Uncanny X-Men (4th series) #11

Issue Date: 
October 2016
Story Title: 

Cullen Bunn (writer), Greg Land (penciler), Jay Leisten (inker), Nolan Woodard (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Joe Caramagna (letterer), Greg Land & Nolan Woodard (cover artists), 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: 

A research facility in Utah is attacked by a group of unidentified mutants, who locate some Sentinel weaponry, and appear to be under control of an external influence. In War Room X, M struggles to deal with the illness Emplate has given her, and worries how her teammates will react to what has happened to her. Emplate suggests to Monet that she give them something juicier to deal with. Magneto finds Psylocke training in the gym, who tells him that she doesn't appreciate him keeping her in the dark about working with Mystique and Fantomex. Magneto leaves her, so she takes her aggression out on a boxing bag. Monet offers to help Psylocke uncover what Magneto's hiding, and tells her that all she has to do is trust her. Sabretooth is out in the dense Savage Land, stalking a small raptor-like dinosaur. They battle for a time, and Sabretooth is about to bite into the raptor, until he realizes that this isn't him anymore – but the hunt takes over and he goes after the creature once again, and bites into it. Sabretooth is interrupted by the reborn Archangel, who informs Sabretooth that he is wanted back at base, and that they are leaving. Sabretooth and Psylocke soon arrive at the Hellfire Club in New York. Psylocke thinks Magneto is involved with the Club once again, and they walk in on the Inner Circle, where they find not only Magneto is a member – but so is Monet!

Full Summary: 

Utah, at the Elk Run Research Facility, a sign warning that this is a military area, that there is to be no trespassing and that photography is prohibited is suddenly burned through. Standing outside the facility building, two soldiers are at their post. '...so I told him there's a big difference between a Creedence song and a Fogerty song' one of the soldiers remarks, adding that he doesn't mean any slight against anyone, as he likes both – but to lump them all in together is just uncouth. 'You agree, right? You know what I'm -' he starts to ask the other, who suddenly clutches at his head and makes gasping sounds. 'Hey – are you all right?' the first guard asks, but the second guard has transformed into a primate-like creature, and grabbing the first guard's weapon, smashes it across him. 'No! No! Wait! What are you -' the guard asks, but the transformed guard keeps bashing him with the gun, splattering blood across him. 'Guh?' the transformed guard asks standing over his fallen comrade. 'Bloodshed was unnecessary. You could have transformed both of them in your devolution wave' someone calls out.

'A little additional cannon fodder wouldn't have hurt'  a bald man with a thick beard remarks as he and six others wearing plain black costumes walk through the wire fence, which one of them has dissolved. 'That's not how my gift works. Only individuals with a specific gene potential can be changed' the man with a goatee-beard explains. 'You, for instance' he adds, looking at the bald man. 'Don't even think about it' the bald man warns his companion. 'Enough of that. We have enough to worry about without threatening one another. Proceed with the mission' a voice calls out telepathically. The bald man then announces that he is detecting the thoughts of at least two dozen people. He tells the others that once they have entered the room, they will have to strike quickly. 'Get ready, then. My acidic haze will have us through in a matter of seconds' a woman with short blonde hair tells the others as she puts her hand to a wall, and starts to burn through it.

One through the next room, the group has engaged the soldiers. A tiger-like humanoid leaps at one soldier, while an ape-like member of the group thrashes about. A woman with gray skin participates in the battle, while the blonde woman uses her acidic haze against the soldiers.

'Even though mutants are all but extinct... these fools create weapons to kill us... to finish the job. They fear our ruthlessness. Our strength. Our minds' a telepathic voice states. The bald man uses his psionic power against some soldiers. 'Our speed' the telepathic voice continues as one of the group races past some soldiers, knocking them over. 'Most of all, they fear the possibility that we might come together in some organized fashion. They fear that we might rise up. And now – today – we are bringing those fears to light' the telepathic voice declares.

With the soldiers taken out, the group stands before a large tank. 'Here, they have crafted these tanks... used bits and pieces of devilish Sentinel technology to create new murder machines. These weapons were created to destroy us, but we claim them now for our cause' the telepathic voice tells the group.

