Author: Robert Diehl
Updated: Version 2.5, last modified October 6, 2001
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Issue: Rise of Apocalypse 1 Date: Oct-96 Story: Hammer & Chisel (24 pages) Feature Characters: En Sabah Nur Regular Characters: Baal and Sandstormers Guest Stars: Nephri Villains: Pharaoh Rama Tut, Gen. Ozymandias, Grand Vizier Logos Other Characters: Credits: Writer: Terry Kavanagh Pencils: Adam Pollina Inks: Mark Morales, Harry Candelario Letters: Richard Starkings & Comicraft Colors: Chris Lichtner, Malibu Editor: Mark Powers Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras Synopsis: Nearly five thousand years ago, Akkaba was a village in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt. Unnatural things have happened since the accession of Pharaoh Rama-Tut (a time traveler from the 30th century A.D., see Fantastic Four 19, a.k.a. Kang, Avengers 8, a.k.a. Immortus, Avengers 10). An unnatural baby has been abandoned to the desert. Sandstormers pillage the village. Their leader, Baal, is trying to find a child of destiny before Pharaoh does, and there he is, withered by the sun. One of his men sees its face and wants to kill it as an abomination, but Baal kills him, instead. Seventeen years later, Logos informs Rama Tut that the unnatural child has finally been found. He sends Ozymandias to capture him. Baal, meanwhile, has named him En Sabah Nur and raised him as his own son. The other Sandstormers hate and fear him, and he wears a cover over his blue lips. The tribal initiation rite is battle to the death, which teaches him about survival of the fittest. Starting with no weapons, he kills three. Baal takes him to a totem that marks Tutıs arrival point, and says his destiny is below it. They walk across the treacherous sands, which Ozymandias prepares his army to slaughter the tribe. Baal explains that he is the one who found Tut, after his airship crashed. He nursed him back to health, but he used futuristic weapons to enslave the tribe. They refused to show him the location of the ship and escaped, and he has hunted them ever since. The interior of the ship is filled with huge sculptures of faces, and Baal has seen Nurıs there. The tribe has evacuated, and Ozymandias is furious. Then they pop out of the sand in ambush. Nur grabs a globe of power, and the sand caves in, sucking down both Egyptians and Sandstormers. Logos alone returns to Tut to tell him, but heıs sure Nur has survived, since he is an evolutionary leap. Issue: Rise of Apocalypse 2 Date: Nov-96 Story: Blood of the Father (22 pages) Feature Characters: En Sabah Nur Regular Characters: Baal; Sandstormers (in flashback) Guest Stars: Nephri Villains: Ozymandias, Logos, Rama Tut Other Characters: Credits: Writer: Terry Kavanagh, James Felder Pencils: Adam Pollina Inks: Mark Morales Letters: Richard Starkings & Comicraft Colors: Chris Lichtner, Jennifer Schellinger & Co. Editor: Mark Powers Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras Synopsis: Everyoneıs dead in the cave-in except Ozymandias. Baal finds En Sabah Nur pinned under fallen rock, and stops the bleeding and binds the broken bones. The boy feels a stirring inside him and vows never to be hunted again. They spend weeks in the tunnels, trying to find another way out. Nur reaches out, wishing he could rend the earth, and he does. At the Festival of the Scarab, Ozymandias marches in triumph through a ticker tape parade, while Rama Tut weds his sister Nephri. Baal says he saw the Sphinx fall from the sky, and a fragment break off, with a wounded man he nursed and named Tut, ³visitor from beyond the sun.² He snuck off, used his equipment to conquer Egypt, and returned demanding the location of his ship. The Sandstormers refused to tell, so they were slaughtered and enslaved. Ozymandias whips and kills a slave building the pyramids, itching for war. Nephri sees and bemoans how Tut has brutalized society. Baal shows En Sabah Nur the hieroglyphs of his name: ³The First One.