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The genesis of the Onslaught event began many months before hand during one of the X-Men's battle with their long time foe Magneto aboard his space station Avalon. During the course of the battle Magneto pulled the Adamantium from Wolverine's body. In retaliation, Charles Xavier shut down Magneto's mind.[1] Unknown to all at the time, part of Magneto's evil essence transferred into Xavier's mind and took root there. This caused a new being to be born in Xavier's mind, a being who began calling himself Onslaught.[2]

Onslaught sought to create Xavier's dream of peaceful coexistence between humans and mutants using Magnetos means. Between increased anti-mutant hysteria, trying to find a cure for the Legacy Virus, Xavier finally snapped when a young mutant was beat to death near the Xavier Institute allowing Onslaught to finally manifest.[3] Onslaught first appeared to Xavier's step-brother the Juggernaut and easily trounced him in battle and sent him crash landing in the middle of New York City. The Juggernaut was found by the X-Men, he uttered one word, "Onslaught", and lapsed into a coma.[4] Onslaught then began searching for allies to achieve his goals. The first of these allies was the Mimic whom Onslaught teleported away in the middle of a battle with X-Force in Siberia.[5] Onslaught later hacked into the computer systems in a Sentinel facility, leaving his name printed on all the computer screens.[6] Onslaught next sent his operatives Mimic and the Blob, whose powers Onslaught enhanced, to Camp Hayden to destroy the Nimrod project at Camp Hayden, leading to another clash with X-Force.[7] He next kidnapped Chamber of Generation X from the Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters in Massachusetts using the mutant teleporter Gateway only to return him moments later.[8] He next attempted to test members of the X-Men, he kidnapped Cyclops, Wolverine, Iceman, and Storm, pitting them against his agent Post. The X-Men defeated Post and were returned to the X-Mansion where Onslaught warned the group that if they were not with him he would destroy them.[9] Soon Onslaught spread his presence across world wide security networks attracting the attention of Bastion and Operation Zero Tolerance.[10]

With his plans about to begin, Onslaught sent a warning to the British chapter of the Hellfire Club.[11] Onslaught next sought to capture Nate Grey the so-called X-Man, whose powers and his knowledge of Earth-295 (the "Age of Apocalypse") were integral to his plans. To this end he got the assistance of Hellfire Club's leader Sebastian Shaw and Nate's old nemesis Holocaust,[12] however Holocaust was soon defeated.[13] Later when Cable and Domino returned to Camp Hayden for security footage of Onslaught, they found that the footage had been erased by magnetism and were then attacked by Onslaught's agent Post,[14] a fight that Post won by pushing Cable's Techno-Organic Virus to the limits.[15] Onslaught then attempted to recruit Phoenix to his cause by showing her the dark secrets within Charles Xavier's mind, however the attempt failed and Jean denounced Onslaught. By this time the Juggernaut had long since come out of his coma, and after returning from another dimension and was seeking to warn the X-Men about Onslaught, but found that a mental block prevented him from recalling his encounter.[16] Rushing to the X-Mansion for Xavier's help,[17] the Juggernaut was assisted by Jean Grey who probed his mind learning the true identity of Onslaught -- Charles Xavier. Telling the Juggernaut to flee, but not telling him who Onslaught really is. The Juggernaut then ran to Xavier for help, but Onslaught then revealed himself, tearing the Crimson Gem of Cyttorak from the Juggernaut's body and trapping him inside.[18] Also at this time, Onslaught posing as a imaginary friend named Charlie had been visiting Franklin Richards, the son of Reed and Susan Richards of the Fantastic Four, in an attempt to gain the boy's trust.[19] While at the same time, Nate Grey sought out the Avengers to try and convince them that Charles Xavier is evil.[20]

Onslaught then made his presence and identity known to the X-Men and offered them the chance to join his cause. Noting that Onslaught acted more like Magneto than Xavier, the X-Men refused his offer to join them, all except for the Beast, who unknown to the rest of the team was his evil doppelgänger from Earth-295. The X-Men managed to fight Onslaught to the point of defeat, but the X-Mansion was heavily destroyed.[21]

