This event just keeps... on... going... Avengers vs. X-Men #10!, Avengers vs. X-Men #10: Infinite! The Avengers #29! The Uncanny X-Men #145!
What are you in for? Hope vs. Cyclops! Tony Stark is kind of stupid! Xavier mindwipes everyone! Dr. Doom is dissed by Arcade!
If you're a first time Super Reader, welcome aboard! Let me tell you what you've just stumbled 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.
Let me tell you some vital information:
A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away... there was a being called the Phoenix Force. It was just your average cosmic entity manifesting as a firebird that represented death and rebirth until one fateful day it took the place of a dying Jean Grey. After depositing the real Jean Grey at the bottom of the Hudson River (in a pod that would slowly restore her health and confuse comic book fans FOREVER), the Phoenix joined the X-Men and forgot that she was ever a cosmic entity.
That worked out fine for a while. Lives were saved, the UNIVERSE was saved, and romance blossomed like never before between Scott Summers and "Jean Grey." Then the Dark Phoenix Saga broke out. When it was finished, all people would ever remember about the Phoenix Force was that it killed a populated planet after super-nova'ing a star. Even after Rachel Summers successfully hosted the Phoenix Force and DIDN'T murder anyone, everyone remembers the dead broccoli people.
And, somehow, the Phoenix Force's powers are related to K'un Lun and the Scarlet Witch's hex powers. K'un Lun's past relation with the Phoenix was detailed in New Avengers. The Scarlet Witch's connection... is yet to be revealed.
Professor Charles Xavier is the founder of the X-Men, no matter how much Neal Adams is trying to retcon Wolverine into the role. Xavier came up with the entire concept and I'm pretty sure he patented it.
But he doesn't have claws. He has telepathic powers. In fact, he has the most powerful telepathic abilities of any mutant. The closest contender would have been the villainous Shadow King but right now, the board is pretty much clear. Xavier is the king of telepathy.
Oh! He can also walk again. So that's nice.
Chuck doesn't have a stellar history of using his powers morally. Sure, he uses them for good but sometimes a dude has to erase someone's memories in the name of goodness and freedom. This was how a lot of Silver Age X-Men comics would end. Mindwipes all around. While Professor X has laid off randomly scrubbing someone's brain clear of pesky memories since... maybe 1976, he still does it on occassion. In fact, if he hasn't done it the first time, he sometimes blanks out memories via a retcon. Go reread X-Men: Deadly Genesis for a gigantic example.
Avengers vs. X-Men #10
Writers: Jason Aaron, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction, & Jonathan Hickman
Script: Ed Brubaker
Penciler: Adam Kubert
Inker: John Dell
Editor: Tom Brevoort
The issue in a nutshell:
Cyclops breaks into K'un Lun looking for Hope and ending up in fights with every Avenger left standing. Hope charges up, depowers Scott Summers, and evicts him from K'un Lun. Magneto decides that the PhoeniX-Men are losing control and telepathically calls in Professor Xavier.
This issue by bullet points:
• Cyclops. K'un Lun. Fighting.
• At the Verkhovansk Mountains in Russia, Charles Xavier explains why he's fighting against the PhoeniX-Men.
• Emma Frost telepathically forces a lot of mutants to treat her like a god. Magneto gets upset and gets frozen in place by Emma for as long as she's in the room.
• In K'un Lun, Scott Summers defeats the less-than-stellar force of Shao Lao, the Undying Dragon.
• When confronted by Cyclops, Hope Summers breaths some dragon's fire at the Phoenix-powered X-Man, thanks to her absorbing Shao Lao's "powers."
• Moments later, Hope is able to temporarily depower Cyclops and then teleport him to the Moon.
• It takes Scott an hour to get his Phoenix powers back and when he has, Cyclops decides to go pay Emma a visit.
• Captain America, Xavier, and friends return to K'un Lun post-battle and Tony fills them in on what they just missed.
• On Utopia, Magneto telepathically calls out to Charles Xavier for help.
This issue in EXTREME detail:
"Playtime is over."
