Tragedy strikes as Super gets close to finishing the dreadnaught that is AvX! Avengers vs. X-Men #11 The New Avengers #30! Uncanny X-Men #18! Wolverine and the X-Men #16! Secret Wars #'s 5-7!
Hey! You're here! Welcome.
I've got something to get off my chest before we get this ball rolling. AvX has already finished. I know! It surprised me too... especially when I went into my comic shop and can still see "AvX" books being released. No, the point is, the series ended a couple weeks ago and I'm still slogging through the eleventh issue. Most of this stuff has already been well spoiled by this point. Still, I'm here to get see this thing all the way through and try to add some extra structure to the entire experience. Hopefully, it'll still seem worthwhile. If not, at least it'll be long and arduous.
If you're a first time Super Reader, welcome to the insanity! This is what you just walked into: I read every AvX comic and then I break them down. The nutshell gives you a quick, short sentence summary. The bullet points... are probably self explanatory. With the summarizing all done, I go insane and write up a detailed report on just what happened in an issue and try to relate why it's important. I might also go off on any continuity or story incongruities. It's what I do.
This ain't my first rodeo. I've been covering Marvel events since Secret Invasion, back when I was a wide-eyed young fanboy with hope for the future. :) When this site gets everything back in order, you might be able to look at all of this work by checking out the Super Reads section. For now, a quick Google search can reveal a LOT of past work.
Here's some vital information:
It begins... with an ENDING-- and, perhaps, the BREAKING of a man's heart. THIS man's heart. The heart of CHARLES XAVIER.
If you are wondering what the X-Men are all about, your first stop to understanding them is to look at their founder, Professor Xavier, and get a good look at what he was trying to do. Charles had a dream that mutants and regular humans could co-exist peacefully with each other. He tried to fulfill that dream by sequestering his teenage mutant strikeforce in an isolated mansion in upstate New York.
(I'm not trying to overly judge Chuck for that seemingly contradictory move. This is what super-heroes do. The Avengers have a Mansion and a Tower. The Justice League have a Satellite. Super-hero teams don't build their headquarters in a four-bedroom house in the middle of suburbia. I'm just saying-- and this is kind of an aside, here-- that you can't really damn Cyclops for building his headquarters on the sovereign island of Utopia when the X-Men have lived apart from humanity for fifty years. If anything, mutants have actually been living CLOSER to the rest of humanity during Cyclops's tenure as leader, considering their close ties to San Francisco.)
Anyway, the X-Men have been defined by Xavier's dream, making sure that the mutants that want to rule humanity receive a proper beatdown while also protecting peaceful mutants from a society that fears and hates them. It's a full time job so, naturally, there are fifty-seven different teams of X-Men.
The problem is that Xavier hasn't REALLY been associated with the X-Men since he left the team at the conclusion of Grant Morrison's New X-Men run. He spent some time on Genosha playing the Odd Couple with Magneto in one of the many Excalibur books which brought him into a critical (mostly) off-panel role in House of M. At House of M's conclusion, Professor X got the use of his legs back but lost his telepathic abilities. From there, he took a team of X-Men into outerspace for a battle for, against, and through the Shi'ar that restored his mutant telepathy.
When he returned to Earth, Xavier got wrapped into the Messiah Complex storyline just in time to be killed off. The X-Men were so distraught at the death of their founder that they disbanded for ten seconds before returning to business as usual. This is JUST about as long as Charles remained dead. He returned to life with some memory loss and wandered the world, Kung-fu style. Or this is how I imagine it in my mind. I never got too far in my reading of X-Men Legacy.
When Norman Osborn decided to get involved in mutant affairs, the entire mutant community decided to take up residence on Utopia, including Xavier. You'd hardly notice, though, because Charles was relegated to one panel walk-on appearances when a writer remembered that the Professor was around. It seemed that the X-Men no longer had any use for their former mentor.
Professor Xavier's last memorable storyline was Age of X where he helps his son, Legion, be a lot less insane while helping dissolve an alternate reality-type situation.
Perhaps it's appropriate that the mostly forgotten Charles Xavier is remembered again by his former students just in time for his favorite X-Man and leader of the mutant community to completely lose it.
Avengers vs. X-Men #11
Writers: Jason Aaron, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction, & Jonathan Hickman
Script: Brian Michael Bendis
Penciler: Olivier Coipel
Inker: Mark Morales
Editor: Tom Brevoort
The story in a nutshell:
The X-Men join the Avengers to fight Cyclops and Emma. During the fight, Cyclops ends up taking Emma down to get her powers and then uses the combined Phoenix abilities to kill Professor X. With that one last sin under his belt, Scott Summers becomes the Dark Phoenix.
This issue by bullet points:
• Captain America convinces the green Hulk to join him in the final battle against Scott Summers and Emma Frost.
• Rogue and the rest of the X-Men join the Avengers.
• Emma Frost tries to convince Scott to burn up the world and start again.
• Xavier distracts Cyclops telepathically as the rest of the heroes punch and kick him. They also attack Emma Frost.
• Magneto receives first degree cosmic burns.
• Scott defeats Emma and takes her Phoenix powers.
• Cyclops rages against his father figure, killing Professor Xavier.
• Scott Summers becomes the Dark Phoenix.
This issue in EXTREME detail:
In the expansive American southwest, Captain America uses his best speeches to convince the Hulk to join his worthy cause against Cyclops and Emma Frost. The Hulk agrees to help out. Super wonders why Cap couldn't have used this much tact and diplomacy in Avengers vs. X-Men #1
After the opening credits roll, our story picks up in a field in Wisconsin as the X-Man, Rogue, attempts to call for an alliance with the Avengers. She's back from the trip she took off-world at the end of X-Men Legacy #270
and with the help of Madison Jeffries, she's tracked the Avengers to this northwest location. Rogue was witness to the X-Men's Avengers prison, the "Limbo-on-Earth jail, and she knows that the Phoenix Five have officially LOST IT. She's ready to join the Avengers to defeat the remaining two members of the PhoeniX-Men.
Professor Xavier emerges from behind a previously concealed doorway and having read Rogue's mind, announces that she is welcome to join the team. The Avengers appear by Charles' side as he tells the rest of the X-Men to come out of hiding.
That's right. It's a mass Exodus from Cyclops's and Emma's side. You name an X-Man and they're probably in the crowd. Some people in the background are just silhouettes so you can just imagine that your favorite is there. Unless your favorite is Scott Summers. If so, I'm sorry. I'm very, very sorry.
Captain America sees these newcomers as a tactical advantage. Xavier sees them as "passionately" motivated. That's something that the Avengers could use, I suppose. The X-Men aren't here to put Scott in his place... well, Wolverine is... the X-Men are here to set things right and hopefully save Cyclops from the power of the Phoenix. Bobby Drake, Iceman, says as much to Xavier.
The floating island of Utopia is pretty much empty except for a few X-Men stragglers and the final two PhoeniX-Men, Cyclops and Emma Frost. From the beginning, Cyclops has held his sanity together better than the rest of the Phoenix Five but it's quite clear at this point that he's still slipped off the deep end... he's just scratching his fingers on the side of the cliff, trying to keep a small shred of his sanity all the way down.
