Uncanny X-Men (4th series) #9

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), Alice Ito (special thanks)
X-Men created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby

Brief Description: 

In the hidden Akkaba city beneath Green Ridge, Colorado, Magneto is in a cell, with power dampeners attached to his neck and hands. Psylocke telepathically contacts him, but he does not respond. Warren Worthington is taunting Magneto, telling Magneto that he went to a lot of trouble to be here for him. Clan Akkaba warriors lie defeated nearby, and Magneto quickly realizes that this is not Warren, but Mystique. Mystique compares Magneto to Apocalypse, which Magneto warns her against. Mystique frees Magneto and asks him if he told Fantomex that Psylocke is here, as there is bad blood between them. Mystique removes Magneto's power-dampening restraints as Magneto declares that everything he has based his life upon for the last several months was all because of an untruth. Magneto and Mystique battle their way through more Akkaba warriors, and hear a terrible scream. They enter a lab where Warren Worthington is having the remains of his wings harvested from his body, and the mutations placed into some tanks. Magneto and Mystique take out the Akkaba scientists, and Magneto encases Warren in a force field, asking him how he could betray his people. Warren explains that the evil was growing inside him and making him mad. Genocide enters the lab and declares that time has come to purge the world. Magneto battles Genocide, while Mystique takes Warren as her prisoner, warning Genocide that she will kill him. Genocide bursts into laughter and announces that the Death-Flight has awakened. Indeed, in another lab, the monstrous winged beings that Psylocke earlier discovered are chasing her. Fantomex watches and does nothing, deciding that this serves her right. But outside, in the skies over Green Ridge, Archangel has arrived, with several others, also apparently Archangel, ready to execute judgement in the name of the Lord. Meanwhile, beneath New York City, Sabretooth lunges at Emplate, but the villain evades him, then latches onto Sabretooth and Callisto, feeding on their bone marrow. Monet comes to their defense, demanding that he leave them alone. Emplate tells Monet that he brought her here because only she can save him. Sabretooth wakes to find Monet, Emplate and his thralls missing. They are making their way through another set of tunnels, where Monet and Emplate discuss their past, and how Emplate used her, fed on her for years. Emplate explains that with mutants dying off, he wonders what will become of him when there are no more. Monet then agrees to remain with Emplate, provided he stay away from all other mutants – she will remain with him forever.

Full Summary: 

Green Ridge, Colorado, where the Master of Magnetism – Magneto – sits in a cell, large power-dampening restraints around his hands. 'Magneto' a telepathic voice calls out. 'Erik, can you hear me?' but the voice gets no response. Magneto hangs his head, while a figure dressed in white appears at thw window into his cell. 'What's with the faraway look in your eyes? Who is rattling around in your head? Who are you listening to?' The figure in white is Warren Worthington III, who asks 'Is darling Elizabeth reaching out? Asking for help?' Magneto turns to Warren and offers no response. Warren points out that it is strange – Magneto shackled with power dampeners, unable to use his gifts, but Psylocke is casually using her powers. Warren asks Magneto why he isn't responding to her: 'Is it because you don't want to admit that you need help? Or is it because you realize help is already here?' A Clan Akkaba soldier lies motionless on the ground near Warren, who tells Magneto that he is going to hurt his feelings if he doesn't answer him. 'I went to a lot of trouble to be here for you'.

Magneto finally speaks: 'That face you wear... the voice with which you speak... is offensive to me'. Magneto remarks that in so many ways, the words of Archangel brought him here, kept him fighting for mutantkind, only to discover those words were the tenants of Apocalypse.

'You're no fun. I've always thought that you and Apocalypse were two peas in a pod. At the very least, I figured you exchanged cards on “World-Conquering Speciesist Day” Warren, or rather, Raven Darkholme a.k.a. Mystique declares as she reveals herself. Magneto moves closer to the cell window and tells Mystique that he would caution her against making such comparisons lightly. Why?' Mystique asks. 'Are you going to glare even more intently at me from the other side of the cell door?' Raven tells him, suggesting he relax and try not to get bent out of shape. 'You're not dealing with Apocalypse, anyhow, but his son, Genocide... who's just desperate to take over the family business' Raven explains.

Mystique points out that Genocide is still a tough customer, and tells Magneto that he was lucky he had the foresight to bring she and Fantomex here as backup. As Mystique opens the cell door, she remarks that she is not sure where Fantomex ran off to, and asks Magneto if he even bothered to him that Psylocke would be here. 'There's blood between those two. Most of it bad' Mystique informs him. 'The same could be said for most of us. The same could be said for you and I' Magneto replies. 'If you say so' Mystique mutters, before taking a small key from her skull-belt, which she uses to unlock the power-restraint around Magneto's neck. She tells him that she has changed shape hundreds of times since then, and with every shift, her brain changes subtly, personality and memories with it. 'I only hold onto the most important grudges' Mystique claims, as the power-dampeners around Magneto's hands are removed. Magneto rubs his hands and declares that everything he has based his life upon for the last several months, it was all because of an untruth. 'And doesn't that just make you want to punish those who dared lie to you?' Mystique asks him. Magneto frowns and tells her that it does.

