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Jim Shooter (writer), Mike Zeck (penciler), John Beatty (inker), Joe Rosen (letterer), Christie Scheele (colorist), Tom DeFalco (editor)
Having escaped Magneto’s fortress, Wasp tries to operate Xavier’s telepathic vehicle but fails and ends up crash-landing. She soon comes across the long-missing Lizard, only to realize he is wounded and bleeding. Finding the creature surprisingly more sympathetic than she originally thought, she tends to his injuries. Meanwhile, inside Galactus’ ship, Doom releases the entity known as Klaw. Klaw explains that, being a sound-based entity, he was once absorbed by Dazzler, owing to her ability to absorb sound. However, she later unwittingly released him with a beam, when she confronted Galactus in his ship. Ever since, Klaw has been ‘haunting’ the ship, struggling to re-acquire a more coherent form. Doom decides to employ Klaw for his master plan and teleports him to Doombase. Acting as Doom’s messenger, Klaw assigns tasks to the villains. Back in Magneto’s fortress, Xavier telepathically infiltrates the villains’ minds and learns of their plan to go to a volcanic area. He dispatches Cyclops, Rogue and Wolverine to that area, but not without a quarrel with Storm, who believes Xavier is undermining her leadership. The three mutants do as asked and confront four of Doom’s lackeys in the volcanic coves. Wolverine manages to seriously injure the Molecule Man, although Cyclops prevents him from killing him. After the villains flee, Cyclops blasts a full-powered beam into one of the craters, causing a chain reaction, with all of the volcanoes erupting. Elsewhere, the Wrecking Crew is sent to apprehend the Lizard and seemingly kill Wasp in the process. At the alien village, Colossus finds himself falling in love with Zsaji. Seeing how Galactus is nearing with the completion of his machine – through which he will presumably consume the planet – the rest of the heroes try to come up with a way of stalling his progress, unaware that they are spied on by a mysterious figure lurking in the shadows.
“Help!” Janet van Dyne screams as she struggles to operate the landskimmer she commandeered while escaping Magneto’s lair. Her clumsy efforts send the aircraft bumping up and down. In despair, she realizes this is impossible: she’d need five tentacles to drive this thing – or two and a half chauffeurs! Indignant, she believes this is Magneto’s fault – and the X-Men’s! How could they let her escape? Why didn’t they stop her? Why didn’t they come after her? She knows their plans! They knew this would hap…
Suddenly, the vehicle finally crashes down for good amid a barren wasteland. Janet mourns her breaking a nail! She doesn’t even have an emery board and she’s thirty-seven million miles away from her manicurist and it’s her day off anyway! As she accidentally bumps a switch, a little holographic map makes its appearance. She deduces that the dot in the map must be where she is now… and there’s a little glow beside that thingy that looks like a dome. Maybe this crazy car is trying to make up with her by giving her directions – or maybe it’s just telling her where to go!
Shrinking to insect size, the Wasps’ wings sprout and she flies out of the wrecked vehicle. Wasp anxiously acknowledges she doesn’t know what else to do, so she decides to follow the car’s advice. Before she abandons her trusty steed, though, she resolves to put it out of its misery and immediately devastates it with a bioelectric blast. “There! Phooey on you, crazy car!” she snarls with glee as she smashes it. Flying away, Janet remarks it’s incredible how the terrain changes so abruptly. She watched the Beyonder put this patchwork planet together out of chunks of hundreds of other worlds and she still doesn’t believe it!
Hours later, Janet is flying her way through a forest. She thought it would be cooler once she reached the forest, but it’s like a steam bath in here. It’s getting hard to fly; how can a girl flap her wings in such mugginess? Indignant, she expresses her desire to quit; to retire! She wishes her limo to be sent around! She wants to freshen up, wants Vidal to do her hair, wants lunch at 21, and then she wants a nap!
Suddenly spotting some insects moving up against her, Janet blasts them: “Stay back, you… you hungry hoppers!” Flying away, Janet realizes she’s tired. She could just barely summon enough energy for even an itty bitty Wasp’s sting. Spotting a glowing area near her, she realizes it’s that thingy she saw on the map. Maybe she can find a place to land and rest there, she decides, and goes for it.
