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Jim Shooter (writer), Mike Zeck (penciler), John Beatty (inker), Joe Rosen (letterer), Nelson Yomtov (colorist), Tom DeFalco (editor)
Following his victory over the Beyonder, Doctor Doom appears to have usurped him, ascending to godlike levels of power. Addressing the surprised heroes, he claims that, contrary to what they believe, he means them no harm. Watching from a distance, the villains deduce that Doom has turned on them and has now allied himself with the heroes. Molecule Man launches an attack on Doom. Rather than fighting back, however, Doom lifts a mental block that prevented the Molecule Man from fully accessing his powers, and then leaves. Thankful for Doom’s gift, the Molecule Man now assumes leadership of the villains. Feeling listless, they all end up in Volcana’s apartment in the suburb of Denver, Colorado that was dispatched there by the Beyonder, along with other chunks from disparate worlds, to form this planet. Seeing how all the villains are homesick, the Molecule Man uses his powers to lift the suburb into space, intent on taking them back to Earth. Meanwhile, a strange glow enters the heroes’ fortress and first takes possession of Hulk and then Spider-Woman. Just then, Doom contacts the heroes and invites them to a new gigantic tower he has fashioned for himself. The heroes reluctantly accept and have a meeting with Doom, who announces how he wants to make up for his past mistakes. Having already restored Captain Marvel to normalcy, he resurrects Kang and whisks him to where he came from. He then asks the heroes if they have any favors to ask from him. The heroes reply negatively and Doom dismisses them. However, Spider-Woman lingers behind and the alien lifeforce that took hold of her now jumps into Klaw. Searching for Spider-Woman inside the tower, Captain America briefly chatters with Doom, who reveals to him how he wishes to save his dead mother’s soul from the clutches of the demon Mephisto. Troubled over Doom’s divine aspirations, Cap later holds a meeting in order to decide what to do with Doom. Colossus, who has returned to Zsaji’s village and is finally beginning a romance with her, is also urged to the meeting. There, after much debate on issue, the heroes reach a unanimous vote – fight against Doom – when suddenly they are all caught in a horrific explosion.
Everyone watches in shock, as Doctor Doom removes his mask and reveals his face, that of a young, unscarred man. Doom haughtily proclaims that the Beyonder is dead… and the power which was once the Beyonder’s is now Doom’s. He, Victor Von Doom, is the mightiest being in this… or any universe! He could destroy them all with but a thought… and he supposes this is what they expect!
At first, the heroes are unsure how to respond. Wolverine angrily asks what’s he waiting for? Nightcrawler warns Logan not to goad Doom; something tells him Doom can do what he says. Storm suggests they strike then, before Doom has a chance! Mister Fantastic pleads them to hear Doom out. Captain America commands everyone to stand ready and not do anything till he gives the order. Spider-Man confirms that his spider-sense would be tingling if Doomsie meant to kill them. Professor X concurs that Doom means them no harm. Though the sheer energy of Doom’s mental processes blocks Xavier’s telepathic probings, he senses no aura of malice about him. Thor urges Doom to speak and assures him they fear him not! Doom suggests they listen well then. He shall speak to them but once, for greater things beckon him.
Watching from a close distance, the villains are at loss. Wrecker asks his peers what they make of all this: Doom talking really friendly to Captain America and his pals. What happened to Doom? Why is he glowing like that? “Who knows?” Doctor Octopus exclaims and reminds them that Doom’s tricks are many. “Yeah… like selling out!” the Absorbing Man quips. Octopus bursts out: they have always been disposable… pawns to be exploited and sacrificed as expediency demands! He’d like to tear Doom limb from limb! The Enchantress smirks that he won’t. Doom is too much for Octopus… even without the aid of his new friends. Octopus is a practical mortal worm. “And I?” she exclaims. She admits she admires treachery. She is merely amused… for the nonce.
Thunderball suggests they bush Doom’s skull in. “Us and what army?” Bulldozer retorts. He is tired of getting his butt kicked! Wrecker thinks that Captain America and his jerk-squad went and forgot that they let them out of the slammer when they thought the building was going to collapse. He suggests they scram while they have the chance. Confused, the Lizard keeps searching around for Klaw. He wonders where he is; Klaw would know what to do! Klaw is very wise! Klaw is Lizard’s friend!
