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

Aug 2009
Matt Fraction, Marc Silvestri

Story Name:

Utopia part 1

Review & Comments

4 stars

Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Utopia #1 Review by (October 24, 2017)
Marc Silvestri had pencilling help from Eric Basaldua, Michael Broussard, Tyler Kirkham and Sheldon Mitchell.
Joe Weems had help with the inking from Eric & Rick Basaldua, Marco Galli, Jason Gorder, Jay Leisten, Sal Regla, Jon Sibal and Ryan Winn.

I've not been following the X-books for some years so I used the Marvel Chronology Project, uncannyxmen.net, marvel.wikia.com and comicbookdb.com to guide me as to who some of the less-identifiable characters in this issue are. Of course I found that these sources didn't always agree, so I've made my own informed choices where necessary. As a result I put names to some of the mutants in the crowd scene where they're watching the news in Graymalkin Industries. Those who don't play any other part in the story include:- Dr Nemesis, Kavita Rao, Madison Jeffries and Yuriko Takiguchi, scientists of the X-Club. Cannonball, Magik, Moonstar and Sunspot of the original New Mutants. Domino, Elixir and Warpath of X-Force. Blindfold and Gentle are a couple of Xavier Institute students who didn't lose their powers on M-Day. Despite all this there are still bodies there I can't name, and chars who sources say are in the issue somewhere but I can't pin down.

Simon Trask is the brother of Bolivar Trask who invented the Sentinels. *His* method of dealing with the mutant problem was to start a movement called Humanity's Last Stand and a fake enemy to oppose called the Mutant Liberation Front. Lately (UXM#509) he created the Humanity Now! Coalition to demand Proposition X be made into law.

Cooperstown was where the 1st mutant baby since M-Day was born (in the Messiah CompleX event), and the 'dire results' were various forces fighting over her. Cable took the baby into the future and raised her as Hope Summers.

It was during Messiah CompleX that Xavier's Westchester mansion/school was destroyed by Sentinels (UXM#493). The X-Men split up in the X-Men: Divided We Stand arc until San Francisco offers them and the few remaining mutants (since M-Day) a home in UXM#500 at the start of Manifest Destiny. Graymalkin Industries was built as their HQ (I don't think the 'Industries' actually produce anything).
Mayor Sadie Sinclair was previously glad to host California's Initiative team The Order, but apparently she wasn't so keen after Norman Osborn took over (and their comic ended).
Although this issue is called Utopia the only time the word is used inside is when Nekra complains that that is what they were promised when they all came to San Fran. But this whole crossover is all called Utopia, and by the time we reach the end in DAv/UXM: Exodus we will see the founding of a new haven which will *actually* be called Utopia.

Norman Osborn and his Dark Avengers are involved because this all takes place within Dark Reign when post-Secret Invasion he was running HAMMER (the replacement for SHIELD), the Avengers, the Initiative and Thunderbolts, plus much else via his villainous Cabal including Emma Frost.

The fake Prof X is Mystique recruited by NO in Dark X-Men: The Beginning #3.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Dark Avengers/Uncanny X-Men: Utopia #1 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
Simon Trask has led a Humanity Now! Coalition march from Sacramento to San Francisco where the X-Men are currently based in support of Proposition X which would restrict the rights of mutants to breed. He cites in evidence the dire results when the 1st new mutant since M-Day was born in Cooperstown Alaska.

They pass pro-mutant protesters in Market St until they finally face some actual mutants led by Beast with Anole, Dazzler, Graymalkin and Northstar who want a peaceful confrontation. Trask pretends to keep his followers in line, but when some young mutant hotheads including Glob Herman and Rockslide led by Hellion (with Pixie trying to calm him down) lunge forward Trask gets the fight he really wanted. Anole, Graymalkin and Pixie get hurt, the police arrive to break it up and Beast is tasered. Hellion is arrested kicking Trask when he's down.

The events are witnessed on TV at the X-Men's Graymalkin Industries base in the Marin Headlands by many mutants including Adam-X (maybe), Angel, Armor, Cipher, Colossus, Loa, Match, Mercury, Nightcrawler, Onyxx, the Stepford Cuckoos, Trance (possibly) and their leaders Cyclops and Emma Frost/White Queen. That pair go to Frisco City Hall to meet Mayor Sadie Sinclair who wants to know if Scott Summers can keep 'his' mutants under control. Cyclops wants Beast freed. But the negotiations are interrupted by injured Trask holding a press conference outside St Francis Memorial Hospital, and Norman Osborn arriving in San Fran International Airport threatening to take over law enforcement in the city.

