Avengers (1st series) #369

Issue Date: 
December 1993
Story Title: 
Bloodties Part 5: Of Kith and Kin

Bob Harras (writer), Steve Epting & Jan Duursema (penciler), Tom Palmer (inkers), Mike Rockwitz (colorist), Bill Oakley (letterer), Ralph Maccho (editor), Tom DeFalco (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

Hovering near Genosha, the Hellicarrier carries a few Avengers and the military might of S.H.I.E.L.D. to the conflict below. In their way is a large psi-shield that seems to be, so far, impenetrable. A man named Exodus is responsible for the psi-shield and, under his impenetrable dome, he prepares to slay one of his greatest enemies. Cortez, threatening to harm his young charge, Luna, if Exodus is not defeated, puts her parents in a vile predicament. Helping them make their decision, Exodus telekinetically removes Luna from Cortez’s grasp and kills him for his disobedience. Above Exodus, on the streets of Genosha, the X-Men are in the midst of rescuing hundreds of tormented humans. While the X-Men stop to talk to Trish Tilby, the Avengers come onto the scene looking for their lost teammates Crystal and the Scarlet Witch. After the two teams check out the forcefield surrounding the Island, Xavier contacts them via telepathy and demands them to come to his aid. The teams leave to help the Professor. Thankfully freeing the Mutates and stopping the Genoshan army becomes a much easier task, once they arrive to help their outnumbered friends. While the X-Men and Avengers are distracted elsewhere, Exodus takes his hostages and they head off to meet the Avengers/X-Men. After escaping the concentration camps the X-Men are forced to face off against Exodus or see all the humans’ in Genosha slaughtered. While one team stops the Mutates’ from wholesale murder, the other team takes on Exodus. Ending the battle, the Black Knight, along with Xavier, attacks him, knocking him unconscious and to the ground. After a brief but powerful speech by Xavier to the Mutates’ in Genosha, Exodus awakens and flies off, psi-blasting Quicksilver and leaving him for dead. Quickly, the Black Knight helps to revive Pietro and, in tears, Crystal thanks him for his help. After the fighting is over, the next day, Charles Xavier and Captain America watch as the Hellicarrier delivers the needed supplies to help the Genoshan people.

Full Summary: 

On the S.H.I.E.L.D Hellicarrier slowly heading towards Genosha, one of Nick Fury’s lieutenants hands him a device that displays the current telemetry from their surveillance team near Genosha. Looking up from the small hand-held device in his hands, Nick Fury tells the Avengers surrounding him that they had better start praying for their friends. After Fury hands the device to her, Natasha looks at it for a moment and tells the others that if what she sees is true they had better start praying for the world.

At the edge of the Genoshan Island, two S.H.I.E.L.D. jets barely escape a forcefield, which has been erected. The jets radio back to the Hellicarrier what has just happened as they fly towards the water below them.

(seven minutes before)
Exodus hovers above a fallen Cortez and he tells him that their meeting is a merry one. Fabian screams at the mutants and Inhuman behind Exodus that he had warned them about Exodus. Now, it is to late. Fabian clutches Luna close to him as he tells the others that Exodus is so much more powerful than he and Exodus is the one they should have worried about in the first place.

Exodus’ eyes glow, as he tells Fabian that the two of them should have been working together. With that said, Exodus wonders aloud why they couldn’t find a common ground? Fabian, seeming more scared now, raises his fist towards Luna’s face and as his fist begins to glow he tells Exodus that he is going to kill Magneto’s granddaughter. Scared for his daughter’s safety Quicksilver runs towards Fabian telling him to let his daughter go. Fabian sees Quicksilver running towards him and tells him that, if he had joined him months ago when he had asked, they would not be in the situation they are in now. Above them, Exodus telekinetically stops Quicksilver from finishing his attack. Exodus points down at a fallen Pietro, as Jean and his family stand by his side, and tells him that he is not fit to take part in today’s affairs. He also tells them that they were all given a chance to stand by Magneto and each one of them turned down the chance.

