We're almost done slogging through the monstrocity that is... AvX! Avengers #30! Secret Wars #'s 8-10!
Hey, Super Readers! Welcome back. Let's get this thing started.
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:
I've made many jokes about this before but that's because it's totally true. Clint Barton has dated almost every available woman in the Marvel Universe. And probably some that weren't so available.
You name her, he's tried to date her. Or at least spend five meaningful minutes with her. Black Widow, Scarlet Witch, Moondragon, Mockingbird, Wasp, Moonstone, Echo, and more. It's a rich history of making out with the Women of the Marvel Universe. Clint's current girlfriend is Spider-Woman. We've all placed our bets on how long this one will last.
Oh... Barton is known as Hawkeye... shoots arrows... sometimes with special tips.... I could probably make a killer joke about that.
But instead, I will announce that AVX IS OVER!!!
I know. We've still got one more awesome week until the dramatic, telegraphed conclusion of this year's mega-event but that doesn't mean that it's still going on. In fact, this week's issue of the Avengers shows us that there is definitely life after Scott Summers. We just don't get any details on how things shape up in AvX #12. Bendis isn't going to spoil us unless we count all of the heroes in Avengers #30 that aren't dead.
But... considering most of them have their own books or is Spider-Woman, this doesn't surprise anyone.
Much like Secret Invasion
, it turns out that the bad guys use gigantic events to get away with gigantic crimes. That's how guys like Norman Osborn become America's Top Cop and the Hood can... sit around in a warehouse watching the Skrull Invasion. I don't know. You had to be there. This time around, it's organized crime and evil spy agencies that try to grab a bigger piece of the pie.
The Avengers #30
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Penciler: Walter Simonson
Inker: Scott Hanna
Editor: Tom Brevoort
The story in a nutshell:
Mister Negative and his Inner Demons raid a SHIELD warehouse at the tail end of Avengers vs. X-Men. They are foiled by Hawkeye and Spider-Woman, who are more interested in talking about their relationship than fighting. Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor arrive just in time to learn that Madame Hydra tipped Spider-Woman off to this raid but they don't learn that she and Hydra were busy stealing stuff from ANOTHER SHIELD facility.
This issue by bullet points:
• AVX is happening in San Francisco. Except it's pretty much over by the time this issue happens.
• In New York, Mister Negative and his Inner Demons kill a group of SHIELD Agents while breaking into a SHIELD warehouse to steal Nazi Mechs left over from Fear Itself.
• Hawkeye and Spider-Woman break up the party.
• Oh, they're fighting about relationship issues while also fighting bad guys.
• After dealing with their crippling emotional baggage, the two Avengers decide to finish the fight with the Inner Demons.
• Captain America, Iron Man, and Thor respond to a distress signal that brings them right to the same facility. They arrive after the fight is over.
• We learn that Madame Hydra told Spider-Woman about Mr. Negative's raid.
• She calls Spider-Woman up to congratulate Jessica while she and Hydra steal Skrull tech from a different SHIELD facility.
This issue in EXTREME detail:
Oh, did I say AvX was over? It is. No, really. Don't pay attention to this two page spread featuring every hero you've ever loved fighting a Phoenix'd out Cyclops and Emma Frost. That's just showing you why our villains believe they have a serious opportunity to do serious evil.
What villains could I be talking about? Why, it's Mister Negative and his Inner Demons. Spider-Man fans will immediately know who this guy is and what he's about. All you really need to know is that Negative is a crime boss and that his Inner Demons are unkillable warriors dedicated to his goals. Which are evil.
And what's their play? It's taking over a SHIELD facility in New York Harbor. With lethal violence! This SHIELD facility is guarded by a group of Agents that have gotten caught up in the mundanity of their job. No-one has attacked this safehouse and no-one is EXPECTED to attack it. This means the SHIELD Agents are just about as unprepared for an assault as they could possibly be.
