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Appearing in "Honor Thy Father"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Avengers #182.

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  • Avengers Sky-Sled

Synopsis for "Honor Thy Father"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Avengers #182.

The bodies of Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch lay inert and lifeless in the Avengers Mansion infirmary. Doctor Blake has determined that while they are not fully alive they are not truly dead either. He says it is as if their souls have been stolen.

Elsewhere, despite having access to high-tech scanners once more (thanks to the newly reinstalled security privileges), the Avengers can find no cause for the twins’ current state. Jocasta pipes in that her own cybernetic senses have detected an energy signature leading from the mansion, across the city to the Bowery neighborhood.

Agent Gyrich is taken aback to realize that Jocasta is a sentient being and not some pre-programmed robot. He insists that if she is “alive”, she must have security clearance to reside at the mansion. Jocasta rattles him with some self-deprecating humor, however. She asks him if the U.S. government insists on having security clearance for “mere machines.” Her question leaves Gyrich confused and he retreats.

The Avengers prepare to follow the trail, but the new security procedures they’ve agreed to dictate that one team member remain behind on monitor duty at all times. Hawkeye balks at missing out at his last official mission as an Avenger. Wonder Man volunteers to remain behind, and so the rest of the team head for the Bowery.

At that very moment in a seedy Bowery flophouse, a strange scene unfolds. Wanda and Pietro’s life force has been transferred to two marionette figurines kept in enchanted cages. A white-bearded man, Django Maximoff, insists that they are his own long-lost children, Ana and Mateo. The siblings deny this, though, stating that their parents were the WWII-era heroes the Whizzer and Miss America. Django, however, recounts a very different version of their childhood: how he raised them as members of a Roma gypsy tribe and how they used their powers (which Django believed stemmed from his magical runestone) for the good of the caravan. Prejudice against gypsies and fear of the siblings’ “witchcraft abilities” prompted superstitious villagers to assault them. Django’s wife was killed and he believed his children were dead as well until he read newspaper reports of the Avengers and became convinced that they were his children. But as his tale ends, he senses the approach of the Avengers.

The Avengers arrive in their sky-sled and Django uses a magical runestone to animate mannequins in a nearby warehouse to attack them. They destroy them easily enough. But when they enter Django’s rented room, he creates a powerful illusion to transform the room into a vast, outer space void. And in this fantasy world he conjures three adversaries -- Toad, Princess Python, and Nighthawk -- to combat the team.

The Avengers spring into action but nothing they do seems to affect their foes. Suddenly, from below, a wino bangs on the ceiling, telling them to “keep it down up there!” They realize it is all merely an illusion. By focusing their mental energy, they see through the illusion.

Django grabs the cages and runestone and bolts out the door. But he is stopped in his tracks by a seething-mad Vision gliding up out of the ground before him. Django is too frightened to react, but Wanda tells her husband that Django’s power stems from his runestone. By focusing his solar energy through his forehead jewel, Vision incinerates the runestone, breaking the enchantment holding the twins. As the marionettes collapse, Django breaks down in sobs.

Later, in the mansion, Wanda and Pietro are back to normal. They’ve taken pity on Django however, realizing how wounded and lonely he really is. Also, Wanda explains that some of the things Django said have raised questions in the twins’ minds. Wanda asks permission for a leave of absence to accompany Django back to his homeland, Transia.

With the excitement over, the heroes can finally relax...for now.

Appearing in "Before I'd Be Slave..."

This story is a reprint of the comic
X-Men #65.

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  • The Z'Nox (First appearance) (Main story and flashback)
    • Various Z'Nox warriors
    • Unnamed Z'Nox beast

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Synopsis for "Before I'd Be Slave..."

This story is a reprint of the comic
X-Men #65.

The X-Men have returned home from Washington D.C. following their battle against Sunfire to find Havok and Lorna waiting for them at the door of the X-Mansion in costume. The two new additions to the X-Men press the senior members that there is a matter of importance that requires their attention immediately and orders them to put on their costumes. With the senior members of the team tired following their ordeal in Washington, they are less than receptive, prompting Lorna to use her magnetic powers to hurry them into the mansion with a lamp post, however Beast grabs it and bends it in half, his patience sorely tempted, he tosses it only to have the lamp post incinerated by Havok's power. Fully charged with power, Havok tells the group that they are deadly serious, and the other X-Men begrudgingly enter the mansion and change into their X-Men uniforms.

In the X-Men's war room, Havok briefs them on an alien race known as the Z'Nox, creatures from the Andromeda galaxy who are a warrior race with no compassion who go across the galaxy invading and enslaving entire planets, and that their next target is planet Earth. They intend to use a Gravitational Transformer to decimate the entire planet with earthquakes and tidal waves. The X-Men are shocked by this, but are entirely skeptical that the novice members of their team could have done such extensive research. Havok tells them that they had not, that someone else had, as Jean breaks down in tears of relief at no longer having to keep the secret any more. Professor Xavier enters the room alive and well, much to the surprise of everyone else.

The Professor explains that months ago he had become aware of the coming Z'Nox invasion and he was required to go into hiding in order to prepare a suitable defense to drive them away. Visited one night by the terminally ill Changeling, Xavier agreed to allow him to impersonate the Professor while he prepared for the coming invasion. He then imparted a portion of his mental powers to both Changeling and Jean to upkeep the ruse. Things played out when Changeling sacrificed his life battling Grotesk and dying valiantly in the fight.

With his explanation complete, the Professor puts the X-Men through a rigorous training routine to prepare to be the first line of defense against the Z'Nox. When the Z'Nox activate their hidden weapon on the South Pole, SHIELD is the first to react, however the device’s defenses prove too powerful for the spy agency to get past. With the X-Men ready for battle, the Professor has them all board a rocket that he has prepared for this mission and launches them at the approaching Z'Nox planetoid. Getting past the planetoid’s defenses, they crash into one of the buildings, and upon emerging find a gigantic alien creature waiting for them inside.

As the Z'Nox weapons begin to wreak havoc across the world, the X-Men defeat the creature and burst into the Z'Nox control room and begin fighting the captains of the invasion force. While on Earth, the Professor, with Lorna's help, begin the final strike against the Z'Nox. With his mental powers, the Professor creates a giant psi-link between all the just minds on Earth and has Lorna direct his mental energies with her magnetic powers toward Death Valley on Earth.

Professor Xavier channels all of this mental power against the Z'Nox invasion fleet. He then orders Marvel Girl, Havok, and Cyclops (with Iceman's help keeping the heat level down) to channel their powers against the transmission device on the South Pole. Unable to bare the onslaught any further, the Z'Nox invasion fleet orders a full retreat and reverses course. With the mission a success, the X-Men flee the planetoid and return to Earth.

The Professor meanwhile, uses his mental powers to thank those that aided him before passing out, leaving Lorna to wonder if the Professor didn't just save the world at the cost of his own life.

This story is continued next issue...

Appearing in "The Return of Captain Britain"

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Synopsis for "The Return of Captain Britain"

Captain Britain and Jackdaw arrive on a world which seems to be Earth, but it isn't the Earth the Captain remembers...

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