Author: Robert Diehl (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Updated: Version 2.1, last modified June 6, 2001
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Issue: X-Men II:42 Date: Jul-95 Story: Heaven Can Wait (23 pages) Feature Characters: Prof. X, Cyclops, Jean Grey, Beast, Iceman, Storm, Rogue Regular Characters: Guest Stars: AOA X-Men Villains: Magneto and his Acolytes including Exodus, Amelia Voght, Joanna Cargill, Colossus, Milan, Skids (Sally Blevins), Rusty (Russell Collins), Scanner; Juggernaut (Cain Marko); Holocaust Other Characters: Credits: Writer: Fabian Nicieza Pencils: Paul Smith Inks: Matt Ryan Letters: Richard Starkings & Comicraft Colors: Kevin Somers, Digital Chameleon Editor: Bob Harras Synopsis: Note: this occurs after UXM 322. On Avalon, Exodus toasts a new dawn for mutant-kind. They have found Holocaust, a mummy adrift in space, and examine him in a tank. Milan interfaces with the computers and gets memories of the Age of Apocalypse from him. To Milan, the worst of it is seeing Magneto allied with the X-Men. Holocaust attacks and disintegrates him, using his energy to awaken. In Westchester, Ororo tells Xavier about a mass murder in Manhattan, perpetrated by mutants. Hank has Juggernaut stabilized in the med lab. In Key West, a thief uses a card to break in and steal a conquistador's helmet. Bobby stops her: it is Rogue, having absorbed Remy's mind (iss. 41). Rusty and Skids regret having come to Avalon. Scanner interrupts to have Rusty check on Milan. Holocaust immediately attacks him; he tells Scanner to get help, then the tank explodes and Holocaust emerges, missing his armor. Exodus confronts him; he thinks he's an X-Man. They fight, explosively; Holocaust demands to know where Magneto is, while the Acolytes scramble to evacuate. Voght, trying to contact the X-Men, accidentally ports Scott and Jean (and their car) to the station, just in time to die. Issue: X-Men II:43 Date: Aug-95 Story: Falling from Grace (22 pages) Feature Characters: Prof. X, Cyclops, Jean Grey, Beast, Bishop Regular Characters: Guest Stars: Villains: Magneto and his Acolytes including Exodus, Harlan and Sven Kleinstock, Joanna Cargill, Unuscione, Skids, Javitz, Colossus, Amelia Voght; Holocaust Other Characters: Credits: Writer: Fabian Nicieza Pencils: Paul Smith Inks: Matt Ryan Letters: Richard Starkings & Comicraft Colors: Kevin Somers, Digital Chameleon Editor: Bob Harras Synopsis: Xavier strains to locate Scott and Jean telepathically, to no avail. They are on Avalon, battling Acolytes who think they are responsible for Holocaust. Jean contacts Skids, who debriefs her and says Rusty was killed (they were friends since X-Factor 1, Feb-86). Jean telepathically asks Exodus to take his fight with Holocaust outside the station; he knocks her back; she never realized how powerful he is. Holocaust mistakes Scott for AOA Prelate Summers and dissolves Javitz. Exodus goes berserk and Avalon breaks in pieces that fall out of orbit. Voght ports past Bishop to see Xavier; she says those on Avalon are as good as dead. Scott convinces the Acolytes to work with them and evacuate. Xavier breaks through Exodus's interference to contact Jean, who is rescuing Skids, and Piotr, who is rescuing Magneto. Scott takes the surviving Acolytes to the escape pods, only to realize they have already broken off. He has Unuscione extend her exoskeleton as their segment of Avalon plummets down; Jean does likewise with her TK bubble for her and Skids. Exodus and Holocaust continue to struggle as they fall out of the sky, and they crash in the ocean south of the equator. Jean's TK starts to give way. Issue: X-Men II:44 Date: Sep-95 Story: Lost and Found (21 pages) Feature Characters: Prof. X, Cyclops, Jean Grey, Psylocke, Bishop Regular Characters: Guest Stars: Callisto Villains: Acolytes: Colossus, Amelia Voght, Skids, Harlan and Sven Kleinstock, Joanna Cargill, Unuscione, Scanner Other Characters: Credits: Writer: Fabian Nicieza Pencils: Andy Kubert Inks: Matt Ryan Letters: Richard Starkings & Comicraft Colors: Kevin Somers, Digital Chameleon Editor: Bob Harras Synopsis: Piotr wakes in the snows of Antarctica, an armored figure over him. He attacks but gets blasted back to unconsciousness, then dragged across the ice until they find a citadel, which must be Magneto's. Xavier is unable to access the psi-plane, and the attempt causes him agony. Voght tells him to give up, that Magneto's dream dissolved just as Xavier's did. Jean