“Everything is connected… And thus nothing is connected.”
Here is the second and final part of The Break Down, an overview of the Uncanny X-Men weekly event, Disassembled. X-Man has launched a worldwide campaign to change the world and he won’t let anyone stand in his way. Not even his former friends and family, including the X-Men. He’s taken Magneto, Angel, Omega Red, and the Blob as his Horsemen of Salvation to spread his word and when necessary, enforce his will. The world will change, or it will crumble under the power of X-Man. After this, everything changes. Hopefully, that extends to more than just costume and pallet swaps. Let’s see how it all ends.
Uncanny X-Men #6
Warren Worthington is gone. Only the Archangel remains – and he’s not happy about it. In the last issue of Uncanny X-Men: Disassembled, Psylocke broke down the barriers that held the former Horseman of Death at bay. Enraged, Archangel attacks Magneto. Unsuccessful in trying to talk Archangel down, Magneto retreats, laying the blame of Warren’s rediscovered strife at the feet of the X-Men. Betsy attempts to appeal to Archangel, but he’s beyond her words. He explains to the group he is neither on their side or X-Man’s. As Jean’s team arrives, all they can do is convince Warren to give them X-Man’s current whereabouts.
The X-Men journey to British Columbia to confront X-Man, but their efforts are fruitless. From a reader’s standpoint (mine), they approached the situation from an angle of opposition. To me, it doesn’t really make sense to threaten a person with enough raw power to shape the world as he sees fit. Jean and company attack X-Man but the might of a dozen seasoned X-Men is easily stifled by the titan. Finally, the trainees accompanied by Legion and Multiple Man arrive, but wisely take a different approach. They try talking to X-Man, not at him.
X-Man appreciates the sentiment and finally reveals his true motivation. He’s dying. Burning out (a condition that he’s faced since Sinister genetically engineered him in the Age of Apocalypse timeline), but before he finally fades away, he wants to change the world for the better. Legion, being the unstable soul that he is, lashes out and attacks X-Man wishing to “banish him to the world he came from.” Unfortunately, or accordingly, something goes wrong. The trainees, along with their surroundings, are suddenly transformed into a state which I can only describe as demonic…
Uncanny X-Men #7
It turns out, Legion hadn’t just warped reality after all. He did succeed in sending X-Man back to the Age of Apocalypse reality! Though, unfortunately, he also trapped Pixie, Rockslide, Glob Herman and Armor there as well. The twisted world hasn’t been kind to the young X-Men. Atop of being stuck there for years, their bodies are hellish versions of their original ones, and for reasons not immediately revealed, Rockslide and Pixie have gone out on their own. For months, Armor and Glob have been traveling alongside the significantly weaker X-Man in search of a way home.
After successfully locating the lab belonging to this world’s Mister Sinister in Chicago, X-Man finally finds what they’ve been searching for – a fragment of the M’Kraan crystal. Sadly, it’s devoid of power and crumbles into dust upon being touched. Before the three have a chance to cope with the frustration, Pixie and Rockslide, along with several denizens of the reality, appear and attack the trio. During the fray, the reason for their split is exposed. Rockslide and Pixie had come to the conclusion that it’d be in their best interest if they killed X-Man before they found a way back.
Glob and Armor, at the time, saw the situation differently. Since then, the two have formed something of a bond with X-Man and seemingly interact with him as a friend. However, after some choice words from Pixie, combined with the stress of simply being in that nightmare of a world for so long, not to mention the most recent disappointment, Armor’s opinion of the situation has changed. Much to X-Man’s horror, the idea of ending him is back on the table.
Uncanny X-Men #8
With Armor on the verge of putting an end to X-Man, the struggle between his Horsemen and the X-Men continues to rage back on Earth. While Magneto, Blob, and Omega Red are distracted, Psylocke, Jean, and Bishop are left to investigate the disappearance of the trainees and X-Man. The two telepaths aren’t able to track down there whereabouts before they are confronted by Kitty as she pulls the Senator from the rubble. With X-Man gone, her powers and restraints were released. So were those of Apocalypse.
Meanwhile, back in the mansion’s sub-basement, Beast confronts the freshly awakened Anole about the vaccine that had gone missing from his lab. Despite Anole’s denial, Hank lets him know that he’s aware that he was the one that stole it. In the interim, back at the battle, Bishop is ready to attack Apocalypse but halts his attack at Kitty’s request. Psylocke and Jean have finally ascertained the location of X-Man and the kids. They’re actually trapped within the mind of Legion – who’s still out cold. They describe the world and Bishop immediately recognizes it as the Age of Apocalypse timeline.