This is where everyone finally stops being polite and starts being real. Cyclops, one of the last to remaining Phoenix enhanced X-Men, has used his cosmic strength to break into the mystical kung-fu city of K'un Lun. His mission? Reacquire Hope Summers so that the Mutant Messiah (that's Hope) can take on the full power of the Phoenix and restore the mutant race to its previous levels.
Or at least... that's what his mission is SUPPOSED to be. Right about now, the corrupting power of the Phoenix is rewriting his thoughts. While Scott has held it together better than the rest of the Phoenix Five, that doesn't mean he's actually... y'know... HOLDING IT TOGETHER.
This would explain why Cyke is firing his optic beams at Hope. Fortunately, Iron Fist (Danny Rand) is there to get her out of the line of fire.
In his study room, Iron Man hears the commotion just as his machines pick up the Phoenix's signature in K'un Lun. He races out into the battlefield, cursing about the timing.
There's not much fight going on just yet. It's just Hope, Iron Fist, and Cyclops. Danny Rand distracts Scott for five seconds before being defeated by the cosmic powered X-Man. This is all the time Hope needs to make a run for it. She's been running most of her life so it's something she's good at. Cyclops's next distraction is the Invincible Iron Man. I'm betting Tony won't live up to that adjective.
Let's head on over to the Verkhovansk Mountains in Siberia to follow up on events from last issue. You know. It was the comic where Spider-Man nudged Colossus and Magik into defeating each other right in the middle of Illyana's Limbo Prison? Captain America led a team of Avengers in to rescue Spider-Man and they haven't yet returned to K'un Lun.
With them is Professor Charles Francis Xavier and Storm. This is the issue where Xavier affirms that he is fighting AGAINST Pax Utopia and explains WHY. Not that he NEEDS to explain. Charles has made his position pretty clear. Phoenix = BAD. The Phoenix Five represent the nightmare that his dream has become. If only he wouldn't have left Scott in charge of the mutant race while he disappeared from the X-Titles and was marginalized to cameo appearances. It's enough to make Captain America tear up.
While Xavier talks, take a look at Storm and her husband (ex?), Black Panther. They're staring at each other. That might be because they're going to make up. It also might mean that their marriage is at an end. Stares are hard to interpret.
If you thought Cyclops wasn't holding it together well, then you need to see how far Emma Frost has fallen. She can't block out anyone's thoughts anymore so she's decided to make everyone think good stuff. That means praise and love with their focus being... her. We head over the Utopia to see that a group of mutants is kneeling to Emma.
It isn't willingly, of course. Frost is wiping out pesky thoughts. Even so, guys like Cannonball are able to think stray thoughts of negativity. This just gets him an extra dose of mind alteration.
All of this pisses off Magneto. Magnus is not part of the worshiping crowd and so he's able to psychically berate Emma for going insane. Magneto tells her how they're missing their chance to make everything great for mutants but is given his own display of Emma's abilities as she telepathically freezes him in place. We're no longer dealing with equals here. Magneto is the servant. Emma is the goddess.
When Frost walks away, Magnus is freed from her power. He curses and stares at his helmet that is on a platform nearby and NOT on his head. It looks like another X-Man has turned against Pax Utopia.
Back in K'un Lun, Iron Man has been defeated by Cyclops.
As you can see, Tony Stark's favorite pair of metal long johns is pretty banged up. The repair systems will take over five minutes just to get the suit walking again. As Iron Man says, that's just too much time.
Hope Summers has been running off, looking for Lei Kung the Thunderer as per Iron Fist's instructions. She finds him off in a cave, ready to give her a "final lesson."
Scott is still walking around K'un Lun, looking for the Mutant Messiah. Instead, he's just finding more fighting. Thor, Hawkeye, and Thing, freshly released from the X-Men's Limbo Prison last issue, stand in Cyclops's way just long enough to get beat the hell down by Sumers' cosmically charged optic blasts. Only Thor is able to stagger back to his feet.
The fight, however, moves on. Scott's next challenger is the Immortal Dragon of K'un Lun, Shao Lao the Undying with Lei Kung and Hope riding bareback. A blast of dragon's breath knocks Cyke to the ground and actually cases some pain. Shao Lao is a dragon who lives a long, fruitful life and then is reborn to live it again. Unfortunately, the dragon is just a baby right now. That means that after the initial attack, Cyclops has Shao Lao's number. He shoots the Undying one out of the sky along with his two passengers.