and Skids land in Madagascar, where Bishop and Betsy pick them up. Jean can't sense the psi-plane either, not even her rapport with Scott. Scott and the Acolytes have crashed in the Gibson Desert of Australia. He makes them walk and blasts a hole to find water. The Kleinstocks resent him, but Joanna and Unuscione realize he's their best hope. He sends Scanner to reconnoiter; she comes back exhausted, saying there's nothing within 400 miles. He carries her till nightfall, unable to reach Jean telepathically, and they camp. Jean uses Cerebro for days but fails to find Scott. Xavier turns to Voght for help: he knows her mutant power has made mist her natural state, and her fear of losing her humanity is why she never joined the X-Men. He wants her to turn him to mist, so that without a solid body he can access the psi-plane. Scott knows the terrain and blasts through a canyon wall to get to the X-Men's old base (UXM 229-251, but he was with X-Factor then). Voght and Xavier merge minds and mist away, but someone is still blocking the psi-plane. Scott calls from Australia and asks for a Blackbird to be sent; he notices the base has been used recently. Xavier asks Voght to stay, but she doesn't believe in the dream and mists away. Piotr wakes on a medical table in the citadel; his rescuer is Callisto (thought dead since UXM 293). Issue: X-Men II:45 Date: Oct-95 Story: The Enemy of My Enemy... (37 pages) Feature Characters: Iceman, Rogue, Gambit Regular Characters: Guest Stars: Villains: Graydon Creed, Clay; Mr. Sinister Other Characters: Credits: Writer: Fabian Nicieza Pencils: Andy Kubert Inks: Cam Smith Letters: Richard Starkings & Comicraft Colors: Kevin Somers, Malibu's Hues Editor: Bob Harras Synopsis: Note: this is the 20th anniversary issue (since Giant-Sized 1). Rogue's head is still swimming with Remy's memories. She throws a boulder at Bobby, who has been bugging her, wanting to know why she drove them to Seattle. He ices her up, trying to calm her down, but she breaks free and says she has to confront Remy's secrets. Remy has flown in with the Blackbird and stands on the docks, in the rain, crying. He wants to make sure Rogue is okay, and that she doesn't discover the truth. Bobby catches up to Rogue in a bar, flirting with frat boys, and stops her from touching them. She is frustrated, so she punches the bar, goes on a tirade, then flies off through the roof. While Bobby holds up the ceiling, the frat boys suddenly become an anti-mutant mob (Bobby: "Oh, give me a break!"), but Remy shows up with flashing cards, and they back off. He won't tell Bobby what's bothering Rogue, but he takes him to a theater where he knows she'll be. Graydon watches TV coverage of Gene Nation; Clay convinces him to run for president. Remy talks to Rogue, who asks, "How can ah ever love you--really love you--if ah can't trust you?quot; She knows he's afraid of being caught but doesn't know why. He fails to convince her this is just one more hurdle in their relationship, and she takes out her frustrations on the theater and flies away. Remy ducks; Bobby goes after Rogue, saying she needs to face this. Remy charges a sandbag and throws it at her, to drop her back to the ground. He extends his hand, saying they should touch so they can share everything: "no secrets, no shame." She hesitates, then turns away. She tells Bobby she's leaving the X-Men for now. She and Remy say they love each other. He apologizes for not living up to her expectations; she says that's just the problem: he did. She flies away, and Remy just gasps. Bobby says he's sorry for him; he goes off alone and wanders Seattle for a while. Sinister shows up in the shadows, mocking him and saying it will soon be time to play the hand he dealt Remy. Remy tosses a full house at him, but he disappears. Issue: X-Men II:46 Date: Nov-95 Story: They're Baaack... (22 pages) Feature Characters: Jean Grey, Iceman, Gambit, Bishop; Joseph (here thought to be Magneto) Regular Characters: Guest Stars: X-Babies of Cyclops, Gambit, Rogue, Archangel, Bishop, Storm, and Iceman Villains: Humanity's Last Stand, Sen. Robert Kelly; Gog and Magog Other Characters: Augie Credits: Writer: Scott Lobdell Pencils: Andy Kubert Inks: Cam Smith Letters: Richard Starkings & Comicraft Colors: Kevin Somers, Malibu's Hues Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras Synopsis: Remy takes Bishop to a club in the bad part of town; when the guards try to frisk Bishop, he knocks down all four of them. In the