Appearing in "The Coming of the Avengers!"
- Avengers (First appearance) (Origin revealed)
- Jane Foster
- Charlie (First appearance)
- U.S. Army (Mentioned)
- Fantastic Four
- Keibler's Circus
- Numerous unnamed circus-goers
- Unnamed Asgardian guard
- Jetliner crew
- NYPD (Mentioned)
Races and Species:
- Frost Giants
- Gorillas (Mentioned)
- Robots (Mentioned)
- Insects (Mentioned)
- Rock Trolls
- Silent Ones
- Cats (Mentioned)
- Midgard (Earth)
- Wasp's Suit and Bio-Synthetic Wings
- Ant-Man's Suit and Helmet
- Iron Man Armor Model 1
- Fantastic Four Uniforms
Synopsis for "The Coming of the Avengers!"
Loki, having been previously captured by Thor, is being held prisoner at the Isle of Silence in Asgard. His physical form may be confined there, but by means of thought projection his disembodied self travels to Earth in search of revenge. He spots Thor in his human identity of Dr. Don Blake, but resists defeating him as it would be a hollow victory compared to defeating him as Thor.
After hours of searching, Loki happens across the Hulk and devises a wicked plan to entice Blake to transform into Thor. He projects a mental image of dynamite on the tracks of a nearby railway bridge. The Hulk spots the dynamite and attempts to snuff it out, accidentally destroying the bridge. Suddenly, a train appears on the tracks traveling towards the wreckage. Valiantly, the Hulk manages to hold the tracks up long enough for the train to pass safely before allowing it to collapse. Unfortunately, the damage has already been done and Loki's plan was successful.
Hours later, newspapers print articles about the Hulk being on the rampage again and a manhunt begins. The Hulk's friend, Rick Jones, reads the article with disbelief and meets with members of the Teen Brigade in order to find help to track Hulk down to find the truth. They attempt to contact the Fantastic Four but Loki interferes with the radio signal, diverting it to Don Blake. He decides to transform into Thor to help the Teen Brigade. Unknown to Loki, the radio signal is also picked up by Ant-Man, the Wasp, and Iron Man, who also travel to assist.
Later, the Teen Brigade are disappointed that the Fantastic Four hadn't responded to their message when they finally get a reply. They inform the Teen Brigade that they are too busy with another case but they have a hunch that other heroes may have received their distress call. Suddenly Thor, Iron Man, Ant-Man, and the Wasp arrive. Loki realizes that the other heroes will only interfere with his plans and lures Thor away by creating a mental image of the Hulk. Upon catching up with this fake "Hulk", Thor attacks and realizes it isn't real, and immediately suspects Loki. He then returns to Asgard to face his brother.
Meanwhile, Iron Man, Ant-Man and the Wasp track down the Hulk with the help of Ant-Man's ants. He is working at a circus pretending to be a robot called Mechano. They attempt to capture him by causing the ground below him to cave in, by dropping a steel cylinder onto him, and trying to catch him in a net. Hulk manages to escape the circus. Iron Man gives chase but the Hulk cripples his battery, and escapes while Iron Man repairs it.
Back in Asgard, Thor asks permission from Odin to meet Loki on the Isle of Silence to question him. Odin accepts but warns that he cannot interfere between the two brothers' quarrel. As Thor sets out across the Sea of Mist he is attacked by Loki's traps. First, he narrowly escapes tangle roots that threaten to drag him down into the depths. Next, a volcano erupts releasing volcanic gas globules capable of sapping the strength of any god. Thor manages to evade these by diving into the sea. On the island, Loki spots Thor's empty boat and wonders with disbelief if Thor has already been defeated. Suddenly, a giant water spout appears in front of him as Thor emerges from the sea to face him. He throws his hammer at Loki, only to have it deflected by a hastily-made ice shield.
Loki calls upon a Rock Troll, which begins to drag Thor beneath the ground. At the last moment, Thor uses his hammer to summon lightning which dazzles the troll, causing it to relinquish his hold. Thor angrily swings his hammer at Loki, who has created multiple mental images of himself to confuse him. Thor counters this by spinning his hammer fast enough to blow all the figures away, revealing the true Loki. Soaking up the magnetic flow from the earth with his hammer, he captures Loki via magnetic attraction and takes him back to Earth to clear the Hulk's name.
On Earth, Iron Man, Ant-Man and the Wasp continue to pursue the Hulk to an auto factory in Detroit. Thor appears with Loki to clear Hulk's name. Suddenly Loki makes himself radioactive forcing the heroes to retreat. Luckily, Loki stands over a trapdoor and Ant-Man's ants trigger a switch, dropping him into a lead-lined tank. Upon celebrating their victory, Ant-Man and the Wasp point out how well they could work as a team, and that they should work together in the future. The Wasp suggests they should call themselves the Avengers, and everybody agrees.
And there came a day, a day unlike any other, when Earth's mightiest heroes found themselves united against a common threat! On that day, the Avengers were born, to fight the foes no single super hero could withstand!
Appearing in "Trial and Errors"
- Erik the Red
- Erik the Red's robots
- Mr. Sinister (Only in flashback)
- Marauders (Only in flashback)
- Bounty hunters
- Ferris (First appearance)
- Morlocks (Only in flashback)
- Marrow (Only in flashback)
- Belladonna (Mentioned)
- Kingpin (Mentioned)
- Aunt Charity (Mentioned) (Gambit's aunt)
- Nanny (Decapitated head)
- William Shakespeare (Mentioned)
- Shi'ar (Mentioned)
- Magneto (Mentioned)
- Ms. Marvel (Mentioned)
- X-Men (Dream)
- Lilandra Neramani (Mentioned)
- Justice (Statue)
- Nightcrawler (Mentioned)
- Charlton Heston (Mentioned)
- Phoenix Force (Mentioned)
- Forge (Mentioned)
- Prism (Mentioned)
- Scaleface (Mentioned)
- Apocalypse (Mentioned)
- Arclight (Mentioned)
- Scrambler (Mentioned)
- Washington State (Only in flashback)
- Seattle (Only in flashback)
- Erik the Red's base
- New York State
Synopsis for "Trial and Errors"
The issue opens with Gambit in chains. Then immediately switches to a flashback taking place in "a night long ago". The setting is Seattle and a younger version of Gambit is waiting for someone within an old church, situated in a bad neighborhood. Remy is thinking about the recent negative events in his life. His people have disowned him, his wife Belladonna died well before her time, and he has gained a lot of enemies. He estimates that he has more enemies than the legendary Kingpin, despite the fact of Remy's years in the crime game representing 1/10 of the Kingpin's years in the field.
