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Quote1 Scott, am I worth it? I destroyed a world–in my mind, I can still hear the screams of the dying–and it felt good! I don’t want that feeling ever again. And yet–I do! Quote2
--Jean Grey

Appearing in "The Fate of the Phoenix!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
X-Men #137.

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

Locations:

Items:

Vehicles:

  • Lilandra's Shi'ar Flagship
  • Shi'ar warship - (Only in flashback), (Destroyed)

Synopsis for "The Fate of the Phoenix!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
X-Men #137.

Continued from last issue.

In his citadel, the Watcher declares he will bear witness to an event of cosmic significance: the fate of the Phoenix.

The X-Men, including the Beast, the Angel and a now back to “normal” Jean Grey find themselves teleported onto a Shi’ar starship in the midst of a massive gathering of representatives from across the Shi’ar galaxy. Empress Lilandra declares that the Phoenix must die. The X-Men are perplexed, until Lilandra explain how the Dark Phoenix (the “Chaos Bringer” according to Shi’ar legends) exterminated the D’Barian race and an imperial cruiser. Jean’s friends are horrified by the account.

Xavier demands a duel of honor between the X-Men and the Imperial Guard for the fate of the Phoenix. After consulting this with the Kree and Skrull leaders, it is agreed to allow it. The Supreme Intelligence and R'Kill demand that their emissaries watch over the battle, however.

The X-Men rest up for the fight. Over the course of the night, Jean has an alien tailor create a replica of her old Marvel Girl costume for her to wear. Nightcrawler and Angel practice in a training room. Wolverine meditates. Beast takes a bath and takes advantage of some of Shi’ar hospitality. Storm and Colossus each rest up for the fight. Each of them in their own way ponders the Phoenix’s actions and wrestles with whether or not they can bring themselves to defend her, given what they now know she’s has done.

On a deck looking out into space, a similarly conflicted Cyclops broods over his lot in life and that the love of his life might be killed just when they were truly falling in love. His thoughts are interrupted when Jean arrives and shows off her costume. The two then decide to spend what could possibly be their last night together.

The following morning, the X-Men all agree to fight for Jean and are teleported to the surface of the moon, into the ancient Kree “Blue Area.” Angel finds out the hard way that he cannot fly too high without breaching the protective atmosphere of the blue area.

They observe their opponents, Imperial Guard members, in the distance and the X-Men split up to divide the Imperial forces. Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Angel and Nightcrawler head off in one direction and quickly draw fire from the Guardsmen known as Starbolt.

The other group consisting of Beast, Colossus, Storm and Wolverine travels into the underground tunnels and clashes with B'nee and his partner C'cll. Guardian rips up the ground beneath them and Wolverine is knocked down a shaft but Storm breaks his fall. They land near the Watcher’s citadel, where they are attacked by Hussar and Earthquake. Wolverine is knocked into the Watcher's citadel while Storm is defeated by the two Imperials.

Elsewhere, the battle rages on: Smasher tosses Angel down another shaft, prompting Nightcrawler to leap after him, leaving Cyclops and Marvel Girl alone and outnumbered.

Inside the Watcher's citadel, Wolverine awakens to encounter the Watcher who curtly kicks him out of his home. Outside the citadel, Wolverine is approached by what appears to be Storm, his enhanced senses detect that it's really the Skrull Raksor. Before he can deal with the shapeshifter, however, he is blasted into unconsciousness by the Kree known as Bel-Dann. Disgusted at being saved by one of his mortal enemies, Raskor shape shifts into a bestial creature and attacks the Kree.

Meanwhile, down below, Nightcrawler finds no trace of Angel and attempts to get the drop on Manta, only to be blasted by her. Afterwards, she is shown to have already captured the Angel as well. Not far away, B'Nee incapacitates the Beast, while Gladiator goes toe-to-toe with Colossus and easily beats the X-Man into submission.

Watching the battle from the Shi'ar flag ship, Xavier is upset witnessing his X-Men being beaten, and Lilandra silently mourns for her love.

Only Cyclops and Marvel Girl are left. Marvel Girl uses her telekinetic powers to hide them briefly. The two agree to go out together and after a brief rest attack the remaining Imperials head on.

Observing from above, the Shi’ar sensors detect an abrupt and dramatic energy surge on the moon below. A force of pure energy strikes the ship, announcing to all that … Phoenix has returned! In desperation, Lilandra orders her forces to ensure the Phoenix’s destruction by destroying the Earth, the solar system even the entire galaxy if necessary. Professor X sends an urgent telepathic message to his X-Men to alert them to the situation.

Narration captions indicate that in their last stand together, Marvel Girl saw Cyclops get cut down, prompting her to once again become Phoenix. The firebird effect blazes all around her and the now inert bodies of her Imperial Guard foes. With no other choice, the X-Men pick themselves up and change their focus to attacking Jean, despite the pain that it brings them to do so. Wolverine performs a reverse fastball special, launching Colossus at Phoenix. He strikes a powerful blow that’s strong enough to temporarily jar her mind back to sanity. She begs her fellow X-Men to end her life but nobody can bring themselves to do it.

