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Matt Fraction (writer), Mike Deodato, Terry Dodson & Rachel Dodson (artists), Justin Ponsor & Christina Strain (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy’s Joe Caramagna (letterer), Daniel Ketchum (associate editor), Nick Lowe (editor), Axel Alonso & Tom Brevoort (executive editors), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)
7 days ago, the Beast acknowledges the current problems in the X-Men, while Cyclops and the White Queen avoid talking to each other. Now, Many of the X-Men and mutants on Utopia prepare for the arrival of Norman Osborn and his “Avengers” and “X-Men” teams. The battle begins, and various encounters happen - like Wolverine fighting Weapon Omega, while X-23 battles Daken, and Colossus once more takes on Venom. Namor battles Sentry, while Cyclops and Osborn have it out. Ares finds himself at the mercy of Moonstar - who has regained her Valkyrie power and Iceman takes on old teammate Mimic while the X-Club deal to the Dark Beast as revenge for what he did to the real Beast. The White Queen attempts to use the white room in Sentry’s mind to her advantage, and releases Sentry from it, but in doing so releases the Void, some of which gets stuck inside her, trapping her in her diamond form. Osborn thinks he has the upper hand, and a severely weakened Cyclops - until Moonstone tells him that there are too many mutants, and indeed, many of them gather together, ready to take on Osborn who is keen to kill them all - but Moonstone tells him genocide will not go down well live on the nightly news, and so he leaves with his teams, and Cyclops turns to the camera crews, vowing that they will be free here on their island home. Osborn later addresses the press, declaring that the mutants are prisoners on their own island, and claims that he has won the battle. Later, Cyclops and the White Queen discuss what has just happened, as the mutants on Utopia go about rebuilding their home.
7 days ago, inside the quarters of Cyclops and the White Queen, at the home of the Uncanny X-Men, Marin, San Francisco. ‘Secrets, Scott. Secrets, Emma. In these times - these awful, fractious times - we…are all we have left’, the Beast says to Cyclops and the White Queen in the dead of the night. Thr senior X-Men don’t look at each other, in fact they sit as far apart in their bed as possible. The Beast informs them that he is taking the X-Club on a mission come daylight, and that he expects they will be gone some time. ‘But when I get back, we’re having it all out, do you hear me? The secrets will kill us. And I won’t stick around to watch that happen’ the Beast declares as he storms out of Cyclops and the White Queen’s room.
Cyclops and the White Queen don’t look at each other, sitting in silence until the White Queen remarks that she supposes Henry is quitting, then. ‘This isn’t funny. We have to talk’ Cyclops replies. Cyclops adds that he made some choices, some tough calls to protect what very little they have left. ‘Stop. Don’t do this. Don’t let Henry force you to destroy what we have’ the White Queen exclaims. They turn and face each other as Cyclops declares ‘What we have is a lie’. Emma replies that what they have are secrets, and that she can live with them. ‘I can’t. Not any more. People have died, Emma’ Cyclops replies.
‘Do you think I don’t know that? Do you think you’re alone in this?’ the White Queen asks. ‘We are alone in this, Emma. Until we talk’ Cyclops tells her, turning over in bed. ‘I can’t. Not tonight’ the White Queen replies, to which Cyclops tells her that they are not leaving their room until they do. ‘I can’t do this alone’ he exclaims as they roll away from each other.
Now, 1.2 miles off the coast of San Francisco lies the island haven, Utopia. Home to the Uncanny X-Men and their myriad fellow mutants. Some of whom - Cyclops, Wolverine, the White Queen, Angel, Colossus, Namor and X-23 - stand on a balcony, watching the fast-approaching jet. Cyclops tells Wolverine to have his team take the rescued and wounded inside until they are evaluated for combat status. ‘Already squared away. We’re getting in this fight’ Wolverine replies. ‘Good. We’ll need you’ Cyclops remarks, before ordering everyone else to battle stations. He tells the White Queen to keep everyone in psychic contact at all times, and adds that it is time to see if he is as smart as he thinks he is.
