UXM # 336, Fantastic Four # 416, X-Men # 56, X-Factor # 126, Cable # 35, X-Force # 58, X-Man # 19, Incredible Hulk # 445, Iron Man # 332, Avengers # 402, Punisher # 11, Generation X # 18 - 19, Amazing Spider-Man # 415, Spider-Man # 72, Green Goblin # 12, Wolverine # 105, X-Men Unlimited # 12.
UXM # 336, Fantastic Four # 416, XMV2 # 56: Main Story
Writer - Scott Lobdell (UXM336, XMV2 # 56), Mark Waid (XMV2 # 56)
Pencils - Joe Madueira (UXM 336, Andy Kubert (XMV2 56)
Right around this time, someone in the editorial office decided that they couldn't make Xavier culpable for all that has occurred, so to give the character an out, they created this new idea that he was captive within Onslaught all along. Here he is in UXM # 336, in a comatose state being comforted by Franklin Richards.
The stakes are kept high by once again showing Apocalypse and Uatu discussing what is happening. This time they muse about how Onslaught may be realizing Apoc's dream in place of him, something that clearly rankles him.
There are a bunch of fun Team ups too:
Iceman, Human Torch, Hawkeye
Reed, Sue, Cyke, Psylocke
Rogue, Gambit, Joseph
Pym (Giant Man) and Bishop take care of those wounded by the EMP.
Ant man, Vision, Iron Man (all dependent on technology)
In a super fun scene, Sue bitch slaps Scott for not taking the danger to her son seriously. I found myself thinking how cool it would be if Cable showed up right now and then it fricken happened!! Cable shows up and is like "Yea, my dad gets it. He had to deal with me being lost as a kid and I turned out ok and stuff."
I really love these scenes with Rogue, Joseph, and Gambit. I have to be honest, it's the first time I've found myself caring for Gambit. He's being a real good dude. Putting aside his jealousy and helping Joseph. You get the feeling that he's not just doing it because they are fighting Onslaught, but that he can tell Rogue cares for him and therefore wants to protect him even though it could be at the expense of his own happiness.
Even though Iron Man is damaged from the EMP blast, him and the Thing take off to build the psy shielded suits discovered in Moira's Xavier Protocols. Pretty cool idea here to have Iron Man to be the one to build the suits. Lobdell isn't missing any opportunities in this one.
So in a big battle with Onslaught, Thor is able to smash through him and rescue Xavier. I have a few problems with this. First, this quick pivot away from Xavier being culpable for Onslaught's deeds seems too contrived and isn't sitting well with me. Second, Thor is great and all but it seems random as hell that he's the one to save Xavier. Like, other than Mutant Massacre, I can't think of any other time that he interacted with him. This should be Wolverine.
When Xavier emerges, he is without his powers which will probably be a boring way to keep examining Xavier for a few years.
Since the EMP wasn't enough, Onslaught lets out a giant blast composed of psionic force, magnetic energy and Franklin's reality shaping power, which decimates part of New York. The heroes were protected by Sue Storm's bubble.
In Fantastic Four # 416, we see that Dr. Doom has become very interested in the capture of Franklin Richards. You get the feel that he genuinely cares for the boy, which is a testament to Dr. Doom being one of the best villains in the Marvel Universe.
The Fantastic Four are overrun by all their past villains, which are being manifested by Onslaught/Franklin. They get support in the form of the Inhumans, Namor, Black Panther and the Fantastic Force (whatever that is), She-Hulk, and even Agatha all along (Harkness). Oh, Dr. Doom helps too!
In X-Men # 56, there is all out war. Dr. Doom saves Joseph and Rogue from a Sentinel. Professor X and Joseph talk about whether this is all their fault. Professor X decides to face Onslaught alone, without neither his psychic powers or the use of his legs. Onslaught, seemingly out of nowhere, declares that he's no longer into saving the mutants and instead wants to just kill everyone (while he twirls his psychic mustache).
X-Factor # 126: Beast Side Quest
Writer - Howard Mackie
Pencils - Stefano Raffaele
Howard Mackie and the X-Factor comic were tasked to bring home the Beast storyline as the team is looking for him. I guess we're supposed to ignore the fact that we saw Beast free himself and jump out of window previously.
Polaris and Shard are babysitting Alex and Random while the rest look for Beast. We learn that Random was raised by Dark Beast (which is another dumb AoA retcon that clearly wasn't what anyone intended). Random suggests that Havok wasn't completely brainwashed and that part of him was rotten already. Now you know what, this I can buy. He was way too easily manipulated by Madelyn and turned into the Goblin Queen's thrall during Inferno. He also gets really moody and manipulated pretty consistently by the woman in his life. It's no shock that he's got some repressed negativity in there.
Havok actually admits that he likes being bad after tricking Polaris and making out with her. The result of this is an almost dead Polaris who is saved at the last minute by Fatale, but I'll get to that in a bit.
We learn that Forge had been thinking about leaving X-Factor due to the Government hound program, but now will stay due to Onslaught.
