Night and Fog
Credits: Scott Lobdell (writer), John Romita, Jr. (penciler), Dan Green (inker), Chris Eliopoulos (letterer), Bucccellato/Somers (colorists)
The Black Widow tells the UN that the Avengers will no longer deal with politics. In Genosha, Xavier stops the human soldiers holding sickly Mutates in a concentration camp. Sersi continues to fight Exodus, until Black Knight convinces her to stop before she causes more collateral damage. The X-Men find a group of humans slaughtered by the Mutates. Quicksilver and Jean Grey discover the Scarlet Witch and Crystal while searching for Fabian Cortez. Cortez appears, holding Luna hostage. When Exodus enters, a frightened Cortez tells Quicksilver and Crystal to kill Exodus if they want their baby to live.
Black Knight recognizes Exodus, but doesn’t remember from where.
This issue is essentially the same as the previous two chapters, except now John Romita, Jr. is drawing it. Most of this issue is dedicated to Sersi fighting Exodus, a fight that doesn’t advance the story and just ends in a draw. Exodus was a new villain at this point and Marvel really wanted to push the idea that he’s extremely powerful, but spending so many pages on a fight with just one Avenger is a strange way to go about it. Sersi, as far as I can tell, had never appeared in an X-comic before. There’s no explanation of her powers, what an “Eternal” is, or why her fight with Exodus can cause so much damage. I think I had read maybe one or two Avengers issues with Sersi before this crossover, and I just remember her throwing parties and acting ditzy. Her costume also looked like a one-piece bikini with fur trim on it, which is always an indication of how supremely powerful a character is.
As a kid, I remember being confused by this storyline, specifically this issue. I think I didn’t fully understand the Avengers’ relationship with the UN, and maybe the “civil war” aspect of the story wasn’t properly explained, because I couldn’t figure out which side the X-Men were on. There are still some aspects that just don’t make a lot of sense, like Fabian Cortez’s role in the civil war. The explanation given in this issue is that Cortez incited the violence in Genosha in order to hide out from Magneto. He provoked a civil war between humans and mutants, kidnapped Magneto’s granddaughter, and bragged about it on international television…to hide from Magneto? We’re supposed to take this blithering idiot seriously as a villain?