Crystal, having had enough of Exodus’ rambling, begins to use her power against him. Wanda stops her, though, and tells her that they do not know Exodus’ full power and, if she wants to keep Luna safe, she doesn’t need to provoke Exodus anymore than he already is. Exodus looks down at the two women and his eyes’ glow. He tells them that they do need to hold back because, thanks to Cortez, all of Magneto’s family is in one place. Exodus moves towards Cortez and tells him that Magneto had saved him from his wrath at one time, but now he is in charge and Cortez will die today! Psionic energy crackles from Exodus’ eyes as he forces Cortez to give up Luna. Exodus holds Luna in his arms and he psi-blasts Cortez leaving him lying dead in the water at his feet.

Rising off the ground, Exodus tells the others that Magneto’s betrayal has now been settled and at last he is avenged. Crystal stands underneath Exodus and begs him to release her daughter. Exodus denies her request and tells her that they have given up on Magneto, so they can no longer be his heirs. He tells them that he is Magneto’s heir, if not in flesh but in deed. Exodus psi-blasts the lot of them and, as Pietro begins to stand, he tells them that he is going to take Luna in celebration. Celebration Pietro asks? Exodus grimaces as he speaks, telling Pietro that, as Cortez put it, there will be a new dawn. Thanks to the sins of the humans in Genosha, they will be destroyed just as Magneto would have wanted it.

Above on the streets of Hammer Bay, Trish Tilby reports to the world of how the X-Men were able to save the human government workers from a mutate attack, moments earlier. Behind her, the X-Men walk out of the building, carrying young children and helping the men and women walk out. Trish talks to the camera and tells the world that, most assuredly, the X-Men have saved the people that were in part responsible for the mutate’s hatred.

In the area around the government building, a mutate tells Gambit that he doesn’t understand why mutants would be willing to help the enemy. Gambit listens to the mutate’s rambling and tells him that, no matter the situation, it doesn’t condone cold-blooded murder. Speaking out boldly, the Mutate says that Cortez was right that death should come to all flatscans and the people that help them. Speaking softly behind the mutate, Gambit says that his words are, catchy.

Cyclops and Iceman finally notice Trish Tilby near them and run to greet their old ally. She tells them that she feels better now that they are there, but she wonders where Hank is? Cyclops answers her, just as Iceman points out to the others that the sky has changed. In answer, the Avengers appear above the hill and tell them that the sky’s appearance is thanks to Exodus. Cyclops tells them that he had heard they had come to Genosha, but, since they didn’t interfere in the first crisis, he just assumes that Luna’s kidnapping is what brought them here. Steve tells Cyclops that her kidnapping was the catalyst, but they are morally outraged by the events they have witnessed since arriving.

Cyclops changes the subject and asks Steve what he had meant when he mentioned Exodus’ name? Dane removes his helmet and tells them that, seconds after Sersi’s battle with Exodus was over, the skies were covered with the forcefield they are surrounded with. Gambit walks up behind Sersi and he tells her that he is shocked that she was able to stand toe to toe with Exodus, with both her power and beauty. Sersi shrugs off Gambit’s charms, telling him that she will be charmed later, but right now they need to realize that Exodus is an extremely powerful opponent. Dane walks up behind Sersi telling the others that Wanda and Crystal took off to find Luna and, with both Exodus and Cortez loose, they need to find them, and in a hurry.

War Machine interrupting tells the others that, since the forcefield has been raised, he has not been able to bring up a signal from any outside transmitter, even the Avengers secure line. Gambit tells them that it does not sound good for the people underneath Exodus’ prison. Steve asks War Machine if he can raise the S.H.I.E.L.D. Hellicarrier signal and he is answered with a “Nada, Cap.” Storm speaks up and tells the others that she knows they have not had a good past together but, in order to save Luna, they all need to work together for the greater good. Captain America tells her that the Avengers are willing to help, but the first thing they need to do is check the forcefield for any weaknesses. Storm agrees and se tells them that she will fly up to check it out herself.

