Appearing in "If I Should Die...!"
- The X-Men
- New York
Synopsis for "If I Should Die...!"
Continued from last issue....
Angel and Iceman are furious that the Professor has disallowed them to join Cyclops and Beast in battling Grotesk. When they present their displeasure to Jean, she refuses to allow them to go. When the Professor finally exits his study, the other X-Men demand that the Professor let them go, and Charles once more refuses, telling Marvel Girl not to allow them to leave.
While deep below New York City, Cyclops and Beast fight Grotesk and during the fight, one of Scott's optic blasts strikes a machine that causes the cavern to fill with radioactive fog. Detecting the Professor attempting to probe his mind, Grotesk believes that it is Xavier who is responsible for the earth tremors that destroyed his kingdom, and he departs to track Charles down. When Cyclops attempts to follow Grotesk through the fog, the Beast pulls him back and warns him against entering the lethal cloud.
When Cyclops and Beast return to the mansion, they also try to seek an audience with the Professor, but Jean keeps them at bay, even going so far as to use her telekinetic powers to keep her teammates away. She then tells the X-Men that she has received a mental command from the Professor to come to the Professor's aid. (The others are upset that they did not receive it also.)
Grotesk, meanwhile, has smashed his way into the lab where he has detected the Professor's mental probes and finds what he thinks is the device causing the earthquakes, as well as Dr. Hunt. Grotesk throws Hunt aside to destroy the machine, but "Hunt" takes off a mask to reveal that he is really Professor X. With the machine attempting to save the world from the earthquakes, and Grotesk's possible tampering likely to cause the destruction of mankind, the Professor keeps Grotesk stunned with his mental powers until the other X-Men arrive -- not, however, before Grotesk can start the device to send vibrations into the Earth's core.
Angel is the first to arrive with mirrors to reflect light into the light-sensitive cavern dwellers' eyes. As Cyclops, Beast, Angel and Iceman fight Grotesk, Marvel Girl is ordered to stop the machine, but finds that the lever is jammed in position. As the battle rages, the Professor and Marvel Girl combine their mental powers to bombard the machine, causing its effects on the Earth to slow down. However, they are not slowing down fast enough, and the Professor (telling Jean to stay back) gets closer to the machine to affect it more effectively. Meanwhile, Grotesk throws Angel into the other X-Men, allowing him a chance to break away from the fight and to try to speed up the process of the machine. Pushing the Professor aside, Grotesk slams his fist into the machine. Instead of causing it to complete its job, it instead explodes, seemingly killing Grotesk.
Checking the rubble, the X-Men find that their victory has come at a cost; the Professor has been mortally wounded. With his dying words, the Professor explains Grotesk's story, and confesses to his students that he himself was dying of a fatal illness and hence his secrecy. The Professor then passes away, and although the X-Men have saved the Earth, they have suffered a most tragic loss.
Appearing in "The End... or the Beginning?"
- New York
Synopsis for "The End... or the Beginning?"
Continued from last issue...
Jack Winters has succeeded in using a cyclotron to bombard himself with enough radiation to turn himself into the Living Diamond. With his newly gained powers, Diamond resumes his attack on Professor Xavier, unaware that his "charge" Scott Summers has joined with the Professor. When the Professor's mental powers have no effect on Jack, Scott uses his optic blast in order to keep Winters at bay.
Fleeing into the research building, they find an ultra-sonic vibration inducer, a device the Professor probed for and hopes will be the key to defeating the Living Diamond. Xavier orders Scott to go and operate the device as the Professor acts as bait for Jack. When Jack enters the room, Scott activates the ultra-sonic device bombarding the Living Diamond with sound. Charles orders their foe to surrender; however, Jack refuses and continues to try to attack. This marks the end of the Living Diamond as the vibration device shatters him to bits, killing the evil mutant before he could ever have a chance to turn his powers against the world.
Horrified that he has murdered another human being, Scott is consoled by the Professor, who tells the boy he acted out of self-defense. Asking the boy if he'd like to join him at his school, the Professor takes Scott back to his mansion where Scott becomes the first X-Man. Given a costume and a special ruby quartz visor that allows him to use his optic blasts, Scott is rechristened Cyclops. That night, Scott spends time alone outside the mansion, wondering where the Professor's mission of peaceful coexistence between humans and mutants will take him.
- The title page states that this issue is "Not a hoax! Not a dream! Not an imaginary Tale! This is for Real!" This is playing off of rival company DC Comics, who would regularly publish "imaginary tales" that could possibly happen, but were not part of their regular canon. The "not a hoax" motif would become a common sales ploy by Marvel and other companies.
- Although it appears that both Professor X and Grotesk are killed in this issue, both survive. The "Charles Xavier" who died in this issue was really a disguised Changeling, who was assisting the Professor in a plot against the Z'nox alien race which will be realized in later issues of X-Men. Grotesk would survive as well and appear in the pages of Ms. Marvel.
- The Mark Twain quote Prof X is referencing in the origin story is "The report of my death was an exaggeration."
- The first story is the conclusion of a two-part story that began last issue.
Links and References
- Mark Twain quote: http://www.rotten.com/library/bio/authors/mark-twain/