Uncanny X-Men (5th series) #14

Issue Date: 
May 2019
Story Title: 
This is Forever, part 4

Matthew Rosenberg (writer), Salvador Larroca (artist), GURU-eFX (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Joe Caramagna (letterer), Salvador Larroca & Rachelle Rosenberg (cover artists), Gerardo Sandoval & Romulo Fajardo Jr; Paolo Rivera (variant cover artists), Jeff Powell (title page designer), Chris Robinson (assistant editor), Jordan D White (editor), CB Cebulski (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: 

At Harry's Hideaway, a familiar face has come to meet with the X-Men – Valerie Cooper, who now works for the State Department. Cyclops informs Val that they need a favor, but Val reminds him that they are basically considered terrorists. Cyclops reminds Val that she is smart, and tells her that they need some information – information which she has access to, and that if she helps them, they will be inclined to help her out in return. Val knocks back a drink and realizes that she is going to regret this. At the same time, in Brooklyn, the former Mutant Liberation Front member Reaper is being chased by police officers down a rain-soaked alley. He seeks refuge in an abandoned warehouse, only to be confronted by several Multiple Man dupes. The dupes try to get information about the MLF from Reaper, but he assures them that he doesn't work with the MLF anymore. They fight, so Reaper flees back into the rain, where he runs into Magik, Moonstar and Wolfsbane. Reaper is brought back to Harry's Hideaway and chained in the basement, where Cyclops interrogates him. Reaper claims that he declined to rejoin the MLF and that he doesn't even have his powers anymore. However, he is in possession of a burner phone that Hope gave him. Also working in the basement is the Dark Beast, who has been given a makeshift lab, and is watched over by Karma, who isn't exactly sure what the Dark Beast is working on. Dark Beast wants to prove his allegiance to the X-Men, thinking himself a member, he gives Cyclops the location of of one of his old compatriots. Magik teleports the team to an abandoned factory in the Bronx where they run into the Marauder called Scrambler. After taking out Wolfsbane, Scrambler runs to escape the X-Men. Wolverine puts up a chase, and when Cyclops, Havok and Madrox catch up to Wolverine, they find he has a knife in his head. It wasn't Scrambler who put it there though, the several dupes have captured Callisto, who was also chasing Scrambler. Cyclops informs her that his intel said Scrambler had reformed, so Callisto takes the X-Men down into the tunnels, where dozens of mutants lay slaughtered. Wolverine thinks there is something off with this, before Chamber appears. Chamber has been looking after Jubilee's son, Shogo, and has been staying with the Morlocks. Chamber tells Cyclops that it is about time he started keeping some promises he made to mutantkind and save what is left of them. A short time later, after a phone call to Val Cooper, the X-Men find themselves at the northern border of Chernaya, where they make quick work of some terrorists who failed to seize power last year in Chernaya. With the terrorists captured, the land is then given to the Morlocks. Back at Harry's later, the X-Men celebrate their victory. Chamber informs Cyclops that Callisto is looking after Jubilee's kid, and that he wants to stay with the X-Men. There is a knock at the door, and Captain America enters, informing Cyclops that they have to talk!


Full Summary: 

The faster the end comes, the more everything seems to slow down. I am watching my life's work slip away in slow motion.

Bushwick, Brooklyn, the rain beats down as a figure runs down an alleyway, splashing through puddles, while two police officers chase him. 'All units – suspect is described as male, six feet tall, black hair and gray skin – proceed with caution' an announcer can be heard over a police communications system. 'Don't tell me this guy's a friggin’ mutant' one of the officers mutters as they continue to pursue the mystery man, who can be seen carrying a bag of supplies, some of which fall out and drop onto the rain-soaked alley.

Meanwhile, in Salem Center, at Harry's Hideaway, current home of the X-Men, where a glamorous blonde woman sits at the bar. Scott Summers a.k.a. Cyclops, sitting at a table nearby, thanks her forv coming, adding that he knows their relationship in the past hasn't been ideal. 'You know this isn't my purview anymore, right?' Dr Valerie Cooper asks as she glances to her right, where Wolverine a.k.a. Logan is sitting, and holds a drink towards her mouth. 'What is “this”, Ms Cooper?' Cyclops asks. 'Don't play coy' Val tells him. 'This. Mutant affairs. You' she points out. Scott tells Val that he is aware she is no longer with the Office of National Emergency, but he thinks she can be of some use to him.

