Uncanny X-Men (5th series) #10

Issue Date: 
March 2019
Story Title: 
Disassembled, part 10
Staff: 

Ed Brisson, Matthew Rosenberg & Kelly Thompson (writers), Pere Perez (artist), Rachelle Rosenberg (colorist), Virtual Calligraphy's Joe Caramagna (letterer), Giuseppe Camuncoli, Roberto Poggi & Jason Keith (cover artists), John Tyler Christopher; David Finch & Frank D'Armata; ron Lim & Israel Silva (variant cover artist), Jeff Powell (title page designer), Chris Robinson (assistant editor), Jordan D White (editor), CB Cebulski (editor-in-chief), Joe Quesada (chief creative officer), Dan Buckley (publisher), Alan Fine (executive producer)

X-Men Created by Stan Lee & Jack Kirby

 

Brief Description: 

On Quadra Island, X-Man has taken over the mind and body of Legion, and alongside his Horsemen of Salvation – Storm, Magneto, Blob and Omega Red – watch as an army of X-Men, X-Men students, allies – and even Apocalypse – rush towards them. Cannonball sees an opportunity to strike X-Man directly, but X-Man sees him coming and knocks him back with a powerful surge of energy. Armor instructs Pixie to teleport Cannonball to safety. Storm easily knocks back any of the X-Men that get close to her, and adding to their troubles, she creates a massive rainstorm which beats down on the heroes. Jean Grey rallies the psychics to her side, thinking they might be the only chance to defeat X-Man. Psylocke has other ideas though, and tells Jean that they need to stop Storm, otherwise the other X-Men don't have a chance. Psylocke convinces Archangel to help her. Archangel flies Psylocke towards Storm, and as she falls down onto her friend, Psylocke tells her that she beleies this is what she would want, as she shoves a psychic sword into her mind. Storm screams, and both women plummet to the flooded island below, but Archangel swoops down and rescues them. In control of herself again, Storm is furious and heads back into battle. Psylocke wants to talk to Archangel, but he flies off, not wanting to speak with her. Psylocke joins with Jean Grey, the Stepford Cuckoos, Sage and No-Girl as they form a perimeter around X-Man, and when Storm confronts him, seeking vengeance for the way he manipulated her, she weakens him, enabling the psychics to tear X-Man from Legion's mind and body – but in the process, Jean Grey becomes trapped in X-Man's mind. There, Jean discovers that X-Man sees himself above everything, and she tells him that she wants him to help her set things right. Jean admits to being absent for much of X-Man's life, but that she knows he is a good man, and he is hurting people with his actions. X-Man tells Jean that he is doing something she and the X-Men never could – saving the world – but Jean links him to the pain that he is causing people all over the world. This  startles X-Man, and weakens his hold on reality. The X-Men's attack against him increases, and the Horsemen find themselves free from his hold. Magneto, Omega Red and Blob join the X-Men in the battle against X-Man. Jean ends the psychic link, and Nate reveals that he is dying. He shows Jean the Life Seed that he used to increase his power, and explains that he discovered he couldn't use the seed to save his own life, so he wanted to use it to save the world. The mutants continue their assault against X-Man's physical form, with Psylocke warning Kitty that if they destroy X-Man, they might kill Jean, too. Nate tells Jean that he simply wanted to bring peace to the world. Jean suggests to Nate that he let it go, but Nate informs her that he knows what he must do – if he can't save this world, he will make it into a world where the X-Men don't belong. An instant later the is an explosion which seems to tear the X-Men apart, and they vanish. Nate is left on Quadra Island, and collapses, before the waves wash over him, and then he is gone, too, only the Life Seed remains. Several days later, the world is rebuilding, and the X-Men are no more. Senator Allen had a change of heart and reversed his anti-mutant position, but it was too late – the world had had enough of Homo Superior, and laws were passed to make sure never again families would have to suffer the tragedy of having a mutant child, as the anti-mutant vaccine was put into immediate circulation. But Cyclops has returned, and he wonders if years from now people will realize what has been lost – as the X-Men just wanted to save the world from itself.

