|Uncanny X-Men (1st series) #497|| || |
Issue Date: June 2008
Story Title: X-Men: Divided, Part Three
Staff: Ed Brubaker (writer), Mike Choi (artist), Sonia Oback (color artist), Cory Petit (letterer), Will Panzo (assistant editor), Nick Lowe (editor), Axel Alonso (executive editor), Joe Quesada (editor in chief), Dan Buckley (publisher)
Cyclops and White Queen meander through the streets of San Francisco, astonished by the fact the city has seemingly been transformed into a far-out version of itself from the late 1960s, with citizens dressed and acting as hippies from that era. Emma uses her telepathy to camouflage Scott and herself as “hippies” and then tries to locate the point of origin of this metamorphosis. In another part of the city, the mysterious Goddess, who is hinted as having brought about this transformation, with everyone now under her influence, senses Emma trying to get inside her thoughts and violently repels her, before sending some policemen after the two mutants. Scott and Emma, however, easily evade the policemen. Meanwhile in Russia, Colossus, Wolverine and Nightcrawler are attacked and captured by giant robots. The three X-Men subsequently wake up, in shackles, in the so-called Red Room, where a Russian government official demands to know why Colossus and his friends were among those spared during the M-Day, whereas Russia lost all her mutant agents back then.
Somewhere in Russia – in a train heading south…
Wolverine abruptly wakes up in his bunk, in the cabin he shares with Colossus and Nightcrawler. “Hey… What the hell…?” Logan exclaims, all alert now. “What is it?” a now also awakened Kurt asks him. Logan explains that something’s wrong and asks both Kurt and Piotr to get up. Unsheathing his claws, Logan walks out into the corridor and exclaims that this isn’t good: there’s no one but the three of them in this whole section. Piotr retorts that the sun is barely up and they’re in the middle of nowhere. “Can you think of a better time an’ place to hit us?” Wolverine insists.
Suddenly, their compartment is violently shaken. Mein Gott – no more Sentinels?” Kurt gasps. Wolverine doesn’t think so, though: this is something else!
A giant robot grasps the train car that contains Piotr, Kurt and Logan and quickly flies upwards with it, with two other identical robots in the vicinity. “Mech7 to Red Room command. We have acquired the target,” one of these robots immediately reports to its commander.
“Meet you guys outside!” Logan snarls and breaks out of a window of the train car, jumping on top of the Mech carrying the car and thrusting his claws on it. “Mech3 under attack – malfunction. Mech3 requires assistance,” the robot reports. “Oh, I just bet you do!” Wolverine remarks and easily avoids a blast by the Mech3.
Inside the car, Kurt grabs Piotr and teleports them outside, in mid-air. As the two mutants start freefalling, Kurt notices there are three of these robots. Colossus suggests they cut their numbers and coerces Kurt to go help Logan. As Kurt teleports away, intent on aiding Logan, Piotr himself turns into steel and crashes right through the head of one of the robots, severely damaging it and effectively short-circuiting it. However, the other robot instantly blasts Colossus who immediately collapses unconscious to the ground.
Witnessing this and now standing on top of the Mech3, an agonizing Kurt informs Logan, the latter still damaging the Mech3 with his claws, that they got Piotr. Wolverine assures him that Peter will be fine. However, at that exact moment, the Mech3 zaps Kurt, knocking him out. Seeing the unconscious Nightcrawler freefalling, Wolverine also leaps in the air and grabs Kurt, realizing that he will have to use himself as a shield to cushion the impact of the fall for Kurt… Indeed, within seconds, the two mutants collapse on a snowy mountain. Mech7 informs the Red Room control that the subjects have been neutralized. The man controlling the robots orders them to bring them back to him.
Meanwhile, back in San Francisco…
“Hey, look at them… far out… huh?” a man, oddly dressed as if coming straight from 1969, tells his similarly dressed girlfriend, upon seeing Cyclops and White Queen, the two superheroes meandering through the streets of San Francisco, perplexed by how the city has been transformed into this late 1960s, hippie version of itself.
“All right, enough of this” White Queen exclaims. She tells Cyclops that this illusion or reality warp or whatever it is is clearly more widespread than she expected. “What are you…?” Cyclops wonders. Emma explains that she is camouflaging them. In an instant, she uses her psychic powers to “disguise” both Cyclops and herself as hippies, complete with colorful attires, in an attempt to avoid attracting further attention.
“Welcome to the Summer of Love, Scott Summers,” Emma jokes after camouflaging the two of them. She hopes they will survive this fashion faux pas. Scott admits that he kind of likes it. Wincing, Emma begs him to stop talking! Scott, though, is compelled to admit it’s a little less naked than Emma’s usual work; that’s a definite minus! Emma assures him that she gets it: he wishes he’d been a filthy hippie! However, she alerts him to the fact she’s trying to concentrate here…
As Emma starts concentrating, Cyclops wonders whether she’s going to be able to track the source of all this. Emma believes so but admits she’s never seen anything this big. She tells Scott that when she listens hard enough, she can feel it spreading through the city; she can hear people’s thoughts changing as it touches them; it’s actually kind of eerie… Scott asks her if she thinks it’s a mutant doing. However, Emma doesn’t know: it almost feels like it could be a machine of some kind. Any mutant who could accomplish something this immense would either have to be incredibly powerful – like off the charts – or have just lost all control of their powers.
