Uncanny X-Men (4th series) #13

Issue Date: 
November 2016
Story Title: 

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

Psylocke, Black Tom, M and Sabretooth struggle against the massive group of unnamed mutants who have set upon them. Psylocke suspects that these mutants are being manipulated. Archangel appears and assists his teammates, while Magneto's ally, Mystique, makes herself known, and takes the guise of one of the mutants, who are soon teleported away. Psylocke, Monet, Sabretooth and Black Tom investigate the Someday Corporation facility they are in, and discover stasis chambers for mtuants who the Someday Corporation are supposed to be looking after until the Terrigen Mists can be stopped. Back at the Hellfire Club Psylocke reports to Magneto on the mission, before they visit the mutant they apprehended (the mutant Mystique took the guise of), and Psylocke enters his name, learning how the Someday Corporation found him and offered to keep him safe, but instead he was transformed into a warrior mutant. The deeper Psylocke goes into his mind, the more trouble she has, as the Someday Corporation has set traps. Mystique drops the guise of the mutant as she investigates the facility she was teleported to. She takes out other mutants, and finds mind-controlled doctors removing tech from their patients. Psylocke digs deeper into the mutants' mind to try and find who is responsible for what has happened to him, and at the same time, Mysitque moves closer to making the same discovery – as she walks in on Exodus, who boasts that he rescued the sleeper mutants from the Someday, and that they now serve his purpose – to make mutants feared once more!

Full Summary: 

The Someday Corporation Research Station in the Atlantic Ocean. Rain pours down on Betsy “Psylocke” Braddock as she battles weaponized mutants on the oil-rig like facility in the dead of night. She thinks to herself that in a world where the air itself has turned toxic to mutants, the Someday Corporation offered sanctuary - “Come to us” - they said. “Let us shield you until these troubled times have passed” they announced. 'And they bloody well charged out the arse for the privilege' Betsy reminds herself, while recalling that Magneto suspected Someday of ulterior motives – of course he did, he's Magneto, after all.

'From the looks of it, he was right' Betsy decides as she telepathically takes down one of the mutants, while kicking another in the face. Nearby, Black Tom Cassidy of the re-formed Hellfire Club uses his staff to fire a blast of energy at the weaponized mutants as Betsy thinks that she is now fighting against the sleeper mutants, only they're not rightly sleeping anymore. Betsy looks over at her uneasy ally, Black Tom, then to Monet St Croix, who has been an X-Man since she was a child, and the new White Queen of the Hellfire Club for Lord knows how long. 'One of her many secrets, I suppose' Betsy thinks to herself as Monet flies through several of the mutants, knocking them over.

Unaware that Victor “Sabretooth” Creed is battling a tiger-man mutant under the choppy water surrounding the facility, Betsy thinks that he might be the only teammate she can trust right now, but at least she knows where she stands with him, even if she has no clue where he has gotten off to. Betsy punches her way through the mutants, unable to get a psychic read on them.

'We've seen everything we need to see! We need to withdraw! Get to the Blackbird!' Betsy shouts. Betsy realizes that some force, a telepath stronger than her, is locking her out. She can't if the mutants are acting of their own volition or if they are being controlled by whatever Someday has done to them – she supposes it doesn't matter.

'They've cut us off, lass! I don't know that -' Black Tom calls out, before one mutant blasts him with energy.

Monet finds herself confronted by several mutants and she informs Betsy that their powers have been augmented somehow. 'They're running hot!' she calls out, '(I can taste it)' she remarks to herself. But innocent or not, Betsy decides, they are out for blood – and that means they don't have the luxury of pulling their punches. Up above, Archangel hovers in the cloudy sky.

Betsy goes over to Black Tom and tells him to get on his feet. 'We might be in a spot of trouble, Lady Braddock. Our intel might have come back to bite our backsides. These sleepers... they were waiting for us!' Tom exclaims. 'We need to punch our way out of here... but I can't do it on my own! We need more muscle!' Monet shouts as she slams her fist into one of the mutants. 'Has anyone seen Sabretooth?' she asks, unaware that Creed still battles the tiger-man beneath the surface of the water.

