Appearing in "In Sin Air"
- "Entity". A mysterious alien presence.
- Professor X (Mentioned)
- Dr. Cecilia Reyes (Mentioned)
- Brood (Mentioned)
- Betsy Braddock (Mentioned)
- Gambit (Mentioned)
- Magneto (Mentioned)
- Archangels (Mentioned)
- Gabriel (Mentioned)
- Leonardo da Vinci (Mentioned)
- Phoenix Force (Only in flashback)
- Tabitha Smith (Only in flashback)
- X-Force (Mentioned)
- Department H
- "Charley". Name or nickname of one of the agents.
- Airplane passengers:
- North America
- United States of America
- South Dakota
- Airplane transporting Cyclops, Phoenix, and the "Entity".
- A.I.M. aircraft.
Synopsis for "In Sin Air"
The issue opens with a view of Mount Rushmore. A bird flies over the monument. The narration explains that it is a small meadowlark . Phoenix sees the world through the bird's eyes and searches for "a lone man". She is convinced he is not here and then starts trying to change. She pushes past the limits of her powers to become something larger and more powerful. The scene changes to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, where another bird is flying. Jean sees the world through the eyes of an eagle, but still fails to find the "lone man" she is searching for. She pushes the limits of her powers again to become something even vulture and more powerful. The scene shifts to a desert location and what seems to be a large prison facility. A bird is flying above it. Jean sees the world through the eyes of a hungry vulture. The narration explains that the location is in the Southwestern United States. In this isolated "Red Desert" location, Jean senses that the lone man she is seeking could be found. Her search ends prematurely when her mental essence is pulled away from an unexpected force. The image reveals a cargo area and a box from where yellow eyes stare out. The box has a warning label about its dangerous contents.
The scene shifts to the cabin of the airplane transporting Jean Grey and Cyclops, who is sitting right next to her. Scott has evidently not shaved for while, and seems to be growing a small beard. The plane is going through a turbulence. A stewardess standing up tries to hold on to nearby objects to keep from falling, a passenger spills his drink on his own clothes, another passenger looses his deck of playing cards who start flying, and a third passenger looses the magazine he was holding. Scott asks Jean what is wrong with the plane. He explains that he was sleeping and just woke up. Jean explains that she can sense nothing about the plane, but she is troubled by the presence of someone on it. She tries to explain something about their mind, but stops in mid-sentence.
The scene shifts to the exterior of the plane. A small aircraft approaches the "target craft". Its passengers have cloaked their vehicle from radars. They prepare to dock, and attach their aircraft to the passenger airplane. The pilots of the passenger airplane are perplexed. The turbulence is not explained by the air conditions around them, their plane seems heavier than usual, and the instrumentation seems to be "all over the place". They can not do anything about it, but decide to soon do a full check.
Cyclops, who seems to be in pain, asks Jean whose mind is she talking about. She explains that she was mentally wide open, while trying to locate Professor X. Then the fears of everybody on the plane came crashing up against her thoughts. She is still recovering and needs to get her head together. As she speaks the turbulence stops. Scott notes that the crisis is over as quickly as it started. He asks Jean if she is all right, and she answers that she has a headache and could use a few hundred Tylenol. But otherwise she is all right. She then asks how Scott is doing, noting that he does not look well.
Scott answers in a lower tone of voice, that he looks like he had a bomb cut out of his chest with a Wolverine claw. He feels like that too. He asks more loudly if they still have any of the pills Dr. Cecilia Reyes gave him for the pain. Jean explains that they are out of pills. She worries that Scott should not have entered a flight until he had time to heal better. He complains that he feels like he is about to give birth to a Brood. Worried that someone could overhear their conversation, Jean starts communicating telepathically. She offers to help Scott with her psychic powers, by dampening his pain receptor neurons. He declines and suggests she should keep using her powers to search for Professor Xavier. She notes that she could not find a trace of Xavier's thoughts, and that she should be able to find something even if his own powers were shut down.