Remy then considers the positive aspects in his life. He has become the best thief in the whole world, and his power to charge things with energy gives him an edge over competitors. Once he receives his payment, he will never have to take a job that will eat away at him. He wants to see if he is going to win or lose this game, and lets his cards decide. He draws a single card from his deck of cards, feeling it would give him an answer. The card is the ace of spades, which Remy takes for an ill omen. The voice of a newcomer in the church observes that the ace of spades is supposed to be the card of death.
Remy replies that it may mean the death of not himself but the one speaking to him. He charges the card with energy and uses it as a throwing weapon against the source of the voice. The card reaches the upper levels of the church but fails to find a target. Its explosion only scares away a couple of birds. The newcomer then reveals himself to be Nathaniel Essex and to be standing right behind Gambit. Essex is standing far from where his voice was coming, confusing Gambit. He asks how is this possible, though his target refuses to answer.
Essex comments that he is impressed with Remy's skills and his superior work, and he points that he is not a man easily impressed. Remy ignores the compliment. He says that Essex paid him to round up some "bad folk" (villains). He only did what he was paid to do. He does not need any compliments, he needs their debt settled. Essex offers Remy a strange vial, which apparently contains Remy's payment. Essex finds Remy's requested fee to be "most peculiar", but reasonable for him to pay. He asks whether Remy is satisfied, though a rather hostile Remy refuses to answer.
With his payment in hand, Remy voices his curiosity about something. Essex tasked him with gathering Scalphunter and other men. But he still does not know why they were worth this much to Essex, and why his employer was willing to pay a high price. He believes that a man like Essex could have located them and gathered them up himself. In other words, Remy was not necessary in this operation. Essex's only answer is an enigmatic smile.
Realizing that no explanation is forthcoming, Remy decides that it may be for the best. He points that some things are better left unknown. Remy then issues a declaration that he is severing ties with Essex. This job was supposedly the last in their business relationship, and never wants Essex to call him or write to him again. Remy explains that he believes in the cards (and their ill omen) and wants out of this game.
Essex does not accept Remy's resignation. He says that Remy will only be "out", when Essex decides to let him exit the game. He reveals that he has one more job for Remy. His new associates require Remy's specific talent for insinuating (manoeuvring) himself in places where he does not belong. Remy wants to deny the job offer and claims that Essex can not afford hiring him again. Essex is unimpressed, and answers that every man has a price to charge. And he thinks he knows Remy's price. The flashback ends and Gambit is thinking of Essex's words. He concludes that every man has a price to charge and a price to pay.
The scene shifts to an advanced snowmobile, making its way through the wilderness of Antarctica. Aboard it are Gambit, Grovel, and Spat. Grovel observes that Remy has been silent since the three of them left the X-Men. Spat finds it peculiar as well, since Remy usually talks too much. Remy speaks only to let the bounty hunters know that he has got nothing to say. He privately thinks that he can not stand his own resurfacing memories. He compares them to the gas effects his Aunt Charity's cooking had on him.
Spat finds Gambit's behavior suspicious and figures he is planning something. She leaves the steering of the snowmobile to Grovel and decides to check up on their captive. Grovel points that he still does not know where they are heading. Spat replies that the protective field around them and the destination of the snowmobile are the responsibility of their employer. Grovel just has to keep going straight. He agrees to that.
Spat explains to Remy that she still hates him, and blames him for her condition. She is getting younger every minute. But she also finds it curious that he had a sudden fit of responsibility and decided to surrender to them so easily. Remy explains that when they were all held by Nanny and lost their powers, he felt something that he never felt before. It was something good. Unconvinced, Spat asks what could turn a devil (like him) into an angel. Remy answers that the difference is that now he cares about something. He declines to explain further.
He has a flashback involving Rogue during their recent captivity. He decides to examine what the emotion he is feeling actually is, love, anger, or regret. In the flashback Rogue has noticed Remy turning his back on her and asks him what is wrong. He replies that he wants to tell her but there is a wall up inside him. She points that she thought they brought their walls down the previous night. Rogue wonders if what he is keeping secret and not telling is that he loves her. If so, she points that this is okay to say. She actually wants to hear him say it. She them offers him a playing card, the queen of hearts. She instructs him to carry it and think of her in times when they are not together, though she hopes those will be few. He replies that he also hopes so, and the flashback ends.
Spat notices that Gambit is holding a playing card in his hand, the queen of hearts, and figures it is a weapon. She grabs it and tosses it away. He claims that the card represents his heart. She responds that Remy would not be needing it where they are going. Their conversation ends when their snowmobile starts shaking. She asks Grovel what is wrong, and he responds that something is pulling them underground. She frantically instructs him to pull up, but its no use. The snowmobile and its passengers are pulled underground. Only the playing card is left behind in the ice.
The scene shifts to the Beast. He is holding Nanny's decapitated head and reciting the Yorick-relevant monologue from "Hamlet" by William Shakespeare. He ends his recital and further breaks the head into pieces. He mentions that he paid his respect to the Bard and to his days in a college drama club, but now he has a land skimmer to create out of the remains of their wrecked Shi'ar space shuttle.
Beast is approached by Trish Tilby and Joseph. Trish has abandoned her Shi'ar uniform and is wearing civilian clothing. She hopes that Hank will soon finish creating a vehicle for them, because she is freezing even in her new clothes. Beast wonders where she got new clothes in the first place. Joseph responds that he created the clothes, by having reconfigured the clothes worn by Nanny's robotic children. He offers to create some clothes for the mostly naked Beast, though Hank is not interested. Hank instructs Joseph to instead focus on maintaining the magnetic field around them which protects them from the cold.
