Appearing in "Victory!"
- Psylocke (Betsy Braddock)
- Lockdown (Jomo Kimanye)
- Rosetta (Rosetta Stone)
- Fantastic Four
- Deadpool (Wade Wilson)
- Beast (Hank McCoy)
- Power Man (Luke Cage)
- Night Cruiser
Synopsis for "Victory!"
Hawkeye takes his shot. Gambit notices and intercepts it with a card, but the arrow bursts with a stasis field on impact, freezing Rogue/Imperiatrix. Meanwhile, Iron Man's group in the Acanti carcass finds a hatch that leads back into the main ship, allowing them to spread the antibody nanites to the remaining heroes. The cure doesn't reach the central arena fast enough to stop the other finalists from freeing Rogue and giving her the opportunity to absorb the powers of Captain America, Spider-Man, Thor, the Hulk, Scarlet Witch, and Jean Grey. By the time Gambit gets back from his fight with Hawkeye, he's been restored to normal and attacks the unsuspecting Imperiatrix, and other heroes escaping from the jungle quickly join in the assault on the heavily powered-up villain.
Iron Man and Rosetta find the lab where Shadowcat and Warbird are being held and free them, then head to commandeer the ship's bridge. The Badoon Brother Royal, realizing the plan has failed, orders a retreat and ship self-destruct, abandoning the Brood and the heroes. With her new psychic powers, Imperiatrix is aware of it all and lashes out to stop anyone from escaping, but the heroes press their attack, counting on her to burn out Rogue's temporarily absorbed powers. Kitty's powers and Rosetta's suit protect them enough from the psychic onslaught that they can continue to hack the ship's systems and reverse the mass teleportation that brought everyone aboard, returning most of the heroes to Earth.
The Night Cruiser catches up to the battle with Imperiatrix, and the armored forms of Lockdown and Psylocke emerge. Knowing that Psylocke's power is the main threat, Imperiatrix blasts the one diving at her in the monster bug carapace suit and prepares to grapple with the brutish Lockdown, but it turns out Psylocke and Lockdown switched clothes in the car. With her opening achieved, Psylocke hits Rogue with her psychic knife and severs her from the stolen personas of the finalists, returning them to their own bodies just before the transmat wave whisks them away. Even with most of her powers lost, the Brood Queen remains in control of Rogue's body and gets away to smash the ship's computers before Kitty, Lockdown, and Warbird could escape. Warbird relishes the opportunity for payback against both Rogue and the Brood Queen at once, fighting Imperiatrix while the other two get the transmat module ready for one more trip. Warbird defeats Imperiatrix and gets ready to deal a finishing blow. The Brood Queen mocks the hero's unwillingness to kill, but Danvers reminds her that she's a soldier first, and that if there were any two she were more than comfortable killing, it would be the woman that stole her life and the monster that torturously experimented on her. The bluff works and the Brood Queen abandons Rogue's body to escape death. The four remaining heroes on the Coterie ship teleport out just before it self destructs.
Back on Earth, the heroes part ways, and even Warbird offers Rogue, now returned to her senses, a measure of forgiveness over what happened between them. Off in space, the Brood Queen gets to work rebuilding her forces starting with the Badoon that betrayed her.
- The very best of Earth's heroes have been selected, and their reward is... death! Who is ultimately behind the Contest? What are their true plans for our heroes... and for Earth?
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