Writer Chris Claremont
Penciler John Byrne
Inker Terry Austin
Colorist Glynis Wein
Letterer Tom Orzechowski
Cover Dated February 1980
This issue, the title officially becomes Uncanny X-Men – though the printed title has had the word on it for a while.
Great splash page, even better way to recap the final issue’s ending. Left Side – X-Men versus Brotherhood. Kitty Pryde in the middle. Right Side – Future X-Men versus Sentinels.
Then the next page has a great two page spread. The top panel that across the two pages has the Brotherhood on the left page and the X-Men on the right page, great use of the page divide.
Senator Kelly isn’t happy that mutants are going to make the Senate floor into a battlefield.
Blob backhands a police officer. Avalanche takes the ground out from under the X-Men.
Nightcrawler uses his circus agility to get to Avalanche. He keeps teleporting and punching Avalanche. Destiny predicts Nightcrawler’s next spot where he’ll teleport to and so Avalanche is ready for him.
Pyro torches Colossus. Wolverine comes at Pyro with claws extended. Storm creates a tornado to both push Wolverine away from Pyro and to extinguish the fire around Colossus.
For some reason, Angel is flying around holding Kate’s hand. Kate reminds Angel of the true goal of today, to protect Senator Kelly – all of this other stuff is purely a distraction.
Moira and Xavier are lead to ‘safety’ by a lady police officer. The two of them are discussing the concept of time travel. The officer is within earshot but doesn’t seem to be listening to this odd conversation. Xavier finally notices that he can’t read the officer’s minds (does he always do an initial scan? He probably does after this) and notices he can’t read her mind. With that, the officer sprays a gas in their faces and Mystique has taken out the biggest threat to the plan.
Mystique has a moment where she wonders if she should kill Xavier but decides to take him as a hostage. How crazy is that? If she killed him right there, it would have changed so many stories from that point on. There’s another What If? story waiting to be told.
Mystique and Destiny meet up again. Destiny still is having a hard time seeing the future clearly, there is a random element out there – that we know to be Kate.
Segue to Kate realizing that her mere presence hasn’t changed anything. She has to get to Kelly before he is killed.
There is an ad for Captain Universe, who will be appearing in Marvel Spotlight. Creative team is Bill Mantlo and Steve Ditko. Sold! Apparently, Captain Universe first appeared in Micronauts, which explains Mantlo’s involvement. I have only read him when Spider-Man had the power during Acts of Vengeance.
2013. Which, when last year, I thought maybe we’ll have some big event – which Battle of the Atom was suppose to be that but it wasn’t enough of Days of Future Past for my taste. Especially once Raze was revealed to be only using Kate Pryde’s shape.
Sort of like how during 1999, I thought Lavos was going to crash – that would have been a sight!
The Future X-Men are still working their way through to the Baxter Building. Colossus is still holding his wife’s unconscious body.
Wolverine comments that the Sentinels will figure he is heading toward his Canadian Resistance Army squad. Which, it would be interesting to see who makes up the CRA, is it wrong to assume it is the Alpha Flight of the day? There’s another What If? he did go left instead of right.
Storm takes the lead, and flies to the front of the Baxter Building, destroys the guard Sentinel (surprised they wasn’t two of them in front of the building – on either side of the door).
Rachel is going to stay behind, as the X-Men go into the building. She will keep watch of Kate’s body in case Kitty wakes up. Rachel wonders if Kate has been successful as one of the consequences of Kate’s actions could be that all she succeeds in doing is creating an alternate timeline. Which really motivates Wolverine, as if it doesn’t work, then they will have to still live their days out in this lousy timeline. At least a version of their past selves will be living maybe better lives.
Storm picks the lock to the Baxter Building. So funny that the Sentinels kept the human size doors after they converted the building into their central hub.
Wolverine has on his belt a mechanism that still activities the Fantastic Four maintenance elevator. The three X-Men realize that the odds are against them, three X-Men versus hundreds of Sentinels. Colossus asks if Storm is doing okay, as the elevator is a tight space.
1980. Kate realizes the X-Men are losing the fight with the Brotherhood. The reports in the future don’t name who killed Kelly, so it isn’t a matter of punching the would be murderer – the quest should be to get to the senator and protect him.
Storm is thinking to herself how lousy of a field leader she has been up to this point. Cyclops would have done much better in this scenario. One of the problems, is that they don’t have any space to really fight so she creates a whirlwind and knocks everyone out of the building.
Blob continues his fight with Colossus. Blob keeps going on about his strengths and his powers.
The army shows up, they can’t figure out who is a nice mutant. Instead of watching for a few minutes, they open fire. Colossus takes a canon from a tank, to the gut.
A soldier has a flame thrower and tries to use it. Pyro, of course, takes control of the flame. Angel is able to outfly his flame demon. Wolverine is busy with his fight with Blob. Wolverine doesn’t notice the flame monster behind him. It grabs Wolverine, causing him to scream in pain.
Storm flies up, dives down, causing a giant gust of wind, blowing out the flame.
Kurt, like a good friend, checks on Wolverine. Wolverine tells him that the flame resistant suit took the blunt of the flame. His healing factor is already working. Wolverine does hurt though. Kurt knows that Wolverine must really be in pain.
Then another Nightcrawler jumps at the first Nightcrawler. They start to fight. Wolverine wants to help. He figures the real Kurt will teleport away in time. He gets ready to charge when Storm orders him to sheathe his claws. Wolverine can’t believe the nerve of Storm to stop him in the middle of battle and tell him what to do.
She reasons that he is a formidable opponent without the claws and should only use them in dire circumstances. He tells her he wouldn’t take that from Cyclops and she tells him that, regardless, he will take it from her. He agrees, for now.
