Appearing in "Hours and Minutes"
- Prime Sentinels (Only in flashback)
- Lance Gwynn (Only in flashback)
- Sauron (Karl Lykos)
- "Entity" (A mysterious alien presence on the plane)
- Bastion (Mentioned)
- Sentinels (Mentioned)
- Homo superior (Mentioned)
- Legacy Virus (Mentioned)
- Aubrey Agee (Mentioned) (The scientist claiming that he can depower mutants)
- Kevin Plunder (Mentioned)
- Shanna O'Hara (Mentioned) (Mentioned as a "hot redheaded babe" to whom Kevin Plunder sends cargo)
- Mother of Mercy Hospital staff
- Dr. Gibbons (Chief of staff)
- Bernard Soto (Medical intern, prospective surgeon)
- Dr. Anthony Carasso (Anesthesiologist)
- Wallace (Surgeon)
- Nancy (Assistant surgeon)
- Luis (Colleague of Cecilia, position unknown)
- Lilly (An old friend of Cecilia, position unknown)
- Dr. Loran (An old enemy of Cecilia, position unknown)
- Passengers on a plain.
- Staci Miller
- Chris Miller
- Carter family.
- Ms. Taylor (Patient at the hospital)
- Mrs. DeAgostino (Wife of a patient, constantly demanding euthanasia)
- Mr. DeAgostino (Patient, husband of Mrs. DeAgostino)
- Miss Robinski (Victim of domestic violence)
Races and Species:
- North America
- Wolverine's motorcycle.
- Airplane flying over Canada.
Synopsis for "Hours and Minutes"
The story opens at Xavier's School for Gifted Youngsters. Its 5:02 AM and Dr. Cecilia Reyes' alarm clock is beeping and wakes her up. She was sleeping in a mattress on the floor of her room, with her luggage close by on the floor. Cecilia is a new member of the X-Men. The narration explains that she has been a member of the team for 6 days or 144 hours or 8,640 minutes. She is still getting used to waking up from an uneasy sleep in unfamiliar surroundings. But this particular morning holds a promise for her, that she will be able to reweave the reality that she desires.
A few minutes later, Cecilia is in the bathroom. She is brushing her teeth and trying to fix her messy hair. She jokes that her hair looks like it has been through a hurricane. She then realizes that nobody at the Mother of Mercy Hospital, where she works, will be looking at her hair. They would instead be staring at her, the only mutant among them.
Cecilia exits the bathroom and walks to the rest of the Mansion. She is contemplating her situation. She notes that she will be treated as if being a mutant makes her any different from anyone else. She then blames the X-Men for trying to convince her that this is true. She wants to ditch the Mansion and get back to her real life, though she is uncertain if this is possible. She worries that the X-Men are all about fighting and that this will risk the safety of her hands.
Cecilia is surprised to come across Storm, who is also awake this early in the morning. Storm explains that she is just waiting for the sun's return (the dawn). She notes that Cecilia seems about to leave and enquires why. Cecilia admits that she is leaving and explains that this is nothing personal. She appreciates what the X-Men have done for her, but she is a doctor and belongs to a hospital. A place where she can do some good.
Storm reminds Cecilia that what she has done for the team is not trivial either. Cecilia has saved the life of Cyclops, who Storm claims is the very heart of their team. Cecilia points that she was repaying the favor to the X-Men, since Iceman saved her own life at the hospital. Storm answers that the X-Men owe each other no favors, each member only owes respect to his/her fellow members. Storm points that Cecilia has already earned her respect. Storm instructs Cecilia to leave only is she must. She points that Cecilia is welcome in the Mansion and needed. The X-Men do not have much to offer her at the moment, but they still have much to offer to the world. They can do some good in areas where few others can. The two women then part ways.
At 5:28 AM, Cecilia is all dressed up and carrying her luggage. She enters the kitchen and notices Wolverine drinking his morning coffee. The two greet each other. She is curious why his codename is "Wolverine" and questions whether he studied at the University of Michigan (whose sports teams are known as the "Michigan Wolverines".) Wolverine denies attending a university, and cryptically claims that what he knows he has learned around. He invites her to call him "Logan", if she finds this name easier.
Cecilia asks Wolvie if there is a phone around, because she wants to call a taxicab. She explains that "Drake" (Iceman) had promised to ice-slide her into the city, but that he is still sleeping and she is reluctant to wake him up. Wolvie does not answer about the existence of the phone. He instead notices the luggage and jokes that she seems to be carrying a pretty big purse. He asks whether she is going away for a long time. She replies that she is heading out to her world. She does not know what she was thinking before, but the X-Men and the Mansion are not her life and can not be her life.
Wolvie offers her coffee and she accepts. He asks why she feels out of place among the X-Men, since she is a mutant like them. She points that her mutant power is creating a force-shield and that is not really useful. She feels that she will end being a detriment to the team if she stays. So she thinks it is better to return to her own life and try to salvage it.
