Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Exodus #1: Review

Nov 2009
Matt Fraction, Mike Deodato Jr.

Story Name:

Utopia conclusion

Review & Comments

Rating:
4 stars

Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Exodus #1 Review by (November 14, 2017)
This is the last part of the Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Utopia crossover event.

Mike Deodato is the main artist with Justin Ponsor colouring in. But the Terry Dodson/Rachel Dodson/Christina Strain combo do some bit:- The Beast/Cyclops/Emma Frost opening, Emma and Bob Reynolds in the White Room, and the last 3 pages starting with Norman Osborn's press conference.

This issue doesn't actually say that the raised Utopia is Magneto's original Asteroid M which was sunk in the original X-Men #5, but editor Nick Lowe has said that it is. Magneto created several later versions of his asteroid base after that.

The last time the mutants lived on an island was on Genosha. But that ended when Sentinels killed most of them in New XM #116.

Emma Frost is still in diamond form at the end. We will learn that she has to stay that way to stop the Void sliver in her mind taking her over. But the X-Men need her telepathy which she can't use in this state. So in UXM#518-519 Scott Summers will find a way to remove the Void.

We never find out how Sentry avoids/deals with Void this time, but he returns some time later in DAv#9 as Sentry. Norman Osborn, Victoria Hand and the DAv are all in their #9-12. The only app in between is NO in Deadpool (2008) #17-18 (with a cameo from Bullseye in #17). Osborn gleefully stirs things up as Deadpool tries to persuade the X-Men to let him join by trying to kill Mercury's father who is trying to get his daughter away from them.

Much later NO will send the remaining Dark XM in their own #1-5 after Nate Gray/X-Man who has  reintegrated since his demise at the end of his own series. But before that Mystique has her own adventure in Ms Marvel (2006) #49-50 (the final issues). She finds 1 of the many Skrulls programmed to duplicate the original Captain Marvel for Secret Invasion and sets him against Carol Danvers.

I'm not going to track the myriad X-Men from this issue. I'll just mention 3 main players plus Cloak, Dagger and Sub-Mariner who have defected from the DXM to the XM (but Cloak doesn't stay).
Sub-Mariner is with Cyclops, Emma Frost and Wolverine in UXM#515-516 as mutants settle in to Utopia. Then Magneto turns up. The big 3 move on to XM: Legacy Annual #1 where Emplate kidnaps Bling and the story continues in XM:L#228-230. Then they're together in he Deadpool story mentioned above in DP#16-18, with Dagger in #16. Meanwhile Namor has popped over to Captain America: Reborn #3 to check Cap's body is still where they buried it at sea.
Cyclops appears in New Mutants (2009) #5 while Wolverine is in Hulk (2008) #14-17 and the Psylocke mini-series. Then the big 3 cameo together in Nation X #1 story 1 where Magneto helps Mercury. Finally I'll mention that after that Cyke and Namor have bit parts in the C&D (2010) 1-shot where Dagger learns conclusively that she isn't a mutant and leaves the X-Men to rejoin her (also non-mutant) partner Cloak. Namor will continue as an X-person for a while, and even bring the Atlanteans to Utopia.




 

Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Exodus #1 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Continued from DARK AVENGERS #8.

This issue starts with a flashback (supposedly 7 days ago). Beast has walked into the bedroom of Scott Summers and Emma Frost to announce that he's taking the X-Club scientists on a mission. But when he returns he wants to know what secrets they have been keeping from everyone else, or he won't stay to watch the team fall apart. It turns out that the secrets are things the pair have been keeping from each other as well. Cyclops wants to unburden himself to Emma, but she wants them to both keep their secrets secret.

(An editor note says this continues in Dark X-Men: The Confession 1-shot, which doesn't have the Utopia banner but like DXM: The Beginning is considered part of the crossover. It continues with Scott sleeping on the couch for a few days, then Emma says she's leaving to kill Norman Osborn. But Scott persuades her to share minds with him. Emma finds out about the dark deeds Scott has had his secret black ops X-Force team doing, and some of the consequences. Scott learns some of Emma's dark past, ending with her joining Osborn's Cabal. They each assure the other that (s)he's not as as bad as (s)he thinks, and they'll back each other's actions even though everyone else will hate them, but they'll have no more secrets from each other. It ends with a flashforward to the battle in this issue. The rest takes place sometime before this crossover.)

In Dark Avengers #8 the X-Club scientists raised from the ocean floor off the coast of San Francisco an island with buildings on. The X-Men have teleported all mutants to it, and Cyclops declared it a mutant haven. They now await the response of Norman Osborn who has arrived as Iron Patriot in a flying craft with his Dark Avengers and the remains of his Dark X-Men. He tells Mystique to stay behind in disguise as Prof X to talk to the inevitable reporters (we don't actually see her/him until the end of this issue). Then he drops some of the others onto the island.

Cyclops watches with Angel, Armor, Colossus, Emma Frost, Iceman, Sub-Mariner, Wolverine and X-23 (and Dazzler?). He sends Logan and Laura Kinney to take down Weapon Omega (of the DXM) and Daken (of both DXM and DAv), and Angel to deal with Dark Hawkeye (Bullseye) who is firing arrows at Anole, Mercury and Rockslide. Warren Worthington swoops down and carries Bullseye off.

Bling, Frenzy and Nekra pile on Dark Ms Marvel (Moonstone) to get revenge for her attack on them at the Castro in DAv/UXM: Utopia, while Colossus, Magma and Match tackle Dark Spider-Man (Venom (Mac Gargan)). The 2 fire powered mutants engulf Venom in flames but Colossus just goes in with his armoured fists. He too has a grudge against Venom since that same issue.