Full Summary: 

Quadra Island, British Columbia, Canada. 'Behind us, my Lord' Magneto, the Horseman of Peace tells X-Man, whose mind is currently housed in Legion's body. 'We'll deal with these heathens' Omega Red, the Horseman of Wellness declares. 'There is no reason for you to dirty your hands' Blob, the Horseman of Bounty adds, while Storm, the Horseman of Life, stands in front of X-Man. Water rises around their ankles, but X-Man tells his Horsemen 'No. If they truly want a battle...then they they shall have it!' he exclaims as he and his Horsemen confront the army of X-Men and allies that have gathered and race towards them. Storm knocks back Rictor, Mercury, Shark Girl, Forge, Magma and Dazzler with a gust of wind, as Jean Grey, Firestar, Cannonball, Northstar and No-Girl fly towards X-Man, and Kylun moves in from behind. The Blob looms over Nightcrawler, Genesis, Armor, Iceman, Kitty, Jubilee, Beast and Glob, while Psylocke and Bishop rush towards Magneto, who throws up a magnetic shield to protect himself from Archangel's deadly wing-blades, and Apocalypse and X-23 find themselves trapped in Omega Red's carbonadium coils. Honey Badger, Rockslide, Nature Girl, Colosuss, Oya, Pixie, Polaris, Thunderbird, Sunfire, Transonic and Meggan move in as part of the next wave.

'Ah got a clear path... gonna take this sucker down once and for all' Cannonball calls out as he blasts straight down towards X-Man, despite a telepathic warning from Jean not to. Cannonball assures her that he has it, and asks her to make sure the path is clear. Jean dodges a punch from the Blob, while X-Man looks up at the fast-approaching Cannonball and tells him that he surely knew it would not be this easy. 'But why should I expect more from a country bumpkin like yourself?' X-Man wonders as he releases a crackle of energy upwards, striking Cannonball before Cannonball can get to him – and sending Cannonball careening backwards away from the battle, past Glob, Armor and Pixie, who rush over to him, along with his sister, Husk. 'I'm here, Sam!' Husk calls out, while Armor points out that Cannonball needs medical attention. She looks at Pixie and instructs her to teleport him out of here. 'But they need me here!' Pixie responds as Colossus is knocked backwards nearby and Sunfire flies overhead. 'And Cannonball needs a doctor. Get him out of here and come right back' Armor tells Pixie. Husk tears off her skin, revealing a metallic layer underneath as she rushes back into the battle, 'Ah'ma make that son of a bitch pay for what he done to my brother!' she exclaims, while Armor assures Pixie that they will be sure to leave her a few dirtbags to punch up when she gets back, as Pixie teleports away with Cannonball.

Up above, 'You cannot win this fight, X-Men. Stop this foolishness and bow down to X-Man... before it is too late' Storm warns the X-Men as she releases a powerful wave of lightning that knocks back Rictor, Shark Girl, Prodigy, Mercury and Tempus. A hard rain then begins to fall. Surge fires a blast of energy at Omega Red, while Honey Badger clings to him, slicing away at his coils. Kylun growls as he cuts through a coil, and X-23 slices another one, telling the otherts to keep hacking away. 'Dude can't keep attacking with his gross tentacles if we've cut them all off' she points out. But more tentacles sporut, and Omega Red grins as he wraps several aroung Honey Badger. 'He's got more. He's got so many tentacles!' she exclaims. 'Yes, I've got eyes, Gabby' Kylun mutters as one of the carbonadium coils wrap around him. Another coil knocks Surge back, while X-23 continues to fight.

Jean Grey watches, and sees Polaris continue to fight her own father, Magneto, who knocks back Bling, Colossus and several others, while the Blob slams his fist into the ground, knocking Match and others backwards. Jean telepathically contacts Psylocke, the Stepford Cuckoos, Sage and No-Girl, asking them to join her, as X-Man is combining his powers with Legion's, so if they can work together, they might be able to separate them and shut them down. Jean's telepathic message reaches the others, informing them all that they need to buy her and the psychics some time. 'Go. We'll keep Blob at bay' Gentle responds as he and Sunfire fight Blob, while Sage runs from him, No-Girl at her side, Sage telepathically tells Jean that they are on their way, but she isn't sure how much help she will be, as her telepathic abilities are not on the same level as the rest of theirs. Jean reports that X-Man is one of the most powerful telepaths she has ever encountered, and now that he has combined himself with Legion, they need every bit of power available to them.

The Stepford Cuckoos casually walk away from the battle, 'Figures that once again... the telepaths... have to save the day' they remark. From beneath a magnetic dome where Polaris continues to battle her father, she tells the Cuckoos 'Let us hope you're half as capable as you think you are'. As the telepaths gather, Betsy tells Jean that they need to stop Storm, that she doesn't think they stand a chance of stopping this if they can't break X-Man's control over Storm. 'She's destroying us' Betsy adds as the weather worsens, while X-Man knocks back Dr Nemesis, and Iceman helps Eye-Boy up. Jean tells Betsy that they will try their best to combat X-Man without her, but she understands that they need to stop Storm, they need to break Nate's hold on her. 'But -' Betsy begins to say, while Jean asks her to promise that she will hurry back to her, as they are going to need all hands on deck. 'I...' Betsy utters. 'Hurry' Jean declares. The rain drenches Betsy, who raises her psychic sword and shield and rushes off, announcing that she will return, while telepathically calling out to Archangel, informing him that she needs his help. Archangel looks down at Betsy and scowls.