Wolvie points that the Mansion is also a school and that every X-Man in it has learned how to handle himself/herself. Cecilia answers that she is not looking for a school and claims that she has already done enough course work to last a lifetime. Wolvie claims that she could do a lot of good (as an X-Man), and she replies that she is going to do good (as a doctor). She then asks him about the phone again.
Wolverine grabs his jacket and offers to give her a ride. He claims that a long taxicab ride from out here in Westchester County would cost her a fortune. She is surprised at the offer, since she was told that the X-Men do not own any cars. He replies that they do not. But he got up early this morning and called in a few favors. He now has a vehicle.
Soon the two X-Men are riding Wolverine's motorcycle. Cecilia is wearing the only helmet. She is worried about his safety and instructs him to take it easy with their drive. She explains that in her medical career, she has seen a lot of nasty head injuries on careless motorcycle riders. Wolvie claims that he is never careless and just trying to make good time for her. She points that he has no helmet. She explains that she would rather not have his cranium as her first patient of the day. She finally points that she is not actually in a hurry. The people in the hospital do not expect her to come back to work this day or any other day, so what times she arrives is not an issue. Wolvie points that she should have waken up at noon, but she answers that old habits (like waking up early for work) die hard.
Privately, Cecilia is surprised that she is talking to "this guy" like they are old buddies from the neighborhood and know each other for a while. She realized that she does not know him. She recalls how she ended up with the X-Men, and a flashback takes place. In the flashback, one of her patients turns into a Prime Sentinel and attacks her. The patient turned out to be on a mission to kill mutants, particularly Cecilia herself. Then Bobby Drake, "Iceman" as he introduced himself, swept in to re-extend an offer that she had previously turned down. An offer to join the X-Men. The flashback ends.
Cecilia thinks that joining the X-Men was like going to the White House as a visitor and be immediately appointed to the cabinet. She was now a "superwoman" on the run from a paramilitary organization intend on eradicating people like her. She ended up surviving the ordeal, but she is uncertain if she can return to the way things were before.
At 7:02 AM, Cecilia is still deep in thought. She thinks that the recent return of the heroes means that the world needs another doctor, not another hero. Wolvie alerts her that they have already arrived in the hospital. He has already stepped on the ground, and she is alone on the motorcycle and failed to notice. He informs her that he has brought her right to the door of the hospital in south Bronx.
Wolvie asks how is she planning to pay for the ride, in cash or credit card. She asks him to put the price of the ride on her tab, as she is cash-strapped. She is still trying to pay her medical school, and does not know if this would take her 2 years or 50. She promises to settle up her debt when she is done paying the rest of her debts. He tells her to forget about paying him back, and that she should consider this a free ride. He was doing her a favor for saving Scotty (Summers)' life.
Cecilia hesitates to enter her workplace. She thinks that she was confident this morning, but she is now worried what the people inside will think. Noticing her hesitation, Wolvie claims that he knows what she is thinking and offers her some advice. Whether being an X-Man or not, part of being a mutant, being a person of different ethnicity, and being a woman in a male-dominated field is not roll over and play dead. She should not let the world pretend that she does not exist. She just has to show them that what makes her different does not make that much of a difference. He then reminds her that if this does not work, she can always return to the X-Men. He then leaves on his mororcycle.
Cecilia thinks that a chapter of her life has just closed. She now can run away and spare herself the ridicule, or she can walk inside the hospital and start the clock of her future running again. It is up to her to decide. At 7:10 AM, Cecilia enters the hospital. At 8:15 AM, she is still kept waiting outside the office of Dr. Gibbons, the chief of staff. He steps in and asks her to forgive him for keeping her waiting. She says it is all right.
Cecilia points that the magazine she was reading in his waiting room is 3-years-old. She deduces that there is no magazine budget in this hospital, even for the chief of staff. He admits that there is no budget for anything at this hospital. He asks her to step in and speak to him. She spends several minutes, mostly not depicted on page, explaining who she is, where she was, and why. She claims that all of what she said is factual. Gibbons points that she is risking a lot by offering him this much information. She answers that she wants to be a doctor, and he has to be able to trust her for this to happen.
She says that she is a mutant and can not change that fact. But she claims that she does not even know how to initiate her powers (which mostly activate on their own). So the possibility that her powers can threaten a patient's life is remote. Gibbons explains that he personally has no real problem with mutants. He blames the mutant hysteria on media-fueled hype. As a doctor, he understands that mutations are due to basic genetics. No mutant actually has control over the genes that they are born with. But not everyone is so understanding about the situation. His staff is counted on to save lives. A mutant out of the closet could attract attention. And if a super-villain comes to the hospital looking for her, then she will no longer be an asset to the staff. She herself would be a threat.
Cecilia denies being a threat and claims that she can cope with bigotry from the staff. She has spend the last few years of her life as a Puerto Rican woman, working in the middle of a group of white, male doctors. So she is already familiar with bigots and how to handle herself around them. She then admits something on a more personal level. This job is who she is, and she gave up everything to be a doctor. She can not loose her job. The two doctors stare at each other for a while, then shake hands. Gibbons promises her that they will make an effort to try and see how things go. If things stay calm, Cecilia stays on board. If there is trouble, he will have to let her go. He can not offer anything else at the moment. She says that that will have to do until she can prove herself.