Privately Beast contemplates Joseph's powers and situation. The new ways in which Joseph is using his powers, suggest to Hank that these powers are waxing. Joseph is increasingly more powerful. He theorizes that this is affected by the strong polarity of Antarctica. He wonders however if these means that the other personality of Joseph, that of Magneto is also rising. This place used to be Joseph/Magneto's sanctuary. Beast considers the amnesia of Joseph to have been a blessing. A blessing for the world which keeps it safe from a madman. And a blessing for Joseph himself which gave him a chance to change his life and escape his past sins.
Beast finally realizes that Joseph's powers and creativity can help him fashion a new vehicle. He asks for his help. Joseph expresses his eagerness to get back to New York City to get to work on facing the chaos caused by Operation: Zero Tolerance. Beast points that the vehicle they will be creating out of this scrap head, will not really be able to leave the continent. They will simply skid their way across Antarctica until they find a base and manage to radio for help. They are joined by Rogue, who points that she wants to free Gambit first. Even if he is too stupid to realize that he needs rescuing.
The scene shifts to the World Trade Center and its vicinity. Eany and Meany have cornered Archangel in a narrow alley. Warren asks Psylocke to come and help him face the slugs. She is not interested in helping him, focusing all her attention to the unconscious Maggott. She points that Warren is a hero, so he can save himself while she is busy.
Psylocke proclaims that there is something dark about Maggott. Warren is not impressed, reminding her that this is the third or fourth time she repeats this statement. So the man is dark, what does Betsy want to do about it. She answers that part of Maggott is missing. She feels compelled to discover what it is within him that attracts her. Her shadow powers start working, teleporting Psylocke and Maggott through the floor of the alley.
Warren is shocked that she used the term "attracts" in relation to Maggott. He quickly escapes the slugs, and moves towards Betsy's remaining shadows. He starts teleporting too, while calling for her to wait for him. He complains that his lover can not leave him behind with the slugs. He disappears. Eany and Meany chase after him, enter the shadows, and disappear as well.
The scene shifts to a dark location, where Gambit regains consciousness. He seems to be alone. A loud voice announces that Gambit is being held there until his trial. Gambit finds the voice too loud and orders whoever it is to lower his voice. The voice answers that traitors have no right to bark orders. Gambit asks the man to show himself but the voice pays no attention to his demands. The voice threatens Gambit with a fate fitting the coward's crimes.
Gambit thinks that the voice belongs to Sinister and starts threatening his former employer. A blast of energy shocks Gambit and knocks him to the ground. The voice says that Gambit is guilty and will be found guilty in due time. But that there are still other plays who have yet to arrive.
The scene shifts to the new vehicle of the X-Men, traveling across Antarctica. The others are inside the vehicle, but Rogue rides outside it and is exposed to the elements. She is surveying the area for signs of Gambit. She secretly feels vulnerable and withholds her tears. One reason she stands apart from the others is that she wants to avoid embarrassing questions. She would rather look strong outside the vehicle, than weak inside it.
Suddenly Rogue feels something. It is the heightened "Seventh Sense" that she absorbed from Ms. Marvel, dormant for several years. It is now singing like a fiddle string, alerting her to something in the seemingly empty wilderness. She instructs Beast to stop the vehicle. He points that they actually have no choice but to stop, since the vehicle is malfunctioning. Trish points that it is not Hank's fault and that he did his best. Suddenly Joseph begs them to stop. He seems to be in pain and holds his head, then collapses. The vehicle stops and Beast starts tending to Joseph.
Outside the vehicle, Beast mentions a saying of his grandfather. It is basically that you can change the external appearance of something without changing its nature. (In their case they changed a wrecked spaceship into a new vehicle, but it remained a wreck). Joseph distances himself from the vehicle, kneels on the ground, and proclaims that someone is here. He then collapses head first into the ice.
Rogue goes to check on Joseph's condition. Beast worries that if Joseph is unconscious, they will all freeze to death. Rogue discovers the queen of hearts right next to Joseph. She thins that the someone Joseph was talking about is Gambit. She identifies the playing card as the one she herself gave to Gambit the previous day. Their vehicle suddenly explodes, leaving all four passengers (Beast, Joseph, Rogue, and Trish Tilby) stranded.
Joseph seems to have regained consciousness. He proclaims that someone is here and uses his powers to raise an entire gigantic base out of the ice. Beast is surprised and asks what is this building and how did Joseph manage to raise it. Joseph has no idea how or why he managed that, as confused as the rest of them. He asks what should they do. Rogue (the de facto leader of this group) decides that as X-Men, they should charge right on into the unknown and save their missing member. She instructs everyone to get going.
The scene shifts to a group of the original X-Men (Angel, Beast, Cyclops, Iceman, and Marvel Girl). They surround Professor X and speak to him, though he does not react. They are asking where is he, point that someone else is here, and question why has the Professor left them. A narration points that at this point in his life Xavier was still young, and had the simple dream of helping mutants by providing a school for them. He was teaching them to control their powers. What held this man together was his original group of students.
The scene shifts. Professor X is now older and is surrounded by a different group of X-Men. They are Cyclops, Banshee, Colossus, Gambit, Nightcrawler, Storm, and Wolverine. They are speaking to him, but he does not respond. They say that someone is here again, they ask for the Professor's help, and ask where the Professor is. The narration explains that these were his "all-new, all-different students". At this point in his life, Xavier still cared for his school and students, but his priorities had shifted. What held this man together was his love for Lilandra Neramani, a beautiful princess from another world.
The scene shifts. Professor X is in considerable different clothes and his wheelchair has been replaced by a Hoverchair. He is still surrounded by X-Men, but a different incarnation of the team. They are Arhangel, Bishop, Cannonball, Cyclops, Gambit, Iceman, Joseph, Phoenix, Psylocke, Rogue, Storm, and Wolverine. They are talking to him, but he does not respond. They are saying that someone is here again, and are asking why did the Professor leave. The dream version of Gambit stands out from the others. Remy claims that he already knows why and he can tell them. The real Xavier wakes from this dream screaming "no" before Gambit speaks further.