The bald man with the thick beard reports that he is detecting thoughts throughout the facility. 'They are on alert. They know we're here' he adds. The telepathic voice states that it doesn't matter, and that additional strike teams have been dispatched to aid them. The bald man with the beard informs the others that he can feel them – the soldiers and scientists winking out of existence. 'Just as mutant lives would vanish if this world has its way' the telepathic voice points out. The tiger creature licks its paws, while another bald man exclaims 'All these people dying. I never wanted this. I just wanted to sleep. I wanted -' he doesn't finish his sentence as he is struck with a surge of energy and collapses to the ground. The others gather around him, as the telepathic voice declares 'Very well. We have more than enough soldiers to fight the good fight. So, if you wish to sleep... then by all means... sleep'.

War Room X, in the Savage Land.
Two large long-neck dinosaurs trample through the jungle, while several winged dinosaurs fly around the top of War Room X. Inside her quarters, Monet St Croix is huddled on her bed. Clothes are strewn about her room and the blinds are closed. 'They know. They know I'm here with you, Monet' a voice calls hisses. 'Shut up. They don't know' Monet responds. 'But they suspect. They know you're acting strangely' the voice insists. Monet looks at her hand, where a mouth full of jagged-teeth has appeared. Monet points out that the X-Men are scattered and too caught up in their own drama to worry about her. 'And if I'm acting strangely, it's because you refuse to give me a moment's peace' Monet adds, reminding her brother that he decided to hijack her body, to hitch a ride and haunt her. 'If you don't want anyone to realize you're here, try shutting up every now and again' Monet suggests.

Emplate speaks to Monet, telling her that he knows she hates him, hates him because he saved himself. 'But I can help you... guide you... because the last thing you want is for your friends to realize what you've become. Emplate suggests to Monet that she can distract them, though – by giving them something more interesting and juicier to worry about. At this proposition, Monet looks up.

Inside a gymnasium, Betsy “Psylocke” Braddock is doing some kickboxing, when Magneto approaches her. He tells her that he hopes these facilities are not a disappointment to her. He adds that he realizes this is a bit basic compared to the Danger Room. Betsy punches one of the bags and turns to Magneto, agreeing that it might be a bit old fashioned, but that it does the trick. 'What do you want, Erik?' she then asks, before pointing out that she has noticed Magneto has taken to wearing his helmet more often. 'I wanted to make sure you were all right. After our encounter with Akkaba, you seemed -' Magneto begins, but Betsy interrupts him, assuring him that she is fine. 'I'm a big girl. It takes more than a brush with a doomsday cult to rattle me' Betsy boasts. 'And Warren -' Magneto starts to ask. Betsy reminds Magneto that Warren and Archangel have merged, and where there were two individual entities, now there is one. She adds that he isn't the man he was, but she is hopeful they will get there, and that she is working with him, but there is still a long way to go. 'So don't worry. I'm not going anywhere just yet'.

Betsy and Magneto narrow their eyes at each other, as Betsy informs Magneto that she thought about leaving, as he was working with Mystique and Fantomex behind her back. 'I don't appreciate being kept in the dark' Betsy declares. Magneto does not respond, and simply walks out of the gym. 'Damn it, Erik. All you had to do... just this once... was tell me the truth!' Betsy mutters to herself. Suddenly, she unleashes a powerful kick destroying one of the kickboxing bags. Sand pours to the ground as the bag falls onto the floor.

'Burns you up inside, doesn't it? Magneto's secrets... his lack of faith in his team' a voice points out. Betsy turns around and discovers Monet, who is now dressed in her costume, standing behind her. 'What if I could help you uncover what Erik's hiding? What if I could point you in the right direction? I'm talking about real “X marks the spot” specifics' Monet offers. She smiles at Betsy and tells her that all she has to do is what she has always done. 'Simply... trust me'.