The scene shifts to an airplane flying above eastern Canada. A narration explains that this is the second of three planes two former X-Men have arranged to carry them to their new lives. The next panel reveals that the narration speaks about Scott Summers and Jean Grey. Jean worries about her husband, who almost died recently and who still has health problems. She asks about his health. He replies that he is holding together so far. He only feels a little pain, but this is normal for him. He always has little pains these days. She responds that he needs to get away from it all. With a telepathic communication, she adds something to their conversation. She thinks that even without Bastion's nanotech bomb in his abdomen, there are other health concerns about him . After all these years of conflict and hardship, it seems surprising to her that he has not had an ulcer.
Changing the topic, Jean assures her husband that he can relax. A few more connections and they will be back in Anchorage. Then he will have nothing to think about except her. Scott smiles and replies that he is always thinking about her. Their faces approach, but a voice interrupts their interactions. It is the voice of a female passenger who is curious in what part of Anchorage will they be staying. Jean turns to greet her and explains that they will be staying at the little area called Ptarmigan Creek. The woman is enthusiastic that Scott and Jean are "Creekers", because she and her husband are also "Creekers". She introduces herself as Staci Murphy, and the bespectacled man sitting next to her as her husband Chris. Jean introduces herself and her own husband.
The pleasant conversation ends when Jean lets out a cry of pain and grabs her head. Staci asks if Jean is okay and what causes her pain. Jean telepathically feels an entity. An image depicts sinister-looking yellow eyes looking out from a metal crate. Jean "explains" to Staci that she is suffering a sudden migraine, and that she gets a lot of them. A concerned Staci leaves to to ask the flight attendant for some Tylenol for Jean. In a telepathic conversation, Scott asks Jean what is really going on. He is certain that this is more mere headache, and asks her if she is reading something telepathically. Jean is still in pain and answers that she does not really know what is going on. She only knows that something in this plane wants to kill. She lets out another cry of pain.
The scene shifts back to the hospital, at 10:10 AM. Cecilia and two other doctors, Dr. Carasso and medical intern Bernard Soto, prepare to give surgery to a patient. Soto attempts to introduce himself, although they have met before. He does not think that Cecilia remembers him. She points that she remembers him as one of a pack of prospective interns jockeying for a position, and she knows him by name. She asks information about the patient. Carasso starts explaining about the patient's high white cell counts and instantaneous lower right quad pain. Cecilia stops him and deduces the rest of the information, that the patient is in need of emergency appendectomy. She finds this is an easy morning assignment for the medical team, and Soto seems to agree.
As she enters the operating room, Cecilia thinks that this seems to be an easy day, almost too easy. She theorizes that she is still sleeping and dreaming, and that someone has to wake her up. She soon volunteers to open up the patient, and Carasso allows her to take the lead in the surgery. She checks with Anthony the anesthesiologist about the condition of the patient. He explains that due to a delay, he is still trying to put the patient under. He will need a few more minutes. Cecilia is suddenly confronted by another surgeon, Wallace, who is there to replace her. He informs her that she is being pulled out of the surgery and that Gibbons wants to speak to her outside the room. She seems angry, and Wallace points that she should not shoot the messenger. He is just repeating what Gibbons told him. She exits the operating room, and warns Wallace to not open the patient until he hears from her.
Cecilia finds Gibbons waiting outside, along with five people of various ages that sit on a bench. She angrily confronts Gibbons, pointing that he told her that he is going to give her a chance. Now he yanks her before she can even start to prove herself. Gibbons claims it was not his call. The decision was taken by the family of the patient, the people waiting on the bench. Her anger seemingly gone, Cecilia is confused and asks for their reasons. A woman answers that they do not want a known mutant operating on their only son. Gibbons explains to Mrs. Carter that "Dr. Reyes" is perfectly qualified. Mr. Carter speaks up to say that they have nothing personal against, they simply do not like mutants in general. Cecilia calls him ignorant, but Gibbons prevents her from speaking further.
Cecilia turns her attention back to Gibbons and accuses him of broadcasting her status as a mutant to the entire world. She informs him that telling them is a violation of her privacy. He answers that he was not the one who told them. He thinks that a member of her medical team told them. Cecilia is shocked, because her team acted so nice to her. She looks back into the operating room. Her formerly friendly colleagues, now stare back suspiciously. Cecilia steps away, and is now certain she is not dreaming. Someone has certainly managed to wake her up harshly.
A woman sees Cecilia in medical clothing and asks her for help. She angrily responds that the lady does not want her help, but the lady insists and says this is about her son. Cecilia more patiently explains that she can not take unassigned cases. The woman and another family member beg her to check the son, who is in pain and has been long waiting for someone to check up on him. The young man soon collapses to the floor, attracting the attention of Cecilia. The narration explains about the common super-power of all great doctors. When tragedy unfolds near them, the seconds slow down to minutes for them. In that extra time that only exists in their mind, they make decision that save lives.
