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Super Reads Siege & Realm of Kings 11

Written by SuperginraiX on Saturday, May 22 2010 and posted in Features

We finally get to issue 3!

Today, we check out Siege #3, Siege: Embedded #3, Siege: Director's Cut #1, Dark Avengers #15, Nova #35, Guardians of the Galaxy #24, Realm of Kings: Imperial Guard #5, and Blast to the Past for Generation X #18. Enjoy and spread the word!

Spoilers Ahead!

This event keeps on firing on all cylinders!

If this is your first time reading Super Reads, it's been around for a while, now! We've covered everything from Secret Invasion through Dark Reign as well as War of Kings. If you're interested in reading all that backstory (and who wouldn't be?), check in the "Features" link at the top of the page, look for the "Super Reads" button and click away for DAYS of reading enjoyment. If that's too many clicks for you, just hit HERE and get there in one shot.

Let's drop in on Asgard:

s3.jpgSiege #3
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Penciler: Olivier Coipel

Last issue, Ares fought it out with Balder and learned that he'd been totally tricked into fighting this battle. Thor recieves a quick rescue via a bazooka-wielding Maria Hill and a random townie. Captain America rallies the troops to go to war with Norman Osborn. Ares attacks Norman and ends up in a losing fight with the Sentry. Cap's troops leave their Brooklyn hideout and fly off to join the battle after Steve gets his shield back from James Barnes, and gets a very special suitcase from Edwin Jarvis. Dark Wolverine leads a group of HAMMER soldiers into Broxton to track down Thor, ending up on the recieving end of a lightning bolt. Osborn is about to send the Sentry in to take down the god of thunder but gets distracted by a very familiar shield coming right for him.

In this issue, the President gets constant updates on Norman Osborn's unapproved actions! Captain America and his team of Avengers arrive in Asgard and start kicking tailfeathers. Thor fights Sentry! The Hood and his Syndicate teleport into the fight. Speed gives Tony Stark his old outdated armored suit. The President orders the military to take HAMMER down. Iron Patriot and Cap arrest each other for treason. Iron Man deactivates Norman's armor. Osborn orders Sentry to destroy Asgard. Norman's armor shatters around him and he stands revealed with Green Goblin facepaint. Spidey decks him. The last threat stands revealed: the Void.

One of the cool things about this issue is that it's narrated from the boys in Washington. They're giving the greatest character of 2009, President Barack Obama, status updates on the Siege of Asgard. This whole thing is NOT AN APPROVED action on Norman's part. Osborn requested invading Asgard to the President but got turned down. That's what prompted the whole Soldier Field Incident but, even then, Norman's actions against Asgard were not sanctioned. The Iron Patriot is doing this all on his own and he's relying on the media to sell it as a good idea.

President Obama asked what they should do in this situation and his advisors tell him that they would normally call in Norman Osborn. They have some other options but those aren't laid on the table. They could always make a call to the Baxter Building, for example. Instead, the President mobilizes all available military forces. They are going to arrest Osborn and his men for treason. With all the available power among Osborn and HAMMER, the standard military would be hard pressed to do anything, but this is how it's got to be.

On the television screens, Obama's team just got some help. Steve Rogers and his own Avengers have arrived on the battlefield. His shield finally makes contact with Iron Patriot's faceplate. Man, that thing took FOREVER.

You'll know the lineup of Cap's Avengers if you read last issue. We've got the The New Avengers (Luke Cage, Spider-Man, Ronin, Spider-Woman, Ms. Marvel, Mockingbird, and Captain "James Buchanan Barnes" America), the Young Avengers (Patriot, Hawkeye, Stature, Vision, Wiccan, Speed, and Hulkling), and the Secret Warriors (Nick Fury, Quake, Phobos, Hellfire, Slingshot, Stonewall, and Eden Fesi). The Mighty Avengers will be showing up a little later to make their appearance in the pages of Thunderbolts but otherwise we have our resistance movement right here.

In Washington, the government boys are identifying Nick Fury fighting alongside Captain America. This could be a good thing or a bad thing. Fury is still a fugitive from way before the Dark Reign. On the battlefield, Balder is very happy to see some help come Asgard's way.

In Broxton, Balder's brother, Thor, is marveling the arrival of Earth's Mightiest Heroes with Maria Hill. Hiss is more interesting in the arrival of someone else: The Sentry. To Broxton. Right before Asgard got it's reinforcements, Norman sent the Sentry to the small town to find and kill Thor. It looks like that's about to happen. The Sentry lands in the streets of Broxton and gets ready to kill another god. Thor puts up a better fight than Ares but you can see echoes of that battle playing out once more.

In Asgard, Taskmaster shouts over to Captain America about how he is excited to face the star-spangled hero again. Steve claims to barely remember the villain. When Bucky laughs about that, Steve reminds his partner that he's fought a lot of skull-heads over the years.

The battle seems to be going in the good guys' favor. In fact, Norman still hasn't gotten up off the ground after getting hit in the head with Cap's mighty shield. He shouts out to Loki for reinforcements and we suddenly get the Hood and his Syndicate teleported in. The New Avengers, Ronin and Mockingbird, groan. They've fought these guys a LOT. Even they are getting tired of it. In Washington, the evidence mounts against Norman even more than it already has. The Hood is a known gangster. The fact that he's siding with Norman lays a lot of cards on the table.

You might think Broxton is like three blocks square but it's large enough where Thor can be battling the Sentry in one part of town while Tony Stark can be recovering from World's Most Wanted and Stark Disassembled in a different section. Maria Hill has left the Thor/Sentry fight and gone down to where she hid Tony in order to enlist his aid. Stark still isn't anywhere near one hundred percent and is pretty much unconscious when she comes in.

Maria doesn't remain alone for long. Speed from the Young Avengers has been racing around Broxton looking for Tony and when he finally finds the Avenger, he also finds a lot of bullets being fired in his direction. Speed blocks them with a little help from that special briefcase he's carrying but nothing he says will stop Maria from firing a few more shots his way. Luckily, Tony rises from the table and orders Maria Hill to stop firing on one of the good guys. He knows what Speed has brought him. It's something to put him back in the game.

It should be noted that Tony doesn't seem to have that glowy repulsor chest thing in these images. It's a small continuity glitch but worth mentioning nonetheless.

The battle in Asgard is exploding all over the television screen. This is coverage you just can't stop watching and I imagine if something like this were to happen in real life, you'd have a lot of people calling in to work just so they could keep their eyes glued to the TV. The same is true for the boys in Washington. The best coverage for this whole fight is coming from network television.

The regular military is in position to due it's own damage. All they need is the go ahead. The original plan was to carpet bomb the entire area instead of going in to hand-to-hand combat with super humans. Now that Captain America and his Avengers are on the ground... things have changed. The President decides to see if Rogers can end this on the ground and orders his troops to take down HAMMER. The first target? The lead HAMMER Helicarrier. The regular military forces start it burning. Victoria Hand orders a full evacuation.