Jean turns the conversation back to Scott, saying that she still wants to help him. She notes that Scott always shoulders all the pain of the world, without mending his own pain. She explains that he does nor have to be a hero around her. He replies that he is not trying to be a martyr. She answers that he is actually trying to be a martyr, and that she is the one not letting him succeed. She then explains that she can not continue the search for Xavier. There is some kind of weird static on the psi-plane that is making it almost impossible to search. That is why she had to conceal herself as a bird. Cyclops smiles and points that his wife should not worry about him. If he needed her help, he would tell her. She wishes that he would tell her more often.
Their conversation is interrupted by their new acquaintance Staci Murphy from Anchorage. She has noted that the couple have been quiet for some time and checks up on them. Jean cryptically answers that some things are better left unsaid. Staci still worries about the turbulence. She says that if this situation keeps up, the two couples may never get to be next-door neighbors in Anchorage. Cyclops telepathically notes that Staci seems nervous and suggests that she could use a little piece of Jean's mind. He is suggesting telepathic help, but Jean replies that she is doing it the old-fashioned way and just speaking to her new neighbor. Jean lets Staci know that she should not let these flight bumps get to her. She and Scott have been on flights that make this one look like a carnival ride. Staci questions that claim, but Jean says that they have stories they could tell. Chris, Staci's husband, explains that he and his wife almost never take a flight, and they are much less experienced as flight passengers. He asks Jean if she thinks this situation is okay.
A passenger suddenly screams that they are all going to die, and that the powerful minds are here. Scott telepathically suggests intervening, but Jean declines. She wants the former X-Men to remain in their seats and leave the distressed passenger to the professionals. She explains to Scott that if they still plan on being civilians, they have to start acting like civilians. She sees no reason to panic. The distressed passenger cries out that "she" is in his head. Two flight attendants grab him and politely explain that they need him to take his seat now. He still complains that "she" did it. One flight attendant instructs the other, Carla, that they should offer the gentleman a sedative. The man complains that he got "her" in his head, and this seems to briefly attract the attention of Jean. Meanwhile, the captain of the airplane communicates with the passengers. He apologizes for the rough ride, and explains that the crew does not know what is causing it. He wants the passengers to remain seated and calm. They will notify them if they find out what is going on. Staci notes that the distressed passenger is more nervous than they are. She wonders what got into him. A contemplative Jean replies that she too wonders about it.
The scene shifts to Archangel, who is flying above the Xavier Mansion. He is there to meet Scott and Jean, and has trouble believing these two are actually taking a vacation. He himself does not live in the Mansion anymore, cohabiting with Betsy Braddock in Manhattan. But he still sometimes feels smothered by everything being an X-Man carries with it. But Scott seems to thrive on the same thing. He feels that it is great for them to get away, and he is looking forward to seeing them off. He enters the Mansion through a giant hole on its roof. The interior seems in need of a major repair. Beast, Joseph, and Wolverine are at work collecting debris. Maggott whistles idly while sitting on the damaged staircase.
Warren jokingly asks whether Hank (the Beast) talked them into putting in a skylight, and used his own home improvement library to design it. Beast is in a much less jovial mood and explains that everything around them is damage from Scott's emergency arrival. Warren says that he is there to wish Scott and Jean to have some luck on their trip, and asks whether the departing couple are upstairs. An irate-looking Wolverine answers that they are certainly upstairs, about 32,000 miles (51,499 kilometers) "upstairs". In other words, they are already in flight and Warren has missed them. Warren seems surprised and says he just called and they were still there. Wolverine accepts that Warren did call the Mansion, but that was two freaking days ago. He notes that Warren had promised to try and lend a hand with the damage. He did not and now shows up after the hard work is already done. He thanks him for nothing.
Warren defensively says that he is not here to fight with Wolverine or anyone else. He explains that when "Bets" shadow-shifted (teleported) the X-Men back from Antarctica following the trial of Gambit, she instinctively transported herself and Warren to their own apartment. He and Betsy then got wrapped up in keeping their normal life together. Beast, who is trying to repair something, points that they all have lives outside of the team. Warren does not have to justify his decision to not come and help. Warren replies that from their tone of voice, it sounds like he has to explain himself. They are acting as if he is never here for them. He reminds them that he went through a lot during their stay in Antarctica. Its not like he can turn a page and suddenly get over the ordeal. He then points that the X-Men are not his only concern. He has a fortune to manage, an apartment to take care of, and a girlfriend who needs him.