It looks like Emma has done a much worse job of keeping it together. She mentions all of the bad things that the Phoenix Force is speaking into their minds. There's the Highlander stuff, for example. You know: THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE. With each Phoenix host's defeat, the power has been returned to the remaining hosts. One more down, and all that power will belong to just one person. Cyclops claims that he's not interested in taking on the full force but he believes that Emma IS.
Frost switches the conversation to her belief that it's time to burn the entire world and rebuild it. Again, Cyclops rejects the idea and when pressed on it, he tells Emma to back the hell off. When Scott asks her what is WRONG with her, she's gets a conflicted look on her face and responds "I--I don't know."
And now, Professor Charles Xavier's psychic intervention begins. Scott and Charles meet telepathically but Cyclops doesn't realize this until Xavier tells him later on in the conversation. All the signs of an intervention are here. Cyclops has gone insane with power but he hasn't actually REALIZED it yet. Xavier is here to help even if Scott rages against him. Professor X DOES lose his cool, though. I don't think you're supposed to say things like "I'm ashamed of you" during an intervention, after all. I think the words you're SUPPOSED to use are "I love you and want to help you get over your addiction to a cosmic entity of death and rebirth."
But, y'know, calming the situation down probably isn't going to lead to a spectacular battle. Which is what we want.
While this might be an intervention in Scott's mind, it's also a brutal physical confrontation where Xavier telepathically distracts Cyclops while everyone else tries to incapacitate the First X-Man. Oh, also Emma Frost. It's important to take them both down but Xavier is only reaching into Cyclops's head. This is definitely focusing Scott's attention on his father figure. Captain America has to step in front of Charles to protect him from a lethal concussive blast from Summers's visor.
The Scarlet Witch lashes out with one of her hex attacks and causes Cyke some serious pain. Meanwhile, Emma Frost gets lightning blasted by Storm and then smashed into the ground by the Hulk. Are the two PhoeniX-Men on the verge of losing? We still have one issue to go!
To take some of the heat off of Xavier, Magneto steps in, declaring that it was HE who invited Chuck into this conflict. Hell, if the Master of Magnetism thinks you've gone too far... This earns Magnus a little cosmic burning as Cyclops lashes out with his Phoenix flames. Scarlet Witch uses her chaos magic to save Magneto but he's still on fire the last we see him.
Thor rushes in to fill a lull in the combat but is backhanded away by Scott Summers. Cyclops takes what would be a lethal arrow to the back of his neck, courtesy of Hawkeye, but since he's rocking Phoenix powers, Summers just keeps on going. He tries to use this attack as the reason why the Avengers shouldn't be trusted.
No one falls for it. Iceman begins his attack, shouting out how annoyed he (and everyone else) is with the former leader of the X-Men. Xavier believes this battle is nearing a wrap up and inside Scott's mind, he starts his end of battle speech just before a raging Cyclops forces Xavier out of this telepathic conversation.
Cyclops rises to his feet. Captain America announces Summer's arrest but gets a firm "Shut up" from Scott. Storm pleads with Cyclops to give up. Captain America announces that he DOESN'T beg Cyke to stand down.
For Scott's next attack, he does what we've been waiting for him to do all issue. No, not kill Xavier. That's coming but not JUST yet. First, he has to take all that sweet Phoenix power away from his loving, insane, girlfriend. That'll mean handing Emma a severe beatdown. Some of the Avengers think he's killing her but that's not necessary to get the full power of the Phoenix.
This is a quiet moment before things go all pear shaped. Everyone gets a slight breather as Cyclops bursts with even MORE infinite power. Xavier does one last attempt at getting his First X-Man to surrender peacefully and gets "You are NOT my father" as a response. A quick, bright battle later and we are left with Cyclops standing over the unmoving body of Professor Charles Xavier.
There comes a "point of no return" for a hero before they become irredeemable douche nozzles that would be more likely to hang out with Dr. Doom than their fellow heroes. Marvel has dances with that point with a hell of a lot of their heroes in recent years. This is most likely that moment for Scott Summers. The ONE saving grace in this situation is that he's being controlled by a cosmic entity that has been known for driving people crazy. Time will tell if that's enough to bring Cyclops back to the side o' the angels or if we're just going to witness him slipping even FURTHER over the edge of villainy.
Tears roll down Cyclops's cheeks as he blames everyone else for what he just did. The Hulk tosses Wolverine, Fastball Special-style at Scott but Logan never gets close before bursting into flames and dropping ineffectually to the ground. Thor readies himself for another... beatdown... but Captain America calls the thunder god off. "It's too late."
In one more flaming power up, Cyclops turns into Dark Phoenix.
Hey! It's another costume change!
The New Avengers #30
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Mike Deodato
Editor: Tom Brevoort
The issue in a nutshell:
The New Avengers try delivering Emma Frost to a secure prison facility only to be attacked by the religious terrorists known as the Purifiers. While fending off the attack, Luke Cage is seriously wounded and realizes that he'd rather be with his family than fighting this week's bit of insanity. He calls his wife up post-battle and quits the team.
This issue by bullet points:
• Emma Frost is driven through the streets of San Francisco on her way to prison. Her escorts for this evening are the New Avengers.
• The Purifiers attack. They like to quote passages out of the Bible and shoot guns. At the same time.
• Emma tries to escape and is threatened by a Purifier. DD takes care of both the terrorist and the X-Man.
• Luke Cage has a near death experience.
• The Avengers swat down the rest of the Purifiers.
• When the battle is concluded, Luke calls up his wife to tell her that he's done with the Avengers and ready to have his life with his family and NO ENEMIES WILL EVER ATTACK THEM EVER NO BACKSIES.
This issue in EXTREME detail:
Let's travel into the future a little bit to a short time AFTER the main event that will supposedly happen in AvX #12. This issue doesn't give you any spoilers about how the Avengers and the X-Men will take down Dark Phoenix Cyclops and save the universe from his one-eyed vision. Instead, it focuses on bringing a very special prisoner out of San Francisco and into a proper detention facility.
Well, it ACTUALLY focuses on the very important decision that Luke Cage is going to make but let's pretend that we're all here for the AvX tie-in for ten seconds.
At any rate, our story begins with a group of New Avengers transporting their AvX prisoner through San Fran. Mockingbird is driving with the Thing in shotgun. In the back of this heavily armored vehicle is Luke Cage and Daredevil. Luke and Matt are talking about life as an Avenger and how insane it is on nearly a daily basis. This leads Cage to remember that his wife gave him an ultimatum back in New Avengers #24
You see, Jessica Jones is under the belief that her life was all roses and sunshine before she and Luke joined up with the Avengers. She thinks that danger only comes looking for her when her family is living in a mansion and completely forgets that villains will seek you out and destroy you whether you're hanging out with a crew that can protect you and living in a mansion that at least has some defensive systems even if it's also a giant target. The bottom line: the family needs to quit the Avengers and, I guess, go into hiding so that no one can contact them. I'm just guessing on the last part because it's the only thing I can think of that will make them safe from the Purple Men of the world. For five minutes, at least.
Luke unloads all of this on Daredevil. Their extra special prisoner gags her way through Cage's personal strife and we learn that the Avengers are transporting...
