Prepare yourself for the pulse pounding finale to Avengers vs. X-Men! Avengers vs. X-Men #12! AvX: VS #6! Uncanny X-Men #19! Secret Wars #'s 11 & 12!
Hey Super Readers! We've got some conclusions to draw up and we are late for a very important date. Let's get going.
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:
Scott Summers is the First X-Man. Cyclops. Leader of the X-Men (or at least the ones that were living on Utopia) and the guy most likely to make the right decision in everything except his personal life.
Y'know. Until his character was assassinated during AvX. ;)
Don't get me wrong. I don't see a whole lot of what he's doing as wrong simply because of the universal-class cosmic manipulations going on by the Phoenix Force. Scott isn't in control of his actions. That's pretty obvious.
Still, everyone wants him to be the bad guy for this event so he's the bad guy. Post AvX, Summers is bound to be blamed for everything that's wrong with mutant/human relations, even by those who willingly followed him. He's clearly a master manipulator.
In the last issue, Cyclops killed his long time father figure, Professor Xavier right before amping his powers up to Dark Phoenix levels. So... bad guy.
Steve Rogers is the Sentinel of Liberty. Captain America. Leader of the Avengers, Top Cop of the United States of America, and the guy most likely to make the right decision and lead an underdog team to victory against overwhelming odds.
Y'know. Until his character was assassinated during AvX. ;)
Actually, Captain America has felt... off... ever since his resurrection in Captain America Reborn. Rogers came back to life BELIEVING HIS OWN HYPE. There's less modesty going on with the Star-Spangled Avenger and more of a sense that he's right about everything.
And you are wrong.
It's a level of condescension in his actions and his words that we haven't seen before. You can add it right on top of the fact that Cap is doing questionable thing after questionable thing. He thought that multiple teams of Avengers could do the same thing that SHIELD used to do. He decided to keep the Illuminati up and running while still looking down on Tony Stark for starting it in the first place. He JUMPED OUT OF A QUINCARRIER IN THE MIDDLE OF COORDINATING THE DEFENSE OF WASHINGTON D.C. FROM NAZI MECHS!
Yeah... I'll let that go in a decade.
Cap's latest round of questionable actions could be the entire AvX event. Steve Rogers seemed to have no sense of tact or diplomacy when confronting Cyclops about Hope. It was almost like he would PREFER a fight rather than try to come up with a reasonable solution. This led straight to Iron Man splitting the Phoenix Force into five fragments, which ended up inhabiting the bodies of five X-Men. And then chaos. When the PhoeniX-Men instituted their "Pax Utopia" on mankind, Rogers spent more time yelling at Iron Man and Black Panther for not solving this problem than using his usually brilliant and inspirational speeches to rally his troops and lead them to victory.
Don't expect Captain America to take any responsibility for that or have any fallout for his poor decisions. He's a movie star now. :P
Avengers vs. X-Men #12
Writers: Jason Aaron, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker, Matt Fraction, & Jonathan Hickman
Script: Jason Aaron
Penciler: Adam Kubert
Inkers: John Dell w/ Mark Morales & Adam Kubert
Editor: Tom Brevoort
The story in a nutshell:
The Dark Phoenix in Cyclops form is defeated by a combination of Hope Summers, the Scarlet Witch, the Avengers, the X-Men, and a little extra help from Jean Grey. Hope takes on the powers of the Phoenix and then gives them up, rebirthing the world's mutant population. Cyclops is imprisoned and yelled at by Captain America.
This issue by bullet points:
• Three days ago, Tony explains why Hope and Wanda are their best choice to take down Cyclops.
• Wanda and Hope beat the crap out of each other with disastrous results!
• In the present, the Dark Phoenix beats everyone up.
• Nova takes Cyclops back down to Earth in order for Hope and Wanda to defeat him.
• Cyclops rallies but gets a final plea from his dead wife, Jean Grey, to let go.
• He does. Wanda and Hope defeat the Dark Phoenix.
• Hope takes on the power of the Phoenix and fixes the planet as best she can.
• Wanda helps Hope get rid of the Phoenix powers and mutants begin to appear all over the planet.
• In his prison cell, Cyclops gets a condescending visit by Captain America and the Wolverine.
This issue in EXTREME detail:
Last issue, we left things with Scott Summers rocking out as the Dark Phoenix and threatening all life on Earth... and possibly the Universe. This issue, we start 72 hours in the past in the hidden city of K'un Lun. This is between our final battle and after Hope kicked Cyclops out, sending him to the Moon. You'll remember that Tony Stark had a pretty good idea why Hope was able to do that but never actually explained it.
Until now. This is the secret behind everything.
First, Tony gives us a history lesson, detailing how Wanda Maximoff (the Scarlet Witch) ended up saying "No More Mutants" at the end of House of M and her chaos magic ended up decimating the mutant population. In response to this unnatural spell, the Phoenix Force sent down some of its power and the first post-Decimation mutant was born: Hope. Raised in a post-Apocalyptic future by Cable, Hope Summers was believed to be the Mutant Messiah, the idea being that she would take up the mantle of the Phoenix and restore the world's mutant population.
So it's Wanda's chaos magic countered by the Phoenix Force's... Phoenix-ness. Yin and Yang. Push and pull. Paper and plastic.
If this doesn't sound like hard science... or even COMIC BOOK science, that's because Tony Stark has decided that science is no longer his BFF and isn't going to help anyone out of this situation. The only thing that will is faith. In this case, it's the faith that the Scarlet Witch and Hope Summers, working together, will stop Cyclops and save everyone. Somehow.
Speaking of Wanda and Hope, it turns out those are the only two heroes that aren't listening in on Tony's less than stellar plan to save life, the universe, and everything in it. The Scarlet Witch is actually trying to bring Hope to the meeting but Hope is too busy moping to attend the Avengers' latest pow-wow.
Not that Hope doesn't deserve a good mope. She was billed as the Savior of Mutantkind, but it turns out that her powers are better used fighting mutants than helping them. Just a couple hours ago, she had a fateful run-in with her grandfather, Scott Summers. Wanda tries to tell Hope that none of this is Hope's fault but that's not in question.
Hope knows who to blame: the Scarlet Witch.