The telepaths rush over to X-Man, and under Jean's instruction form a perimeter around him as he hovers above them. Jean tells the others to focus on joining their powers together, when X-Man suddenly notices them. 'Jean... mother... must you keep pushing? Why can you not accept that this is what must be? I tried to be the son that you wanted. Tried to be the one to usher the X-Men into  the next age. But you've shown me that it's a journey I must make alone' Nate remarks, looking down at Jean, who looks up at him, the rain beating down on her. 'That in order for mutantkind to evolve, we must first destroy our past' Nate explains. Jean tells Nate that he has forced their hand here, and reminds him that they tried to talk him out of this. She announces that she is sorry it has come to this – she truly is. Jean, Sage and the Stepford Cuckoos all close their eyes as they and No-Girl begin to concentrate.

Up above: 'Thank you, Warren' Betsy remarks to Archangel as he flies her towards Storm. Archangel tells Betsy not to thank him just yet, as Storm may very well vaporize her. 'Yes. That has occurred to me' Betsy replies as she drops from Archangel's grip, straight down towards Storm, where she lands on Storms back. Betsy tells her friend that she is sorry, and that she does this for the good of all – and believing it is what she would have wanted. Before Storm can react, Betsy plunges her psychic sword into Storm's head, and a look of distress falls across Storms' face. Nearby, Apocalypse attacks Magneto, while Storm starts to screams, and when Betsy retracts her psychic sword both she and Storm plummet to the water below. Archangel looks shocked as he sees Betsy fall, then swoops down and grabs both Betsy and Storm before they fall into the water. Archangel drops down onto some nearby land, exhausted from his life-saving act. Betsy groans as she comes to, and looks down at Warren, who sits up as Storm suddenly gets to her feet and declares 'This violation of my mind will not go unanswered, X-Man!'

Betsy explains to Storm that zshe has to go join Jean, as they are trying to separate X-Man from Legion – together they are just too powerful. 'I shall help' Storm responds, lightning crackling around her, she grits her teeth and takes flight. 'Oh God. Will she be all right?' Betsy asks. 'Who knows?' Archangel replies as he looks up at Storm and remarks that being transformed against your will by a god who makes all his desires your own is not easy to recover from. He points out that Storm seems to have found her rage, though, which is good for her. Archangel then takes flights without saying anything else to Betsy. 'Warren...' Betsy utters, before she gets a telepathic call from Jean Grey, who reminds her that they need her. 'I'm coming, Jean' Betsy responds as she makes her way through the rain to where the psychics are gathered. Betsy telepathically links to the psychics and informs Jean that she thinks Storm is about to do something bloody stupid, but that it might help them. 'All in together now' Jean tells the other psychics as they concentrate hard.

Suddenly: 'YOU THINK YOURSELF A GOD, X-MAN?' Storm shouts as she appears above X-Man, lightning darting around her, she focusses that lightning and directs an enormous amount of it at X-Man, striking him hard as she screams 'I HAVE BEEN A GODDESS LONGER THAN YOU HAVE BEEN ALIVE!' At that same moment, 'There. There it is. We have him' Jean tells the other telepaths, as they find X-Man's mind inside of Legion's body and and tear him from it with their powerful psychic strength, causing both X-Man and Legion to scream. As Legion falls to the ground, Betsy looks over to him and reports that he is free, unconscious but alive. Betsy then tells the other telepaths not to stop, that they have X-Man on the ropes, before she goes wide-eyed, 'Wait! Where's Jean...?' she asks, a look of horror falling across Betsy's face as she realizes that Jean is trapped inside X-Man. 'We've lost her' Betsy utters.

'Where – oh no' Jean Grey utters as she finds herself surrounded by pure whiteness. As she looks closer, she can see the battle playing out as shadowy gray figures. 'Hello, Jean' a voice calls out, and Jean turns to see X-Man standing before her. Jean asks Nate if this is how he sees the world – above it all. 'Pop psychology is beneath you, Jean' Nate replles. 'I would have thought it was beneath your mind, Nate, but here we are' Jean points out. Jean adds that this isn't her mind, it is Nate's, so she is only commenting on what she has found – which is he, removed from everyone else – like someone trying very hard to play god. 'And how would playing god look different than being god?' Nate asks, before telling Jean that if it bothers her, he can make this world whatever would make her feel comfortable. He creates a small rainbow and tells Jean that all she needs to do is ask.