² He catches and crushes a lucky scarab in his hand, tells him to go to the Sphinx, and dies. Nur digs to the surface, where Logos finds him and takes him to his private lab. He wants to use him to stop Ozymandias. Nephri overhears and approves. Issue: Rise of Apocalypse 3 Date: Dec-96 Story: The Face of the Gods (22 pages) Feature Characters: En Sabah Nur Regular Characters: Guest Stars: the Fantastic Four: Mr. Fantastic, the Invisible Girl, the Thing, the Human Torch Villains: Ozymandias, Logos, Rama Tut Other Characters: Nephri Credits: Writer: Terry Kavanagh, James Felder Pencils: Adam Pollina Inks: Mark Morales Letters: Richard Starkings & Comicraft Colors: Chris Lichtner, Graphic Colorworks Editor: Mark Powers Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras Synopsis: En Sabah Nur drags stones to the pyramids with inhuman strength and plots revenge. Ozymandias whips him and throws him off the pyramid; he lands dead at the feet of a statue to Osiris, which transfigures into Isis, and he rises into the sky, full of power (showing he is an External: an immortal mutant, like Candra, Gideon, Sam Guthrie, et al.). He drops, and Ozymandias orders his death, but the people revere him as a god. Pharaohıs palace is aflame. Rama Tut has used his futuristic weaponry to capture the Fantastic Four, who never visited ancient Egypt, so he knows he has already changed history. He plans to conquer the world and Sue. Nephri has taken Nur to her bedroom and says she can read the omens. Nur is taken with her beauty, but he sees a vision of Osiris saying his destiny is not with her, so he pushes her away and demands to go to the Sphinx. Tut screams at Ozymandias, demanding Nur. He has ordered all the slaves killed, so they canıt hide him. Tut realizes Logos hid him, so he has him tied to a post in front of the Sphinx. Ozymandias captures Nur and Nephri, and prepares his sister for public execution, while Tut orders Nur to submit and become his heir. He refuses but lets Nur reveal his face. The crowd shrinks back in horror, even Nephri. Tut nearly convinces Nur, and when Logos gives a word of warning, he spears him. Nur makes his decision and grabs Tut by the throat. Tut uses the Ultra Diode ray gun to fuse his nervous system, then order his guards to dismember and scatter his body. Issue: Rise of Apocalypse 4 Date: Dec-96 Story: The First Culling (22 pages) Feature Characters: En Sabah Nur (Apocalypse henceforth) Regular Characters: Guest Stars: the Fantastic Four Villains: Ozymandias, Rama Tut; Logos (dead) Other Characters: Nephri Credits: Writer: Terry Kavanagh, James Felder Pencils: Adam Pollina, Anthony Williams Inks: Mark Morales, Al Milgrom Letters: Richard Starkings & Comicraft Colors: Chris Lichtner, Graphic Colorworks Editor: Mark Powers Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras Synopsis: En Sabah Nur has escaped, and Rama Tut sends Ozymandias to hunt him down, warning heıs a force of nature. He uses his sister Nephri as bait, on top of a pile of dead slaves being used for compost and infested with asps. He turns his back, and then Nur comes, saving her from snakes, taking their poison himself. She says heıs not human; he kills a huge snake and carries her away. Ozymandias spears him through the shoulder and has his men attack, but his body changes, grows, and he announces himself as Apocalypse. Nephri shrinks back and asks her brother to kill him, and he fights through all the spearmen to get to the Sphinx. Ozymandias follows him into the machinery hidden inside it, goes past Tut fighting the Fantastic Four, and confronts Nur, who uses the technology to transform and enslave him. Tut gets to an escape pod and returns to the