Remember Fear Itself? Remember all of those Nazi Mechs that terrorized Washington D.C., New York City, and Broxton, Oklahoma? This warehouse is where some of those mechs have been stored after a hasty clean-up job. As Mister Negative explains, the heroes had to clean things up quickly so that life could resume. Being heroes, they were distracted by the next threat to the free world and no-one spent any more time worrying about the Nazi Mechs.
So here is an army of mostly intact Nazi Mechs just WAITING for some criminal mastermind to take them for their own evil scheme. Negative tells us that he got word that Hydra was just about ready to make a play for this facility and beat them to the punch.
Before the Inner Demons have a chance to take any of this weaponry away, in come Marvel's dream couple, Hawkeye and Spider-Woman!
Clint starts things off with his traditional super-hero wit. Spider-Woman doesn't find this appropriate since they got here too late to save any of the SHIELD Agents. After about a page of Jessica sniping Hawkeye, it becomes clear that she's not really all that mad about the dead SHIELD Agents, she's actually upset with her boyfriend.
Thus begins the classic "air all our dirty laundry while in the middle of a fight" routine. Hawkeye and Spider-Woman kick a lot of ass but they bicker back and forth while doing it. Clint doesn't even know what he's done wrong and tells Jessica that she's crazy.
That's when Spider-Woman tells us all the Golden Rules of dealing with a girlfriend/spouse/cliche.
1. Don't ask women about their periods.
2. Don't compliment her sister.
3. Don't ever, ever call her crazy.
But I feel we're getting off-track. You don't really read comics for their relationship advice, do you?
Well, stop. This explains so many things it's unsettling.
Let's just get to the actual crux of the argument. It turns out that Hawkeye has DATED PEOPLE BEFORE Spider-Woman! I know! It's amazing.
Specifically, he's dated the Scarlet Witch. Jessica had to sit in a Quinjet and listen to Wanda gab on and ON about her "unresolved issues" with Hawkeye. All the way back from San Francisco. I don't think anyone told the Scarlet Witch that Spider-Woman was seeing Barton.
The two argue a little bit more until Jessica realizes that she doesn't want to be the kind of person that argues over an ex. She nearly ends this relationship because of her reaction to the situation but Hawkeye convinces her that they've just fought in a physically and psychologically draining Marvel Mega-Event and that neither of them is thinking straight. Oh, and the Scarlet Witch is insane in her membrane. Yes, even right now.
And, yes, even when he slept with her in the classic New Avengers volume one #26. That was when she had forgotten who she was. So many levels of wrongness in that issue...
It looks like Hawkeye and Spider-Woman are done with their lover's spat. Now, they have to finish their fight with the increasing number of Inner Demons. Seriously, I think these guys multiplied while I wasn't looking. I get that Mister Negative had other Inner Demons coming to take away this Nazi gear but that is a LOT of dudes.
Back at Avengers Tower, Steve Rogers and Tony Stark take a long rest after completely screwing up the lives of the X-Men. And the world. It's a tough job! Thor shows up just as Rogers gets a call informing him that a certain SHIELD warehouse has been broken into. The Avengers Trinity suit up and fly there ASAP.
Of course, the situation has resolved by the time they get there. Hawkeye and Spider-Woman have already wrapped up the battle and are in the middle of a post-fight hug. It's mandatory Avengers procedure. Read the handbook.
Mister Negative is NOT shown in the half-page aftermath picture. Odds are pretty good he escaped.
When Cap asks the duo how they got here before the Trinity, Spider-Woman tells him that she got a tip off from Madame Hydra. The unasked question is... why the hell didn't she tell the REST of the Avengers? I mean, sure, they beat the bad guys but not before they killed every SHIELD Agent on site. Maybe giving Commander Rogers a clue as to what was going on might have saved some lives? Maybe their relationship issues could have been resolved without a private team-up? I'm just saying.
Instead, everyone is distracted by the idea that Madame Hydra just gave Spider-Woman some intel that kept Hydra Mechs off the street for another day. To FURTHER keep everyone's thinking organism occupied, Jessica gets a call straight from the Madame Hydra. Iron Man starts tracing it but we're all pretty sure it won't matter.
