Uncanny X-Force (1st series) #23

Issue Date: 
May 2012
Story Title: 
Otherworld Chapter Four

Rick Remender (writer), Greg Tocchini (penciler, inker), Dean White and Greg Tochini (colors), Leinil Francis Yu and Dean White (cover), VC’s Cory Petit (letterer), Jared K. Fletcher (design), Sebastian Girner (assistant editor), Jody Leheup (editor), Nick Lowe (group editor), Axel Alonso (editor in chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

A flashback shows a young Brian Braddock jealous of his brother Jamie and Elizabeth’s close relationship. Meanwhile, in the present, Psylocke and Fantomex take down Skinless Man with Krokwel’s poison. The villain manages to escape, but Fantomex gets his facial skin back. Over at the dragon monolith, Deadpool and Wolverine are trounced by the Goat via his Orb of Gravity. Not even the timely arrival of Psylocke and Fantomex can help them. However, Psylocke is able to access the Goat’s mind, however briefly, and learns his secret before a psychic backlash knocks her out. Not far away in the South Woode, Captain Britain arrives to rally the troops and defend the town. Once that’s done, Nightcrawler, Meggan and the Captain bamf back to the Starlight Citadel to help protect it. For once, things look like they’re going well, but then the Goat arrives and lays them all out easily. He begins to duplicate himself, and all of his innumerable duplicates begin heading toward the Omniversal doorways to spread themselves over all that exists. When Psylocke mentally alerts Brian of the big secret, that Horoam’ce is actually their brother Jamie who was manipulated in the future, she tells Brian he needs to kill his present self to prevent the end of everything. When Brian can’t bring himself to do it, Betsy takes over and delivers the killing blow. With Jamie dead all of the goats disappear and the Omniverse is saved, but at a very steep cost.

Full Summary: 


A young Brian Braddock is busy at home working on a supercollider. He’s also on the phone speaking with someone about his older brother Jamie’s race. Brian has a big smile on his face, proud of his brother facing off at the International Cup.
Moments later, Jamie, Betsy and their father return home from a fox hunt. Brian gets off the phone and rushes downstairs, the supercollider in hand. He holds it out to show Jamie, who doesn’t seem to care. Jamie then grabs his brother by the shoulder and takes him outside to see the fox that Elizabeth snagged.
Brian’s not happy about being brushed off and makes a snarky comment about his sister killing a helpless fox. Jamie says it looks like a juicy fox and playfully pushes Elizabeth on the top of the head. He says someone should call the secret service because their little Elizabeth is quite the killer.

end flashback

Dragon Monolith

Deadpool and Wolverine have their hands full combating the Goat. Logan tells Wade to get in close and gut him. This brings back fond memories for Deadpool of a grunge band by the same name from the early ‘90’s.
That’s when the gravity orb crushes Wolverine into the floor. Deadpool leaps toward the Goat, not wanting Wolverine to miss out on the Candlebox reunion tour. Before he can skewer Horoam’ce he is also gravitized into the nearby wall. The Goat warns them he will soon have the Omniverse, his path to infinity has been cleared by his children.
South Woode

Things are not looking good in the South Woode either. Meggan, Nightcrawler and the others charged with protecting the area are being overrun. A nearby Corpsman suggests they retreat, but Meggan belays that order saying they need to give the civilians more time to escape.
Shortly after, Meggan takes a sword grazing to the back. Nightcrawler bamfs to her rescue and decapitates the undead swordsman. He then takes Meggan into his arms and asks if she’s ok. She says it doesn’t matter, they’re overrun. Then she stares into those eyes of his and tells him he awakens feelings she felt for the other Kurt long ago. She tells him he’s a good man and Kurt leans in ever so slowly for a kiss.
A booming voice overhead tells Nightcrawler Meggan is spoken for. It’s Captain Britain who drops in about ten feet away, crushing a few creatures unlucky enough to be standing there. This serves to rally the troops and they get back into fighting form. Meggan admits she thought he wasn’t coming and Brian responds, “So you moved on to the elf?”
Never missing a beat in the battle, Nightcrawler says he hates being called that. Brian says he’ll call him whatever he wants, especially after the move he just made on Meggan. He then asks where his sister is and Nightcrawler tells him they thought she was with him. No, he responds, smashing through a skeletal warrior, “She made a different choice… one she will forever live with.”
Starlight Citadel

