- Uh-kay. Didn't see that comin'.
- -- Strong Guy
Appearing in the 1st StoryEdit
- Multiple Man (Jamie Madrox)
- Layla Miller
- XF Investigations
- Doctor Doom (Victor von Doom) (Appears in flashback and main story)
- Ruby Summers
- Reverend John Maddox
- Winston (First appearance)
- Connie (Behind the scenes)
- Reed Richards (Only in flashback)
- Unnamed cop (Death)
- St. Paul's Episcopal Church
Synopsis for the 1st StoryEdit
Madrox, Layla, and Ruby find Doctor Doom in Detroit, on Earth-1191. They find Doom aged and infirm, being attended by a busted, old robot servant, however he still believes himself to be at the height of his glory and wealth. Despite his senility, he quickly surmises that the group is there to learn about the manipulation of time due to a previous communication with Layla Miller, with whom Doom is rather taken. Unbeknownst to Madrox and Doom, they are being secretly observed by Dr. Falcone, science adviser to the President, and a man named "Shaw," presumably a descendant of Sebastian Shaw of the Hellfire Club. Falcone is puzzled that Madrox is alive and in Doom's apartment. Madrox originally died in the mutant concentration camps and they sent Cortex back to kill him again to make sure no weird time-travel thing happens to change the present. Falcone sends a squad of Sentinels to Detroit, and asks for a real-time link to Cortex.
In the present, Rictor (Julio Richter) and Strong Guy are fighting Shatterstar, who is being controlled by Cortex. Cortex himself is sitting on a park bench while he controls Shatterstar in the fight. He observes that Maddox did not replicate when struck, and hypothesizes that Madrox's dupes lose the ability to replicate if they are separated from him for too long. A cop comes by to usher him along, citing vagrancy laws, but Cortex grabs the cop's nightstick and shoves it through his stomach, killing him.
John Maddox brandishes his gun, but Shatterstar throws a chair at him and disarms him. Rictor grabs the gun and fires it, but Shatterstar is able to deflect the bullet with his sword. Rictor is impressed and complements the move. Shatterstar says thanks and prepares to finish Rictor off. However, Strong Guy grabs Shatterstar's sword and hold him back. Shatterstar releases his second sword and prepares to stab Strong Guy, but Strong Guy throws him up through the roof and into the sky.
Guido comments on how light Shatterstar was, and Rictor explains that Shatterstar's bones are hollow and that he comes from the same dimension as Longshot. Rictor guesses that something is wrong with Shatterstar and that he's not acting like himself. He says they should help Shatterstar, not fight him. Shatterstar lands and runs to attack Strong Guy. At that moment, the real-time link from Falcone comes through and interrupts Cortex, who is belligerent and rude with Falcone, telling Falcone that he's too busy to talk so Falcone should go away. Falcone sends a pulse through the link as punishment. The pulse hits just as Shatterstar is getting ready to stab Strong Guy in the brain, and Cortex's mind control link is severed. Shatterstar falls to the ground, disoriented. Rictor rushes to reassure him that everything's alright. Shatterstar kisses Rictor.
- In this issue, Rictor and Shatterstar shared the kiss first on-panel male-male kiss between two mainstream male superheroes in mainstream Marvel comic book history.
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