Uncanny X-Force (2nd series) #15

Issue Date: 
February 2014
Story Title: 

Sam Humphries (writer), Phil Briones & Dalibor Talajic (artists), David Curiel (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy’s Cory Petit (letterer), Ramon Perez (cover artist), Xander Jarowey (assistant editor), Daniel Ketchum (editor), Nick Lowe (X-Men group editor), Axel Alonso (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

Beyond the veil, Psylocke protects herself and Puck from the Revenants with a psychic shield, but they are hungry and powerful. She telepathically contacts the Demon Bear, but he is still under the control of Cassandra, who admires the moon, nearly fully covered in blood over the Earth, while Revenants run riot in Los Angeles. Storm, Bishop and Spiral are all who remain to stop Cassandra. They launch an attack on the observatory, and in the process Storm frees the Demon Bear from Cassandra’s control, enabling Psylocke to bring the Demon Bear to the underworld, where he can battle the Revenants. Cassandra confronts Bishop, putting him in his black bug room where he remembers his memories were stolen. Storm freezes Cassandra in ice, enabling Spiral to stab Cassandra with the envenom, releasing her from Ginny’s body. Spiral takes her friend Ginny and teleports away. Cassandra takes over the body of the Revenant Psylocke, but with the Demon Bear keeping the Revenant busy, Psylocke and Puck are able to return to the realm world. Spiral returns also, and engages Cassandra in battle while Psylocke plots her move. Cassandra boasts that there are no telepaths left, so the Great Corruption will take place - until Psylocke uses her power to psychically trap Cassandra in the body of her Revenant. Cassandra realizes what Psylocke plans to do and tells her that her Revenant body is the only way she will ever be happy again - but Psylocke shoves her sword through her Revenant, ending Cassandra’s plan. Cassandra is sucked back beyond the veil, and afterwards, the Great Corruption collapses upon itself, with LA restoring to normal, and any remaining Revenant melting into the shadows, for now. Afterwards, Storm, Bishop, Puck, Spiral and Psylocke gather, while the Demon Bear is trapped in the Underworld. Storm asks Bishop, given his expertise on the Revenant, if things are going to be okay, but he gets angry with her, and announces that things are not good - as he knows she messed with his mind.

Full Summary: 

‘Kira! Laura! Lindi! Put down the axe!’ Eugene Milton Judd a.k.a. Puck groans. ‘Puck! Pull it together! It’s not real!’ Betsy “Psylocke” Braddock calls out telepathically. Judd looks confused, ‘Izzat you, Betsy? I had the worst dream…all my ex-wives -’ he begins, while Betsy explains that it wasn’t a dream, but a psychic infection, as the astral plane is like an oil spill. ‘Oh yeah. I forgot. We’re stuck in Hell’
A psychic bubble surrounds the two heroes, as Revenants crawl around the strange landscape, growling, hissing and sniffing at them. Betsy reaches for her sword, assuring Puck that her psychic bubble is keeping them out for now, but that she is under a lot of pressure. ‘It’s like trying to pitch a tent at the bottom of the ocean’. Puck asks Betsy if she is going to do her Lady Snowblood thing and slice their way out of here, to which Betsy replies ‘I’m a ninja, not an idiot. Even with my Shurayuki sword -’ she begins, while Puck asks her where she got that from, anyway. ‘After Paris, I took Storm to the Otherworld and - this is not the time. Look’ Betsy declares.

Betsy reminds Puck that when the moon is covered in blood, it is all over - the Great Corruption will be permanent, and all the Revenants will run rampant out there - in the real world. ‘We’ll never make it in time by sword’ Betsy adds. ‘Too bad I crashed your car’ Puck remarks, to which Betsy assures him they will talk about that later. ‘There is someone who can move freely through Revenants. Someone who can pull us out - if he can break free of Cassandra’ Betsy announces. She concentrates hard, ‘Demon Bear. Demon Bear. Can you hear me? S-O-bloody-S!’ Betsy telepathically projects to the Demon Bear.