Phase 1

Onslaughts ascension got the noticed of Apocalypse who began watching events with Uatu the Watcher waiting for a ripe moment to capitalize on the situation. The X-Men meanwhile teamed up with the Avengers and the X-Man to determine their next move. Realizing that Onslaught was interested in both Nate and Franklin Richards, the two teams split in half, first going to find Magneto and see what his possible connection to Onslaught might be, while the other half go to warn the Fantastic Four. They also left Nate under the protection of X-Force and Wolverine went to investigate Gateway and his connection to Onslaught.[22] Shortly after the X-Men and Avengers left, X-Force and Nate were attacked by Mr. Sinister who sought to capture Nate for himself, decimating X-Force and taking Nate prisoner.[23][24] Onslaught also targeted Cable, taking control of the Hulk but he brought down the Hulk with the help of Storm[25] and upon defeating the Hulk freed him from Onslaught's control and got him to join their fight against Onslaught.[26] Meanwhile, the first group of X-Men and Avengers found who they thought was Magneto (in reality a clone who took on the name Joseph) with the X-Man Rogue and recruited them as well.[27] Another group of X-Men also travelled to Muir Island to obtain the Xavier Protocols, a database created by Charles Xavier on how to take down all the X-Men, including himself.[28]

Meanwhile, Onslaught -- posing as Xavier -- next attempted to convince the Fantastic Four to allow him to take Franklin under the pretense that he would be trained how to use his mutant powers. When the Reed Richards refused and the X-Men and Avengers arrived, Onslaught took Franklin by force.[29] Meanwhile, Onslaught had dispatched his operatives the Dark Beast, Fatale, Random, and Havok to activate an army of Sentinels leading to a clash with X-Factor who used one Sentinel for training purposes[30] While X-Factor failed to stop the Dark Beast and his minions from unleashing the Sentinels, they managed to capture the Dark Beast and Fatale and freed the Beast native to Earth-616.[31] Also at this time, subconsciously fearing for the lives of her charges in Generation X, White Queen spirited the youths away to Canada to keep them safe from Onslaught,[32] however they were instead targeted by the Toad who was stopped thanks to Emma's co-headmaster Banshee and Alpha Flight's Sasquatch.[33] At this same time, Wolverine and his friend Elektra tracked down Gateway to Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters. Confronting Gateway, they were shown the moment where Magneto's evil essence tainted Xavier's mind.[2]

By this time, Onslaught had launched his opening salvo, by unleashing an army of reprogrammed Sentinels on New York City, cutting off all exits from the teeming metropolis. Also manipulating Franklin Richard's mutant powers Onslaught created a massive citadel in Central Park, just as the various groups of X-Men, Avengers and Fantastic Four unit atop the Four Freedoms Plaza. Before the heroes could act Onslaught let off a massive electro-magnetic pulse further decimating the city as well as destroying the Xavier Protocols just moments as Cyclops and his team arrived from Muir Island.[34]

Phase 2

As the combined heroes began to push forward, the addition of Franklin's powers, Onslaught evolved to a new and more powerful form. A combined attack from the Avengers, Fantastic Four, and X-Men managed to shatter Onslaught's armor and found Charles Xavier trapped inside. The Asgardian Thor pulled Xavier free, but instead of destroying Onslaught it only made him more powerful as he was finally free of Xavier. The now independent Onslaught then forced the heroes back with a psionic maelstrom.[35] The Invisible Woman and Cable then pressed forward to try and rescue Franklin from Onslaught and found themselves teaming up with an unlikely ally in Apocalypse. However when Apocalypse attempted to murder Franklin, Cable and Susan pulled him back determined to find another way to stop Onslaught and save Franklin's life.[36] Not all of Onslaught's activities were violent however, as back at the X-Mansion the members of X-Force were pulled out of a near death by Charlie, the last vestige of goodness in Onslaught had from Xavier.[37] The Hulk also attempted to lead a group of X-Men and Avengers on an attack on Onslaught, however Onslaught instead used his psi-powers to sew distrust in the Hulk in the others.[38].

Elsewhere in New York City, a group of Avengers led by Iron Man went to the Wakandan embassy to get Vibranium from the Black Panther to use in constructing psi-shields to battle Onslaught.[39] While this was going on, the rest of the Avengers clashed with Holocaust in Manhattan, defeating him and preventing him from destroying Iron Man's newly constructed psi-shields.[40] The Sentinels under Onslaught's control also took down the SHIELD helicarrier, and it was defended from an unlikely rescuer, the Punisher.[41] While at Sinister's hideout, the mad geneticist tried to keep Nate Gray safe for his own ends, but Nate was tricked into answering Franklin Richard's telepathic calls for help leaving him open to capture from Onslaught.[42]