Fatale has an epic battle with Sabretooth (and friends). Forge, Sabretooth, Mystique, and Wildchild find Beast chained up, but Sabretooth and Wildchild can tell he's really the Dark Beast. They later find the real Beast still chained behind a call, so I guess we really are supposed to ignore his escape scene I covered earlier. When Beast gets out, he has a great quote after Dark Beast tries to say "Oh my Stars and Garters":
"You may kidnap me, you may bamboozle my friends, you may even try to kill me but when you steal an idiom which I worked so hard to coin, you have stepped way over the line"
Cable # 35, X-Force # 58, X-man # 19: Cable Side Quest
Writer - Jeph Loeb (C 35, XF 58),
Pencils - Ian Churchill (C35) .Steve Skroce (X-Man 19)
In Cable # 35, we get some pretty cool direct interaction between Apocalypse and Cable. We get the tried and true trope of the villain showing up claiming that they want to work together because they have a mutual enemy. It's somewhat believable because Apocalypse wants to rule the world, so he can't allow someone else to do it first (especially considering Onslaught is using the Apoc playbook from AoA). Apoc says:
"Once again the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, once again I must sacrifice what should be done for what must be done."
Of course, Cable doesn't trust him and they fight. Eventually they get over it and Apoc suggests fighting Onslaught in the Astral Plane. Apparently Cable is one of only a few telepath's strong enough to access the Astral Plane. Cable claims that it's the TO virus that makes him strong and Apoc fucks with him by saying that he should cure him, but nah he doesn't.
In the end, Apoc did have a secret plan as he wanted to kill Franklin, but Sue Storm (Richards) shows up and stops him. Onslaught ends up becoming aware of them and kicks them all out. We get the impression Franklin has a badass plan, but nothing really comes of that.
In X-Force # 58, Child Xavier spends the whole issue trying to wake X-Force up by showing them happier lives. That's it, they wake up.
In X-Man # 19, Sinister spends the entire issue trying to recruit Nate until Onslaught shows up and steals him at the last moment.
Incredible Hulk # 445, Iron Man # 332, Avengers # 402, Punisher # 11: Avengers-ish Side Quests
I'm going to start Hulk #445. At first I was just skimming, but then I realize this issue badass and I re-read it more slowly from the beginning. So this issue shows Hulk getting impatient and decides to take on Onslaught alone, however Falcon, Hawkeye, Vision, and Crystal decide to go with him so he doesn't go alone. They break in and Hulk is able to kill Onslaught, but the cost is all of the other heroes dying. Hulk is actually ok with that sacrifice and just happy he put an end to Onslaught. Heavy, right?
Well, then Hulk wakes up. It turns out that this didn't actually happen, but instead it's a psychic vision sent by Onslaught showing him one of the potential futures that could take place. However, with a twist that seem straight of the Twilight Zone, Onslaught didn't just show the vision to Hulk...He showed the vision to Falcon, Hawkeye, Vision, and Crystal. You can instantly see the awkwardness, hurt, and uncomfortableness by the heroes as they see how easily Hulk would have sacrificed them. Hulk is embarassed and decides that he'll actually stick around and wait for a plan this time around.
Iron Man # 332 shows Iron Man building the Psi proof suit with the help of another character in a designed suit, Black Panther. There is also a really cool fight between Giant Man and a Sentinel, both of which are the same size.
Punisher # 11 (a comic I definitely skimmed) just shows Punisher helping SHIELD after the Sentinels brought down a helicarrier.
Avengers # 402 shows Cap, Wasp, Thor, and Scarlet Witch patrolling the city. Giant Man, QS, and Iron Man show up with the psi shielded suits. Post and Holocaust show up and seem downright invulnerable until Cap tricks Holocaust into attacking Post.
Generation X # 18 - 19: Generation X Side Quests
Writer - Scott Lobdell
Pencils - Chris Bachalo
Generation X # 18 and #19 show what Generation X is up to while this is all going on. Much like the New Mutants of events of old, they mostly stay out of it since they are kids.
This arc actually shows Emma snapping, clearly impacted by the psychic interference. Her paranoia about losing more students turns on and without realizing it she starts controlling everybody.
First, she takes over Banshee while on a plane and forces him to jump out and fly away. Then she diverts the plane to a place she owns in Canada. You see that she is making the kids breakfast and acting a bit like a Zombie while the kids are all having fun. They can all tell something is slightly wrong but they aren't sure why.
Eventually a young version of Monet goes inside of Emma's mind and clues her into what is happening (interference from Onslaught) and she is able to snap out of it.
There's also a dumb B plot with Toad being onsite at the Canadian hideout and mind controlling frogs to attack until Emma scolds him and we learn that she's been letting him hide out there.
Spider - Man Side Quests
More skimming for me...
So this appears to be right in the middle of this whole Spider Man Clone Saga drama that I may need to read through one day. So there is a lot of that which I barely followed. But this is basically a street level view of how Spider-Man (and Green Goblin) are dealing with the Sentinels.
Wolverine #105: Wolverine Side Quests
Writer - Larry Hama
Pencils - Val Semeiks
This is another street level story. We see Wolverine going inside of a burning building to help innocents, while also running into Daredevil's old mentor, stick. To be clear though, this is actually a fantastic issue. At one point W allows himself to be burned to a crisp to save a young boy. A true hero, this Wolverine guy.
X-Men Unlimited # 12: Juggernaut Side Quest
Writer - John Francis Moore
Pencils - Steve Epting, Ariel Olivetti
So basically Dr. Strange (random) and Gomurr the Ancient go inside of the Cyttorak Gem to save Juggernaut. A hot chick named Spite (a sister of D'Spayre) is feeding on Cain's tortured soul. Gomurr and Strange fight the demon, Cyttorak. But eventually Juggernaut is able to destroy Cyttorak. We get the idea that Juggernaut may be even more powerful than he ever was before. We'll have to keep our eye on this.