They struggle, and suddenly, the tiger-man gasps for breath as he breaks the surface. He starts to climb up the side of the rig, when Mystique a.k.a. Raven Darkholme reveals herself. 'Sorry, kitty. The bosses want to have a word with one you sleepers. Looks like you win the prize' Mystique smirks as she shoves a needle into the tiger-man's neck. 'From what I hear, you want to go night night anyway, right?' Mystique adds, as the mutant falls backwards towards the water.

'We know you have plenty of options when it comes to booking a flight. Thank you for choosing Clandestine Abduction Airlines. Now sit back, relax and enjoy the short duration of your flight to torture and interrogation' Warren Worthington III a.k.a. Archangel jokes as he swoops down and grabs the tiger-man before he lands in the water. At the same time, Sabretooth breaks the surface and gasps for air.

Betsy, Monet and Black Tom find themselves surrounded by dozens of mutants, and Betsy can't help but wonder whether Magneto send them here with the knowledge that they would probably die – if this was some ruse to draw their enemies into the light, to churn the waters with their blood. 'More than the bruises and burns and cuts... that stings... because, against my better judgment, I had started to see Magneto as a friend' Betsy thinks to herself.

'We have them. How would you like us to proceed?' the bald mutant with the thick beard calls out telepathically. 'Yes. Yes, I understand' he responds after he receives his telepathic commands.

Black Tom tells Betsy and Monet that if either of them have any ideas as to why they are not falling on them to finish the job, whether they would mind sharing their theories with him.

Betsy ignores Black Tom and thinks that the more time she spends with Magneto, every time she lets him dispatch her on some mission, she realizes that she is just another pawn in some grand game.

'They're vanishing!' Monet exclaims as the weaponized mutants all start to fade.

'They had us dead to rights. They could have finished us' Betsy declares as the rain continues to drench her. 'I think, lass...we just got our wrists slapped' Black Tom remarks. 'Fine, whatever. Let them have their moment. Ours is yet to come' Monet mutters, as Mystique, who has shifted into the tiger-man, disappears with the other mutants.

'Tell me I didn't... miss the rest of the scuffle?' Sabretooth asks as he climbs back onto the rig. He joins Monet, Betsy and Black Tom as they start to walk towards one of the doorways. Betsy announces that the mission is not over, and tells the others that this was always something more than a fight. 'We came here because we feared Someday was experimenting on the mutants in their care. I want answers before we leave' Betsy tells the others. 'Seems to me, you got 'em, Betsy' Sabretooth replies. He asks if those mutants were sleepers – 'They scurried to Someday... paid good money to be put into stasis so they could ride out the Terrigen Mist crisis'. They enter the facility, free from the rain now, as Sabretooth points out that for a bunch of frightened little lambs, the mutants certainly seemed capable of handling themselves in a fight.

'You'd think the Hellfire Club... with all their ill-gotten knowledge... would have been able to warn us' Betsy tells the others. Monet narrows her eyes and replies 'I know it chaffs, Psylocke... probably more than that bikini you used to call a uniform... but the Hellfire Club and the X-Men are working together on this'. Monet adds that someone had to follow up on the threads Magneto had been pulling, otherwise, they might get lost in the day-to-day chaos of being an X-Man. The group come across stasis chambers and come to a stop.

Betsy thinks to herself that this place, this rig, is just another “safe house” for mutants seeking protection. 'From the looks of it, though, they discovered a truth that Magneto's been preaching for a while now. There is no safe place' Betsy thinks to herself. Sabretooth looks closely at one of the stasis tanks and remarks that somebody did a number on them, before someone points out that all of the bodies in the tubes are decked out like employees of the Someday Corporation.

Betsy examines the stasis chambers and reports that there is some sort of computerized medical system built into the chamber housing, but that she gets the impression that whatever was going on with these sleepers, it was psychic in nature. 'I could feel it... a telepathic presence... buzzing all around us'. Betsy tells the others to get back to the Blackbird and that they are leaving in five minutes. Betsy knows that whether she likes it or not, whatever is going on here – the answer lies with Magneto.

The Hellfire Club, New York City, where Betsy meets with Magneto the White King, Sebastian Shaw the Black King and Briar Raleigh the Black Bishop. 'They were powerful, the lot of them. They would have killed us. But someone was pulling their strings... someone much stronger' Betsy reports, adding that she couldn't get a fix on whoever was holding their leash, but they pulled the sleepers out before they could finish them off. Betsy closes her eyes. She can still taste blood in her mouth – the smell of sweat and the rain. She knows that tomorrow she will be bruised in two dozen places, and here she is, reporting to the perfumed masses like some sort of lackey.