Warren is prevented from further speaking when Eany and Meany noisily approach him. His attention turns to Maggott, who sarcastically comments on Warren's problems. In his view, Warren is a millionaire playboy with a penthouse flat. What a truck-load of worries that sounds like. Warren is surprised that Maggott is staying in the Mansion and comments that this seems to be going rather fast. Maggott sarcastically replies that Warren's room was open for him to take. An annoyed Warren comments that Maggott is not even an X-Man. He warns Maggott to get his slugs away from him, before he stomps on them. Maggott claims that the slugs are sweet on him, and that they would move too fast for him to finish stepping down. He calls Warren "Gabriel", after the mythological Archangel.
Following Maggott, it is Joseph's time to confront Warren. He approaches and claims to feel much better now, in case Warren is interested. He is still recovering from the beating he took in Antarctica, and seems to be accusing Warren that he does not even care about his health. He sarcastically sends his "warmest regards" to Betsy, pointing that she could have rushed him into a hospital. She instead chose to drop the X-Men in the Mansion and return Warren to his penthouse. Warren tries to defend himself and Betsy from Joseph's accusations of insensitivity. Joseph assumes that in Warren's mind, he will never be anything more than the face of Magneto, Warren's greatest enemy. Joseph claims to have proved his soul to be quite different than Magneto's soul.
Confronted by hostility on all sides, Warren says that he is sorry if they all think they have got it bad and he does not. But he is not here for that. He just came to say goodbye to Scott and Jean, and to see if things were okay at the Mansion. He does not want to here any more "garbage" about him not doing enough, not doing what he does fast enough, or him not caring enough. He threatens to leave. Wolverine, unimpressed and angry, tells Warren that he should leave. And stay away until he remembers what being part of a team is all about. Warren says that he does not need to be bashed by people he considers to be his friends. He prepares to leave, Beast pleads for him to stay, and Wolverine asks him to leave.
Their heated conversation is interrupted by Marrow, who was silently observing them. She comments that "Claw" does no just pick on the new kids among the X-Men. She sarcastically comments on his derision being a sign of affection. She blows a kiss to Warren, and whispers that to her Warren will always be an angel. Even if everyone else does not appreciate him. She seems to be the only one happy to see Archangel. Warren fails to notice her vote of confidence and flies away. Wolverine turns his anger towards her next. He throws a rock at Marrow, and commands her to either help with the work or get out of their way. He angrily points that they do not need her stirring up extra trouble. Her previous good mood gone, Marrow threatens to fight him. Wolvie challenges her to name the day of their fight.
The scene shifts back to the exterior of the airplane. The smaller aircraft attached to it is depicted having the initials A.I.M. on it. The narration compares the smaller aircraft to a parasite organism. Its creators reportedly consider themselves the modern equivalent of Leonardo da Vinci at his zenith. The aircraft's crew is making preparations to enter the host airplane. They seek a mind as great and as dark as their own.
Inside the airplane, Scott is now in greater pain than before. He claims that the altitude is making his pain increasingly worse. A worried Jean steps up from her seat, volunteering to see if the flight attendants have some medicine for him. Privately, she thinks that Scott is in more pain than he is letting on. She fears that she will have to eventually sneak into his mind to help him. While walking, she passes the seat of the disturbed passenger. He is now saying that they are outside and they want him back. Jean wonders what is actually up with this guy. Previously when he mentioned a "her", Jean thought he was talking about herself. Now he seems fixated on the door of the airplane where that noise came from. She turns around and hears a disturbing noise. She comments: "oh, no!", when that door opens and armed agents of A.I.M invade the airplane. They warn the passenger to remain seated, or else they will be executed. They seem to seeking a specific target.
The changing air currents blow Jean down the aisle, and she tries to regain her balance. She is puzzled at this mid-air hijacking and wonders where did the agents come from. She then worries that they are after her and Scott, meaning that they can not even pretend to be civilians. A worried Scott telepathically checks up on her, and Jean assures him that she is fine though she was blown back. She is worried about his safety, but Scott explains that the agents pay no attention to him. They are concentrating on the passengers in front of him. The agents address a passenger as "Doctor Sibelius" and ask him where is the "Entity". He warns the agents that they can not have it. He informs the "imbeciles" (as he calls them) that his people were aware that people like them would be after the "Entity". It is rigged to explode if anyone tries to remove it at this altitude. An agent feels insulted and shoots Sibelius with an energy weapon.
