Appearing in "The Spiral Path"
- Freedom Force (Forms) (First appearance)
- Valerie Cooper (Joins group)
- Mystique (Raven Darkhölme) (Joins group) (Impersonates Valerie Cooper, Ronald Reagan and Lee Forrester)
- Blob (Fred Dukes) (Joins group)
- Destiny (Irene Adler) (Joins group)
- Pyro (St. John Allerdyce) (Joins group)
- Avalanche (Dominic Petros) (Joins group)
- Spiral (Joins group)
- National Security Council
- Henry Peter Gyrich (Cameo)
- Alex Summers (Referenced)
- Healer (Mentioned)
- Summers' unborn son (Mentioned) (Unnamed)
- Brotherhood of Evil Mutants (Mentioned)
- President Ronald Reagan (Referenced)
- Quicksilver (Pietro Maximoff) (Mentioned)
- Scarlet Witch (Wanda Maximoff) (Mentioned)
- Avengers (Mentioned)
- Fantastic Four (Mentioned)
- Elaine Grey (Main story and vision)
- John Grey (Main story and vision)
- Storm (Ororo Munroe) (Vision)
- Phoenix (Jean Grey) (Vision)
- Future Phoenix Force (Referenced)
- Future Jean Grey (Only in flashback)
- Future Scott Summers (Only in flashback)
- Unnamed mutant hunter (Vision)
- Hounds (Mentioned)
- United States Congress (Mentioned) (Only in flashback)
- Beyonder (Mentioned)
- Nazis (Mentioned)
- Adolf Hitler (Mentioned)
- Avram Goldberg (First appearance)
- Simon Goldberg (Mentioned)
- Ruth Shulman (First appearance)
- David Shulman (First appearance)
- Unnamed attendees of the Holocaust Memorial
- The Commission (Behind the scenes) (Unnamed)
- Samuel Prydeman (Mentioned) (Shadowcat's grandfather)
- Chava Prydeman-Rosanoff (Mentioned) (Shadowcat's great-aunt)
- Lee Forrester (Mentioned)
- United States Government (Mentioned)
- Mojo (Referenced)
- Longshot (Referenced)
- Magda Eisenhardt (Mentioned)
- Anya Eisenhardt (Mentioned)
- Gestapo (Mentioned)
Races and Species:
- Prime Marvel Universe
- United States
- New York
- State Orphanage, Omaha, Nebraska (Referenced)
- Washington, D.C.
- Chicago, Illinois (Mentioned)
- Buchenwald, Weimar, Germany, Europe (Mentioned)
- Warsaw, Poland, Europe (Mentioned)
- Auschwitz-Birkenau, Poland, Europe (Mentioned)
- United States
- Days of Future Past (Only in flashback)
- Earth (Only in flashback)
Synopsis for "The Spiral Path"
Cyclops has returned to the X-Men at the request of Moira MacTaggert and is now testing his skills in the Danger Room. The test shows that despite being on vacation since his marriage to Madelyne Pryor, Cyclops is still at the peak of his abilities. With the session over, both Wolverine and Moira congratulate Cyclops on a job well done. They are interrupted by Rachel, who has come to try and tell Cyclops that in her time he and Jean Grey are her parents but chokes up. Moira then impatiently calls Cyclops up to the control room to discuss what she had asked him to return to the X-Men for. Cyclops and Wolverine discuss Rachel's past and before Wolverine can explain why Rachel seems to be so transfixed on Scott, Moira cuts in. She explains that Charles Xavier has not fully recovered from his recent beating and is in fact dying. Cyclops is shocked by this and refuses to believe that the Professor will die and expresses the fact that he doesn't believe Magneto would have reformed. When he asks how long Charles has, Moira tells him that he may live long enough to see Scott and Madelyne's child be born. Overhearing this telepathically causes Rachel to burst into tears.