Seconds later, she is in the air and greeted by War Machine, who tells her that Captain America wanted him to go with her. Storm accepts his offer of assistance and warns him that she can already feel a bad effect, because the weather patterns are becoming harder for her to control. Rhodes tells Storm that he can see the forcefield with his naked eye, but his scanners are picking up nothing. Storm looks to all her sides and realizes that the forcefield surrounds the entire island encasing them in. War Machine, not wishing to believe Storm’s words, heads towards the forcefield to see if it is just an illusion. Sadly he crashes into the field sending his system crashing and him falling towards the ground. Rhodes cries out that his armor no longer works as Storm chides him for his curiosity. She flies speedily down to catch him, but is shocked to realize how heavy he is when he almost rips her shoulder form its socket. Summoning all her strength, Storm tries to push past the pain and hold her new ally from falling. Luckily, Sersi was watching and she flies up to help Storm carry her friend to the safety of the ground.

Storm thanks Sersi for her help and Rhodes tells Storm that he owes her for her help. Rhodes apologizes to he others for being such a jerk and now all his systems are down, but he swears his scanners picked up nothing. Storm tells Rhodes that she believes the forcefield is psionic in nature and that normal scanners would not pick up psionic energy. Dane tells Storm that Exodus is a telekinetic, confirming what Sersi had told them of his powers earlier when they had battled. Dane ponders aloud still of how he knows Exodus from his past, but cannot remember where.

Interrupting their conversation, Xavier sends out a mental blast towards them all, demanding their help against his attackers. Cyclops orders Iceman and Revanche to stay behind, to take care of the wounded while the X-Men head off to help Xavier. Captain America tells Cyclops that the Avengers will come to Xavier’s aid as well. The X-Men and the Avengers leave, all except for Gambit, who stays behind. Iceman asks him why he remains behind and Gambit answers that he will leave in a moment, but he wonders what is wrong with Bobby? Iceman tells Gambit that he is tired of Cyclops treating him like a child but he will get over it. He asks Gambit to please bring back Hank safe. Gambit replies that he will try and leaves to join the others in their rescue attempt.

In the so-called mutate detention center, Xavier ponders to himself the reasons he is here and feeling, not for the first time, despair! The USAgent tells the others that the Magistrates have now gained extra reinforcements and now would be a good time for the cavalry to show up. Gyrich, nearing the USAgent, tells him that he has imagined his death many times over, but never like this. He tells the USAgent that he never thought he would die helping mutants. USAgent tells Gyrich that, if they look on the bright side, they will all get medals; of course they will come posthumously. On the other side of the cave, Jennifer Ransome asks Phillip if they should have just stayed in America. Phillip tells her that there is no shame in failing and they did the right thing by trying to make Genosha a better place. A woman holds onto Hanks arm as he looks back to tell Jen and Phillip to not give up the ghost. He reminds them of his favorite cliché: it’s darkest before the dawn. Hank turns to Xavier and apologizes for his lack of being a morale officer and Xavier tells him that these new soldiers have psi-shields even more powerful than those from before. Renee moves closer to Xavier, to talk to him of the loss of luster in fighting this war. Suddenly, her words are cut short as she is shot in the shoulder, falling to the ground next to Xavier.

Renee, lying on the ground, asks Xavier what the sound from behind them is. To answer her question, Xavier tells her that it is deliverance. The X-Men, plus the Avengers, blast through the wall, attacking the Magistrates and helping their friends. Cyclops checks on Xavier as he runs to help the others and Xavier tells him that he is okay, but others are not so lucky. Archangel warns the USAgent and Hank to duck, as he fires hundreds of tiny razors’ towards the oncoming army. A few feet away, Rogue tells Bishop that they cannot let Warren have all the fun and attacks a flying soldier, talking all the while about her memories of battling them a few years earlier. Storm warns Rogue to not let her anger get in her way or her judgment will not be as well. Finishing her chiding, she asks the Avengers how they are fairing in their battles? Dane tells her that she shouldn’t worry about them, because the Avengers’ can take care of themselves. Captain America looks around to notice that the place they are in is more like a concentration camp. This knowledge leads him to become more abusive to the soldiers, as his anger is made that much stronger. Cyclops, protecting Xavier, fires an optic blast at the last of the retreating army and he confirms that the Magistrates are backing down.