gambling, drinking, and stripping part of the establishment, he has less fun. Bobby is helping Jean buy books for her niece and nephew. Small creatures observe them from the shadows. Somewhere in farm country, Humanity's Last Stand guards are on alert because their Sentinel lab was just shut down and fifteen scientists disappeared. Suddenly all the lights come back on, and every screen reads "Onslaught." Bishop and Remy don't really like each other; Bishop suspects Remy will betray the X-Men and become Witness in his time. There's something under the craps table grabbing at people's legs. The guards pull guns and find the X-Babies. Bishop and Remy pull bio-energy and a Bo staff from... well, don't ask, and go to their rescue. Bobby asks Jean to check his mind to make sure Emma Frost isn't still there (UXM 313). She says sure, but his real problem is that he realized he hasn't fully developed his powers, but not to worry about it. They are interrupted by more X-Babies, squabbling. Joseph wakes in a shed, not remembering much. The X-Babies explain to Bishop and Remy that they are going to be cancelled in the Mojoverse. Gog and Magog show up, ready to drop the ax. Issue: X-Men II:47 Date: Dec-95 Story: Big Trouble in Little Italy (22 pages) Feature Characters: Prof. X, Jean Grey (Phoenix again, henceforth), Iceman, Gambit, Bishop Regular Characters: Guest Stars: X-Babies of Cyclops, Gambit, Rogue, Archangel, Bishop, Storm, and Iceman; Dazzler; Boomer Villains: Gog and Magog Other Characters: Father Anthony Credits: Writer: Scott Lobdell Pencils: Andy Kubert Inks: Cam Smith, Jesse Delperdang Letters: Richard Starkings & Comicraft Colors: Kevin Somers, Malibu's Hues Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras Synopsis: The X-Babies run into the street, right into the feast of San Gennaro in Little Italy. A priest tries to get them back to their parents, but Gog and Magog interrupt. Since Mojo fell (iss. 11), all his characters are slated for cancellation. Bishop and Remy emerge from the building that had been collapsed on them. Remy insists he would never betray the X-Men; Bishop isn't convinced. In the bookstore, Bobby pulls X-Baby Storm and Iceman apart while Jean telepathically hides them all from the customers. They pathetically beg for help before they all get "killded"; Bobby says they can't be killed because they're not real, but Jean says they have psionic imprints now. The other X-Babies hide (E.T.-like) among stuffed animals; Bishop and Remy catch up to Gog and Magog for round two. When the bad guys start winning, the X-Babies counter-attack with super soaker water guns, then X-Baby Archangel and Rogue strain to drop a mallet on them. Jean and Bobby arrive to help, but all the X's together can't stop Gog and Magog. Luckily, a word from Dazzler can. She says they overstepped their authority and sends them back to the Mojoverse. She tells the X-Babies there are a lot of forces at work there, so she's putting them under her protection in the palace, at least until Longshot is elected leader. She says goodbye to the X-Men and ports them all away. Jean stops Bobby from asking about her pregnancy (iss. 11) because she senses no baby any more. In Westchester, Xavier wants to have a talk with Boomer about Sabretooth (X-Force 48). Issue: X-Men '95 Date: 1995 Story 1: A Sinister Heart (40 pages) Feature Characters: Beast, Jean Grey, Cyclops, Archangel Regular Characters: Guest Stars: Villains: Mr. Sinister (Nathan Essex); Tyler Dayspring (Genesis) and his Dark Riders: Gauntlet, Hurricane, Lifeforce, Deadbolt, Spyne Other Characters: Faye Livingstone, Doris, Lucille Credits: Writer: J.M. DeMatteis, Ralph Macchio Pencils: Terry Dodson, John Paul Leon Inks: Jon Holdredge, Shawn Martinborough Letters: Richard Starkings & Comicraft Colors: Mike Thomas Editor: Mark Powers Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras Synopsis: Bobby has run off with Rogue (UXM 323), so Hank invites the other original X-Men to his cabin in the Catskills, where Jean and he picnic by the river at night. Livingstone, a nursing home patient in San Diego, disappears just as Sinister comes for his annual visit disguised as Mr. Essex. Tyler confronts him, kills a nurse, and demands an explanation. Sinister slams him against the wall and demands to see Livingstone. Tyler has the Dark Riders bring her out, genetically manipulated to be young again. Flashback to the 1930s: Livingstone is a radio comedienne in Hollywood. She attends a