The leader of Hydra claims that she was trying ever so hard to keep villains from taking advantage of the AvX situation but, y'know, none of us believe that. While Mister Negative and the Inner Demons were failing to secure Nazi Mechs, she and Hydra were busy raiding ANOTHER SHIELD warehouse, stealing stored tech left over from Secret Invasion. I'm assuming Madame Hydra called Jessica to assure that a competitor wouldn't have gotten a similar advantage.
At any rate, SHIELD lost a lot of Agents in this issue.
Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #8
Writer: Jim Shooter
Penciler: Mike Zech
Inkers: John Beatty, Jack Abel, Mike Esposito
Editor: Tom Defalco
The issue in a nutshell:
The heroes take Doombase. Spider-Man gets a new, blacker suit. Galactus gets ready to make a meal of Battleworld.
This issue by bullet points:
• The Heroes attack Doombase. A lot of them get torn clothing.
• After defeating all of the Villains, the Heroes lock them up in Doombase's dungeon and settle into their new digs.
• Colossus carries an unconscious Zsaji into her room and uses the vapor jar to figure out why she's so weak.
• It's because she used a bulk of her energy reviving Wasp.
• Spider-Man gets his new sentient outfit.
• Galactus begins eating Battleworld.
This issue in EXTREME detail:
Last issue, Captain America finally ordered his band of brave Heroes to DO something, and I've never been more excited. The Heroes are making their way to Doombase, the headquarters of the Villains. Their mission? To rescue She-Hulk and kick a little bad guy ass. The team breaks into the building without any response.
The first villain to notice the break-in is the Enchantress but she's too drunk to do any more than just magic up a view screen to see what's going on. When she tries to get to her feet, Amora smashes down to the floor. It's not her day.
In Doombase's dungeon, the sonic villain, Klaw, releases the Lizard. He watched the reptile-man get locked away last issue and given his recent "imprisonment" on Galactus's ship, he has decided that no one deserves to be locked up.
The same group of Villains that was beating the crap out of She-Hulk last issue are still doing that this issue. When they realize that the rest of the Heroes have broken into Doombase, these Villains race off for a fight. Doctor Octopus smashes She-Hulk head first into some rubble before joining his fellows.
In his bedchamber, guarded by Ultron, Doctor Doom stirs... just a little. Doom is still smoldering since his forced re-entry into Battleworld's atmosphere and will prove to be in no shape for a fight.
Outside Doom's room, the BATTLE IS JOINED!
Highlights: Thing returns to his human form by accident while fighting the Absorbing Man. The new Spider-Woman has to bail Ben Grimm out. Hawkeye fires a few warning arrows at Piledriver but when the Wrecking Crew member keeps charging him, Clint puts an arrow right in the strong man's shoulder. The Enchantress, sobered up, charms the Hulk into unconsciousness. When she faces down Captain America, Amora's spells prove useless and she's knocked unconscious. Keeping up his badass Secret Wars image, Spider-Man manages to hand Titania a solid defeat, proving that strength isn't everything.
After a few other minor skirmishes, all that's left is to capture Doctor Doom. Since Doom is already out of this fight, the real challenge in this is taking on Doom's bodyguard, Ultron. Even though Ultron's outer shell is made of unbreakable Adamantium, his inner workings prove to be meltable. Johnny Storm is able to take the killer robot out of the fight.
Doctor Doom is taken prisoner with ease but no-one risks taking off his boobytrapped armor, so it's basically like grabbing a sleeping rattlesnake by the tail. Someone is going to get bitten. This is also where Reed Richards points out that Doctor Doom isn't even supposed to BE here today. In fact, the villain is supposed to be DEAD.
Captain Marvel finds the unconscious form of She-Hulk. Even after her beating, Shulkie's resilient enough to have survived. She's loaded into a regeneration chamber.