Scott telepathically informs Jean that the agents just shot a man. She answers that she can see that from where she is standing. She informs Scott that the man is down but still alive. She concludes that they still need him. She is certain that they are after something on the plane, but not for the two former X-Men. Scott wants them to move quickly and take down the intruders, before anyone else is injured. Jean warns him against using his powers, because they could place a strain on his wounds. She then notes that they still have no clue to what this hallway is attached to, and that they risk exposing their identities to their future neighbors. Finally she points that them acting in the open could endanger the other passengers.
Staci asks Scott where is Jean. Scott lies, claiming that he thinks Jean went to the bathroom. He assures Staci that Jean would be safe in there. An A.I.M. agent overhears them talking and shoves his gun at Scott’s face. He commands him to stop talking or be executed. The agent has no time to pull the trigger, as there is more turbulence and various persons on board experience flashbacks to traumatic experiences. In Cyclops' flashback he sees the Phoenix Force, in the form of Jean Grey, commit suicide, sacrificing herself. It pains him to see the woman he thought was the love of his life die. Staci Miller (or Murphy) sees her doctor, a bearded bespectacled man. She remembers the day he announced to her that there was a malignant cancer in her breast. That day led to a surgery which left her feeling uncomfortable with her own body. Her husband Chris has a flashback to discovering the corpse of his mother on the kitchen floor of his family home in Cincinnati. At the time he was 12-years-old and had only previously seen television deaths. Agent Planck of A.I.M. experiences a flashback of staring at his own bandaged face in a mirror. It was a day when volatile chemicals exploded in his face, causing him to lose his job and his face. All in one "swift and merciless" morning. According to the narration, others on board go through reliving similarly painful experiences, though there are no flashbacks depicted.
The phenomenon ends as quickly as it came. Scott telepathically asks Jean if she felt that. She answers that she did, and it was similar to what she felt when that distressed passenger was screaming earlier that day. She left herself open to it this time, hoping to get a bearing on its source. She is still in her hiding place, and is planning to take a lift on the cargo hold. She thinks she has targeted the origin of the phenomenon there.
Suddenly the distressed passenger screams that no one can come near him and starts running in the aisle. One of the A.I.M. agents shoots him with an energy weapon, while Scott shouts that this man is not well to begin with and they must stop targeting him. Staci advises him not to interfere. Scott still tells them to stop, or he will do something. He attempts to remove his glasses but the pain stops him. Agent Planck points his gun at Scott and tells the "little man" that he will do nothing. He points that there are no superheroes here to rescue Scott, and the A.I.M. agents are in charge. Scott hesitates to use his optic blast of energy, afraid of how his uncontrollable power may affect his injuries. He decides to do nothing and feels impotent. Agent Copernicus diffuses the situation, by ordering Planck to just return Scott to his seat and then guard the cockpit. Copernicus and the other agents are leading two passengers to another area of the airplane, and are leaving Planck in charge of the rest of the people on board.
The scene shifts back to the Xavier Mansion. Maggott returns through a ruined door and informs Cannonball and Rogue that he is bringing the X-Men's mail. He notes three bills, one catalog, something from the department of education, and a "sweet-smelling" love note for someone called "Sam". Cannonball angrily snaps the letter from Maggott's hands and informs him that this letter is his. Maggott asks him whether it involves something secret, but Samuel insists that his correspondence is private. He blasts away from the Mansion to read the letter in private.
The letter is from Tabitha Smith and is depicted alongside a flashback of Tabitha herself. She informs "Sam" that it seems like a million years since they have last seen each other. She has been trying to convince everyone in X-Force to attend the Colossal Man gathering in Texas. She says it is supposed to be a real freakshow, which to her sounds like fun. She invites "Sam" to meet them in Texas, if he is not too busy with the X-Men. She claims that she would love to see him, even for a few days. She misses him and thinks about him a lot. The letter ends with an expression of her love for him. Sam blasts away without a second thought, apparently leaving for Texas. The discarded letter flies in the wind.