party at Essex's mansion and becomes his paramour, then discovers him in his secret lab. Jean goes up to bed, leaving Hank reading Plato by the fire. The Dark Riders attack, teleporting away with Jean. Hank senses a telepathic trail, which he follows in the Blackbird to Essex's decayed Hollywood mansion. Tyler rejects his father's name and calls himself Genesis. He wants to destroy Sinister because he turned traitor against Apocalypse. Jean is in a cage that resists her TK, but she ignores the pain and bursts the bars. Tyler holds Livingstone hostage, but Sinister pushes his way over to her. Flashback: Sinister, caught, explains everything to her, that she has the x-factor and would produce special children. He keeps her captive to study her, and then one night finally releases her without an explanation. She runs into the night, horrified. Genesis wants Jean to mind-link Sinister and Livingstone so he will be forced to admit he loves her, shattering his sense of superiority to humanity. Jean refuses, but Sinister wants her to do it. Hank arrives, having fought his way past a swarm of gargoyle-like creatures, and agrees with him, so Jean obliges. Livingstone sees herself dancing with Essex in his ballroom. She says she never had children, to foil his plans, and sees that she meant more to him than just a gene bank. She dies. Sinister refuses to admit he has any feelings, but Hank knows better. Genesis admits he failed and leaves. Hank and Jean take Livingstone's body away, and Sinister explodes his mansion. Genesis plans to attack Logan (see Wolverine 100). Scott and Warren join Jean and Hank back at the cabin. Story 2: Words (16 pages) Feature Characters: Archangel, Psylocke Regular Characters: Guest Stars: Brian Braddock (Capt. Britain) Villains: Other Characters: Rob McCaully Credits: Writer: Scott Lobdell, Matt Idelson Pencils: Ramon Bernardo Inks: P. Craig Russell Letters: Richard Starkings & Comicraft Colors: Mike Rockwitz Editor: Mark Powers Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras Synopsis: A befuddled postman gives Brian a letter from his sister. He considers how abnormal both their lives have been, opens the letter, and reads. Betsy has sent pictures of Warren and her and says they're in love. They had gone to the Westchester County fair together and talked about the past and their future together. Warren is afraid to risk his heart with her, having seen his teammates hurt. They get stuck on top of the Ferris wheel, and he decides to fly them down. The crowd below unexpectedly applauds. They spend a romantic evening in mid-air, and fall in love. Brian is happy for them. Issue: X-Men II:48 Date: Jan-96 Story: Five Card Studs (23 pages) Feature Characters: Prof. X, Cyclops, Phoenix, Beast, Iceman, Storm, Psylocke, Gambit, Bishop, Cannonball Regular Characters: Guest Stars: Benjamin Grimm (the Thing) Villains: Dark Beast (AOA Henry P. McCoy, here called McCoy), Sugarman; Fatale as Pamela Greenwood Other Characters: Credits: Writer: Scott Lobdell Pencils: Luke Ross Inks: Andy Lanning Letters: Richard Starkings & Comicraft Colors: Steve Buccellato, Electric Crayon Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras Synopsis: Warren has lent his Soho loft to the X-Men, who invite Ben Grimm over for a poker game. Sam, ever the cornball, stands behind Hank and gives away every hand. Hank fulminates; Ben: "Give the kid a break, McCoy. That's the problem wit' youse mutants... Yer always takin' things much too serious." He leaves, so they deal Sam in. Ororo is distracted, thinking about Betsy (UXM 328) and Bishop, who is still dealing with his memories of the Age of Apocalypse. He sees himself older, being chased, but he can't see by whom. Scott and Jean say his mind must be trying to protect itself. They dealt with time-compressed memories (after the Adventures of Cyclops & Phoenix miniseries), but their psionic rapport let them help each other. Dark Beast observes all and plots mayhem. He is surprised in his lair by Sugarman, who has evidently eaten the guards. He accuses Dark Beast of holding out on him, not letting him know Bishop has appeared in this timeline. Xavier thinks Sabretooth wounded Betsy but left her alive as a message to him. He counts the casualties to his dream and feels tired; Betsy insists it was her choice. Sam turns out to be a card hustler, and only Remy has chips left. Hank watches the action, while Ororo and Bobby go to the kitchen. Bobby: "'Ro, got a sec?quot; Ororo: "I cannot