Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past.
T.S. Elliot, Collected Poems (1936) ‘Burnt Norton’, pt. 1
Castle Doom. Sometime in the distant past…
Doctor Doom urges his Seer to show him more. He wants to see more! “As you wish, Excellency,” the Seer complies. “Behold the future!” he dramatically proclaims as a vision from the future emanates from a pillar at the center of the room – an image of the X-Men and Avengers fighting against the being known as Onslaught.
Doom marvels at the seemingly almighty creature: Incredible. A being that possesses such power would surely be invincible. He asks Seer what manner of creature this is. Still locked in a precognitive trance, Seer reveals the creature’s name is Onslaught. What else? Doom impatiently demands to know. Where did Onslaught come from? How was it formed? He must know more! Seer is sorry, but he can see nothing more… He moans and collapses as the vision fizzles away.
“Bah!” Doom groans. He grows tired of being teased by the Seer’s glimpses into the future. What good are these visions if he cannot use them to attain his goals in the here and now?! After he angrily destroys the pillar with his blasts, he moves into a room full of monitors. He finds there is something oddly familiar about the Onslaught’s visage. He clicks on a button and sees images of Magneto, along with members of his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants. Ah yes, he thinks – Magneto, self-proclaimed master of magnetism. He and his Brotherhood of Evil Mutants tried to take over the South American nation of Santo Marco just a few days ago. Their attempted coup may have been a failure, but Magneto himself showed great promise, with the potential of someday becoming a great opponent.
Doom walks into a balcony of his castle that overlooks a breathtaking view of snowy mountains. He wonders: could there be some connection between Magneto and the Onslaught entity? If so, that raises some interesting possibilities… Seer approaches from behind him: “Sire…” Doom tells him to leave him; he has much to ponder.
The next morning, Doctor Doom and Seer walk along the corridors of the castle. Seer’s visions have inspired Doom. This Onslaught manifestation is obviously a vessel for some vast power source – one which he intends to harness and make his own. He believes that there exists a link between Magneto and the Onslaught from Seer’s visions. He wants to find that link and exploit it to his advantage. It occurred to him that, by taking a jaunt through the timestream, he may be able to pry the secrets of Onslaught’s creation from one of Magneto’s future selves. Ingenious, eh? he smugly compliments himself.
Seer cowardly asks his master to pardon him for his insolence… but is such a course of action wise? Doom wonders why it would not be. Is he not Victor von Doom, absolute monarch of Latveria? His will is law! With his superior intellect, anything is possible! He asks his minion to cease his dawdling and step aboard. If his quest is to succeed, he will have need of Seer’s telepathic skills to guide them on their journey. Seer protests that he knows nothing of this Magneto he refers to. Doom realizes that – which is why their first time-jump shall be to the past. Let us be off, he suggests – he will explain along the way.
After Doom calibrates the time-traveling apparatus, he and Seer are engulfed in a bright blue bubble. Doom believes Seer needn’t look so apprehensive. The cloaking bubble will ensure their presence is shielded from prying eyes during their travels. In fact, he should feel honored. Few living beings have been privileged to bear witness to the sight of his time platform in operation.
The time travel begins. The time platform materializes above a battle in development – one between Magneto and the X-Men. Spotting Magneto, Seer asks Doom if it’s him. Doom wonders if he has to ask. The resemblance of Magneto’s vestments to those worn by Onslaught is uncanny, is it not?
“Foolish children!” Magneto gloats below. If they will not join his cause, then they must be destroyed! “Heads up, X-Men!” field leader Cyclops warns his teammates. Magneto’s ignited the rocket fuel in that tanker; it’s going to blow!
Doom remarks that Magneto made quite an impression when he singlehandedly threatened to take over this military base in Cape Citadel last month. If not for the intervention of these mysterious “X-Men,” his efforts would have been successful. Strangely enough, these are the same teens who recently foiled his plans for Santo Marco. It will be interesting to see if this rivalry persists over time.
Below, as the tanker is about to blow on them, Cyclops turns to Iceman; he asks him to see if he can… “Way ahead o’ you, chief!” Bobby replies and contains the tanker in ice. The impact of the explosion throws Doom’s time platform back.