Thor is a much more powerful god than Ares. That means he's not dead just yet. His battle with the Sentry is aided with the help of his hammer, Mjolnir, which makes a better weapon than Ares' axe. There's also all the lightning. After the latest lighning strike, the Sentry starts coming out of his shell.

Yeah, he's not exactly human, is he?

Back in Asgard, Norman Osborn is still thinking he's going to be in charge when this is all over. He's out of his goard. Firing off both palm blasters, Ozzy shouts out about the imminent arrest of Steve Rogers. Catching both shots on his shield, Captain America shouts the same thing back at America's Top Cop. It's all just about over. Iron Patriot fires into the air, catching Ms. Marvel a glancing blow. He's still trying to arrest everyone.

Cap hits him close up with his shield. Norman tries raising his armor's shields but there's a corruption to his database. Everything is shutting down. Iron Man has hit the scene and since Norman's armor is based on Tony Stark's, Tony holds all the keys. He's taking them away.

Norman tries calling in aid from all corners as his armor shuts off. Victoria isn't answering. Bob? He is. Sentry has Thor on the ropes when Osborn calls out for aid. He doesn't ask the Sentry to help him personally. He tells Bob to bring it all down. Sentry leaves a bloodied Thor and smashes right through Asgard.

As the cameras keep rolling, Asgard collapses.

Thor lands in the city's rubble and drops to his knees. Asgard has fallen.

Elsewhere in the rubble, the Iron Patriot is startled by all the damage that has been done. Really, Norman has just lost it at this point and much that he says is nonsense and gibberish. When Captain America and his team of heroes catch up to the Director of HAMMER, Steve tells him that he's under arrest. Norman's suit finally collapses around him.

The whole world catches this glimpse of Norman. Heroes the world over knew that this is how it would go down. We get guest shots of Wolverine, Cyclops, Johnny Storm, Sue Richards, and Ben Grimm. Elsewhere in the ruins of Asgard, Karla Sofen and Bullseye see that it's time to make a hasty retreat. The gravy train is over.

Norman continues his gibberish. Do these heroes know that they've just done!? After letting him rant for just a bit longer than necessary, Spider-Man clocks the man in the face. He falls to the ground and continues his sobbing. He's the only one who could control him. Him. Thor asks Norman where Loki fits in all of this but Norman is off the deep end and sinking. He says Loki is dead. They're all dead. He was saving us from the real big bad all along.

Norman Osborn points to the sky. What they see is the Void with lots of glowy red crab legs. This is not the end.

The issue is followed up by a special report on the transmissions between Maria Hill and the White House. These were going on throughout Norman's Siege of Asgard. It's some fun reading that only has a few continuity gaffs with the actual story. Also interesting is that Maria Hill requested the White House call for more superhuman back-up in the form of the X-Men and the Fantastic Four. That would have been cool to see.

se3.jpgSiege: Embedded #3
Writer: Brian Reed
Artist: Chris Samnee

Last issue, our trio of traveling companions stopped for gas and food in Missouri on their way to Oklahoma. Volstagg shared his theories on the human condition. Todd Keller had an interview with Iron Patriot and immediately figured out that he wasn't interviewing Norman Osborn at all but was instead interviewing an LMD that thought it was Norman Osborn. Ben Urich and friends got caught 50 miles outside of Oklahoma City in a traffic jam. Urich headed outside to interview other drivers. HAMMER attacked their news van to arrested Volstagg. Volstagg fought back with the power of awesome. Ben and Will got arrested but Will faked a seizure and they escaped.

In this issue, Ben and Will get separated during their escape from HAMMER Agents. Ben boards a HAMMER airship headed to the front with Todd Keller and his producer also on board. Venom crashes into their ship and starts eating people. Ben gets a hold of a gun and shoots at the Avenger before the plane smashes into the city of Asgard. In the rubble, Ben and the producer survive and find an injured Todd Keller has lived through the crash as well. While they're making a makeshift sling, Keller pulls a gun of his own and forces the two to set up a camera and start filming him. Keller begins reporting Norman Osborn's message as images of death and destruction surround him. Meanwhile, Will Stern has managed to pick up his news van and driven the rest of the way to Broxton. As the city collapses, Will Stern leaves his fan and films the event.

At Tinker Air Force Base, Will Stern and Ben Urich are running away from HAMMER Agents. These guys aren't exactly in the best shape to outrun trained federal agents but they've got desperation on their sides. They're also the good guys and nothing in the story is served by them both getting captured. They race behind stacks of supply crates and end up separated by gunfire.

A HAMMER Agent corners Stern but never expects Will to take a swing at him with the camera. The Agent drops, but what about the poor camera?

Urich manages to get out of there without attracting any HAMMER attention. He sees a group of civilians getting aboard a HAMMER transport and blends into the crowd. The HAMMER Agents don't even look at him twice.

Once on board the airship, he meets Todd Keller's producer. You remember Keller, right? He's the Glen Beck type character in this book that agrees with whatever comes out of Norman Osborn's mouth. Keller's producer, who's never given a name, recognizes Ben but can't place a name with the face. Ben gives him an easy out and mentions that he's just another embedded reporter. The producer tells him that he's... Keller's producer (dammit! give me a name!) and gives Ben some advice: don't meet Todd Keller. The dude is an ass and won't like knowing that there's another reporter on this boat. Keller's producer hates him.

When Urich asks where they're headed, the producer is a bit surprised to learn that this embedded reporter isn't in the know. They're going right to the front lines. That's just where he wants to be, right?

Keller isn't very happy about heading up to the front. After all, he's an armchair quarterback at best. He likes to tell people what to think from the safety of his studio. He would be just as happy reporting about this war from Tinker Air Force Base. Agent Abrams, Keller's handler, thinks that the American people want to see this war up-close and personal. They want Todd Keller telling them just how great this war is for the American people. As the explosions happen, Abrams starts laughing because, hey, crazy HAMMER Agent. Keller looks completely out of his element.

This is just about the last scene in the comic where Keller gets any sympathy from me. This is because he's looking on the beginnings of this battle and he's got this look on his face like he doesn't really want this to happen. All along, I was assuming that Todd Keller would see the methods that HAMMER is using in this war and would turn against his champion, revealing on television just how duped he was. I figured this was a story about a corrupt newsman who made good in the end.

I was totally wrong. Color me surprised.

It's hard to judge flight paths in the middle of a battle and HAMMER is making things extra confusing by having these news transports in the air. It's probably inevitable that this transport would crash into one of the combatants. Suddenly, the newsmen find they have an unexpected visitor.

Hey kids! It's the Sinister Spider-Man!

