Writer Matt Fraction
Penciler Marc Silvestri
Pencil Assists Michael Broussaro, Eric Basaldua, Tyler Kirkham & Sheldon Mitchell
Inkers Joe Weems with Marco Galli, Eric Basaldua, Rick Basaldua, Jason Gorder, Jay Leisten, Sal Regla, Jon Sibal and Ryan Winn
Colorist Frank D’Armata
Letterer Chris Eliopoulos
Special Thanks to Filip Sablik and Phil Smith from Top Cow Productions
Cover Dated August 2009
Utopia Part One of Six
Silvestri outdoing Bachalo with all of the assists!
We are kicking off Avengers Month with a mini event, Dark Avengers Uncanny X-Men Utopia! I don’t own parts two or three, so we will be skipping those! The only issues I own are the ones Magik appears in.
This event was the first time the X-Men had a crossover involving someone outside of their own franchise. The Dark Avengers were essentially the concept of Thunderbolts but with A-Listers. Which was awkward as the Thunderbolts were an actual team during this time. The Thunderbolts haven’t been A-Listers since Hawkeye left the title years ago. It did bounce back during New Thunderbolts but that’s the benefit of a new number one.
A nice thing about reading this six years later, is that Matt Fraction had this excellent technique of introducing characters with their own caption box that relates their name, powers and typically a one or two word description of their character.
Inside front cover is an ad for the Honda Insight, a new hybrid. I’m sure this ad sold many cars.
Onto the issue itself.
Simon Trask, the probably last surviving Trask, is leading a march onto city hall in San Francisco. This was during the time when the X-Men lived in San Francisco as the mansion blew up after Second Coming. In fact, this event spins out of it. The march is all about how Trask wants to legislate when mutants can reproduce. This was during California Prop 8, in RL, during on if homosexuals could get married. Trask wants this legislation because when Hope Summers was born, the city in Alaska where she was born, was burn to the ground – due to Mister Sinister and his Marauders seeking her out.
Because my wife lived in San Francisco for a few years, whenever the comic would show a different neighborhood was shown, I would show it to her to see if that’s how it really was. All artists during this era, did a great job of capturing San Francisco.
This event is called, Utopia, so this is clearly leading up to the mutant island – Utopia. But we don’t even know that, at this point.
San Francisco, CA; Market St. The march has been peaceful for miles. Which is easy to do when on either side, are only humans. Now Trask and his group, Humanity Now!, have finally come up to some mutants.
Dr. Henry McCoy — Beast. Agile, vaguely feline, compassionate. Beast tries to calmly tell Trash that the humans can’t get to City Hall unless they go through the mutants.
Jean-Paul Beabier — Northstar. Strong, fast, Canadian. Northstar starts yelling at Trask.
Megan Gwynn — Pixie. Like a thing unto a Pixie. Also teleports. Julian Keller — Hellion. Telekinetic, anger issues. The students are tired of all of these bigots. Hellion has both of his hands at this point. He’ll keep them throughout the rest of the storyline. All of the sudden, the muttants and humans start losing their cool and start attacking each other.
The news reports start. Some are clearly bias against the mutants.
Marin, Ca; Gray Malkin Industries.
See how Colossus has his hands on that blonde? As poor Magik doesn’t have that much distinctive physical traits out of costume. Probably why Bachalo gave her a head garb in her current look. It use to be nigh impossible to tell her and Magma apart during their original New Mutants days. Especially from a distance. This is Magik’s only appearance in the issue.
Gray Malkin Industries was the X-Men headquarters ever since the Manifest Destiny branding. I don’t believe it lasted that long. I did like how San Francisco was so welcoming to the X-Men.
Kurt Wagner — Nightcrawler. Teleporting elfish demon and holy man. Kurt wonders how the X-Men are going to respond to the riots.
Hisako Ichiki — Armor. Psionic armor. Young yet. Not sure what ‘young yet’ means. Armor would like to know what happens next as well.
Scott Summers — Cyclops. Optic force blasts. Leader of a people. Cyclops wants the students to call their parents and let them know that they are safe.
San Francisco, CA; City Hall. Mayor Sadie Sinclair is reading Cyclops the riot act. Maybe not the best choice of words. Cyclops tells her that he isn’t the King of Mutants, he is just one leader. He doesn’t control every mutant.
Emma Frost — The White Queen. Psychic powerhouse, filled with secrets. Emma is happy that the mayor just called mutants ‘you people.’
San Francisco, CA; St. Francis Hospital. With San Francisco being constantly used, makes me wonder if they are going to a new city, at some point. Trask is in front of cameras. His arm is in a sling and he has a medical collar around his neck.
In other news, Norman Osborn has arrived in the city. This is after Secret Invasion, where he killed the Skrull Queen and is now a word famous savior. He changed SHIELD to HAMMER but never revealed what HAMMER stood for. He thought there would be time. I’m not even sure if fans ever came up with a solution. Norman is also Iron Patriot, the leader of the Dark Avengers. Becoming the head of SHIELD, meant that he had access to all of Tony Stark’s armors as Tony was the Director of SHIELD and had supplied SHIELD with his armors – or something like that. As seen on the cover, Norman had the awesome idea of giving an Iron Man suit a color scheme change. Doing so, means that it looks like Norman is the perfect combination of Iron Man and Captain America, which is pretty smart.
Scott and Emma are holding hands as the mayor and them are watching Norman on television.
Wakanda. Storm is watching the news as Black Panther is lying in a hospital bed. Not sure what that is about.
