Appearing in "Rubicon"
- Acolytes (First appearance)
- Chief Magistrate Anderson
- George H. W. Bush (Cameo)
- New Mutants (In a photograph only)
- Sasha (First appearance)
- Soviet Air Forces
- Soviet Navy (Only in flashback) (Some die)
- Marvel Universe
- X-Men Blackbird
- Soviet submarine Leningrad (Flashback and main story)
Synopsis for "Rubicon"
In near-Earth space, SHIELD spacecraft pursue a shuttle stolen by mutant terrorists. When they venture too close to Asteroid M, Magneto destroys the craft but saves the crews. He plans to return them to Earth, but one of the terrorists reveals they came to join him. The Soviet space program detects the incident, realizes Asteroid M is in orbit over their country, and initiates the Magneto Protocols. To avoid further escalation, Nick Fury advises the U.S. President to contact the X-Men. In the Danger Room, several team members train by simulating a raid on the mansion to capture a simulacrum of Professor X. Wolverine finishes the session by clawing into the control booth and tagging the real Professor X. Later, Fury briefs the X-Men on the incident in orbit, and the professor agrees to help. Aboard Asteroid M, a SHIELD agent shoots one of the terrorists. Outraged, Magneto uses his powers to force the agent to shoot and kill himself. Fabian Cortez, the terrorists’ leader, advises Magneto to deter Earth’s political powers from retaliating. Cerebro senses Magneto entering the atmosphere so the X-Men’s “Blue” strike team—led by Cyclops and consisting of Beast, Gambit, Psylocke, Rogue, and Wolverine—takes the Blackbird to intercept him. In the mid-Atlantic, Magneto magnetically raises the wreck of the Leningrad, a Soviet submarine he once sank, and retrieves its nuclear missiles. Having been the X-Men’s ally, Magneto is shocked when they attack him, but he fends them off and flies away with the warheads. Rogue flies after him and tries to talk him down, but Soviet aircraft shoot her with missiles. In retaliation, Magneto detonates one of the warheads. Upon his return to Asteroid M, Cortez heals Magneto’s wounds and counsels that his vision for mutants and the X-Men’s are irreconcilable. Meanwhile, Professor X informs the Blue team that Rogue is in Genosha. She wakes up in a hospital there just before Cortez’s terrorists, the Acolytes, attack. They want to recruit her, but she refuses and fights back. The Blue team arrives and defeats them, but then Magneto appears and claims the Acolytes act in his name. With the stolen warheads now arrayed around Asteroid M, he declares it a sovereign homeworld for mutants. At Xavier’s School, a distraught Moira tells Banshee that this conflict is all her fault.
- This issue was published in five variant editions, one per week for five weeks, each with a different cover and pin-up by Jim Lee and Scott Williams:
- Cover A featuring Archangel, Beast, Jean Grey, Professor X, and Storm, released on August 13, 1991, and including a pin-up of the X-Men's foes titled "A Villains Gallery";
- Cover B featuring Colossus, Gambit, Psylocke, and Rogue, released on August 20, 1991, and including a pin-up of the original X-Men titled "A Blast from the Past";
- Cover C featuring Cyclops, Iceman, and Wolverine, released on August 27, 1991, and including a pin-up of the X-Men lounging poolside titled "Wish You Were Here...";
- Cover D featuring Magneto, released on September 3, 1991, and including a pin-up of characters from upcoming storylines titled "Things to Come";
- a $3.95 special collector's edition with a gatefold cover combining the four other covers, released on September 10, 1991, and including:
- This issue is reprinted in:
- X-Men: Mutant Genesis trade paperback (1995);
- Marvel Collectible Classics: X-Men #6 (Dec. 1998);
- The 100 Greatest Marvels of All Time #6 (Dec. 2001);
- X-Men Forever Alpha (Jul. 2009);
- X-Men: Mutant Genesis hardcover (2010);
- X-Men by Chris Claremont & Jim Lee Omnibus hardcover (2011);
- X-Men #1: 20th Anniversary Edition (Dec. 2011);
- X-Men: The Adamantium Collection hardcover (2014);
- X-Men Epic Collection vol. 19: Mutant Genesis trade paperback (2017);
- X-Men XXL by Jim Lee hardcover (2019).
- According to Guinness World Records, this issue is the best-selling comic book of all time with sales of over 8.1 million copies.
- Magneto sank the submarine Leningrad in Uncanny X-Men vol. 1 #150.
- This issue is referenced in Marvel: Avengers Alliance and is one of the comic book covers required in order to recruit Magneto in the game.
Links and References
- X-Men at Wikipedia
- X-Men at Marvel Subscriptions
- X-Men series index at Comicbookdb.com
- X-Men series index at Uncanny X-Men.net
- X-Men series index at the Grand Comics Database Project
- The Unofficial Handbook of Marvel Comics Creators - accessed on 12/18/2009
- First and only known appearance to date besides flashbacks