lend you another five." But he actually wants her to help him train, since her power is also elemental. She gladly agrees. Sugarman raids Dark Beast's fridge, while he explains that Bishop started the fall of Apocalypse and never had a counterpart on this earth till recently. He deduces he's the same person, a chronal anomaly, who therefore retains memories of the AOA, and Sinister may find out about them. Remy tells Sam that bluffing is only part of the game: distraction is the other. Hank has a brainstorm, realizing Stryfe built distractions into the Legacy virus, and goes back to his lab. Dark Beast shows Sugarman a horrifically deformed mutant he grew from brain tissue, which filters thoughts into data. They plan to kill Bishop before they are discovered. Sam shows his hand: full house, tens over nines. Remy lays down a card at a time: ten, jack, queen, king: the makings of a royal flush, but then he blows up the table with the last card. He apologizes; Sam gets the pot; Ororo is confused when she realizes he had the ace. Issue: X-Men II:49 Date: Feb-96 Story: Eyes of a New York Woman (22 pages) Feature Characters: Beast, Bishop Regular Characters: Guest Stars: Generation X's Banshee, M, Chamber; Gateway, Havok Villains: Dark Beast, Fatale as Pamela Greenwood, Sugarman Other Characters: Credits: Writer: Scott Lobdell, Mark Waid Pencils: Jeff Matsuda Inks: Dan Panosian Letters: Richard Starkings & Comicraft Colors: Kevin Somers, Malibu's Hues Editor: Bob Harras Synopsis: Bishop goes nuts, blasting the restaurant, demanding to know why bartender Pam has been spying on him. Hank puts him in a headlock: "...you mistake flirtation for espionage! Believe me--women pine not for the tall, dark and psychotic type!" He throws Hank off, then pauses, realizing he's confused, then drops a hapless policeman. Exhausted, he lets an astoundingly forgiving Pam to take him home. Banshee returns to the Massachusetts Academy to find Gateway generating fireworks; then he disappears with Chamber. M telepathically detects one word: Onslaught. Hank awakes on the floor of the restaurant surrounded by police; he turns off his image inducer, shocking them, and escapes. Bishop wakes on Pam's couch and pulls a gun on her. His instincts tell him to trust her or to blow her away. Dark Beast observes: Pam is his spy Fatale, and she has confirmed that Bishop is the same man who was in the AOA. Dark Beast has Havok captive (X-Factor 118) and plans to alter him. He orders Fatale to kill Bishop. Hank tracks Bishop to Pam's, sure that Bishop is crazy to mistrust her. She throws Bishop out the window and reveals herself to be Fatale. Dark Beast congratulates himself and Sugarman, then looks through her eyes and, shocked, sees himself. Fatale jumps down, bio-blasts and gun blazing, and explodes a gas main. Hank and Bishop survive, but Fatale is gone. They wonder who her employer is. Note: the story continues in X-Men Unlimited 10. Rant: Hank is the most public X-Man: a member of the Avengers and X-Factor (actually in the Morlock tunnels in X-Factor 10-11), and a frequent lecturer on genetics. Dark Beast would have noticed him long before this. Issue: X-Men II:50 Date: Mar-96 Story: Full Court Press (36 pages) Feature Characters: Prof. X, Cyclops, Phoenix, Beast, Archangel, Iceman, Storm, Wolverine, Gambit, Bishop, Cannonball Regular Characters: Guest Stars: Gateway, Banshee Villains: Post Other Characters: Credits: Writer: Scott Lobdell Pencils: Andy Kubert Inks: Cam Smith Letters: Richard Starkings & Comicraft Colors: Joe Rosas, Electric Crayon Editor: Bob Harras Synopsis: Xavier says he named Scott Cyclops because of his power and because of his single-mindedness. Scott, Ororo, and Bobby are under attack, and losing. Ororo can't remember what happened or where they are, but her ankle is twisted; Scott has lost his visor; Logan is scratched up; Bobby is unconscious and his chest shattered. Xavier, awakened, senses their thoughts but can't locate them. Gateway appears above his bed; Bishop bursts in with big guns to stop him; Xavier says they have to go with him to find their teammates; Jean bursts in, disagrees, and knocks Gateway cold. She finds it curious that a supposed friend has been ambushing them, and that he did it so sloppily that they were able to stop him. Bobby is understandably freaked, not sure what will happen if he returns to human form. Logan and Ororo realize their current landscape is artificial; Logan senses an invisible presence and