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Bob Harras (writer), Steve Epting (penciler), Tom Palmer (inkers), Tom Palmer (colorist), Bill Oakley (letterer), Ralph Maccho (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor in chief)
Sitting atop a tall building in Genosha while holding Luna in his arms, Fabian Cortez watches fires spread across the city beneath him. Elsewhere, in Washington D.C., three government officials discuss the declining situation in the war between the Genoshan army and the mutate population. Val Cooper tells Gyrich to escort a diplomat to Genosha and, while he does that, Nick Fury will contain the Avengers, so they don’t get involved in Genoshan affairs. Nick Fury goes to the Avengers mansion and explains to them what has been transpiring in Genosha. Also, he tells them to not get involved. While Fury talks to the Avengers, Gyrich heads towards Xavier’s Mansion to try to talk Xavier into coming to Genosha with him. Xavier agrees to go but only if one of his own associates can go with them as well. Gyrich questions who it is and, in answer, the Beast tumbles into the room. Back at the Avengers mansion, Crystal figures out why Fury does not want the Avengers to go to Genosha, when her child Luna is discovered to be a Mutate from Genosha, who has disguised herself as Luna. The Mutate is a living bomb, who blows herself up, trying to kill some of the Avengers along with her. Luckily, Crystal saves them and the Avengers head towards the Hangar Bay to leave towards Genosha. Shockingly, as soon as they reach the Hangar Bay, they are greeted by hundreds of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents, determined to stop them. Before Xavier leaves the mansion, he telepathically commands the other X-Men to travel in the Blackbird to Genosha. He will meet them in twelve hours. While on the plane to Genosha, Gyrich receives a telecommunication from the island nation with shockin news; Cortez has assassinated the entire Genoshan government.
In Genosha, Fabian Cortez sits atop one of the tallest buildings in Hammer Bay. Cortez holds a little child named Luna in his arms and, as she leans against him, he tells her that soon her grandfather and her parents will come to rescue her. Looking out upon the flames that grow on the streets below them, he tells her that he cannot wait until that amount of power comes together.
Inside the state department, specifically the Bureau of Mutant Affairs, the director herself, Valerie Cooper, tells Nick Fury and Henry Gyrich about the deteriorating condition in Genosha. She tells them that the catalyst to the war in Genosha was the pulse wave that Magneto had created a few weeks earlier. Behind Dr. Cooper, the video of the destruction in Genosha plays as Gyrich tells her that the president wants him to escort a diplomat into Genosha to help with the talks. Valerie tells him that she had already knew of his assignment and adds that he must also take Phillip Moreau and Jennifer Ransome, to help with their diplomatic talks. Valerie explains that Moreau’s father was the Genengineer, who first developed the mutate bonding process. Turning to Nick Fury, Val complains that smoking is vile and tells him to put out his cigar because they are in a smoke free office. Complying with her orders, he puts out his cigar but, as he does, he tells her that there are some things in life that are a lot more vile than smoking. Val tells Fury that she knows how he feels about the president’s new orders but he must comply and contain the Avengers at all costs.
In the sky, somewhere off the eastern sea cost of the United States, three jets take off of the S.H.I.E.L.D. helicarrier. Aboard the wing leader’s plane, the leader is shocked to hear his commands from the base. He asks for a reconfirmation of his orders and, to his amazement, the base tells him that his orders are correct and he must secure and subdue his target.
One hour later, inside the Avengers mansion, thirteen members of Earth’s mightiest heroes finish listening to their friend Nick Fury’s final words on the situation in Genosha. Henry Gyrich is there as well and he tells USAgent that the two of them have a special mission to go on. As USAgent and Gyrich leave, the Avengers ask why they are not allowed in Genosha. Fury tries not to answer their concerns but he does tell them that the paper pushers in Genosha and the Feds want the Avengers out of the conflict. Captain America asks Fury why they are not allowed to go, since the U.N. should know that they didn’t involve themselves in the first conflict in Genosha, so why should they involve themselves now? Fury tells them that certain factions in Genosha want to attack the Avengers head on.
Understanding Fury’s meaning, Crystal realizes that they want to strike out at the granddaughter of Magneto. Further realizing that her friend, Xavier, was trying to warn her earlier of a possible attack on her own daughter, Crystal runs scared to find her daughter. Trying to grab onto Crystal, the Scarlet witch and the Black Knight are knocked back by Crystal’s power and the two of them continue to chase her.