Back in Bushwick, the police officers head down the alleyway, where the man they are following kicks a door down, and rushes inside, where the rain no longer pounds down on him, he crouches near a window, and watches as the officers run past – they didn't see him enter the old warehouse.

At Harry's Hideaway, Cyclops tells Val that  he knows her well enough to know she must feel the same about him – or otherwise she wouldn't have come. 'Or maybe I was just curious, Scott. It's not often a girl gets invited out by a dead guy... and this is a twofer' Val replies, before seeing hello to Logan. 'Hello, Val' Logan replies.

In the warehouse, the mutant suddenly finds himself under a bright light – and he is identified as  Pantu Hurageb a.k.a. Reaper. 'Hello, Reaper' several Mutliple Man dupes call out from the shadows. Reaper looks shocked, and holds the bag of supplies close, as Madrox tells him that they have been looking for he and his friends – but he seems to be the only one dumb enough to be  getting motel rooms using his real name. 'I didn't do anything!' Reaper protests.

At the bar, Scott tells Val that now it is his turn to ask her not to play games. 'Okay, I'll bite. What's up?' Val asks, turning to Cyclops, who informs her that they need a favor. 'Really?' Val replies quickly. 'You're wanted men! Maybe even terrorists' Val points out, asking if they even considered how much trouble she might get in even being seen with a bunch of big scary mutants. Why do you think I'd do anything for you?' Val then asks.

At the warehouse, the Madrox dupes reveal they are armed with baseball bats, 'I don't believe you' one of them tells Reaper, while another tells him that they want to ask some questions. 'Please fight back' a third remarks. Reaper ducks when one of the dupes swings their bat towards him, 'Leave me alone!' Reaper cries out as he punches one of the dupes in the face.

Cyclops continues, telling Val that she is smart, and knows the value of having men like he and Wolverine on her side. Val glances downwards and tells Scott that she assumes he knows where she works now. 'Neither the State Department nor the current administration looks kindly on mutant groups who -' Val  begins, to which Scott interrupts her and points out  they aren't asking the State Department or this administration for help.

'Batter up! One of the dupes calls out as Reaper knocks two of the dupes to the ground. The dupe takes a swing art Reaper, and knocks his bag of supplies out of his hand. Reaper uses this moment to flee, out of the warehouse and back into the rain. 'Let him go. The spooky kids can get him' one of the Madrox dupes remarks, as Reaper rushes down the alleyway, darkness surrounds him – he doesn't see clearly as he runs, and slams into Illyana Rasputin a.k.a. Magik, who blocks the alleyway with Dani Moonstar and Rahne Sinclair a.k.a. Wolfsbane at her side. As the rain beats down, they look down at the fallen Reaper.

Cyclops explains to Val that they are asking her discreetly, and points out that working for the State Department gives her access to things that could be very useful to them – intelligence reports, classified information – things that can be useful in times when one's government doesn't, as Val put it, look kindly on mutant groups. Scott tells Val that if she does things for them, when the time is right, they return the favor – unless, of course, he is mistaken, and she won't ever have a need for a group of big scary mutants. 'Dammit, Summers. I'm going to regret this, aren't I?' Val replies as she sips her drink. Scott tells Val that his motto always used to be “On their deathbed, no one ever regrets doing the right thing”. Val asks Scott why that used to be his motto – what changed? 'I died with a lot of regrets' Scott admits.

Later, in the basement of Harry's Hideaway: 'After I talk to a lawyer, you are all gonna regret this! I didn't do anything!' Reaper calls out from where he is chained to the wall near a stack of boxes. 'You robbed a pharmacy' Cyclops points as he and Jamie Madrox the Multiple Man stand before him. 'Well... yeah... but that's Spider-Man stuff. That's not you guys. You can't just lock me up in a basement! I have rights!' Pantu protests. Cyclops reminds Reaper that he is a mutant and declares that they police their own. Madrox asks Scott how it went with Cooper, to which Scott tells him that the jury is out, before asking how this went with Reaper. 'Piece of cake he put up a fight but I brought him down easily enough' Madrox replies. 'You know I read Dani's field report, right?' Scott asks, turning to Madrox. 'Obviously I did not know that...' Madrox responds, before reporting that there is some good news – the Mutant Liberation Front did reach out to their little felon here, and he declined to join them. 'And that's good news because...?' Cyclops asks.  'Hope gave him a burner phone. Said she'd be in touch before their next mission if he wants to reconsider' Madrox reveals.