Seconds later, Janet reaches the area, a set of rocks by a river and reverts to her human size. At her full, five-foot-four, the bugs can only eat her a little at a time… unless there are some really big bugs lurking around. She wonders what caused the glow in this area of that map. She was hoping for a first-class hotel. “I guess not…” she grumps. Resting against one of the rocks, Jan addresses herself and notices is certainly is spooky here, isn’t it? It certainly is. She bets even the lions and the tigers and bears are scared! She urges herself to keep talking… it’s entirely too quiet. She suddenly wishes she was “Eaglewoman” instead of the Wasp. Then she’d be more suited for long-distance migrations and she wouldn’t have to rest here in this yuck!
Suddenly hearing a “crik” sound, Janet wonders what that was… and then the timber of a giant tree only barely misses her, nose-diving into the river. Wasp quickly finds out the perpetrator of this – the Lizard! The reptilian creature rips apart yet another tree, as he makes his move against Jan.
Meanwhile, several million miles from the surface of the patchwork planet, in the huge construct that is the homeworld of Galactus, Doctor Doom labors at an alien control console. Amazed, Doom realizes that, apparently, any manipulation of these controls activates this apparatus, which serves the intent of its user and accomplishes what he desires. Already, it has gathered up the strange vibratory energy which his armor’s built-in sensors detected traveling, as if alive, through this vessel’s walls. Now, it is about to reveal the true nature of this phenomenon, by reconstituting the energy into something…
Indeed, at that moment, the process is complete and the energy is reconstituted into a living being… Klaw, the self-styled master of sound! Flabbergasted, Doom wonders what Klaw is doing here in the home of Galactus! “Home?” Klaw gulps and then begins inanely repeating the word: “Home, home, home, home…” Vexed, Doom demands he answers him; so commands Doctor Doom! “Doom?” Klaw mumbles and then again begins repeating the villain’s name, as if in delirium. Doom conjectures he has managed to recreate a raving lunatic!
Finally regaining his mental clarity, Klaw realizes he’s alive again! He informs Doom he was killed by the Dazzler. Doom is surprised: Dazzler, the mutant who absorbs sound and transforms it into light? Klaw explains he didn’t know when he attacked her. “Poor me!” he whimpers. He explains his whole body is made of solidified sound. She started soaking up the sonic power he was throwing at her and apparently she got carried away! She absorbed all his sound-substance… just ate him all up! He was inside her, flowing through her nerves, crackling in her cells!
Then, for some crazy reason, Galactus came to Earth and seized her – took her up aboard his ship. He needed a flunky like her for a little mission – finding his lost herald. She tried to fight Galactus… and that’s when she let Klaw out, as a big energy burst! All that was left of him was a tiny vibration which was absorbed into the ship’s walls. When Galactus’ ship docked here a while ago, he oozed into this thing’s walls. Since then, he’s…
Doom impatiently interrupts him and turns away: “Enough, Klaw! Begone! You are of no use to me!” Hobbling after him, Klaw asks him what he’s looking for. Doom reveals he wants knowledge; power; opportunity; a way to conquer Galactus… and perhaps the Beyonder as well. Klaw retorts that Galactus will soon know Doom is here. If he stays here for long, he’ll notice – and then…
Doom assures him he’s aware of the danger and asks Klaw to behold the monitor, stressing that Galactus is still preoccupied making preparations to devour the planet below. Klaw warns him, however, that Galactus will soon finish constructing his world-draining device, though – and, as soon as he does, he’ll notice Doom being in his home! “He will, he will!” he repeats emphatically. Doom surmises that perhaps he could arrange for Galactus’ work to be delayed.
Switching on his monitor, he spies on the heroes gathered around the ruins of their fortress. Doom believes that Captain America’s wretched group could easily be manipulated into attacking Galactus. However they are battered, battle weary; in their current condition, Galactus would crush them in mere seconds! “Crush, rush, rush, rush…” Klaw idiotically murmurs.
Now observing the X-Men and Magneto through his monitor, Doom concludes that they have not the power necessary for this task. Doom now observes his own villainous pawns. He believes they possess the necessary might, yet, without his leadership… bah! He mockingly observes them limping back to his fortress like whipped curs after being thrashed by the X-Men. “Thrash, smash, trash, crash…” Klaw continues his infantile blabbering. Doom concludes that he must clearly employ indirect means. Galactus plans to feed upon the plan’s energy, doesn’t he? Well, perhaps Doom can spoil his lunch!