Inside the jet, Norman Osborn, wearing his Iron Patriot armor, tells Mystique to stick around and stay in character for the cameras. ‘And believe me, there will be cameras’ he boasts, before turning to his group of “Avengers” and “X-Men” - Ares, Ms Marvel (actually Moonstone), Spider-Man (actually Venom), Hawkeye (actually Bullseye), Daken, Mimic and Michael “Weapon Omega” Pointer and tells them to ‘Do what you do’.
On the balcony, Cyclops tells Wolverine and X-23 to take out Weapon Omega and Daken. ‘On it!’ Wolverine exclaims. ‘As you wish’ X-23 remarks as the two of them leap from the balcony the moment Osborn’s team drop from their plane. ‘Everyone else…scramble!’ Cyclops orders telepathically through the White Queen.
Bullseye is the first to land, and he somersaults about, before firing a myriad of explosive arrows at a group of mutants including Anole, Rockslide and Armor. ‘My God…Osborn’s dressed Bullseye up as a hero!’ Cyclops exclaims, while Moonstone begins blasting the group of mutants with her powers also. Cyclops turns to Angel and explains that “Hawkeye” is actually Bullseye. ‘I need you to take him off the board’ Cyclops declares. ‘You don’t mean me’ Angel replies. ‘No. No I don’t’ Cyclops tells him as he begins firing optic blasts, while Angel takes flight - and grabs Bullseye, pulling him into the air.
Moonstone suddenly finds herself overwhelmed by the X-student Bling, the villainess Nekra, and the former Acolyte Frenzy. ‘Remember us? Remember the Castro?’ Nekra asks as she kicks Moonstone in the head, while Bling smacks her in the side, and Frenzy goes for her legs. ‘Because we remember you!’ Frenzy exclaims.
“Spider-Man” swings across the battlefield, while the former New Mutant Magma and the X-student Match try to engulf him in fire. ‘Setting me on fire is just gonna go and get me all riled up, ya mutie freaks -’ Venom snarls, only for one of the heroes to hit him, enabling Colossus to rush over to him, ‘You. We have unfinished business’ he exclaims. ‘Bring it!’ Venom declares, transformed into his larger form, he lashes out at Colossus, who prepares to punch him in the mouth.
Wolverine and X-23 rush towards Daken, who exclaims ‘Really, Logan? The girl? You’re siccing the girl on me?’. X-23 replies that she is no one’s attack dog as she lashes out at Daken. ‘Woof woof’ Daken jokes. Wolverine moves towards Weapon Omega, who us unleashing massive amounts of energy. ‘What thing can kill me? What thing can stop my wraith?’ Weapon Omega boasts. ‘Hey!’ Wolverine exclaims, before growling as he shoves his claws through Weapon Omega’s stomach. ‘You killed a mess of my pals up North, bub. You don’t get to walk away from that’ Wolverine snarls, referring to the late Alpha Flight.
Elsewhere, in Marin County, ‘Son of a -’ Bullseye mutters as he is dropped on his head in some woods. ‘Bird-man? Where’d you go? You ain’t gonna get out of what you got coming’ Bullseye exclaims, readying his arrows. ‘Where the hell did -’ he snaps, when suddenly Angel exclaims ‘I’m right here, you murderous bastard!’, appearing now in his metal-winged look. ‘Neat trick’ Bullseye remarks before firing his arrows at Angel, who blocks them with his metal wings.
Back at Utopia, ‘Big guns. Open fire’ Iron Patriot orders as he, Ares and Sentry drop from the jet. ‘Namor -’ the White Queen begins. ‘I’ll stop the Sentry’ Namor declares as he flies towards him. ‘My word’ the White Queen gasps as the two men clash. ‘War! This is war!’ the handsome Ares booms as he lands, cracking the concrete under his godly weight. ‘You heard the man, Scotty-boy. Let’s not let him down!’ Iron Patriot exclaims as he flies towards Cyclops, blasting the area around him, while Cyclops retaliates with a powerful optic blast.
Over Marin, Namor has pushed Sentry towards the city, though Sentry exclaims ‘You think you can stop me, little man?’. Namor replies that he shall try, and calls the Sentry a “gibbering schizoid”, before the Sentry forces the two of them through the middle of two sky-scrapers.