Without a base of their own, the Heroes settle right into Doombase and make it their own. The Villains are loaded into dungeon cells. Hawkeye and Captain Marvel head back to the village to pick up the Wasp's body in order to give it a proper burial.
Speaking of the village, when we last checked in on it, the village healer, Zsaji, had dropped unconscious right outside Janet Van Dyne's hut. It was Colossus who found her and now races her back to her own hut. Inside, Piotr placed Zsaji on her bed and then finds the pot of vapors and decides to take advantage of them. Breathing them deeply, Colossus is able to read memories out of Zsaji's mind. While she's unconscious, the healer can probably read Piotr's memories as well.
What we learn is that the Wasp was still stuck in stasis when she was thrown at the Heroes last issue. Zsaji was unable to heal Janet until the stasis effect wore off. When she WAS able to use her curative powers, it took a LOT of energy. Hence, all the sleeping.
While Piotr is taking care of Zsaji, Captain Marvel and Hawkeye have arrived to find that Janet Van Dyne is alive and well... even though she's embarrassed about her lack of make-up.
In their nearby ship, the X-Men are keeping a watchful eye on Galactus just like Xavier promised Captain America. It looks like their vigil is almost over. The Devourer looks like he's ready to get to eating.
During the fight with the Villains, many of our Heroes tore their costumes. Since Iron Man's suit is metal and gadgets, it's Reed Richards that is called in to effect repairs. For the rest of the heroes, Hulk finds a device in the base that can conjure up any clothing that the user can think about. This is how Thor gets his hat back. Spider-Man heads in to get a fixed suit but doesn't get proper directions. He puts his head in the wrong machine and ends up with a ball of black goo that wraps around him like a glove.
Peter wonders why his costume didn't turn out like his traditional suit but figures he was influenced by the new Spider-Woman's outfit. He doesn't have much time to think about it, though.
Professor Xavier has telepathically contacted the Heroes to tell them that Galactus is making his move.
Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #9
Writer: Jim Shooter
Penciler: Michael Zeck
Inker: John Beatty
Editor: Tom Defalco
The issue in a nutshell:
The Heroes fight Galactus. Reed realizes that if Galactus wins, the universe becomes a better place but when push comes to shove, he fights alongside the rest of the Heroes to defeat Galactus. Doctor Doom escapes his imprisonment in Doombase and continues work on his plans to defeat the Beyonder.
This issue by bullet points:
• The X-Men try to defeat Galactus but end up blow'd up.
• The Heroes fly to the Galactus battlefield and everyone has their own thoughts, opinions, and credit cards.
• During their fight against Galactus, Reed realizes that Galactus winning would mean no more planets getting Devoured. After telling everyone, he is teleported up to Galactus's ship for a personal talk with the Devourer of Worlds.
• Doctor Doom breaks out of his cell at Doombase and starts dissecting Klaw.
• Reed teleports back down and temporarily pulls Fantastic Four support away from the Galactus Fight.
• When the FF rejoin the battle, the Heroes are able to successfully destroy Galactus's planet-eating machine but NOT Galactus. That's a problem.
• The Devourer flies up to his ship to eat it. The plan is to then eat the planet without the aid of the machine. Basically, he's foregoing a fork and spoon and eating with his hands.
• At Doombase, Doom activates his crazy contraption.
This issue in EXTREME detail:
Remember when you were a kid and you went away to summer camp and you swore you would write your girlfriend every day but instead you made out with that cute girl from the girls' dorm? That never happened to me, either but if it did, I would know exactly what Colossus is feeling. For at least three issues of Secret Wars, Piotr Rasputin was pining over his forcible separation from his startlingly younger girlfriend, Kitty Pryde. It preoccupied his every waking moment.
Until he met... Zsaji (Zsaji!). The healer of a village that became part of the mix on Battleworld, Zsaji has had her hands full casting Cure 4 on our Heroes after their run-ins with the Villains. She's in a relationship with Johnny Storm of the Fantastic Four but Colossus has made his peace with that. All he wants to do is love her... even if it is from afar.