You'd think Venom would rush right back out onto the battlefield but... no, why would you think that? The Dark Avenger has just found some people that are strapped into their chairs. They look perfect for eating. As Spidey chomps down on Todd Keller's news crew, Agent Abrams pulls his gun on Mac Gargan and orders him to back off. Venom turns around and races towards the HAMMER Agent even though Abrams is unloading his firearm into the monster. Gargan chomps off Abrams' head and looks around for his next meal.

Todd Keller is in Spider-Man's sights now. Ripping off Keller's safety guard, he allows the newsman to run around in a panic before giving chase. The airship is doing barrel rolls throughout the battle. Eventually, Abrams' body tumbles near Ben Urich. Urich catches the body's gun out of the air and fires a bullet through Venom. It doesn't hurt Gargan but it does cause the Avenger to stop before eating Keller and turn around to face his new attacker.

The airship hits the ground before Venom can cause any more damage. The Sinister Spidey is thrown from the craft before it settles down in the streets of Asgard.

Ben Urich and Keller's producer survive the crash unscathed. Keller's producer has recognized Urich by this point and apologizes for working for slime like Todd Keller. Just then, they learn that Keller has survived as well. Since he wasn't strapped in at the time of the crash, Todd got hurt in the ordeal. As Ben and his producer pull him out of the wreckage, Keller's producer explains that the other guy helping is Ben Urich.

Ben tells Keller that it sounds like he's broken some bones and starts fashioning a sling out of HAMMER gun straps. Keller IS upset that another newsman was on board his ship. Ben tries requesting an interview after they're out of the war zone but Keller has some other plans. Pulling one of the guns out of his makeshift sling, he forces Ben and his producer to get him a camera and a connection to the network. He needs to keep preaching the gospel according to Norman Osborn and he needs to get to it NOW.

Soon, Todd Keller is back on the air. It looks like they found not only a camera but also a cameraman. That means Ben can just sit back and watch this spectacle as Keller shows people inside footage of the war with Asgard and tells the American people just how right all this is. To me, all I see are dead bodies. To Keller, those bodies are Asgardians and that means they aren't real people. There's activity in the sky above Asgard. The camera looks over Keller's shoulder and just sees the sky light up.

Are you wondering what happened to Will? Wonder no longer! After clubbing that first HAMMER Agent, he finds himself left well along when all available HAMMER troops are called into the battle. That leaves Stern free to locate his news van and drive the remaining 65 miles to Broxton.

Asgard starts appearing large on the skyline. From this distance, everything looks peaceful even though it's not. Suddenly, Will sees that same bright light over Asgard. He stops his van and exits the vehicle with his camera in tow. He starts filming just as Asgard falls apart.

sdc1.jpgSiege: Director's Cut #1
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Lucio Parrillo

In this story, Loki meets up with Norman Osborn before the main events of Siege to explain how Asgard fits into the nine worlds. With his tale complete, Norman tells Loki that he shouldn't trust the god of mischief. Loki explains that mischief isn't his goal. It's his tool. He's using it to shape the world as he wants to see it. That means that, for now, the two's goals are the same. It's time to begin.

Ah... Director's Cuts. It's five dollars that you could probably spend much better. Since there are no other reprints of the sold-out first issue of Siege, this is your second chance to pick up the story and also get some extras for your trouble. If you've already got Siege #1, this probably isn't worth your time.

The first extra you get is the Siege Prologue. Much like the Prologue available in the Secret Invastion Director's Cut, this tells some untold story prior to the event itself. While Secret Invasion's Prologue was handled by event penciler, Leinil Yu, Siege's Prologue is handled not by Coipel but by artist Lucio Parrillo. I'll admit, Parrillo's painterly style is a nice way to begin the event. Just don't pay too much attention to the panel work. That's something I have to do when deciding what image to scan in. You'll notice that there is a LOT of copy and pasting happening here. The first image of Norman Osborn's close up face is repeated with minor tweaks three times. There are side views of both characters are repeated again and again with different scowls added. It's not supremely noticeable to the casual reader but now that I see it, I want to keep comparing images.

This story takes place in between the events of Siege: Cabal and Siege proper. Norman is left in his meeting room to brood. Something is troubling his state of mind. If only he would have listened to those troubles. Instead, he is interupted by Loki.

Loki has sensed Norman's worrying thoughts and has come to put him at ease. Norman gets to the heart of the matter. Even though he has the god of war on his team, he doesn't understand all this god talk. What the hell is Asgard and why is it on earth? Loki decides to skip the whole god of lies thing and tell Norman the truth.

The scientific concept of the universe is a falsehood. The truth is much stranger that the fiction we've crafted to help us sleep at night.

Our world is but one of nine different realms. Let's list them!

Alfheim. The home of the Light Elves.

Nidavellir. The home of the Dwarves. They're ruled by Eitri.

Svartalfheim. The home of the Dark Elves.

Hel. The realm of the Dead. Ruled by Hela.

Muspelheim. Home of the Demons. Surtur usually rules this place but he's currently dead.

Vanaheim. Home of the Vanir.

Midgard. This is our reality.

Asgard. Home of the Asgardians. When it was where it belonged, it was pretty awesome.

Norman is still trying to wrap his mind around there being nine realms. He was having enough trouble with the one. Loki sees that there's another thought working it's way through Osborn's mind and he tells Ozzy to let it out.

Oh wait. No, actually Norman tells Loki that he can't trust the god of mischief. After all: god of mischief.

Loki explains that he's not the god of lies even though he has claimed to be in the past. Instead, mischief is his tool. He uses it just like Thor uses Mjolnir. It's his way of shaping the world. Since Loki is all about returning Asgard to where it belongs, that means that Norman is helping him. That means there won't be a last-minute double cross.

And, really, Loki is certain that Asgard is in the wrong place. His people are in danger while Asgard sits in Broxton. Humanity is in danger while Asgard sits in Broxton. The best possible solution is to get Asgard back in the heavenly realms and off of earth.

Of course, that means attacking it with the full force of HAMMER and the Avengers Initiative. It's the only sensible way to get Asgard back home.

When that makes sense to you, let me know.

What Loki is most concerned about is Norman's state of mind. Has the Green Goblin come out to play yet? Since Loki has been manipulating the Director of HAMMER, he's kept Osborn right on the tip of sanity. It's a razor edge that Norman follows right now. Norman sips his wine and claims that he's fine. With that, Loki changes to mist and tells Ozzy that it's time to shape the world.

The regular issue of Siege #1 follows.

The other awesome bonus to this story is that they corrected the Ares War Plan Transcript at the end. The missing page has been reinserted! Woo!

You also get a collection of covers for the Siege variants and the written script for Siege #1. You could comb it for clues but there are some blacked out areas keeping us safe from Bendis' profanity and keeping some secrets hidden from our prying eyes.

da15.jpgDark Avengers #15
Writer: Brian Michael Bendis
Artist: Mike Deodato Jr.