Scott is still bugging after Shao Lao's attack cut into his hit points and decides to end the dragon's life. Lei Kung the Thunderer delivers a flying kick that saves the Undying dragon and focuses Cyclops back on himself and Hope.
Are you ready for the best part? It's when Cyclops storms up to his granddaughter and Hope does THIS.
That's actually Shao Lao's dragon's breath. Hope's mutant power is the ability to use OTHER mutants' abilities when they're in close proximity. We can be REASONABLY sure that Shao Lao isn't a mutant. So THAT is a gigantic question mark. The Mutant Messiah shuffles off, super confused.
And it's at this point that Scott Summers totally loses his cool.
Hope runs into another pack of Avengers, ready to defend her from the big bad mutant leader. This is Scarlet Witch, Beast, and Iron Man (his armor is back up to specs). The only on of them who was actually a THREAT to the PhoeniX-Men was the Scarlet Witch but that was before, when the Phoenix was split between five people. Now that it's just two, even a full blast from Wanda does nothing.
It's time for Hope Summers to officially step up to the plate. With one awesome display of power, Hope depowers Cyclops and then uses a Chaos Fist on the mutant leader.
This busts Scott Summers out of K'un Lun and lands him on the Moon. It takes him a whole hour to get the strength to return to Earth and I'm pretty sure Uatu is Watching him the entire time. Cyclops realizes he doesn't have the strength to take on Hope. Flying back to Earth, he heads right for Utopia and Emma Frost.
Back in K'un Lun, Captain America, Professor Xavier, and the rest of the Avengers that were on Earth have just returned. Tony tells them what just happened to the place and then says, "I THINK I know why."
Don't expect the answer THIS issue. We still have two books to go before we get to learn what connects Hope, Shao Lao, the Scarlet Witch, and the Phoenix.
It is night on Utopia. Magneto (wearing his telepathy-proof helmet) heads down to the lowest balcony in the facility (which hands below to floating island). Removing his helmet, Magnus tries to make contact with Charles Xavier. Even for the Master of Magnetism, things have gone straight out of control.
Avengers vs. X-Men #10: Infinite
Co-Plot & Script: Mark Waid
Co-Plot & Storyboards: Yves Bigerel
Artist: Reilly Brown
Editor: Nick Lowe
The issue in a nutshell:
Tony Stark, Hank McCoy, and Wanda Maximoff use one of Stark's new inventions to predict what will win them this AvX war. After discovering that no scenario will lead to victory, they are all sad faced when Hope interupts them. It turns out Tony forgot to enter Hope into his machine and it is this one variable that changes the course of the fighting.
This issue by bullet points:
• Tony and Hank strap a device to Wanda's head that will help them predict the best course for victory during Avengers vs. X-Men.
• After getting the device up and running, the trio watch the three most likely scenarios that might lead to success.
• In each one, they discover that their best hopes for victory get knocked the F@#$ out.
• After Hank declares that they have "no hope," the three sad-faced Avengers are interrupted by Hope Summers.
• Hope just wants to make sure that no one has forgotten all about her just because she's still training to take down the Phoenix.
• Tony Stark realizes that he forgot to enter Hope into his machine.
• The Hope scenario leads to success where nothing else would.
This issue in EXTREME detail:
Tony Stark... might be working too hard on trying to figure out how to defeat the Phoenix-powered X-Men. His latest scheme, brought to life with the help of Hank McCoy, is a helmet that will predict the effectiveness of their presumed battle strategies against the Phoenix Five. It is called "The Mad Thinker."
How it works: When the device is placed on the head of the Scarlet Witch, it translates her thoughts into visuals. For example, right now, it's showing images of Cyclops and the Vision because those are the two guys that are most on her mind right now. Now, that might not sound all that useful at coming up with effective battle strategies but let's give it a chance.
