Issue Date: January 1998
Story Title: untitled (each chapter is subtitled)
Staff: Tom Peyer (writer), Rob Haynes (layouts), Casey Jones, Hector Collazo, Mark Bagley and Tom Lyle (pencilers), Jason Martin, Harry Candelario, Hector Collazo and Scott Hanna (inkers), Paul Becton (colors), RS / Comicraft's AD (letters), Mark Bernado (editor), Bob Harras (editor in chief)
Thundra is on a rampage in the rainy streets of Manhattan as dimensional disturbances hit the city, brought about by a mad Polemachian priest called Cranus using advanced technology. Quicksilver tries to stop Thundra but is attacked by her mate, Arkon the Imperion. Thundra has been drugged by Cranus and sent to Earth and Arkon has been sent to recover her by Cranus in order to remove him from Polemachus, so that Cranus can carry out his diabolical plan. Due to problems with his own planet's energy rings, he aims to use his scientific genius to sacrifice the billions of people on Earth so that his planet's people can live. On Earth, Quicksilver, with the help of the Knights of Wundagore manage to subdue Arkon who explains the situation. Lord Delphis
administers an antidote to the drug that Thundra has been given and together, they journey to Polemachus and confront Cranus. Quicksilver destroys his machinery in order to prevent Earth's destruction and Lord Delphis selflessly decides to remain and search for a solution to Polemachus' problems. The rest of the Knights and Quicksilver are transported back to Earth, but are separated in the warp. Quicksilver finds himself alone in a corn field, where he is suddenly greeted by his wife Crystal, who he believed dead.
Chapter 1: Killer Instinct
Quicksilver has downed Thundra using a stop sign to stop her rampage in Manhattan but her mate, the Polemachian warrior Arkon the Imperion, decrees his death for the assault and rides towards him upon a large pterodactyl. As the rain falls heavily around them, Thundra remains dazed from Quicksilver's attack as Lord Churchill, Lady Vermin and Lord Tyger are about to hit the ground after seemingly losing control of their Atomic steed. As Arkon makes his threat to Pietro, Lord Churchill is quick to defend his leader and grabs the implacable Arkon around the throat and tells him to leave Quicksilver alone as he now faces his servant.
Thundra looks up, no longer phased and realizes her mate has arrived. Seeing the trouble he is in, she picks up her chain and shouts "Arkon --? No! I won't let you die!" With the Knights of Wundagore struggling to stem the chaos around them, Quicksilver realizes that the situation appears to be going from bad to worse with everyone trying to protect each other until everyone else is dead, and says as much to Churchill who he commands to stand down. In full flow, Quicksilver manages to land a kick on Thundra which catches her by surprise between the shoulder blades, though this is meant to unbalance rather than hurt her. Pietro has often been the
instinctive aggressor while cooler heads around him such as Captain America, his wife Crystal and his sister the Scarlet Witch have restrained him but now, they are gone and he has to take control. With Thundra downed again, Quicksilver grabs hold of Arkon's booted ankle, hating Arkon's anger whilst simultaneously identifying with it. Inexplicably however, with a blast of cold light, his hold is released and the world falls away from him.
Incredibly, Quicksilver finds himself instead lying on the ground, realizing that another dimensional shift has occurred. Now he finds two men dressed in a similar fashion to Arkon standing next to him who are surprised to find their normality broken. One says "By the flames, an off-worlder appears!" though his companion corrects him, replying "No! See the strange structures surrounding us? Whatever this place is - we are the off-worlders!" Around them, instead of finding their usual terrain, skyscrapers tower above them, a setting much more modern than they are used to. Quicksilver wonders where the Knights are, Thundra, even Arkon but doesn't have to wait long for the answer as Arkon places one hand on Pietro's shoulder and, turning him around with his other hand raised, angrily asks "Where is my mate?" On the last word, he punches Quicksilver with force which sends him hurtling through a window.
