Heero fires the Vayeate’s beam cannon, but Trowa blocks the attack using the Mercurius’ planet defensers. Trowa then opens Heero’s cockpit and holds him at gunpoint. At the Winner family resource satellite at L4, Quatre argues with his pacifist father, Zayeed, about being a Gundam pilot. Zayeed doesn’t want Quatre to fight and instead wants him to focus on the family business, but Quatre insists that he has to fight. His older sister Iria agrees with him, but Zayeed doesn’t think that might makes right. He regrets helping Instructor H during the development of the Gundam Sandrock, and he’s also upset that OZ is manipulating people to protest against him. A Leo suddenly appears in front of the mansion, and its pilot claims to be Zayeed’s bodyguard. Zayeed believes that the Leo is going to open fire on the crowd, but just then two OZ Tauruses arrive and disable the Leo. Zayeed sees that this is all a setup, but before he can do anything, a stray shot from a Taurus hits the mansion. Zayeed and Iria are both killed in the blast, and in his grief, Quatre laughs madly while grasping a computer disk. At Barge, Lady Une is shocked to see the Tallgeese land at the space station. She tells Zechs that showing his face shames Treize, but he insists that he’s Milliardo Peacecraft, an ambassador from the Sanc Kingdom. Zechs explains that he’s come to space to represent Earth in a meeting of colonial leaders, but Lady Une doesn’t believe it and thinks to herself that he has to be Zechs. Zechs thinks about his journey after Antarctica, which involved being rescued by old salvager Howard, who also designed the Tallgeese. Howard said that Zechs should see what’s going on in space and provided him a rocket booster to leave Earth with. He wonders if Heero has also come to space. Lady Une calls Treize to complain about Zechs, but he insists that Milliardo is his good friend and definitely not Zechs. Treize then puts Lady Une in charge of Taurus mass production in space and deployment to the colonies. OZ will provide weapons to the colonies that seek independence, which should satisfy the Romefeller Foundation, but Treize wonders if Milliardo will be against it. At the colonial meeting on the Moon, Zechs objects to the arming of the colonies and believes peace can only come through the total disarmament of the whole Earth Sphere. Zechs argues that OZ should leave the colonies alone, and Wufei and Duo agree as they crash the meeting. Wufei says that the Gundam pilots have been fighting for the colonists, so they shouldn’t put their faith in OZ. Lady Une wants them locked up, but Duo explains that they haven’t come to fight. After Zechs leaves, Lady Une vows to find out what he’s doing. Duo and Wufei are thrown into the same cell with Heero, and Wufei wonders what happened to the others. Duo figures that Quatre is probably back home, and Heero reveals that Trowa has betrayed them and joined OZ. He thinks that Trowa is probably trying to get close to Treize, and Duo thinks it’s a good idea. Heero comments that they’re stuck without their mobile suits now, but Duo explains that they left the Gundam Deathscythe and Shenlong Gundam with the original designers before coming to the Moon. Trowa shows up and tells Heero that they have a new mission to intercept an unknown mobile suit that appears to be a Gundam. Heero and Trowa launch in the Mercurius and Vayeate, and an officer expresses his concern to Lady Une about using Heero. She notes that if he tries anything they can remotely detonate his suit, plus they’re holding his two friends captive. Several Tauruses approach the new Wing Gundam Zero and are destroyed in one shot by its twin buster rifle. Trowa is certain that the pilot must be Quatre, but Heero isn’t sure. Trowa radios Quatre and is glad to hear his voice, but Quatre then opens fire and damages the Vayeate. Quatre vows that he’ll take on the madness that has infected outer space, and he’ll everyone who is arming themselves, including the colonies and OZ. Trowa asks Quatre what happened to him, and Quatre warns Trowa that all the pilots should stay away from him, or he’ll have to kill them. Heero then opens fire and says that if outer space has lost its sanity, he’ll restore it, starting with killing Quatre. The two then attack each other with beam sabers.