Back on Utopia, Cyclops blasts Iron Patriot with a powerful optic blast, knocking Osborn backwards. ‘This is your war, Osborn. Not ours!’ Cyclops exclaims. ‘You people had to go and make me look stupid. You might not have wanted a war but you damn well got one!’ Osborn snaps back as he blasts Cyclops, who screams out in pain. Ares begins hacking away with his huge axe at some of the infrastructure on the island, while Iron Patriot holds Cyclops’ body over his head. ‘Stand down, Scott. There is no victory for you here’ Osborn declares, telling Scott that he will lose. ‘Not just your team - your kind will lose’.
Back in the city, Namor throws a yellow bus at Sentry, who blocks it, while civilians run for their lives.
‘Oh, Norman. If only you could see things the way I do…you’d have another perspective entirely’ Cyclops remarks, hanging upside down, he sees hope flying towards Utopia in the form of the former New Mutants - Danielle Moonstar, Cannonball, Sunspot, Magik, Magma and Karma. Moonstar lunges from her flying horse, Brightwind, ‘YIELD!’ she orders Ares, pushing him backwards. ‘NEVER!’ Ares booms, axe raised high. Cannonball, Sunspot and Magma hover around the edge. ‘I will kill you!’ Ares declares, looking up at Moonstar. ‘I will snap your bones with my bare hands and -’ he begins, while Moonstar interrupts him. Flanked by her teammates, she holds a powerful sword and declares that if you want to stop a god, you cut a deal with a god. ‘I borrowed power from Mistress Hela herself to make sure you stay the hell down!’.
Nearby, Dark Beast, one of Osborn’s “X-Men” takes down Northstar and Dazzler at the same time. ‘Well I don’t know about you but I’m having an amazing time’ he remarks, unaware that Psylocke is rushing towards him with X-Club members Madison Jeffries and Doctor Nemesis. The Dark Beast cries out in agony as the three attack him at once - Doctor Nemesis blasts him with energy, while Psylocke shoves a psychic blade through his chest, and Madison Jeffries causes metal cables to rise from the ground and wrap around the Dark Beast’s feet.
‘Stupid son of a -’ Venom shouts while Colossus attempts to rip Venom’s jaw apart, while Venom wraps his tongue around Colossus’ neck. Up in the air, Iceman slides around on an ice-sled, dodging his former teammate, Mimic, who flies alongside him while blasting him with a combination of optic blasts and ice bolts, singing “Anything you can do I can do better…I can do anything better than you”. ‘No. You. Can’t!’ Iceman exclaims as he freezes Mimic and causes him to fall to the ground, near several of the X-students including Surge, Mercury, Prodigy, Rockslide, Onyx, Bling, Loa and Graymalkin. ‘You might be able to copy some of us, Mimic’ Rockslide begins. ‘But you can’t stop all of us!’ Graymalkin exclaims as the X-students dog-pile on Mimic.
Pixie teleports in beside X-23 ‘You all right?’ she asks her, while Daken lunges at X-23, ‘I swear, women who think they can fight never cease to amuse me!’ Daken exclaims, when suddenly, Pixie teleports herself and X-23 out of his way, and Armor approaches him. ‘Hey, jerk. Girl power!’ Armor exclaims, standing beside her friends.
Inside, the White Queen rushes into a room where Professor Charles Xavier is recuperating after recent injuries. ‘Charles!’ she exclaims. ‘Emma…Emma, dear girl’ Charles replies. ‘I’m so sorry we couldn’t - that you were tortured for so long and I -’ Emma begins, but Charles interrupts her, telling her that she did her best, ‘Which is never less than brilliant’. Xavier tells the White Queen that all they can do now is make them pay and stop them from ever doing it again. The White Queen tells Charles that she needs his help. ‘It’s the last part of Scott’s plan and it’s big’. The White Queen explains that Sentry is big - godlike in his powers, and that the last time Sentry went off his meds, she built a white hot room in his head. The White Queen asks Charles to help her get back to the white room. ‘From there I can lobotomize god’ she boasts.
