then that is her call, but that in the meantime, he is here for her. 'If you need to feed, I'm your Huckleberry'.

In Archangel's mind:
'It's so good to see so many familiar faces here tonight. So many of you... gathered here to hear a message of peace... of restraint'.

Betsy approaches a church, and enters it, where many versions of Angel and Archangel are seated in the pews.

'I know, I know. We've all heard such mixed messages,. We've been told we're a hero... a role model... a lost cause... a destroyer' announces the preacher Warren as he stands in front of the others. He has no wings protruding from his back. He tells the others that those are unclean words, even those that sound so pleasing to their ears. 'No one else can tell us who we're supposed to be. Those decisions for good or for ill... are ours and ours alone'.

Betsy and Archangel stand face to face, their psychic connection in place, and they smile at each other.

Characters Involved: 

Archangel, Magneto, Monet, Psylocke, Sabretooth (all X-Men)

Clan Akkaba warriors


Written By: