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241: Uncanny X-Men # 452 - 459 (Chasing Hellfire & Phoenix Endsong)

What’s Covered?

Uncanny X-Men # 452 - 459, X-Men: Phoenix - Endsong # 1 - 5




Roster Watch



Synopsis

UXM # 452 - 454: Chasing Helfire

Writer - Chris Claremont

Pencils - Andy Park



The UXM are trying to find Sage at an old Hellfire Club building. We also learn that mutants being sold as slaves (not by Hellfire). Emma shows up and helps them get in.


Emma and Rachel bicker until Storm breaks it up. The UXM are suddenly teleported away. Again Emma and Rachel fight, this time on the astral plane. They have humorous exchanges, such as Rachel turned into a baby, and Rachel making Emma look fat. Ultimately, Emma kicks Rachel’s ass.


Emma competes with Courtney Ross and Selene is stalking Rachel. Bishop shoots NC, Storm, and W. However, we leater learn that Bishop only shot them to cleanse them of Nannites. (common misconception).


Bishop has the ability to never get lost. Neat. Rachel runs into an Asian couple who attack her until Selene covertly tells them to back off.


W and NC talking about their feelings. NC says that the dance with Storm felt right, however W and Storm are close with each other too. He says that kissing Rachel was fun, they’ve both changed, and nothing happened previously.


Storm and Bishop go to Hellfire Club. Sage is by Shaw's side. He claims to have made her an offer she couldn’t refuse. Wouldn’t Viper want to kill her? Roberto as Black King. Claims he can be a force for good. Also in X-Force.


The Black Lotus (Ha!) tells Rachel he’s working with Courtney and Viper to end mutant slavery.


Donald Pierce was behind the Nannites and other evil things. Storm breaks free of Pierce’s hired help, the Cleaning Crew. Selene takes over and kills Red Lotus and finally attacks Rachel.


NC is questioning W about his decision to kill so many of the guards. W attacks Pierce before he can maim the Lords Cardinal. Pierce butchers W. Takes his eyesight with Nannites then keeps slashing him until Sage saves him.


NC and Storm struggle, but win. Rachel overpowers Selene. Emma, Viper, and Courtney take down the slavers. Shaw knocks Pierce’s head off, but I'm sure he won't die.


Sage seem to be helping the X-Men, but Storm is now questioning her loyalty because of all the shady shit she does without telling anyone why she’s doing it. Sage now saying she choose to follow Shaw over Xavier because both men were noble. Claimed she saved him and Xavier’s life the day they met.


UXM # 455- 459: World's End

Writer - Chris Claremont

Pencils - Alan Davis


Uncanny X-Men vol. 1 #455    2/2/2005    Chris Claremont    Alan Davis

  • Psylocke may be alive. Possibly not killed by Vargas, which we get a flashback of


It's cool that Psylocke is back, but it's like they aren't even trying to come up with good reasons anymore. They're just like "She's back, and no one knows why, not even her!"


  • W is sparring with Storm and beating her ass

  • He kisses her! So, are they like together now?!


Wha the wha!


  • NC looks on, sad


Get it over, bro! You're thing with Storm was always rando anyway.


  • X-23 secretly watched too

  • With Sebastian Shaw in critical condition, Roberto Dacosta is the Lord imperial of the hellfire club. Sage is his top advisor.

  • As Bishop is beating W in a spar, X-23 breaks through a window ready to attack


Really getting heavy handed with this whole daughter angle.


  • We learn that she was paroled to the X-Men and is currently a student


I wonder if we'll see her in Academy X!? That would be sweet.


  • Wolverine went on a solo mission to help an old friend, but X – 23 followed him

  • Storm and the rest of the team are heading to Spain on a mission

  • Bishop mentions that Betsy definitely died and had an autopsy. However, she reappeared in the same place where she died and no one, including Betsy has any idea what’s going on


Mmm Hmm


Uncanny X-Men vol. 1 #456    2/23/2005    Chris Claremont    Alan Davis

  • Storm, Rachel, NC, Bishop, and X-23 are being attacked by the Hauk’Ka, a race of beings that evolved from dinosaurs


Wow, we're really out of ideas, aren't we?


  • They are able to control Rachael telepathically

  • They are all beaten, but X – 23 gets away

  • They go to Savage Land

  • Psylocke gets freed and wrecks a crew of Dino’s

  • Sees a vision of her brother Jamie


Now THIS is something I'm pretty curious about it. And with Claremont and Davis in tow, we have the perfect team to explore this further.


Uncanny X-Men vol. 1 #457    3/16/2005    Chris Claremont    Alan Davis

  • Rachel is so brainwashed that she’s using her telekinesis to change her physical appearance into that of a dinosaur

  • Storm’s powers go apeshit as she tries to escape

  • Ka-Zar and the Savage Land mutates will help the XM

Uncanny X-Men vol. 1 #458    4/20/2005    Chris Claremont    Alan Davis

  • Mutates vs Hauk’Ka

  • Betsy still doesn’t have telepathy, only telekinesis 


I'm honestly shocked they aren't bothering to ret con this along with everything else. Although I guess it was Claremont who did this to her originally.


  • Rachel co-opts Storm, gets her out of control

Uncanny X-Men vol. 1 #459    5/18/2005    Chris Claremont    Alan Davis

  • Psylocke and NC are flirting


Everyone's a flirt I guess. I would be ok with NC getting over the Storm thing, but what happened to NC and Rachel kissing? Maybe he remembered that she's coded gay.


  • Storm’s storms are impacting the whole world

  • A mutate named Leash has been controlling ppl, but X-23 sniffed it out

  • Bishop is asserting dominance over the team.

