THE CROSSING

Instigator: Immortus (posing as his younger self Kang the Conqueror)

Purpose: Keeping the Avengers preoccupied until the arrival of Onslaught (the next big crossover villain)

Allies: Apocryphus, Cybermancer, Deathunt 9000, Dirge, Iron Man (Tony Stark), Machinesmith (as Tony's assistant), Neut, Space Phantoms (Anachronauts, Elder Cotati, Luna, Malachi, Mantis, Moonraker, Priests of Pama, Tobias, Tuc), Strike Fireteams (including Strike Fireteam Decimal Four), VIRGIL

Opposition: Avengers (Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff, Captain America/Steve Rogers, Crystal, Deathcry, Giant-Man/Hank Pym, Hawkeye/Clint Barton, Hercules/Heracles, Magdalene, Quicksilver/Pietro Maximoff, Swordsman/Phillip Jarvert, Thor Odinson, Vision, Wasp/Janet Van Dyne), Beast (Henry McCoy), Black Panther (T'Challa), Amanda Chaney, Suzi Endo, Force Works (Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff, Spider-Woman/Julia Carpenter, USAgent/John Walker), Gilgamesh, Edwin Jarvis, Marilla, Masque, Luna Maximoff, Marianne Rodgers, Skye, Fisher Todd, Yellowjacket (Rita DeMara)

Locations: Tenebrae (Immortus' castle) in Limbo;
Avengers Mansion in New York City;
Janet Van Dyne's Southampton Estate;
Tony Stark's Adirondacks house;
Mesa Viento Airstrip;
Tony Stark's Arctic Bunker;
Tony Stark's Starcore Station;
The Works in Ventura, California

First Appearance: (Prologue) Iron Man I#319 (August, 1995); (actual start) Avengers: The Crossing (September, 1995)

 

History:

(Avengers Forever#8 (fb) ) - When Immortus tried to get the Avengers back to Earth after they failed to stop a Nega-Bomb's detonation that decimated the Kree Empire, but using his mental influence over Iron Man (Tony Stark) to instill him with xenophobic thoughts failed. Instead of returning home Iron Man led the Avengers against the Supreme Intelligence, leader of the Kree Empire, who was behind the Nega-Bomb's detonation to jump-start Kree evolution. They killed the Supreme Intelligence (though the Intelligence's mind escaped) resulting in events that would one day lead to an Avengers-led expansion of humanity into space (parallel to events in reality-9812). Fearing this expansion Immortus' masters the Time-Keepers berated him and threatened to contain the damage Immortus' actions had caused by destroying Earth-616, but Immortus asked them for one last chance to contain it by himself. Persuaded by him they granted him the chance and Immortus started to plot to keep the Avengers occupied with themselves until the coming of Onslaught took them off Earth. Immortus started by strengthening his mental control over Iron Man to use him as his pawn throughout the plot.

(Avengers Forever#8 (fb) ) - Immortus posed as Kang and transformed several Space Phantoms in mind and form into his allies and enemies for this plot. They all believed themselves to be the beings they were meant to be, so even telepaths were unable to determine their true identities. The Space Phantom transformed into Mantis became Kang's wife while the Space Phantoms transformed into the twins Tobias and Malachi (supposedly Scarlet Witch's children Tommy & William) became their children, unaware of their "true" origin. The Space Phantoms transformed into the future version of Crystal's daughter Luna and Tuc, Luna's alleged future brother, both worked against Kang in their roles to support the Avengers (and to confuse them even more). A Space Phantom transformed into Mantis' former consort the Elder Cotati (in Swordsman's form) also played his role as an Avengers ally as did Moonraker aka. Slade Truman aka. Gustav Brandt aka Mantis' father as a member of Force Works with deeply hidden memories to his Brandt identity until the right moment came to reveal himself as Brandt and cause further confusion.

(Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe HC#1 - Anachronauts) - Kang tricked the true Kang's Anachronauts Apocryphus and Deathunt 9000 into serving him.

(War Machine I#23 (fb) - BTS) - Under Immortus' influence Stark built a satellite containing a chronographic weapon.

(Force Works#15 (fb) - BTS) - Under Immortus' influence Tony Stark built the sub-basement within the Works with Timely Industries technology from Earth-9528.

(Force Works#18 (fb) - BTS) - Virgil, an artificial intelligence from Earth-9528 created by his reality's Tony Stark, was given control over the sub-basement.

(Iron Man I#319 (fb) - BTS) - Under Immortus' influence Stark built Starcore Command.

(Avengers I#391 (fb) - BTS) - Kang employed the Eternal Gilgamesh to train himself, the Anachronauts, Mantis, Malachi, Tobias and Neut, among others (presumably Moonraker and all the other Space Phantoms in need of fighting practice).

(Iron Man I#319) - Tony finished his new Iron Man armor in his Arctic Bunker and then met with Dr. Peter Corbeau in Los Angeles, California to be awarded the contract for America's newest communications and research satellite. Back at his office Tony called Jarvis to gather the Avengers for a meeting the next afternoon.

(Avengers I#390) - Lockjaw ran into the woods at Tony Stark's Adirondacks house and Hercules followed him. In the woods Hercules found Lockjaw with Tuc. In New York City Wasp learned that she went bankrupt. Back in the woods Hercules trusted Tuc immediately and took him back to the house where Deathcry, Swordsman (Jarvert), Magdalene, Crystal, Quicksilver, Luna and Luna's nanny Marilla already waited for Hercules at a campfire. Tuc pulled Hercules, Deathcry, Marilla, Quicksilver and Crystal into a shadowy dimension and used his clairvoyance to cryptically warn them of their futures. When they were back in the real world Tuc was gone. That evening Tuc visited Luna and called her his big sister before warning her about the coming storm.

(War Machine I#18) - Extraterrestrial Immortus enemy Skye led James Rhodes to an Eidolon Warwear armor near Matlin Lake. Attacked by a Lictor to test him, Rhodes bonded with the armor to fight the Lictor.