Captain America and Iron Man walk in on the two fighting. Tony's still trying to convince Steve that his faith filled plan is the best way for this event to end.
For Avengers fans...
& for X-Men fans...
In what passes for the present: THE DARK PHOENIX!
The thing that was once Cyclops is laying waste to not only the Avengers but also the world. He's decided that instead of trying to save this world, he'll just burn it down and grow a new one. It's a hard reset.
Part of me wants him to succeed. When I started reading Marvel comics a couple decades ago, it seemed that most of Marvel's heroes were kind of likeable. Now, they're all jerks. It's a telling sign when the Iron Man is the most friendly guy in the Avengers. Tony's SUPPOSED to be a douche. Now, he's the bar that everyone tries to leap over.
But this isn't a Crisis on Infinite Marvel Earths. This is AvX and we've got a bad guy to beat. Unfortunately, that "bad guy" is a Dark Phoenix Cyclops. Dark Phoenix is nigh unbeatable and it's EVERYWHERE. The Avengers and X-Men split up and fight Cyclops all over the world, desperately trying to quell all of the damage Scott Summers is doing to the Earth. At the Jean Grey School, the Stepford Cuckoos use the mutant detecting device, Cerebra, to keep Captain America and friends up-to-date on what global regions need help.
In a montage scene, we watch as the Avengers and X-Men lose battles together all over the planet. Paris, Sydney, Beijing, Sacramento, the Mediterranean, the Himalayas, the Amazon, the Upper Limits of Earth's Atmosphere... you name it, Cyclops is causing trouble and kicking ass. In the middle of this insanity, we do get some heroes saving lives. It's nice to see the X-Men and Avengers working together to save people instead of just beating on each other.
Possibly in the Himalayas, a team of heroes (Wolverine, Beast, Captain America, Iron Man, Iron Fist, and Storm) attack Cyclops but their best effort isn't good enough. Summers blasts them all away and announces his plans to reshape the world in his image.
Cyclops flies off. Cap stumbles his way to the Quinjet, intent on following the Dark Phoenix. Iron Man pleads one more time for the Sentinel of Liberty to use Hope and the Scarlet Witch. It seems that Steve never signed off on Tony's plan. After Iron Fist and Wolverine back Iron Man, Captain America finally relents. Now, Stark just needs to get Cyclops back down to Earth.
Enter: Kid Nova!
You remember Kid Nova, right? He's the guy who crashed into Earth in the first issue, warning the Avengers about the Phoenix Force and... causing a whole lot of collateral damage in the process. Now, he's pushing Cyclops back on down to Earth.
By the time they reach the ground, Scott has already beat the hell out of Nova but the space hero has done his part. Now, it's all up to Hope and the Scarlet Witch. Dramatic fight scenes are intercut with a continuation of our flashback from 72 hours in the past.
So let's focus on the flashback! Cap and Iron Man break up the fight between Wanda and Hope. Steve sees that these two aren't getting along and figures Stark's plan sucks. Tony sees things differently. Looking at the destruction caused by the two ladies (which is impressive), he wonders what would happen if they were both pointed in the same direction.
In the present, Cyclops is on the ropes but is still not down. The Avengers race up to help finish Summers off. In Scott's mind, he laments on all he wanted to do and how it all got twisted. At one point, he pushes through Dark Phoenix's influence and begs to be killed.
And then that moment is gone and he rages back up, igniting in cosmic flames.
Even with Hope and Wanda's power, they can't defeat the Dark Phoenix... without the help of someone ELSE. From out of the flames comes a silhouetted image of Jean Grey. She tells Cyclops to let go.
And he does. Summers is defeated and the Phoenix Force is free. Hope is drawn to this cosmic entity and...
We are treated to another bit of our flashback. This time, it's Captain America talking it out with Hope, as Iron Man and Wanda busy themselves with other stuff. Hope demands to be allowed in this final fight. Steve isn't going to deny her place on the battlefield but also tells her that this all began because he was trying to keep the Phoenix away from Hope. Now, he's just supposed to let her have it?
How does that make him the good guy?
Hope makes some reference to being a strong person stuck in a weak person's body and Captain America instantly relates. She follows that up with some nonsense about "finally being her."
In the present, Hope takes on the Phoenix Force and flies off at a speed too fast for anyone to follow. No worries, the results of her high speed flight are instantaneous. All the damage caused by Cyclops is being fixed. Building fires are put out. Volcanoes are capped. Oceans are cooled. Greenhouse gases are dispersed.
Wait... volcanoes are CAPPED? That's not how volcanoes work. I've seen the Tommy Lee Jones movie. Doing that just means that Los Angeles is doomed! Think of California, people!
Hope returns to the Avengers (and the X-Men), announcing that she is "Fire and life incarnate. Now and forever... [she is] Phoenix." The heroes hold back a tick... waiting for this to go horribly wrong again. It happens pretty quickly. Hope starts talking about how she can complete all of the grand plans of the PhoeniX-Men but do them RIGHT this time.
It is Wanda that tells her to let the Phoenix power go. THAT is why Hope was chosen. She's the only one who could take on the power and then instead of using it and being corrupted by it, set it free. Hope takes Wanda's hands and the Phoenix power flies away from her and is released all over the planet.
And, yes, Wanda and Hope DO say "No more Phoenix." That's it, Marvel. Stop it. No more "No More _____." We're all officially done with that phrase. Thanks.
At the Jean Grey School, the Stepford Cuckoos register the disipation of the Phoenix Force but they see that instead of LEAVING, it is SPREADING. In China, Spider-Man is in the middle of a rescue operation when his rescuee is hit by a portion of the Phoenix power and gets mutant powers. In her case, she becomes a flying rock girl. Which seems contradictory.
As the Stepford Cuckoos say, the phrase has changed from "No More Mutants" to "More Mutants."
I'M SERIOUS MARVEL! STOP IT.
Back at the Avenger/ X-Men final battleground, Cyclops drags himself out of wherever he fell. His clothes are in tatters. His visor is gone. His eyes are shut. But Scott still knows what he's done and looks on the verge of tears.