Outside the cave, Rogue and Archangel fly off to take the wounded to a safe place. On the ground, Xavier hands his charge to Storm and tells her to keep him safe. He made a promise that he would not come to harm. Looking up, Xavier is startled to see the sky and Ororo explains how Exodus has been affecting the island. Xavier, looking over to Dane, asks where Jean is and is told that she, Quicksilver, Crystal and Wanda are the allies’ missing-in-action. Xavier worries aloud his concerns on the fact that all of Magneto’s family is involved in this affair. As she is flying in to receive more wounded, Xavier tries to warn Rogue, but his cries are to late. Rogue falls to the ground, paralyzed by an attack by Exodus, even though he is miles away.

Exodus stands in front of his enemies and tells them that he feels sorry for Rogue, because Magneto loved her. Sadly, she rejected him and, because of that, she will pay for her sins as well. Wanda asks Exodus why he acts the way he does and who gives him the right to make the choices he does? Pietro does not let him answer, as he tells her that Exodus is a psychopath, who likes listing to a vegetable to inspire him. Angered by his comments, Exodus causes Pietro’s metabolic rate to speed up, causing him considerable amounts of pain. Crystal threatens him to stop his mad rampage, while Wanda tells him to be a man and kill them already if that is his plan. Exodus’ eyes fire up and he tells them that Magneto’s family will surely know death, but theirs will only be the first of millions. Jean, shocked at his comments, asks Exodus what he means by millions of others? Answering her question, he tells her that they will all soon see!

Three hundred miles off of the Genoshan coast, the S.H.I.E.L.D. Hellicarrier floats slowly to its intended target. Nick Fury hands the latest report to Natasha and she thanks him for being so gracious after the recent conflict. He tells her that his boys need a good tussle every now and then to keep them in shape. Giant Man tells the others that the new reports do not give them any more information than they already have. He tells them that the reports are only visible, because all the other scanning methods read nothing about the forcefield around Genosha. Calling over to Dr. Pym, the Vision tells him that the forcefield is reducing in size and constricting at an accelerated rate. Giant Man asks the Vision if he realizes what is occurring and he confirms that, yes, the force field is a weapon that is crushing the Island.

Back on the streets of Hammer Bay, Xavier, now in his hoverchair, is thankful when he hears the news that Rogue is going to be okay. He tells Cyclops that it was Exodus’ doing and the very fact that he was able to hide his telepathic abilities from him during their first encounter ensures that Exodus is a Psi of the highest order. With that said, Exodus enters the area, holding Pietro, Jean, Wanda, and Crystal in his thrall. While holding onto Luna, Exodus thanks Xavier for his kind words and tells him that enemies should respect one another, just like Magneto respected Charles. Storm tells the X-Men and Avengers to not attack, because she does not want to see them inadvertently hurt their teammates in Exodus’ possession. Captain America agrees, telling the Avengers to hold back till they know what their up against.

Exodus begins ranting a speech that incites the mutates’ in Genosha to riot. He tells them that, if they do not slay every flatscan in Genosha, he will bring the heavens down crushing them all. Captain America comments to Xavier of the insanity possessing Exodus. Xavier denies his claim, telling him that Exodus is just a boy trying to fill the shoes of a giant and, hopefully, that will be the key to their success. Sersi flies to the sky and tells the others that they need to decide quickly what to do, because the natives are getting restless. Xavier tells them that Exodus is feeding off the mutates’ anger, causing them to attack the humans. Captain America suggests that they stage a two-front attack; one going after Exodus, while the other stops the mutates and protects the humans. Cyclops agrees to the Captain’s suggestion and Xavier follows suit. Xavier tells the others that Exodus is not omnipotent and he can only stretch his power so far. With that said, the USAgent calls out “let’s rock n’ roll,” as five of the members head off to stop the mutates. Hank jokes, as they run, that he had hoped to hear “Avengers Assemble,” but any battle cry will do.