(War Machine I#19) - War Machine (Rhodes) defeated the Lictor wearing his new Warwear armor. Skye kept her background a secret.

(Avengers I#391 (fb) - BTS) - Malachi and Tobias ambushed Gilgamesh when he tried to escape Limbo to warn the Avengers of "Mantis'" plans, but failed. Anachronauts were sent after Gilgamesh to kill him.

(Avengers: The Crossing) - Due to chronal shifting Yellowjacket (Rita DeMara), returned from reality-691's 31st century, and arrived in Earth-616's potential future Earth-95411. Seeing the Avengers hunted as enemies of the state Yellowjacket continued to jump through time followed by "alternate-future" teenage Luna. Yellowjacket witnessed the Avengers battle for Avengers Mansion (later seen in Avengers: Timeslide) until they both arrived in Earth-616's present time. Luna warned Yellowjacket to leave before "it" (the divergent of Earth-616 into Earth-95411) began, but Yellowjacket didn't understand what the girl was talking about and rang at Avengers Mansion's door. Tony Stark opened the door, and already aware of her passing through Earth-95411 and meeting with Luna (due to Immortus, I assume) he killed her and dragged her corpse into the house. The real Luna (a little girl at this point) watched him through her window.

  The next day teenage Luna failed to fully cross over into Earth-616's present time and still out of sync with Earth's temporal patterns encountered Hercules, warning him of the twins and their victim Gilgamesh ("the oldest among the Avengers" as she said). She disappeared and feared Hercules wouldn't even remember what she had told him because she had never achieved synchronicity with his time. As soon as she was gone Hercules couldn't remember a thing.

  Less than an hour later inside Avengers Mansion Pym, Black Widow and Wasp examined the mysterious, locked door in their sub-basement (it existed there since Ute recreated Avengers Mansion in Avengers I#375 and received its own plot in Avengers I#382 & 385; it was impenetrable and mysterious and it defended itself against Crystal, Quicksilver and Deathcry in Avengers I#385; see comments). Later some Avengers played cards upstairs and acted social among each other until Hawkeye got angry at Stark, blaming him for Mockingbird's death (because Stark wasn't there to help; it didn't matter actually because, as we learned years later, it was just a Skrull doppelganger dying anyway in Avengers West Coast#100). Suddenly all scanners in the sub-basement died and a tapping noise was heard from the other side of the mysterious door (happened first in #385 and I'm pretty sure Marvel had different plans at that point for the door). Suddenly a group of Anachronauts (not that anybody knew their identities yet, but they were Anachronauts) attacked Gilgamesh, who was cowering on Avengers Mansion's roof. The Avengers came to his aid and Quicksilver brought the aged Eternal (an aging Eternal???) to safety while the others kept fighting the Anachronauts. Getting their green-garbed buttocks kicked the Anachronauts fled. Concerned the Avengers looked at the immortal Gilgamesh and his aged, shriveled body. Teenage Luna tried to cross over to present time again, but once again failed, screwing up her last chance to save Marilla. Tony brooded in his office when Black Widow entered to say how sorry she was for all the interruptions. Near midnight Marilla went searching for Luna's doll and when she found it, saw a light coming from the sub-basement. She went downstairs and saw Tony standing in front of the opened temportal (yep, that is what the door actually was...a temportal.....what? A time portal going by another name). When she told him that she had seen the door open Tony immediately killed her with a lethal repulsor blast through the head.

(Force Works#19) - Kang removed step-by-step all traces leading to Mantis' past including the Priests of Pama, the Elder Cotati and Vietnam from Earth-616's timestream as a starting point for his alleged plan to reshape Earth with his chronographic powers.

(Iron Man I#320) - Sensing Tony Stark's Immortus-induced corruption Marianne Rodgers fled from the private hospital Stark Center where she was kept since she went crazy (she was last seen in Iron Man I#107.....published in 1977). Meanwhile Iron Man beat up criminals all over Los Angeles and then opened the Maria Stark Park. In Vietnam three Space Phantoms, who had been transformed into Priests of Pama, searched for the Temple of Agaphaur and couldn't find it as it was gone (I'm pretty sure Immortus just implanted them with wrong directions). After talking to Gyrich and kissing Bethany Cabe, Tony entered his lab and was surprised at how much his agent Machinesmith knew about the Starcore satellite project. Tony blacked out after shutting down Machinesmith and teenage Luna appeared to him, warning Stark that others were coming and how sorry she was that she couldn't stop him (from killing). Coming to his senses again at home, and not knowing how he got there, Tony spent the night with Bethany.

(Force Works#16) - Moonraker (Slade Truman aka. Gustav Brandt aka. Libra aka. a damn brainwashed Space Phantom) trained with his lover Spider-Woman (Julia Carpenter) leading to an awkward situation with Fisher Todd, who had a crush on Julia. USAgent and Scarlet Witch returned from their visit at Avengers Mansion. Suzi Endo returned Tony's call and accepted his invitation to Los Angeles. When Julia's daughter Rachel met Moonraker for the first time (it actually was the first time) she didn't know who he was and Scarlet Witch told her that he was her mother's boyfriend. Rachel was surprised because unlike the others she couldn't remember seeing him before.

(Avengers I#391) - Tuc lured Swordsman (Jarvert) into the forest near the Adirondack house he lived in with Magdalene. A Priest of Pama was present and told Swordsman to ask the other Avengers who was mourning for Agaphaur. At Avengers Mansion Pym was still fighting for Gilgamesh's life and couldn't explain Gilgamesh's accelerating deterioration. Meanwhile Vision searched for Marilla and found evidence for her death. Somewhere else Wasp learned Tony Stark had bankrupted her. With Marilla confirmed dead Pym soon found the remains of another victim: Rita DeMara. Kang's agent Neut attacked Avengers Mansion and escaped from the Avengers through the temportal in the sub-basement after slaying Gilgamesh. With his last words Gilgamesh warned them of "her" (Mantis) and the twins. Black Widow contacted Stark and they both agreed to evacuate Avengers Mansion after the most recent incident. Luna kept telling her mother about a bad man when Tony was seen on screen (and nobody drew the connection to Stark until much later).