Kitty who? Amirite?
With Galactus making his big play, Colossus says good-bye to Zsaji (Zsaji!) one last time before armoring up for the big battle.
The rest of the X-Men have already engaged the Devourer of Worlds. They aren't doing very well. While the Big G hasn't really paid them any attention, a defensive drone HAS. The X-Men end up wasting all of their energy busting this thing wide open. That turns out to have been a bad move. The drone's explosion lights up half the mountain.
In the village below, Captain Marvel, Wasp, and Hawkeye watch as the X-Men are taken down by what appears to be a tiny nuclear blast. They decide to wait for the rest of the Heroes.
Don't you worry, those guys are coming. The good guys have boarded a craft and are on their way. While en-route, we see that the Hulk is all depressed because he's proven to be mighty useless in almost every battle even though he's the strongest there is. That's because Hulk is rocking Banner's brain and just isn't combat-capable. Thor tries his best to cheer the green goliath up, but isn't successful.
Ben Grimm is feeling pretty useless in his human form but at the peak of his frustration, he finds himself back to his old Thing self. He's so happy he gives Johnny a giant hug.
In his repaired armor, Iron Man is starting to feel that people have realized that he's not the old Shellhead. He figures that it'll be this battle that proves his worth. Rhodey notices the new Spider-Woman walking around the ship and decides to keep his eyes on her. Just in case.
What about the new and improved Spider-Man with his sleek new black suit? Well, he's showing it off for everyone. Web shooters? It's got web shooters. Mentally-controlled? Yep. He slips off the arms and legs by mental command. It's pretty awesome and not at all dangerous. Even so, Reed offers to look it over if Spider-Man so desires, but Peter doesn't seem very concerned. This is all "cosmic stuff" and it's beyond the Wall-Crawler. Spidey has decided to just go with it.
That's not something that Mr. Fantastic can do. Cosmic happenstance is, after all, his wheelhouse. This whole situation is one big mystery and Reed is still trying to figure it out. Galactus's move doesn't seem right in Reed's mind. He keeps playing it out trying to make it work. Eating the planet and all of the other contestants would certainly win Galactus the game and the Beyonder's prize but there's more to this than there seems.
So preoccupied is Reed Richards that he almost flies the ship right into a tendril of energy. The craft goes in for a crash landing but is spared any "crashing" because Colossus catches it. This move nearly spends all of Piotr's energy but he swears he's ready for the fight against Galactus.
More of those drones attack the Heroes but they do their best to avoid them instead of, y'know, blowing them up. Iron Man is the first to break through the drone onslaught. Rhodey starts blasting away at Galactus's food machine... just as Reed figures some things out. He grabs Captain America and tells him.
"WE MUST NOT STOP GALACTUS!"
In a lull in the fight, Thing asks Reed to explain himself. Here's your nutshell:
Galactus IS planning on eating Battleworld and, yes, that'll win him the contest. It's got a double purpose, though. Galactus is running pretty low on power at the moment and devouring Battleworld will give him the power he needs to attempt to FORCE the Beyonder to give him what he wants.
And what does the Big G want? Galactus wants his hunger removed. He wants to no longer feel the need to consume planet after planet.
And if the Beyonder renegs on the promise to reward the victor and it leads to fighting? And if Galactus should die as a result? No more Devourer. It's win/win. Except the Heroes will all die with Battleworld.
This isn't a fight Reed intends to walk away from. He just believes that a universe without the threat of Galactus is a better place. Hero's sacrifice and all that.
Before the Heroes can decide whether or not to follow Reed's plan, Mr. Fantastic, Galactus, and the machine are teleported away. Captain America is forced to... do nothing for a while. Again.
Reed finds himself aboard Galactus's ship, teleported here by Galactus himself. He's fascinated with the place. Galactus finally deigns to talk with Mr. Fantastic and even gives Reed a view of his family on Earth. Now, it's time for Richards and Galactus to have a chat. It's private. Let's go see what else it going on.
