In Paris, a team of mutants attempts to protect the emergency peace talks designed to deescalate the tensions driving the US and USSR to nuclear war. Their aid is turned aside by the human soldiers guarding the talks, but they set up to monitor the area anyway. Magneto tells them that they should not think like humans. Apocalypse will surely use the mightiest weapon available to him- a mutant. He is soon provide to be correct when Chinese mutant the Radioactive Man arrives to detonate himself in the city, convinced that the US and USSR going to war will advantage China. Quicksilver attempts to carry Radioactive Man outside of Paris but is hindered by the strong resistance of the Chinese mutant. As Radioactive Man prepares to detonate, the Proletarian grapples him. This enables Magneto to lift the both of them into the stratosphere where the detonation will be harmless (or at least not city destroying). The Proletarian proves to be more durable than anyone could have imagined and survives atmospheric entry without damage. With no one wishing to give Magneto credit, he will be known as the hero who saved Paris… and therefore the world.
In the United States, the X-Men respond to Sabertooth’s tip-off that Apocalypse is going to attack the mansion with Weapon X members. The attack announces itself when Deadpool uses a rocket launcher on the mansion. Iceman and Rogue attempt to evacuate the students inside while Wolverine and Nightcrawler fence with Deadpool outside. Wolverine taunts Deadpool, drawing the mutate madman into a discussion about employment conditions until he is in a position to stab his claws through Deadpool’s stomach. “You got me!” admits Deadpool, though he doesn’t sound very defeated. That’s when the mansion explodes from the inside.
The fight had merely been a ruse to draw the X-Men’s attention while the Weapon X teleport Kestrel got the telepath Aldo Ferro to Cerebro, which boosts his telepathy enough to free Marcus Xavier. The Juggernaut breaks out of the mansion, and the X-Men are forced to fight him. Rogue is able to absorb some of his invulnerability, but not enough to stop the Juggernaut. Furious at the danger to the students he is trying to protect, Iceman coldly attempts to kill Juggernaut by freezing his blood solid, but the unnatural vitality of the Juggernaut’s mutant power mostly throws it off.
Scott Summers shows up in the middle of the fight, having also been tipped off by Sabertooth. His eyebeams help force the Juggernaut into the lake by the mansion, temporarily slowing him down. Wolverine uses the opportunity to bluff the Juggernaut. He taunts Juggernaut that Rogue has drained his power and Scott’s eyebeams will nullify his force shield, allowing Wolverine’s adamantium claws to cut Marcus. Rattled by long captivity, the Juggernaut decides to flee rather than call Logan’s bluff. The X-Men allow him to go, knowing that a fight might not end in their favor.
Logan proposes to Rogue that he could teach her combat skills and mental discipline that might allow her to better control her powers. Rogue agrees, eager not to depend on powers that kill her just to be able to defend herself.
The X-Men join S.H.I.E.L.D.‘s assault on Hydra’s secret Antarctic base. To help distract from he attack, Scott Summers, Storm, and some other mutants with very public and flashy powers hit some of Apocalypse’s other forces so that his attention will be distracted and he will not move to reinforce Hydra until it is too late. Before leaving, though, he makes a request of Nightcrawler. He is sure that Apocalypse will use the remote location of the Hydra base to conceal some ace in the hole, and Kurt must find it during the attack and ensure it is retrieved or destroyed.
On the way there, Magneto makes an intriguing proposal to Rogue. Cerebro magnifies his powers as well as those of Xavier. Using it, someone with Magneto’s abilities could destroy every nuclear weapon on earth before the human governments could react and end the threat of nuclear war forever. However, Magneto himself could not do so as the strain would kill him before he could complete the job. If Rogue were to absorb Magneto’s powers and Logan’s healing ability, she could survive to carry the action through.
The attack on the Antarctic base goes well, with Wolverine releasing a giant cloud of steam to help shield the team from Hydra bullets while Iceman knocks many of them out with snowballs. Nightcrawler teleports ahead to fight their leader, Baron Strucker. Strucker’s body is host to a unique bacteriological poison called Death Spores that will wipe out all life on earth if he is killed. His teleportation abilities exhausted by bamphing continually to find Strucker and poisoned by Strucker’s spores, Kurt loses a battle of swordsmanship with the old Nazi. Before Strucker can kill him, however, Magneto arrives with the other X-Men. Magneto covers Strucker in metal and throws Baron von Strucker into the earth’s mantle where his Death Spores can harm no one.
Sickened and weak, Kurt explores the rest of the base and finds the ace that Scott had predicted was there. It is Steve Rogers, the Captain America who served during much of World War II. He had been held captive in suspended animation at Apocalypse’s command, yet another destabilizing factor for Apocalypse to release when it would cause the maximum conflict.
Back at the X-Mansion, Rogue approaches Logan about Magneto’s plan. He is dismissive, telling her that if she thinks she’s qualified to decide something so big for the entire world then she doesn’t need his permission and he refuses to give it to her. She takes Magneto’s abilities with his permission and then returns to steal Logan’s powers by force. However he rips his own body apart to hold her close, ensuring that if she wants to take his healing ability she will have to take it permanently and kill him. Broken and unwilling to kill her mentor, Rogue thrusts Logan away and releases his powers (not something she is ordinarily cable of doing). A shaken Logan reminds her to show up for training the next morning. Rogue cries in her room, rebuffing attempts by Magneto to talk to her. Logan watches the sun set in his cabin and thinks about world peace.
In Paris, the Proletarian approaches the Soviet Premier, troubled by some of the things he has seen and heard during the crisis. Worried that the Proletarian might become too popular after his latest display of heroism, the Premier proposes that the Proletarian go on exchange with Xavier’s school and take the chance to demonstrate the power of Soviet Communism to America… also neatly taking him out of the Soviet Union for a while.