“M-Master….” the terrified Seer gasps. Doom advises him to stay back. Their shield held… and they remained undetected. Seer is still unclear why Doom wished him to serve as his guide, when he doesn’t know where – or even when – it is they’re going. Doom assures him he will, once he telepathically scans Magneto and commits his bio-signature to memory. They shall then use him as a focal point to aim their time-jumps into the future. He urges him to establish a psionic link now!
Below, the X-Men’s battle against Magneto continues. Reaching out with his mental abilities, Seer taps into Magneto’s essence, carefully forming the template for a psychic beacon. Oblivious of the intrusion into his psyche, the master of magnetism makes good his escape. From below, Cyclops zaps, but his blasts stumble on Magneto’s magnetic block.
Seer informs Doom that it is done. Good, Doom approves – then they should be gone from here. The future awaits!
The Savage Land
Doom and Seer are transferred into another battle between Magneto and the X-Men, sometime later. Doom sneers: pathetic! Magneto suffers defeat at the hands of these selfsame children. Not exactly his finest hour. He asks the Seer if he can detect any trace of the Onslaught entity within him. “Negative, sire,” Seer reports after he mentally scans Magneto.
Below, Cyclops asks Magneto to give it up; it’s too late for him! Kneeling down amidst the collapsing base, Magneto agrees it’s too late to do anything… but die! Cyclops urges his team to get out of here… before the rest of this place goes up in place! Marvel Girl wonders about Magneto. Cyclops informs her that Magneto fell behind the crumbling wreckage. There’s no way to get to him in time…
Hearing this, Doom asks Seer if the boy is right; is Magneto dead? Seer reveals he isn’t – but he wants the X-Men to believe he is. Interesting, Doom notes. Perhaps he was too quick to disparage Magneto. He suggests they move on…
Doom and Seer’s time platform transports them above yet another battle between Magneto and the X-Men. It would appear that Magneto is facing off against a new breed of X-Men. Fascinating that their destinies should be so irrevocably intertwined, Doctor Doom keenly remarks.
Below, the X-Men and the defeated Magneto are facing a crisis. An incensed Colossus grabs Magneto and asks him what he’s done! Magneto, undeterred, insists that, if they’re doomed, the blame is theirs. Phoenix’s blast destroyed the main control console. Systems all over the complex are running wild – and they can’t do a thing to stop them! Banshee asks Cyclops what they should now; they’re a mile beneath a mile volcano!
Indeed, lava falls down on them. Watching this, Doom huffs. The habit of arriving in the midst of volatile circumstances is getting tiresome. He tells Seer to conduct his scan – and be quick about it. The situation is too unstable for them to remain here very long. “Done,” Seer quickly replies. No sign of Onslaught.
Below, a triumphant Magneto sarcastically suggests to Cyclops to hurry up. His team is depending on him and they’re running out of time.
Phoenix suddenly and curiously looks in the air, to the direction of the cloaking bubble. Seer immediately alerts Doom that the telepath can see them; they’ve been spotted! “What?!” Doom exclaims at a loss.
Below, Nightcrawler, having an epiphany, tells his teammates to wait a minute; the answer is right in front of them! They should have Magneto take them out of here the same way he brought them in… inside a magnetic force bubble! He suggests someone stops him; he’s their only hope… Before any of the X-Men can get their hands on him, Magneto repels them all with a blast.
Oblivious to everyone, Phoenix’s psi-form exits her body and confronts Doctor Doom on his platform. She recognizes Doom and greets him; this is a surprise. She wonders what he’s doing here. He shouldn’t bother to lay on the charm. She’s well aware that behind that regal façade, he’s just an arrogant, self-serving tyrant.
Doom warns her to take care not to offend him again. He suggests she looks around; she has more pressing matters to attend to than his presence here. This place is quickly becoming a molten grave; his affairs do not concern her. Phoenix insists they do if there’s a chance Doom could be their ticket out of here. It’s the only reason she refrained from psi-blasting him on the spot. What is it he is up to? How does that contraption of his work?