lashes out, revealing Post, who has been monitoring them for Onslaught. He continues the test, knocking down Ororo and Logan and disappearing. Banshee says Gateway took Chamber but then returned him without explanation. Xavier can't read Gateway's mind (someone should make a list: Gambit, Shadowcat, Wolverine...). Then a psionic being appears in the X-mansion. Scott realizes this is just like a Danger Room session; then the four of them start bickering and attacking each other. It's a ruse: Scott, Ororo and Bobby blast in the direction Logan hinted at, slamming Post, who feigns defeat, then blasts Bobby with heat. Battle continues. Hank posits that Onslaught is conducting tests in his headquarters and didn't want anyone with psionic powers there; Gateway tried but failed to sneak Chamber in. Post considers forcing Scott and Logan to kill each other and claims to know everything about the X-Men. Suddenly the ground shakes; Ororo and Bobby try to destroy everything in the area, realizing Post and the environment are linked. Logan slashes a hole in Post's armor so Scott can blast him full-force. Test over. The psionic being in the mansion berates Gateway for claiming falsely that the X-Men could stop Onslaught. It departs into the sky. Issue: X-Men II:51 Date: Apr-96 Story: Deathbound Train (19 pages) Feature Characters: Prof. X, Cyclops, Phoenix, Gambit, Bishop Regular Characters: Guest Stars: Villains: Dark Beast (AOA Henry McCoy), Graydon Creed, Mr. Sinister Other Characters: Joey and Gailyn, John and Elaine Grey, Ambassador Louis St. Croix Credits: Writer: Mark Waid Pencils: Pascual Ferry Inks: John Dell, Mark Morales, Vince Russell Letters: Richard Starkings & Comicraft Colors: Marie Javins, Malibu's Hues Editor: Bob Harras Synopsis: Xavier gets Cerebro back online (see UXM 316); it sparks, locating an energy spike in north Jersey. Bishop takes Remy and Dark Beast in the Blackbird; they find a commuter train heading for Penn Station. The commuters plead for help: they have been mutated into monsters, and it is contagious by touching. Scott and Jean visit her parents; she gets mad at him for playing games with Joey and Gailyn, obviously testing for telepathic powers. She wants them to stay kids for now. Mr. Grey brings their attention to the TV: Graydon has just announced he's running for president, and his platform is fear of mutants. Xavier contacts Ambassador St. Croix, who is part of his mutant underground. Dark Beast jokes about letting the whole world be mutated; they break out to the top of the train, trying to stop it before it reaches New York. While Bishop realizes the engineer destroyed the controls, Dark Beast races around finding ingredients for an aerosol anesthetic. Once unconscious, the humans revert to their natural form. Sinister appears and grabs Dark Beast by the throat; he was trying to make guinea pigs. Remy realizes they can't derail the train without killing people, so he starts charging the entire engine, to destroy it. Bishop points out he's making a bomb which is racing right into Manhattan. Issue: X-Men II:52 Date: May-96 Story: Collector's Item (19 pages) Feature Characters: Rogue, Gambit, Bishop Regular Characters: Guest Stars: Villains: Dark Beast, Mr. Sinister, Bastion Other Characters: Mrs. Watkins and Stevie, Ralph, Jimmy Credits: Writer: Mark Waid Pencils: Andy Kubert Inks: Cam Smith Letters: Richard Starkings & Comicraft Colors: Marie Javins, Malibu Editor: Bob Harras Synopsis: Remy charges the engine and tells Bishop to climb down to the tracks, absorb the energy, and then release it in a "kinetic backlash" to instantly stop the train. It works, somehow. Rogue rents an apartment in Pine Bluff, SC, but freaks when the landlady's kid almost touches her. The police interview the survivors of the train wreck, who blame mutants. Bastion confiscates videotape of the scene. Sinister has taken Dark Beast, Remy, and Bishop captive. As a geneticist, he has recorded all known mutant bloodlines, and he is eager to examine Bishop's mind. He realizes he is from the future, sent back to capture the traitor to the X-Men. When he gets up to the AOA memories, Dark Beast gets worried and prompts Remy to attempt escape. He pretends to be in pain, and Sinister, oddly, checks on him and releases him; Remy throws a card to destroy the lab, so Sinister blasts him. Bishop feeds off the lab's electricity and blasts Sinister, who decides to retreat. The X-Men extricate themselves; Remy somehow knows they're in