future. The Fantastic Four get out just as the equipment self-destructs. Apocalypse emerges, and the people bow to him. Fifty years later, Nephri is queen, and dying. Apocalypse visits her, mocking her ³eternal² dynasty, which he will outlive. He has Ozymandias under the Sphinx, recording his history, and he smiles. Issue: Cable/Machine Man 98 Date: 1998 Story: Metalmorphosis (38 pages) Feature Characters: Nathan Christopher Summers (Cable), Machine Man (Model X-51, Aaron Stack) Regular Characters: SHIELD including Col. G.W. Bridge, Weeks, Dunlop, Kragg, McVie, Armstrong Guest Stars: Cyclops, Phoenix; Blaquesmith, Domino, Maverick, Sabretooth, Dr. Able Stack, the Hulk, the Avengers: Capt. Marvel II, the Black Knight, the Sub-Mariner, Dr. Druid (all in flashback) Villains: Master Mold, Bastion (Sebastion Gilberti); Stryfe (in flashback) Other Characters: Sen. Miles Brickman, Dr. Marx, Rose Gilberti, Joe Credits: Writers: Mike Higgins, Karl Bollers Pencils: Rick Leonardi Inks: Dan Green Letters: J.M. Babgins Colors: Matt Webb Editor: Mark Bernardo Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras Synopsis: SHIELD sends a team to the supposedly empty Prospero Clinic (see Wolverine 117) and finds a sub-basement containing the Master Mold and humans half-rebuilt into Sentinels. While reporting to Bridge, they are attacked by Machine Man. Marx examines the captive Bastion and finds he is not really human but machine. Bastion dreams, then awakes. Cable looks in on his parents in Alaska and hopes they can live a normal life. SHIELD picks him up. Bridge shows him a video of Bastion breaking out of the lab and showing super-human abilities. He suggests there is a link to the Prospero Clinic and sends him to investigate. Bastion returns to his home town of Severance, NY, and talks to Rose, who found and raised him from a child. He is confused by his newfound powers, and she tells him to turn himself in. The authorities arrive, fire, and kill Rose by accident. Bastion blasts through them. Cable blasts through the Prospero Clinicıs security systems. Then Machine Man attacks him, although Cable knows he is supposed to be a hero. Cable realizes he is somehow linked to the clinicıs computers. Bastion arrives and sucks the life out of Master Mold. Cable links minds with Machine Man and learns how he was raised as Dr. Stackıs son. Bastion transforms into Nimrod and attacks Machine Man as no longer useful. Note: the story continues in Machine Man/Bastion 98 Issue: Machine Man/Bastion ı98 Date: 1998 Story: Deus X Machina (38 pages) Feature Characters: Cable, Machine Man Regular Characters: SHIELD including G.W. Bridge, Lt. Hriedel Guest Stars: the Hulk, X-Men: Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Angel, Beast, Iceman, Storm, Colossus, Wolverine, Banshee, Nightcrawler, Rogue, Phoenix II, Shadowcat (all in flashback) Villains: Master Mold, Steven Lang, Graydon Creed, Sen. Miles Brickman, Prime Sentinels (all in flashback), Bastion/Nimrod (Nicholas Hunter) Other Characters: Gen. Kragg; Rose Gilberti, Dr. Able Stack (in flashback) Credits: Writers: Mike Higgins, Karl Bollers Pencils: Martin Egeland Inks: Howard M. Shum Letters: J.M. Babgins Colors: Kevin Tinsley Editor: Mark Bernardo Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras Synopsis: Note: the story continues from Cable/Machine Man 98 Bastion battles Cable and hooks himself into the Prospero Clinicıs computers, while Machine Man self-repairs. Cable tries to escape, but Bastion controls the clinicıs defenses. Cable is getting flashbacks of Master Moldıs memories, from his mind-link to Machine Man. He contacts Bridge to say his agents are all dead and is attacked by Machine Man. Bridge is ordered to bomb the clinic but refuses, so Gen. Kragg issues the orders. Meanwhile, Bastion orates his history: in the future, Nimrod Sentinels