The Absorbing Man admits he’s always game for a fight. He asks Titania if she wants to nail Spider-Man for punching out her lamps before. A worn out Titania replies negatively. The Absorbing Man teases her: will she let one little thrashing get her down? He reminds her she’s Titania… strongest broad on whatever this planet is! Embarrassed, Titania wishes she had his absorbing powers. Nothing can hurt him…
Watching Doom’s interaction with the heroes, Volcana doesn’t know what to believe. Doom is the one who made her into Volcana, which is wonderful… but he does seem to be double-crossing them! Molecule Man admits he had such faith in Doom. He believed in him! He’s furious! Volcana tries to appease him: his analyst said it wasn’t good to get overwrought! Owen doesn’t care what she said. He’s going to kill that lying, two-faced, rotten fink! Blazing with the power he’s about to unleash, he challenged Doom to hear him and announces that he’s going to kill him! A frightened Volcana tries to stop him.
Undeterred, Owen asserts that Doom’s new friends are not going to save him and makes a demonstration of his powers: he upends the crust of the planet, peeling it away like the skin of an orange, flinging the heroes away. Rushing over to Doom on a floating cluster of rock, he loftily observes that, now he’s tossed the heroes out of the way, along with several billion tons of this planet’s crust, it’s just him and Doom; he promises to obliterate the Latverian! Flaunting his energy on Doom, he realizes Doom doesn’t think he will… that the Molecule Man is a wimp or something! Owen admits that maybe he is… but now Doom has made him angry… angry enough for Owen to destroy him. And he has the power to do it. Doom knows it. The Molecule Man controls all molecules – except living ones, of course – but still, he’s so powerful…
Doom concurs that indeed he is – more than he realizes. He decides to show him. He tells him to behold the foundations of eternity – the intertwining of energies which is the basis of all that is. Molecule Man is startled to see vast patterns of energy all around them. Doom informs him that all things now are known unto him… and the secrets of the universe have been laid bare to him. He gives Owen this as a gift: this insight into the intricate simplicity of existence! Inside Owen is great power. He should know that, of all the great and mighty in the universe, he is the mightiest… save for Doom. Grabbing his face, he reminds him that every molecule, every iota of matter in the cosmos answers to his whim. And all the forces that govern substance bend to his will… for matter and energy are one the same! The only limits on Owen’s power are those which he has imposed upon himself, subconsciously because of self-doubt… self-hate… fear! Inundating him with energy, Doom urges him to open his mind to the majesty of his own power, accept his destiny and fear no more!
Kneeling on the ground, Molecule Man mumbles that he can control organic molecules… he can do… anything! The rest of the villains catch up with him. Octopus asks him what happened. An ecstatic Owen mutters that Doom helped him with a mental block he had and then left. He just soared away into the sky. But it’s okay: the can get along without Doctor Doom leading them anymore. He confidently announces that he will take care of them! “You?!!” Octopus asks in disbelief. Creel reminds him what Owen did. Does Octopus really want to cross him?
Octopus relents and accepts that Molecule Man is in charge. He asks him what they do now. Owen admits there’s so much to think about. He’s not sure… except that they’ll need food and shelter. After they take care of that, they can plan what to do next. Volcana suggests they could go to her place. Owen accepts. Second later, they all depart aboard a makeshift aircraft that Molecule Man generates. Volcana is amazed by what he can do. Owen tells her it’s nothing. She should wait until she sees some of the things he’s going to do now that he’s not afraid anymore. At last, he’s accepting his destiny!
Meanwhile, on the fringes of space, Captain America’s band regroups after Molecule Man repelled them. Reed uses his extremely pliable body to carry all the non-flying heroes, being in turn carried by Iron Man. The latter remarks that when the Molecule Man wants to be rid of you, he lets you know! Reed warns him to get them down into denser air quickly, before they suffocate up here!