Emma Frost. She's back in her typical X-Men costume and doesn't look even the slightest bit remorseful for her recent shenanigans.
Interrupting that interruption is the explosive attack brought to you by...
The Purifiers! You know, my absolute least favorite X-Men threat? These guys are religious terrorists who hate the mutant population and run around quoting random Bible verses that support their belief. The Purifiers are absolutely one of the most played out villains in the X-books, mostly because they're one of the last villain teams running around post- House of M. I am glad that Bendis is getting this out of his system before moving to the X-books. Hopefully he'll never use them again and just focus on ninja bad guys or something. ;)
The Purifiers, and the rest of humanity for that matter, have a WHOLE lot of reasons to hate mutants right at this moment. Their retaliation against one of the key instigators of Pax Utopia makes perfect sense. Someone was going to make a move. It's just surprising that the Avengers didn't just use a Quinjet instead of driving through city streets.
Emma Frost begs to be allowed to help fight for her life but there's no way the Avengers are going to be taking her mutant inhibitor off. Nope, this is Avengers vs. Purifiers.
There's not really a lot to say about the fight. There's some choreography going on. Thing sleeps through the initial blast and only joins up with the fight after the other three Avengers have already gotten their hands full. The Avengers are all pretty mad at Emma after AvX so they aren't really THAT interested in defending her from religious whackjobs. Still, that's what heroes do so that's what they do.
At one point during the battle, Emma tries to make a run for it and runs right into the nearest Purifier. She's still shackled so diamond form or telepathy aren't going to help her out. Daredevil ends up saving her life and then making sure she doesn't escape.
Anyway, most of the fight is just like this.
Mockingbird finally decides to call in some back-up as Luke Cage demands that the Purifiers surrender. Cage's demands get him shot at close range by one of those "SHABUOOM" guns. Luke is knocked into a building, still getting blasted repeatedly by the "SHABUOOM" gun, and his life passes before his eyes. Specifically, the bits of his life that have to do with his wife, his kid, and his friends. Luke gets up to see the barrel of a Purifier's gun.
It's a damn good thing Cage is bulletproof. He ends up punching the Purifier the hell out but you can tell the zealot's relentless assault caused him some serious injuries. Luke watches as the other three Avengers mop up this battle.
When the fighting is over, the police show up. Right behind them are Iron Man and Thor. The fresh Avengers take Emma back into custody.
Luke borrows a phone from one of the police officers. He has a phone call to make. To his wife. Cage tells Jessica that he's OK and that his time with the Avengers is behind him. Daredevil (maybe using his hypersensitive ears or MAYBE just reading the situation) tells Iron Man and Thor the bad news. Luke Cage has left the Avengers.
Uncanny X-Men #18
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Ron Garney
Editor: Nick Lowe
The issue in a nutshell:
Colossus and Magik escape from the Avengers after losing their Phoenix abilities and STARTLING REVELATIONS ARE REVEALED! Scott and Emma enjoy a beautiful date in their overminds as the Avengers and X-Men attack their regular minds and bodies. Cyclops blasts Frost, stealing her portion of the Phoenix Force and beginning the final few steps it will take to become the Dark Phoenix.
This issue by bullet points:
• Kate Kildare is sad that she represents the X-Men and that her office has been destroyed for unknown reasons.
• Cyclops chews out Magneto for being a wuss.
• Colossus and Magik end up running free in Siberia. Piotr has a whole lot of regrets. Magik has a whole lot of ulterior motives. Everyone has sibling rivalry.
• Scott Summers and Emma Frost sit down to eat a psychic dinner just as the Avengers, X-Men, and Charles Xavier attack. They continue eating calmly.
• Emma comes clean on a psychic affair she had with Namor just off-panel in Avengers vs. X-Men #8.
• With the fight going badly, Frost finally convinces Cyclops to burn up the whole world and make in anew. He proposes a toast...
• ...and then beats her down in reality, taking Emma's half of the Phoenix Force.
• I see... a Dark Phoenix rising. I see... trouble on the way...
This issue in EXTREME detail:
Kate Kildare is the Superhuman P.R. representative for the X-Men. She's damn good at her job. It's possible that there's no such thing as bad press but events like Avengers vs. X-Men might shoot a big hole into that theory. For some reason, Kildare's office is in shambles. It might be because the Phoenix Five have all gone insane? I don't know. I don't work in her building and it never happened on panel.
Kate goes over recent press releases in her mind. Everytime one of the Phoenix Five went off the deep end, she had a PR out about it. She's clearly disillusioned by her job. You would be too. Kildare looks out her window at the floating city of Utopia.
Which is where we're going next. It's sundown which means we're heading right towards the events from AvX #11 (most of the issue took place at sundown). Utopia is pretty much empty already. Only Cyclops, Emma, and Magneto are shown still occupying the place. Emma wonders if it's time for her to kill Mags off but Cyclops, still holding on to a SHRED of sanity, tells her "no."
Magneto has a private conversation with Cyclops which is summed up in only a two points.
1. This Pax Utopia thing obviously didn't work.
2. Cyclops is acting like Magneto.
Scott counters with:
1. YES IT IS SHUT UP.
2. I'M MAGNETO IF MAGNETO WAS A WINNER SHUT UP.
Speaking of crazy people, let's head on over to Syberia where Colossus and Magik are busy not being in the custody of the Avengers. It looks like no one took them captive after Avengers vs. X-Men #9
. They're still wearing their Phoenix suits but the firebird has left them. Unfortunately, the memories have NOT left them.
That's not a big deal for Illyana. She's already pretty much evil so the atrocities she committed as a member of the Phoenix Five don't really affect her much. For Piotr, it's a different game altogether. He's only recently gotten the power of the Juggernaut and while that made him a lot more violent than ever before, it wasn't until he got the Phoenix Force that he started to REALLY go psycho. He sees what he did as a Phoenix and is nearly crushed under the enormity of it all.
When he explains all of this to his sister, her response is "Finally."
REVELATION TIME! Remember back during Fear Itself when Illyana was about to take on the power of the Juggernaut but Piotr jumped in to take it for her? That was Magik's plan all the time. She wanted him to have a touch of crazy power so that he would know what it was like to be an irredeemable bastard. Like her. She was SO TIRED of him loving her unconditionally that she did this to him so that he would not only hate himself...
He would hate her.
Lesson learned. Colossus Juggernauts up in his rage, spouting curses at his sister. He attacks her but Magik teleports away before getting killed.
Meanwhile, Cyclops and Emma are enjoying a delicious steak with tangy human blood sauce. Don't worry! It's all just other people's memories. This is a mind date. The meal has been prepared by Emma but it's telling that Cyclops only seems to be bothered by the fact that he's not all that bothered about the human blood sauce. It's kind of meta.
It is during their dinner that Xavier takes over Scott's mind. He also takes over Emma's. You'd think this would kind of contradict how this all played out in AvX #11 but this is showing things on a DIFFERENT level than what we saw in the main book. The Phoenix is such a large power that there are various levels at play. While Professor X has taken over Cyclops and Emma's ACTIVE minds, this is some sort of OVERMIND realm.
