Uncanny X-Men Annual (2nd series) #3

Issue Date: 
March 2011
Story Title: 
Escape from the Negative Zone – part one

James Asmus (writer), Nick Bradshaw (artist), Jim Charalampidis (colors), Jared K. Fletcher (letterer), Jordan D. White & Jake Thomas (assistant editors), Daniel Ketchum (assoc. editor), Nick Lowe (editor), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (Exec. Publisher)

Brief Description: 

While Jeffries and Nemesis are doing an experiment regarding Limbo teleportation, Hope Summers accosts Cyclops because he doesn’t give her team free rein. They are joined by an equally enraged Namor, who is angry that Jeffries took Atlantean technology for their experiment. Unfortunately, the experiment blows up, teleporting Cyclops, Hope, Nemesis and Namor into a space where the normal rules of physics don’t seem to apply. While, back on Utopia, Emma Frost does her best to have her people find out what happened to Cyclops’ crew, Scott finds that herding cats is easier than getting that group to work together. Namor, who is getting paranoid about finding water, leaves the group and Nemesis follows. Namor is attacked by a giant kraken-like monster, which Nemesis finally takes out with a chemical cocktail. Cyclops and Hope, in the meantime, try to scrounge for food and are arrested by the troops of Blastaar. They are in the Negative Zone and Blastaar has plans for them….

Full Summary: 

Scott Summers is a jerk!” Hope Summers announces forcefully as she storms into the lab where Scott is just working alongside Emma Frost, Dr. Nemesis and Madison Jeffries. This again, huh? Scott sighs. Emma takes it upon herself to inform Hope that she should assume so of all men. She’ll be mostly right and it will spare her these embarrassing moments of surprise. Scott asks his lover not to help. Fine, she figures. She hardly knows how to have a family spat without Scotch and swearing anyhow.

Hope gets to the root of her complaint. Why doesn’t he let her team go… Interrupting, he reminds her they talked about this. She can train her friends but she’s not running missions with scared and confused kids who don’t know their own abilities. Angrily, she stalks away, accusing him he doesn’t know the first thing about them. He’s hardly even bothered to speak to them since they got here.

He apologizes, but they’ve got a lot going on now. So what did he do wrong in her eyes? The transports all say that she doesn’t have authorization to “initiate an expedition!” Oh yeah, he grins, of course they won’t let her-

That moment, the Sub-Mariner storms in and demands an explanation why Atlantis sits in total darkness and why his people claim a surface mutant is responsible?

Jeffries apologizes, that was him. He just had to borrow a cyclotron from the Atlantean power core to see if it will get this Limbo bridge. Namor demands it be instantly returned but Dr. Nemesis simply tells him off. Cyclops more diplomatically asks Namor for ten minutes. After all that recently happened in Limbo, they need their own way in.

She wasn’t done yet! Hope protests. Jeffries announces he is almost ready and tries running the machinery. Unfortunately, the result is a big explosion. Hope, Scott, Namor and Nemesis are all on one side of it. Jeffries manages to take cover. Emma has been thrown to another side. Jeffries shouts at her to do her diamond thing as the explosion is about to reach them. Jeffries falls unconscious and Emma sees that there is nothing there where Scott, Namor, Nemesis and Hope where a moment ago. She turns human again and telepathically contacts all mutants on Utopia and tells them to respond immediately to the lab if their abilities include energy control, manipulation or absorption. Those with technological skills stand by. Jeffries is down. And several others may be worse.

Hope wakes up on what appears to be an island of dirt, floating in empty space alongside several others. She hears Cyclops’ voice telling her to sound off. She is about to give a rude reply, but swallows some dirt while doing so.

All four of them are floating alongside the dirt islands. Where are they? Hope asks. They aren’t sure but it’s not outer space, Cyclops replies. Proven by her ability to ask that question, Nemesis adds. Cyclops remarks they have to proceed with caution. Namor cuts him off. They are not his hapless students! This day has proven frustrating enough without his condescension. A day without Summers’ condescension is like a day without an “Y” in it, Nemesis points out and Hope agrees.

Cyclops tries a different tack, assuring them they are all capable of dealing with the situation. He’s just trying to talk out their next steps. Certainly, talk! Namor tells him and flies off. Will they please help him figure out the basics, Scott sighs. Only because he said “please,” Nemesis replies. So, where are they? Scott begins. What are the risk factors? Is there food, shelter, resources… Water, Namor interjects. Can they just split up already? Nemesis asks. “Not with Cyclops,” Hope pipes up. Overruled, Scott replies and asks Nemesis to catch up with Namor and wherever the hell he’s going.