Below, the flying Banshee grabs Wolverine and rescues him from being incinerated by the lava. Wolverine thanks him… but what’s the point? Sooner or later, they’ll run out of places to go. Hearing this, Beast retorts that, till then, they’re alive. And while they’re alive… they don’t give up!
Above, Doom retorts that he needs not explain himself to Phoenix. His reasons for being here are his own. And they shall remain so. Doom thinks to himself that this redhead has changed much since their last time-jump. She seems… wild. Unfettered. The new attitude becomes her. He approves.
“We’ll see about that, Doom,” Phoenix replies. She’s betting his fancy gadgets won’t fare well against the power of the Phoenix! Seer informs Doom in panic that the bubble’s collapsing! Doom thinks that, under other circumstances, he would be titillated by such brazen display of power. But as it stands, he underestimated the psi-witch’s prowess. She somehow managed to penetrate their defense shields and disable the cloaking device. He decides it’s best to make their exit before…
“Watch it, Jeannie!” Beast shouts and lunges at the immobile Phoenix, shoving her out of harm’s way. The distraction causes Phoenix’s psi-form to return to her body. Before she vanishes, though, she damages the chronometer. Doom tells Seer to brace himself – they’ve been set off-course! He urges his minion to have faith. He shall have the primary guidance controls back online momentarily.
Seer observes that his master has made it – but where…? Doom welcomes him to the 21st century. He awes at the devastation he witnesses on 21st-century Manhattan. What could have caused it? He assumes it must have been some massive global phenomenon. If so, he wonders how fares his beloved Latveria…
Seer suddenly alerts him there is danger from above. Doom is amazed: it’s some sort of robotic automaton! A Sentinel robot towers over them. The unit reports that it has detected a chronal anomaly in sector B-43. They are advised to surrender for investigation or face immediate termination. Doom defiantly states that he surrenders to no one… least all to a lifeless monstrosity such as this! Blasting the robot’s head, Doom sends dropping over a half-demolished building.
Doom warns Seer they must take refuge before the robot recovers. There’s no telling if it had a chance to summon reinforcements. Clearly, repairing the platform’s cloaking mechanism is now their top priority. As it long as it remains impaired, they are vulnerable to detection. He entrusts Seer to guard the time platform with his life, and promises he shall return shortly. When Seer asks him where he’s going, Doctor Doom explains he’s foraging to gather the tools and machinery needed to fix the damaged cloaking device. Seer wonders what if he’s seen but Doom assures him he won’t. He installed a portable cloaking unit inside his armor. Though its energy field is far too small to encompass the entire platform, its limited range shall be enough to shield his person.
Shortly, Doom stands outside the building where he means to gather the needed equipment. Seeing aged versions of Storm, Colossus and Wolverine lurking in the entrance, Doom realizes that his destination has attracted other visitors this evening. These older versions of some of the X-Men he encountered in Antarctica are gathering outside. Certainly a resilient bunch, he’ll give them that. Perhaps they can unwittingly aid him in his cause…
Looking over the entrance, the middle-aged Storm informs her friends that the coast is clear. The three X-Men enter, oblivious to the stealthy Doom following them. Wolverine remarks that the Baxter Building – the old headquarters of the Fantastic Four – contains the most sophisticated electronic lash-ups on Earth. That’s why the Sentinels chose it as their primary base. But it’s a base with an Achilles’ heel, if their intelligence reports are accurate, and the house-keeping system’s still operational. Doom ponders that those Sentinels he refers to must be the giant robots which apparently laid siege to the city.
Wolverine emits an electric beam from his belt buckle which activates the Fantastic Four’s private elevator. The elevator soon comes. All aboard, Wolverine urges them. Next stop, the roof – and the fight of their lives. Doom silently follows them aboard. As they get up, Colossus asks Storm if she’s nervous. Ororo admits she is, a bit. Her claustrophobia. Confined spaces still put her on edge. And she can’t help thinking that it wouldn’t take much to turn this tiny box… into a deathtrap. Indeed, Doom muses.