(Iron Man I#321) - At Avengers Mansion Stark and Pym tried their best to open the mysterious door again, but failed. In Los Angeles Suzi Endo arrived at Los Angeles International Airport and was watched by her Earth-9528 counterpart (and caught BTS). Tony called Moonraker at the Works to tell him he wanted to introduce someone to Force Works. Stark next called Hercules at the Avengers' temporary home in Janet Van Dyne's Southampton Estate to tell him how he and Pym failed to open the door again. Stark then recreated images from a severely damaged security-tape to find out who Marilla's murderer was. Before he could see that it was himself he blacked out (and tampered with the footage to frame Hawkeye with the murders). When he came to his senses again he found Pym dead on the floor (actually just some mind-trick) and Marianne Rodgers attacking him. Masque saved Tony from Marianne. Pym woke up and everyone else was gone, though the damage they caused was still present.

(Force Works#17) - In Vietnam a Priest of Pama jumped through a temportal, ran into a child named Kim and...they both disappeared again, removing any trace and memory of Kim and the Priest. At the Works Cybermancer trained in the Vroom Room in a deadly fight against digital versions of Iron Man and USAgent. Iron Man then introduced Cybermancer as Force Works' newest member. Everyone criticized Iron Man's decision, including Moonraker, who mourned that it took him two months to get approved (not really). Iron Man next showed Force Works footage that proved Hawkeye was the murderer of Marilla. USAgent, a close friend of Hawkeye, couldn't believe it and asked Iron Man to give him a shot at bringing in Hawkeye peacefully and Scarlet Witch allowed USAgent to do it his way against Iron Man's will. Meanwhile the Vietnamese Kim appeared in a wood outside time (actually the time-displaced, deleted from the timestream Vietnam) and was found by Apocryphus and the Anachronauts, who were after specimens like Kim, people mutated by Kang's chronal weapon. USAgent met with Hawkeye, but Iron Man and Cybermancer interrupted them to catch Hawkeye by force. At the Works Rachel saw Moonraker freak out (he had flashbacks to Gustav Brandt's life when his wife Lua died). With Hawkeye injured during the attack he was brought to the Works' infirmary. Iron Man and Scarlet Witch rushed to the Chaos Vault when Plato told them Moonraker had collapsed. When they arrived there Moonraker told them that Vietnam had disappeared from the map and nobody knew what he was talking about (Vietwhat?), but because the computer showed a Code Red crisis at the coast of Cambodia Scarlet Witch led a team, including Spider-Woman, Fisher and Moonraker, into action. At the coast of Cambodia they entered a weird energy cloud and crashed.

(War Machine I#20) - Skye left War Machine while he beat super-strong Wolfgang (a juiced-up bodybuilder). USAgent then met with James Rhodes to tell him what had happened to Hawkeye and that he was supposedly the murderer of Marilla and Rita DeMara from Avengers Mansion. They both contacted Black Widow and all three agreed that Hawkeye had to be innocent. After looking at the footage Rhodes learned from some guy that only three people on the world could fix the footage so professionally that it looked real. These people included Reed Richards, Tony Stark and the guy giving War Machine the info (some dude working at Stark Enterprises, don't ask me who it was). Realizing Stark had to be the culprit Rhodes called USAgent and they worked together to free Hawkeye from the Works after beating the evil Cybermancer.

(Iron Man I#322) - Tony visited his parents' grave and teenage Luna appeared and awakened his awareness to the "truth" behind Kang's corruption and Tony blacked out again. Meanwhile Rhodes, USAgent and Hawkeye were hiding out at the Mesa Viento Airstrip. Iron Man came to his senses again at Bethany Cabe's destroyed apartment, not knowing who did it (it was him I assume) or how he got there. Meanwhile far away at Tony's Arctic Bunker Marianne Rodgers and Masque were his prisoners guarded by Machinesmith. Iron Man returned to Avengers Mansion to the mysterious sub-basement door. The door opened and Neut stepped out to attack Iron Man. Neut fled after Iron Man used his glove to fly Neut's lance back through the door. Iron Man visited the Avengers at Van Dyne's Southampton Estate and immediately ran into an angry Janet Van Dyne, who confronted him about bankrupting her. Seeing nobody present believed him to be innocent Iron Man just left. Later Black Widow received a call from Hawkeye, who asked her to meet with him, War Machine and USAgent.

(Avengers I#392) - Iron Man overlooked sealing off Avengers Mansion, but the structure collapsed before it was finished. Iron Man, Vision and Giant-Man went to the sub-basement where Marilla was murdered near the door. Giant-Man found some tech and Iron Man took it from him. Iron Man vowed to find Marilla's murderer. At the Adirondacks home Swordsman encountered the Elder Cotati (in his Swordsman form; actually another damn Space Phantom). Vision soon arrived to aid the Swordsmen against Malachi and Tobias, who were teleported in by teenage Luna. Meanwhile Tony realized he had taken the tech-thingy with him and once again blacked out. This time he came to his senses in a white room where Mantis told him he had to kill Luna (the child) because she had seen him kill Yellowjacket (DeMara). Tony cried because he didn't want to kill the little girl. At the Adirondacks Tuc wanted to help Vision, Swordsman and the Elder Cotati, but a Priest of Pama held him back because it wasn't Tuc's time yet to do something. Tobias and Malachi had their enemies beaten when teenage Luna told them they had to return home immediately because she couldn't maintain the temportal any longer. Malachi took his brother and the Elder Cotati and rushed through teenage Luna's temportal back home to Limbo. Arriving there Mantis welcomed them and her hated former consort Elder Cotati (actually only the original Mantis and Elder Cotati were together, but the Space Phantoms thought they were them.....poor creatures!).