“A fly in his soup?” Klaw suggests. Doom agrees: this is precisely what he needs! “Fly in his soup! Oop…” Klaw continues with his idiotic rhymes. Doom decides he must send instructions to his lackeys. Klaw shall be his messenger. He asks him to listen carefully.
Moments later, Doom is about to beam Klaw down to the planet. Klaw retorts it’s a risk doing that; Galactus may notice. Doom asks him to remember what he told him. If Klaw serves him well, Doom shall reward him beyond his wildest dreams… but if he fails him, Doom shall destroy him! “Oh, pshaw!” Klaw puffs with disdain. He stresses that he himself is his wildest dream! He’s made of energy and nobody can destroy or create energy! Einstein said so! But still, Klaw wants to put a fly in Galactus’ soup, oop, oop, oop!
A split-second later, Klaw is teleported on the planet below, amidst Doom’s battered lackeys. “Who… what’s that?” Titania exclaims. Klaw announces he brings word from Doom; orders for them. But first the magic words… “Are you listening, robot?” he addresses Ultron and utters the words: “Ukase Doom Rex!”
As he is about to announce the orders now, Titania tells him to forget about it. She’s not taking orders from a raving idiot just because he claims Doom sent him! In fact, she’s going to rip him in half… on general principle! As she is about to attack him, though, Ultron intervenes and is battered by Titania instead. Ultron re-introduces himself and stresses that he enforces Doom’s will – and this one, Klaw has uttered Doom’s code words! The orders are genuine and they will be obeyed! Titania retorts that she knows who Ultron is already and she doesn’t care what he… Volcana interjects and tells her to stop. She reminds her that Ultron already killed Kang and advises her to just do as he says. She encourages Klaw to start talking.
Meanwhile, upon his mountaintop, Galactus pauses in his labors. For a moment, he stands still, like a man listening for a tiny gnat which may or may not be with him in a darkened room. Then, he turns and casts his gaze upon his home… and for long moments, he stares.
Just then, many hundreds of miles away, Janet carefully scrutinizes the Lizard from a safe distance, thinking that was close. The Lizard could have hit her but he didn’t… which means he’s probably just posturing. With an authoritative manner, she asks him to come here! She promises she won’t hurt him! She notices that he’s as scared as she is – imagine! The Lizard, still trying to scare her off, stresses that the swamp is his! “Right! Your swamp!” Wasp concurs. She was just passing by on her way to the Plaza so she thought she’d stop by! Charming muck, she sneers at him. “Tres chic!”
Suddenly, Janet discerns that the Lizard is wounded – his left arm is all bloody and badly bruised. It doesn’t look broken, though. Janet asks him to hold it still and let her see it. Examining it, Janet presses the wounded area, causing the Lizard to squirm with pain. Wasp tells him to hush! She just wants to see how bad it is. It looks painful but not too serious. She bets it happened in the very first battle. Taking pity on him, Janet realizes the Lizard doesn’t even understand what’s going on here. All he wants is a little swamp to call his own, some hopper-bugs to eat and peace! Dragging him with her, she decides to find some solid ground, where she’ll clean his wounds.
At Magneto’s now ruined fortress, the mutants are awed by the damage the building has endured. “What a mess!” Rogue sighs. To think Galactus did all this damage with what amounts to a little old mental shrug… Magneto retorts that if he hadn’t shielded everyone inside bubbles of magnetic force at that moment she wouldn’t be alive to view this “mess!” She should count herself lucky! Cyclops realizes that Magneto isn’t going to let them forget that he saved their lives. However, he reminds him that it was his rash behavior that brought Galactus’ wrath on them in the first place!
Xavier believes there is no need for bickering. The incident is over. They must put it, as well as their past differences with Magneto, aside. For the present, at least, they are allies. He reminds him that a lack of trust in battle can easily bring disaster. He then asks them to excuse: he has to attend to other matters.
Soon, alone in his chamber, Professor Xavier rests. He wishes he’d brought his wheelchair along when they left the other fortress. His legs are not yet quite strong enough… But no! he suddenly reprimands himself. Using the wheelchair, even a little, would give his X-Men doubt about his ability to lead them into a battle… a new role for him, but essential, he believes, under the circumstances. He decides that, while he is resting, he might as well reconnoiter telepathically.