The Demon Bear is currently elsewhere, with Cassandra Nova, the Revenant Queen, in the body of Ginny. The Demon Bear stands at Cassandra’s side, as they stare out over a starry landscape, where the moon above is almost entirely covered in blood. A large creature holds a slab of the earth up, an observatory rests on it where Cassandra stands. ‘Demon Bear - is that not the most beautiful moon you’ve ever seen? In mere minutes it will be bathed in blood. And the Great Corruption will be irreversible’ she declares. Cassandra remarks that only the sacrifice of a psychic can stop them now - and there are no psychics left. The purple vortex glows nearby, and Cassandra explains that soon it will open wide and the Revenant invasion will spread across this world. ‘This is our time now. And there’s nothing they can do to stop it. Los Angeles is only a preview. All of Earth will be our abattoir. Our paradise. Coming soon to a theater near you’. Cassandra declares, while on the streets of Los Angeles below, civilians scream and run for their lives as the Revenants pursue them.

Elsewhere in LA, Ororo “Storm” Munroe, Lucas Bishop and Spiral stand atop a building, as Storm tells the others that they have to assume Betsy and Puck failed, so it is time for the backup plan. ‘If we can’t get up into the observatory, we bring the observatory to us’ Storm states, while Spiral asks Bishop what the purple stuff in the sky is made of. Bishop reveals that it is Revenant envemon, the secret recipe of the Order - contact burns Revenants to their souls. Storm takes to the air, calling out to Bishop, instructing him to open the path and she will fly in, while Spiral will be right behind her. ‘I heard you the first time, Storm’ Spiral mutters, before turning to Bishop, asking him if he is sure he wants to do this, as the mountain monster will burn him to a crisp, and thanks to Cassandra, she can’t teleport very close.

‘Just get me in the drop zone, I’ll do the rest’ Bishop tells Spiral, before asking her what weapon she wants. ‘They’re both mine’ Spiral replies as she climbs onto Bishop’s back and raises two of her arms overhead, preparing to cast a teleport spell, while she holds a sword in another hand. Bishop takes the axe from her, and tells Spiral that in case he fails, she is the back-up plan. ‘Do me a favor, Bishop - don’t fail’ Spiral replies as they vanish in her teleport spell, only to reappear just in front of the monster holding the observatory up.
‘Just remember, Spiral - always strike with death!’ Bishop shouts as Spiral quickly teleports herself away, leaving Bishop to fall towards the monster, who roars and unleashes a powerful stream of flame upwards at Bishop. It passes through him, but Bishop is fine. ‘Revenant! Say goodbye to the light!’ Bishop calls ocriesut as he slams the axe into the monster’s body.

The monster roars even louder as it stumbles backwards, while Cassandra and the Demon Bear look around, confused. Some rubble strikes a few of the Revenant. ‘What -? No!’ Cassandra exclaims. As more rubble falls, the observatory collapses in a heap back on the mountainside, with Bishop tumbling down, too. ‘Bishop!’ Storm calls out as she soars down towards the rubble, dust rising from the observatory. She reaches the portal inside the observatory, ‘Elizabeth! Can you hear me?’ Storm asks her friend, when suddenly, a voice cries ‘Help!’ Storm turns and sees someone crawling out from under some rubble. ‘Elizabeth!’ she gasps. ‘Yes! It’s me! Please, you must help me! I -’ Elizabeth begins, but Storm frowns at the Caucasian woman wearing a pink costume: ‘No. You’re not my Elizabeth. You’re her Revenant’ Storm declares, before demanding to know where Cassandra is.

The Psylocke Revenant doesn’t get a chance to answer, as the Demon Bear roars and lunges towards the surprised Storm. ‘Stay back!’ Storm warns the Demon Bear, casting forth a surge of lighting, which strikes the Demon Bear. In Hell, Betsy announces that she is through, that something has broken Cassandra’s hold on the Demon Bear. ‘Maybe she’s -’ Betsy begins, before telepathically informing the Demon Bear that she is ins the Underworld, and that they don’t have long. An instant later, the Demon Bear vanishes. ‘Where did he -?’ Storm begins, while the Psylocke Revenant gets to her feet and stands near Storm. A voice calls out ‘Typical. A bear of very little brains, obeying a little British brat. It’s no use. The Great Corruption is almost complete. My Revenant army will invade’. The moon is almost entirely covered in blood, as Cassandra appears, images of several swords around her, she boats that she will be queen of this world.