We see various reactions worldwide and beyond. Storm is by the bedside of her husband T'Challa, no longer Black Panther, as he continues to recover from the near-fatal attack by Doctor Doom (BP(2009)#1-6). Wolverine leaves the New Avengers in New York and heads to SF (but he won't get here until Uncanny X-Men #514). In Latveria Dr Doom and fellow Cabal member Loki (in male form again) toast the increasing chaos. Franklin Richards is off in deep space (or an alternate universe) with his parents (on an otherwise unrecorded journey) but he can still get current Earth TV transmissions - and he asks if people hate *him* because he's a mutant.

Back in SF mutants including Bling, Frenzy, Karma, Nekra and Rhapsody clash with anti-mutant protesters and the Castro St Theatre gets fire-bombed. Angel flies Match in to subdue the flames. Ink and Nightcrawler are in action on Nob Hill. Loa, Mercury and Onyxx are under attack on Telegraph Hill. In Hayes Valley Colossus is trying to stop Rockslide's rampage while Surge keeps people away. And on the Embarcadero Toad confronts Cyclops, Emma Frost and the 3 Stepford Cuckoos. The crowd attack Scott but the cops see them off. A cop tells Cyke that things are getting out of control. Summers wonders who can restore law and order ...

... as Osborn, with his right-hand woman Victoria Hand, assembles his Dark Avengers in H.A.M.M.E.R.'s west coast HQ on Alcatraz Island. 5 of the team will disperse to various hotspots. NO will keep Sentry and himself as Iron Patriot in reserve.

At the Castro Frenzy and Nekra are militant while Armor, Bling and Karma try to calm them. Ms Marvel (Moonstone) flies in and zaps the angry pair, claiming that the Avengers are here to save them.

In Hayes Valley Colossus has downed Rockslide and consults Surge and Cipher about what else is happening. Then Spider-Man (Venom (Mac Gargan)) leaps on Colossus and tries to 'arrest' him.

Embarcadero - Erg, Lorelei, Adam-X, Meld and  Litterbug lead mutants and protesters into a confrontation with the police. Until Hawkeye (Bullseye) frightens them off. And he complains that nobody 'forced' him to shoot them.

Meanwhile Cyclops has gone to Telegraph Hill where he finds Loa, Mercury and Onyxx safe because the riot moved off to City Hall. When asked he is forced to admit that he doesn't know where Emma Frost has got to.

And in the besieged City Hall Mayor Sinclair is on the phone to Norman Osborn. NO says he must cut the call short because he has an important meeting to attend to. But he's sent a HAMMER agent to end the situation. Outside Ares is dropped from an aircraft and his threatening presence stops the protesters, including Anole, Northstar, Pixie and maybe Dazzler. Cyclops watches from a hill with Loa, Mercury, Onyxx and Trance wondering how they can stop someone like that.

(We don't get to see what the 5th Dark Avenger Daken is up to in this issue.)

Osborn (in his Iron Patriot armour) has his meeting, and it's with Emma Frost, who as well as being a co-leader of the X-Men is part of his Cabal. The deal she'd made was that he'd leave mutants alone if Scott Summers kept them in line. But Cyclops obviously isn't up to the job so he offers it to Emma, along with a new costume. As Ms Frost reads the details while changing from her White Queen outfit to a Black version we catch up with more of what's happening.

Iron Patriot holds a press conference where he announces martial law. HAMMER is in charge. Mutant ringleaders are being rounded up. 1 of them is Beast who hears a telepathic voice in his cell. Another is Cyclops who manages to avoid capture. Osborn introduces Prof Charles Xavier who disavows the current actions of the X-Men. But we see that the voice in Beast's head is the real Professor X who's also a prisoner. He says that there are many mutants here, and their jailers are taking away their powers including his own.

Continued in UNCANNY X-MEN #513.

Marc Silvestri
Joe Weems
Frank D'Armata
Marc Silvestri (Cover Penciler)
Joe Weems (Cover Inker)
Frank D'Armata (Cover Colorist)
Letterer: Chris Eliopoulos.
Editor: Nick Lowe.


Listed in Alphabetical Order.


(Warren Worthington)

(Hank McCoy)

(Piotr Rasputin)

(Scott Summers)
Iron Patriot
Iron Patriot

(Norman Osborn)

(Karla Sofen)

(Kurt Wagner)
Professor X
Professor X

(Charles Xavier)

(Mac Gargan)
White Queen
White Queen

(Emma Frost)

Plus: Armor, Hellion, Karma, Mystique (Raven Darkholme), Northstar, Pixie (Megan Gwynn), Simon Trask, Stepford Cuckoos, Toad (Mortimer Toynbee), Victoria Hand.

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

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