X-Men (2nd series) #55

Issue Date: 
August 1996
Story Title: 

Mark Waid (story), Andy Kubert (penciler), Dan Panosian (inkers), Joe Rosas (colorist), Malibu (separations), Richard Starkings & Comicraft (letterer), Bob Harras (editor), Gerard Calabrese (editor in chief)

Brief Description: 

A team comprised of the Avengers, Fantastic Four, as well as Bishop and Iceman of the X-Men, stand atop Four Freedoms Plaza as a witness to Manhattan’s destruction. The teams await more arrivals in the form of Ant Man, Wasp, Gambit, Rogue and a new character, Magneto, who is now calling himself Joseph. After a brief conversation, they all head towards the battle that is awaiting them below, as hundreds of Sentinels attack the populace of New York. A handful of the most intelligent of the group stay behind to prepare offensive weaponry to better take on Onslaught. The X-Men join forces to take on a few Sentinels, but their biggest battle comes from afar. As atop a huge Ebony Citadel, made from the powers of young Franklin Richards, the monster calling himself Onslaught blasts the Sentinel’s attackers to the ground. Even the approaching Blackbird is not left unscathed, as the passengers on board plummet to the ground. Below the citadel, Magneto stirs from the rubble. With a look of anger, he tells them that Onslaught has made his first opening statement.

Full Summary: 

At 6:00 am, Stu Pfaffenberger awakens to his alarm clock. Stu thinks about the unpleasantries of his apartment room, how small it is and the toilet wont stop running. The only thing he knows he’s got going for him is the VIEW!!! With that thought, Stu opens his curtains, in horror; he sees the enormous head of a Sentinel starring at him. All across the city, hundreds of giant Sentinels terrorize the populace. It only takes seventeen minutes for these monstrosities to wreak havoc across New York. No one raises a hand against the Sentinels, save for the few heroes that converge atop Four Freedoms Plaza.

Atop the Plaza stand the members of the Fantastic Four, the Avengers, and Iceman and Bishop of the X-Men. Captain America announces that Xavier has seemingly found his troops. Mr. Fantastic concurs, explaining that, while each team has on their own personal assignments to try and stop Xavier, Xavier himself has been busy planning the destruction of humanity. Iceman requests that Reed not call Onslaught Xavier, as his mentor is not in full control of his faculties. Reed agrees and tries to explain his concerns for the X-Men’s mentor and the Fantastic Four’s Friend. Reed tells them that with each passing moment their chances of saving the lives of Xavier and Franklin Richards are becoming increasingly slim.

Bishop tells Captain America that they suspect Magneto was involved in making the psionic monster called Onslaught; he expresses his disappointment that the Avengers failed in their search for Magneto. Steve tells Bishop that they indeed did find Magneto, but he is now mysteriously de-aged and apparently unaware of his criminal past. Steve tells Bishop that they also found Rogue with Magneto!

Behind Steve, Gambit, Rogue, Magneto, Ant Man and Wasp step from a Quinjet. Iceman and Bishop stand shocked at the site of Magneto, now calling himself Joseph, and Rogue together. Steve asks Reed what happened while they were away? Mr. Fantastic states that they, unsuccessfully, tries to confront Onslaught head on. Reed explains that, during the fight his son, Franklin Richards, was kidnapped by Onslaught. It seems he wants to add Franklin’s reality warping powers to his own might.

Characters Involved: 

Archangel, Bishop, Cannonball, Cyclops, Gambit, Iceman, Joseph, Phoenix, Psylocke, Rogue (all X-Men)

Ant Man, Black Widow, Captain America, Crystal, Iron Man, Giant Man, Hawkeye, Quicksilver, Scarlet Witch, Thor, Vision, Wasp (all Avengers)

Human Torch, Mr. Fantastic, Ms. Invisible, Thing (all Fantastic Four)

Citizens of New York

Franklin Richards

Stu Pfaffenberger




Astral Projection

Charlie (Franklin’s so-called Invisible Friend)



Story Notes: 

Four Freedoms Plaza is, at this time, the home to Marvel’s very own Fantastic Four.

The Avengers found Joseph along with Rogue in Avengers #401.

Rogue and Magneto once shared a brief relationship, but yet to this day she holds a place in her heart for him.

Franklin’s dad tried to block his powers in Fantastic Four (1st series) #141.

The X-Men traveled to Muir Island to receive the Xavier Protocols in Uncanny X-Men #335.

This crossover continues on in Uncanny X-Men #336.

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