According to the narration, these last group of X-Men represent the recent past of Xavier's school. They were many and adjectives were inadequate to describe them. But what held Xavier together was apparently falling away, leaving him trapped in an onslaught of emotions. Emotions that only now is he beginning to understand. The narration asks whether the dream is still alive within Xavier. Or whether he understands too late that these emotions are locked away in a vault or a prison without a key. The images accompanying the narration reveal that Xavier is held in a cell within a prison facility, apparently the same one where Bastion placed him.
The scene shifts to Antarctica. The seemingly impenetrable walls of the giant base open with no effort on the part of the four X-Men (Beast, Joseph, Rogue, Trish Tilby), allowing them entry. Beast asks whether Joseph opened the doors, but Joseph claims to know nothing of this place and how it works. He only knew its location. Rogue wants to find out who opened the doors. The X-Men come across a giant statue Themis, the Titans of Justice. Beast recognizes her and finds its presence revealing. He thought the base could be a forgotten mystery of the Savage Land, but finds blind justice to be "a far more northern concept".
Rogue proclaims that whoever owns the place holds Gambit, and that she wants him back. Rogue then decides to split the group and search the place. She mentions the possibility of trouble around, but is immediately interrupted by Trish. Trish bitterly observes that this is not a mere possibility, there is always trouble when all the X-Men are involved. Joseph volunteers to search the basement, though he feels ill. Rogue offers to let him sit this one out, though he declines.
Privately, Joseph muses that the more he remembers of his past as Magneto, the less well he feels. He finds the corridors ahead of him strangely familiar. He wonders if he built this base and whether he used to live here, as the Beast suspects. He finds his memories closer to him in this place, as if they hover beyond his body.
The scene shifts to another area of the base. Psylocke has teleported herself to Antarctica, but has no idea where she is. She wonders where is Maggott. She muses that ever since the Crimson Dawn altered her powers, they have become unpredictable. This includes this "unsettling" teleportation. She almost feels like a stranger to her own body. The last time she felt like this when she switched from her original British body to the new Asian one. She looks around her and notices books. She decides this is a library, but notices that it reeks of the same cold and oppressively heavy darkness that she sensed in Maggott. She examines an open book. It is the code of Hammurabi, but finds a peculiarity in the book. It is made of iron and the letters on it are written in rust.
The scene shifts to another location, probably a part of the base. Archangel teleports there and lands ungracefully on the floor. He feels angry at Psylocke. Thinkins she is around, he starts speaking to her, He wants to know why was she trying to leave him behind. He says he does not appreciate that, and observes that she has been acting weird since she received her shadow slipping power. He also observes that he just felt her shadow spaces and does not like the feel of them. He wants her to consult Nightcrawler about them. He finally looks around him and realizes Betsy is not there. He then notices an execution device with a prominent noose, waiting for someone to hang. He finds this to be an ill omen.
The scene shifts to the third shadow, Maggott and his slugs. He is also in the base and is happy that they ditched Psylocke. He notices the slugs have started eating again, feeding on nearby metal chains. He berates them for their sickening obsession with food, but then Joseph arrives and defends them. He says that one can not easily supress one's appetite. Eany and Meany perceive the newcomer as a threat and start to attack, but Maggott stops them. He explains that Joseph is a friend. Joseph and Maggott shake hands.
Joseph finds Maggott familiar, though he does not know where or when they met. He believes, however, that they are less than friends. But Maggott expresses gratitude for what "Magneto" did for him and says he will always call him a friend. Joseph explains that he is no longer called "Magneto", and that now he is only Joseph. Suddenly, a new voice proclaims Joseph to be an abomination and energy blasts him. Joseph falls unconscious and the shadowy figure grabs him by the hair.
Maggott recognizes the newcomer, and the newcomer recognizes Maggott. Maggott is confused, but the newcomer instructs him to trust him through what will come next. Maggott claims that the newcomer has never lied to him. The newcomer assures him that he shall never lie to Maggott. He asks Maggott to cooperate and promises he will be free.
Elsewhere, Beast and Trish Tilby have partnered up in the search. They come across two stone tablets with writings on them. Trish does not recognize the writing system but suggests that these are the Ten Commandments. Hank jokes that they are not here to fight Charlton Heston. A sound of "sckk" is heard and Trish notices it. She asks Hank about it, but he has not heard anything. He thinks she is nervous and hearing things. He instructs her to calm down, observing that this place is melodramatically court-like but they have yet to encounter anything hostile.
While Hank speaks, metallic tentacles appear. One wraps around the mouth of Trish, preventing her from speaking. The tentacle makes a sound of "sckk". This time Beast notices the sound. He turns around and sees an entire group of tentacled robots, and they all make the "sckk" sound. He struggles with them and calls the name of the disappeared Trish. He is outclassed and easily captured.
The scene shifts to Psylocke. She has apparently left the library, searching for Maggott and Archangel. She knows Warren should be around, as she sensed he was with her in the shadow-plane. She encounters two statues, representing figures unfamiliar to her. She theorizes that these are monuments but questions who they commemorate. A voice informs her that they commemorate those who deserve monuments, the fallen. A hand surrounded by energy then appears and the voice announces that Psylocke is about to join the fallen. She seems to recognize the newcomer and is surprised, claiming that it can not be him. As she apparently falls and darkness covers her, the voice comments that "they always say that".
The scene shifts back to Archangel. He flies around the base and has realized that this base is enormous. He thinks that he could search all day and still fail to see another soul. He also found this place to be weird, room after room seems to resemble abandoned television sets. He wonders what is this place and how did Betsy know about its existence.
Warren starts calling to his lover. He is somewhat irritated at the possibility that she dumped him to spend time alone with Maggott, and starts threateningly explaining what he is going to do about it. A new voice proclaims that Warren is going to do nothing. Energy blasts Warren and he falls to the ground. The newcomer explains that Warren is a victim. He finds Warren's presence quite unexpected but appropriate. He says Warren is the perfect man to serve a role in the coming drama, and that this role would otherwise have gone uncast. Robots appear and the voice instructs them to take Warren into custody. He wants them to transport Warren into a chamber for the trial is about to begin. The robots all make the "sckk" sound.
The scene shifts to Rogue, who is still searching the base. She opens a door and discovers a depressed-looking Gambit. He is alone and curled up on the floor. He speaks to her and she realizes that he is close to crying. He says that he will not cry, as this would ruin his reputation. He asks her to leave, as her love has awakened an unfamiliar part of him, his conscience.