In the last evil issue, Ms. Victoria Hand got Norman to agree on seeing a psychotherapist. Ms. Marvel and Hawkeye made out in the Tower Meeting Room and Hand put a halt to that, shooting Ms. Marvel with a super-gun just to drive the point home. Sentry had a temper tantrum, using his newly discovered control of his personal reality to smash things all over New York City. While Iron Patriot took to the skies to have a chat with the Sentry (actually, the Void), the Dark Avengers hit the streets to save lives. Bob calmed down eventually. Norman gave Hawkeye the job of eventually assassinating Lindy Reynolds.

In this killer issue, we revisit Siege: The Cabal and learn that Norman Osborn's secret weapon is, in fact, the Void. While the rest of the events from Siege: The Cabal play out as originally written, Victoria Hand begins evacuating the tower. Norman sends the Void away, telling him to get the Sentry. As Sentry rushes in to rescue Norman, Hawkeye grabs Bob's wife and takes off in a helicopter all on his own. The rest of the Dark Avengers try following in their Quinjet but immediately lose sight of them. Bullseye talks with Lindy before letting on that he's going to kill her. After strangling the Sentry's wife to death, he drops her in the ocean. Sentry ends Dr. Doom's threat and the Dark Avengers return to the tower. Once there, Lester tells Bob about the death of his wife, giving a false location for her "suicide." Sentry Voids out before Norman calms him down and gets him searching for Lindy's body. Iron Patriot tells Victoria Hand to mobilize HAMMER to assist the Sentry and also to call the White House and tell them that this was all a Latverian terrorist attack. As Ms. Hand walks away, she sees Norman walk over to Hawkeye and... suspects foul play?

This story happens two days ago. Just like last story happened three days ago. Since we don't have an ending point, it's hard for this to be contextualized. What we do know is that this story takes place during Siege: The Cabal. If you haven't read that yet then I'll wait a moment for you to catch up before continuing.

Hmmm-hmmm-hmmm... OK. Done yet? Good. Let's get this going then.

So Norman had a meeting with the Cabal where he wanted to get their support for the Siege of Asgard. Instead, Dr. Doom had a hissy fit about Namor not being at the big boy table any more. After being threatened, Osborn reminds Doom that he has ways to keep the monarch in line if necessary. Doom doesn't back down so Norman calls in his big gun.

Yep, it's the Void looking very monsterous. If you'll remember WAY back to my article for Secret Invasion: Dark Reign, you'll see that this was my guess for this shadowy figure from the very beginning. This wasn't one of the biggest secrets of the Marvel Universe but it's always nice to see when I've guessed correctly. :)

The Void blasts Dr. Doom across the room and into a wall. In Siege: The Cabal, we learned that this was actually a Doombot and that all manner of evil mechanical creatures came out of it. Here, we'll step ahead just a bit.

Victoria Hand is a workaholic and has fallen asleep at her desk. She wakes up when the floating head of the Iron Patriot starts shouting out orders.

Norman orders he to evacuate the Tower. She wakes up just a bit groggy but flies into action. She starts checking on her monitors and finds out that the tower is under attack. Hand calls for full evac.

Since the lobby is already under attack, the Dark Avengers and other HAMMER personel make for the roof to the Quinjets. In the meeting room, Iron Patriot is having trouble keeping Doom's little mech beasts at bay. He needs the Sentry so he calls away the Void. Void goes away grudgingly, believing that he could help out just as well as the Sentry. Norman tells the villain to trust him and the Void agrees to get his better half.

On the roof, the Dark Avengers are still boarding their Quinjet when the Sentry shows up. He doesn't listen to Victoria's order to evacuate. Instead, he just asks where Norman is and, not getting a response, flies in anyway. When his wife arrives on the roof, Victoria complains about how hard Bob is to work with before ordering Lindy onto the Quinjet.

Hawkeye has other plans. He grabs Lindy's hand and walks over to a helicopter also located on the roof. He tells the HAMMER Agent standing by the door to go back into the building and make sure that everyone's been evacuated. He then straps Lindy in and takes off.

Victoria Hand is upset that Hawkeye hasn't boarded the Quinjet yet but when she sees Hawkeye taking off in the chopper, she orders Ms. Marvel to follow him in the Quinjet. The problem with this is that Karla isn't able to get the thing off the ground. Daken takes over the controls and they finally get off the ground. By this time, Lester's helicopter is out of sight. Ms. Hand orders Wolverine to call the archer on the radio but they don't know what frequency Hawkeye is on.

This wouldn't matter anyway. Hawkeye has turned the radio off. There will be no contacting him as he engages in a little bit of killing. There's some light conversation between the two before things turn decidedly sour. Throughout their little chat, you can see that Lindy is uncomfortable. When it goes from small talk to smack talk, Lindy's discomfort rises.

Hawkeye asks what the Golden Guardian of Good could possibly see in her. To Lester, she's not exactly a super model. She's just some girl tying the Sentry down. Hawkeye thinks he can have any girl and he's a killer. Someone like Sentry... well, he's missing out. The conversation has definitely gotten too personal for Lindy's tastes and she gives Hawkeye a smack across the face when he sets the helicopter to autopilot and leans in close.

This is all Lester was waiting for. Now he can choke her to death knowing he didn't throw the first punch. He thanks her for that and then gets down to business.

Lindy dies and Hawkeye throws her body down into the ocean below. After it disappears under the waves, Bullseye pilots the helicopter back to Avengers Tower.

Meanwhile, Sentry has destroyed the Doombot and saved the Tower. The Quinjet has landed just moments before Hawkeye shows up in his helicopter. Now, Lester has to answer some hard questions. Questions like, where the hell did you take off to and what happened to the Sentry's wife? Bullseye ignores the first question by answering the second. Lindy jumped out of the chopper somewhere over Jersey. Hawkeye didn't even have time to react.

When Sentry hears this, he explodes into the Void and demands to know what Hawkeye did to his poor wife. Hawkeye claims innocence reasoning that if he had actually killed Lindy Reynolds Sentry would kill HIM. Granted, he DID kill Lindy and is now facing down a very angry Void. Still, the lies pay off. Norman is able to calm Void/Sentry down. The Void reverts right back into the Sentry and flies off to look for Lindy's body.

Norman Osborn gives Ms. Hand a couple orders. The first is to get Sentry any HAMMER back-up he might need to find his wife. The second is to contact the White House and tell them that the attack on Avengers Tower was due to a Latverian Terrorist attack. When Hand questions this story, Norman tells her that he wouldn't lie to the White House about something like this. Victoria Hand watches as Osborn walks away and stand near Hawkeye. Hawkeye gives an almost-smile.