The five scientists are shocked by the appearance of Wing Zero, the design they created first before making their five individual Gundams. Instructor H can’t believe that Quatre found the plans, and Doctor J notes that one of them going on a rampage with Wing Zero could threaten the entire Earth Sphere. With the new Virgo mobile dolls almost ready, Doctor J hopes Heero will fix the world. Heero tells Quatre that he doesn’t care what he’s gone through, because anyone who wants to fight him is his enemy. Quatre says that his family was killed in front of him, so Heero couldn’t understand how he feels. Quatre vows that he’ll get his revenge by destroying the crazy world and OZ. Heero survives a twin buster rifle blast thanks to the Mercurius’ planet defensers, although the suit is heavily damaged. Heero declares that he won’t fail his mission, so Quatre fires again. At the last second, Trowa pushes Heero out of the way and takes the hit. Just before the Vayeate explodes, Quatre realizes he’s made an unforgivable mistake. He then exits the cockpit and tells Heero to kill him because he doesn’t deserve to live. Heero exits his cockpit with gun drawn and collapses in Quatre’s arms. Une is informed that Wing Zero has been captured, but Trowa was killed in action. Lady Une laments his loss, but notes that human pilots will become unnecessary once the Virgos roll out. Gen. Tubarov enters the room and announces that the Virgos are all heading to Earth, not the colonies. Lady Une says that Treize didn’t tell her that, and Tubarov counters that Treize is under arrest and OZ is now under the direct command of Romefeller. Tubarov comments that Treize’s time and his outmoded methods are gone, and he then shoots Lady Une. Tubarov is then informed that the Virgo factory is under attack by two unidentified suits. Using the newly upgraded Gundam Deathscythe Hell and Altron Gundam, Duo and Wufei cause considerable damage before escaping the Moon. The five scientists discuss how this only delays the production of the Virgo, and Doctor J hopes the Gundam pilots will stop the world from destroying itself. OZ troops loyal to Treize rebel against Romefeller in open war. An OZ pilot named Trant Clark attempts to master Wing Zero and is told by Tubarov that his future depends on it. Trant returns to a colony scrapyard and runs into his friend Hilde Schbeiker and Duo. Hilde asks Trant to quit his job and come back to working with her, but he doesn’t want to now that he has a Gundam. He wants to become famous as the OZ Gundam pilot, but Duo thinks to himself that it’ll never happen. Duo thinks that piloting a Gundam has meaning, and you can’t be a pilot if you’re not ready to give your life for what you believe in. With Romefeller focusing on mobile dolls and the Treize Faction, Heero and Quatre are allowed to return to Earth. Romefeller leader Duke Dermail calls his granddaughter, Dorothy Catalonia, and says he doesn’t understand what she wants with two Gundam pilots. She responds that she wants to see real pilots in a real battle fighting for what they believe in. Heero uses a computer to find OZ mobile doll deployments, and Quatre is impressed that he’s still going to fight. Quatre doesn’t think that he’s strong and blames himself for the Wing Zero incident, but Heero responds that they both got carried away. Heero and Quatre see that the Treize Faction is fighting OZ near the borders of the Sanc Kingdom. Just then, a woman named Sally Po busts into their room and explains that she’s fighting OZ and brought something Heero left behind. In Europe, Treize Faction Leos come under fire from Virgos and stand no chance. Relena and Noin fly nearby in a jet and try to ask the Treize Faction to back off their border, but a Virgo picks them up on sensors and targets them. Before the Virgo can fire, it’s destroyed by the Wing Gundam’s buster rifle. Heero destroys all the Virgos, and Relena rushes over to hug him after the battle ends. Dorothy watches form nearby and is amused that Relena’s noble knight is a Gundam pilot. Elsewhere, Treize comes close to completing a new mobile suit, the Gundam Epyon.
