Appearing in 1st story
- Ariel (Kitty Pryde) (Main story and flashback)
- X-Men (Only in flashback)
- Office of National Emergency
- Alpha Team (First appearance)
- Alpha Team (First appearance)
- Stryker Crusade (Recap)
- Unnamed Bronx gang (Recap)
- John Cheever (Recap)
- Kate's dad (First appearance)
- Marcy Stryker (Recap) (Death)
- Merce (Recap)
- New York City Police Department (Recap)
- Ron (Recap)
- Unnamed senator (Recap)
- "Wildkat" (Kate's mom) (Only in flashback)
- Democratic Party (United States) (Mentioned)
- Federal Bureau of Investigation (Mentioned)
- Fred Duncan (Mentioned)
- God (Yahweh) (Invoked)
- Jason Stryker (Mentioned) (Apparent death)
- Jesus Christ (Invoked)
- Jill (Mentioned)
- Mark (Mentioned)
- N.A.S.A. (Mentioned)
- Nazis (Mentioned)
- New York Islanders (Mentioned)
- New York Rangers (Mentioned)
- Republican Party (United States) (Mentioned)
- Satan (Lucifer) (Invoked)
- United States Army (Mentioned)
- United States Government (Mentioned)
Races and Species:
- United States
- Nevada (Recap)
- New Mexico (Recap)
- New York (Recap)
- New York City
- East Garden City (Mentioned)
- Nassau Coliseum (Mentioned)
- Westchester County
- San Fernando
- Gold Star Café
- San Fernando
- Phoenix, Arizona (Mentioned)
- Germany (Mentioned)
- Israel (Mentioned)
- Mount Golgotha (Mentioned)
- United States
- Earth's Moon (Vision) (Recap)
- Heaven (Invoked)
- Hell (Invoked)
- Adamantium (on Wolverine's claws) (Recap)
- Cyclops' Visor (Recap)
- Psi-Scan device (Recap) (Destroyed)
- Wolverine's Suit (Recap)
- Cerebro (Mentioned)
- Star Wars (Mentioned) (Topical reference)
- Professor Xavier's Rolls Royce (Recap)
Synopsis for 1st story
At Stryker's headquarters, Charles Xavier is being put through brainwashing wherein he lives the illusion of being crucified on a cross and being attacked by the various X-Men, who torture him and maim his body until he is saved by Reverend Stryker. This brainwashing is for the purposes of bending Xavier's will and making him loyal to Stryker so that the Reverend can use Xavier's mental powers to further his goals. Stryker then goes to check on Cyclops and Storm who are also his prisoners and have been restrained and tortured in deprivation tanks. Releasing them temporarily, Storm asks Stryker why he is doing this. Stryker replies that it is because their existence "is an affront to the Lord."
Stryker explains to the two mutants why he started his crusade to eliminate Homo superior. He says that, thirty years ago, he was a soldier working for the military during nuclear tests. He was married and his wife Marcy was pregnant with their first child. When visiting Marcy's parents on the holidays their car crashed outside of Phoenix. As Anne went into labor, William helped her give birth. When he saw that his son was a mutant, he was horrified and killed his newborn child and then his own wife. He put their bodies in the wreck of their family car, which was leaking gasoline, climbed in next to them, lighting it on fire. Miraculously, Stryker survived the explosion while his family was burnt beyond recognition. After the funeral, he turned to the bottle and ultimately got removed from the military because his drinking caused him to lash out on his trainees. After hitting rock bottom, he would find new direction when he read about mutants and found God. Believing that mutants were godless abominations, the work of Satan, he began his crusade which he helped boost his popularity with the help of his newly established televangelist career.
Stryker tells his two captives that he began focusing the first part of his crusade on destroying the X-Men, and learned all about them when one of his devoted followers -- a member of the FBI -- provided him with a file on the X-Men that was prepared by one-time government liaison Fred Duncan. He concludes that he does not plan on killing the two captured X-Men yet. When Anne calls in and reports that she has Illyana and Kitty captured, Stryker orders her to bring Illyana to his offices, but to kill Kitty, much to Storm's horror. When Ororo pleads that he spare Kitty's life, he recites scripture that justifies his decision and fully imprisons them once again.
Anne and her Purifiers drive to the South Bronx, where they place a "Mutie" sign on its trunk and open fire on it. When they check to make sure that Kitty is dead, they are shocked to find that the trunk is empty. Anne orders her men to go out and track the girl down. Ariel, who had phased as soon as she heard the gas jets, tries to find her way out of the Bronx when she runs into a gang of thugs in a back alley. They are about to mug and rape her when the Purifiers arrive and demand that they turn the girl over to them. When the punks refuse, Anne shoots one of them, leading to a gun fight in the alley. Kitty manages to slip away with her phasing powers, however the Purifiers pursue her. She manages to call the Mansion and tell the other X-Men where she is before she has to flee again, this time phasing onto a passing subway train. When a police officer comes to see if she is okay, the Purifiers smash through the roof of the train. When the cop goes to her aid, they shoot him down in cold blood. Before they can kill Kitty, Magneto arrives and levitates the train, deflecting the Purifiers' bullets and energy blasts with his magnetic powers. The X-Men arrive and make short work of Kitty's attackers. With Magneto's help, the X-Men remove the bullet from the police officers chest and take him to a hospital.