Blood dripping from his nose, Reaper tells Cyclops and Madrox that he doesn't have anything to do with the MLF anymore, and doesn't even have powers. 'I told them no!' he calls out. 'Well, next time you're going to say yes' Cyclops informs Reaper, before he and Madrox walk away from him, 'Hey! You can't just keep me here forever!' Reaper protests. Wolverine and Xi'an Coy Manh a.k.a. Karma are waiting. Someone else call out from the other side of the warehouse, 'He's right you know. On a moral level, I love that you're back to a place where your take prisoners. But on a practical level, you're going to run out of room if  you continue your little crusade, Scotty'. It is the Dark Beast, who looks up from the makeshift lab positioned in one corner of the basement. 'I know a way we can thin the population' Logan replies as he and Cyclops walk towards the Dark Beast, who grins and tells Logan that he loves being teammates with him. 'I could banter with you for days and days' the Dark Beast adds. 'On one of those days I'm gonna be done bantering' Logan replies.

Cyclops turns to Karma and asks her how Dark Beast is doing. 'He works all day and night. Like Self, he does not sleep or eat' the Transmode-infected Karma responds. 'He's working on what we asked him to?' Cyclops enquires. 'Who can say?' Karma replies. 'Oh, Scotty?' the Dark Beast calls out. Karma spins around to him and takes a defensive stance, but Dark Beast tells her to take it easy, that he is not going anywhere, and that she should keep her infection away from him. 'Since I'm now an official X-Man -' Dark Beast begins, 'No, you aren't' Scott interrupts him. 'Sure, I am. And I want to demonstrate my loyalty...and what better way to show my loyalty than by betraying some of my old, evil compatriots. You are after the Marauders, aren't you?' Dark Beast asks.

Soon, an abandoned factory in Tremont, the Bronx, Magik's Soulsword cuts through the darkness as she, Wolverine, Cyclops, Havok, Moonstar, Madrox and Wolfsbane appear. 'It's empty Dark Beast is playing pranks now? Havok remarks, while Wolverine sniffs the air, then quickly pops his claws, while Moonstar readies a psionic arrow. 'Not empty. Someone's here' Wolverine snarls, when suddenly, Wolfsbane is yanked backwards, then screams as her body is twisted, the Transmode reaching out of her, as the mutant Kim Il  Sung a.k.a. Scrambler stands behind her. 'This is unexpected! These aren't your normal powers!' Scrambler detects, while one of the X-Men recognizes him. 'His powers are making the Techno-Organic entity inside Rahne-friend lose control of itself!' Moonstar calls out. Havok sees that Scrambler is making a run for it, and Cyclops tries to take him down, but doesn't have a clear shot, as Wolfsbane's body flails around in front of him.

Havok runs forward, but Moonstar tells him to wait, not to get too close to Wolfsbane, as she is highly contagious. Wolverine tells Havok to make him a hole, so Havok turns and blasts a narby wall open, which Wolverine quickly dives through. 'He knew we're on the fourth floor, right?' Havok asks, turning to Madrox, who shrugs. Magik and Moonstar tend to Wolfsbane, and Magik tells the others that they can go past her now.

Cyclops, Havok and Madrox make their way onto a fire escape and assume Scrambler used it to escape. Cyclops hopes that Logan caught him so they can ask him about the other Marauders. 'If Logan caught him, let's hope there's enough of him left to ask' Havok suggests. As they reach the ground below, Madrox asks if they should really be splitting up, as there could be more Marauders around. 'I'd be more worried for any Marauders Magik finds now' Havok replies. 'Good point, I -' Madrox begins, before they discover Wolverine's body laying motionless on the ground ahead of them, a knife sticking out of his head. 'Dammit' Cyclops mutters, while Havok looks up at the gaping hole in the fourth floor wall above and points out that Logan seemed to handle the fall okay. Cyclops asks Logan which way Scrambler went, to which Logan mutters that it wasn't Scrambler. 'I got him!' a voice calls out. 'And we got a special guest' Madrox remarks as he, Cyclops and Havok turn to see several Madrox dupes approaching them – with Callisto in their clutches.