Later, at the battered ruins of the fortress named Doombase, the heroes confer. Xavier announces he can’t tell where Doom went. He tried searching psionically for him, but he hasn’t found a trace. Cap thanks him anyway. He asks Reed what this all means. Reed admits that without more data… “Some big genius you are!” Hulk quips. Wasp is appalled by Hulk’s manners: he’s getting nastier and nastier lately.
Cap decides to go over what they know. They were brought here by a being of unimaginable power… enough to simply wipe away an entire galaxy. He issues a challenge (“I am from Beyond! Slay your enemies and all you desire shall be yours! Nothing you dream of is impossible for me to accomplish!). That was all Doom and his ilk had to hear. They attacked the heroes… and the heroes fought back. Reed picks up on the narration: But Doom’s ambitions were even greater than they realized. He contrived an elaborate plan to attack the Beyonder himself. And apparently, he won. Somehow, he killed the Beyonder and usurped his power!
Thor agrees that Doom is nigh omnipotent. Janet finds that scary. It gives her the chills. Xavier tells her it’s small comfort, but at least Doom is all they have to worry about. He senses that Molecule Man and the other super-criminals have apparently fled to some distant part of the planet. Smashing a wall, Hulk is angry to hear there is no sign of Doom or his ex-lackeys… he wants to have somebody to smash! Cap tells him to be careful: this place isn’t too sturdy anymore!
Hundreds of miles distant on this patchwork planet, constructed by the Beyonder from bits and pieces of thousands of other worlds, lies a six-square-mile chunk ripped from the planet Earth: a suburb of Denver, Colorado, complete with its terrified populace. The villains have now gathered in the modest apartment of Marsha Rosenberg, aka Volcana. Volcana wishes she could offer them all sandwiches, but there’s no electricity and everything’s spoiled… no water either! Molecule Man promises he’ll fix that later. He now asks them to discuss their options.
The Absorbing Man doesn’t know what’s going on with Doom, the Beyonder or his stupid contest, but he doesn’t give a hoot anymore. He and Titania, all they want to do is go home! Volcana thinks that’s the way everybody feels. But how could they get home? They must be a long way from Colorado! Owen announces that if they want to go home, go home they shall. Creel asks how. “You’ll see…” Owen replies.
An instant later, the hapless people on the Denver suburb burst into panic, seeing something closing off the sky! The ground is shaking, too! They all begin to wonder what’s happening – what now? And just then, the entire suburb, encased in a dome, is detached from the rest of the planet and begins floating upwards.
At Doombase, the heroes feel the rumbling caused by the departure of the suburb and gather in the monitor room. Reed announces that the suburb of Denver the Beyonder brought here is leaving. He suspects this is the work of Molecule Man. Spider-Woman is shocked and incredulous: does he mean it’s just floating off into space?! She has friends there – good friends! What will they do? Reed admits there’s nothing they can do. Except sleep, Cap adds. They might as well just sack out and try to figure this all out in the morning.
Hours later, in his shadowed chamber, Colossus remembers Captain America’s words. “Sleep” he said. He could not have issued an order more difficult for Piotr to obey! He is so weary… but the ache in his heart… and the gnawing emptiness in his soul, they drive away sleep. He can do nothing but think thoughts of her… of his Zsaji. He realizes these are a love-smitten schoolboy’s thoughts. But that is how he feels… yet… it is far deeper than that. His love for her is everything. The only thing. Yet to her, he’s just another soldier in this cursed war. He cannot bear it… not a second longer! Minutes later, he quietly departs from the cavernous hangars on a tiny sky-sled. He thanks the stars that the controls of this machine are not too difficult. I am coming my love! he thinks in rapture.
As Piotr soars across the starless sky, he does not notice a small flickering point of radiance streaking down from the heavens toward Doombase. Silently, the strange light enters the complex, approaches the slumbering Hulk and occupies his body. Hulk automatically rises.
Moments later, in a nearby corridor, a sleepless Spider-Woman sees a big shadow approaching and asks who’s there. She is relieved when she sees Doctor Banner… or does he prefer being called “Hulk?” She deduces he couldn’t sleep either. She was thinking about all those poor people out there on that chunk of Denver…
Suddenly, she realizes that Hulk is not responsive – he keeps on walking forward, paying no attention to her. She realizes something’s wrong here: is he sleepwalking? She tells him to wake up, but quickly understands he’s really out of it. He isn’t likely to hurt himself, but what if he steps on somebody?! She’d better restrain him… and then get help! Her eyes narrow as she concentrates. Strands of sheer psionic force radiate around her and she weaves.
