Marvel Super-Heroes Secret Wars #8

Issue Date: 
December 1984
Story Title: 

Jim Shooter (writer), Mike Zeck (penciler), John Beatty/ Jack Abel/ Mike Esposito (inkers), Joe Rosen (letterer), Christie Scheele (colorist), Tom DeFalco (editor)

Brief Description: 

The heroes invade the Doombase and a titanic battle ensues against the villains. After a long showdown, the villains are vanquished and the heroes take over the base. All villains are apprehended, including Doctor Doom, who is now in a quasi-catatonic state following his unfortunate experience in Galactus’ ship. Mister Fantastic places the gravely injured She-Hulk in a cell-generative device, thus saving her life. Searching around the base for a device that will automatically repair his tattered costume, Spider-Man encounters a mysterious black sphere which completely envelops his body and manifests itself as a brand-new, black and white costume. Back at the village, Colossus realizes Zsaji is at the brink of death, after taxing her powers to the limit in order to heal the dying Wasp. He begins to look after her, hoping to keep her alive. When Hawkeye and Captain Marvel return to the village, they are thrilled to see Janet revived, all thanks to Zsaji’s intervention. Apparently, she was never dead, only in a death-like stasis. Before they have time to celebrate, though, Professor X, standing guard all along with his X-Men, immediately alerts everyone that Galactus is beginning to devour the planet!

Full Summary: 

Grim-visaged, eleven heroes – Captain Marvel, Thor, Spider-Man, Hulk, Spider-Woman, Thing, Mister Fantastic, Captain America, Hawkeye, Iron Man and Human Torch – hurtle toward the stronghold of their enemies seeking to avenge the death of Wasp and perhaps save the life of She-Hulk. Captain Marvel urges them to hurry; She-Hulk’s in trouble, she knows it! Spider-Man retorts that She-Hulk is tough. He personally believes she’s got them outnumbered – he hopes, at least!

Soon, the heroes reach the fortress of Doctor Doom and gather outside. Mister Fantastic is at loss: he can’t believe Doom hasn’t detected their approach! Why hasn’t he sent out a sortie to intercept them? Thing snarls that maybe he’ll ask Doom that while he’s twisting his nose off! He urges Thor to shout something corny and poke a hole in that overgrown Quonset hut! Thor retorts that he has no vainglorious oath to utter – only a prayer that they have but one to avenge! With this, he swirls his hammer, the Mjolnir, and hurls it against one of the outer walls of the fortress, intent on breaking through the complex.

Meanwhile, in the chambers of the Enchantress, the sorceress, who is now heavily drunk, discerns the sound of Thor’s hammer. “Oh, no!” she laments. She realizes this war is not working out too well. “Inkeeper! Fetch me another flagon of mead!” she cries out in her drunkenness, and then realizes there are no servants around to attend to her every whim. She shall have to conjure her own mead again… or an innkeeper! But first, she decides to see…

Opening a portal which allows her to see even at the furthest distances, she sees Thor and the other heroes trying to smash their way inside the fortress. “Behold the mighty Thor!” she scoffs. He actually believes this war is the purpose for which he was born; a chance to win glory undreamt of! As for the Enchantress, she imagined it to be a chance to redeem herself – lest during this cataclysmic combat her immortal life end in wickedness. And so, Thor appealed to her to forsake evil and join his noble cause.

“Ho!” she sneers. If she did join his cause, could he ever love her? She told him to kiss her. She told him to give her a glimmer of hope and she would try. Were they not interrupted just then, the fool would have kissed her – and then he would have been hers! Ensnared by the seductive, sorcerous power of her lips! Or perhaps, her evil would have buckled; her spells would have failed; for truly, her heart is his! A kiss, a glimmer of hope that she might ever earn his love fairly, and perhaps she would have tried his way! But the chance is lost, she laments. And now… will she fight against him? “Oop!” she exclaims as she loses her balance and throws herself to the floor. “Or… crawl and beg? Behold the mighty Enchantress…” she takes pity at herself.

Meanwhile, in the infirmary, Volcana tends the unconscious Molecule Man, wounded in battle against the X-Men. Volcana promises she won’t leave him. She won’t let anybody hurt him anymore. If one of them dares to come in here, she’ll kill them! Especially if it’s that Wolverine guy who cut him! She vows he’ll get his!