The next step is for Hank McCoy to feed in every single battle parameter that Tony Stark can think of. When I say "every," I mean EVERY. Temperature, wind direction, power levels of every combatant, histories, diary entries. EVERYTHING. Stark is leaving nothing to chance. With all of this intel loaded into Wanda's brain, The Mad Thinker is able to run every likely scenario and they can find a way to win the battle with the X-Men. This is the game changer, people!
Why Scarlet Witch? She's the key to the whole thing. If Wanda casts a hex on herself, the machine will be able to run all of these probable outcomes. It's up to the Scarlet Witch on whether they actually USE this device since it's kind of an invasion of privacy. She doesn't think long before agreeing.
Possibility after possibility flashes before the three Avengers. Soon, it becomes clear that only three scenarios might lead to success. They're the ones where Cyclops faces off with Iron Man, Thor, or Wolverine. Tony asks Wanda to focus on those three probabilities and we watch them play out.
They all play out at the same time but I'll share them one at a time. The first one is the Iron Man one because it's the shortest. WATCH as Shellhead takes a quick blast from Cyclops's optic beam and never gets up again.
Thor's fight lasts JUST a bit longer. Instead of getting hit by Scott's eye beams, Thor tosses Mjolnir at the X-Man. The hammer misses when Cyclops teleports out of the way. Thor demands that his foe show himself and Cyclops reappears in a burst of power, ending the fight with one flaming punch to the thunder god's face.
And that leaves the Wolverine. Logan dodges Cyke's optic blast and then does his own disappearing act. After scanning the area, it is Scott that demands that Wolverine come out of hiding.
Logan appears behind the X-Men leader but doesn't attack with the element of surprise.
This is a one-on-one match up of unbreakable adamantium skeleton and claws versus cosmically charged concussion eye blasts... and invincibility. The end result shouldn't even be in debate. Wolverine is defeated.
And with that, the Avengers have no hope. No hope at all.
Did someone mention Hope? Because it sure sounded like someone... someone in the room who's whole purpose has been to defend Hope Summers, mind you... maybe that person was talking about Hope. Maybe? Because she's right around the corner and just can't wait to help out in some way.
When Scarlet Witch sees Hope, the Mutant Messiah is immediately added to the scenario. The results are immediate. Suddenly, where once a victorious Cyclops was standing over a defeated Thor, a victorious blurry image stands over a defeated Cyclops.
A lightbulb suddenly goes off in Tony Stark's sleep-deprived brain. He entered a variable for grass length into his Mad Thinker device but COMPLETELY FORGOT TO ENTER HOPE INTO THE SCENARIO.
I forgive him because he needs a lot of sleep but that's seriously stupid.
It turns out they DO have some hope. Her name is Hope Summers.
The Avengers #29
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Penciler: Walter Simonson
Inker: Scott Hanna
Editor: Tom Brevoort
The issue in a nutshell:
Realizing that they can never win a fight as long as the X-Men hold a monopoly on telepaths, the Avengers call in their own psychic and try cutting down the X-Men telepathic numbers by taking Rachel out of the war. This rewrites the events of Wolverine and the X-Men #12
while also drawing Charles Xavier into the conflict for the first time. In the end, Professor X is unable to sustain his battle against his former students and takes away the memory that he was ever involved.
This issue by bullet points:
• Spider-Woman convinced the Avengers that they need to take out the X-Men's telepathic advantage.
• After realizing that most telepaths don't like them (for some reason), Captain America "makes a call" and "pisses Wolverine off (for some reason."
• When Rachel encounters Hope, she realizes that she doesn't have Hope at all. Instead, she has Charles Xavier who has been working with the Avengers to take her DOWN!
• In her fight with Xavier, Rachel's loyalty to the Phoenix Five is made pretty clear. This changes the tone of WatXM #12 entirely.
• Realizing that he still isn't resolved enough to fight his children and former students, Xavier puts everyone to sleep and wipes their memories of his involvement in this issue.
This issue in EXTREME detail:
As in most of the Avengers and New Avengers tie-ins, this particular issue doesn't happen CURRENTLY. It actually takes place a month or so back when the Avengers were still hunkering down in Wakanda. They're in the middle of one of their high profile strategy meetings. This basically breaks down to "We. Are. Screwed."
