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235: Uncanny X-Men #444 - 451 (X-Men: Reloaded, The End of History, X-23)

What’s Covered?

Uncanny X-Men # 444 - 451

Roster Watch

My Connections and Creators

We are officially entering a new phase in X-Men storytelling, X-Men Reloaded. The previous phase had Grant Morrison's New X-Men as it's flagship series, supported by Chris Claremont's X-Treme X-Men and Chuck Austen's Uncanny X-Men. There was no X-Factor, X-Force, Excalibur, or Generation X during that last phase.

This X-Men re-loaded phase includes the return of Chris Claremont and Alan Davis (providing art) on Uncanny X-Men (the series covered in this blog, duh). While I really struggled to get into Chris Claremont's X-Treme X-Men, I feel like Claremont may have re-captured the magic here on Uncanny. The flagship for this phase though, is undoubtedly Joss Whedon's Astonishing X-Men. We also have Nunzio DeFilippis and Christina Weir's Academy X (New X-Men Volume 2), which I am absolutely love so far, which isn't surprising since it's a continuation of New Mutants Volume 2, which I also loved. There's also another Claremont series, Excalibur Volume 3, which seems to have nothing to do with the original Excalibur run and isn't impressing me so far. Technically Chuck Austen's move to adjectiveless X-Men is part of X-Men Reloaded, but I covered it as part of the last phase since it finishes up Austen's arcs and was short lived. There are some other ongoing series like District X and Deadpool and Cable, but I have yet to decide if they'll get full coverage.

As mentioned earlier, Claremont is off to a MUCH better start in this series. X-Treme X-Men seemed like he was trying to do too many new things with none of them anywhere near as interesting as what Morrison was doing, but here he seems to have gone back to the basics and he's nailing the characters and tone. Alan David is always a treasure. Solid, consistent, beautiful art that I'll never get sick of. Well, let's get into the specifics!


Uncanny X-Men # 444 - 447: The End of History

Writer - Chris Claremont

Pencils - Alan Davis

What's Claremont best at? The quiet issues. What do we get here to start? A quiet issue setting the context. UXM # 444 starts with the following characters playing baseball: Storm, Dani, Shan, Sam, Magma, Sage, Wolverine, Rogue, Gambit, Beast, Cyke, Husk, Kitty, Emma, Rachel, Bishop, Nightcrawler, Iceman.

As the guy who has spent the last 3 years blogging about the X-Men and analyzing roster changes, I absolutely love that we start by laying out all of the characters on the board, bringing them together, and then breaking them off into different runs.

During the baseball scene, Rachel is pitching and throws heat at Emma. She freaks out and Rachel says that was for her mom. I mean, that's genius. Even though this Jean isn't truly her mom, it still kind of is. So of course he would be pissed at the woman who is sleeping with her dad (alternate dad) shortly after her mom dies! I mean, this is the type of drama that keeps me tuning in for 3 years straight.

It's established that UXM will continue the XSE setting introduced in X-Treme X-Men, but will focus on Storm, Sage, Wolverine, Rachel, Bishop, Cannonball, and Nightcrawler. Mostly the same characters from X-Treme, but Wolverine, Rachel, and Nightcrawler seem like just enough newness to spice it up.

This XSE group takes out a group called the Weaponeers. I'm not going to lie, this made me a bit nervous because this group seemed as weak as the Shockwave Riders from the last time Claremont was on Uncanny. It's ok though, because the next story was really good.

Wolverine and Nightcrawler show up as XSE officers to help a teenage mutant who is using his "blow up powers" to demonstrate how angry he is. The local police offers don't respect their XSE badges (Why would they? It's lame and seems made up). The boy is about to purposely blow up a school so Wolverine kills him, but not before the school can be blown up. Luckily NC is able to teleport all of the children away!

This situation of course causes Wolverine to question himself and the local cops are not thrilled about it. Storm and Carol Danvers show up an authenticate their credentials. Of course Claremont is going to find an excuse to use Carol Danvers.

Separately, Rachel takes Sam and Bishop with to comfort Brian Braddock for the loss of his sister. No one's home, however there is a giant hole in the house with a cybernetic being named the Fury waiting for them. These three have their assess beaten and it's not good. The Fury is able to take over Sage through the technology she's integrated with and start a new battle where the team needs to take on Sage. Eventually the whole team gets together, work well together, and beat The Fury. Curiously, Rachel catches a glimpse of Jamie Braddock! Remember that crazy guy!?

Uncanny X-Men # 448 - 449: Viper vs. Sage

Writer - Name

Pencils - Olivier Coipel

Following the circumstances with the Fury, the X-Men get to interact with Brian Braddock and Megan for real after their mansion re-built itself. Megan says:

"Kurt, we haven’t seen you in positively ages"

And Brian says:

" For some of us, that’s nowhere near long enough."

Well done, Claremont. Megan is sweet to everyone, but Brian hasn't forgotten that Kurt and Megan had a flirty relationship at the beginning of Excalibur.

We then switch to the next story where Viper kidnaps the team and puts them in Murderworld. Sigh, I hate Arcade and Murderworld. This really doesn't go well for the team as Viper beats the shit out of Rachel, and she is the team's Omega. This whole situation was designed to help Viper get revenge on Sage, which ends with her shooting Sage in the head. (Sage embarassed Viper during the Khan! storyline during X-Treme).