In the fortress’ huge dungeon, where the savage, uncontrollable Lizard has been imprisoned, the reptilian creature suddenly finds himself let loose by Klaw. Lizard wonders who this one who frees him is; what sort of creature is it? He demands to know what his name is. Klaw, the self-styled master of sound, introduces himself. He explains he can’t stand for someone to be trapped. He reveals he was also trapped in a ship’s hull not long ago – it drove him mad. “Mad! Ad, ad, ad!” he chants in an infantile manner. He also admits he loves the way the Lizard talks!

Elsewhere in the fortress, in a battle-ravaged chamber, seven of the villains brutally bludgeon the unmoving body of She-Hulk. Wrecker suddenly discerns a noise. “Sounded like thunder! Big deal!” Bulldozer allays his concerns. The Absorbing Man disagrees: only one thing makes a noise like that – Thor’s hammer! He assures them he knows. He realizes they must be busting in here… coming for them! “Great! Just great!” Wrecker despairs – they aren’t ready! “So what’s to get ready?” Titania retorts – the heroes show their faces, they bash them in! She suggests they go!

The villains immediately begin to take their leave. Seeing Doctor Octopus lingering behind, Piledriver tells him to come on; if they hurry, he reckons they can lay an ambush for the heroes. “Certainly, Piledriver…” Octopus agrees with him – “but first, the coup de grace,” he viciously rejoices as he grasps the senseless She-Hulk with his tentacles and brutally hurls her against a metallic surface. “There! Now there’s one less to concern us!” he exclaims in satisfaction as he takes his leave with the rest.

In a corridor some distance away, Ultron stands vigil over his master’s, Doom’s, quarters. Inside, the seared and tattered Doctor Doom sits on his bed. He dared to invade the homeworld-ship of the all-powerful Galactus and paid the price – and now he’s reeling to the shock of the experience.

Meanwhile, the heroes finally break inside the fortress. Captain Marvel announces she’s going ahead to search for She-Hulk – in her light beam form, she can cover miles of corridors in the blink of an eye. Human Torch urges her to go ahead; the rest of them will flush out the bad guys!

Oww!” Iron Man suddenly wails in pain, as the Wrecker ambushes him, batting him with his crowbar. “You lousy…!” Iron Man growls. He realizes it was a good thing he was the first one to pass here; Wrecker’s super-duper crowbar would’ve cut anybody else in half! He realizes his armor’s busted up, but not too bad. He’ll be able to keep going in a minute, after his ribs stop smarting so much… and after he repulsor-blasts Wrecker through the stinking wall! Indeed, he does so, causing Wrecker to scream.

Seeing several villains sprouting out far and wide, Reed realizes it’s an ambush and warns the Human Torch to look out. “No prisoners! Trash their butts!” the Absorbing Man roars. Lunging at Johnny, Octopus welcomes him to their place and suggests he has a drink! With his tentacles, he opens a rift in a water tank just above Johnny and tons of water splash down on the Torch. Reed grabs the unconscious Johnny in time. “Yeah, so now he’ll be a bloody smear on the wall instead of the floor!” Bulldozer snarls and lunges at Mister Fantastic. “Heads up, Richards!” Spider-Man warns him. “Oh, never mind!” Spidey exclaims and decides to intervene, throwing a magnificent punch against Bulldozer, causing his helmet to fly off.

Witnessing this, how Spider-Man dropped Bulldozer with just one shot, the Absorbing Man decides he’d better absorb the strength of the alien steel from one of the walls before he tackles him. “Pretty fast, squirt!” he then roars – let them see how he tackles this, he suggests before he attacks Peter with his mace. However, Spidey jumps away just in time and the Absorbing Man smashes a column instead. The villain is at loss: he only ripped Spider-Man’s suit up! It’s like Spidey knew the attack was coming or something! It doesn’t matter, he decides – his next shot will get him!

Thing intervenes and suggests the Absorbing Man picks on somebody as ugly as himself – in which case, he has to leave everybody alone! “The Thing!” the villain growls – or is it? He suddenly watches as Ben again transmogrifies into human! “Oh no! Not again!” Thing despairs – he’s turning back to Ben Grimm! But how? And why now?! “Tough luck, bozo!” the Absorbing Man gloats and throws Ben on the air. What a revolting development, the villain scoffs – this will just make things quicker!