The two keep eating calmly while their physical selves fight the Avengers and the X-Men. In fact, they remain calm during the whole dinner. Emma tries to get Scott to agree to burn up the world again only for him to vaguely turn the idea down. They just seem so CASUAL about it. It's a great contrast to the rage Cyclops shows in AvX #11.
The only time the two start to lose their cool is when Emma admits that she had a psychic affair with Namor while the Sub-Mariner was attacking Wakanda. That is how Emma and Scott started out, by the way. Scott just wasn't destroying Wakanda at the time. He was trying to figure out his life after being bonded with Apocalypse and... it's complicated.
Oh, that real life battle isn't going so well, either. Emma finally convinces Cyclops that they should burn the place down and rebuilt in the ashes. Scott agrees but says that they should toast on it first. It's RIGHT ABOUT HERE that he takes Emma off the playing field and absorbs her Phoenix powers.
He drinks down the toast all on his own. The drink has become Emma's half of the Phoenix Force. He nearly chokes on it. As the glass tumble to the ground, Scott begins his change into Dark Phoenix.
Wolverine and the X-Men #16
Writer: Jason Aaron
Penciler & Colorist: Chris Bachalo
Inkers: Tim Townsend, Jaime Mendoza & Al Vey
Editor: Nick Lowe
The issue in a nutshell:
Kade Kilgore, the tween Black King of the Hellfire Club gets caught by the Phoenix Five, sent to prison, and arranges his own escape during a prison riot. All this and his Super Secret Origin!
This issue by bullet points:
• Kade Kilgore and the rest of the Hellfire Kids sell next gen Sentinels to world leaders right before the Phoenix Five show up and ruin their little show. Kade got paid first, it's all good.
• Kilgore and company are made inmates at Ryker's Island Prison.
• Kade spits in a particularly rough inmate's sundae and then announces just how much he'll pay for the rest of the prison population to beat this bruiser up.
• Prison riot.
• Kilgore gives us his Secret Origin and tells us about his dad killing his mom and how Kade trained himself to be a killing machine.
• The Li'lest Black King also tells us how he parlayed his dad's murder into leadership of the Hellfire Club. That done, he killed the rest of the Club.
• During that prison riot, Kade and the rest of the Hellfire Kids are picked up for escape by his trusty body guards.
• The kids hide themselves in Salem Center. That's very close to the Jean Grey School.
This issue in EXTREME detail:
Remember when Emma Frost destroyed every last Sentinel in the world in Avengers vs. X-Men #6
? Me too! Let's journey back to that time to watch her take down one very specific cache of Sentinels. This private island in the middle of the Indian Ocean is so dangerous that all five of the Phoenix Five have converged to take it down.
And it's a small wonder. This is where the Hellfire Club makes it's mutant killing machines. The Black King of the Hellfire Club, Kade Kilgore, is on hand with the rest of the Hellfire Kids as they sell the next generation of Sentinels to some of the most powerful individuals in the world. To protect the less-than-innocent, these world leaders are buying Sentinels while wearing black hoods.
You may remember Kade Kilgore from his debut appearance during X-Men: Schism. He's a twelve year old sociopathic billionaire who has already cause the X-Men enough trouble to make a name for himself in Marvel history. The rest of the Hellfire Kids are similarly aged pre-teens with severe psychological issues. Maximilian is the genius who's responsible for making some of the most wicked Sentinels ever seen. Manuel is the kid in the white suit who looks to be handling security. Wilhelmina is the girl with a penchant for violence. All of them are pretty much psychopaths. I may have mentioned this.
After the world leaders are shown the new variety of Sentinels that are available for purchase, they have just enough time to buy and activate them before the Phoenix Five arrive and destroy everything in sight. The world leaders make a run for it but Kade makes his gang hold their ground and face these cosmic powered X-Men.
When the Phoenix Five finally take care of the Sentinels, they find the Hellfire Kids waiting for them. Cyclops doesn't realize that these four are the power behind the Hellfire Club and treats them like they're still children. Emma lets him on on the truth of the matter and after a page of talking to Kade, Cyclops decides just what to do with them.
Mindwipes all around!
That's what the Phoenix Five do, right? They've been forcibly rehabilitating the world through the power of mind alteration. Nah, screw that noise. The Hellfire Kids are going to be admitted to Ryker's Island Prison in New York.
The first thing Kilgore does when released into General Population is find the biggest, meanest, angriest looking prisoner and spit in the poor guy's sundae. I didn't even know you could GET sundaes in prison but I DO know you get cable television. As the big monster gets up and prepares to tear Kilgore's head off, Kade announces just how much everyone will get if they beat the snot out of this big, angry, mean, super-strong thug. It's a lot of money and maybe something like this would actually work for a few guys in real life.
At the same time, that's one monster prison inmate. I wouldn't get out of my seat to get the crap kicked out of me by that guy.
Enough prisoners respond to the call of money that Kade's life is no longer in any danger. He's got the time to swat a guard with a food plate and then delve into his backstory.
Kade tells us that he was "always a quiet child" but chalks this up to just not being interested in people rather than some deeper psychological issue. When he was eight years old, his dad walked into his bedroom in the middle of the night and confessed to having killed Kade's mother four years earlier. Kade's dad was rich and killed his wife in order to avoid a divorce that would have cost him some serious money. Since Daddy admits all of this while being pretty drunk, Kade doesn't know whether or not his pop even remembers it. All he DOES know is that Dad looks like the kind of guy that'll kill his son someday.
Kade's answer to this is to kill his father first. To do that, he'll need some training. While volunteering at a Retirement Home, he talked to a Vietnam Vet named Mr. Andrews and got the senile old man to tell him everything the vet knew about killing. He hired a thief to rob people in brutal and possibly lethal ways while he watched. Kade also paid a nightwatchman to get some alone time at a morgue and free reign on the corpses. When he was done training, Kilgore murdered all of his "trainers" to prove he was ready to kill his dad.
One special day, Kade's dad brought him to a Hellfire Club Party. While Dad enjoyed some time with two prostitutes, Kade calls the attention of the rest of the Hellfire Club and offers them a deal. He'll kill his father and they'll give him a place in the Hellfire Club's Inner Circle. At first, the party goers laugh this off. Kade's a kid, after all. It's not until he names one of Kilgore's informers and then pulls a gun on the guy that they start to take him seriously.
By the time the older Kilgore comes back from his daliance, they've all decided (and the informer is heavily implied to be "sleeping wit da fishes"). Two weeks later, Kade killed his dad and was named Black King. The entire Hellfire Club was killed soon after that... and then the whole shebang was his.
Heck, even in prison, Kade is running the show.
I know what you're thinking. You're thinking "this sounds suspiciously like a Mary-Sue to me." Your thoughts are pretty dead on but let me counter with this: the Marvel Universe doesn't have a whole lot of villains running around. The X-Men have even less. If you're going to create a new bad guy, you might as well go for the friggin' gold. Kade's got so much hubris and such a sense of entitlement that it should be VERY fun watching him be put in his place.
I mean, it's bound to happen, right?