Outside, Victor “Sabretooth” Creed rushes through the jungle. He pauses to sniff the air then looks out from behind a large bush, before moving swiftly through some undergrowth. He looks out through the leaves of other bushes, then suddenly, leaps forward, growling as he lunges at a smell raptor-type dinosaur, which hisses and tries to run away, but Creed lands on the creature. They scuffle, with the raptor scratching Creed and drawing blood. They separate and the dinosaur looks back at Creed, hissing at him again. Sabretooth grins, then the raptor lunges at him, claws and teeth ready to strike, but Creed slams his fists into the raptor, knocking it to the ground, where is screams. Sabretooth positions himself on top of the creature and holds it down. He is about to bite into it, when suddenly he stops. He glances sideways, and lets the raptor go. It runs off into the jungle, shrieking.

Sabretooth wipes his mouth, 'What the hell was that?' he wonders. 'Blood pumping. Heart racing. Gotta rein it in. This ain't me, not anymore. This is-' Creed begins, before he picks up a scent once more. 'The hunt' he declares as he suddenly leaps after the raptor, who is a small clearing up ahead. The raptor screams as Creed lands on it and bites down on the creature's neck. He tears at the flesh, and blood seeps out of the raptor's neck wounds. 'Sorry. I like to think you'd understand. This ain't personal' Creed tells the raptor. He sees his reflection in the raptor's eye as he adds 'It's instinct'.

Suddenly: 'I hope I'm not interrupting anything important' a voice calls out. Creed turns around and sees Warren Worthington III a.k.a. Archangel hovering in the air behind him. 'Archangel. Doing a bit of wandering on your own? How long have you been there?' Sabretooth asks.

'I have been here... long enough. Long enough to know that your path and mine are surprisingly similar, Sabretooth' Archangel replies. 'Don't reckon you'll judge me, will you? You understand...same as the dinosaur' Creed responds. Blood is splattered across his face, and Creed tells Archangel that he suspects that one day the two of them are going to have a long talk about it. Archangel doesn't respond to that comment, he simply informs Creed that he is needed back at base, and that they are leaving, before he flies off. 'What, no lift? The least you could do... is tell me where we're going' Creed calls out.

The Hellfire Club, New York branch, where partygoers are enjoying the decadent surroundings of the Hellfire Club. Betsy and Creed are dressed in civilian clothing, and as they walk through the socialising and dancing, Creed tells Betsy that if she wanted to do a little spying on the Hellfire Club, she might have picked a time when the clubhouse was a little less crowded. Betsy explains that she is not sure that is possible. She informs Creed that her family has been a part of this organization since she was a child, and there is one thing she has learned in all that time – there is always a party taking place. 'If you got the connections, why not just be straight-forward?' Creed asks. Betsy points out that there is a huge difference in being a member of a social club, and taking part in the clandestine Inner Circle, which has tried to kill the X-Men on more than one occasion.

Creed asks Betsy if she thinks Magneto is involved with them, and Betsy points out that is what they are here to find out. Creed wonders if they should have stopped at a tuxedo rental on the way here, as he is feeling a bit underdressed. Betsy tells him to stay close. 'These people may look like effete snobs... but they will chew you out, and feed you to their young' Betsy declares. 'Speaking of snobs... why isn't Monet with us on this?' Creed asks. Opening a door, Betsy tells Creed not to worry about Monet, as she is already here.

Entering the next room, they are confronted by the new Inner Circle – Sebastian Shaw! Briar Raleigh! Black Tom Cassidy! Magneto and... the new White Queen - Monet! Monet tells Betsy and Sabretooth that it is about time they showed up, and now the Hellfire Club and the X-Men can get down to some serious business!

Characters Involved: 

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

Black Tom Cassidy, Briar Raleigh, Sebastian Shaw (all Hellfire Club Inner Circle)

Hellfire Club partygoers
Unnamed weaponized mutants

Story Notes: 

Magneto was previously a member of the Hellfire Club's Inner Circle from Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #210 until #275, firstly as the White King, then the Grey King.

Black Tom Cassidy was last seen in Deadpool (3rd series) #58-60.

Briar Raleigh is a character from Magneto (2nd series).

The men at the beginning are talking about the band Creedence Clearwater and musician John Fogerty.

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