Watching this, Spider-Woman comes to Ben’s rescue and grabs the Absorbing Man. “Now who in blazes is it?” the villain wonders. “None of your business!” she retorts and hurls him against the wall. “A broad!” Creel puffs in disdain, seeing who tackled him. He promises that as soon as he peels himself out of this wall…

Without allowing him to finish his threat, Spider-Woman flings his own mace right in his face and knocks him out. Spider-Woman gloats: a clean knockout of the awesome Absorbing Man. And it’s the only the fifth time she’s even been in a fight! “The new Spider-Woman wins again!” she relishes.

Nearby, seeing Piledriver lunging at him, Hawkeye warns him to stay back. “What for?” Piledriver mocks him. He thought Hawkeye never missed – still, he hasn’t hit him yet! He reckons it wouldn’t him any good anyhow! Slugs from .38 just bounce off his super-strong hide! That’s what Hawkeye’s last arrow is, isn’t it? He doesn’t have much between him and a man such as Piledriver who can flatten Cadillacs with his fists! “Hawkeye, the archer!” he scoffs. Hawkeye is going to need Hawkeye the M.A.S.H. doctor in a minute – because Piledriver is going to “mash” him!

Hawkeye explains that those shots were just warning. He doesn’t want to have to hit Piledriver. From his bow, at this range, an arrow hits a lot harder than any bullet. He pleads with him to back off. Undeterred, Piledriver keeps coming for him. “All right, have it your way…” Hawkeye gives up his efforts to convince him and shoots him with an arrow, getting his left shoulder. Walking away in horror, and arrow sticking out of him, Piledriver realizes he’s been shot – he’s wounded!

Nearby, the Hulk blasts his way inside a room where he encounters the Enchantress. The seductress invites him to come right in. Hulk wonders what he does now and warns her to stand her distance. “But why?” the Enchantress mockingly wonders. She is but a helpless female! And he is the mighty Hulk, is he not? Hulk warns her not to force him to hit her… he doesn’t want to have to… Coiling her arms around his face and leering at him, the Enchantress invites him to look at her. Is she not, at once, every woman he has ever desired?

“I… I...” Hulk mumbles in confusion, entranced by her gifts. She invites him to stare into her eyes… love her… love her… Finally, Hulk faints to the floor, on account of the Enchantress’ hypnotic talents. “Mortal cretin!” the sorceress remarks as she refills her glass of mead from a flagon.

Just then, Captain America enters through the huge rift on the wall brought about by Hulk’s invasion. The Enchantress welcomes him and asks him if he perhaps would like a flagon of mead. Seeing Hulk lay on the floor, Cap wonders what she did to him. She explains that, for the moment, he is merely asleep, doubtless dreaming dreams of her. “But alas, he can never truly have me, for I am yours, my handsome captain!” she exclaims, again brimming with her bewitching energy. Is she not beautiful? She urges him to come to her…

Fully aware of what she is truly is, Captain America tells her to give it up. The Enchantress notices his will is strong – very well! They shall do this the hard way, she decides and begins unleashing magical blasts against him. “Curse you! Hold still!” she protests as she sees him jumping around and evading her blasts. “Surtur’s teeth!” she exclaims. He moves as quickly as the cats of Skornheim!

Maneuvering his way around her blasts, Cap jumps right in front of her, at close proximity. “No!” she screams. He… he would not strike her? Not if there were any other choice, he replies – but he knows what she can do, given just a second to act! At once, he socks her in the face with his shield, knocking her out. Human Torch also enters and, seeing Hulk and the Enchantress unconscious on the floor, he wonders what happened here. Cap retorts there’s no time to explain; he’s going to try to locate Doom. Johnny stresses he’ll come with him; he’s starting to get his flame back!

Meanwhile, in another part of the fortress, Titania is painstakingly pushing forward an enormous beam, hoping to have it dropped on the heads of some of the unsuspecting heroes fighting several feet below. “One more shove…” she heartens herself.