'Get yer hands off me, Xerox-Boy!' Callisto snaps. 'Xerox-Boy?' one of the dupes ask. 'Cus of the copies' another dupe explains. 'Oh... that's not bad' the first dupe replies, before Cyclops instructs Madrox to let Callisto go. As Wolverine gets to his feet, Cyclops asks Callisto what she is doing up here. 'Did you really just say “up here” to me, pretty boy? You mad because I ventured into the land of the beautiful mutants?' Callisto replies. 'No, I'm mad because you stabbed my teammate in the head' Cyclops tells her. 'He can take it' Callisto mutters, pulling herself away from the Madrox dupes.

'Tell me, handsome, you ever think it's odd that you gave yourself the name of a horrifying mythological monster with one eye. And yet -' Callisto begins, before Logan interrupts her, asking her if she wants to go around killing people, she better be able to answer some questions. 'Why'd ya stab me?' Logan enquires, hurling the dagger back at Callisto, who catches it, right as it nears her face. 'Because the Marauder is mine' Callisto informs Wolverine. Callisto goes over to Logan and taps her blade on his chest, 'Your skull chipped my blade, Logan' she mutters 'Real sorry' Logan replies, before Cyclops tells Callisto that their intel said Scrambler was reformed, and asks her what he did to her. 'You wanna know what they did? Fine... I'll show you' Callisto replies.

Shortly, the X-Men join Callisto down in the tunnels beneath Manhattan, where they come upon a devastating site – dozens of Morlocks lay strewn through a sewer tunnel. 'Logan?' Cyclops asks, Logan sniffs the air, and reports that something is off. 'I'll tell you what feels off...' a telepathic voice calls out. '… you marching in here like this. We don't need their cops and we don't need their cops and we don't need you pretending to be ours' Jono Starsmore a.k.a. Chamber declares as he approaches the X-Men while holding baby Shogo Lee in his arms. Logan tells Chamber that it doesn't feel right to him, to which Chamber replies that it doesn't feel right to him, either – not at all. Chamber stands before Cyclops and exclaims 'Here they are, ladies and gents. The X-Men. A day late and a couple hundred quid short'. Scott tells Jono that he is sorry for his loss, to which Chamber replies 'You always wanted to be the mutant Moses, didn't ya, Summers? Ya wanted to lead us to the bloody promised land I thought ya were a tosser, ya know that? But ya couldn't have done worse than I did here'. Cyclops then asks Chamber what he can do now, and motioning to the Morlocks standing behind him, Chamber tells Cyclops that he can start by doing what he always promised and never delivered. 'Save us. We're all that's left' Chamber declares. Cyclops replies by announcing that he will make a phone call.

Shortly, at the snow-covered Chernayan northern border. 'And he says to me “That's not a bid. It's an old man”!' an armed soldier remarks to another. 'You told me this joke already' another soldier responds, before hearing a SNAP nearby. 'Who's there? Show your-' one of the soldiers calls out, before they scream as they are taken out by Wolfsbane. 'These are no standard issue weapons' Wolfsbane reports, and Cyclops agrees. He remarks that Valerie failed to mention it, but that this group has been dealing in abandoned SHIELD tech and stolen Latverian stuff. 'You name it, they might have it. So look sharp' Cyclops tells his team. Wolverine, Wolfsbane, Moonstar, Magik, Madrox, Havok and Chamber gather around, as Madrox asks why they are here. Cyclops infoms him that there was an attempted military coup here last year, bad guys tried to seize power and failed, so what's left of them are holed up here in the mostly uninhabited mountainous region of Northern Chernaya. Cyclops reveals that Val told him that if the X-Men were willing to take care of the rebels, the Chernayan government would owe them one.