Zechs fights off several Virgos and destroys a mobile doll transport in Earth’s orbit, which impresses Howard. Zechs knows this is the most help he can offer, and he hopes that Relena keeps Romefeller out of the Sanc Kingdom. At the Sanc academy, Relena introduces Heero and Quatre as new students, and Dorothy sees why Relena likes Heero. After class, Quatre conducts a computer search and can’t find any info about Trowa’s status. He asks Heero if they can trust Relena, but Heero answers that he hasn’t ever trusted anyone. Noin walks in and tells Heero that he hasn’t changed. He makes a comment about being Noin’s enemy, but she explains that she left OZ and works for Relena now. She asks them to help if they can, and Heero asks if she wants them to fight for peace. Noin doesn’t think that absolute pacifism works the way that Relena wishes it would, and Zechs won’t return because he disagrees with her. Quatre thinks it would be dangerous if OZ found out they were in the kingdom, and Heero vows to destroy any invaders. Dorothy watches from outside and tells herself she definitely has to see Heero fight. Quatre tells Heero that his snooping has found two other things – a large amount of Gundanium alloy has been shipped to a nearby OZ facility, and OZ is studying Wing Zero and its Zero System. At the Lunar base, the five scientists discuss how the Zero System analyzes battle data and feeds all possible outcomes directly into the pilot’s brain. With the right pilot, the suit’s response time increases, but with the wrong pilot, their mind will be warped by the system. Trant struggles after performing a test, and the scientists conclude that Wing Zero is too dangerous for anyone to pilot. In his room, Trant vows that he’ll master the Zero System and decides he needs a Gundam pilot’s help. He pulls up the file on Duo and recognizes him from Hilde’s scrapyard. At the L2 sector, Duo jams the communications of three Leos before destroying them. Hilde arrives in a small spaceship to salvage the remains of the suits. Trant shows up with Wing Zero and says he wants to talk, but Duo refuses. Trant then threatens to use the twin buster rifle to destroy the colony behind Duo. Trant explains that he wants Duo to pilot Wing Zero, but if he messes up, the Virgos will kill him and destroy the colony. Trant holds Duo at gunpoint in open space, and Hilde floats over to ask what he’s doing. Trant yells that she doesn’t understand, and he pushes her away and shoots her. Trant orders Duo to use Wing Zero to fight the mobile dolls and notes that if he doesn’t, the mobile dolls will kill Hilde and destroy the nearby colony. Duo decides to stick to the beam saber to avoid damaging the colony, and he feels a strange sensation when the Zero System engages and starts feeding him data. He feels that the Tauruses are moving too slowly for him, and as he destroys them he starts to feel overwhelmed by the amount of data rushing in. Duo wants to self-destruct Wing Zero because of its power, but Trant stops him and tells him he’s won. Trant decides that Duo is useless to him now, so he throws him out of the cockpit and flies away. Hilde pilots the Deathscythe Hell and picks up Duo. He declares that Trant is now a worse threat than OZ and has to be stopped. Duo catches up to Trant and tries to attack, but the Zero System predicts Duo’s moves and lets Trant dodge in time. Duo tells Trant that he can’t handle the Zero System, but Trant rants that he’s a Gundam pilot now and can see the future. Trant aims the twin buster rifle at Duo, but the Zero System proves too much for his mind to handle and kills him. At the L3 colony cluster, Catherine is shocked to see Trowa alive, but he doesn’t recognize that name, or her. At the L5 colony cluster, Wufei fights other warriors from his clan and wants to face someone who can beat him. On Earth, Heero follows up on a lead and finds the castle where Treize is being held under house arrest. Heero declares that he has no interest in Treize now, but he also has no reason to let him live. Treize doesn’t argue the point and says there’s nothing left for him in this new era of dolls fighting in place of people. He does note that there is a way for Heero to correct Romefeller’s mistakes, and he offers to provide information to protect the Sanc Kingdom. Heero asks about all the Gundanium alloy that Treize imported from space, so Treize shows him the new Gundam Epyon. Later, Romefeller forces arrive at the Sanc Kingdom and demand that Relena hand over the Treize Faction rebels. Quatre offers to surrender himself to protect the kingdom, but Noin tells him that isn’t what Relena wants. Relena goes outside and tells a Leo pilot to leave the kingdom immediately. The pilot fires warning shots near Relena, but she doesn’t flinch and repeats her demands. Just then, Heero arrives in the Gundam Epyon and immediately destroys the Leo and Virgos in a single attack. Dermail warns Dorothy to leave the Sanc Kingdom, and Heero learns that Romefeller plans to drop an asteroid onto the kingdom. He decides that his new mission is to destroy the asteroid at all costs.