Suddenly, Spider-Man ambushes her from behind. He had a feeling somebody was up here in the rafters trying to drop a forty-ton beam on their heads! “Spider-Man!” Titania snarls. “The world-famous one!” he admits. He asks her if she surrenders. She puffs in disdain: to a scrawny little puff like him? He’s talking to Titania! Spidey retorts he thought she was some common ruffian! Evading one of her punches, which pulverize a part of the wall instead, Spidey jeers her: “Nyah, nyah, can’t hit me!” – and he is glad! Titania retorts that she doesn’t have to hit him and then slams her fist on the floor. The floor below Spider-Man shatters in giant fragments, sending the web-head helplessly yanking in the air.

Titania reveals that she used to be the shrimp. She used to be the scrawny one who got her face rubbed in the dirt. Now, she’s powerful… and it’s her turn! Successfully evading a huge chunk of metal she just hurled at him, Spider-Man realizes she’s got some hostility built up. Titania warns that everybody should better look out for her now! She’ll crush anybody who gets in her way – especially miserably little wimps like Spider-Man! With this, she is about to level Spider-Man, who lies helpless on the floor, with another gigantic beam.

Elsewhere, Hawkeye encounters Thing and notices he lost his rocks! “Yeah… again!” Ben grumps. Hawkeye notes that the battle seems to have left them behind. Did Ben see which way everybody went? Ben admits that he doesn’t – it’s a big place. Still, he points him to a direction: “This way, I think!”

Nine hundred yards of corridors later, the two heroes reach a place, which Ben conjectures must be the dungeon. Suddenly, they see Klaw standing idly nearby, unaware of their presence. Ben is aware that Klaw’s sonic powers are dangerous and suggests they think a plan before they tackle him. Hawkeye remarks it better be a good one – he’s all out of arrows. He tries to concentrate: “Let me think…”

The Lizard, who has taken wind of them, suddenly ambushes them from the other side of the corridor. “Intruderss-s!” he warns Klaw. “Aw, shoot!” Hawkeye curses. Lizard asserts that this place is his and Klaw’s; intruders die! Seeing how they are now circled in by Hawkeye and Lizard, Ben nervously asks Clint if he has any ideas. Hawkeye assumes they’ll have to outwit them. Ben is astonished: “Us?!

At that moment, in the infirmary, Volcana hears the heroes coming – she’d better get ready to fight. She promises the first one who shows his face through that door is getting crispy-fried! The Molecule Man wakes from his slumber and slowly calls after her. Volcana exclaims it’s so good to hear his voice again. However, she tells him to just rest now. “Mama will protect you!” she reassures him. Owen insists he wants to help her. He and she will annihilate them… together!

Just then, Iron Man, Mister Fantastic, Thor and Spider-Woman are about to walk into the infirmary. Iron Man asks Richards if he has any sign of the enemy… and then Volcana releases enormous quantities of lava, blocking their entrance to the infirmary. “Forget I asked!” Iron Man gasps. Reed realizes it’s the Molecule Man and the one who calls herself Volcana. Iron Man tells them to stay back and announces he will roust their butts out of here! Seeing him rushing headlong into the room, Reed warns him not to: that’s plasma generated heat Volcana is throwing! Too much even for Iron Man’s armor!

Nonetheless, Iron Man rushes into the room. Molecule Man tells Volcana not to worry; Iron Man can’t get at them! He explains he’s fused some air molecules into an ultra-hard shield around them. Volcana tells him that’s nice… but Iron Man has had it anyway! His little tin suit is smoldering! Her next blast will vaporize him! She asks Owen to make her a “gunport.” Iron Man realizes that the cooling systems of his armor are down… overtaxed. Lots of circuits are fused and burned out…

Fortunately, the rest of the heroes intervene at that moment. Reed stretches his body and grasps Iron Man before Volcana has the chance to blast him. Iron Man warns Richards: his armor’s red hot – his hands… Volcana, on the other hand, is vexed for missing Iron Man. Molecule Man tells her it’s alright; they can pick them off at their leisure. They’re quite safe here – nothing can get through his invisible shield.