The Deputy Director of HAMMER thinks real hard on this interaction. While there are no words and even less thought balloons, the look of realization dawning on Victoria face might not actually be that of someone who has just realized that her boss just had the Sentry's wife killed. It could just be gas.

n35.jpgNova #35
Writers: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Penciler: Mahmud A. Asrar

Last issue, the old and new Sphinxes pitted their champions against each other, starting with Moonstone and Nova facing off at Harry S. Truman High School in Long Island. This moved over to Namorita and Man-Wolf fighting each other in Other Realm. Mr. Fantastic fought Ulysses Bloodston in Vanaheim. Black Bolt and Basilisk duked it out in the Blue Area of the Moon. Old Sphinx finally became aware of Darkhawk's presence and had the Raptor take on Gyre. The champions started finishing their battles until Old Sphinx's forces became the victors. That meant Old Sphinx won and, as a prize, he had Darkhawk take Young Sphinx's Ka Stone to add to his collection. That wasn't good.

In this issue, Old Sphinx stands triumphant with two Ka Stones! The two teams of champions fight him only to lose terribly. Old Sphinx eats New Sphinx! Mr. Fantastic theorizes that the impossible can happen in this little pocket reality. They form a plan and Nova flies up to get close to the Sphinx while Mr. Fantastic becomes the super-computer to calculate a stargate. Sphinx is brought out of the pocket reality too quickly and everything jumps back to the way it should be. Well, almost everything. Nova keeps a hold on to Namorita and pulls her back to the future. He wakes up on the Nova Corps Starship with her and Darkhawk.

A lot of impossible things have happened to Nova and all his friends lately. The latest bit of "You Can't Do That!" is the Old Sphinx holding on to two Ka Stones at the same time. This just shouldn't be happening but because of the odd nature of the Fault, it's being allowed.

Nova theorizes that reality has to come to grips with all of this impossibility so they only have a short time before this is all set in stone. Before that happens, the heroes decide that attacking is the best idea. They charge into battle. The "other side" (Moonstone, Man-Wolf, Basilisk, and Ulysses Bloodstone) are stunned by what's going on, but know that the Sphinx holding both Ka Stones is a bad deal. They rush in to aid the good guys.

Everyone attacks but no-one does any good. The Sphinx has already grown beyond these petty mortals on his path to godhood. Still, he hasn't grown beyond swatting back at them. He lets loose a blast of power and incinerates Basilisk.

With that failed endeavor, Nova and pals remember that there are two Sphinxes on the battle field. There's the winner with two Ka Stones and the loser with none. The approach the loser to see if he has any advice. Turns out the younger Sphinx's advice is to give up. He sees that Old Sphinx has thoroughly beaten him and become unbeatable in the process. Plus: totally crazy.

To prove that point, Old Sphinx reaches down, grabs Young Sphinx, and then eats him.

Yes, really.

This is just one more impossible thing to add to the list of impossible things that have happened this day. And in that thought, lies a clue. What's been happening here is only possible HERE. In the Fault. On a magical world of the Sphinx's creation. Right now, the Sphinx wouldn't be able to enter the outside universe because it's impossible for two Ka Stones to exist out there at the same time. What the Sphinx is doing is acclimating himself his new abilities so that he can remake a world where it IS possible to dual wield Ka Stones. And that leads us to the plan.

Shatter the magical world before the Sphinx masters his abilities and make things very messy for our bad guy.

Nova flies off into the sky to face off against the all-powerful Sphinx. He's helped by the fact that the Sphinx has already grown beyond him. He's like a fly. In fact, the Sphinx's power blasts are a lot like a fly swatter. They will do a lot of damage if they strike but they are hard to aim. On the ground, Nova is using Reed Richards as a substitute for Worldmind. Richards just needs to complete his calculations before Nova buys the farm.

Sphinx finally lands a direct hit but Nova is saves just barely by his Nova Forcefield. He's going to need those calculations now. Reed finishes up the giant quantum math problem and gives Rich Rider the numbers to open up a stargate.

At first, Sphinx expects that this is an escape attempt but he realizes the truth moments later when he's pulled out of his magical world and into the real world too soon to acclimate to his new powers. His body looks set to explode.

Nova flies back down to the surface of the magical planetoid. Things are already starting to come apart. Reed believes that everyone will be returned to their proper time period with no major troubles... or they might just cease to exist. I guess we'll find out.

Before everyone disappears, Nova reaches out for Namorita. He doesn't want to let her go. The two hold each other close as this reality shatters around them.

Ten years ago, Blackbolt woke up in his palace in Attilan. The dream he had disturbed him so that he left his bed chambers and decided to stare at the mountans instead of going back to sleep.

Five years ago, Reed Richards woke up from a bizarre dream and, since he was up, he decided to get to work on some experiment or other.

Now, Richard Rider wakes up. He was rescued from the ruins of Shard but Worldmind isn't certain he escaped without injury. When he finally opens his eyes, Nova Prime sees that his brother and Philo are there to await his waking. Robbie tells him that he wasn't gone more than five minutes before the Nova Corps was able to rescue him. They were also able to recover Darkhawk.

And Namorita.

Worldmind isn't aware that 'Nita is supposed to be dead back on earth. Instead, she's here. Alive. From the past. Usually, this wouldn't be troublesome because Marvel runs on the multiple alternate timelines plan. However, in this book, it seems like this is actually a big deal. Namorita should be returned to her past where she could live out her history with the New Warriors and meet her untimely end in Stamford, Connecticut. Instead, she's recovering from recent injuries in a Nova Corps command ship. Darkhawk warns about the repercussions of his actions but Richard Rider could give a damn. He just got his girl back.

gotg24.jpgGuardians of the Galaxy #24
Writers: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Artist: Wes Craig

Last issue, we backed up in time to the moment where everyone thought that Magus and a number of the Guardians of the Galaxy were killed to learn what was really going on behind the scenes. Back in what passed for the present, Magus was having those presumed dead Guardians tortured into converting to his own personal religion. Magus told Martyr his plans for universal domination through the spreading of the secrets of the all life dimension beyond the Fault. The presumed living Guardians were enjoying this 'quiet' time by acting as Secret Service for the latest Galactic Council meeting. This included being nice to King Blastaar. Martyr was tortured at the hands of one of Magus' minions before joining Mantis, Cosmo, and Major Victory on the Astral Plane. They came up with a plan to contact Moondragon through Phyla. That went down just as an assassin made an attempt on Blastaar's life. Martyr found herself free, did some killing, and freed her comrades.

In this issue, Martyr and company fight their way through wave after wave of Universal Truth Black Knights. Phyla has a conversation on the spirit plane with Maelstrom. The Matriarch attacks! On Ovar, the Guardians of the Galaxy fight off a failed assassination attempt on King Blastaar. They find that Blastaar isn't grateful for the save and wants the Guardians removed from the planet. Star-Lord does him one better and gets Groot a seat on the council. Heather tells everyone that Adam Magus is alive. Major Victory takes out the Matriarch. Martyr opens the Church of Universal Truth's coccoon and gets killed by the occupant inside. Thanos is back.

