Quote1 I don't make a habit of disagreeing with you, darling, but I'm calling you on this one. Quote2
--Sue Richards

Appearing in "Like a Phoenix!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #286.

Featured Characters:

Supporting Characters:


Other Characters:




Synopsis for "Like a Phoenix!"

This story is a reprint of the comic
Fantastic Four #286.

Story continued from last issue and Avengers #263

The Fantastic Four are returning from their mission in space, and the team spends some time relaxing on the trip home. When they request permission to land at JFK airport, they are denied due to a clean-up operation involving the Avengers and are requested to land at La Guardia instead. When they finally arrive home at their temporary headquarters, Avengers Mansion,[1] they find Captain America and Hercules waiting for them.

Cap explains to Mr. Fantastic about the strange object they recovered from the bottom of Jamaica Bay earlier that day[2] and how it has a living creature inside. When Reed decides to check it out for himself, he places a hand on it but some force attacks him and throws him back. Reed's fall is cushioned by a forcefield projected by the Invisible Woman. On Reed's direction, Sue uses her powers to make the capsule turn invisible, revealing the unconscious body of Jean Grey inside. However, due to the brevity of their glimpse of the woman inside the capsule, nobody present can identify her. After discussing who the woman could be, the Human Torch and She-Hulk decide to go and reunite with their loved ones leaving Reed and Captain America to try and solve the mystery.

Things being to get strange when suddenly objects begin levitating all over the Mansion, waking Sue from her sleep and startling a fatigued Reed Richards and Captain America after they have spent eight hours working on trying to open the capsule. To their surprise, the woman inside the capsule finally breaks free. Jean, still thinking that she is a prisoner of Stephen Lang and his X-Sentinels[3] believes that Reed, Sue, Cap and Hercules are more Sentinel constructs of heroes and attempts to attack them. When Sue restrains Jean with a forcefield, both Cap and Reed realize that who she is, and that as Marvel Girl she was a member of the X-Men who has been missing for many months. Telling Sue to lower her forcefield, Reed asks the confused Marvel Girl to explain what happened to her.

Jean recalls how she and her fellow X-Men were captured by Sentinels built by Stephen Lang and his anti-mutant operation Project: Armageddon[4] and forced to fight X-Sentinels, robotic version of the original X-Men.[5] While she remembers that they beat Lang and his creations, she doesn't recall what happened afterward. When she suggests they contact the X-Men and find out, they tell her the grim news that the X-Men are considered outlaws and have associated themselves with Magneto.[6] This horrifies Jean and she asks to be taken to her parents instead. When Reed doesn't think that is a good idea, Jean begins to have a mental breakdown. Sue, being able to relate to Marvel Girl's grief[7] convinces Reed and the others to allow Jean at least that. While Reed, Sue, and Hercules take Jean there, Cap elects to stay behind and do some research in the Avengers' databanks to see if he can find out what happened to Jean.

Arriving at the Grey home, Jean finds that her parents aren't there and, after Hercules unthinkingly smashes through the front door, they investigate and find a holomatrix globe of Jean.[8] As Jean reaches out for the globe, back at Avengers Mansion, Captain America watches a report filed by his old teammate (and Jean's fellow original X-Man) the Beast to learn what happened to Jean Grey. He explains that after the mission in space, Jean was reincarnated as the Phoenix[9] was corrupted into becoming the Dark Phoenix[10] and died on the moon.[11] This leaves Captain America and the Avengers' butler Jarvis to wonder who exactly is the woman the Avengers pulled out of Jamaica Bay.

Back at the Grey home, Jean grabs the globe and suddenly her mind is flooded with memories of the rescue mission from Lang's space station. The others witness the memories unfold around them, but are unable to interact with the images. Jean recalls how she sent her fellow X-Men into the radiation shielding area of the shuttle after having cribbed all the space flight knowledge she could from Peter Corbeau so she could land the shuttle. As she flew the space shuttle through a radiation storm, the radiation slowly killing her, Jean was confronted by the Phoenix Force and how, in order to save her life and those of her friends she agreed to allow the Phoenix Force to take her shape and form and pose in her identity. As Jean begins to struggle with the influx of memories, Reed deduces that while the Phoenix took Jean's place it must have placed her in stasis until her body healed from its exposure to cosmic radiation. Captain America arrives on the scene and corroborates this theory by confirming everything Jean experienced with the Beast's story. They all come to the conclusion that it was ultimately Jean's humanity that helped put a stop to the Dark Phoenix. With the mystery of her miraculous resurrection explained, Jean wonders what she will do with her life next.

The next day, after Jean relates the story to a astonished Jarvis, Reed and Sue begin to wonder how they can help Jean get her life back together. While they still think the current team of X-Men are out of bounds, Reed realizes that there is someone else he could call on Jean's behalf.... This story is continued in X-Factor #1....

Solicit Synopsis

Reprinting Fantastic Four (1961) #286

See Also


  1. The Baxter Building was destroyed in Fantastic Four #279
  2. See Avengers #262
  3. See X-Men #100
  4. See X-Men #98 and X-Men #99
  5. X-Men #100 again
  6. See Secret Wars Vol. 1 and Magneto joined the X-Men in Uncanny X-Men #200
  7. following her clash with Psycho-Man in Fantastic Four #280 through Fantastic Four #282
  8. given to the Grey's by Lilandra of the Shi'ar in X-Men #138
  9. in X-Men #101
  10. X-Men #135
  11. X-Men #137

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