Rogue proclaims that she is not going anywhere and that she is here to help him. He asks her to kiss him and use her powers on him. He wants his memories stolen and he can not live with them any more. Rogue is shocked, and Remy changes his mind. He says his memories would doom her as well. She explains that Spat helped her remember some of his stolen memories. He orders her to get out and claims that he never loved her. He is ready to face his destiny, and he wants to face it alone. Rogue uses her super-strength to lift him from the ground. She says that he will not be alone and that points that she does not believe what he just said.
She explains that she has just found Remy, and does not plan to lose him. She realizes that something is eating at him, but they can work through that together. Preferably far away from this base. Rogue instructs him to put his hands around her. She wants to fly them out of this cell, locate the other X-Men, and leave before the base's owner confronts them. Remy denies her request, claiming that he deserves to stay.
An increasingly desperate Rogue points that Remy does not understand, and explains that she loves him unconditionally. Remy is unmoved and says love is not always enough. She claims otherwise, but he instructs her to stop. He explains that he built a house of cards and now it has come down on him. He always knew it would. He now has to face the consequences. Rogue is in tears. She claims that never did anyone manage to touch her heart like Gambit did. She wants to have that and be happy, she wants him to spend his life with her.
At this moment, the two of them are confronted by the new Erik the Red, who says that he can not allow that. Erik is accompanied by an aggressive-looking Grovel and a spear-wielding Spat. Erik explains that all his months of preparation and planning shall now pay off. He says Gambit no longer deserves the life he leads, and that he now faces a day of retribution. He instructs Grovel and Spat to deal with Gambit and Rogue. Spat uses energy from her spear to knock out Rogue. Gambit surrenders but asks the bounty hunters to not hurt Rogue. Spat claims that Rogue can not be hurt more than the way Remy has already hurt her.
The scene shifts to Pennsylvania where an aircraft formerly owned by Operation: Zero Tolerance is flying. The aircraft has been "borrowed" by the X-Men and contains 6 of them (Cannonball, Cyclops, Jubilee, Phoenix, Storm, and Wolverine). Five of them are comfortable in their role, while Cannonball feels out of place. He is somewhat jealous of Scott and Jean, who have been through so much together and keep on going. The married couple is having a private conversation while Sam is standing next to them, making him feel like he is invading their privacy.
Cyclops is in considerable pain, because he has a nano-tech bomb inside him. Jean is using her psychic powers to hold his body together and keep him alive, though she can not end the crisis. Scott begs her to let him die and claims that the effort is too much of a strain of her. Jean compares their situation to when she held an entire space shuttle together, right before the Phoenix Force assumed her identity. She claims that back then Scott gave her the strength to rescue herself and the X-Men. She is going to return the favor by keeping him alive or die trying.
The scene moves to Storm and Wolverine at the cockpit of the aircraft. Logan has noticed that Ororo keeps looking at the skies outside the aircraft, and asks her if there is someone chasing them. She answers that she is looking at the skies themselves and gives a rather poetic description of their beauty and anger. Logan questions whether Ororo is in love again. Because he has not heard her sounding like this since she was dating Forge. She replies that she is in love... with planet Earth.
Sam Guthrie, who has moved himself next to the cockpit, overhears their conversation. He feels jealous and out of place again. He thinks Logan and Ororo treat each other like family, while he is only a late-comer with limited ties to his fellow X-Men. He contemplates that no matter how much he ever goes through with the X-Men, he can never really be one of them. A concerned Jubilee notices Sam standing alone and asks the "Hayseed" what is wrong. He claims that nothing is wrong and that he was only thinking. She instructs him against thinking too much, because this will get him in trouble every time.
The scene shifts back to Antarctica, in what seems to be courtroom. A robot called Ferris announces that Erik the Red has arrived for the prosecution. Erik informs Ferris that he stands ready. Ferris proceeds to introduce the other constituents of this court. He first points at Gambit, whose head is placed in a guillotine. Ferris explains that he is the accused, and that he is known as Remy LeBeau or Gambit. Remy claims this is not necessary, but Ferris instructs him to speak only when addressed by the court.
Then Ferris introduces the jury of this trial, who are mostly shackled with with metallic manacles. The jury consists of five people: Beast, Maggott, Rogue, Psylocke, and Trish Tilby. Ferris identifies everyone by codename, except from Trish who is referred only as "a human woman". Remy wonders who Maggott is, but Ferris orders him to stop talking.
Ferris next introduces the defender of this trial, Archangel. Warren is also trapped and his wings are restrained. Warren is confused. This is the first time he hears he has been appointed defenders, and does not even know what this trial is about. He demands to be released by his restraints and calls this "trial" idiotic. Ferris instructs him to speak only when addressed by the court. A smiling Erik speaks to Warren, explaining that Archangel is the perfect man for this task. Warren points that he is shackled and is actually given no choice. He wants to know who is going to judge this trial, since there does not seem to be a judge. Erik cryptically remarks that they all judge each other in their own ways.
Erik asks for lights to turn on, and their light reveals the presence of additional statues of the fallen. Erik explains that they represent souls swept away in an unforgivable "holocaust". Many of their victims had their names lost in their massacre and forgotten. But he introduces the names of these two statues of victims who suffered brutal deaths: Prism and Scaleface. He accuses Remy LeBeau of causing their deaths, and then extends the accusation to Remy causing the mass murder of the Morlocks.
Archangel interrupts Erik. He wants to know who this "Erik the Red" actually is. He notes that this identity is not real, it is always as a cover identity for someone else. He recalls it was created by Cyclops and first used by him. He questions whether this "Erik" is Scott (Summers), who has finally snapped and went insane and evil like Professor X. Warren points that Scott always followed the Professor's lead. Warren then starts defending Gambit. He says every X-Man has had doubts about Gambit, but Gambit is an X-Men. And the X-Men do not let their own people fall.
In response, Erik starts angrily accusing the X-Men and their methods. He says the X-Men have failed to protect their own kind (mutants). They shelter one or two mutants in their precious school, while leaving hundreds of others to fend for themselves. Erik then points how do the X-Men choose who they are going to help: they choose the most attractive and powerful ones. While leaving the deformed and destitute Morlocks to live beneath the streets of New York City. The Morlocks were allowed to ingest the refuse of humanity for decades, then the X-Men stood idly while the Morlocks were exterminated.