The scene shifts back to the airplane. Jean enters the cargo hold and telepathically informs Scott about it. He informs her that there are men currently heading towards her direction. She is certain that she can handle them but informs him that she will have to severe their contact. Something in this area is searching out her mind. She does not think that Scott could withstand the psionic feedback of this potential meeting. Her attention then turns to the "Entity" and she detects its containment unit. She speaks to the creature, explaining that she can sense it, but does not know what is. The "Entity" sends images to her mind, which are scene as a flashback involving its origins and true form. In the flashback, the firebird-like "Entity" is torn away from another dimension by unknown men. They subject her to torturous tests. She tries to touch one of the men and accidentally kills him. She is then imprisoned in an explosive cage for transport. The flashback ends.
Jean is in mental pain, since the "Entity"'s thoughts are too alien for her mind. She hears the A.I.M. agents about to enter the cargo hold, and decides to hide. The pain is still unbearable. Three A.I.M. agents and two passengers enter the cargo hold. One is called a "doctor" by the agents. They ask him to identify which container carries the "Entity". The passengers speak directly to the "Entity", asking her not to harm them and pointing to the agents as the real dangers to her. An agent is puzzled why these two seem to bargain with a human that they are transporting like a creature. One of the passengers is surprised that the agents think the "Entity" is human and concludes that they have no idea what they are after. An unimpressed agent points that A.I.M. is after a scientific marvel better suited to its own cause than to the petty black market profiteering of these captive passengers.
The agent then asks where is the bomb mechanism. The passenger points to a small device sitting at the corner of the container. He explains that it can not be removed at altitude, programmed to detonate if this happens. Agent Kepler crouches down to examine the device. He determines that it is a comparative altitude sensor trigger. He normally would be able to dismantle it, but he does not have the proper tools with him. Their mission briefing did not indicate a specific need for them. Copernicus, who is in charge in this mission, decides that since this device is only volatile at this altitude, they can simply take this aircraft down. He communicates with Agent Planck at the cockpit, and instructs him to order the pilot to land immediately. The location of the landing is inconsequential to their purpose. He gives further instructions to Planck about what to do with their own aircraft, but he never manages to finish. All men in the cargo hold are blasted with psionic energy and scream in pain.
When the blast is over, the three agents begin to recover, but the captive passengers are down for the count. Agent Kepler examines the bodies amd proclaims that these two are not dead yet, but they are close to it. Copernicus theorizes that the "Entity" is growing more powerful. He decides they must act immediately, and orders Planck to get this airplane down. Planck informs his superior, that he is awaiting the completion of the de-docking process of their own aircraft. An anxious Copernicus insists that they have no time to wait. Observing the scene from her hiding place, Jean telepathically informs Scott that there is an otherworldly entity aboard the airplane, and it has emotion-focused psionic powers. She informs him that it can not be removed at altitude, so... . Scott interrupts her to say that he already knows that they are landing, he can see the preparations from where he is sitting. They have just resealed the cabin door. Outside, the two aircrafts detouch from each other.
The "Entity" blasts everyone psionically again. This time the blast involves the pilot and the other people in the cockpit. The pilot momentarily looses control of the airplane, and its left wing collides with the much smaller A.I.M. aircraft flying beside it. The damage is fatal for the A.I.M. aircraft which explodes in mid-air. The passengers of the larger aircraft hear the sound of an explosion and can feel its effects. They erroneously believe that their own airplane has been hit and that they are about to die. They start panicking, and an alarmed Scott reports this to Jean. She answers that she can already feel the thoughts of their passengers, full of anguish and fear.
Scott instructs Jean to shut out the fear and do whatever she can from her current position. He says that he is about to do what he can from his own position. He says to himself, that he may not be able to use his optic blasts, but he is not actually powerless. He sees an agent of A.I.M. walking in the isle, with his back turned on Scott's position. He starts rushing towards the agent, intending to attack him from behind. Staci sees him and asks Scott to stop, as the agent is able to kill him. Scott replies that this is a risk he will have to take, for all of their sakes. While still speaking, Scott attacks the agent, and slams his head on a metallic door. The incapacitated agent soon falls unconscious on the floor and Scott bends down to pick up his weapon.