(Force Works#18) - Scarlet Witch, Fisher, Moonraker and Spider-Woman survived their crash and started an expedition in Vietnam. Apocryphus and his Anachronauts watched them. At the Works Rachel revealed to Cybermancer and Amanda Chaney that she knew about Vietnam's existence unlike them and was shocked when she couldn't find any evidence for its existence. At the Mesa Viento Airstrip Black Widow met with Hawkeye, War Machine and USAgent to talk about Stark tampering with the evidence to frame Hawkeye. Somewhere else (presumably the Arctic Bunker) Stark asked his masters (presumably Mantis) to deploy a sanction team to take out Black Widow and her allies before they found proof for his involvement in faking evidence against Hawkeye. Strike Team Decimal Four was sent out to deal with them. Moonraker and his team found the Temple of Agaphaur and Moonraker remembered his former life as Mantis' father Gustav Brandt aka. Libra (he is not Libra.....he is still just a brainwashed Space Phantom). When Apocryphus and the Anachronauts attacked them Moonraker wasn't much help at first. At the Works Amanda started to wonder about Moonraker's past with the team and found with Plato's help a sub-basement filled with high level temporal radiation. Amanda took the elevator to the sub-basement where she was greeted by Virgil, the sub-basements counterpart to Plato. In Vietnam Fisher ran into Kim and saw him mutating and attacking two Anachronauts. Moonraker finally came to his senses, knocked out Apocryphus and put the other Anachronauts to flight.

(War Machine I#21) - Deathunt 9000 and Strike Team Decimal Four arrived nearby the Mesa Viento Airstrip and assaulted Black Widow, USAgent and Black Widow. War Machine saved his friends after returning from reconnaissance. Deathunt 9000 opened a temportal to flee before War Machine could interrogate him. Though War Machine decided they should find a new hideout Hawkeye had other plans and stole their Quinjet to confront Iron Man.

(Iron Man I#323) - Hawkeye attacked Iron Man, who had just taken down some hijackers near San Diego Harbor. They agreed that neither believed the other to be a murderer and headed together to the other Avengers. At Stark's Arctic Bunker Marianne and Masque were still guarded by Machinesmith, who contacted Stark to tell him that everything was OK. Arriving at Van Dyne's Southampton Estate everyone was happy to see Hawkeye (nobody cared much for Iron Man at this point). At the bunker Masque and Marianne attacked Machinesmith, who shot Marianne with a taser (she was dressed as Masque), but he got his neck broken by Masque (dressed as Marianne). The latter escaped the bunker (BTW Machinesmith is a robot and got better). At the Van Dyne residence Luna was still scared of Iron Man (and nobody realized it), who allowed Pym to use his Image Inducer on him. Stark's memories showed nothing unusual, but when the device was used on Luna, the Avengers finally witnessed Yellowjacket's murder by Stark's hand. With his status as murderer revealed Iron Man threatened to kill all of them. In Limbo Mantis laughed.

(Iron Man I#324 (fb) - BTS) - Masque made it to a Norwegian listening post and stole their transport plane to get to Southampton.

(Avengers I#393) - Kang returned to Limbo with his Border Patrol and brought bad news (their beautiful land was threatened by someone, who wasn't there actually). Kang wasn't happy (Going by the retcon he probably had a good laugh dealing with with the brainwashed Space Phantoms because he is Immortus.) with Mantis' actions against Elder Cotati and then sent Malachi and Tobias to Earth-616 to retrieve their operative Iron Man, who had been revealed as the traitor amongst the Avengers. On Earth at Van Dyne's estate Iron Man flipped out and attacked all Avengers present. He nearly slew the Wasp with a repulsor blast through the chest, but before Giant-Man could take him out in retaliation teenage Luna and the twins appeared and opened a temportal for Iron Man to escape. Pym brought Wasp to his lab to save her. Meanwhile Tuc appeared, knocked out Crystal and Quicksilver (his "parents"...at least he believed them to be his parents) and abducted Luna (his "sister", same deal as with his parents) to bring her to a safer time and place. In Pym's lab he caused some unexpected results with his methods to save Wasp, who ended up in a cocoon (a mere side effect according to Pym). Back upstairs in the ruins of Van Dyne's estate Quicksilver and Crystal awakened and Masque crashed a plane into the estate causing even more damage. She came there to tell everyone that they had to stop Iron Man (Duh!).

(Force Works#19) - In Limbo a shocked Iron Man looked at his hand and told Kang that the Avengers knew he was the murderer. Kang blamed Mantis for this because she wanted revenge on the Avengers (Immortus really played his part as Kang well...not). Kang then told Stark that they had to secure the temportal beachhead on Earth-616 within days and not years like they had originally planned. Stark needed a temportal to the Works immediately to start working on it. At the Works Rachel searched for everyone else. Amanda wandered through the sub-basement when Stark temportaled in. She ran away from him when he acted violent and called for help after finding Suzi Endo trapped inside a cryogenic chamber. Rachel received her call, but couldn't do anything to save Amanda from Iron Man, who killed Amanda. Stark activated the Works' "Siege Perilous" protocol to power up, engage the chronographic array and establish a systems link with Stark's Starcore Station. Hawkeye contacted War Machine, Black Widow and USAgent from Southampton to inform them that Stark was after all the murderer. War Machine flew to the Works immediately to check if Stark was there. In Vietnam Moonraker explained his origin and Kang's plans to Scarlet Witch and Spider-Woman. The latter was angry at Moonraker for playing games with her. When Fisher brought Kim to the group Moonraker explained that Kim was one of the few people hyper-evolved by the chronographic effect (other humans would just die according to Moonraker....I call bullshit on this revelation). Moonraker asked for an Anachronaut's Temporal Activator to timeport them back to Earth and told the others they should leave Kim behind for now. At the Works Century returned from his voyage through space and lacking any knowledge of recent events believed Iron Man that everyone else was evil and that they were trying to kill Iron Man. When Iron Man activated his weapons in an attempt to slay Rhodes and the innocent child Rachel, Century realized Iron Man was the real threat and turned on him, but before he could go after Iron Man he was assaulted by Iron Man's ally Cybermancer. Century teleported Rachel to safety while Rhodes activated his Eidolon Warwear armor to fight Iron Man.