Seconds later, Hulk is still lumbering along, oblivious to Spider-Woman’s web waiting for him a few steps forward. Finally, the entranced Hulk is ensnared in her web and begins fighting to free himself. Spider-Woman notices how strong he is: for someone who’s asleep, he’s a regular Sherman tank! She pushes on and tries to hold him on her psionic web. No good, however, as Hulk keeps redoubling the pressure and finally set himself free. Grabbing Hulk’s shoulders, she again urges him to wake up. Hulk responds by slamming her head on the wall. The radiance escapes Hulk and charges the unconscious Spider-Woman. As he slumps to the floor, once again lost in peaceful slumber, Spider-Woman rises, though unconscious, and continues down the corridor animated by a will not her own…
Moments later, she silently stalks across what was once the laboratory of Doctor Doom. She passes below the glimmering remains of Captain Marvel, who was caught spying on Doom and was frozen by him in her light-form, trapped as a living hologram. Closer and closer, she creeps toward her goal – the disembodied head of Klaw. She slips past the machine, built from Klaw’s dissected body, which abetted Doom’s rise to power on a cosmic scale. Composed of solidified sound energy, Klaw is un-discomfited by decapitation and dozes peacefully. Even nearer, she creeps… but suddenly, she is bathed in a blinding light, much to her terror!
Hearing Spider-Woman’s shriek, Captain America rises from his bed and quickly gets dressed. Seconds later, they all gather in Doom’s lab. A confused Spider-Woman mumbles that she just woke up here… just in time to see Doom! She claims he came for Klaw. She saw him reassemble Klaw and take him away. He restored Captain Marvel, too… like an afterthought. She admits she feels weird... like a buzzing in her head that won’t quit… just sort of in the background. Hulk speculates that maybe she was sleepwalking, like he did: he woke up in the hall! “Maybe…” Spider-Woman replies. Reed asks her if Doom said anything. “No,” she replies… but he left that, she tells them and points at the monitor.
“YOU ARE SUMMONED TO THE TOWER OF DOOM AT DUSK TOMORROW” reads the message left by Doom on the monitor. “Talk about an engraved invitation…!” Spider-Woman remarks. Reed wonders about this tower; what is Doom talking about? “Offhand, I’d say… must be that!” the Thing points them outside the fortress, towards an insanely high behemoth of a citadel looming in the horizon. They realize in shock that this thing must be two hundred miles high – and Doom must have built it from nothing, almost in no time!
At that moment, deep inside the tower, a glowing Doom asks the reassembled Klaw if he likes his temporary quarters. This is his throne room – actually, its only purpose is to impress his “guests” tomorrow. “Nice!” Klaw remarks. He gathers that Doom’s plans worked out. Doom admits that once he would have proudly said “of course”. But now he is not as once he was. “I suppose you’re a lot like me then!” Klaw remarks. Surprised, Doom asks him how so. “I told you once!” Klaw reminds him. “I am my wildest dream!” Doom confesses he shall miss dreaming.
Seeing him going to bed, Klaw asks him if he’s tired. Does a god get tired? Will Doom sleep now? Doom claims he does not need sleep anymore… nor does he dare to sleep. He just wants to rest for a moment. He wants to draw in this power, contain it, shut it off and rest. As Doom spreads on the bed, Klaw notices he’s stopped glowing. Doom orders him to stand watch; Doom must not sleep.
Meanwhile, at the rustic, alien village that was once the heroes’ base, in her hut, the healer-woman known as Zsaji stirs, as a knocking disturbs her slumber. A massive silhouette fills her doorway, then strides purposefully toward her: it’s Colossus. He brings her flowers. He is sorry to awaken her… but he does not know what tomorrow might bring – perhaps his death! He could not face without trying to let her know how much she cares for her! It may be the only thing that truly matters. It is easier for him to believe that all this has happened just so that they might meet and love one another – than to believe that he was meant to find her only to lose her! He tells her he loves her. Zsaji cannot understand the words. Nonetheless, the essence is clear. She smiles… as though seeing him for the first time.