Xavier turns to Renee and tells her that he is saddened to see the very same mutates they had just saved slaughtering humans now. Phillip speaks up from behind Xavier and states that he thought Exodus was controlling their minds. Xavier turns to speak to Phillip and tells him that Exodus cannot squeeze blood from a stone. The mutates had to already hate before he could use that to his advantage. Renee tells Xavier that it is Genoshan Madness and she is afraid it is a fatal disease.

A few yards away with the mutate-stopping team, Iceman flies Hank over the humans, trying to herd them away from their attackers. Hank tells Bobby that he seems elated to be fighting the mutates. Bobby explains, as he jumps down to attack a large mutate, that he is extremely tired of sitting on the sidelines and it’s about time for some action. Near them, Renee Majcomb shouts praises to Revanche, telling her to keep up the defense. USAgent and Majcomb try to take out the same mutate Bobby and Hank were facing earlier and they comment on how nothing seems to stop him. Majcomb explains that this mutate must have been bred to work in the ore mines. As hard as the mutate is to take down, Sersi wastes no time in defeating him. They are just in time for Bobby to warn them of the Unforgiven, who are waiting behind Renee, having already defeated Revanche.

Their leader states that they are the Unforgiven, the chosen bodyguards of Cortez. Renee comments on how they blew that, considering he is dead now. The leading mutate tells her that Cortez was unworthy and now they will slay humans in Exodus’ name. Hank, shutting the mutate up, kicks him in the face, joking about how no one says, “slay,” anymore. While Bobby keeps the Unforgiven at bay, he asks Hank if Revanche is okay. Hank checks her out and tells Bobby that she will make it, but he hopes the others are faring better than they are.

Back near Exodus, Captain America tells the others that it is their turn to fight. Cyclops agrees, telling Storm that the two of them will take the point, while the others follow. Exodus erects a forcefield around him quickly, as both the X-Men and Avengers attack him. Exodus teases that Xavier’s dream has come to fruition, because humans and mutants are working together. Psi-blasting his assailants, Exodus screams at them that it is not enough! Behind Exodus, still trapped in his thrall, Crystal and Jean cry out to their fallen friends. Exodus tells the ones that can hear him that they have now seen his power and he is Magneto’s heir, both in spirit and in power.

Below the battle, Renee looks up to see the sky and she warns Xavier to look up as well. He tells her that he sees and as the two of them look up they see the forcefield drawing closer destroying the tall skyscrapers above them. Exodus stands on a tall rock and he tells the Genoshans that he is not like Cortez; he truly offers them a new way to follow Magneto. Below him, the Black Knight reluctantly tries to stand, as he talks to himself about how he wants Exodus to keep distracted. Captain America stands above the fallen Cyclops and he tells him that the Black Knight seems to be moving in from behind Exodus. Cyclops comments on how Dane will not be able to defeat Exodus alone. In answer, Xavier tells them that Dane want be alone, because Xavier himself will go with him.

Exodus holds Luna high in the air and tells them that he still sees humans and, by now, they should all be dead. Exodus tells the mutates to watch Luna who is Magneto’s own granddaughter. He tells them that she is an abomination, because she is human and she will be the next to die! Around Exodus, fear grips the hearts of Luna’s family and friends. Xavier only has a few seconds, time enough for a child to cry and her two parents for their hearts to ripped apart. Thankfully, a few seconds is all Xavier needs and he sends a psi-blast directed straight to Exodus.