(War Machine I#22) - War Machine kicked Iron Man's ass, but didn't kill him even though he had the chance to. Meanwhile Century found Amanda's corpse in the sub-basement and was once again attacked by Cybermancer, who he knocked out eventually. Iron Man escaped before Black Widow and USAgent arrived at the Works. Moonraker's team returned to the Works as well. Century teleported Black Widow and Moonraker to the other Avengers while War Machine and the remaining members of Force Works stayed at the Works to confront the sub-basement's artificial intelligence Virgil and stop it from activating Stark's chronographic weapon. Virgil fought back with the Works' defensive hard-light constructs (Quote:"Defense Command Mordred in operation. Vacate this area immediately, or you will be destroyed.")

(Iron Man I#324) - Iron Man repaired Machinesmith at his Arctic Bunker. Marianne watched him and nearly got through to Stark. In Southampton Century, Black Widow and Moonraker met with the other Avengers and Masque.

(Force Works#20) - Cybermancer and Virgil sent hard-light constructs against Force Works to stop them from stopping Stark's plans.

(Iron Man I#324) - Scarlet Witch contacted them to inform them about Stark's latest murder (Amanda Chaney) and how they were trying their best to stop the chronographic weapon's activation. Pym was still working on saving the Wasp, who was still in her cocoon. Century teleported Crystal, Moonraker and Vision to Stark's Arctic Bunker to attack him, but they failed to infiltrate the bunker and were instead nearly slain by it's defensive systems. While teleporting back to Southampton, Moonraker was abducted by teenage Luna from the teleportation corridor and brought to Limbo.

(Avengers I#394) - In Limbo Moonraker was tortured and Mantis liked it (because she hated her daddy...not her real one, but the one playing the part...whatever). Teenage Luna saved Moonraker and escaped with him to Earth. Neut, Malachi, Tobias and some soldiers failed to stop them, angering Mantis. On Earth Wasp's cocoon transformed while the other Avengers learned from Black Panther that Wakanda's science wasn't good enough to penetrate Iron Man's bunker. Teenage Luna appeared with Moonraker to everyone's delight until Neut appeared as well to take her and Moonraker down. The Avengers once again proved ineffective against Neut, who defeated them all. Teenage Luna sacrificed her life to save her "parents" Crystal and Quicksilver from a deadly blast by Neut. Before dying she told them to travel back into the past and that further info was in Hercules' mind. Seconds later Neut was shot in the back by Wasp, who emerged from the cocoon in a mutated, more insectoid form. With Neut caught Masque suggested to do what teenage Luna had told them to do.

(Force Works#20) - At the Works War Machine and Spider-Woman outsmarted Virgil and Cybermancer by going through the main cooling system to reach the sub-basement. They beat Cybermancer, but Virgil was too tough for them. Meanwhile Plato aided Scarlet Witch and USAgent to initialize a temportal to the sub-basement where they immediately destroyed Virgil's mainframe. When they realized the trigger device for the chronographic weapon was still armed War Machine left for outer space to destroy Stark's Starcore Station, which contained the weapon. The others left to rendezvous with the Avengers.

(War Machine I#23) - War Machine flew to Stark's Starcore Station and was surprised that it was already completed. War Machine ran into Skye, who revealed that Rhodes finding the Warwear was no coincidence. Dirge, a Kang ally, now working for Kang tried to protect the satellite from War Machine. Skye was fatally wounded during the battle, but ultimately Dirge failed to defend the station when War Machine destroyed Dirge's Warwear, which exploded, destroying the station and slaying Dirge. War Machine escaped with Skye, who died in space due to her wounds.

(Avengers: Timeslide) - The Avengers attacked Avengers Mansion to get to the temportal in its sub-basement, but Anachronauts led by Malachi and Tobias held them back. When they finally broke through the Anachronauts' ranks after glimpsing Yellowjacket (DeMara) for a second Hercules ripped the door open and Century guided Jarvis, Captain America, Vision and Black Widow with Parallax to the right point in time to Earth-96020 where Cap, Widow and Jarvis arrived right in front of a younger Edwin Jarvis though they suffered from temporal amnesia and couldn't remember why they came to this time period. Tobias got through time as well and attempted his best to stop Earth-616's heroes. Vision, suffering from amnesia as well (What?), was found by Matt Murdock. Tony was still rebellious on this world and both his parents were alive. Jarvis took his younger self, Cap and the Widow back to the Stark's home, the future Avengers Mansion, where the heroes attempted to remember what they were doing on this world. Tobias soon kidnapped Howard and Maria Stark and escaped with them despite the Avengers' interference. Teen Tony used his watch to trace his mother's amulet (it was created by Tony with a holographic picture of him inside it) and joined the Avengers to safe his parents. Headed to Latveria, where Tobias tried to return to Earth-616 through Doom's Time Platform, Tobias viciously fought Doom's army. When the Avengers and Teen Tony arrived, their battle with Tobias led to the deaths of Tony's parents. Malachi appeared out of nowhere and took his brother Tobias back to Limbo. Teen Tony willingly joined the Avengers to help them stop Malachi and Tobias and assisted by Dr. Doom himself the Avengers returned to their timeline and reality.

(Iron Man I#325) - Taken to Stark's home Earth-96020's Tony Stark found something new to explore each second. Hawkeye and Masque watched his progress. In the Arctic Bunker Stark brooded while Mantis told Malachi more about her (fake) history. Meanwhile Kang and Tobias had combat training against Anachronauts. Mantis suddenly left to take the temportal to Tony's bunker to comfort him. At Avengers Mansion the temportal in the sub-basement was gone and apparently was never there in the first place according to sensor readings. When the Avengers tried to join Teen Tony, Hawkeye and Masque on their mission to the Arctic Bunker they were stopped by Mandroids led by Gyrich, who has had enough of the Avengers after the recent battles at Avengers Mansion (this came out of nowhere and had to do with absolutely nothing). Meanwhile Teen Tony and his allies broke into the bunker after going through Machinesmith and its defenses (the door opened because only Tony could open it and Teen Tony was still Tony and the bunker recognized him as Tony). Century appeared in NYC to open a portal for the Avengers to the Arctic Bunker where Iron Man was already fighting his younger self, Hawkeye, Masque and Marianne Rodgers. Donning one of Iron Man's armors Teen Tony joined the battle actively, but Iron Man ripped through Teen Tony's armor and when he realized that he was fighting, his smug, younger self Tony punched teen Tony through the chest...seconds before the Avengers arrived. Crystal flash-froze Teen Tony to save him by putting him into stasis. Iron Man was temportaled away while "Kang," his "family" and the Anachronauts arrived for the final battle against the Avengers at the Arctic Bunker.