Jean tells Nate that what would make her comfortable is he ending this face, coming with her and beginning to set right all the damage he has caused. She adds that together they could set much right. 'I'm sorry, Mother. That's not going to happen' Nate responds, before turning from Jean and walking away. Jean follows him and tells Nate that this can't be what he wanted, as he is a good man. 'How could you know that?' Nate asks. Jean tells Nate that she has been absent for so much of his life, she knows that, and she is sorry. She adds that if Cyclops was alive, he would say the same thing – they weren't there ofr him when he needed them. 'But that doesn't change the fact that you became a good man on your own. But now you're hurting people -' Jean begins, to which Nate interrupts her and declares that he is doing something that Jean and her X-Men never could – he is saving this world. 'You're so sure?' Jean asks. 'Yes. I am' Nate responds.

Jean asks Nate how it came to this, and suddenly the light around them turns gray, as Nate explains that they evolved, he evolved to be someone who could change things, to remake the world as he saw fit. 'Why wouldn't I?' he adds. Jean tells Nate that he sounds like Apocalypse. 'Don't be naive. He is a tyrant and a lunatic. Just because we understand the same truth doesn't make us the same person. It's our actions that matter' Nate declares, adding that some men like to pretend they are gods, while some just are. He extends his arms over his head and white lights fill the gray space around them. 'Don't think I don't know what it means to be a god, Nate? You think I don't know what it takes to make decisions that feel inconsequential to you but ruin other lives?' Jean asks. 'You speak to me of the Phoenix, like I too am blinded by some fiery god -' Nate begins, to which Jean interrupts Nate, telling him that she speaks of her own actions, the pain she caused when she was one with the Phoenix – like the pain he is causing now. 'Let me show you' Jean suggests as she reaches across and puts a hand on Nate's head, linking him to the tragedies taking place around the globe as a result of his recent actions.

'We're getting through! Don't let up!' Dazzler calls out as she, Maggott, Frenzy and Nature Girl close in around X-Man. 'Get me close enough to put my hands around his throat!' Frenzy snaps, while Nate suddenly keels over, 'So... so much pain...' he gasps.

At that moment:'What is...' Magneto utters as his Horseman guise falls. Omega Red reverts to normal, too, as does the Blob. 'Where the hell am I?' Blob wonders. Magneto throws a force field around himself, Blob and Omega Red and remarks that it seems they have been acting on behalf of another without their knowledge – and the arrogantly named X-Man is the cause of that. 'I don't want any part of whatever the hell this is' Blob mutters, while Omega Red clenches his fists and declares that X-Man is unwell. 'Be that as it may, I would like to show X-Man the error of attempting to manipulate Magneto. You are welcome to join me' Magneto announces.

'Enough, Mother! Please!' Nate pleads, clutching his head. Jean cuts off the link and tells Nate that they are gone. 'Did you think I never knew people suffered? That people would be hurt?' Nate asks. 'I think you didn't understand it' Jean tells him. Nate reminds Jean that his who life has been suffering, that he was raised in a world that had only cruelty, that he came here and found it to no different. He adds that he has been trapped between two, slowly being torn apart – and as his last act, he only wanted to make something better. 'Last act?' Jean asks. Forlorn, Nate looks at Jean and reveals that he is dying, and that he wanted to do something good before he goes. He holds up a Life Seed and and explains that is how he is here – it increased his powers. He adds that at first he thought it came to him, to save him – but it didn't. He is still dying, he can't save himself, which makes him wonder why it gave him this much power if not to save himself. Jean embraces Nate and tells him that she doesn't know. 'I never wanted to hurt people...' Nate utters as he hugs Jean.

The battle against Nate's physical form continues, 'I guess Magneto and us are on the same side now?' Iceman asks as he blasts X-Man with an ice-beam. 'As we used to say back home – the enemy of my enemy' Colossus responds. 'Is that the whole expression?' Iceman replies as Magneto, Blob and Omega Red fight alongside them. Kitty asks Betsy what is happening, noting that Nate released his hold on Magneto and the other Horsemen for some reason. The reason is Jean. She's in X-Man's head' Betsy responds, adding that if the others tear X-Man apart now, she is not sure Jean will make it back out. At that moment, Oya, Iceman, Magneto, Bishop, Surge and Sunfire release their powers at X-Man, who surrounded by a psychic force field.