Chapter 2: Under Burning Skies
Elsewhere, the small Manhattan street corner where the fight was originally taking place has been transported through dimensions onto another world; Arkon's home world of Polemachus. The street corner becomes attached to an unusual pyramid-shaped building which resembles an ancient Incan building, complete with trapezoidal doorways and triangular windows. Lord Tyger, Lord Churchill and Lady Vermin find themselves temporarily stranded there along with a couple of tourists called Ed and Francine. They think the dimensional shift is some kind of Disney exhibition as they see the three Knights standing nearby. Lord Gator looks to the sky and asks, "Tyger, where are we? I mean, we are plainly still here on this street corner, but -", "Aye Churchill", adds Lord Tyger, "Here has moved." Tyger then looks skywards and sees the energy ring that surrounds Polemachus and says that they may have more pressing worries than their current address as the heavens themselves blaze like a cauldron of oil. The only thing that has improved is the weather, as the rains have not followed them there but the sky is indeed a fiery orange color.
Lady Vermin is nervous and says to Churchill, "Wh-what if they're not the heavens? What if we died and ended up - you know... in the bad place?" Lord Churchill calms her by saying that if 'she' was there, then it couldn't be. Suddenly, Churchill smells something and in an instant he is grabbed around the waist by Thundra who has also been transported there. She has a major mad-on and her anger is vented through her fists as she pounds on Churchill. He asks for back-up and Lady Vermin says she is right there in Thundra's hair, telling him to hang on while she sniffs out a good bit of ear to chomp. Before she can act though, Thundra connects with a solid left hook and send Lord Churchill flying past Ed and Francine into a wall. Ed, wearing a hideous green shirt and carrying a camera around his neck asks Francine "Does Disney get this violent?" As Thundra leaps forward in order to follow up her attack, deranged and unreasonable, Lady Vermin is tossed aside and says she wanted Churchill to keep her a little busier than THAT. Ed and Francine are in the line of Thundra's charge but Lord Tyger leaps at them and propels them to safety, which unfortunately leaves Churchill defenseless against Thundra's attack. Tyger bows and vows to shepherd the two tourists until they quit "this mysterious hell." Ed, tells Francine that there's no way they're Disney as he said the H-word and Francine asks "Warner Brothers maybe?"
On another part of Polemachus in a large fortified structure, a priest called Cranus is called to a kind of crystal ball by a reptilian servant of his called Gullo. Cranus says "Do not tell me there is a problem with the dimensional portals, Brother Gullo! For our realm to survive the burning skies, we must trade places with Earth on schedule." He is clearly behind the disturbances and is willing to sacrifice Earth and all its inhabitants to save his own world. He has an imposing, sinister look about him; balding, mustachioed and sporting a long black and white cloak. Gullo instead points out that Thundra has returned to Polemachus and views her battle with Churchill in the crystal ball. Cranus says this is unacceptable and could doom their plans. Gullo tells Cranus that this shouldn't happen as Thundra is still maddened by the drug (explaining her irrational behavior). Cranus slaps Gullo forcefully with the back of his hand and says the whole point of drugging Thundra was to keep Arkon distracted and if she is back on their world, Arkon cannot be far behind. He adds that the simpleton (Arkon) respects the Earthmen more than his own priests and there is no time to waste. He commands Gullo to accelerate the spatial convulsions because for Polemachus to live, Earth must burn in its place.
Chapter 3: A Rage of Lightning
Meanwhile, back on Earth, Pietro finds himself inside a café with broken glass everywhere and an angry-looking Arkon stepping majestically through the shattered window frame brandishing one of his energy weapons. An onlooker cannot believe what is happening. Arkon says "I want Thundra, Avenger, but I might settle for your head!" Pietro replies that he is as relentless as the rain outside and adds that he hopes he would be so in defense of Crystal. He notices something in Arkon's eyes that he himself appears to lack. Out of nowhere, a stampede consisting of Lord Anon, Sir Ram, Lord Gator, Lord Delphis and Lady Ursula leaps on Arkon and Lord Anon grabs him by the throat after striking him, his bloodlust once again rearing itself. Arkon, always brave and ever alert to conflict asks "Anon? Afraid to show yourself in form or in name? What kind of animal are you?" Lord Anon cryptically replies "The worst kind!"
Using his skills as a warrior, Arkon manages to throw Lord Anon over his shoulder and into the crowd of Knights which provides himself with some defensible space as Quicksilver yells "Stop!" as he begins his mercurial advance towards their foe. Arkon says the paltry breeze he stirs might alarm the barnyard creatures but he can more than match it with his lightning and reaches over his left shoulder to grab an energy weapon from his quiver. Before he can pick one though, Pietro manages to remove the quiver from him and leave him weaponless and surrounded. He calls Quicksilver a coward and tries goading him into fighting man-to-man, without tricks or help. Pietro replies that the prospect grows more appealing every time he opens his mouth but relying on his newfound responsibilities, he calms the situation by asking Arkon what exactly they are fighting about.