As they point out, it's not JUST that they're facing the might of five Phoenix-powered X-Men. It's that the X-Men have all the telepaths. Spider-Woman points out that none of their missions will succeed unless they can hide their plans from the mind readers. That means they need to TAKE OUT the psychics first... except the telepaths will see them coming now. So: F@#$.
Before they can make any plans to capture someone like Rachel Summers (who was still on Cyclops's side at this time), the Avengers are going to need their own telepath to run interference. After searching through their extensive telepath database, the team discovers that they don't really have any friends in the psychic community. All they have is Moondragon and Hawkeye doesn't want her around on the grounds that he slept with her.
Which is why there are so few female Avengers around. Hercules is also absent.
After thinking long and hard about things, Captain America announces that he's got a call to make. Wolverine, who probably guesses who Steve is calling, gets angry. Nevertheless, a call is going to be made.
All of this leads us directly to Wolverine and the X-Men #12
. That was the issue where Rachel Summers tracked Wolverine to the Spaceship Graveyard in Chaparanga Beach, Indonesia in her attempt to find Hope Summers. It turns out that thsi ENTIRE issue was a SETUP to take Rachel off the playing field. Rach thought that it was some of Beast's psychic inhibitors that were blocking out some of her telepathy. Instead, it was the Avengers' OWN telepath.
Things play out much the same as they did in WatXM #12 until Rachel finds Black Widow and Hope sneaking away from the fight. In the ORIGINAL story, Rachel let Hope go and then lied about it to Cyclops. It was the first sign that she might be doubting her place siding with the Phoenix Five.
In ACTUALITY, Hope was never even HERE. Why would she be? This was all a trap. Hope is still safely in Wakanda. Subbing for her is...
Odds are pretty good that you figured out his involvement two pages in, but let's pretend that this was a surprising twist.
Charles tries to convince Rachel that she's on the wrong side of this war but the former Phoenix Host is as committed to the cause as you can imagine. She gets out a warning to Namor before attacking Xavier and calling him a traitor.
So, yeah, pretty committed.
In frustration, Professor X puts all of the combatants to sleep. Well, all of them besides Spider-Woman. Jessica Drew had Psychic Shields installed during her SHIELD days that prevent her from napping at a telepath's suggestion. Spider-Woman tries to convince Charles to maintain his vigilance against the Phoenix Five but Xavier can't bring himself to fight againts his "children..." even if he thinks they're wrong.
This stands in contrast to his attitude in New Avengers #29
and in current issues of AvX but it COULD be argued that Xavier has a LOT of mixed emotions going on and his resolve wasn't truly hardened until after Namor smashed Wakanda into tiny pieces.
For now, Professor Xavier is out of this action. He wakes up Captain America to inform the Avengers leader of his decision to stay out of the fight. Moreover, he's wiping everyone's memories so that they will never remember that he was here. Ignoring Cap's pleas to stay in the fight, Charles drops Rogers back to sleep. As the scene fades out, the founder of the X-Men says (telepathically):
"Consider yourself lucky. I had a dream. And it's all but dead."
The Uncanny X-Men #145
Writer: Chris Claremont
Penciler: Dave Cockrum
Inker: Joe Rubinstein
Editor: Louise Jones (Simonson)
The issue in a nutshell:
Friends and family of the X-Men are kidnapped in order to make the mutant team rescue Arcade from Doctor Doom's jail. The X-Men attempt a jailbreak while gathering up some former members to rescue Ms. Locke's abductees. Doctor Doom takes down the X-Men with ease.
The issue by bullet points:
• While attending the ballet, Storm and Stevie Hunter are poisoned by Arcade's assistant, Ms. Locke. Locke explains that she's kidnapping friends of the X-Men so that the mutant team will rescue Arcade from Dr. Doom.
• When Storm wakes up, she checks up on a few of the X-Men's close friends and family and discovers that Ms. Locke has already done some serious kidnapping.
• Xavier contacts Beast to learn all he can on Doctor Doom.
• Storm has a plan to free Arcade while ALSO rescuing their friends. It involves gathering former X-Men like Havok, Polaris, Iceman, and Banshee.
• Xavier handles this recruiting with telepathy. This is a pain in the ass because Magneto has dropped an electro-magnetic field around the Earth that makes long-distance telepathy next to impossible.
