Appearing in "Merry Christmas, X-Men — The Sentinels Have Returned!"
- Jean Grey
- Amanda Sefton (First appearance)
- Betsy Wilford (First appearance)
- Moira MacTaggert
- Dr. Peter Corbeau
- Project Armageddon
- Stan Lee (Cameo)
- Jack Kirby (Cameo)
- Chris Claremont (Cameo)
- Dave Cockrum (Cameo)
- Paty Greer (Cameo)
- Julius Schwartz (Cameo)
- Bonnie Wilford (First appearance)
- Doctor Doom (Cameo)
- Nick Fury (Cameo)
- Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Cameo)
- 🢐 Matt Murdock 🢒 (Cameo)
- Clark Kent (First appearance) (Cameo)
- Lois Lane (First appearance) (Cameo)
- Unnamed New Yorkers
- Project Starcore (Referenced) (Name first revealed)
- Polaris (Mentioned)
- Havok (Mentioned)
Races and Species:
- Peter Corbeau's boat, the Dejah Thoris (Destruction)
Synopsis for "Merry Christmas, X-Men — The Sentinels Have Returned!"
It’s Christmas time and the X-Men are celebrating in Manhattan. After spending time together on Fifth Avenue, they all part ways: Kurt and Peter introduce themselves to some girls (one of whom is later established to be Amanda Sefton); Ororo, Sean, and Moira go sightseeing; Scott and Jean have a dinner date; while Wolverine opts to spend time alone, telling the others that he has no use for Christmas.
Scott and Jean are arriving at the Rainbow Room restaurant when they are suddenly attacked by Sentinels. Jean is captured and Scott sent flying off the building. Only his quick reach for a radio mast prevents him from falling to his death. Debris striking the street below alerts Banshee, Wolverine, and Storm of the battle above and they all rush to Cyclops's aid. While Storm rescues Cyclops, Banshee and Wolverine are captured and taken away along with Jean. Storm's elemental powers are able to fend off the Sentinel that attempts to apprehend her and Scott, however. Realizing that the Professor is a likely target for the mutant-hunting robots and might not be safe, he and Storm rush to contact him.
Their warning comes too late. The Professor is aboard the Dejan Thoris, a ship owned by his colleague, Peter Corbeau of StarCore. Xavier is relating his recurrent nightmares to his old friend when the yacht is attacked by a Sentinel. Charles manages to take it down with a psi-bolt and Peter quickly speeds his hydrofoil away. But then Charles is struck by another nightmare image, distracting him just as another Sentinel accosts their ship. Charles is abducted and the yacht is destroyed. As the Sentinel flies away, Peter (alive but adrift in the sea) notes the robot voicing concern about solar radiation levels. He then realizes he has a long swim to the mainland ahead of him.
In an unknown location, Wolverine, Banshee, Jean, and Charles are all prisoners of Stephen Lang and his Project: Armageddon operation. As technicians examine each of the X-Men's mutant natures, one of them points out that Wolverine's readings are markedly different from the others. The tech even questions whether Wolverine is a true mutant.
Lang explains to Jean that his goal is to wipe out all mutants because they are a menace to humanity. While Lang is “monologue-ing”, Wolverine extracts his claws and cuts himself free. He then trashes the Sentinel guards. Lang flees while Wolverine frees Banshee and Jean. The three are arguing about whether to leave the unconscious Professor behind when more Sentinels attack. As they combat the robots, Banshee uses his sonic scream to clear a path through Project: Armageddon's base and smashes through the outer wall of the facility… only to find that there is a surprise greater danger than Lang and his Sentinels outside the base.
Back at the X-Mansion, Cyclops has spent the past few days using Cerebro to search for Jean and the others, to no avail. His teammates fear that the Sentinel’s prisoners are already dead. Peter Corbeau arrives and tells the remaining X-Men that he has deduced that the Sentinels took their teammates into outer space.
Even as Corbeau tells them this, Sean, Jean, and Wolverine find themselves floating in the vacuum of space, having been sucked out after Banshee blew a hole in the outer wall. Their deaths are imminent.
- This is the start of a four part storyline that continues to X-Men #101.
- Although it had been established from the earliest days of the original X-Men that Scott and Jean were in love with each other, this issue is the first time they are depicted in a true relationship. Classic X-Men #6 depicts Jean preparing for her date.
- Likewise, Sean and Moira have apparently begun dating as well. He is attracted to her from their first meeting in X-Men #96.
- The Rainbow Room as where the Sentinels attack Scott and Jean is established by the previous panels in which they enter 30 Rockefeller Plaza, then a posh restaurant for which Jean wears an evening dress. Marvels Epilogue #1 depicts the attack from Phil Sheldon's perspective; he watches the Sentinels rip open the roof of the building.
- Jean's telekinetic ability is, while powerful enough to attack Sentinels, not fine enough to shorten her dress for battle; Wolverine claws it to miniskirt length, annoying her. She is much more powerful by Classic X-Men #9.
- Jean is still wearing the dress in Fantastic Four #286.
- The story contains a meta-reference in which two men (Stan Lee and Jack Kirby in unnamed cameos) observe Scott and Jean together and remark how "this never happened when WE were running things!"
- The dating of the story to December 1975, and Jean's statement that the Sentinels are familiar with the "Marvel Girl of 1969", are Glossary:Topical References based on the Sliding Timescale of Earth-616.
- Classic X-Men #6 dates the start of the issue to December 21.
- Professor X subdues a Sentinel with his telepathy. This characterization is not consistent; when he meets one for the first time, in X-Men #14, Xavier states that he cannot use his mental powers against Sentinels, as they are not alive. Yet later in that issue, his telepathy can slightly interact with a Sentinel.
- This issue is the first to reveal that Wolverine's claws are a part of his body and not a weapon attached to his gloves.
- This issue is the first published depiction of Jean and Wolverine interacting. Jean seemingly dislikes Wolverine, but Classic X-Men #1 shows that they are attracted to each other immediately after returning from Krakoa, and that Jean leaves the team in X-Men #94 in part because she is afraid of cheating on Scott.
- Peter Corbeau first appeared in Incredible Hulk #148. He was last seen in incredible Hulk #172.
- Doctor Doom is seen ice skating. (This information and intent of artist Dave Cockrum was confirmed by Paty Cockrum). Phil Sheldon, who recognizes him, warns his children to stay away from the villain in Marvels Epilogue #1.
- Clark Kent and Lois Lane appear. They also appear in the next issues.
- Colossus is said to be an orphan in the letters page. This is incorrect as his parents were depicted in Giant-Size X-Men #1 and have had subsequent appearances.
- Dr. Corbeau's boat is named for Dejah Thoris, from the Edgar Rice Burroughs' Martian novels.
- Wolverine's "unique nature" as mentioned by Stephen Lang's scientists after examining Wolverine in this issue is a reference to the originally intended origin for Wolverine. It was originally intended that Wolverine was going to be revealed as a wolverine mutated into a human being by the High Evolutionary. This concept was eventually scrapped
- This story is Job# JV 157 (seen on page one).
- 30 Cent variants of this issue exist.
Links and References
- Official Marvel Index to the X-Men #5 - See for further referencing
- Official Marvel Index to the X-Men (Vol. 2) #2 - See for further referencing