battle mutants, who send Rachel Summers back in time to change history (see Uncanny X-Men 141-142), and a Nimrod follows her. He disguises himself as human until contacting and amalgamating with Master Mold. Battling the X-Men, he goes through the Siege Perilous (Uncanny X-Men 246-247) and reintegrates in human form: Bastion. He was found and cared for by Rose Gilberti, until he left to work against mutants. He opened the clinic to transform handicapped humans into Prime Sentinels and launched Operation: Zero Tolerance. Captured, he escaped. He has co-opted Machine Manıs programming and wants him to be the Sentinel Supreme. Cable reaches into Machine Manıs mind and reminds him that he is a hero. He turns the clinicıs defenses against Bastion and sets it for self-destruct. It explodes, and Cable and Machine Man shake hands. Issue: Cable 1999 Date: 1999 Story: Something Sinister This Way Comes (38 pages) Feature Characters: Cable Regular Characters: Stacey, Kenny, Blaquesmith, Irene Merryweather Guest Stars: Cyclops, Phoenix, Aliya, Rachel Summers, Domino, Meltdown, James Proudstar, Cannonball (all in flashback) Villains: Mr. Sinister (Nathaniel Essex), his Marauders: Riptide, Scrambler, Scalphunter, Harpoon, Arclight; Apocalypse, his Harbinger and horsemen (in flashback) Other Characters: Credits: Writers: Mike Higgins, Karl Bollers Pencils: German Garcia, Alitha Martinez Inks: Matt Ryan, Candelario, Koblish Letters: Benchmark Colors: Mike Rockwitz Editor: Mark Powers Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras Synopsis: Sinister reviews Cableıs recent performance and decides he is not ready to face Apocalypse. Cable drinks coffee at Staceyıs diner and is still getting used to not having telepathy. When he gets back to his safehouse, he finds Sinister therehe wants to recap how he cloned Jean Grey as Madelyn Pryor, so Cyclops and she would have a child: Cable. Cable is to be his weapon against Apocalypse, his former master. He warns him to expect Apocalypseıs horsemen. Cable rushes to an explosion at the Disco Inferno and rescues many. He is attacked by Sinisterıs Marauders, pretending to be Apocalypseıs emissaries, and is quickly defeated. Sinister rescues him, and Cable agrees to let him restore his telepathy. Cable goes to rescue Blaquesmith and Irene, and with his restored power easily defeats and reveals the true identities of the Marauders (youıd think the spinning with the Chinese stars would have been a clue). Sinister reappears, and Cable knocks him into the next block. He attempts to read Sinisterıs mind, but it backfires, and he loses his telepathy again. Cable swears to kill Apocalypse and him, and Blaquesmith says Sinisterıs treatments would have killed Cable, after he defeated Apocalypse for him. Issue: Wolverine and Cable Date: Oct-99 Story: Guts ını Glory Feature Characters: Cable, Wolverine Regular Characters: Guest Stars: James MacDonald Hudson Villains: Adrian Toomes (the Vulture); DıVon Kray; Apocalypse (in flash-forward) Other Characters: Franklin Rhodes Credits: Writer: Joe Casey Pencils: Stephen Platt Inks: Bat, Lary Stucker, Bob Wiacek, Mark Pennington, Johnny Greene, Scott Koblish, Rod Ramos Letters: Michael Heisler Colors: Colorgraphix Asst. Editor: Pete Franco Editor: Mark Powers Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras Synopsis: Shortly after Cableıs arrival in our time (see Cable 1), he arrives in New York City, on his way to find Xavier. His are spotty, so he checks out a newsstand, then the public library. He interrupts the Vultureıs first outing: robbing the Jewelry Exchange, and loses. A timebomb explodes; Cable is rescued by Rhodes, a police officer who recognizes him as a war veteran and takes him in. Meanwhile, Logan is working for Dept. H in Canada. Mac sends him to Moose Jaw to stop the Canaanite Dıvon Kray, hunting Cable