Straining the power of his mutant mind, Xavier probes the distant fortress called Doombase, stronghold of the opposition. From glimpses seen through others’ eyes, from snatches of sound heard through others’ ears, from images flickering across the gray-white, labyrinthine walls of others’ minds, he gleans information about everything that happened.
However, at that instant, in Doombase, the Enchantress realizes that someone dares pry into her thoughts; some mortal fool! She telepathically tells Xavier that the mind of a goddess is too subtle for his clumsy probing! And for the mightiest sorceress of all, his power is a joke! Xavier realizes she’s mystically sealed the other villains’ minds against him – but he may have already learned enough.
Xavier telepathically alerts his fellow X-Men that he learned that Doom is dispatching a task force to a volcanic plain to the other side of the planet. He orders Cyclops to lead Rogue and Wolverine to observe them, ascertain their purpose and stop them if necessary. “Yes, sir!” Scott readily complies. He urges Rogue and Wolverine to move: they heard the man. “Ah’ll say!” Rogue scoffs – she believes Xavier thinks louder than he can speak! Wolverine suggests they go already: he’s ready to rip somebody!
An exasperated Storm immediately flies her way inside Xavier’s private chambers. Charles asks her if she wishes to speak to him. “I will speak to you and you will listen to me!” Storm snaps. She crossly reminds him that she is the leader of the X-Men – not Cyclops and not Xavier. Xavier urges her to control herself. Her anger is disrupting weather patterns for miles around – which may make it difficult for Cyclops’ skycraft to take off. Storm suggests they wait – she did not order him to take off! Xavier angrily confronts her: so she is the field general and he, Professor X, is… what? The aged training officer, fit, perhaps, to hone her battle skills but not to lead? Is that what she believes?
Storm thinks he’s an excellent tutor but he should leave the war to the warriors. Xavier snaps that, despite her doubts, he has made the decision which is his to make – he will give the orders! Does she understand? Storm retorts he gives his orders then and sees who follows them. She will go her own way! No, she will not, Xavier retorts. She and the rest of his X-Men will obey without hesitation. As loathe as he is to tamper with other’s minds, he will not tolerate insubordination, mutiny or desertion. “I… see!” Storm utters, walking away. The stakes here are unimaginably high... the odds are already heavily against them… and yet, he’s willing to beat his own troops to submission to ensure that he has the honor of leading them into catastrophe!
Meanwhile, in the tiny alien village where those under Captain America’s command have taken refuge, Colossus lies in a temporary shelter, recovering from the near-fatal wounds he received from fighting the soldiers of Doom a while ago. Piotr realizes that, despite their own peril, the first concern of Captain America and his group is for the innocents affected by this war. Why must there be suspicion and mistrusts between these noble men and mutants? He does not understand why there must be separate camps, two different armies fighting for the same just cause. He misses his fellow X-Men. If they cannot be here, he then wishes he were well enough to return to them. And Kitty… his love, so far away, back on Earth… he misses her, too, so very much!
But… what is wrong with him? Why, when he tries to picture Kitty, can he only think of Zsaji, the healer? Does he forget his own beloved’s face? No! He will remember… he will think only about Kitty! Almost delirious now, he mutters that he will be true to Kitty… he will be true to Kitty… he will...
Zsaji suddenly appears at the threshold of his shelter. Colossus nervously greets her. He was just… He-he must tell her he… thinks… she… is… Unable to profess his love to her, Piotr mutters that whatever she does, whatever it is, it eases the pain greatly. As Zsaji proceeds to treat his injuries again with her healing powers, Colossus realizes he cannot deny his feelings. He tells her the truth: he thinks she is the most beautiful, most wonderful woman he has ever met.
Unable to comprehend him, Zsaji says something in her own language. Piotr recalls how she speaks no English… and probably no Russian either! “What is the matter with me?” he scolds himself. He apologizes to her. Perhaps it’s better that she cannot understand him. Already, he must seem a fool to her eyes…
After Zsaji walks out of Piotr’s shelter, the Human Torch grabs her and pulls her upwards in the sky with him. Watching them, Piotr wonders what the Torch’s doing. Singing the refrain to Michael Jackson’s Thriller, Johnny soars high above the village, with Zsaji in his arms and then locks lips with her. He suddenly stops floating in the sky and they both begin to freefall. Johnny realizes she really has confidence in him; she’s not afraid at all! He tells her she’s right; he’s not going to let her down! “Except like this, of course… very gently!” Johnny says and indeed grabs her and sets her down gently. Being that it may their last couple of day of existence, he has a suggestion: how about they sneak off and go necking over the waterfall? Zsaji responds something in her language. Johnny assumes this means “Baby… I’m yours!” As the couple departs, Colossus lingers behind, heartbroken.
