Uncanny X-Men (4th series) #8

Issue Date: 
August 2016
Story Title: 

Cullen Bunn (writer), Ken Lashley (artist), 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: 

In War Room X, within the Savage Land, Magneto's robotic assistant is monitoring Archangel, and remarks how nice it is to have another automaton for company. In the hidden Akkaba City beneath Green Ridge, Colorado, Psylocke wakes to find herself imprisoned, and her telepathic calls to Magneto are not responded to. She breaks out of her cell, and is set upon by some mutilated Akkaba soldiers. She demands to know where Magneto is, but they refuse to tell her. She feels sorry for them that their minds and bodies have been twisted by the Akkaba. She starts to explore the Akkaba city, and telepathically contacts Monet and Sabretooth, informing them that she needs their assistance, but she is distracted when she comes across Warren, who is talking to Genocide. Genocide tells Warren that the X-Men would not understand how his wings were driving him mad, and that only the Akkaba surgeries can remove the diseased flesh from his body. Before Psylocke can confront them, she has a gun pointed to her head – by Fantomex, who is still carrying a grudge towards her. Fantomex and Psylocke battle, and Fantomex holds nothing back in reminding Psylocke how she ruined him. He reveals that Magneto was able to put him back together, and Psylocke is surprised that Fantomex is here at Magneto's request. She knows he is not here to help her, however, and takes him out, continuing on through the Akkaba city to find Magneto – but what she finds instead is dozens of mutated Akkaba warriors, with various states of wings growing out of their body. She telepathically contacts Archangel back in the Savage Land, who breaks free of the contraption he is being kept in and takes flight. Meanwhile, in the Morlock tunnesl, Monet, Sabretooth and Callisto battle the New Morlocks who have fallen under the control of Monet's brother, Emplate. Those under Emplate's control speak to Monet, telling her that Emplate knew she would come, and that he needs her to save him. The battle ends and Sabretooth tries to speak to Monet, as he can sense that she is afraid, but Monet does not drop her tough exterior. Emplate's thralls escape, taking some of the other New Morlocks with them. Monet, Sabretooth and Callisto follow Emplate's thralls, and Sabretooth points out that with mutants getting scarce again, Emplate, who feeds on the bone marrow of mutants, must be having a difficult time. Monet confronts her brother, who confirms that he needs her to save him.

Full Summary: 

War Room X, located in the Savage Land, where Warren Worthington III a.k.a. Archangel is hooked up to some device, while Magneto's robotic assistant, Ferris, hovers nearby and tells Archangel that he has been the source of a great deal of fuss, but admits that he finds Archangel's presence here comforting. 'Surrounded by Magneto and his X-Men, it is easy to be overlooked...to be seen as nothing more than another lifeless machine' Ferris explains. He looks at one of the monitors Archangel is connected to and states that he is not programmed to experience loneliness, but that in some small way, he recognizes companionship. 'And it is... nice, I suppose... to have another automaton here for company'.

In the hidden Akkaba City beneath Green Ridge, Colorado, Betsy “Psylocke” Braddock wakes, 'Well... don't I just feel beastly' she mutters to herself. Getting up, she touches her head and uses her telepathic power to contact Magneto, asking him if he can hear her. 'No, of course you don't Betsy remarks as she gets no response. Betsy decides that she might as well see what kind of alarms she will trip by opening the door. 'Maybe it'll bring the ceiling crashing down on me' she wonders, deciding that would be a welcome relief from the headache she is suffering from. Betsy crouches back as she uses a burst of psi-power to knock the door down. 'Well... that was easier than I expected' she remarks, when suddenly, two Clan Akkaba warriors rush toward her.

'Against the wall! Stand down and -' one of them instructs Psylocke, who does sno such thing, knocking the first one aside with ease, then kicking the second in the face, knocking his mask off and revealing his disfigured face beneath. 'I'm sorry, were you saying something?' Betsy asks.

Betsy stands over the fallen warrior and demands to know where Magneto is being held. 'You'll never find him... never escape... never stop the Day of Reckoning... never be able to -' the warrior begins, before Betsy slams a psi-knife into the warrior's head, 'Don't tell me what I'll “never” be able to do' she warns him.