There's a moment in traditional super-hero comics where the villain has captured the hero and begins monologuing, gloating over their victory and revealing their wicked plans for the world. This is what I call the "reverse monologue." It's where a hero has captured another hero or villain and visits them in jail to gloat over their victory and reveal what is going to happen to the world next. It happened at the end of Civil War. It happened at the end of Siege. It's happening here. Captain America visits Cyclops in the First X-Man's ruby-quartz prison. Part of this is to try and get some intel from the former leader of the mutant people. The other part is to rub his victory in Scott's face.
For Cyclops' part, the mutant takes full responsibility for all the evil things he and his people have done. He blames Xavier only for all the good things. Scott asks Captain America to leave the rest of the X-Men alone but that idea is thoroughly rejected. Even the X-Men that ended up working WITH the Avengers like Magneto are wanted. That doesnt actually surprise me because: Magneto... but it's very strange that Cap can acknowledge that the Phoenix was pretty much responsible while still blaming Cyclops for everything.
For X-Men fans...
& for Avengers fans...
The only thing Captain America puts on his own shoulders is that he didn't muck around in mutant issues very much BEFORE AvX. This has obviously worked out SO well that Cap has taken on the mantle of making the world a better place for mutantkind. To do this, he's assembling a new Avengers team, integrating mutants and other heroes to tackle more mutant issues. It looks like the Scarlet Witch is busy selecting team members.
When Cyclops decides to look on the bright side of this situation, Captain America starts yelling at him. It's condescending and one-sided and CYCLOPS WAS POSSESSED BY A COSMIC ENTITY YOU DOUCHE. Captain America has rewritten a history where he did nothing wrong. That's because he's the victor. Cyclops isn't free of blame but everything Steve accuses him of happened AFTER the Phoenix possessed him. This is stuff that Scott doesn't even remember doing because the Phoenix was in the driver's seat.
Anyway, this very annoying reverse monologue is broken up by scenes featuring some of our other cast members. We see that Storm and the Black Panther are NOT reconciling their differences and living happily every after. We see that Tony Stark knew that this would lead to a world with more mutants and that he based it all on faith. Thor invites Kid Nova to join the Avengers and the human cannonball replies that he'll have to ask his mother.
Back at the Cap/Cyclops... thing, Scott says that he would gladly take Professor Xavier's place as a dead guy and Cap REALLY wishes the First X-Man could. For now, Steve is done blaming Scott for everything wrong with the world and he looks back at a shadowy Wolverine (Logan's been there the whole time), asking if the Headmaster of the Jean Grey School has anything to contribute. Wolverine just says he's got to get back to deliver Xavier's eulogy.
Funny. I would have thought Beast would be giving that. Maybe Storm.
Scott leaves them with one parting thought.
"That's the thing about the Phoenix... There always has to be DESTRUCTION... before the REBIRTH."
Back at Utopia (once again an island off the coast of San Francisco), Hope summers breaks through a SHIELD fence using her handy dandy jet pack. She watches the sunrise before taking off. In the wreckage of Utopia, we see a single rose.
AvX: VS #6
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Penciler: Jim Cheung
Inkers: Mark Roslan, Mark Morales, & Jim Cheung
Editor: Nick Lowe
The story in a nutshell:
Hope and the Scarlet Witch beat each other up and threaten all existence (this is hyperbole) until they REALIZE that they're about to destroy the world and power down. Captain America yells at them. Hope apologizes to Wanda and then knocks her out.
This issue by bullet points:
• Hope and Wanda Maximoff fight!
• The backlash from their attacks threatens to unmake the world and they decide to stop fighting.
• Captain America and Iron Man walk up as the two are powering down. Steve yells at them.
• Hope shyly offers to shake Wanda's hand.
• And then she knocks the Scarlet Witch the F@#$ out.
This issue in EXTREME detail:
If you don't know the deal with AvX: VS by now, here's the scoop: Two heroes enter, one is usually declared the victor. The fights usually have some tenuous connection to the main event comic series but don't expect continuity to... happen... at all. This comic is more interested in a good fight than adding anything to the AvX story. As such, anything you read inside this book probably won't be referenced in any other book. Ever.
But it's fun and has high-profile creators on it so it's at least well produced.
While most books have two fights, this final issue only features one. Well, it actually has ten but only the first one is serious. The rest are all jokes that make fun of the AvX event and can be seen as a stress reliever by some of the writers attached to the main event book.
The big beat down this issue is between...
IN THIS CORNER: The Scarlet Witch! Wanda Maximoff is the daughter of Magneto and the twin sister of Quicksilver. She's one of the original members of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants and one of the very first replacement Avengers, joining Captain America, Hawkeye, and her brother in the "Cap's Kooky Quartet" lineup of Earth's Mightiest Heroes. Wanda's mutant power is the ability to create "hexes" which alter probabilities on whatever she's focusing on. Because of the nature of her power, the results are random and contribute to her side talent in chaos magic. The Scarlet Witch is responsible for Avengers: Disassembled as well as the Mutant Decimation. So there's a lot of power at her disposal but not a lot of control.
IN THE OTHER CORNER: Hope Summers! Hope is the Mutant Messiah, the first mutant born after the mutant decimation. Growing up in the far-flung apocalyptic future, Hope was raised by Cable, the time-traveling son of Scott Summers and Madelyne Pryor. With the mutant power to use other mutant's abilities if they are in close proximity to her makes Hope as dangerous as the company she keeps. Since her mutant ability didn't manifest until after she returned to the "present," Hope is more comfortable with the guns and training that she learned from her dad, Cable. The Mutant Messiah has a lot of potential but it all depends on what abilities are available for her to copy.
And our arena? The Immortal City of K'un Lun. In Avengers vs. X-Men #12, Wanda and Hope swatted eachother around in the flashback scene. This fight is an expanded version of that confrontation.
We got the build up in AvX #12: Hope is pissed off at Wanda for Scarlet Witch screwing up her life by decimating the mutant population and placing her in this position. She lunges in with glowing fists of power.
Wanda tries talking Hope down... but doesn't really put much effort into it. Why should she when she can use her ability to alter probabilities to stay clear of Hope's attacks and then counter attack with her own hex powers?
Hope blocks the Scarlet Witch's hex attack and decides to forego another glowing fist strike in favor of a headbutt to Wanda's nose. Summers does this while spouting "NO MORE NOSE!"