Exodus’ neurons flare hot and the blinding and searing pain follows. Exodus, shockingly, does not go down and wipes his brow, telling Xavier that he had anticipated his attack. From behind Exodus, the Black Knight sneaks up behind him stabbing Exodus in the back with his energy sword. The affect of the paralyzing sword drops an already exhausted Exodus to the ground. The Black Knight catches Luna and hugs her close to his body. She cries, “Unca Dane,” as the Black Knight promises her she is safe now. Jean excitedly tells Xavier that they were able to defeat Exodus, finally! She turns her attention to Luna and tells her that she has three people who would love to her hug her as well. Running to each other, Crystal hugs Luna tight and tells her that she never wants to let her go.

Xavier crawls to a nearby hill and tells Renee that he may never be okay again, after seeing the atrocities he has witnesses today. Around him, the bruised and battered bodies of the Genoshans lay everywhere. Xavier calls out to the nearby mutates to listen to him. He tells them that they have committed a great wrong today. He tells them that oppression is no excuse for vengeance, because they today have become no better than the humans that enslaved them have. Xavier points to Exodus and chides the mutates for following him. He tells them that there is no humanity in killing innocent children. Around him, solemn mutates just stand, not knowing what to say or do.

Looking up, captain America notices the sky is clear again. He wonders aloud what happened and Xavier tells him that humility has happened. Exodus begins to stand and Xavier chides him for being so naïve in his quest for power. Exodus begins to float to the sky and tells Xavier that he is right about calling him young, but while the rest of them get older, he will get stronger and will return to reclaim Mutants once more, in Magneto’s name. In parting, Exodus looks towards Quicksilver and psi-blasts him knocking him to the ground. Wanda screams his name, as Dane runs up to begin mouth-to-mouth. Begging him to breathe, everyone stands back and watches Dane. Crystal gently touches Dane’s shoulder and Dane pulls up to curse his unluckiness. Quicksilver rises up and comments on how Exodus has taken a disliking to him. He asks to hold Luna, as Crystal cries for joy. Turning to Dane, she thanks him and he tells her that’s what friends are for.

The day after the war, Jennifer Ransome walks slowly up a hill to meet Xavier and Captain America. Steve tells Xavier that the Hellicarrier is now in place and it will begin beaming food down to help in the relief efforts of Genosha. Xavier sits back in is chair as they look out towards the city from across the waters and tells him that now hopefully the healing can begin. Jen tells Xavier that she had not expected to hear clichés from such an eloquent man. Cap, trying to defend Xavier, speaks up, but Xavier tells him to let Jen have her say. She tells him that he is committing hypocrisy by hiding behind the façade that the world believes him to be a human. So, if he expects the mutants of the world to listen to him, he may need to stop hiding behind lies.

Captain America tells Jen she is still being out of line, but Xavier tells him again that she may be right. Xavier says that, when he first started his school, he believed he could do better as a human activist for mutants, but now that the world has changed he does not know anymore what to do. Captain America looks out across the waters and tells the two of them that, in a world where people hate so much, who could ever be sure?

Characters Involved: 

Archangel, Beast, Bishop, Cyclops, Gambit, Iceman, Jean Grey, Rogue, Storm (all X-Men)
Black Knight, Black Widow, Captain America, Crystal, Giant-Man, Sersi, Vision (all Avengers)
Scarlet Witch, USAgent, War Machine (Avengers West Coast)

Quicksilver (X-Factor member)
Revanche (X-Men ally)

Nick Fury (Director of S.H.I.E.L.D.)
S.H.I.E.L.D. agents
Henry Peter Gyrich (Member of the National Security Council)
Luna Maximoff
Phillip Moreau
Jennifer Ransome
Renee Majcomb and other members of the Bipartisan Rebel Battalion
Trish Tilby

Fabian Cortez
Genosha Magistrates
Genosha Mutates
Three Unforgiven Members

Story Notes: 

This issue is the fifth and final part of the Bloodties crossover. It is continued from Uncanny X-Men #307

Quicksilver was offered a chance to join the Acolytes in X-Factor #92.

The first Genoshan crisis Cyclops talks about can be found in the X-Tinction Agenda.

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