A short time later, Reverend Stryker checks on Xavier and is happy to see that the brainwashing has worked and that Charles is now a willing follower of his cause. To prove this, he has Xavier to use his mental powers to seemingly slay Cyclops and Storm, as a Purifier doctor announces that their vitals signs have ceased. With the two senior X-Men seemingly slain, Stryker orders the preparations for his giant rally at Madison Square Garden.
Meanwhile, the X-Men manage to capture Stryker's head doctor and learn what Stryker is attempting. Sneaking into Stryker's office tower, they collect Storm and Cyclops's body and recover Illyana in disguise. However when they are found out by Anne, she tries to shoot them, but proves unable to stop them. As the elevator bursts through the roof through Magneto's powers, Anne jumps out onto the Stryker Building. On a rooftop, Wolverine confirms that Cyclops and Storm are not physically dead and have just had their brains shut down and vital signs reduced. Magneto manages to jump start and revive their minds with a jolt of his powers, and they learn of Stryker's full plot.
At the Square, Stryker has Xavier hooked up to a machine that will allow him to detect mutants in the audience and kill them with his mental powers. As the rally begins, Stryker begins his harshest sermon yet, verbally calling out for the destruction of Mutantkind. This does not sit well with the security guards, as well as a prominent United States senator. Behind the podium, a Purifier activates the psi-scan device connected to Professor X.
Outside on a nearby building, the X-Men start bleeding from the ears and having headaches. They notice similar effects on some of the pedestrians below. Meanwhile, Magneto enters the rally through the roof and confronts Stryker. Stryker compares Magneto to the devil, and directs the psi-scan device at him to knocking him down. While the X-Men fight the Purifiers, Ariel tries to save Professor X, but he blocks her with a mindblast. As the fight carries on all the mutants -- including the Senator and Stryker's loyal minion Anne -- begin to get nose and ear bleeds. When Anne realizes this, she begs the Reverend for mercy. However, he refuses to compromise his beliefs, pushing her off the balcony and, as television cameras roll, falls to the ground and snaps her neck on impact.
While back stage, the X-Men find the Professor and are forced to knock him using simultaneous attacks. Cyclops then smashes all of Stryker's machines. Rallying his teammates, Cyclops points out that the only way to stop Stryker's organization is to take down Stryker himself -- no matter what it takes, a decision all the X-Men agree upon. They appear on stage and plead their case for mutants, debating their opposing view with Stryker on live television. When Stryker attempts to use Nightcrawler's demonic form to prove his point, Ariel pipes up and tells the audience that, despite Kurt's physical appearance, he is kind and generous and tells them all that if she had to choose between her friend or Stryker's god, it would be her friend. Stryker then pulls a gun and is about to shoot Kitty when one of the police on security detail shoots Stryker instead. The crowd is soon dispersed and the X-Men, who in the eyes of the law have done nothing wrong, are allowed to leave.
Later, back at the mansion, the X-Men watch the news and see that public opinion of Stryker has pretty much been destroyed due to the fact that he almost shot a teenaged girl on live television. With Xavier back in his right mind and the threat of Stryker's bigoted campaign over, Xavier and the X-Men offer Magneto to join the X-Men. However, Magneto cannot bring himself to join after everything that has happened. Magneto offers Xavier the chance to join him in his cause, but Xavier refuses and Magneto departs. Xavier thanks his students for saving him and their work that day. Alone with Storm, Cyclops points out that only through love and acceptance will humanity and mutants be able to live side by side together.
Both Kate and Kitty Pryde start crying after the latter ends her story and states like the X-Men then, some of the mutants still have a dream for a better future. This, according to her is the difference between her and Magneto who's suffered too much trauma to have hope. But, Kitty states that none of the mutants can do it alone and being a hero has nothing to do with one's powers. While some may lose never from time-to-time, heroes neve give up, and she states neither will she. Kate asks her why she told the story to her, to which Katie responds that she was willing to listened and cried at it, but mostly it was because she reminded her of herself when she was young. Kitty then hands Katy her mom's cap, telling her to follow in her footsteps and become a N.A.S.A. astronaut. As Katie excitedly agrees, Lockheed starts growling which causes Kittie to leave.
The leader of the Office of National Emergency, Warden, then lands in front of the Gold Star Café in a suit of armor. As she demands to know where the mutant went. Kate's dad comes out and warns her to unhand his daughter. Warden then tells the Alpha team to spread out and look for the mutant. Katie meanwhile thinks how Warden still holds a grudge over losing to Magneto when they first fought, and like him regrets not killing the other in the first shot. Unlike them however, she chose a different path and many years ago the X-Men too faced a man filled with hatred, but they believed in Professor Xavier's dream of peace. Cyclops had then stated that reaching their goal was as important as the goal itself, which she agrees with. Though she knows the conflict between mutants and humans will never end, people must have hope so their struggle for peace matters.
The Uncanny X-Men. Magneto, master of magnetism. The bitterest of enemies for years. But now they must join forces against a new adversary who threatens not only mutantkind, but all of humanity beside it…in the name of God. The members of the Stryker Crusade are poised to cleanse the Earth, no matter how much blood stains their hands. Chris Claremont and Brent Anderson’s influential X-Men story is re-presented with all-new pages from the legendary creators themselves!
Includes material originally published in Marvel Graphic Novel #5.