Nearby, the rest of the heroes are coming up with a strategic plan. Carving sketches on the sand, Captain America explains they’ll hit Galactus as hard as possible from as many angles as they can. His machine is the primary target. From this moment on, every one of them must remain constantly alert. They may have only seconds to react before when Galactus begins to devour this planet. If he does, Mister Fantastic interposes. It seems certain, and yet…
She-Hulk asks Cap about the Wasp. Steve reminds her that Colossus told them she left Magneto’s lair. He presumes she’s okay and is searching for them right now. Captain Marvel has done some faster-than-lightning searching for her… She-Hulk angrily suggests that, in the meantime, they go break Magneto’s head for kidnapping her in the first place. Cap retorts they have no time for vendettas. Besides, Magneto seems to be working with the X-Men now, more or less on their side.
Jennifer retorts he’s still a criminal, a murderer and a creep! Thing accuses her of being picky; Magneto’s probably a lot of fun at parties! “Let’s smash him!” Hulk suggests and demonstrably does exactly that on some rocks. He alternately suggests they smash Doom or even Galactus. He’s tired of sitting and waiting; they should take the offensive! Cap assures him he’d love to. However, if they waste their strength rashly, they may not have enough left when it really counts.
Not far away, Spider-Man observes Hawkeye making new arrows. Clint explains that Mister Fantastic used up his high-tech specials jazzing up Iron Man’s armor. Peter admits that Richards cannibalized his web-shooters, too; he knows how Clint feels! Hawkeye retorts that no he doesn’t. He’s still Spider-Man, even without webs. But without his arrows, Hawkeye is just a guy in a funny suit.
Nearby, Iron Man lands down next to Captain Marvel, who is resting with her feet in a lake. “What’s happenin’, babe?” he greets her. Monica suggests they make a deal. He calls her “Captain Marvel” instead of “babe” and she calls him “Iron Man” instead of “bozo.” Iron Man is aghast. He tries to apologize. He didn’t mean to… Marvel assures him she knows. However, she’s not in the mood for single-bar chit-chat. Saying this, she jets off, thinking how strange it is. She’s always thought Iron Man was so sophisticated… worldly. It’s as though a different man were inside that armor lately. And he certainly isn’t her type!
Iron Man wonders what’s wrong with that woman. And what’s wrong with himself? His head hurts. That’s been happening a lot lately. Grabbing one of the village domiciles and carrying it in the air, Iron Man reminds himself he’s got work to do. He better just forget about his hand… and that squeeze!
At that moment, half a world away, the villains have arrived in the place Doom said, the volcanic plain. They quickly set down near a big crater. After they exit the vehicle, Doctor Octopus takes charge. He tells the Absorbing Man to guard their right flank. Titania to left. And Molecule Man… The latter cuts him off and assures him he knows what to do. It’ll be easy as long as he’s not interfered with.
Suddenly, Titania comes running to them and points them to the sky: they’ve got company! “Oh, darn!” the Molecule Man groans. After they set down and exit their vehicle, the Molecule Man notices it’s three of the X-Men. The Absorbing Man wonders if that’s all. Octopus stresses that the X-Men must not stop them! Titania assures him they won’t!
Seeing the four villains, Rogue fears they’ve got them outgunned. Cyclops admits that it looks that way. Rogue wonders why they should take them on, then. She thought they were supposed to “observe.” Cyke is certain that Doom wouldn’t commit so muscle to an operation that wasn’t vital. Whatever they’re planning to do here, they must prevent them from doing it. Logan agrees: “Do or die! My kind of fight! Let’s get ‘em!” Seeing Wolverine already rushing headlong to the action, Cyclops asks him to wait: they can’t fight them toe-to-toe! Wolverine tells him to shut up!
Watching Wolverine making his movie, the Molecule Man admits to his companions that he hates fighting. Octopus believes he shouldn’t be endangered anyway and asks him to stay back; they’ll dispose of these cretins! Grabbing a huge rock, Titania remarks that she finds this “little hairy one” to be a real case! The Absorbing Man urges her to splatter him! Titania is confident she won’t miss him… and neither will anyone else!