Crystal makes her way down the hallway of the mansion, where she eventually reaches Marilla, who is holding Luna in her arms. Marilla tells Crystal that the two of them were just going for a walk in the garden and if she, Wanda, and Dane would like to accompany them, they are welcome. Crystal asks Dane if he wants to go with them and he tells her that he would be glad. Luna turns to Crystal and tells her that she apologizes but there will not be enough time for their walk. Seeing her eyes glowing red, Dane strikes Luna from Crystal’s arms, just in time to see Luna transforming into a Genoshan mutate. Sersi, Captain America and the Black Widow arrive in time to see the transforming as well. They hear the mutate telling them that even they are to blame for the inhumanity the mutates suffered in Genosha. The reason she tells them is because of their inaction in helping them when they were in enslavement. While she talks, the mutate glows brighter and brighter and, upon finishing her speech, she explodes, creating a hole in the ceiling of the mansion.
Inside Xavier’s study in Salem Center, Phillip Moreau, Jenny Ransome and Henry Gyrich try to talk him into helping them in Genosha. Xavier stops USAgent from picking up a vase that he claims to be priceless and tells them that he has been keeping track of the situation in Genosha. Phillip pleads to Xavier to come with them to Genosha so that he might be a mouthpiece for them to calm the mutates. Gyrich explains that he and USAgent will be his personal bodyguards on the trip and he should have nothing to worry about with them around. Gyrich tells Xavier that they cannot ignore the fact that Magneto might show up in Genosha along with them. Gliding to his window, Xavier tells the two of them that he doubts that will happen and agrees to go with them to Genosha as long as he can bring an associate of his own as well. Gyrich, standing near the door, begins to pull his cigarettes from his coat pocket and he asks who his associate is?
Jumping through the door, the Beast, wearing a yellow, flowery shirt, tells Gyrich that he could not have forgotten his old associate Hank McCoy. Gyrich tells the Professor that he thought Dr. McCoy would be hard pressed to stay out of Genosha, after the videotape that was smuggled from Hammer Bay. Hank, turning to Gyrich, asks him what tape he is talking about? Gyrich apologizes, telling Hank that he thought that Hank would definitely know about a tape made by his friend; Trish Tilby! “Oh, my stars and garters!” Hank exclaims as he hears the terrible news of his friend’s dilemma.
Several hundred meters below the surface of the mansion, five members of the X-Men train in the Danger Room as, above them in the control booth, Jean and Scott try to pry from Pietro why he has been brooding so lately. Jean asks if Pietro is thinking about his father’s fate a few weeks ago. Pietro tells her that he may brood about many things but the deserved fate of his father is not one of them. He tells the two of them that he is thinking of whether or not to stop by the Avengers mansion on his way back to X-Factor, to try and heal his marriage and also to see his daughter. Placing his hand on Pietro’s shoulder, Scott tells him that he thinks he should follow his heart. Turning to Scott, Pietro tells him that therein lays the problem, because, of late, he does not know whether he has a heart or not.
Below the three friends, Iceman uses an ice mirror to redirect a laser blast towards Rogue’s bottom. Gambit, taking offense to someone striking his “chere,” throws a kinetically charged card towards Iceman, knocking him from his ice slide. Gambit tells Iceman that Rogue is his property and he should keep his games away from her. Rogue looks at her torn clothing and tells Gambit that she is nobody’s property. Storm stands over Iceman, who is lying on his back, and tells him that she understands his need to help ease the tensions that have plagued the X-Men of late but now is not the time for games. Still lying on his back, Iceman apologizes to Storm and tells the computer to reactivate the program. Interrupting Iceman’s request, Xavier mentally calls out to the X-Men in the Danger Room. He tells them that, as they had planned, he and the Beast are headed towards Hammer Bay and he expects them to meet him there in twelve hours, also as they had previously planned.
Storm announces to the others her feelings of how Genosha brings back too many bad memories, that of Warlock’s death and Wolfsbane’s transformation. Gambit stands next to Storm and he tells her that Genosha didn’t treat her too good either. Cyclops interrupts their memories as he tells the X-Men to be on the Blackbird in thirty minutes. Jean stands up to leave and apologizes to Quicksilver for his unfortunate situation because now he will have to wait to see his wife and Luna.