Moments later, the White Queen finds herself - or at least her psychic self - on the outside of the white room. She is wearing a version of her classic white costume, as opposed to her current white ensemble. She walks towards the white room, and peers through the one open panel. ‘Ahh - Bob?’ she calls out as she sees the Sentry inside. ‘I’m not going to make it’ the Sentry remarks casually, hands in his jean pockets, he turns and looks at the White Queen, telling her that he thought she would help him. ‘Why did this happen?’ he asks. ‘Do you know where you are? Do you know who I am?’ the White Queen replies. ‘Of course. You’re Emma Frost. I didn’t think you remembered me’ the Sentry responds, staring through the open panel at the White Queen.
‘We all remember you, Bob. Bob, I - we - we need you to come back to us. Just for a second. Do you think you can do that?’ the White Queen asks. The Sentry replies that he doesn’t know, as it has been so long that he doesn’t know how. ‘Here, darling. Let your friends help you’ the White Queen declares as she reaches through the open panel, telling him to trust her, and they will have him out in no time, as she begins to pull him through to her side. ‘I don’t know I don’t know I don’t know’ the Sentry mutters, before the White Queen manages to pull him all the way through. ‘There we go!’ she exclaims as they fall over, before the White Queen asks him if he remembers this place. ‘We built it, you and I. In case something…’ she begins. ‘In case something went wrong. Like now. And we needed to talk’ the Sentry replies. ‘Because here, Bob…in this place we built…you can take control. I can help you take control. I can hold the void long enough for you to be you again, Bob. And that’s what I need you to do right now’.
Back in the real world though, ‘My God. What have I done?’ the White Queen gasps, eyes-wide, while in the city, Namor stands by demolished buildings, while the Sentry takes to the skies. Unable to contain the Sentry on the psychic plane, the White Queen keels backwards in agony. ‘Charles. Can’t hold it!’ she cries out. ‘Good Lord, child -’ Xavier begins, while the White Queen calls out for Cyclops - and the Void is freed from inside Sentry’s mind - and begins to chase Sentry high into the atmosphere.
Charles tries to reach the White Queen telepathically, but in her diamond form, the White Queen is confused. ‘Where…how…?’ she asks, while Charles tells her to stay in her diamond state no matter what, revealing to her that there is still a sliver of the Void inside of her, seen as a small black icon on her forehead.
Outside, ‘Heh’ Cyclops smirks as he sees the Void chasing after Sentry, and while Iron Patriot continues to pummel him, mutters ’Guess who’s off the board, genius?’ Osborn tells Cyclops to stop smiling. ‘Stop laughing! This isn’t a game!’ he declares, before boasting that they still have Ares. ‘Do you? Because that’s not a bet I’d care to make…’ Cyclops replies.
Nearby, Moonstar once again lunges towards Ares, her teammates flanking her, while Ares exclaims ‘Woman! Thou art surely spirited!’, before smashing Danielle with his axe. Dani is knocked backwards, but gathers herself quickly, and shoves her sword through his stomach. ‘You. Your power…I didn’t plan on fighting a Valkyrie!’ he mumbles, before Danielle retracts her weapon and kicks Ares backwards. ‘I’m not just a Valkyrie - I was made to stop gods. So, Ares - stop!’ Dani exclaims, while the God of War- dripping with blood - kneels before her.
Norman Osborn has seen this: ‘No no no no no!’ he shouts, pushing Cyclops backwards. At the same moment, Weapon Omega continues to pour power out against Wolverine - who continues to step towards Pointer, despite most of his costume being torn by Pointer’s power. ‘That the best you can do? Gonna need to bring a whole lot more!’ Wolverine snarls, before unsheathing his claws. And speaking of claws, X-23 shoves her claws through Daken the moment he stabs his into her - fortunately for X-23, she has Armor and Pixie also attacking Daken at the same time. The Sentry looks back nervously as the Void follows him into space: ‘No escape now, Bob. Not ever!’ the Void calls out, while back on Utopia, Mimic finds himself overwhelmed by the X-students, ‘Too - too many of them!’ he calls out as they continue their multi-angle attack on him.