Hurling the rock against him, she sends Wolverine literally flying. The Absorbing Man commends Titania on the shot. She reminds him of a lady bouncer he used to know, ornery and tough. He bets he and Titania could have some fun, like he used to have with the lady bouncer! “How ‘about a date?” he asks her. Titania sneers at him: he thinks he may be tough enough for a real woman! She accepts his invitation but warns him that she calls the shots!
Rogue tells Cyclops that they’ve got to get out of here; they don’t stand a chance! Cyclops asks her to be quiet and do as he says! Sharp pressure in the micro-switch of a thumb to his glove causes Cyclops’ ruby quartz to open and his optic blasts are unleashed at full force, causing mayhem and forcing the villains to take cover. Cyke hopes that will put them back on their heels for a second. He tells Rogue to swing around their cover and hit them from behind. She needs to put Molecule Man out of the action first; he’s the deadliest. He urges her to move! Rogue complies.
Meanwhile, the villains have taken cover behind a rock formation generated by Molecule Man’s power. Octopus thanks him for shielding them; Cyclops’ optic blasts are dangerous! Molecule Man pleads him to call him Owen… or even Mr. Reece. The Absorbing Man decides to absorb the power of these rocks; this may turn out to be a fight! Titania agrees. She wouldn’t want him to get hurt… before they party!
Rushing towards them, Rogue contemplates that she’s not afraid… not of fighting, anyway. But she doesn’t want to die! And being an X-Man is looking more and more like suicide. Doom’s side is trying to win the prize the Beyonder offered – which is anything they want – by killing their enemies. And what are the X-Men doing? “Beats me!” she thinks. And what is she doing? Following orders?
Suddenly, Rogue’s musings are cut short as she is thwacked by Titania. The villainess realizes that Rogue must have been daydreaming. She walked right into that! Cyclops pushes Rogue to pull herself together and get back here. Titania tells him to forget it. Before she can finish her phrase, Scott strikes at her with his blasts. He suddenly finds himself surrounded by all four villains. The Molecule Man relishes: it’s all of them against just him! “Careful…” Octopus warns them. The Absorbing Man deduces that if Cyclops blasts him, he’ll just absorb the power of his beams and become a living concussion blast! That’ll be a kick, hammering him with his own rays!
“Hey, wimp!” Wolverine growls as he sneaks up on Molecule Man, clawing him. Realizing that Logan may well be about to kill him, Cyclops blasts his left arm, in effect deflecting his strike. Wolverine swears, wondering why Cyclops did that. Titania intervenes and smacks Logan so hard, she again sends him flying.
Seeing the injured Molecule Man, she wonders if he’s dead. Octopus briefly examines him and concludes he is not – not yet, anyway. But he’s hurt badly – very badly! “That does it! Let’s ace those jerks!” the Absorbing Man snarls. Octopus reminds them the Molecule Man is important to Doom. If he should bleed to death while they waste precious seconds killing these X-Men, Doom will have them vaporized! They must get back to the headquarters and get his wounds treated at once!
Seconds later, the three X-Men watch as the villains take off with their jet. A wounded Wolverine curses Scott: “Summers, you lily-livered, lame excuse for…” Scott asks him to listen carefully: if he wants to be on their side, he doesn’t kill. If he takes a life, anyone’s life, under any circumstances, from that moment on, he is the enemy. Clear? Unrepentant, a furious Wolverine moans that when the time comes, Cyclops should make sure that he is at a safe distance… for his own sake!
Crawling out of some rocks, Rogue realizes she doesn’t have to make a choice… this time. She tells Scott she’s okay and nervously adds that it looks like they won. She wonders what they were after here, in such a desolate place. And why was it those four? For Cyclops, it seems pretty certain that the others were just bodyguards for the Molecule Man. The Molecule Man can manipulate matter at will. Doom could have him here to rip open these volcanic coves. “Why?” Logan wonders. Scott doesn’t know. He doubts that Doom would resort to elaborate, roundabout schemes to deal with them or Captain America’s group… but Galactus is another story. He’s much as threat to Doom as he is to them. He asks them to stand back.