Shaw asks if this could be linked to the technology Fantomex saw. 'What did he call it?' Shaw tries to remember. 'I don't think so, Shaw. From what Ms Braddock is saying, these mutants were striking against Someday' Briar Raleigh smiles.

Betsy looks at Magneto and thinks that even he, who is no stranger to getting his hands dirty, falls too easily into the role of puppeteer.

Magneto asks Psylocke to come with him, as there is still work to be done – her talents are needed.

Monet stands over the tiger-man mutant who is being held in a lab. Magneto, Betsy, Sabretooth, Briar Raleigh and Black Tom enter the lab. Magneto tells them all that their encounter with the sleepers could have gone more smoothly, but the mission was still successful, as they were able to apprehend one of them. 'Perhaps he can give us the answers we need' Magneto wonders. 'Good luck. His mind is locked up tight' Monet reports.

Betsy frowns at Magneto and tells him that he could have told her – he could have let her in on the joke. 'If I had known the goal was to grab one of them -' Betsy begins. 'What if you had known? Would the results have been any different? We achieved our goal. Be happy with that. Job well done' Briar Raleigh smirks. Magneto and Betsy look down at the tiger-man, and Magneto remarks that he is almost a physical match for Creed. 'He could have been born to mutantkind. Instead he chose to sleep through these troubled times'. But Psylocke reminds Magneto that he wasn't sleeping on that rig, and he wasn't exactly being friendly to them. Betsy tells Monet to stand aside so she can make herself useful.

Flashback images inside Bu Jun's mind:
Betsy's telepathic butterfly effect materializes, as Betsy enters the mind of the tiger-man. She finds herself walking the streets of a run-down village and learns that his name is Bu Jun, who was born in inner Mongolia, abandoned as a child, he grew up alone and sick and hungry – not strong like he is now. He wasn't fierce, but frightened. The Someday Corporation found him, and he became one of the first to be offered sanctuary. They told him that eventually mutants would pay to be kept safe – but they were offering him a chance to sleep, to escape this miserable world for free. The landscape changes to a Someday Corporation laboratory, where Betsy sees Bu Jun inside a stasis chamber. She learns that he volunteered for this, and didn't care if he ever work up, even though he was playing guinea pig for someday. For once in his life, he wasn't – 'AHH! Some sort of mental block – strong! Trying to force me out -' Betsy screams, before manifesting her Lady Mandarin armor.

Betsy continues to stand over Bu Jun and announces that it isn't often that she feels anything like this, stronger than her – like a psychic land mine in his memories. But there is no one here to fight her, this is all just some sort of booby trap, trying to rip her right out of Bu Jun's head.

Betsy informs Magneto that she can protect herself, but that the psychic turmoil might be too much for him, it might kill him if she doesn't stop. 'This man has something to tell us, Elizabeth. Press on' Magneto instructs her. Betsy tells herself that she could have guessed Magneto's reaction, as in the end, the life of one mutant, the integrity of another, means ironically little to the man who has sworn to save their people – a reminder that they are all just worker bees, easily replaced because there is always more where that came from.

Elsewhere, Bu Jun strides down a sterile corridor. 'Where the hell am I?' he grimaces, before carrying on down the corridor, where two mutants approach him. 'What are you doing here? You're a soldier-class. You're not supposed to be in this area' one of them remarks. Bu Jun suddenly fades away as Mystique reveals her default blue form. 'From the sound if it – I'm right where I need to be' she smirks, before kicking both of the mutants, then grabbing the gold-skinned one by his neck: 'Where are we? Who are you working for? Is this the Someday Corporation?' Mystique demands. The mutant doesn't answer her, so Mystique starts to take his form, then cracks his neck. 'Never mind. I'll find out for myself' Mystique mutters as she carries on down the corridor.

Eventually, Mystique comes to a laboratory, where she finds scientists operating on someone. 'Hello? Anyone home? I'm here to distract you from your work and probably kill you all' Mystique, still posing as the gold-skinned mutant, calls out, but gets no response. The scientists' eyes are glazed over, and Mystique realizes that they are focussed on the surgery, mind-linked or something. Mystique supposes that they probably have no medical training at all and are taking their orders from somewhere else. She watches as they remove some sort of wet-tech from their patient's flesh.