Nate hangs his head as he tells Jean that he must be here for a reason, and that if he wasn't given this gift to save himself, there must be a reason – he can't have been given all this power to do nothing – he knows he can't save himself, but he thought he could save the world – that was his purpose, he never wanted to make people suffer. Jean tells Nate that she knows, but that even he can't save everything. 'We must do our best, but sometimes we have to just let it go, Nate' Jean replies. Nate tells Jean that to bring peace, sometimes there must first be suffering and asks her why she doesn't understand that. 'Everything I tried to do, the world fought back...you fought back'. Nate points out. Jean tells Nate to just let it go, but Nate tells Jean that she doesn't understand – and he clearly sees what he has to do. 'I can't save the world. Not when you people will always stand in my way...I can't make this into a world where the X-Men belong. Goodbye, X-Men' Nate declares. 'Nate! Don't! -' Jean calls out, but as a large group of mutants including Beast, Colossus, Forge, Monet, Blob, Firestar, Storm, Archangel, Armor, Glob, Gentle, Nightcrawler, Thunderbird, Trinary, Tempus, Meggan, Polaris, Rockslide and Apocalypse close in on X-Man – and then everyone is blown away as X-Man releases a powerful energy blast.

When the dust clears, the flooded island glows red as the sun sets. Nate collapses on the shore, and the water washes over him – then he is gone, and all that remains is the Life Seed.

And just like that, they were all gone. Nobody knew exactly what happened. And nobody really cared. All that mattered was everything he had done – everything everyone had done was undone. The world was returning to the way it once was, like nothing had ever happened – save for one small difference – the X-Men were dead. Religious sites are rebuilt, oil rigs returning to function and soldiers are re-armed. The world celebrated the death of those they had always hated and feared – history books were already being rewritten to erase the role of the X-Men. Senator Allen had a change of heart and publicly reversed his anti-mutant position, but it was too little, too late – the world had had enough. They had had enough of Homo Superior, enough of mutant rights and mutant liberation – enough of the men who called themselves gods and enough of the ones who stood against them.

The world had had enough of the Children of the Atom, and enough of those children's children. Laws were passed to make sure never again would families have to suffer the tragedy of having a mutant child. A figure in a blue hooded sweater watches a line of civilians standing outside a hospital as he reads a newspaper article about the disappearance of the X-Men. The anti-mutant vaccine has been put into immediate circulation. The age of mutants was coming to an end, not with a roar, but with a deafening silence. The man in the hooded sweater tosses the newspaper into a trash can and thinks to himself that he can't help but think that someday, maybe years from now, people will realize what they all lost. 'We just wanted to save the world from itself' Scott Summers a.k.a. Cyclops tells himself.

Characters Involved: 

Archangel, Beast, Bishop, Cannonball, Jean Grey, Jubilee, Iceman, Nightcrawler, Northstar, Polaris, Kitty Pryde, Psylocke, Storm, X-23 (all X-Men)

Cyclops

Armor, Eye-Boy, Genesis II, Glob Herman, Mercury V, Nature Girl, No-Girl, Oya, Pixie III, Rockslide, Shark Girl, Surge, Transonic  (all X-Men students)

Colossus, Cypher, Dazzler, Dr Nemesis, Firestar, Forge, Frenzy, Husk, Kylun, M II, Maggott, Magma, Meggan,  Rictor, Sage, Sunfire, Thunderbird III

Gentle, Honey Badger, Trinary (all X-Men based at Searebro)

Match, Prodigy IV, Stepford Cuckoos, Tempus

 

Legion

 

X-Man

Blob, Magneto, Omega Red

 

Apocalypse

 

Construction workers

Soldiers

Civilians

Story Notes: 

This issue has the legacy numbering of Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #629. 

Sage was last seen in the 2013 “Extermination” storyline.

No-Girl has been seen as a student at the Xavier Institute in various issues of Generation X (2nd series).

Prodigy IV was last seen in New Mutants: Dead Souls #6.

Once again Monet's telepathic powers seem to have been forgotten about by the writers as she was clearly shown in the group shot of mutants closing in on X-Man, but was not invited to assist the other telepaths earlier in the issue.

Cyclops made a surprise return at the end of Extermination #5. His resurrection is explored in Uncanny X-Men Annual (5th series) #1.

The writers of the Disassembled storyline confirmed that Rogue and Gambit did not appear in this story because they were off-planet in the Mr & Mrs X series, and Domino, Warpath, Shatterstar, Boom-Boom and Kid Cable did not appear because they are tied up with their own story in X-Force (5th series), although that series also stars Cannonball, who appeared in this story.

The X-Men series continues the adventures of Cyclops and his group while the fate of the X-Men who disappeared this issue will be revealed in the Age of X-Man stories starting with Age of X-Man Alpha.

 

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