Once they arrive on their intended floor, Doom immediately gets to work on gathering what he needs. Still lingering at the elevator door, the X-Men make plans on how to attack the Sentinel that is operating the monitors. Wolverine whispers to Colossus to give him a fastball special – he’ll gut that sucker from head to hips!
Doom thinks that happening upon the X-Men was a grand stroke of luck. Their foolish assault should keep the Sentinels occupied long enough for him to proceed with his task unencumbered.
Wolverine is thrown by Colossus at the Sentinel in fastball special style. Unfortunately, the Sentinel immediately takes notice of him. “Pathetic organic being,” the robot remarks. Is Wolverine so arrogant as to believe he could even approach – much less penetrate – their innermost sanctum undetected? While Wolvie is still in mid-flight, the Sentinel incinerates him, leaving only a charred skeleton behind.
The Sentinel stresses the X-Men are here because they allowed them to be here. The better to terminate them. He asks Storm and Colossus to yield, or suffer a similar fate. Momentarily speechless by Wolverine’s brutal death, Ororo immediately regains her defiance and determination. “Never!” she cries out as she lifts herself in the air, assaulting the robot with her lightning bolts.
Listening to the fight while pilfering the necessary equipment from the other end of the room, Doctor Doom contemplates that the X-Men’s defiance in the face of such opposition is to be admired. These X-Men have earned his respect. There’s little doubt that these Sentinels are formidable opponents. In mass numbers, they could even prove to be unbeatable. In light of what he’s seen, it would be wise to take precautions against such a powerful enemy. Upon his return to the present, he shall begin working on the designs for an invincible army of robots of his own!
“Peter!” Ororo screams as a Sentinel’s blade pierces right through her abdomen. Peter cries out her name, as she drops dead. Doom sees that another X-Man is down. He must hurry if he’s to escape the Sentinels’ notice. Berserk, Colossus punches the Sentinel that murdered Ororo right out of the building. Taking advantage of the distraction, Doom makes use of his short-range rocket propulsion jets and makes a hasty retreat, carrying all the equipment he needs.
His task completed, Doom returns to the waiting Seer. Seer reveals he detects no sign of Magneto in this timeline; he must be dead. Doom announces he will adjust the chronometer accordingly for their next time jump then. Taking shelter within the relative safety of the time stream, Doom uses the brief respite to conduct the needed repairs on the platform’s disabled cloaking device. Doom asks Seer to keep his eye on the controls. Doom must focus all his attentions on the delicate procedure at hand. Seer complies. Doom successfully repairs the cloaking device. There – they are once again shielded from…
Seer protests about the psychic feedback, before he emits a scream of pain. “Incompetent oaf!” Doom chastises as he realizes what happened. In his clumsiness, Seer has locked the controls to a jump-point further back into the past than Doom’s intended setting. There’s nothing he can do to change their altered course until they’ve emerged from the time-stream! Doom becomes infuriated with Seer. Is he not capable of…
Suddenly seeing him on the verge of terror, his eyes glowing, Doom asks him what it is. Seer apologizes to his master… his actions were not of his own doing. Doom sternly asks him what he means. Pointing his finger at him, he demands to know what’s going on: “Answer me!” Seer explains they must have passed over the point in time that was shown to him in visions… a time when the Onslaught entity was at the peak of its power… He reveals Onslaught reached out to him, across the void… across the chasm of time-space… And for the briefest moments, he and Onslaught’s minds touched. Never has Seer ever make psi-contact with such a corrupted soul – never experienced such pure evil!
Clasping his head, Seer suspects that the intensity of the telepathic encounter has left him somewhat rattled – and confused… Confused? About what? Doom wonders. Seer is speaking in riddles! Seer reveals he sensed another presence within Onslaught… another consciousness… He thinks Doom should consider the possibility that the secret behind Onslaught’s creation may be locked inside the head of Professor Charles Xavier – and not Magneto, as they’d both come to believe.