‘Damn you, Summers -’ Osborn shouts as he strikes Cyclops down with a powerful blast of energy. With Cyclops unmoving, Osborn stands over his body, ‘I don’t lose - we don’t lose!’ Osborn boasts, when suddenly, Moonstone drops down beside him. ‘Norman -’ she begins, but he ignores her. ‘And you - you, you uppity little -’ Osborn says to Cyclops, before Moonstone calls out to him again, and grabs him by his wrist. ‘Karla! What do you want?’ Osborn snaps, shoving her back. ‘Norman, we - we have to - there are too many of them, Norman. We have to kill them all if we’re going to win!’ Moonstone explains. ‘So kill the bastards. I don’t care!’ the deranged Osborn responds, before Moonstone motions in another direction, ‘Look’ she tells Osborn.
‘Mr Osborne. We’re all X-Men now’ Pixie exclaims as she stands alongside many of the X-Men and other mutants who have been involved in the battle - Moonstar, Iceman, Angel, Wolverine, Cannonball, Colossus, Magik, Namor and so on. But also standing with them are several camera crews. ‘I gave you a chance, Osborn. I told you to surrender’ Cyclops exclaims, smiling as he looks up at Osborn and Moonstone. Osborn, for a change, is speechless, but Moonstone tells him that the whole world is watching. ‘And if we kill one of them we have to kill them all. Nobody comes back from committing genocide on the nightly news…’ Moonstone remarks.
With that, Osborn orders his “Avengers” and “X-Men” to fall back - and so he, Moonstone, Ares, Weapon Omega, Daken, Bullseye, Venom and Mimic take to the skies. ‘That looks like check and mate, boss’ Iceman remarks as he goes over to Cyclops and helps his long time friend up from the ground. ‘Almost. One more weapon to fire’ Cyclops replies. ‘One more bomb to drop…’, while the X-Men and other mutants throw their arms up in the air, pleased with their victory. Cyclops then turns to the cameras: ‘Hello again. My name is Scott Summers and I’ve been an X-Man since I was fifteen. And like everyone else here, I’ve been a mutant all my life’ he announces. ‘This ground - this city we live in, just off your shores - this fortress we occupy - this ground is sacred’ he begins.
Professor X and the White Queen watch Cyclops on a monitor in the infirmary as they watch over the injured Beast. ‘No mutant or their family will be harmed here. No mutant blood will be spilled here’ Cyclops declares. One of the camera shows a close up shot of Anole and Pixie, Trance and Elixir and Gentle, as Cyclops declares that their children shall not be hunted or harmed. ‘They shall not be prejudiced against, legislated against, or ever go to sleep for a single unsafe moment’. The White Queen joins Psylocke and Kavita Rao now as they continue to listen to Cyclops, who tells the cameras that they may have paid the ultimate price for their safety tonight. ‘But I am here to promise you, unequivocally, we mean you no harm. In spite of the decades of harm inflicted upon us personally, privately, or as a matter of law’. Hands on his hips, Cyclops matter-of-factly announces ‘We have been, and always shall be, sworn to protect a world that hates and despises us. Only now…we shall all be free’.
Meanwhile, Norman Osborn stands on a stage, “A Safer Tomorrow” displayed on a banner behind him, camera crews and reporters in front of him. To his left - his “X-Men” - Daken, Mimic, Dark Beast, Weapon Omega and Mystique, disguised as Professor X. To his right, his “Avengers” - “Hawkeye”, “Ms Marvel”, “Spider-Man”, Ares and Sentry. ‘My fellow Americans. I stand before you to declares that we are free, at long last, of the militant mutant menace that has threatened our safety and well-being for so long!’ Osborn declares, boasting that his X-Men, assisted by his Avengers, have won. ‘All curfews and martial law orders are herby rescinded’ he adds.
Motioning to his “Avengers”, Osborn exclaims that they have so tirelessly and flawlessly restored law and order to the East Coast in the wake of countless calamities and catastrophes. Motioning to his “X-Men”, he declares that the Avengers assisted them, in spite of defections, betrayals and a relative newness to battle on this scale, and managed to fight the mutant menace courageously. ‘I am proud to stand with them today’ he claims. Holding his hands up In peace signs, Osborn exclaims that the mutant menace, as led by the militant hate-monger Scott Summers, has evacuated American soil once and for all. ‘What they call Utopia, I call a prison. Let them stay there. Because as so long as they do…we have won!’
