Writer Kieron Gillen
Penciler Carlos Pacheco
Inker Cam Smith
Colors Guru eFX
Letterer VC’s Joe Caramagna
Cover Dated May 2012
Also from the cover, AvX is one month away so this was the last story to show them working together as a team. Also, one of the few times of seeing them work as a team.
Issue opens with a narration by Danger. She is the warren to the X-Berg.
She isn’t happy that one of her prisoners is Magik, who is a fellow member of Cyclops’ Extinction Team. Also not happy, is Colossus.
Magik is in a holding cell, strap to an explosive straight jacket, due to her actions with the Elder Gods in Limbo that resulted in her getting her soul back. Cyclops wasn’t happy with her as she risked the entire universe to do so and sort of tricked the X-Men into helping. When she is out in the field, her uniform is also set up with the same time of explosives – so that if she goes rogue, they will go off. The cool thing about it is that Magik allows this punishment to take place.
Outside, Emma is attacking a Mr. Sinister hologram. I like the idea of an outdoor Danger Room, for these simple fighting sessions. If all you are doing is fighting a few opponents, you don’t need to be coup up inside a giant room, you can enjoy being outside and fresh air and fight a few foes at the same time.
Emma is fighting Mr. Sinister, who opened this volume of Uncanny X-Men and was the recurring villain, now that I think about it. Uncanny X-Men Volume Two is pretty much Cyclops’ Extinction Team along with Mr. Sinister’s continued attempts to fight that team, all written by Gillen.
The Extinction Team is – Cyclops, Emma, Magik, Magneto, Danger, Namor, Hope Summers, Storm and Colossus.
Emma is fighting Mr. Sinister as during their last fight, while in diamond form, her arm was sliced off. Luckily, Doctor Nemesis was able to figure out how to reattach it so that when she reverted back to her regular form, her arm would still be attached. She’s also wearing a white bikini type of training outfit, or maybe it is a proper sports bra but because it is Emma, it only appears to be bikini. I do like seeing her work out and doing fight training as she clearly has to work on her physical side as her second mutation makes her original mental powers inoperable. Being punched by a diamond fist has to still hurt but having a fighting style is always a plus.
Namor shows up, to make sure Emma is doing okay. She is glad someone cares about her recovery as Cyclops has been brooding, he really wants another mission for his team to go on. Cyclops is slightly annoying the Cuckoos as apparently he keeps asking for threats that warrant the big team.
Meanwhile at the Peak, the headquarters of SWORD, we get an awesome narration of Unit, a silver looking fellow. I became a fan of this character during Gillen’s awesome SWORD miniseries. Unit’s narration explains who some of the alien prisoners are and what type of horrible event has to happen to release all of these aliens back into freedom. His narration ends with a, “but you don’t have to worry about that happening.” Then, of course, it happens.
Unit is a bit of a know it all, he is ancient, and has seen so much. He was built by an even older race of people and they made him to maintain the peace. Then that race were killed off and he is the last remnant of them.
Back at Utopia, Colossus is about to speak to Cyclops about Illyana’s continued imprisonment. Cyclops states that enough time has passed, and he is about to go on when Agent Abigail Brand shows up and asks for their help. Emma’s initial reaction is thinking that Brand is there to insult them some more, as they have a fun chemistry Brand and the X-Men. Brand states she has no time to be mean, Earth needs saving.
Somewhere in Nevada, Magik has teleported the team to their first location. In giant words in the ground, is “I CLAIM THIS WORLD” Terminus has marked his turf. I know him as an Avengers villain that I’ve only really seen in the JLAvengers miniseries and maybe one other time in a proper Avengers comic.
Back at the Peak, Sydren (probably my favorite pure SWORD agent behind Brand and Lockheed – who feel like proper characters to me now) tells Brand that there are multiple threats. She doesn’t care about that now that the X-Men are involved, she wants him to locate Unit – as he is the biggest threat of them all.
Somewhere in Canada, a father and son are hunting. Unit appears before them, trying to speak to them in the base galactic language and of course, Earth is so backwards (to him) that we don’t even speak this language – which is a fun concept. I imagine it is like Latin, wherein if you know that language, you can meet anyone with Italian, French and Spanish background and be able to at least communicate a little with them.
Unit learns so much from this initial interaction with the two humans. From the father’s impulse to open fire, to how the type of gun implies that Earth’s viewpoint of hunting for sport is a concept still in practice here. Since Unit was attacked, he now has the ability to respond in kind and call it self-defense. Though if you use self-defense as an excuse, is it still self-defense? I’m sure there has been Law & Order episodes that state otherwise.