Cassandra screams as a surge of energy strikes her. Bishop has made his way into the observatory, and tells Cassandra that he has killed a thousand Revenant in his time and he will kill a thousand more before he sleeps - starting with her.

In Hell, Betsy’s psychic bubble has gotten smaller and smaller as the Revenant continue to try and break through. ‘Damn, these guys smell like old sock casserole’ Puck mutters, before asking Betsy who their ride is coming along. ‘He heard me, I know he did’ Betsy replies, before pointing out that the bubble is collapsing. Puck encourages Betsy to keep it up for as long as she can, and assures her that he has her back. ‘Wait - what’s that sound?’ Puck enquires, when they look out past the Revenant horde, they see the roaring Demon Bear, swatting Revenants left and right.

Back in the observatory, Bishop fires another blast at Cassandra, boasting that he has been training to kill her for years. ‘And I’ve planned this moment for centuries’ Cassandra responds, asking Bishop if the Order trained him to survive a trip to his black bug room? Bishop then finds himself in that room, with a large red-haired woman looming over him. ‘Ain’t karma a bitch, Bishop?’ she calls out. ‘I - who are you? I know you!’ Bishop utters. ‘I remember - you’re Hope Summers. And I tried -’ he begins, while Hope rips her face apart, ‘You hunted me, but you destroyed yourself’ she declares, revealing the Revenant beneath, ‘You are the monster of your own black bug room. Now listen, Lucas. Someone has stolen your memories. Someone very close to you…’ Bishop’s own Revenant tells him.

Back in the real world, Storm hovers over Cassandra and summons forth a blizzard. ‘Cold means nothing to one who aspires to the sensual world’ Cassandra declares. ‘Let it snow! Let it snow -’ Cassandra exclaims as she is encased in ice, just as Spiral materializes behind her. ‘Spiral! No! She’ll escape to -’ Storm calls out, but Spiral screams ‘Ginny!’ and slashes her sword into the ice - striking Cassandra / Ginny on the face. ‘Envenom! It burns!’ Cassandra exclaims as the blood trickles down her cheek. Cassandra then screams as she is forced from Ginny’s body. ‘Ginny? Ginny? Speak to me! I’m getting you out of here’ Spiral declares as she goes over to the girl, removing the Owl Queen mask from her face. ‘Spiral, stop! You can’t -’ Storm calls out, but it’s too late, as Spiral teleports herself and Ginny away. The Psylocke Revenant is once again under some rubble, ‘Whu -?’ she utters. ‘No. get away from me! Get away!’ she calls out, while Cassandra telepathically tells her to hold still and that she will hardly feel a thing.

Storm helps Bishop up, informing him that Spiral just left with Ginny, and that Cassandra escaped. ‘Storm… what did you do to me -’ Bishop begins, while the Psylocke Revenant appears before them, ‘Don’t worry, Storm. I haven’t gone far. Ginny’s body was a splendid host, but - Elizabeth’s Revenant will serve for now. You can’t have five-star all the time’ Cassandra declares as she brings two psychic swords down, striking Storm and Bishop. An instant later, Betsy and Puck emerge through the portal. ‘We made it!’ Puck exclaims, while Betsy mutters ‘Terrific. Cassandra took my body double. Now she’s got all my powers and all her powers’. Puck jokes that she is looking pretty good for a five-century old broad, to which Betsy tells him to shut up and get to Storm and Bishop. ‘I’m going to kick me own ass’ Betsy exclaims, leaping towards Cassandra.

‘Hullo, Elizabeth! Spare a kiss for yourself?’ Cassandra asks, evading Betsy’s attack. ‘Is it difficult to look at the face that represents every terrible, horrible thing you’ve done with your life?’ Cassandra enquires. She tells Betsy to give up, and that the moon is almost covered in blood, and boasts that the era of the Revenant is now. Cassandra points out that there are no psychics to sacrifice, as Spiral is long gone and Ginny with her. Suddenly, ‘Don’t count me out, slime ball - not until I’ve had my revenge!’ Spiral declares, teleporting in front of Betsy in time to block Cassandra as she prepares to bring a psychic sword down upon her. ‘Thought you’d abandoned us’ Betsy remarks as she gets to her feet and starts fighting alongside Spiral. Spiral explains that she had to get Ginny to safety, and reminds Betsy that she owes her one. ‘I got her swords. Remember - always strike with death!’ Spiral shouts, as she attacks Cassandra. ‘All out of envenom, Spiral?’ Cassandra asks. ‘Fancy a return trip to your black bug -’ she begins, before Betsy shoves her arm into Cassandra’s neck.