And now we see X-23 and Dark Wolverine (Daken) slash each other with their claws (as depicted on the cover of DAv#8) while Wolverine closes in on Weapon Omega who his lashing out with all the energy he absorbed from mutant prisoners via Dark Beast's Omega Machine. But Wolvie just stabs him in the stomach in payback for him killing most of Alpha Flight (in New Av #16 when he was the Collective). Angel has taken Bullseye to the woods of Marin County and attacks him in his metal-winged Archangel/Death form - it's arrows vs flechettes.

His advanced troops aren't doing too well so Osborn decides to join in as Iron Patriot with his other 2 big guns Ares and Sentry. Namor meets Sentry head-on and their battle in the sky takes them through several San Fran skyscrapers before they land and Subby throws a bus at Bob Reynolds. IP and Cyclops exchange blasts from gauntlets and optic visor. Ares just starts smashing walls. Osborn has Summers' body raised above his head to dash him to the ground when Dani Moonstar arrives as a Valkyrie to challenge Ares on her winged horse Darkwind, flanked by her old New Mutants colleagues Cannonball, Karma, Magik, Magma and Sunspot. (The horse, a magic sword and her returned Valkyrie-ness are obviously what she got from Hela in DAv#8.)

Meanwhile Dark Beast of Osborn's Dark X-Men is enjoying slashing Dazzler and Northstar until Psylocke and X-Club scientists Dr Nemesis and Madison Jeffries attack *him* in revenge for his treatment of fellow X-Club'er Beast. Colossus and Venom are still battling it out surrounded by Match's flames. Iceman knocks DXM'er Mimic out of the sky and X-pupils Graymalkin, Loa, Mercury, Onyxx, Rockslide, Surge and maybe others pile on him to keep him down. And Armor and Pixie join X-23 to help her with Daken.

The real Professor X was rescued from Alcatraz along with all the other mutant prisoners in DAv#8. But he's now in a hospital bed in a bad way. Emma Frost goes to see him for help with the last component of Scott Summers' plan - they must take the uber-powered Sentry out of the equation. She reminds Charles Xavier how she created a White Room in in Bob Reynolds head (New Av #9-10 except she didn't call it a White Room then, but it *was* white) to bring him back to sanity. She needs Charles' help to get in there again (as we see Sentry pounding Sub-Mariner into the pavement).

Next instant we see Emma (changed from her DXM Dark Queen outfit to a White Queen version) in the White Room. But the images of Bob's life that papered the wall are now all blank white, except 1 black square. Peering through this she sees Bob Reynolds in a black version of the room (with 1 white square framing her head). Bob says he's been in there so long he thought everyone had forgotten him and he doesn't know how to get out. Emma pulls him through the white/black hole into the White Room. She reminds him that this is a safe place where he can regain control of his body while she holds his evil alter ego the Void at bay.

Bob opens Sentry's eyes and sees the destruction around him, and flies away. (But Subby seems to be standing unharmed.) However in the White Room Ms Frost can't control the Void. She's suddenly back in reality with Xavier as the Void exits Sentry's mind through hers and gives chase to 'his' body. White Queen has reflexively transformed to her diamond form, and Prof X tells her to stay like that because a bit of the Void is trapped within her.

Iron Patriot and Cyclops see Void chasing Sentry into the distance, and Scott says that's 1 of Osborn's pieces off the board. Norman says he still has Ares the God of War, but Cyclops knows/hopes he has a successful counter-goddess. And just then they see Moonstar thrust her sword into Ares and declare that she's more than a Valkyrie now - she was made to stop gods. And Ares does appear to be stopped.

Elsewhere Wolverine is battling his way through the storm of power Weapon Omega is throwing at him. The 3 X-females strike Daken simultaneously, but he guts X-23 with his claws as she does the same to him. Mimic is wilting under a multiple assault. And Void and Sentry are out in space.

Iron Patriot still defeats Cyclops but it's a hollow victory. Moonstone reaches him and shows him the assembled mutants arrayed against him. She says if they kill 1 mutant they'll have to kill them all - and genocide won't play well for the TV news cameras. Scott reminds Norman he gave him a chance to give up and leave San Francisco (DAv#7) before things fell apart. Now IP has to take his troops and flee.

Now Cyclops makes a statement to camera. This new island is now the mutant homeland. They won't menace humans. In fact the X-Men will continue to fight super-menaces for them as before. But they will also defend their space.

Norman Osborn calls his own press conference with his DAv and DXM including 'Prof X'. He announces that they have driven Scott Summers' mutants off American soil, and they must stay imprisoned on their island. Now that his job here is done the curfew will be lifted and he and his teams will leave San Francisco.

Next morning on the island they're calling Utopia the work of making a home begins. Emma reminds Scott the last time they lived on an island things went wrong. But they have hope for the future.


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> Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Exodus: Book info and issue index

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Mike Deodato Jr.
Mike Deodato Jr.
Justin Ponsor
Steve McNiven (Cover Penciler)
Steve McNiven (Cover Inker)
Letterer: Joe Caramagna.
Editor: Nick Lowe.

Characters

Listed in Alphabetical Order.

Beast
Beast

(Hank McCoy)
Iron Patriot
Iron Patriot

(Norman Osborn)
Moonstone
Moonstone

(Karla Sofen)
Professor X
Professor X

(Charles Xavier)
Venom
Venom

(Mac Gargan)
Wolverine
Wolverine

(James Howlett)

Plus: Angel, Colossus (Piotr Rasputin), Dani Moonstar, Dark Beast, Emma Frost, Mystique, Psylocke, Weapon Omega (Michael Pointer), X-23 (Laura Kinney).