She picks up his spear and moves away from his body, 'Poor sod... flesh warped by Genocide's radiations... mind twisted by Akkaba propaganda... but I still enjoyed that' Betsy declares as she leaves her cell, and telepathically calls out to Magneto again, informing him – if he can hear her – that she is coming for him. Betsy then telepathically contacts Sabretooth and Monet, informing them that she needs their help. Betsy gets no response, and brings herself to a halt as she nearly rounds a corner – she hears a voice remark '...just feels wrong. They came here because they were concerned about me... and I betrayed them, I should have stood by their side'. It is the blond man who is apparently Warren Worthington III. He stands with the son of Apocalypse, Genocide, and several Akkaba warriors. 'Maybe if I had the chance to explain... maybe they would have seen that you're trying to help me, too' Warren points out. Genocide tells Warren that they would not have listened. 'Magneto and his flunkies aren't the type to be swayed by your plight'.

Betsy stands around the corner and continues to listen, as Genocide tells Warren that they would never understand that his wings were driving him mad, that only their surgeries can purge the diseased flesh from his body. 'I know what it feels like to have the corruption of Apocalypse squirming around inside of you...that the servants of Akkaba now bear the weight of deformity so that you do not have to' Genocide declares. 'I'm sorry. I...shouldn't have doubted you' Warren replies. Genocide smiles inside his fiery helmet, while Betsy whispers to herself 'Warren...you naive berk'. Suddenly, a gun is pointed at Betsy's head as someone tells her 'In the Angel's defense, my dear...he was always a bit of a rube... never able to sniff out disloyalty even when it was right under his nose'. Betsy glances back to find Fantomex holding the gun. Fantomex remarks that it is strange, and that after all this time, he feels a certain kinship with Warren. 'You played us both for fools...and brought about our downfalls'.

'Fantomex!' Betsy exclaims, telling him that she imagined she had seen the last sof him, but here he is, skulking around with the agents of Apocalypse. 'I guess that's just fate's way of saying I should've done a better job of killing you' Betsy declares. 'You know what they say, Betsy. No time like the present' Fantomex replies.

Meanwhile, in the Morlock Tunnels under New York City, Monet St Croix and Victor “Sabretooth” Creed find themselves working alongside Callisto, as several New Morlocks who have been infected with a disease try to grab some non-infected mutant New Morlocks. 'This is snatch and grab! They're going for the mutants!' Sabretooth exclaims as he is caught up in the chaos. Callisto warns Sabretooth to keep his killer instinct at bay. 'You're not gonna have more Morlock blood on your hands – not under my watch!' Callisto warns him. 'We might be fighting for our lives...but these creatures... they're my people... transformed and controlled by someone else!' Callisto declares as she defends herself. Monet announces that this definitely sounds like her brother's MO. 'He's using them to kidnap others on his behalf. That's how he feeds!' Monet explains. 'This brother of yours -' Sabretooth begins. Monet remarks that his name is Emplate. '- sounds like a real black sheep kind of guy' Sabretooth concludes his sentence.

Monet moves backwards as one of the infected New Morlocks lunges towards her. 'I'm not sure that you're one to judge...but, yes, I'd say that about sums it up...not that I'm overly interested in discussing family dynamics with you' Monet declares, grabbing the New Morlock by his throat, while the mouth on the mutant's hand flickers the long tongue at Monet: 'I knew it! I knew you would come, sister! I knew you'd come to help me!' Emplate calls out through that mouth. Monet goes wide-eyed as Emplate explains 'That is why we told the Morlocks to bring you here! I need you to save us! That's why I beckoned you!' Monet spins around as Emplate speaks through another one of the mouths on yet another mutant's hand: 'And that's why you came! Sister! Thank you, sister! Thank you for coming! After all this time... you still care!' Emplate exclaims. More of them surround Monet, as another calls out 'You know! You know hw much...we still need one another!' Suddenly, there is a mighty WHAM as Sabretooth slams down on the mutant, 'Give the lady some room!' he warns the mutants.