The Starlight Citadel is under siege. A giant troll orders the amassed troops to focus their attacks on the south wall. Those inside are panicked. Jamie tells Saturnyne if he pulls any harder on the fabric of reality it will break. Saturnyne wants to know where Brian is because if they fail every soul in the Omniverse is lost. That’s when the Citadel is breeched and the Goat’s forces come pouring in with slaughter on their mind.
Northern Earth Portal

The Skinless Man holds Fantomex’s face, literally, and he couldn’t be happier. Psylocke can’t sit idly by anymore. She tries poking around in their enemy’s mind, but he crushes her ribs with his muscle tendrils, stopping just before collapsing a lung. Betsy halts her intrusion, choosing to bide her time as she can’t be any help if she’s dead.
Taking his role as barrister further Skinless Man tells Fantomex he has the right to beg him to stop, adding there’s a minute chance he might persuade him. Fantomex is not the type, in fact he says when it’s his turn it will be Skinless Man who will beg. This last part he screams at him. Skinless Man grabs him by the coat and pulls him in close. He argues it’s not Fantomex’s turn and brings his knife up to the faceless mutant again.
The situation is dire, but Psylocke comes up with another plan. She remembers the poison Krokwel gave her and decides to put it to use. She pops the stopper with her thumb and dumps the contents on Skinless Man’s exposed muscles wrapped around her body.
The effect isn’t immediate, giving Skinless Man one more opportunity to torture Fantomex. He sticks his knife into Jean-Phillipe’s neck, careful to avoid the artery. He says he doesn’t want the fun to end, but the words come out slowly, then stop altogether. Skinless Man collapses, the knife flying free from his hand.
Psylocke grabs Fantomex’s face off the ground and hands it to him. He places it back where it should be as best he can and puts his mask on over it. He thanks Betsy for shutting off his pain receptors.
While Fantomex gets his bearings back Psylocke scans for Brian to see where he is. That’s when she discovers their teammates are in Otherworld and in grave danger. Fantomex picks up the knife and suggests they aid their friends, just as soon as he’s done maiming the good barrister. Though when he turns around Skinless Man is gone along with his dragon steed. Fantomex’s rage is evident.
Starlight Citadel

Captain England and Jamie Braddock lead the forces in the defense of the Tower Omniverse. Things look bleak, but they’re determined to fight to the very last. They get timely reinforcements and a whiff of brimstone to boot, courtesy of Nightcrawler.
“For Otherworld!” Brian shouts with Meggan wielding dual swords at his side. Jamie says he bet Saturnyne his brother would return in time to be useful. Brian asks what he bet and Jamie says Earth 235. Brian doesn’t think a world filled with vampire eternals is much of a wager.
Watching the battle unfold Saturnyne believes they’ve turned the tide. She proclaims they’re pushing them back, that there’s hope after all.
Dragon Monolith

Horoam’ce is watching this sad boast of Saturnyne from his scrying stone. He smiles saying they’re being stupidly, stupid. He proudly proclaims it’s almost time for him to spread his will across the all, into every mind. Poor Deadpool and Wolverine are stuck to the wall and floor, respectively, thanks to the powerful gravity orb wielded by the Goat.
The window overhead shatters and both Meryln and his daughter Roma emerge from it. For the first time the Goat looks frightened. He is incredulous over the turn of events. They’re supposed to be in hibernation, he stammers.
Roma has the Siege Perilous in hand and tosses it behind the Goat, where it enlarges. The Goat is being sucked into its maw, but he still can’t believe this is happening. The Siege Perilous was accounted for in his plans, he remembers. Then it all makes sense. It’s all a lie.
Horoam’ce fights back and the ruse fades. It wasn’t Roma and Merlyn, but Psylocke and Fantomex. That’s never happened before, Fantomex admits, saying it was like he bent the reality and broke his misdirection in half. This causes Psylocke to have an epiphany and she roots inside the Goat’s mind.
The Goat gives her a psychic backlash that knocks her out cold. He tells her that’ll be their little secret, though warns they’ll all know soon enough. He smashes through a nearby wall on his floating platform. When he’s far enough away he uses his orbs to demolish the monolith’s dragon head with X-Force still inside.
Starlight Citadel

