Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #508

Issue Date: 
June 2009
Story Title: 

Matt Fraction (writer), Greg Land (penciler), Jay Leisten (inker), Justin Ponsor (colorist), VC’s Joe Caramagna (letters), Greg Land (cover), Laura Martin (variant cover), Daniel Ketchum (assistant editor), Nick Lowe (editor), Axel Alonso (executive editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

Brief Description: 

In Tokyo, Madelyne Pryor’s Sisterhood fight off Domino who just happens to be visiting and they retrieve Betsy Braddock’s original body – the one which is inhabited by the now deceased Kwannon. The Sisterhood prepares Betsy’s consciousness to be transferred back into the body, which they then intend to use for their own purposes. At Graymalkin, Hank McCoy completes his science team with the inclusion of Dr. Kavita Rao. In attempting to kick-start new mutant births again, he tries to explain to them that the problem with the X-gene is that it still exists, but for some reason it doesn’t function. Dr. Nemesis is skeptical of the idea that the Scarlet Witch’s magic is to blame, believing science will solve the problem. Elsewhere in the building, Emma Frost begins to teach class, but the psychics in the building are hit by a powerful wave. Psylocke is now back in her original body and under Madelyne’s spell. Meanwhile, Wolverine visits Mt. Shasta, where he recruits Northstar to the team for his ground speed.

Full Summary: 

(late evening, a graveyard)

Madelyne Pryor is with her Sisterhood to see Lady Mastermind, Regan Wyngarde. Maddie wants to talk to her about resurrection. She tells Regan that she's wanting to bring her father back, more powerful than ever. Regan’s sister, Martinique, tells her that the only thing she hates more than herself… is Regan. However, she's seen what Madelyne can do. She'll bring back daddy if they ask her. Regan holds a gun to Madelyne's forehead and asks her to prove it, or she'll she have to start by bringing herself back from the dead. Madelyne smiles as the weapon turns into dust. "Tonight, in Tokyo. It begins...”
(Akihabara, Tokyo)

Domino is in Tokyo. She loves the city, and this area more than most. It's an electric city. Aside from being where the Otaku go for electronic junk, it's where the cosplay kids come to hang out and just be. She notices a couple walking through the street. Makio is wearing a maid's outfit and Akio carries a large sword. He expresses his love for her, but she asks why a cutey-goth maid like herself would ever be caught dead with a go-gang sword-warrior like him. It doesn't make sense.
As he kneels before her, he asks if that is all that stands between her heart and his. If that is so, then he will cast his blade away. He does so and Maiko hugs him. He twirls her around joyfully. Domino smiles at the thought that there are little places in Tokyo that, if you know where to look, seem to exist on another planet.
She enters a graveyard. She once thought Charles Xavier owned the land. Maybe he wanted a little memorial place for his fallen friends and family in the land of the rising sun. When Logan asked her to bring some flowers by when she was in town, she realized it was his. It's quietly populated with memorials for friends and loved ones that fell. She thinks Logan's a sentimental sap.
Her thoughts are cut short when she notices the appearance of some rather unwelcome villainesses. Chimera, Spiral and Lady Deathstrike approach her, but Spiral heads off to secure a body, leaving the other two to tackle Domino. "You get to die in a graveyard," exclaims Chimera. "How convenient."

Domino pulls out two revolvers and begins blasting. The odds of hitting one of three targets from that range at night with pistols in speed-rigs isn't great. She evades Chimera's green serpent but is caught by Deathstrike's metallic claws. She kneels down in pain and Chimera asks Deathstrike if she wants her to finish Domino off. Deathstrike says that she doesn't care so long as it's done by the time M'Lady returns. Chimera groans at her calling Madelyne M'Lady.