Gambit interrupts Erik, questioning who is actually on trial, the X-Men or Gambit himself. Erik takes the point and turns his attention back to Gambit, who he calls "boy". Gambit protests that he is an adult man, not a boy. Erik answers that Gambit does not act like a man, and that a real man would confess his crimes and accept his punishment. Gambit "confesses" that he has done some things which he is ashamed for, but claims that the people present are not the ones who need to listen his apology. Erik angrily points that the people who needed this apology are now dead, killed at Gambit's hands. Therefore the people present will serve as witnesses for Gambit's "atrocities".
Rogue and Beast, members of the jury, start speaking to each other. She notices that there is someone unaccounted for, who actually should be here. Beast had not noticed before, but realizes who is missing. They both note the apparent absence of Joseph, and suspect that he is Erik the Red. Rogue turns to Erik and calls him "Joseph", asking him what is this trial all about. Erik is surprised at her conclusion and asks her not to confuse him with Joseph. He claims that Gambit is the one on trial because his crimes are so more abhorrent, but otherwise it should be Joseph who should be accused.
Erik asks Ferris to show Joseph, "their pathetic accomplice", to the members of the court. Two robots making the "sckk" sound transport Joseph into the room. He seems tortured and his uniform is torn. His body above the waist is naked, his pants are torn enough to reveal the flesh of his legs. He is partly conscious and bleeding from the mouth. The robots drop him face-first into the floor. Erik explains that Joseph is sickening, because he has renounced who and what he truly is and then embraced his mortal foes. He became one of them. Joseph tries to speak but Erik does not allow that. Erik continues, claiming that Joseph has already been judged. He was found unworthy and this esteemed court will not waste its time with him.
Erik approaches Gambit, grabs his jaw, and asks him to confess the crime he has committed. Taking note of the vagueness of the question, Gambit asks which one of his crimes. Erik clarifies that he is not interested in Gambit's petty larcenies, only in his "blood betrayal". He calls Gambit's betrayal the blackest moment in Remy's long line of blasphemous actions.
Gambit speaks and admits that he was working for Sinister. He admits to having had a heart of ice back then. Belladona was dead, and Remy did not care if even himself lived or died. He figured he would never love again, so he cast his fate with whoever came his way. And that person turned out to be "someone Sinister". Sinister wanted him to assemble a number of mercenaries to break into an impenetrable community. Sinister had something (the vial) that Remy needed badly, so Remy agreed to follow orders. The mercenaries he gathered were big, ugly, and mean. Remy did what he was paid to do.
Beast seems genuinely shocked, and points that Gambit worked Mr. Sinister and failed to tell the X-Men. Rogue seems hurt and asks whether Gambit was really "in bed" with one of their greatest enemies. She asks Remy "for how long" did this happen. Gambit avoids a direct answer to the question. He only says he was never proud for what he did, and that once he joined the X-Men, he put all his villainous actions behind him. He points that Rogue herself used to be a villain and put her past behind her when she joined the X-Men.
Erik angrily interrupts him, claiming that one can not set aside his own past. Because a man's character is the sum of his actions. Archangel voices his agreement with this phrase of Erik, but gives it a much different meaning. Warren says that men can change who they are by changing their actions. This is a way to escape the darkness within their own souls. He starts naming examples: Warren himself managed to reclaim his soul from Apocalypse, Joseph has managed to turn his own life around, and Gambit... .
Erik interrupts Warren and calls him a fool. He claims that Gambit is directly responsible for the darkness that befell Warren. He claims that Warren is quick to defend a man who permanently scarred him. Archangel is confused and does not know of what scar Erik is talking about. He asks both Erik and Gambit for an explanation, though Gambit claims he has none to offer.
Erik asks Gambit to identify the mercenaries that he so efficiently assembled. He wants Gambit to tell the X-Men how much evil he managed to gather in the name of greed. Gambit protests that his crime was not motivated by greed. He also declines to offer any details for it, saying that "Erik", whoever he is, already knows these details. Erik can tell the X-Men himself and get it over with.
Psylocke intervenes and claims that she knows some of these details. Erik calls on her to testify as a witness for the prosecution. A flashback begins. The mercenaries are revealed to have been the Marauders, though Betsy claims that she knows only a few of their names. She names Arclight, Scrambler, Scalphunter, Vertigo, Harpoon, Riptide, and Sabretooth. Betsy claims that they were all evil beings with intention of becoming Marauders of the Underground and destroy any Morlocks they found there. All because Sinister deemed their existence to be scientifically useless. Betsy explains that these memories have been locked away in her mind for months, since she mindlinked with Remy. The flashback ends.
Gambit starts defending himself. He does not deny the truth in Psylocke's words. But claims that a man can change. He does not want anyone to forget what he has done, but he wants them to forgive him. He says that he suspected Psylocke knew this secret. He could have killed her to silence her forever, but he did not. Because he is no villain.
Archangel no longer wants to defend Gambit, and is in no mood to forgive him. He is enraged and struggles with his restraints. He accuses Gambit of creating the Marauders and consequently costing Warren to lose his original wings. He blames Gambit for the loss of the wings and its consequences. He also feels betrayed that Gambit has stood by his side for so long, pretending to be his friend, and never said a damn word about his guilty past. He sees Gambit as a traitor and threatens to personally use that guillotine to execute him.
Warren next turns his anger to Betsy. He accuses her of knowing this all this time and never telling him. She seems hurt and defends herself, claiming that the memories were locked away and only now came back to the surface. She reminds her lover of what she has recently experienced, but he stops her from speaking about it. He casts his head down and resigns from his position as defender. He invites Gambit to defend himself, as he would like to see him try.
Gleefully, Erik notes that there is no defense for Gambit. But claims that what they have heard so far is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg, or in their case glacier. He accuses Remy of failing to cooperate with the court. He next calls a special witness for the prosecution, Rogue. An energy starts moving Rogue towards Gambit, though she is clearly unwilling and asks Erik to get out of her head. Erik instructs her to kiss Gambit, to steal all his secrets, and to share them with the court. Spat protests that Rogue does not need to touch Gambit to remember the secrets, because she already does. Spat made her remember. Grovel, however, disagrees and notes that Rogue is not accepting the truth.