Jean then runs into a tunnel with Scott right behind. She traps him in a telekinetic shield and tells him that there is no other choice but for the Phoenix to die. Powerless to stop anything, Cyclops watches in horror as Jean triggers one of the long-dormant Kree laser cannon into blatingt her, incinerating her body. As the Phoenix dies, her final words are to scream out Scott's name. With Jean dead, Scott realizes how much he has lost that day breaks down in tears.

Witnessing this event are the Watcher and his Recorder robot. The Recorder finds this emotional tableau puzzling, intrigued by the fact that they resisted destroying the Phoenix. The Watcher points out that regardless of what happened, humans are emotional beings and that despite the fact that Dark Phoenix was regarded as a monster in the end, she died a human.

Appearing in "Better Red Than Ronin!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Avengers #198.

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:

Antagonists:

Other Characters:

Races and Species:

Locations:

Items:

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Synopsis for "Better Red Than Ronin!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Avengers #198.

Story continued from the previous issue…

Dawn finds two somewhat inebriated off-duty Avengers - the Beast and Wonder Man specifically - wandering down Manhattan's West Side following a disastrous double date. They are stunned to see a giant red robot, Red Ronin, wading through the waters of the Hudson River. Before they can react, they are immediately snapped up by grappling cords and hoisted into an overhead quinjet in which the rest of the Avengers are assembled, even reserve member Yellowjacket. Captain America quickly explains to the two what Red Ronin is, a robot capable of fighting Godzilla.

The giant robot strides up into the Bronx and careens through a refuse facility by the Harlem River, much to the shock and terror of its manager. Inside Red Ronin’s command center (located within the head), is Dr. Earl Cowan, the mentally unbalanced scientist who repaired the damaged robot for S.H.I.E.L.D. and Stark Industries but then stole it from them. Cowan uses a cybernetic helmet to control Ronin’s movements. He remarks to himself that he must be careful operating it, for he doesn’t want to hurt anyone - yet.

Just then, the Avengers attack. Iron-Man, Vision, Yellowjacket, the Wasp and Captain America (using a sky-cycle) attack at the head while the Beast, Wonder Man and Jocasta land the quinjet and attack at ground level. The Vision attempts to intangibly penetrate the robot but is repelled by a proton field.

On the ground, the Beast discovers an entryway inside located in the robot’s heel. Wonder Man punches it open but is knocked out by its security system. Jocasta’s eye beams knock out the system, allowing her and the Beast to enter it. They are forced to leave the unconscious Wonder Man, unfortunately.

The battle is joined by S.H.I.E.L.D.’s Behemoth - a special heli-carrier developed specifically to challenge Godzilla - which is being commanded by none other than Nick Fury himself. Fury tells the heroes that Ronin is being operated by Dr. Cowan from the head.

Yellowjacket and the Wasp fly into the head via Ronin’s “eyes” (which are apparently open windows??) The Pyms confront Dr. Cowan, who rants and raves to them of his belief in a “great fear” that is paralyzing the world and how by attacking Russia and instigating WWIII, he will unite the world in a great cause and thereby “kill” the fear. The Wasp is appalled by this plan, but Cowan manages to overpower them with an exhaust system capable of dispelling tear gas. The tiny heroes are expelled from the interior.

Meanwhile, in South New Jersey, Ms. Marvel is still a patient in the hospital and is being visited by the Scarlet Witch. Literally overnight, Ms. Marvel has gone from being inexplicably three months pregnant to SIX months pregnant! Ms. Marvel insists there isn’t even a father. Wanda assures her they will figure it out back at Avengers Mansion. In a moment of despair, Ms. Marvel confides to Wanda her secret identity of Carol Danvers and admits she is afraid and feels helpless. Wanda promises to help her.

In Yonkers, NY, a father and son are barbecuing in a suburban backyard when they see Ronin plod by. Dr. Cowan intends to march Ronin to a less densely populated area before firing up the rocket boosters and flying off to attack Russia. However, the Avengers and S.H.I.E.L.D. attack him again. With their frontal assaults appearing to be useless, Iron-Man devises a risky new plan to put into motion.

Red Ronin marches into Long Island sound. Cap launches a decoy attack, unaware that Dr. Cowan is now so frustrated that he activates a “DESTROY” command within Ronin’s command circuitry. At that moment, just as Ronin has entered the water, Iron-Man links himself up with the Behemoth ship and focuses its entire output into a single burst of energy. Ronin is overpowered and brought down… for about five seconds. The robot then simply gets up and begins marching again. This time, however, Dr. Cowan is unconscious and the circuitry in Ronin’s command center is locked into the “DESTROY” command.

Epilogue: In Cross-Technological Enterprises’ Long Island facility, new security chief Hawkeye is playing poker with the on-duty guards when a perimeter alarm goes off. Going to investigate, Hawkeye can’t find anything suspicious moving about the two giant red columns that… giant red columns??? Hawkeye stares upward and sees Red Ronin towering over him.

Story continued into the next issue.

Notes

  • Reprints the first part of X-Men #137.
  • This issue includes a Night Raven text story.
  • With this issue, Marvel Super-Heroes also incorporates Rampage.

See Also

Footnotes

  1. Spelled "Rk'lll" in this issue.



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