(Avengers I#395) - While the Avengers and several allies had their big battle against Kang and his forces the Arctic Bunker transformed into Kang's chronographic beachhead. Crystal stabilized Teen Tony and Vision became intangible to let his heart temporarily serve as Teen Tony's. Meanwhile the others fought Kang's forces while Kang primed his temporal transposer for activation. In Limbo Iron Man freed Elder Cotati from prison and they joined forces against the guards. While Kang, surrounded by a gigantic hard-light construct, fought the Avengers, Iron Man and Elder Cotati took a temportal back to the Arctic Bunker. Arriving there they saw the Avengers failing to stop Kang's temporal transposer, which they accidentally fed with more energy. Iron Man decided to sacrifice himself to stop Kang by reflecting the transposer's energies to destroy the device with its own powers. Iron Man's plan worked and Kang and Mantis teleported away spouting threats about how this reality wasn't save any longer (it was a big hoax, nothing ever happened). The citadel faded and suddenly the Avengers were back in the Temple of Agaphaur (don't ask me how they got there). Iron Man was dead, Elder Cotati was dead and Tuc returned Luna to her parents. Scarlet Witch arrived with a hex-ship to bring everyone back home. THE END!

Comments: Created by Bob Harras, Terry Kavanagh, Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning (writers) and around a million pencillers and inkers.

This profile deals with the prequel and actual Crossing event....not the aftermath in Force Works (Cybermancer's allies coming to Earth-616 through the temportal and the destruction of Cybermancer's timeline) and Iron Man: Age of Innocence (Teen Tony was saved and became the new Iron Man). Despite that it includes the retcon from Avengers Forever#8, which made this story so much more.....I'm searching for a word and it is definitely not better because the retcon made so many characters' actions even less sensible than they were originally. It may have saved Mantis as a character and freed Scarlet Witch's twins from becoming Kang's evil henchmen, but aside from that it just made the story so much more less significant.

Important background info on some of the characters that later turned out to be Space Phantoms was given in Avengers Unplugged#2-3 (November, 1995 - February, 1996). Without the info we would've never known that Tuc's father was not Quicksilver.

Who was the threat Kang was referring to? I read online that it was meant to be Mantis' son the Celestial Messiah...that teenage brat later used and seen in Avengers: Celestial Quest...Quoi. Remember him? Nobody does these days! It kind of makes sense with the good guys being the Elder Cotati, Gustav Brandt and the Priests of Pama and the evil Mantis' whole shtick working against them.

Who is not who they were originally after the Avengers Forever#8 retcon?

Victims: The dead and not so dead (but significantly damaged):

Due to the Avengers Forever retcon the Crossing was about absolutely nothing! Before the retcon it was about cleaning up the Avengers franchise and setting the stage for future storylines (that never happened) and about returning Iron Man to a more innocent state as a teenager. It was convoluted, often made no sense and in the end too many mysteries were left open without any payoff.

Regarding the mysterious door in Avengers Mansion:
In Avengers I#374 the captions already suggested it might be more than a simple mistake that an alternate reality Avengers Mansion, including the transtemporal door, replaced their destroyed headquarters when Ute the Watcher cleared up the mess left by Proctor.
It would have been easy for Immortus to shut the ruined headquarters out of time at the moment of Ute's reconstruction wave (a feat he's accomplished before, in Avengers Forever#1 for instance).
And seeing as Limbo touches on any and all timelines, it would have been child's play to "steal" a mansion, have it outfitted with the door and move it in place while nobody was watching (or frozen in time).
It stands to reason Immortus would plant this seed of his eventual masterplan a few months before the actual scheme started. After all, as the Space Phantom stated in Avengers Forever#8: a man who does not know he has been meddled with, does not fight back.
--Norvo

Nathan Adler comments:
There are a few things worth noting about the original crossover.

While Malachi & Tobias were obviously intended as the sons of Vision, their solar eyebeams possessed a creepy similarity to the android who cried, I wondered if their mother was intended to be Mantis and not Wanda? While Kang referred to them throughout the crossover as his adopted sons, at no point did "She Who is This One"!
    (Markus Raymond: I actually never thought about that! Sounds reasonable looking at the issues themselves. Retcon children with Vision for Mantis!

The continuity implant from Avengers Forever series that Kang's allies were a bunch of Space Phantoms just doesn't work. Take for instance the powers of Space Phantoms. When Space Phantoms returned to Limbo it was regularly pointed out that they always materialized in the exact location their subject had been shunted to there, something never shown in either The Crossing or Avengers Forever for ANY of the characters they were revealed to be masquerading as; and in fact The Crossing regularly showed Luna, Malachi & Tobias, Elder Cotati/Swordsman and Mantis stepping directly back into Limbo through portals from Earth with nary a subject in sight. If this wasn't enough, you'll find a scene in Iron Man I#325 where Kang joined his adopted son, Tobias, in a rigorous combat training session, and only the two of them were present. At the end of it, Kang berated Tobias for being too soft and unprepared to be a fit heir to him...Well, if they actually were Immortus and a Space Phantom, why in hell would they keep on pretending under such circumstances, with nobody to fool around?!
    (Markus Raymond: To keep the retcon alive this could be explained by saying the Space Phantoms were brainwashed and mutated by Immortus and not even aware they were Space Phantoms anymore and that they could transform into other beings without a proper template and the usual Limbo swap. Immortus himself was probably just playing along with them to keep them in-character. The problem with retcons....retroactively explaining why certain characters acted the way they did when the original story was published. I hear there were a few ill-conceived Spider-Man titles that tried really hard to become canon only to be ignored since then: Chapter One and Trouble)

While The Crossing unfortunately ended up a disaster for all the reasons we know (but also I suspect in part, due to the Heroes Reborn reboot) it raised some fascinating plot points, including:

  1. Why Kang was opposing the Elder Cotati and the Priests of Pama - and married to Mantis - when in Fantastic Four I#325 he was allied with them against her.
  2. Why for that matter would Kang be intent on erasing Vietnam from history when this was his new wife's birthplace, the location of the Temple of Agaphaur where she trained to become the Celestial Madonna, and most important of all where his agent, Tony Stark, became Iron Man?