Back at the Hellfire Club, Betsy knows that there are answers out there, answers to almost any question you could ask, but finding them is only dependent on how far you are willing to push – and what you're willing to sacrifice. Bu Jun's mouth suddenly splutters up some blood. That sacrifice might be one man... or everything you stand for.

Flashback images inside Bu Jun's mind:
Betsy looks at Bu Jun inside the stasis tank. She kows he was asleep for less than an hour – he didn't even have time to start dreaming before the pain started. She watches as he cries out. The pain is suddenly amplified a thousand times at Betsy, it tries to drown her, suffocate her with agony.

Monet informs Magneto that the sleeper isn't going to survive. 'It's likely Psylocke won't either' Monet adds – but Magneto declares that she will make it.

Flashback images inside Bu Jun's mind:
Betsy survives the pain, she is through – the pain is still there, it's always there. She stands before Bu Jun, who has been transformed. 'Look at what they've done to me. Look at the monster they've turned me into. They lied to me... promised me peace... then turned me into a weapon'. Bu Jun looks up at the projection of Psylocke and tells her that is not the worst of it: 'That was before... before he came. Before he ripped into my mind and -' Bu Jun begins. Energy starts to ripple around them, as Betsy protects Bu Jun from it, she asks him who did this. 'We can stop him from using anyone else – if we know who we're dealing with... and where to find him'.

Elsewhere, Mystique has reverted to her blue form, and knocks aside a table in the lab, as a telepathic voice calls out: 'Ah...so it would appear we have an interloper'. The voice greets Mystique, suggesting that they dispense with the disguises. 'Through me, my servitors can see you for what you really are' the voice boasts.

Flashback images inside Bu Jun's mind:
'This is where he frees us... where he enslaves us all over again!' Bu Jun exclaims as he and Betsy run from the energy. '... trying to bring it all down around us... trying to stop him from revealing the truth... can't break away... so strong... relentless' Betsy utters.

'I like it better this way. After all the masks... I like this... just being myself' Mystique remarks as she kicks one of the scientists and stabs another in the neck with a scalpel. 'You know who I am. Why not tell me who I'm dealing with?' Mystique asks. The telepathic voice informs her that she will find out soon enough.

Flashback images inside Bu Jun's mind:
'What is this? Where are we?' Betsy asks Bu Jun as they approach a memory littered with bodies. 'I need you to focus...to tell me who -' Betsy begins, but Bu Jun tells her that he is focusing. 'But he'll kill me before he lets me reveal his identity. I can't tell you who he is...but I can tell you what he wants' Bu Jun announces, and Betsy goes wide-eyed.

Mystique runs down another corridor, and pushes a mutant out of her way as the telepathic voice tells Mystique that they don't have to be enemies. 'We want the same thing' the voice confirms. 'Keep talking. Soon enough, I'll find you...and I'll show you what I want' Mystique responds.

Betsy watches as Bu Jun coughs up more blood, and she informs Magneto that the weaponized mutants are going to strike an anti-mutant rally, where they are going to kill everyone. She adds that they are hoping the government comes to the defense of their victims – as they want to punish them.

Suddenly, Mystique opens a door and goes wide-eyed. 'Oh... oh, beautiful... of course it's you... Exodus!' Mystique gasps as the powerful mutant hovers over her. Exodus frowns and declares that he has rescued the sleepers. 'Who knows what Someday would have done with them'. Exodus boasts that they will now be used for a divine purpose – his purpose – and mutants will be feared once more!

Characters Involved: 

Archangel, Magneto, M II, Psylocke, Sabretooth (all X-Men)
Black Tom Cassidy, Briar Raleigh, Sebastian Shaw (all Hellfire Club Inner Circle)


Bu Jun
Unnamed weaponized mutants
Hellfire Club partygoers
Hellfire Club soldiers
Someday Corporation Scientists

In flashback:
Bu Jun
Someday Corporation scientists

Story Notes: 

Fantomex was shown working with Hellfire Club soldiers investigating the Someday Corporation in Uncanny X-Men (4th series) #3.

Exodus last appeared in Uncanny X-Men (3rd series) #26.


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