For now, it'll just have to suffice to watch this little psychopathic wunderkind cause a prison riot and use the confusion to escape with his youthful cohorts. To help him out, his two bodyguards have landed a helicopter inside the prison and await their boss and his friends. When the prisoners realize that they're not going to get paid for kicking the crap out of the bruiser from earlier, the bodyguards pop out their Wolverine inspired energy claws and start slicing the more offensive inmates.
Now that Kade and pals are on the run from the "Man," they'll need someplace to lay low for a couple decades. What better location than Salem Center? Surely, no trouble will come from being this close to the Jean Grey School, right?
Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #5
Writer: Jim Shooter
Penciler: Bob Layton
Inker: John Beatty
Editor: Tom Defalco
The issue in a nutshell:
Galactus prepares to devour Battleworld and win the game. Doom sends his Villains against the Heroes in order to distract Galactus and sneak aboard the Devourer's ship. The X-Men help the Heroes win the day against the Villains but Colossus is seriously injured in the battle.
This issue by bullet points:
• The Heroes stand around in shock as Galactus calls his ridiculously large ship to Battleworld.
• The Human Torch breaths in some vapors and learns the village healer's name is Zsaji. They make out.
• Colossus pines away the day, sad that he has been separated from Kitty Pryde.
• Xavier calls the X-Men together to show them what Galactus is doing.
• Piledriver picks an unfortunate fight with Molecule Man and winds up getting served.
• The Enchantress tries to weasel out of Doom's team and is totally denied.
• Mr. Fantastic attempts to talk to Galactus. At the same time, Xavier and Magneto try to mind probe the Devourer of Worlds.
• When Magneto gets impatient and starts smashing into Galactus's mind, an energy bolt is sent to destroy Magnus's base. Reed is telekinetically knocked from the sky.
• Big G sends a mechanical minion to destroy the Heroes. It fails but leaves the good guys at a very low ebb...
• ...just in time for an attack by the Villains.
• The X-Men arrive to help turn the tide against the bad guys. Galactus is distracted by these super-shenanigans just long enough for Doom to slip inside his mega-ship.
• Colossus is seriously wounded but the soul still burns. The X-Men leave him behind as they escape.
• After some hemming and hawing, Piotr allows Zsaji to heal him and completely forgets that he's in love with Kitty Pryde.
• Doctor Doom explores Galactus's ship and finds something shocking right off-panel.
This issue in EXTREME detail:
Let's continue on our way through Marvel's first mega-team-up book, Secret Wars. Last article, I covered the first four issues of the book, leading us through the gathering of heroes and villains, to their discovery of a couple bases of operation, and straight on to the Heroes lying low in a village located WAY too close to a menacing Galactus.
We begin issue five with the amazing discovery that Galactus has summoned his solar system-sized ship and looks like he's ready to start eating the planet. The Big G knows that the mysterious Beyonder has the power to take away his hunger and all he has to do is defeat all of the heroes and villains on Battleworld to make his fondest wish come true. Eating a planet would probably work and it would fill up his stomach at the same time!
The Heroes look up at the monsterously sized ship and are in complete awe. The village healer is less filled with that emotion and more filled with panic. The Human Torch tries to calm her down but the language barrier between them doesn't really help things along. The woman leads Johnny to her hut and our horndog hero thinks he's going to get laid. Instead, he breathes in some special vapors that allow him to share memories with the healer.
This is a way to give new readers a quick update on what's gone on in the first four issues as the healer gets Johnny's thoughts on the event. The Human Torch learns a few things about HER, too, but all he reveals to us is her name. It's Zsaji.
We leave those two sucking face and slip on over to Magneto and the X-Men's base. Specifically, we're checking in on the lovesick Colossus. Piotr and his fellow X-Men were brought to Battleworld WITHOUT their junior member, Kitty Pryde. Colossus is totally moonstruck over her and wishes he was back with her right this moment.
And the fact that she was thirteen-and-a-half and he was nineteen is totally not super creepy at all. Hey kids, comics! Now run!
In the middle of his whiny thoughts, Xavier interrupts with an overpowering mind blast summons. The rest of the X-Men have been called as well. Magneto is impressed by how fast the mutant team assembles but Professor X is not satisfied with their performance. With the whole team on hand, Magneto opens the ceiling up to show them Galactus's sky spanning ship.
The X-Men are sent to prepare a quick response to any further move made by Galactus. Magneto and Xavier will do their best to probe the Devourer's mind. The X-Men are a little pissed off that it's Magneto who just gave them their marching orders (with a neat scene here where Cyclops backs up Storm's assertion that she leads the team) but Professor X supports Magneto and tells the team that it is HE (Xavier) who leads the X-Men. Both in the office and as field leader.
Professor Xavier just started walking again and has decided to take a more active role with the team. This ticks Storm and Cyclops off almost more than working with Magneto.
We've checked on the Heroes, we've checked on the Mutants. Now, it's time to look in on the Villains. It looks like Doombase, the Villains' headquarters, has it's own little garden. The Wrecking Crew are hanging around with the Absorbing Man, discussing the tricks of their trade. Molecule Man is taking his new girlfriend, Volcana, on a walk. This is where the fun begins.
Having completely forgotten that it was Molecule Man who dropped a mountain on the Heroes just last issue, Piledriver still thinks it's a good idea to pick on the diminuitive villain and his girlfriend. The rest of the Wrecking Crew and the Absorbing Man have the good sense not to get involved. At first Molecule Man tries to brush these insults off but he can only take being called a nerd so many times before he just explodes in rage. Piledriver's costume is changed into a super-dense metal cage. As Molecule Man and Volcana get on a sky chariot and fly off, the rest of the Villains work to get that metal costume off of Piledriver before the idiot stops breathing.
Titania witnesses this whole encounter and is ticked off that no one stood up to the wimpy looking villain. You'll notice that SHE didn't do anything, either.
It's only then that the assembled bad guys look up in the sky and see Galactus's ship filling it up from horizon to horizon.
In his command chambers, Doctor Doom sees Galactus's ship and isn't even surprised. He apparently knew it was coming and now he just needs to use it to further his own agenda. The rest of the Villains are put on Red Alert status so that they're ready to move when Doom gives them the word.
The Enchantress walks in and tries to beg Doctor Doom into releasing her from his service. She still thinks Thor is dead and sees no reason to keep fighting. She tries bribing Doom into helping her escape this planet (there's a barrier keeping everyone-- even Galactus-- on Battleworld) but no matter what she offers, Doom refuses. Instead of earning the love of a goddess, Doctor Doom has earned her ire.
At Magneto's base, the Master of Magnetism and Professor Xavier combine their mental powers in an attempt to reach into Galactus's mind and figure out what the hell the Devourer of Worlds is up to. Most people forget that there was a time when Magneto was thought to have mental abilities second only to Xavier. Jim Shooter is not most people.
While the mutants are working on reading the mind of a cosmic being, the Heroes are trying to figure out what they should actually be doing. Reed wants a chance at talking it out with the Big G. Even though Captain America doesn't like that idea, he still gives Mr. Fantastic the OK.
As Reed tries talking to someone who pays him almost no attention, Magneto gets frustrated at their subtle attempts at telepathy and decides to use his mind powers as a battering ram. This gets Galactus's attention and he sends a random bolt of energy to Magneto's base, putting a big hole in the place and endangering all of the X-Men's lives. After dealing with the mutants, Galactus uses some telekinesis to swat Mr. Fantastic away.