Rogue is in tears and protests against the instructions. But Gambit asks her to go ahead and feel no responsibility for it, since this is not her doing. He only pleads with her to forgive him for what she is about to see. She grabs Gambit and kisses him on the lips. She starts experiencing Gambit's Marauders-related memories in a flashback. Gambit shows the Marauders the way into the Morlock Tunnels. He is scared himself, because he knows something bad is going to happen. He watches the start of a massacre and is horrified at the presence of so much blood. He tries to stop them, but a bloodthirsty Sabretooth attacks Gambit and nearly kills him.
Gambit is still conscious and adds a few more details to what Rogue is saying. Remy did not know the purpose of the mission, and he only thought it would be something illegal. He did not know the purpose would be so awful. That night changed him. The flashback continues and it is unclear whether it is Rogue or Gambit narrating. He almost died in there and sometimes he wishes he had. He could not stop the Marauders so he decided to help whoever he could, helping them find a way out. He managed to snatch one little girl (Marrow) and transport her to safety. But this was all he could do that night. The flashback ends.
Erik is not impressed by the memories. He notes that Gambit saved just one life while so many others perished. And the one he rescued was a single survivor in a genocide that Gambit himself set in motion. He sarcastically asks whether they should applaud him for a single act of kindness, and reward him for being the kindest of the war criminals. He insists that Gambit should be put on trial for his crimes, and this should be followed by a trial of Sabretooth and by other trials.
Erik is interrupted by Rogue, who now has Gambit's energy powers. She charges a playing card with kinetic energy and throws it at him. She accuses Erik for violating her and mentally raping her. She now has a new personality, and it is the exact one she wanted to get to know as a real, normal woman. With a move of his head, Erik evades the card. He says that Rogue is not a normal woman, because she is a mutant as are they all. (Erik includes himself among the mutants). And they are mutants disgusted with the acts of one of their own people. It is easy for him to avoid her ill-aimed shot, but not easy for mutants to turn their heads from the barbarity of their fellows.
The playing card which Erik evaded falls in one of the Beast's manacles and the energy destroys, releasing one of his hands. Beast informs "Red" that Rogue was not aiming for him to begin with. Hank claims that Erik has underestimated the X-Men and their ability to hold together. Eeny and Meany appear and start devouring the metallic restraints of Archangel. He is free and questions who should he punch first. The still bound Gambit notes that the card who released the Beast was Rogue's queen of hearts.
An enraged Rogue punches Erik. She threatens that he is going to pay for what he has done, that he is going to suffer like he made her suffer. And claims that no jury in the world would even find her guilty for doing it to him. Erik recovers quickly and claims her anger is misplaced, she should be angry at Gambit. He invites the X-Men to judge Gambit and let the guilty man to suffer a life sentence, to live his life knowing that he has betrayed his race, his friends, the love of his life, and in doing so himself. He instructs Ferris to go to his chambers.
Erik uses energy from his hand to shatter the ceiling of the courtroom and the building seems about to collapse. Beast decides it is time to evacuate. A released Psylocke calls on everyone to gather around her and let her shadows teleport them. Rogue ignores Betsy and tries to release Gambit from his restrains though he asks her to let the walls come down on him. Rogue claims that she will not leave him there to die and that self-pity does not suit Remy.
Rogue transports Gambit out of the collapsing room. He points that Psylocke is elsewhere, but she answers that they are not going to follow Psylocke. Remy thanks Rogue for believing in him and promises that he has changed. What he was does not define who he is. Once they reach the ice outside the base, Rogue lets Gambit fall down. She says that she does not believe him. She reminds him that she said she would not leave him there to die. Out here, it is up to Gambit himself whether he lives or dies. Rogue does not care anymore. In other words, she plans to abandon him in Antarctica.
Gambit claims that he does not care if she leaves him there, but asks her to understand. She angrily points that she does not understand him. Changing his tune, Gambit accepts that he has earned her hatred. He only asks her to transport him somewhere else, in a place that will give him the chance to return home. Rogue shows him the queen of cards and informs Remy that he no longer has a home, at least not with her and the X-Men. She instructs him to fend for himself, like he has done so well in the past. He claims that he loves her. She throws the playing card at his feet, and points that love involves being honest with the people you love. The implication being that the secretive and dishonest Gambit is incapable of loving. She then leaves for good, leaving Gambit alone in the wilderness of Antarctica.
The scene shifts to a flying vehicle, transporting Erik the Red and Ferris. Ferris informs his master that they have achieved cruising velocity and that nobody is tracking them. He next informs Erik that there are only two lifeforms remaining in the vicinity of the base, and asks for instructions. Erik says that for the time being he only desires to get rid of this ridiculous armor. Ferris curiously asks why was the guise of Erik the Red needed at all. Ferris helps his master undress, while Erik starts to answer. He has learned that victory is best measured over time. A minor win can trigger greater victories in the future. For the time being he is interested in careful planning, aimed at the gradual erosion of the forces set against him and the deliberate construction of the society he desires.
With a single move of his hand, Erik summons a familiar helmet, Magneto's Helmet. He continues by saying that this is how a world is built, one stone at a time, each put in its proper place at the proper moment. Ferris asks whether he should dispose of the Erik the Red garments. Erik instructs him to keep them, because he might need them again. He finds there is something liberating in moving among his enemies completely unknown. He might walk in this path once more. He claims that he has never been one to hide behind masks, but Magneto is no longer the man he once was. Erik has changed costumes and he is now revealed to be Magneto. The story ends.
Appearing in "The Goblin's Last Stand!"
- Harry Osborn (Main story and recap)
- Daily Bugle Staff (Main story and recap)
- Mary Jane Watson (Main story and recap)
- Green Goblin (Norman Osborn) (Apparent death)
- Gwen Stacy (Corpse in main story and alive in recap)
- Sergeant (Unnamed)
- "Rookie" (Unnamed)
- George Stacy (Recap)
- May Parker (Recap)
- Lord (Invoked)
- Phil Fox (Referenced)
- Mary Jane Watson's Mother (Mentioned)
Races and Species:
- Heaven (Invoked)
- Goblin Glider (Destroyed)
Synopsis for "The Goblin's Last Stand!"