Scott's victory is short-lived as another agent opens the cockpit door and aims a weapon at him. The agent comments that this was a noble attempt, but a common man like Scott is no match for an agent of A.I.M. As he still speaks, a member of the flight crew attacks him from behind with a fire extinguisher. A knock to the head leaves this second agent unconscious as well. The crew member and Scott briefly shake hands. The crew member thanks Scott for his bravery, but advises him to return to his seat. He says the captain is trying to make an emergency landing in Winnipeg, so it is not safe for anyone to be out of his seat. A smiling Scott comments on the danger he just experienced.
In the cargo hold, an A.I.M. agent discovers Jean in her hiding plan and asks her to identify herself. She is surprised, and decides against using her mutant powers this close to the "Entity". She instead punches the agent in the face, breaking the protective glass in his helmet. He falls on his back and lands on nearby luggage. He is hurt but still half-conscious, and asks her how she managed that. She answers that technology (like his own) is their servant, not their master.
Jean does not get to enjoy her victory for long. Scott alerts her to another crisis. The left wing of the airplane is clipped and smoke from it is filling the cabin. Everyone is panicking again. Jean telepathically scans the airplane and can now feel the minds of people. She notes that even the pilot is afraid and nervous, and this affects his abilities. Scott wants the former X-Men to do something before people start hurting themselves. Jean answers that there are too many minds for her alone to tend. She then turns to the "Entity" and asks for her needed help, noting that her psionic powers can instill emotions. She now telepathically asks the entity to give the innocent minds aboard this flight the sense of tranquility. Jean uses her powers to open the container and release the entity, while temporarily preventing the explosive trigger from exploding.
The tormented "Entity" exits the container and reveals her true fire-like form. She briefly flies across the airplane and brings peace of mind to whoever she psionically touches. The narration explains that the "Entity" has learned to fear and hate humans for the things they have done to her during her stay in this dimension. Now she senses their admirable qualities. She passes next to Scott and feels quiet, heroic nobility. She now feels a part of this human flock, and decides to save their lives by sacrificing herself. She finishes her job and transports herself back to the container, which she sees as her prison. She willingly enters it, preventing the explosion for good, and saving the lives of everyone on board. Jean witnesses the sacrifice. She thanks the "Entity" and compliments her otherworldly beauty.
The next scene moves ahead in time. The damaged airplane has landed in an airport of Winnipeg, the passengers have exited, and a crowd of emergency services personnel has gathered. Jean wished she could do something more, but Scott says they already prevented the plane from crashing. They overhear two airport personnel members commenting that after all they have been through, the crew and passengers look as calm as they can be. They also mention that government guys have arrived and will do the lion's share of the work involving this situation. Jean returns to her conversation with Scott and explains that she would like to do something for the "Entity". She would also like to have a talk with these government agents, whose presence she finds suspicious. The emergency landing was supposed to be a random event, but the agents arrived in the airport surprisingly fast. As if they were expecting trouble to begin with. She voices her suspicions that they could be connected to Operation: Zero Tolerance, but Scott does not seem concerned. He reminds her that they are in Canada and that these government agents do not work for the United States federal government. He suggests that Canadian intelligence knew about the shipment (of the "Entity") and was keeping an eye on it. He is not against Jean simply asking them about it.
While an armored agent loads the "Entity"'s container to the back of a truck, Jean approaches another armored agent. She asks him where are they taking the crate. He responds that this is classified information. Jean claims that the being they are transporting is a mutant, who managed to help everyone aboard this flight. She asks for the release of this female "mutant". The agent responds that the Ministry of Defense will most likely release her, after she has been evaluated. He instructs an agent called "Charley" to close up the truck. He comments it will be a long ride back to Ottawa. The truck and the agents are revealed to belong to Department H. The back of the truck bearing the Department's insignia and the motto: "Building a better tomorrow for Canada today".