Inside the dormitory of the mysterious Goddess, her lover, the young man known as Eli, gets dressed, after being intimate with her. Mystified by the Goddess’ silence, Eli wonders if she’s asleep. From within her baldachin bed, the Goddess explains she was just thinking. “Oh, about what?” Eli inquires. The Goddess explains that she was thinking about they day she met Eli and his friends; about how strange it was that she knew nothing about herself but still she saw the heart of all of them.
Looking himself at the mirror – the reflection revealing his true appearance, that of an middle-aged, bald man – Eli also agrees that the Goddess broke down the barriers and wonders whether she regretted everything they’ve done. He reminds her that she’s made all her people so happy…
“None more than you, Eli, right?” the Goddess tells him. Eli agrees that she does bless him more than the others and he’s grateful for that. However, he reminds her that she made the whole world beautiful again; that’s why they were destined to find her. It’s like they spent all their lives looking for her…
Suddenly, the Goddess moans softly and grabs her head. Eli asks her if she’s okay; what’s wrong? The Goddess explains that someone is trying to get inside her thoughts… someone is trying to crash their party! “What do you mean?” Eli asks her – like the cops? “The cops… Now there’s an idea” the Goddess replies, now sporting a sardonic smile, inspired by Eli’s remark.
Meanwhile, back at the streets, Emma mutters a soft “Ow” and touches her head. “Damn it,” she exclaims. “What is it?” Scott asks her. Emma explains that she was homing in on the point of origin of this madness… but she just got the door slammed on her brain. Stating the obvious, Cyclops realizes that’s not good. Emma informs that, at least, she now knows it’s not a machine: there was emotion in there; violent emotion. “And they know we’re coming?” Cyclops wonders. Emma believes that they know someone is… she doesn’t think they know who they are, though. Not yet, at least. Scott believes they should get moving, then. He doesn’t want…
A police siren sound is suddenly heard. Scott and Emma turn around, only to see half a dozen policemen pouring out from several police cars and aiming their guns at them. “Hold it right there, ya hippie freaks!” one them shouts. Scott reminds Emma that these are innocent men. Emma assures him she knows; she’s trying to put them to sleep but…
One of the policemen asks his colleagues if these two are the freaks that tried to blow up City Hall. “That’s right, Hopkins. Word is they’re armed and dangerous” one of the other policemen replies.
Emma is shocked to realize that she can’t “touch” the policemen: their minds are shielded from her. One of the policemen orders Scott and Emma to put their hands where they can see them. Emma alerts Scott to the fact that these men are not here to arrest them. Indeed, almost immediately, the policemen open fire at them. “Emma!” Scott gasps and then takes cover behind her, as Emma assumes her diamond form, becoming impervious to the men’s bullets.
Emma then advises her lover to do just his thing. Scott, realizing what she means, assures her he’s already doing it and asks her to be ready to run. He subsequently releases his optic blasts, causing several of the police cars to explode and hurling men to the air. Without hesitation, Scott and Emma seize the opportunity to flee. As they run, Emma jokes that Scott just loves to blow things up. Scott admits that’s a bad habit. The couple proceeds to climb a wall and hide in an alley. “So, do you think they know who we are now?” Scott asks Emma.
“The X-Men…” the Goddess mumbles in her abode, at that exact moment. She asks Eli if that name means something to him. Eli replies that they’re like bad guys… “Agents of the Man?” the Goddess asks him. “More like narcs… Undercover…” Eli replies. Grinning, the Goddess decides to give these fake outcasts a bad trip like they’ve never had before…
Somewhere else, Colossus finally wakes up. “Ah good, you are finally awake” a bearded, middle-aged man exclaims. Awfully disoriented, Colossus asks him what this is about; what does he want? “Want, Comrade Rasputin? The Red Room wants many things” the man assures him.
The X-Men’s captor inspects his three mutant prisoners: Colossus is held in some manacles attached to the ceiling, Wolverine has all four of his limbs chained to the walls and Nightcrawler, in a straightjacket, sits in an energized cell, with a bag over his head. The bearded man tells Piotr that – to start with – they want to know why, when Russia lost all her mutant agents on their so-called M-Day, Piotr and his friends were spared… “Tell us this, and they may be spared again” he adds.
Colossus, Cyclops, Nightcrawler, White Queen, Wolverine (all X-Men)
Unnamed Russian government official
Hopkins and other unnamed policemen
Various unnamed people in San Francisco
This issue features two variant covers, one by Marco Djurdjevic and another cover known as the “Skrull variant,” which is identical to the standard cover, with the sole exception of Cyclops’ face being colored green. It is one of several comics given a limited variant cover with one of the primary characters colored as a Skrull, in the context of the currently ongoing Secret Invasion crossover.
M-Day refers to the fateful day the Scarlet Witch stripped the overwhelming majority of the mutant population of its powers and mutant genome, leaving only a few hundreds unscathed. Ever since, mutants are considered a dwindling species. [House of M #7-8, Decimation: House of M – The Day After]
This Issue has been reprinted in:
Uncanny X-Men: Divided We stand (Trade Paperback)
Issue Summary written by: Mesmerizer