The entire reason he was going to use his claws is that his senses are still out of whack from the flame creature.
Avalanche takes the ground out from under them. Wolverine comments that their guard was down as Storm picked the worst time to lay down some field rules. Which really, she did pick the worst time. It literally is in the middle of the heat of battle.
Wolverine is bickering with Storm about who is going to help Kurt, as Storm flies the both of them away from the scene. Both Nightcrawlers shout that they don’t need any help. One of them shifts back into Mystique. Kurt is thrown off as her appearance resembles his own. Mystique calls him by his full name, Kurt Wagner, and if he wants any answers, he should talk to his mother – Margali Szardos.
Meanwhile, showing that he isn’t a complete idiot – Colossus enlists Wolverine’s help to defeat Blob. Colossus has a metal rod, he places it on the back of Wolverine and using him as a lever, flips Blob off of his feet. Which, I get the science of it, but if Blob doesn’t want to move (as he’s repeated several times in a span of two pages) how could he still be lifted? If the panel showed that the metal pipe went into the ground, that might be another thing but it looks like it only went between Blob’s legs. Not to take anything away from Byrne, or even question his art choice on his second to last issue of Uncanny but it could have been shown a tad bit better.
Angel flies by Kurt, telling him to get going as the army has already taken Blob, Avalanche and Pyro into custody. The army won’t stop there, they will arrest the X-Men too, he beliefs.
Kurt wants to take Mystique in, himself but she has disappeared.
Mystique, now in her Raven Darkholme persona, is behind a wall. She will never make the mistake of underestimating the X-Men again. She’ll be back with a stronger and better Brotherhood.
Storm is creating a fog to cover their escape when Colossus notices Kitty is gone.
2013. The three X-Men have made it to the top floor. They see an Omega Level Sentinel, by itself. Wolverine instructs Colossus to do a fastball special. As soon as Wolverine is in the air, the Sentinel turns and straight up fries Wolverine to the metal skeleton. It is a very famous panel and it is awesome. Seeing the arm of the skeleton on the ground and the look on Storm and Colossus’ face is astonishing.
The famous Wolverine is dead.
There is an ad for Doctor Stange’s new title by Roger Stern and Frank Miller. I would have bought this title.
To make matters worst, the Sentinel informs the X-Men that they have known the mutants were in the building the entire time and they are ready for them.
Storm destroys this Sentinel, her fury knows no limits.
More Sentinels come in. Colossus pushes one down.
Storm tries to create a blizzard but gets a metal spike through her chest for her troubles. It isn’t graphic but that has to hurt. It does, as now Storm is dead. Colossus lets out a shout and attacks the Sentinels.
In a bold move, we cut to Rachel outside. She has been telepathically linked to the X-Men. She felt them all die. She now senses Colossus’ death. So the cover is right, everybody does die.
It wasn’t a great plan, what were they even hoping to accomplish? We’ll see in an upcoming issue of Excalibur what their goals would have been. The Suspense!
Rachel wonders what would happen if Kate’s body dies while her mind is elsewhere. She wishes Kate a happier life.
Which transitions us perfectly back to the past. Kate has found Senator Kelly and Destiny has a crossbow pointed at him.
Destiny knows her teammates have been captured but their goal will be accomplished this day.
I like how Kelly stands up for himself. Even if he is killed, the human race will rally that much harder around his death. Destiny lets him know that he is more of a threat alive than dead. Oh, if only she were to know. I wonder how she got it so wrong, what future did she see?
Kate figures that the timeswitch is why Destiny can’t detect her.
As Destiny fires her crossbow, Kate phases through Destiny and unphases her arm to elbow Destiny’s aim off. It is a skill Kitty will master later but right now, only Kate could have done it.
I wonder why she didn’t just sneak across the room and just phase Kelly away from any threats. As her one plan still opens itself to a fatality. As Destiny’s aim is only slightly thrown off as the arrow comes near his head.
As soon as it happens, Kitty and Kate switch bodies again – Quantum Leap rules.
Storm comes flying into the room. Both Destiny and Kitty are unconscious. Kelly wants to know what is happening here. Storm picks up Kitty, who is coming to, and tells him that the X-Men just saved his life and he owes Kitty a thanks of gratitude.
Xavier comes in and Storm and he exchange a conversation. At this point, Xavier isn’t out about being a mutant or having any ties to the X-Men so whenever the X-Men are in public, they make a point of calling each other by their names – even though they don’t have any real secret identities or families to speak of, besides Kitty. Kitty at this point is going by Sprite.
Raven Darkholme sees Destiny being arrested, she vows to free her soon.
On the plane ride back, Xavier explains to Kitty roughly what happened. Last she knew, she was in the Danger Room. Xavier tells her that Kate was a delightful and admirable woman.
There is a Hostess Fruit Pie ad starring Daredevil in vs. Johnny Punk.
One month later. Senator Kelly, Sebastian Shaw, the President (in shadows) and a fourth gentleman are having a conversation. The President is amazed that Kelly wants to continue his war on mutants as he was just saved by a few of them. The President isn’t even sure if what Kelly wants to do is legal. Shaw pipes up, stating that the plan is to strengthen national security.
The President tells them that the operation will be known as, Project Widewake. The man who will be heading it will answer directly and only to the president himself. In the final panel reveal, it is ol’ Avengers thorn – Henry Peter Gyrich. Shaw is there as his company, Shaw Industries, will be making this new batch of Sentinels.
. . .
Also, be on the lookout for Star Wars jokes or references today. May fourth be with you, indeed.