Namor punches a hole into one of the flying islands with no success. Nemesis suggests they look for something with enough gravity to keep its water on the surface. Won’t be any, Namor replies, he’d feel it. If this place is as arid as he fears, he wonders if any life can survive here…

Scott and Hope float into another direction in silence. Scott asks if she can try to work with him while they are here. Dealing with those other two is already like herding cats. Surly, bitter cats who pee on everything. She has nothing to say to him, she snarls and floats ahead. Okay then, he decides, he’ll just lecture on the proper way to reconnoiter foreign environments. Hope growls.

Back on Utopia, energy-controlling mutants like Magneto, Dazzler, Iceman and Warlock – as well as strong guys like Colossus – are trying to help with the damage while Emma urges the geniuses Prodigy and Cypher to hurry up. Cypher apologizes, he can’t read the machine. After the damage, this is like trying to understand a novel from a handful of words. Basically good news / bad news, Prodigy adds. It seems Cyclops and the others along with part of the machine didn’t explode… they disappeared. Emma asks for the good news. That was the good news, comes the reply. The bad news is wherever they went they no longer have a way to follow.

Emma contacts Dr. Rao in the infirmary where she is taking care of Jeffries, who hasn’t wakened yet. New plan! Emma turns to Pixie and asks how she would like a trip to New York.

Back elsewhere, Cyclops is blasting part of a floating island, lecturing Hope that food doesn’t always look edible on the outside. Think about clams, oysters! Hope reminds him she was raised in a wasteland of a future, so she knows about scrounging. In fact, Nathan taught her everything he knows, so Scott can stop talking down to her like some idiot new kid. Right, he amends. But she knows who originally trained Nathan, doesn’t she? With a smirk, he points at himself. Fine, he wins, she replies disgusted. It’s not that he’s better than her, it’s that he’s better than everyone else!

That moment, in front of them fly armored goons, addressing them in an alien language. Cyclops steps in front of Hope, introduces himself, and explains they arrived by accident and only want to go home. What are they? one of the aliens switches to English. They are from Earth! he announces. They point their guns at Scott and Hope. Which means their presence is unauthorized.

Hope jumps at them and attacks the first one. Cyclops blasts another one and orders her to get free and run. He’ll hold them! She orders him to shut up for one second. She wants to kill him right now! That’s good, he tells her and orders her to use it.

He’d offer to help, Nemesis tells Namor, who is fighting a giant mix of dinosaur and kraken, but he is sure he can handle this. Namor screams and tells Nemesis if he refuses to be of use, he will feed him to the beast as a distraction! That’s just short-sighted, Nemesis informs him. That might be a mollusk, he remarks a little later. Can’t Namor talk to mollusks? Or is he thinking of someone else?

Elsewhere, one of the guards tumbles Cyclops with a punch to the face. Hope uses some judo moves to take him out, announcing the only nice thing about ending up with the X-Men is that she’s finally gotten to put Nathan’s combat lessons to use. Still conscious, though prone, Cyclops helps with the other one. The only nice thing? he asks. They look around to find that another armed group is threatening them. Pretty much the only thing, Hope agrees.

Elsewhere, Namor hits the creature with another boulder, to little effect. Reaching for his gun, Nemesis suggests he clear out. He will not forfeit! Namor refuses. What he means is he wants to clear out of his shot! Nemesis clarifies and fires several syringes at the creature which instantly falls asleep.

Is this a joke? Namor asks, clearly not amused. No, “bubbles,” it’s called science, Nemesis replies. But thanks for keeping it entertained while he gauged how much of his chemical cocktail to hit it with. He could see its wings operated the way they are generally used to. Well, maybe not Namor, he adds, his wings are just weird. Namor warns him not to speak in that tone to him. Flying away, he tells Nemesis to come to him with water or a way home. Or do not dare come to him at all! Nemesis sighs and informs the sleeping monster this sucks a dozen goats.

Elsewhere, Hope calls Cyclops, who finally wakes up, manacled and with a device fastened to his eyes. A guard hits him when he talks. Another being announces he is happy to hear them speak. It seems they are from Earth. He is not certain how they came here, but he will make use of their intrusion into the Negative Zone. What is he going to do to them? Hope asks. “Nothing,” Blastaar announces gloating, “you are my bait”.

Characters Involved: 

Colossus, Cyclops, Dazzler, Magneto, Namor, White Queen (all X-Men)


Pixie III, Prodigy (X-Men students)

Cypher, Warlock (New Mutants)

Dr. Nemesis, Madison Jeffries, Dr. Rao (X-Club)


Blastaar’s troops

Story Notes: 

The story is continued in Steve Rogers Super-Soldier Annual #1 & concluded in Namor – the First Mutant annual #1.

Actually, the problem with Hope and Scott was already settled in issue #5 of Generation Hope.

The Limbo problems refer to New Mutants (3rd series) #16-21.

Nemesis’ dig about Namor being able to talk to Mollusks is a dig at the DC character Aquaman.

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