Doom asks him who is this Xavier of which to speaks. Projecting forth a mental hologram of Professor X on his wheelchair, Seer explains that, as far as he can ascertain, Xavier is a powerful telepath, with strong affiliations to both the X-Men and Magneto. Doom decides to take Seer’s observations to heart. Was he able to get an imprint of Xavier’s psyche from the Onslaught entity before he broke contact? Seer nervously replies he was, but he doesn’t… Doom suggests he helps recalibrate the instruments then, so they may take out a slight detour and seek him out.
Charles Xavier’s private sanctum
Professor X is experiencing tremendous agony. “John Proudstar, get off the airplane before it’s too late!” he cries. Watching this from his platform, Doom asks Seer what transpired here. Who is Professor X speaking to? There’s no one in this room but them. Has the Professor lost control of his faculties? Seer explains that Xavier is actually maintaining telepathic contact with one of his students; a youth named Thunderbird who is on a dangerous mission along with the rest of the X-Men. He decides to show Doom.
Seer generates a vision of Thunderbird, on top of a small plane, pounding on it. Through his rapport with Xavier, he tells him he’s a man, a warrior of the Apache, and today he’s going to prove it! Banshee, who’s flying at proximity, begs him to get of the plane! Similarly, Professor desperately tries to convince him to get out! “Thunderbird…! Noooo!” he lets out a terribly shriek, as the plane explodes in mid-air. Seer informs Doom that Xavier never broke contact; not even during the boy’s death throes… Doom observes it will be curious to see how such a tragedy will affect Xavier’s psyche. He suggests they press forward.
Annandale, New York
Doctor Doom and Seer watch the confrontation between Professor X and the deranged Dark Phoenix. “Meddling old fool… you have just signed your death warrant!” Dark Phoenix roars and blasts him, reducing his wheelchair into shambles. Perhaps, Charles admits. But he is in part responsible for what happened here. Though it may cost him his life, he will put it right. Seething with energy, Phoenix sarcastically notes that he sounds almost guilty – as well he should! He unleashed her latent telepathic ability. He set in motion the chain of events that created Phoenix – and then Dark Phoenix! She asks him to behold his creation! She is what was, what is, what will be – the Black Angel, Chaos-Bringer! She – is – power!
Despite being faced with such fearsome might, Xavier, collapsed on the ground, defies her. Power without restraint; knowledge without wisdom; age without maturity; passion without love. He must fight Jean. He must – he will – win. “Will you?” Jean smiles – and it is a cruel, utterly inhuman smile.
Incredible! Doom admiringly muses. Phoenix is even more powerful than ever. While Xavier is clearly tormented by the unpleasant duty before him. He notices they are engaging in a psi-war. A battle between student and teacher, waged on an epic scale. He daresay few mortals have been witness to such a display. He wonders… could this duel have driven Xavier over the edge and somehow imbued him with the powers of Onslaught? Doubtful, he concludes, considering Magneto is nowhere near here. And his presence – or at least partial involvement – during Onslaught’s creation has already been assured by the Seer’s visions.
Seeing Seer psi-scanning the two combatants, Doctor Doom asks him how fare their quarry. Seer explains that Xavier is attempting to bind the Phoenix Force with a network of psionic circuit breakers. Doom wonders whether he’ll succeed. Uncertain, Seer replies. But they dare not take the chance of Phoenix attacking them here like she did in Antarctica. They could be stranded here… or destroyed. Doom agrees. Although curiosity binds him to stay, he suspects Phoenix’s fate shall be revealed to them in due time. Let them depart before she takes notice of them…
Professor Xavier’s school for gifted youngsters, just outside the town of Salem Center in upstate New York
Doom and Seer watch from their time platform. Doom wonders if there’s something wrong with their instruments. He sees no sign of Xavier.
