Appearing in "Armageddon Now"
- Empress Lilandra Neramani
- The Starjammers
- Emperor D'Ken Neramani (Main story and flashback)
- Jahf (First appearance) (Apparent death)
- Modt (First appearance)
- Imperial Guard (Main story and flashback)
- Titan (Main story and flashback) (Body seen on ground in the distance)
- Gladiator (Main story and flashback)
- Astra (Body seen on ground in the distance)
- Smasher (Body seen on ground in the distance)
- Electron (Body seen on ground in the distance)
- Quasar (Body seen on ground in the distance)
- Mentor (Body seen on ground in the distance)
- Soul-Drinker (Dream)
- Dr. Peter Corbeau
- Fantastic Four
- Jimmy Carter
- Professor X (Charles Xavier)
- Misty Knight
- Kate Summers (First and only known appearance; dies) (Only in flashback)
- John Grey
- Elaine Grey
- Firelord (Pyreus Kril)
- Joel (First appearance) (Jimmy Carter's science advisor)
- Unnamed Shi'ar guards (Only in flashback)
Races and Species:
- Abstract Entities
- Various unidentified alien species
- Prime Marvel Universe
- Cyclops' Visor, ver. 2
- M'kraan Crystal
- Captain America's Uniform and Shield
- Wolverine's Suit (Dream)
Synopsis for "Armageddon Now"
Emperor D'Ken threatens to destroy the universe by utilizing the power of the M'Kraan Crystal. The X-Men and the Starjammers hurriedly compare notes and determine that when specific stars (actually distant galaxies that appear to be single points of light from the planet’s surface) come into alignment, the crystal can be penetrated. D’Ken intends to enter it so as to access its full power.
On Earth, Peter Corbeau teleconferences with President Jimmy Carter, the Avengers and the Fantastic Four. He relates some grim news: a strange force in another galaxy is threatening to destroy the universe. The Wasp remarks on how helpless she feels when faced with a crisis even Earth's mightiest heroes cannot stop.
On the M'Kraan world, the X-Men approach the crystal and are confronted by its defender, a small android named Jahf, who tells them that, as long as the gate is open, no one may approach the crystal and live. Wolverine mocks the small android, but one punch from Jahf launches him into orbit! Only quick thinking by the Starjammers’ robot pilot Waldo saves him. He teleports Wolverine aboard the ship and into the medical bay. Jahf battles both the X-Men and the Starjammers, easily thrashing them with his superior strength. Brute force doesn't work, so the X-Men pool their abilities to fight the creature. Storm clouds Jahf in a pea-soup fog, allowing Banshee to get close enough to unleash the full fury of his sonic scream. While he manages to destroy Jahf, he strains his vocal chords to such an extent that he can barely talk.
The two teams are immediately attacked by a second guardian of the crystal, a giant robot named Modt, who states that his power is a thousand times greater than Jahf's and that, if he falls, the intruders will face a guardian whose power is a thousand times his. During the fight, the Starjammer Raza finds Emperor D'Ken and assaults him. He inadvertently tosses the despot into the M'Kraan Crystal, causing both groups to be transported within.
Inside the crystal, everyone find themselves in a large vacant city. At its center is a sphere of pure light that Phoenix finds herself drawn to. Upon touching it, everyone present is struck by a bolt of energy that awakens in their mind their greatest fears. Phoenix manages to shake off the effect and when Cyclops goes berserk as a result of his hallucinations, she renders him unconscious. The sphere begins to crack, so she channels the full extent of the Phoenix force into it and learns that it is keeping the birth of a neutron galaxy at bay. Should that barrier break, the galaxy will collapse into a black hole large enough to consume the whole of this universe (including the 616 reality and all other timelines and dimensions), destroying it utterly to make way for a new universe.
Phoenix attempts to repair the damage, but even her power is not enough; she needs additional life force energy to help repair the damage. Aside from Phoenix, only Storm and Corsair have been able to fight off the sphere's hallucinatory influence. She convinces them both to give her a portion of their life forces. Phoenix also reveals to Corsair that she knows he is Christopher Summers, the presumed-dead father of Scott (Cyclops), a revelation Storm overhears. Phoenix uses the full extent of her powers to repair the damage. As she works, Corsair approaches an unconscious Cyclops and is shocked to realize he is his son. Slowly, Cyclops is coming round and vaguely hears his words, but doesn’t consciously register them.
With the repairs completed, Phoenix instantly transports all the X-Men back home to Earth via the stargate. Professor X, Misty Knight and the Greys are still there waiting for them. They are also confronted by Firelord, but he explains that he has no quarrel with them anymore after Xavier explained how he was manipulated by Erik the Red. Everyone is surprised, however, when Empress Lilandra comes through the gate as well. The stargate then burns out entirely, ensuring that Lilandra must remain on Earth. She explains to Charles and the X-Men that her brother was consumed by the M'Kraan Crystal, and she is now the ruler of the Shi'Ar Empire. However there will be bureaucratic matters to sort out before she can ascend to the throne. Until then, she wants to spend time with Charles on Earth.
- The cover price rises to 35 cents.
- Beginning with this issue, John Byrne takes over from Dave Cockrum as the main artist for the title. The Claremont/Byrne creative team's run is often considered a "golden age" for the title and one of the most legendary collaborations in comic book history.
- Former X-Man the Beast appears in a cameo as part of a small group of Avengers monitoring the effects of the M'Kraan Crystal on the universe.
- Due to the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616, the appearance of Jimmy Carter as President (who served from 1977 to 1981) must be considered a topical reference.
- Corsair is revealed to be the father of Cyclops (but not to Cyclops himself!)
- In Vol 1 114, Cyclops will almost recall the moment Corsair calls him "Scott", indicating that he wasn't entirely out of it and perceived some of what he said, though not enough to register it.
- The probability of a father (Corsair) and son (Cyclops) each separately and at different times teleporting to a distant galaxy with billions of planets actually just happening to run into each other reaches Phoenix Force levels of unbelievability. But then again...comics!
- References: X-Men #107 and X-Men #100
- The story's title "Armageddon Now" seems to reference the 1970s movie Apocalypse Now, but this issue predates the release of that film by at least two years. It's more likely that the title of this story is referencing a popular 60s-era hippie slogan "Nirvana Now!" (That same slogan also inspired the name of Coppola's film.) Alternately, Coppola spent over two years shooting his film and news about his war epic was very well-known at the time. So, it is possible that Claremont could have heard the name of the film and referenced it before it was released.
- At the end of this issue is a dedication to Dave Cockrum, who departed as this title's artist last issue. The dedication is the usual "In Memory of," though Cockrum was quick to add the codicil "I'm not dead."
- This concludes the storyline started last issue.
Links and References
- Official Marvel Index to the X-Men #5 - See for further referencing
- Official Marvel Index to the X-Men (Vol. 2) #2 - See for further referencing