Recognizing Department H from past encounters, Cyclops is surprised. He tells Jean that he did not know they were operating again. He wants to warn Logan about it. Jean agrees to call Logan once they are back home. Scott momentarily thinks she is speaking about a return to Salem Center, but she explains that she means Anchorage. They can call Logan from there. She notes that Department H is a mystery that someone else will have to solve. They just lived through an ordeal already. They are approached by their new friends Staci and Chris. They are happy to have survived, though Chris' head is bandaged. Staci is impressed with Scott putting his life on the line by attacking the A.I.M. agent and calls him a hero. Jean lies and claims she was simply hiding in the bathroom, too afraid to come out.
Staci expects that once they get to Anchorage, the four of them will spend years talking about this adventure. Scott and Jean deny this, looking forward to a quiet life with normal friends. The distressed passenger is transported away to a hospital, while repeating the "Entity"'s message to Jean. She assures Jean that she will be fine and does not want her to worry about her safety. Jean comments that she hopes "she" will be okay, and Chris wonders who is Jean talking about. The story ends.
- Cyclops' flashback involving the suicide of the Phoenix Force derives from X-Men Vol 1 137 (September, 1980). It is identified here as the most distressing memory of his life. This was originally supposed to be the death of Jean Grey, but was latter retconned to the death of a doppelganger entity.
- Cyclops comment about feeling like he is about to give birth to Brood refers to a past experience. He almost did give birth to a Brood in Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 166 (February, 1983), before he was purged of the embryo.
- The animosity between Wolverine and Marrow in this issue connects it to X-Men Vol 2 72 (February, 1998), where the two fight each other.
- Cannonball temporarily leaves the X-Men to visit X-Force. He appears in X-Force Vol 1, issues #75- 76 (March-April, 1998), where he considers rejoining this team. The problem is that Samuel considers Tabitha Smith (Meltdown) to still be his girlfriend. When he catches her making out with Sunspot, he is emotionally hurt and quickly returns to the X-Men.
- Despite the prominent role of the "Entity" and her psionic powers in this issue, the character never appeared again. She was last depicted in the custody of Department H. At the time, the Department was featured in Alpha Flight Vol 2 (1997-1999). This version of the Department was a secretive and manipulative organization, controlling a version of Alpha Flight through unethical methods. The safety of the "Entity" in their hands was rather questionable.
- The Marvel Chronology Project, which tracks character appearances, has the following information about the characters of the issue:
- Archangel appears here following Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 350 (December, 1997). His next chronological appearance is in X-Men Unlimited Vol 1 17 (December, 1997).
- Beast appears here following X-Men Vol 2 71 (January, 1998). His next chronological appearance is in Amazing Spider-Man Vol 1 429 (December, 1997).
- Cannonball appears here following X-Men Vol 2 71 (January, 1998). His next chronological appearance is in X-Men Vol 2 72 (February, 1998).
- Cyclops appears here following Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 351 (January, 1998). His next chronological appearance is in Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 353 (March, 1998).
- Eany and Meany appear here following X-Men Vol 2 71 (January, 1998). Their next chronological appearance is in Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 354 (April, 1998).
- Joseph appears here following X-Men Vol 2 71 (January, 1998). His next chronological appearance is in X-Men Vol 2 72 (February, 1998).
- Maggott appears here following X-Men Vol 2 71 (January, 1998). His next chronological appearance is in X-Men Vol 2 72 (February, 1998).
- Marrow appears here following X-Men Vol 2 71 (January, 1998). Her next chronological appearance is in the second story of X-Men Unlimited Vol 1 18 (April, 1998).
- Phoenix appears here following Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 351 (January, 1998). Her next chronological appearance is in Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 353 (March, 1998).
- Rogue appears here following X-Men Vol 2 71 (January, 1998). Her next chronological appearance is in Spider-Man/Kingpin: To the Death Vol 1 1 (November, 1997).
- Wolverine appears here following Uncanny X-Men Vol 1 351 (January, 1998). His next chronological appearance is in Elektra Vol 1 10 (September, 1997).
- Marrow is the only X-Man in this issue who is genuinely happy to see Archangel. It has been otherwise established that she remembers him from her childhood, and that she considers him the most beautiful man she knows. This issue hints that she has a crush on Warren. Which explains her somewhat affectionate behavior towards him.
- While described as a firebird-like creature, the "Entity" in this issue is not particularly avian in appearance. It seems to be a fiery humanoid, with a ghost-like presence. She haunts people by interacting with their minds.