(I'm serious, Marvel. I'm watching you.)
By this point, the Scarlet Witch is so ticked off that she decides to unmake Hope. The Mutant Messiah starts turning into blocks, disassembling. Now, Wanda says she's "sending Hope to her bedroom" so it might be a teleportation spell. The effect is one we've seen the Scarlet Witch use before and it hasn't ended in anyone's death.
Still, it looks pretty horrible.
Hope responds by throwing the attack right back at Wanda. The Witch also starts to turn into stylish legos. Both characters pull themselves back together and launch into full blown attacks. The kids gloves are off, as it were.
This is the moment where Hope and Wanda's energies collide and create a whole lot of destruction. Wanda realizes that things have gotten out of control and she tells Hope that they should probably stop hitting each other with these insane attacks or the entire world might come apart in block-form. Both of them power down.
Captain America and Iron Man show up just in time to catch the end of this fight. Steve yells. He yells a lot these days.
Hope and Wanda separate but the Mutant Messiah decides to do a little apologizing and walks up to shake the Scarlet Witch's hand.
And then she decks her unsuspecting opponent.
THE WINNAH: Hope Summers! That's how we do!
The best thing about this book are the one pagers at the end. I'm not even going to try to Super Read them because they're joke strips and explaining a joke is a sad way to make a living. Instead, I'm giving a shout out to Brian Bendis and Jim Mahfood for delivering some awesome Cyclops/Captain America trash talk, Kathryn Immonen, Stuart Immonen, and Marte Gracia for the spectacular science showdown, Mike Deodato Jr and Rain Beredo for showing us how Havok would have handled AvX, Ed McGuinness and Brian Reber for having Domino beat the Red Hulk, Christpher Hastings and Jacob Chabot for the best butler/janitor fight you're ever going to see in a comic, Jeph Loeb and Arthur Adams for giving us an inside look into Hawkeye's active imagination, Jason Aaron, Ramon K. Perez, and Jordie Bellaire for Iceman's previously unseen victory over Iron Fist, and finally, Dan Slott and Katie Cook who gave us a reasonable explanation for all the "slightly off" moments that happened throughout this event.
Thanks, guys. I could tell you were having fun here, and you made my wife laugh.
Uncanny X-Men #19
Writer: Kieron Gillen
Artist: Dale Eaglesham
Editor: Nick Lowe
The story in a nutshell:
Scott Summers comes down from the bad drug trip that is the Dark Phoenix. When he wakes up in chains, Hank McCoy is there to nag him and tell him that there are new mutants walking the world. That's enough for Cyclops.
This issue by bullet points:
• Cyclops kills Xavier and turns into the Dark Phoenix.
• Things get even more weird as Scott relives his life in very vague terms and deals with the present in even vaguer terms.
• Jean Grey speaks to Cyclops from the White Room and tells him to STFU and Sit Down.
• Dark Phoenix is defeated and the Phoenix Force finds a new home in Hope Summers.
• Scott wakes up in captivity. Hank is there to be the first guy to say "I told you so."
• Beast also reveals that there are new mutants now.
• Scott Summers happily accepts what's coming to him.
This issue in EXTREME detail:
This... is not your usual issue of Uncanny X-Men and I'm not sure if covering the issue chronologically is the right way to do it. In fact, I'm not actually sure HOW to write this one up because it takes some of the final events in AvX and shows up the vague thoughts that Cyclops is thinking during them... and then it throws in Scott's life flashing before his eyes just to make things interesting.
This is actually a pretty good read but it's hard to describe. I think it would be easier if I got high, but that's not how I roll.
It starts in the middle of Avengers vs. X-Men #11
. The final fight has already started. Blood has been spilled. Charles Xavier is still alive. Scott Summers gives us a play by play of what he can sense which is pretty much everything. He tells us about Captain America's DNA, Magneto's heart rate, and what Iron Man's last meal was, among other things.
Somewhere in between page one and two, Scott defeats his girlfriend and takes her portion of the Phoenix Force. By page three, he's killed Professor Xavier. On page four, that action turns him into Dark Phoenix and his thoughts go blank.
When he comes back to his internal monologue, things start becoming much more disjointed. While Dark Phoenix is kicking some hero ass all over the world, Scott is also reliving his life. We see him and his brother, Alex, leaping out of a burning plane. Xavier brings him in as the First X-Man. Scott meets Jean. Cyclops fights Wolverine. The Dark Phoenix (Jean) kills herself at the end of the Dark Phoenix Saga. Scott has a psychic affair with Emma Frost. Cyclops fights Wolverine. Summers attacks Emma and steals her portion of the Phoenix Force. Scott kills Xavier.
And so forth. Scott's internal monologue isn't as precise as what I just wrote (Jean is the "red headed girl," for example) but we get visuals in the comic just in case we're confused.
The fight against the X-Men and Avengers is hardly Cyke's concern and he doesn't even have a clear sense of where he's fighting.
When Beast starts yelling at him, Cyclops causes Hank's body to decay away in seconds but then decides that's a bad idea and doesn't do it. Scott's unclear on whether he ever ACTUALLY did it and then put Beast back together or if it was all in his mind but it gets him thinking about the possiblity of setting everything right even at this point.
Kid Nova knocks him back down to Earth and Scott lands in Tibet where he faces Hope Summers and Wanda Maximoff. We get a small moment when he breaks free of the Phoenix's influence long enough to mumble "kill me" but then slips right back into Dark Phoenix mode.
Cyclops grows larger than the world, expanding up to the point where he could hold the Earth in his hands. In this higher version of reality, there's a white ceiling that he pushes against. Through it comes the voice of Jean Grey. In this telling, Jean tells Scott that he's an idiot and that she likes the name of Wolverine's school.
Dark Phoenix is brought down by Hope and Wanda soon after this fleeting encounter. The Phoenix Force leaves him and is absorbed by Hope. Cyclops remembers what he was fighting for in the first place as he drops unconscious.
When he wakes up, Scott is in a tend with a ruby-quartz shield covering his face. Beast is there to rub in Scott's fall from grace. Remember when these two used to get along? It was a lot more fun.