At the Avengers mansion, fire billows from the roof. Sersi screams “FAAANTASTIC!” as she realizes that Crystal was able to save them by causing the flames to travel upwards, through the roof. Sersi wonders aloud how anyone could kill themselves for a political cause? Crystal sits on the ground, forcing herself to stand as she explains to the team that, what she had done was instinct. Holding her face with her hand, she asks Sersi if the fact that someone has stolen her daughter also impresses her? Dane holds Crystal’s shoulder and he tells her that Sersi didn’t mean anything wrong by her words. Crystal cries out that someone has taken her baby!
With that said, the rest of the Avengers, along with Fury, run into the room and Fury asks the others if they are okay? The Scarlet Witch screams out Fury’s name and asks if he knew about Luna’s abduction? Lighting his cigar, Fury tells her that his intelligence had suggested an attack but they didn’t know how. Now, though, S.H.I.E.L.D. will take care of it from here on out. Wanda, angered by Fury’s comments, tells him that he has done enough and causes the floor to explode from underneath Fury. Fury, lying on the ground, looks up to see Crystal yelling at him about how her daughter is no ones pawn, while the Scarlet Witch stands behind Crystal, backing her up.
The Avengers head toward the hangar bay to leave towards Genosha. Standing behind them, Nick Fury grabs Captain America’s arm and tells him that they will find the kid but he does not want to have to fight them. Steve turns towards Nick and asks him what he means by fighting them? Nick tells Steve that he was given orders to stop them no matter what! As the Avengers approach the hangar bay, they are greeted by hundreds of S.H.I.E.L.D soldiers and Dane cries out that they can’t do this to them! Nick Fury walks up behind them and, as he lights another cigar, he calls them “idjits” and tells them they are now grounded.
Several hours later, a United States Air Force jet flies over the South Atlantic Ocean, carrying the would-be diplomats to Genosha. Xavier asks Hank if he wants to read some of Moreau’s notes on the mutate camps but Hank tells Xavier that he would rather sleep for a while. Leaning towards Gyrich, the airplanes captain tells them about an incoming signal from Genosha. Gyrich tells the captain to patch it to the monitor closest to him and the captain complies. Hank hangs from the airplane’s ceiling and, as he adjusts his glasses, he is surprised to see Trish Tilby on the screen infront of him.
(in video)Trish tells the world that a man named Cortez has killed all the Genoshan government officials and now he apparently wants to make his speech to the world about becoming Genoshas new rebel leader.
Now on the screen in Trish’s place, Cortez sits in a chair, surrounded by dead army soldiers. He tells the world that he is a follower of Magneto and, now, no more mutants will die in Genosha due to humans. He tells them that the government officials have paid the ultimate price for their transgressions. He also tells the world that, if the Genoshan army does not lay down all their weapons by tomorrow, he will order his followers to kill every normal human being in Hammer Bay. Grimacing at the camera and, as he holds Luna in his arms, Cortez tells the world that the age of humanity has passed and it is now time to the face the evolution of destiny.
On the plane, Hank tells Xavier that Cortez was holding Luna, Pietro’s daughter. Holding his head, Xavier tells Hank that the cycle has now continued on, even to the next generation. Asking the dear Lord of answers, Xavier wonders aloud where the cycle will ever end!
Beast, Bishop, Cyclops, Gambit, Jean Grey, Iceman, Professor X, Rogue, Storm (all X-Men)Black Knight, Black Widow, Captain America, Crystal, Giant Man, Hercules, Sersi, Vision (all Avengers)Hawkeye, Scarlet Witch, Spider-Woman II, USAgent, War Machine (all Avengers West Coast)
Valerie Cooper (Director of Mutagenetic Relations)QuicksilverLuna MaximoffMarilla
Henry Peter Gyrich (Member of the National Security Council)Nick Fury (Director of S.H.I.E.L.D.)S.H.I.E.L.D. agentsS.H.I.E.L.D. fighter pilots
Jennifer RansomePhillip Moreau
Fabian CortezMutate #682
in videoFabien CortezGenoshan government representatives, all deceasedLuna
Trish TilbyGenosha MagistratesGenosha Mutates
This issue is the first part of the Bloodties crossover and continues on in X-Men (Series 2) #26.
Xavier warned Crystal in Avengers (1st Series) #350.
Warlock died in New Mutants #95 but later after the Phalanx harvested his ashes Warlock wasreborn.
Phillip Moreau’s first appearance was in Uncanny X-Men #236 and Jennifer Ransome’s first appearance was in Uncanny X-Men #235.
Magneto was turned into a vegetable in X-Men (Series 2) #25, two weeks before the events in this issue.