        While attempts to address this occurred in Avengers I#395 when Mantis revealed she joined Kang "to take revenge on the Vision for spurning her for the Scarlet Witch, driving her to marry the Cotati Swordsman and giving birth to the Celestial Messiah", why did she show no signs of being pissed at him, or Wanda for that matter, when they were teammates in West Coast Avengers? The last time we'd seen her (i.e. Fantastic Four I#325 and Fantastic Four Annual I#25) she was intent on getting her son BACK from the Elder Cotati, so the seeds were obviously planted there for her turning against them. But why regret conceiving her son and go on to join Kang who had most recently been their ally? (Markus Raymond: Mantis had been an inconsistent b***h for years. I remember her hanging around with Silver Surfer at one point....oh right, another retcon....this was actually a plant-version of her. Nobody really knows what to do with "This One")
  3. At the time it made me wonder whether it all alternatively suggested that Mantis had approached Kang after Fantastic Four I#325, offering herself in place of his beloved Ravonna, in return for him wiping out all traces of her life, including the Temple of Agaphaur, DuQuesne, etc. (the deal also perhaps including Kang rewriting her history so she had conceived children to the Vision instead, since it was pretty obvious that's who Malachi and Tobias were intended as and not Thomas and William as most fans thought at the time).     The only problem this raises is why Kang would switch sides to become her ally, or marry her for that matter, when she would attempt to undo the birth of the Celestial Messiah, or more recently undo her marriage to him and end up with the Vision after all!?
  4. Then there's the still unresolved plot point from Force Works#18, a chapter of The Crossing storyline constructed in 1995 under the auspices of then-Avengers group editor, Mark Gruenwald, which has Suzi Endo and Rachel Carpenter (Spider-Woman's daughter) discovering temporal radiation emanating from a previously-unknown sub-basement containing Virgil, a "global chronography analysis and control suite" created by Timely Industries, a company founded by Tony Stark in 2009. We know "Victor Timely" to be one of Kang the Conqueror's aliases from the early 20th Century. That is, in Avengers Annual I#21, written by Gruenwald, Kang journeyed back to January 1, 1901 to found the town of Timely in Wisconsin under this same alias, slowly releasing technological innovations through Timely Industries. If Timely Industries wasn't founded until 2009, it must have been constructed to exist in numerous time periods at once, an anachronism back in 1901. While this is somewhat head-exploding, and a really awesome concept, the corollary that should really bake every continuity nerd's noodle out there is that Mark Gruenwald not only had KANG THE CONQUEROR revealed to have founded Timely Industries but had TONY STARK revealed as founding this same company. Gruenwald, whose particular remit was keeper of continuity NEVER made these sorts of errors so he must have intended to retcon Kang's identity as Nathaniel Richards and reveal that Tony Stark eventually went on to become Kang. The question then becomes if Tony was so obsessed with preventing people from using his technology in Armor Wars, why would he then go to the trouble of going back in time to foment Marvel's technological revolution from 1901?

As for why and how the Celestial Messiah became the menace Kang & Co. claim, how does he come to be such a threat to TIME (and where does Alioth fit into all this)?
   (Markus Raymond: Wasn't Alioth already fighting an eternal fight with Tempus at this point.....or not....time travel. And the Celestial Messiah is a threat in my book to time because he is a jerk.....oh that is not an explanation, but he is a stupid teenaged jerk)

Then there's the question of how the Gatherers plot tied into all this considering it was during this tale that the Watcher called forth by Proctor restored the Avengers Mansion but with the mysterious door in its basement. The mansion was identical to the lost one (Beast even found his lost Mickey Mantle baseball card) except for some minor changes like computer settings and Quinjet codes which suggested the mansion came from a parallel universe. This then raises the issue of whether the door was already in that mansion before Ute brought it to Earth, whether Kang chose to place the door there at that time, or whether the Gatherers coming to Earth was also Kang-related. If so, how/ why?!
   (Markus Raymond: This is one of the most interesting parts of the whole crossover and how the previous events inexplicably tied in to the Crossing, but we will probably never get an answer.

Then there's the question of Proctor's tale highlighting the issue originally introduced in Avengers I#2 that two alternative versions of the same character couldn't exist for long in the same reality, when Space Phantom duplicated someone that subject was transported immediately to Limbo. Where could it have led for the specific purposes of this plot?
   (Markus Raymond: A lot of dying and erasing of alternate versions until only one was left standing.)

Moonraker/Slade Truman joining Force Works and later being revealed to have been taken over by Gustav Brandt/Libra, how and why? He kept unknowingly negating events that had already happened (similar to adult-Luna doing so when she earlier appeared to Hercules). How could this tie in? Who else do we know capable of negating events? If both were opposed to Kang, and working for his enemy, does this suggest it was Immortus if the events were then being erased? If so, who was Immortus working for?
   (Markus Raymond: Moonraker and Luna's actions didn't help much at all. They just pissed off other characters by not telling them the truth from the start. Thinking about it, if they really tried they could have prevented every death during the Crossing, or not!? If Immortus was originally meant to be opposing Kang during the Crossing from BTS he was probably working, like so many times before, for the Time-Keepers.