Captain Marvel suddenly materializes right behind Molecule Man and makes a grip around his neck. She corrects Owen: the shield is not invisible – it’s transparent. That means light can get through it… and so can she! She was literally just passing by, so she thought she’d drop in! Realizing that Captain Marvel is unwittingly harming the injured Owen by holding him too tightly, Volcana begs her to stop it; she is pulling Owen’s wounds open! “Wounds?” Monica exclaims. “Look what you’ve done! He fainted!” Volcana whimpers. She begs her to stop it! She surrenders! Monica realizes the villain was wounded and apologizes to Volcana. As Molecule Man completely loses consciousness, the dome he has generated is gone and the heroes pass through.

Elsewhere, Titania finally hurls the massive beam on Spider-Man… and yet, he manages to jump away at the very last instant. Titania blurts out it’s impossible; nobody can move that fast! “Nobody else!” Spidey boasts. He wonders why a woman who lifts locomotives finds his humble talents so surprising! With a little room to operate, no one can lay a glove on him… not the X-Men, not the Absorbing Man, and not her. How does she think he’s survived all this time? Saying this, he leaps around, escaping her punches and kicks her head from behind. Titania vows that when she gets him she’ll… She can’t finish her phrase, though, as Spider-Man still taunting by jumping continuously around her, has another punch at her! He retorts that all she’s going to get is frustrated – and eventually trashed!

Now relentlessly walloped far and wide by the agile, unstoppable Spider-Man, Titania whines it’s not fair! Spidey quips that if they were fighting in a broom closet it would be fair, right? Titania implores him to stop! Still hammering her, Spider-Man surmises she ought to be happy: she aspired to be a bully and she’s a classic! She talks tough and nasty when she’s got the upper hand, but when she’s losing, that’s when the whining little wimp-ette inside comes spilling out! He then grabs Titania and throws her away with all his strength. The villainess crashes through the wall and ends up landing outside the fortress. “N-not fair…” she mutters before she passes out.

At that moment, Human Torch and Cap come across the unconscious Piledriver in one of the corridors of the fortress. Torch deduces he fainted from loss of…

Cap suddenly tells him to look out, discerning an attack! Johnny barely escapes being blasted by Ultron. Cap tells him to keep moving; a moment’s hesitation and Ultron will kill him! He deduces that Doom must be nearby: Ultron is his personal bodyguard. Johnny retorts he’s going to be Doomsie’s personal slag-pile in a minute! Cap warns him not to get close to Ultron.

Undeterred, Johnny mocks Cap and blasts the robot… only Ultron isn’t melting under the pressure of his firebolts! Ultron boasts that the core of the hottest star couldn’t melt his adamantium body; nothing can harm him! He is invincible, mechanically precise and computer-swift – he is perfect! Johnny remarks he is maybe a little egotistical, too – and just then Ultron grabs him by the ankle! The robot is curious to see how durable is Torch is! Cap instructs Torch to use his nova-flame to escape! Torch retorts that Cap’s too close; it would kill him, too! Nevertheless, Cap urges him to do it! Taking cover behind his shield, he urges Johnny not to hold back and give it everything!

Johnny ignites his nova-flame and the immediate area around him is scorched to the point of nothingness, amidst a searing explosion of light. Unharmed thanks to his shield, Cap emerges and calls out after Johnny. Johnny emerges from a newly-formed crater on the ground, kneeling above the neutralized Ultron. He tells Cap he’s okay. He still couldn’t melt Ultron’s adamantium hide, but something non-adamantium inside must have overheated. He admits he’s tired… wasted. Cap congratulates him and tells him to rest for a few minutes, announcing that he is going on.

Seconds later, Captain America encounters Doom in his personal chambers. Cap observes it’s come down to just the two of them… which is how it ought to be. However, seeing how Doom seems to hardly even notice his presence, Cap realizes that, whatever happened to him, the Latverian monarch is hardly alive. He seems completely out of it. He’s… harmless!

In the dungeon, some of the other heroes find Thing, Hawkeye, Lizard and Klaw all playing together! Hawkeye welcomes them and asks them if they want to join in a rousing game of patty-cake! Mildly embarrassed, Ben tells Reed that they arrived at the meeting of the minds! He jokes that they have far too much couth to resort to violence like them barbaric types! “Ain’t that right, Klaw?” he asks him. The Lizard warns the other heroes that, if they disturb their game, he will destroy them! Once they finish, they will do as Reed and the others say!