St. Louis; Dark Beast realizes he has some prior connection to Sinister. Issue: X-Men II:53 Date: Jun-96 Story: False Fronts (22 pages) Feature Characters: Prof. X, Phoenix, Beast, Archangel, Psylocke, Joseph Regular Characters: Guest Stars: Villains: Onslaught, Graydon Creed, Steven Other Characters: Credits: Writer: Mark Waid Pencils: Andy Kubert Inks: Cam Smith, John Dell Letters: Richard Starkings & Comicraft Colors: Joe Rosas, Malibu Editor: Bob Harras Synopsis: Jean goes shopping in town and senses unspoken, prosaically hostile thoughts from the people she meets. She enters a dressing room and finds herself on the astral plane, facing Onslaught. He warns her that the human-mutant problem is about to come to a flash point. She mistrusts him; he reminds her of the hypocritical humans. He says he is frustration and pretends to destroy the dress shop. Hank is in Jersey (since X-Men Unlimited 10). As if that weren't bad enough, he is chained in a bricked-up room with nothing but some water, which he spills. It drains away, revealing a trap door. Joseph finds himself at a fair in South Carolina, where the locals offer him fried chicken. Onslaught takes Jean to Graydon's campaign headquarters. He has won the New Hampshire and Iowa primaries, with the help of Steven, who is in reality on nobody's side but his own. In Colorado, Betsy has been screaming at shadows for hours. Warren tries to calm her, but then the shadows gather and Juggernaut breaks through them. He doesn't know where he is, but he has a big secret to tell the X-Men. But he can't tell it: mental block. He breaks through the floor, falls to the bottom of the cliff, and starts walking to Westchester to find a psi who is more coherent than Betsy. Onslaught, still trying to make Jean cynical, takes her to the mansion to see Xavier's hidden thoughts. She says they're the two most powerful telepaths on earth and have shared secrets no one else has (most famously, his feigned death, UXM 42-65). Onslaught takes her deeper, and she sees that he once had romantic feelings for her. She is shocked; Onslaught says Xavier repressed it long ago. In fact, to live up to his image, he has repressed every negative thought he ever had. Onslaught throws Jean into the swamp of them. She demands to know who he is; he says he is power unleashed and wants her to go full-Phoenix again as his ally. She just blasts him. She already knew people were hypocrites, but that doesn't make them evil like him. He grabs the image of the Phoenix force and brands her forehead with it, saying he is a god. She falls back into the dress store, the word Onslaught glowing on her forehead. Issue: X-Men II:54 Date: Jul-96 Story: Inquiring Minds (22 pages) Feature Characters: Cyclops, Phoenix, Beast, Iceman, Storm, Wolverine, Gambit, Bishop, Cannonball; Psylocke (in flashback) Regular Characters: Guest Stars: Franklin Richards Villains: Dark Beast, Juggernaut, Onslaught; Magneto, Sabretooth (both in flashback) Other Characters: Dennis Hogan (in flashback) Credits: Writer: Mark Waid Pencils: Andy Kubert Inks: Dan Panosian Letters: Richard Starkings & Comicraft Colors: Joe Rosas, Malibu Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras Synopsis: Note: this takes place after UXM 334. Xavier has treed Sam; Scott tells him he also received some harsh lectures when he was his age. They are interrupted by X-Men on full alert: Juggernaut is here. Scott says Xavier is safe for now, so he sends them to scout the grounds. But Jean has Juggernaut below the mansion, in a psi-shielded chamber that will keep them safe from Onslaught. She peers into that thick skull of his, then panics when she realizes the door is ajar. She slams it; Scott feels that her presence was cut off. In Jersey, Hank breaks his chains, opens the trapdoor, and is about to escape, when he is accosted. Scott breaks into Xavier's study, worried about Jean. He agrees she is no longer on the psi-plane but says she can take care of herself. Scott says she met Onslaught, a powerful psi, and this gets his attention. He has been looking at a file of Franklin Richards but doesn't remember why. Scott tells him about Juggernaut, he says to lower the mansion's defenses so he will come out, and then the X-Men can finally defeat him. Jean helps Juggernaut break through the wall in his mind. Xavier scans the psi-plane to identify Onslaught, but there is too much static. Also, he is bothered by his recent failures with Magneto (iss. 25), Sabretooth (UXM 