So... talking has failed. It's failed so badly that Galactus has sent down one of his robotic minions to deal with these tiny Heroes. It takes some serious coordination for the good guys to defeat the robot minion and they don't do it without getting some injuries.
And that's just round one. For their next trick, the Heroes have to face another attack by the Villains. It's a surprise for the Villains to find the Heroes still alive after Molecule Man's mountain trick but they actually aren't THAT shocked. Good guys didn't die easily until maybe the nineties.
Doctor Doom might have ordered his team to attack the good guys but he wasn't doing it to obtain a victory. It's just a distraction for him to sneak off in a spaceship and enter Galactus's ship, hopefully without the Devourer noticing. Unfortunately for our Heroes, they have already spent most of their energy fighting the Big G's robot. The Villain's attack sends them all right back into a corner.
Enter: The X-Men.
It looks like they weren't as killed off as Galactus would have liked. With fresh mutant troops and the element of surprise, the Heroes are able to successfully ward off the Villains' attack. It is Storm's weather attack that momentarily distracts Galactus enough for Doom to slip into his solar system-sized spaceship without being detected.
Even with the X-Men's help, the fight isn't won without a price. Colossus ends up fighting most of the Wrecking Crew and recieves injuries that make him impossible to move without risking his life. Since the X-Men don't plan on remaining with the Heroes (self-segregation is in full effect), the mutant team is forced to leave Piotr behind when they make their retreat. They do this right after the Enchantress magically transports the Villains away to fight another day.
None of the X-Men are comfortable leaving Colossus behind. You can tell they have little trust for the Heroes. Xavier tries to convince them as best he can but they are starting to bristle under his leadership.
They also have no reason to worry about Piotr. With the battle concluded, the Heroes ask the village healer, Zsaji, to do her thing. Colossus refuses aid at first but after he sees Zsaji heal some other heroes, he allows the healer to do the same to him.
Even before she does her little healing bit, Zsaji has already captured Piotr's attention. He's already stopped thinking about Kitty and started thinking about stealing Zsaji away from the Human Torch.
Meanwhile, Doctor Doom is enjoying a stroll through Galactus's ship. Since it's the size of a solar system, you can imagine Doom's frustration. He's looking for something that will give him the edge in a fight with the Beyonder but even for his intellect, the technology of Galactus is hard to fathom. The scale of the ship doesn't help his search any.
Suddenly, Doom notices something. Something that STARTLES HIM!
(It's kind of a weak cliffhanger.)
Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #6
Writer: Jim Shooter
Penciler: Michael Zeck
Inker: John Beatty
Editor: Tom Defalco
The issue in a nutshell:
The Wasp meets up with the Lizard before being shot through the chest by the Villains. Klaw joins the fight. Cyclops and a group of X-Men fend off a volcano range from a pack of Villains before doing exactly what the bad guys were going to do.
This issue by bullet points:
• Janet Van Dyne continues to escape from Magneto's base. After crashing her air vehicle, she heads on into a swamp and meets up with the Lizard.
• Doctor Doom reconstitutes the body of the sonic being, Klaw, on board Galactus's ship. The villain is nuts but makes a good message boy.
• Wasp decides to treat the Lizard's wounds.
• Xavier mentally scans the Villains and after learning a portion of their plans (and being locked out of the bad guys' minds by the Enchantress), he sends three X-Men to watch the bad guys.
• Storm chews out Xavier for cutting her out of command decisions. Professor X threatens her with a mind wipe.
• Colossus forgets about Kitty and falls in love with Zsaji. It's too bad the village healer is already seeing the Human Torch.
• Cyclops, Wolverine, and Rogue foil the Villains' schemes at a volcano range. Wolverine tries to assassinate Molecule Man, only to be stopped by Cyclops.
• Scott Summers uses his optic blasts to set off the volcanoes, figuring that's what the bad guys were attempting and believing that it was to hinder Galactus and not the Heroes.
• Wasp is shot through the chest by a laser beam and is then frozen in stasis to be used at a later time.
• While the heroes remain completely immobile and Galactus continues to build his devouring machine, a mysterious shadow woman sneaks up on the good guys.
This issue in EXTREME detail:
Hey, remember Wasp? She left Magneto's base in issue #4 but was having some major problems controlling her land speeder. It looks like she's been zipping around with very little control up until THIS issue where she finally crashes. Janet Van Dyne complains about the ship. She complains about chipping a nail. Then, she notices one of the monitors displaying a map and an "area of interest" and flies out to investigate, hoping it'll get her back to her team.
Besides, she's got nothing better to do.
She's still frustrated enough to blast the ship to smithereens using her wasp sting. With that done, Janet soars off, eventually making her way into an alien swamp. Since flying also means shrinking down in size, Wasp ends up using up a lot of energy traveling to the swamp. Fighting alien bees doesn't help matters. When she finally reaches the area indicated by the ship map, Jan is all out of energy. She shoots up to normal size to rest.
It's while she's taking a break that she finds the Lizard... or rather, HE finds HER. The Lizard is a mite territorial and starts tossing stuff at her in order to defend his swamp.
We finished off last issue with Doctor Doom's attention being drawn to something off-panel. Let's join him now to find out just exactly what that thing was. It was sound.
Yeah, that sounds wierd. Let me explain. A while back, the mutant hero/singer/disco queen, Dazzler ended up absorbing the sonic villain known as Klaw. She used that power later on by firing a gigantic laser blast at Galactus's ship when it made one of its many trips to Earth. Klaw has been bouncing around the ship ever since, unable to reconstitute himself and going insane. Doctor Doom uses a particularly user friendly machine to put Klaw back together but it's going to be a while before the villain is able to be less crazy.
Anyway, it adds another villain to the mix.
Klaw warns Doctor Doom about staying too long in Galactus's ship but Victor announces that he's aware of his danger. He still has a mission to accomplish and it turns out that part of that mission is to assure that Galactus doesn't feast on Battleworld. He uses another monitor to locate something that will at least temporarily distract the Devourer and then sends Klaw down to Battleworld to inform his villainous team.
Klaw's sudden appearance at Doombase is met with suspicion until Ultron acknowledges a secret code word that could only have been given by Doctor Doom.
And those concerns about Doom attracting Galactus's attention? Totally warranted. The more Doctor Doom mucks about on the Big G's ship, the more Galactus seems to focus his mind upwards.
In the swamp, Janet and the Lizard seem to be at a standstill. Janet isn't particularly interested in attacking the Lizard and it looks like the reptile man is more afraid than angry. When Wasp notices that the Lizard has some injuries from the Hero vs. Villain fight in Secret Wars #2, she leads the creature away to treat his wounds.
Elsewhere, we find that Magneto's base has seen a lot better days. Half of it has been wrecked by Galactus's attack last issue and we learn that it was only through the magnetic shields provided by Magneto that everyone was able to survive. Considering it was his boneheaded stunt that put them in danger in the first place, it was only fair that he saved everyone.