Gwen Stacy is dead, thanks -- in part -- to the Green Goblin, who is racing away vowing to Spider-Man that he will soon be joining his true love. Spider-Man, furious over the tragic loss of Gwen, swears that if anyone is going to die this day, it's going to be the Goblin. Chasing after his mortal foe, he manages to hop on the Goblin's back and pummel him. However, the Goblin manages to get away when he slams Spider-Man into the side of the George Washington Bridge.
Returning to Gwen's body, Spider-Man fights off those who have gathered around her corpse and cradles her in his arms, reflecting on their relationship together. When the police try to get an ambulance to give her medical aid, Spider-Man tells them that she's dead and that he killed her. When they try to take him for questioning, he fights them off and flees. Changing back to his civilian identity of Peter Parker, he ponders just what to tell his best friend Harry Osborn about his father's involvement in Gwen's death. When he arrives back at their apartment, Peter finds that Harry is still fighting off his recent overdose of LSD, and angrily leaves Harry who begs for help.
Deciding to bring Osborn to justice, Spider-Man drops in on Joe Robertson who has just heard the news. He pleads Joe to find out if Norman Osborn has been seen in the last few hours. When Joe gets word that Osborn has been seen near one of the warehouses that he owns, Spider-Man is about to leave when J. Jonah Jameson bursts in calling Spider-Man a murderer. Spider-Man stifles Jameson with webbing before going after Osborn.
Spider-Man battles the Green Goblin in the warehouse, determined to bring him to justice. However, during the fight, the Goblin's glider is reactivated and when the Goblin tries to impale Peter with it, he only succeeds in impaling himself when Spider-Man dodges out of the way. With the Goblin apparently dead, Spider-Man finally getting what he vowed earlier that day, finds Osborn's death a hollow victory. When the authorities can be heard coming, Spider-Man decides to leave, unaware that someone is watching in the shadows.
When Peter finally returns home to his apartment, he finds only Mary Jane there waiting for him. She tries to console Peter, who lashes out at her condolences, mocking her usual carefree nature and tells her to leave. However, Mary Jane decides to stay and comfort Peter regardless.
Appearing in "The Hero That Was!"
- United States Army (Only in flashback)
- Bucky (James Barnes) Only in flashback
- Project Super-Soldier (Only in flashback)
- Sgt. Mike Duffy (Only in flashback)
- Nazis (Only in flashback)
- G2 (Mentioned) (Only in flashback)
- Howling Commandos (Mentioned)
- Adolf Hitler (Mentioned) (Only in flashback)
Races and Species:
- Humans (Main story and flashback)
- Earth (Main story and flashback)
- Europe (Only in flashback)
- France (Only in flashback)
- North America (Main story and flashback)
- United States of America (Main story and flashback)
- New York (Main story and flashback)
- Washington, D.C. (Only in flashback)
- Project Super-Soldier Curios Shop Facility (Only in flashback)
- Virginia (Only in flashback)
- Camp Lehigh (Only in flashback)
- United States of America (Main story and flashback)
- Europe (Only in flashback)
- Captain America's Uniform and Shield (Main story and flashback)
- Vita-Ray Chamber (First appearance) (Only in flashback)
- Vita Rays (First appearance) (Only in flashback)
- Super-Soldier Formula (Mentioned) (Only in flashback)
- U-boat (Only in flashback)
- World War II (Only in flashback)
Synopsis for "The Hero That Was!"
Captain America has a visit from Nick Fury, and tells the S.H.I.E.L.D. operative an old war story from 1944, in which he and Bucky worked together to take down a Nazi coastal gun control unit so that Allied Forces could launch another beach assault in the war effort. This story once more leads Cap into his lamentations over Bucky's death, and how guilt ridden he is that he managed to outlive his young partner. Fury is not that sympathetic about Bucky's loss and points out that Captain America at least still has his youth and fighting spirit and that even back during World War II he made Fury's Howling Commandos look like amateurs in battle. Captain America explains to Nick that in order for Captain America to live, it had to come at the sacrifice of Steve Rogers, and begins telling the tale of how he became Captain America:
In the early days of World War II, before America got involved in the war, frail Steven Rogers attempted to apply for the military. However, he would not pass his physical, and he would be rejected when he would attempt to volunteer. Overhearing this conversation was a military Colonel, who would offer him the chance to test a new experiment that might make him fit for joining the army and fighting in the war.
As Steve Rogers was led away, off America's shores a Nazi submarine would get past America's sea mine defense and release a spy who was about to infiltrate the secret experiment called Operation: Rebirth. Under absolute secrecy, Steve Rogers is taken to an antique shop which was really a front for the secret operation and eventually he would meet the scientist behind the super-soldier serum: Professor Reinstein. Before an audience of military brass (and the Nazi spy), Rogers would be injected with the serum and then exposed to Vita-Rays that would speed up the process of transforming Steve Rogers from a frail young man into that of man at the peak of human perfection. After the experiment Reinstein would be shot by the Nazi spy and in his death the secret behind the serum would be lost. Steve would then attack and ultimately kill the Nazi spy in stopping him from assassinating him as well.
With America's only super-soldier, the US army would set up Steve as Captain America and have him fight crime in America until the United States officially entered World War II. They would set Steve up under the command of Sgt. Duffy, and under orders of the War Department, Steve was to keep his double identity a secret. To cover for this, Steve would act as a first class bungler when not operating as Captain America. Steve would make fast friends with Bucky Barnes, his platoon's mascot who's father was killed in the line of duty. It would be Bucky who would first learn Captain America's true identity and use that information to force Cap to allow Bucky to be his sidekick.
Cap finishes up his story that by the wars end Bucky's luck ran out and he died. With his story done, Steve thanks Nick for letting him get things off his chest. As Fury walks out the door to go and resume his work at S.H.I.E.L.D., he tells Cap that losses like that are hard to forget, but recommends that Steve go out there and get have a few laughs. With Fury gone, Steve considers that perhaps after all these years, he's forgotten how to.
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