Heero heads to space in the Gundam Epyon and watches the asteroid break apart, revealing four camouflaged mobile doll transports. Heero destroys the transports and some Virgos and vows to kill anyone who gets in his way. Heero feels the Gundam Epyon telling him to kill and destroy, and Quatre arrives in the Wing Gundam to tell Heero to stop. Quatre notes that Heero doesn’t sound like himself, and Heero explains that Treize put the Zero System into the Gundam Epyon. Elsewhere, Howard recovers the Wing Zero and has it brought aboard the massive exploration ship Peacemillion. Zechs asks him to repair it, and Howard responds that although he thinks they should get rid of it, the Tallgeese is at its limits and can’t keep up with Zechs’ movements. Zechs asks if Howard thinks he can handle the Zero System, and Howard answers that he’s not sure, but he wouldn’t be surprised if Zechs could. Howard thinks that Zechs is a new type of human, but Zechs dismisses that talk and says he only wants to protect people from the mistakes of flawed leaders. Howard tells Zechs that as long he keeps himself under control, the Zero System won’t overwhelm him. On Earth, Noin gives Heero painkillers as he suffers side effects from using the Zero System. Dorothy walks in with a large vase of flowers for Heero. Noin tells Quatre that Trowa has been found in space, but he has developed amnesia and doesn’t remember anything. Noin asks Quatre to bring Trowa and Wufei to Earth so that they can form a Gundam team to protect the Sanc Kingdom. Dorothy uses a mic in the flowers to eavesdrop on the conversation, and she’s thrilled by the idea of all the Gundam pilots together in one place. After Quatre heads to space, Noin and Heero retrieve the rebuilt Gundam Sandrock Custom from the Maganac Corps and the Gundam Heavyarms from Sally. Quatre finds Trowa in the circus and is overjoyed to see him, but Catherine insists that she doesn’t want Trowa with any Gundam pilots. Trowa reacts to that name and tells Catherine that he thinks he can recover his memories if he goes with Quatre. Catherine tells Trowa to be careful and says they’ll all be waiting for him. Dorothy tells Relena that Noin is secretly rounding up the Gundam pilots and bringing them to the Sanc Kingdom. Quatre, Trowa, Wufei and Duo return to Earth in a shuttle and are confronted by Zechs in Wing Zero. Trowa suffers a panic attack at the sight of Wing Zero, and Duo and Wufei launch in their suits. Zechs wants them to fight alongside him, but they refuse to join anyone from OZ. Duo vows to fight anyone who gets in his way, and Zechs demands that they show him their resolve. Relena decides to visit Romefeller headquarters, and Noin asks her to wait for Heero. Relena responds that she’s still dedicated to peaceful objectives and wants to do things her own way. Dorothy watches from nearby and decides to tell the news to Dermail. With the power of the Zero System, Zechs is easily able to predict Duo and Wufei’s moves. Zechs believes the system works for him because he knows who his enemy is, and Duo warns him that the Zero System has already killed one pilot. Duo asks why Zechs is fighting them, and Zechs answers that a Gundam is a symbol for people who desire peace and are willing to fight for it. Zechs then stands aside and tells them to head for their battlefield. After the shuttle returns to Earth and lands in the Sanc Kingdom’s secret facility, Noin assembles her team of six Gundams.
This second volume, which roughly corresponds to the middle of the TV series, is unfortunately where some of the narrative cracks start to show. A lot of elements from the TV series are dropped or changed to fit within the narrow confines of four manga chapters, sometimes for the worse. Perhaps the biggest omission is Treize’s fall from grace within OZ, which happens entirely “off panel” and is only mentioned after the fact. Quatre’s mental break happens somewhat differently from the TV series, but the end result is still the same. Tokita oddly chose to have Hilde and Trant be friends who knew each other, but I feel the amount of time focused on Trant detracted from some of the other storylines. The final chapter in particular speeds through developments to line everyone up for the final volume. Quatre is seen heading off into space to gather other Gundam pilots, but aside from showing his reunion with Trowa, we don’t see his encounter with Duo and Wufei – they’re just there in shuttle. I’m sure Duo would’ve been game for Noin’s Gundam team proposal, but I have to imagine that Wufei needed a lot of convincing to cooperate with anyone. As was the case with the first volume, it’s hard to recommend reading this highly compressed adaptation when there’s also the newer Glory of the Losers as an option.
Original Review: April 3, 2001