Scott is happy to find Beast alive after his vague recollection of taking Hank apart. Then, he remembers that he killed Professor X. Hank tells him that there were other casualties as well. Beast also lets slip that there are new mutants in the world but it takes Scott some work to make his former friend confirm it.
Cyclops smiles. He tells Beast: "I've done abominable things. I don't ask for forgiveness. I don't deserve it. I'm happy to spend what remains of my life paying for my crimes."
"But I'd do it all again."
That's unrepentance, for you, people. ;)
Hank leads the former leader of the X-Men out of the tent and into the brave new world of Marvel Now.
Or more likely Avengers vs. X-Men: Consequences.
Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #11
Writer: Jim Shooter
Penciler: Mike Zech
Inkers: John Beatty
Editor: Tom DeFalco
The issue in a nutshell:
Doctor Doom, with the powers of Galactus and the Beyonder under his belt, claims that he's a better man for the experience and starts helping everyone out. A mysterious spark entity works its way into the body of Klaw. When the Heroes finally decide to confront Doom, they are instantly killed by a tremendous explosive bolt of power.
This issue by bullet points:
• Doctor Doom shows off his new face and his omnipotence to the Heroes and Villains of Battleworld.
• After Doom unlocks the mental barriers that kept the Molecule Man from affecting organic molecules, Owen takes charge of the Villains. They head off to a suburb of Denver, Colorado that ended up mixed in to Battleworld.
• The Heroes head back to Doombase for a nap. Colossus sneaks off to the alien village to rendezvous with the alien healer, Zsaji.
• The Villains take the suburb of Denver, Colorado and start an interstellar journey back to Earth.
• A mysterious spark travels into Doombase, takes a trip inside a sleeping Hulk, leaps into Spider-Woman, and then travels into Doctor Doom's abandoned lab to find Klaw.
• Doom shows up to retrieve Klaw and free Captain Marvel from her frozen light state. Spider-Woman complains about a buzzing in her head.
• Colossus starts a serious relationship with Zsaji.
• The Heroes are summoned to appear in the court of Doom in the nearby Tower of Doom.
• Doctor Doom brings Kang the Conqueror back to life and then sends the time-villain Back... to the Future!
• Offered a free with by Doom, the Heroes decline and take their leave... except for Spider-Woman who sticks around to do whatever the spark in her head is telling her to do.
• Realizing that Spider-Woman is not with them, Captain America re-enters the Tower of Doom to find her and has a private conversation with Doctor Doom instead.
• Klaw is sent to find Spider-Woman and ends up with her spark in his head for the effort.
• The Heroes return to Doombase to vote on taking down Doom or not.
• After everyone agrees to fight against Doctor Doom, they're all killed by an energy bolt.
This issue in EXTREME detail:
Doctor Doom has the power of the Beyonder! That's... that's a lot of power. Last issue, Doomie retook his mortal form and announced the death of the Beyonder to the Heroes. Now, the good guys have to figure out if that's a bad thing... or a worse thing.
Well, it looks like Doctor Doom isn't in the mood for fighting just now. In fact, Victor seems downright peaceful. I figure it's because his face isn't scarred up anymore.
From a safe distance, the Villains watch the talk between Doom and the Heroes and they SIMMER. They think Doctor Doom has betrayed them because... Victor Von Doom has forgotten about them. Even thought they're pissed, no one really wants to do anything about it. Victor was powerful enough BEFORE his Beyonder upgrade.
The most interesting response is from Titania. She's been full of herself ever since she was given her super-strength but her defeat at the hands of Spider-Man has seriously humbled her.
The SECOND most interesting response is from the Molecule Man. He was really sold on following Doctor Doom and his feelings of betrayal make him the only Villain who's ACTUALLY going to do more than whine and complain. Owen Reece is also the second most powerful guy in the area with control over inorganic molecules. So he's the only one even close to Doom's level.
Of course, it's not enough.
Doctor Doom isn't even interested in fighting. In fact, he's feeling pretty benevolent and gives Molecule Man a gift: Doom releases the mental block that keeps Owen from manipulating organic molecules.
With his powers broadened, Molecule Man is filled with confidence and takes charge of his fellow villains. Reece isn't certain what they should do next. His girlfriend, Volcana, tells him they should go to her place so he can think it out. Molecule Man creates an air sled to fly them away.
After bestowing his gift on Molecule Man, Doom takes off. The Heroes were torn up into the air during MM's attack on Doctor Doom and they return to find the bad guys gone. Instead of waiting around for Victor Von Doom to reappear, the Heroes head on back to the remains of Doombase.
Professor X does a psychic search for Doom but isn't able to locate the super-charged villain. Without anything else to do, the Heroes quickly sum up the last ten issues. It takes three panels. This is impressive, considering everything that's happened.
The Villains have gathered in Volcana's apartment. She lives in the suburb of Denver, Colorado that was transported here to become part of Battleworld. It's six miles of Earth real estate without a power plant or repleneshable resources. The locals are already so freaked out that they don't even flinch at the super-villains' arrival.
Molecule Man makes plan to restore power to this area but his first priority is talking with his fellow super-villains about what they should be doing. It looks like the consensus is that everyone wants to go home, so Owen covers the Boulder suburb with an energy dome to keep the air inside and then lifts the whole section into the sky. Theysa goin' home.
At Doombase, the Heroes feel the tremors caused by a segment of Battleworld being separated from the whole, and they quickly realize what's happening. Reed Richards even gets a visual on the Boulder suburb leaving the planet. Spider-Woman, who's FROM that suburb, wants to help the people inside but the rest of the Heroes just throw up their hands, acknowledging that they can't really do anything about this and decide that maybe they should all take a nap instead of acting heroic.
Try as he might, Colossus can not sleep. That's because his thoughts are filled with love for Zsaji, the alien healer the Heroes met back in Secret Wars #4. Zsaji was seeing the Human Torch for a while but Johnny lost interest in the healer after Reed's life was imperilled a few times. I guess... Bro Code? Anyway, Piotr can't contain his hormones any longer and he commandeers a flying jet ski to visit Zsaji's village.
As Colossus leaves, an energy spark zig-zags its way inside Doombase. Once inside, it possesses the nearest Hero it can find (a sleeping Hulk) and takes the body for a ride.