Arkon looks up, scowling at first and says "Where..is..my..mate? You'll not be rid of me until she is returned Avenger, for without her, Arkon is nothing." As Arkon's head drops, Quicksilver sees in his eyes the thing he misses, a kind of desperation that implies that without Thundra, he is lost. With Arkon now subdued, Lady Ursula says they must help him before her heart breaks and Pietro says of course they will. He then informs Arkon that Thundra had attacked them and she is clearly not herself. With his head still bowed, Arkon replies that he cannot deny it. Sir Ram interjects by saying that if they knew what afflicted her, they might find a way to reverse it. Arkon says that is what maddens him; he doesn't know and then offers them a potted recollection of events leading up to her journey to Earth.
The Polemachian sky was burning and his people feared it was an omen, so he and Thundra left their palace to calm them, only for Thundra to suddenly turn on them, holding a giant statue's head above her. Before Arkon could restrain her she simply melted away and not knowing what to do, he consulted Brother Cranus who told him that the sky-fires were simply the first strike in an extradimensional invasion from Earth. He told Arkon to go there and save his mate.
At this point, Lord Anon belligerently states that Arkon therefore attacked them on the words of an ignorant priest but Lady Ursula reprimands him, saying they have their faith, he has his. Arkon asks "Do I? I am rarely certain." Pietro then reminds Lord Anon that the Knights of Wundagore respect all creeds and Lord Anon accepts his words. Lord Delphis informs Pietro of his findings. Looking at his hand-held device, he says he has analyzed the dimensional disturbances and finds they are artificial, originating from Polemachus. Pietro congratulates him on his findings and asks if he has any theories on Thundra. Delphis says that he believes she and their comrades were transferred to Polemachus in the most recent warp. He adds that her pupils were dilated which suggests she was drugged, perhaps by whoever mounted the space-warp. Arkon says that whoever is responsible will taste his blade. With the Knights waiting on baited breath for their next command, Delphis continues, telling Quicksilver he believes he can compute the location of the next space-warp and they could send Arkon back with a supply of apomorphine which should restore Thundra to her senses. Pietro says that is out of the question; they will all go and he hands Arkon's quiver back to him, showing Arkon the trust he feels is due.
Chapter 4: Hero's Return
Back on Polemachus, Lord Tyger is rescuing a couple more innocent bystanders, sword in hand when the space-warp (or as Lord Tyger refers calls the Earth-Gate) opens. He tells Lord Churchill and Lady Vermin that he will deliver them to safety and adds that they may wish to follow. Churchill says it is hardly chivalrous to depart while Thundra continues her rampage. Lady Vermin though tells Tyger to go as she thinks they'll be all right. Portals open all around them, showing a different dimension. As he leaps with the frightened couple through the portal, he sees Quicksilver, Arkon and the other Knights coming through in the opposite direction with Arkon once again riding atop a pterodactyl. Arkon spots Thundra and shouts her name whilst Pietro catches sight of Tyger and tells him (though he's already on the case), to get the two tourists to safety and meet them back on Polemachus if possible. Arkon tries to get through to his mate, Thundra. He tells her someone has done this to her and they can help her if she trusts them.
Thundra however is lost in her derangement and leaps towards Arkon shouting "Diieee!"
As she leaps, Arkon makes a last ditch effort to get through to her but cannot raise his hand to the one he loves. Fortunately, Lord Delphis is on hand with the apomorphine and injects the required amount into the back of her neck, causing her to drop to the floor. He feels the antidote is working, saying she is blacking out and convulsing with her temperature reaching 100
degrees and rising. Arkon however is annoyed that his mate is suffering from side-effects and approaches Thundra. He asks when she will recover and Delphis makes a two-second countdown and tells him "Two, one, now." Punctually, Thundra appears to revive and says Arkon's name and Arkon utters only a few words before Thundra screams and heads off down a corridor, slavering at the mouth and clearly still under the protracted influence of the drug. Quicksilver is immediately after her and, telling Arkon not to worry, he manages to restrain her.