New York City. The New Avengers (the good guy team that are in hiding) are watching the news. These Avengers are – Mockingbird, Iron Fist, Spider-Man, Carol Danvers, Bucky Cap, Spider-Woman, Luke Cage, Ronin (Hawkeye) and Wolverine. Wolverine is heading out to California.
Transimensional Warp Vessel Quadra Orbiting Sol-909: Franklin is sad as he is a mutant and his people are being persecuted. You can tell this is a big event as we are checking in on the rest of the Marvel characters.
Latveria. Doom provides the copy for the trade, which I’m sure they didn’t use – Well then, here’s to things finally getting interesting. Loki is there, as well. I believe they are the Cabal at this time, which Norman is also apart of.
San Francisco, CA; the Castro. Mutant protests are happening. Humans start throwing trash at them. Angel shows up and tries to calm things with Match. Riots are breaking out everywhere.
Nob Hill : Kurt is on scene
Telegraph Hill : Mercury and two otehrs are there. The girl with pink tattoos and the guy who isn’t Rockslide.
Hayes Valley : Rockslide and Surge along with Piotr Rasputin — Colossus. Organic metal. Colossal.
The Embarcadero : Toad is there, as one of the ones protesting.
Phoebe, Mindee and Celeste — The Stepford Cuckoos. Telepathic hive mind. They are there with Cyclops. Cyclops tells Toad that he’s been beating him since he was a teenager. Cyclops takes care of Toad but gets a brick to the head, just like in Marvels.
Except that Iceman was there to take the first one.
Cyclops gets up with the aid of a police officer. Cyclops wonders if the police can’t handle the riots, who can.
There is an ad for Captain America Reborn, he’s been dead since the end of Civil War.
San Francisco Bay; HAMMER West. Norman has gathered his Avengers team.
Hawkeye — aka Bullseye. World’s Deadliest Assassin, unrepentant. The X-Men captions were were a light yellow background with their name in black text and their descriptions in red. Unfortunately, the Avengers’ captions are black background, their name in nice readable white next and their description – dark blue text that is extremely hard to read. Bullseye wonders why Norman isn’t suiting up.
Norman Osborn — aka Iron Patriot. Director of HAMMER. Modified Stark Industries War Suit. Team Leader. Norman threatens to give Bullseye even more meds. Some of the villains need to be on medication to keep them on the straight and narrow.
Norman assigns each Avenger a section of the city.
Bob Reynolds — The Sentry. Near omnipotent and godlike. Schizophrenia. Sentry will be staying behind with Norman. He is too big of a threat.
Daken Akihiro — Wolverine. Son of Wolverine. A man of wealth and taste. Once they are done with protecting the city, he recommends they eat at Chez Panisse.
There is a double page ad for Kia’s The Soul, the left side page is wasted.
The Castro. Some lady mutants are tired of being mistreated by the flatscans.
Dr. Karla Sofen — Ms. Marvel. Flight, intangible, energy blasts. Being promoted from the B-Team of Thunderbolts, Moonstar is now Ms. Marvel, in her classic leggy outfit. She blasts the mutants into submission. Pretty good decision to have her pretend to be Ms. Marvel, as their power sets are essentially the same.
Hayes Valley : Colossus has just beaten down Rockslide.
Mac Gargan — Spider-Man. Controlled by Venom symbiotic. Crazy. The former Scorpion is now the second Venom (or is that a third). Spider-Man starts kicking Colossus’ dumb arse.
There is an ad for Incredible Hulk Issue 600.
The Embarcadero : The police are trying to calm down everybody but it isn’t working. Hawkeye (I wish I could combine Hawkeye and Bullseye into a clever name. Maybe If I took one half of one’s name and combined it with another half of the other’s name. Perhaps . . . Bullseye! or Hawkeye! dang it!) HawkBullseye shoots arrow but not at anyone in particular.
Telegraph Hill : Onyxx was the guy I didn’t know who looks like Rockside but with a different head. Cyclops gets a sit-rep from the gathered students. No one has seen Emma in a while.
There is an ad for New Mutants 3, Dani versus Legion.
Mayor Sinclair is on the phone with Norman. He can’t come to City Hall but he is sending a special agent.
Ares. The God of War. Literally. Is that agent. He’s in the Dark Avengers as he like to fight. As simple as that.
Cyclops seess Ares and realizes that he has no one who can take out Ares.
Meanwhile, Norman is talking to Emma. Norman has an offer for Emma. Norman wants to have his own team of mutants.
There is an ad for Dark Wolverine, as Daken has taken over his father’s title. Don’t worry, Logan still has Origins and countless minis to his name. This was during the Dark Reign branding, so there were several “Dark” titles.
Emma turns her back to the camera and we can see the inside of the folder Norman gave her. Unfortunately, all of the pages we see are blank. There isn’t even any lines on the pages, to substitute for real words.
Meanwhile, we see that Beast is in a prison cell. Iron Patriot starts a news conference. Cyclops is being arrested. Beast is hearing a voice in his head, but it is faint. Iron Patriot brings out Professor Xavier. Cyclops breaks out of police custody. We see Emma inside HAMMER West but now she is wearing black. Issue ends with Xavier in a prison cell, revealing to Beast, that their powers are being dampen.
The next two issues deal with Norman’s new team . . . The Dark X-Men. Which consists of Cloak & Dagger, Emma and Namor, Mimic, Weapon Omega (the guy who killed Alpha Flight) and Xavier – who really is Mystique.
I wonder if Mystique and Xavier laughed about this fiasco while they were boning and making that weird baby of theirs.