Spider-Woman sees the Hulk lumbering through the halls and figures the Green Goliath is just sleepwalking. Still, a powerhouse like the Hulk probably shouldn't be wandering around the place while sleeping. Doombase is barely standing as it is.
Spider-Woman tries to ensnare the Hulk in her psionic webs but the big green machine pushes right through them. She tries one more time to wake the Hulk up but gets a giant Hulk hand in her face for the effort. This knocks her out and for some unknown reason, the spark leaves the Hulk's body and takes hers for the next stretch of its journey. Without the spark to direct his movements, The Hulk continues his nap in the hallway.
The unconscious Spider-Woman walks into the former lab of Doctor Doom. Inside, the disassembled body of Klaw, the sonic villain, is still lying about and the frozen light-form of Captain Marvel stands. Spider-Woman makes her way to Klaw's head, but before she gets there something interrupts her mission and causes her to cry out.
Spider-Woman's scream carries throughout Doombase, and the Heroes converge on Doom's lab to figure out what's going on. They find Spider-Woman unharmed and Captain Marvel back to normal. Spider-Woman complains about a "buzzing" in her head before explaining that Doctor Doom came in to retrieve Klaw's body and also returned the good Captain to her physical form.
Doom also left a message carved into the wall: "YOU ARE SUMMONED TO THE TOWER OF DOOM AT DUSK TOMORROW." Looking outside, they find a massive structure that must be the newly built "Tower of Doom." There's nothing for our ineffectual Heroes to do but wait for their meeting with Doom.
Speaking of Doom, let's head on over to the Tower where we find Doctor Doom has reassembled Klaw and is telling his minion about how all this new power has changed him. Doom no longer acts like the villain he once was. He's bigger than that, now.
After his recent displays of power, Doctor Doom wants to take a little rest but his Beyonder powers make sleep a bad idea. He might incinerate an element or lay waste to a galactic empire while napping. Instead, he puts a clamp on his cosmic powers and orders Klaw to make sure he doesn't fall asleep while resting on a bed.
Zsaji wakes up in her hut to find a gigantic figure standing in her doorway. After the silent intruder strides over to her bed as creepily as possible, it's revealed to be Colossus. He's brought flowers.
Even though there is a language barrier, flowers is the universe symbol for mating. Zsaji totally understands.
Eighteen hours later, Colossus still hasn't returned to Doombase. Wolverine and Nightcrawler don't really wonder where he is because they KNOW. It was written all over Piotr's face for the last four issues. Kurt is upset for how Colossus's affair is going to make Kitty feel, but Logan is mad for an altogether different reason. Wolverine figures that Zsaji's healing power makes people fall in love with her and believes that the whole notion of love is different for the alien healer than it is for the Russian mutant. As he states "Looks to me like it's a standard part of her patient care!"
Now, it's very possible that Zsaji's healing powers had this obsessive side effect but Piotr started falling for the healer BEFORE she healed him up. So, y'know, there's that.
The Heroes meet up for their journey over to the Tower of Doom. It seems like a lot of them filled their sleep with nightmares which makes them extra wary for this appointment.
It's a short get together. The Heroes arrive at the Tower and are escorted to Doom's throne room. Doom tells them that he is no longer the man he once was. In fact, he's not a man at all. This form is more for their benefit than his.
He's looking to right his most recent wrongs. Before the Heroes' eyes, Doom brings Kang the Conqueror back from the dead and then returns the time-villain to the future.
Now, all that's left is Doom's feeling that he owes the Heroes something. He grants them a boon but after discussing it, the good guys decide not to collect. Doctor Doom is cool with this but he warns them that they have to leave him alone from now on. He's be transitioning to a higher plane of existance soon and any intruders will be killed on sight.
During this conversation, Captain America notices that Spider-Woman is acting strangely and sure enough, when the Heroes leave, their newest ally is NOT with them. Steve Rogers orders the rest of the Heroes to remain outside while he re-enters the Tower of Doom to find their missing comrade.
Instead of finding Spider-Woman, Cap finds Doctor Doom in his study. The villain does NOT kill the Star-Spangled Avenger like he warned.
Doom sends Klaw out to search for Spider-Woman. The sonic bad guy runs right into one of Spider-Woman's psionic webs. This time, it holds. The spark leaves Spider-Woman and enters Klaw. The hero drops immediately unconscious.
In Doom's study, Captain America is learning that Doctor Doom plans on freeing his mother's soul from Mephisto before transcending all existence. According to Doom, nothing else about the world really interests him but this one, final thing.
Klaw returns, telling Steve that Spider-Woman is asleep in the hallway. Captain America heads on out to retrieve his missing Hero, leaving Doom upset about where this is all going to lead.
When Captain America and Spider-Woman rejoin the rest of the Heroes, Cap tells them that they'll be having an official meeting upon their return to Doombase. Xavier calls in Colossus who is still making out with Zsaji and REALLY doesn't want to leave her. Professor X makes it a Code Red Command and Piotr reluctantly leaves his lover to join the rest of the Heroes.
The meeting commences. The subject? How fast can everyone decide to attack Doctor Doom? Captain America tells them about his conversation with the villain and expresses his thoughts that for a guy who claims to be above human concerns, rescuing his mom from Marvel Hell might be considered a "human concern." Reed throws in the evidence that one of the first things Doom did with his new abilities was heal his face.
Cap isn't CONVINCED that attacking Doom is the right idea. They might be worrying over nothing. BUT... he doesn't believe that any human should have the kind of ultimate power that Doctor Doom currently wields. If Doom is still human, then he shouldn't have the Beyonder's powers.
It's voting time. It has to be unanimous. If one Hero doesn't want to fight Doctor Doom, then they don't do it. Steve lets them all know that with Doom's level of awareness, conspiring against him could get the Heroes "blasted by a bolt out of the blue" before they even DO anything. So... vote already!
The three members of the FF are the first to agree to take down Doctor Doom. The Avengers follow. Spider-Woman, Spider-Man, and the Hulk all agree next. Most of the X-Men and Magneto all vote to take down Doom... except for Colossus. Piotr has just found love and he doesn't want to lose it. He hasn't voted "no," he just isn't sure what he should do.