• Cyclops and Lee Forrestor wake up on what looks like a deserted island. Scott covers up his eyes because he's lost his ruby quartz glasses.
• Storm pays Doom a visit while the X-Men sneak in to rescue Arcade.
• When it turns out that Arcade isn't really Doom's prisoner, Storm and the rest of the X-Men are taken down by Doctor Doom.
The issue in EXTREME detail:
This issue actually takes place before last article's Avengers Annual #10
. You can tell because Angel is still a member of the X-Men. It's hard to date annuals since they typically only list a YEAR and not a month.
Anyway, we're here to check on any Avengers/ X-Men crossovers. This one is JUST about as inconsequential as the one in Uncanny X-Men #94
... but since I covered THAT one, I'll cover THIS one.
We begin our adventure at the Lincoln Center in New York City where Ororo Monroe and Stevie Hunter are attending a performance of Great Britain's Royal Ballet. Stevie is Kitty Pryde's ballet instructor and this is Kitty's birthday gift to Ms. Hunter. You may be wondering why Storm is here instead of Shadowcat. Well, Kitty got sick and here we are. It's a tense situation because Ororo doesn't actually LIKE Stevie and she can't figure out why.
Fortunately, we're not going to have to endure any ballet in this comic. Arcade's loyal assistant, Ms. Locke, walks into their private box and touches both Ororo and Stevie on their necks. That administers the poison that'll knock the two unconscious but not before Storm uses her weather manipulation powers in front of Stevie, spoiling the X-Men's secret identies to the ballet instructor.
Before Ororo drops unconscious, Ms. Locke explains that she's kidnapping the friends and family of the X-Men so that the mutant team will free Arcade from the clutches of Doctor Doom. The assassin got on Doom's bad side after he used the Doctor's castle for one of his schemes.
When Storm wakes up (Stevie was taken captive while Ororo was unconscious), she switches to her X-Man costume and goes searching for proof that Locke has been out abducting their friends. Ororo's first stop is the apartment of Nightcrawler's girlfriend/sister, Amanda Sefton. She wonders how a sorceress of Amanda's calibur would have been captured and then remembers how the entire X-Men team was captured by Arcade with ridiculous ease during UXM #121.
After finding an Arcade calling card at Amanda's place, Storm decides to check ont he parents of Jean Grey. That requires a quick flight from New York City to Annandale-on-Hudson. To accomplish this feat, Ororo ends up seriously messing up the weather patterns along the eastern seaboard.
Storm finds the Greys' home empty of residents but with a note listing Doctor Doom's current whereabouts as well as another Arcade calling card. Storm sees the Holempathic Matrix Crystal that contains the essence of Phoenix's personality and swears that she will save Jean's parents.
It looks like Jean's image goes from smiling to very cross in three panels.
After Storm returns home and reports what she's learned, Professor X uses the video monitor to call up Beast at Avengers Mansion. He wants information on Dr. Doom. Hank sends over the Avengers' files on the villain and offers the Avengers' assistance. Xavier thanks Beast for the offer but declines, prefering to keep this as X-Men business.
And that was our Avengers/ X-Men crossover, folks!
When this call is done, Logan chews Professor Xavier out because it looks like Charles is completely willing to do exactly what Ms. Locke wants in order to get their people back. Wolverine things that to be a dangerous precedent to set. Storm agrees. In fact, she has a plan.
This plan involves calling up old members of the X-Men. Xavier uses telepathy instead of telephones even though Magneto has set up a field that makes such communication extremely difficult. Xavier is suffering for the effort. Maybe he just never learned to use a phone that doesn't involve a video monitor?
His first telepathic call is made to Alex Summers and Lorna Dane. Havok and Polaris. These two weren't ever ACTUAL X-Men at this point but they hung out with the team long enough to be considered junior members at least. The couple currently calls Rio Diablo their home.
Alex and Lorna would prefer to live a civilian life away from super-heroes but Xavier claims that he had no choice but to request their help. That's enough to convince both of them to team-up with the X-Men. It's also a lie. Remember, Beast offered the Avengers' aid. Battle seasoned heroes versus retired and out of practice heroes? I would have taken Earth's Mightiest.