Martyr is the Avatar of Death. It's just one in a long line of jobs she's held for other people. She was Captain Marvel for a time before her brother, Genis, took back the name. She was Quasar for a time before Wendell Vaughn returned to the land of the living. Now, she's the Avatar of Death.

That job has helped her escape from the clutches of Adam Magus's Universal Church of Truth torture chamber and rescue her teammates, Major Victory, Mantis, Cosmo, and Gamora. That was only the first length of their journey through the hallways of Sacrosanct. Now that they're free, they have to fight their way through believers. That means the Black Knights of the Universal Church of Truth. While the Black Knights are powerful foes empowered by belief energy, the are going to find that this loveable cast of misfits can kick their @$$es all over the planet. These are the Guardians of the Galaxy, baby. Get used to them.

The one question on everyone's mind is what's going on in Gamora's head. I mean, they were tortured for days as Magus tried to convert them to his faith system. Gamora was supposed to be the easiest to convert because of her past connection with Adam Warlock. The only thing that might have kept her from converting was the fact that Magus had his men focus on Martyr. When Phyla asks Mantis to scan Gamora and find out if the warrior woman is on their side, Mantis confirms that Gamora is not a convert.

Or maybe she is but won't end up revealing that 'til much later on. Maybe this is all a lie. What is known, however, is that Gamora is not happy about Martyr's role in killing Adam Warlock. Oh yeah! Phyla stabbed Warlock straight through right after the Guardian stopped the Fault from growing. Gamora hasn't forgiven her for that. There will be words if they all escape alive.

During their fight, Phyla slips into a spiritual converstation with Maelstrom. Maely isn't happy that Martyr failed to kill Adam Warlock when the Avatar of Life stood revealed. It's just one more failure to add to Phyla's collection. Maelstrom mentions that there is one thing that can be done to make things right again.

In the real world, Phyla's teammates notice that she's sort of drifted off. Mantis realizes that Martyr is speaking to an abstract entity. Gamora believes they should just kill her before she does something stupid again but they face off against the Matriarch of the Church before she can actually try something like that. The Matriarch blasts them all with pure faith power.

On the planet, Ovar, the rest of the Guardians of the Galaxy are trying to save King Blastar and Princess Crystal from a couple of nanotic bullet monsters. The Guardians are spread out all over the Galactic Council site and have to converge on Star-Lord's location to help him out. The first to arrive are Rocket Raccoon and Jack Flag. Rocket pulls out his "unfeasibly large cannon" and goes to town.

The battle is over momentarily. That leads King Blastaar to get all excited about his first kingly assassination attempt. Even though the Guardians of the Galaxy just saved his life, Blastaar isn't one to just let the Guardians hang about. After all, they aren't representatives of any planet and have no jurisdiction on Ovar. While no one likes it, Blastaar brings up a fair point. The Guardians really don't have any say in the Galactic Council. Or... DO they?

Hailing from Planet X, King Groot is admitted into the Council. That ought to shut Blastaar up.

While Blastaar fumes, Star-Lord heads down to the medical center to check on Moondragon. Heather is recovering but having trouble staying awake. Moondragon takes some time to get the words out but she finally gets to the point and tells everyone that Adam Magus is still alive. Star-Lord was tricked into believing he had killed Magus. Stupid magic.

On Sacrosanct, the other Guardians are defending themselves from the Matriarch. She is one tough contender with possibly the most belief energy of them all. She totally believes and that belief will kick your butt. Fortunately, all that belief power doesn't prevent her from being blindsided by Major Victory's shield. The Matriarch falls and everyone wonders where Martyr went off to.

Phyla is still sort of in a trance when she's led on down into the Church's catacombs and discovers the still unopened cocoon. The Church has been lugging this thing around for a while but we don't really know who's inside the thing yet. Most of us thought just like Phyla: that this cocoon contained the good Adam Warlock. Maelstrom encourages this belief just to get Martyr to slice the cocoon open that much faster.

We were all wrong.

Inside the cocoon is Thanos. His first act, besides howling in rage, is to kill Phyla-Vel, reclaiming his title Avatar of Death.

rokig5.jpgRealm of Kings: Imperial Guard #5
Writers: Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning
Artist: Kevin Walker

Last issue, Kallark attended a military rally and got a message that the M'Kraan Crystal was going all whack. He arrived at the Crystal, gave it a touch and recieved a psychic call from Oracle. There was trouble in the Fault! Inside the Fault, the Imperial Guard were setting up mines when Smasher ran off to find something... mysterious. Some of the other Imperials enjoyed a last drink together and talked about family and roots. Plutonia had a crush on Mentor and it showed! Smasher's teammates confronted him for some sort of treasonous act and found him to be carrying Raptor crystals. Smasher was actually Talon! Talon got swatted around a bit before everyone calmed down (a little) and Talon told everyone that their only chance was to use those crystals to make more Raptors. The Cancerverse X-Men attacked. Starbolt was killed. All hope was lost. Then Gladiator showed up and gave them a fighting chance.

In this issue, we back track to where Gladiator ordered himself and the rest of the Imperial Guard teleported into the Fault through the M'Kraan Crystal. The Imperial Guard fought the Cancerverse X-Men. With a momentary lull in the battle, Gladiator joins the crew of the Starjammer and isn't pleased to find Talon on board. Talon makes his sales pitch and gains two more Raptors for the upcoming battle. The Imperial Guard, aided by the Raptors, punch a hole through the Cancerverse X-Men but face one big giant Professor Xavier ship. Raza and Ch'Od throw the symbiote at the Xavier ship to keep it occupied and the Starjammer escapes the Fault. At the Galactic Council on Ovar, Gladiator brings news that the Fault is a threat to them all and Medusa strengthens the Kree/Shi'ar alliance to deal with it's threat.

Let's go back in time fifteen minutes and find out how Gladiator got into the Fault so quickly. Majestor Kallark summoned all remaining members of the Imperial Guard and devised a plan to use the Crystal as a conduit for teleporting to the Fault and helping out the Imperial Guard member caught inside. They've sent a message of warning and Gladiator wants more information. He also wants to rescue the rest of the Imperial Guard. When Chancellor Araki protests his actions, he just shuts her down.

Using the M'Kraan Crystal is strictly forbidden but the guardian of the crystal, Jahf, allows this use because of the extraordinary nature of the Fault and it's threat. Gladiator leaves with the Guard through the M'Kraan Crystal, giving orders to assemble the Galactic Council before flying off.

OK, that bit of flashback is out of the way and we can move forward with the story already in progress. Seeing Gladiator coming to their aid is enough to rally the Imperial Guard members already fighting for their lives. The rest of their fellow Guardmen are just icing on the cake. Fang, in particular, rises to the occasion and starts slicing and dicing... until Cancerverse Wolverine slices back.