Elsewhere, Captain Marvel finally tracks down the unconscious She-Hulk. Seeing how badly beaten she is, Monica wonders what they have done to her.

Shortly, in the main infirmary, Reed tells Captain America that his hands are well enough – one of them bandaged. He explains there’s work to be done – wounded from both sides to tend. Cap asks about Doom. Reed admits there isn’t much he could for him. What’s left of Doom’s armor prevents any of the cell-generative devices from working on him – and removing it could take weeks. It’s certainly booby-trapped. For now, Thor’s taking him to a cell. He reveals that Doom died back on Earth some time before they were brought here. He doesn’t know how Doom can be here and alive in the first place. After all they’ve seen here, though, nothing surprises him anymore.

Observing She-Hulk, who now lies in a cell-generative device, Cap admits he’s amazed she survived that beating. Not by much, Mister Fantastic reveals. Even this technology couldn’t have saved her if they’d gotten to her a few seconds later. He wishes he had time to analyze one of these devices and learn its secrets. For now, though, he’s content just to know how to use it to save She-Hulk’s life. Thank God, Cap remarks. Losing another Avenger is too much to bear. He can’t help but think that if he’d done things differently, maybe Wasp wouldn’t have died. Reed tells him not to torture himself. What could have happened, did. None could have led them better or more wisely than Cap.

Meanwhile, in the dungeon, the rest of the heroes monitor the area. Hawkeye wishes they could have locked the Lizard and Klaw together; they’ve become such good friends! Hulk points out that being insane doesn’t mean they aren’t still dangerous. Captain Marvel announces they’re all secured. The restraints here are a little nasty but strong. Thor also announces Doom is safely locked away. Hulk admits that if the Enchantress suffers a little that suits him fine! He then wonders what he’s saying; it’s himself he’s mad at! Thor advises him not to be too hard on himself. The Enchantress has beguiled many men before Hulk – even Thor himself, more than once. Hawkeye and Captain Marvel decide to leave, intent on bringing Wasp’s body here, since this is now their base. They want her to have a proper burial, with honor worthy of an Avenger.

At that moment, in the alien village where Captain America’s command formerly headquartered, Colossus carries the unconscious Zsaji through the streets. Mad with concern, Piotr wonders what has happened to her – she seems on the edge of death! Soon, he enters the healer-woman’s humble hut and lays her on her bed. He tells her to rest easy. As she cared for him when he was wounded and dying, so now he shall care for her. He shall not leave her side – if he only he had her power to heal! If only she could tell him what was wrong!

Colossus suddenly discerns a bottle in the room and wonders if that might be the bottle of which the Human Torch spoke – the one containing vapors which link minds. Opening it up, he smells an odor that is piercing but sweet.

Suddenly, he realizes it’s working! The images in Zsaji’s subconscious are his to behold – they meld with his own remembrances to piece together recent events. He sees Zsaji’s examining Wasp’s still, cold form. He feels her anguish. He witnesses the rage and grief of Captain America’s forces, and watches again, as they fly off, seeking vengeance. Then he sees, later, Zsaji bestowing her healing powers upon Wasp… pouring her own strength and vitality into the savaged, wounded Avenger’s body…

Suddenly, Colossus realizes the truth: the Wasp was not dead, merely wounded, but also in some kind of death-like stasis! When the stasis wore off, Zsaji healed Janet’s wounds and saved her life – nearly at the cost of her own! All this for a stranger from another world! Piotr wonders: on all the worlds in all creation can there be another like Zsaji? He thinks not… “Sleep, my beautiful, beloved Zsaji…” he softly mutters.

Meanwhile, Hawkeye and Captain Marvel enter another hut at the village, only to discover something that seems impossible, something they want to believe but… Wasp is alive! Janet smiles and admits that’s comforting; if they didn’t want to believe it, she’d really be upset! Monica mumbles that she really… she really is… “Alive!” Hawkeye wails in astonishment. Janet assumes it was all thanks to Zsaji. She must have… “Oh, no!” she suddenly pauses, realizing she doesn’t have any make-up on and her hair must be a mess!

