Contest of Champions II #5 (October 1999)

Title: VICTORY!
Story: Chris Claremont
Art: Oscar Jiminez & Michael Ryan

Summary: Having selected Earth's mightiest heroes (Phoenix, Hulk, Capt. America, Gambit, Spidey, Thor & the Scarlet Witch) through a contest of skill & power, the Brood queen exults in her victory! She has possessed the X-Man Rogue's body and uses her natural mutant absorption powers to drain the powers of the assembled champions.

Just as she does so, the Imperiatrix is attacked by a collection of heroes who have defeated the nanite technology that made them her pawns. However, this group is no match for the combined powers & skills of the final champions which are the Brood Queen's to command. Just as the group begins to make some headway against the Brood-possessed Rogue, the team of freed heroes consisting of Shadowcat, Rosetta Stone, & Warbird manage to tap into the devices which will send the stolen heroes back to Earth. Enraged that her carefully-laid plans are falling apart, the Brood Queen (still in Rogue's form) attacks the heroines!

What follows is a battle that all Carol fans have been waiting for!!! As Kitty Pryde & Rosetta Stone work to free the remaining heroes, Carol Danvers faces two of her greatest enemies rolled into one. While the Brood Queen's power matches Warbird's, this climactic battle proves that Carol is the superior fighter, with years of training and experience to back her power! Carol defeats the Brood-possessed Rogue, unleashing years of pent-up anger in what Kitty dubs "Cathartic Therapy!" The Brood Queen gloats that she still possesses the body of Rogue and Warbird threatens to kill them both if that's what it tkaes to end her evil once and for all. Realizing that Warbird is not bluffing, the Brood Queen flees. Warbird wins a clear victory over both Rogue & the Brood Queen.

Upon their return to Earth, Warbird & Rogue share a parting moment. Carol admits to Rogue that she will never like her given their history but that her years as an X-Man & heroine have earned her respect and a measure of trust. Carol takes the first major step towards reconciling with Rogue and admits that forgivenness is a possibility.

Comments: This issue creates some resolution to the long emnity between Rogue & Carol. It also hints that the two still share a connection on some sort of primal level.


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