328), Logan (Wolverine 100), and Hogan (X-Men Prime). He's finally had too much and starts trashing his study. Then he suddenly realizes the secret of Onslaught. Downstairs, Jean realizes it, too. She tells Juggernaut he's in danger and must run, but when he does the mansion becomes an Escher-like maze. He finds his stepbrother's study and starts begging for help, but the room is a mess and Xavier's chair is overturned. Onslaught grabs him from behind and casually plucks the Cyttorak gem from his chest. Onslaught is Xavier, in scarlet and purple armor, and he has been waiting for this all his life. He calls his X-Men to come to him. Issue: X-Men II:55 Date: Aug-96 Story: Invasion (23 pages) Feature Characters: Prof. X, Cyclops, Phoenix, Archangel (here called Angel), Iceman, Rogue, Psylocke, Gambit, Bishop, Cannonball, Joseph Regular Characters: Guest Stars: the Fantastic Four: Mr. Fantastic, the Invisible Woman, the Thing, the Human Torch, Franklin Richards; the Avengers: the Scarlet Witch, Capt. America, Giant Man, Black Widow, Thor, Iron Man, Quicksilver, the Vision, the Wasp, Hawkeye Villains: Sentinels, Onslaught, Ozymandias Other Characters: Stu Pfaffenberger Credits: Writer: Mark Waid Pencils: Andy Kubert Inks: Dan Panosian Letters: Richard Starkings & Comicraft Colors: Joe Rosas, Malibu Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras Synopsis: Note: this is part of Onslaught Phase 1. Onslaught has found his army: Sentinels invade New York and seal the city in seventeen minutes. The X-Men, Avengers, and Fantastic Four gather at 4 Freedoms Plaza. They have found a young, friendly version of Magneto (Avengers 401); they have lost Franklin Richards to Onslaught (Fantastic Four 415). They split up: some attack Sentinels while Reed, Hank Pym, Iron Man and Bishop go to the lab to devise weapons. Franklin resists Onslaught, but Charlie tries to get his help to build a place they will always be safe. Moira has given Scott the Xavier Protocols: detailed plans on how to kill each of the X-Men, just in case they went out of control. Rogue and Joseph make a good team; Remy is jealous and blames Joseph for Magneto's part of Onslaught. A futuristic citadel appears in Central Park. Onslaught stands on a balcony, raises a hand, and sends an electromagnetic and telekinetic pulse across the city, strong enough to shake the ground and short out the Vision, Iron Man, and the Blackbird. Joseph: "It appears Onslaught has made his opening statement... dropping each and every one of us with his very first salvo." In North Africa, Ozymandias sculpts Onslaught and is appalled. Issue: X-Men II:56 Date: Sep-96 Story: The Beginning of the End: Twilight of the Gods (23 pages) Feature Characters: Prof. X, Cyclops, Phoenix, Rogue, Joseph Regular Characters: Guest Stars: Reed, Sue, and Franklin Richards; Capt. America, Giant Man; Nate Grey Villains: Sentinels, Dr. Victor von Doom; Post, Fatale, Random, Holocaust, Havok, Dark Beast, Sugarman (in flashback) Other Characters: Credits: Writer: Scott Lobdell, Mark Waid Pencils: Andy Kubert Inks: Art Thibert Letters: Richard Starkings & Comicraft Colors: Joe Rosas, Malibu Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras Synopsis: Note: this is part of Onslaught Phase 2. Joseph and Rogue save some innocents from a Sentinel, which then defeats both of them. They are saved at the last moment by Dr. Doom, of all people, who has devised a gauntlet that can blow a Sentinel's head apart. Joseph relates all this to Cap, who realizes Doom wants to ally against Onslaught before there's no more world to conquer. Joseph wrestles with the legacy of Magneto's crimes. Onslaught sits in his citadel in Central Park, behind impenetrable psi shields. Nate Grey resists him, but he can still feed off his power. He plans for mutants to take over the world, using Nate and Franklin. Xavier, mind-blind, tells Joseph not to blame himself. He, after all, is the one who set Onslaught free when he wiped Magneto's mind. Onslaught sees Nate's memories of the AOA and is furious that mutants controlled the world and then destroyed it. He absorbs Nate's powers. Cap plans to use the psi-armor Iron Man made. Jean senses Xavier leaving to confront Onslaught on his own, so Scott quietly assembles the X-Men. Xavier tries to reason with the monster; Onslaught has meanwhile decided that neither humans nor mutants can be trusted to rule the world, so he's going to kill them all.
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