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Quote1 Human, I...need...you! Quote2
-- Proteus

Appearing in "There's Something Awful on Muir Island!"

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Synopsis for "There's Something Awful on Muir Island!"

On Muir Island, Moira MacTaggert is testing out Jean/Phoenix’s abilities to learn the upper limits of her expanded powers. Moira is disturbed at the seemingly limitless amount of energy the Phoenix can generate. After correlating some data, Moira hypothesizes that, after saving the universe from the effects of the M'Kraan Crystal, Jean had subconsciously created her own mental barriers to keep her powers at a manageable level. Now, however, they seem to be returning to their cosmic level and Moira would like to know why. Moira’s theorizing prompts Jean to recall the events that transformed her into the Phoenix and then the events that brought her to Muir Island following the supposed deaths of the X-Men. (Unbeknownst to them, a shadowy figure is spying on them.)

The X-Men are alive and well, however, and believe that Jean is the one who died (as well as the Beast). At that same time, they are undertaking a training session in the Danger Room. Wolverine attempts to help Colossus but is neutralized while an overconfident Nightcrawler is taken down by a sonic attack. After it’s over, Cyclops chews them out for their poor performance until Wolverine loses his temper over “playing games" and storms off. Cyclops laments to Storm that he’s uncertain the new X-Men, who still don’t function as a cohesive unit, will ever work as well together as the original team did because the disparate members were all brought together as adults rather than as teenagers as the original team were, and are each so strong-willed in their own ways that it’s hard for them to truly cooperate.

In orbit around Earth is Asteroid M, Magneto’s secret hideout. He is still recovering from injuries sustained in his last battle with the X-Men. While reviewing his computer records of his previous battles with the original team, he accidentally accesses an old data file on his late wife Magda. Seeing her face causes him to recall the painful memory of the death of their child child at the hands of bigoted peasants, as well as how Magda fled from him in fear when he used his powers to avenge their daughter. He deletes the file so that he does not have to relive the memories again.

Meanwhile, the mysterious man named Jason Wyngarde, a mutant himself, has been slowly molding the mind of Jean Grey since he first met her. He has been stalking her throughout her extended stay in Europe, taking on different guises and accessing her mind in order to plant the seeds for his plans to transform her into the Black Queen of the Hellfire Club.

On Muir Isle, Jean seems to briefly fall into a trance while Jason is thinking of her. Lorna snaps her out of it however and Jean uses her powers to instantaneously transform her clothes several times as she pirouettes around the room.

In Moira's lab, Moira pores over the data and ponders the fact that Jean has been granted powers akin to a god. Profoundly disturbed, she wonders where Charles Xavier may be and wishes he would come back.

Xavier is in the Shi'ar galaxy as Lilandra's consort. While she is attending to matters of the imperial court, Xavier (who, by Shi’ar standards, is like “the village idiot”) checks out holographic records of the X-Men’s previous adventures in this galaxy. Xavier had never been fully briefed on the events and only just realizes how much power that Jean/Phoenix wielded during the adventure with the M’Kraan Crystal. As Moira already has, Xavier realizes that Jean’s new powers are likely far too vast for her to control for long. He prepares to return to Earth immediately.

Back on Muir Island, Moira steps on a gold tooth. Examining it, she becomes alarmed and rushes to Mutant X’s containment chamber. She reacts in horror at what she finds there.

Elsewhere on the island, Jean - using her powers to shield her the cold of Muir Isle - passes by Jamie and Alex. While Jamie remarks on how well Jean in a light summer dress is withstanding the bracing cold of Muir Isle, Alex thinks to himself that it is not like Jean to show off her powers in the matter, or use them in such a casual manner. Jean telepathically “hears” Alex’s concern but dismisses it.

Upon entering Moira’s research facility, Jean detects an intruder in the vicinity. Changing into her costume, she begins searching for the intruder when suddenly she finds herself seemingly transported back in time to the Victorian era for a brief moment. She snaps back to reality when someone jumps her from behind. Looking into her attacker’s face, she screams in terror. Alex and Madrox hear her and run to investigate.

