- 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!
Appearing in "The Fate of the Phoenix!"
- Imperial Guard
- Raksor (First appearance)
- Bel-Dann (First appearance)
- Uatu the Watcher
- Kree Supreme Intelligence
- Empress R’Klll
- Unnamed Shi'ar citizens
- Unnamed Skrulls
- Unnamed alien attendees
- Unnamed Skrull Grand Vizier
- Lilandra's Shi'ar Flagship
- Shi'ar warship - (Only in flashback), (Destroyed)
Synopsis for "The Fate of the Phoenix!"
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 "Last Stand on Long Island"
- Cross Technological Enterprises
- Hawkeye (Clint Barton)
- Other CTE personnel
- S.H.I.E.L.D. (Main story and recap)
- Nick Fury (Main story and recap)
- Scarlet Witch (Wanda Frank)
- Carol Danvers
- Donald Blake
- Jimmy Carter (Mentioned)
- Yuriko Takiguchi (Mentioned)
- Tamara Hashioka (Mentioned)
- U.S. Coast Guard
- Deputy Dopey
- Unnamed civilians
Races and Species:
- Humans (Main story and recap)
- Robots (Main story and recap)
- Horses (Mentioned)
- Human-Kree Hybrids
- United States (Main story and recap)
- Russia (Mentioned)
- Hawkeye's Suit, Bow and Trick Arrows
- Captain America's Uniform and Shield
- Iron Man Armor Model 4
- Yellowjacket's Suit
- Wasp's Suit
Synopsis for "Last Stand on Long Island"
Story continued from the previous issue…
Hawkeye finds himself alone and up against the humongous robotic Red Ronin while it indiscriminately destroys everything in its path. He lobs explosive arrows at it, to little effect as Ronin plows through the CTE facility. Suddenly, a quinjet careens through the air at Ronin on a collision course with its head. Wonder Man bails out at the last second. Ronin manages to slice the quinjet apart with his energy blade though, thwarting the attack. The giant robot (whose controller Dr. Cowan is still unconscious within) simply strides away down the Long Island shore.
Wonder Man asks where the rest of the Avengers are and explains to Hawkeye that he woke up alone and miles away, after he was knocked unconscious (in the previous issue). SHIELD’s Behemoth heli-carrier arrives and Wonder Man is reunited with the team. Hawkeye joins them as well. The Avengers and Nick Fury bring Simon and Hawk up to date on the mission, explaining how Dr. Cowan stole Red Ronin in an insane mission to instigate WWIII and thereby “kill the great fear.”
Wonder Man asks where the Beast and Jocasta have gone. Cap relates that they were last seen entering the robot by a door in its heel. Wonder Man is concerned that if they attack Ronin, they might kill their friends inside. Iron-Man states that it is a risk they have to take.
Inside Red Ronin, the Beast and Jocasta are climbing up through the vessel and steadily making their way into the command center located in the head.
Dr. Cowan awakens to find Ronin facing off with Coast Guard ships. He attempts to shut the robot down but finds the circuitry has been fused by Iron-Man’s massive attack (also last issue). The “DESTROY” command is locked and cannot shut it down!
Ronin wends his way into the more densely populated northern end of Long Island, advancing into a shopping mall and causing thousands of pedestrians to flee in terror. After evacuating the area, Captain America and Iron-Man provoke Red Ronin into tossing his shield (similar to the way Cap tosses his own.) They bring it to ground, although doing so causes Cap to crash his sky-cycle. Iron-Man crawls into the shield, interfacing with it and activating the energy blade. The Vision and Wonder Man use their combined strength to maneuver the shield in the air and use the blade to attack Ronin. They successfully pulverize his right hand and slice off his left leg. Ronin is laid low on the ground.
Inside Ronin, the Beast and Jocasta have at last reached the command center and confront Dr. Cowan, who confesses he cannot control the giant anymore. Jocasta and Cowan stab at consoles furiously, hoping to randomly land on some sort of off switch. The Beast merely sits back and ponders…
The Avengers slice Ronin in half. But then the energy blade burns out and Ronin is still active! He crawls toward the Long Island expressway, threatening to kill hundreds, perhaps thousands of innocents. The Avengers’ desperate attacks can’t stop it. But just as everything seems hopeless, the Beast unplugs one link, in particular, causing Ronin to completely shut down.
The wrecked Red Ronin is carted away by Behemoth. Fury informs the Avengers that Cowan will likely be committed rather than stand trial. Hawkeye agrees to accompany the Avengers back to the mansion for a debriefing (and a friendly visit).
Back at the mansion, the Avengers are stunned to find their teammate Ms. Marvel, who has been much changed. Ms. Marvel, who reveals her true identity as Carol Danvers to the team, has undergone an entire nine-month gestation period in just two days! The Scarlet Witch has returned with Carol as well and has brought in Dr. Donald Blake (a.k.a. Thor). The Avengers react with excitement at the idea of Ms. Marvel’s “pregnancy”, despite her obvious trauma from it.
Later that night, Carol goes into “labor” and Dr. Blake is certain it is like no birth a human has ever seen!
The story continues into the next issue.
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