- While Archangel defends himself and Psylocke from accusations that they have been neglecting the X-Men and ignoring the needs of their teammates, most of the charges at least seem to be true. The couple have not been depicted interacting much with the X-Men for quite some time, and they were conspicuously absent from several storylines where the X-Men could use help. The issue simply addresses their absence as a conscious choice.
- The subplot about the X-Men finding out that the Department H is back in action, serves mostly to advertise Alpha Flight Vol 2 (1997-1999). The writer of this X-Men issue, Steven T. Seagle, was the main writer of Alpha Flight Vol 2. He wrote or co-wrote the series from issue 1 to 20 (August, 1997-March, 1999), all the regular issues of the series. He also wrote a prequel to the series (Alpha Flight Vol 2 -1, July, 1997).
- In this issue Jean Grey uses the eyes of birds to scan out areas of the United States of America in search of the missing Professor X. This is a new use of her powers and the narration comments that she is pushing past the limits of her powers. This is probably an early hint to a storyline Steven T. Seagle had in mind, where Jean increasingly becomes more Phoenix-like in powers and personality. He introduced a number of subplots to this direction in later issues of Uncanny X-Men, but the editors rejected his ideas and the storyline never materialized.
- Despite the subplot about Jean Grey stubbornly searching for the missing Professor X, at the time there were no immediate plans for the return of the character. The Professor returned in "The Hunt for Xavier" crossover which took place in Uncanny X-Men Vol 1, issues #362-364 (December, 1998-January, 1999) and X-Men Vol 2, issues 82-84 (December, 1998-February, 1999).
- Every named or mentioned agent of A.I.M. in this issue is codenamed after a famous scientist.
- Agent Euclid is named after Euclid of Alexandria (3rd century BC). He was a mathematician active in the Ptolemaic Kingdom of Egypt and is credited as the father of geometry. Euclidean geometry consisted of previously known or theorized elements of geometry, fit together in a comprehensive deductive and logical system. Until the 19th century, almost all geometric works were based on his system.
- Agent Copernicus is named after Nicolaus Copernicus (1473–1543). He was a polymath, mathematician, and astronomer from Royal Prussia. He is mostly remembered for his Heliocentric model of the universe, placing the Sun (Greek "Helios") rather than the Earth at the center of the universe. He thus questioned and replaced the dominant Geocentric model of his era. Following his death, other scientists adopted his model of the universe and developed theories based on it. The so-called Copernican Revolution profoundly changed the scientific understanding of the world.
- Agent Kepler is named after Johannes Kepler (1571–1630), a mathematician, astronomer, and astrologer from the Holy Roman Empire. He is best known for Kepler's laws of planetary motion, three scientific laws describing the motion of planets around the Sun. They are considered foundational material of both astronomy and physics.
- Agent Newton is named after Isaac Newton (1642– 1727), a physicist, natural philosopher, mathematician, astronomer, and alchemist from the Kingdom of England. He was a polymath with key achievements in several fields, though he is best remembered for Newtonian mechanics (also known as classical mechanics), a set of physical laws describing the motion of bodies under the influence of a system of forces. It affected most scientific concepts of universal forces until the 20th century.
- Agent Planck is named after Max Planck (1858–1947), a theoretical physicist from Germany. He is known for several achievements in physics, though best remembered as a pioneer of Quantum mechanics. Quantum mechanics was an entirely new field when he produced his key work on it.
- The firebird-description of the "Entity", her extraordinary psionic powers, her fiery feminine form, her otherworldly origin, and her friendly interaction with Jean Grey are all reminiscent of the Phoenix Force. Writer Steven T. Seagle mentioned in interviews that he wanted to revisit that character. In this issue, he seems to be using a substitute of it.
- The cover of the issue boasts about the issue having more artists than any other single issue. They do have a point, since there are six pencillers and six inkers in this issue. However this leads to some very inconsistent depictions of the major and minor characters of this issue. For example, Cyclops goes from sporting a small beard to being clean-shaven within pages. Neither the art, nor the inking of the artists are a particularly close fit for each other. The issue keeps changing drawing styles, which makes it rather strange-looking.
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