Eighteen hours later, at Doombase, Nighcrawler teleports by Wolverine’s side and asks him if he has seen Colossus. It’s almost time to leave. Everyone is gathering in the big hangar. Wolverine informs him that Peter’s not here… but he knows where he went. “You mean… to her?” Kurt snaps. He wonders in indignation how Piotr can be so faithless to poor Katya. Logan admits he can understand a man following his heart – going with what feels right. There’s no honor lost in that… but can’t Colossus see that this obsession of his is just a side-effect of the girl’s healing power? Nightcrawler asks him if he’s sure. Logan is affirmative. And this isn’t the girl next door, either, he adds. Different world… different culture… who knows what love means to her? Probably not the same as Peter. It looks to him like it’s a standard part of her patient-care!
Soon, they all gather in the big hangar. Kurt reluctantly announces to Professor X that Colossus is… Xavier cuts him off: he knows. Nearby, Thor tells Rogue that last night the darkness was thick with visions of death and despair. It bodes not well. Rogue wonders if this means he had bad dreams; she did, too. Spider-Man adds he had some white-knucklers himself. A coincidence, he hopes! Cap tells them to move on.
Shortly, the heroes land outside Doom’s tower. Klaw welcomes them at the entrance. He tells them he will show them to the room where waits Doom! Soon, they enter the throne room where Doom greets them. He asks if anyone here doubts that he wields the power of the Beyonder. Cap replies they believe him but… so what? Nothing changes as far as he’s concerned.
Much has changed, Doom corrects him. For, when he usurped the Beyonder’s powers, slaying him, in a way Doom died as well! Now, he is all-powerful. He has nothing to prove to lesser creatures. None is his equal. He is complete… serene in his omnipotence. The dark, seething desires which once drove and shaped him are no more. Nothing in this universe – nothing of which they can conceive, no matter how cosmic in scale – could possibly merit his attention. For as eternity is to them… he is to eternity. He has transcended all concerns of this plane of existence… … and yet, he has unfinished business, he admits – loose ends left over from his mortal life. He cannot undo all of the evil works of his life without unraveling a great deal of the fabric of reality, causing enormous upheavals in the time/space continuum. He can, though, easily set right some of the crimes of these few days past.
First, he decides to restore one he has disintegrated. Before them, atom by atom he reconstructs Kang! The resurrected Kang is startled and wonders where he is. With but a zap, Doom immediately returns Kang whence he came… to his home. Cap is amazed: Kang was dead. How…? Doom points out that he was “dead” as Captain America comprehends death. But there is more to life and death than Cap’s philosophy! Doom also informs them that Galactus, whom he left drifting helplessly in space, has been found and aided by his herald, the female called Nova. This leaves only the heroes then! He wishes to grant them a boon, as a gesture to atone for the suffering they have endured at his hands. He asks them to state their desire – anything – and it shall be theirs.
The heroes hurriedly throw a private conference. Wasp thinks he’s serious. Spider-Man suggests they ask him to get them home. Reed insists that’s not necessary; Reed himself can get them home. Kurt suggests that maybe Doom can find Lockheed, Kitty’s pet dragon, for them. They haven’t seen him since the day they arrived here. It’s bad enough that Kitty is losing Colossus over this. She shouldn’t have to lose her dragon, too! Amidst the conversation, Cap wonders what’s wrong with Spider-Woman. He wonders why she’s staring so intently at Klaw.
Dismissing the thought from his mind, he announces to Doom they want nothing from him, but they thank him, anyway. Doom informs them that their dealings are ended forever then. He orders them to leave now as they entered. Soon, he shall ascend to higher planes. Until then, he stresses that he will not suffer any disturbance. He tells them to go and not seek to enter his presence again, for he shall destroy any who dare. “We read you!” Steve assures him.