Back at Doombase, Doctor Doom revives from his near catatonic state and realizes that he still has time to turn this contest around. Repowering his armor, Victor escapes his cell and then moves freely about his fortress once more. He walks right past most of the prisoners, looking for one in particular. Klaw. Doom believes that the sonic villain holds the key to Galactus's defeat in his solidified sound form. TO THE DISSECTION CHAMBER!
With no-one to punch, Colossus has gone to the place where the X-Men were blown up, trying to find some sign of life. What he finds is the X-Men digging their way out of the ground. It seems that before the mutant team blew up the drone, Magneto buried the team safely below the ground. So no harm done.
The X-Men head back to the village where the Heroes are busy doing jack squat. Piotr witnesses Zsaji running off to get some cuddle time with Johnny Storm, but the Human Torch is SO DISTRACTED by his brother-in-law disappearing that he's got no time for women.
What they all DO have time for is arguing about what to do with Galactus when the Devourer eventually reappears. Most of the Heroes are set on killing the Big G. Thing (and Johnny by default) are going to back Mr. Fantastic. And SPEAKING of Reed...
He's back! While he doesn't say a lot about his talk with Galactus, he does say that the Devourer called him a "Champion of Life" as opposed to Galactus's role as an "Instrument of Death." Reed is conflicted on what he should do but for now, the Fantastic Four are going to let Galactus win.
Captain America decides that the universe can go to hell. Right here, right now, he's going to fight Galactus. Anyone who stands with him is welcome, including the X-Men. Steve and Xavier shake on it to make it official.
Back at Doombase, Doctor Doom is monitoring the Heroes' battle against Galactus. He also notes that the Beyonder's crack in space has opened up to witness this fight. EXCELLENT. Doom needs to work fast assembling the device that will place power in the palm of his hands. So... it's a good thing that he's already cut Klaw into bite-sized pieces.
The Heroes make their big push towards Galactus but the Devourer focuses his energies on them, making sure they don't reach him easily. It's the Fantastic Four members joining the fight that actually turns the tide. Reed explains that seeing his family on Galactus's ship made him realize that no matter the cost, he wanted to be with them once more.
Man, Reed actually seems like a human being in this comic. When did that happen? Where did this guy go?
Working together, our Heroes reach Galactus and start working on destroying his machine. Unfortunately, Richards wants them to attack GALACTUS, not his machine. They don't listen to him and Galactus flies away as the Heroes destroy his machine.
This isn't a victory. Galactus plans on consuming his ship and then the planet. The machine would have made it more efficient, but the end result will still be a fully charged Devourer of Worlds.
At Doombase, Doctor Doom has assembled his own machine that'll help him take out both Galactus AND the Beyonder.
Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #10
Writer: Jim Shooter
Penciler: Michael Zeck
Inker: John Beatty
Editor: Tom Defalco
The issue in a nutshell:
Doctor Doom steals the energy that Galactus was going to derive from consuming his ship. That done, Doom engages in a one man war against the Beyonder which sends shockwaves throughout the nearby cosmos. After losing, Doom still finds a way to win, defeating the Beyonder and becoming the supreme being in the universe.
This issue by bullet points:
• Galactus breaks his ship down into pure energy but is never able to eat it. Doctor Doom has assembled a device that steals all the power at the last minute.
• Captain Marvel goes to Doombase to investigate. After Doom masters his new abilities, the first thing he does is find Monica and freeze her in her light form.
• The Heroes eventually arrive at Doombase but it's after Doctor Doom has gone away to do battle with the Beyonder.
• During this fight, intense shockwaves threaten to rip Battleworld apart. Even Doombase is shattered bit by bit.
• Realizing that he's going to lose, Doctor Doom sends a projection to the Heroes in an attempt to enlist their aid in his battle.
• Magneto is the only one REALLY tempted but he pauses long enough for the Heroes to tackle him. That pause makes Captain America believe better of the Master of Magnetism. For now.
• Doom is defeated and dissected by the Beyonder. While being slowly pealed apart, Doctor Doom wakes up and activates his Beyonder trap.