Sabretooth looks up at Monet and asks her if she is all right. Scowling, Monet replies that she is fine. 'Of course I'm fine. Don't forget who you're dealing with, Creed. What makes you think I needed you to come swooping in like a knight in tarnished armor?' Monet declares. 'Pheromones. I've known you long enough, frail. I know when you're afraid. There's no shame in it. Everyone -' Sabretooth starts to say as he moves closer to Monet, who is about to say something, when Callisto steps towards them, announcing that she hates to interrupt whatever is going on between the two of them, but that if they could get their heads in the game, the infected are getting away and taking more Morlocks with them. 'We've gotta stop them!' Callisto calls out. Sabretooth starts to move forward, but Monet puts a hand on his shoulder and tells him to let them go. 'We don't need to stop them. We need to follow them...track them...straight back to their master'.

Back in the hidden Clan Akkaba city, Betsy leaps into the air, dodging the weapons fire that comes from Fantomex's guns. 'What are you doing here, Jean-Phillipe?' Betsy asks. 'I know you went off the abyssal end some time ago... but throwing in with this Apocalypse cult seems unlike you' Betsy tells him. Fantomex tells Betsy that it is good to know she hasn't lost her dreadful knack for speaking out of turn. He adds that he enjoys it when the walls come down and Betsy reveals how woefully out of touch she is. He informs her that he is no servant of Clan Akkaba, and boasts that he is still going to dispose of her, of course. Fantomex asks Betsy if she is trying to read her thoughts. 'Surely you haven't forgotten. The ceramix plating in my mask prevents you from -' Fantomex begins, when suddenly, the top of his mask shatters, and Betsy rushes towards him, reminding him that he is protected from telepathy, but not telekinesis. 'So now... let's talk' she declares as she runs at him, pointing the spear towards him.

Fantomex tells Betsy that it won't be so simple, as his powers of misdirection can keep her chasing her tail, even on the Psychic Plane. 'If you want to know why I'm here, you'll need to work for it' Fantomex announces. Betsy tells him to pray she doesn't grow bored with the search. 'When that happens, I'll kill you and be done with -' Betsy begins, before Fantomex slams his gun into Betsy's head, 'Dispense with the sweet talk, my dear. You're as alluring as ever, but I can never forgive you. You took everything form me! You tried to ruin me!' Fantomex reminds her. They stand close together, face-to-face, as Betsy tells Fantomex that this isn't about him. 'Isn't everything?' Fantomex asks, telling Betsy that he thinks that is why he is here. 'It hasn't been specifically spelled out in my marching orders, but I think I'm supposed to assassinate you. After what you did to me, that'll be -' Fantomex begins, interrupted as Betsy flips backwards and kicks him in the face.

Fantomex opens fire again, 'You're a smart girl, Betsy. You must know what's at work here' Fantomex calls out. 'Enlighten me' Betsy replies. Fantomex points out that it seems awfully easy, doesn't it – the way Betsy is just flitting about this fortress. 'They let you escape from wherever you were being held. Your famed ninja skills notwithstanding, you've been given enough rope to choke yourself' Fantomex tells Betsy. 'For what purpose?' Betsy asks as she slices Fantomex's face with the end of the spear, causing him to scream. Fantomex kicks Betsy backwards, 'You hold the leash, my dear... the psychic dog whistle... and they're just waiting for you to put your lips together and blow'. They lunge at each other again, 'Archangel? They want me to summon Archangel?' Betsy asks. 'Yes...precious Archangel. Anorher of your lovers turned would-be world destroyer. You tend to bring that out in min. Only with Archangel, you are rushing to somehow heal him...and with me, you tried to strip away everything that made me who I was' Fantomex remarks as he trips Betsy up. 'You took away my ego! Took away EVA!'