I'm not going to lie, I actually thought she was dead here because fake deaths usually happen off-screen. Well, this is where we get a convoluted story about how Wolverine smelled Viper and assumed she wouldn't rest until she murdered Sage. So he took Sage out of commission, used an image inducer to make himself look like her, then let her think she killed Sage to end the grudge. We think of Claremont as this great writer, and he is, but he's still prone to do ridiculous comic things like this, which I can't help but roll my eyes at. I mean, I read comic books every day. There's a lot of ridiculous things, but when you run into "I smelled Viper and knew what she would want, so days ago I took her place and waited until she would kidnap me and kill me"...that's a stretch.

We also see that Viper is working with Courtney Ross (Sat-Yr-9 in disguise?) and Sebastian Shaw as the new Hellfire Club (or Lords Cardinal, not sure if they are bringing that term back).

Uncanny X-Men # 450 - 451: X-23

Writer - Chris Claremont

Pencils - Alan Davis

So there is this group called the Bacchae, who are like Amazonian soldiers working for a mutant mob, and they attempt to kill a woman in District X, but she is saved by X-23. Wolverine and X-23 fight and she completely destroys him, using her secret foot claw to stab him in the face. The team eventually tracks her down and sedates her to learn that she was another Weapon X experiment. Nightcrawler says that she has the same eyes as W, insinuating that she may be his daughter. The Bacchae are part of a District X mob and they send a giant mutant named Geech (yes, Geech) to bring her in. The X-Men help to defeat him and it looks like she'll be hanging around for a while.

This story ends with Sage re-entering the Hellfire Club. Oooooh.


I talked at length during the original Claremont Run Retrospective about how great Claremont is making connections between characters. These characters have a rich backstory, and Claremont is amazing and thinking about how new situations would impact characters. I'll never forget how impressed I was when Wolverine truly struggled with Proteus. Proteus warps reality, so for a character who was extra strong senses and is used to have an incredibly strong grip on the world around him, that would drive him insane. And in this run, Rachel is salty with Emma. Of course she would be! Rachel has next to no interaction with Emma in the comics, but she's banging her dead mom's husband, so of course she wouldn't like her. Let's dive into each character and talk about specific ways that Claremont made each of them interesting.


  • Wolverine loves her mom

Of course Wolverine would feel fondly towards Rachel since he loves her (alternate reality) mom.

  • Forgot that W stabbed her

Oh yea! The last time these two saw each other, Wolverine fucking stabbed her (In UXM # 207) with the intention of killing her to avoid her turning into the Dark Phoenix. (according to Comic Book Legends Revealed # 586.) I love that Claremont didn't hesitate to reference this and it absolutely should create a bit of tension between them.

“Whatever your origin, Rachael you're here, and now you get to start fresh. To be the girl and live the life that should’ve been yours first time round. To enjoy the miracle that any of us existed at all.”

  • On Exc with NC

Another connection for Rachel! I kind of think about her as barely being close to anyone, but she spent time on Excalibur with Nightcrawler, so of course those two would be close. I love that this connection is made.

  • Rachel throws heat at Emma, Emma freaks out, Rachel says that was for her mom

  • Separately, Rachel takes Sam and Bishop with to comfort Brian Braddock for the loss of his sister.

Makes sense that after coming back to our reality and learning that Psylocke died, Rachel would want to go see her former Excalibur teammates. Well done, Claremont!


  • W says“ that Jackman fella kinda reminds me of me.”

Ha! We see Wolverine walking out of a movie theater and making this comment. that's pretty meta for Claremont!

  • Drinking buddies with NC

Jean keeps dying, the mansion gets blown up, and NC continues to be besties with W.

  • Storm and W go off on a date. 

Storm is such a swinger! I love seeing these two on the page together. They are eternal FWB with unlimited respect for each other.


  • Waltzing with NC

So this one's interesting. After Nightcrawler is shaken up (watching a boy blow up a school), Storm comforts her friend by dancing with him in the sky. This is romantic, but entirely out of the blue since these two have never had a romantic encounter. Plus, didn't I just say Storm went on a date with Wolverine (the waltz happened first).

  • Close with Sage

Storm is also very close with Sage, following on the heels of X-Treme X-Men. Some people question her loyalty, but Storm sees her as his second in command.


  • Close with Sage

Just like Storm, Bishop's closeness with Sage is carrying over to this series.

  • Viper Accuses Bishop of having feelings for Rachel. 

This seems completely out of left field, but Claremont seems dead set on creating a bunch of love triangles. I'm completely down, as long as it doesn't linger and get annoying (That's my love triangle policy, set in stone after years of frustration watching Smallville).


  • Awkwardness with Megan and Brian

As mentioned earlier, Brian makes NC feel awkward and I actually love it.

  • Storm and NC waltz together in the air

Also mentioned before, I'm just not sure how I feel about this. Seems like the one romantic thing that didn't need to happen.

  • NC and Rachel in a pirate themed danger room session

  • They both kiss and like it

Ok, so this one I'm actually ok with. These two spent a lot of time together in Excalibur, but nothing romantic every happened. It seems like a stretch on that front, but these two are both very open, so I'm interested to see where this goes.

  • Rachel catches NC thinking about his waltz with Storm

Let's catch up. So Bishop might like Rachel. Rachel kissed NC and they both liked it, but she also caught him thinking fondly about Storm. Storm went on a date with Wolverine. Oh, and there's the whole point that Rachel is typically coded as a lesbian, or at least Bi. LFG!

My Rating- 9/10


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