The Cancerverse X-Men aren't like the Cancerverse Avengers that we've already seen. These guys are much sicker looking. Wolverine opens his entire body up to reveal another mouth and quite a few slimy tentacles. Before any of these disgusting bits are able to strike down Fang, Neutron shows up to blow the Cancerverse X-Man away. Since Fang and Neutron have been at odds lately, this is one of those bittersweet saves.

Cancerverse Cyclops attacks Gladiator directly. This version of Cyclops seems to have added a fire option to his optic blasts. Even in the dead of Fault space, they light up Kallark in flames. That's magic for you. This sort of thing isn't going to do the Majestor any permanent damage, of course. Kallark is nigh indestructible. He's also got optic beams of his own. He turns them on the Cyclops monster and kills the thing.

Turning from that battle, Gladiator announces that they will now secure the area around the Starjammer. This might seem impossible but the Imperial Guard is able to do it. Gladiator is still burning when he enters the Starjammer to compare notes with Praetor Mentor.

Mentor has been pushing himself very hard, attempting to fill the big shoes left when Gladiator was upgraded to Majestor. Seeing Kallark has come to bail his team out of a jam might be a huge blow to his self esteem but he handles it with grace. Mentor tells Gladiator what we already know. At the far end of the Fault is an aggressive Cancerverse. It needs to be stopped. Gladiator starts getting some inside information from Quasar who has spent the most time in the Fault but he notices Talon in the middle of this conversations.

Talon looks a lot like the Raptor who assassinated Lilandra Neramani and that means he gets a choke hold from the Majestor of the Shi'ar. Talon ISN'T the same Raptor even though he did approve the assassination. He's able to deny most of the charges brought against him without lying. More than that, he can add more firepower to their defenses by turning to Imperial Guardsmen into Raptors. He has, after all, found two Raptor Amulets. Raptors might give them the edge they need.

Talon is at least truthful enough to warn that the process is a one-way trip. There is no coming back if you decide to give your body to a Raptor. Shipmaster Ch'od warns that they don't have a lot of time to make this decision. Mentor is the first to volunteer. Plutonia is the second. When she volunteers right after him, Mentor finally tells Plutonia how much he cares for her. Awww.

We have two new Raptors out in the world. Plutonia sacrifices herself to bring Kyte to life. Mentor gives us Strel... who has a very happy-looking visor. All three Raptors switch to heavy ordinance armor and the fight is on like Donkey Kong.

The Imperial Guard, with some major help from the Raptors and Quasar, are able to punch a hole right through the Cancerverse forces. There are casualties. There are always casualties. Blacklight falls first. Neutron dies soon after. Still, the IG's making a nice dent and clearing a path for their ship.

Which... might not be a good thing. Quasar notices that the Cancerverse X-Men are starting to slink off to the edges of the battlefield. That doesn't mean the battle is done. It just means that Cancerverse Professor X is about to enter the battle. Xavier has been turned into one of those grotesque ships but his mind is more powerful than ever. The psionic assault stops the Imperial Guard in it's tracks. It even hurts Gladiator.

The Starjammer was able to get telepathic dampers up before Xavier's big push began. Even so, the dampers aren't keeping the full force of the attacks at bay. It'll buy the Starjammers (the crew) just enough time to stop the Xavier ship. Rasa tosses a little surprise at the disgusting, living ship: the canister containing the symbiote that possessed him during War of Kings. Ch'od finishes this up since he's being least affected by the psionic attack (due to his lizard brain). He first a shot and bursts the canister. It starts covering the Xavier ship. Suddenly, Professor X has something more important to deal with and the psionic barrage stops.

Anyone think we'll be seeing a symbiote Xavier in Thanos Imperative? Place your bets.

The Starjammer (ship) races away from the Fault at full frickin' speed.

On the planet Ovar, the Galactic Council has been called to order. Since it was called at the request of Gladiator and the Majestor hasn't shown up yet... tensions are high.

Gorgon might be a hothead but it's Medusa that you really have to worry about. She doesn't like to be kept waiting by someone who lost the War of Kings. She won't have to wait long.

Majestor Kallark has arrived and he's brought disgusting gifts. A bit of the biological monstrosities that inhabit the Fault dimension. Gladiator explain what a threat they are to their universe and calls all right-minded nations into actions. He pledges Imperial Guard protection to any civilization in the council. Medusa realizes that the threat is pretty severe and shakes Kallark's hand. This is a sign that their alliance is now renewed and strengthened.

The Shi'ar Empire has their very own Mausoleum World. They call it Elysialla VII. This is where we end this issue. Since the Imperial Guard can't do anything without casualties, they come here often to honor their fallen. There's a huge wall with a memorial for each dead member of the Imperial Guard. The Smasher section alone must be enormous.

While they honor their fallen, you may notice the replacements in the crowd. There's a new female Mentor, for example. Neutron has been replaced by a bald variant. Members of the Imperial Guard are legacy heroes. One rises up to fill the position of each fallen from the different civilizations that make up the Shi'ar. The Newbies aren't as respectful as the old pros. Hussar explains that, if they live long enough, they may realize that the Imperial Guard is more than just the Shi'ar Imperium's super-protector team. It's also a family.

Fang pays his respects to the fallen Neutron. Afterwar, he joins the others. They have a galaxy to save.

gx18.jpgGeneration X #18
Writer: Scott Lobdell
Penciler: Chris Bachalo

In this issue, the Gen X'ers are flying back to Massachusettes when Banshee steps out of the plane. Artie and Leech enjoy a carefree grownup-less existance while Mondo lurks. Skin and Jono steal Kentucky Fried Chicken and try to get back to the Massachusettes Academy on the underside of a semi. Jubilee, Paige, Synch, and M realize that they aren't in Boston and end up losing a fight to Emma Frost. Banshee tries to track down his missing students. Generation X gets to their new home and act like three-year-olds. Toad... broods.

About five years ago, my basement flooded. The problem with that is that I stored my comics in the basement. Luckily, I have a wife that is completely awesome and when she saw the basement flooding she went straight in to save my comics. It's also why you should ALWAYS bag your comics. I do and it's why the bottom boxes were mostly salvageable. The only problem is, some of those bags had little holes in them. I have a good stack of awesome comics that have water damage. Generation X #18 is one of those comics. Because of that, I took the cover scan from Comic Book DB instead of scanning in my own comic.

Luckily this water-damaged book is still readable and that's the most important thing.

Generation X has been on a whirlwind adventure for it's first 17 books. Emplate has shown up a few times, Synch had been mind-controlled into trying to kill his parents, and bonds of friendship have been formed. Right now, the bulk of the team is flying back to Massachussettes in one of Emma's private jets. It's a time for the kids to relax inbetween battles for their life.

Paige Guthrie is our narrator for the first couple pages of this book. She's writing to her brother, Cannonball of New Mutants and X-Force fame, to tell her all about what's been happening lately and giving her assessment on the students and staff of Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters. In a nutshell, Banshee cares too much, M is part brilliant and part autistic, Synch and Jubilee are children, Paige fancies herself future leader of the X-Men, and Emma is getting along better with everyone.