but confused by his time travel and rampaging. Rhodes introduces Cable to beer, haircuts, shadow ops, and big guns. Dept. H plans to use DıVon, so they fix him up with contemporary weapons. He gets away, with restored memories and a mad on for Cable. The big fight takes place, with many bullets. Rhodes is killed. Logan beheads DıVon. Cable goes to find Xavier. Issue: The Astonishing X-Men 1 Date: Sep-99 Story: Call to Arms! (22 pages) Feature Characters: Cyclops (Scott Summers), Phoenix (Jean Grey), Wolverine (actually a Skrull duplicate, see Uncanny X-Men 375), Angel (Warren Worthington, III), Cable (Nathan Christopher Summers), X-Man (Nate Grey) Regular Characters: Guest Stars: Mannites: Nina, Headcase, Darco, Beautiful Dreamer, Grace Villains: Bastion, Death Other Characters: Credits: Writer: Howard Mackie Pencils: Brandon Peterson Inks: Tim Townsend, Dan Panosian Letters: Jon Babcock Colors: Liquid! Editor: Mark Powers Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras Synopsis: Bastion is captive in the Hulkbuster base, his former headquarters, being examined by scientists. Death is coming for him. The Mannite Nina mentally calls out to Jean for help; since the X-Men have disbanded, she mentally calls Warren, Cable, and Nate to put together an ad hoc team, with Scott and Logan. They jet to the Mannitesı coordinates: the same Hulkbuster base. They find it empty, with signs of a battle. Jean gets Scott to blast down a wall; they are attacked by Headcase, until Nina runs out and reassures him. Jean is drawn to feelings of pain and investigates, over Ninaıs objections. They find Bastions decapitated head, still alive and spewing dire warnings. They leave him to find the rest of the Mannites, then Death arrives. He starts beating down the titanium door; Scott has Jean lead the Mannites out, while he and Cable go back for Bastion; he is already gone. Grace triggers the baseıs self-destruct countdown; Jean has Nina port them all out (she sends the rest of the Mannites somewhere else, but she stays with the X-Men). Cable TKıs Scott and him up an evacuation chute; Angel and Nate catch them in mid-air as the base explodes. Death emerges from the crater, carrying the head of Bastion. Issue: The Astonishing X-Men 2 Date: Oct-99 Story: The Trouble with Mannites (22 pages) Feature Characters: Cyclops, Phoenix, Wolverine, Angel, Cable, X-Man Regular Characters: Guest Stars: Mannites: Nina, Headcase, Darco, Beautiful Dreamer, Grace Villains: Bastion, Death Other Characters: Credits: Writer: Howard Mackie Pencils: Brandon Peterson, Brett Booth Inks: Tim Townsend, Dan Panosian Letters: Jon Babcock Colors: Liquid!, Bucce, Kubina Editor: Mark Powers Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras Synopsis: The Blackbird is caught in the electrical backlash from the Hulkbuster basesıs nuclear explosion, and they have a hard time keeping aloft. Especially when Death pops up and zaps them with an energy bolt from his sword. Jean stays behind to guard Nina and mentally probe her for answers. She learns they were made in a lab, and that they undergo dangerous changes at puberty, which is now happening to Darco. Nina takes Jean, Nate, and Logan to rescue him; they find a carnival covered in tar, which is slowly eating everything, including the people trapped in it. It is coming from Darco; Jean insists they try to help him. Cable and Scott find Bastionıs head, saying Death is just taunting them. Just then, Death attacks Warren in the air, then disappears with him. Scott and Cable canıt find them, even telepathically. Death drops Warren with a thud; Scott blasts him, but he deflects it with a wave of his sword. Jean gets Nina to take her into Darcoıs mind, and she calms him. His tarry tendrils disappear, and his body forms a chrysalis while he changes into who-knows-what. Jean contacts Scott