Meantime, beneath New York City, 'Creed – don't get close to him!' Monet St Croix calls out as Victor “Sabretooth” Creed leaps towards Monet's diabolical brother, Emplate. The leader of the New Morlocks, Callisto, stands nearby and watches in shock. Sabretooth's claws are ready as he declares that Emplate is feeding on mutants, turning them into some sort of zombies. 'Can't give guys like this a chance! Best to take them out before they -' Creed begins, but he collapses as a green gas flows from Emplate, who tells Sabretooth that he claws will do him little good. 'One of the few benefits of my genetic malformity. I can displace my flesh when it suits me' Emplate reveals as he emerges several feet away from Creed. Emplate then reaches out and puts his hand over Creed's face, and explains that in order to avoid involuntarily phasing out of this world all together, he must feed. Creed keels backwards as Emplate drains his energies. Callisto makes a growling noise as she rushes towards them, 'Ah – the mother hen. So worried about the fox that might be eating her chicks...she's willing to rescue the other beast who just killed her babies for sport!' Emplate exclaims as he raises a hand, and from it, a long tongue extends and wraps around the surprised Callisto's neck.

Emplate then swings Callisto against a wall, where she falls towards some of his servants. 'You have – yourself – outlived your usefulness... save as a snack' Emplate tells Callisto, his other hand still over Sabretooth's face, he doesn't see Monet fly towards him, 'Let them go, Marius!' she shouts, slamming her fist into her brother. As Emplate is hunched over on the ground, Monet reminds him that he brought her here for a reason, and that if his past displays of brotherly love are any indication, he should get on with trying to kill her and leave the others alone. 'As per usual, sister, you've got me all wrong' Emplate claims. He confirms that he had his thralls whisper her name in all the right places, he lured her here, but not because he means to harm her. Emplate extends a hand, and a tongue emerges, flickering about as Emplate announces that he brought Monet here because only she can save him!

Back in Green Ridge, Magneto uses his power to knock aside some Clan Akkaba followers, while Mystique slams her knee into one of them. Magneto asks her if she knows where they are holding Psylocke, but Mystique tells him that she found him first, so rescued him first. She adds that this place is as big as a city, so Psylocke could be anywhere. 'I suppose we could askk one of these servants of Akkaba...but where's the fun in that?' Mystique exclaims as she slams her hand into one of their faces. Suddenly, there is a loud scream, and Magneto and Mystique both look up. 'The ambience of this place just gets better and better' Mystique mutters, telling Magneto that the next time he needs help escaping a torture-prison, not to look to her for help. Magneto assures Mystique that he will remember that, but asks her what makes her think they will survive to see a “next time”. He uses his power to start to break open a door, as Mystique declares that whoever is on the other side of this door, whoever is screaming, it is not her – and she doesn't plan on letting that change.

There is another mighty scream, and the door breaks open – Magneto and Mystique stand in the doorway to some sort of laboratory where scientists from the Clan Akkaba stand around Warren Worthington, who is strapped into some sort of contraption, 'It...it HURTS! God help me! It hurts!' he screams, as one of the Clan Akkaba uses some laser-like device on his back, extracting something. 'You're doing just fine. Just fine. It will be over soon' the scientist responds. The scientist turns to a tank where some mass is being kept. 'The harvest is complete. The corrupted flesh removed from your body so it might metastasize on its own -' he begins, before realizing Magneto and Mystique are watching him. 'NO! This is a sacred -' the scientist begins, before Magneto uses his power to send the cables hanging throughout the room through the bodies of the Akkaba followers, skewering them, while Mystique kicks one of them in the face. Magneto then levitates Warren free of the restraints, 'What is this? What have you done, Warren?' Magneto asks. 'How could you betray your people?' He continues: 'How could you betray yourself? Why would you let them -' Magneto begins, but Warren interrupts him: 'You... you can't understand... how much it hurts... this evil growing within me. This aggression... this hate. It was driving me mad... but Akkaba helped me rid myself of this evil...'

'That's right, brother. We have to cut away the bad flesh...repurpose it...and give it function in the new world. Unlike you, Magneto!' the horrific Genocide exclaims as he enters the lab, followed by several Clan Akkaba warriors. 'You brought treachery into this holy place...poisoned it...in the same way Angel's weak and trembling meat compromised the purity of Apocalypse's flesh!' Genocide announces that the time has come to purge the world, to make a brutal, cruel paradise... where only the strong will thrive... and there's no place in that world for you!' he booms.

Back beneath New York, Sabretooth stirs and wakes. 'M? Monet – where'd you go?' he calls out as Callisto lay motionless nearby. Monet, Emplate and his thralls have vanished. Sabretooth sits up, 'Aw, hell, girl. As smart as you are... you've gone and done something stupid, haven't you?' Sabretooth exclaims.