In New York a number of the cities defenders answered the cries for help from the people under siege from Onslaught's army of Sentinels such as the heroic Green Goblin,[43] the amazing Spider-Man[44] who was later assisted by his retired predecessor Peter Parker.[45] Wolverine also returned to the city to help with the disaster relief.[46] Thor and his allies Red Norvell and Jane Foster provided medical attention to those injured, Thor also ignored Hela's warning that Thor would not survive Onslaught.[47] Meanwhile, Franklin continued to call out for help, trying to use his powers to call out for help. However Onslaught turned this call for help against Franklin by using the boy's powers to create constructs of many of the Fantastic Four's enemies. The FF destroyed all the constructs with the assistance of their allies, Nathaniel Richards, Agatha Harkness, Fantastic Force, Kristoff Vernard, and the most unlikely ally of all: their old nemesis Dr. Doom.[48] As the heroes gathered in New York plotted their final assault on Onslaught, the creature evolved even more with the added power of Nate Grey under his control. However after probing Nate's mind and learning that Earth-295 -- a world where mutants dominated over man -- ended in nuclear Armageddon come to the conclusion that neither man nor mutant deserved to rule over the Earth.[49]

Learning that Charles Xavier went on to confront Onslaught alone, the X-Men went after their mentor without the other heroes and stood their ground against Onslaught. However alone they were no match for Onslaught until the other heroes caught up. During the fight, Nate and Franklin worked on using their powers together to try and free themselves from Onslaught's prison in the astral plane with Xavier guiding them telepathically. Onslaught's threat to the world became apparent when the heroes noticed that the creature used Franklin's powers to create a second sun that was drawing closer to the Earth, threatening to wipe out all life upon its approach. During the attack, Reed Richards noticed that when a mutant came into physical contact with Onslaught his powers got stronger. A seeming victory came when the Hulk had Phoenix to turn off his Bruce Banner persona to fight Onslaught and the Hulk went into such a powerful rage he hit Onslaught hard enough to shatter his armor, the force of the explosion and psionic backlash caused both the Hulk and Banner to be separated. However Onslaught was far from defeated, now in a purely psionic form, Onslaught had the power to spread all over the universe. Reed Richards determined that non-mutant vessels could absorb Onslaught's power leaving him open to be destroyed. Mr. Fantastic, Invisible Woman, Thing, Human Torch, Captain America, Iron Man, Giant Man, Wasp, Scarlet Witch, Black Panther, Namor, the Falcon, Hawkeye, Bruce Banner all willingly entered into Onslaught's energy form, and Dr. Doom was forced into it when he tried to capitalize from the power. The X-Men then attacked Onslaught's form destroying the creature in a massive explosion that seemingly killed all the heroes inside. Just moments after Onslaught's destruction, Xavier and Joseph managed to pull Nate Grey and Franklin Richards out of the astral plane,[50]


Onslaught's first victim, the Juggernaut, was trapped in the Crimson Gem of Cyttorak and tormented by Spite and battled with Cyttorak himself with the aid of Gomurr the Mystic and eventually freed himself with increased powers.[51] Immediately after Onslaught's defeat, Cable was at the risk of dying due to the psionic interference of the conflict caused his Techno-Organic Virus to spread out of control. Cable's life was saved thanks to the combined efforts of Franklin Richards and his grandfather Nathaniel.[52]

The death of most of Earth's heroes at the hands of Onslaught caused even more anti-mutant hysteria across the globe having great repercussions for mutants in general and the X-Men in particular. It allowed Bastion to gain more support to push forward Operation Zero Tolerance. It also allowed the bigoted Graydon Creed to vie to be the President of the United States on an anti-mutant platform.[53] The X-Men were rocked when Xavier, despite now having no powers after having them shut down by Onslaught, still surrendered himself to the government to assist in understanding the Onslaught phenomenon and to insure that it would never happen again.[54] However instead Xavier found himself a prisoner of Bastion, locked away at the Operation Zero Tolerance based in New Mexico.[55]

The Fantastic Four, Avengers and their allies were also not truly dead. Unknown to all the heroes were saved by Franklin who subconsciously used his powers to create a pocket dimension where the heroes were shunted to at the moment of Onslaught's destruction. There the heroes were reborn into new lives that were similar to their own.[56][57][58][59] There were two links Earth-616 and the pocket universe (later dubbed Counter-Earth) was via a little blue ball which Franklin carried with him protectively. Franklin spent a time living on the grounds of Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters with the members of Generation X, their ward Artie Maddicks, Leech and visitors Howard the Duck and Beverly Switzler.[60]