telepathically; Death traces it and disappears. Scott, Cable, and Warren assume he has gone to attack the Mannites; they race there with the Blackbird, not knowing Death is hanging on board. Issue: The Astonishing X-Men 3 Date: Nov-99 Story: In the Shadow of Death! (22 pages) Feature Characters: Cyclops, Phoenix, Wolverine, Angel, Cable, X-Man Regular Characters: Guest Stars: Mannites: Nina, Headcase, Darco, Beautiful Dreamer, Grace Villains: Bastion, Death Other Characters: Credits: Writer: Howard Mackie Pencils: Brandon Peterson, Brett Booth Inks: Tim Townsend, Dan Panosian Letters: Jon Babcock Colors: Liquid!, Bucce, Kubina Editor: Mark Powers Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras Synopsis: Death spars with Cable and Warren, while Scott flies the Blackbird toward the Mannites. He hurls Cable off, so Warren has to fly to the rescue, leaving Scott defenceless. Jean sees; she telepathically warns him to blast straight up. The Blackbird is crashing; Nate and Jean do their telekinetic best; Death breaks Jeanıs link to Scott (!), and his mind seems familiar to her. Cable and Logan are unwilling to assume Death died in the crash. Logan finds his sword; but then Death attacks all three of the telepaths with one mind-bolt. His hand reaches out and drags Logan down into the wreckage. Scott uses his full optic blast to no avail and is backhanded into unconsciousness. Warren is even more easily discarded. Jean decides retreat is their best option; she blasts Death for cover, and he is about to kill her, when Logan goes berserk and attacks. Death slices him; he dies. Nina announces that Darco is coming out of his cocoon, with strong psychic energies, which the rest augment. Death retreats, but promises this is not the end. Issue: X-Men: Phoenix 1 Date: Dec-99 Story: Askani Rising: Part 1 (23 pages) Feature Characters: Rachel Summers, host for the Phoenix force (Phoenix II, alias Alyzrın Summerset) Regular Characters: Blaquesmith; Order of Witnesses including Diogenes Chang, Mui, Squyırr Guest Stars: Villains: Scarab flyers including Commander Syrus, Kyrie; Prelate Diamandra Nero, Chıvayre, Luminesca, Apocalypse, Hotstuff Other Characters: The Xavier Collectiveıs Obsydian; Loog Credits: Writer: John Francis Moore Pencils: Pascal Alixe Inks: Czop, Elmer, McKenna, Stucher Letters: Mike Heisler Colors: Gloria Vasquez Editor: Mark Powers, Mike Marts Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras Synopsis: Rachel has been lost in the timestream (Excalibur 75); she reappears in a rift in the desert 2000 years later. Scarab flyers arrive to close the rift, assuming her to be hostile. Half-aware, she kills them all Apocalpyse has been in seclusion for a year, preparing a new host body, and Nero has been in charge. She kills the last of the Xavier Collective; she has the mutant ability to absorb the powers of anyone she kills. Chıvayre and Luminesca are brother and sister, and they work for her. Apocalypse is annoyed that his mutants have gone soft. He has designed 3 new weapons to destroy the weak. Rachel learns that mutants rule this world, and power corrupts. She joins a human clan and helps a young Blaquesmith with a crooked cyborg merchant. She nearly loses it and kills him, but then uses her telepathy to disappear into the crowd. Blaquesmith follows, able to see through her power. Diogenes meditates in Antarctica, where the Savage Land once was, and is interrupted to attend a psi-conference of the Order of Witnesses. They send him and his squire Squyırr to investigate the return of the Phoenix. Rachel infiltrates Apocalypseıs stronghold during the festival of his rebirth. She runs into Luminesca, drunk, and watches Chıvayre kill a beast for sport. Diogenes shows up and warns her not to try to kill Apocalypse, but she ignores him and makes her way to the his chamber, only to