Cecilia takes charge of the situation and commands a nearby nurse to get an emergency bay cleared and prepped. She also asks her to get a cart over here immediately. She examines the young man and finds a weak pulse and two gunshot wounds on him. She concludes that they are going to need blood, and wants a type run to get going as soon as he is in. She herself will scrub. Within 13 minutes, Cecilia and an assistant surgeon called Nancy have removed the bullets. Cecilia comments that she will never understand man's capacity to inflict pain on his fellow man or woman. She then instructs Nancy that they will now have to clean the wounds and sew the patient shut. At 11:40 AM, the surgical work of the two women is over. They congratulate each other for their work. Cecilia tells Nancy to tell someone else to prepare the needed paperwork for the patient, as she is now heading for lunch.
At 12:00, noon, Cecilia enters the crowded hospital cafeteria. Her former colleague Luis entertains the people at his table by narrating a funny story about a patient who was eating soup and swallowed his spoon. Cecilia tries to join the group and even adds a detail to Luis' story. Luis' being mood changes abruptly when he notices her, from being jovial to being tense and suspicious. He asks "Reyes" if she brought any Sentinels with her. She asks him what he means. Another colleague points that if she is a mutant, warnings about Sentinels are really the kind of thing she should have told people from the start. Because her mere presence endangers all of them. Luis claims that "Reyes" does not care about their safety, because she is Homo superior and no longer human. He finds a work-related excuse to leave the table and the cafeteria. Everyone else at the table follows his examples. Within minutes, Cecilia is eating lunch alone.
At 12:36 PM, Cecilia is at her office dealing with paperwork. Her office door office and she is greeted by her old friend Lilly. Cecilia is happy to see a friendly face at last, though she is uncertain if Lilly still considers her a friend. Lilly asks whether this is about the recent chaos, and assures her friend that chaos finds everybody sometime or another. She claims that Cecilia is not the only one around here with a skeleton in her closet. As examples, she offers some juicy gossip. One of the doctors is romancing the newest female intern, another doctor is getting audited, and a third one is facing a malpractice suit. Cecilia appreciates the normal conversation, but informs Lilly that she was never into the local gossip. Lilly points that she already knows that. She simply wanted to explain that everybody has things which they wish to keep secret from others. And all of them work with them and make it through the day just the same. Cecilia thanks her for the encouragement.
Suddenly their conversation is interrupted by a nurse that burst into the office. She informs "Dr. Reyes" that Dr. Loran needs her in trauma number 4 immediately. Cecilia is surprised at who is asking for her help, since Loran is an old enemy who hated her before she came out as mutant. She asks the nurse why he wants her help, and the nurse replies that Loran claimed Cecilia is the only one who might be able to help with a case. An overjoyed Cecilia throws her pen in the air and prepares to leave her office. She thinks that finally there id a doctor willing to look past his own prejudices and just accept Cecilia for her skills. She comments that maybe there is hope for this world, after all.
Cecilia is soon unpleasantly surprised to see Loran's special case. It is a restrained Pyro, whose flame powers have gone out of control. The patient screams in pain, while a nurse tries and fails to put out the perpetual flame surrounding him with a fire extinguisher. Cecilia stops the nurse from further using the foam, as it would make the room's floor so slick that nobody would be able to stand up. She instructs the nurse to instead fetch a fire blanket from the hall locker. She notices two policemen standing guard and instructs them to wait outside.
The patient explains that he is called Pyro and this flame is what he does. Ever since he got the Legacy Virus, his powers are acting up and he does it even more. While in pain he explains that as a mutant he was already part of a minority. Now he is sick with a disease that makes him even more of an outcast, and this is unfair. Realizing Pyro is a fellow mutant, Cecilia accuses Loran that this is the only reason he asked for her. Because she is a mutant and he is afraid of his own patient. Loran does not seem to deny it, though he manages to explain that the patient has multiple gunshot wounds to the abdomen.
Cecilia turns to Pyro and asks him how he got shot. He answers that he robbed a bank. He needed the money to pay a scientist who claims to be able to take away mutant genes and depower mutants. Leron intervenes to explain that taking away genes is impossible, and a desperate Pyro warns him not to speak to take away his only hope. a new burst of flame almost touches Loran. He asks Cecilia how are they supposed to get the patient's vital signs or run tests when he is in this condition. Cecilia claims that they can still get information by an old-fashioned way, trying to talk to the patient. She instructs Loran to get some goggles on.
Pyro explains that usually bullets are no problem for him. He typically controls the flames well enough, that he can melt bullets before they hit him. With his loss of control over his powers, he could no longer accomplish that. The bullets did not melt, they only heated up and and hit him. And this hurts. Cecilia theorizes that the heat might have cauterized the slugs and done less damage. She wants to take a closer look, though Pyro warns that her flames can burn her. She uses her force field on her hands to allow them to approach through the flames. Pyro soon notices and deduces that he is speaking to another mutant. She asks whether he can lower his temperature, pointing that she is sweating and the sweat is getting into her eyes. If she can not see, extracting bullets is going to be tough.