Amidst punches, throws, stabs and the bending of reality X-Force and the Corps keep the attackers at bay. Jamie says how happy he is to finally fight by his brother’s side. This leads them to argue over which one admired the other most. Whatever the case, Brian tells Jamie there’s nobody he’d rather die next to. Jamie agrees, but quips, “Perhaps, we avoid dying altogether.” And that’s when all hope is lost.
Horoam’ce comes crashing through another wall. He mockingly calls the Captain Britain Corps to help defend against the attack. Using the Gravity Orb he knocks most everybody down. The only one left standing is Jamie and the Goat tells him he’ll want to watch and remember this, “The new way it happens!” he declares triumphantly.
The Goat stands at the center of the Omniverse Tower. There, he duplicates himself. His large host of copies make their way to the various doors of reality. “I am the Omnigod!” he declares. His replicates all reply “Spread to the everything! Be the all!” Jamie drops to his knees in front of Horoam’ce. “No…” he utters.
Betsy gets into telepathic contact with Brian and tells him she’s on her way, but won’t get there in time. She says if he spreads they’ll never undo it. A panicked Brian says they’re already disappearing through the doors. Betsy says he needs to stop him, but Brian doesn’t have any idea how. That’s when Psylocke tells him the identity of the Goat… their brother, Jamie.
Of course, Brian doesn’t believe that. Jamie is not far from him battling a skeletal soldier. Psylocke shows Brian what she found inside the Goat’s mind. Images of Jamie making a deal with Horoam’ce in the belief he’ll acquire cosmic omnipresent enlightenment. However, the Goat tricks him and inhabits his body. He went on to steal the orbs from Merlyn and a time travel pedestal and chose today to launch his invasion because Merlyn was in hibernation and Brian was distracted with other things.
Brian gets to his feet and resumes fighting. He doesn’t see that it matters, it’s too late. The goats are heading through the doors. Betsy has a solution, but it’s a drastic one. She tells her brother he has to kill Jamie, which will erase it from ever happening.
While he’s stunned by his sister’s plan Jamie rushes to Brian’s side and urges him on to do what they can to stop these goats. He heads up the stairway to the nearest replicate and stabs it in the throat.
Brian follows his brother and goes so far as to reach his hands for Jamie’s throat, but he can’t make himself do it. Instead, he drops to his knees in defeat. Betsy urges him up, telling him to get back on his feet and do it. Brian says he can’t, so Psylocke does the only thing she can. She takes over Brian’s mind.
The mind-controlled Brian wraps his hands around Jamie’s neck. Jamie is confused and not fighting back. He senses Elizabeth controlling Brian and asks what she’s doing. Tears begin flowing from Brian’s eyes as he tightens his grip around his brother’s throat. Psylocke telepathically apologizes to Jamie, but says there’s no other way. “I love you,” she says before forcing Brian to snap Jamie’s neck.
Psylocke relents her control and Brian screams out in despair. Jamie’s lifeless body falls to the ground. The remaining goats all disappear within moments leaving no trace of their presence.
Brian kneels on the ground and cradles Jamie’s body in his arms and that’s when X-Force finally arrives. Brian looks disgustingly at his sister and says there could have been another way. “Millions of souls were being consumed every second,” she replies calmly, “There was no other way.” Psylocke turns and walks away saying that Brian knew that, but made her do it, so he got to stay the “good guy.”

Characters Involved: 

AoA Nightcrawler, Deadpool, Fantomex, Psylocke, Wolverine (all Uncanny X-Force)

Jamie Braddock, Captain Britain, Captain England (Captain Britain Corps)



Horoam’ce (goat monk)

Skinless Man


James Braddock

Brian, Elizabeth and Jamie Braddock

Story Notes: 

Gut the Goat is not a real grunge band. However, Candlebox is.
Though it was many years ago Meggan and Nightcrawler did share a brief flirtation during the initial run of Excalibur (1st series). Nothing serious ever came of it, but they remained close for a while after. Close enough, that a misunderstanding caused a jealous Brian to freak out and the ensuing battle gave Kurt a broken leg- Excalibur (1st series) #43
Typo alert:

Krokwel’s name is spelled “Krokwell” on pg. 6.

Issue Information: 
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