In another tunnel, Monet follows Emplate and his servants, as Emplate tells his sister that he is impressed, and more than a little hurt. 'Would you like to be a lot hurt? Because I'd happily arrange that' Monet snaps. Emplate and his servants turn and hiss at Monet. 'So wry. I always admired that about you' Emplate declares. 'That... and the taste of your marrow' he adds. 'But threats? I had truly hoped we might be able to finally get past our sibling rivalry'. Emplate informs Monet that it surprised him how quickly she agreed to accompany him, all to save the lives of her friends. 'I seemed to detect – affection, maybe? - when it came to the big, feral one' Emplate adds, suggesting that perhaps the handsome, cultured type has grown tiresome for his sister. Emplate narrows his eyes and tells Monet that even though they have so often been at one another's throats, he dearly loves her. 'How else could you make me so angry? I have only ever wanted you to return the sentiment' Emplate declares. Monet frowns at him: 'You wanted my love? Was that why you imprisoned me and fed on me for years, you despicable little cretin?'

Emplate admits that was not his finest moment, but that he doesn't think Monet can fathom what it is like. Leaning against the tunnel wall, he reminds Monet that if he doesn't feed, he loses his connection to this world, he falls into that other place – that torturous purgatory, and every time he slips away, it is for a little longer, and every time, he is not sure he can make it back. 'And yet, somehow, you always do. You come back to torment me and anyone else who crosses your path' Monet reminds him. Emplate tells his sister that mutants are dying off, there are so few left, and fewer every day. 'What becomes of me when the Terrigen Mists kill the last mutant? That's why I've taken up here...where I can hunt and feed on the Morocks'. Monet narrows her eyes and asks Emplate if he wants to know why she agreed to come with him: 'I did it for every mutant in these tunnels. Every other mutant – period. What I'm about to do...I do for them all'. Monet tells her brother that if he agrees, right here, right now, to stay away from any other mutant, he agrees to release his thralls, and in return, she will agree to stay with him again...to stay forever. At Monet's surprising announcement, Emplate goes wide-eyed.

A battle against Genocide and the Akkaba soldiers has begun, as Mystique kicks two of the soldiers back, while Magneto asks 'You want this traitorous Angel, Genocide? You can have him!' as he lowers Angel and throws him at Genocide. Genocide tells the Akkaba warriors to protect Angel and get him out of here. Magnetically controlling a lot of shrapnel and rubble around him, Magneto warns Genocide that Angel is nowhere, that none of them are leaving this place. 'You think you can scare me? You have no idea who you're dealing with! My father was Apocalypse, dammit! I'm the son of a god!' Genocide booms, before Magneto sends the shrapnel flying towards his foe, who boasts that once he is finished, once the death-flight has swept across the world: 'I'll be a god as -' Genocide begins, interrupted when he hears Mystique, whistling. He turns to her, and sees that she has morphed one of her hands into large, sharp claws, which she holds to Warren's face. 'Stand down, ugly, or your fallen angel's going to see if he's still got the keys to heaven' Mystique warns him. 'Don't touch him! He's mine! If you take him from me, I swear -' Genocide begins, before breaking into a fit of laughter. He drops to his knees, and tells the X-Men that they are too late. 'Can you feel it, because I certainly can! My hatchlings are stirring! The Death-Flight has awakened...and when they're done, the world will know me as the Bringer of the Apocalypse!'

Elsewhere in the Clan Akkaba complex, 'No-no!' a frantic Betsy “Psylocke” Braddock exclams as she runs from the mutanted, winged Death-Flight which fly after her. 'KEEP AWAY FROM ME!' Betsy screams, as the Death-Flight reach out to grab her. They then release deadly razor-feathers towards her, some of which strike Betsy in her back. She drops to the ground, 'Toxins...can't stay...no...keep...away' Betsy utters, as the Death-Flight close in around her. Fantomex watches from a nearby doorway, 'Hmph. She deserves her -' he begins, when suddenly, there is a loud noise, and Fantomex and the Death-Flight look up. Outside, in the park in Green Ridge, civilians look to the sky also. 'You fool. You summoned him. Of course, you summoned him' Fantomex utters. 'Warren!' Betsy exclaims as she tries to keep the Death-Flight at bay. 'He is come' one of the civilians outside utters. 'He's here' another declares. 'The Angel is among us' someone else remarks. 'The harbinger has come' a man announces.

Betsy gets to her feet, as dozens of winged men can be seen flying over Green Ridge, the sun glowing behind them. 'The trumpet has sounded!' someone calls out. 'He's called them!' another declares. 'He's called the host!' Archangel can be seen, grimacing as he flies among the others, to the awe of the civilians below. 'They've come!' another cries. 'Bringers of wrath!' someone declares. 'Wrath!' another exclaims. 'Come to punish us for our sins'. Archangel comes to a halt over the civilians in the park. 'All of us – rebunked and punished! The heavens have opened up! They will execute judgement in the name of the Lord! And those who perish shall be many!'

Characters Involved: 

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

Clan Akkaba warriors
Archangel drones


Story Notes: 

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

Monet'a imprisonment was shown in a flashback scene in Generation X #40, which chronicles her complicated origin.

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