• Another shockwave rips Doombase apart. The Heroes abandon base. Cap and Wolverine free their prisoners.
• Doctor Doom appears in a vision of light, declaring the Secret Wars over and himself the most powerful man in the universe.
• Yeah. Doom is He-Man. Keep it secret.
This issue in EXTREME detail:
BEHOLD! Galactus, the Devourer of Worlds, is in the midst of eating his own home. He's doing this as a prelude to eating Battleworld. When the heroes destroyed his machine, they pretty much killed the big guy's fork, spoon, and knife. So now he needs more energy before diving right into his meal with his hands.
If you were on Battleworld, you'd probably be pretty freaked out. That's exactly how the Heroes are feeling right now. They are still trying to save themselves from the random dangers that are emanating from Galactus consuming his ship, but I don't think anyone is under any illusions about their imminent destruction.
But... you know how this works. This is well before Marvel thought it was a good idea to kill one of their most well-beloved and endearing characters to get a temporary sales boost... let alone their whole A-list line-up. The Devourer breaks down his ship into energy but is unable to eat any of it. The power is swept away in the direction of Doombase.
Captain America sends Captain Marvel flying towards Doombase as quickly as possible. When Monica gets there, she finds Doctor Victor Von Doom lying underneath an array of lenses. The energy is focusing right on him. Xavier is able to read Captain Marvel's mind and relays this intelligence to the rest of the Heroes. Monica sticks around to see what happens next, maintaining cover so that the villainous leader doesn't discover her.
For a little while, Doctor Doom has OTHER things on his mind. That was a LOT of power that he just gobbled up. Doom has to gain mastery over his new powerful perceptions.
But he IS Doom.
His new abilities let him know his allies more intimately than ever before. He can feel their very essence. And more. Captain Marvel's hiding place? Useless. He can see right through the walls, now.
Xavier's psychic link to Captain Marvel suddenly cuts off and the Heroes realize that maybe they should have been making their way to Doombase this entire time instead of sitting on their thumbs. With their airships both inoperable, the group loads into the X-Men's broken craft and relies on Magneto's powers to fly them to Doom's headquarters. Captain America compliments Mags on his power, but the mutants read this as an insult. They're touchy.
Wolverine is the worst of the bunch, blaming Cap for being anti-mutant decades before this would have any bearing or truth. Logan nearly attacks Rogers but is held back by Cyclops and Colossus.
As our Heroes fly towards Doombase... and bicker... Doctor Doom is trying to figure out what he should DO with all of this power. His plan was to attempt to destroy the Beyonder but shouldn't he be content with the strength at his disposal? After talking it over with Klaw's severed head, Doom realizes that he'd never be happy as second best. Even though this'll be a intense and possibly unwinnable fight, Victor Von Doom decides to battle against impossible odds. Also: the Beyonder.
Crafting a plan, Doom remodels his armor to be more toy-accurate and heads on his way to his showdown.
Once Doom is away, the Heroes bust inside, retaking Doombase once more. They find all the prisoners still locked up except for Klaw and Doom. Spider-Woman locates Captain Marvel but it looks like Monica is stuck in light form, frozen in place.
Reed starts questioning Klaw but the sonic villain is insane so his answers are more whimsical than helpful. When the planet starts shaking, Klaw tells the Heroes that it's just Doctor Doom off getting some ULTIMATE POWER.
In space, Doom approaches the Beyonder's crack in space and attempts to get as close as possible to the Great and Powerful One. At no point will we see the Beyonder in this fight. He doesn't have a physical form yet. So "getting close" to him might be problematic even if he wasn't firing pure energy blasts at the villain.
The fallout of this fight shakes the entirety of Battleworld and spread out "hundreds of cubic parsecs" from the battle. Our Heroes won't be able to do anything about this fight but Reed has hopes that they'll be able to locate Galactus so that they can build a fallback plan just in case Doom actually wins. It's a fleeting hope that is made impossible by the shockwaves that seem to get stronger and stronger by the moment. It's all our Heroes can do to stay alive.