Betsy looks up at Fantomex who stands over her and tells her that if it wasn't for Magneto. 'All the king's horses and all the king's men wouldn't have put me back together again' he remarks. 'And now I'm thinking he knew somebody would have to take you out of the equation before you -' Fantomex begins, before Betsy screams 'LIAR!' and shoves him back with a surge of telekinesis. Fantomex realizes Betsy is in his thoughts, and tells her that she knows he is not lying. 'You know that when I look at you... I see only death'. Betsy slams Fantomex against a wall the sharp end of the spear held to his face. 'You're working with Magneto? He brought you here?' she asks. 'Why would he ever -' Betsy begins, interrupted by Fantomex as he spits on her. Betsy turns away and wipes Fantomex's spit off of her. 'If I had known you were here with him, I might not have -' Fantomex begins. Betsy tells him that she believes him, that she believes he is aiding Magneto and is here to help him. 'But you're not here to help me' Betsy points out as she kicks Fantomex in the face and knocks him out. 'I'll find Erik on my own' Betsy declares as she stands over Fantomex's motionless body. 'And decide then if I'm going to kill him myself or not'.

Back in New York, 'All right, M. You might not want to air your family's dirty laundry, but I gotta know. What's the deal with this brother of yours?' Sabretooth asks. Monet explains that her brother is a fiend, plain and simple. 'He's a psychic vampire who is out of synch with this reality...and the only way for him to remain anchored in this world...is by feeding on the bone marrow of mutants' Monet declares. Sabretooth points out that mutants are fetting scarce again, so it can't be easy on him. As they approach a vault door, Monet tells Creed and Callisto that in all likelihood, Emplate is lonely, frightened. 'Almost sounds like you feel sorry for him' Creed remarks. Monet supposes that she has a soft spot for monsters, and raising a hand to Creed, calls him “Frail” and tells him to step aside. Monet starts to push the door open and tells the others that once they are inside to follow her lead. 'Emplate nudged the Morlocks into bringing me here...and I want to know why' Monet declares as the door opens, and several hooded figures look up at her. 'Hello, sister' a voice calls out.

Monet, Sabretooth and Callisto see Emplate further back in the room, surrounded by some mutants who are latched on to him. 'So food of you to visit. Of course, I never doubted that you'd answer my summons. “Mutants are in danger! Please send help!” That kind of thing just lights a fire in the pants of Charles Xavier's brood!' Emplate points out. 'So you had your minions mutter my name in the right ear. You knew I'd come running. You look like hell, Marius' Monet tells her brother. 'Well, we can't all be perfect' Emplate replies, narrowing his eyes. Sabretooth suddenly feels like someine is tickling his brain, and asks 'That you, Psylocke'. Monet edges closer to her brother and tells him that she knows his food supply is running low, but that she is not going to let him hurt any more Morlocks. Emplate extends a hand and explains 'That's why I brought you here! I don't want to fight you! I need you to save me!' he claims.

'Sabretooth... Monet... are you listening?' Betsy calls out telepathically but still gets no response. She extends her telepathy out to Magneto, asking him to tell her where she can find him so she can kick his woethless arse. Turning a corner in the hidden Akkaba city, something catches Betsy's eye. She walks towards a brightly lit room, still armed with the half-spear, 'Lord...' she utters. '...blind me!' Betsy gasps as she sees deformed bodies strung from the ceiling, many of them with wings of various forms attacked to them. Wide eyed, Betsy cannot stop looking at them. 'This is what Akkaba wants. They want me to be afraid...to call out to...Warren'.

'Hmm?' Archangel asks back in the Savage Land. 'Warren...Archangel...I'm sorry...' Betsy's telepathic call pleads. '...I need you' Betsy adds, and the supposed automaton breaks free from the cables he is connected to and starts to fly free....


Characters Involved: 

Archangel, M II, Psylocke, Sabretooth (all X-Men)




New Morlocks



Clan Akkaba warriors



Story Notes: 

This story ties into the X-Men: Apocalypse Wars storyline.

Emplate was last seen in the “Devil at the Crossroads” story in X-Men Legacy Annual #1 and X-Men Legacy (1st series) #228-230.

Fantomex’ and Psylocke’s issues originally stem from the fallout of their failed relationship, as chronicled in Uncanny X-Force (2nd series) and got worse due to Fantomex’ behaviour in X-Force (5th series).

Written By: