Appearing in "Crossroads"
- The X-Men
- Jessica Drew (Death) (Resurrection)
- Lindsay McCabe
- The Starjammers
- Uatu the Watcher
- Ms. Marvel (Carol Danvers) (Only in flashback)
- Various unnamed aliens and beings
Synopsis for "Crossroads"
Secret Wars II continues from Avengers #265...
Being in San Francisco again becomes a painful reminder to Rogue of what happened the last time she was in the area: Namely, she had absorbed the memories and powers of Ms. Marvel, crippling her super-hero career on Earth. As she stands on the Golden Gate Bridge, the site of the battle, Rogue realizes the reprocussions of what she had done that day: She now struggles to balance her own memories wit that of Carol Danvers, and it is almost like there are two women living inside her head. Tearfully she realizes that no matter how much good she will never be able to make up for what she did those months ago.
She returns to the home of detective Jessica Drew, formally Spider-Woman and an ally of the X-Men who has been putting the team up since their arrival in San Francisco. When she arrives she finds Kitty meditating outside, Kitty reveals that half of Magik's armor and her Soul Sword has been transferred over to her. Rogue, surprisingly does not remember Illyana at all and claims that Colossus had never had a sister to begin with. Kitty explains that the Beyonder had not only killed Illyana and the New Mutants, but wiped them out of existence and the only reason she can remember is due to the mystic link between her and Illyana. Phoenix appears to Kitty, who cannot fathom how to stop someone as powerful as the Beyonder. She offers both Rogue and Shadow Cat a solution: destroying the entire universe to end the Beyonder once and for all. She rationalizes that in doing so whatever will come into existence after them will never have to worry about the Beyonder meddling in their lives. She goes on to explain that she needs the life forces of her friends to power this mission. Shadow Cat and Rogue (both her and her Carol Danvers persona) agree to give up their life forces willingly and die. Overhearing this, Jessica Drew confronts Rachel and offers her life force as well.
Rachel enters Drew's home and finds that most of the X-Men are sleeping, and assumes that Colossus, Wolverine and Magneto would follow her and absorbs their life forces without waking them. When she enters Storm's room, she finds the X-Men's leader awake and waiting for her. She tells Rachel that she is wrong and begs her to stop. Rachel, steadfast in her mission refuses to stop this insane plan and takes Storm's life force without her permission, believing that the ends justify her means. Surging with power, Rachel abandons her humanity and flies off into the stars. Witnessing the Phoenix leave the Earth troubles the Watcher who believes that history might repeat itself with Rachel Summers as it did with Jean Grey.
In space, Rachel comes across the crippled Starjammer and establishes a link with Professor X. Learning what she intends to do, the Professor begs her to stop as well however Rachel will not listen and absorbs the life force of Xavier and the entire crew of the Starjammer. She then travels to the world where the M'Kraan Crystal is kept, and easily defeats it's defender Jahf.
Entering the crystal she is confronted by the souls of those who's life forces she took. She reveals to them that she intends to unleash the Neutron Universe being contained within the crystal in order to wipe out all existence and create a universe devoid of the Beyonder. Storm attempts to appeal to her one more time, but Rachel refuses to give in. However, when she connects with the M'Kraan Crystal she is linked with every living being in existence and realizes all the lives that would be snuffed out of existence. Torn between doing what she thinks is right, and her inability to commit universal genocide, Rachel gives up, returning to Earth and restoring everyone to life.
Back on Earth, Rachel is convinced that her mission was a failure, however Storm points out that not being able of slaying every living being in the universe is not a failure. The X-Men all confide in her that they couldn't bring themselves to do the same thing. Not even Magneto who once told Charles Xavier that he would be willing to go back in time to kill Hitler, or even so far as killing his grandparents to prevent the atrocities he committed during World War II. Now seeing this willingness to prevent a greater evil at the expense of innocent lives on such a massive scale has shaken his surety on if he could or not.
Then the Beyonder appears before them and expresses his disappointment in the X-Men. He explains that he was hoping that Rachel would destroy the whole universe so that they can go out with a bang, telling them that he intends to destroy the universe anyway. He offers the X-Men the chance to battle him again, even though it would be futile to stop him from destroying everything. The X-Men refuse to fight and question the Beyonder how he could possibly destroy all existence. He tells them because he feels that all existence is confusing and wrong.
Kitty then lashes out at the Beyonder chastising him for wanting to snuff out human life because he finds it inconvenient and not considering how his actions effect others. When the Beyonder retorts that humanity rejected being one with the universe, the X-Men try to explain that people do not want such power handed to them on a silver platter but to earn it their own way. Phoenix then steps forward and tells the Beyonder that he is the embodiment of death, and that she, from now on, will be a defender of life and will not allow him to cause harm to the human race while she is alive. She then points out that she realizes that the Beyonder was attempting to use her to destroy the universe with a portion of his power.
When the Beyonder admits to this he asks for her to give the power back. Rachel is more than happy to oblige, however she also gives him the amassed experience she had when she linked with the universe through the M'Kraan Crystal. The Beyonder, overwhelmed by the the existence of every living creature on the planet buckles over in pain and finally understands what it means to exist.
With this the X-Men point out that every living creature struggles to make the best of their lives due to the threat of their ultimate mortality that they would eventually die. This gives the Beyonder much to ponder over, and he decides to leave the X-Men to think about it. As he teleports away, he warns the X-Men that their days may be numbered, and not to squander them. With the Beyonder gone, Colossus asks his teammates if they made a difference, to which Storm that they did, no matter what happened the tried their best to make a difference.
Secret Wars II continues in Fantastic Four #288...
- This is a Secret Wars II tie-in. The events in this issue happen after the events of Fantastic Four #288.
- This issue is reprinted in X-Men Classic #107, Essential X-Men #6, Secret Wars II Omnibus and the trade X-Men: Ghosts.
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Links and References
- Uncanny X-Men at Wikipedia.org
- Uncanny X-Men series index at Comicbookdb.com
- Uncanny X-Men (1st series) index at Uncanny X-Men.net
- Uncanny X-Men series index at the Grand Comics Database Project
- Uncanny X-Men at the Complete Marvel Reading Order
- The Unofficial Handbook of Marvel Comics Creators - accessed on 09/05/2009
- The Official Marvel Index to the X-Men Vol 2 #4 - See for further referencing
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