On the front cover, we see an image of Colossus soaked in red light, holding between his palms the glowing orb representing the Breakworld… we had learned he holds the intent to destroy this alien planet in the previous issue, when he admitted this to AGENT ABIGAIL BRAND, the leader of S.W.O.R.D., while on a spacecraft headed for the Breakworld itself.
Agent Brand revealed to the X-Men aboard her starship, that a missile launcher was assembled on the Breakworld, possibly on one of its moons, which held the capacity to split the earth in half. She had recruited the X-Men to prevent this from occurring, but at the end of the previous issue, a Breakworld spacecraft armada sent by their heinous dictatorial tyrant, POWERLORD KRUUN, began firing rockets at the S.W.O.R.D. starship the X-Men were aboard! What will become of our heroes? Let’s read on to find out…
…in Astonishing X-Men #20…
On the first page, we hear a conversation between Brand and a member of her flight crew, examining their chances for survival. “Time to the Breakworld?” “Fourteen minutes to clean orbit.” “Time till the ship is shredded?” “A lot less.”
The team ejects from the starship on two smaller splinter vessels, in an attempt to escape their hellish, fiery doom. The plan is to rendezvous in an ancient Breakworld tomb, The Palace of the Corpse. Agent Brand wants to ensure that the prophecy where Colossus destroys the planet be avoided… or not…
“So we convince them the prophecy is wrong… or we make damn sure it comes true.”
So meanwhile, while on the splinter ship, Beast, Brand, Cyclops, and White Queen are seen sitting sipping tea in a neatly furnished room in the Astral Plane. It then becomes imminent that the X-Men and Agent Brand dive to land on the Breakworld, as their splinter ship has been struck by more fire from Kruun’s Armada! They dive from the fiery wreckage toward the land below…
Then, Colossus and Kitty land with a *THUD!* in the middle of a circle of Breakworld citizens. The rest of the team lands nearby… and they climb up a rocky hill to directly find the tomb at which their rendezvous point was set: The Palace of the Corpse, with open-air catacombs stretching the length of definitely more than one football field.
Next, we cut to a spacecraft hangar, where Powerlord Kruun chats with his assistant. It has been reported that Colossus sunk into the earth shortly after his bombastic landing with Kitty. Then Kruun goes to a captive for advice. The captive says only Kitty is in the earth, due to her mutant ability to walk through solid matter intangibly. Colossus is above earth still, the captive then reports. Kruun orders the assistant to capture the team, kill only the necessary examples, and garner important information from the rest. We then see an assault squad preparing to find and attempt to capture the X-Men and S.W.O.R.D. squad.
Some of the S.W.O.R.D. crew plan to move to a different site, outside the city, where it is more safe. They send out Kitty’s pet dragon to do reconnaissance.
Next, we see Armor find Logan in a ruined temple, his skin smoking, charred from the fiery crash landing. “That Armor’s pretty damn impressive. Hit the ground without a scratch. Can’t say the same for my face,” he says to her.
They continue talking, and Hisako says she has a chemistry test Wednesday. This is the point where she decides what her X-Men code-name will be:
“Is it taken?”
“I don’t think so. It’ll work for a name. Kinda on the nose.”
“Well it gets to the point.”
“Yeah, it’s very direct — I’m thinking of calling myself ‘Claws’”.
“Shut up and let me heal.”
She goes out of the ruins to check the street, and on the next page we see a panel of Kitty and Colossus, easily collapsing the few guards who were sent by Kruun to capture them. Kitty tells Colossus they have to move on to the tomb, and they discuss the ‘prophecy’ that he will destroy the Breakworld. She says it is really only his to decide, despite what the augurs had prophecied earlier.
Last frame of this issue:
We see Cyclops, Emma, Beast, and Brand, staring up at a giant mosaic mural, which appears to be a rather Cubist impression of Colossus holding the Sun in one hand, and crushing the Breakworld in his other hand.
Will Colossus indeed destroy the Breakworld? Stay tuned for my next installment of The Briefcase Collection Files, a review on Astonishing X-Men #21.
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