Back at the X-Mansion, the Beast drops by to check out the school. He’d left sensors in place to alert him of any possible intruders, which have gone off since the X-Men returned. He is stunned to find the X-Men (whom he’d believed were dead) very much alive - and vice versa. Explanations are made all around and he informs them that Jean is alive as well and visiting Muir Isle. While Cyclops places a call to Muir Isle, Beast departs to check in at Avenger’s Mansion and inform them he’ll be traveling with the X-Men to Scotland as well. (He doesn’t want to miss out on the reunion.)

Lorna answers Scott’s call and tells him there is a security situation going on at the island. However, before she can explain further, Lorna is attacked by some strange being that has a need for her. The last thing Cyclops hears before the line goes dead is Lorna's screams.

This story is continued next issue.

Notes

  • Jean's flashback recounts events from X-Men Vol 1 101, X-Men Vol 1 113 and fills readers in on her activities since parting ways with the rest of the team. The narration over the flashback is the first time in which it is explicitly stated that Jean had literally died during her space-flight. (Note that this issue is prior to Busiek's retcon, and when published it was still cannon that this was indeed Jean Grey, the former Marvel Girl, and not a doppelganger.)
  • Magneto appears to be reviewing a video of his initial battle with the original X-Men in X-Men Vol 1 1.
  • This issue features an oblique crossover with a contemporaneous storyline in the Avengers series. In Avengers Vol 1 186, Quicksilver is told facts about his and his sister Wanda's history, including the fact that their mother was a woman named Magda who was fleeing from an unidentified husband who had great power but used them cruelly. Magda had been pregnant with twins (Pietro and Wanda), but didn't want her husband to know of their existence. Magneto's cameo in this issue makes clear that Magda was his wife and the inference is that Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch are his and Magda's children. It would be several more years before either Magneto or the twins actually realized this connection (and it would ultimately be retconned so that they were not, in fact, related).
  • Jason Wyngarde/Mastermind is the second old X-Men villain to mentally manipulate Jean into becoming his "bad girl" romantic partner (Mesmero performed a similar act on her in X-Men Vol 1 111.) This is particularly ironic given that "Jean" is at this point the most powerful telepath on planet Earth and neither Mastermind nor Mesmero are telepaths themselves.
  • Moira only just becomes aware that Mutant X has escaped imprisonment and is on the loose this issue, and she learns it entirely by accident (finding the late Angus MacWirter's tooth). Even given Marvel's sliding timescale, it has been several months since he escaped X-Men Vol 1 104 and at least several weeks since his first victim, Angus MacWirter, disappeared (re: X-Men Vol 1 122). This is both an astonishing lapse of security protocols and an appalling example of parental neglect on Moira's part. Given that Mutant is a patient/prisoner in her custody (and later revealed to be her own son), she should have checked up on him immediately after Magneto (and other mutants) escaped Muir Isle in #104. Instead she seems to have spent a considerable amount of leisure time with Jean and company, apparently leaving Mutant X completely unattended. At the very least, she should have checked in on him immediately when she returned to the isle alongside Jean & co. Moira is therefore culpable for at least Angus MacWirter's death and possibly all of Mutant X/Proteus's later victims as well. It also seems neglegent that Jean, Alex, Lorna and even Jamie are all unaware of Mutant X's existence (Even if she didn't want to say he was her son, Moira might have let them know that she was keeping an extremely dangerous, Omega-level mutant in custody on the isle where they were vacationing.)
  • Likewise, Cyclops and the X-Men have been remarkably lax about getting in touch with friends, family and associates since they've returned to the X-Mansion. It has clearly been some time since they got back home (they were all depicted casually going about daily routines when Arcade and his cronies abducted them in issue #123), but they evidently did not bother to get in touch with Moira (who should have been their first point of contact if they couldn't reach Prof. X), the Avengers (to inform them of the Beast's supposed death), or Jean's parents (!) who probably should have been informed that - as far as the X-Men knew - their daughter was dead. Any of these sources could have easily let them know that they were wrong about Jean and Beast's supposed deaths.
  • This issue is reprinted in many other comics and books, see references for more info.[1]

Trivia

  • Jean's pirouette "fashion show" for Lorna is possibly inspired by the then-current Wonder Woman television series which famously depicted the title heroine spinning around to transform her civilian Diana Prince attire into her superhero costume.

See Also

Recommended Reading

Links and References

Footnotes

  1. This story is reprinted in the following comics/TPB's:



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