Bishop recommends releasing them all from the hellish world before it does them more harm, but Kitty, with Apocalypse’s support, argues the pros and cons of allowing X-Man to escape with them. Before the X-Men can come to an agreement, Apocalypse decides to take matters into his own hands, opting to end the life of Legion. As the X-Men engage him, Bishop asks Psylocke to send his mind into Legion’s. She’s reluctant but agrees and does as he asks. Bishop arrives just in time to stop Armor from executing X-Man.
Unlike her present teammates who all are excited to see Bishop, Armor is bitter. She blames the X-Men for their being stuck but is left dumbfounded when Bishop informs her that they’d only been gone for 5 minutes. X-Man quickly realizes that Bishop’s appearance hasn’t altered and concludes that it all is an illusion. Legion finally appears and confirms his suspicions. The two mutant titans have a telepathic duel which ends with everyone in attendance being freed of the artificial world. Before the trainees and X-Men can gather their wits, they are confronted with the fact that X-Man and Legion have merged into a single angry being.
Uncanny X-Men #9
With X-Man and Legion now sharing a body, the situation has turned from perilous to hopeless for the X-Men. Completely deaf to reason Legion-Man, sets his eyes on one thing – the eradication of the X-Men. During the fray, Legion-Man takes control of Storm and makes her his new Horseman. Jean sees the tide turning and telepathically reaches out and links to nearly every available X-Man on Earth. She then assists Pixie in teleporting away and gathering them.
Meanwhile, Beast and Anole continue their conversation about the missing anti-X-Gene vaccine. Anole finally admits that he was responsible for its disappearance. He explains that his reasons were 100% altruistic. That he did it to give young mutants a choice. To determine for themselves if they want to continue as they are or find peace as a normal human. Beast explains to the misguided youth, that his vaccine will most likely be used as a weapon against mutant-kind, not a gift.
Back at the scene of the battle, Apocalypse looks on as the X-Men battle what he dubs ‘the grandchildren of the atom.” His attention is drawn away as he notices the Senator attempting to escape. Just as he’s about to smash the man under his mighty fist, he’s saved by Kitty Pryde. Legion-Man has seemingly had enough of playing on the X-Men’s level and decides to wipe the board clean by ripping apart the tectonic plates and sinking the landmass under their feet. Jean confronts him, but it’s fruitless. Just as Legion-Man is about to drown his ‘mother,’ Pixie returns with a variable army of X-Men at her back.
Uncanny X-Men #10
United, the X-Men, and even Apocalypse himself assault Legion-Man and his Horsemen. It’s a desperate, and hopeless attack that does little more than result in the near-death of Cannonball. As Jean gathers all the available telepaths to disrupt the bond between X-Man and Legion, Psylocke and Angel focus their attention on restoring Storm. The two X-Men manage to gain the upper hand and succeed in wiping Storm’s mind of Legion-Man’s hold with the help of Psylocke’s psi-blade.
Well-vexed by having her mind tampered with, Storm unleashes a maelstrom of lightning just powerful enough to stun Legion-Man and give the telepaths the opening they needed to separate the minds of X-Man and Legion. During the violent separation, X-Man traps Jean within a pocket dimension. The two are given time to talk once again, though time moves normally on the outside as the X-Men continue their attacks. After a lengthy conversation, Jean again manages to stun X-Man by feeding him the pain of the people he’s hurt.
The break in concentration is enough to finally weaken his hold over Magneto, Blob, and Omega Red, all of which immediately join in on attacking X-Man, who’s sealed himself behind a field. Back inside of the pocket dimension with Jean, X-Man reveals the source of his increased powers. At some point, he came into possession of the Celestial Life Seed. Though it was not enough to restore him to health, it gave him the power boost he’s demonstrated thus far.
He reiterates his wish to make the world a better place but ultimately concludes that it cannot be whilst the X-Men exist. With unleashing a blinding flash of light X-Man carries out his judgment upon the students of Xavier and apparently incinerates the lot of them. The issue finishes with an epilogue seemingly narrated by the newly revived Cyclops. The death of the X-Men is known throughout the world, and the vaccine is openly disseminated to prevent the proliferation of the mutant race.
So ends Uncanny X-Men: Disassembled. Personally, I will say this was the most I’ve enjoyed an X-Men event in a long while. With Age of X-Man: Alpha only a couple weeks away, we’ll soon have our questions answered as to the fate of the X-Men. Only time will tell, but I believe we’ve already been given a clue or two during these last handful of issues. What did you think about Disassembled? Let us know!