'Bloody hell, Summers. Really? We're doing hitsfor the US Army now?' Chamber asks. 'We're removing fascist forces in a mutant friendly nation in exchange for a promise of safe haven' Cyclops explains, adding that they are not killing anyone. 'This kinda sounds like a deal I'd make, Scott' Havok remarks. 'I don't think he means that as a compliment' Logan replies. 'I definitely don't' Havok confirms, when suddenly, an enormous tank that towers over the forest around the X-Men appears. 'HALT! YOU HAVE ENTERED THE SOVEREIGN LAND OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHERNAYA' a voice from within the tank calls out. 'Cooper's going to have a lot of explaining to do when we get home' Magik mutters as the X-Men look up at the behemoth, before Havok opens fire, blasting a powerful plasma surge right through the middle of the tank. 'Alex!' Cyclops exclaims. 'What? That thing wasn't on our side, was it?' Havok asks.

Several of the rebel soldiers suddenly confront the X-Men, 'Cowardly American super heroes! You are not wanted here! Avengers go home!' one of them exclaims. 'They think we're the Avengers? Magik asks, 'Magik...' Cyclops begins. '...tell them who the hell we are'. Magik raises a hand and casts several teleportation Stepping Discs that wrap around all of the rebels in the forest, makes them disappear, then re-appear in the sky where they fall to the snow-covered ground below. 'Here come reinforcements!' Cyclops calls out, instructing the X-Men to finish this. 'And no killing, Logan' Cyclops adds, as Wolverine pops his claws, Magik raises her Soulsword, Havok readies his fists, charged swith plasma energy, Madrox creates several dupes, Wolfsbane moves forward, and Moonstar readies her psi-bow and arrow. The X-Men engage the rebels, the fight is swift, and when it is over, Cyclops announces that he will let Val know that they will have the rebels delivered by sunrise, and then nobody is to step foot in this region again. 'Then what?' Chamber asks. 'Not my call. This is Morlock land now. Welcome home, Chamber' Cyclops replies.

Later back at Harry's Hideaway, 'To small victories...and to finding comfort in the fights we can win and finding courage in the ones we cannot' Havok toasts as the X-Men and Chamber gather together and raise their glasses. Cyclops tells Chamber that he is flattered he wants to stay, and asks him about Shogo and his people. Chamber responds that Jubilee's runt is with Callisto right now, that he is better with her anyway. He adds that no matter who says they lead the Morlocks, Callisto is the one really running things. 'Besides, I got something I need to do' Chamber adds, before reminding Cyclops 'You asked me in the tunnels what ya could do for me? I need one more favor'. 'Whatever you need' Cyclops replies. 'When we make our way down that li'l list of yours, and we get to the Marauders...I get ta settle up' Chamber declares.

The doorbell rings while the X-Men are taking a moment to relax, so Cyclops calls out that the bar is closed for a private party – but the door suddenly opens, and a stoic Captain America appers, informing Cyclops that they need to have a talk – now.


Characters Involved: 

Chamber, Cyclops, Havok, Karma, Magik, Moonstar, Multiple Man, Wolfsbane, Wolverine (all X-Men)


Valerie Cooper


Shogo Lee

Captain America

Dark Beast





Police officers

Unnamed Morlocks

Rebel soldiers

Story Notes: 

This issue has the Legacy numbering of Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #633.

Reaper is a founding member of the Mutant Liberation Front. His last significant appearance was in All-New X-Factor #2, he then made a cameo appearance in Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #600. Although several members of a reformed Mutant Liberation Front appeared in Uncanny X-Men (5th series) #1, Reaper was not among them.

Longtime mutant affairs administrator Dr Valerie Cooper has a very rich history with the X-Men and X-Factor, although she has been absent from the world of mutant affairs for some time. Her most recent significant appearance was in Uncanny X-Men (4th series) #6. Since then she has only appeared very briefly (one panel) in Rise of the Black Panther #3.

Cyclops addresses Val as “Ms Cooper” when of course he knows her correct title is “Dr Cooper”.

It seems strange that Havok and Multiple Man are not involved in the meeting with Val considering their extensive history together with both the government-sponsored X-Factor and X-Factor Investigations.

Moonstar can clearly be seen using her psionic arrow powers this issue, despite never regaining her powers following M-Day. It is also interesting to note that Moonstar also appears in the Age of X-Man, which should technically not be possible if she was indeed still in this reality with the remaining mutants.

Scrambler was last seen in Deadpool v Gambit #3-5.

Chamber was shown to have been staying with the Morlocks in Uncanny X-Men (5th series) #11.

The X-Men first ventured to Cheranaya in Uncanny X-Men (5th series) #4.


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