Pyro explains that his powers do not involve generating the heat himself, he simply controls the flames producing it. She informs him that they have no way to anesthetize him. The gas would blow in contact with the flames and the needle filament would melt. She instructs him to get ready for a surgery without anesthetic and a lot of pain. Suddenly there is a fire alarm and activated sprinklers start dropping water on Cecilia, Loran, and Pyro. She welcomes a chance to cool down the metal forceps she is going to use. As she speaks, she uses the forceps to remove the first bullet. Pyro screams in pain.
On 1:24 PM, the operation is over and every bullet has been extracted. Cecilia is sweaty and with blood on her hands and uniform. She informs Loran that she was able to close the wounds with adhesive glue, though he questions whether the flames will melt the glue. She admits that she does not know, since she was on new ground and had to improvise through the operation. She thanks Loran for assisting her, and compliments him on his ability to stay calm through all the heat.
Soon Cecilia instructs the nurses to take Pyro away. They ask where to place him, and she instructs them to take the patient to the cat-scan room on the first floor. It has cement walls that should endure the flames. The patient can stay there until they think of a better solution. She warns them to avoid wheeling Pyro past the oxygen tanks. Pyro thanks Cecilia and says he appreciates the medical care, though he knows that the "doc" may thinks he was not worth the effort. She accepts his gratitude.
The two policemen return and protest that Pyro can not stay in the hospital, since he is a criminal in police custody. She informs them that for the moment Pyro is still her patient and that he just came out of a major surgery. To get him out of the hospital, the policemen should return with a warrant and assure her that Pyro is going to be taken care of until he is ready to stand trial. Only then she is going to release him to their custody. Gibbons arrives and protests that her decision is going against hospital policy. She answers that it is still within hospital policy to try and help a patient, since this the very goal of the hospital.
Cecilia explains that Pyro can recuperate a little, before being turned over to the authorities. Gibbons accuses her that she is only saying this because Pyro is one of her type and she wants to take care of her own people. She answers that claiming that a mutant is her type is discriminatory language. She threatens to draw some very real discrimination charges if Gibbons does not watch what he is saying. She then insists that Pyro will continue to rest at the hospital, ends the conversation, and walks away. She fails to notice Daredevil listening to the conversation from a nearby hospital window.
The scene shifts to a waterfront in the Lower West Side of Manhattan. Warehouse workers work on unloading wooden crates from a ship. Two workers note that the big crate was the last one send by Kevin Plunder from Antarctica, and wonder who even lives in that continent. One of the workers note that the last shipment from Plunder was picked up by a "hot redheaded babe" (Shanna O'Hara), and that he hopes to check her out again. When the workers leave, one of the crates breaks from the inside. A being with glowing eyes and green skin escapes from the crate, though its face is not clearly seen. (He is identified in later issues as Sauron).
The scene shifts back to the hospital, where Cecilia has a hectic day and is facing various situations. A female patient called Ms. Taylor has broken both her legs. Cecilia tries to explain to her that "roller blading" (another term for inline skating) can be fun, but novices should not try to jump barrels. Mrs. DeAgostino, the wife of a patient, suggests euthanasia for her husband. Cecilia points that the lady keeps asking for euthanasia every day. Then explains in clear terms that they can not mercy kill a patient who is conscious and unwilling to die. Mr. DeAgostino angrily points that his wife wants to kill him and get the insurance money. Cecilia catches a man in medical clothing "exercising" when he is supposed to be resting, and sends him to sleep. She also threatens that if she catches him "exercising" by peeking into the women’s locker room again, she will order him catheterized. She explains to a young and underage patient that he should quit taking steroids. He is worried that Cecilia is going to tell his mother, but she promises to keep it a secret if he stops. A middle-aged patient refuses to take the pill offered by the "mutie doctor", because he does not trust her. She explains that with the poor condition of his liver, he should take the help of any doctor who can save his life. Later, Cecilia examines Miss Robinsky, a victim of domestic violence. Robinski is reluctant to press charges against her abusive boyfriend. Cecilia explains that if she lets him off scot-free, the abuse will continue and get more severe. In four months Robinski would return to the hospital to be fitted for a cast, and in six months she will be fitted for a coffin. Throughout these minor scenes, Daredevil is stalking Cecilia and remains unnoticed.
At 3:20 PM, Cecilia is finally alone and contemplating the "Mutie doctor" insult. Daredevil suddenly grabs her and takes her inside an empty room. He says he has been watching her and needs to have word with her. She takes one look at his "devil outfit" and decides she is talking to a super-villain. She asks who elected her the "Mother Theresa" of the super-villain crowd. She then declares that just because she was outed as a mutant, does not mean there is an open season on her. She is not a hero and she does not want to be defined by whose butt she can kick. She wants this villain to leave. Surprised at her reaction, Daredevil introduces himself and explains that he is a hero, not a villain. He asks whether she has heard of him.