And they're in a building built to survive nuclear blasts. What's going on in the village that had served as their headquarters? Colossus asks Hulk to set one of the monitors on the village and sees it devastated. The healer, Zsaji, is hurt. Piotr wants to go to her but knows that Johnny is her boyfriend. Colossus calls to the Human Torch to tell him what's happening with Zsaji. Johnny might have a better response to this but his bro, Reed, has been knocked out during the last blast, and all his thoughts are on Mr. Fantastic. Zsaji just isn't important enough to him.
This ticks Colossus off. It's not like Piotr will be able to go to her. Those shocks are making everyone stuck where they are.
Doom's battle with the Beyonder is awesome. It's a lightshow that puts the local star to shame. It's also a fight that Doctor Doom is losing. He swears that he'll face his demise with dignity.
Instead, he decides to phone a friend. Or an enemy. Whatever. He sends an image of himself down to the remains of Doombase to tell the Heroes that he's totally whipping the evil Beyonder's butt. It's a done deal and it's the most honorable battle ever. For serious. But, y'know, if anyone wants to lend him some extra power and show their support for his cause, they'll get their fondest wish when this fight is over.
Magneto is tempted and almost reaches out to the dictator but hesitates at the last moment, staring back at Xavier. Hawkeye, Iron Man, and the Wasp use this moment to make sure that the Master of Magnetism doesn't lend aid to Doctor Doom. Victor has expended as much energy as he can bear and leaves empty handed. In Doombase, the Heroes turn against Magneto but Captain America tells them to back off. Mags was already turning away from temptation when they tackled him and as far as Steve's concerned, that's all that matters. For now.
In space, Doom loses his fight against the Beyonder. He was just never able to get close enough to use his trick armor to win the fight. His body ruined, Victor is helpless as the Beyonder lays his mind bare of thoughts. Doom's mind isn't enough and the Beyonder begins disassembling the villain's body— just the right side— to see how it all works.
In the middle of the dissection, Victor Von Doom regains consciousness and realizes that whatever the Beyonder is, he's probably close enough now to be affected by Doom's trap. His armor is just above him. All he has to do is reach up and hit a switch and he just pulled victory out of the jaws of... dissection. Even so, he's in the middle of being torn apart and studied. It's a monumental effort.
But his IS Doom.
On Battleworld, Doombase has finally taken as much damage as it can. Captain America orders the Heroes out as walls collapse. Steve races downstairs to free their prisoners, knowing that they'll die if they remain in their cells. Unfortunately, the doors are jammed just and his shield just isn't going to break them open.
Enter: the Wolverine. It turns out Magneto was going to come down and do a rescue bit but the X-Man stepped in instead. Logan has had his claws out the entire series and it's about damn time he had a good reason for that. Wolverine slices open the doors while telling Rogers that maybe he judged the super-patriot too harshly earlier. Maybe... just maybe, Captain America is a man for EVERYONE instead of just normals. Cap responds perfectly.
"Some of my best friends are people!"
That's a guy I'd love to read on a monthly basis. I wonder what happened to him? :P
The Heroes meet outside, still believing that the entire planet is about to come apart at the seams. This is a planet that ACTUALLY has seams since it's built of bits and pieces. Instead of breaking apart, Battleworld stops rumbling. I light bursts in the sky and descends down on the good guys. It turns into a giant Doctor Doom who announces the death of the Beyonder and his dominance as the greatest power in the entire universe.
Which is good, right?
The Heroes don't think so and Cap tells them to get prepared for a fight. Doc Doom shrinks down to normal size, rips off his mask and declares that he's not here for a fight. He's above such concerns now. No, there's no reason for them to fight anymore.
As the caption says, Something will fill in the next two issues so there'll probably be more fighting.
And once again, we are done! Tune in soon for the dramatic, telegraphed conclusion to Avengers vs. X-Men!
Until then: Have a good week!