In the mansion’s grounds, the X-Men stand over the fallen body of a Brood Queen – one which, only minutes ago, was Professor Xavier. Storm admits she could have slain the Queen with a lightning bolt – but she could not bring herself to do it. Wolverine tells her there’s no shame in being what she is. He’s the killer on this team, remember? Not this time, Cyclops retorts. He was the first X-Man. It’s his responsibility. He addresses what remains of Xavier: “Forgive me, Professor. If there was any alternative…”
“There is… none, Scott…” a weak response comes from the alien body. Scott is surprised: Professor?! Barely clinging to life, Xavier explains that the mental transformation was incomplete. He’s been resisting with all his might. The shock of Storm’s assault enabled him to gain upper hand. Eventually, though, the Brood persona will overwhelm him. That must not come to pass. For the good of Earth, of humanity, he begs Scott to kill him! Wolverine tells Cyclops that he heard the man.
Doom is at a loss: that’s Xavier? He must have fallen prey to some sort of alien infestation. A pity. So much for Seer’s hypothesis. Maybe… maybe not, Seer remarks. He senses the outcome here is still very much in question.
Cyclops counters to Wolverine that he heard Phoenix play this riff before she died. He never had a chance to save the woman he loved. He’d damned if he’s going to watch Charles go the same way. Doom’s curiosity is piqued: Phoenix dead? But was she killed by Xavier… or did she fall victim to other circumstances?
Cyclops insists that so long as there’s hope – no matter how slight – the X-Men will fight to preserve life. To create, rather than to destroy. Any objections? Lots, Wolverine sullenly retorts. None, Storm concurs with Scott. Doom believes they shall if their efforts were successful. Ducking back into the time stream, he and Seer continue on their journey.
Seer reveals that he scanned the X-Man called Cyclops before they left. The woman named Jean Grey – who later became Phoenix – eventually killed herself on the moon, sacrificing her own life for the sake of her friends and the good of the universe. Doom is appalled: she willingly threw away her chance at immortality?! What a waste.
Doom and Seer materialize outside the Palace of Justice of the Ile de la Cite, about a block from Notre Dame Cathedral. Professor X lies on the lawn, at an ostensibly terrible condition. He feebly wishes this didn’t hurt so much. Magneto has knelt down at him. He implores him to stop talking nonsense; he’s not going to die! “Says who?” Xavier retorts.
Doom observes that, once again, they find Xavier at the brink of death. Confound it all – he is of no use to him in such a weak and feeble state! But what transpires here? Why does Magneto show concern for his sworn enemy? Surely this is some sort of foul jest. Are these two not bitter adversaries?
Magneto insists he won’t allow Charles to give up. Charles tells him off: he shouldn’t be absurd. It’s out of their hands. He asks Magneto to promise him that he’ll carry on in his place. He asks him to take over his school; look after his X-Men; teach the New Mutants. Impossible, Magnus retorts; they’ll never accept him. Xavier suspects he’s afraid. And with good reason, Magneto admits. He feels he’s not worthy of his trust, of this awesome responsibility. He begs him not to ask for what he cannot give.
Charles urges him to prove himself worthy. Does he remember in Israel when they were young; the dreams and ideals they shared? After that they walked tragically different paths. Magneto says now that his was wrong. He seeks to make amends – here is his chance. He should do what no one else believes can be done. It will stand as a far nobler monument – and better safeguard for mutantkind – than his martyrdom at this trial. Magneto fears it will be hard. Charles asks him to consider the alternative. After a brief pause, he enquires again: “Well?” Magnus promises he shall try.
“Bah! Sentimental drivel,” Doom disgusts. And he does not believe it for a second. He finds it highly unlikely that the so-called master of magnetism plans to keep his word. From what they’ve seen thus far in their travels, Magneto has proven to be a conniving, unscrupulous individual, and certainly not above lying to a man who is on his deathbed. This must be a ploy on his part to betray the Xavier and catch his vaunted X-Men unawares.
Below, Lilandra and Corsair of the Starjammers pop out of a pool of light, and carry away the gravely injured Xavier with them.
Doom admits that Xavier’s gullibility and his obvious lack of judgment makes him question the Seer’s supposition concerning his involvement in the Onslaught creation. Seer reminds him of the other consciousness he sensed inside the Onslaught entity. Doom repeats that he heard Xavier just now. He and Magneto were once friends. They’ve known each other for a long time. Perhaps it was some sort of attempted subliminal influence over Magneto on the Professor’s part over the years that Seer detected within Onslaught’s subconscious.