Domino leaps backwards, once again avoiding the clutches of Chimera's serpent. What are the odds of a young Otaku's sword landing right where she needs it? She grabs it from its resting place and thrusts it into Chimera's chest. She then holds a revolver to Deathstrike's head and warns her that, if she moves or cuts her, she shoots. She asks who they are and what they are doing there.
Before anyone can respond, Spiral reappears in a portal and informs her colleagues that the vessel is acquired. They don't have time for distractions like Domino. They'll deal with her soon enough. Her voice trails away as the portal closes behind them. Domino has no idea what all that was about. She reaches for her phone and calls Wolverine in San Francisco. She explains that she dropped the flowers off, but something happened. "Who was Kwannon? she asks.
(Graymalkin Industries, Marin, California)

Wolverine can't believe what Domino tells him and he leaps from his chair, snikting his claws. Beast, meanwhile, takes Dr. Nemesis, Dr. Takiguchi and Madison Jeffries to the science lab. Madison feels excited and asks if everyone else is. Dr. Nemesis' face drops. "Shoot me now," he gasps. Hank says not yet. He'd miss all the fun of his new playground, to say nothing of their team's final member. Dr. Kavita Rao welcomes them to Graymalkin. She's put some coffee on and asks if they should get down to the business of saving mutantkind.
(three pots of coffee later)

The team is seated around a large table with a holographic DNA helix dominating the room. They're exhausted and Madison's brain hurts. So is Dr. Takiguchi's. Hank explains that it's really quite simple, but Dr. Nemesis disagrees. It doesn't make sense. He asks Hank to go over it again, so he starts from the beginning.
Hank explains that Wanda Maximoff, the Scarlet Witch, had a mental breakdown that climaxed in her casting a spell that somehow terminated the powers of ninety percent of the world's mutant population. Not long ago, he embarked on a journey to discover the cure, or at least a means to reverse the spell. He asked friend and foe alike for help. They are some of the greatest minds alive but they either couldn't or wouldn't. He continues to point out that the X-gene was deactivated. Mutant births flatlined. He's been to parallel worlds, alternate timelines and potential futures. In short, everywhere. "What about outer space?" asks Jeffries. Hank admits that maybe he hasn't been everywhere, then.

Hank looks at the helix and explains that the gene still exists, only it doesn't function. It's there but it's not there. It's magic, that's all it is. Dr. Nemesis reclines in his chair and disagrees. That's not all, he points out. There was one exception - one single mutant birth, which, rather than keep around for study, Hank elected to shoot off into spacetime. Secondly, he believes in science, and that science will solve this. He doesn't believe in magic.
(San Francisco, downtown)

Martinique Jason asks someone to please tell her sister that she can hear her breathing, and it makes her want to stab hot knives into her face. Regan responds by asking if someone would please tell her sister that she'd love more than anything else in the world for her to try. Chimera asks for them to shut the hell up. She has a sucking chest wound and they aren't helping. Madelyne informs them that her magic requires concentration and concentration requires silence. She completes Chimera's healing process and tells them that it's time for the ritual. They stand around a bed and Madelyne asks Spiral if the vessel is prepared. Spiral says that it is.

Madelyne asks Deathstrike to fetch the prisoner and then asks the others to take their places around the vessel. She will guide them through the ritual, and they will do what she says and when. The corpse of Kwannon, Psylocke’s original body, is laid on the table and Madelyne explains that it has been properly modified and prepared to her exact specifications. It's now ready to be filled. "About that," Regan comments. Chimera says that they were wondering just what, exactly, she's going to fill a dead girl up with. Madelyne grins and asks what else... but a live one. Deathstrike leads Psylocke into the room. She is wearing a helmet and sporting a pair of hi-tech gauntlets. "Now, let's raise a little hell," grins Madelyne.
(Graymalkin Industries, Marin, the chapel)

Emma Frost is up early to speak with Nightcrawler. He explains that they have a room full of women who have been treated worse than property. The ones that stay will have to learn more than just English and Civics 101. Emma asks when they start. Kurt replies that they start right now, and teleports them both to the classroom where the group is seated and ready.
Emma notices Piotr, a native Russian speaker, sat at the back. "Da," he smiles. "To translate." Emma starts off by telling the group that the last time she taught a class, hellfire and damnation rained down on them all and everybody died. Hopefully this will work out better. She tells Piotr not to dare translating that. She prepares to access their minds to get over the language gap, but before she can do so she shrieks as a psychic attack hits her. The Cuckoos are similarly afflicted, as is Karma and Empath. "My Queen," cries Empath, "Oh, my Red Queen. You're coming for me."
(Mt. Shasta, Siskiyou County, California)

Northstar's partner and a production guy watch him on their monitors as he snowboards down the mountain. They count him down and he hits a long ramp, breaking the sound barrier as he descends. The crowd cheers as he exits the megaramp and breaks the vert drop record. "Give it up for Northstar," cries the announcer, "The fastest man on a board."