Turns out, Unit has a power similar to Jesse Custer, the Vertigo’s Preacher, in that he can change his voice so that it commands any who hear it (or that it is directed at). He orders the boy to run off and cover his ears. Since the father’s actions have taught him so much, he wants to learn how humans are made next.
The Extinction Team, who I like the name as it implies the mutant race is extinct as well as it sounds like the away team for the X-Men.
They have dealt with Terminus and want to know who their next target is. Emma directs their attention to the sky as a Quinjet is arriving. Emma gets the awesome line of “Someone’s assembled.” I so miss this Emma, the wise cracking all confidence Emma.
The Avengers are – Spider-Man, Spider-Woman, Iron Man, the Protector (the former Marvel Boy), Captain America, Red Hulk and Wolverine but we only see his head in the plane. He doesn’t get a caption box. Probably to build up the tension as at this point, Wolverine has the Jean Grey School up and running and there is some anger there between Wolverine and Cyclops as the Schism is still fresh. But it is still polite tension, AvX will set these two on different courses that they are still mad at each other about and still not really on talking terms. Here, they can at least work together.
The Avengers have been dealing with Super Skrull in New York, and since they handled one alien threat, Brand has decided to let them assist Cyclops’ team.
Emma gets another awesome line, and gets to continue her relationship with Storm – which is a friendly rivalry, asking Storm why she didn’t assemble with her new friends. At this is during the time when Storm has joined the Avengers. I believe it lasted only two issues and that is including the one issue she joins and didn’t do much from what I remember reading about. She was a member of the Fantastic Four along with her husband, Black Panther, longer than she was a proper Avenger.
Hope, showing her age and experience, shouts “Team-Up!” which is fun. Cyclops and Wolverine finally get to glare at each other.
Sabancaya, Peru – Magneto deals with Voidian the Destroyer’s giant organ as Spider-Man punches Voidian’s face.
Chichen Itza, Mexico – The Dire Wraiths are at ancient temples, feeding off the power. So weird how Marvel has the rights to Dire Wraiths but not ROM. Weird and awkward. With Disney’s money, one would imagine they can buy the rights to ROM and do something with the rights. At least be able to print Essentials with all the issues instead of having to skip the ones with ROM. Hope and Spider-Woman are there helping.
Magik teleports the Dire Wraiths into Limbo, which there they don’t have any power.
Vancouver, Canada – Protector is dealing with the Acute Reflection after the X-Club told him about how to use their weapons against them. Danger is there, as well.
Las Vegas, Nevada – Juggerlossus is fighting Xemnu. Emma and Iron Man are creating a device so that Red Hulk can assist.
Not to be that guy, but one would think – production wise – they would have shown the Vegas scene and then the Vancouver so that it segues into the next scene with Unit in Canada better. That’s just me.
Unit is performing a vivisection on the father. He ‘apologizes” for not being able to turn off the man’s pain receptors but he has to learn all that he can with the process. He also then apologizes as his vivisection has become a dissection. I like how Unit is a fun clever robot type of character in SWORD but left to his own schemes, is a ripe bastard.
Unit then finds the son, tells him to look the other way and in a horrible panel to be seen, eye laser beams the son’s head, causing it to explode. It is horrible! He at least had the boy think of a happy thought before doing it. He claims it is a peaceful death but it sure doesn’t look it.
Then in the very next panel, he wants to learn about mutants so he thumps his head and the Cuckoos see a new mutant on Cerebra.
One of the Cuckoos, so nice that now they all have different hair colors so you can distinguish them, informs Hope that a new mutant has been detected. Hope tells her to gather her team together.
This must be before Generation Hope is a title but that is who her team is. Pixie is their teleported, and the other members are Primal, Transonic and Velocidad – who once they show up on the battlefield, informs Hope that her superhero hobby time is over and it is time to return to her day job. Cyclops tells them that rescuing new mutants is up there with saving the world, so Hope should go. Before Generation Hope became a title and our real world name for her group, the new mutants were called The Lights due to them being the first batch of new mutants Cerebra located.
The Lights, Hope and Pixie arrive and see Unit. They know it is a trap now as most mutants don’t look like a surf board with arms and a head. Hope knows that he must be one of the escapees from the Peak.
Unit commands Pixie to teleport the team eight miles to the north and then in two seconds after that, to fall asleep. Pixie complies.
I had forgotten this about Hope, that her mutant power is to mimic nearby mutants’ powers. So now that there are no mutants, she is powerless before Unit. He then commands her to drop her giant gun (she was raised by Cable, after all).
The issue ends with him finally having a mutant before him, and a powerful one at that, he wants to know what makes a mutant different from a human. He refers to her as a ‘special’ mutant.
Don’t worry the X-Men and Avengers show up before he can hurt her.
Issue ends with a preview of AvX Issue One.