The Hulk, separated from Bruce Banner (who was "reborn" on Counter-Earth and became the Hulk on that world as well[57]) found that he was slowly dying and leaking gamma radiation, but also served as a link between one world and another.[61]

The lack of Earth's mightiest heroes prompted the Masters of Evil reinvent themselves as super-heroes called the Thunderbolts in an effort of gaining the world's trust and eventually conquering the world.[62] New incarnations of both Heroes for Hire[63] and Alpha Flight.[64]

Eventually the heroes were discovered alive and well and with the aid of Franklin were returned to their rightful home.[65]


Onslaught was not destroyed for good, and has returned on a number of occasions. A faint image of Onslaught appeared before the Hulk on Counter-Earth shortly after its creation.[66]

Following the events of M-Day Onslaught was reborn and immediately sought to get revenge against Franklin Richards, who created yet another pocket universe to try and hide from Onslaught[67] and helped defeat the creature with the help of that dimension's versions of the Fantastic Four, the Avengers and Bucky, with Onslaught being dumped into the Negative Zone.[68] Onslaught was freed by the Roxxon Oil Company attempting to exploit inter-dimensional energies,[69] however he was once more defeated this time by the Young Allies and the Secret Avengers.[70] Most recently, following the death of Charles Xavier, the Red Skull grafted Xavier's brain to his own granting him with telepathic powers,[71] this eventually caused him to transform into the "Red Onslaught" a being bent on causing the eradication of mutant kind and has clashed with the Uncanny Avengers.[72]


It should be noted that in Onslaught: The Marvel Universe, Reed Richards states that no mutants could sacrifice themselves to destroy Onslaught because their mutant physiology would boost Onslaught's power. Despite saying this, both the Scarlet Witch and Sub-Mariner -- both mutants -- sacrificed their lives to Onslaught to no ill effect. The story narrative states that the Scarlet Witch's hex powers somehow allowed her to enter Onslaught without causing ill effects, however why Namor not making Onslaught more powerful is unexplained.

See Also

Links and References


  1. X-Men Vol 2 #25
  2. 2.0 2.1 Wolverine Vol 2 #104
  3. X-Men Prime #1
  4. Uncanny X-Men #322
  5. X-Force #46
  6. X-Men Vol 2 #46
  7. X-Force #52
  8. X-Men Vol 2 #49
  9. X-Men Vol 2 #50
  10. Uncanny X-Men #333
  11. Excalibur #99
  12. X-Man #16
  13. X-Man #17
  14. Cable #32
  15. Cable #33
  16. X-Men Vol 2 #53
  17. Uncanny X-Men #334
  18. X-Men Vol 2 #54
  19. Fantastic Four #414
  20. Avengers #400
  21. Onslaught: X-Men #1
  22. Uncanny X-Men #335
  23. X-Man #18
  24. X-Force #57
  25. Cable #34
  26. Incredible Hulk #444
  27. Avengers #401
  28. Excalibur #100
  29. Fantastic Four #415
  30. X-Factor #125
  31. X-Factor #126
  32. Generation X #18
  33. Generation X #19
  34. X-Men Vol 2 #55
  35. Uncanny X-Men #336
  36. Cable #35
  37. X-Force #58
  38. Incredible Hulk #445
  39. Iron Man #332
  40. Avengers #402
  41. Punisher Vol 3 #11
  42. X-Man #19
  43. Green Goblin #12
  44. Amazing Spider-Man #415
  45. Spider-Man #72
  46. Wolverine Vol 2 #105
  47. Thor #502
  48. Fantastic Four #416
  49. X-Men Vol 2 #56
  50. Onslaught Marvel Universe #1
  51. X-Men Unlimited #12
  52. Cable #36
  53. Uncanny X-Men #337
  54. X-Men Vol 2 #57
  55. Onslaught Epilogue #1
  56. Fantastic Four Vol 2 #1
  57. 57.0 57.1 Iron Man Vol 2 #1
  58. Captain America Vol 2 #1
  59. Avengers Vol 2 #1
  60. Generation X #20
  61. Incredible Hulk #446
  62. Thunderbolts #1
  63. Heroes for Hire #1
  64. Alpha Flight Vol 2 #1
  65. Heroes Reborn: The Return #4
  66. Iron Man Vol 2 #6
  67. Onslaught Reborn #1
  68. Onslaught Reborn #4
  69. Onslaught Unleashed #1
  70. Onslaught Unleashed #4
  71. Uncanny Avengers #1
  72. Uncanny Avengers #11
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