After struggling with the decision for a couple panels, Colossus agrees that they should fight against Doctor Doom.
And just like that, the Heroes are all killed by a bolt from out of the blue.
Yes, I'm serious.
Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #12
Writer: Jim Shooter
Penciler: Michael Zeck
Inker: John Beatty
Editor: Tom Defalco
The issue in a nutshell:
After killing all of the Heroes, Doom almost takes a nap. When he bolts awake, Klaw tells him how the Heroes just averted their own deaths. The resulting fight leads to Dr. Doom's defeat and all of the heroes returning to Earth... except Benjamin J. Grimm.
This issue by bullet points:
• The Heroes are still dead.
• Doom rests his weary head.
• The Heroes live again, that's what Klaw said.
• The Villains (Except for the Enchantress and the Lizard) return home, which is where Molecule Man led.
• After fighting through a Beyonder-powered Klaw, Captain America finds Doom reclining on a bed.
• After killing Captain America again and again and again, Dr. Doom is filled with dread.
• Cap tries to help Doom get his powers under control but Klaw leaps on in ahead.
• The Beyonder recovers his powers and returns Doom to point zed.
• With Thing staying behind, from Battleworld, the rest of the Heroes fled.
This issue in EXTREME detail:
Our Heroes... are dead.
Cap's shield lies in the burning wreckage of Doombase (at least THIS section of the massive building). The shield is unbreakable and it's shattered, a testament to the power at Doctor Doom's disposal.
The smoke from this destruction fills the sky and attracts the attention of a nearby village. This is the village that served as a temporary headquarters for the Heroes and is the home of a very important healer, Zsaji. She and a few other villagers race on over to Doombase to see if they can find any survivors.
At the Tower of Doom, the Beyonder-powered bad guy reigns his incredible power back inside. Victor Von Doom tells his minion, Klaw, that the Heroes are all dead and then tells the sonic villain that he must keep his powers battered down so that his stray thoughts don't destroy or seriously alter the known universe.
Heading away from Battleworld is six miles of Denver, Colorado suburb, courtesy of the Molecule Man. Most of the Villains are on the chunk of rock for the trip home. Their current location in the apartment of Volcana.
In Volcana's bathroom, the Enchantress summons a water sprite to explain to her what the hell has been going on for the last twelve issues. The sprite tells her most of the basics but then gives us a deeper understanding for WHO the Beyonder IS. The Beyonder was a being who was the only thing occupying its universe. One event or another opened a pinhole for the Beyonder to witness events happening on Earth and he was FASCINATED by all the super-shenanigans that went on in your typical day in the Marvel Universe.
Particularly interesting for a guy like the Beyonder was the whole idea of "desire." To further explore this concept, he gathered a group of heroes and villains and grouped them into a group that desired things for themselves, and another whose desires were more for others. This is why Magneto ended up with the Heroes because his goal was to further the agenda of mutants.
The water sprite goes on to tell the Enchantress about Doom stealing the Beyonder's power and how the Beyonder isn't dead and is hiding very close to Doctor Doom, waiting for a chance to strike. All her questions answered, Amora leaves the bathroom, troubled at Doom's power levels.
In another room the Lizard has just remembered that he hates humans and has his latest freak-out attack. The rest of the Villains are pretty much tired of these antics and get ready to kill the reptile man. Volcana uses a blast of fire to keep the rest of the bad guys away from the Lizard. She's able to calm the Lizard down by assuring the creature that they're going to be home soon.
This causes Doctor Octopus to freak out. Earth is a LONG way off and they haven't even cleared the empty space where the Beyonder sucked up all the local stars. In the middle of Doc Ock's tantrum, the Molecule Man reappears out of thin air.
Owen tries to reassure everyone that they WILL be home soon. He's been working on it. All he needs to do is show them what he's been up to. Begrudgingly, Doctor Octopus agrees to look at the Molecule Man's progress.
While Owen Reece is chatting with Doctor Octavius, he Enchantress uses her powers to call Volcana away from the others. Several issues back, Volcana made an open-ended deal with the Enchantress that is going to be called in now. Amora needs Volcana's life energy to power her own teleportation spell so the Asgardian can reach Earth immediately and warn Odin of Doctor Doom's threat.
Meanwhile, Molecule Man is showing Doc Ock what he's been doing: reigniting stars. That's just a sample of what Molecule Man can accomplish. His next trick will be to open a spacewarp and get everyone home. This display of power is more than the mind of Otto Octavius can take. Doctor Octopus loses his sanity and has to be detained by Owen before the other villain can go into a full rampage. When they get back to Earth, Molecule Man plans on having Octavius committed.
It's only now that Owen realizes that Volcana isn't around. The Lizard helps the Molecule Man locate her and start a little fight with the Enchantress. Doubting her ability to win this fight, Amora uses what power she has to teleport...
To Battleworld. That's as far as she could get. Raging against the person who would harm Volcana, the Lizard follows her through the teleportal before it closes. Once on Battleworld, the Enchantress sucks away the Lizard's life energy to power her spell back to Earth. While using Volcana's life energy involved a complicated deal, the Lizard is deemed a lower lifeform and no deal is necessary.
Of course, the Lizard's life is attached to ANOTHER life...
At the Tower of Doom, Doctor Doom is AMOST falling asleep as a menacing Klaw looks at him... menacingly. Suddenly, Victor bolts upright, shouting at Klaw not keeping him awake. If he sleeps, the power might swell up inside him and bad stuff might happen. Klaw wonders if Doom might even have revived the dead heroes. Victor yells at his minion for even SUGGESTING such a thing. The Heroes are dead and they are never coming back!
Klaw decides to use his sonic powers to show Doctor Doom how the Heroes could be revived WITHOUT Doom's powers making it happen automatically. Here's how it happened:
Zsaji searches the wreckage of Doombase and finds the Heroes technically dead in so many ways except for being ACTUALLY dead. The Healer uses her powers to stabilize the good guys in a state JUST this side of life.
Then, she finds her lover, Colossus. Piotr switched to his armored form right before the bolt killed everyone last issue. Because of this, he stayed a little closer to life than most of the rest. Zsaji is so moved at the sight of Colossus' mostly dead body that she uses all of her strength to return him to life. Then, she dies. It's very sad. Piotr cries and everything.