To break her narration, we switch on over to Banshee and Emma. Sean has noticed that the jet they're in has drifted off-course and now seems to be heading for Canada. He has a short telepathic conversation with Ms. Frost where he shares his suspicions before Emma suggests he go check things out. Banshee thinks this is a capital idea and rises from his seat. It's time to stretch his legs a bit. Cassidy walks over to the door of the plane, opens it up and steps outside.

The jet quickly depressurizes. Most of the passengers are wearing their seatbelts... except Synch. In his game with Jubilee, he was tied up in his jacket and the seatbelt was taken off. The mutant flies towards the still open door.

Paige rips off her skin and uses some rubber band power to grab on to Everett. Unfortunately, she isn't able to reel him back in. You know who would be a big help right now? M. Unfortunately, she's off in la-la-land and not really paying attention to anything other than the soda bottle in front of her. After a LOT of screaming, she wakes up from her trance and swoops in to rescue Synch. She seems upset that no-one called her in to help even though that's all they had been doing for the past half minute. She shuts the door during the save.

There's some discussion about going out and finding Banshee but it's shelved by the White Queen. Emma tells her students that Sean is a big boy and can handle himself in the big world out there. Besides, he's hundreds of miles behind them by now. You also probably don't want to be opening that door again. Trouble on top of trouble.

Banshee doesn't seem to have a care in the world. He seems to be whimsically soaring to the ground. He's even singing his own version of Folsom Prison Blues by Johnny Cash. It's not until he reaches the ground that he wakes up from his trance. He doesn't know what Emma Frost is up to but he needs to find out for the sake of the children.

When the parents are out, the kids will play. Back at the Massachussettes Academy, forgotten plotlines play out. No, not forgotten by the writer. Forgotten by me. For the life of me, I can't remember who this Chevy guy is. It looks like he's working at the Academy but it doesn't seem like he's been officially hired on just yet. It also seems like he was involved in the killing of a mutant, Dennis Hogan, over in X-Men Prime (which came out to reintroduce the X-Men post Age of Apocalypse). What I do know is that no-one cares about Chevy or about his eventual fate. He's just a minor plot point. Penance is listening to him rant and almost reaches out and cuts his ear but pulls back at the last moment.

Elsewhere on the grounds, I believe in the Danger Grotto, Leech and Artie play in their tree house. They're having lots of fun with no adult supervision but someone is watching them anyway. Mondo. The Age of Apocalypse version of Mondo was pretty awesome but the real universe version turned out to be a pawn in Black Tom Cassidy's masterplan. Right now, it seems like he's getting ready to attack a couple kids but turns away because it isn't time yet.

We aren't done with our loveable cast of characters just yet. You might be wondering where Chamber and Skin have ended up. Well, they're headed back to the Academy from New York. Instead of just calling for a ride, they're doing this the way all men do their travelling. With as much stupidity as possible. Skin even resorts to stealing to get his meals. I know! It's such a stretch for the former gangster!

While Angelo enjoys his pilfered KFC, let's check up on his travel companion. It seems Chamber has seen better days. After "not meeting" Onslaught in X-Men #49, Chamber's psionic abilities have been all out of whack. He feels like he's going to die. Skin doesn't think that'll be the case and sticks by his amigo's side even when Chamber tries to get rid of him.

The rest of Generation X have arrived in Canada. This wasn't where they thought they'd be landing. Jubilee questions Frost about this and they quickly realize that this is all part of some plan of hers. The students now try to take down the teacher.

It goes about as well as you'd expect. Emma turns Jubilee's powers back on their wielder. Since Synch chose to emulate Jubilee's powers, he gets the same treatment. Paige husks off her skin, trying to get some worthwhile powers to do battle in, but she ends up with nothing. Tear after tear just keeps her in her own skin. That's what Emma's telepathic powers will get you.

That just leaves M. You'd think this battle would take a while but it's over as quickly as all the rest.

Emma hits M with a "telepathic lightning bolt," grabbing all the ambient psionic energy in the vicinity and blasting it right into Monet. The last Gen X'er is defeated. Paige keeps trying to husk into a battleform but is getting nowhere.

Back to Skin and Chamber for just a moment. They've found a unique way of traveling cross country. Angelo is using bits of his Skin to grab onto the bottom of a semi trailer and hold himself and Chamber in place for a trip back to Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters. It might be wet. It might tax his endurance. It might even get them where they want to go. It also might be a crazy (and stupid) way to travel.

Sean Cassidy has flown into Montreal and broken into an office at the airport. He's trying to track down where Emma might have landed but he finds that she never filed a flight plan. This isn't going to be as easy as he thought. Banshee hears voices coming from the door and he flies off so security doesn't get beaten up by a superhero. It might be a good idea to bring in some local help to track down his students.

Generation X has now arrived at their new home. Emma Frost has property everywhere. This is just some Canadian real estate that's been out of use for a while. You might be wondering why the students have suddenly made nice with their teacher after the battle they just lost. Well, it's because they just lost. Since Emma's a telepath, she has control of the minds of her students. If you pay attention, you can tell that they are all acting more juvenile than usual. That's because they can only be happy now. This is making them act more childlike. They're easier to control but they're also louder and more annoying.

The kicker is that Emma doesn't even know why she's doing what she's doing. She just sensed that something REALLY bad was going on in New York and decided to remove the children from the equation. Just because she missed a few at the Massachussettes Academy is no reason to fault her on her excellent tactical skills. In New York, Onslaught has started his world conquering ways. He even holds off the Avengers, Fantastic Four, and X-Men without breaking too much of a sweat. Taking the kids as far away from the combat zone as possible is probably a good move.

It's just too bad she didn't share that plan with he co-headmaster.

This is also her freaking out because of her earlier losses. The Hellions were under her care when many of them met tragic deaths. She doesn't want that to happen ever again.

The Gen X kids finally get on her nerves and she sends them to bed. They leave excitedly to dream the dreams of the mind-controlled.

Up on another floor of this mansion, Toad watches all of this. He doesn't look all that happy. Or mind-controlled. Next issue ought to be interesting...

Wow! Is that enough comics for today? It sure is!

Until next time: Who Do YOU Trust?

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About the Author - SuperginraiX

SuperginraiX is the biggest sap on The Outhousers' payroll (wait, we get paid?). He reads every issue of every crappy Marvel crossover so you don't have to. Whats worse is that he pays for his books, thus condoning Marvel's behavior. If The Outhouse cared for his well being at all, they'd try and get him into some sort of rehab center. But, alas, none of us even know how to say his name. For a good time, ask Super why Captian America jumped off the Helicarrier in Fear Itself. Super lives in the frozen wastland that is Minnesota with 15% of the state's population living under his roof: a wife he makes wear an Optimus Prime mask, two gremlins, and his mother-in-law.


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