Why did Neut kill Gilgamesh? If Gilgamesh had been training Kang's army surely he would have known how important it was to hide this from the Avengers also! So why kill him for this?
   (Markus Raymond: Gilgamesh started feeling bad when he realized that training the army of an archenemy of his teammates could result in something bad. Gilgamesh's actions were stupid and his execution was handled poorly by Team Kang.

Profile by Markus Raymond.

CLARIFICATIONS:

The Crossing should not be confused with:


images: (without ads)
Blockbusters of the Marvel Universe#1, p10, Crossing image (main image)
Avengers Forever#8, p21, pan6 (Immortus & Space Phantoms transforming)
Avengers: The Crossing, p10, pan1-4 (Iron Man kills Yellowjacket/DeMara)
Avengers I#391, p18, pan4 (Gilgamesh dies)
Force Works#17, p15, pan4 (Cybermancer blasts Hawkeye)
Force Works#18, p22 (Moonraker=Gustav Brandt....actually a Space Phantom posing as Brandt)
Avengers I#393, p9, pan1 (Iron Man blasts Janet Van Dyne)
Force Works#19, p2, pan4 (House of Kang with Iron Man)
Avengers: Timeslide, p44, pan8 (Earth-96020: Maria Stark dies in Tony Stark's arms)
Iron Man I#325, p37, pan2 (Iron Man nearly kills Earth-96020's Iron Man)
Avengers I#395, p19, pan4 (Avengers vs Kang's temporal transposer)
Avengers I#395, p22, pan4 (Iron Man dies)


Appearances:
Iron Man I#319 (August, 1995) - Terry Kavanagh (writer), Tom Morgan (artist), Nel Yomtov (editor)
Force Works#15 (September, 1995) - Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning (writers), Jim Cheung (pencils), Rey Garcia (inks), Nel Yomtov (editor)
Avengers I#390 (September, 1995) - Bob Harras (story/script), Terry Kavanagh (story), Mike Deodato (pencils), Tom Palmer (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Avengers: The Crossing (September, 1995) - Bob Harras & Terry Kavanagh (writers), Mike Deodato (artist), Ralph Macchio (editor)
War Machine I#18 (September-October, 1995) - Dan Abnett (writer), Fred Haynes (pencils), Johnny Greene (inks), Nel Yomtov (editor)
Iron Man I#320 (September, 1995) - Terry Kavanagh (writer), Heitor Oliveira & Adriana Melo (pencils), Mark McKenna (inks), Nel Yomtov (editor)
Force Works#16 (October, 1995) - Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning (writers), Jim Cheung (pencils), Rey Garcia (inks), Nel Yomtov (editor)
Avengers I#391 (October, 1995) - Bob Harras (story/script), Terry Kavanagh (story), Mike Deodato (pencils), Tom Palmer (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Iron Man I#321 (October, 1995) - Terry Kavanagh (writer), Heitor Oliveira & Marcos Tetelli (pencils), Mark McKenna (inks), Nel Yomtov (editor)
Force Works#17 (November, 1995) - Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning (writers), Jim Cheung (pencils), Rey Garcia (inks), Nel Yomtov (editor)
War Machine I#20 (November, 1995) - Dan Abnett (writer), Fred Haynes (pencils), Johnny Greene (inks), Nel Yomtov (editor)
Iron Man I#322 (November, 1995) - Terry Kavanagh (writer), Jimmy Cheung & Heitor Oliveira (pencils), Mark McKenna & Hector Collazo (inks), Nel Yomtov (editor)
Avengers I#392 (November, 1995) - Bob Harras & Terry Kavanagh (writers), M.C. Wyman (pencils), Tom Palmer (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Force Works#18 (December, 1995) - Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning (writers), Yancey Labat (pencils), Rey Garcia (inks), Nel Yomtov (editor)
War Machine I#21 (December, 1995) - Dan Abnett (writer), Fred Haynes & Sandu Florea (pencils), Greene, Palmiotti & Florea (inks), Nel Yomtov (editor)
Iron Man I#323 (December, 1995) - Terry Kavanagh (plot), Dan Abnett (writer), Heitor Oliveira, Jimmy Cheung & Yancey Labat (pencils), Rey Garcia & Mark McKenna (inks), Nel Yomtov (editor)
Force Works#19 (January, 1996) - Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning (writers), Heitor Oliveira (pencils), Glass House Graphics & Rey Garcia (inks), Nel Yomtov (editor)
War Machine I#22 (January, 1996) - Dan Abnett (writer), Fred Haynes & Yancey Labat (pencils), Johnny Greene & Jim Palmiotti (inks), Nel Yomtov (editor)
Iron Man I#324 (January, 1996) - Terry Kavanagh (plot), Dan Abnett (writer), Jim Calafiore & Marc Bright (pencils), P.L. Palmiotti, Moncuse, Cariello & DeLaRosa (inks), Nel Yomtov (editor)
Force Works#20 (February, 1996) - Dan Abnett & Andy Lanning (writers), Heitor Oliveira (pencils), Glass House Graphics & Rey Garcia (inks), Nel Yomtov (editor)
War Machine I#23 (February, 1996) - Dan Abnett (writer), Yancey Labat & Fred Haynes (pencils), Rey Garcia & Johnny Greene (inks), Nel Yomtov (editor)
Avengers: Timeslide (February, 1996) - Bob Harras & Terry Kavanagh (story), Bob Harras (script), Roger Cruz, Luke Ross, Fabio LagunaFrank Toscana, Manny Clark & Oclair Albhert (pencils), Scott Koblish & Rene Micheletti (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)
Iron Man I#325 (February, 1996) - Terry Kavanagh (plot), Dan Abnett (writer), Jim Calafiore & Hector Collazo (pencils), Marc McKenna, P.L. Palmiotti, Ralph Cabrera & Hector Collazo (inks), Nel Yomtov (editor)
Avengers I#395 (February, 1996) - Bob Harras & Terry Kavanagh (story), Terry Kavanagh (script), Mike Deodato (pencils), Emir Ribeiro & Mike Deodato (inks), Ralph Macchio (editor)


Last updated: 10/17/13.

Any Additions/Corrections? please let me know.

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