‘Ozzie…just between us girls…you actually believe the crap you’re shovelling?’ Bullseye asks, whispering quietly in Osborn’s ear. ‘Believe it? Hawkeye, I not only believe it but I’m living it. This is only the beginning. What’s coming next is going to change the world’ Osborn replies, smirking.
Back on Utopia, the repair and rebuilding of Utopia is underway, while Cyclops stand on a balcony overlooking his world. ‘Summers? Summers?’ Doctor Nemesis calls out as he, the White Queen and Elixir approach him. ‘Sorry. Million miles away’ Cyclops replies. ‘Well, snap out of it, man. We have a city to rebuild!’ Doctor Nemesis points out, before the White Queen announces that the teleporters are bringing in stragglers and families. ‘People are coming seeking amnesty. Dozens at a time’ she adds. ‘Yeah’ Cyclops mumbles. Elixir announces that the medic bay is full up, and the healers are working on getting folks up and on their feet, but there is so many of them.
‘Been up three minutes, guys. Somebody get me a cup of coffee and we’ll start dealing with the problems one at a time’ Cyclops declares, before telling Doctor Nemesis and Elixir that they are dismissed. Neither of them move, but when the White Queen - still wearing black - looks at them she mutters ‘You heard him’, and they leave. ‘Well. You did it’ the White Queen tells Cyclops as she goes over to him. ‘We did it, Emma. You, me - all of us’ Cyclops replies as the sun begins to rise. The White Queen remarks that they have a homeland now. ‘Again. I can’t be the first to remind you that the last time we lived on an island it didn’t work out so well’. Cyclops replies that this time it will be different, to which the White Queen asks him ‘How can you be so sure?’ ‘The same way we beat Osborn. I have faith. And I know I’m not alone’ Cyclops replies as he and the White Queen stand side-by-side and watch the rising sun together.
Angel, Beast, Colossus, Cyclops, Dazzler, Iceman, Nightcrawler, Northstar, Psylocke, White Queen, Wolverine (all X-Men)
Cannonball, Karma, Magik, Magma, Mirage/Moonstar, Sunspot (all former New Mutants)
Anole, Armor, Bling, Elixir, Gentle, Graymalkin, Loa, Match, Mercury V, Onyxx, Pixie III, Prodigy IV, Rockslide, Surge IV, Trance, X-23 (all X-students)
Doctor Nemesis, Madison Jeffries, Kavita Rao (all X-Club)
Ares, Bullseye/Hawkeye III, Norman Osborne/Iron Patriot, Moonstone/Ms Marvel III, Sentry, Venom III/Spider-Man IV (all Dark Avengers)
Daken/Wolverine II, Dark Beast, Mimic, Mystique (posing as Xavier), Weapon Omega II (all Dark X-Men)
This issue follows Dark Avengers #8 and concludes the “Utopia“ crossover.
The intro with Cyclops, the White Queen and Beast takes place during Dark X-Men: The Confession, which takes place before “Utopia”.
Though she is mentioned by Osborn, Mystique posing as Xavier is not actually seen this issue.
Frenzy, Nekra and Bling encountered Moonstone in Dark Avengers / Uncanny X-Men: Utopia, part 1 of this crossover. Colossus and Venom fought each other that issue as well.
Wolverine’s reference to Weapon Omega killing his friends refers to New Avengers #16, where Pointer, murdered Vindicator II, Guardian, Shaman and Puck - Wolverine’s long-time friends from Alpha Flight, as well as newer members Major Mapleleaf II and Puck II.
Moonstar regained her Valkyrie powers from Hela in Dark Avengers #8.
Though not named this issue, Moonstar’s flying horse is indeed her former steed Brightwind [confirmed in New Mutants (3rd series) #5], resurrected by Hela. Brightwind - then known as Darkwind - was murdered by Reignfire in X-Force (1st series) #43.
Sentry’s cry for help was already predicted in Emma Frost’s nightmare at te beginning of the Dark Reign: The Cabal oneshot. However, back then Emma believed the cry for help was coming from Kitty Pryde.
When the White Queen reminds Cyclops about the last time “they” lived on an island, she is referring to Genosha, where countless mutants resided until the majority of them were slaughtered by a large-scale Sentinel attack in New X-Men (1st series) #116.
This issue comes with a preview of the Necrosha one-shot.