Meanwhile, in Washington DC, Valerie Cooper returns home to the shock of her life: A woman in her house who looks exactly like her. It actually turns out to be Mystique, and she reveals her true form. She explains that due to the growing anti-mutant sentiment in America she wishes to give up the services of her Brotherhood of Evil Mutants to the government for full amnesty and protection from any mutant control laws that have been passed. She offers that the group could change its name to Freedom Force and it would be under the full control of the government, unlike the Avengers or Fantastic Four. Valarie likes the idea, however, she tells Mystique that this "Freedom Force" is going to have to show its good faith and prove their intentions to the President. She challenges Mystique to take down the Brotherhood's original leader, Magneto.
Meanwhile, Rachel Summers has traveled to Annandale-On-Hudson to visit the grave of her mother Jean Grey to pay her respects. When she goes to the Grey family home she waits for John and Elaine -- her grandparents in her home reality --to leave their home so she can look around. Inside she begins being haunted by the psychic imprints of the Dark Phoenix confronting her parents and her own early childhood memories, visiting the home with her parents when she was only an infant. Going up into the Grey's bedroom, Rachel comes across the holo-matrix globe given to them by Lilandra. Peering into it, Rachel unleashes the full fury of her powers, creating a Phoenix effect. Rachel decides that she will live up to her mother's ideals, and prove that Phoenix is not a force of evil, but one for good. That she vows to use her full abilities to defend humans and mutants alike, in her name. The sudden flare of powers causes Rachel to blackout and as she collapses on the floor, the globe falls out of her hands and smashes on the floor.
At the Washington National Holocaust Memorial, Magneto and Kitty Pryde both go to an annual gathering of Holocaust survivors. Magneto because he himself lived through and survived the Holocaust, while Kitty's great-aunt went missing during the war and she is trying to find the connection for her late grandfather Samuel Prydeman who died the last year. Through talking to other survivors, Kitty learns that her great-aunt Chava Rosanoff was arrested and sent to Auschwitz, where she was murdered. After Magneto meets with some of the other survivors he himself knew in Auschwitz, he is reminded how important it is for human/mutant peace to endure as history could repeat itself for the mutant race.
The gathering is interrupted when Mystique gets close enough to Magneto by posing as Lee Forester. Revealing her true form she calls Magneto to take accountability for his past terrorist actions, pointing out that in the past he acted no worse than Hitler himself. Magneto uses his powers to bind Mystique in steel girders. Then the other members of the new Freedom Force arrive: Blob, Pyro, Avalanche, Destiny, and Spiral (who has joined the group while she searches for Longshot on Earth). While Magneto uses his powers to gently coax the innocent bystanders out of the building, he sends Kitty to get the rest of the X-Men.
Magneto holds the former Brotherhood at bay until the other X-Men arrive to defend their unlikely ally. Shadowcat takes out Destiny, while Colossus takes out Pyro. Nightcrawler teleports the Blob onto the top of the Washington Monument, while Rogue knocks out Avalanche. However, the battle ends when Spiral casts a spell that locks Magneto into place and Mystique puts a gun to his head. Spiral is then knocked out by Cyclops and there is a Mexican stand-off between Freedom Force and the X-Men when Wolverine manages to sneak up behind Mystique, close enough to get his claws near her head. When Cyclops tells the X-Men to retreat and leave the "Brotherhood" for the police, Mystique explains Freedom Force's new law-abiding stance and tells them that they have come to arrest Magneto.
Before the X-Men can do anything, Magneto decides that if he is to truly reform then he must stand accountable for his crimes and stand trial and therefore allows himself to be arrested.
- Rachel met Cyclops, her father, in X-Men Annual #9. He does not learn of her parentage until X-Factor Annual #5.
- Rachel identifies the true divergence point between Earth-616 and the Days of Future Past. She had believed in X-Men #141-142 that it was the assassination of Senator Robert Kelly, but she now knows that in Earth-616's history, her grandfather rejected Dark Phoenix (the Phoenix Force's duplicate of Jean) as his daughter in X-Men #136, contributing to her losing control and dying in X-Men #137. In Rachel's history, his not doing so apparently helped "Jean" regain control over Dark Phoenix.
- This also implies that the real Jean Grey never revived in Rachel's history, and that her mother is "Jean", the Phoenix Force duplicate.
- Mystique's Brotherhood of Evil Mutants becomes Freedom Force.
Links and References
- Official Marvel Index to the X-Men (Vol. 2) #4 - See for further referencing