Next on the list is Bobby Drake. Iceman.
Bobby's in his Sophomore year of University and has just pulled an all-nighter. He's capping off his night with a beer just like ever other college student would. As a founding X-Man, Iceman cheerfully agrees to get back in action.
That leaves one last former X-Man to contact: Sean Cassidy. Banshee. Sean's taking a Concorde to the United States after his girlfriend, Moira MacTaggert, was taken hostage by Ms. Locke. Again, Banshee never phoned this in to his former teammates even though they're all close friends to Moira. Communication, people!
There's one X-Man that Xavier did NOT contact: Scott Summers. Cyclops. He and his lady friend, Aleytis "Lee" Forrester, have wound up shipwrecked on a not-so-deserted island. Worst still, Summers has lost his ruby quartz glasses, making him effectively blind or risk destroying whatever he wanted to look at. This island will prove to be the home of Magneto and lead right into the climactic UXM #150. But that's a tale for another time.
For now, we join the X-Men and their temporary recruits at the X-Mansion. Storm and Xavier go over the relatively simple plan. Storm distracts Dr. Doom while the rest of the X-Men sneak in and free Arcade. At the same time, Havok, Polaris, Iceman, and Banshee will break into Murderworld and free Ms. Locke's prisoners. It's virtually fool proof!
Havok realizes that his team is not only out of practice but they don't have any experience working together. He requests some Danger Room time and learns that the X-Men's training room is still destroyed following Kitty's adventure against the N'garai (UXM #143). It's still being repaired in Avengers Annual #10.
Storm arrives at Dr. Doom's New York State castle in a burst of lightning. She demands an audience with the deposed monarch of Latveria (that's Doom, FYI). After getting some hassle from the guards, Ororo is led into the castle interior by Victor Von Doom himself.
Well... it's actually a Doombot. John Byrne revealed this in Fantastic Four #258 after being disappointed at Dr. Doom's performance during this arc. That wasn't Claremont's original intent, of course, and Byrne's reaction is a reflection of the tension that existed between the two creators. Good times!
Anyway, with Dr. Doom suitably distracted, the rest of the X-Men team subtly breaks into Doom's castle. When they reach the cage that presumaby contains arcade, the X-Men find it empty. Logan suspects that they just got punked. To seal that thought, the mutants are attacked by a quartet of armored minions. The suits are supposed to be capable of taking on the Fantastic Four. While that remains to be seen, we WILL see how they stand up against the X-Men.
Meanwhile, Dr. Doom and Storm are enjoying a delicious meal... and entertaining some romantic thoughts. Even so, both of them stay true to their ideals. Storm doesn't give away the fact that her team is breaking out Arcade and Dr. Doom doesn't reveal that he already KNOWS what the X-Men are up to and is already planning on teaching Storm a lesson for this brazen insult. They're just doing those things while admiring their foe.
Down in the dungeon, Wolverine, Angel, Colossus, and Nightcrawler defeat all but one of Doom's FF Busting armored minions. The fourth one escapes, promising Doom's wrath.
It turns out that Storm and Doctor Doom's meal isn't a private dinner. Victor introduces Ororo to another guest: Arcade. The assassin is NOT Doom's prisoner.
Storm realizes that she's played right into these two villains' plan and goes right on the attack. Dr. Doom hits her with a glowing ball that turns her body to immobile chrome.
The rest of the X-Men arrive too late to save Storm, and with not enough strength to save themselves. Doom takes out Wolverine, Angel, and Nightcrawler in one laser strike. Colossus lasts a bit longer but is dropped with a Neural Disruptor.
Doctor Doom just defeated the X-Men, people.
We won't be following up on this issue so I'll give a short recap. The X-Men free themselves and resolve the differences between Arcade and Dr. Doom (because those two AREN'T bestest buddies). Ms. Locke's prisoners are rescued. Since Illyana Rasputin was one of those kidnapped, this is how she ended up with the X-Men and leads into her trek into Limbo.
Once again, we have reached the end of another Super Reads. Thanks for joining me and I'll see you again, soon!
Until next time: Have a good week!