  • Brainchild tries to flip the script to use Storm to conquer the world but X-23 stops him

  • Betsy uses her psychic knife to snap Rachel out of it, freeing Storm

  • The XM and the Hauk’Ka leave as allies, thanks to NC’s diplomacy


X-Men: Phoenix - Endsong # 1 - 5

Writer - Greg Pak

Pencils - Greg Land


  • The Shi’ar bring the Phoenix Force back, but Scotty doesn't know (why).

  • It (the Phoenix) wanders around lost, talking to Beast, W, Cuckos, Quentin Quire, Scott, and Emma before re-animating Jean’s corpse.


Pretty cool bunch of scenes actually.


  • Scott tells the team they need to kill Jean because it’s not her, it’s the Dark Phoenix


...And it totally has nothing to do with him banging someone new and it being easier if she was stayed dead. Nothing at all.


  • Kitty accuses Emma of mind controlling Scott again

  • Beast creates a machine to catch Jean and Cyclops practices killing his wife


Intense


  • Quentin Quire comes back to life

  • Quentin digs up Sophie’s corpse but realizes she’s still dead


One dessicated corpse was enough


  • Shi’ar ready to blow up Manhattan to end the Phoenix


Of course they are...


  • Emma is trying to convince Jean that her and Scott love each other.


Trying to convince Jean, or me!?


  • Accuses Jean of being passive aggressive


Emma on point, per the usual


  • The Shi’ar are about to kill Quentin but the XM won’t let them

  • W stabs Jean over and over. It eventually weakens the Phoenix, and then Jean plunges herself into icy water.


Seems excessive


  • The Phoenix needs to feed on Scott’s optic blasts

  • Quentin and the Phoenix working together against the XM and Shi’ar

  • Cyclops threatens to have Kitty squeeze his heart if she doesn’t relent

  • Phoenix attacks Emma but Warren heals her


Oh yea, Warren still exists.


  • Emma asks for the Phoenix power, then they knock Emma and Scott into the egg

  • They have Phoenix sex




  • QQ breaks Emma and Scott out


It was fun while it lasted.


  • Phoenix Emma goes nuts until Jean fights her

  • Phoenix brings Sophie back, she says eww to QQ, then dies again


Even though I like both QQ and Sophie, it seemed weird that QQ would assume she would even want to be with him. I expected her to despise him, so glad she still did. Nice touch.


  • Phoenix leaves Emma and talks to Jean

  • Jean/Phoenix decides to leave

  • The Phoenix comes for a Cucko….


I'm gonna put a flag in this and see if it ever actually goes anywhere.


My Connections and Creators

Betsy's back! Rachel is a badass! X-23 is in fine form! Is it good? No, somehow it is not.


This World's End storyline is pretty bad. Claremont is still doing a fine job with the relationship drama (even though it's extra soapy), but his repeated use of these one note villains (Hauk'ka, Vargas, Neo, Shockwave Riders, etc.) to bell bland stories is getting old. Where is his long form interconnected stories? It seems like he finally doesn't need to conform to events every year, yet he's not really setting anything up long term. It seems like he's just running in place. I was so inspired after the last one.


Is Emma in every series? You all know I keep meticulous track of the rosters. Emma is definitely on Astonishing, but she has made regular appearances in both Claremont's Uncanny and Milligan's adjectiveless. What's going on here?


So, Psylocke's back to life. Another character brought back to life. Colussus revival was quite thin, but they aren't even trying here. Maybe we'll get more later, but they are just like "Maybe Vargas didn't kill me after all. Oh, you saw my dead body on screen and buried me? Well maybe there's something else going on, I don't know how it happened either. You all ready to move on?"


Chris Claremont loves Rachel (who I refuse to call Marvel Girl) and she is getting plenty of attention.


I'm shocked that they appear to be writing Sage out. They did a good job of developing her and growing her relationship with Storm and Bishop. I get that X-23 and Psylocke seem to be joining the cast, but I'm just shocked. I thought Claremont loved Sage, she got so much screentime in X-Treme. Maybe this is just temporary. Actually, let's look it up. So UXM #454 is where they wrote her out (2.15.2005). Her next appearance will be New Excalibur # 1, which is also by Claremont, and that kicks off on 12.7.2005. Ok, so she's dormant for 10 months and then she stars in another series. Maybe that was the plan all along.


Characters

Cannonball

Hey, ummm, where's Cannonball? He was on the team in UXM 451 and now he's just not around?



Storm

She's hooking up with NC and W? Playa's gonna play.



Rachel

Picking up from their softball drama, Rachel and Emma finally bring it to blows...on the Astral Plane! Rachel is a clear Omega, but Emma is just a badass.


Is the romance with Nightcrawler forgotten?


Rachel isn't complete deflated though because she dominates Selene.


Wolverine

NC is questioning W about his decision to kill so many of the guards. Will we be wondering if he's turning into an animal again? Does Claremont think he's been too easily killing people lately? Let's keep tuning in to find out.


Bishop

Claremont definitely keeps boosting Bishop's leadership profile. It's possible that this is leading somewhere, like maybe Storm stepping down and someone else needs to step up, however I would put money on Claremont just really understanding characters and knowing that Bishop would just have a hard time not giving orders.



Nightcrawler

Sad about Storm, flirting with Psylocke...



Sage

Sage seem to be helping the X-Men, but Storm is now questioning her loyalty because of all the shady shit she does without telling anyone why she’s doing it. This seems to set up Sage's exit from the team, which is really surprising to me since it's clear Claremont loves her.


X-23

She seems to be a member of the team now and clearly has an attachment to Wolverine. Will she get further developed though?



Psylocke

Back in action. Still a badass. But will we find out how she died and came back?



My Rating- 7/10


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