Meanwhile, the despotic Cranus is in full mad-scientist mode and is about to complete the transfer of Polemachus into Earth's dimension when Thundra and Quicksilver crash through the wall, and Thundra grabs him by his robes, lifting him high above her head, telling him that she has adopted this world as her own and he'll not destroy it. Cranus cowardly tries to placate her by telling her he is gratified she has made a recovery but Thundra is furious and holding him with one hand, confronts him with the knowledge that she knows it was he who drugged her in the first place. She tells Quicksilver to smash the portal generators before Polemachus can occupy Earth-space and Pietro obliges at incredible speed, smashing several control panels. She tells Cranus that she had overheard his plan, when Cranus realized that the spatial storms which burned the Polemachian atmosphere simply caused rain on Earth which he figured could be sacrificed. Arkon interjects by saying "You thought you'd subject those innocent billions to our fate? A new low Cranus, even for a Polemachian priest!" Cranus retorts by telling them they have doomed their own people but Delphis, who has been mulling things over and in a show of true altruism says "Let us hope not. If you will have me, Arkon, I will gladly stay and seek a legitimate remedy."
Soon, Quicksilver and the Knights (without Lord Delphis) prepare to leave and Thundra thanks them all, adding, "If you hadn't helped us -" before Pietro replies "Earth would be a cinder. You owe us nothing, besides, I know what it means to lose a mate." From the stairway nearby, Cranus tells them that the spatial patterns say his grasp of that subject will soon prove incomplete. Lord Anon asks what the priest is jabbering about but Lord Gator tells him not to rile him before he whisks them back to Earth. Pietro asks Lord Delphis to work quickly and return home soon and Lord Tyger begins to tell him not to try and not damage the fabric of time and space, when the space-warp kicks in.
After crashing through dimensions, Pietro finds himself back on Earth in a corn field, back in the pouring rain which was so predominant earlier; alone and wondering where the Knights have got to. As the rains cease and the sun begins to shine, he thinks that this kind of abrupt weather change is the kind of thing Crystal would have done with her elemental powers. For a moment it felt like he'd never lost her. Suddenly, a pair of gloved hands covers his eyes and a familiar voice speaks to him asking "Guess who?" Pietro turns and his face lights up as he sees his wife Crystal standing before him. She holds him and says "Speechless for once? Not even a hello for your long-lost wife?" Pietro embraces her and tells her he never even had the chance to say goodbye.
Lord Anon, Lord Churchill, Lord Delphis, Lord Gator, Sir Ram, Lord Tyger, Lady Ursula, Lady Vermin (all Knights of Wundagore)
Cranus and Gullo
two unnamed Polemachian warriors
two A.I.M operatives
Francine, Ed and other bystanders
The issue was split into four chapters to differentiate between different inkers and pencilers working on the book. The teams for each chapter are :
chapter 1 – Casey Jones / Jason Martin
chapter 2 – Hector Collazo / Harry Candelario
chapter 3 – Mark Bagley / Jason Martin
chapter 4 – Tom Lyle / Scott Hanna & Hector Collazo
Apomorphine is an emetic derivative of Morphine, which, when injected into Thundra's bloodstream caused her body to reject the drug she had been given. It has many medical uses including helping in the treatment of Parkinson's disease and alcoholism.
When the space-warp opened on Polemachus and Lord Tyger rescued two innocents, two A.I.M agents (Advanced Idea Mechanics) in their yellow suits could be seen in one of the portals.
Crystal disappeared during the battle against Onslaught and returned to Earth in Heroes Reborn: The Return #4.
Following this issue, both Quicksilver and Crystal, as well as Pietro's sister the Scarlet Witch were summoned by the Avengers to combat the sorceress Morgan Le Fey in Avengers (3rd series) #1-3. There they were joined by many former Avengers including Namor, Quasar, Beast and Moondragon. After success in that adventure, a group of Avengers including Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch fought Baron Zemo's Thunderbolts (in Thunderbolts #11-12) before returning to Avengers Mansion. In Avengers (3rd series) #4, both Quicksilver and Crystal decided not to rejoin the group as they were heading to New Attilan but Pietro's sister Wanda did.
Issue Summary written by: Fantomex