Seeing Cyclops to direct his blasts into the volcanic crater, Rogue asks him what he’s doing. Wolverine tells her to shut up and run; it’s going to get hot here in a second! Indeed, provoked by Cyclops’ blast, the volcano erupts. Scott is amazed that it only took one well-placed full-power shot to achieve that. The area’s less stable than he thought! Wolverine thinks it sounds like “famous last words” and suggests they get out of here! Within moments, the trio takes off with their jet. They realize that Cyclops has started a chain reaction; the whole place’s exploding! Scott hopes he did the right thing.
Meanwhile, Wasp is treating the Lizard’s injuries. She thinks it should start getting better now. She tells him he’s been a very good patient! She bets he’s really a sweetie underneath all that surface hostility. The Lizard retorts that he hates humans and wants to crush them all! Lizard and his kind must rule! Janet remarks that she’s heard he was vicious and cruel, but she believes in judging people and lizards on their behavior, not their reputation and… Lizard thinks she’s crazy! “Such manners!” Janet disapproves. And here she was about to tell him she thought he was a gentleman… gentlereptile! He’d better apologize or she’ll tell Gucci where to find him!
Suddenly, an energy beam pierces right through Janet’s chest, causing her to scream. From a massive mobile vehicle beside her, Piledriver congratulates Wrecker on his shot. The latter thanks him. He then asks Thunderball and Bulldozer to bring the Lizard aboard. Bulldozer rushes to do so, albeit he doesn’t understand what the heck for. Thunderball reminds him that’s what Klaw said Doom said they should. He supposes that Doom figures they’ll need more muscle for the big showdown.
Thinking Janet dead, the Lizard screams that they killed the woman and lunges at them in a fit of rage. The creature wallops Bulldozer and sends him flying on his ally, Thunderball. Bulldozer screams at Wrecker that the Lizard is going nuts and pleads him to do something! Wrecker tells him to relax and reveals that their vehicle’s got a stasis-ray. Doc Ock showed him how to work it when he showed him how to drive this rig. Indeed, he freezes both the Lizard and the unconscious Janet with the stasis-ray, intent on hauling this whole chunk of swamp right back with them.
Seeing the entire part of the swamp being torn out, Piledriver jokes that it looks like a portable hockey rink! He reckons that the Wrecker knows he’s got the Wasp’s corpse in there, too. Wrecker assures him he does. They’ll pull her out and dump her on the way back to Doombase somewhere.
In the village, Thor notices that Galactus’ machine nears completion. He fears their time grows short. Thing tells Cap they should do something, even just to stall him. Maybe they can interest Galactus in a game of poker! Cap tells him that Reed wants to take another stab at reasoning with him… maybe at dawn. She-Hulk tells him to say the word and she’ll go out there and beat the heck out of his ankle! Cap replies it’s very funny, but no thanks! For now, they wait and watch. They are, however, unaware of being watched in return by a dark and menacing figure who lurks in the shadows.
Captain America, Captain Marvel II, Hawkeye, Iron Man, She-Hulk, Thor, Wasp (all Avengers)Human Torch, Mister Fantastic, Thing (all Fantastic Four)Colossus, Cyclops, Nightcrawler, Professor X, Rogue, Storm, Wolverine (all X-Men)The HulkMagnetoSpider-Man
Zsaji and her fellow villagers
Mysterious shadow (Spider-Woman II/ Julia Carpenter)
Dr. DoomDr. OctopusEnchantressGalactusKang the ConquerorLizardMolecule ManTitania IIUltronVolcanaAbsorbing Man, Bulldozer, Piledriver, Thunderball, Wrecker (all Wrecking Crew)
First appearance of Spider-Woman II/ Julia Carpenter, albeit in a shadow cameo only. Her first full appearance is next issue.
Wasp escaped from Magneto’s fortress in issue #4. Ultron seemingly eliminated Kang in that same issue.
The first battle among heroes and villains occurred in issue #2.
Colossus was seriously injured in issue #5.
Dazzler accidentally ‘killed’ Klaw, absorbing the totality of his sound-based existence, in Dazzler #9. She first encountered Galactus in Dazzler #10.
Doctor Doom knows Dazzler from when their paths crossed in Dazzler #3-4.
Professor X has been able to walk ever since his mind has been transferred into a physically healthy cloned body. [Uncanny X-Men #167]
At this point in history, the Iron Man costume is actually donned by James Rhodes (more commonly known by his War Machine alias) rather than Tony Stark. Rhodes’ increasingly erratic behavior and the cause of his headaches are explained in Iron Man (1st series) #188.