> Uncanny X-Men Masterworks Volume 5

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From the Mouths of the Marvels:

"If I didn't know better, I'd say those thoughts I just picked up sounded like a proposal."

-- Jean Grey, pg. 16

An epic showdown between the mentor and the student.

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X-Men #136
August 1980 17 pages

Script: Chris Claremont Letters: Tom Orzechowski
Pencils & Co-Plotting: John Byrne Inks: Terry Austin

Title: "Child of Light and Darkness!"

First Appearance: Touks'Enhaamin, Sarah Grey

Guest Appearance: Lilanda, Araki, Touks'Enhaamin, John & Elaine Grey, Sarah Grey

Cameo: President Jimmy Carter, Joel, Peter Corbeau, Jarvis, Angel

Gadgets & Technology: Mind Scrambler

Letters Page: Page One

Synopsis: (continued from XMEN #135)

Lilandra leads an emergency meeting of the Grand Council at Imperial Center. She fills in all assembled about the threat of Dark Phoenix, and that she has already exploded a star that resulted in the death of billions in the system D'Bari. She also destroyed an elite Imperial Battle Cruiser. Their decision is that she must be destroyed before she can hurt anyone else.

On Earth, President Jimmy Carter angrily contacts the Avengers to handle the mounting crisis being reported to him by Dr. Peter Corbeau of StarCore. Jarvis has no answer for him why the Beast is not manning the emergency monitor. What Jarvis doesn't know is that the Beast is on Earth, trying to help Cyclops and Storm develop a gadget that will help restore Jean to her senses. The rest of the X-Men are trying to loose some nervous energy in the Danger Room.

Dark Phoenix has returned to Earth, pulled for some reason to her home, where she prowls around inside the home that is familiar to the human part of her soul. Her father, mother and sister awake in the middle of the night to greet her, but sense she's not her normal self. Phoenix can read their minds and sense their fear, and she explodes in a fit of rage, causing her father to shout at her and demand she leave the home at once. The mind of Jean Grey conceives what is happening and tries to fight it, but cannot stop the Dark Phoenix part of her from being the dominant force.

She tears out of the house and flies up into the sky, but Nightcrawler ports to her and slaps the Beast's Mind Scrambler on her head. Thrown off balance because she can't access the full extent of her powers, Phoenix is assaulted on all sides by her friends. But she is still powerful enough to take everything they throw at her, and the Beast realizes that she's about to short-circuit the Mind Scrambler. Wolverine realizes time is growing short, and he must go to the limits against Dark Phoenix. He leaps at her and they tumble into a shallow pool. Wolverine extends his claws and is about to end her life, and the small part that is still Jean comes to the fore, begging him to kill her and finish her off before the Dark Phoenix returns. In that split second, Wolverine can't bring himself to do it, and Dark Phoenix blasts him off of her, ripping the Mind Scrambler off her head and trapping the X-Men inside a stasis field.

As the evil persona of the Dark Phoenix loudly commiserates over what she will do with the lives of the X-Men she now holds in her hands, Cyclops walks up to her, trying to reach Jean inside. Initially, Dark Phoenix rebuffs him, but Cyclops finally reaches her when he forces her to admit that the human part of the Phoenix would never hurt her friends. Jean's persona slowly emerges, as she cries to Cyclops that she's consumed by a ravenous hunger that she can't control, nor does she want to. Just as Cyclops thinks he might be getting somewhere with Jean, Professor Xavier appears and knocks her down with a powerful mind-blast. Dark Phoenix reemerges and lashes out at Professor Xavier, knocking him out of his wheelchair. The professor announces it is time for a showdown, where he can make right what he feels partly responsible for. A psi-war between the two powerful minds breaks out, in which Xavier succeeds in reworking the delicate bonds in Jean's mind that suppressed the awesome Phoenix Force.

In the brief moment after the fight is ended, Jean collapses. Scott rushes to her side and his thoughts rush over him- how much Jean means to him in mind, body and soul. Jean reads his mind and asks him if that's a proposal. Angel shows up to greet his teammates, and Jean's parents rush out of the house to check on what is happening. Cyclops picks up Jean in his arms, asking her if she's cured, and Jean admits that she thinks she is. Just then, there is a great flash on the lawn, and the X-Men all disappear, leaving the Grey family to wonder if they will ever see the X-Men- or their daughter- ever again. (continued in XMEN #137)

--synopsis and panel images by Gormuu

--letters pages provided by Avengers Assemble

Issues Reprinted
X-Men #132-140, Annual #4, Phoenix #1
and Phoenix from Bizarre Adventures #27

Click on cover image to learn more about each issue.

XM #132 XM #133 XM #134 XM #135 XM #136 XM #137
XM #138 Ann. #4 XM #139 XM #140 PHX #1 BA #27


All cover images are courtesy of the Silver Age Marvel Comics Cover Gallery.

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