Somewhat surprised, Cecilia asks him whether he has taken a good look at his villainous-looking costume. She then wonders if he is here to collect dues for a super-union. She tries to explain that she is cash-strapped, and has loans that she will continue to pay until she is as gray-haired as her grandmother. So she is not interested in a union's recruiting office. She wants him to leave. Daredevil, seemingly taken aback, finally explains that he is here as a patient. He takes off the upper part of his costume and reveals a gunshot wound. She notes that the wound seems nasty and asks what did he do to get it. He claims that he leaped into harm's way. She answers that "harm" won.
Cecilia decides to help him, and claims its her contribution to the return of the heroes. She demands for Daredevil to take off his clothes, particularly his mask. A shocked Daredevil protests that the costume serves to conceal his true identity. Cecilia is not impressed. She points that DD already knows her own identity, and turnabout is fair play. She then points that his red costume will not help blend in the hospital environment. She finally points that if anyone discovers Cecilia treating a costumed hero, her medical career would be effectively over. Daredevil still hesitates and Cecilia commands him to undress. She suggests that DD will have to trust her. She claims that her medical oath prevents her from revealing the information of a patient to the world. Whoever he is, he will maintain secrecy and keep information to herself. She orders him to undress again, and wants to know what this mess of a wound actually is and why did he not seek medical attention earlier.
Daredevil takes off his mask and explains that this is a gunshot wound. It was initially healing, but then got infected. DD strips off his uniform, leaving only a single item of underwear covering his crotch area. Cecilia touches the wound with her gloved hand and DD screams in pain. He finds his lack of pain resistance surprising for a hero, but he answers that under their uniforms heroes remain normal people.
A curious Daredevil asks what is Cecilia's power. She asks what makes him think she has a power. He points that she already told him she is a mutant. She answers that being a mutant does not mean that she has a power, it simply means she has a mutation. She suggests that DD thinks that every idiot savant is charming and cuddly like Dustin Hoffman in the film "Rainman". He does not believe her and demands to know about her power, claiming that turnabout is fair play. She reveals that her power is a forcefield. He immediately asks whether the forcefield is offensive or defensive. She claims to not know what it is, and that she can not control it either way. He deduces that the forcefield snaps up by itself now and then, and this probably means it is defensive.
While she prepares to clean his wound, Daredevil asks what she plans to do with her power. She answers that she plans nothing for her power. She wants to practice medicine until she becomes an old woman and retires. He suggests that she should not waste her power, which is a gift. He acknowledges that she is a doctor, and from watching her he has learned that she is a great doctor. But there are a lot more doctors in this world than people with powers of any kind. Physicians save lives one at a time. As a hero, he has saved the entire New York City in one fells swoop, rescued thousands of lives in a heartbeat. He wants her to consider his advice. Cecilia changes the topic. She plans to sneak him down for some antibiotics, to find him some street clothes, and to get him out of the hospital. She then plans to keep treating the patients who are actually paying for their treatment. She cleans his wound and he screams in pain.
After finishing with Daredevil, Cecilia checks on the health condition of the patient from the Carter family. Mrs. Carter explains that her son is fine, and asks Cecilia to not take their distrust of mutants personally. Cecilia says that she did take it personally, but she still wanted to make sure her former patient is okay. Later she is thanked by another family for saving their son. At 5:00 PM, Cecilia goes to check on Pyro. She finds him still restrained and aflame, but notes that his flames seem to be more controlled. She asks if he is feeling better. He admits that he is still in some pain, but this is his normal condition while suffering from the Legacy Virus.
She informs Pyro that she made a call to a university research team, and that he may participate on their study of immuno-viruses. They might be able to help him with the virus. He answers that he is not interested in being a guinea pig. He then changes the subject. He points that he is still under guard and quite incapacitated, so the restrain straps are unnecessary, but claims that they hurt him. He begs her to loosen them up a bit. Cecilia asks if she can trust him. He claims that he can not betray her, since she believed in him and got him this humane hospital respite. Nobody else would even bother with him. He then begs her as one human being to another, to relieve his pain. She is touched and loosens his restrains. The supposedly incapacitated Pyro immediately escaped his restrains and stand up, ready to escape. He offers her some advice, to never trust a villain as they will say anything to advance their cause. He thanks her for her medical and escapes trough a nearby window. She complains that he will cost her job. He answers that she is a natural as a doctor and can certainly find another job. He then tells her goodbye and vanishes.
At 5:28, Cecilia steps into Gibbons' office to report that Pyro is gone. Gibbons speaks first. He has find out that Pyro is carrying the Legacy Virus. He thinks that by operating on him, Cecilia has exposed herself to a primarily mutant antigen. He figures she know that and is worried about further exposure. He deduces that she now wants the patient out of the hospital as much as Gibbons does. She listed to his train of thought and answers that he is not even close to what she is thinking. She informs him that Pyro is no longer an issue. He thinks she is reporting Pyro's death, but then she explains that she loosened Pyro's restrain straps and the patient escaped. Gibbons is furious and fires her on the spot.