Having made up his made, Doom asks Seer to help him reconfigure the controls back to the original setting so that they may once again use Magneto’s bio-signature as a tracking beacon. Now more than ever, he’s convinced that the key to what he seeks lies with him.
Doctor Doom and Seer teleport inside a castle. Magneto is seated, pensive and arrogant, on a throne-like chair. Seer mentally scans him. Astounded, he admits Doom was right: Magneto knows! Excellent – then the secret of Onslaught is as good as Doom’s, the dictator replies. Seer confesses it’s not as simple as that. When Doom asks him what he means, Seer explains that the knowledge is buried deep in Magneto’s subconscious. Doom suggests he unburies it then! He will not be denied when his goal is so close at hand!
Seer reveals he cannot. Since their last encounter, Magneto has found a way to erect sophisticated mental barriers to guard against any possible psionic probes or attacks. Unless he lets his guard down, he won’t be able to penetrate his defenses. Doom believes their next course of action is clear then. He orders Seer to keep scanning. Doom shall provide an appropriate distraction and bring Magneto’s recollections of Onslaught to surface!
Doom steps out of the platform and deliberate makes noise to distract Magneto. Vexed, Magnus wonders who dares invade his private sanctum. Turning to face Doom, Magneto is understandably surprised: how did he get in here?! Doom is pleased that Magneto is acquainted with his personage. That will make things easier. How he got here is of no concern to Magneto. As of why he got here, he wishes Magnus to tell him all he knows about the entity known as Onslaught.
Magneto is surprised: of what possible interest is that fiend to Doom? Doom explains that he hails from the past and he’s come to secure his future by harnessing Onslaught’s power and making it his own. A fool’s errand which shall surely result in Doom’s demise, Magneto notes. Putting his helmet back on, he repels Doom with a magnetic blast. “Begone from here, Doom,” he orders him – he does not tolerate intruders! Doom warns him to beware – he does not know with whom he’s dealing! Pressing a hidden switch on his armored gauntlet, he activates his personal force field, making himself impervious to Magneto’s mutant abilities. On his feet again, Doom vows that he will not suffer such an affront to his person again – and retaliates with a massive blast.
Magneto warns him that he would do well to heed his warning. Capturing Onslaught’s essence is beyond the scope of Doom’s powers. Therein lies the challenge, Doom retorts. “Oh, really?” Magnus scoffs. If Doom truly comes from the past as he claims, then he may not feel the same about his convictions once he hears the details of Onslaught’s downfall. Onslaught was eventually defeated. But victory came at a great price, demanding the ultimate sacrifice of not only the Earth’s greatest heroes… but Doom’s as well! What?! Doom muses in perplexity, as he repels various pieces of metal hurled to him by Magneto.
Hovering above the combatants, the Seer’s astral form goes unnoticed as he telepathically pries into Magneto’s psyche and plucks the secret of Onslaught from his mind, pinpointing the exact moment of the nearly omnipotent entity’s creation. Approaching Doom, he reports that it is done. At last, Doom thinks. Soon now, absolute power shall be within his grasp! He is confident that Magneto’s vicious lies are a feeble attempt to disarm him – but he will not be swayed from his chosen path! He should make no mistake: the power of Onslaught will be his. And once he wields it, Doom shall be supreme – lord over all! Before Magnus can get near him, he vanishes in the timestream, alongside his Seer. Magneto notes that Doctor Doom is truly an arrogant fool to attempt such a stunt. But he has nothing to fear from the likes of him. His own hubris shall be his undoing!
The time stream
Doom congratulates his Seer. He asks him if Magneto spoke the truth concerning his fate. Partly, Seer reveals. From what he read in his stray thoughts, the other heroes have since returned unharmed. All except for Doom. Apparently his disappearance remains a great mystery… I see, Doom drily notes.