Several miles away, in a skycraft resting atop a craggy mountain ledge, Professor X, his X-Men and Magneto keep a tense vigil on Galactus, watching him through the monitors of the ship. Magneto makes a hypothesis: perhaps it is all an elaborate bluff. Perhaps Galactus never truly intends to use his world-devouring device, but instead plans some other deadly attack. “Perhaps…” Xavier vaguely states.

Cyclops reports that there are still no energy fluctuations. Xavier asks him to continue scanning. He acknowledges the possibility that Magneto may be correct – still, they dare not divert their attention from the obvious threat. Nightcrawler quips that Galactus’ bluff is better than a handful of aces. “Indeed!” Xavier agrees. He swore to Captain America that they would stand guard here, and hold guard to Galactus, if necessary, until his forces return, and so they shall. Just then, Cyclops interrupts, pointing with horror at the monitor: “Look there!”

Meanwhile, back at the Doombase, Iron Man asks Reed if he can patch his tin suit up. Repairing the left arm of the suit, Reed assures him that, with the advanced alien technology at his disposal here, he can easily make it far better than he was, though he’s still impressed with the incredible sophistication of his armor. Iron Man – Jim Rhodes – is curious: was Reed surprised there was a black man under the metal? Reed claims that he never gave it any thought. He knew there was a man under there…

Elsewhere in the fortress, Spider-Man runs into Thor; however, he notices in surprise that Thor’s cape and hat are back! He wonders how he did it – unless he’s got a haberdasher who makes fortress calls! Thor explains it was Hulk’s doing, using a device he discovered. Hulk points him to the room where he found it. He explains just thinks into it and the device produces any sort of cloth or clothing one wants. Spidey is excited: new threads, without stabbing his thumbs with a needle!

He immediately enters the room, asking Hulk which one of these gizmos it is – however, Hulk doesn’t bother to answer. Peter spots a device which he deduces must be the one – it looks like it wants to make him a costume! Putting his head under a semi-circular part of the device, he begins to think how he would like his costume.

Suddenly, he notices a tiny black sphere materializing on the machine’s surface, right in front of him. Peter holds it in his hands, wondering what that heck that thing is. And why is it making his spider-sense tingle? Maybe he’d better get rid of… “Hey!” he then shouts, as the mysterious thing is going up his arm, enveloping it as if a liquid. In a matter of seconds, the glob just spreads out and becomes a costume, dissolving away the tatters of his old one in the process!

Not bad, he notes, inspecting himself – different, but not bad. Noticing how his new costume is black, with a white spider emblem on his chest – rather similar to the one worn by Spider-Woman – he wonders why it didn’t come out like his old one. It was his old costume he was thinking of. He assumes he was subconsciously influenced by that new Spider-Woman’s suit – he hopes she doesn’t mind!

Just then, he is shaken off by what appears to be an earthquake. Professor X’s voice, one filled with agony and dread, is clearly heard inside every hero’s head: “Captain America! Come at once! It has begun! Galactus is devouring the planet!”

Characters Involved: 

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)
The Hulk
Spider-Woman II
Zsaji and her fellow villagers

Dr. Doom
Dr. Octopus
Molecule Man
Titania II
Absorbing Man, Bulldozer, Piledriver, Thunderball, Wrecker (all Wrecking Crew)

Story Notes: 

First appearance of Spider-Man’s infamous alien costume. Its true nature will be revealed in Amazing Spider-Man (1st series) #258.

The sound-based Klaw was once absorbed by Dazzler and then released as part of one of her beams inside Galactus’ ship, thus sonically ‘haunting’ the ship, until he was given a more coherent form again by Doctor Doom. [Dazzler #9-10, Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #6]

Thor and Enchantress came close to a kiss in Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars #4.

The Thing lost his “rocky”/ monstrous appearance again in issue #2.

Wasp and Doctor Doom’s near-deaths occurred in issue #7.

Doom was believed dead by the Fantastic Four in Fantastic Four (1st series) #260.

At this point in history, Iron Man’s costume is donned by Jim Rhodes (more commonly known by his War Machine alias) rather than by Tony Stark.

“Hawkeye” Pierce is a fictional surgeon and the main character of the M.A.S.H. novels, film and television series.

Titania’s defeat at the hands of Spider-Man will affect her for some time, flaring up every time she faces him.

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