While the X-Men clean up the mess, Xavier goes for a sit-down. He's still new to having the use of his legs and has spent far too much time exerting himself. While he's physically spent, that doesn't mean he's mentally tired. Charles decides to reach out with his mind and check on what the villains are up to.
He is able to learn that some of the bad guys are being sent to a volcano range before the Enchantress figures out what he's doing and closes off their minds from his reach. Still, it's enough for him to send a team of X-Men out to investigate. Professor X orders Cyclops, Wolverine, and Rogue for a little look-see.
This pisses Storm off because SHE'S supposed to be the leader of the team. When Ororo complains to Xavier, the founding X-Man asserts his leadership of the team and threatens to mindwipe her into submission. No, seriously. Xavier is acting like a total dick.
In the alien village where the rest of the Heroes are staying, the good guys are working on fixing things up following their fight with Galactus's robot minion and the Villains last issue. The X-Man, Colossus, is still recovering from his injuries and is trying as HARD AS HE CAN to think about the disturbing relationship he has with Kitty Pryde. Unfortunately, Piotr finds that he'd rather think of Padme... I mean, Zsaji, the village healer who also seems to be of legal age.
On cue, Zsaji shows up to give Colossus his regular healing sessions. Piotr blurts out his love for her but the language barrier prevents either of them from understanding the other. With her healing done, Zsaji gets a surprise flight with the Human Torch and Colossus is left with a brand new heartache. Johnny and Zsaji are obviously in love.
Captain America, She-Hulk, Thing, Thor, Mr. Fantastic, and the Hulk are planning on what to do about the whole Galactus situation. Steve Rogers is making battleplans to stop the Devourer from eating Battleworld but Reed doesn't seem convinced that that is Galactus's plan.
She-Hulk is more concerned about what's happened to the Wasp. They've learned from Colossus that Janet left Magneto's base but haven't heard from her since she was kidnapped by the Master of Magnetism. Cap thinks she'll turn up eventually and has at least sent Captain Marvel on a few searches for the Avengers leader.
She-Hulk and the Hulk's impatience is showing. Jennifer wants to go smash up Magneto and Bruce just wants to smash SOMETHING. Captain America reminds them of how important it is to watch Galactus and... pretty much do nothing.
Elsewhere in the village, we see Hawkeye fashioning some new arrows. All of his trick arrows were used to improve Iron Man's repulsor blasts. Spider-Man's web-shooters were also used. Clint tells the Wall-Crawler that he doesn't have much to offer if he can't shoot a few arrows at a bad guy... even if they only have regular arrowheads.
In yet another part of the village, Iron Man is trying his damndest to put the moves on Captain Marvel. This Iron Man is James Rhodes and under the skilled pen of Jim Shooter, he is being as blatantly black as the eighties would allow. Monica Rambeau, expecting Iron Man to be a lot more suave, rejects Shellhead's advances. Rhodey walks off, complaining about his unexplained headaches.
The Villains (Molecule Man, Titania, Absorbing Man, and Doctor Octopus) have reached the expansive range of mountains and are just about ready to do whatever they've been sent to do when the three X-Men (Cyclops, Wolverine, and Rogue) interrupt them. Sure, they were only supposed to spy on the bad guys but Cyclops figures what whatever is going on here is too important to let go. That suits Wolverine just fine. He might even be allowed to get his murder on.
Cyclops quickly loses control of the situation as Wolverine and Rogue fail to listen to anything he says. Both of them are temporarily taken out of the fight, leaving Scott to fend for himself against some of the most powerful Villains on Battleworld. Rogue is even questioning if she should remain on the X-Men's side or switch over to the Villains. She's only recently joined the team after a sting as a Brotherhood menber, after all.
As the four Villains corner Cyclops, Wolverine ends up sneaking up behind the Molecule Man and attempting to run the poor guy through. Scott hits Logan with an optic blast, spoiling the Canucklehead's clean slice. Molecule Man is left critically injured and the rest of the bad guys, fearing that Doctor Doom would destroy them if he found out that MM had died, race him back to headdquarters.
So the day is saved? Wolverine yells at Cyclops but the First X-Man says "Listen carefully, Wolverine--! If you want to be on our side, you don't KILL! Take a life, ANYONE'S life, under any circumstances... and from that moment on, YOU are the enemy! Clear?"
That's clear, Cyke. That's very clear.
What else is clear is that the Villains' move here today had nothing to do with winning the Beyonder's challenge. Doom must have sent these bad guys here to do something ELSE. Cyclops figures that Molecule Man was going to ignite the volcanoes in some attempt to stop Galactus. Since he's already chased the Villains off, it's up to his optic blasts to set off a chain reaction that will set all of these volcanoes to blow. The X-Men barely have time to board their ship before the whole area is busting out shoots of magma.
In the Lizard's swamp, Janet has seen to the reptile man's injuries and has also gained the creature's trust. This comes just in time for her to be SHOT THROUGH THE HEART! AND YOU'RE TO BLAME! YOU GIVE LOOOOVE A BAD NAME!
No, but seriously, she's shot through the chest by a laser. That blast has come from another one of the many vehicles at the Villains' disposal. The bad guys have come out here to retrieve the Lizard and taking out the Wasp is kind of a bonus on top of that. When the Lizard starts attacking their vehicle in response to his new friend getting murdered, the bad guys fire a stasis ray at the Lizard that ends up freezing a whole section of the swamp in place. This includes the recently murdered body of Janet Van Dyne. The whole thing is loaded into the vehicle. The Villains decide to unload the Wasp's body when it'll be the most devastating to the Heroes.
Back in the alien village, the Heroes still haven't decided on what to do about Galactus. It appears that Reed Richards has decided to try talking to the Big G one last time before anyone does any attacking.
As the Heroes ramble on, we see a shadowy woman sneaking up on them... a woman that will change the Marvel Universe FOREVER!
But not really.
Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #7
Writer: Jim Shooter
Penciler: Michael Zeck
Inker: John Beatty
Editor: Tom Defalco
The issue in a nutshell:
Spider-Woman joins the Heroes and the Wasp's body is delivered. The X-Men attack a group of retreating villains but don't manage to stop them. Doctor Doom returns to Doombase in defeat just as She-Hulk infiltrates the Villains' base to recieve a royal beatdown.
This issue by bullet points:
• The new Spider-Woman joins up with the good guys.
• Wasp's body is brought to the deliver but Zsaji's healing is unable to revive her.
• The X-Men unite to attack Doctor Octopus, Titania, the Absorbing Man, and Volcana. The Villains end up escaping.
• Galactus kicks Doom out of his ship. Violently.
• The Lizard is caged. Molecule Man is put in the infirmary.
• She-Hulk makes a solo attack on Doombase and is thoroughly beat down.
• Dr. Doom returns to Doombase but has lost the will to fight.
• Captain America tries convincing the Heroes to remain as useless as possible until Xavier telepathically calls Rogers up and takes over guarding Galactus with the X-Men, freeing the Heroes up to do a little attacking.
• Zsaji emerges from Wasp's hut and passes out right in front of Colossus.
This issue in EXTREME detail:
Who IS that mystery woman? Why, it's the brand-new Spider-Woman! You'd think this would be a strange place to meet a new super-hero but Spider-Woman explains that her base of operations is Denver, Colorado and she was in one of its suburbs when that bit of real estate was added to the conglomerate Battleworld. She shows off her strength to prove that she belongs in the heroes club.