Moments later, outside the tower, Cap is counting heads. He finds out that Spider-Woman is missing. Reed confirms that. Xavier exclaims that Doom’s very aura negates his telepathic powers. He can’t probe inside his tower – but he can assure them that Spider-Woman is not outside. “Blast it!” Cap snaps. He thought he noticed her behaving oddly. He should have kept an eye on her as they were leaving. But why should she remain? What is she trying to prove? Charles doesn’t know. What he knows is that she’s risking death… she may already be dead. Maybe not yet, Cap rejoins. He decides to go back in after her. The others try to dissuade him: Doom will kill him! Steve insists that, as long as there’s a chance she’s still alive, he’s got to go. Reed suggests the others go, too. Cap rejects his proposal. He tells them to leave if he’s not back in fifteen minutes. No one else goes in – that’s an order!
Moments later, Cap moves cautiously inside the vast tower. He has not met any apparent defenses or alarms so far. But if he knows Doom, every crevice in every wall is dangerous. Moving further inside, he still meets no defenses. He suddenly hears Klaw singing the Home to the Range from a nearby room. He remembers that Spider-Woman was staring at Klaw and rushes into the room.
Cap is surprised to find Doom relaxing on a sofa, reading a paper and sipping wine, while Klaw keeps him company with his song. All over the room there are portraits of a hooded woman. Surprised and vexed, Doom asks him what it is he wants. Cap nervously explains that Spider-Woman appears to be missing. He thinks she’s still in here somewhere – maybe she got lost. He came back to look for her. Putting his armor on, Doom orders Klaw to find her.
Cap admits this wasn’t something he was expecting from someone who has transcended humanity. He keeps expecting someone to say “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain.” He deduces that the woman in the portraits is Doom’s mother. Doom congratulates him on being very perceptive…
Meanwhile, Klaw is frantically searching for Spider-Woman in the corridors of the tower. He calls after her, wondering where she could be. Suddenly, he is caught on her psionic web. Spider-Woman jumps on him and grabs him. The light passes from her to him. Spider-Woman slumps to the floor, lost in peaceful slumber, while Klaw returns whence he came, animated by a will not his own. However, with each step he takes, the alien force guiding Klaw retreats into his subconscious, surrendering control back into Klaw… until he’s merely a slight buzzing lurking in back of his mind.
In the leisure room, Cap has just been informed how Doom’s mother’s spirit essence is held captive by the demon Mephisto – and Doom intends to liberate her spirit… Is that little enough to ask? Doom wonders. Little enough self-solicitude? To free his mother’s soul from endless torments at the hands of an extradimensional demon! After that, it is as he said: no affairs of men – or demons – could possibly gain his notice. Conquest… dominion… these are things which no longer hold meaning for him. Ruling this entire universe would bring him as much satisfaction, perhaps, as ruling a water droplet full of amoeba would to Cap!
Steve admits that Doom looks pretty human to him. Doom insists that it is for their protection that he keeps the power contained – completely bottled up inside him – lest an inadvertent flicker of his finger should destroy a solar system, or wipe out an intergalactic civilization! While he lingers on this plane, he’s like a giant on a world of ants. Every slight movement he makes can seal the destinies of millions. He insists he does not wish to destroy anyone!
Cap announces he’d better find Spider-Woman, then, and leave. Klaw rushes in and informs him that Spider-Woman’s in the hall. After Cap leaves, he wonders what’s going on. “The inevitable, I fear!” Doom replies in contemplation.
Moments later, Cap escorts Spider-Woman outside. Spider-Woman apologizes. She doesn’t remember anything! She can’t imagine how she managed to fall asleep in there. Maybe she needed a nap! At least, now her head isn’t buzzing like it had been since last night. Seeing them, a relieved Wasp exclaims they’re okay. Professor X, though, senses there is much troubling Captain America. He suspects he brings bad news. Quickly, the heroes take off with their ship. Cap asks Xavier to summon Colossus. They have to make a decision which affects all of them… and perhaps the entire universe. Every one of them must be present.
In a glen near Zsaji’s village, Zsaji and Colossus lay kissing under a tree. Suddenly, Xavier telepathically alerts Colossus. Piotr angrily tells him to go away but Xavier insists it’s a red code command. He must return to Doombase immediately! Saddened to part from Zsaji, Colossus tells her he must leave – but he promises to return. He loves her more than anything. Soon, he’ll be with her again, and then, he swears, he’ll never leave her again!
