Uncanny X-Men (1963) - #175
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John Romita Jr.
Paul Martin Smith - 'PMS'
Tom Orzechowski - 'Tom Orz'
Paul Martin Smith - 'PMS'
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Cover Date: November 1983
Cover Price: US $ 1.00
Issue Tagline: None.
Format: Color; Standard Comic Issue; 48 pages
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Letters Column: X-Mail
The X-Men are chopping down a dying tree when suddenly a large fire bird appears in the sky above them! And from out of the fire bird falls a man - Cyclops! Rogue catches him, and Storm tells Nightcrawler to take him to the infirmary, but he belays that. Its too late for such action - Dark Phoenix has returned! Professor X summons them to the study.
Professor X is not convinced - he sensed Jean's death, but not her rebirth. He puts on Cerebro to look for traces of Jean, but Cerebro overloads, knocking him out and putting him on the brink of death! Nightcrawler teleports him to the infirmary while Kitty inspects Cerebro - to find that all the safety interlocks were disengaged and the settings reversed! Someone made Professor Xavier do that to himself! In the confusion, Phoenix slips out from within Cyclops, who collapses. The X-Men attack, but do so singly, and Phoenix defeats them all - all that is except Wolverine, who sees no point in attacking. Phoenix leaves to do some 'errands', promising to return to finish what she started.
Kitty goes to raise the Starjammers on the comm, but when she finally gets through its to see Corsair telling them they are under attack by Phoenix -- and then the Starjammer explodes! They next try to contact the Avengers, but their conversation with Captain America is cut short as all of New York City ceases to exist!
In the infirmary Professor X is stable but in bad shape, while Cyclops is in 'perfect health' physically but otherwise deteriorating rapidly. Cyclops, however, is looking down on his body from above, and he sees it charred and blistered. He drifts towards the light. Suddenly, he can sense Jean's presence through their psychic rapport, he knows she's here. And then a woman appears, but as he gets closer, he realizes that woman isn't Jean. She tells him to go back, and sends him hurtling back towards his body - he wakes up realizing it was his mom!
Cyclops examines himself and finds no burns. He finally starts to piece it together - maybe he hasn't been burned either time and maybe Phoenix isn't real either! Cyclops reviews the evidence, and realizes only one foe could possibly be responsible. He rushes off to prepare, knowing that convincing the other X-Men will be difficult.
Ten minutes later he rushes in to where Storm and Colossus are, but the X-Men don't see Cyclops - they see Phoenix! Storm uses wind to bring Cyclops close where Colossus can swing at him, and Cyclops gets hit hard, cracking some ribs. Cyclops manages to turn the tables enough to make his escape, but Kitty tackles him through the wall - Cyclops throws himself off the balcony and Kitty instinctively phases them through the floor and into ... the danger room!
Nightcrawler ports down to the control room, but Cyclops has it booby trapped, and it knocks him out. He puts Kitty to sleep with a nerve pinch. The other X-Men enter, but Cyke has control of the Danger Room! He ambushes them with a sudden chasm, forcing the flyers to rescue the others, and hides in a jungle environ.
Elsewhere, Madelyne Pryor is dressed as Dark Phoenix, and is utterly confused as to where she is. The villain, Mastermind, reveals himself to her, and proceeds to tell her his evil plan and why he seeks revenge. He then tortures her by making himself look like Scott, stealing a kiss, and laughing at her reaction as he turns back to his natural form.
Cyclops is being hunted by the X-Men, but better knowledge of the terrain allows him to outwit his pursuers. However, its an open stretch to the door of the danger room, and the flyers come after him. But Storm throws off her lightning bolt, and as Cyke nails her he wonders if she's figured it out. Rogue catches Storm and lands between Cyclops and the door - but he specifically prepared some poppies designed to knock her out - and he wide-angle blasts the field she's landed in, sending poppy dust into the air. Rogue collapses. Cyclops picks Rogue up and exits the danger room.
Cyclops shuts down all the mansion surveillance equipment so Mastermind won't know where he is, and then takes Rogue to the infirmary. There he wakes her with a vial and quickly touches her hand to Professor X's forehead. Suddenly telepathic, Cyclops persuades her he's not Phoenix. The remainder of the X-Men appear, but before they can attack 'Phoenix', Cyke has Rogue patch him through to the X-Men, and convinces them of the truth. At that moment, Phoenix appears behind them!
Cyclops moves between the X-Men and Phoenix, and announces he knows its an illusion, and therefore it can't hurt him. Suddenly, he clutches his chest, and falls down. But Wolverine heard the shot - a gun with a silencer. He lets Storm know the enemy is here, and Storm summons up a monsoon which forces everyone to grab hold of whatever is available. When the Storm subsides, Mastermind has been blown back into a wall and is unconscious. Wolverine pops his claws and goes for the kill, but Storm stops him. Scott gets up and sees Madelyne, and rushes to her - thankfully she's alright.
Later. Scott Summers takes flowers to Jean's tombstone. He's wearing a tux, and he makes his peace with Jean's ghost. Later that afternoon, Scott and Madelyne get married.
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