Cecilia is not surprised at his reaction and says she expected it. She prepares to leave and tells him, she will skip the details of the escape. He says that she can tell these details to the police. She says it is fine with her, and claims that this hospital is not the only place that needs her. At 5:55 PM, Cecilia is back on civilian clothing (different than her morning attire), and exits the hospital. At 8:10 PM, a taxicab drops Cecilia and her luggage back to the Xavier Mansion. She is greeted by Wolverine, who was out smoking a cigar. He is somewhat puzzled at her return. He was expecting her to return eventually, but not this day. Cecilia claims that she is back for good. He asks whether they rented her room yet. He says that the room is all hers. She is pleased, then instructs him to step aside and put out his cigar. She explains that smoking can kill him.
Two minutes later, Cecilia is standing at the front door of the Mansion. Storm is there to welcome her, and says that she is pleased that Cecilia has chosen to remain with the team. Cecilia answers that she is unsure if her return was her choice, but she is herself pleased to return. She thinks she can do some good for the world from this Mansion, and doing good is all that she really wants out of life. Storm is surprised at this sudden change of heart and asks for Cecilia's reasons. Cecilia jokes that "the Devil" talked her into it. She wishes Storm good night.At 8:14 PM, Cecilia enters her room and throws her luggage at the floor. She is exhausted and collapses on her bed. She falls asleep within minutes, without bothering to change clothes. The story ends.
- The story involves the passage of time in a single day. Most scenes and several single panels depict the time through the image of a digital clock and its digits. The summary above includes some, but not all displays of time. Though some scenes are unrelated to the others, they are all linear. The story begins with Dr. Cecilia Reyes waking up at 5:02 AM and ends with her falling asleep at 8:18 PM (20:18). Altogether, the story lasts for 15 hours and 16 minutes.
- This is actually the first depiction of Dr. Cecilia Reyes, a new member of the X-Men, in an issue of Uncanny X-Men Vol 1. She had debuted in X-Men Vol 2 65 (June, 1997). All her appearances before Uncanny X-Men #351 were in issues of X-Men Vol 2, where she was a regular cast member during the Operation: Zero Tolerance event.
- The issue serves as a spotlight issue for Dr. Cecilia Reyes, still a new character at the time of publication. It is mostly devoted to her characterization, to her interactions with co-workers at a hospital and with patients, to her attempt and failure to resume her medical career after being outed as a mutant, and to her reluctance at being an X-Man or a heroine. There are no combat scenes, and the main action scenes are provided by a constantly aflame Pyro. The cover is misleading, as it depicts her being attacked by Pyro.
- The scene where Dr. Cecilia Reyes interacts with her patient Daredevil is expanded with additional details in Daredevil Vol 1 371 (January, 1998).
- The story mentions a few times the recent return of the heroes. The reference is to most of the heroic characters considered deceased following their "deaths" in Onslaught Marvel Universe Vol 1 1 (October, 1996). They were actually transferred to Counter-Earth for a while. They returned to Earth in the Heroes Reborn: The Return Vol 1 mini-series of late 1997. Daredevil was not among the dying or returning heroes.
- This issue includes a subplot where former X-Men Cyclops and Phoenix are heading to Anchorage for settlement. This largely derives from the Operation: Zero Tolerance event, when Cyclops almost died due to Bastion having a nano-bomb surgically implanted into Scott’s lower abdomen. He survived but with health problems. He and Jean decided to leave the team in X-Men Vol 2 71 (January, 1998).
- While Cyclops and Phoenix are no longer officially X-Men, they are not actually written out of the X-books. Their storyline of their supposed retirement is Alaska is followed by several later issues and lasts for quite a while. They also eventually start flying out of Alaska to join the X-Men in various missions. This period of the characters ends with X-Men Vol 2 97 (February, 2000), when Scott temporarily merges with Apocalypse. He was thought dead for a while, eventually recovered his individuality, but never returned to Anchorage. Jean also left Anchorage following his "death", to become a full-time member of the X-Men.
- The being which Jean Grey senses on the airplane is the so-called "Entity", an alien presence fully depicted in Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 352 (February, 1998). It only appears in these two issues.
- The green-skinned being send from Kevin Plunder to Shanna O'Hara and escaping in New York City is eventually revealed to be Sauron. This issue marks his return. That Sauron is alive was somewhat surprising at the publication time of the issue. His previous appearance in Ka-Zar of the Savage Land Vol 1 1 (February, 1997) involved his supposed death in an explosion. His survival has never been properly explained.
- The character mentioned as Kevin Plunder in this issue is also known as Ka-Zar. He is actually the second Marvel character of that codename, following David Rand.
- The woman mentioned in this issue as the "hot redheaded babe" is Shanna O'Hara, wife of Kevin Plunder. While she has been depicted as an attractive female character for decades, her description as a redhead might be a mistake. While depicted with red or reddish hair in the covers of her original series Shanna, The She-Devil Vol 1 (1972-1973), Shanna was later depicted as a blonde.
- The subplot about a scientist who promises to take away mutant genes and depower mutants, is the earliest known mention of Aubrey Agee. He would debut in Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 353 (March, 1998) and his storyline followed for several issues.
- The Marvel Chronology Project, which covers character appearances, has the following information to offer on the characters of the issue:
- Cyclops appears here immediately following X-Men Vol 2 71 (January, 1998). He next appears in Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 352 (February, 1998).