While the Heroes aren't too keen on admitting her to their team, it's not because they don't trust her. It's because she's so new to what she's doing. The all-new, all-different Spider-Woman argues that with the fate of the universe potentially in the balance, she'd rather be involved than be sidelined as a spectator.
Just after the new Spider-Woman is introduced, the Villains attack the village. They're in the same vehicle they used to kill the Wasp and pick up the Lizard... and they're just here to throw out the unmoving body of Janet Van Dyne. The Heroes rush the Wasp to Zsaji, the village healer but the prognosis doesn't look good. Zsaji seems unable to heal someone who is already dead.
Now, pretty much all of the Heroes are ready to abandon their vigil at the base of Galactus's mountain and teach the bad guys a lesson. Captain America is able to convince them that doing nothing here is preferable to getting even the smallest bit of revenge. Well, he's able to get all but She-Hulk to stand still. Jennifer storms off while everyone is distracted by a Captain America speech and we all know where she's going.
Cyclops, Wolverine, and Rogue are still dodging exploding volcanoes when Professor X calls them telepathically and informs Scott that they're going to chase AFTER Molecule Man and company. The rest of the X-Men fly off to join in the pursuit.
Molecule Man is in bad shape and the Villains' airship is still far away from Doombase. Volcana (still back at Doombase) wants to be with her honeybabysweetypie so much that she makes an unspecified deal with the Enchantress to be teleported to the airship. It might have made more sense for her to have Molecule Man transported back to Doombase but, y'know... whatever. It gives the bad guys one more powerhouse for their fight with the X-Men.
And fight they will.
One of the X-Men's ships shoots the Villains out of the sky. Once on the ground, everyone gets out of their ships and our fight begins in earnest. The Enchantress's spell that keeps Xavier out of the Villains' minds prevents a quick telepathic victory so this is going to be a fair fight. Involving every OTHER super-power that's worth mentioning.
Fun moment: There's a point in the fight where the Absorbing Man takes on the power of rocks to take on the X-Men and ends up getting his arm sliced off by Wolverine. And you thought rock beat scissors...
As soon as Wolverine cuts off Absorbing Man's arm, he faces the wrath of Molecule Man's girlfriend. Volcana is PISSED, yo. Cyclops distracts the fiery woman before Logan is made completely crispy. Magneto and Storm use their powers to keep Wolverine safe until his healing factor can kick in.
This is also the point where Rogue commits herself to the X-Men cause. She's been thinking about joining the bad guys. It's RIGHT HERE that she realizes that she's ALREADY made the decision to fight as a Hero.
The Villains don't really have time for a prolonged fight. They've got Molecule Man to save. Volcana uses her flames to keep the X-Men (and Magneto) distracted so that the bad guys can load up into one of the X-Men's airships and make a getaway. When they're gone, Xavier still puts this one in the win category even though Wolverine was temporarily incapacitated and they lost one of their ships. Storm believes that the X-Men's founder hasn't lived up to the standards for leadership.
Doctor Doom is still sneaking around Galactus's ship, trying to find some edge in his eventual confrontation with the Beyonder. He finds nothing. Well, he finds some seriously powerful devices but not something that would defeat Galactus OR the Beyonder.
On Battleworld, Galactus has just noticed the field of volcanoes erupting and knows that he'll have to fix them before devouring the planet. The big guy is also finally able to locate Doom's presence on board his ship and violently evicts the dictator from the enormous craft.
A little while later, Doctor Doom, Titania, the Absorbing Man, and Volcana arrive back at Doombase with the injured Molecule Man. Volcana runs around and tries to find someone who will help fix Molecule Man. Ultron would be able to man the medical machines but he'd need specific orders from Doctor Doom to do so. The Enchantress could use her magic but since she's already made a deal with Volcana, she has no reason to cast another spell. Titania is Volcana's friend and wants to help but instead of making a bad deal with the Enchantress, she just drops down a threat (a VERY good threat) and leaves to get some food.
The Absorbing Man is ALSO injured but decides to deal with his problem on his own. He's still got his detached limb and both he and the arm are still in rock form. Now, he's just got to figure out how to put the arm back on. Luckily, his powers are magic based. Crusher Creel holds the arm in its usual position and turns back into human form. It hurts like HELL but the arm reattaches.
These aren't the only Villains returning to Doombase. The Wrecking Crew are back and they've brought a ferocious Lizard with them. The reptile is still pissed off that they shot and killed the Wasp right after she befriended him. Since the Lizard is obviously not in an agreeable mood, the Villains lock him in a cell. From a distance, Klaw watches this exchange.
Bulldozer leaves the rest of the Crew to get a nap in. Instead, he walks right into a fight with the She-Hulk. Jennifer has spent most of this issue traveling to the Villains' base and smashing her way inside and her rage is nowhere near spent yet. The fight attracts a lot of attention. The rest of the Wrecking Crew joins in but they aren't able to stand against She-Hulk's power. It's after Titania, Doctor Doom, and the Absorbing Man show up that She-Hulk's strategy falls apart.
In another part of Doombase, the Enchantress is coming to grips with the fact that Thor is still alive. She's the only one around when Doctor Doom drags himself to his bedchambers. Doom just survived a forcible re-entry into Battleworld's atmosphere and you can tell his personal forcefield was only able to do SO MUCH protecting. You can also tell that he's lost his will to fight this battle. Victor tells the Enchantress to do whatever she would like to do because he is done.
She-Hulk has fallen at the hands of way too many Villains but they aren't done with her. They keep on hitting her with everything they have, intent on killing the Avenger.
Back at the village that serves as the Heroes' temporary home, Captain America watches as Galactus reconfigures his device.
The adjustments are to account for the volcano range erupting but Cap isn't aware of this.
Some of the other heroes HAVE just become aware of She-Hulk's absence, though. Hawkeye and Hulk ask permission to head out and find She-Hulk but Cap's answer is the same as it ever was. No. Not a chance. They have to stay here and keep staring at Galactus without interfering. IT'S IMPORTANT.
When most of the other Heroes try to put it to a vote, Steve gives one of his most dramatic speeches ever about how... being boring and waiting for the enemy to attack you is preferable to rescuing a fellow teammember. Or at least I'm pretty sure that's what he was going for. Because these guys are doing NOTHING here.
Speaking of doing nothing, Colossus is just as tired of it as the Heroes are. He staggers out of bed and starts searching for Zsaji. If she heals him one more time, he'll have the strength to rejoin the X-Men. You know. The team that is actually FIGHTING the bad guys.
Just then, Captain America gets a telepathic call from Charles Xavier. He and the X-Men stand ready to take up guard around Galactus, freeing the Heroes to, y'know, go fight. Rogers puts his trust in the mutants to not abandon their post or kidnap any more of his teammates. To his fellow Heroes, he just explains his change of heart. It's time for the good guys to get pro-active!
And it's time for me to stick a fork in this article! Next week is a tiny one so hopefully you'll see it very soon.
Until then: Have a good week!READ THIS ARTICLE ON THE FRONT PAGE, HUMANS!