Threats Within, Threats Abroad
An alien planet approaches Earth, set to invade. The X-Men plan a counterattack, but there is friction building between them. The X-Men face one of their biggest external threats just as their internal struggles reach a boiling point. They’ve always been a five person unit, and their new friends are rubbing them the wrong way. Can they rally to save both man and mutant kind? If they succeed it won’t be without some significant help, as even bigger secrets will be revealed. Guess who’s back.
Unfortunately being an X-Man isn’t all fame and adventure. There are horrible work hours. The team hasn’t had a rest in ages, and it sure is making them cranky. They’ve been jumping from super villain to super villain for several issues, and the fatigue is definitely taking a toll on their morale and decision making. When they try to enter the mansion, Havok and Polaris throw a fit about some new threat. The team ignores their concerns and demands that it can wait until they have all had proper rest. Havok and Polaris insist that it can not.
The team isn’t having it, and they all immediately start to give the other two hell. How dare they, right? As if it’s their fault. OBVIOUSLY HAVOK AThis becomes a nasty fight when Polaris tries to herd them in like cattle. Beast doesn’t appreciate that, and Havok has to protect her. They’re all acting really dumb, and it takes Scott too long to step up and be the leader/older brother that he is. The X-Men grudgingly agree to hear them out, and they all meet in some conference room.
Once inside, Havok explains to them that there is an alien race ready to invade Earth, the Z’Nox. I’m not sure if anyone hears him though because they’re all still busy being assholes to each other. If anyone is listening they would hear that the Z’Nox are a terrifying alien race that has dedicated its existence to the conquering and destruction of every planet and race that they come across. To them it is an art form, and they lack any sort of compassion. They are sort of like a crustacean version of the Borg. They can actually transport their entire planet and use it as a spaceship. Now it approaches Earth, destined to destroy the human race unless the X-Men can stop it. But how will they accomplish this? Who will guide them?
Professor X, or course! He’s alive! He’s been believed dead since issue 42, at the hands of Grotesk. That is no small amount of time for a comic character to remain dead, especially one as vital to the plot as Charles. Now he emerges from the shadows and Hank, Scot, Warren, and Bobby are completely dumbfounded. Havok and Polaris seem to already know, and we find out that Jean has known for some time. They had to keep his well being a secret, because he needed the time to perform special work. Charles has known about the pending Z’Nox invasion for quite some time, and he has a plan to stop it. But first, how did he fake his death? They buried his lifeless corpse, so if that wasn’t Xavier then who was it?
Charles gives them their answer. While he was hard at work trying to stop the Z’Nox invasion, The Changeling steps forward to speak with him. We haven’t seen the Changeling since issue 39, back when he was working with Factor Three. That wasn’t long before Xavier died. He has come this time not as an adversary, but as a friend in need. Changeling has discovered that he is dying, with mere months to live. He wants to do something to right some of the wrongs he is responsible for. Remembering that he has no problem impersonating Charles, he is asked to repeat the trick. The Changeling posed as Xavier while Xavier was actually busy working on a solution for the Z’Nox invasion got it? So the Charles Xavier that was killed by Grotesk and then buried on the Xavier estate is actually The Changeling. Have I noticed before how much this guy looks like Morph from the animated series?
Now that we’ve cleared up that matter, Charles begins training his X-Men for the task ahead. Each member is held to a higher standard than ever before, mastering their powers beyond what they thought was necessary.
Before they’re ready to make their move, Nick Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D. make theirs. Apparently Xavier isn’t the only person who knows about the pending invasion. S.H.I.E.L.D. has sent in a helicarrier to attack. is that what the helicarriers looked like back then? It reminds me more of the Spruce Moose than an aircraft carrier. It’s also sort of like a blimp. Check out those lame propellers. Stark Industries needs to step it up a notch.
However, it’s a trap! This race of buttheed Admiral Ackbars was ready, and S.H.I.E.L.D.’s offensive is completely ineffective. The X-Men no longer have time to wait, and must leap into action. They get their asses kicked, but that’s ok. Their main task is to delay the invasion so that Charles can work his magic.
Charles Xavier puts his powers to greater use than anything we’ve ever seen up to this point. He reaches out across the globe and telepathically probes every human mind. He searches out for all of the good, pure people of the world, without hate or jealousy in their hearts. These are the people who would be raptured, if that was a thing. This includes people of all races, creeds, and social standing. In includes the young and the old, normal individuals and other super heroes. All of these people link up, and share a psychic connection like a global electrical current. The people have no idea what’s really going on, or what they’re up against. They just feel overwhelmed with an intense concentration on empathy, mercy, love, and justice, all of this energy channeled into one force. It’s like a Michael Jackson mini-movie. I’m half expecting Captain EO to fly in with his ragtag group of rogue adventurers.
Charles directs this energy into space, at the exact point where the X-Men are battling the Z’Nox. The four members left standing use their abilities together like a well oiled machine. They each have a part to play in making sure that the X’Nox are stopped. Jean uses he telepathic powers to accept this energy as a psychic transmission. She directs them at Alex, who can absorb the power and amplify it even further. He blasts this energy into Cyclops, who releases it as an immense optic blast aimed at the Z’Nox. Iceman uses his power to cool Scott so he doesn’t overheat. It’s important to mention how Havok is able to blast Scott’s brain and Scott isn’t injured. The series hasn’t established this yet, but it’s common knowledge that Scott and Alex are immune to each other’s powers. I’m not sure how they even know that at this point, but shit… the plan works. The Z’Nox are completely overcome with positive thoughts and positive energy. It is repugnant to them, a mental burden that they can not bear. The Z’Nox retreat like little bitches.
Unfortunately, the stress of probing every mind in the world and harnessing that much psychic energy has taken it’s toll on the Professor. He collapses in front of Polaris, exhausted nearly to the brink of death. Charles Xavier has finally returned from death and it might have only been to sacrifice his life. Will he survive? Can the X-Men save him? We’ll see. Keep in mind, they still haven’t slept.
If they want to save him, it’ll take the cooperation of one of the greatest scientific minds in the Marvel Universe. Unfortunately, this one is huge, green, angry, and dangerous. It’s a good thing they were able to pull together to stop the Z’Nox because they’ll need everyone on deck when they go up against… The HULK!!!