Later, he celebrates his victory with a drink. His sister, Aurora, arrives and she has a visitor in tow, Wolverine. He quips that Canadians have to stick together. Jean-Paul replies that he's not the one that gave up the dream. Where he comes from it's still socialized health care and poutine as far as the eye can see. “He’s kidding,” replies Jean-Paul’s boyfriend. “He’d never eat poutine.”

Logan informs Northstar that he’s wanted on the X-Men. They could use him and fill a power gap in their line-up. He admits that he feels a little weird about killing him that time, so he’d like to make it up to him. Northstar hopes this isn’t a gay thing. He doesn’t want to be their mutant queer mascot. Logan informs him that they got their asses handed to them by a twenty-year-old kid on a Ducati bike because they didn’t have any speed on the ground. The only runner around is Magneto’s kid, and that apple didn’t fall to far from the tree.

Logan readily admits that having an openly gay man on the team would be good PR, but he thought Jean-Paul and his sister were amazing during the invasion, and they think that tactically and strategically, he’ll be invaluable to the team. Jean-Paul smiles and reckons being turned over by a twenty-year-old kid is the most embarrassing thing he’s heard… and he used to be in Alpha Flight. He shakes Logan’s hand and tells him he has his speed demon. Logan welcomes him to the X-Men.

(Graymalkin Industries, Marin)

Emma is lying on a med table with Beast on hand to look after her. She explains that there was a wave of pain and then she woke up in Piotr arms. Hank mentions a red light that spilled from her head and wonders what that could be. He takes her hand and informs her that WebMD has no suggested diagnoses for seizure events in psychics with autogenerative auras… so he’s stumped. Emma tells him that it felt like someone threw the world’s biggest party and she wasn’t invited.

The Cuckoos think Miss Frost is silly, but right. There’s been a massive psychic event somewhere, and they were cut off from it. Emma sits up and asks if anyone’s thought to check on their guest in the basement. He’s a psychic, too. She gets up and asks Piotr to join her. Angel offers to join them but Hank stops him. He says he has been wanting to get Warren in his lab ever since Hokkaido Island. As team doctor, he has a few questions he wants answering.


Once Psylocke has been placed into a contraption next to Kwannon’s prone dead body, Madelyne begins the ritual and asks her girls to show her what they’ve got. A red glow lights up the room as the spell begins to work. Psylocke tries to scream but her muzzle prevents her from doing so. After a few short moments of writhing and flapping about, Psylocke, now inhabiting her original body, sits up, now fully formed. She asks what happened. Madelyne replies that she’s home. She’s in her new home, or at least her new body, and that’s a hell of a start.

Characters Involved: 

Archangel, Beast, Colossus, Emma Frost, Iceman, Nightcrawler, Wolverine (all X-Men)

X-Students including the Stepford Cuckoos

Madison Jeffries, Dr. Nemesis, Dr. Kavita Rao, Dr. Yuriko Takiguchi (all X-Club)
Chimera, Lady Deathstrike, Madelyne Pryor, Lady Mastermind, Mastermind, Spiral (all Sisterhood)

Kwannon, Psylocke

Aurora, Domino, Empath, Hepzibah, Karma, Northstar and his boyfriend, Kyle
Tokyo citizens including Akio and Maiko

Team Northstar production staff member

Enthusiastic Ski crowd

Story Notes: 

Otaku is a Japanese term for someone who becomes interested and maybe obsessed with a particular thing, such as games, comics and cosplay, as seen in this issue.
Wanda's breakdown culminated in her destroying Avengers Mansion and removing the mutant powers of around ninety percent of the mutant population.
Beast's journey of discovery ran through back pages of several x-titles in late 2007. During this time he met with people like Mister Sinister, the High Evolutionary and Dr. Strange.
Emma was teaching a class in Genosha when Cassandra Nova’s Sentinels attacked and killed millions of people in New X-Men (1st series) #115.
Poutine is a Canadian dish of French Fries topped with fresh cheese curds and covered with gravy with a few additional ingredients.

A brainwashed Wolverine killed Northstar in Wolverine (3rd series) #25 but he was resurrected in Wolverine (3rd series) #26 by Hydra. Jean-Paul’s team is called Team Northstar Extreme Snowsports.

The original X Club was a dining club set up in the late 1800’s comprising nine men who supported the theories of natural selection. It included Thomas Huxley, George Busk and John Lubbock.

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