SPOILER WARNING: This article contains spoilers for “Uncanny X-Men” #15, which is in stores now.
Magneto’s team of hard-edged X-Men are fracturing. After forming an alliance with Magneto to take proactive steps to ensure the embattled mutant race’s survival, Psylocke discovered that her partner was working with some other mutants behind her back. Namely, he was conspiring with Psylocke’s ex Fantomex, the villain Mystique and a newly reformed Hellfire Club. Frustrated with this betrayal of her trust, Psylocke left the team and took up her own mission to proactively go after threats.
That’s where “Uncanny X-Men” #15 from writer Cullen Bunn and artists Greg Land and Ibraim Roberson picks up, with Psylocke out on her own seeking to stop villains before they can act. She started out by taking out a nest of Omega Sentinels, or as they’re described in the issue, “human cyborgs infected with murder-tech.”
The first iteration of these guys, which were called Prime Sentinels, debuted in the 1997 crossover “Operation: Zero Tolerance” and have since grown from Omega Prime Sentinels to Omega Sentinels. One of their number, Karima Shapandar, even bucked her programming and served as a member of the X-Men. It’s safe to say, though, that none of these Sentinels will be serving with the X-Men any time soon.
Next, Psylocke returned to jet and scrolled through some of the other names on Magneto’s hitlist, bringing up three more members of the X-Men’s rogue’s gallery.
That’s the X-Men’s creepy mad scientist villain Mister Sinister, the well-armed mercenary X-Cutioner and a member of the cyborg criminal gang called the Reavers. Mister Sinister just popped up in the pages of “Extraordinary X-Men” last year, and the Reavers were just destroyed by Old Man Logan in his ongoing series. X-Cutioner’s inclusion here, though, is a bit more notable; he hasn’t appeared in a comic since the “Gambit Annual” issue in the year 2000. Fingers crossed we get to see Betsy throw down with him at some point soon.
From there, Betsy travels to Cambodia where she takes on the mesmerizing were-pteranodon Sauron. Betsy successfully defeats him, freeing all the mutants in his hypnotic thrall.
Sauron last popped up in a major role a year and a half ago in 2015’s “Spider-Man and the X-Men” series, where he continued his quest to turn more people into dino/human hybrids like himself. He was defeated then, just like Psylocke defeated him now.
Last on Psylocke’s list, though, is a team that’s a pretty deep cut when it comes to the comics: the Nasty Boys.
Psylocke shuts down the Nasty Boys’ MGH (Mutant Growth Hormone) distribution center, taking great pride in her work. The Nasty Boys members featured are Slab, Hairbag and Gorgeous George. If these guys don’t ring any bells, that’s because they only briefly served as Mister Sinister’s enforcers for pretty much just two storylines in the early ’90s. They debuted in 1992’s “X-Factor” #74, returned to play rough with Havok and Polaris in 1994’s “X-Factor” #105 — and then pretty much disappeared.
If you do recognize these guys, it’s most likely because they appeared comparatively frequently in the ’90s Fox “X-Men” animated series. Yep, these guys have about an equal number of appearances in canonical Marvel comics as they do in the “X-Men” cartoon. This isn’t the only time some Nasty Boys have appeared in a comic recently. Just a few months ago in “Extraordinary X-Men Annual” #1, Ruckus and Ramrod — two other Nasty ones not seen in this issue — were left imprisoned in the brig of the X-Men’s Limbo headquarters. Who knows when all the Nasty Boys will reunite to annoy the X-Men? We can only hope we don’t have to wait another 20 years.
Next month’s issue looks to shift the focus away from Psylocke towards the shady saboteur Fantomex and the teenage Jean Grey. “Uncanny X-Men” #16 arrives in stores on December 21.
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