Wednesday, June 6, 2018

X-Men Campaign Part 2: Welcome to Doom

The strange setting of our final battle
Continuing our adventure, Cyclops hauls the battered Magneto out of the office building only to be accosted by a curious police officer. Cyclops, believing that he has convinced the officer to depart, turns his back only to be shot from behind. It is no police officer after all, but the evil mutant Mystique? In a flash of brilliance, Talia conjures a shield of water from a nearby cafe in order to create a shield. While this is effective, it is revealed that Mystique is not alone. A building crumbles, revealing Avalanche. During the commotion, the Blob and Pyro approach from behind. Destiny steps out of the shadows to join Mystique. Our heroes are surrounded.

The Brotherhood of Evil Mutants make their demands clear. Our heroes can forfeit Magneto... or their lives! During the discussions, Destiny is mysteriously yanked away. Our heroes refuse to yield, and all chaos breaks loose. Avalanche is knocked into a nearby store, Pyro attempts to gain the advantage of high ground but is dispatched just as easily, and the Blob rolls incredible poorly.

Mystique finds herself wrapped in webbing. Of course the one who neutralized Destiny is non other than your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. The Blob is happy to continue fighting, but when Titania puts her claws to Mystique's neck he agrees to a mutual retreat.

Upon returning to the mansion, the Professor admits that he has released War-Weeb and Edgelord as they were under minor mind-control, trapped in a mental construct that forced their obsessions into action. Jellyburn, however, is under considerably more mental stress that is proving much harder to undo. He opts to beam everyone aboard the Starjammer where their physicia Sikarsky will be able to provide better care.

Our heroes are shocked to have been so casually whisked into space. They tell their parents all about it when they get the chance. Eventually, the girls are returned to Earth where their attempts to relax are interrupted by Beast, who advises that they could take the oppertunity to act like real superheroes.

Reluctantly, they agree to patrol around the city solving problems. These problems include a baker who is suspious of a recent croissant cart that has popped up, a burger bandit, a senior citizen medicine heist, as well as an anti-mutant protest-slash-festival going on in the park. Exhausted and damaged (Talia having been smashed by a truck weilded by a super-powered senior) they return to the mansion only to be beamed up by Xavier once more.

You will recall in the last issue that the X-Men had left on a secret mission. It is revealed only now that they are being held captive by Doctor Doom. With nobody else to aid them, Lilandra recruits her estranged step-son Prince Delita (an original character) to assist. You may think Prince Delita looks familiar, in which case you are correct. He is loosely based on Kid Gladiator.

Delita, Proud Shi'Ar Prince
The party crashes Doom's temporary castle (for his own has been taken from him at this time), and faces off against the Doom Squad. These four soldiers are equipped with powerful suits of armor designed to take on the Fantastic Four. The fight is a challenge, but our heroes pull through due to their ferocity.

Traveling the floors of Doom's castle, they free the X-Men from their trapped prisons, as well as steal a large amount of Doctor Doom branded merchandise. The only hero they are unable to free is Storm, who appears to have been turned into metal somehow. The party decides to infiltrate Doom's secret lab in order to find a device that may reverse this affliction. Unfortunately, this route passes through Doom's bedroom where he lies in wait. While haphazardly following a robot built in Storm's likeness, Titania comes face to face with doom and a batle for the ages begins.

Only a few of the many floors of Doom's castle

Titania is instantly trapped in a Doom Bubble, and Wolverine is sent flying out of the building due to a massive roll on Doom's part. Nightcrawler struggles to save a Wolverine who has been flung into the ocean, all while Colossus grabs hold of Doom to create an opening. Delita uses this opening to use his final attack which is a massive energy beam. Doom is damaged but standing, while the attack knocks Colossus through the wall. Delita has used all of his energy and slumps to the ground. "All that work for a drop of Doom's blood," says the Tyrant, as he kicks Delita to the ground. During this time, Talia has been running all of the faucets in Doom's bathroom, while Titania has managed to free herself and is fending him off. With one final coordinated team-up attack, they smash Doom hard enough to do some real lasting damage.

In fact, he is so smashed he comes apart. It is, of course, a Doombot.

They hear the ding of the elevator and brace for another battle. Doom, however, does not wish to fight. He explains he merely wished to test the might of the X-Men. With uncharacteristic cooperation, he cures Storm and coordinates their exit.

Upon returning to the Starjammer, the Professor is happy to see the X-Men but is frantic. It appears that Jellyburn and Magneto are trapped in the same mental prison. How such a thing is possible is unknown, but with his powers he transports our heroes into this mindscape to free them. Almost immediately they are harassed by a gang of ruffians, who flee at the first sign of mutant ability. They scream of sentinels, and is if being summoned, one appears. The girls hide out until the sentinel is gone, and are discovered by a much older Logan who is surprised to see them alive. He offers to bring them to safety. Who is this old man Logan, and why is he surprised to see two girls he saw just moments ago? Find out next time on X-Men.

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