- Daredevil appears here following Daredevil Vol 1 370 (December, 1997). His next chronological appearances are (in order) Amazing Spider-Man Vol 1 429 (December, 1997) and Daredevil Vol 1 371 (January, 1998).
- Phoenix appears here immediately following X-Men Vol 2 71 (January, 1998). She next appears in Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 352 (February, 1998).
- Pyro appears here following X-Factor Vol 1 130 (January, 1997). His next chronological appearance is in Quicksilver Vol 1 6 (April, 1998).
- Dr. Cecilia Reyes' previous chronological appearance is in the first 20 pages of X-Men Vol 2 71 (January, 1998). There is a break between pages 20 and 21 from issue #351, where her scenes from Daredevil Vol 1 371 (January, 1998) fit. She next appears in pages 21-22 of X-Men Vol 2 71, and then in X-Men Vol 2 72 (February, 1998).
- Sauron's previous chronological appearances were a full appearance in Ka-Zar of the Savage Land Vol 1 1 (February, 1997) and a flashback in Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 354 (April, 1998). His next chronological appearances is another flashback in Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 354 and a full appearance in Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 353 (March, 1998).
- Storm initial appearance in this issue follows pages 1 to 20 of X-Men Vol 2 71 (January, 1998). She then appears in pages 21-22 of X-Men Vol 2 71, then comes her appearance at the finale of Uncanny X-Men #351. Her next chronological appearance is in X-Men Vol 2 72 (February, 1998).
- Wolverine appears here following the first 20 pages of X-Men Vol 2 72 (February, 1998). His next chronological appearance is in in Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 352 (February, 1998).
- This is the second issue of Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 which credits Steven T. Seagle as its main writer. The previous one was Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 350 (December, 1997), where departing writer Scott Lobdell served as an uncredited co-plotter. This means this is the first issue where Seagle is writing his own plot.
- The guest artist for the issue is José Edilbenes Bezerra ("Ed Benes"). He was employed by Marvel Comics at the time, at the start of his career in mainstream American comics. Despite the already high quality of his art, Marvel only ever used him as a guest artist in a hand full of series or had him co-working with other artists. He was later hired by DC Comics and went on to become one of its high-profile artists, with long runs in major series.
- At the time of publication Dr. Cecilia Reyes was one of three new members of the X-Men. The others were Marrow and Maggott. Their powers were already established before they joined the ranks, but much of their characterization had yet to be established. Marrow was a former member of the Morlocks and technically knew the X-Men for years, though she did not have particularly friendly relationships with the team. Her characterization involved vocal criticism of the team and perpetual anger at the world. Maggott was a mysterious fellow who was just getting to know the team, and vice versa. Cecilia's role with the team had yet to be determined. She was a closeted mutant with a medical career who only got involved with the team once her secret was outed and her own life was threatened. She was at best an unenthusiastic recruit to the team, and at worst abrasive and mean-spirited in her interactions with others. This spotlight issue was clearly an attempt to flesh out the character, to humanize her, and to let readers see things from her perspective.
- The depiction of the Mother of Mercy Hospital is a somewhat unusual depiction of a Marvel Universe hospital. It mixes real medical situations and workplace relationships with the clear presence of anti-mutant prejudice, the threat of super-villain and Sentinels attacks, and even superheroes and super-villains visiting the hospital as patients to seek treatment for their injuries.
- The issue emphasizes that Dr. Cecilia Reyes is a member of multiple minorities. She is a Homo superior (mutant) in a working environment full of Homo sapiens members, she is a Puerto Rican person (of African descent) in a workplace mostly filled with with white doctors (of European descent), she is a woman in a male-dominated working environment and career. She is used to facing prejudice on multiple fronts.
- Many of the major and minor scenes of the issue serve to portray Dr. Cecilia Reyes as a hard-working woman. Within a single day, Cecilia deals with almost a dozen patients demanding various kinds of treatment. Surgeries on life-threatening wounds, cleaning out less serious wounds, medical advice to various patients, and the ever-present paperwork, all in a single day's work. Cecilia faces it all with confidence, decisiveness, occasional improvisation, and even impatience. She always seems to be in a hurry.
- The role of Storm, Wolverine, and Daredevil in this issue is to try and convince Dr. Cecilia Reyes that she can do more good as a hero than as a doctor. Daredevil also argues that being a super-powered individual makes her more special, since they are a lot rarer than doctors. Something of a peculiar argument for Earth-616, which at this point seemed to have an ever-growing population of super-powered individuals of various origins.
- As with many of his appearances in the 1990s, Pyro is portrayed as a very ill man. Due to suffering from the Legacy Virus, his fire-related powers are frequently out of control, he coughs when he speaks, and he is constantly in pain. He seems to be at death's door in almost every appearance of the period, though the writers always avoided outright killing him. As a relatively high-profile opponent of the X-Men and related teams, Pyro was easily among the most notable victims of the Virus. He was always useful in storylines portraying the virus' effects or where various solutions to the virus were sought out. Curiously in this issue, Pyro objects to being a "guinea pig" for researchers.