Professor X, currently equipped with an exoskeleton, has grasped Magneto. Wolverine lies lifeless beside them, his adamantium expunged from his body. Xavier’s rage has reached unprecedented heights. He tells Magnus that his dream is to live with harmony with those who fear and despise them, to make them see the error of their ways, no matter the hardships they must endure, the sacrifices they must make to achieve that goal. Magneto’s dream, quite simply, demands that they rule over those who would oppose them – no matter the cost of suffering and degradation!
Doom spots Jean Grey amidst the crowd present in this dramatic moment. He wonders what she’s doing here; is she not dead!? Seer admits he doesn’t understand it himself. But he senses nothing of the Phoenix Force within her. She won’t impede their plans. Doom suggests they proceed then without further delay.
Xavier asserts that his difference with Magnus is that of light and dark, love and hate, life and death! Doom dismisses Xavier’s claims as sanctimonious double-talk. His blind delusions shall seal his fate. Seer alerts his master that the absorption transducer module is primed and set to go. Shall he activate it? Not yet, Doom replies. He tells him to await his signal. What he’s attempting is a delicate procedure. Proper timing is the key. On his command, Seer should be ready to transport them to the astral plane.
“No more, Magnus! No more!” Professor X grits his teeth with rage and indignation. Logan shall be the last! No one else will ever suffer! He caused the deaths of hundreds today – deaths Charles could have prevented had he stopped him years ago!
“Now, Seer!” Doom signals him. The moment of Onslaught’s creation is upon them! Straining at the effort, Seer shifts them out of normal space-time and phases them to the incorporeal level of perception known as the astral plane. Doom and Seer witness the confrontation. Xavier’s astral form attacks Magnus’, arguing that Magneto has killed too many – and Charles has had enough! He will make sure, here and now, once and for all, that he never kills again!
“Look! There it is!” Doom yells, pointing excitedly at the dark mass at the center of Magneto’s shining avatar. They witness a conspicuously evil, malicious psychic entity exiting Magneto’s avatar and reaching out to the chest of Xavier’s astral form, leaving something inside. Doom realizes it’s the birth of the Onslaught entity! In its infancy, the creature is at is most vulnerable; now is the time to strike. Shoving Seer aside, Doom clasps the absorption module, determined to do the deed himself. An unholy hum fills the air as Doom energizes the module and sets his scheme in motion.
However, Doom is quickly at a loss: how can it be? Even at its weakest, the foul beast is still resisting the transfer! Never in his wildest imaginings did he foresee such a display of raw power! Seer alerts him that the powers levels are reaching critical mass. He warns him: if he doesn’t cease this at once, the containment seals will be breached! In his zeal, Doom ignores the Seer’s desperate pleas. Quiet! he demands, thwacking him away. He distracts him with his needless prattling! Oblivious to the growing danger, a persistent Doom increases the module’s energy output. Seer asks his master to forgive him, but he cannot hold his tongue: the danger is mounting! His senses are overloading! The Onslaught entity is diverting its attention toward them! “What?!” Doom amazes.
Neither of them is prepared for what comes next. The black, malicious Onslaught entity, growing in size, approaches. Upon making contact with the shimmering bubble surrounding the platform, there is a massive release of blinding, explosive energy. The ensuing backlash hurls the platform back through the time stream, spiraling out of control.
Doctor Doom and Seer have returned to their original time and place. Entirely depleted of strength, the exhausted Seer mumbles that they are alive! So it seems, Doom grumpily notes. For whatever reason, the Onslaught entity chose to spare their lives and return them to their proper time, rather than slay them. Unfortunately, the absorption module has been reduced to slag, and the time platform is in need of major repairs. It appears he has made a grave miscalculation, and a costly one. But in spite of his apparent defeat, his mission was not a complete failure, for he now possesses knowledge which he can use to ensure his own survival into the coming millennium!
Charging one of his fists with energy, he nears Seer. He has served him well, but he’s afraid his usefulness has come at an end… “M-master? No! Please!” a horrified Seer pleads, realizing what is in store for him. He begs Doom to have mercy! Undaunted, Doom blasts him to oblivion. Standing above his lackey’s charred remains, he remarks that knowledge is power. In all the universe, there is no greater truth. And he does not intend to share it!