find the sarcophagi empty. Nero appears, saying Apocalypseıs true location is always secret, and poisons her. She unleashes the Phoenix force to save her life, and crawls for days through pipes until she exits the citadel. Diogenes is there to meet her. Issue: X-Men: Phoenix 2 Date: Jan-00 Story: Askani Rising: Part 2: Contagion (23 pages) Feature Characters: Phoenix II, Ozana, Qua, Lexii, Malachi Hark Regular Characters: Blaquesmith; Order of Witnesses including Diogenes Chang, Mui, Squyırr Guest Stars: Villains: Nero, Chıvayre, Luminesca Other Characters: Credits: Writer: John Francis Moore Pencils: Pascal Alixe Inks: Czop, McKenna, Stucher Letters: Mike Heisler/Revenge Graphics Colors: Gloria Vasquez Editor: Mike Marts Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras Synopsis: Two years later, Neto has tested a new deadly mutant: Plague, who unleashes a virus. She celebrates the carnage. Hellhole is the power plant for Crestcoast: it taps geothermal energy. The workers there are slaves, including Blaquesmith. Rachel has established the Askani (³outsiders²) as a resistance cell; Hark (a beast-like mutant), Qua (a liquid Atlantean), Lexii (a clone warrior), and Ozana (a rare Gibson-9 warbot), . They attack Hellhole and disable the power. Ozana is disabled, but Blaquesmith can fix her, so the Askani bring him along. Nero is mad; Luminesca is rebellious; Chıvayre is scared of Nero. The Witnesses observe; Mui predicts Rachel will die bringing down Apocalypse. Nero has unleashed Plague, and Qua is killed along with Blaquesmithıs adopted colony. Nero sends Chıvayre and Luminesca to attack the Askani; they team up with Rachel to fight Plague first. Luminesca fails to change its chemical structure and is killed. Rachel has to unleash the Phoenix force, even if it alerts Apocalypse. She purges the disease from Plague, but dies from the virus, and is reborn, phoenix-like. They send Chıvayre back to Nero with a warning. Nero captures Chang and Squyırr. Issue: X-Men: Phoenix 3 Date: Mar-00 Story: Askani Rising Conclusion: Sacrifice (23 pages) Feature Characters: Phoenix II, Ozana, Lexii, Malachi Hark Regular Characters: Blaquesmith; Order of Witnesses including Diogenes Chang, Squyırr Guest Stars: Sanctity Villains: Nero and her Infinites, Chıvayre, Ahab (in flashback uh sideways?) Other Characters: Credits: Writer: John Francis Moore Pencils: Pascal Alixe, Alan Evans Inks: Czop, Milgrom, Pepoy Letters: Mike Heisler/Revenge Graphics Colors: Gloria Vasquez Editor: Mike Marts Editor-in-Chief: Bob Harras Synopsis: Nero tortures Chang and Squyırr; the boy breaks, and she hangs him in a bazaar for Rachel to find. She comforts him with an image of Muir Island as he dies. She gets Blaquesmith to repair an airship and goes to the Witnessesı biosphere in the old Savage Land in Antarctica. Nero has been there and killed them all except Chang. The Infinites attack, and Rachel sends Ozana and Lexii off with Blaquesmith, who finds children including Sanctity hiding in the complex. Nero ambushes Hark with lightning, killing him; Rachel fights her, realizing she can use only one mutant power at a time. But Nero impales her with two molten spikes, and she remembers being in the time stream (Excalibur 75) and realizes all of this is by design. As she dies, she separates the Phoenix force from her and gives it to Nero, which starts to take her over. She asks Rachel to get it out of her, and she does, freeing it to the cosmos. It also takes all of Neroıs mutant powers away, so, angry, she activates one of Apocalypseıs machines to destroy them both. But Blaquesmith and gets inside and sabotages it. Rachel gives Nero some rations and leaves her alive. Her followers start calling her Mother Askani, and she looks forward to Nathanıs final defeat of Apocalypse.
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