UXM 203 - 204 (March - April '86), NM # 37 (November '85), Secret Wars Vol 2 #8 - 9, Amazing Spider-Man # 274, Avengers #265 - 266, Fantastic Four 288.
All of the buildup in Secret Wars Volume 2 comes crashing to an end. Rachel goes batshit, get ready to pour one out for the New Mutants, and the Molecule Man becomes a hero. Or does he? Buckle up for the end of this silly but increasingly disturbing saga.
Secret Wars Volume 2 # 8: At his wit's end
The Beyonder is raging to Owen Reece (The Molecule Man) about how he hasn't been able to be happy ever since he discovered our multiverse. While he's raging, he's destroying planets and other celestials objects. Owen is fixing all of this immediately afterwards. Dude's powerful.
The best Owen is able to do is convince Big B to think about it for 24 hours.
The X-Men try to attack him and and he easily parries their attack.
He teleports to New York and the New Mutants try to fight him, just as easily being swatted away.
The Beyonder comes back to Owen where he tries and fails to kill the Beyonder. After the attempt fails, Big B is about to destroy creation when Marsha (Owen's super powered girlfriend) breaks up with Owen and says that she will be his. It's effective because she suspects that he's jealous that Owen is able to be happy while being almost as powerful as him. With Own in tears and freaking out, it gives Beyonder more time to stop and think. The end of the universe is delayed, but still found to be wanting.
Spider-Man #274: A bet for the ages
Mephisto has a lot to lose if all of the universe is blinked away. This wouldn't mean death (where they all come to him), this would just mean the end of everything. The two of them make a deal where each of them get a champion and the winner determines the fate of the universe. Big B chooses Spider-Man and Beyonder chooses some demon who forces Spider-Man to be tortured by all of his failures in life. Not surprisingly, Spider-Man defeats all odds and helps the universe to survive for yet another day.
Avengers #265: A failed battle
There is a lot of Beyonder in this issue, but not a whole lot of forward story progression. Essentially the Avengers try to both fight and persuade Big B not to destroy the universe, but they fail on both accounts.
Fantastic Four # 288: Doctor Doom stuff
You can't have Secret Wars without a big Doctor Doom story. The Doc summons the Beyonder to him (with the F4 watching) and thinks he is able to destroy him, but shocker...he fails. There is a lot of Doctor Doom lore here with something about him being dead, but not being dead. I'm not reading F4 so I didn't follow it all and won't try to explain it here.
NM # 37: Total annihilation
Writer - Chris Claremont
Pencils - Mary Wilshire
Ut oh. Dani's new Valkyrie power comes equipped with the ability to see when people are going to die. She sees that the entire team is about to die and runs out into the front lawn and collapses. However, not everyone was there...
Roberto, who had been increasingly growing sour towards Magneto and being a super hero in general, decides that the Beyonder is the last straw. He heads home to Brazil and isn't with the rest of the team when the Beyonder shows up.
The Beyonder shows up in a blind rage. He is PISSED at the team. Mad at Illyana for constantly forsaking him and wants revenge for them trying to stop him in New York. I should issue a trigger warning because what happens next is pretty upsetting.
Illyana offers herself up and Big B doesn't delay, quickly atomizing her.
The rest of the team is in shock and decides to fight back. But it doesn't go well for them as they are killed 1 by 1 as well.
Magik is sunk below ground and when Sam goes to save her, the ground is closed up above their heads. Karma tries to possess him, but the recoil completely shatters her mind. Doug and Warlock huddle together, but before they can make a last stand Big B destroys them both. Rahne dies crying on her knees. Dani is slowly evaporated as she files on Brightwind. And with that, the New Mutants are no more.
UXM # 203: Rachel is officially off her rocker
Writer - Chris Claremont
Pencils - John Romita Jr.
We start with a really long flashback of Rogue reflecting on the time she stole the powers and identity of Carol Danvers.
When Illyana died (in NM # 37), her sword and armor once again made it's way to Kitty. It turns out that not only did the Beyonder kill the New Mutants, but he erased them from every existing as no one remembers them, with one exception. Kitty and Illyana have a special connection, so not only is she grieving for them, but no one else even remembers who they are!
So in a direct connection from the last Secret Wars issue (as covered in 36: UXM 201 - 202 (Secret Wars Vol. 2 # 6 - 7)), Rachel still has the expanded powers given to her by the Beyonder. She decides that she still wants to kill him.
Her crazy plan is to destroy all life in the universe herself. Her insane plan is that if all life is destroyed in the galaxy, that perhaps he'll leave it. She says that she wants to "ensure that whomever comes after us won't have his madness to threaten them." I'm really not sure how more life would come next if all of the existing life is wiped out and can't have more offspring, but I guess we're not supposed to think about it. Rachel is batshit nuts.