Later, in a council chamber at Doombase, Cap briefs his allies on Doom’s plans. Wasp is at loss: what’s wrong with Doom wanting to rescue his mother’s spirit? Maybe nothing, Cap agrees. Under other circumstances, he might even volunteer to help him. It seems like a very humane… and human thing to do. That’s what worries him. Doom claims he’s transcended all human desire. What if he hasn’t? They’ve seen the power of the Beyonder – Doom’s power – in action before. It is such power that even now, nothing in the universe can take place without his consent. That kind of authority rightfully belongs to no man! No matter how enlightened or benevolent he’s become, freedom to do what Doom allows is not freedom. He reminds them that the first thing Doom did with his newfound power…
… was repair the scars on his face, Reed finishes his sentence. He sees Steve’s point. Cap admits he’s not certain he’s right. Perhaps they should accept Doom at his word… not borrow trouble… go on their way and count their blessings. Reed argues they’ve got to stop him now, before it’s too late… get him to give up his powers… “Power, schmower! We’ll just knock him down ten pegs or so…” Human Torch interjects. Ben remarks that what Reed says goes for all of the FF’ers.
Wasp thinks Cap’s right. She can’t believe Doom would give up lording it over people… or blue cheese dip! Not for long! They’ve got to make a stand before he takes this self-appointed deity stuff too far! Thor, She-Hulk and Captain Marvel agree. Hawkeye tells them he’s in… but could somebody please help him make some arrows first? Iron Man tells Reed to show him the heads and he’ll crack them! Feeling honored to be given a vote, Spider-Woman agrees with the others. Spider-Man is also in: who wants to argue with all these heavy-hitters? “Who would know better than the Hulk the danger of too much power? I say fight!” Hulk remarks.
Xavier admits that perhaps he knows better than them the temptation of insidious power… power which can be used for subtle manipulation. He believes they should fight! Cyclops thinks that Professor X speaks for all of them X-Men. Storm interjects and reveals she speaks for herself… but she believes their only choice is to resist Doom now. Wolverine, Nightcrawler and Rogue agree with her. Magneto also agrees: Doom cannot be trusted with such power.
Cap notices that Colossus hasn’t spoken yet – and he’s the last. Piotr admits he doesn’t know. What has Doom done to them? Nothing! He may never harm them! He seems to be an entirely different being than he was before. If they strike him unprovoked, are they not the criminals? Steve admits he may be right. He’s not dead certain about any of this. That’s why it must be a unanimous vote… or they do nothing. Piotr shouldn’t think he must agree. The choice is his. He should keep in mind that if they do decide to confront Doom, it’s possible that they might be annihilated on the spot by a bolt from the blue!
Colossus explains in stammering words that it’s just he finally has found true happiness – the one woman in all the universe he loves. The thought that it might end – that he might be killed now – that they could ruin it all unnecessarily… He wonders if he’s being selfish. Cap thinks only Colossus himself knows that. Tears gushing from his eyes, Piotr asks Zsaji to forgive him. He gives his vote: he says yes! They fight!
And just then, a bolt from the blue destroys everything and everyone in the room.
Captain America, Captain Marvel II, Hawkeye, Iron Man, She-Hulk, Thor (all Avengers)Human Torch, Mister Fantastic, Thing (all Fantastic Four)Colossus, Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Professor X, Rogue, Storm, Wolverine (all X-Men)HulkMagnetoSpider-ManSpider-Woman II
Dr. OctopusEnchantressGalactusKangLizardMolecule ManAbsorbing Man, Bulldozer, Piledriver, Thunderball, Wrecker (all Wrecking Crew)
Portrayed in paintings: Cynthia von Doom (Doom’s mother)
The Beyonder transported the heroes and villains in this planet and issued his challenge in issue #1.
Lockheed has been missing since issue #2.
Doom ordered Kang killed by Ultron in issue #4.
Doom drained Galactus’ energies, trapped Captain Marvel in her light-form and defeated the Beyonder all in one issue, #10.