After a suitable mourning period of five minutes, the X-Man finds the body of Reed Richards. Because of Mr. Fantastic's maleable body, the leader of the FF is more intact that most of the other Heroes. Colossus uses the healing devices at Doombase to bring Reed back to life.
At this vision, Doctor Doom is shocked. This is probably because if anyone could ruin his whole day, it's Mr. Fantastic. Sure enough, Reed is able to use even more of Doombase's superior technology to bring the rest of the good guys back from the grave.
This is all a longshot plan to bring the Heroes back to life and Doom says as much. Klaw agrees but also says that Doctor Doom subconsciously WANTED the good guys to live and so helped this plan along. The worst part is that now that this is in his mind, he could MAKE it happen if he unleashed his powers to CHECK if it happened.
But there's no REAL worry because it DID happen. The Heroes are here. Doom's day is officially ruined.
When Doom powers up to deal with the Heroes, he's still in a state of shock and his abilities strike out wildly, threatening all of existence. Victor puts the cork on his powers just in time. Klaw suggest letting HIM fight for his master and Doom gives the sonic villain a small portion of that unlimited strength.
Outside the Tower, the Heroes make their dramatic charge on the fortress.
Klaw greets the good guys with some crazy creations of his own design. To lead these monsters, the sonic villain revives Ultron. With that done, we get a whole lot of action scenes. During the fight, the Thing begins to change back to his human form but then gets control over his transformations, returning to Thing for the finish of the battle.
Ultron is defeated by... well, a lot of Heroes attack the robot but it's actually the Hulk and Wasp that do the damage. Hulk punches Utron so hard that it actually cracks up the villain's joints. Wasp flies inside the robot and pulls wires until Ultron falls apart. The fallout from this confrontation is that the Hulk's left leg is broken.
While the rest of the good guys fight Klaw's creations, Captain America makes a beeline for Doom's Tower. Klaw makes a decent play at stopping Cap but the sonic villain takes a fall so that the Avenger can get past him. The plan's coming together...
When Cap confronts Doctor Doom, the villain obliterates the hero... only to be attacked by the Avenger one more time. And then again. And AGAIN. AND AGAIN. Everytime, Cap is destroyed, he just returns to charge at Doom one more time. This is part of Klaw's manipulations and it's working quite well.
Victor Von Doom is so stressed out by this looped fight that he again loses control of his ultimate power. This time, there is no reigning in the Beyonder's omnipotent abilities. Captain America reaches out to help Doom, attempting to become Victor Von Doom's anchor to reality. Even more impressive, it looks like Doctor Doom is going to reach BACK.
But this isn't the solution Klaw has been waiting for. The Spark that has resided inside of him leaves Klaw and flutters straight towards the unleashed energy. The Beyonder has reclaimed his lost strength.
The Beyonder starts reverting Doom back to normal, scars and all. Before the villain disappears, Klaw, regretting his part in this whole fiasco, leaps in after his master.
The fight is over, inside and out. Not only have Doom and Klaw been removed from the battle, the band of Heroes outside the Tower of Doom have chased away Klaw's creations. Everyone returns to Doombase to work out how to get back to Earth and to tie up some last loose ends.
The first one is the burial of Zsaji. All of the Heroes gather around her grave. Eventually, they all return to Doombase except for Colossus.
Many of the Heroes use Doombase's clothing generator to repair their fixed costumes. Most of these suits are replicas of their destroyed clothing but the X-Men and Wasp use the machine to create whole new looks. This includes Xavier's first form-fitting costume. It's rare to see him in a skin tight suit. It doesn't last long. Neither does his idea of leading the team in the field.
Spider-Man notices that everyone else is using a completely different machine to get their suits and he wonders why his is the only one that responds to his mental commands...
Back in the eighties, not every hero was equipped with an instant healing factor. The Hulk, for example, still has his broken leg. Reed tells the Green Goliath that the machines that could heal him aren't working well because of all his gamma radiation. Mr. Fantastic equips the Hulk with a reinforced crutch and a leg brace that'll help the green guy ambulate until his natural (but not immediate) healing abilities can do their thing.
The Hulk isn't too happy about this. This might have something to do with him losing his awesome purple pants and replacing them with a pair of tighty whiteys.
In the main gathering room, the Heroes are surprised with the sudden appearance of Doctor Curt Connors, the Lizard's human alter ego. Connors gives an abbreviated account as to how he reappeared and how the Lizard persona is gone forever.
In comic book terms, that means it'll be back in a few months.
Dr. Connors' account brings up an idea that wishes are being granted as fallout to Doom's defeat and the return of the Beyonder. To prove this point, Kurt wishes Kitty's dragon, Lockheed would return and just like that, it happens. It turns out Lockheed was off galavanting with a female dragon.
Captain America walks off. After gathering up every last scrap of his mighty shield, Steve sets them all in place on a table and wishes that his shield was back in one piece. And so it is.
By this point, Reed has figured out how to get everyone home. Suffice it to say, it involves using the construct that brought them here in the first place and the Ultimate Remote Control. Mr. Fantastic transports groups of Heroes (also Doctor Connors and Magneto) up to the construct for their trip home.
Xavier has to do some convincing to get Colossus to come with them but eventually the whole X-Men team is ready to go. Unexpectedly joining them is Lockheed's lady dragon friend. That will not end well...
When the Avengers are getting ready to teleport back, they find that She-Hulk isn't going to join them. Instead, she's wearing a brand new FF uniform. Shulkie's going to be the Thing's replacement on the Fantastic Four. Ben Grimm has decided to stay on Battleworld, figuring that it's the one place in the Universe where he can change from Thing to human at will.
Reed seems to know more about this than he lets on, but his thoughts only tell us that he hopes that Ben will come to some realization on his own. In any case, the Thing will keep the Ultimate Remote Control so that he can come back home when Battleworld gets boring.
Once the Avengers and Fantastic Four have transported off, Ben Grimm is left all alone. Sure, it might be lonely but at least he's human.
And that's how you end two mega-events in the same week... by being incredibly late! Join us... in a little while... for the savage aftermath to AvX!
Until then: Have a good week!
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