In order to have the power to destroy all life, she needs to take the life essence of all her teammates.
In her grief over the New Mutants, Kitty givers her life willingly. Rogue, who was already feeling bad about what she did to Carol gives her life as well. But then Rachel takes the life of Peter, Logan, and Magneto while they are sleeping. Storm is awake and actively fights her but Rachel takes it anyway. She also makes a stop to take the life essence of Professor X, Lilandra, and the Starjammers.
The Watcher is like "Oh shit, here we go."
In an effort to connect this Phoenix event to the Dark Phoenix saga, Rachel decides to tap into the M'Kraan Crystal to amplify her power and help her destroy all life.
This stunning visual shows that Rachel is gearing up to kill every life in the multiverse.
Rachel becomes the being Eternity herself and is on the verge of killing everyone, but Storm keeps talking sense to her. She reminds her she would be killing individual lives (duh), but somehow this time it actually works.
Rachel gives up and decides not to eradicate all life.
The Beyonder shows up and is like "Oh snap, I was counting on Rachel doing my dirty work for me." Duh, come on Rachel. I don't care what comes next, between Rachel constantly crying and now this terrible decision, I just don't really see her being redeemed as a character I will care about for quite some time.
Kitty goes on one of her logic bomb attacks. It doesn't necessarily work, but it may be the thing that softened him up before what happens next...
Rachel decides to not only give him all the extra power back, but to also share every one of her experiences with him. It proves to be more than he can handle.
Apparently this is what it took for him to finally understand.
To put the nail in the coffin, philosopher Wolverine tells him that he won't ever fully get it unless he makes himself mortal (which is what he's been told by Dr. Strange, Mr. Fantastic, Captain America, and countless others). This sets us up for the final issue in Secret Wars Volume 2.
The X-Men are alive against all odds, but the New Mutants are still dead.
Secret Wars Volume 2 # 9: The End
Rachel has gathered all of earth's heroes together.
She claims that she has an idea about how to take out the Beyonder, but she needs all of their help.
The Beyonder created a machine that would allow him to take all of his power and turn him into a mortal.
He first tests the machine by re-creating the New Mutants. They come back but all seem a bit dopey.
He uses the machine on himself to make himself a mortal human.
He immediately regrets it and runs back to take his power back. I literally laughed out loud when I read this.
Lol, then he did it again but was more prepared this time. He did things like jogging and trying to lift heavy items to see if he has limits.
Mephisto and a bunch of demons show up to finish him off.
He charges through burning flame to get his power back once again and Mephisto is defeated.
The New Mutants are "re-programmed" and ordered to fight all of the Super Heroes.
Eventually the Molecule Man gets into the fight and they have a battle for the ages.
The power is so extreme that it drives a major whole in the earth.
The Beyonder goes back one more time in the mama machine to make himself mortal, but this time Mr. Fantastic says they can't kill him because it's wrong to kill a baby. Owen Reece decides he doesn't care and blows it up anyway.
The baby Beyonder officially dies and we are led to believe that this is truly over.
Avengers # 266: The Epilogue
After the events of SW2 # 9, the earth is unstable and about to fall apart. After much debate, the Avengers ask a weakened Owen Reece to fix it. The Silver Surfer grants him his power cosmic and together they are able to fix the earth.
The exertion is so extreme that it costs Owen Reece all of his powers.
But he played us! He actually still has his powers. Will he be a villain, or will he continue hiding out in Denver with Marsha (they got back together) eating TV dinners? Only time will tell.
UXM # 204: Nightcrawler one shot.
Writer - Chris Claremont
Pencils - June Brigman
UXM # 204 is a very simple Nightcrawler one shot. They try to make a big deal out of "Where was Nightcrawler this whole time?!" Truthfully, I barely noticed. It leaves Nightcrawler questioning whether the Beyonder left him alone because he isn't worth of being a hero. He is all bent out of shape and semi breaks up with Amanda. He is sitting around lamenting how great it was in his solo series being a pirate and saving damsel's in distress when he notices that a red headed woman is captured by Arcade. He spends the rest of the issue traversing MurderWorld trying to save the woman. He ultimately does and it turns out she is a princess or something. It's unclear whether or not they have a romance. Maybe? We'll see if Amanda turns back up soon.
Wooh Doggy, Rachel goes batshit nuts. Rachel loses her mind, steals the life force of the other X-Men and sets out to destroy the universe in attempt to stop the Beyonder from taking the Universe. Like her mother, this is irredeemable and we're not far from her "dying" and being written out of the series. Good riddance!
My Rating - 4/10
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