Betsy readies her psi-knife, and tells Cassandra to end this, now. But Cassandra reaches around and puts her hands on Betsy’s head, telling her that it can’t be done. ‘You wretched humans. Running around wasting your lives while we languish on the other side of the veil. You have no idea what you have! Your obliviousness will be your undoing!’ she declares. ‘You want to live in the human world so badly? You want to be cold at night? You want to be full of doubt and regrets?’ Betsy replies, telling Cassandra to be her guest, she then shoves her psi-knife through Cassandra / the Psylocke Revenant’s head. ‘Sweet sassy molassy!’ Puck gasps. ‘What is happening?’ Storm enquires, while Bishop announces that Betsy did it - Cassandra is trapped.

The Psylocke Revenant drops to the ground. ‘My God - tiny knives across my knees. The cold cutting my skin. Oh God, everything hurts. What manner of trick is this?’ she asks. ‘How do you like that, Cassandra?’ Betsy calls out, as Spiral stands nearby. ‘How do you like being welded to a brain? Being trapped in a body?’ Betsy asks Cassandra. ‘How does it feel to be a human psychic?’ she adds, before asking what the one thing they needed to sacrifice to stop this madness was. ‘No! Get back!’ Cassandra declares through the Revenant’s body. ‘You won’t do it. This body is the only chance you have at a happy life, Elizabeth!’ Cassandra calls out. ‘I’ll make my own happiness’ Betsy replies as she grabs her Revenant, with Cassandra psychically bonded to it - and shoves her sword through the Revenant’s body.

Cassandra screams - and screams - before falling through the purple vortex in the room. ‘Twenty days’ Betsy remarks as Storm, Bishop, Spiral and Puck gather around her. ‘Howzat?’ Puck asks. ‘I only made it twenty damn days without killing someone’ Betsy explains.

Later, the Great Corruption collapsed upon itself. The Revenant invasion was not to be, and Los Angeles slowly reverted back tot is regular self. The remaining Revenant melted into shadow, waiting for the next chance to invade this world.

Storm, Betsy, Puck, Bishop and Spiral gather on a rooftop in downtown Los Angeles, and Betsy tells everyone that, if they are lucky, they will never have to see the Revenant again - but she doesn’t think their luck will last for long. Storm enquires about the Demon Bear, to which Betsy reports that there is no sign of him, explaining that when the vortex collapsed, he must have been trapped beyond the veil. ‘He sacrificed himself - to save us from the Underworld’. Indeed, in the realm beyond, the Demon Bear stands on the wasteland, and roars.

‘Something tells me that big fur ball is gonna be just fine’ Puck smiles, before Storm turns to Bishop, pointing out that they beat the odds again. ‘Bishop, you’re the expert on all this. Any thoughts?’ she asks. But Bishop has turned away from his companions, and doesn’t respond. ‘Bishop? Are we good?’ Storm calls out. ‘Storm - I know what you did. You messed with my memories. You $%&# with my mind. We are definitely not good!’ comes Bishop’s angry response….

Characters Involved: 

Bishop, Psylocke, Puck, Storm (all Uncanny X-Force)


Demon Bear


Revenant Queen / Cassandra Nova



Story Notes: 

Puck mentions his ex-wives. Although he has a daughter (Zuzha Yu, currently deceased), it has never been established that Puck has had any ex-wives. Given how little of his long history has been revealed, it is possible.
Lady Snowblood is a 1973 Japanese film directed by Toshiya Fujita and starring Meiko Kaji. It is based on a manga called Shurayukihime. It is the story of Yuki, a woman who seeks vengeance upon three people who raped her mother and killed her mother's husband and son.

Like many other issues of Uncanny X-Force (2nd series), Cluster appears on the cover but not in the issue itself.

The Psylocke Revenant is clearly shown standing near Storm after emerging from rubble, but when Cassandra takes her over, she is once again under the rubble.

Issue Information: 
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